Changes

Hello again… hello!

So yeah… It’s been a long time since I last posted something here.

But I’ve been pretty busy for the past few months.  Busy with work, chorus, family… and busy with myself.

You see, ever since I moved last year, I have been slowly and steadily fixing things that I didn’t like about my life.  And when I say slow and steady, I MEAN slow and steady.  These things don’t happen overnight, you know.

For instance, I finally opened a savings account– and actually started putting money INTO that savings account.  That’s huge.  I haven’t done that in years– especially those years when I was living in my old place.  It isn’t much yet, but I’m hoping it will grow into something I can use for– I don’t know– a trip?  Maybe even a long vacation?  That’d be really nice.

I’ve also been paying off some long-standing debts that have been hovering over my head.  I still have a few to catch up with, but I feel like I’m in a better place now than I’ve been in a very long time.

But the biggest changes have been with myself personally.  No, I’m not dating anyone (yet), but I finally decided to stop being a lazy ass and do something about my physical health.   I joined a gym.

It’s taken me over ten years to muster up the will to do this again.  My first foray into the world of physical fitness started in about 1995 when I was still living in Kenosha.  I had joined the local Gold’s Gym (which it isn’t anymore),  formulated a really good plan, and stuck to it for almost a year.  By the time I moved to Chicago, I was down to 190 or so pounds, and was really starting to show the effects of my efforts.

After moving to Chicago in 1997, I joined a Bally Total Fitness club.  Big mistake.  First, the club I joined was in the River City complex downtown.  I’m still not 100% sure why I went there, but I was a traveling sales rep at the time and I was never stationed in one particular area; so I could easily drive there any time I wanted.  The problem was, I let them rook me into the most expensive contract they had, which cost me a fortune.  I think I was paying something like $100-120  a month, and on top of that I hired a personal trainer.  HE was great– well worth the money — but I don’t know WHAT I was thinking getting sucked into that deal.

Well, as luck would have it, I lost that job about a year later, and I wasn’t able to afford that astronomical monthly fee.  I tried (and tried) to get out of it, but I was locked in for at least another year.  I was so upset with Bally that I just stopped going altogether.  When I finally paid off the membership, I told them to shove it and quit completely.  My love affair with fitness had ended.

In the ten years or so that passed since then, a lot has happened in my life– the most significant being the death of my father.  His passing was a wake-up call for me.  He wasn’t born with diabetes… he contracted it due to his lifestyle.  And after the diagnosis, he let himself go.  He went from weighing over 250 lbs. around the time of his diagnosis to over 450 at the time of his death.

I recount this, because I realized recently that if I don’t do something about my health now, I will end up just like him.  OK, I wouldn’t get quite so heavy (at least I hope), but I’m most certainly a prime candidate for diabetes, and I do NOT want that in my life.  And as 40 draws ever nearer, I realized that if I don’t do something about it now, I never will do anything about it.

So … I’m doing this.  And it’s not easy.  It’s hard work.  There are days I have to drag myself in.  There are other days where I look forward to it.  Thankfully I’ve done this before, so I know what to expect… but I really want this to work.  This may be my last chance to make a difference for myself.

I’ll be blogging about my progress here.  Since I haven’t been blogging much lately, I figured this was as good a reason as any to resurrect the old Launching Pad.  Might as well make use of it, right? :)

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2 thoughts on “Changes

  1. Glad to hear you are doing something for yourself healthwise! Its hard to do it sometimes, but you know it will be worth it!

  2. Good for you, Rick! I know firsthand how difficult it is to make changes, but except for crises (and who needs them?) most of our effective changes are small and gradual–swapping a new habit for an old habit, and moving on to the next one.

    But let me encourage you to stay positive. Think about what you want to become, and not what you want to avoid. And there’s really very few truly “last chances” in our lives–if you fall off the gym habit for any reason, you can almost always resume. I also believe that every increment of effort, however modest, counts toward the goal. Because where our health is concerned, small changes in lifestyle can accumulate, and they don’t take all that long to become apparent.

    True confession: I have a wheelchair catalog next to the gym bag. It reminds me of what I’d like to avoid, but it doesn’t really help get me to the gym like thought it might. Other incentives work better. ‘Nuf said!

    Best to you.

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