runningshoesI’m at a crossroads here, folks. It’s not even New Years, but it’s time for some resolutions. After months of home buying and selling madness that led to an unscheduled visit to the emergency room for an intestinal infection, I find myself in the worst shape of my life. Which is a complete bummer, because, before I derailed, I was in Week 9 of the Couch to 10K program and was getting faster every week. I was also an active participant in my hiking group and was covering 7-9 mile hikes at least twice a week. But, sadly, when you are over fifty, it takes about 12 hours to completely lose all that fitness.

So resolution time, and now desperate measures are called for. For me, that would be dieting. Which, full disclosure, I’ve never really done in my life. I was under the impression that I didn’t need to. I hate soft drinks, cookies, candy and especially cake and cupcakes. If I have dessert, it’ll be a few squares of chocolate. I eat pretty healthy. Well, as healthy as one can living with an Englishman who hates all vegetables. Usually that plays out with me eating double portions of vegetables as I coopt the vegetables that Andy has pushed to the side of his plate. But is a second helping of Chard really ever a problem?

Nope, my diet downfall is unfortunately, my profession. I’ve reached the sad conclusion that, to make this big push for health and weight loss, I need to cut out wine. Except maybe for weekends. And special occasions. And when friends are around. No wait, I need to cut out wine.


Ah, the last of the wine. Yes, on the cusp of the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years Trifecta, I’m actually contemplating giving it up.

Next thing, of course, is exercise. I’ve dropped dress sizes before. It was all through exercise. Sadly, I’m starting to realize, this isn’t something that happens easily over Fifty. Although it was happening slowly back before I fell of this latest health wagon.

In fact, my biggest success story was completely achieved by exercise. I decided to hire my business partner’s personal trainer. But he was a Gay bodybuilder and he said, “I barely even know any women. I don’t have the first idea how to train a woman.” So I told him, “Then just train me like a man.” He did. I got down to the point where I was wearing clothes from high school — when I weighed 104 lbs. — except that I was 120 lbs. The big take-away: muscle really does weigh more than fat! Sadly, trainers are much more saavy these days and I can’t seem to find one who doesn’t do modified girly training. So — all things being equal — I decided to go for the trainer who had the body I wanted. I chose an elegant African American woman. Think Angela Bassett. After one incredible session, she was poached by Facebook as chief trainer at their in-house gym. (Damn those Facebookers! They get everything.) But she introduced me to the trainer she’d picked to carry on with me. He’s a huge bodybuilder. So maybe, it’s fate and this will all turn out for the best.


Some would suggest I’d save a lot of money if I just put myself on Ranch Manager Louis’s crew. Especially, if I ran alongside the tractor instead of riding on it.

As for the running? I’ve dropped back from the Week 9 schedule to the Week 7 schedule. I’m so much slower that, where I log my runs, won’t even give me credit for a run. Based on the MPH, it calls it a “walk”. Well, it’s about getting out there.

On the hiking front? Well, that’s going to take a little longer. So far, my excuse has been that it’s too hot. But in reality, I know I’m not ready for the technical level of hikes my group does. And I don’t want to be That Hiker, who holds up everyone. And I would hold up everyone. We hike in Mountain Lion country, so the group rule is that no one charges ahead or drops behind alone or in groups smaller than four. At this point, I’d be on track to ruin three other people’s hike.

Yes, I know there is possibly nothing more boring than listening to someone else’s health and fitness resolutions. But somehow, when you write it down on a blog, it puts it out there to the point where you kind of have to stick with it. Which is why I record my runs so they post to Facebook. Then my friends, who are almost all doing better at this than I am, can give me a ration if I’m off track. I did get some encouragement this week as I hopped painfully back on the exercise track. Through my pain, I posted that “Well, I’m trying”. To which the most athletic person I know answered:

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Thanks, Yoda. That’s what I’m talking about. So please, folks, keep up that Social Media shaming. I need it.

Although I want to harness the power of Social Media in this endeavor, I will NOT be posting selfies of my progress. I might post pictures of Lucy's progress.

Although I want to harness the power of Social Media in this endeavor, I will NOT be posting selfies of my progress. I might post pictures of Lucy’s progress.