Hey. Remember me? Yeah. I’m that guy.

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I’m not dead. Heaven forbid I should become one of those teeny-bopper rumors we all heard in high school (I think the big one that really impacted me was that Mark-Paul Gosselaar had died…if you know me at all, you probably know that I’m a huge Saved by the Bell fan. Go ahead and make fun of me, but there’s no way you’ll EVER beat me at SBTB trivia).

So, it’s been a while. A LONG while. And, frankly, I don’t have much to account for my absence other than the semester from hell. I’d tell you about it, but it would only throw me into a foaming-at-the-mouth rage witnessed by few, and only comparable in nature to the time Sarah Palin mocked community organizers at the Republic National Convention. Well, either that, or the time FOX cancelled Arrested Development.

I have, no doubt, lost readers, but I want to thank those of you who’ve kept up with me from time to time. Your support has not gone unnoticed!

However, I am back to regain my journey. I made a significant dent by losing 30 pounds. I haven’t stepped on a scale lately, but the fact that I don’t want to should tell you something. The time has come to re-engage my goals and get serious about them.

When I started this, I realized that I might fall a couple of times. In fact, of the stories I had read of really successful weightloss, many had to lose and regain several time before the true success took place. If this is one of those times, so be it. I’m ready to get back to it, and I’m ready to share my endeavors with you again.

I went for a run last week and it felt really great. I need to remember the fact that I can do it. That the despite the fact I weigh…what I do…I AM A RUNNER. I need to be grateful that I can use my legs to carry my corpulent body a few miles in under an hour…and I need to use that to get me back on track.

Who’s with me?

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Time may change me, but I can’t change time…

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Geez, before I start, I almost feel like I should change shoes and put on a cardigan (ala Mr. Rogers)…

Perhaps one of the more redeeming things I have gained from this brief weight loss experience along with the desire to become a runner is the fact that I have found so many amazing and supportive people along the way.  I know I’ve said things akin to this before, but it astounds me how I can make personal goals, open up to the world about it, and have a blogger friend or two cheer me on.  I love it. There is much kinship and camaraderie to be shared, and I have been the benefactor of much of it…and to all those who’ve given me ‘virtual’ pats on the back, I sincerely thank you.

Some time ago, John wrote an open letter to his wife in which he revealed his fantastic weight loss blog. It was earnest, honest, and touching. I am a big fan of John’s and try to read his blog every day.  I’ve never met John, but I look forward to reading all that he does. I have high hopes for his goals and am thrilled when he succeeds.  The same goes for numerous others like Andrew, Annette, Matt, Courtney, Will, Elisa, Sharon…basically my entire blogroll. We’re all very different people…some of us have similar motives, while others differ, yet we have one thing in common: GOALS. We all have goals–more or less–to become better people.

I often think, then, why do we have a hard time applying the well-wishes we so freely give through cyberspace to real life, face-to-face interactions?  Maybe I should back up…you all might already do that…you probably do…but I will be honest…sometimes things like envy, jealousy and even depression get in my way. And, unlike John, I haven’t exposed my goals to most of my family or friends.  I haven’t tested the waters to see if I’ll get encouragement that I believe I so desperately need. The family and friends who do know about this blog have been extremely supportive…so why can’t I man up and tell everyone else?

Honestly?  It’s because I love you all too much.  My readers who give me what I need to keep going. The simple compliments, the amens, the mad props…whatever it is…keeps me going. Friendly strangers, blogging friends who have come through in the support area…I’ve tested the waters here, and it feels safe and secure (believe me when I say this isn’t an invitation for current readers to turn on me 😉 ).

It addition to readers here, I’ve joined other online communities that I really love (some of which I’m going to profile in the near future). My online communities have been fantastic…but I need to springboard a little more into reality.  I need to open up the desires of my heart to be a healthier me to my family and friends. The time has come to reveal some big plans to them. I may get doubt from some…but in November or December of 2009, or maybe January of 2010 when I cross the finish line of whatever marathon I run with my friend Aaron and I lose the remaining 5/6 of my weight goal…hopefully I will give the doubters a reason to believe in me again.

At my most recent weigh-in, I discovered that I have now lost just over 22 pounds. I now weigh just over 347 lbs. I will never (and don’t think I’m going to recant or think about slip ups here), never weigh 350 lbs. again. I have spent more time running in the past three months than I probably ever have at any one point in time.

As I watched the Women’s Olympic Marathon with my wife, we learned that one of the Chinese runners favored to medal supposedly ran over 700 miles a month. To me that’s amazing…nothing short of a miracle.

But then again, so is someone who used to weigh 370 lbs. who finally got off his ginormous butt to do something about it.

I might only run 30 miles a month right now, but I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I have finally impressed…myself.

Ain’t nobody rainin’ on this parade…

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Friends, it’s been a few days.  It’s the end of my summer term and I’ve been scrambling to finish some assignments. But never fear…I am here…with a LOT of stuff to write, so bear with me.  Let’s see if I can succeed at not making this entry too obnoxiously long…

  1. Goal Reassessment. Most of you have probably noticed that I was supposed to have completed the 100 push up challenge by now. I have not. I have decided that I need to reformat how I am going to accomplish this, rather than kill myself trying to do it.  I am a big guy, but my upper body strength is not sufficient to heft my 352 pound body off the ground that many times yet (hence the entire reason I’m doing the challenge). So, I’m going to start on my knees and work my way up to 100, and then try the legit push ups.  My new date is September 30.
  2. Couch-to-5k update. I am euphoric, people. I am on week 7 of running (week 5 of the program). Monday called for a 5/3/5/3/5 run/walk interval sequence, and I’m happy to say I ran every 5 minute interval. I kid you not, in the very same spot where I passed the snide firefighters, I saw a group of kids running with a couple of older guys…I assumed they were a youth track club, or something of the sort. As I passed them, the two older guys’ faces lit up as they waved when we passed each other. Then the kids started cheering!  I couldn’t believe it…they just kept clapping and yelling for me to keep up the good work. Their coaches and parents should be proud…that was sportsmanship. I loved it. And to top it off, today’s run was an 8/5/8 run/walk…and I did it!
  3. Last, but definitely not least, MY COACH. I am blessed with a great “team” of supporters. My family, friends, and definitely you all who read and support me definitely inspire me to keep going. I have, however, a good friend of mine who is one amazing, inspiring athlete who has been with me on my journey, who, for all purposes intended, is my coach. Aaron Shamy is nothing short of amazing. He is an X-Games gold medalist in speed climbing (rock climbing), a former Cirque du Soleil performer, has completed at least one ultramarathon that I know of, and runs “regular” marathons on the side…just for fun. He is energetic, inspiring, and he’s helping me a great deal. Aaron is also working on furthering his education, and if there’s anything I can do to help him with that, it’s this: He has entered a scholarship contest that is based on votes through YouTube, so please, help me help a great buddy of mine and watch his quick four-minute video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTohVkO2dew or http://www.wgu.edu/landing/video_repeat.asp. You be able to catch a glimpse into his unique life, and help him and his family for the better by helping him with one of his biggest goals. I’ll definitely be writing more on Aaron later, but let the video be your first introduction to my amazing friend.

Well, that’s it for now…see you on the flipside!