This post is so overdue on so many levels….to the folks who were reading this, thanks for waiting.. This is the fourth chapter in the Evolution series that documents how I’ve lost over 40 pounds so far in the last year and a half and my continuing fitness adventure. Where are we in the story so far? Well, I know I need to get in shape. I’ve made a commitment to myself to eat better. I’ve accepted that I need to move more Now I’ve gone and told someone about it.

Photo

Me in Aug 2009, Photo Credit to Rick Bucich http://photos.rickbucich.com/

So I’ve got a fitness/weight loss goal. I know I need to get in motion and I’ve got a couple of ideas on how to do that. I understand I need to eat better and less. That was about the extent of what I knew. I needed direction. I needed help. I needed accountability. So I turned to my brother and said, “hey, so I’ve got this idea. I’m calling it 40 x 40. I want to lose 40 lbs before my 40th birthday, can you help me?” His immediate response was, “Hell yeah! What do you need? I’m there!” That response alone was worth so much. To have someone say “yes, I’ll stand by you and support you in any way I reasonably can” was really empowering, a bit humbling and a touch intimidating.

Empowering because his response was so immediate, so enthusiastic and encouraging that I got excited for the challenge instead of getting intimidated or overwhelmed.

Humbling because I know that Big D has been more concerned about my health than I have for years. We talked recently and he recalled how a couple years back he got really and truly scared for me because I got winded playing a game of horse shoes! Now, I confess, I don’t recall that specific day, but I don’t question for a moment that it happened. My body had degraded that far. And while I can’t tell you an exact date, I’m guessing that particular eyeopener probably took place about 4 or 5 years ago. So my fitness and weight have been on his mind for quite some time.

It was intimidating because I’d let the cat out of the bag. I’d made a very private choice to make a change. I’d set a goal and for better or for worse, I’d told someone about it. So now this private goal was a public thing. Now if I didn’t follow through I was going to be letting down someone beyond myself. I’d have to explain to my kid brother why I’d failed at this task.  So it was official. It was game on.

Not only did my brother step up with encouragement as I e-mailed or called him with my progress reports week after week. He counseled me on all mannner of equipment free home workouts that I could experiment with, so I wouldn’t have to step foot in a gym. He reaquainted me with that nearly perfect exercise the Burpee and all the magic that it holds! He helped me figure out better diet options and portion control. Big D helped me really think critically to find an activity that would not only exercise my body, but fuel the inner fire to make me want to go out and do it again. I understand now WHY I enjoy mountain biking, why I enjoy CrossFit and why I’ll never be a distance runner-but that’s another chapter. So Big D- with a healthier, happier, lighter heart, I say “Thanks. This doesn’t do justice for all that you’ve done for me, but please know that I appreciate it all. I love you, brother.”

The Brute Squad-Big D and I at Fight Gone Bad 6, Sept 17, 2011

It bears noting that I’m a lucky SOB and I know it. While my brother was and continues to be my coach over the past year and going forward, there have been a multitude of folks who have helped me come this far and fuel me to push farther. So this post doesn’t sound any more like some sort of award acceptance post, they get their own chapter next time. Hopefully that one’s not 8 weeks away.

In the meantime, here’s links to past chapters:

Chapter 1: The Motivation for Motion

Chapter 2: The Plan, Part I Eat Less

Chapter 3: Move More

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