One Year Reflection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay.   My bad.  It has certainly been awhile since I have posted, but that does not mean I fell off the wagon.  Okay, maybe I fell off the wagon for two weeks while Jaime and I were on the mainland for a vacation, but even during that vacation we were still hitting CrossFit most of the time.  So stop judging me with your eyes and your judgy expression.

What?  You don’t believe me?  Fine, we will jump right into the meat then.  The below picture is from the CrossFit Oahu Nutrition Challenge Jaime and I participated in from 15 January 2013 until 28 February 2013.  Yes, I had a ridiculous mustache and I might have, ummm, trimmed my chest hair down a bit, but you probably would to if you lost approximately 20 lbs.  The key numbers here were 8 lbs of fat lost, 9 lbs of water, but I also lost 3 lbs of muscle.  WHAT?!  I am CrossFitting my face off and I lost 3 lbs of muscle.   Turns out you are supposed to eat closer to the end of your workouts.  And I had also been moderately training for my first sprint Triathlon which was on 2 March 2013 (I finished… at around 1 hour and 20 minutes… it was fun).  Lesson learned.  You can read what I wrote about this challenge here:  http://crossfitoahu.com/blog/2013/03/paleo-success-despite-multiple-special-occasions/

2013Challenge

So this is what I looked like BEFORE we went on the two week vacation.  Fortunately, there was another CrossFit Oahu Nutrition Challenge that literally started the day we got home.  The great part about it was an immediate shift back to our healthy practices.  The bad… well, it turns out that I am beginning to get sick of the nutrition challenges.  Jaime and I eat Paleo a good 90% of the time, and sometimes you just want a beer.  And on a nutrition challenge, you don’t really have that option.  And I like options.  So here is what I looked like after coming back from the mainland.

SpringBefore

 

Not TOO bad, but there was a certain amount of fitness decay there.  This is a great example of how your diet is crucial to your weight loss or even just maintenance of where you are.

And now for the grand finale.  I will write more about this, but I finished my first Olympic distance Triathlon (1500 m swim, 26 mile bike ride, 10K run), the Honolulu Triathlon.  Jaime came out to support me, cheer me on, take pictures, and in general, just be awesome.  She excels at those things.  I trained with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so I got a cool purple singlet and tri shorts.  Jaime took some photos, and as usual, I was pretty critical of myself about how I looked in spandex.  And I thought to myself, “Self, I wonder how much I have changed in the past year.”  It was a great opportunity to dig through some wedding photos from almost a year ago.  I was amazed when I set them next to each other.  Since we got married on 14 April 2012 (the picture below on the left is at our reception), Jaime and I have run a half-marathon, a full marathon, and a sprint Triathlon together.  I have done an additional sprint Triathlon and today’s Olympic distance Triathlon.  I felt pretty good about what I have accomplished, but wasn’t quite ready for what comparing the two photos meant.  Holy balls.  Clearly, I didn’t realize how far I had let myself go (from 231 lbs on the left to 205 lbs on the right), and I owe my beautiful wife a HUGE apology for not taking better care of myself leading up to our wedding.  The good news: you can see in the pictures how good she is for me and what an inspiration she has been for me.  I recognize I have a ways to go, but this is a hell of a start.  Thank you, Jaime!  I couldn’t have accomplished all of these things without you!

 

Year One

 

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Open Letter to Jason Surowiec

Dear Jason Surowiec,

When I left Japan back in February of this year, I felt like I didn’t really say thank you enough or really show my appreciation for the enormous impact you’ve had on my life.  Even when I first met you at HSL-40 at Mayport, FL, I saw what an extremely positive and supportive individual you were.  And it was at that point that I had already developed my ridiculous fear of disappointing you.

I was super excited when I found out you were going to be moving out to HSL-51 in Japan.  With such a small, close-knit society, it is always nice to have someone with a positive outlook show up when you live in a fishbowl.

Fast forward to March 2011 and you find us forward deployed to Misawa to help out with the tsunami disaster relief efforts.  I reflect on this time period for two reasons:

#1.  It was the first time I saw you with your shirt off.  Clearly, I like the girls, but it was probably the first time I realized how fit you were.  I remember thinking to myself, “That is the kind of fitness I want for myself.”  You even offered to take me to the gym with you which leads me to #2.

#2.  Looking back a little more clearly, it might have been my first taste of CrossFit…. had I gone.   I was so scared and intimidated by what CrossFit MIGHT have meant that I didn’t go.  But you invited me.  And that stuck with me.  You weren’t forceful or obnoxious about it.  You let me figure things out in my own time.  With hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have asked more questions.  I remember you mentioned pull-ups, and I ran away with my tail between my legs.

These two things combined left me with a lot to think about.  I laugh as I think about what I was eating and drinking while we were in Misawa.  A few beers every night.  I was eating cereal like it was going out of style.  There was lots of crap from the mini-mart next to the Q we were staying in.  And then they re-opened the Burger King.  Yikes.

It took my until mid June of 2011 for me to actually come and talk to you about making a change.  In fact, it was 18 June 2011.  You gave me the link to Mark’s Daily Apple.com, and within a few hours, I had purchased Primal Blueprint off of his website.  I devoured that book pretty quickly, and it was certainly the beginning of my critical examination of conventional wisdom, the food pyramid or the plate, etc.  And even with this, you gave me a simple website and let me discover my own way.  It wasn’t until 19 July that Jaime and I came to our first CrossFit class.  We actually owe that one to Kelly Hermann. She got Jaime to go, and that got me to go.  But we were hooked after the first class.  Our first coaches were Cindy Larsen and Michelle Munroe McGrevy have yet to be topped by any box we have been to.  The camaraderie and community of the Atsugi CrossFit folks has left a high bar that we are still trying to find.  And every time Jaime and I would show up, your face would light up and you were extremely welcoming.  It is one of the things that kept us coming back.

And here we are in October of 2012.  Jaime and I are running a half-marathon this weekend as preparation for a full marathon in December.  We are CrossFit’ing regularly at our local box and even visiting boxes while we are on the road.  I have achieved my Level One Trainer Certificate and have found I want more of the same.  You have had such a positive impact on my life and by extension, Jaime’s.  I know I am not the only person you have affected this way.  And I can never say thank you enough.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I hope that one day I can find a way to repay you!

Your friend,

Clay Shane

My mentor, Jason Surowiec

89th Day Update

So I started this blog on 11 July (well, I ACTUALLY started it sometime in 2011, but I REALLY started writing on 11 July), and it has been 89 days since I began my fitness journey.  I started with a clear goal in mind and an end date for when my fitness adventure would come to an end.  And while I still have my goals in sight and in mind, they are no longer the end of the road.  They are just sign posts along the way.  Mile markers on the highway of my fitness life.  When I get to 185 lbs, I won’t suddenly stop eating Paleo.  I am not going to give up on CrossFit.  My adventure continues and my new goals become inspiring, helping, and motivating others.

So where am I right now?  Take a look:

108 days of change: 29 June to 8 October

108 Days of Change from the Side: 20 June to 8 October

This morning, I weighed 211.6 lbs.  My waist was under 38 inches (37.9 inches to be accurate).  That means I am within limits for the Physical Fitness Assessment.  Woot!  The beginning numbers were 232 lbs and 42.5 inches for your comparison.

To add some cherries on top, Jaime and I ran 12 miles this past Sunday.  I try not to think about it, because that number just seems ridiculous.  We even signed up for a half marathon next weekend (it’s nice really, because now we don’t have to map out a run).

A lot of folks have sent personal messages letting me know that I have motivated them in one way or another.  And these messages mean the world to me.  It is one reason I have kept on trucking.  I will keep posting my progress and thoughts if you guys will keep letting me know how YOU are doing.  Either in comments (click on that little speech bubble at the top of the post) or e-mails to madclay@me.com.  Thanks again for everyone’s support!