I turned 40 last summer. It really wasn’t a big deal because 5 days before my 40th, I became a grandpa. That event overshadowed my birthday. I had a much harder time wrapping my mind around becoming a grandfather than accepting that I had hit “the top of the hill.” I did decide last summer that in light of this milestone, I wanted to run a 5K race or two to show the world (ok…just me) that I still had something left in the tank. It was a bucket list kind-of thing. So, I trained for a month or so and ran two 5K races with my son. Both of them hurt…a lot. I forgot how much running hurt, and I rediscovered why I quit my high school cross country team after my sophomore year. But, I was proud of my accomplishments, and I even won a first place trophy for my age group in one of the races. I display this proudly to this day – even though I happened to be the only runner in my age group that day. I will turn 41 this summer, and it’s no big deal. No bucket list ideas this summer. That is until a few weeks ago. A friend of mine invited me to join him on an adventure, and I decided that my bucket list needed to grow.
On Sunday, my friend and I will leave for an adventure where we will have the snot kicked out of us for two straight weeks. We will be going to Ivins, Utah to participate in two-weeks of physical punishment at The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge. And please understand that the word “resort” is used very loosely – almost to the point of being misused, if you ask me. For two weeks, we will wake up at 5:30AM and begin a regiment of physical exercise and training that will not end until dinner each day. Oh, and meals. Again, I feel like the word “meal” is being misused by the “resort.” 1200 calories a day. That’s it! 300 for breakfast, 400 for lunch, and 500 for dinner. Oh, I forgot snack time. One hard boiled egg or 12 almonds. That’s it. No processed sugar; no dairy, no caffeine. No pretzels, chips, candy, chocolate cake, apple turnovers, milkshakes…you get the point.
So, why would I do this, you ask? Why would I take sacred vacation time away from my family, food, and couch to do something this brutal? Well, I have been called crazy before…but I don’t think I am on this one. I think I need this. For the past 17 months, my brother (who is 6 years older than me) and I have been “weighing in” each weekend. He lives in Michigan, and I live in New Mexico, but every Saturday morning, we compare weight and talk about food and exercise choices we’ve made the past week. We do this because both he and I have some health issues that losing weight and physical fitness can probably solve, so we agreed 17 months ago to keep each other accountable. Going to the “resort” will hopefully give me some new tools that I can use in my life and share with him so that both of us can continue to get healthier.
So, my bucket list is expanding. I’m adding, “Spend two weeks getting my buns kicked and learning how to live a healthier life” to it. Hopefully when I return, my mind will be bigger because of the new tools and techniques I’ve learned, and my stomach will be smaller because I ran myself into the ground while eating the sticks and leaves the “chefs” there served me.