I had just turned 56 years old in February and started saying “almost 60” when people asked me my age. It’s a big deal and I needed to get used to saying it aloud I guess. My mirror in the bathroom was not kind to me but I’d gotten used to the acceptable reflection of the man I’d been for 30 something plus years. My traveling salesman style job kept me in planes and cars week in and week out with no regular schedule. Eating was an assortment of restaurants and fast food. I was getting older and my exercise activities were mostly from a seated position. I had a frozen right shoulder and every day some level of back pain limiting my movements including getting out of bed. I had no time or desire to exercise.
Then, a few months later summer came, and I didn’t get the “summer body” I was planning to have (again) and settled for the same mirror reflection looking back at me as every other summer.
But this summer was a very special one. In July, Logan joined our home after losing both his parents. He was a 17-year-old young man finishing his last year of high school and we are very proud to share our home with him. I’d never raised a child before, never mind a teenager, but I was ready to do my best. One thing I saw right away was how lethargic I had become in comparison.
So, I joined LIFE TIME. And my world was rocked like never before. LIFE TIME turned out to be my lifestyle change. It was the total make over that I never saw coming. They offered me everything and all I had to do was show up. I suddenly had a personal trainer named Ro at the Cypress club. I unexpectedly had the complete kit to be something better.
Ro knew I was still competitive, so he challenged me. Take 60 days to be the person you really know is in that mirror. He said we would focus on the frozen shoulder and the back pain to get the mobility back that I had lost. Then we would work toward strength goals while reducing overall body fat. I was skeptical as the shoulder had been messed up since the first of the year and the back pain since my back surgery in 2006. But I agreed and never looked back.
The first few weeks were focused on mobility. Ro was able to explain what was wrong with my shoulder and how to fix it. No doctor this year was able to do that. Then we worked on the back pain by strengthening the muscle groups that support that area of my body. We re-evaluated my diet and made a few changes on how to order from all those restaurant menus. I incorporated a bi-weekly cardio and weight class, plus an early morning yoga class that LIFE TIME offered into my schedule. There in the yoga class I found length in my muscles with a calmness to focus on the changes that I was starting to see and feel.
My wife, Piyada, and my youngest, Logan, joined LIFE TIME with me. This was an event location for the family that had something for all of us. Piyada would attend different classes called Zumba, Cardio Kickboxing, Strike! and Barbell Strength, to name a few. Logan was a member of Alpha and pushing weight that I never could budge. And then we were all attending these parties at the club like Glow and a Yoga event. This really was a family thing, so I got even more motivated. I was feeling better with much less pain, feeling stronger with greater mobility, and now my family was happily supporting me by being a part of my goals.
The first 30 days were the most amazing. The family was all on the same page with a common goal – It was called HEALTH. We cleaned out and restocked our kitchen pantry. We cooked together and ate together, and we even shopped together choosing the right foods. Vitamins and nutritional supplements were on the countertops where cookie jars had been. This was fun. I was getting out of bed at 5 a.m. with the spirit of a teenager in the mornings and heading off to my club. And I was not alone. Piyada or Logan were already there some days.
I noticed abilities like tying my shoes, putting groceries from the cart to my car, or even just leaning over the sink to brush my teeth could be done without some sort of back pain. There were no more days of sliding out of bed on my stomach to get up because I must have slept wrong and I woke up with stiff back pain again. I could squeegee the shower from top to bottom where I used to skip the lower section because I couldn’t bend down. I was moving like I always wanted to. I could even lean over the bed to kiss my wife goodbye before an early morning flight without waking her by putting my weight on the mattress.
For business, I wear suits. Nobody saw too much of my body shape under the coat, but they did start complementing me on how my face was more tone. I never heard that before, but it was motivating.
I kept a log in a notebook of my weight, body fat and water as my scale would report to me each morning. I got so excited with the results I bought dry erase pens and started keeping the log on my mirror. That same mirror that was reflecting back.