Fat to Fit: The Awakening
My December 2010 post surgery plan was twofold:
- Let myself recover for as little time as possible so I could get active again
- Figure out a plan for getting & staying healthy
The first step came easy. The doctor had said no running for eight to ten weeks but that I could swim gently in the pool. I read between the lines and understood that he really meant:
Go for a couple of swims to make sure none of your organs fall out of your incisions and then start running again.
So a week after surgery I was on the treadmill at the Towson Y putting in miles. Slowly. I ignored the pain and stretching in my abdomen where the gallbladder had been. Yes, I know this makes me eligible for a Darwin award.
I spent the next two months getting back to running 12 to 15 miles a week. That was my fat runner typical mileage. Three to five miles three to five times a week. So I was back in fat runner shape by mid-winter 2011.
A New Perspective
The second step was going to take a little more work. I still needed a fresh perspective on my story.
In our work at Blue Ocean Ideas we are always looking for ways to help our clients see their story in a new light. Our clients walk in our offices with an already determined story about their business or organization. Sometimes it is a pretty boring story in their mind. They can’t see how they are influencing the world from their insider’s view.
It often takes a fresh perspective for them to feel the power of their story. And we frequently have the privilege of helping them discover a new way of looking at their story.
There is power in the story of individuals and organizations. Stories instigate change.
In my case I received a fresh perspective from a TV broadcast I watched while recovery at home in the lazy boy after surgery.
The Saturday after my surgery I was sitting in my dad chair watching TV when a rebroadcast of the 2010 Ironman World Championship came on. I’ve been fascinated by the Ironman since I was a kid. The sheer soul crushing endurance it seemed to take to complete an Ironman has always attracted me to watch.
I’ve also always loved the stories that go with various competitors: cancer survivors, obese people that became Ironman, the professionals that slave their entire lives for a chance to win. The human stories that showed up on screen that day were inspiring.
Lying in the lazy boy dad chair, overweight and recovering from an entirely preventable, self-induced condition, a switch flipped inside of me. I can’t tell you exactly what happened. But whatever it was I knew I wasn’t going to be the same.
I could never imagine I could compete in an Ironman. But I did know I didn’t have to be the same.
The awakening began.