2012 The Year That Changed Everything For Me

627242_10152015438570585_287809597_o2012 is almost over and I figure this would be as good of a time as any to review this awesome year.  The title of this post is very dramatic and that is because 2012 has been an incredible year for me.  2012 is the year I finally over came nicotine and the year I got off the couch and put together an exercise program and became a goal oriented positive person focused and determined to improve my health and life.  2012 is the year I overcame procrastination and apathy and took control.  So, lets look at 2012 from a then and now perspective.  If you need the complete story, read my ‘about’ page.

My medal from my first 5k

My medal from my first 5k

Health

Then:  At the beginning of the year I weighed 320 pounds, had blood pressure that was 210/90 and was beyond out of shape. At the beginning of 2012 I was in the worst shape I had ever been in, except my weight was down from 365 from a few years previous.  Every major function of my health was at an all time low.  My diabetes morning levels hovered near 130 and there was little consistency. I was at rock bottom health wise.  At the beginning of this year my waist by the tape was 54-55 inches.

Now:  I now weigh in at 300 pounds and my blood pressure consistently stays near 113-120/75-80.  Also, my morning time diabetes levels are closer to the low 110’s.  I am still taking numerous medications to control the blood pressure, but I am in control of my health now. Since I started training for a triathlon I have gotten very serious about my health and I am in control now.  My current waist by the tape shows my waist to by 47-48 inches currently.

I completed my first 5k.

I completed my first 5k.

Aspirations: Dreams and Goals

Then: As I mentioned in an a post this year (can find it here), early in the year and all times previous to this year I was a dreamer. I often thought of what I might do one day but never set anything permanent in motion.  I was a dreamer, often dreaming big but never following through.  This would lead me to numerous month long workouts that never lasted and often big empty dreams.  My dream to do a 5k and eventually a triathlon could easily have fallen into this category.

Now:  When I started this I firmly believed goal setting to be a bunch of garbage. I had tried it numerous times before but it just left me with empty dreams.  I did not realize you have to have a plan of action and you have to believe those goals and live towards meeting those goals. I now live with a set of short, medium and long term goals that I am focused towards and that I truly believe I can achieve.  My goals are my action statement and define what I have been able to achieve.  I still dream, but I turn those dreams into reality now as I am in charge of making them into attainable goals.

Nicotine

At the beginning of 2012 I had replaced my cigarette habit with a nicotine delivered vapor habit. While much safer and cleaner than nasty cigarettes, I was still dependent on nicotine.  Nicotine is a cardio vascular inhibitor, which in short means it reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood.  This is truly counter intuitive to athletics as the goal is to have as much oxygen as possible.  In May, after a few short weeks triathlon training, I suddenly realized I no longer needed Nicotine and I quite on the spot and I have not gone back since.

I ran a 5k at 1:50 in the morning, before the clock changed. One of my favorite running pictures.

I ran a 5k at 1:50 in the morning, before the clock changed. One of my favorite running pictures.

Leisure

Then:  Before May of this year I spent the bulk of my free time in front of the television. I honestly was watching over 20 hours of T.V. a week.  Besides my wife and my nicotine, this was the next most important thing in my life, my T.V. shows and maybe video games.

Now:  There are still some things I watch, but they rarely dictate my time.  Usually while I am eating breakfast before running or going to the gym is the only time I have for television. Now, my workout schedule dictates the free time.  Also, the wife gets a decent chunk of the time as well.   My casual activities now include physical activities such as running and biking that I do for fun and not just training.

I even got to meet Craig Alexander, one of my Iron Man heroes.

I even got to meet Craig Alexander, one of my Iron Man heroes.

Swim, Bike and Run

Then: These three words did not even exist back then.  I was out of breath walking to the mail box and my idea of a workout focused on heavy strength training with maybe some cardio. Triathlons were what crazy fit people did, let alone trained for.  Running was not even in my vocabulary as I never ran ever.  My initial heart rate would go up to the 180s and took several minutes to return to a normal 120 bpm after 30 seconds of running.  Any physical exercise would exhaust me for hours and would be very difficult to complete without wanting to rest for a long time.  My max running time was 30 seconds before my muscles would give out.  I was in such bad physical shape that I had very little base to add a work out regiment onto.

Now:  These three words are everything.  Strength training is something that supports my cardio activities.  Running wise, I have now completed several 5k races and I have even gotten it down from 50 minutes to 44:35.  My heart rate rarely exceeds 145 bpm and drops to 100 within seconds.  When  running I have ran a max of 4 miles and have ran continuously for an hour.  After physical workouts I now have so much energy some of my friends and gym associates have a hard time keeping up with the energy levels.

On vacation I swam a mile in the ocean. My favorite bad ass picture of the event.

On vacation I swam a mile in the ocean. My favorite bad ass picture of the event.

Swim

Then: I always thought I was a pretty good swimmer, but then the triathlon bug hit. Right away I realized that swimming past 100 meters was not going to happen.  When I started I swam how I was taught as a kid, flat with my arms and legs.  Also, when I started swimming I only knew this one method of swimming.

Now:  I learned triathlon swimming, a method referred to as Total Immersion swimming where the stroke is generated from the hips.  I can now swim about 1.25 miles and I have swam a mile in the ocean and in open water lakes.  Also, I am still learning how to do the back stroke but I am looking to add additional strokes to my repetiore.

Bike

Me and my new bike 'Zero'.

Me and my new bike ‘Zero’.

Then:  I never wanted to be on a bike ever again after a failed attempt at mountain biking in 1997.  Also, I was in such bad shape that hills and any technical terrain would be the end of any biking dreams.

Now:  I have found a love for technical riding. While hills and technical terrain still have a little bit of fear in them, I now tackle those fears and try to ride often on technical roads.  Uphills still kill the quads, but I grow more powerful on the bike every ride.  Also I have now ridden 20 miles in one go with an aim to improve this monthly and in May ride a century (100 miles).

Conclusion

This year has been an amazing year. For the first time ever I truly took control of my health and now I live a healthy active life style.  Beginning this year I set in motion a training schedule that leads into 2013 that will provide the back bone for a season of triathlons, a major goal and achievement that is now months away.  While my goals have focused on the end product of doing a triathlon, some amazing changes have occurred recently as a result of the work progressing towards that end goal.  I am a more healthy and active adult who finds value in my relationships and in my health.  I started this blog to keep my self accountable and to share my journey with anybody else wanting to make the change.  In this blog sphere I have discovered some amazing bloggers that provide everyday encouragement and have lifted me up when I truly needed a boost.  2012 truly has been an amazing and tremendous year and I am glad I was able to share it with anybody interested in reading this blog through out this year. So hear is to 2013 and another great year of achievements. Til next time. 

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14 comments

  1. jimmyjtaylor · · Reply

    What a difference a year makes. Great work!

    1. Thanks, been a good year.

  2. You’re doing great work. 2013 will continue the transformation into a triathlete! Can’t wait to see it. One thing I learned about riding uphills (after riding incorrectly for 2 years) was to stay in the saddle, drop my heels and ride through the hill.. I used to stand and “power it out” .. often times not being able to make it up serious hills or being totally wiped out at the top. That tip made a world of difference in my riding. Just wanted to share! Keep up the great work!

    1. I always ride seated style. It takes time to build up the endurance and I am just starting. Thanks for the encouragement.

      1. Riding in the saddle is best! Those spinning classes that have you jumping up and down are for people who use spinning classes as their sport.. Keep it up!

  3. […] 2012 The Year That Changed Everything For Me (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com) […]

  4. That is one heck of a transformation! Keep it up, you’re doing great.

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