Friday, February 8, 2008

Who said "Go West Young Man"

"Never give up, never slow down, never grow old, never ever die young."
James Taylor
I am leaving Madison, Sunday afternoon, February 10th driving west, across the Rockies, south through Utah, and arriving in Las Vegas on Wednesday or so. I'll be in the big town for a few days before reporting to Fitness Ridge ( ) on Sunday February 17th. I will be at Fitness Ridge for four weeks thru March 16th, then off for one week and then back for two additional weeks March 23rd thru April 6th. My wife will be flying out to spend 4 days with me and I believe that week also coincides with the first week of some annual basketball event or so I am told :)
People have asked how did I find this place, why i am interested in going, what's it all about. Here is the abbreviated edition of all that. I was crammed in an airplane seat reading the USA Today when I came across an article dealing with affordable spas. ( ) I have been interested in finding a fitness/weight loss program that emphasized intense workouts and low calories. Most programs, of which there are very few, Duke being the most famous, don't really have a structured exercise program as part of their daily schedule. I know that sounds silly but that's the truth. I attacked the internet, doing research, reading reviews, looking at a few different places. I wasn't looking for pampering, massages, etc just low calories/structured workouts, a pool, and fairly warm weather.
I made the call to Fitness Ridge on November 7th I had budgeted and scraped to put together about 6 weeks worth of fees . I figured shared room @$1100 per week = $6600, however at the call the reservationist said we get mostly females and people not looking to share rooms. It'll be $1500 per week plus tax. $6600 was now about $10 grand and beyond what I had or wanted to pay. They offered $1300 per week plus tax, for the single room, I accepted. Total nut $8224. The reason I am telling you all this is I know you want to know, it's on the website, and should anyone want to come out for a week you can share a room with me and get some exercise. Also it gives me a chance to thank some members of my family who suprised me with some generous "donations" to the cause. So thanks again to to My Grandmother, Mom and Dad, and my brother Jay.
So I started working on assembling most of the things on the list of things they suggest you bring along. Here's the list:
Suggested Packing List
Light hiking shoes/Trail running shoes
Good athletic shoes/socks
Exercise wear
Hydration/water backpack
Water bottle
Beach towel
Swim suits/cover up
Pool shoes/Sandals
Casual clothes
Small first aid kit
Optional Items
Seat pad for cycling
Walkman/MP3 player
I had most of the things on the list I did get a pair of trail shoes which are running shoes with some stronger tread, a new pair of running shoes from Skechers, added a bunch of new tunes to the ipod (Jack Johnson, Sara Bareilles, Animal Liberation Orchestra along with the classics Stones, Beatles, JT, Jackson Browne, Chicago, Beach Boys, Eagles, etc) Now anyone that knows my musical taste knows laid back not exactly upbeat get it moving music, But screw you all I'm listening to what I like :) I need to make a couple other thank you's here. First off to the greatest Sports Administration teacher ever, who sadly I have not spent time with in 10 years, Andy Kreutzer and his wife Barb, kindly suprised me by sending a very nice Camelback. What the hell's a camelback you ask? It's kind of like a backpack but for liquids, I imagine I will fill it each morning from the Margarita Fountain. Oh wait did I mention that Fitness Ridge is run by members of the Mormon Faith. There will be no alcohol, no caffeine (bye,bye diet pepsi), and I am guessing no nightly poker game. Let me just say this about my good friends of the Mormon faith. Every practicing member I have ever met has been very friendly, white, and under the mistaken belief that Brigham Young University football belongs in a major bowl game. Alex Gibson of here in Madison was nice enough to buy me a copy of "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jack Kerouac which deals with much of the history of the faith and is a fabulous read. I also want to thank Karen Kittelson owner of Swimwest for being a helpful workout partner, letting me use her facility, and helping me to prepare for the exercise coming my way.
Speaking of exercise here is the daily schedule:
Example of our daily schedule:
6:00 am - Open Gym / Weight-room
7:00am - Breakfast
8:00 am - Hike / Walk
11:30am - Water Aerobics
12:45pm - Lunch
1:15 pm - Cooking Demonstration
2:30 pm - Treading
3:30 pm - Yogalates
4:30 pm - Living Drums
5:30 pm - Dinner
6:15 pm - Evening Lecture
Well this is long enough. Let me just add that I am very excited to be going, a little nervous, I will without a doubt miss my wife and dogs. Jacky has been so supportive of this whole thing but it is starting to set in how long we will be apart and she is starting to freak a little. So anyone in Madison please invite her over for dinner or a concrt or a movie, she's going to be a little lonely.
So that you have it, I will try to update this a regularly as possible so you can share the journey, feel free to fire away any questions you have. By the way the answer to the question at the top of the page. Who said "Go west young man"??
Horace Greeley is often credited with a famous quote actually made by John B. L. Soule.
Thanks again to all of your for the spport and well wishes I have received and as always Go Terps and Peace Jim


clint said...

We will miss you! Safe driving and happy weight loss! Watch out for those mormons! I'll take good care of Jacky!

PoohTerp said...

Hey! You never told me it was run by Mormons. I now know that I leave you in great hands! Let me know if I need to start calling you Brother Jimbo. :-)

Seriously, I am in awe of what you are doing. I am actually a little jealous. I really look forward to reading your blog. No chance I won't find it inspiring.

Alex said...


Safe travels. Please establish an over/under line for total weight loss in seven weeks before you get with the Mormons. Good luck and I'm rooting for the over. Alex

Anonymous said...

Hellooo Jim!!

I am so glad you sent this email as I had lost my roster from your first week and my only week. I am the conservative from Seattle with the sister from FL. I am so proud of you and your efforts Yayyyy! You really did it!

Well, I was so inspired when I came home, everyone one commenting on it...and then I got this terrible virus and then bacterial infection, got off track but now getting back on 3-4 weeks later. I was in awe of what I was able to do and learn at fitness ridge and am recuiting a group to come back this year. Probably not the summer as I might melt...Uugh! maybe Novermber...

I am so happy for your progress! What a wonderful gift from a angel.

The baby was lost, but sister doing okay! She wants to come back in November, if she is not pregant by then.
Take care Friend