Friday, September 23, 2011

Wasted Time

You didn't love the boy too much,
no, no, you just loved the boy too well.
So you live from day to day, and you dream about tomorrow, oh.
And the hours go by like minutes and the shadows come to stay
So you take a little something to make them go away
And I could have done so many things, baby
If I could only stop my mind from wondrin' what
I left behind and from worrying 'bout this wasted time
The Eagles

I wanted to write this week about an issue I have had to deal with over the last few years. It at times debilitates me, it at times drives me the exact opposite way it should, and it at times depresses the hell out of me. It also, has over the last few years, had me apologizing to a whole lot of women for actions of my gender. I assume I would hear the same thing from guys if only I had spent as much time around guys I have around girls at fitness camp. I wish there was an answer for it, because I truly think it effects virtually everybody at one time or another. I know a lot of people think about it as they get older and everybody thinks about it as they prepare for the end. Thankfully I'm not planning on preparing for the end anytime soon :) The issue is wasted time and the effect it has on you as you try to overcome the feeling that you have wasted a chunk of your life not being all you can be, not enjoying all life has to offer, not living and loving all you can, and not striving to be as happy as possible. I know there is certainly no blueprint for happiness. It's not that easy, but dwelling on the fact that some days, months or years went by without it does nothing to make today happier.
I had a really great life-coach meeting when I was at Fitness North. The life coach there is Kelly Krcmaric and the life coach session is included in your weekly session at no charge. Which is really good because otherwise I certainly wouldn't have met with her. She knows her stuff, that much was evident to me right away. We talked about how I suffer from feelings that much of my previous decade plus had been wasted because I was unwilling to try new things, go new places, see new things. I was so embarrassed by the way I looked, so ashamed that things 99% of the world took for granted I was petrified by. Every time I went out I was afraid someone would point, stare, mock me. It just became easier to stay home, watch TV and perpetuate what was making me miserable. No question the TV and the refrigerator didn't give a damn what I looked like. I skipped weddings, reunions, sporting events, and didn't meet friends I could have met. It bums me out. But like Kelly made me realize, having regrets is one thing, letting them haunt you is quite another. Because in reality there is nothing you can do about yesterday you can only change tomorrow. Thankfully I had the support of wonderful friends, family and my wife because I wasn't living. It still saddens me and I'm sure it always will. But with her help I promised that I would no longer let it influence me, insulate me from trying new things or influence the path I take in the future.
So by now you must be asking why exactly does that have you apologizing for your gender? Mostly because us men tend to not be the most caring, loving creatures that God created and I hear stories that make me shake my head in disbelief. And truly my one go to line when I am confronted with stories like this, is one I happily steal from The Eagles song 'Wasted Time'and rarely ever give them credit for. So if I have said it to you in the past and you thought I was extra smart, truth is I'm extra good at plagiarizing from those that make the big bucks coming up with with such great lines. I really love the the line " You didn't love the boy too much, no, no, you just loved the boy too well" I feel as if people fear wasted time, and they make decisions based on a fear that if they admit mistakes they are admitting wasted time. I do know that it is never a mistake to love someone with all your heart, and if they don't prove worthy of all your love you in no way wasted time loving.
So thanks to my new life coach I am pledging to no longer regret any of my former time that has passed me by. None of it was wasted time, because it was all necessary steps to get me to today. I can't change any of it now so regretting it is just a gigantic waste of time. What I can do is to try to continue living life to its fullest. Finding the right balance between fun and working hard, the right balance between what goes in my body and what I do to work it off. And of course loving with all my heart.
This is my friend Libby's horse Chance, she invited me out to meet him, Stetson and Lyric. I do really love horses and not just when they have a tiny man on them running in circles. I also want to thank my old college roommate for giving me 4 passes for the South Florida - Wisconsin volleyball match.Two things are for sure. I need to recruit some of those girls for my summer team, and volleyball on the hardwood is a much different game than sand. I had a great time and will for sure go back to see another match. Other than that more sand volleyball for me and the sand is getting colder. And I had a nice night with my friend Paul at the Gordon Lightfoot concert last week. If you could read my would be thinking Peace, Love and Unicorns, Jim

Monday, September 12, 2011

Old Man

Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
Bob Dylan

I celebrated another in a long line of birthdays this past Saturday. No matter what I do they just seem to keep coming year after year. The good news is I feel damn good, and I am guessing now, but I think that I am at my lowest weight that I have been at for a birthday since maybe 1987 or so. We had a wonderful fun International Pot Luck Birthday party and saw all my friends get very creative with their selections. We spanned the globe from Korea to Venezuela, Poland to Mexico and Cuba to Italy with a stop in Curacao and Ireland. We played a little trivia that shockingly consisted of questions about things like The Terps, Sara Bareilles, and horses. :)

I, of course, bypassed the international overworld and went with the underworld for my contribution.... Deviled eggs :)

Thanks to my week at Fitness North and some post program prodding from the life coach and trainer there I got to take home this little goodie from Weight Watchers. Now I have been going to WW since I was in second grade maybe. I have never picked up the trinket they give you for losing 10% of your weight. I think it is for that although it maybe after 30 some years they just felt sorry for me. The 10% is since June so not so bad. I do really owe a huge debt to the two people that take it upon themselves to put you on a plan when you leave and follow up with you regularly to make sure you are progressing Leif, the trainer and nutritionist and Kelly, the life coach. You receive a free session with Kelly when you are at the resort and two weeks of free follow up. You are also given a specific eating plan and exercise plan designed entirely for you, based on where you are with your fitness and diet. I really can't stress how different and appealing to me this difference is. It feels like you are a part of family and they truly care about you even after you have paid your fees and left the resort. I am really excited to be going back in October and will be at a new low when I get there....hopefully :)
Well it is that time of the year, and I look like a complete goofball clad in all red but got to support the Terps and the beautiful new flag based uniforms they unveiled in their Monday night win vs Miami. Best part about my silly outfit is the shorts I am wearing I couldn't put on 6 months ago.

Speaking of football, ESPN happily spread the sunshine with this short shot of Sunshine Daydream during the UW Badger game on Saturday. The Badgers look great this year with all eyes on their October 1st, welcoming of Nebraska to the Big Ten. I have to give a huge congratulations to my good friend Alex Gibson who this past week completed the Madison Ironman Triathlon. 16 hours of swimming biking and running. Or roughly about 8 back to back of the triathlon I did :) I hope everyone has a wonderful and fun weekend. Peace, Love and Turtles, Jim

Monday, September 5, 2011

Celebrate Me Home

Before the breathin' air is gone
Before the sun is just a bright spot in the nighttime
Out where the rivers like to run
I stand alone and take back somethin' worth rememberin'

Three Dog Night

Well I promised you a complete wrap up of my week. I'm not really going to compare and contrast the two programs specifics but I will tell you all there is to know about my new program and will happily answer any questions and do any comparisons if you want to email me. I will say this. I have spent well over 1oo days at fitness camp in the last 3 years and I can say without a doubt the five hardest days I have ever had as far as being pushed to work as hard as I can all took place last week. There is no slacking off, there is no hiding in a sea of campers, and there are no 15 minute breaks each hour you work. It's a personal approach, they seem to be able to find your buttons and keep pushing them for you. Did I want to quit?...Damn straight. Did I swear Wednesday that I would never come back?....Oh Yeah.... Did I get in my car Saturday and realize just how much I had done on both the scale and fitness level?...With a giant smile. Am I excited that I have 6 weeks to work on all the steps I took? .....Without a doubt. Am I heading back?... October 16th

The accommodations were really unique and remarkable. This is the view from our balcony. There are 5 bedrooms in each unit and a ginormous common area with a great room, flat screen, and kitchen/dining room. A balcony with a grill and an amazing view of Lake Superior. The beds are soft and comfortable and there are flat screens and ceiling fans in all the rooms. The unit has a washer and dryer for free. And each unit has two whirlpool tubs in them. It is a first rate resort there is no doubt about that.

You go down a couple flights of stairs to the pool and hot tub. Your key gets you access and you do not have to go outside to get entry to them. The hot tub is amazing as it is both indoor and outdoor and looks right out over Lake Superior. I might have gotten a little more use out of these if I wasn't so tired every night. But I did spend time in the pool everyday I was there.

The program is tough. I am not going to sugarcoat that at all. The alarm comes early every morning. And for a guy not used to getting up at 5:30 each day it was rough. But you're not here to relax you are here to work. They really seem to want to show you so many different ways to workout. We went to gyms, did circuit training you can easily and cheaply do at home, and even got a TRX and spin class mixed in. There was something here for everyone and they made everyone feel involved and working no matter what their fitness level. I have never sweated as much I wore 3 different shirts each day and sweated through every single one of them. I thought something had died in the trunk of my car on the way home but then realized it was just a whiff of my laundry basket full of clothes.

The Food... There isn't a lot of it obviously. It's not placed down in front of you fully prepared, and there is no one there to scoop your plates off the table when you are done. Is it hard to get back at noon exhausted and dying and have to prepare your own food. Of course. But guess what? That's how it is in real life. So you adapt. I had wonderful housemates and we worked together to get the meals both tasty and prepared. I'm not the greatest cook but did spend two nights on the deck grilling chicken for everyone. It takes a little effort but you feel good about it. They are willing to work on substitutions if you don't like something and the food get placed in your refrigerator every day so it is beyond fresh. It's macro nutrients, consisting of lean meats, health grains, lots of veggies and some fruits. There is also a snack at before you workout in the morning and another at night. I enjoyed the meals immensely and it really felt like a family around meal time. The picture is of turkey roast, spinach salad and mashed cauliflower dinner one night.

I missed my volleyball teammates for sure but did find time to work a little hitting into the mix. Happy to get back in the sand this week, especially since I feel lighter, quicker and a little more hungry to compete. Fitness North really tries to incorporate things you can do at home into their program. They prove you don't need to spend 1000's on equipment or gym memberships. I loved the circuit class. More so, when I was done then when I was bent over gasping, of course. But I found that the medicine balls, bands, punching bags, and kettle bells and the change of pace to be a little fun.

The hikes were really cool. They were harder for one reason. When you went on the hikes you already had 5 plus hours of work in your legs that day. I saw waterfalls, light houses, animals, ships, changing leaves, views of the lake, and really cool state parks. I hiked hills, and trails, steps and docks. The hikes were all diverse and the group broke up so everyone could go at their best speed. If you like to hike they will find hikes for whatever level you are at. And if you do a little investigation into the many great parks in the area they will listen to your suggestions of where you go.

It's my birthday week and I asked for a new pair of shoes. There they are at the end of the backdrop they came with. What an amazingly pleasant surprise to come home to
on the first day of college football. Many thanks to Mrs. T for the early gift. We accompanied my good friend Paul and his wife to see 3 Dog Night Saturday night and really enjoyed the show. They had a non-stop 2 hour collection of hits. I really enjoyed hearing so many of their hits. And I really enjoyed my stay in Two Harbors, Minnesota. You can get more info on Fitness North at Have a great week. Peace, Love and Joy To The World, Jim

Thursday, September 1, 2011

4 Fifths

You're the cutest thing that I ever did see
I really love your peaches
Want to shake your tree
Steve Miller Band

Well I am out of Minnesota musicians and Lake Superior songs so I am heading east to Wisconsin and UW alumnus Steve Miller who has two of my most favorite song fruit references with the above song and also the crate of papaya he hoped to deliver in Jungle Love.

Thursday started at 5:15 with a weigh-in.... Don't bother asking because I don't have a clue. They didn't tell me. If it's not great I will not be happy but I'm not worried about it, it's just got to be good. I am tired of looking at the clock all night and trying to determine just how few hours I have left before the alarm goes off. It is never enough. I will later in the day realize I have already worked out 4 hours and it is only 11 in the morning and I'm not half way done.

Today's morning 5 K included a little add-on going out the sea wall to the light house on the point. And got the added bonus of getting to see the EPA boat the Lake Explorer II. This boat travels all of the Great Lakes and was recently in Lake Tahoe. The crew seemed happy to spend a few minutes answering questions from the nautically challenged guy sweating through his sweatshirt.

I spent a few minutes doing what I was warned not to do by the sign on the door...but I was a long way from humanity and figured one wrung for a photo op would be ok. I just can't get over the scenery here. So very stunning. The weather has been odd and seems to change 20 degrees in 10 minutes and the fog has been rolling in regularly. It's a little like Maine but without the sweet lobster I miss.

After our morning session we headed down to Duluth, about 26 miles south of here for a day at a boutique gym for spin class and TRX class. I actually enjoyed the spin class, probably because my knees and feet weren't feeling much of the pressure they have been all week. The spin class lasted just over an hour we got a 5 minute break and right into a 50 minute TRX class. TRX is a body weight strap concoction that was most likely conceived in some sado-masochist's basement. I felt awkward, weak, tired and clueless and when it was time to slip our feet into the straps I just sat down and laughed. I understand you can get a great workout with these but I'm not ready to be a fan. As evidenced by the picture they may be a fun add-on to your bathroom.

Our afternoon hike was along the water in downtown Duluth. Certainly one huge bonus was the fact that I packed my volleyball for the trip down. I have certainly missed playing this week. Can't wait to get back out there next week. And hopefully a little quicker, and a little lighter. Thanks to Life Coach Kelly for hitting with me today...I may take a couple day break from the blog as I am heading out very early Saturday morning for the long drive home and then back to the Dells for a Saturday night 3 Dog Night concert. But I promise a full blown wrap up of Fitness North as soon as possible. Happy Thursday to everyone...Peace, Love and College Football, Jim