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First step to the Promised Land

May 14, 2012

Last December, I took stock of myself. I had just been involved in an online romance that had turned to shit when I actually met the girl (she was batshit crazy). I was feeling a bit down. 41 years old. Thinning hair. Expanding gut. A smoker. Out of shape in general. Things were not looking good! But in our darkest hours, sometimes we find the seeds of change. And so I did.

The first change I made was to start to get in shape. Not much I could do about the age or the thinning hair, but the getting in shape part, that was just a matter of moving. I started to lift weights and (sometimes) run on my treadmill. I kept up the weightlifting part of the equation pretty well over a period of a few months and saw significant gains in my strength as well as in my body (muscles!). I felt better about myself. But I knew I needed to take it to the next level. That’s when I found Insanity.

Now Insanity is a set of workout DVDs that mainly concentrate on cardio interval training (so-called because you have intervals of intense activity and then recovery periods). It’s a 60 day program, with workouts six days a week (rest on Sundays). The first workout was what is called a “fit test”. This consists of 6 exercises where you try to do as many as you can in a 1 minute period. You record your score and then re-test in 2 weeks. I assume my results will be better next time!

After a few workouts, I have to admit… I was dying! This shit was intense! My calves especially were sore and aching. I even had trouble walking! The fourth day was a very-needed break… “Cardio Recovery” it was called, and it wasn’t nearly as intense as the previous 3 days. Recharged somewhat, I’ve just finished the 5th day workout and, while I have to say that I wasn’t able to complete EVERY exercise or keep up with the trainer in reps, I at least was able to get through it.

I can feel the muscles in my body straining, ripping and tearing, all in the process of getting stronger. Most impressively, my breath has made somewhat of a comeback. I used to get a bit out of breath when climbing a few flights of stairs, but now my lungs feel easy. Part of that is my decision to quit smoking a week ago, before I started the Insanity workouts. Yes, after 16 years of a 5 to 10 cigarettes a day habit, I up and quit, cold turkey. No patches, no gum, no gimmicks, just stop smoking and never smoke again. Has it been tough? You bet your sweet ass it’s been tough!

But, as with the exercise, I know it’s the right choice. If I’m gonna get the outside of my body looking good, it doesn’t make any sense to allow the inside to continue on a downward spiral. I need to be healthy. I need to be sexy. I have a need… for speed!

This weekend will be big, as I’ll officially weigh and measure myself to get an idea of how much progress I’ve made. I cheated a little and weighed myself today. 194 lbs. Might not sound good to you, but that’s 2 lbs less than I weighed last week! Not bad for a week’s worth of workouts!

The real test, however, will be how I look by June 10th, when I’m goin’ to Vegas for a friend’s birthday party. Will I look decent enough for poolside lounging? Vain, I know, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little vanity. A lot of people don’t have *enough* vanity, IMO!


From → InShape

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