Last week I wrote about a low point in my life and called the blog “THE VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM”
I got a message afterward wanting to hear more about the story.
“What did it take to get to “get clean” so to speak? What did you think it was going to take vs what it actually took? What were the struggles and how did you overcome them?”
I’ll do my best to answer that here.
So, what did it take?
It took an honest commitment to change my lifestyle. Partying and drinking changed to training and educating myself on the whole process. I still had the odd night here and there, but I had something new to actually be excited about, not just fill some of my nights with indulgence.
Speaking of indulging…my eating habits changed too. I didn’t follow any specific plan, I just became much more aware of what I was putting into my body. I tried not to eat things that were crappy, and also to not overeat.
As far getting the workouts themselves in…it wasn’t easy, but there was something very enjoyable about it.
I was working with Cintas at the time. My days consisted of starting work at 5AM- which meant being up WAY too early. I would do my best to get to bed around 9:30PM. If that didn’t happen, the next day was pretty miserable. I’d get in my truck (which had no heat- the winters REALLY sucked), and most of the time I’d be in another city before the sun was up. I was based out of London. Monday was Elmira, Tuesday was St. Thomas, Wednesday was Waterloo, and Thursday was Kincardine. In the summer when driving was easy and things moved quickly sometimes I was done by day by 2-3PM, drive back to London to settle up all the paperwork and home by 4-4:30. Those days were fun. In the winter when the driving conditions were poor, everything was cold and just took longer. The rubber floor mats that I had to deliver were rolled and stacked in the back of the truck the night before. They’d freeze that way overnight and I couldn’t really leave someones business until the mats were laying properly. The waterloo day was a big floor mat day, and would easy keep me out until 5-7PM.
Anyway- back to what it took. I just figured a little background would be helpful.
I followed crossfit.com back then and the workouts would be posted the night before at 8PM. There would be a nervous excitement- and sometimes I’d even be thinking about a strategy or plan of attack while trying to fall asleep. This excitement kept me going through the day but there would always be that lull in energy. The days were long, and in the winter especially, by the time I got home I was zapped.
I learned pretty quickly that if I got home at sat down on the couch for 5 minutes it was game over. So what I did was get home, change and get back out the door within 5-10 minutes. That was part of it- tricking myself so to speak, to just keep the day going and not just get home and crash.
I think that sort of speaks to overcoming the struggles. Lacey was still in school, and we had just gotten Harley. I didn’t get to see either one of them as much as I wanted to- but I just knew I had to correct the path I was on. I needed it physically and mentally. I had a feeling that taking care of myself in those respects was more important than a few more minutes with my puppy or even with Lacey. It feels weird to type that out- but if you’ve been through something like this I guarantee you will understand.
The person that comes out on the other side is a better version that you’re able to share with them.
With regards to what I thought it would take to what it actually took… I was pretty aware that it would take a good commitment. I did have a great base of athletics and fitness, and as bad as things seemed at the time I was only 4 years from being in the best shape I’d ever been in my life, and probably only 2 years from pretty darn respectable. I also know that I respond pretty quickly to things. If I get serious and go all-in I can see some great results within a few weeks. The flip side is that if I treat my body like shit it’s going to slide pretty quick.
Actually I think most people will respond much more quickly than they realize, but a lot of the time they’ve only got one foot in the pool. They’re not fully committed.
What I did find though, which was surprising, was that it didn’t take long for me to feel like I was in the best shape of my life again. Not only did I never think that would happen, but it happened in about 8 months.
That’s all it took- commitment to the process.
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