So here I am nearly 46. I haven’t always been #fatslowold it sort of crept up on me!
25 years ago I could swim 2-3 miles, and did most days, I also rode 30 to 40 miles a day, back then the thought crossed my mind “I should do triathlons”. So I tried to pick up running! Right, that didn’t work for me, between the asthma and my stocky frame I decided I just wasn’t built for running. I could sprint, I was pretty quick for that first 50-100 meters, but after that, I was faster in a hospital bed with a 4′ tall orderly pushing me while walking backwards. So after a little time trying, I gave up on the triathlon thing and moved onto Martial Arts. Then college finished and real life began. Things slowly, ever so slowly went from active and outdoors, to couch bound and lethargic. Its not that I didn’t notice, I just didn’t care enough to reverse the trend. I had other priorities.
The idea of doing an Iron Man began 5 years ago. I was visiting Cairns in Australia, staying at the Hilton there. Well getting to the Hotel required traversing the Iron Man course, and the race just happened to be in progress. I remember saying to those with me, I would like to do an Iron Man before I am 45. I didn’t have a bike, I had never been able to run, and I hadn’t been in the pool in 20 years, and that was as far as that aspiration went!
3 years ago I separated from “The Boy’s” mother, why doesn’t matter but the truth is these situations make you examine your life. I was getting old, and I was getting fatter. I decided I was going to get more active. I started walking my 7000-10000 steps, and even tried running again, without joy! I did lose weight though. I went from 205lbs down to 185lbs, it took about 6 months of walking but I was feeling better about myself. During this time a man I considered my “American Dad” passed away. He had the C word, and it took him fairly quickly! But through his passing I would reconnect with an old friend “the Girl” and she would become someone very special to me.
Job stress, single dad stress, divorce stress… I have many excuses but that is all they are! I let myself lapse from the walking, it turns out I hadn’t really lost that weight I had just given it a temporary leave of absence.
I moved to Hawaii in 2014, to try and start a business that would get me out of the computer industry and allow me to stay at home. I was sure it would allow me to be far more physically active. I was right, well would have been if the Government didn’t have laws that prevented non-americans from operating a commercial operation on the ocean. The 12 months of planning and preparation, including hiring staff and paying thousands of dollars for liabilty insurance were all for naught. Why did I hire staff and pay for insurance before I had an operators permit you might ask, good question! The state of Hawaii requires these things before you can apply for said permit….. The stress of that year was incredible, so was the drinking level. Between my boat captain and I am sure we could have kept an couple of small breweries running. It made the stress bearable and the stomach bigger. At the very least I managed to stop smoking cigarettes and swapped over to the e-cigarettes.
My boat captain was (he still is) an ex Army Special Forces Operator. He had ways to burn the fat back off and made good use of them later in the year. I didnt. So in January last year I bought a bike. It was the first “expensive” Bike I had bought. It was a Specialize Secture. I happened to be living in Waikoloa on the big Island of Hawai’i. Anyone who has ever watched the Iron Man world championship will recognize the name. Waikoloa is about 26 miles north of Kona, so about halfway along the ride potion of the IM route. That is where I got to ride, the Queens Hawaii.
Remember I said earlier I used to ride alot, and the saying goes “Its as easy as riding a bike”, its a lie! Sure technically I remembered how to ride a bike, my brain knew all the bits and pieces involved. My body on the other hand, was like “What you talkin about Willis?”. It was hard, I had become #fatslowold, during the 3 months that followed I rode 173.8 miles (279.7kms). Then I moved! Only 7 miles away, but it was the perfect excuse to give up the hard work of riding. The road to the Queens Hwy is steep, and had no shoulder for bikes….. 9 more months of little exercise and excessive beer, did NOT advance my fitness level.
During the last 9 months of last year, there was also lots happening, my work travel load increased hugely! “the Girl” and I discovered that while we are destined to be together we both have things we need to sort out first. Yes we are still together and planning our long and much healthier life together. And last but by no means least my Mum passed away. The dreaded big C again. I was there when she passed. I took her out for her last Smoke the day before. It was my sister (non smoker), me (e-cig) and my Mum (Cigarette) hanging out in the small smoking alcove at the hospice.
By the end of 2015 I weighed 206lbs again, was going grey, and my idea of sport was 12 hours of Diablo 3 with 2 six packs of Stella Artois.
I was definitely #FATSLOWOLD