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Category Archives: S.W.I.M.

“The MOUTH” If you can Talk the Talk, you better be able to Walk the Walk.

I was visiting my parents in Maryland and had to find a gym for my workout.  I show up and it’s pretty crowded, mostly with high school and college kids.  While I was working out there was this pretty big kid running his mouth the whole time.  He was telling anyone who would listen how bad his high school football team was and that he didn’t want to play for a team of losers.  Not long after that he moved on to telling another kid how pitiful his workout was and that his sister could lift more weight than he could.  The other kid had decent size and was built pretty good.  He kept his mouth shut and kept working out.  “The MOUTH” went on for about an hour.

I finally decided to shut this guy up.  I walked over to him while he was berating the other kid about what a Wus he was.  There were probably about 10 other guys in the area and all of them are listening to “The MOUTH”.
Me: “Hey, I’ll bet you 100 bucks that he out benches you, right now.” and I pointed to the other kid.  The other kid just about turns pale white as his jaw drops.   “The MOUTH” just stared at me.
“The MOUTH”: “but I don’t have any money on me.”
Me: “That’s ok.  I’ll just give you 100 bucks if you can out bench him.  When he beats you, you won’t owe a thing.”
For the first time all day “The MOUTH” is quiet.  I just called this kid out and he had no other option.  The other kid was dragged into a situation that he didn’t expect and from the looks of him, a situation that he didn’t want to be in.  I knew, that as bad as he didn’t want to be in that situation, “The MOUTH” didn’t want to be in it even more.

We set the bar for 225 and each of them reps it out one time.  We increased the weight to 255 and each of them does it for one rep.  Next we added another 20 taking it to 275.  The other kid goes first and easily pushes it up.  From the looks of things, I’m thinking that he can probably max out between 300 and 325.  But I knew that this wasn’t going to matter.  “The Mouth” gets down on the bench and takes his lift off.  He lowers the weight, hits his chest and struggles to push it up a whole 2 inches before it settles back into his chest.  I let it lay on his chest for a little while, just so that this moment would sink in and stand out in his mind.

When it was over,  I told the other kid great job and went back to my workout.  After I wrapped things up and was getting ready to the leave gym the other kid comes up to me.
Other Kid: “How did you know that I could lift more than him?”
Me: “I’ve known people like that my entire life.  All they do is run their mouths and they can never back it up.  All talk and no action.”
Other kid: “Thank you for calling him out.  He has been giving me crap every day for the last couple of months.”
Me: “Have CONFIDENCE in yourself.  You have nothing to lose.”

I have a feeling that “The MOUTH”, never said another word to the other kid.  He probably never set foot in that gym again.  If someone is going to talk that much crap, challenge them.  What do you have to lose?  Shutting someone up like that is something that you will never forget and neither will they.  I knew exactly, who “The MOUTH” really was almost as soon as I walked into that gym and now everyone else who was in there knows who he really is.    

Keep Your Goals in Site

trail run

Why is it that when I ran yesterday, I stopped about 5 times?  When I did the same thing today, I blew through it and didn’t stop one time.  Over the last two days I went to Busch Wildlife in Defiance, MO and ran the same trail each time.  I usually look for trails that are off of the main trails and have little or no traffic.  The trail that I ran was mostly steep hills with a lot of high grass and brush.

After wrapping up my run yesterday I was pretty disappointed in myself.  I’ve got a 13 mile Spartan Race (Beast) coming up in about a month in Vermont.  It’s going to have plenty of hills and I need to be training on hills for it.  I was just in Vermont running Hills, a couple of weeks ago.  I felt great running them.  Yesterday, I sucked ass.  I wasn’t tired I just didn’t want it bad enough.

I had planned on running the hills out there both days and was pissed at myself most of the day yesterday for not pushing myself.  I went to bed late last night and woke up late this morning.  I was contemplating blowing off my run later in the week.  For whatever reason, I decided to head back out to Busch Wildlife.  I realized that I wasn’t really focusing on my goals or my upcoming races.  I was going through the motions and that was it.  I didn’t really feel like I had anything to run for, not even myself.

I didn’t get to where I am by taking the easy way out.  I didn’t always have someone to push me.  I don’t care where you are in life, if you give yourself the chance to slip you better realize it and pick yourself up and go after what you want.  I did just that, as soon as I started my run.  First I got pissed at myself for letting myself down yesterday.  Second, I thought about what I would be going through on the 21st in The Spartan Beast.

Not only did I finish the same run without stopping but I ran and extra hill at the end.  Don’t let your mind slow you down or hold you back.  Make it push you forward and keep you going.  Focus on your goals.  

Quitting is Easy. Willpower and Heart will take you further.

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 11.18.49 PMTaking applications for a new training partner. After losing my Training Partner Chase Reynolds to the St. Louis Rams.
I trained with two college football players today. I like to put guys like this through a program that is going to get them to push their limits. Same thing that I did with Chase for the last 5 weeks. And the same thing that I have done for myself for the last 9 months. The guys at Xtreme Speed were more than happy to push my limits. Actually, they still do it whenever I get the chance to go to Plainfield, IL.
We were more than half way through our workout and I pushed one hard enough, so that he stopped right before his third set of Ball Walks. “No more, I can’t.” I don’t mind making someone think that they have to quit. This is the point that they are going to prove to themselves that they do have it in them to push their limits. They have to make a choice and quitting is an “EASY CHOICE”.
I responded, with, “You quit? You’re done? So, if you’re tired during a game or struggling, then you are going to just stop playing? You’re going come off of the field and let your team down? How bad do you want it? If you quit now can you live with that decision?” I picked up another ball (I was already done) put it next to his and said, “lets go.” This was probably his best set. He finished it and finished the rest of the workout.
The next challenge that he will face is if he comes back. Either way I feel good knowing that I was able to help him move passed his limits.  He just needs to S.W.I.M. (Self-Control, Willpower, Inspiration, Motivation).  It wouldn’t make me feel so good pushing someone to quit.  But it does make me feel good, being able to help someone unquit (yea I know that it isn’t a word in Webster’s).

Actually, for me quitting is hard.  I have way too much heart and willpower not to succeed.

One Day Can Change Your Life For Better Or Worse: How Will You Deal With It

One year ago today was going to be the day that signified a great day for me.  It was going to sum up all of the Self-Control, Willpower, Inspiration and Motivation (S.W.I.M.), dedication and determination that it took for me to complete my transformation.  It was supposed to be one of the best days of my entire life.  Instead one of the worst things that could ever happen to someone, happened to me that day.  No matter what I had a life changing moment that day.  It didn’t just happen to me, it happened to a lot of other people

I was getting prepared for my 16 week transformation photo shoot.  I had a little more than an hour before my shoot.  I jumped in the shower and heard my phone ring.  When I got out and picked up my phone I had a bad feeling.  One of my friends, Diana had called me and followed it up with a text (Call me ASAP, it’s an emergency).  Right away I felt like I knew what had happened.  I called her right back  and didn’t get her, so I left a message.  I really didn’t want to talk with her, I was hoping that if I didn’t talk with her than what I was thinking had happened wouldn’t have happened.  A few minutes later she called back.  She was pretty upset when she started talking, “Where are you?”  “Are you alone?”  “You might want to sit down.”  and then she confirmed what I thought that I already knew.  “Don was in an accident.  He was killed.”

Don was one of my closest friends.  I had known him for almost 12 years and we talked almost every day and hung out whenever we could.  I had gone to dinner with him and a group of friends including Diana the week before his death.  I showed up a little bit late for that dinner and he was at the other end of the table so we really didn’t get to hang out that night too much.   But we did get to talk a little.  He actually had just dropped 56 pounds after finding out that he had diabetes.  I was proud of him for making some changes that were going to help him stick around with us for a much longer time.  Since, we really only talked at the end of dinner, we were going to try to get together again some time soon.

Don had more friends than anyone that I have ever known.  He was more interested in helping others than doing things for himself.  He was happy seeing other people’s joy.  When one of his friends had a problem, Don was the first person that they would call and he would always be there for them.  He never had a drink in his life.  He had no idea what alcohol tasted like.  He had never done a drug in his life.  He got high on life.  He enjoyed life like no other.  The guy was always happy and he was always smiling and laughing.   He felt like it was a waste of time if  you spent your time bitching or you didn’t spend your time enjoying life.    He truly got everything that he could get out of life.  He even said that when he died, it would mean that his time had come and that he would have no regrets.  He had even made it clear that people would celebrate his life instead of morn his death.

When I hung up the phone, my first thought was that I had to cancel my photo-shoot.  I started thinking about it and I hear Don, calling me a dumbass.  “You can’t do anything about it.  It’s not in your control.  Live your life.  You spent 16 weeks on this and just about starved yourself the last few days and have drunk less than a gallon of water since yesterday.”  I’m sitting there thinking that it would be selfish to go forward with it.  I should just sit home and mourn him.  I knew that he wouldn’t want that.  The best thing that I could do is get out of the house.    Stay preoccupied.  I met the photographer over at my gym and let her know what had happened in case I broke down and she thought that I was crying because my photo-shoot was painful.  I know now that this was the best thing that I could have done.

Over the next few months I realized that I had learned much more from Don than I had ever thought.  Too bad he wasn’t still around while I was learning it.  I made a choice to live the way that Don lived.  I  learned a lot from my transformation, but I was inspired by how Don lived his life.  I had already begun to enjoy my life more, but now I think about what he would do and how he would treat people.  I learned that I should take every opportunity given to me.  If I want to do something than I should just go do it.  Don’t wait around for anyone if you are going to miss out by waiting.  Make your bucket list come through.  If you want to go climb Mt. Everest, than go climb Mt. Everest.  Be spur of the moment.  LIVE LIFE!  He made a huge difference in my life and how I live it.  He may be gone but for those of us who knew him, he is still with us.  When good things happen, even bad things, I still pick up my phone to call Don.

I can’t tell anyone else how to mourn, but the best decision that I ever made was to live the way that I believe my friend Don Theobald would have wanted me to live.  It makes me sad to think about him not being here, but I don’t think that I really ever mourned.  I live my life in tribute to his and all of us celebrated his life at his memorial just as he wanted.  I feel the same way.  I can tell you right now that when I die, I don’t want people to mourn my death.  I rather have them celebrate my life and if I left them something that helped them, then hold on to it and enjoy your life.

Don left behind tons of friends, relatives, a son, a daughter in law and a two-week old grandson.  I’m happy that him and his grandson were able to meet.  His grandson Charlie looks just like him and even has some of the same expressions.  Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 2.03.40 PM

Inspired By Mom: Where Did You Get Your Drive And Determination?

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Not long after my mom committed to participating in the Senior Olympics, she called me to tell me about her adrenaline rush during her training.  She talked about this amazing feeling that she had while swimming and thinking about her competition.  It’s one thing to go out and get involved in an athletic activity but it’s another to compete or prepare to compete.  When you visualize going up against your competitors and pulling away for the win or reaching your goals it’s amazing how much that can motivate you.  It’s a feeling that I love to get and hearing her talk about it makes me proud of her commitment.  She has always challenged herself.   She was swam mostly in order to stay fit and relax, more than anything.  I’m sure when she first started, it was so that she could get away from 3 rowdy kids (me and my brothers) for a little while.  A couple of years ago she took a Gold in the Maryland Senior Olympics and did it again this last year.  As I write this she is going on her second day of the National Senior Olympics.  Her events are 100, 200 and 500 Freestyle.  The only thing that makes me realize that she is 81, is that when referring to “Freestyle”, she says, “I’m doing the Crawl”.

She came to most of my football games, wrestling matches, swim meets, soccer games and plenty of other stuff.  She even comes to our annual Turkey Bowl sometimes so that she can watch a bunch of old guys run around and pull hamstrings.  She has always been my biggest supporter.  It’s about time, that I came out to see her compete.

I’d have to be an idiot, not to realize that I am who I am today because of her.  I definitely have to acknowledge my dad for instilling hard work and many other things into me, but this blog is about my mom.  Anyway, I remember being asked, “Who are your “Heroes”?”, when I was younger.  I would think about it and come up with some guy who played in the NFL, that I had no connection to, other than watching him play on Sundays.  Watching a talented ball player can definitely build motivation, but if I don’t know someone than they probably won’t be a “hero” to me.  I still may respect them and appreciate what they do.  There are a few people who I actually would consider “Heroes” to me and a couple of them are professional athletes that I personally know.  For me it is about more than what they do on the field.  It’s about how they prepare and commit.  These guys give it their all and then they give the other 10%.  They make a Promise to Fail in order to get better.  But they also promise not to Quit.   They are also the same guys who go out of their way to help others.  It’s not “all about them.”  Well, when it comes to “Heroes” I can’t rank these guys as high as my mom.  Being Inspired and  Motivated by her has strengthened many of my qualities: Dedication, Determination, Persistence,  Heart, Commitment, etc…  She taught me to know what it takes to Win, to Succeed.

She was also ahead of her time when it came to nutrition.  And she has always been fit and active.  My brothers and I grew up playing sports year round as well.  She participated in running, tennis and swimming.  Not only that but she was living a healthy lifestyle before a healthy lifestyle was “IN”.  Most of our meals were home cooked and they almost always  contained a protein and a carbohydrate along with vegetables.  We had a salad with homemade dressing (usually a vinaigrette) with our dinner every night.  Most of our meals were as a family at the table.  Fortunately, my mom is a great cook.  Enjoying good food everyday, is probably why I also learned how to cook great tasting food.

Honestly, based on how I eat now there are a number of things that I do not include within my Nutritional Guidelines , but for the most part we ate very healthy.   We only had sodas in the house when we had a party.  My parents didn’t really have a problem with it, because if we were out we could get it, but they were able to limit it, by not having it readily available.  After dinner we were almost always given homemade cookies and ice cream for dessert. I guess that we sort of had some kind of cheat every day.  I look back and think that it’s kind of funny that our parents never realized that by giving us sugar after we ate dinner, they were basically asking us to go kick the crap out each other until our sugar high came down.  Either that or it was to get us wound up and then tired out so that we would sleep through the night.   Not sure that the second one was the case.  I guess that was a way for us to burn off some excess calories after our meal.  We would go out to dinner occasionally, but I can not think of a time when we ate at McDonalds.  We  did have fast food maybe a handful of times, but McDonalds wasn’t one of them.  (Unless we went with friends, but not my mom or dad)

My mom would also always make us bag lunches for school.  Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches were our typical lunch along with a piece of fruit.  On occasion my dad would make lunch for us, if my mom was not around.  We learned very quickly that it was a big mistake letting him make it.  He would tend to get very creative with his sandwich making ability.  His favorite was a Peanut Butter, Butter and Jelly sandwich.  And no that wasn’t a typo and I didn’t stutter.  He really would add Butter to our Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.  And it would be a huge hunk, which he would place in the middle of the sandwich.  There is nothing like enjoying your Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich and then all of a sudden, you bite into it and are surprised by biting into a huge lump of butter.  I like butter but not a huge piece on my peanut butter and butter and jelly sandwich.  I would gag on it.  I literally almost puked.  And as a stupid kid it took me a while to figure out that if dad made lunch open the damn sandwich up and remove the stick of butter that he tried to choke you on.  How the hell would I be surprised by this every time.  It must have happened at least 10 times before I learned.  Either that or it happened once and it was so traumatic that it turned into a few hundred times.  If you want to torture your kids try it out on them.

When I was about 9 years old and my brother David and I went shopping with our mom.  As she was walking down the aisle, picking out healthy food to bring home, we were grabbing all kinds of crap and throwing it in the cart.  As soon as it would land mom would take it out and put it back on the shelf and say, “Additives  and Preservatives.  Additives and Preservatives, that’s all that these are.”  We really didn’t know what those big words  were but had assumed that they were bad.  They sure as hell tasted good.  The words just sounded funny to us.  For the next couple years we would mimic her out of the blue.  “Additives and Preservatives”.  It still comes up once in a while.  Talk about something being etched into your brain.  I guess I’ve got  additives and preservatives carved into my mind.  I can’t walk down certain aisles in a supermarket without thinking about that.  This is a good thing.

All of my friends were impressed by how athletic my mom always was and they would talk about how athletic she was…Actually they still talk that way.   Growing up hearing others talk about her definitely made me proud.  Even prouder that she is still doing it.   As my mom got older she cut out the running and cut back on the tennis, but swimming has been a great exercise for her.  It’s great to see her take it to a competitive and challenging level.  For 20 years I missed out on competition and most physical challenges.  Getting myself back into that is the best thing that I have ever done.  I did that at 45.  Seeing my mom do it in her 80’s (she turns 82 in a few weeks), is amazing.

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

I Won’t Be An Unintentional Hypocrite

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I do believe in practice what you preach.  For instance today when I was done with work for the day, I was a little bit tired and decided to take a nap which lasted for about 40 minutes.  When I woke up I felt pretty relaxed and decided that I should just lay around the house for the rest of the night and skip the gym.  I made my workouts on Monday and Tuesday.   Last week I trained every day that I was supposed to, which was Monday through Friday.  I used Friday as light training mixed with some things that I did for recovery which included hyperbaric Chamber (takes you below sea level and increases oxygen, speeds up recovery, increases endurance, lowers fatigue) and a Cold Tub (Reduces Inflammation) (Compliments of Muscle Pharm) while in Denver.  The following day I ran in the Colorado Spartan Military Race at Fort Carson.  Talk about a hard day of training, I jammed an  ankle, both of my big toes and a wrist.  I also trashed my IT Band (Your hip is attached to your knee by this tendon.  Basically, I beat the hell out of it and it was tight and knotted up.).   So did I make enough excuses to get out of my workout?

And than I had a revelation: I tell people not to make excuses.  I post motivational messages about being fit and getting fit.  I talk about Learning to S.W.I.M.™ (Self-Control, Will Power, Inspiration and Motivation).  I talk about overcoming obstacles and taking on challenges.  Well I have way to0 much respect for the people who read my posts to not just talk the talk.  Thank you for making me Walk the Talk.  Thank you for being my motivation.  Not only did I head to the gym 15 minutes later, I didn’t just go through the motions in my workout.  I had a kick ass workout.  I decided to do something a little bit different this time, so I switched up my workout and went with Cory Gregory’s 28 Method for my biceps and triceps.

I felt 1,000 times better when I walked out of the gym tonight.  Get motivated and don’t let yourself down.

BABY STEPS ARE A BUNCH OF CRAP. BRAINWASH YOURSELF.

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I don’t believe in baby steps.  Baby steps are an excuse to hang on to some of the things that are holding you back from a healthy lifestyle.  Let’s just say you are trying to lose weight and start living a healthy lifestyle.  You also smoke and drink frequently.  To live a healthy lifestyle you are going to have to start eating healthy, start training with weights  and by doing cardio.  You will have to stop smoking and drinking.  I’m not opposed to drinking but I have cut way back.  And by “way back”, I mean that drank about as much this last year as I did during two nights out, the year before.

Obviously, if you have not been active, it would probably be a good idea to get a physical to make sure that you don’t have anything that may become a problem if you push yourself “too hard.”    But no matter what you are going to have to push yourself.  The longer you continue with your training and cardio the more you should increase your intensity.   You don’t want it getting too easy.  DON’T JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS.  That is one thing that I consider when people say baby steps.  They just go through the motions and take it easy in the gym and call it a work out.  When I walk out of the gym my shirt is soaking wet.

When people talk about baby steps they also plan on making a few changes at a time.  So they will cut certain things out of their diet but maybe keep a couple of unhealthy things in it and they also cut back on drinking from 3 times a week to twice a week and they continue to smoke.  So I guess they plan on implementing their plan over the course of their transformation.  So maybe by week 4 they are going to clean up their entire diet and by week 6 they will only drink once a week and by week 8 they will smoke one less pack a week.  It’s all an excuse.  More than likely what will actually happen is that they will push their healthy deadlines back and they won’t give up the cigarettes or the drinking.  And their training and cardio will be ineffective.

For me it was coming to the realization that if I made my changes all at once that it would actually be easier.  Baby Steps will prolong the “Suffering” (I never suffered.  It wasn’t easy but I never suffered.  If you do suffer, you need to work on “Controlling your Mind”).  I convinced myself that it was mind over matter.  I convinced myself that if I couldn’t succeed than I was weak.  If I couldn’t control my own mind I was weak.  The key word is WAS.  I am STRONG enough to control my own mind.  I can achieve my goals   I can S.W.I.M.™ (Self-Control, Will Power, Inspiration, Motivation).  When you can conquer the bad habits and the addictions all at once it actually makes you stronger.  It adds to your motivation.  And when you succeed you will never forget what it took to get you there.  

Don’t Look For The Easy Way Out

When I was in high school, I thought that I must be a genius because I came up with a new formula for some geometry problem.  The best part was that it was easy and I found my solution very quickly.  It worked out great for me until the day that I took the test and my formula failed to produce the correct solution to the problems.

Easy isn’t always better.  I still do like to think outside of the box, however I am not always looking for the easy way out.  In fact I find that the harder I work the bigger the payoff is for me.  When I workout, I am usually going in solo.  In the past when I had a team around me or even a workout partner or trainer, there is usually some kind of competition.  I don’t want to fail, give up or give less effort.  If I am doing someone else’s program I have to keep up. If I am leading the program, I want to make sure everyone else knows how hard it is.  So, when I go into the gym by myself, I know that I can’t make it easy on myself.  I know what it feels like to train hard and I know what I should feel like when I go through my workout.

When I train, I work more focus more on muscle endurance and activating my core and my stabilizer muscles.  For others, it might be more about having a 400 pound bench.  I’m more about increasing my overall athleticism.  I change-up my workouts every day.  I take exercises and make them harder.  When I bench, I might  pick my feet off of the ground or might do rows from a plank position or I might do dynamic push-ups (drop from an elevated level and push back up to it from the ground).Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 3.39.50 PM

If it is an exercise that is too hard to do, I will work on it until I can perform it.  I am currently working on one-legged squats.  I’m using a TRX to help me keep my balance.  I’m planning on being able to do these unassisted, within a couple of weeks.

When I accomplish something that I consider hard.  And I continue to do it, I find that it actually becomes what I consider easy in many cases.  Increase the difficulty and conquer your next challenge.  Learn to S.W.I.M.™ 

Fighting Through The Pain

Midwest Spartan 8

Have you ever been a part of a team?  You workout together and you play as a team. You push each other.  You are giving it 100% so that you can become better and that you can succeed as a team.  Thoughts run through your head when you feel like you are being beat down and you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can.  You look around at your teammates and they are going through the exact same thing that you are and they are feeling the same pain.  You are thinking, “They can do it.  I know that I can do it too.”  Next you think about the competition.  “What are they doing to prepare?  Are they working harder than you?  I know that I can work harder than them.”   Thoughts like these run through your head.  This is your motivation.  The human body is a tool and it can withstand much more than the mind.  Take control of your mind.   Be strong enough to push your body further than you mind allows.  Let your mind know that you don’t have limits.  That is 110%.

As an individual you may not have a team around you to push you.  You might or might not have competitors.  But you can still compete against yourself.  If you really want to make yourself better than you will push yourself knowing that you haven’t reached your limits.  You can dig down deep and find that extra 10%.  In order to reach the finish line, you may need that extra 10%.  You will suffer, but in a good way.  Your results are worth giving it 110%.

The pain from your hard work only lasts a limited time but the feeling of accomplishment lasts for a lifetime.  Learn to S.W.I.M.

Test Yourself and Make Yourself Stronger

Midwest Spartan 10

It’s all about controlling your mind.  I came up with S.W.I.M. (Self-Control, Will Power, Inspiration, Motivation), because it reminds these four things are what it takes to not only transform but to help you achieve all of your goals.  They all come from inside you and if you listen to them you will be able to control your own mind.  If you want something bad enough and you know what you have to do, you will do it or you really didn’t want it.

When I started my transformation, I was tested every day.  It could be walking through the Super Market and passing by the bakery.  In the past I would check to see if they had any cookie samples that they had set out.  I’d grab a handful of cookies and eat them as I walked around the store.  It really didn’t matter whether they tasted good or like crap, I was already planning on circling back, for seconds, thirds or fourths.  I love free stuff, even crappy cookies.  It’s funny how I can walk by these samples and look at them and even if they look good, know that I won’t be munching on them while I walk around the store.

Another big test is going out to a bar with friends and sticking with water as your drink of choice for the night.  I use to drink once every week or two and if I went out-of-town, it was almost every night.  I decided that I wouldn’t totally cut drinking out but I didn’t want to be spontaneous.  I didn’t want to drink every time I had the opportunity too.  By spontaneous, I mean that I will plan it out several weeks in advance.  If friends ask me to out with them this coming weekend, I will probably go.  I’m not going to become anti-social.  But I am not going to drink.  Usually, people try to get me to do a shot or drink a beer.  It almost becomes a game.  When I head home, I actually feel like I accomplished something.  There are a lot of advantages for me when I do this: I save money.  I have no hang over.  Most of all I am strong enough to control my mind and continue with my healthy lifestyle.

Eating out can be difficult because I don’t usually know what will be put into my food and there will be bread and appetizers brought to the table that I would have scarfed down in the past but now I bypass most that.  I do try to find things that will work within my nutrition guidelines.  If I can’t find them I usually try to order something that I can make a lot of changes too.  I also think about what a restaurant might do to my food. Such as adding steak butter to my steak and ask them not to add it.  Check out my video on ordering breakfast in a restaurant.  

At the beginning of my transformation I started running in Obstacle Course Races.  These races have tested me physically and mentally.  They provide me with a new way to compete against others as well as myself.  They force me to push myself.  Climbing ropes, going across monkey bars and running 9 miles are only some of the challenges that I face on these races.  They are also things that I would have never thought that I would do at the age of 46 especially since I haven’t done anything like it for over 20 years.  

I don’t really feel like I am missing anything.  And I do take a cheat meal once in a while and I will drink a beer once in a while.   But more than anything I feel stronger by walking into the fire and not getting burned.  

Cristian Mihai

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