Thursday, October 28, 2010

Looking Back...Looking Ahead

Not me and my daughter, but pretty close.
Today is my daughter's birthday.  She is 15 years old today and becoming a wonderful young woman.  She is smart, kind, funny, humble and very intelligent.  I am totally in love with my girl and we are extremely proud of her. 

I started this blog just over one year ago.  In my post a year ago, I wrote about how my workouts were two "river loops" in about an hour.  That is about 13 miles.  Not a fast pace and I confess that I am really not much faster now, but I tend to ride more often with other, newer cyclists now, so who knows how fast I would be on my own.  On my post a year ago, I only see comments from my daughter.  Very sweet and encouraging.

These reminded me of where I was a year ago and how far I feel I've come.  A year ago, I weighed about 50 pounds more and had yet to ride in my first race, El Tour de Tucson.  My goal was simply to finish.  Could a guy who weighed 325 pounds ride 35 miles before the street lights came on and the race was closed down?  I did about 2 and 1/2 hours and it remains one of the biggest highlights of my life. 

Since then, I gained confidence and lost a lot of weight.  I raced my bike in 3 other races.  I got in good enough shape where I could run for 90 seconds at a time, then 5 minutes, then 7, then 11 minutes...until my friend RockStar Tri just told me to keep going and I ran a 5k distance (3.1 miles).    My 5k time dropped from 52 minutes to 34 minutes!  I have a certificate that shows that I was third in my age group on the last run! 

People comment a lot about my weight loss and I know that I go through periods where I am focused on either exercise (like this month) OR weight loss (last summer)...rarely both at the same time.  Yet, I'm still very pleased with it all.

Looking ahead, I will be so proud to ride in this year's El Tour de Tucson with my son and my good friend Crazy Jim.  Both started cycling this year, in large part, due to my cycling.   When this race is behind me, I know that my focus will be on choosing a longer riding distance for myself at some point in 2011 and to start training for a 10k in Q1 of 2011 and I'm even cautiously considering a half-marathon or sprint tri later in 2011. 

In January of 2010, I wrote out a list of goals for 2010.  Here's the link.  I achieved every goal, except my cycling mileage goal, which was very aggressive.  The walking/running miles became more convenient and required less time from home.  Other than that, all goals achieved.  Remarkable for this former couch potato.

I realize that this post seems a bit self-congratulatory and I don't want to seem as if I am seeking some atta-boys from anyone reading this.  I just wanted to pause and document how grateful I am for what I've experienced this year.   Perhaps if I should stumble in the future (or if anyone out there is wondering if they too can make subtle lifestyle changes and get dramatic results)...this post can remind me/us that change is always  possible.  You don't have to be a former jock, or massively obsessive-compulsive about a new healthy addiction.  Reasonable changes, when steadily applied, can bring dramatic results.  Consider the river running through the Grand Canyon.

I'll end this with some words that I wrote at the end of that original post about my goals:
I have been blessed with these positive things in my life and I believe that God is calling me to finally get serious about improving my health. I will not waste this time.

My thanks to all of you, anyone who has ever commented on this blog or reached out to me via e-mail to encourage or challenge me along the way.  I am grateful to you beyond words.  
Finally, you may have noticed that I am not commenting as much as I used to on some blogs.  I feel guilty about this, but my wife and I have been heavily burdened with a challenge (outside of our family) that continues to require a lot of time.  My schedule is pretty tight right now and my computer time is limited, but it will free up soon and I look forward to being more encouraging of all of your great progress. 
Big Clyde


Ann (-22 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

Wow, what a great look back on your progress for 2010, Clyde. It really is amazing, when you look back and realize how much your fitness level has changed! The icing on this cake is that you've inspired others to fit-up too! Personally, I'm looking forward a great deal to your/Samson's Tour challenge. THAT is going to be a highlight in your life, and his - the official course you rode together (the FIRST).

Keep up the good work. Your weight changes have been wonderful, but your exercise is a phenom to every couch potato out here! And it is all the more sweet that your family joins in with you! I love that!!

You are a blessed man.

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

Excellent progress! When I first read that 13 miles in an hour, I thought you meant running and I was confused at how that 'wasn't that fast!' haha. Great job with your goals as well!

Lesley @ said...

Awesome Clyde... you deserve atta-boys... don't be afraid to claim them.

spunkysuzi said...

Happy Birthday to your Daughter!

Wow look at everything you have accomplished. You are one of the people who inspired me to try biking again. Thank you

Lucas said...

A little choked up here, I gotta admit.

So, so, so happy for you. For the weight loss, improvement in your health, meeting your goals, inspiring others AND pausing to be grateful. Lots of good here Clyde. You did not waste your time. God called and you answered. Well done!

Megan said...

That is the great think about blogs, you get to document progress like you have and reflect and yes, you are allowed to be like "hey! look what I've done!" So therefore, I am going to say attaboy! Way to go!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

You've come a long way and deserve more than one atta-boy. Hope that you can remain focused during this tough time.

TRI714 said...

You seem like a GREAT Dad and husband. I have enjoyed reading your post new and even archived. Good for you for keepin on. Best wishes on your current challenges, for I feel your pain "heavily". But I do believe "If it is to be, it's up to me" and I will hold on to that with every fiber of my being.
Challenges and cross roads build confidence if we let them not tear us down.

RockStarTri said...

While many of these accomplishments are great in and of themselves, the most important is that your girl is "becoming a wonderful young woman." Well done!

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

Clyde, you have been very generous and encouraging - we understand. That must be amazing having a 15 year old. We're a few years behind and can't believe it every day. Love what you've done with your life, and how many people you've inspired up a notch along the way.

Patrick Mahoney said...

Take the atta-boys, please. Humble is cool and all, but exceptions should be made.

Atta Boy, Clyde. For real.

Patrick Mahoney said...

PS Happy birthday to your daughter...

Raegun said...

You have accomplished so much since you first started this journey, Clyde. You deserve some kudos!

Christina said...

WOW, you sure have come a long way. Every day might not be perfect, but in the long run you've really made the right decisions. Keep it up!!!!

Gosh, 15! I bet time has just flown. I can't imagine! :)