I did something hard today I did something hard today

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Thread: I did something hard today

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default I did something hard today

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    I’m a 52-year-old guy. As we age, the voice in our ear seems to consistently echo “you’re not 25 anymore”. Perhaps it’s a spouse, co-worker or even our own children that urge caution before we try to exert ourselves beyond anything deemed reasonable for someone our age. And when coupled with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the consequences over time are toxic.

    I was fairly active when I was younger, but as time went on my activity level continued to decline. Add higher levels of stress over the years and the outcome was not good. Then I got “sick” and hit bottom. I was never actually diagnosed with anything, but the effects were very real and I was barely functioning. I could hardly make it through the day of sitting at a desk and would often just crash. I was constantly lightheaded, weak and couldn’t even think straight. I basically felt like I was dying. Every test came back normal, but I continued to get worse. My quality of life was diminishing.

    I had connected some of my symptoms to food and decided to try a ketogenic diet, partly for the known benefits and partly to eliminate certain foods. The results were dramatic and I started feeling a little better. The down side was that I was losing weight that I could not afford to lose, bottoming out at 145 lbs (at 5’ 11”). I very selectively added some foods (carbs) back to my diet and found a balance of sorts, but I was skin and bones. The atrophy was so severe that I actually felt like my muscles ached while they wasted away. Then I found Starting Strength.

    I worked out a little when I was younger and even tried in later years, but I never had any instruction or programming. I bought the book, scrounged up a rack, bar and plates from craigslist and had at it. I pretty much started with an empty bar. Alan Thrall said something like when you start out, your nerves first need to figure out how to even tell your muscles what to do. That seems to describe what I experienced. I was very concerned about getting hurt. I felt fragile, almost brittle. I went very cautiously. But because of everything that I was learning, I had a confidence in the program. And the gains came.

    I am 9 months in and feel like a different person. No one is going to stop me on the street and ask if I lift, but I am so much stronger it is not funny. I used to regularly wake up with pain in my shoulder, back, etc. because I “slept on it wrong”. Now the only pain I have is from pulling on a bar as hard as I can! My back is stronger than it has ever been.

    Matt Reynolds talks often about voluntary hardship. This has been a very hard journey. The garage is cold on these Ohio mornings and I sometimes look at my plan and think “No way I can do that today.” But I start out easy with the warm-up sets, one at a time. And before I know it, I am grinding out the last work set! No one would be impressed with my numbers, but that doesn’t matter. I am getting STRONGER instead of WEAKER. And I feel better.

    At my age, it truly seems to go against conventional wisdom to push your body to its limits. We should go easy to not hurt ourselves. (Essentially, lay down and eventually die.) Instead, I am pushing and pulling literally as hard as I can 3 days a week!

    I work as a lone consultant and often face difficult situations that I am forced to resolve on my own. Now when I walk into a client and get surprised by a problem that I have not run into before, I don’t panic. I say to myself “I already did something hard today that I didn’t think I was capable of. How can this be any worse?”

    I am very grateful for this community and the wealth of information that is so freely shared.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    New York


    Nice going Steve.I know how cold it can be in the garage but glad it seems to finally over.Soon we will be complaining about the heat.80 here today in NY a few days ago it was 29.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    adelaide, south australia


    I am so impressed, Steve. You turned your death spiral around by your creative willpower. You found healthy diet and the physical culture lifestyle.
    I think you are in it til the end (far off).
    make no mistake, you are an athlete.
    This place is replete with oldies (like Jerry) whose exploits and training are a constant inspiration and source of ideas. I am always on the lookout for someone as grown up as me to feed me with possibilities, and "i dun this".


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