Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
January 20, 2017
One great thing that I like about Facebook is the fact you have the option to see some old memories that you used to have. Now if you can believe it, I have only been on Facebook for roughly six years, for the first time I ever posted anything was a picture of my little nephew Elliot, who is now a fully grown little kid that loves board games and his new pup Boulder Flash. During those first couple years, I mainly did Facebook to randomly stalk women and see what some old friends were up to (wait a sec, why did I put in that first part?). Needless to say, looking at those early days is a hoot because most of my pictures were mainly just excuses for me to hide from the reality of my life. I was extremely overweight and I was extremely discouraged and angry with myself that I had let my body and my health go that far down the tube. I had a couple of random photos that allowed me to peer into the old me, when I was 60 some pounds lighter. I still have my old driver’s license picture, the one that is extremely difficult to look at. Most of the time it was just photos of the various pups in my family, especially my two little dogs Rusty and Scarlett. I am kind of happy about the fact that whenever I look at Facebook memories, I still look insanely huge and it is an instant reminder of just how far I have truly come. Now these days, I want the journey to be pushed even further down the line, making me feel even more accomplished than before with my exploits. That is a tough proposition for the most part, for I look at the very idea of looking back at my life and I often times think I have not made any real progress with my life. But on one hand, I truly have. From a barely employed fat ass to a marginally employed semi-fatty is a pretty big leap for me, especially since I never actually did anything physically demanding for my health before I started going to Parsons Training.
One thing I want to do from time to time is reflect on some of the old blogs and truly look at the changes that I was going through. I think a great many people in our lives forget about how bad things were in their past, and much like what happened with the last election, a lot of people conveniently forgot how horrible of a presidency Bush II had (but that is another blog topic for another day). Either way, I might occasionally do this even though recapping what you used to write could be considered a hack move for most writers, but the good news is the fact the writing from back in the day was much different, for this whole concept of blog writing was a completely new concept for me. Needless to say, I was not quite as long winded….
May 18, 2012
I got two little dogs that I absolutely love to death. Rusty is a Chihuahua/dachshund mix while Scarlett is an Italian Greyhound/terrier mix. It’s always great to come home to them, because they get really excited and happy to see me. But I always have a problem in the mornings when I take them to my parents house. Scarlett is pretty well behaved, running into the car, excited to spend the day with her buddies at my parents house. But Rusty is a bit of a scamp. He starts wandering around the front yard and I eventually have to herd him to the car. That’s kind of the way I feel about going to my workouts. I feel reluctant to go training. Let’s face it….its tough! Right now it is difficult to fathom the idea that I still have 32 sessions to go, even though I know this is for my own benefit and health. But each day, despite knowing the pain that I was about to walk into, I feel an invisible force pushing me to go to the gym. I’m hoping that begrudging feeling in my stomach turns into pure commitment.
I speak about these feelings because of what happened the previous day at work. My father and I installed some new lighting at Parsons Training, and it was hell. Ladder work, lots of set-up and clean-up, and worst of all, lots of stair climbing. I didn’t want to use the elevator that day, and I was paying for it later. It was a “What would Jon have me do?” sort of moment. I could barely bend my knees and I was tired as a dog by the end of the six-hour job. When I got home, I was sure that I wasn’t going to be able to drag my butt into the gym the next day. It was kind of a miracle that I made it. I didn’t act it around Jon today, but I really didn’t want to show up. I was still a little sore from the stair climbing (I made roughly 40 or so trips), but I trudged through it. Even after using my elliptical this morning, I was starting to tighten up a little during the day. Fortunately, I was able to mask some of my soreness with my iPod and some choice music cuts that Jon liked.
But I also felt something a little different today. I hated showing up and the idea of showing up, but I didn’t want to quit. In fact, I really wanted to do my best. I could have complained about the soreness, but I decided to see if I could battle through it. This very concept of forced effort is kind of new to me, especially when it is self motivated. Today, Jon had me doing a mix of weight and cardio exercises that we had done in the previous sessions. The exercise that really killed me doing a side-step shuffle between a couple of cones. I came out blazing, hoping the soreness would go away when I got a little more warmed up. It was a more brutal exercise than I could ever imagine, and I soon forgot my knees were sore due to being unable to catch my breath. I guess that is the best way to overcome stiffness…just keep moving. What we did for each exercise rotation was some bench-pressing, then running the stairwell followed by some single leg lifts. We did some other exercises, like arm lifts with 25-pound weights and some work on the treadmill. Jon had wanted me to do three rotations of the workout he was giving me, but being my stamina is still a little low, I was only able to get two done. But we still used up the whole hour, as Jon made me do some more core workouts to fill out the last fifteen minutes. I think today was summed up nicely by a great metaphor that Jon used. Doing these sessions is an investment for my health, and putting more money in the bank will benefit me in the long run.
By the end of today’s session, I was feeling pretty sore. I don’t know the proper euphemism, but it was like breaking through a barrier. I went through with a session even though I felt pretty awful from the beginning. I think I made a big leap today. I didn’t complain about my soreness all day when I worked with my dad or throughout the session with Jon. For the first time in a long time, I took accountability for myself. I didn’t make an excuse. Even though I was a little sore when I got home, I felt pretty good about myself. It’s a baby step to say the least, but it was worth noting.
I rewarded myself with a big fat burger from Lindy’s. Just kidding. I went to Whole Foods looking for some stuff to make Thai style spring rolls for a barbecue I was attending the next day. But I came up with a better idea. Beef filled vegetable rolls. Might be a good offset to all the steak and burgers that should be available to me. Either way, another session is in the books, and another one on the way.
Wow! I have not read that particular entry in a few years, but it rings something hilarious with me. That was maybe my fourth session with Parsons Training, and already I was feeling the changes with my life and with my persona. Yup, it can happen that quick if you really let it. I also find it rather interesting that I was still a meat eater back then, which still comes off as somewhat hilarious (and sad) when I think about it these days. I actually remember the delectable dish I made for that party in question. Most of my friends made some pretty heavy foods, including a massive cheese casserole that might have had the cheese on an inch thick. The only thing I ate that night were the veggie steak wraps I made, mainly because I was really trying hard to make a legitimate go of this.
I think it is good to actually take a look back at some of these old blogs, because then I can really compare the differences I have gone through over the last few years. Here I was, complaining about the potential of being sore during a workout that I would describe as pretty basic these days. These days I seem to put together these grueling comprehensive workouts that force me to work the entire body, for I often times feel like just focusing on one part would be a bit counterproductive. Heck, these days I think I am seriously trying to make myself sore, maybe in an attempt to capture some of the old feelings. The one downside to eating a meat and dairy free diet is the fact I have less inflammation and my body is much more alkaline. After a tough workout, I am more along the lines “I need some food” rather than “I’m not gonna be able to type the next day.” Now I am running into those bad typing days, but you know how that goes, it is mostly to do with the fact I have to help some ornery people that might lose their mind on you at any moment. Trust me, taking notes is quite important. I did find one aspect of this blog to be rather funny…the fact that I had to help with all of the lighting that we installed at Parsons Training. I got to tell you, that's probably one of the toughest workouts I have ever had in my life, just doing the lifting and moving and going uno the stairs all day long. And when I really think about it, the number of times I went up and down might be exaggerated. I might have gone more times than that. I never once used the elevator!
Reflection is something I have to get used to while engaging myself in this total body process. For the most part, I have had a really tough go at it when it comes to shaping and sculpting my body. Things haven’t gone my way, and while I am working harder to try and get the results I want to actually achieve, you still need to see where you came from. I think that is why it is so important to look back at these blogs, because there are days where I do feel like I am failure not too myself but to Jon and his company. I almost laughed at the idea that I used to only run at a 3.3 pace on Jon’s treadmill (which has 12 levels of speed). These days I can easily run at a level six or maybe push it a little harder at a level seven. I of course can go much faster than that if I am just doing a mile! I still remember the time the first mile I did…14 minutes and 59 seconds. I can’t imagine even going at that pace anymore! Plus here is another thing. The 25-pound weights that used to be so rough on my are now just too light, for I typically use 45s or higher for any type of workout I do that involve dumbbells.
One of the big reasons why I am doing this reflecting today is because this seems to be a good idea to utilize when going through a weight loss regimen. All throughout the internet you see people making some passive strides with their health, doing things that have completely surprised them while also experiencing the change in their body and in their persona. I can say without qualms that while my body and my fitness have changed tremendously over the years thanks to this journey I am on, I have too say that my mind and my heart are much better for taking this route. If anything, I was a very cold and an often times detached person when it came to living life, for the prospects of food always helped with the removal of yourself from standard social gatherings (or would often times compel to partake in them). Now I have to live life so to speak, to actually feel like I have made some progress.
Now I know I may have released some pent up anger and frustration over the last couple weeks, I just want to let you know that I am still all right. While my thoughts about my body and the workouts I do are changing, the way I truly treat myself differs greatly from the way it used to be. True growth doesn’t happen overnight, so at least I have the old stuff to look back on and see just where I came from. I do find one little tidbit about my current life very hilarious…I seem to lose more energy sitting on my rump most of the day than I ever did as an electrician. I mean, how is that even possible!?
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About Parsons Training
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
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
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.