How I became healthy: Part 1

Hello again.  I wanted to share my interesting stories and discoveries about getting healthy, which I’ve experienced in these last 12 months, with the hopes that I might be able to help some other struggling people.  The time period is April 2014 to the present April 2015.

It’s been a really great change for me and as I have learned I have actually grown as a person.  So this is what you call “meaningful change”.  To be perfectly honest, there’s nothing more wonderful than finding your True SelfThis process brings about True Happiness and the Mind-Body Connection can never be underestimated.  So I encourage you all to take a look at these points and discoveries carefully.  I might also add that I am a psychology graduate from TRU and UBC.

I should start by saying that I was always interested in good health and fitness my entire adult life, though I could never really solve the problems of the right exercises and the right nutrition.  In fact there were some years in which I was jogging for incredibly long durations, like two hours for instance and I still was stuck at certain weight levels, which I just couldn’t break through.  And to be honest, I hated jogging for such a long time.  When your body feels good and you’re well rested, I enjoy maybe a 20-30 minute jog, actually, but afterwards it gets rather boring for me.  It seems like a waste of time.

Initial Workout

So there I was, 12 months ago jogging at the Elementary School nearby with my two boys.  I admit that I was in the worst shape in my life.  Working the night shift in the previous year really didn’t help either.  I think I was also at my worst weight at something near 215, which was a lot for me, a guy with a height of 5 feet, 11 inches.  The roller coaster ride of good health vs bad health was such a common theme in my life.  So  you can see, my previous weight loss attempts weren’t “meaningful change”.  They were mad attempts at losing weight, without any wisdom or personal growth gained.

I was ambitious in the early spring weather here in beautiful Kelowna, BC, (in the heart of the Okanagan valley), and I was able to jog 3 laps around the soccer field for the initial workout.  My boys and I would also do a short 15 minute “soccer juggling” game as well.  I enjoy the soccer-ball-juggling as it seems like a good solo martial arts meditation, with a strong emphasis on balance.

We continued this routine for another 3 weeks, but I wasn’t able to jog more than one lap in the following 3 weeks because I just felt either too sore or too exhausted.  My respiratory system was pretty terrible and I just couldn’t breath well enough to do more.  It’s so important to go slow and easy into exercise in your middle-age.

A Shocking Discovery

And then one evening at that same time period, I discovered something fascinating that really struck me.  I had read an article that suggested doing a “Sprinting Workout” instead of the long, monotonous jogging workouts.  I was suddenly turned on by the idea because I used to be a track and field sprinter in my youth.  Could this be possible?  Was I reading this information correctly?  I read on and learned of marvellous research that proved that doing a Sprinting Workout (when tested against a traditional jogging cardio workout),  produced much faster results.  I was astonished to discover that the Sprinting Workout caused much faster weight loss and exercised the entire body core simultaneously given the enormous bursts of energy used for sprinting.  I must say that something really clicked in my head upon hearing this information.  This discovery just makes sense doesn’t it?  For thousands of years humans had to be fast to survive, whether it be running to catch food or running to avoid some kind of predator.  You can obviously see that faster is better.  The research also stated that test subjects doing the sprinting workout even improved their cardio conditioning more than the test subjects on the cardio routine!  How unbelievable was that?  With even further testing that showed a marked increase of the hormone testosterone in the sprinting group.  If you’re over the age of 19, you might have realized how difficult it is to form new muscles.  So this is a real amazing piece of information.

Testing the Theory (50 meter sprints, 10 reps)

I was pretty anxious to test out this sprinting theory.  So the next day I went out with my boys to the school, jogged one lap around the field and told them we were going to test a new theory, Sprinting.  We lined up, set a 50 metre distance marker, and were off!  Both my boys are very fast too!  As I ran and got faster, I could feel a lot of resistance in my body.  To be specific, my body felt painful and my muscles were sore.  It was like the body was saying “Don’t do this. You’re not ready for it!”  Well I did it anyways, and when we walked back to our starting place, all  out of breath, I realized that I had ripped both of my thigh muscles! This was a very important lesson to learn.  I wasn’t able to sprint for 3 weeks after this time and I had to resume light jogging until enough healing took place.  Three weeks later, nearly the same thing happened again.  However, there was some learning slowly taking place in the back of my mind.   As I learned to respect and listen to the body, I realized it was necessary to warm up the muscles very slowly to the point in which the body would say, “Ok you’re now ready for a sprint!”. The way I did this was by starting off with a slow 50 meter jog and for each run, I gradually increased speed!  It was wonderful to learn about the nature of our muscles.  About 6 or 7 runs later, the muscles became activated!  The muscles started acting like the Disney movie “flubber”. Jumping up and down felt good.  And then finally the body said, “Yes you can sprint your hardest now!”  It was a great moment but a difficult lesson to learn.

After I had learned the techniques of sprinting and proper muscle warm-ups, my body really transformed for the better and I really dropped the pounds fast!  I went from about 215 pounds to 185 by the summer time.  There were times when I had a few minor rips in my leg muscles during the Spring, but by summer time, massive leg muscles had formed to easily handle the high level of performance.  It was also near the start of summer that I thought I would give my “Power Yoga” workout another try.  I think it was the wisdom of Yoga that helped me to gain insight into overall body health and nutrition.  So I will stop here and continue the story in Part 2 with my insights about Yoga and Nutrition.  I hope you had fun reading. I love these kind of stories myself.  Feel free to ask questions by choosing “Contact” in my Main Menu or just by clicking here. There’s nothing more great than helping people reach their true potential.  I have always been that kind of teacher and it was always the purpose behind my Psychology major.

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