Saturday, January 7, 2012

#14 - Good Vibrations

-- From small beginnings come great things.
-- Proverb

Let the fun begin. Marty has opened his new health club to the public and the people are starting to join up for this exciting journey. I am so excited to be a part of this project to help myself and to help other people. We are throwing pebbles into the community pond and I can't wait to see what effect our ripples will have!

-- Everybody talks about wanting to change things and help and fix, but ultimately all you can do is fix yourself. And that's a lot. Because if you can fix yourself, it has a ripple effect.
-- Rob Reiner

As a part of this effort, we have had an opportunity to talk with some new people about their struggles with weight and their own limitations. It has brought my mind back to the way I used to be. To help them make their decision to join the gym, I have told them of where I began and where I am now. It gave me the opportunity to really reflect on these changes. If you have read this blog from beginning to end, you know many of these things, but it is just amazing how I've gone from someone who was depressed, immobile, and sprinting headlong over a cliff of poor health to a person who is happy, uplifted, active, and beginning to spread his wings and really soar. I get pretty emotional when I think about it. I can't wait to see what is around the next turn of this journey.

My friend Amanda has a blog herself. I won't "out" her on this posting. I hope she shares her story because she is a fabulous writer who has a lot to offer with her own struggles. Anyway, I posted something on her page and she told me I should put it here. It is a typical Kevin story (long-winded and full of analogy), but it may help others.

I posted on her site in reaction to her statement that she was having a rough time thinking of how long her journey was. It is a common problem for People of Size. We all want desperately to quickly have the skinny body we all think will solve every one of our problems. I think this is a big part of our journey is to come to terms with our own mental issues along the way because being thin will not actually solve these problems. Sooner or later, we have to come to term with our "demons" whether we are fat or thin.

Oops, went on a tangent. So I told Amanda the following story in hopes of helping lift her spirits about her journey.

Kevin said...

I totally get it. You will go nuts looking at how long the road ahead of you is. Take it from someone who is MILES away from their goal, we CAN do it.

A short anecdote if I may ...

As a young boy, my Dad and I did a lot of hiking and climbing of mountains in Colorado. I was active in the boy scouts and we were constantly challenging ourselves to bigger and better accomplishments.

One of the many accomplishments I had as a boy scout was that I climbed Mount Harvard in Colorado. It is a fourteener. This means it is over 14,000 ft above sea level. Not only that, it is the fourth tallest mountain in America (outside of Alaska ... they got really big hills up there). As I was climbing that mountain, I was EXHAUSTED. It is hard to breathe at that altitude and you really have to persevere just to make it. I learned quickly that if I looked towards the summit, I would become disheartened and want to stop. Not only that, but there is a phenomenon called "false peaks". You could think you have made it to your goal, go over the ridge and see a whole bunch of mountain still ahead of you. How disheartening! I learned that to make it, I had to do two things.

First, I focused on my feet and the path before me. One foot in front of the other. Keep moving forward. Breathe. If you just keep it going like a machine, you can churn through some miles in a hurry.

Second, pause to look around you. Take in the scenery. Above timberline has some of the most incredible views you will ever see in life! Soak it in. Be renewed by the beauty all around you.

So let's apply this to our journey!

Focus on your feet! Focus on those things you can control. Journal. Exercise. Be active. All those little steps will churn through the miles. Work that machine!

Enjoy the scenery! Soak it in! You ARE healthier. You ARE improving. Do not be discouraged that you aren't on top of that mountain! The view from this location is also spectacular. You are no longer way down there at the bottom where the trees block your view. You are here. It is beautiful (as are you). Be invigorated by the accomplishment you have already made. It will push you to the end of your journey.

Keep your chin up baby! I'm rooting for you!

It is good advice for all of us. Focus on the now. If we spend too much time looking towards the future or how far we have to go, it can discourage us from doing what we so desperately need to do.

Well, I'm exhausted from all this schmoozing with the Square One folks. It has been a long 2 months and I am so excited to see what dividends can be reaped from this work. We kept our eyes on our feet and now I am enjoying the view.

-- Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

-- St. Francis of Assisi


  1. <3 I am sorry, Kevin. I could not wait until Monday to read this like you asked. So glad I read it now. I would have had Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's "Good Vibrations" stuck in my head at work. That would have made me crazier than thinking of the long road ahead of me. ;)

  2. LOL Amanda. It is a good thing I didn't get that stuck in your head. However, I am a little distressed that you go to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch rather than the Beach Boys.

  3. I am a little young for the Beach Boys, Kevin. Marky Mark was popular when I was a teeny bopper. It cannot be helped. I will always think of Marky Mark before the Beach Boys when I hear or read "Good Vibrations". I have actually had an odd mix of the two in my head all morning...

    Beach Boys: "I'm pickin' up good vibrations"
    Marky Mark: "Come on, come on"
    Beach Boys: "She's givin' me excitations"
    Marky Mark: "Feel it, feel it"
    Beach Boys: "Good, good, good, good virations"
    Marky Mark: "Feel the vibration"

    And this is why I will be putting my headphones on and cranking up my ipod as soon as Bruce lays down to take his nap.