Good Friday

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His heart was broken, mine was mended.
He became sin, now I am clean.
The cross He carried bore my burden.
The nails that held Him set me free.

His life for mine, His life for mine
How could it ever be
That He would die, God’s son would die
To save a wretch like me
What love divine - He gave His life for mine

His scars of suffering brought me healing
He spilled His blood to fill my soul
His crown of thorns made me royalty
HIs sorrow gave me joy untold

His life for mine, His life for mine
How could it ever be
That he would die, God’s son would die
To save a wretch like me
What love divine – He gave His life for mine

He was despised and rejected
Stripped of His garment and oppressed
I am loved and accepted and
I wear a robe of righteousness

His life for mine, His life for mine
How could it ever be
That He would die, God’s song would die
To save a wretch like me
What love divine – He gave His life for mine

 

His Life for Mine by the Talley Trio. This song was almost always sang every Easter at church when I was growing up. The song makes me very nostalgic and to this day I still listen to it during Easter season. Just thought I’d share them with you this year. Hopefully you enjoy!

Going to Extremes: Planet Fitness to CrossFit

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So at the beginning of the year I joined Planet Fitness with the idea that I would mostly do cardio and then take some of the classes they offer to their members. One thing that I liked about Planet Fitness was its no intimidation attitude and zero tolerance policy as such. Many places have ridiculed and called Planet Fitness “not a real gym” because it lacks some of the equipment many more serious gym goers look for.

Personally, I felt like I fit right in. As a “fluffy” dude running on a treadmill it was nice not to have a ton of people looking at me judging me. Granted – I’m sure I still had that but it wasn’t as obvious. Also I didn’t have personal trainers lurking around and continually harassing me. I was able to go in, do my thing, and bolt. It was nice. Plus the few times the lunk alarm went off – it made me laugh.

So as I was finishing up Couch to 5k – I started thinking about doing some resistance training but wanted to do something efficient and challenging. I originally thought about doing the classes and forming a routine but my Twitter followers talked me into something else.

My long time friend @ThisDaddys_Blog (Scott) and somewhat newer friend @DamonGocheaur (Damon) talked me into trying CrossFit. Now, just so I make this fair, Scott has been trying for about as long as I’ve known him to get me to try CrossFit. I guess Damon just helped push me to make that final decision finally.

I researched and found Friendship CrossFit in Dublin, OH not too far from where I live these days. I e-mailed the owner a few times and got setup for a “beginners” class on Saturday. Early March I went in and found myself terrified. I got there early and watched the class before me finish up.

What in the heck was I thinking?

I watched these people and all I could think was, “I’ll NEVER be able to do this.” Part of me thought about just turning around and running out the door. I am not a quitter by nature though so I told myself that I was going to do this.

After one of my classmates helped me though the warm up (which was 100x harder than any WORKOUT I’ve done – let alone a warm up) we got into the workout. I don’t even remember what my first day was – all I remember is after the workout I collapsed on the floor and wasn’t sure I was going to be able to walk to my car. You know what was funny though – I was hooked.

As the weeks have gone on CrossFit has shown me that I’m capable of doing much more than I ever thought I could. So many people (professional and non-professional) for so many years have told me I needed to start smaller or do less or not workout so hard. CrossFit had me lifting weight I never thought I could and doing movements that I only dreamed of one day doing. It pushes me to try harder and I always look forward to what the next class holds.

Fast forward a few weeks and I returned to Planet Fitness to do a run and I noticed a sign at the door that said, “Leave your attitude here.”

It hit me right then and there:

I workout at the two most controversial “gyms” at two extreme ends of the spectrum yet they share one big philosophy:

Chuck the attitude at the door.

You see – CrossFit, though it looks like it’s intimidating as all get out from the outside, wasn’t intimidating after I took the first step into the box. Everyone in my class – though MUCH more fit than I – is encouraging and accepting of me. They cheer me on as I struggle to finish a WOD (Workout of the Day) or they offer to show me movements I’ve never done before. The words “you can’t” is never used and no one acts like they’re better than me (even when we are working out against the clock or for time and I’m always last). The coaches are super awesome as well and are always helping me modify movements/workouts and helping me become a better athlete.

Plus, I’ll admit it – Doing a clean and jerk with some heavy weight (or heavy for me at least) and approaching the bar aggressively, making whatever noises one makes while trying to throw around weight and then literally throwing the weight to they ground – does feel good. I guess there’s a “lunk” lurking deep inside of me somewhere. :-)

What else have I been doing since my last post?

  • I’ve run a few more training 5ks – it’s my new “go to” mileage when going for a run
  • I ran my first 10k in 1:23 (thanks for pushing me Amy S!)
  • I’ve been on the bicycle more and as the weather improves will be out more. I’ve already exceeded my Pelotonia 2013 physical fitness.
  • I’m down about 30 pounds from December

That’s about it! More to come! Watch out world – John’s accomplishing his goals slowly but surely!

Later,
Massie

The Bench

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2014-03-11 19.01.36 HDRThis bench is very symbolic to me. Last week when I was on my bike for the first time in 2014 I decided to ride the Heritage Trail in Hilliard – a trail that I used to ride when I first started cycling in 2011.

I haven’t been on my bicycle since all this weight loss and working out business so I was curious to see what this would feel like. You see, at 224, I’m the lightest I’ve ever been on a bicycle. So I unload my bike, stretch and hop on to start warming up.

I head out on the trail toward Plain City and I find myself rolling along with minimal effort but I notice something different – I’m passing everyone. So I finally look down to see what speed I’m going. 17.5mph.

Wait.

17.5mph? With a heart rate of 155? That can’t be right… so I decided to push a little bit – get my heart rate up. I got up to 22mph and decided I’m really pushing it for a shared use bike path. I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt. I was smiling ear to ear!

As I was buzzing down the last section of the trail I saw it in the distance and then as I passed the memories came flooding back. It was “the bench”.

This bench is one of the last places to rest before you get to the end of the trail. Many a days I would take a pause on this bench to rest, eat, and/or hydrate. I once stopped at this bench a wrote an entire blog post on my phone (though for the life of me – I can’t remember which one).

Just a few short years ago there wasn’t a time that I didn’t stop at that bench and here I was today just flying by it like it was nothing. I did stop, one last time, to snap this picture as a reminder of how far I’ve come in my journey.

It reminds me of a quote that I saw on Pinterest -

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go just remember how far you’ve come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won and all the fears you have overcome.”

So that bench is just that for me. Though I know I have a long way to go with my fitness goals – I have come so far.

So that’s it! More later this week.

Until next time!
Massie

Goal – Run a 5k

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Shamrocks and ShenanigansWow, it’s been a while since I posted! Sorry to keep you all in such suspense waiting for my next post… :-)

Well, Sunday, March 9 I got up with my friend Jen and we ran a 5k in Ann Arbor, Michigan – Shamrocks and Shenanigans. It’s what I’ve been training for since January. It’s part of the reason I started out on this whole health kick.

John and JenSo the day arrives and as we drove to Ann Arbor I was downing cough drops to help combat this cold I’ve been fighting. We get to Ann Arbor and as we’re driving I realize – Ann Arbor is not flat. AT ALL.

You see, I’ve only been running on a treadmill and then did a “practice 5k” once at the park near my house with zero elevation. It was also about 20 degrees… much colder than my practice run. I put all these thoughts behind me and we went to go seek out some sun and to start warming up.

BOOM

The gun goes off and it’s time to get this show on the road. We take some time getting over the start line but once we do we take off into a decent run. Now, being the second time I’ve run outside, I have no way of pacing myself. So I’m just trying to keep up with the pack and my friend Jen.

Suddenly we’re going down-hill. Which, being a cyclist, I knew this meant we’d have to come back up a hill at some point. Which we did, not too long after. I made it up the hill at a jog and kept going.

Then we got to the part I like to refer to as “the long eternal climb”. It was this slow climb all the way up to Michigan stadium. I had been running up to this point (over a mile) and finally my body was having none of this hill and I had to walk.

I did intervals up the hill to the top and then jogged down. I kept seeing the pace clocks and wasn’t taking into account that this was from the start and it took me two minutes to get over the line so I kept pushing myself to make up for a two minute deficit that I didn’t actually have.

Between mile two and three I kept doing intervals because there were more hills. Finally I round the corner at the bottom of a hill and I can see the 3 mile sign. As I’m approaching the 3 mile sign it is then I realize the finish line is .1 miles away – up a hill.

So I round the corner at the 3 mile sign and dig deep and just push up the hill at a run. After almost taking out a few people who bailed and walked right in front of me I made it to the top to see my friends waiting to cheer me on! Jen (who finished ahead of me) ran back out to cross the line with me.

I did it – I finished my first 5k in 39:49! My goal? Finish a 5k. My real goal? Finish my first 5k in under 40 minutes. I barely did it – but I did it!

Finishers!

Finishers!

Strava reported almost 200 feet of elevation in 3.1 miles. I kept a 12:50/mile pace which is almost two minutes faster than what I typically do on the treadmill and was a PR for me. It’s hard to believe that just two months ago I was starting Couch to 5k and struggling with just the 60 second jog intervals and I now am running a 5K in under 40 minutes. My first treadmill 5k took me almost an hour on December 28th – just to get some perspective what the program can do.

I have some posts to make up about other things but wanted to get this out there while it’s fresh on my mind! More to come this week!

Also, I know I say this almost every post but THANK YOU to everyone who is supporting me. I’ve struggled with weight loss/fitness my whole life and for the first time I actually feel like I might actually conquer it once and for all and finally be healthy! I could not have got this far without all the support my family, friends, Twitter friends, and Missy Fit Facebook support groups have given me! So thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

More soon!
John

 

March, I’m ready for you

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Here I sit with only 57 minutes left in February and I realized that I’ve been absent from blogging here lately. I wanted to catch you all up on what happened with my friend Scott and while I have a post sitting in my drafts – I just haven’t had it in me to re-edit and publish it. The short version is – he’s alive, well and recovering at home from the surgery. So thank you all for your love and prayers. Eventually… I will get around to posting the whole thing.

So I realized today that it was the last day of February. My how time has flown in 2014 and I look back at the last few weeks and am pretty darn proud of my progress

  • I’ve maintained a Paleo lifestyle (using the 80/20 rule) and have been fairly consistent with my workouts minus a few unexpected hiccups along the way.
  • I’ve progressed from week 1 of Couch to 5k where I could barely run for 60 second intervals at a time to now running for 25+ minutes without walking or stopping.
  • I’ve dropped 26 pounds from my heaviest in December.
  • My clothes are actually fitting better
  • Several people have asked me if I’ve lost weight

What’s next on the agenda you should ask? Well, I have two 5k races this month and I *should* be able to get on the bike sometime this month should the weather ever decide to break (granted, the forecast for the next few days doesn’t give me any hope of that happening any time soon).

I’ve also got a few other surprises up my sleeve but if you want to know about them – you’ll have to follow me on Twitter. They’ll eventually make it to the blog for the rest of you non-Twitter people. :-)

That’s it folks – BodPod assessment is on Monday morning (providing they’re open with the crazy weather) and I’ll be posting the updated results.

Goodnight!
John

My First Big Milestone!

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FitBit Badge45 days ago I set out to do one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done – to get healthy. It’s hard work (and requires a ton of dedication). I took up running to eventually use as a form of cross training for cycling and to complete some personal goals around running races. I decided that I would once again adopt the Paleo diet and this time not abandon it after 30 days. I committed to myself to be working out between 3-6 days per week. I committed to reduce my eating out and when I do to make smarter choices. There have been times where this whole “getting healthy” thing feels like a second job.

While measurements like inches lost is motivating and my clothes are starting to fit better – I’m still very tied to the scale. People don’t typically ask you the circumference of your waist when talking about your physical appearance – they ask about your weight. I’m also hyper sensitive to my eating and how it can change my weight so quickly for good or bad.

I’m happy to report – my 45 days of hard work have paid off and I’m down 20 pounds from my heaviest in December at 228. To put this into even more perspective – I now weigh less than I did at my lightest last year (Pelotonia 2013). So I’ve reached my first milestone – get under 230!

Next milestone? Get to 219. It’s a small goal but I haven’t been under 220 for at least 6 years!

Thank you all for the outpouring of support – it really does help and I couldn’t have done this alone. I’ve appreciated the pushes to encourage me to get to the gym and the great words of encouragement that everyone has offered me.

Have a great Saturday!
John

 

I lost a piece of me in you

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Katy and MeYou would have been 35 today.

I have a lot of fond memories celebrating your “birthday month”. I was thinking the other day back to your 30th birthday party. All the craziness and the games and the dancing and the laughing. Things were so different back then.

Tonight as I was running all I could was think about you.
About how I’m working out at the same gym you used to work out at.
About how you’re not here to celebrate in my successes with me getting healthy.
About how I can’t call you anymore to share with you how my day went.
About how you’re still in my address book.
About what your life would have been like today.
About how I may be different if you were still here.
About how you’re gone.

You would think that after three years that this would get easier. I guess in many ways it has but other times it hurts as bad as the day we lost you. That day that you left us – I remember like it was yesterday.

I remember walking down the hall from your room after you passed.
I remember leaning against that wall feeling lost.
I remember sinking to my knees in grief.
I remember the tears I shed.
I remember feeling like I lost a piece of me.

I miss you so much. The bookmark from your memorial sits prominently on my desk held by my Pelotonia paperweight – the one I got in 2011 for riding 180 miles in your honor.

The worst part about all this is you would be the one I would turn to when I would feel this way – you would always have the right words to say but I guess I can’t do that anymore, can I? You introduced me to Blue October when we first met. We always liked this song and both related to it well. Now that I’m here and you’re gone – this song means more to me now than ever.

So happy birthday to you, Katy. You were one of the greatest people I ever had the privilege of knowing and I miss you more than words can express.

Love ya,
- John