This picture was taken exactly six months after my 30th birthday.
I remember precisely when it was taken because early that January I was in the worst shape of my life. I had really bad long hair (not sure what I was thinking), a full beard and weighed close to 200 lbs. My wardrobe consisted of sweat pants and x-large flannel shirts (grunge baby). I remember saying to myself I’m gonna get in the best shape of my life. And I did. It wasn’t easy I remember that, too. I worked out like a bitch. I swam each morning, rode my bike a ton, and tried to run 5 miles at least 4 days a week (mostly on a treadmill). Oh yeah, I also lifted 5-nights a week. There were a lot of two-a-days. More than anything though I watched and logged everything I stuck in my mouth. Everything. I call it going on “lockdown”. There was no eating out. Every meal was planned. There were days it was super tough, but I never gave in. Not once.
Sure enough the pounds fell off. Anyone who says diet and exercise don’t work are crazy. There was no carb-free stuff. No fad shit. Just burn more calories than you take in along with build muscle and amp up your cardio. A buddy of mine at the time was doing some contest (Body For Life I think) and he begged me to join. He said I would have won. I didn’t join. I had no desire. I just wanted to do it for me. To prove I could do something like this.
Right around this picture I was probably doing a few hundred sit ups a day. I got to the point where I loved doing sit ups (as odd as that might sound). I would also go for an hour run and barely break a sweat. It was remarkable how much my body and mind had changed in just six months. It didn’t happen overnight, but I never noticed it happening either until I was already “there”. Strange how that happens.
Fast forward to today and I’m much, much closer to the Kirk that just turned 30 than this guy. In many ways I don’t even recognize myself in this picture. I was even a bit hesitant to post it cause it made me sad in relation to where I am now. But, I’m also proud of it. Very proud. It wasn’t easy to get there. And I promised myself I would be open and honest on this blog. So here I am about as open and honest as I can be.
So, why post it now? Why spill my guts over all this. 15 years later. Because I’d like to try and get back here. Can I? Probably not. That’s sucks to say and I don’t say that to set myself up for failure out of the gate. Though I say it to be realistic. When I tackled this challenge at 30 – I was, well – 30. That alone makes a huge difference. Secondly, I had nothing in my life. No kids. Not even Reese. I had an easy, breezy 9 to 5 schedule and lived 5 mins from work, which meant a lot of free time in the mornings and evenings. I was also living in Palmyra, NJ. Not the biggest hotbed of activity. So, distractions were minor if any. I was also able to make getting in shape my biggest priority in life. In many ways it was my only priority at the time. Everything else was a distant, distant second. That can’t be the case now the way my life is. Not even close.
Plus, I don’t think my body can take the level of physicality it did then. I’ve had a few injuries since then, and a lot of years of not doing much. Still, I’m gonna give it a try. It’s super important to me and I know it is to Lili. I suppose in many ways back then I was doing it all for me. Now, I’m doing it for her and my kids (as corny as that sounds).
I remember how proud I was when I saw this photo. I want to feel that way again. So I’m going back into “lockdown”. I’ve prepped Lili and she’s on board (thanks mi amor). So, if I say no to you about going out to eat or having a drink – you know why. I’m gonna seem really boring over the next several months (more boring that normal that is). But now you know why.
See you in six months.