Day 2: Reality hits hard!!

A champion shows who he is by what he does when he’s tested. When a person gets up and says ‘I can still do it’, he’s a champion.
Evander Holyfield

Let me paint you a picture of how it went last night:

 I got to the gym and was pumped up and ready to go. The trainer came in and regarded me with a look that said “Hmmm not bad, Lets see what he can do.” Then she started on the conditioning part of the class. This consisted of jump rope periods interspersed with push ups, sit ups, burpees, squats, among other things. After we had finished I had broken into a mild sweat but was feeling pretty good about myself. Then came the boxing part. This consisted of her setting varying amounts of time for rapid punches against heavy bags interspersed with varying amounts of rest periods. There was then some endurance training and then stretches to finnish off. When she left she commented on how well I had done and was looking forward to seeing me again. Then I had the Muay Thai Boxing class which went equally well but also focused a lot on kicks as well as punches. After the sessions I went home feeling like a million dollars!!. 

 Sounds pretty good eh? Well that’s the problem with paintings, they tend to include quite a lot of artistic licence to make the subject look better than it actually is. What is much better is a good old disposable 35mm camara. The ones like you used to get on holiday, or still do if like me you have had your digital camara stolen so many times that you have given up on them. Anyway, if I was to take a picture of last night with one of those it would look like this:

 I arrived at the gym, I’m nervous. The subway had been hot and I had to go to the bank first before booking it to the class, so by the time I had reached the top of the stairs I had already broken out into a sweat. I was then shown the class area and told that the trainer will be along shortly. I was instantly made to feel a little unnerved as the room had these guys practicing on those rings that you see guys on in the olympics. Anyway they were holding themselves in all sorts of impressive positions that I would have had difficulty with two feet on the ground. It was humbling to say the least.

 The trainer came in and I said to her it was my first time and she looked me over with a look of mild disdain. I like her, don’t get me wrong. I like a bad ass girl as much as the next man and the woman is just that, tattoos, piercings, the works, but it would have been cool to have been welcomed a little warmer. But when I think about it she is here to teach us how to hit things hard and not be a pussy, so it would be silly to start off like that. It was just unexpected. 

 Then the trainer told us to pick up a jump rope and start skipping. This, I thought, was ok as back in the day I could us a jump rope pretty well. Unfortunately the lesson took place in the present and I very quickly found out that I was crap at skipping at this point in time. But I got the hang of it after a few attempts, although I could only manage that 2 jumps between the rope thing that you see little girls doing on preschool playgrounds and not the super fast jump-rope-jump-rope-jump-rope thing that the amazingly well sculptured girl at the front of the class was doing. 

After Jump rope we had to do 10 push ups followed by 20 sit ups. I struggled with both. Then more jump rope, then more push ups and some thing that for some reason is called a burpee. I could describe it to you but probably easier if you just google it as I don’t think I could properly explain it apart from the fact it freakin killed me. Just a few mins in and I was sweating buckets, was out of breath and in need of water like it was going out of fashion. At this point things get hazed. We did lunges and then squat jumps, by the end of which I felt like I could hardly walk. At some point we put on our gloves and started doing shadow jabs and punches. I’m seeing stars by this point. After a while of doing this we started punching the heavy bags. This I thought was going rather well until I get a familiar feeling in my stomach. “Oh no, no, no.” I thought but the sudden flow of saliva to my mouth confirmed my fear. Feeling the ultimate embarrassment I excused myself as quick as I could and made a B line for the bathroom where I just managed to shut the door and take basic aim before throwing my guts up. After a few mins composure I return to the class and go at it again. Same thing happens, punch, punch, punch, feeling good then…….not so good. Again I make the trip to the bathroom, puke and return. This time though when I return the trainer realises what I’m doing and says that I should sit out the rest of the class. I feel like crap. I had my heart set on doing well but I had grossly overestimated myself and underestimated how unfit I am. The people are nice though and when the class is done the trainer comes over and suggests some Gatorade and that next time I should let her know if I am having an issue and she might be able to make suggestions that will make it easier for me while I get used to the workout. All of a sudden she seems like the nicest person in the world and maybe she saw that regardless of how I felt I came back for more until I was told I should stop. Maybe she saw heart in my performance. I hope so but you would have to ask her to be sure.

A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.
Jack Dempsey

Anyway, regardless I skipped out on Muay Thai. 0.75 of a class was enough for me.

I will write more tomorrow at some point but tonight i am going to the Toronto Festival of Beer to say goodbye to a good friend. It’s all gonna be vodka and soda from here on apparently. 😦


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DAY 01: Stumbling at the starting line.

If you don’t do whats best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end.
-Julius Erving

So today is the day I start for real. I am excited and nervous at the same time. People out there might think that what I want is trivial but this is something I have tried for a while and never made it of the block. This time though I want to do it right with the help of a good mental attitude, all the right tools at my disposal and the support of my family and friends. I read a quote yesterday and i am kicking myself as I forgot to note the exact words or who said it but it went a little like this:

Good Health is not a goal, or a destination. Good health is a journey to which there is no end.  – Unknown

If you know who said this please let me know so I can give them credit. It really hit home to me that what I want to do is become healthy for myself and my family. Rather than reaching for goals which can leave one frustrated and down hearted if not reached, maybe I should consider points of my journey as view points. Places where I can stop of and appreciate what I have accomplished so far. I have to work a bit harder on the analogy but it feels right to me. Anyway tonight is my first day at Bloor Fitness and I am going to be taking their Boxing and Muay Thai Boxing classes. My wife is worried that if I do too much too soon that I will burn myself out. She cares about me and knows how I have been in the past but this time I am doing things more on my terms and my way.

First off this is not a blog about weight loss. I don’t really care all that much about that. This is about getting healthy and getting the body I have always wanted. I have yet to have my session with my trainer but I have been told that this is a good mentality to have as I will be building muscle which actually weighs more than fat. Chances are that if I really take off and do well that I’ll weigh myself next year and there will be no difference. The difference will be visible to me when I look in the mirror and instead of disappointment I get washed with a feeling of pride.

I still have to add my “Before” picture to my profile but will get round to doing that tonight. Also I will be having my first meeting with my trainer soon so if anyone can think of some good questions to ask her please let me know, remember I would like your input too!

Anyway, time for work. I’ll report back on how the classes went tomorrow.

Wish me luck!!


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Getting Fit at 32:DAY 0, How did I get here!!!

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.” – Muhammad Ali

OK This is my first shot at this so lets start with the basics. My name is Ben and I am a 32-year-old father of 2 living in downtown Toronto. I am originally from Britain and moved to Canada about 6 years ago. I recently came to the realisation that as my 3-year-old daughter can almost out run me that I might want to start thinking about getting into shape. This blog will chronicle my journey from being the flabby, out-of-shape 32-year-old I am now to what I am hoping will be the best shape of my life. I think it should take me about 1 year to get to that point, being that I have never really ever been in good shape to begin with. After that who knows? I might continue or not depending on the outcome. I am really hoping for the former.

“Why write a blog about this?”

This is a very good question, I havent even done the research to find out but I’m willing to bet there are hundreds of blogs like this out there. But this one is different. This one is mine.

I have never been succesful at getting into shape and have always frustrated myself and the friends that have helped me in the past due to the lack of long-term results. I believe that if i keep a record of “my journey”, as it will be called from now, I will be able to visibly see the results I am getting and feel like I am actually getting somewhere which will hopefully help me in my low points, which I am sure there will be lots and help me plow on through to reach my goals. ultimately I would very much like a 6 pack by next summer. Vain, shallow?  Maybe, but it’s not really for me, although I do not doubt that I will greatly benefit from it with greater feeling of self-worth and confidence but my family will benefit too. My children will be happier having a father who can run and play with them, not make excuses in going to the public pool as he doesn’t want to inflict his appearance on the world, and generally be a good example for them to follow. My wife would benefit too. She married a guy who was slimmer (no prime male specimen, but acceptable by her standards.) who as kids came along and responsibilities, he gradually increased in size around the waist and at one point was in 40 inch pants!! I have come down a bit from there on my own to…..ahem 38inches but I am not getting any younger and my wife works too hard with the family to have to make the effort at being affectionate with a guy she finds just cute. I wanna be more than that for her. My father was a very fit man in his early 30’s and I am told that I can be too if I make the effort. So this is it.   

“Still, why write a blog about this?!!”

haven’t I answered that yet? Well I suppose I could have just written a journal or something if i wanted to record my progress but I work badly alone. I need support from good people who can egg me on and encourage me, maybe provide useful tips. Maybe people willing to join me along the way. I am an attention whore too.

Blog format:

 I do not like censorship, never have and so during this blog if I feel the need to drop an “F” bomb then I fucking will. I am human and I swear from time to time. I won’t swear just for the hell of it but if I feel the need I will. For example, “This fucking gym bastard shithead asked me to fucking try fucking harder!!” would probably not be something I would write but ” I gave it my best shot and dug deep but still my personal trainer, Christy, said that it wasn’t hard enough!! I think Christy is a bitch!” might be something I would write.  

I want to be pretty thorough with the info so that people are best informed to help me if possible. I will include a daily meal diary and record the amount of excercise I did during that day and also a commentary on how I feel it went. I have not check all the features of this site out but if I am able I will post pictures as well to help document the journey. Apart from my first name I will also probably use false names to protect the innocent and before I post links and the likes I will try to get permission from the owners unless it is about someone I don’t really care for.  

Anyway, I start tomorrow. I have my gym membership and because I do not like the normal gym routine I want to get started by hopefully incorporating my weight loss with a new hobby. Boxing!!

I have never boxed in my life before but i am told it is a good way to get into shape. I am going to give it my best shot and see where it takes me. I will attempt to make the blog as interesting as possible but if I didn’t really do anything that day then i will list off my meals and the exercise I did that day. I hope you will enjoy this and please comment if you like.

Tonight I am going to the bay to get some suitable attire for the gym and will report back tomorrow. I hope you have a great night!

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