The week is winding down, so I’m back with a little levity on the blog. I know that all of you have been anxiously awaiting Part 2 of my health journey, and I’m here to please.
When we left off last, I was about to marry the love of my life. That day was filled with tons of laughter, hugs, kisses, awkward dancing, but most of all, biscuits and grilled cheese. This was a perfect indication of how the next few years would pan out. Sarah loved her chocolate and her cookies, while I loved my bread and brinner (usually pancakes after work). We would always try to get the spinach salmon salads or smoothies, but the unhealthy stuff is the cheapest…and tastes the best. Our apartment was 10 blocks away from my office and I would ride my bike every day rain or shine. On top of that, we would go over to Big Dam Bridge for night runs about once a week. I thought I was doing well, but obviously my body did no agree. Soon, we got into a groove of eating healthy most of the time and exercising more often. Sarah was marathon girl and I was bag man extraordinaire. I loved cheering her on, especially at the Firecracker 5k in Little Rock because they had Panera cinnamon crunch bagels at the finish line.
About 6 months after we moved into our apartment, we found a house just outside of town. Once we moved in, I started the phase of my life known as DO ALL THE HOBBIES. Working in IT, I sit in front of a computer all day, so I needed to find something that gets me outside and moving. Little did I know that there are hundreds of hobbies outside and I was going to master all of them. I have always been a hunter and fisherman, but I kicked it up to the next level when I bought my kayak. I would take that thing up to the lake or Arkansas River a few times a month and paddle around or scout some ducks. As I was out kayaking, I noticed some drones flying around and realized that I needed in. My first drone was a little $50 quad off the shelf, then I jumped straight into building my own FPV racing quad. I never really got the thing working perfectly, but I had a lot of fun testing. Coffee has always been near and dear to my heart, so I set out to find all the best brewing methods I could. But the beans were never fresh enough, so I started roasting my own. That led me to the garage where I rekindled my love for woodworking and it goes on and on from there. All that to say, I was active, but never really focused on fitness as opposed to not being stagnant. In the time between the move and hearing that I was going to be a dad, my weight fluctuated like the stock market, but things had to change when Adeline came into the picture.
I listen to a ton of podcasts and watch quite a bit of YouTube but there are a few that really get me moving. One episode of the Art of Manliness podcast burned a phrase into my head. “It is a father’s responsibility to be strong for the family.” I’m not saying a woman can’t be strong, Sarah could beat me up on her worst day, but when the heavy lifting needs to get done in our house, I’m the one who does it. That podcast was a wakeup call that I need to change my lifestyle quickly to be the dad that Adeline needs. My sweat had not graced the cover of a lifting bench in about eight years when I decided that it was time to get strong again. I started a lifting routine while watching Alan Thrall videos on YouTube to get pumped up. When Adeline came along, I felt that I was able to fulfill my responsibility and was proud of what I had accomplished. I still had quite a bit of fat that I wanted to get rid of, but there were muscles in places that I haven’t seen them in years. I even signed up for my first obstacle course race (shout out to Conquer the Gauntlet, the best race out there) since Sarah and I were dating and had a blast. I was climbing walls and scaling monkey bars like I didn’t know was possible.
Around this time, work was getting a bit more stressful, compounded by our desire to be closer to family and in a safer location. All that stress started building up and I would always just rather sit on the couch and read or watch a movie rather than cook something healthy or go for a run. I slowly tapered off going to the gym and opted for reading a book at the hotel across the street from my office during lunch instead, so I could get a little relaxation. I still went to the gym once or twice a week, but that was only when I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I looked particularly fat that day and even then I would just go through the motion when I was there. Once we decided to move and I accepted a job, the stress of changing jobs on top of a terrible moving experience really pushed me over the edge on the unhealthy scale.
That brings us to just about current day. I’m pretty much as big as I’ve ever been but I am working on new goals and ways to accomplish them. I love my job, my neighborhood is safe, Adeline is in a great school, and Sarah is happy, it’s time for me to really get my temple in order.
So that is my health journey in a very large nut shell. I am by no means a reflection of all that it means to be man, but I am working towards a goal that is never attainable. T journey is the key. My goal: be a strong and healthy husband and father for as long as I can.
Now that I’ve shared my journey, I’d love to hear from some of our readers’ husbands or spouses. Where are the men at? Jump in with the questions below…
What is your fitness goal? What is your favorite race you’ve ever run? What hobby did you feel had the best positive impact on your health? Do you or your S.O. encourage each other to stay healthy?