Unfortunately for me my dreams of being a gladiator are about two thousand years out of date, not to mention the adaptations needed to make it a “fair fight” would be a bit of a trick. Nevertheless, I gain encouragement and excitement for my physical activities from the concept. This is true of more modern sports, including MMA, UFC, and BJJ. I would not be a boy if I didn’t add a fondness for WWE from my boyhood days as well. What can I say, I’m still a guy.
So with my overall goal of fitness set what do I do to obtain it? See below. I will add that along with these activities I also am working on a balanced diet. Exercise is great, but if you don’t balance it with a decent diet then you are doomed to failure. This doesn’t mean bamboo shoots and soy waste two times a day, but rather lots of fruits and veggies, seeds and nuts, lean meats, and extremely limited amounts of sugar and processed foods- i.e. clean eating.
Two years ago I began to focus on building up my health. I wanted to be healthier, look better, and feel like I wasn’t working towards being the next Yokozuna. In addition to buying a treadmill and some weights I also looked for opportunities to try different physical activities I hadn’t tried before. Enter tandem cycling via Eye Cycle in Denver. My first ride was something of a shock, as I was puffing like mad and feeling a touch numb towards the end of that roughly 30 mile ride. So what does one do after an experience like that? Leap back into it with abandon of course, and what an immense source of happiness it has been for me ever since.
Whether on a short 10 mile ride, or a century, I obtain peace such as I have only found in one or two other places off a bike. There is something about the feeling of the wind blowing around you, the progress you are making with every rotation, that fills me with a sense of accomplishment. Since beginning my cycling journey I have biked a century in the Tour de Cure 2014, metric century in the Tour de Cure 2013, and finished a USABA racing camp in 2013. In addition to all the riding I normally do during a season I have taken to biking at least once to the Bike to the Game day put on by the Colorado Rockies. If I can find the captains to do so I plan to go to two this season.
Speaking of this season what’s on tap for me this year? I am planning on riding the Elephant Rock Ride and the Tour de Cure (centuries) and hopefully participate in another of USABA’s excellent racing camps. I am using Strava with my iPhone 6 to document my rides, and hope to net as many miles as possible this cycling season, as next year I may have the opportunity to bike across the country with a fraternity. I also plan to use a spin bike for additional cycling time when captains are not available.
I had not been hiking in any meaningful sense since middle school until September last year. I subsequently had the opportunity to go on a five day hike, and what a thrill it was. In addition to the wonderful fellowship of several of my fellow hikers, the places we hiked were beautiful, and the exercise was fantastic. Planning on doing the five day hike again this year towards the end of September, and get in several day hikes if I can find the guides, as well as trying to talk some family into hiking up Pike’s Peak with me in the summer.
I played a bit of Goalball while in high school, but not a lot. I rediscovered the sport about a year ago, and have been hooked ever since. It has been said that the best offense is a good defense, and for my sake I hope it is so, as I play the latter far better then the former, although my overall game is improving. I particularly enjoy the fact that it is a full contact sport. So often it seems to me the blind are treated not as the men and women we are, perfectly capable of dealing with pain and adversity as anyone else, but rather as glass figures who will crack at the merest touch. Call it overcompensation if you will, but I relish every hit of that two and a half pound ball on my person, reminding me that I can indeed take it and dish it out like anyone else. Additionally, the sport is a ton of fun. There is more strategy involved then one might think, and the sound of the whistle blowing twice when one makes a goal is a sweet sound to the ear.
During this season I am planning on participating in two tournaments, one in Salt lake Utah in mid May, and one in Atlanta in June. Although I have no idea how my team will do, my end goal is to play the best Goalball I can and have a blast.
So why the fund raising? Well all of this costs money, and I find it so fulfilling. In the end I would love to own my own tandem bike, as well as being able to compete in these various sports, improve my health, and generally inspire others as I have been inspired. This is why you will see the fund raising link above on my Twitter and Facebook timelines. Any amount you can donate is appreciated, but even if you can’t help out financially please consider Retweeting and sharing this post through social media. All of these changes in my health, from food to exercise, happened through small changes, so I hope that if you are considering making positive changes to your health you might obtain some comfort and inspiration from my journey. Take heart, it’s the first walk around the block, the first bunch of broccoli, the first 10 mile ride, that starts the journey to a healthy and active lifestyle. Rock on!