By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
October 15, 2015
One thing I notice is I tend to whine a lot. I know, I know, I could sugarcoat the situation and proclaim I am venting, but sometimes it can be construed as whining. I often write about the hardships of life and how it affects my fitness, my mental state and my relationships with people, but how does it affect me positively? I rarely speak about what life is doing for me and how things have changed. It’s probably because venting is so much easier than thinking about the good side of the coin. When you get frustrated, life moves at a crawl, and things just seem to take forever. The coffee pouring into your cup is like a drip, the morning commute is like that 50-lane back-up in China where some people were stuck for five days, and the dogs just seem to be naughtier than usual when they don’t answer your calls. When all is well, it seems like you just woke up from your nightly slumber and all of a sudden….it is noon and time for lunch! This past week, I have been in a pretty decent mood, despite the fact a couple little setbacks happened and I went through a brutal weekend at work. But hey, sometimes you have to be thankful to be alive, which for once I was actually feeling that way after this weekend. But this is the best part….I had some time to reflect. One of the best compliments I got this past weekend was from an internet friend that I finally got to met named Stacey. She pointed out I seemed to lose weight every time I post a photo. Now to me, that was something I never really thought about, even thought I have been pretty steady at 245 pounds the last few weeks. But like I have written before, my pants just continue to become more and more comfortable. In the case of my favorite pair Calvin Klein jeans, almost too comfortable! (if used to be what I would describe “crotch suffocating” back when I first bought them). Anyway, here are a few reasons why I should be happy with the way things are going. In true cracked.com fashion, I present to you my own little list of sorts.
4. PEOPLE CAN’T SEEM TO BELIEVE I DO WHAT I DO
Here was the scenario on Sunday. It was busy, we were understaffed and I was getting creamed on my shipping truck. We had some odd special going on, for I was getting gigantic boxes that weighed a good 40 pounds each for the majority of my shift. For half a day, it was hell on earth, plus I had to help out on another truck that didn’t get someone working on it until midday. Most mortal men would have been crushed under this sort of circumstance, but it wasn’t something that bothered me too much. I had brought plenty of food to make sure I had enough energy that day, and I certainly needed it. Now imagine a long semi-truck trailer and then imagine the idea that I filled two of those. Literally, ceiling to floor, front to back, I filled two of those long trailers with hundreds of boxes of varying size and weight. Sure, I was dead tired from all of that, but I had to meet up my friend later on that night and ultimately stayed up until midnight, with a 4 a.m. wake-up call. I had no problem telling people how tired I was the next day, for it gave me a little ammunition in regards people that might have complained about showing up on a Monday all tired and such.
Here was the kicker though. Since the Christmas season is coming sooner than later, a whole lot of on-site supervisors were getting trained this past weekend. Usually no one ever talks to me when I do the shipping trucks and ultimately have long winded arguments within my head about various topics, but I was visited quite often by these trainees. It got annoying after a little while, because they seemed rather worried about me. They noticed I busted hump my entire shift and while I complained a little, I never needed any help. The reason I mention this is because they were extremely worried about me the next day. As I worked a different station, they all asked about my legs and my feet and arm. Yeah, they were all sore, but not like I couldn’t overcome those issues. I jokingly suggested they get me some Tiger Balm for my elbow, and the training manager said he would work on it. It didn’t dawn on me until after I had gotten home that night and walked the dogs. People look at me, with my slightly pudgy belly and my white hair, and assume I am old or out of shape. It must be head scratching to them, considering a 37-year-old man is better and more fit than his mid-20s counterparts. Heck, one of the supervisors, who is 45, seemed so in awe of me that he treated me more like the manager rather than the other way around. Personally, getting any kind of validation and such at my job is not really expected, but getting too much just seems weird as well. But then again, I like showing people what I can do otherwise, because i can at least show up some people with my physical attributes.
3. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING CAN TASTE GOOD WITH THE RIGHT SPICES
One of these days, I should start a Youtube channel called “Poor Man’s Cooking.” Seriously, some of the stuff I make can’t possibly be good when you openly think about it, yet I keep getting lucky for some reason and it all turns out okay. One time I made these weird potato cakes that had lentils and a fish mash of spices and hot sauce. I thought they would make good burgers but then found out they crumbled quite easily when baked them. So I pan cooked them with a little olive oil, and it tasted like I was eating some awesome hash browns!! And then I got pita bread, and stuffed the “potato burger” deep inside to see just how weird it would taste with some shredded lettuce at the bottom. Turned out to be amazing!! I have yet to try that recipe since, but man it worked out just fine.
I ran into that problem again, mainly because I made my own homemade pizza. Yup, I attempted my number one addiction in the confines of my home. Well, the pizza(s) were a massive success, but I was left with way too many veggies and potatoes. So what did I do….just threw them all together. I then added some roasted sesame seeds and some minced garlic with a little olive oil. Mixed with a lot of cayenne, pepper and paprika, I had a delicious little dish that was both hearty and ready to go. Then I felt compelled to add Stubb’s Spicy Barbecue sauce. Don’t ask me why or how, but it freaking worked!! I don’t know why I seem unlucky in life but really lucky with food. It’s a strange conundrum.
2. PERSONAL SATISFACTION IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH
I never used to have that feeling of being satisfied. To this day, I can’t seem to settle for anything I don’t deem to be nearly perfect. I think that is why I slipped into a deep and dark hole, knowing full well my own personal hang-ups would never be reached or met, and thus falling down and staying down seemed so easy. Now I will admit, a lot of things are going haywire in my life, but I can still step back knowing I can find some good in my efforts. I take my Wednesday night run for example. I was feeling like garbage, for something in other air just didn’t sit right with me. My legs felt heavy and sluggish and this was the making of some kind of epic wipe-out. I intended to go as far as I possibly could, pushing for eight miles, mainly because that is a distance I will have to possibly run at Ragnar Las Vegas (more on that later). But I dragged my ass out of my car and started. It was certainly slow, for the evening was unusually warm at 88 degrees and a decent 35% humidity. Not to mention my darn left thigh had some kind of weird tightness that I couldn’t quite roll out. But I ran anyway, despite the heat the pain and self doubt. You see, my team lost another member that very day, and I knew I would have to up the ante on my training and my miles at Ragnar. I was already creating a contingency for the race, and running a long distance was certainly it. I bottomed out at 6.66 miles. I was a little disappointed in myself but I realized one thing as I walked the final mile and a half back to my car. I wasn’t breathing heavy. Strangely, my lungs didn’t feel like they were on fire. I had just run a decent distance in fairly bad weather and had nothing but sore legs to show for it. Despite the soreness, I knew exactly what this meant. I have reached point where running a certain speed is not really detrimental to my fitness.
I suppose if I had bolted down the track a little faster than the 10:18 per mile I was going, it would be a different story, but this was certainly the weapon I will have to use in my upcoming battle in Las Vegas. Much like the prize fighter or the MMA star seeking greatness, I must approach it the same way. And even if I do fail in the slightest, I know I will not take it too hard, because at least I will once again be ready for the hell. It will be the second Ragnar in a row where I may have to put my mind in this level of readiness. But it looks like this time the utter disappointment of trying to do it is weighted in my favor. That’s right, I got a little angry I didn’t get to prove myself last time. Despite the cramps, the heat and the two incline heavy legs I ran, I still wanted to do more when I finished my last leg. Well, we shall see how this all works out. Four weeks out, I’m preparing my heart and mind for the worst. Either way, if I only run three legs or run five, I will be just fine with the results either way!
The fact I willingly let a madman like Jon put me through the grinder each week makes me unusual. How many people do you know get personalized personal training? Not the kind of personal training where you meet a random train who makes you do stuff that he likes or thinks might be good for you. I mean, how many people do you know have established a rapport with someone that knows when you need to fix a problem or establish a new regimen at a certain moment. I like wanting to be one of those people that challenges themselves to something other people are not willing to try. When I mentioned my little work situation from Sunday earlier in the blog, I chose to do that truck knowing full well what to expect. I don’t wish to be one of the sick and huddled masses that is becoming the norm in our country, blindly yelling political jabs and complaining about their favorite sports team. I want to be the guy that would rather go for a run than watch some new television show. I prefer being the vegan i na meat eating world. I love my dogs in such way, other men might openly mock me because I’m acting like “such a woman” when it comes to the care and love I give my loving pups (which on the other hand, what give them that freaking right to judge me!). In my personal life, I know I am painfully normal, for a lot of people in this world are going through the same struggles I am going through, and some are even worse off than myself. But at least from a fitness standpoint, I am doing better than most and living a very fulfilled life. Sometimes I just need to slap myself on the head and reiterate the point to myself.
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
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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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