A Look Back and Ahead

Posted by Roger, a contributor to this blog.

Here's to 2013!

Well 2012 has come and gone and 2013 is upon us. This is the time of year people spend both reflecting and looking forward. I guess I am no different. However, thanks to some wonderfully kind people who have said they miss my posts, I am going to share my reflections with you (actually I have written quite a few posts, just couldn’t bring myself to publish them).

2012 had its share of highs and lows, ups and downs, good and bad, take whichever cliché you’d like, it all amounts to the same. So, to get it out of the way, lets start with the lows.

I don’t think anything can get lower than the passing of a loved one. In this case it was especially sad in that I lost a 17 year old nephew to suicide. This was a wonderful young man that had no idea how loved he was. I learned after the fact that he felt alone and as if he had no place. He felt he didn’t fit in anywhere.He was depressed but, as many in his state do, he hid it well. The last time I saw him was at our 2011 family Christmas party. I had promised him that this year I would make sure his dad got him tickets to attend a college football game with my wife and me. He was very excited as he had always wanted to attend a game. Ironically, I wound up donating a pair of tickets to the game in a raffle to help cover the unexpected costs of his funeral. I don’t know how to say this without sounding trite, but this just shows how important our emotional health is as well as our physical health. It also shows how crucial it is to let others know how you are feeling as well as to listen to what others are trying to say.

My other low was, as many of you know, my heart situation this year. In having a check-up for an unrelated condition, it was learned I had blockage in a couple different places in an artery. I had to have a couple stents put in and, with some cardiac rehabilitation, now I’m pretty much as good as new. Well, new for an old guy. It was a difficult time though. I had just lost about 20 pounds and suddenly I couldn’t work out. Rehab was slow and it was a while before I could go all out. It was kind of depressing plus I was going through a weird kind of survivors guilt. I had to question why I was lucky enough to have this diagnosed without any symptoms at all while so many others weren’t so lucky. It took a bit but I think I’ve finally worked out those issues.

Exiting the Mud Pit 2012

Now on to the highs. Probably the best was doing the mud run. I was more than a little nervous about this. I was afraid to try it because of the unexpected problem with my heart. I did more of a run/walk and I always made sure there was someone around me that I could see. Thanks, by the way, to the people from Mamatone and bootcamp that kept me company on various stages of the run. I was especially pleased that I could do the obstacles pretty easily even though I hated the mud pit and the run through the water because it was freezing outside! I did it though and now I’m ready to try it again, but this time I’m going to run the darn thing. Hopefully it will be warmer.

Another high in this was that the doctors were pretty impressed with the shape I was in. They were surprised to find I had any blockage. I credit Dustin, Ryan and Ashton for helping me keep in decent shape. The doctors noticed.

Another high for me was being able to do an unassisted pull-up. I actually did 3 which was probably the most I’ve ever done in my life! To be fair, I don’t think I’ve had to do any since junior high but I’ve always been afraid to try. Now I know I can do one. In fact in a recent bootcamp  workout for Ashton we had to do a rotation where at the end of each cycle we did one TRX pull-up for a total of 12 at the end. I did 11 of mine without any assistance. Just couldn’t get the twelfth one so I jumped and lowered myself down slowly instead. Best part, my arms weren’t horribly sore the next day.

Another high point was the amount of caring and good wishes sent my way during this time. People I’ve never met sent me good wishes via Facebook and I was greeted warmly upon my return to bootcamp. I also had a good many people watching out for me upon my return. There was much reassurance as well as people checking to make sure I wasn’t pushing myself too hard too fast.Thanks guys.

Looking ahead, I want to keep working so that I can increase the number of pull-ups I can do as well as working on my endurance so that I can run the mud run next time. As for the rest, as Tess McGill said in Working Girl, “we’ll just make up as we go along.”

As for non fitness related goals, I want to learn to take more time for myself. I want to start  saying no more, without feeling tons of guilt for it. I want to get back to reading more, one of my original first loves.

Finally, before mentioning the last goal, I want to take time to thank Dustin. He’s out there chasing his dream, doing all he can to make it a reality, and encouraging those he encounters to do the same. In doing so he challenges people to step outside the box, to move out of their comfort zones and just to try and be the best they can be (sounds like the marines). My last goal, therefore, is to really try and start embracing myself for who I am. I’m not much of a talker (except to those that are really close to me) and have always done better by writing, my other original love. I’m thankful Dustin has given me the outlet to do so. I also tend not to take risks, to stay well within myself, to not let people get too close to me, and to just kind of keep the real me bottled up inside. I’m hoping to let more of me out again. It’s been a long, long time since parts of me have seen the light of day. Geez, another cliché.

Here’s hoping we all have a great 2013 and can make all of our good intentions come true.



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