Friday, December 4, 2009

One year later...

It's the beginning of December... Significant to me because I suddenly realized that I've been exercising and working out consistently for over a year now. Which caused me to reflect on my epiphany that caused me to exercising in the first place...
It happened on a Sunday afternoon in November. It was one of those brisk Midwest autumn days; the type of day where you just have to be outside. The sun was out and the air was crisp. Sweatshirt weather. My wife and I were out that afternoon enjoying a friendly game of Frisbee golf (my favorite kind of exercise at the time) at Washington Park, near Peoria.

I was teeing off at the third hole. I judged the distance, reached back for a little something extra and let the Frisbee fly. I’m still certain to this day that the Frisbee was sailing on its way to a hole in one if not for the sudden crosswind that caught my Frisbee in mid-trajectory and sent it drifting into that pine tree.

Looking up into the tree I could clearly see my Frisbee secured in the grips of a forked bough about 15 feet up.
“No problem” I thought to myself “I’ll just climb up a couple branches till I get to the one that seized my Frisbee and then shake it out.”

Sounded easy enough. What followed was not a pretty site.

Reaching up I grabbed a low hanging branch and attempted to hoist myself up into the tree. After some extreme and wasted effort I realized that I no longer possessed the strength to pull my own bodyweight up into the tree. No problem though… I next attempted to use the trunk of the tree to walk my legs up to the branch I was hanging from. After some kicking and squirming I was able to walk my legs up onto the branch and wrap my legs around it, all the while hanging on with my hands. I was now dangling from the branch by my arms and legs but still a long ways away from actually climbing into the tree. I spent the next minute squirming and rocking, trying to somehow get the leverage and momentum I need to hoist my bodyweight over the branch and into the tree. Finally I succumbed to defeat. My arms and legs were scraped from the rough bark, I was huffing and out of breath, my self-respect was decimated, and all the while my wife stood by laughing and jeering at me… truly pathetic!

Suddenly I felt old. As a kid I used to climb trees all the time. I didn’t even have to try. I was like a human freakin monkey or something. I even remember climbing a tree or two in college (while possibly being inebriated to boot)… but at some point in my life I had lost that ability. Some unknown morning I had woken up and unbeknownst to me I had lost the physical ability to climb a tree.

It was at that moment as I stood there huffing and puffing, hands on my knees at the base of that tree that I knew it was time to do something about myself. C’mon… I’m about to turn 30! I still have plenty of life to live… but there I was a shell of my formal self… I had let myself become a sedentary, middle-aging, slightly overweight pud… this was NOT OK!!!

Fast forward to today... While I still haven't attempted to climb a tree I'm pretty sure that I could do that with no problem... in fact on somedays I feel like I could probably swing through the forest like Tarzan... But what's really important is how I feel. I used spend my days feeling lethargic, having to force myself to gather the energy to complete even the simplest of tasks. Now I'm full of energy! I'm steadily approaching the age of 31 but feel a lot closer to 21 then when I was turning 30.

I want to say that I feel like a whole new person but really I think it would be more accurate to say that I feel like myself again...


  1. Awww. Aging. Sad.

    You will become more adept, give it time~!

  2. Check out my fitness blog, BTW!

  3. EZEthan,

    Great post man! I'll be turning 35 this year and like you, I remember that moment when I said "Screw this @(#&! It was time to do something. Now, I feel better. Almost there, but still a ways to go yet. Nice post. Enjoyed reading! Have a great day man!

  4. It's not really aging that I have a problem with... I just don't want to FEEL old... I want to someday be one of those 70 year old runners at the local 5k kicking the butts of people half his age!!!

  5. i love the closing point - not feeling like a new person, but feeling like your old self again! it's funny sometimes how we think we are in "ok" shape and then something such as climbing a tree wakes us up. at least you didn't wake up one day overweight and on the verge of a heart attack/diabetic/etc. hope the motivation and drive continues to flow freely for years to come!