I am a very lucky man – I’ve got an amazing wife and am the father to three wonderful kids. Lylli was born on Halloween in 2008, Gracie was born November 2010 and although she only lived for 17 months, she will remain as much a part of this family as the rest of us, and Mickey Gray, our first son, was born in June of 2012. I’m not going to say that life has gone exactly as I would have wanted, but it is a good life and I am determined to make the best of it.

This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

FXB Week 1

As often happens at the start of a new important chapter in my life, I think to myself over and over about how I need to write a blog post about it, but as times goes by, I become overwhelmed at the thought – writing is not exactly my greatest strength and I struggle because I want to adequately reflect in words what is happening. 


That said – a week ago today, I walked into a room full of people to do my baseline testing to kickoff the 10 week program at FXB.  To be honest, I questioned what I was doing there that day.  A room full of people is the last place I want to be – especially doing things that point out my obvious weaknesses that I'd been denying for awhile now.   It was very humbling – on that day, I did a step test to check heart rate, I ran a mile, did pushups, sit-ups, tested my reach with a stretch, got my body fat tested, got weighed, and had them measure my chest, arms, waist, hips and thigh – not to mention posed for a "Before" picture wearing nothing but skimpy shorts.  Needless to say, after seeing my results of all of these tests, I had never been more ashamed of where I've gotten myself physically.  It's amazing what a guy can convince himself of – I mean, I wrestled in the state tournament in high school, was a scholarship football player in college, bench pressed 500 lbs, squatted a lot more than that and studied and lived the bodybuilding lifestyle enough to understand what I need to do to cut fat.  All of that, of course I'm still "somewhat" fit, right? – I mean, sure there's some extra weight, but I'm still a stud, right?  Nope.  It's that same skewed thinking that got me a little skeptical about taking advice from a bunch of confident younger guys walking around with no shirt sleeves on (ok older than me too Tim) – it quickly became obvious to me that these guys were not the d-bags that I convinced myself they might be, but that it was simply my personal defense mechanism for dealing with where I'm at.  I think it's a testosterone thing, but those thoughts couldn't have been further from the truth.   


I woke up Monday at 4 AM – I was still very sore from testing and wondered what I was getting myself into, but made it to my first class – cardio kickboxing.  I won't bore you with all of the details, but let's just say that I looked at the clock about 5 minutes into the warm-up and was already ready to call it a day.  Everybody there is so encouraging – it's a staple of the program that all people, even after they've been there for awhile need to encourage and help the newbies – it's an extremely positive environment and that team spirit is engrained in you from day one.  It's a strange vibe there – like everybody has stumbled upon a great secret that they feel obligated to share.  I know only after 1 week that is how I feel.  I don't think I have lost any weight yet, but can feel muscles that I haven't felt in a long time.  I can honestly say that after the second day, I already noticed myself walking a little taller (now sitting down was another story).  I am the furthest thing from a morning person, but I have been excited everyday to get up at 4 in the morning to get ready for class – it's a weird combination of being deathly afraid of the Hell that I'll go through for 45 minutes and excitement that I know this is going to get me where I want to be.  The first couple days I was embarrassed about not being able to do everything and about how out of shape I am, but it quickly became obvious that nobody cares a bit about where I'm at as long as I am doing my best to get better.  They leave me alone enough to battle my own demons to push myself, but are always lurking around the corner to give me a little "encouragement" when I let that voice in my head tell me to sandbag.   


This week, Gracie came down with Pneumonia and has spent most of the nights alarming due to low oxygen saturations and screaming – there have been a couple nights where I've only gotten a couple hours of sleep, but I still made it to class.  I've been exhausted, but am proud that I got there – I don't know if the old Rich would have done that.  I have followed the nutrition plan to a T and can't wait to get back for another workout to take the next step in the right direction.   I can honestly say after one week of this program that there will be a day that the name of this site will be ironic. 


All of that said, I was unable to make it to class this morning as Gracie has gotten worse, so we had to bring her to Children's where she has been admitted – hopefully for a very short stay.  She is stable and they are pretty sure that everything is good with her heart, so hopefully it's just a matter of getting her what she needs to fight the pneumonia.  As bummed as I was to not be able to go to class today, I know where my priorities lie, but I am also once again reminded of how important it is for me to get healthy – My family needs me. 


I'm going to stick with this and train and run that marathon in the fall and maybe someday I'll even get under 250 so I can shave off this beard?!  I will continue to record my journey


  1. Way to go! I am so proud of you. You just wrote everything I say to myself daily. You are an inspiration, again. Keep being YOU.

  2. On day one you and Chad struck me as a couple of decent guys who'd decided maybe it was time to get back in shape. I thought I'd partner with you two and do what I could to help you get started. During this past week your Facebook posts gave me some insight into just how determined you are to succeed at this. Hmmm...a decent and determined guy.

    Today I looked up your website... Decent and determined are understatements.

    When we received our coaching assignments Tuesday afternoon, I was happy to see you and Chad had been assigned to me. I had no idea what else there was to the "decent" guys I'd just met the day before. With your attitude and drive, it will be you who will be inspiring and motivating others to set and achieve their goals. I just appreciate the opportunity to play at least a small role in your quest.

  3. As always, I'm humbled by your drive to do this. I hope your daughter comes home soon.

  4. Way to get back on the proverbial horse. I'm proud of you. I hope your little girl is better soon & is home in your arms.

  5. Your mental attitude is going to make you stronger than you ever imagined! -- Kim Hagemeyer

  6. This is so inspiring ive been going to FXB since october love it. Keep up the great work.

  7. Hope ur little girl gets better

  8. Good for you! You can do this!

    I hope your daughter feels better soon!

  9. I think I see a $1,000 winner in the future..probably a $10,000 winner!

    1. Oh no - we've all got a story and a reason. I'm just more vocal about mine. The positive changes this brings will be reward enough.

  10. Great blog Rich! I look forward to following your journey. BTW, I shaved off my beard during my 10 week session as well. I understand that milestone.

  11. Great blog! Motivates me to regenerate my fxb workouts! We all get knocked down due to kids and life- but you are dead on - the differences is now we shake it off and get back up! Good luck, looking forward to following along!

  12. Your blog is great. I also just started the 10 week program at FBX and just love it. What you said is so true... I am not a morning person either but waking up at 4am has never felt so good. I am sorry of your loss. You and your family our in my thoughts and prayers. Look forward to seeing you back in the 5am class. Brenda