Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Run - December 31, 2013

My LAST run of 2013 - 4.5 miles along the South Platte River.  2.5 miles were run at a Tempo pace which REALLY hurt.  Still too fat to have a easy and efficient turnover.

Not much to photograph today but I did get a selfie with the Aquarium in the background, a photo of the rollercoasters, and a photo of a dead rat.

Nice face Cameron!

Roller Coasters

Dead Rat

Run Statistics

Monday, December 30, 2013

Run - December 30, 2013

I ran from work today.  A pretty easy run actually but it was nice to get out during lunch for a run again.

The highlight was spotting a coyote running on the path with me.  I did the best I could with a photo but my new running camera just doesn't quite have a long enough zoom.

Coyote out for a jog

Coyote and powerplant

Pedestrian Bridge

Run Statistics

White Men Can't Jump

I will freely admit that I can't dance.  You might think that this isn't a problem because white men aren't supposed to be able to dance - something about DNA and cultural evolution away from rhythm.  White men aren't supposed to be able to jump either or at least that is what Wesley Snipes says in White Man Can't Jump.  However, as a 6'0" white man who was able to dunk a basketball in his prime and can still grab the rim with both hands at age 39 and 60 days old, I am telling you that some white men can jump.  I just wish I could dance too.

Woody Harrelson dunking in WMCJ
If case you don't know the WMCJ reference, here is the 1992 trailer for the movie.  Watch it and the movie if you can - you won't be disappointed.

Well, I need to change my statement above.  I normally can't dance but if the condition is right I am the best dancer in the house, bar, club, or anywhere.  That condition is my physical and mental state when altered by a high quality tequila.  You already know about my affinity for good tequila (Bucket List #9 - Karaoke).  It takes a fair amount of tequila to get me on the dance floor but when I hit the right level of inebriation, I can dance like Joaquín Cortés.

Beer won't do it.  Wine won't do it.  I don't drink whiskey or bourbon unless I am having a mint julep on Derby Day.  Vodka won't do it.  Grand Marnier has done it before but really tequila is the only guaranteed option for getting me on the dance floor.  I actually haven't tried Red Bull and Absolut but I get a sneaky suspicion the alcohol-caffeine combination would do the trick (I guess I will have to try it soon and report back).
Red Bull and Absolut
If you know me from college, you know I have a unique relationship with tequila.  Tequila makes me happy - very happy.  I love everyone and think everyone loves me.  Tequila grabs my hand and pulls me onto the dance floor after about the 6th shot but I won't stop there.  10 shots is the ultimate high - I will dance the night away after that.  I believe that I am the best dancer in the world.  Actually after 12 shots, I KNOW I am the best dancer in the world.  You can't pull me off the dance floor except to toast my amazing dance moves with another tequila shot.  Dancing is fun - a lot of fun but only after consuming a quantity of tequila destined to produce a kill hangover the next morning.

So why am I writing about dancing if I can't dance unless I'm drunk to the point of a huge hangover?

Dancing is going to be my new problem solver - that is why!  I am going to learn to dance. Not a line dance, not the four step, not salsa although I may include all of these moves in my dancing.  My dancing is going to make me happy regardless of how bad or good my situation is or becomes.  I am going to DANCE in 2014.  I am going to dance my worries away.  Just like Kevin Bacon (my look-a-like) in Footloose (see below), I am going to dance, dance, dance all the crap in my life OUT of my life!  I don't care where or when I need to dance - it is just going to happen.

Why dance?  Couldn't I just chew gum or take a big breath?  No.  I am choosing to dance for a lot of reasons.  Dancing is exercise.  Dancing will raise my heart rate.  A raised heart rate will release endorphins which will then change my perspective.  Dancing will move me physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Dancing will attack my self-loathing and defeat it.  Dancing will make me happy.

I know, I know - I said I can't dance but really who actually cares.  Dance is just a way of expressing your feelings through movement.  Most people can't really dance regardless of color, race, gender, or sexual orientation.  Just go to your local dance club and watch.  No one dances well.  In fact, I believe that only a few humans are gifted with the true gift of beautiful dance.

Okay - here is some evidence to help you admit that most humans cannot dance - look at the way Cate Blanchett (top ten) dances in the movie Bandits.  I sometimes imagine Queen Kate dancing like this when she is baking her world famous cookies (silly sidebar).  Seriously, watch the clip below - Cate is giving it her all in a true, uninhibited dance.  This is how humans dance!  We just go for it.  Cate is dancing because it makes her happy.  Dancing (actually any movement that raises our heart rates) makes us happy.

Admit it - you know you dance every chance you get.  If you can tell me that when no one is around and the music is turned up that you don't shake your butt a little, then I am a monkey's uncle (I guess this is technically true since humans are primates but you get the point).  Hell, if Tom Cruise can shake his ass and make love to the couch in Risky Business, then we all can dance when alone.  

If the Breakfast Club can dance in the library, then why can't I dance in my office, on the bus, at the store or in the front yard.  The answer is that I can dance in these places.  And believe me when I tell you, I WILL BE DANCING.  I will dance whenever I get stressed or my anxiety rises.  I am going to dance when I am sad, mad, irritated, happy, or in the middle of a great orgasm (well maybe not then).  I am going to dance Zeus Dammit!

So all this brings me to my first public and SOBER dance.  No tequila involved.  The video below was taken at 8:12pm on December 30, 2013.  Yes, I actually made a video of me dancing.  My head is cut off in most of it but I decided I liked the video just the way it is.  The poor composition adds to the whole joke of me dancing.

I am happy now.  The dance video was a blast to make.  It took no longer than 15 minutes from beginning to end.  It took my anxiety of dancing in public and told it to fuck off, Cameron is dancing.  This short video has inspired a series of future blogs to show you just where and when I use my my technique for being happy.  I am going to film myself dancing everywhere I can.  Stay tuned for future videos!

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did making it.  Now get out there and DANCE!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


What would you do if you were given a raspberry white chocolate cheesecake? 

Heather's Cheesecake
I eat it all!

Run - December 28, 2013

Today's run was supposed to be a five mile run at pace (meaning at a pace that I want to race).  Since I can't run at my race pace yet, I ran the five miles at a pace just under Tempo pace to simulate the same effort as a race pace.

Great run despite the extra 1.2 miles up the hill to get home.  I did not realize that my route was 6.2 miles long but I am not going to complain - the little oversight gave me a good mile to cool down after my race pace effort.

Prairie Dog colony at a local openspace

Neat barn with perfect lighting so I had to take a photo

Trail damage that still hasn't been repaired from the recent floods
Okay - I saw something on today's run that drives me absolutely crazy!  Dog shit on trail.  I understand forgetting a bag to pick up the dog shit with - happens all the time to most of us with dogs.  What I do NOT understand is why leave the shit on trail????  All it takes is a little toe flick and the shit is safely in the tall grass where no one can step on it.  No - the inconsiderate do not understand this simple courtesy.  I just wish I could bust them doing this - I would follow them home at throw the shit in the driver's seat of their car.

Dog shit on trail - WTF

Today's Run Statistics

Run - December 27, 2013

I left work a little early to get in a good run with David before the beer drinking began in the early afternoon.  I took David on the North Harsh 10K route and thought a lot about how to turn this course into a race.  I need to contact the city and call it something that has to do with snakes to get people interested in running it.  Here are a few photos from the run and the run statistics (slow run).

Run selfie with David in the background taken while running

Cows on trail

Run Statistics

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Run - December 26, 2013

Easy 5 mile run along the North Openspace canal and home around Harper Lake by road.

Sun and Trail

My running partner - Shep

Shep is obviously thrilled to be with me...

Prairie Dog Hill #3

Run Statistics

Run - December 25, 2013

I finally got some new shoes!!!  I have been running in shoes that are way too old to even be considered shoes to wear in public.  Not anymore!

My new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 in a size 13D 
My Christmas run took me to the North Openspace where I ran a quick loop that included Prairie Dog Hill #1.  A total of 3.9 miles today.

My view as I enter the North Openspace

View from the top of Prairie Dog Hill #1
Run Statistics

Run - December 24, 2013

I ran 3.5 miles on my way to my brain session.  It was a good run and it felt great to know I have committed to getting the miles in again.

South Platte River
Run Statistics

Never Quit Maddux

I have written about my hunting dogs before in This Is My Bird Dog.  I can pretty much sum up that I don't have a bird dog anymore since my old dog, Maddux, is too old to hunt.  That doesn't mean he is too old to retrieve.  Maddux has a passion for stuffed animals.  He can sniff one out anywhere regardless of well we hide them.  Here is a short video of Maddux in his old age still retrieving - never quit Maddux.

WTF #1

This is my first WTF blog post of my 40th year on this planet.  I am sure there will be many more so I am going to number them as the year goes on.

That is all I have for this blog post - just a big, giant, gianormous WTF.  Things have been going so well in parts of my life then a blow from the side that you never see coming - like the left paw punch I got from my big dog the other day (see video but be warned - the music is NOT kid or some adults friendly - definitely NSFR.  Turn the sound down if you want kids to watch the video).  Out of nowhere, the plug gets pulled and all my electricity is gone.

Here is a more friendly version for those who are easily offended.

I should have seen of all this coming.  There is no fault but mine.  I was asking too much, too soon.  I know there are ups and downs in life - I just never thought I would get "junk punched" so hard.  It hurts but I will come back.  There will be pain.  There will be sadness.  There is a lot of change and work that must occur for me to get back to where I was.  There will be long conversations.  There will be healing.  There will be love and happiness regardless of the outcome.

Here are two photos of my eyes.  My right eye photo was taken before Thanksgiving and is bright and happy.  My left eye photo was taken this morning and is puffy, bruised from my fight with the big dog, and sad.  I am so hoping that January brings a better and much more stable month than December.  I am tired of the ups and downs.

Right eye
Left eye

So I think REM describes my feeling for today's WTF best:

"This one goes out to the one I love,
This one goes out to the one I've left behind.
A simple prop to occupy my time.
This one goes out to the one I love."

I promised a gianormous WTF so here it is:


A Beard or a Shave?


I was walking on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver this morning doing a bit of last minute shopping when I started noticing that all the men around me had beards.  A lot of these men were homeless and the mall is a safe place for them to sleep and socialize.  It is easy for me to understand that they do not have a place to shave which makes their beards are long and scraggly.  It is the other men that I struggle to understand.

Yes, I have had facial hair before.  I have had all sorts of facial hair from full beards to handlebar mustaches.  I have had crazy long goatees and been called the devil because of them.  I shave roughly twice a week so my 5 o'clock shadow is typically long and unkept.
Beards are just hair on the face.  As a primate, we have very complex brains.  These complex brains have allowed humans to develop a form of silent communication using facial expressions.  While the eyes play the lead part in our silent communication, the muscles around the mouth also relay information to other humans.  Some scientists feel that facial communication is innate in humans and evolved as our brains evolved to become more and more complex.  They use evidence that humans from different cultures can still communication many emotions silently.

What a great way to hide something - grow a beard to hide the micro-expressions around your mouth.  Yes - I feel that beards are used to hide something.  This hiding could be anything from personal insecurities or a crime that has been committed.  Beards (to me) are a way of concealing one's true self from the world.  It also serves to hide yourself from yourself when you look into the mirror.  Beards take away a vital piece of human communication which in turn makes me suspicious of beards regardless of a man's intent.

A beard is also slang for a gay man or lesbian woman who is married.  Their partner is their beard.  They are hiding from their own sexuality.  How did this get the word "beard" associated with this - a strange combination if you ask me?  Again, I believe it is because a beard hides something that you do not want known.

Is all of this true?  If so, then why are there so many beards out on the street.  Are all these men hiding something from the world?  Maybe I am reading way too far into what I beard really is - it may just be a fashionable trent right now.  Regardless, I don't like them. 


Just like the sunrise, shaving can be a new start.  With each stroke of the razor, you remove the old hair and start over with a clean slate.  Your skin is transformed from a prickly cactus that hurts others when you get too close into a surface as smooth as a baby's bottom.  For men, our faces are reborn each time we shave.  While I hate to shave, I love the feeling and look of my cleaned and recently shaved face.

Yesterday I made a short video for my boys in which I demonstrate shaving.  As I built the video, I watched my face transform and thought about this blog.  I then witnessed all those beards this morning and this blog was solidified.  I had to talk about what shaving means and does for me.

Shaving to me is a HUGE pain in the ass.  I wish I could have electrolysis done on my entire face and I probably would except for the fact I would probably look funny without any stubble at all.  Even though I only shave twice a week, it still has a transforming effect on me.\

On the days I shave, I leave the house with a new confidence.  Shaving helps hide the picking I do when my anxiety is high.  Shaving helps keep from picking even.  This in turn helps me focus on what needs to get done which ultimately reduces my anxiety - Win Win.

Shaving also helps me feel attractive.  It hides my double chin and makes me feel thinner.  This is a great boost to my self-confidence.

Shaving is a perfect analogy for what I am going through as I write this blog and change my life.  I am ridding myself of the unwanted things in my life (the hair) and opening myself up to begin real and meaningful relationships (no beard).  I show other humans I am not hiding anything behind a beard.  I can express myself to everyone using my face.

Recently, I received a comment on a selfie that I took during my afternoon bus ride commute.  The comment was pretty impactful to me.  My friend told me that I looked happy in the picture.  I knew that a lot of my selfies show me with a forced smile but I did not know anyone noticed.   In this photo, my friend was able to read the emotion in my face and knew immediately that I was happy.  With my belief that positive energy attracts positive energy, my friend's comment was a perfect compliment to the way I felt and an amazing affirmation of my beliefs about the universe.

The selfie I took that showed some happiness in my face.

So the moral of all of this is that I am not growing a beard during my 40th trip around the sun.  I am going to keep my face clean, my confidence high, my energy positive, and a REAL smile on my face.  I want to broadcast to everyone that I am changing my core beliefs about  myself and embracing the positive energy of the universe.  I will leave you with one of my most powerful positive affirmations that I have ignored for a long time:


Saturday, December 21, 2013

What is really underneath all that snow?

There is a chore at my house that if not done daily quickly becomes a chore of epic proportions.  This chore is picking up the dog shit.  I have talked about this chore before in Ordinary Average Guy but my self-discovery has brought a new meaning to dog shit.  Actually, I cannot take full credit for this blog post but I will get to that in a little bit.

Just over two weeks ago, we got some snow.  Typically on the eastern plains of Colorado (Denver is not in the mountains as is commonly misunderstood) this isn't a big deal.  It snows, the sun comes out, it warms up, and the snow is gone in 2-3 days.  This last snow came during a bitter cold snap of 4-5 days of negative temperatures and little sun.  The snow was here to stay awhile.

So what does snow have to do with dog poop?  This is where I have to give credit for this blog to Homer Simpson.  While I had already taken the photos I will share, I did not know what I was going to do with them.  Then last week, while watching NFL football on FOX, I heard a trailer for the Simpsons coming on that night.  Homer was dancing around in his usual way and exclaimed "Waahoo!  It is snowing so now I don't have to pick up the dog poop!".  This episode of the Simpsons is still too new for me to find and capture a few clips to add to my blog.  Maybe I can add them later.

Why was Homer so excited?  Shit, I just noticed that I ask a lot of questions in my blog.  I guess this is how I think - I am always asking the who, what, where, how, why, when questions in my grasp to understand my world.  Constant curiosity that gets me in a LOT of trouble sometimes.  It can also really turn others off when I just don't leave them alone when they clearly need space to breath.  I know I can be overbearing but remember, I am trying to figure out who I am so I have to ask a lot of questions about who you are and what you are doing.  

Back to Homer's excitement - Homer was pumped because snow completely covers the shit in your yard.  It takes a yard full of shit and turns it into a crisp "clean" white landscape.  The trouble is that the shit is still there.

What does the snow really hide?
This is a great metaphor for how I have been living.  I have for my entire life, lived burying my shit under a false arrogance (see Social Fear) and big smile.  However, the shit is still there and can emerge once the snow starts melting (see Blood for the Gods).

The snow is starting to melt
There is only one solution to this shit filled hot mess - get your hands dirty and deal with the shit as it happens.  Yes, follow your dogs around with a pooper scooper and clean up your yard as the shit happens.  If you are brave enough, catch the shit before it even hits the grass.

I am a chronic procrastinator - catching shit is just not in my nature and neither is picking it up daily.  The photos in this blog post prove that I let the snow cover my shit hiding it from everyone until it is too late.  I promise - the snow always melts to expose your shit and then everyone sees it.

The snow is melting revealing lots of shit I did not know was there

I am dealing with melting snow right now in my life.  Things are changing quickly.  I regressed for a few weeks after Thanksgiving but I am again looking towards the future.  I think that actually admitting my regression in Sadness yesterday helped me realize that the snow is melting again.  

There are many new things that I want in my life - unfortunately I cannot fully have them until I completely deal with the old things that still haunt me.  Does this mean that I cannot commit to the new things?  Absolutely not!  Does this mean I cannot experience the new things in my life?  I sure as hell hope not.  I want to experience the new things, live the new things, have the new things, love the new things, and be the new things as I deal with and close the book on the old things.  

In search of the new things before the snow melts
Some of you may disagree with this approach and argue that in order to fully enjoy the new things in life, I must first completely move on from the things I have buried so long.  I reiterate - ABSOLUTELY NOT!  The new things give me the strength and happiness to help me deal with my demons.  Without the new things, the old things that I am dragging from the depths of my brain will dominate my psyche pulling me back into my old habits and depression.  This is not the route I am taking this time around.  I will fight for the new things at the same time I leave the old things behind.  I am tired of waiting and procrastinating the things that make me happy.

Do you need examples of the new things and the old things?  If you want examples, please stick around and watch the snow melt.  There are giant piles of shit for me to clean up but there is also bright green grass growing next to the poop giving me the happiness to pick up more shit even faster.  I can't wait to see how tall and green the grass grows - it has been fertilized and buried for a very long time.

Giant pile of shit that has been buried by the snow of my mind

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bad Tackle

As a lifelong soccer player, I am a bit appalled and disappointed at this bronze sculpture being displayed in Denver.  It is attempting to show sport and play between a young woman and young man.  The trouble is that the boy is about to illegally tackle the shit out of the poor girl.  She is winding up to shoot and he is coming in hard from behind.  What kind of sportsmanship is this sculpture showing?

I can only guess the artist was beat up by his sisters or a girl at school and this was his way of getting back.


Do you ever just feel sad?  I do and that is the way I feel right now at 9:44am on Friday, December 20, 2013.  Why?  Lots of reasons actually.
  1. Future - I am not thinking about the future and what it holds for me.  I am still living in the past and a little bit in the present.  Just look at my blogs.  I promised in my first blog to be candid (I have been), honest (I write in code but it is honest), and to not write about the past.  I have been dwelling on who I was and not who I am going to be.  It is time to start looking forward and to achieving my goals and finding the happiness I deserve.
  2. Relationships - Read Southern Fried Chicken.  Am I doing this?  Not really.  I said I would but I keep finding ways to sabotage myself.  I keep saying the wrong thing.  I keep doing the wrong thing.  I owe it to my current, new, and future relationships to hold myself accountable in meeting the needs of those that matter to me.  I historically have not met your needs and I am trying to learn.  I do need patience from you as I learn to give and receive love.
  3. Fitness - I have been ignoring my fitness.  Today's blog is about getting active.  The blog MyFitnessPal is about branching out to an online community for help.  I don't think I have logged into MyFitnessPal since the day I wrote the blog - WTF!  I am trying to keep up with FitBit by sending taunts and cheers but I am 18th on my leaderboard with only 60,000 steps in the last week.  I used to average 100,000 steps a week.  I have one FitBit friend that I chat with quite often to check in about our step totals, our lives, our needs, our wants, and help motivate each other.  It is this understanding that I need to embrace and use it to move forward.  I am hoping today's Pig to Fox blog does just that.
  4. Running - WTF! Have I forgotten my passion?  What is the name of this blog?  This is completely unacceptable and instead of beating myself up, I am going to blog every run I do from now on.  They may be boring blogs to you but they will hold me accountable.
  5. Snakes - WTF!  Have I forgotten my passion?  What is the name of this blog?  I am going to bring you a snake every day from today on.  These blogs may be boring to you but they will help keep the fire in my passion burning.  I have almost put the flames out.
  6. Future - Yes.  Again.  This is very important.  I have been living in the self-defeating world of my past (read Where Have I Gone).  In my first blog, I gave you permission to "kick my ass" if I started talking about the past.  I want you to "kick my ass" every time I do this.  I want you to "kick my ass" even if I say something that shows I am living too much in the present (dangerously close to the past) and not looking forward to the future in my blogs, texts, or conversations with you.  Until I learn this myself, the "kick my ass" reminders will be needed.  Yes, I am often very "good with words" but this does not make me right.  My skill with words has come from years of talking myself out of improving, out of changing my situation, of staying comfortable with my depression, and ignoring those that matter to me (basically keeping me in the comfort of the past no matter how unhappy I may be - the future is scary!).  I apologize if I have ever used my skill with words against you.  It is not my intent to hurt you.  My words are used to keep myself comfortable.  This can be hurtful to you and it is especially hurtful to myself.  I am sorry. 
So there are lots of reasons I feel sad today.  Most of them have to do with me not keeping my promises to myself (using my skills with words to talk myself out of living for the future) and others.  Others have to do with my failures to others and my relationships.  This sucks.  I am sad today but I have another 16 hours today to make sure I end it happy.
So it is time to go for a walk, think about all this, and be happy.

To Look Like A Fox, You First Must Sweat Like a Pig

A little background information first - for those of you that know me personally and see me from time to time, you know that my fitness level correlates very closely with my mental health.  I have a mental pathway that tells me that I have to "look" good to "feel" good.  Not right I know - I should "feel" good which will lead to more "feeling" good regardless of how I "look".  My mental condition has not led to an eating disorder (unless you count eating like fucking garage during my mentally low cycles) thankfully but it has led to a weight management issue.

If you know me, you are also aware of the ability for my weight to yo-yo from being fit to fat in a matter of months.  Luckily, I also have retained to ability to pick an athletic event and then go from fat to fit over the 6 months or so of training.  This cycle has dominated my life ever since I left college and the athletic rigors of collegiate soccer that kept me fit there.  Do you need some examples?  Here you go:

College self outside of soccer season
Serious weight gain post college (I guess my freshman 30 came a little late) and my move to Florida for grad school - ballooned from 185lbs of lean muscle (I carried more muscle during soccer than I do now) in 1997 to 203 lbs of softness in 1998.

Beached Whale with Heather in 1998
I am missing a set of photos digitally that show a dramatic transformation back to fitness in early 2000 - I dropped almost 30lbs and was working out like a fiend 6 days a week.  I was eating very clean and felt better than I had in years.  My depression was in check even.

In 2003, I ballooned back up to 203 lbs (no digital photos).  When I am fat, I do not allow photos to be taken of me very often.

In 2005, I completed my first iron distance triathlon (140.6 miles total: 2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bike; and 26.2 mile run) at 183lbs (muscle mass is about right but still a layer of belly fat).  I also ran in a 200 mile relay with a bunch of friends from around the country as part of my training leading up to the 140.6 mile race.

Coming into T1 at the Great Floridian Triathlon - Nice Quads!
Running in the Reach the Beach 200 mile Relay
In 2006, I trained for the Chicago marathon in hopes of landing a Boston Marathon qualifying time (3 hours 10 minutes).  5 months of hard training and I came very close.  I was right on pace at the half marathon mark and all the way up to mile 17 when the urge to pee overpowered my urge to run hard.  I stopped, peed, and then ran slow for 3 miles trying to find the pace again.  I found pace for the last 10K and PRed the marathon distance in 3 hours 19 minutes but this was sadly too slow for a Boston QT.

Racing at a lean 175lbs 3 weeks before the Chicago marathon at the 17.5 mile Big South Fork Trail Race.
In 2007, I half-assed my training for a second Ironman.  My training was hurt by a big move to Colorado which made me give up my cycling training club and great running routes I knew would prepare me for the race.  I went into Ironman Louisville at 185 lbs which was 10lbs heavier than I needed to be.  MENTAL STATE EQUALS PHYSICAL STATE.  I had a great race despite having to manage cramping quads for 70 miles on the bike and walking most of the marathon.  

Ironman Shuffle in Louisville
2008 and 2009 were spent in depression and fatness.  I did nothing.  I barely ran.  I barely moved.  I moped around.  I was depressed. (No photos - I was fat)

2010 was a better year.  I trained for Ironman St. George and finished the race with a new 140.6 personal record.  I hit 183lbs before the race which still 8lbs heavier than I wanted to race but I will take it.  After the race, I was laid off from work (economic downturn affected the oil and gas industry in a big way) and my mental state took a plunged and my weight sky-rocketed.  I was fat again in 3 months.

I then started a job that I soon learned was completely incompatible with who I am and taught how much shit I can take from total dumbasses.  I eventually got the dumbass fired for his horrible behavior and lies to everyone but it was way too late. I was FAT and DEPRESSED.  2011 and 2012 were spent fat and very unhealthy.  This continued until March 2013 when I gave myself an ultimatum - get fit or eat myself to death.  I am choose to get fit.

I did GREAT all summer long in 2013. I dropped from 212lbs (my heaviest ever) in March down to 186 in August.  I did not change my diet at all.  I just ran, and ran, and ran, and ran (some weeks up to 35 miles).  This helped me drop weight but I was still not happy.

March 2013
August 2013
That brings me to now.  I have been running off and on since August but I have no direction, no drive. December has found me doing nothing.  This is not surprising as we approach the winter solstice.  December and January are VERY tough on me since I barely see the sun.  I am at work an hour before it rises and it sets right as I am getting home.

So - I have gained almost 10lbs back since my August weight (back up to 196lbs).  NOT GOOD!  It is time to put my current physical state and my goals out there for all to see and for those who care about to help keep me accountable if they want to.  It is too easy to blow off a run when it is cold.  I eat like a pig.  I am not lifting weights.  I have so many habits that are hindering my progress to the new happy me.  But with people watching, I know my psyche and it tells me not to disappoint people.  

So what am I looking for?  I am looking for TOTAL FITNESS.  There is a phenomena sweeping through the world called CrossFit.  I don't think I ever want to join a CrossFit gym because some of the things they do are downright dangerous.  That said, I really like the CrossFit philosophy to fitness. 

Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, defines fitness in a way that speaks to me.  Fitness is not just the way you look or how athletic you are.  Fitness is having a whole body and mind, mental and physical strength, and even includes what you put into your body.  His definition for fitness is:

      "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to level that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips,  splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports."  

So looking forward, here are my immediate, short-term, and long-term goals for my 40th year on this planet:

Immediate Goals (the rest of this month):
  • Start a strength training program
  • Meet my weekly run mileage goal
  • Eat clean
Short-term Goals (next 3-6 months):
  • Reach and maintain my weight at 175lbs of lean muscle with a body fat percentage between 16-18%
  • Run a marathon under 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Increase flexibility and agility
    • Relearn basic gymnastic skills (handstands, somersaults, balance exercises)
  • Continue building strength and eating clean
Long-term Goals (Before my 40th birthday)
  • Lower body fat percentage to between 13-15% and maintain it there
  • Personal Record and Boston Qualify during a fall marathon (Chicago again?)
  • Master basic gymnastic skills
    • learn to do a front and back flip
  • Continue building strength and eating clean
  • Enjoy my life fit and happy
So what is the point of this blog?  Talk about my fatness over the years?  NO.  It is to point out that "To Look Like A Fox, You First Must Sweat Like A Pig".  The trouble is that pigs don't really sweat. Pigs (or swine as they are properly called) have very few sweat glands and the ones they do have are not very efficient at keeping the pig cool.  Pigs keep cool by wallowing in mud or water which then evaporates giving the same cooling effect as sweat does on a human.  Pigs also wallow in mud to help protect them from the sun just like wearing sunscreen.  

Sweating Swine
So the question now becomes how do I become a fox if pigs don't sweat.  Well - the saying "sweat like a pig" does come from a real thing so it is not just a made up expression.  The real meaning is actually better than pig sweat for burning calories and building muscles.  Actually that is almost exactly what pig sweat is - iron cooling after it has been smelted.  Once the smelted iron begins to sweat, it is cool (hard) enough to move.  Think about working out (smelt the iron) - you sweat (iron sweats) to gain lean muscles that are hard (iron hardens) so that you can move efficiently with power and grace (iron is ready to be moved).  I think this is a pretty good and direct analogy.  Trouble is that I like the pig's way of cooling off much better that smelting iron.

So I am the pig right now (fat, soft, and ready for slaughter).  I want to get hard and sleek like a fox so I am going to have to sweat.  Actually I am going to have to sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat,and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat, and sweat.  It is going to take a lot of sweat to harden this body of mine but I am willing to put in the work.  

CrossFit relies on muscle shock to make lean muscle mass that burns fat which in turn transforms you into a fox.  Pig dirt is a great way of thinking about this.  When things get hot and heavy for a pig, they seek out mud and water to cool off.  It doesn't matter what type, where, or when they find water or mud, they are going to get into it.  I am going to think about my workouts the same way - Basically I am going to get dirty! 

Pigs get it any way they can
I am going to work out with friends, with my ass (squats), in a public bathroom (really?), while driving, in an alley, in the kitchen, in the shower, in a hot tub (I wish I had one of these), in a pool, in the living room, hell why not every room, on a plane (if I fly this year), with my face, at work, at my desk, with strangers (at the gym), with ropes, in odd positions (yoga), in the backyard, in the front yard, on top of the bed, even while handing someone weights, while watching someone lift, with my tongue (eating right), while shaving, with every lifting position known, with my friends (oh, I already said this), have contests, dips between the washer and dryer, when friends are over, in the back seat of the car, with the vibrating machine that no one knows what it does (abs maybe), with fancy workout clothes, on the stairs (already done this one - see 300), on a balcony, on a roof, with a lap dance (you never know!), with machines, on a swing, on a train, while getting a massage (I never get these though), at a pick-up game, in the ocean (think triathlon), on a dock after swimming in the lake, in Australia (I wish!), make workout video or two to publish on youtube like everyone else, isolated muscle workouts, somewhere unexpected, in an empty house (might get arrested for working out in someone else's house though), in a canoe like the karate kid, while standing up, make another video, watch a workout video, talk about it while on the phone, wax my body to look like a muscle freak, check myself out in the mirror, and all of this in 9 1/2 weeks before marathon training really starts.

Wow - that is a lot (and strange) but the basic premise is to workout as often and as much as possible.  Just get dirty like a pig trying to cool off.  EVERYWHERE AND AT ANYTIME.  I think this is the real key. In order to transform from a pig to a fox, I must stay active and be active all the time.  No breaks - stick to the commitment.  It will be best if I can find a workout, get dirty, partner to help motivate and inspire me and in return I can help them with their success journey.  Unfortunately, I am going to have start without a partner for a while until I start working out with someone key my success.  I have succeeded without a partner before (see history above) but everything you read says it is easier to succeed with one. 

When I am done sweating, there will be a fox in place of that pig.  I will have to keep sweating to stay a fox but that is how you enjoy your life as a fit and happy person (at least from my viewpoint).

My Motto for my 40th year