Inspiration isn’t a word I throw around lightly. I’m not easily inspired by people. In my lifetime, I can say I have honestly been inspired mostly by my parents & my wife and that’s about it. But in the past year, there have been many people in my life, whether directly or indirectly, who have affected my life for the better. A few will recognize the effect they’ve had on me over the past year but most of them probably will have no idea what I’m talking about. So now I am going to pay tribute to those who have come to inspire me…even if it is only in a small way.

On May 17, 2013, I posted THIS here on my little blog site. Essentially it’s about how sluggish I had become and how I had lost sight of my own health. Not long after that, in October, I posted THIS blog about wanting to play basketball again. Not long thereafter, in January, I posted THIS blog and included a photo that inspired me to get my ass in gear even more than I already had. Now…almost a year after joining my local gym and hiring a trainer, I am reaching certain peaks. I can’t say that I have set goals for myself because I haven’t. I haven’t set a certain weight. I haven’t set a goal that I want to lift X pounds or that I want to run a marathon. When all of this started, I just wanted to play basketball again. Slowly but surely, that has evolved into something else. Let me be perfectly clear when I say I am NOT a physical specimen. I am still trying to lose weight around my middle (the most difficult place to lose weight unfortunately) and I would love to be more tone. But for being a year in and not being on a rapid plan for weight gain or loss, I am seeing results and none more obvious than what happened today.

Today, I went to get my winter clothes out and most of them didn’t fit. My pants, which I previously bought at 38 inches around the waist, were loose. My shirts, many that were XL, no longer fit at all and looked like I was wearing a dress. So now I’m having to go to buy more clothes that fit and it…is…AWESOME! Not the shopping part…but the fact that none of the clothes I put away some 6 months ago no longer fit! I knew I was losing weight. I had to go buy shorts earlier this year so I knew I would probably need new pants. But everything is too big! It’s amazing to me and truthfully, I’ve needed a lot of help getting to this point. So without further adieu, here are some of those I would like to thank…

My wife. Not only is she inspirational in her own right, but she has been very supportive in so many ways. She hasn’t complained when I’ve spent too much time at the gym. She’s been great at making meals that are low carb or just healthier overall. She has been so supportive in so many ways and I couldn’t be doing this without her!

My “road wife,” Trish Gibowicz. For 2 football seasons, she has FORCED me to get to the hotel gyms, even when they were crappy sweatboxes, and kept me moving and eating healthy when I am away from home. She has been a great road partner and she has been a great voice of reason when I THINK I want to sleep in on a weekend.

Matt Lanning is a former high school buddy who showed up at our last reunion and was in peak physical shape. Seeing him at our age got me thinking about how I could get myself back together. Both he and my friend Dave Clancy, who is a trainer and owner of Buckeye Kettlebells, are my age and seeing them be in the shape they are in has been HUGE in making me want to get healthier.

Another high school buddy, Kevin Patterson, who was in a motorcycle accident a few years ago, has bounced back from that and is in fantastic shape. Some people would have bowed out after what he went through but he didn’t. He came back stronger than ever and when I see that he’s checked in at the gym on Facebook? It makes me want to get my butt to the gym.

My trainer, Cody Godsey, who has obviously been a huge part in helping me get stronger and healthier. Most of the time, when we’re going through my weekly workout, we are talking fantasy football or about our weekend activities, but I’m paying attention and I can see what he’s up too. Every week he is pushing me, giving me new exercises to do, all of which strengthen me and make me WANT to work out.

One of my best friends, Janet Hanneberg-Diggs, who has been supportive of me and who is one of the healthiest people I know. Not only has she been an inspiration on the basketball court, but a few years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and is now fully recovered. She is a survivor and when she tells me that I am doing a-ok? I listen.

All of these people have inspired me to be a better person, physically and mentally. It’s a small tribute I pay to them here. It’s not much compared to what they have been doing for me, some without ever even talking to me. But I wanted them to know that they have, in some way, been important to me and this process I am going through. It’s not as if I’m a caterpillar and soon I’ll be a beautiful butterfly, fluttering through the sky…

Nah. That’s weird. Instead I’ll just say “Thanks. You guys rock!” and I’ll leave it at that!


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