Member's Voice Blog

Member's Voice Blog

Vacation…a Time for Reflection

June 25, 2012 By: Ron "Commish" Swanson

Ron "Commish" Swanson

It’s 102 degrees today and I have already decided that the gym is not going to happen tonight. It is almost 8 p.m. and I’m still at the office catching up on paperwork that won’t get done next week because I’m on vacation. Next week I will be playing some golf, doing lots of eating, and perhaps, visiting the resort’s workout room a time or two. If I was a betting man I’d lay odds of 5:2 that it doesn’t happen.

This line of thinking has caused me to reflect on the last 4+ years since I joined Brick Bodies. Has my membership been worth it? Have I gotten out of it at least as much as I put into it? Most importantly, why do I do this to myself?

On the surface I have lost, perhaps, 12 pounds…not a particularly impressive number spread over these four and a half years. Doing a bit of ciphering, I figure I have burned more than 250,000 calories or at least 60-70 pounds worth of “work.” I kind of suspected it, but I suppose I really do work out in order to eat more. If I look a little deeper, there are several other dividends that have occurred to me that have made this one of the best investments of time and money I could have made.

Way back in 2007 I was spending almost $400 every three months on blood pressure (BP) medication and my doctor wanted to start me on a cholesterol-lowering drug, too. I firmly believe in the old journalism adage of “delete to strengthen,” so I thought I would join a gym and see if that helped rather than take another pill. Also, in the back of my mind I was thinking I might be a candidate for knee replacements since both of them hurt so much. It was a bit of agony every time I had to carry feed bags or hay down a flight of steps to take care of our menagerie of goats and chickens and rabbits, oh my. I was hoping that somehow these old joints could possibly rejuvenate a bit, too. If it could help my golf game, but that was just too much to expect.

Today, I still take BP meds, but they only cost me about $20 a quarter instead of $400. My knees must be better too, since I very seldom even think about them when I go up or down steps. I’m sure several years of conditioning helped me recover more quickly from cancer surgery last fall, but these things are just the gravy. The entrée and best part of joining Brick Bodies is the effect it had on the rest of my family.

I was always the “dwarf” in our household. Mind you, I was a big dwarf, six-foot and every bit of 215. My wife didn’t want to join a gym, but when I told her that I was going to anyway she didn’t want me to join without her. She doesn’t go as often as me, but Mrs. Commish has lost at least 3 times as much weight as I have. How does that happen?

Gwaltney, our daughter, had always been fit but, like her father, it would not hurt to drop 20 pounds or so. Anyways, I told her about the Brickover competition several years ago and she became a contestant along with one of her friends from high school. Gwaltney’s goals were to lose 30 pounds and then maybe start a family because she would be healthier and feel better about getting pregnant. Well, she lost almost 40 pounds, has kept it off for three years, and feels so good that she and her husband trained for and completed the Baltimore Marathon this past October. This year she won’t be running a marathon because she is expecting our first grandchild. Goals set and accomplished.

Feeling better myself is one thing, but the serendipities that have accrued because of joining the gym are things I could not have envisioned. These are the things that have really made the “quarter of a million calorie investment” worthwhile.

If only my golf game was progressing as well.

Posted by Ron "Commish" Swanson on June 25, 2012

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