"Yeah now I’m rolling down this canyon drive
With your laughter in my head
I’m gonna have to block it out somehow to survive
And I’m alive"
So as I am driving through the Rockies and I got a call from someone I love telling me that a person who has brought much joy to my life has passed away. Everyone knew Paul Newman was sick, and his death came as no big surprise but still I would certainly be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the contribution that Mr. Newman made not only to cinema but also to making the world a better place. He starred in the two greatest movies of all time The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He started a charitable food business that raised over 250 million dollars for various charities. If I could have 1/1,ooo,oooth of the impact on people that Paul did I would consider my life a success. So I gladly salute you Butch Cassidy, Eddie Felson, Reggie Dunlop, Judge Roy Bean, Hud, Cool Hand Luke, and the great Mr. Henry Gondorff.
So I wrapped up trip two to Fitness Ridge last Saturday and headed out on my 28 hour trek across the country from Utah through Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin. I Friday checking out down 32 lbs for the trip, down 9 per cent in body fat, down 6 points in BMI and down 17 inches on my chest, waist, hips, arms, and legs.
I need to thank so many people for aiding me on my 5 week stay. It is hard for me to imagine a place where I feel more loved than at the Ridge. Again the staff is simply amazing, supportive, motivating, and friendly. I need to give a few special thanks. There is no one cooler at the ridge than marketing director Eric Jackson. He pushed me through extra circuit classes, kicked my ass in two on two basketball, shared some meals and lots of sports talk. If you have problems at the ridge he is the guy to talk to, and he knows deep inside that a mountain west team in a BCS bowl is well not appropriate. He shares an office with new program director, Paige. She has really added to the program and gave me a great sounding board about how I think the program can move forward. Finally, I can never say enough about Sharon. She is the most compassionate, loving personal trainer God has ever created. She motivates every camper that comes through the door, and when anyone contacts me who has been at the Ridge they always ask about Sharon.
As great as the staff is; the greatest thing about the ridge is the other campers. Each week you throw together 30 to 40 people from all over the map wake them before sun up, torture them with 6 hours a day of exercise, and feed them table scraps. And you know what it does for them? It binds them together, gives them a sense of teamwork, and makes them want to help everyone in the same boat as them. There are way too many people that shared my 5 weeks to list here and I am sure I would omit someone from the list so let me just thank everyone who was at the Ridge with me. I owe all of my success to the the campers and when I feel like I can't take another step, I can see you guys cheering at the stop sign or fake laughing at something stupid I said or convincing me that a trip to Vegas will be "relaxing" and it makes me take that next step. I hope some of you will consider coming in back in March for a week or two when I make trip 3 to the ridge. Until then you can always get an update on my life here. And aster 28 hours of driving I am happy to report that my volleyball team won 15-5, 15-7, 15-7 Monday night. Until next time Peace and Love and one picture that sums up what all of you think, Jim