Lets start at the beginning. Growing up I was an athlete. I started playing hockey in elementary school, and continued to play through high school. During my junior year in high school, I suffered a concussion that pretty much ended my shot at playing college hockey after high school. I played a few times here and there. Mostly just pick up games, and a yearly charity scholarship game. I took a few gap years between high school and college so I could focus on working, got into a few different relationships, and well, as I’m sure you guessed it, I gained weight. I was becoming one of those “wow, they gained some weight after high school” stories. I went from a normal weight of a somewhat skinny muscular 165, up to a fairly pudgy 185 at my heaviest. I’m only 5’6, so the height genetics sort of screwed me over on that, well lack of height I guess.
Halfway through 2013, I went through a pretty shitty breakup, and I turned to alcohol and a tin of skoal to help fill the void in my heart, but enough about that depressing piece of irrelevance in my life and on to what really turned me around. Early 2014, I lost somebody who was like a second grandpa to me growing up. My grandparents owned a few businesses when I was younger, and while they were around and a huge part of my life, sometimes it was easier to just go next door and ask him for help with something. This man would make sledding trails and snowboarding jumps for the neighbor hood kids growing up. He even would mow his lawn in the shape of a baseball diamond for us in the summer, and built us a backstop out of an old satellite dish. So, when he lost his battle with cancer, I knew I needed to start making changes. While I was sitting at his funeral, I realized that he never got to see me live out my dream; he never got to see me grow into who I was supposed to be. Within a month I started making changes, and I ended up getting back into shape, and looked slightly better than I did in high school, although I’m sure that had more to do with my clothing choices than my weight loss.
That fall, I applied to our local community college, and took a semester of classes, took the spring semester off, and then applied to the state technical college, and began my journey as a fire science major in the fall of 2015. In the fall of 2016, I was voted on to the fire department that I am on today, and while we are a small town department, and only average 70 calls per year, I am proud to be a part of this amazing department.
However this journey that I have been on since the fall of 2014, hasn’t always been full of the positives that I just listed. While taking the spring semester off in 2015, I started hooking up with a girl from my work, that I ultimately ended up falling for. She chose another guy from her college, they’ve been together for roughly two years now, and now that they’re graduated, they will be moving in together. Luckily for me, they will be in a completely different state. Actually, even in a completely different time zone, so I wont have to see them together when I’m out and about or something like that. While I was hurt and a little salty when things didn’t work out, I still consider her a good friend, and wish her all the happiness in the world, even if its not with me. (I still have “fuck that guy” moments, but all in all, I know he’s a good dude, and will treat her well. At least he better) Damn. I really do love this girl. however, it wasn’t meant to be I guess and I’m moving on, so enough about her, and back to talking about me. After all, I’m the main character in this novel.
When I started college back up in the fall of 2015, I was still in shape. I had been going to the gym a lot over the summer, and my diet had been relatively decent. I had hoped I would be able to keep everything up throughout my college career. Let me tell you though, as soon as I found out that the campus snack bar served curly fries, I was completely fucked. Long story short, the freshman 15 is real, even when you don’t live on campus. I kept trying to workout, but the homework load on top of working part time to be able to be a bill-paying adult, made it difficult. I worked out a bit after the school year over the summer, but still didn’t fully lose that freshman 15.
Now, on to the fall 2016 semester. During that semester, I had decided that I would just work on bulking. After failing so hard at continuing to attempt to lean out, I figured I would just work on building up some muscle mass. The biggest problem, it became a dirty bulk. Buffalo chicken quesadillas, breakfast burritos, and even more curly fries ended up adding more to the problems. But, at least I was working out regularly, and I had started playing hockey again in October, so I was at least maintaining weight instead of gaining it. Towards the end of the fall 16 semester, just a couple weeks before exams, I got kicked out of college. So I had another spring semester off, and I continued to play hockey and lifting like I had been prior to going back to school. My diet didn’t follow with those good habits though, and once hockey season ended, I stopped training like I had been. While being a firefighter should be motivation enough to start throwing it down again in the gym and the kitchen, I’m finding that I’ve just been a little demotivated lately.
Last month I applied to return to the school that kicked me out, was rejected and told I needed some preparatory work before reapplying. Shit, that would’ve been nice to know after they kicked me out. But, I was actually a little relieved, as I honestly wasn’t ready to go back to that school. I did however, get accepted back into the community college I started at, and am currently looking at some classes to take, half that would be useful for my major, and half that would be great GPA boosters. I plan on taking mostly online classes, so I don’t have to waste time sitting in a classroom, and can still work a decent work schedule and get homework done, while going to the gym. It’s easier to go to the gym after work at night when you don’t have to worry about getting up for an 8am lecture that you have to drive 30 minutes too, be showered, fed, and be wearing uniform for. (Yeah, my major required uniforms for most of the classes.)
So now that you’re all caught up on the past few years of my life, let me explain why I’m sitting here typing this entire thing out. I’m hoping that by, at the very least, typing everything out and posting on here, that I will stay motivated and follow my own advice. If I’m going to talk the talk, I better be able to walk the walk, right? Also, with any of my posts, if anybody even reads any of them, I’m also hoping for advice and tips for myself. While I have fitness experience and knowledge, especially being an athlete, I’m always looking to continue to learn. So whether you are working on being in better shape, but are intimidated, or you just need a little motivation, I hope to help. Even if it’s just me sitting here, typing to myself to keep on track. While there may be no I in team, there is one in fitness, so don’t worry about how athlete x looks, or how fitness model y looks, stay focused on your individual progress.
Welcome to my journey of balancing firefighting, hockey, fitness, and college. I anticipate that it will be a wild ride, so I would advise you stay prepared, and hang on. Let’s get started shall we?