Being Bruce -: My Adventure with Dancing with the Brunswick Stars - Journal Entry 5 - Second Practice

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Adventure with Dancing with the Brunswick Stars - Journal Entry 5 - Second Practice

Friday morning Kimberly Boggs and I had our second practice. I had a great time and even though I didn't have all the steps down from the first practice, Kimberly was gentle with me, and patient. And she showed me again how to do the basic steps. I have a distinct feeling that if I don't improve quickly, though, the obvious steel that is Kimberly Boggs will figuratively sit me down and we'll have a talk. So I don't want to experience that.

Here's a confession. I'm actually taking great advantage of this whole Dancing with the Brunswick Stars thing. I'm using it to get in shape! Ya see, in the past three years, since April 2007, I packed on about 45 pounds! Youch! I'd actually gotten to my ideal weight for my 5'9" height, which is 143 pounds, on April 20th, 2007 after working at it for a good while. Unfortunately, in my zeal to make that weight, I injured myself by overdoing one exercise.

It's no secret that when I like something I REALLY like it and if I enjoy something I want to supersize. Well when I was on my previous getting in shape/losing weight regimen back in early 2007 one of the exercises I enjoyed was pushups. I mean, who doesn't like cut triceps, right? You can have a sloppy belly and a sagging butt and people may not (and hopefully won't) see them. But if you have cut triceps you can find lots of opportunities for people to notice, including yourself. And I don't mean by wearing a muscle shirt, but just ordinary golf shirts and such.

So I was rockin' along doing well with pushups, and doing them right, not ripping them off as fast as possible, but taking them nice and slow (try that sometime, the slower you go the more work it is and the more benefit you get). Anyway, I gradually worked my way up to 50 pushups. I thought that was way cool.

So two days later I did 100.

It hurt a LOT the next day but then everything seemed to be okay - although I for sure didn't do any more pushups because they still really hurt. And then about a month later I rolled over in bed one night and something that attaches one of my right tricep muscles to the bone let go with an audible pop. The next noticeable noise was me screaming. You've heard the expresson, "Ridden hard, put away wet.", right? Well apparently what's unhealthy for horses wasn't too healthy for me either, and I'm still recovering.

Been to a selection of helpful folks, notably Dr. Matt Bradshaw at Leland Health Center who finally got me some relief through a combination of cold laser treatments and Active Relief Therapy. Anyway, to keep this short (HA!), I can cope now and seldom have pain in that arm but have been very very gradually starting to build strength again (which you can imagine has dwindled significantly in four years).

So right around that same time in 2007 I decided it would be okay for me to eat a little more freely than in the past because I'd just proved to myself I could get down to my ideal weight. Uh-huh! Within a year I was in the mid to high 180s. Last year when I went for my annual physical my physician, the ever jolly Dr. Matt Williams of Wilmington Health Center, said, "Next year I'd like to see a lot less of you." That hurt, but he was right - my reading that day was 186 (and I wish it were IQ but it was pounds). Since 161 pounds is my official "you weigh too much" level, another 25 put me in a not so happy place health wise.

My high weight, BTW, since I'm getting into all this, was 193.5 pounds in November 2009. I managed mostly to keep it under 190, with a couple meager efforts to control my weight and diet getting me down to the mid 180s, but then I went back up again. So finally, this March, I decided I was done being such a dork about this whole thing. I speak in public a lot and was already developing a consistent physical self-image I didn't like. I tell ya one thing, I sure wore sport jackets a lot and usually wore black shirts as well - I saw a few photos others took of me when I was speaking wearing a white dress shirt with no jacket and resolved not to let that happen again (I didn't lose weight, I just stopped wearing white shirts unless I had on a jacket).

So yeah, now I'm working out daily, eating correctly (for me), and getting stronger AND losing weight. The last two days my weight was 168.5 pounds. That's a bit extreme I know for two months, but I also know those were the easy pounds to lose - the next 25 will be much tougher as I work my way back down to 143.

But check it out. I've got a great incentive. A whole buncha folks are gonna be watching Dancing With the Brunswick Stars in early August. I want to do my best for the event, I want to be a good partner for Kimberly Boggs since she's so generously donating her teaching time, and for sure I want to look my best.

It would be marvelous for me to think I'm doing this just for my health. Hey, I know it's more healthy to be at (or even a bit below) your ideal weight, and I know I feel better when I'm in shape and stronger. But I also know I'm motivated by how I look. Call it vanity (because that's what it is), but it's still a motivator. And when I get where I want to be (again), this time I hope I find ways to continue to motivate to stay there - and not rip any more muscles off bones.

So I'm eating smarter, working out more (and being gradual in my increases in duration and intensity), and using an accountability partner in the process by sending daily practice reports to Kimberly (I just started doing it yesterday and I told her she could ignore them, but it will help me stay on track if I write when I practice). And yeah, by outting myself about this whole weight thing here I'll also be putting another check on my eating.

And now, back to the real subject of this journal, DWTBS. I can reveal the type of dance Kimberly and I will be doing.

But I think I won't. I'll just let this photo be a clue.

- Brown, Out