"When I was younger I used to love to ski, bike, hike, and ride horses. I was active, healthy, and I didn't think any of that would really change. Then I got a desk job with a 45 minute commute to work (on a good day). It didn't happen right away of course, it was one of those things that snuck up on me, but before I realized it things weren't the way they used to be. I found myself unable to walk without pain in my feet due to a condition known as plantar fasciitis. I definitely couldn't ski anymore because I couldn't find a snowsuit that fit. I couldn't climb three flights of stairs without sweating buckets and straining to breath. Needless to say biking and hiking were out of the question. As for riding horses, well I was far outside the allowable weight limits. Still my actual weight never bothered me. That number on the scale didn't really matter - it was all the things I couldn't do anymore that mattered. I lost all the things that I loved and I had all the perfectly good excuses as to why I lost them. Then one day I decided excuses didn't bring me any of the good things in life. So I finally fessed up and dropped the excuses. I joined the gym.
When I started I was 240 lbs with 44% body fat (apparently not good numbers). I met my trainer Jermel who organized a plan for me and with his motivation, and inspiration, we started on a quest to get back what I had lost. When I started I couldn't lift much weight, couldn't hold a plank, and couldn't do a single pushup (let alone a couple of hundred). Running on a treadmill consisted of a brisk walk up a slight incline and didn't last very long. My progress seemed slow at times, and at other times I felt like I was going backwards, but having a plan that I could trust gave me confidence that I was still moving forward. I'll never forget the day I saw this part of my plan "pushups 20V" and when I found out what it meant (20 sets decreasing the reps by 1 each time). Then I did the math - 210 pushups. I was not amused to say the least, but I was determined. When I was finished I couldn't get up so I lay on the floor thinking how much it had sucked and wondered if I'd feel my arms the next day.
Then I remembered that day, way back when, when I couldn't even do one pushup. I had just done over two hundred and the sense of victory in that moment was priceless. Today I'm sitting at 207 lbs with 34% body fat. I'm about halfway to my goal but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I can walk without pain, I can run on a treadmill, I can bike, and ski, and ride horses. I have even hiked through the Rockies, which have given me a new perspective on what it means to stand on the shoulders of giants. I'm not done my journey just yet, but I can't wait to see what another year brings.