Time to start anew

Hello. It’s time to start this blog anew.

When I started this blog, I had the intention of writing about food, restaurants, and assorted stuff. That was a couple years ago, and my how life changes! Not only does life change, but if you’re willing to go for the ride with it, you’ll change as well. So I guess a little update and backstory is needed to get caught up in the here and now.

When I started this blog, I was 214 lbs and really didn’t care about my weight. I thought I was enjoying life and the spoils that went along with success. Then I noticed the marks on my waist that my pants were leaving because they were too tight. My wife suggested getting larger pants, but I refused, not believing that I was getting more and more out of shape. Then one day I visited my doctor (I have borderline asthma induced from years of smoking – which I quit doing but not before some damage was done) and he told me I had high blood pressure, that it was genetic, and that I would be on meds the rest of my life. I asked “what about diet and exercise?” and was told that while it would help, I would always need the blood pressure medication.

I didn’t like the sound of that. I didn’t like being chained to a pill. Wasn’t it bad enough that I had to take breathing medication and tote my inhaler around, without adding more to the mix? I thought about joining a gym, but I had went down that road before, only to stop going after a few visits and waste a bunch of money. I needed to be accountable for getting in shape. I needed a goal, and a plan.

A friend mentioned an event called Penny’s Pieathlon, a sprint triathlon that requires the entrants to swim 400 yards, then bike 12.5 miles, then run a 5k race. He said then there’s pie and ice cream at the finish, hence the name. I found out that it was in 6 months, and I decided to enter. Then I had to find a gym with a pool and somehow remember how to bike and run.

To be certain that I would stick to this plan, I paid for the triathlon in advance, and then told everyone I was doing it. That way I would be held accountable and embarrassed if I quit again. Now I needed to start training.

I also started counting calories in an effort to lose weight. What I found shocked me! I was consuming all the wrong foods, too many calories, and a lot of it (calories) were unnecessary. The first thing to go in the trash was soda. Now, I have a pop now and then (it’s rare), but I was drinking 8+ cans a day. At 120 calories a can, that’s an entire meal wasted on sugary syrup. I replaced it with water; lots and lots of water. At first I hated it, but now I have to have my water!

The training started slow. I could only run a quarter mile, and then walk a quarter mile, and then repeat until I reached a mile of each. After a week I was up to a half mile, then a mile and so on. It was a slow pace, but a safe one. The swimming was the hardest; I could only do a half lap without needing a break (that’s 25 yards). I needed to do 400. But by determination and slowly adding to it, the distance increased.

The bicycle training was funny. I had always known how to ride a bike, so it shouldn’t be hard right? Wrong! I got 5 miles and was worn out. But again, determination and proper training helped to increase the distance.

A funny thing happened on the way to the triathlon; I started changing. I suddenly noticed I was losing weight, was happier, enjoyed working out, was making new friends who were like minded as me, and I felt better than ever. Why I hadn’t done this before??

The six months flew by and it was race day! I was a nervous wreck. But when my time came I went for it. I finished the 400 swim, and ran out to my bike. Before I knew it, I was back in the transition area and heading out for my 5k. As I crossed the line I almost cried. I did it. I started out an out of shape 214 lb. blob and finished at 190 lb. sprint triathlete.

I’m 183 lbs now, and am training for my first full marathon which will be in October. I have done a half marathon, a 20k Dam to Dam run, a 75 mile bike ride, and numerous 5k races. This year I shaved 15 minutes off my previous sprint tri time. The best news came during a case of dizzy spells in which I saw my Doctor. He said “What the heck are you doing with this training? Your blood pressure is too low.” And he proceeded to take me off blood pressure meds! He then asked that I not share my secret, or he would have to get a second job. lol

Well, that’s the backstory. I will start updating on training and races as they come up. I have two 5k races in September, and a 10k and the marathon in October.

I need to thank numerous people who have helped me along the way. To my wife Julie for putting up with me during this change, to Stephanie, Connie, Eric, Andy, Kara, Stacie and others for their help, guidance, advice, and encouragement. If I forgot to mention someone, please don’t feel bad, you are always in my heart, and I thank you!
A big shout out to Suzan H. Who inspired me more than she knows. She quietly trained and completed an Olympic triathlon, alone in her training, not saying a thing. It was by accident that I found out she was competing, and watched her cross the finish line. I wished I could be in that kind of shape. Well, if you try hard enough, sometimes dreams can come true. Not that I’m ready for an Olympic Tri, but I’m a lot better shape than i’ve been in years.

Well that’s it for now. Going to pack the gym bag and hit the spin bike for a nice 1-1 1/2 hour workout.

Live happy, be healthy!

Travis

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