By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
October 2, 2016
One of the good things about working these days is the fact I am not on social media as much as I used to be when I was unemployed. If anything, the removal of this aspect, or at least the dramatically reduced, has been a good positive for me in regards to my life. No longer do I see horrible news stories and videos about said presidential candidate that will either harbor in a new apocalypse or kickstart a new Holocaust. No longer do I have to worry about the glut of animal rights videos either, where a massive deluge of disturbing images show non-stop for my feed to constantly regurgitate (like a video of chinese people eating newborn mice..whole and alive!)… I will admit, I do miss my ability to use Instagram more often and also my YouTube page (which I will soon be updating!), it just feels like I have to worry about setting up the current schedule of my life above all else. I lamented about this some time ago, where I wondered how my schedule would mesh with my lifestyle. So far, it has once again cut into my workout time, but hopefully that is a fleeting issue that can be resolved with some tinkering and some well placed gym time. Right now, the gym and exercise thing is starting to take a definitive shape, for I at least have a good idea about how I want to reshape my running schedule around my work and life schedule. It hasn’t been easy, especially now that I have reached the 40-minute threshold on my running. That’s kind of an important step for me, for I have been mainly staying in the under 40 range due to injuries, heat and sickness. It’s nice to be able to try and push myself for once and not have to worry about my body convulsing into a thousand spasms.
Anyway, I have been away from social media quite a bit, and in retrospect, it is kind of good thing. The thing that is always bugging me the most is the idea of commitment, and boy do you see a lot of those problems in regards to the dating world. Men can’t commit. Women are too scared to commit. People don’t want to be exclusive. Polyamory. Men Going Their Own Way….no wonder so many people look at dating so negatively. If anything, they need to take a timeout from the social media and stop polluting it with negativity and such. That stuff not only manifests itself within the said person and makes it easy to gain attention, it also proves something is lingering. Yeah, I sometimes lament about the crushing loneliness of being single, but I don’t get too weepy about it most of the time. If anything, I just state stuff which seems to have a lot of relevance to it, rather than personalize it. So yes, I find it interesting so many people are scared to jump in and make themselves available. Life is too short I say, and yes, I am the last person that should be giving out love advice but at least I know I could deal with the whole commitment part. If I find something that is beneficial to my life, I will wholeheartedly make a tremendous effort to make it work for me. Some people call it obsessiveness, I just call it “putting in a fucking effort.” Nothing is easy folks, and half assing something whether it be relationships or fitness, you aren’t going to get the results you need. I don’t work out because it looks good on my Facebook page or my sweaty selfies on Instagram might gain a couple of swoons from anonymous women. I do it because it is a tremendous benefit for me. Despite all of the issues and such that I have been dealing with, I can finally say I am getting back into a groove. I never really gave up on doing heavy weights or doing long runs, I just had to adjust the relationship a little to fix some of the kinks out. You see, that is the issue I see the most with people. Our society is so disposable, and it gets kind of disgusting to see when people start using Keurig machines and what not rather than blend a more eco-friendly pot. I still get upset over the idea that 40-percent of the perishable food we are seeing in groceries stores are being thrown away because they might not be perfect specimens. Anyway, what was I talking about. Oh yes, fitness and such. Anyway, I worked through that problem with my foot and I slowly fixed up my legs by taking it easy for a couple weeks on the heavy leg work. Right now I am feeling better and I should be able to start doing heavier weights soon enough. And with my first real paycheck coming in next week, I should be able to start some other body saving services that will help me adjust to those higher expectations.
Today also marks a pretty interesting day for most vegans. October 2nd is considered a day of fasting for vegans around the world, mainly a a reason to protest against the cruelty of factory farms and the harm on the environment. It sounds like a great idea and i want to do it, but let’s face it, I can’t. It’s not because I am committed to the cause or whatever, it’s because I am committed to myself. I know what will happen when I don’t eat for a while. I will start getting ornery, tired and start getting headaches. I am also running and doing push-ups today, so to not have any fuel in my system is something I am not interested in putting myself through. Does this mean I am not committed to my lifestyle? No, it just means I am not a true crowd follower. I think the best thing I can do with my life is continue to build myself and build strength. The best thing I can be is the best me!
It hasn’t been easy to stay committed to the fitness and eating regimen, but on the other hand, there are days where I get to prove this path I am taking is still good for me. I mention the “fast” day because I kind of went through a very unpleasant experience on Wednesday. I was helping Jon and Christa out by installing a new circuit for their spa. It was a gigantic job just for myself, but after eating a couple PHOD bars early in the morning, I barely ate the rest of the day. Even though I ran a whole bunch of wire, did lot of lifting and a lot of stair climbing, I was managing quite well in regards to the flow of the day. I did eat a little bit for lunch, but I really didn’t have enough time to get myself some food and refuel. I didn’t really need it, but I could have used a good slicker or something. I got rained on so heavily that I was muddy mess from head to toe. But there I was, hours after slugging through the hell that had become that job and then finishing the project. Throughout the whole thing, I had lot of doubts about whether I could finish before I through my hands up in anger or collapsed or collapse while throwing my hands up in anger. It was getting so late that I had to use my head lamp and even my car lights to help with the situation. If anything, I could have stopped whenever I wanted and said I would finish it at a later date, but I just kept trudging forward. That’s just me. Truthfully, that is something of an alien version of my old self, where I used to finish nothing, but this is the new me. I find it odd that so many people would find this sort of dedication and commitment to be so weird in this day and age. Sure, I had money riding on it, but I just didn’t want to have to devote more of a my precious free time to finish it. In all, I worked for a good 11 hours and I maybe had 800 calories of sustenance for the entire day. But I finished the sucker and I even managed do my push-up challenge at the end of the evening despite all of that fatigue. Sure, I had to do some extra carb and protein loading for the next day (I just didn’t feel like eating so late that night) but I was happy to have gotten the sucker done. Anyway, the toughest part of that job was not the complexity or the missteps, it was just the fact that my body was in constant movement the whole day, so much so that I was sore as heck when I got home and then couldn’t sleep worth a darn. But I survived and made the most of it per se.
All of these little things may seem insignificant to a lot of people, but for me it is just another chapter of my life that is being written. The day after the huge job I still had a good workout session at Parsons Training, doing some deadlifts and back squats. Sure, I went light, but the session was mostly to loosen my body up and get me on the right track again in regards to my flexibility. I went in sore and stiff as heck that day, only to leave feeling a little better. With my body not being in such a mess, I managed to get some better sleep for the next day, which was another day of work for me and a 4.48-mile run I squeezed in before going to sleep. Those three days were all confirmation, little things that teach me every day to stay true to the course and stay true to myself. I will always be frustrated by my body but I will never be frustrated by my effort (unless it is in the heat, for the heat just wrecks my spirit). I mean, when I did the little run on Friday night, I still felt a little tightness in my left knee and my right calf. I was planning on doing only three miles or so but just said “to heck with it.” As I battled through the five-minute increments that are constantly updated on my RunKeeper app, I eventually just ran out of gas after 45 minutes. I didn’t consider it failure. I just considered it the first step back. I had not run that kind of distance in quite a while, so I was extremely proud of myself.
And here is the last piece of confirmation I haven’t really talked about. One thing that is always bugging me is when I see old photos of myself. I hate seeing the gigantic, out of shape former self I used to be. The most embarrassing moment for me ever was when I got pulled over for a simple traffic violation (which I got off with a warning) and the cop did not recognize me from my driver’s license. It wasn’t a ticket worthy offense for the pullover, but I had 30 days to change my license picture and that would become a ticket. I had grown to such huge proportions that suddenly I was no longer recognizable. It was humiliating during every step of the process, having to goto the DMV and paying 25 dollars for a picture I really didn’t need. I wish I had kept the old photo of myself, for it was one of the best ones I had ever taken and it was ironically a DMV photo. Of course, I didn’t have the luck of the Irish a second time out, for my newer photo looked as horrible as you could possibly make it. Eventually I want to be forced to change my photo once again, especially now that I have my badge at work. The look on my face says it all when you compare it. Sure, life is not perfect right now, but my face shows some content and dare I say happiness? The other photo just looks like an obviously embarrassed and unhappy blob.
So let me just tell you this my friends. Always seek out the indicators of progress. This is something that I have struggled with greatly, mainly because I measure my success in regards to muscle and fitness. But then things get better and I can start seeing and feeling the changes, those are the results I want to keep experiencing. Either way, I don’t intend to do an 11-hour job like I did for Jon and Christa any time soon, but I know I can at least do it. Besides, considering all the gratitude I got for doing it, that sort of currency was something I really liked over the monetary rewards.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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