I wanted to share my story a bit in the hopes it may motivate others that are in need of a little inspiration.
Age 30 for me was not my pinnacle and definitely not my re-emergence into something better. I felt like a 60 year old man trapped in a tired broken body, ready to rest. My knees were in pain, lots of pain, pain that never seemed to end for me. The reconstructions and operations had finally taken there toll. My energy level, normally something I never gave a second thought about now felt like it was in a constant strangle hold due to my depression and anxiety.
My body had just had enough and was telling me it was time to stop. My once very fit and athletic body was rejecting me and telling me enough was enough. I gave in, gave up, did what I felt I had no other choice but to do. I stopped...everything. For 4 years, I let my body win and just let what would happen, happen. Fat started to accumulate across my body. But still I didn't care, my constant excuse was always the same.."My body hurts, it's tired, weak. I don't care anymore"
But....something stirred in me when I hit 34 years....a spark! Very small at first, barely but a glimmer..ideas and thoughts of a "maybe?". This spark grew over the months until I had to see if my "maybe?" could become a "yes".
The early years that led to my eventual fall - Background
I was always the skinny kid growing up, athletic and having more energy than any person should ever be blessed with. My gifts were to me my blessing as well as how I saw myself. I was first an athlete and secondly anything else. My sport of choice? Basketball.
I'm sure many of you have heard or know of people that have played sports like a driven animal. But I can tell you with full honesty, I lived basketball 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This is what I did...and I did it well. For over 10 years straight I played 40+ hours a week. If I wasn't playing basketball, I was working or sleeping. Anything that got in the way of this life-style of mine had to go. This included girlfriends as well as close friends of mine.
But living this way and playing the amount I did, finally began to take it's toll on me. The human body cannot compete and live this way as long as it did without breaking down...and boy did I break down.
First I blew my right knee out, due to my genetic disposition I was still able to play and somehow my body adapted to the tear even without surgery. Did I let this stop me? Of course not. I still played as intense as ever...until, I blew out my other knee. Well, this one did not tear as the other did. For the first time ever, I had to stop....for over a year including my surgery and rehab.
But as soon as I could, I was right back to playing as much as possible. But..things were not as easy now as before. I was getting tired much easier now and I was finally feeling aches and pains.
I'm almost 30 now, and I'm actually unable to play back to back days. My knees, which never bothered me much are now hurting, alot. My depression is hitting me harder and harder now. I'm tired all the time. I'm finding that on top of the pain in my knees, I can't run the court anymore. I was in constant confusion as to why this was happening to me. Why am I in this pain now? Why can't I catch my breath....Why!?
So, I gave up, and gave in. I just wanted to rest.
At first this was hard to do. For the first time in my life, I had nothing to do no game to go to. No more getting excited about hitting up the courts, playing in a tourney. Nothing. I just let myself go and always with the same excuse, "I'm old and broken. I don't care anymore".
I had looked at the scale at the doctor's office during my visit for constant heart-burn and stomach pains..the scale showed 205 pounds! I just looked at it, shock and sadness hit me. I knew I was getting bigger, but seeing it like that felt like I had just gotten slapped in the face by a loved one.
I was told I had acid reflux/GERD of some sort. I was put on a medication I was to take every day. WOW! I'm 34, and I already have a daily medication to take! This was to be forever, not something I was ready for. The doctor told me to start eating better cutting out pop and beer. I obliged, but was not excited by it as I loved me some pop and beer =)
Cleaning up my diet a little and cutting pop was at first very hard. But then...I weighed myself, and wow. I was almost 10 pounds lighter. Got me a bit excited and my idea that maybe I might try to get into a little better shape started to get more enticing.
March 1st 2009 -present
March 1st I took the first step, I joined a gym, again. Really nervous as I was pretty sure I was wasting my time and money on this new/old endeavor. I am now/was 4 years older and in much worse shape than when I had quit when I was 30 and at a much lower weight and better all around shape. What could I expect realistically? I'm 195 pounds now, 34 years of age, my knees felt just as bad as ever. My stamina had become even worse than before. Walking made me tire easily, breathing heavy and perspiration was a constant reminder of how bad of shape I was really in.
I remember my first actual active day where I came very close to saying this is a waste of time and energy. The only thing I'll accomplish is pain and another possible injury. I went to a rec center to try and play a game of basketball, just to kinda get the feel again and test how bad my shape really was.
This was a humiliating and horrible experience. I actually was fatigued and breathing very heavy from just casually shooting on a hoop by myself. I got into a half court game that was quite sad. But the worst part was a full court game where I was unable to even get from one end of the court to the other without stopping and resting. I was in such bad of shape that I couldn't even run one time down the court. I missed constant shots. My team actually would not pass to me anymore because I missed layup after layup..it was that bad.
I learned a valuable lesson in humility. Where I was once, one of the best players on the court. I now found myself worse than the worst players out there.
I went home very rejected and close to calling it all off. I hurt..badly. My legs felt worse than I had every felt them. Everything from my hips to the soles of my feet ached. And all I did was play 2 half court games and 2 full court games. Maybe an hour tops. If I was this sore and in this much pain after that...there was no way I was going to be able to get back in shape again. I was almost unable to get out of my car when I got home. My legs were in so much pain, I honestly thought I was going to be stuck there and would have had to call my wife to help me.
But, I had made a commitment to myself to at least give it a go. If I failed, well I guess I could say I tried.
I began on the treadmill at the gym, thinking that was a good place to start things off. Easy mode running I thought. Put it on speed 4...I lasted 35 seconds, lol. My first few treadmill trials were pretty pathetic, but I figured it would get better....I really hoped. In the beginning I was averaging a 20 minute mile. And that was mainly all walking, and an occasional slow jog.
I found Bodybuilding.com by pure accident and started scanning threads, reading and absorbing every bit of info I could find. Finding errors I was doing, as well as learning about proper dieting, cardio and weight-lifting. With a passion hammered into me during my youth and basketball days, I dove into this like a mad-man and gave it a 110% effort.
Something happened....was slow at first. But, as my consistency solidified and my routines became more efficient. My body was doing something I was not prepared for, definitely not this soon. I was losing weight....and my depression always a constant was leaving me.
Basketball? Pain in my knees, almost gone. Jumping? Can touch rim again. Stamina? I can run again...and not just for a minute, but for miles.
I've lost 40 pounds total, 30 of those pounds in the past 3 months. That is an average of almost 2 pounds every week. I can run almost as long as I desire. My pains are almost gone. My stomach issue? I haven't taken my pill in 2 months. No heartburn or stomach pains.
I've done this in a little over 3 months time. I don't say this to brag or show off. I say this to show that I gave up. My pains and body were just too much for me. I had let it go and I ended up putting on 40 pounds of fat. I wanted to share my story so others can maybe say that if he can do it, why not me?
You can check my bodyspace to see pics I've taken as well as my weight loss scale.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this inspired you!
Thread: Second chances - My story