Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Do you remember when you first thought about losing weight? I was very obese weighing in at just about 300 pounds. I am 6' 1" but, according to my cardiologist, I should be closer to 190.

And this is why BMI is BS. ;)

I have a picture that was taken when I was 33. I looked great in that image! I stopped looking in the mirror after 41 years. I even shaved in the shower. I always had that skinny me pic as a fantasy. I still do. When I did look in the mirror, I was depressed. I had more than let myself go.

I really wanted to be thin, so I got to work.

I lost 20 or so pounds pretty quickly. I dreamed of running. I started the Couch to 5k program. Then I had congestive heart failure. That set me back.

I didn't quit.

I kept on working out, eating less, and running. As I started to feel better, I also started to look better. My self-image was changing. It was an important step to accept where I was while I worked for a future goal.

I had never really examined my self-created body image.

Speaking of body images, I had to get up at 5:30 to be at the MRI center for 6:30. My priorities were coffee, food so I could take my pain medication, and well, not wearing anything metal. This was MRI number 16. I know the drill.

It's not that I'm going for a record, but if I was, I am off to a good start.

It's warm here today, and it was flip-flops, a t-shirt, and gym shorts. There is something wonderful about being able to go around in public wearing your PJs. Just one layer away from the bed.

I was slid into the imaging machine like an <insert metaphor here>.

I don't really like the tube. I close my eyes, listen to all the buzzing and clanking, and try not to hold my breath. They clamped my head in something like an S&M mask.

It was white and not black. No studs.

They put the whip in my hand (emergency buzzer) and left the room. I tried to fantasize about something other being stuck in an elephant rectum. Is this what it feels like to be an earthquake victim?

OMG, I have an itch!

I start praying and 30 seconds in, I am pretty sure God is mad at me for something, I mean here I am in a tomb thinking about S&M. 

Ahhh, images of my wedding to Ruth.

The beach. Click, bang, buzz. Now I am pretty much terrorized. It sounds like GANGNAM STYLE! "Oh, God!" I cried out.

"Are you OK?" came the voice from the tube.

"Just fine, sir. I feel good about myself"

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Planning Your Failure

I have spent a lots of time around folks who want to lose weight, get healthy, and/or run a marathon. There have been an equal or greater amount who just wanted to drink beer and eat pizza. I have been both. I had excuses and justifications, too. Yes, I have pretty much heard it all. 

If you are going to succeed, you are going to have some failures; I guarantee it!

There are all sorts of failures in life because life is filled with real failures and possible failures, which you can fail at failing at. Right? There are the known failures, the unknown failures, the controlled failures, and the uncontrolled failures - the failures that take us by surprise and the ones that we bring on ourselves. And there are the ones that are someone else's fault, and maybe one or two that are our fault (which we we're probably mistaken about).

In fact, there as many types of fitness failures as there are Bubba's shrimp dishes in Forest Gump.

I don't know about you, but I have failed at lots of things - well, except dying (But I did get score of 9.4 out of 10 for trying). I have had some epic and painful failures in my life, some of them still haunt me. (That is why God created running endorphins!)

I have determined that failure is inevitable.

There is a lot of advice on how to succeed in getting fit and losing weight. There are dozens of books on how to run. I am sort of bored with it. However; today I am going share some sure fire ways to fail at succeeding. Pardon my tongue in cheek negativity. ;)

- Don't plan meals. You are probably already as fit as Jillian, so why bother.
- Don't do cardiovascular exercise. Because sweating is for pigs.
- Focus only on the scale! That way you'll have an excuse to give up every time you step on it.
- Don't do any strength training. You don't want to look like Arnold in a tutu.
- Don't worry about skipping training runs. You can defer to next year.
- Don't clean out the junk food in your house. Because you are reading this blog for a friend.
- Be controversial about everything. It's better to get advice you won't like.
- Eat whatever you want. Because dieting is better than changing a failing lifestyle.
- Don't set goals. You might fail at reaching them.
- Reward your weight loss success. I recommend food and lots of it.
- Drama. Use plenty of it so that no one can help you.
- Don't get any friends involved with training or working out. That way you fail in secret.
- Don't encourage others. Because they have it down.
- Don't read success stories. Because it won't work for you.
- Make posts about your TOM. Because us guys need to know that information before commenting.
- Don't try C25K. You can't fail at what you don't try. Wait, you have to try it, that way you can fail at it.
- Make lots of excuses. Remember, the best excuses are the ones only you believe.

Did I miss any ways to fail at getting fit?

Honestly, success is trying again even when you do fail. So let's get cracking!

Thanks for the comments.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Pathetic Runner

I have been here since 2011. 2020 is now here. I wish I could list a whole bunch of stuff I have accomplished so far this year. It's a bit of a disaster for a lot of people. The 8 other years - well, that's another story.

I used to have lots of dreams.

I didn't run when I got here. I managed to get moving on the treadmill and the entire time, the couch was calling my name. Finally a night came when some buffalo chicken breast with a little salad on the side, was enough. Then I had congestive heart failure. And cancer. And a rash of other crap.

I just kept on running.

For now - maybe longer (it has been going on 2 years), I'm limited in how much I can do. Five years ago, I started working on my second book. You know, the one that was even going to have an app. :) As focused as I used to be, I can't do it anymore. I have a couple of friends that are trying to help me write it. I am going to be like a smart@$$ consultant.

So what's in the new book (lies from 2015)?

More ridiculous runner terminology, tips for couch to 5K (C25K) and some personal stories which are partially true, partially fabricated, and occasionally stolen.

From My New Book:
- Couch to 5K should always start and end with 30 minutes on the couch.
- Run/Walk can be practiced on the way to the bathroom during commercial breaks on TV.
- A run is best if you had 9 beers during the first quarter.
- A brisk walk is best if you have diarrhea.
- Pretty much anyone can do a marathon, you just have to want to.
- If you are allergic to sweating, try swimming.
- If you are allergic to swimming, try sweating.
- Fartleks is a funny word but worthwhile for training.
- Heart rate is the best determination of effort. Your head lies, your legs lie, the weather lies, and so do people on dating sites.
- Be your own cheerleader. Passion is best spent on your life and not a favorite sports team.
- You can get faster by training for longer races.
- Race fees are cheap compared to insulin and heart transplants.
- It's fun to run naked (technology free) every once in a while.
- If they give out underwear at a race instead of a t-shirt, do you have to run commando to earn it?
- Contrary to popular belief, long, slow distances do not produce long, slow runners.
- Running only hurts up to a point.
- Imodium because it does matter.

Thanks for the votes and comments.

I would also like to thank all my supportive MFP friends who have been with me since the beginning and supported my first book, ICU to Marathon. Thanks to the Pathetic Runners, too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


Cape Cod Marathon 2013
Life comes down to choices. We either accept or reject circumstances. If it's a nice day, we can go for a walk or stay on the couch and keep watching TV. Someone wrongs us and we can either forgive them and move on, or become bitter and resentful.

Choices can be easy and other times very difficult.

Let's say someone cuts me off in traffic, I flip them the bird, and move on. There are times when I have options. For example, I could flip them the bird, blow the horn, and call them a dumb@$$.

All of the above is a choice. :)

Emotionally I have the ability to take every thought captive. I used to be fearful of bridges. Over time, I realized that millions of people cross the bridges on my route. It made it easier to control my fear response. A conscious choice.

Sure, there are circumstances I still choose to fear.

I have made lots of other choices, too. I was thinking about my cancer. I could let it take me down emotionally or choose to live life in spite of what is going on in my body. My choice is how much control I give to it.

My response to a circumstance or event is a choice.

In fact, my life is the sum total of all the choices I have made. I have encountered all sorts of circumstances. Some I accepted, others I rejected. I certainly didn't choose every circumstance in life. Accidents happened. People hurt me. Life happens.

I choose my responses.

In 2011 when I had congestive heart failure, I chose to exercise like I hadn't since college hockey. They told me to walk 3 miles a day. I did. I wanted to run because walking 3 miles a day took too damn long. The cardiologist said to keep my heart rate under 130.

I chose to push it a little.

I got better. I got off the medication. I asked if I can go higher than 130. For me, that was a fast walk. The doc said 150.

I chose to push it a little.

The cardiologist didn't want me to run. I chose to ignore him - sort of. I walked and ran. I kept my heart rate at 150 or below. I would run until it hit 150 and walk until it was back at 120.

I did 3 miles a day at home or in the gym.

I soon registered for a 5K. It was to celebrate 1 year from being in Cardiac ICU. It was a gateway drug and I registered for one after the other. Within 6 months I had registered for a 10K. And another and another... I mean addicts choose not to keep track.

To celebrate 2 years from being in CICU, I registered for my first half marathon.

It really didn't have a choice. I had to do it. In fact my running friends forced me to choose a marathon for my 3rd anniversary. I registered for the Cape Cod Marathon in the fall of 2013. I finally chose the perfect life.

I was healthy, I felt good, and I looked good.

Then came cancer. I was so angry. I had been feeling better than I had since I was 17. There had to be another choice. There wasn't. I had treatment options, but no choices. Today I find myself waiting for treatment again.

Because there is nothing that I can do today, I choose to deal with it when the day comes.