The Last Drop

theshining

 

“You’re likely going to hate me.”

I could feel my left eye involuntarily twitch at the simple statement. A low throb had settled in at my temples from the idea I had just now contemplated and had confirmed. I sat dumbfounded looking over the crisp white sheets of paper in front on me. The instructions on them were as simple as I imagined they would be but the concepts were as foreign as North Korean stand up comedy.

“I know its going to rough for the first few weeks but if you are serious about the goals you have told me then I think this is the best course of action”

My head was swimming now in a haze of brown liquid. It jolted itself through the steps it had taken me to get to this moment as I tried to focus on the last few words written on the bottom of the first page.

From the race last year and my feelings of failure despite finishing quite respectably.

My fear over a diagnosis of being prediabetic.

A family history of massive heart issues.

An extended family full of men whose waist lines grew in almost exponential equations to the receding of their hair lines.

The numbers I saw every day when I looked at the scale that seemed to always hover around the same few digits no matter what I did or didn’t eat.

I knew I needed help but had no idea where to start.

I think in the last ten years I had tried every single workout program from P90X, a program I fully believe would keep anyone from being accosted in the showers in prison to wrapping my body in plastic wrap and running up and down the stairs at the boat launch. Every food craze from kale smoothies to raspberries ketones to squirrel intestines. Every health drink from protein shakes to frozen green tea, which has led to a jug in my fridge being constantly referred to as “Dad’s New Weirdo Health Thing”.

It shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t require that sort of effort. It all seems so simple.

Eat sensibly, drink lots of water, train hard. Funny how easy that sounds.

After meeting a personal trainer, who despite being an amazing specimen had only yet another book to offer me as far as nutrition went, I decided to take a different approach. I had seen the sign for the office on my way to a meeting and a quick phone call led me to the moment of unreality I was now facing. Michelle, the nutritionist, sat across the table from me with a smile that never wavered. After taking my height and inspecting me like a 4H girl inspects a blue ribbon calf she motioned for me to step on the scale.

I unloaded even the lint from my pockets on to the table holding my keys, wallet and phone before with that levitating step on to the biometric scale. My weight was three pounds heavier at 220 pounds and a body fat percentage of 16 percent. I sighed and looked over at the nodding smile.

“You are actually in great shape for a guy with your muscle mass.” Michelle said as she made a few notes.

“Not where I plan on ending up.” I answered her unspoken question.

After a few more questions about my long-term goals, the printer beside her desk spit out the plan I now held away from my body like a distant aunt holdings a puking baby.

“Seriously?” I balked “No coffee at all?”

“Not for the time being, no.” Michelle answered as she settled her long frame back in her chair waiting for I am sure was the explosion she had likely seen more times than I have seen that video of the three puppies yawning in unison. My mind couldn’t comprehend the idea.

The other diet ideas were as basic as I imagined they would be. No breads, no grains and no sugars. It was the no coffee that struck me like a back-handed pimp hand. I love coffee with a devotion bordering on the obsessive. To the point where my eyes can’t even open in the morning until after my second cup. This was one of those choices that you never want to have to make. Like which one of your kids you love more or if you were getting bacon or sausage with your mountain of pancakes at Denny’s.

“Okay.” I sighed with a hitch in my voice not unlike saying goodbye to an old friend ” I will do it.”

“Fantastic. We will see you back in three weeks.” Michelle said as she stood and guided me out the door.

My resolve was firm though as are all peoples with a new set of instructions. That first initial step on the path to good health taken. What no one tells you is that while the first step is simple the actual journey is like walking the Boston Marathon with the road covered with oddly angled LEGO pieces.

The first sip of green tea, the only caffeine I was now allowed, the first morning nearly broke my resolve. There were so many great coffee shops along the way to the job site. Each of them promising to wash away the medicinal tea taste and the film my sludgy breakfast smoothie left on my tongue. But I held my resolve. At least until the headache started. The first signs of caffeine withdrawal setting in and the beginning of a six day headache that made even the smallest of things seem like Titanic scale disasters. All the while, coffee shops on every street corner with overflowing urns like Mrs. Potts in “Beauty and the Beast” singing their aromatic song that promised to take away all the worries I had in the world. A magic potion that would fix all my ailments.

But as I stood in my kitchen on the morning of the sixth day watching the kettle boil, I felt my pants slip off my hips and down over my butt. Not really an uncommon thing but never really happening while I wore a belt. I snickered as I pulled my belt into a spot it hadn’t been in a very long time. I had been skipping the heavy weights I always had used in favour of long runs and outdoor hikes in an effort to lean down. Clearly something it was working. It just wasn’t easy. It would have simply been easier to roll up to a drive through get an extra large Double Double to go with the dozen honey dipped donuts that had been haunting my palate for weeks. I just couldn’t shake the image of being one of those guys that sweats walking from my car to the front door of a fast food chain.

I had heard a quote that had really struck me and it was never more true than every time I watched one of the guys that work for me slurping down a giant chocolate milk while I sipped a retched vegetable based cleansing drink that tasted like a combination of rancid asparagus tips and Old MacDonald’s sweaty socks.

“Live one year of your life like no one should so you can spend the rest of your life like no one could.”

This thought was firmly in my mind as I walked through the doors of Michelle’s office a few days later to check in. Her knowing smile was confirmation enough that I had likely been through the worst of it. We chatted briefly about the mood swings that had my family wanting me dead and the restrictive plant-based diet.

“Let’s see how you did.” Michelle said as she motioned to the scales. That momentary lightning bolt of panic ripped through my brain with the same doubts I always faced when approaching the scales. Had I done enough? How bad had I done? What would happen if I had actually gained weight?

I stripped off as much of my clothing as the nutritionist allowed after trying valiantly to “drop some pounds” in her office bathroom before stepping on to the judgemental machine. I closed my eyes and waiting for the sigh that told me I had yet again failed.

“Holy shit.” Michelle blurted with a small laugh.

“How bad?” I asked with a tremulous voice.

“Bad?” Michelle snickered ” You’ve lost almost 13 pounds and 1 and a half percent body fat.”

“Is that good?’ I questioned in my incomprehension.

“It’s better than good. It’s great.” She replied as she jotted down the notes. I stepped down and pulled my shirt back on. I was dumbfounded. It had actually worked. I sat in almost silence as she went over the next phase and how I should expect my progress to slow down a bit. We talked about the pace I needed to set in order to get to my now much lower goal weight and how with proper diligence I could get there in the six month time frame I hoped for.

“You seem to be right on track,” Michelle said as we stood by the door to a completely new world ” What are you going to do next?”

“Well right now I am going to celebrate and cheat on my diet with a donut the size of a soccer ball and a gallon of coffee.” I said as I pushed the door open.

“I hate you.” Michelle laughed as she shoved the door shut behind me.

 

 

 

Rise and Grind

 

Time is the most fleeting of things.

That’s deeply philosophical for a guy that chemicals his pool naked but it’s intensely true.

In my effort to make a living and put the finishing touches on the long-standing dream of publishing a book based on the hilarity found here my writing time is at the barest of minimums.

But a great man once said “I have a dream”.

Mine is simply to sell one copy of my first book.

I stress the word “first”. It is my goal to publish many books but I believe this is a great start.

But there are still days where it feels like a grind. That every word typed is a weight pressing down.

So every morning I listen to this piece of motivation.

It’s important to remember that while you are pursuing your dream others are too. That they will have no problem letting life beat you to your knees and keep you there simply as a means of getting one step closer to the goal than you are.

Writing can truly be a grind.

Especially when you are writing about events that occur in your life.

I purposefully leave out the mundane or boring. I could whine and bitch with the best of them but if that’s what you are looking for I can point you in the direction of several writers who bounce out those kinds of posts daily.

I will still be grinding out my dream. One word at a time. Because there are hundreds of books published daily.

It’s just my dream to make mine the funniest one people have ever read.

So while time may be slipping away it is at least being put to good use.

A lifelong goal accomplished.

One word at a time.

The Yes Movement

The simplest of words have always held the most power.

As writers we use a massive vocabulary of verbosity to voice our inner thoughts and convey the message we have to share. Yet all around us is a world of single words and slammed doors. Rejection at every turn.

From the earliest stages of our lives we learn to fear one word answers. From the “No” you get from your parents when asking for something to the “No” you get when you ask that girl you have had a crush on for as long as you can remember if she would go the dance with you there is nothing more crushing than a one word rejection.

We are conditioned to say “no” to anything that makes us feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. We are taught to say “no” to the things that seem strange to us. We are taught to say “no” to anyone that makes us feel something we aren’t accustomed to.

Saying “no” limits us in every way. It argues for us to limit what we do or think or feel. When we argue for our limitations we get to keep them.

No. That’s too far to travel.

No. That can’t happen.

No. This will never work.

There is a reason that twenty thousand people want to chant a single word over and over at a basketball game. There is a reason people gathered together around the world can easily band together and scream at the top of their lungs. It may have started out as a gimmick for a relatively mid level professional wrestler but its power can’t contained to one venue. On street corners and in high schools. In churches and rooftops. People around the world are chanting a word we don’t hear very often in our lives.

Yes.

The most powerful word in any language is “yes”.

Saying “yes” opens doors to things you didn’t even know existed. Saying “yes” opens you to a world where you have no idea what’s going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. You are not in control. So say “yes.” If you’re lucky, you’ll find people who will say “yes” back. Now will saying “yes” get you in over your head at times? Will saying “yes” lead you to doing some foolish and dangerous things?

Yes it will.

But don’t be afraid to be foolish. You cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Cynics don’t learn anything. Cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no.

Saying “yes” begins everything.

Saying “yes” is how things change.

Saying “yes” leads to knowledge.

“Yes” is for young people.

So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”

Say “yes” to a day spent in your pyjamas.

Say “yes” to sing a Britney Spears song at karaoke if you are a guy.

Say “yes” to dinner with your mom even though she picks at the waitress like a tag on a pillow.

Say “yes” some help even when you don’t think you need it.

The next time someone asks you to do something just that little bit outside your comfort zone understand that the magic words that make things happen are not hocus pocus or walla walla washington.

It’s just “yes”.

yes-man

 

Motivation

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll. 
I am the master of my fate: 
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
I have stood in the blazing sun and had the heat bake my will into ash.
I have stood crying in the freezing rain at the loss of a dream.
I have stood in the darkness with literally nothing left to lose.
And yet, I still stand.
Bloody but unbowed.
Unbreakable.

The Award Winning Story Part 3

very-inspiring-blogger11

You all know of my love of things that come in threes so it is with great pleasure that I accept the Very Inspiring Blogger Award that has been bestowed upon me by the lovely and immensely talented Leanna. Be sure you check out her page and if you are so inclined, pick up any of her books at the fine retailers she has listed. As much as it pains me, even I must follow the rules in order to accept this prestigious award so here they are:

The rules are simple: You MUST do the following…

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

In my previous award posts I have listed many random facts about myself and as the award suggest I am somehow inspiring. If that means I have in any way inspired any of you to tell stories that somehow involve your genitals being exposed to public ridicule then I have apparently done my job well.  To inspire is to share my beliefs with people so I have decided to flout the rules and simply list seven things that I believe.

1.  I believe its terrible the way everyone has treated Lance Armstrong,especially after what he achieved winning the Tour de France seven times on drugs. Any time I was on drugs I couldn’t even find my bike.

2.  I believe that if you watch Jaws backwards its about a shark that throws up so many people they have to open up a beach.

3.  I believe the purpose of college is not to actually teach you anything but rather to force you into working by giving you a student loan to pay off.

4.  I believe rabbits eat salad and jump up and down all day and only live about 8 years dogs run around all the time trying to please everyone and only live about 15 years but turtles pretty much do whatever they want and lay on the beach all day but have been known to live over 150 years. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

5.  I believe that when I die I will come back as a bird so I can fly over certain people and shit on their heads.

6.  I believe that sarcasm is the greatest use of the human ability to speak we are all given because beating the shit out of stupid fucking people is illegal.

7.  I believe that if you were to fall down a set of stairs holding a guitar, you could easily write a better song than ” Friday” by Rebecca Black.

Now the people I have selected to share in my glory –

Shit My 8 Year Old Says – I have had many of the same conversations you will find here but it doesn’t make them any less great

Claire Undone – Her journey is one we should all get behind

The Tao Of Loafing – Consistently great work that never fails to crack me up

Jump seat Confessional – Prolific philosophy mixed with stories about people pooping. Awesome work.

Proportions in Life – Well written stuff by a woman just finding her voice. Get behind her. Figuratively. Perverts.

Very Berry Extra Ordinary – For learning to love the Great White North

St Sahm – Writing stream of consciousness is near impossible for me and I am jealous of her ability to do so

I have stepped outside my normal box of humor and filth in my reading and selecting of these very worthy recipients. I encourage you all to check out there very fine work. I would love to give them all a big, warm hug but as I can’t I suggest they all swallow a Hotpocket whole,right from the microwave. Same feeling.