Who We Were Meets Who We Are

My children told me that they don’t want me to compete in any of the Tough Mudder events.  They watched videos like the one below and told me they are afraid I will get hurt.

Who We Were Meets Who We Are

It irritated me to hear them say don’t do it. I understand their concern for my safety and am grateful for it but it wasn’t what I expected to hear or what I wanted.

I think of myself as being somewhere being 19 and 25. I am still ripped in every way. All those hours in the gym and all of the hard work have made me into a beast and then I open my eyes.

I was that guy. It is not an exaggeration. I was 9% body fat and just solid muscle. I could eat whatever I wanted and I could move a mountain with little to no effort.

When I open my eyes I see a big beefy guy who looks like he can still throw the weights around, when he is not eating. I see a guy who could complete some of the existing challenges today, but would never finish the whole course without serious training.

What Are You Doing About It?

Part of what I like about an event like Tough Mudder is the focus on willpower and mental toughness. You don’t finish something like that unless you can do a little of the mind over matter bit so many people talk about.

I have the force of will to do these things. I have the strength, the fortitude and the mental toughness to complete it or so I keep saying. What I seem to lack is the discipline to do a better job with my diet.

There are regular periods of time where I get serious and I bear down. I watch what I eat and engage in consistent and serious workouts. My body changes.

How do I know this?

The answer is called: pants. I know this by whether I need a belt or not to wear my pants. If I need that belt than I know I am doing a decent job of cutting down on the calories and increasing the exercise.

When I don’t need to wear a belt than I hope that I have enjoyed some very fine meals because there is something irritating about knowing that you wasted all those calories on crap. If you are going to get yourself in trouble you might as well earn it.

English: This is a photograph that we have per...

English: This is a photograph that we have permission to use. We hired photographer Dmitry Gudkov to take this picture at our event on November 20, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not in that picture but I could be. The guy I used to be would have done it. He would have entered and loved every moment of it. He never could have imagined that one day the children who used to think he was Superman would be concerned he might fall into a Kryptonite mud puddle.

Here is the thing, I am the adult. I am their father and if I want to do this I can.

Even if I don’t enter I can still train. I can still get myself into shape, but will I.

Will I complain about their concern and lack of faith and leave it at that or will I just do what needs to be done. Meaning, will I prove to myself and everyone else that a 43 year-old man has the discipline and wherewithal to stop the clock and restore his hard body.

I guess you’ll have to wait to find out because I can’t answer that question now.

What about you? Have you any interest in competing in something like this?

Linking up with Dude Write.

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  1. Roly September 7, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Using the Nike logo “Just do it” 🙂

  2. Youngman Brown September 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I think that anyone who is capable of doing something like this should definitely do it… just for the sake of those of us who can’t.

    Prove your kids wrong.

  3. Ken September 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    At 45, I’m trying to struggle back to some sort of being in shape. I was more over weight than I am right now. I want to be in shape. When I was younger, I was never a hard body fellow, but lived pretty hard in doing the things that I do daily. I pay for that now with a back that likes to surprise me and now a wonky shoulder that’s giving me problems.

    Still though, I paused the video on the locations to see if it landed anywhere close. Would I do it, probably not. It would certainly be some motivation to be a better me, just in case. You never know?

    If you do this thing, I would surely be impressed!

    • Jack September 4, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Hi Ken,

      I figure it never hurts to try to get ourselves into the kind of shape that would let us take a swing at doing it. Better to try and fail than to fail to try.

  4. Chubby Chatterbox September 3, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Chubby Chatterboxes don’t compete in activities like this. We hang around the snack bar and wait for the fresh hot dogs to appear.

  5. workingdan September 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I got the weights…I got the P90X program…I got hamburgers in my freezer, I got a rack of ribs ready to be cooked, I got 2 grills. I got a fridge full of beer. I got a problem.

    The will is there, the motivation isn’t. This post may give me the boost I need though!

    That video looks like it’s not for the weak or faint of heart!

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Sounds like we are all heading over to your place Dan for one hell of a barbecue. What time should we get there? 😉

      That video helps, seriously there is something about it that grabs me. Even though it is a bit intimidating it still helps motivate me.

  6. Michael September 2, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Jack if you can pull this off, you have my applause and admiration. I wrestled in high school, which required a great deal of running and a lot of non-traditional calisthenics, but this takes it to a-whole-nother-level.

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 7:54 am

      Hi Michael,

      This will sound ridiculous but I am not afraid of the race itself. What scares me is the amount of work it is going to take to get myself back in shape to take this sucker on.

      But I like a serious challenge and this is that so here we are. Go big or go home.

  7. WilyGuy September 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I’m doing the Rebel Race in October. We’ll see how that works out. When I finish, I will show the world my body… Of course, it may simply be the body of my completion beer…


  8. Hajra September 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I would love to, but somehow I feel I am not in shape to be doing that. But yes, someday I would love it to give it a try.

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Here is my original pep talk- break up training into bite size pieces. As you work your way through it you can get to a point where you feel like you have done enough to feel secure taking it on.

  9. Joe September 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I did Crossfit until a couple of discs in my neck wore out and I had surgery last year. I’ve recovered enough to return to the gym, but at 53 my motivation is taking longer to come back.

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

      I imagine that you must have a few friends who can help you find that motivation or that perhaps our Uncle Sam knows a couple of people who can help inspire you. Of course you know far more about that than I do. 😉

      Part of why I am trying to push myself a bit is because I don’t think it is going to get any easier so I am trying to set up better habits now.

  10. Kianwi September 2, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I would love to do this, but boy it’s intimidating. I ran a marathon once, so I know there is some toughness in there, but it’s having a hard time finding it’s way back out as I work on running again. I’ve let myself become soft, but this post inspires me! Maybe not to do the Mudder, but at least to get my butt in gear and get back in awesome shape!

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 7:45 am

      Hi Kianwi,

      If you have done a marathon there is no doubt there is some grit inside. I haven’t done one of those yet, but I will.

      I want to be able to say that like you I have done it.

  11. Michelle Longo September 2, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I would love to do something like this. I am not in any sort of shape to be able to do it. I wish I could commit to the training it would take, but I just can’t these days.

    I can (and should) commit to doing something to get myself in better shape. Every day I don’t it eats away at me. Which usually leads ME to eat away at something.

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 7:44 am

      Hi Michelle,

      Small steps lead to small victories- that is my motto. What I am focused upon is the present. I used to be in the kind of shape where I could have taken this on without feeling like it was overwhelming.

      But I am not that guy…right now.

      So I am trying to focus on baby steps- better diet, more exercise etc. With some hard work and some time it is possible.

      Too hard for us to swallow in one bite.

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