Realizing the Past, Reaching for Tomorrow

This past week has been nothing short of amazing.  Most people who know me these days know very little of my past before my weight loss and life transformation.  They only know of my earlier years of my Transformation Tuesday posts, or reading my blog archives.   Looking at me today, you couldn’t even tell how troubled I was inside.  I’ve been very public with everything that’s gone on in my life, and it’s really helped me move forward through everything, and not feel shamed by any means.  If it’s one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t please everyone, you can only do your best and have faith that in the end you’re going to end up where you thought you were.

Back in the mid-2000’s to 2011 I was running my own IT consulting business working insane hours sometimes up to 90 hours a week.  The weekends would come and I would do what most single adults do.  Go out with friends to the bars to unload from a hectic weekend.   It was like that old Bill Cosby standup routine when he talks about the weekends.  I’d get totally smashed, and not have a care in the world what was going on around me.  I had this who mentality that I was king of the world and that everyone liked me, because I was funny.  This also made me forget about the fact that I was overweight and unhappy with myself.   Now, I didn’t blame being unhappy or overweight on anyone else.  I knew I had control over both and I chose not to do anything about it.  In the process of this perpetual cycle of mine I made the choice to drive home under the influence.  In fact most adults who get behind the wheel after 1 drink and not driving for 1 hour after drinking it, are driving under the influence.   I just got caught, not once, but twice.   I make no excuses of it, it was my actions and my choice no matter how poor it was.  Even after that 2nd DUI I continued to drink, just this time I didn’t drive.  Insanely enough I moved to Pacific Beach where I partied and I just walked home instead of drive home.  There were times where I’d wake up in bushes and in bed wondering, how on earth I got here.

It wasn’t till about December 2011 that I woke up one morning in the hallway that something happened.  I managed to make it to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror and I asked myself “What the hell am I doing?  There has got to be more to living life then being happy with your job, going out and getting smashed, and waking up not remembering what happened the following night.”  The following day, I started looking at other possible career fields where I didn’t have to work 80-90 hour weeks.  I started using my 24hr Fitness membership that I’d been paying for, for the last 5 years.  I was up at 4:30AM and in the gym at 5-6AM so that I could get it in before work.   Most of all though I quit drinking, cold turkey.  It was hard, ok it was really hard.  I stopped meeting my friends at the bars and in doing so I often wondered if I was being selfish.  At first it really bothered me that maybe they would hate me or look down upon me for making the choice to not hang out with them.  Then finally I hit a break with a new job, it was a step down in terms of where I was on the IT world, but at the time I didn’t know the wealth, and the profound life change that I was about to embark on.  I took the leap of faith and took it.  All of a sudden I was working an 8-5 job Monday through Friday.  I took a big pay cut, but I got a personal time raise.  By now I was a few months sober, I’ve done the time for my DUI’s to the State of California, and I was a much happier man.  With all the changes going on, I was down an incredible 50lbs and back under 300lbs (again).  Over time I’d lost contact with the people I went out with all the time, but yet new people found their way into my life as I made other things more important in my life.  I was on my way to the next chapter of my life.

In 2013, thanks to a friend that I met on one New Year’s Even night, I signed up for my 2nd triathlon in my life.  I didn’t know it at the time, but this race would change my entire life from the moment I walked out the door.  It was the ITU Triathlon in San Diego, I had so much fun, and I found my calling.  Some people call it the bug, but there was just something inside of me that knew I had to be a part of this sport at some capacity, even if I was just a slow fat guy.  I joined the local triathlon club, Triathlon Club of San Diego aka TCSD where to this day I have met some of the best people on this planet.   I got involved, and began volunteering as an Open Water Swim Coach with their BOWS (Beginner Open Water Swim) group on Thursdays.  I started volunteering at races as a swim buddy to encourage those afraid of the water that they could finish the swim and be a triathlete.  I’ll remember my first time swimming with someone.   She finished the swim, took off her googles and tears came down her cheek and then she gave me a big hug and said “Without you there, I don’t think I could have finished.”  I had to tell her to go finish the race, and off she went.   That moment was more rewarding than all the nights out drinking combined.  I got teary eyed from it and knew that I found where I belonged.  Since then it’s now 2016, I’m still a volunteer swim coach with TCSD, I still volunteer at races when I’m not racing.  I’ve found that watching people achieve their dreams of completing a triathlon when they didn’t think they could.  So when I found out that because of my past DUI’s that I couldn’t get the some of the coaching certifications, I knew it was time to see how I could get them removed.

At the time when I got the DUI’s it really didn’t impact me much, so I didn’t even worry about getting them expunged as it’s called.   I looked into what I had to do, and I had to get some letters of support from my peers.  So I asked on Facebook of people who’d write letters of support.  I figured I’d only get a couple of responses, but what I got was completely overwhelming.  People I hardly knew to people that I went to high school with have come out in show of their support to have the DUI’s expunged.  I knew that not everyone would agree with me asking to have some wrong choices removed so you can get to a better future.  However, you don’t know how far you can go till you try, so that’s what I did this week.

Stop Beating Yourself Up When You Fail

We live in a society where you’re looked down on when you fail.  People laugh at you when you aren’t perfect.  In today’s world there might be a video of it that will then appear on social media that rips into because you might have not been able to lift that 200lbs squat or you tripped 6ft before the finish line.   There is soo much negativity from people that failure now dictates that you aren’t any good and that you should quit.  There is nothing you can do about other people deciding to act the way they act.  You can however control how it effects you.

Most of the time the reason want to make fun of your failures is because they are too afraid to get up and try it themselves.  So in order for them to justify that fear to themselves they will wait for someone to fail in front of them.   Then because so many other people are in the same boat they all laugh and you feel bad because you are being laughed at.  No one likes it when they don’t get something right the first time, but if everyone got everything right the first time we wouldn’t have many of the things in life today, no one would think it was possible.

What they don’t understand is that success is breed through failures.  Failing only mean’s you successfully found a way to challenge yourself and learn and adapt and how to improve.    You’re never going to get there though if you completely rip yourself apart and beat yourself up just because you failed.   What you’re doing to yourself by this negative self-talk is doing more harm than that failure ever will!  When you beat yourself up, you are effectively trying to talk yourself into quitting what you’re doing, and that you shouldn’t try it again.

When you’re lifting weight and only lifting the same weight, you aren’t challenging yourself, but if you put weight on the bar and you start struggling… that’s when the magic happens.  Your muscles know that they can’t handle it, and your body is going to build stronger muscles.  So in that failure there is success!   When you fail and you get back up and doing it, your brain is already figuring out how to fix things before you even think about it consciously.

Accept that you’re going to fail at things, you’re going to screw up, and most of all, you’re going to succeed.  You’re going to improve, you’re going to get better the more and more you screw up.

It was Les Brown who said, “Those who have never failed, haven’t done anything yet!”

So go out there and find that success in failure, show the world that you can do it.   Go out, find a challenging goal.  Fail, be willing to do whatever it takes for you to succeed in achieving that goal.  It might not be easy, but the harder you work for it, the sweeter the success in achieving it.

Starting 2016 Off Great!

This year is going to be a blast, I can feel it.  I graduate from IIN in March as a certified holistic health coach and I go to Colorado in April to further my education with sports nutrition with metabolic efficiency.  I’m going back to school as well for further education with nutrition at the local community college.  In a few weeks I’ll wrap up my US Masters Swimming Masters I & II certification, and begin the steps that I need to do to hopefully have my USAT Level 1 and USAC Level 3 by the end of the year.   Going to retake my NASM exam sometime in summer again and add ISSA to the resume as well.  The most powerful thing that we can do as a human being is to educate ourselves, so that we can educate others.

I’ve already launched my health and wellness coaching business at SD Fit No Excuses: Health and Wellness and I’m preparing to launch my endurance multisport coach site within the next month or so.  As must as I’d love for it to be a full time gig, in San Diego it’s hard to do.  Maybe by 2017/2018.  One of the best feelings in the world is watching people achieve their goals with your help, and I look forward to what I can do.

Race wise, I’ve got quite the fall lined up.  I have 4 long distance races lined up:  Ironman California 70.3, Ironman Wisconsin, Ironman Arizona 70.3, and Ironman Arizona.  That’s right I have 2 full distance Ironman events at the end of the year.  I’m the volunteer captain for Ironman’s SuperSEAL 5150 race for the swim enter/exit and T1 area, which I’m really excited for, and I hope I can get in for the Ironman Superfrog 70.3 volunteer captain as well.  It will be great, I know it.

You need to have some vision as to what you want to accomplish, and then believe that the dots will connect.  Some people believe in god, some people believe in luck or destiny, personally I believe in myself.  Go out and do something truly great for yourself!