Now, I Remember…

I feel like dog shit.

I am barely making it through the day since my second Pfizer Covid injection three days ago. I think they gave me the disease.

I got nothin’.

I dread going to work because I am listless, drained of energy, sore all over and depressed.

I enjoy nothing and turn my nose up at my favorite dishes.

The thoughts of getting on a bike at 5:00 am, in the dark, in busy traffic to get to work as I usually do, fills me with fear and loathing.

It has been years since I’ve come down with anything. No colds, no flu and no stomach bugs. I haven’t had so much as a headache in as long as I can remember.

I am usually always ready for anything.

Now, I feel like I am collapsing into myself.

Normally I sleep well, eat well and live out each day as the celebration it is intended to be.

At 75, I have the lean, muscled body of a teenager and not afraid to flash it.  🙂

I forgot what it was like to run on less than 100%.

I actually forgot how to call in sick to work.

In all those healthy years, I forgot how to suffer.

I forgot how to lay in bed and wait for it to be over.

But now, after that last injection, I remember.

I remember the weakness, the ennui, the sadness and the fear of losing my job because I can’t show up.

Oh, do I remember.

And mostly I remember how much it sucks to be sick. How to be totally out of it. Sidelined.

But then… I remember why I train my body. Because this ain’t no way to live.

I remember why I lace up my sneakers in the middle of the night.

I remember why I feed myself healthy nutritious foods so that my human movement system can run at optimal levels.

I remember why I get enough sleep so my resistance levels won’t ebb.

I remember why I enjoy my life so much because I can participate in it.

I remember how alive and grateful I feel all day, every day.

Maybe the second Covid dose was the shot in the arm I needed to help me remember how wonderful life really is.

Yeah, now I remember.  🙂

 

Want some of this?

He’s 75. Been rode hard and put up wet. He’s been fat, skinny, drunk, sober and everything in between. He’ s been detoxed, divorced, detained and discredited.

He’s the oldest of ten children from a rough and tumble Irish Catholic neighborhood called Somerville, where the real Winter Hill gang took up residence.

He was expelled from Catholic school at the age of 14, and soon after sentenced to an indefinite term at the Division of Youth Services.

He did a year in Vietnam, studied music at Berklee College of Music and then became a professional chef.

The next fifteen years found him in busy kitchens and rowdy barrooms fronting blues bands. He was “slinging and singing”.

And putting anything in his face that would alter his consciousness.

On May 20, 1979, life caught up with him and he cleaned up. For a while.

He’s worked docks, warehouses and even sold radiopharmaceuticals for Dupont and Bristol Myers Squibb before becoming a corporate video producer.

In 2016, at the age of 70, life caught up with him again and he was institutionalized for alcohol and prescription drugs.

His weight ballooned up to 230 pounds and he was forced to use a walker.

Through all of his ups and downs he knew one thing: how to train his body. He never stopped taking his iron pills and always craved the physical.

Which is why he has survived himself.

In less than a year he lost 70 pounds and became a track star. He knows no moderation.

He is now a certified personal trainer through N.A.S.M. (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and is also certified in nutrition, weight loss and senior fitness.

He is arguably in the best shape of his (or anyone’s) life at his advanced age.

His experience and knowledge in physical fitness cannot be questioned.

He didn’t get it out of a book or a weekend course. He’s lived it.

If you’re serious, reach out. If not, don’t.

You want some of this?

 

 

 

Life’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Phillip C. McGraw’s words couldn’t ring more true when it comes to living our best lives. As we all know, sprints are over quickly while marathons take time. Lots of time. Which brings us to our longevity.

Longevity is the holy grail if you talk to most people. Anyone selling a supplement or a pharmaceutical is weaving that word in and out of their pitch.

The focus always seems to be on quantity and not quality.

If someone told you you had to do hard labor in a prison work gang in a Louisiana swamp for the rest of your life, I bet you wouldn’t be hoping for a longer life. An extreme example but here’s my point: Would you like to hang around here suffering, lonely, incapacitated, bed ridden, broke and at the mercy of an overtaxed healthcare system? Today?

I remember an elderly gentleman I shared a hospital room with many years ago. I was just a kid. The curtains were always closed but I could hear him groaning over there. Every morning when the nurse asked him what he wanted for breakfast, he would mutter “rat poison.” I never forgot that.

As many of you know, I’m 75 years old, on Social Security and live in a retirement community. I am considered elderly which grinds my gears. I consider myself an elder athlete these days and I can give as good as I get.

Here is where I see suffering on a grand scale. I see the lack of mobility. I see the walkers, the canes, the motorized grocery carts, the misery, the helplessness, the disorientation and the palor on the over medicated faces of these souls who are old before their time.

They have no muscle tone, they are bent and shriveled and seem resigned to their fate.

They never got the memo. Their generation just thinks life is a crap shoot. They didn’t know they would have to wait patiently for some underpaid nursing home attendant to come and change their bed pan.

They believed everything that came out of a TV set. They even thought certain menthol cigarettes were good for a cough. !!??

They didn’t know about nutrition, or the benefits of cardiovascular and resistance training. They didn’t know that if you take care of your body, it will take care of you.

They didn’t realize that these could be the best years of their life.

They never got the memo….but you just did.

 

 

 

Passing The Torch

It sure is dark in here, ain’t it?

I knew the day I was certified as a N.A.S.M. (National Academy of Sports Medicine) fitness professional at the age of 70, I was never going to be a high fiving, back slapping “get that leg up there, honey” personal trainer.

I have other plans.

When I started weight training in Vietnam, my comrades and I would bench press truck axles because all the mortar rockets were in use.

I started taking my iron pills in earnest when I saw what was happening to the arms of my brothers in arms.

I have been in and out of YMCA’s, Bally’s, LA Fitness centers and assorted sweat holes over the years and I have seen… and heard it all.

My expertise comes from making every fitness and nutrition mistake under the sun….and moon.

I have a right to be wrong. Right?  🙂

I have been fat, skinny, drunk, sober and everything in between. I have had my protuberant belly poked on one too many occasions.

I had to be institutionalized to get off alcohol and prescription medications in 2016. (That’s another story.)

I have been divorced, detoxed, financially decimated and disenfranchised.

Nothing succeeds like excess, I always say.

Starting your fitness journey can be like sitting in a dark room. Or a minefield. You can’t see anything.

You don’t know where the furniture is, you don’t know the layout, you are afraid to step in any direction and you damn sure don’t want to hurt yourself.

So you sit. Deteriorating.

This is where I can be helpful. You can be the beneficiary of my clumsy and unartful attempts at fitness and nutrition.

And my success as an Elder Athlete at 75 years old.

I am the guy who knows where the light switches are because I’ve been in the room before.

I’ve stumbled over the furniture, hit my head, stubbed my toe and howled in pain at the darkness.

But my failures can illuminate your journey.

It did mine.

Physical fitness is a head game. You’re not going to succeed if your head’s not in the game.

It takes more than a note on the mirror to make you fetch your sneakers.

It takes more than a prescription to prevent your chest from sliding down into your drawers.

You need to have a why. As in: Why would you want to leave your comfort zone to work up a sweat?

Why would you head out in the morning to run, or start banging out push ups on an empty stomach for no payoff?

If you are about retirement age or older, your why is staring back at you every morning in the bathroom mirror.

I can help you with more than exercise routines and what to cram in your pie hole.

I can shed some light on your situation.

I can show you why.

Go Rogue

508-517-6714

 

What The Fat?

If you follow my fitness rantings you know that I consider my retail job a feast for the eyeballs. At the end of a given day I will surmise that I have seen everything.

And of course, I haven’t.

If you saw my YouTube video on Fattitude you will know that I am fearful of what is happening to beautiful young ladies these days. They are piling on the weight with reckless abandon.

I am also fearful because who doesn’t want to ogle the babes?

This young couple approached the counter yesterday to get some paint. Yup, they were moving in together and going to spruce up the place.

She was rotund to put it mildly and he was normal weight for his age and build.

She was deep into the color chart with me when a really attractive, well built young lady entered his (our) line of vision.

Immaturity knows no bounds so he turned to get some more eye candy. Petunia caught it and things went south from there. She went ballistic. She cleaned his clock and didn’t care who heard it.

She used “disrespect” about a dozen times.

It was brutal. And they haven’t even moved in yet. As I say in the video, men are visual animals. It’s the way we’re wired.

This young lady was morbidly obese, and her health isn’t the only thing that is being jeopardized.

And her boyfriend won’t be going blind any time soon. If you catch my drift.

Maybe she should stop disrespecting herself. Maybe spend less time on the nails and tattoos and more time on the elliptical.

Just tryin’ to help.

* Man Tip:
When I used to get caught ogling, I would say, “Darling, I was just thinking how much nicer that outfit she’s wearing would look on you.”

Good luck with that.  🙂

Get Over It!

I am a certified personal trainer also certified in weight loss, nutrition and senior fitness. I am a 75 year old former fat boy who had to be weaned off alcohol and prescription drugs at the ripe old age of 70.

Essentially, I became a fitness professional to save my own life.

My body’s response was overwhelming. I went from death risk to track star in no time. I learned how the human movement system works and what a macronutrient is.

I watched myself morph into my current 165 pound frame down from a bloated and sickly 230 pound desk potato.

After almost five years of dedicated training and nutrition, I think I can safely say, “I know how to do this.”

That being said, I do not solicit clients or have any intentions to do what what I call “herding gerbils.”

I’m sure there’s lots of money to be made by offering my knowledge and experience training clients on line but I have other plans.

I am writing “The Elder Athlete” a prescriptive memoir of sorts, and have just started a YouTube channel under “The Enlightened Rogue.”

I will be sharing exercise strategies, best practices and meal planning, which will include recipes and supplement reviews.

But mostly it will be about A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E. Without that, you got nothin’.

I am a busy boy these days, so I won’t be cluttering up your inbox with “Sign up now and save” notices.

I am passionate about fitness and I share my knowledge and experience freely.

The demographic I’m looking to impress is seniors who have already retired after fifty years of voluntary servitude.

Talk about no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s a waste I cannot abide.

I live and work in a senior community and I am constantly interacting with people my age and younger and the conversation is always tilted towards senior health and fitness.

But…when the topic comes up in normal conversation, I get pelted with unsolicited excuses. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

It’s amazing what people will offer up as legitimate when it comes to why they can’t throw on a pair of sneakers and some sweat pants.

You’re all you got, take care of you. It’s a short jaunt from the womb to the tomb.

There are many obstacles to health and fitness but life is constantly raising the bar.

So I will only say, “Get over it.”

 

 

Members of the congregation….

I run five miles every night. My daily commute to work puts me on a bicycle seat for 70 minutes in heavy traffic and I train with weights every day for at least an hour.

I eat like a Spartan, shit like a show horse and sleep like a baby. I haven’t had as much as a headache in years and my doctor frames my blood work.

I don’t teach theory, I teach experience. Mine.

I’ve hit all the roadblocks associated with confusion, misinformation and YouTube bullshit.

I have dieted, fasted, and hypertrophied myself into the “Elder Athlete” I have become today.

At 75 years old.

I know first hand the pulled muscles, the sore knees and “the agony of the feet.”

My back used to go out more than a Las Vegas hooker. I know from whence I speak.

I have abused myself using drugs, alcohol, neglect and matrimony.

After getting clean at a VA Rehab Unit four years ago, I lost the equivalent of a circus midget in useless body weight.

I’ve tried Keto, Vegan, Carnivore and Intermittent Fasting and came to the earth shattering conclusion that it’s calories in and calories out.

It’s about energy balance folks, and don’t let anybody shine you on.

I have developed varicose forehead following the science. I get my poop from strength trainers and performance athletes who have to produce winners or they’re out.

I have suffered mightily for the knowledge I have gleaned from scientific articles and presentations.

So maybe you won’t have to.

 

 

If ducks could sit…

These days, I am reminded of a time I spent in a country where the precariousness of the situation wasn’t allowed to dilute the purpose.

Half of the country wanted us dead and the other half didn’t give a shit. It weighed.

What mitigated our situation somewhat, was the fact that we were trained for our mission. We could anticipate threat. We understood consequences.

We had each other’s back.

All the drills, forced marches, grass drills and hours of target practice readied us for war.

Today, we are faced with a different type of precariousness and a purpose that is driven by survival, in our own country.

By an enemy we don’t understand.

We don’t even know what it wants. We don’t have spies.

As a country, we are knocked on our heels. As physical specimens, we are almost defenseless.

We don’t provide mandatory fitness training in in this country, but it is never too late.

Television, computer screens, fast food and automobiles are wiping us out because we are atrophying.

We are slouching into extinction.

For most of us, because of our lack of resilience, poor health and skyrocketing obesity, our resistance to disease is down around our ankles.

If ducks could sit.

When I look at this picture it reminds me of a time when everyone was locked and loaded. There was no panic.

There was grim, educated, determination.

We knew we had an enemy, and if we had to engage, we would do what we were trained for…kill or be killed.

Today, no one’s on the same page our information is scattershot and we are being picked off one by one. We need to train our bodies and our minds to face enemies like these head on.

Our confused and fractured government can only do much. It’s survival of the fittest, as always.

Saddle up!

Fattitude:

I’m still having conversations with young ladies who think all they need to attract a man these days is to show up with nice nails, the latest fashions and plenty of makeup.

Meanwhile, they are getting out of breath extracting their M&M’s out of the machine and slurping their Big Gulps with their meaty little manicured hands.

The only proportionate females I see on a daily basis are about twelve to fourteen years old. This is what you call an epidemic.

One of my complainants is 23 years old, is at least 250 pounds, she’s covered with tattoos, eats and speaks like a truck driver and if she doesn’t get control of herself, her designer jeans could detonate at a public gathering.

I heard her say, “I ain’t even had my babies yet.” Yikes! Who would know?

Ladies, before a man will get to experience your “outsized” personality, he will have to get past your “outsized” presence. You shouldn’t be bigger than your man. You can be taller, but not wider.

Men are animals. We don’t care about your brains or your personality, at least, initially.

When you first come into our line of fire, we are looking at three things and not one of those is located behind your temporal lobe.

That’s the sad truth. But it’s also nature.

Don’t be delusional, dump the trick mirror and start getting sweaty if you don’t want to get knocked up by some gamer who lives with his mother.

Instead of going to the nail salon for a pedicure, go to the gym, start pushing away from the table and read the goddam labels.

You’re not “big boned”, “more to love” or “chunky”. You are so not healthy, and you, as well as the entire healthcare system, will pay dearly in the future.

Hope that helps.

P.S. Please post all death threats to my LinkedIn account as I need the traffic.

Thank you.

Your hormones at work: Leptin vs. Ghrelin

No, you’re not going mental, Ghrelin and Leptin affect your appetite and your weight. This information should prove helpful when you’re trying to slim down and get in shape.

Leptin is a hormone, made by fat cells, that decreases your appetite.

The main function of leptin is to regulate your energy balance, by sending signals to a part of your brain called the hypothalamus in an effort to help you maintain a healthy body weight.

When leptin levels go up, it signals to your brain that you’re full, and you should stop eating.

When leptin levels go down, it tells your brain that you’re hungry and that you should find food.

Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, and also plays a role in body weight.
Levels of leptin — the appetite suppressor — are lower when you’re thin and higher when you’re fat.

High fiber foods stretch your stomach and balance your hunger hormones. Adding protein to your meals helps with satiety by improving leptin sensitivity.

Add healthy fats to your meals as well.

Ghrelin, has an effect that’s opposite of leptin. Ghrelin, which is produced mainly in the stomach and small intestine, is known as the “hunger hormone.”

The main function of ghrelin is to stimulate the appetite, which triggers you to eat more and store more fat.

 Foods that contain omega 3 like fatty fish, chia and flax seeds and nuts will boost leptin and keep ghrelin in check.

Leptin good. Ghrelin bad. Pay attention, there will be a test on Tuesday.

Turn Up The Volume

Eating for volume doesn’t mean eating until you go deaf. Eating for volume is a strategy to maximize the amount of food you can eat while simultaneously keeping your calorie intake as low as possible.

If you want to shed weight or fat you have to reduce the amount of food you eat. You need to drop enough calories to put yourself into an energy deficit. Calories are energy. People hear low-calorie and immediately think, “eat less food”. That is not the case.

You can eat larger portions of foods and still lose weight and fat. You’ll just have to make smarter food choices and “eat for volume”.

I make huge salads with grilled vegetables. I eat oatmeal with blueberries every day. I make french toast with high fiber bread and egg whites. (Five slices comes in under 500 calories.)

I also eat a huge bowl of popcorn every night just before bed. It takes me 30 minutes just to get it all in me.

I eat until I’m full because I turn up the volume.

You can fill your belly up with nutritious vegetables without losing your waist line.

Foods higher in fiber are often more filling, bulkier, and lower in calorie.

Add them to your stir fry, your omelettes and your pasta dishes to make them more satiating.

Here are some examples of high fiber foods:

  • Broccoli (34 cal)

  • Cauliflower (25 cal)

  • Brussel Sprouts (43 cal)

  • Asparagus (20 cal)

  • Leafy Greens like Spinach, Kale, Bok Choy, Arugula and Lettuces (generally from 15-50 cal)

  • Artichokes (47 cal)

  • Mushrooms (22 cal)

  • Whole Green Beans “haricots verts” (31 cal)

  • Turnips (28 cal)

  • Cabbage (25 cal)

  • Bell Peppers (20 cal)

  • Carrots (41 cal)

  • Zucchini (17 cal)

  • Hard Squashes like Acorn (40 cal), Butternut (45 cal), or Spaghetti (31 cal)

  • Cucumber (16 cal)

  • Tomato (18 cal)

  • Pickles (11 cal)

  • Sauerkraut (19 cal)

Volume, that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Turn it up!

 

Red Pill vs Blue Pill Thinking

In The Matrix, the main character Neo is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill by rebel leader Morpheus. The red pill represents an uncertain future—it would free him from the enslaving control of the machine-generated dream world and allow him to escape into the real world, but living the “truth of reality” is harsher and more difficult.

On the other hand, the blue pill represents a beautiful prison—it would lead him back to ignorance, living in confined comfort without want or fear within the simulated reality of the Matrix. As described by Morpheus: “You take the blue pill…the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill…you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Neo chooses the red pill and joins the rebellion.

We take the blue pill when we refuse to accept the responsibility of our human movement systems, our bodies.

We think if we don’t exert ourselves and don’t gain too much weight, we won’t harm anything and we will survive this life relatively unscathed.  Blue pill dreamland.

The reality is, our bodies need to be physically stressed and fed properly. If we don’t move, we atrophy.

We are in a war for survival. Pandemic or no pandemic.

When you take the red pill, you accept the realities of life: You understand that your unattended body you will get fat, lazy, disease riddled, bed ridden, unemployed, unattached, and dead.

Taking the red pill will show you the harsh realities of life and why you need to train, not just exercise, to meet its rigors.

The red pill will show you that you are always on the edge of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

Life can be hell, but the blue pill won’t tell you that. Reality bites.

Disease doesn’t just kill you, it tortures and maims. It devastates families and demolishes dreams.

The blue pill allows you to shrug off early warning signs.

The red pill tells you to get your shit together if you want to remain vital and relevant.

That’s the “truth of reality.”

Choose the red pill. Join the revolution.

 

What doesn’t kill you…

To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated. – James P. Carse

I am woodshedding like crazy. I am going 25-8. I am becoming more fit, agile and smarter than I ever thought possible. I am polishing every skill I have and learning new ones every day.

Tough times make tough people. This is the time to dig in and grow personally, physically, financially and professionally.

Any down time I have, which isn’t much lately, I am devoting to becoming bullet proof. If this disease doesn’t take me out, I will be the cockroach after a nuclear holocaust.

As many of you know, my fall from grace was ugly and life threatening. I lost all my worldly possessions, my marriage, my finances, and for a time, my sanity.

But I’m still here, I’m still standing, leaner and stronger than any time in my whole life.

I know how to lose and I know how to die and come back from hell.

At 74 years old,  I still have a lot of spring left in my chicken.

This is not the time to sit around and get your “tough shit” ticket punched. It’s time to take a new look at the new world and carpe your diem.

We make our own “meant to be.”

Opportunity doesn’t use the doorbell, it knocks, and if you can’t hear your door being beaten down, I don’t know what to tell you.

The government can’t stimulate your happiness, so stop waiting by the mailbox.

The dice are being shook at this very second, be ready when they roll. The world is going through a reset, and that spells O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y.

The playing field has leveled out and anyone can play. So let’s play.

Polish your turd, that new day is coming and It will most likely get uglier before it gets better.

Gird your loins and don’t get caught with your pants up.

Yeah, you can shoot me, but it’s gonna take a special kind of bullet. I’ve been through too many campaigns and all the signs are here, so don’t sleep through this one.

And who will you be when all this is over? A bruised and chastised survivor? Or a bullet proof, savvy, seasoned, son of a bitch?

Your move.

 

Cross Country Torture

In early 1967, I got orders to report to Fort Carson, Colorado from Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

From Fort Carson, I would ship over with my unit to Vietnam.

Those orders designated air travel.

Terrified of flying, I went to a military psychiatrist and got my orders switched to train travel. It turned out to be six days of my life I would never get back.

It did cure me of my fear of flying, though.

That year, there was a terrible snow storm raging all through the mid west. Train speeds only averaged 15 mph in the deep snow.

I had to sleep sitting up for three days.

The worst part of the trip was being surrounded by college students who opposed the war.

When they saw my rumpled, green, Army Class A’s they thought they hit pay dirt.

They wore granny glasses and madras shirts and thought they could enlighten me about war, politics and life.

I was surrounded.

These draft dodging elitists were the most condescending group of windbags I have ever had to endure.

They expounded and expanded, correcting me at every turn as they tried to get me to reach their conclusions.

They lectured and cajoled for hours. Loving the sounds of their own voices as they repeated their trickled down information.

The pain of that experience is still with me today.

So when some hysterical know-it-all tries to enlighten me about politics and life in general, as someone did recently, you are bound to see the results of that tortuous trip.

You are entitled to your opinions, but don’t preach to me. You don’t have the time in grade and I don’t have the patience.

If you’ve never been to a war torn country and seen first hand what some people are forced to live through, you probably don’t realize how great we have it here.

Covid, or no Covid.

In the mean time, enjoy the country, you ungrateful, unhappy and very lucky bastards. 🙂

I Gave At The Office.

I came from nothing. I will return to nothing. I came from no money, crowded living, physical, sexual and religious abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, incarceration, humiliation and hospitalization.

I wasn’t tough so I got attention by being funny. I was forced lived by my wits. Frankly, I was a riot!

In my sales career I learned to negotiate. I read “Emotional Intelligence” and “Machiavelli” end to end.

I learned when I was being sold a load of bullshit and when there was an honest effort.

When some Ivy Leaguer tried to give me a reach around because of my lack of formal education, it didn’t end well, for him.

In this picture I am cooling my heels as I’m trying to sell my $600,000 home to a doctor from New Dehli who is playing hard ball.

He tried every sleazy gambit from guilt to shame to feigning outrage. I shut it down.

I believe in any negotiation you have to be willing to walk, at all costs. Imagine the worst and go there. Always.

You have to not give a fuck. Unfortunately for him I didn’t any left to give.

He folded like a lawn chair and I got every cent I asked for. I would have cut him some slack if he wasn’t trying to rape me.

Always remember where you came from. And where you’re going. It’s a short jaunt from the womb to the tomb.

I heard a few years ago from my realtor that he said it was the most unpleasant experience of his life. Well, that’s nice to hear. But I really don’t give a fuck. 🙂

Gumption.

Tonight I’m laying in bed, worrying. At almost 160 pounds, I’m leaner than I can ever remember. I’m so lean I can feel every bone in my body. When I brush across my rib cage, something doesn’t feel right.

My left cage is disfigured. I must have broken it at some point in my rough and tumble life and it never healed correctly.

I was probably carrying too much body fat to be aware of it before.

Thinking this might be the end (again) my imagination kicks in, a cascade of violent life events starts playing in my head and soon weaves out of control.

This is an old familiar pattern: The Playback.

I suddenly remember how many times I fell hard on concrete when I was on alcohol and Xanax just before I went into the VA rehab unit four years ago.

I visualize the VA barracks setting, the screaming and yelling at night, the flashlights in the face every hour and being told I had to use a walker.

Then I go back and remember the beatings and injuries I sustained in my formative years. The violence in my family and on the streets. The cops, the nuns, the older kids on the corner and almost everyone who held a position of authority in my life.

My father was the first one to knock me unconscious.

Then I remember being put away at 16. I remember the brutal pounding my father gave me between floors at the Somerville Court House just before I was sentenced.

I remember Marvin Pratt, the Massachusetts State Trooper who menaced me for sexual favors for a year while I was incarcerated.

In those years I saw the Beatles come in and JFK go out.

Then I recall the draft, the confusion, the crawling around in the mud, the humiliation and falling asleep standing up.

Then, the war. The smell of gun powder. Burning villages. The killing of my friend David Hamilton south of Saigon.

The Tet Offensive felt like the end of the world. Helter Skelter for real. It was the never knowing. It was being called a baby killer at Seattle Tacoma Airport.

The confusing disappointment when I got home.

All the years of drinking heavily that followed. The bands, the drugs, the groupies, the skanky roadies, being stiffed by bar owners, Alcoholics Anonymous and then, Jesus.

I remember blowing through my retirement funds, my failed marriage, the enormous debt, the IRS coming after me, and I think to myself “what a fucking mess.”

Then there was the six day road trip out to Arizona with no money, my two little dogs and a restraining order hanging over my head.

My experiences exhaust me, exhilarate me and sometimes, depress me. But I feel I have had a full life and been privileged to be alive during such an exciting period.

With all my foolish pratfalls and fuck ups, I’m still glad I made the trip. What are we here for anyway?

If I look at everything separately, I get depressed. As any normal person would.

But it’s really been one big bus ride with a lot of interesting stops along the way.

Gotta go. Here comes my next bus.  🙂

 

 

How about a work in?

All the gyms are desperate these days. They want you back. The only ones who benefit from a gym membership is them.

I worked for LA Fitness when I first moved out here. It’s MLM on steroids.

They hook you in January when you are feeling fat, guilty and full of resolve, then they don’t care if they see your face until the following January.

You feel good because you put the money down.

You’ve taken action.

Then you forget about it.

They know you will fall off the program, in fact they’re counting on it. They know once you sign up, life happens.

You gotta drive over there, you gotta change, you gotta wait for a machine, and then you have to go home and cook dinner.

It doesn’t work and they know it. (Oh, do they ever know it)

Yeah, you got a few random muscle heads smelling up the joint all day but that’s not the norm.

And you not being there is less wear and tear on their equipment. (Duh?)

With Covid, the machines will be placed so far apart you might as well be alone.

Here’s the way I see it:

Your body is your responsibility, not theirs. Walking, running, dancing, push ups, air squats, jumping jacks and stomach crunches cost exactly, ZIPPO!

Walking to work, taking the stairs and dancing with headphones on will tighten up any flabby ass. (Get a goddam Fitbit)

And let us not forget the stuffing of the face with reckless abandon. (Burp)

You can get yourself in amazing shape without all that ditzy, falsetto music blasting your head off.

Yeah, the big box gyms are fishing, but don’t take the bait.

This year, put on some sweats and turn up the stereo. It’s called personal responsibility.

I’m sure God would agree. 🙂

 

 

What makes fitness YouTubers dangerous:

 

If you aren’t buying their programs or their merchandise, or their outlandish approaches to six pack abs and 5% body fat, then they have no other choice than to get YouTube, a.k.a. Google, to pay them for subscribers and views.

Uh, that would be you.

If they can hold you to the mandatory ten minute viewing time algorithm, YouTube will start paying them per view. Some of these guys are making huge money.

The longer they hold you on line, the better. The longer you’re on, the more advertising you will get pummeled with. That’s fine, this is America.

What gets smelly is these muscle heads run out of information (quickly) and they have to resort to click bait, misinformation and character assassination. (Each other)

They will even take previous, correct and useful information and get cute with it.

Some will even kill their own babies and change course completely.

This is sad to watch. But money is money. And views are views.

This where you need your hip boots. The information they’re putting out might not only be incorrect, but dangerous.

This is not going away any time soon and will most likely get worse.

My advice: Watch with a jaundiced eye and keep a clothespin handy.

Caveat Empty.  🙂

TRT Testing My Limits

When I pulled into Phoenix three years ago, I had a year of sobriety, a year out of detox, and a year of lifting weights under my belt.

My first two orders of business upon arrival was one: to join a gym and two: to get my aging ass on TRT, testosterone replacement therapy.

I joined LA Fitness that day and started asking around for doctor referrals immediately thereafter.

My thinking at the time was there is no way a 71 year old, fat, drunken, drug abuser whose best days were behind him, didn’t need a little help from his friends.

Friends meaning the pharmaceutical industry. We have a looooong history.

Yeah, I had put on some muscle in the year since my release, but I had done some homework on testosterone and knew I could add even more muscle and maybe even get my body fat levels pretty low.

I got a lot of anecdotal reviews from friends and acquaintances, all of which were positive. That was three years and forty five pounds ago.

But that was then.

My body fat levels today are at 15% and headed even lower.

I am, at 74 years old, lean and muscular. My blood work is spectacular. My endurance is that of a teenager.

My fasting glucose levels are 87, down from 130.

My blood pressure is 116 over 70.

And of course, my weight. On August 14, 2016, the day I entered detox, I tipped the scales at 230 pounds. I lost a small person.

So, was it the TRT? No, I couldn’t afford it. It was way out my financial reach then and I’m glad I never got on it, because once you do, you can’t get off of it.

My success came from good old fashioned smart eating, plenty of cardio and taking my iron pills. (Lifting weights)

My financial situation forced me into a Spartan lifestyle that not only saved my life, but also gave me a new body and a new outlook.

I have absolutely no testosterone related issues whatsoever. I have plenty of stamina and drive and can give anyone fifty years my junior a literal run for their money.

And as far as that libido thing goes, ladies, you are not off the hook….yet.  🙂

 

The Lie

The body at rest is a liar. The body at rest doesn’t want to be disturbed. The body at rest will tell you that everything is fine and there’s no need to get all sweaty.

Things are good just the way they are.

The body at rest will tell you the couch you are currently warming is where you should be after a long day of more sitting…in your car, at the office or at the bar.

What are asses for if you can’t sit on them, right?

After you stop working the body for a while, it stops asking to be worked. The muscles no longer need to feel some pain at the pump.

It stops being restless and settles in for those long periods of inactivity and waits patiently for the inevitable scale shock, pants don’t fit, prediabetic moment, erectile dysfunction or bad diagnosis.

Oh, the misery.

Your body at rest will even tell you to ask your wife to get you another beer while you watch other grown men get some exercise on TV.

You’re being lied to.

You need to move it or lose it. What are you waiting for, an invitation?

From a liar?

You just got it, fatboy.

 

 

Your Dumpy Doppelgänger

A doppelgänger is a biologically unrelated look-alike, or a double, of a living person. In fiction and mythology, a doppelgänger is often portrayed as a ghostly or paranormal phenomenon and usually seen as a harbinger of bad luck. Tradition equates a doppelgänger with an evil twin.

Your doppelgänger. You hate him. He’s everything you despise about yourself. He’s fat, silly, lazy, foolish and wildly out of shape.

He couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison with a fist full of pardons.

Yet he lives within you. He is you. He’s the reason you suck your ponderous gut in every time some babe walks by. Any babe.

Then he helps you do that “sour grapes” thing so you won’t have to get depressed and go suck on a gun barrel.

Like a good friend he orders you another cheeseburger so the saturated fat can course through your veins and dull your senses. Again.

He’s there in the mirror to remind you that maybe you’re not all that you could be. He even helps you look for your quickly disappearing manhood in the morning.

He tells you that having bigger boobs than your girlfriend is starting to become a trend. He’s not lying, either.

Yes, we all have our doppelgängers. The side of us that is a constant reminder that somehow we are inferior. That we’re not putting the work in. That we’re not being true to ourselves.

But doppelgängers go away when we lace up our running shoes, or grab a metal bar, or feed ourselves correctly.

Life is hard hard enough without feeling unhealthy and inferior about ourselves. Very hard.

My doppelgänger just up and vanished one day, and you know, I forgot to tell the police he went missing.  🙂

Look out below!

I can usually tell within the first five minutes of a prospective client call whether this person has “bottomed.” When they are truly sick and tired of being sick and tired.

You see, I know something about bottoms. As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, (you never truly recover) I know when the bargaining starts and when the bullshit begins.

I know when the victim starts laying out the parameters of their own rescue that the conversation, at least for me, is over.

I will change the subject and move on to generalities. There is no use, they’re not ready.

I will not attach myself to someone merely for money because the drag on the process will outweigh the benefits.

Saving a drowning person can be risky. Likewise, saving drunks from themselves can have dire consequences.

As I will tell anyone inquiring of my services, you have to be ready. You have to be genuinely open to changing how you feel about your body and your health.

You need to be willing to change for the better. Mentally and physically.

Or else you will spend the rest of your life confused and unhappy like my friend here.

You need to hit your bottom. When you do, call me.

Bottoms up!

You Took The Bait

So, you took the bait. Move more, eat less, wasn’t workin’ for ya, was it? Calories in, calories out, the Law of Thermodynamics and “push away from the table” wasn’t interesting enough for your intricate and complex way of thinking.

There just has to be more to it, right?

You listened to the dingbats who have a dog in the hunt, who sell supplements, meal plans and programs, about how you should lose weight and get in shape.

You would rather hear about your hormones, insulin resistance, family history and your fraught relationship with food.

You exclude entire food groups, sign up for Weight Watchers and listen to Marie Osmond instead of your own body.

Worse, you give up all autonomy and have your meals prepped and shipped to you. We both know how that’s gonna end, don’t we?

Now we have Keto, Paleo, Carnivore, Vegan and Intermittent fasting et al, to choose from and your still confused. And still fat.

There are no bad foods. There are only bad habits. You forgot calories only measure the energy values of food. Again, way too simple.

So how is someone going to make a buck off of that? They’re not, so they will nuance the simple truth to death. On your dime.

Fitness is a head game. Get your mind right and your body will follow. You are making it too complicated. Food is fuel.

Eat less, move more.

Moving your body does more than burn calories, it settles the mind and keep all the moving parts….moving.

But in the end it was just too simple and you took the bait. You listened, and now your off on another weight loss excursion hoping to arrive at a better destination.

Yup, you took it, hook, line and sinker.

And I have only one question, “want fries with that?”

 

 

The Elder Athlete

 

 

Four years ago “The Elder Athlete” was merely a concept. Today, it is reality.

After surviving detox at the age of seventy, then learning how to train and feed myself properly and learning how the body works by getting certified as a fitness professional, I would challenge any teenager to try and keep up in one of my normal days.

I rise (every) midnight to run five miles, then I ride a bike back and forth to work. (70 minutes in the saddle)

The work can be physically demanding, and there are lots of miles to cover inside this home improvement behemoth.

I never end a day with under 25,000 steps on my Fitbit.

When I get home, I lift weights, write, produce videos, run out to shop, and prepare my meals for the next day.

In four years, I have not had one sniffle, tickle or headache. Nada.

I lost 65 pounds, own a 30 inch waist, and I have yet see a mirror I can pull myself away from. 🙂

I put this out there to remind us that society and the medical community tells us to expect the wheels to start coming off when we get up into our mid-seventies.

“Elder athlete” may seem like an oxymoron, but nothing is further from the truth. We have so much untapped potential left. These are the “good old” days.

This is an energy game. Energy begets enthusiasm, enthusiasm begets success. Isn’t that what we’re here for?

The world will tell us to get ready to retire the sides and ease into that long good night.

My friends, I’m here to tell ya……they’re lyin’. 🙂

Welcome to the jungle

I learned a very valuable lesson over the last five years. That if your body goes, everything goes. Mine went.

You can’t fight, you can’t fuck and you can’t feed yourself.

By not training your body and readying yourself for later years, you are inviting catastrophe.

You will become attached to things like walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen bottles and IV drips.

You open the door to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dependence and early death.

You will become a problem not only to yourself, but everyone around you. You are now a burden. You burden your family, your friends and the healthcare system.

You lose the freedom to remove yourself from desperate situations and possibly become a ward of the state.

In most cases, you will be tucked away and forgotten until your estate runs out of money. Seen it, first hand.

You will become mediocre. You have a body nobody notices, respects or lusts after. And it will cost you money you don’t have just to keep it running. Resulting in inferior treatment.

Your internal med doc, your chiropractor, your podiatrist and your cardiologist all have a vested interest in keeping you barely afloat. Because barely is better.

You want your golden years? You have to train for them. You need strong muscles, tendons and ligaments that can support your aging frame and to keep you upright.

You need to be able to subsist on your own in case you lose everything. Been there, too.

If you have to re-enter the workforce, you will need to be resilient and marketable.

I call it being re-marketable. Re-Marketable.

You will need to be an elder athlete to remain relevant and independent , unless you like bagging groceries.

As an elder athlete you may gain greater immunity from a flu shot than people who are less active.

People who work out often an moderately tend to catch fewer colds and other viruses than sedentary people.

You catchin’ my drift here?

It’s not about longevity, it’s about quality. It’s about self respect and going out without a whimper.

I want them to find me on a desert trail at sunrise…..with my running shoes on.

As Bette Davis says, “Aging ain’t for sissies.” And this current pandemic is culling the herd of the most vulnerable among us. Could that be you?

Your body is the engine of your survival, take care of it and it will take care of you.

Welcome to the jungle

 

There’s no school for that..

If corporate America was the military, it could be said that I became an officer as an enlisted man. Up through the ranks. I got into sales and marketing via the Dupont loading dock. That’s not the norm, though. Officers usually get picked to go to OCS, officer candidate school. Sales people usually came out of college.

After eight years of humping radioactive packages onto 30 foot trailers, someone thought it might be a good idea to put a fast talking street kid into a sales territory. (It was not a unanimous decision) The VP of Sales would wonder out loud, “Whose idea was this, anyway?”

So in 1990, I stepped on to an America West airplane headed west to live, or die, by my own hand. I lived..and very well, thank you.

In my career, I had occasion to travel with all the best and brightest. Some rolled out of IVY League schools and the rest were usually business majors.

When you spend hour upon hour in cars, planes and airports with these folks, it becomes abundantly clear that they were studying while I was doing time, doing drugs, getting my ass kicked or laying down a base of fire in a jungle with an M-16 rifle.

The Tucson to Phoenix trip is a straight two hour shot with no lights and no turns. This is where most of the beans got spilled.

The hopes, the dreams, the fears and the paranoid fantasies of these corporate ladder climbers would get projectile vomited onto my dashboard.

It was stunning how ill-equipped these studious little buggers were for the road ahead in life. Naive beyond comprehension.

Now I see them on social media like LinkedIn, in desperation mode. They are now surely over qualified for anything that would put some food on the table. They can’t hustle because they don’t know how to.

They can’t hustle because there’s no business plan.

They can’t hustle because someone changed the game.

They’re helpless because they’re all doing what they’ve always done but they’re not getting what they’ve always got.

Times have changed.

There’s not even a box to think outside of.

I feel for these people. I used to think the “Peter Principle” would get me and I would be exposed and sent back to the hot, nasty kitchens I came from. Didn’t happen.

In the years since I left the corporate world I have been rode hard and put up wet. I lost everything in the struggle. My business, my marriage, my money and my sobriety.

I was arrested, audited by the IRS and had to be detoxed off of drugs and alcohol at the ripe old age of seventy.

I survived all that and I am flourishing because of street smarts. Plain and simple. Emotional intelligence. Which I did not acquire in college.

I am often reminded of just how important street smarts are when, after a rewarding career in Big Pharma, someone asks me “What year did you graduate high school?”

I don’t have an answer, because, I didn’t.

When I do get asked how much formal education I have, I usually respond with, “Not enough to hurt me.”  🙂

 

 

Throwing shade at the fitness industry.

Fitness is a money maker. And everyone with a certification or a YouTube channel wants a piece of the uh, pie. Some will fire hose you with misinformation and regurgitated nonsense in hopes you are so disgusted with your pudgy self, you’ll buy in.

And you usually do.

Let’s face it “eat less and move more” is too short and makes way too much sense, so why not grind it into the dirt? How do you market common sense? Duh, fitness.

Every diet works in the beginning. Because you’ve made a change. Change is what your body doesn’t understand. At least in the beginning. But once it catches on, the party’s over and so is your dream of joining the Bolshoi.

But these fitness influencers have to make a living, so they have to go back to the grave yard, dig it up, dust it off and nuance it.

The models, the Photoshopped images, (ugh) the supplements (huge) and even the apparel lines (garish) are all designed to separate you from your wallet.

Hey, I bet there’s a few pounds right there.

There is no FDA and no ethics panels being convened anywhere in this country. We have other problems at the moment.

Some of these Adonis types are on the juice, (performance enhancing drugs) and selling you on the shady proposition that they can get you there.

Don’t believe your lying eyes.

This is rampant in the industry.

You are the boss of you.

You don’t need some smarmy gym rat in a man bun trying to squeeze one more rep out of you, or sell you a meal plan he downloaded from the internet.

Desperation and frustration lead to manipulation.

If you read the manual (educate yourself) and take action on your own, you will lose the weight, change your body composition and gain the critical knowledge you need to keep your human movement systems moving. I did.

Your self image and and confidence will soar. Mine did.

You can’t put a price tag on that. I couldn’t.

I say, it’s your vehicle. Time to grab the wheel.

K.I.S.S.

You’re welcome.

The Importance Of Struggle:

I have struggled mightily over these last four years. Struggled to stay sober, struggled to put a roof over my head, struggled to put food in my mouth and I’m still struggling to pay my deceased dog’s vet bills.

I struggle to stay in shape so I won’t have to take the VA up on their generous offer to assign me a long term, dead end hospital bed. (Yes, Vietnam had an upside.)

The upside of all that struggle was that I wasn’t navel gazing. I wasn’t in some existential funk about where I came from or where I’m going. There was no time.

I fell asleep at the kitchen table wiped out from double shifts and long hours. But I was driven, not distracted.

I might have been dead tired but I was more alive than ever. It was full tilt boogie 16 hours a day.

We are meant to struggle.

We struggle from our first breath. We’re not built for comfort, we’re built for speed.

That’s why we have strong muscles and hard heads. Those muscles grow when we struggle them. When we overload them.

When muscle breaks down, it overcompensates so it can meet the next challenge. In fitness parlance, this is called muscular hypertrophy.

We are meant to go onto battle with our demons. Struggle is what gives us life.

And as we all know, there are no Medals of Honor in peace time.

Struggle ye so that ye might live.

No secrets, no shame, no filter.

This post pulled me from a sound sleep.

When I share parts of my life with someone, I can see the terror register in their eyes. Partly because it happened, and partly because I’m actually sharing it.

I look at my life as a travelogue. Nothing is sacred, only….interesting.

I will freely discuss bed wetting, excessive masturbation and even the rash Carol (your name here) gave me. It’s all up for scrutiny.

When my ex-wife brutally screwed me in a blatant, financially driven, ambush divorce, I went to press.

I even produced a video titled “News For Youse” and another video showing the softer side of the relationship called “My Guardian Angel”.

My predilection for self exposure is legendary in my social circles.

My drug and alcohol problems, my financial nightmares, my poor taste in women (I have been known to jump the bones of a fatty or two at closing time) my rollicking sex life and my many falls from grace.

To me, it’s all good and all newsworthy.

And why not? If this is life is one big adventure, then I’m getting my money’s worth. Yeah, you won’t hear me screaming like a little girl when the lights go out.

Go ahead, throw the fucking dirt on me, I’m ready.

It’s all been one big laugh and now you’re all in on the joke.

It’s been a wild and wicked ride but I’m sure of one thing…..my mother would be proud.  🙂

 

I’m still standing: (Rough outline)

As I am starting to write my book, I thought I should put a bucket list together of my life events. It’s just a rough list of reminders to keep me on track. Not edited or been given much thought and I’m sure I’ve left a lot out. All of a sudden I feel like I need a nap.  🙂

Large family
Oldest of 10 kids
Bedwetter
Violent father
Catholic school – expelled
Jail: One year Division of Youth Services: Breaking and entering
Sexually abused while incarcerated- State cop- Marvin Pratt
21 Drunk arrests
Army- 2 years, Vietnam, 1 year, Tet Offensive
Alcoholism – Drug addiction
Chef’s training Institute – Northeastern
Fantasia restaurant 15 years total – Never drew a sober breath
Musician – Guitar – Keyboards – Berklee, bands, drugs, alcohol
Skidder Munroe Band More drugs, more alcohol + cocaine + unintentional heroin
AA + Jesus + Fasting + New me
Fitness – running + weights + interest in nutrition
Dupont/Bristol Myers Squibb – Distribution, Customer service, Sales, Marketing, video production.
Company relocation to Arizona
Marriage (First time, 55 years old)
Move back to Boston
Double O Video, Double O Creative
Second home in Arizona
Cars, horses, travel
Ambien, Lunesta, Soma, Tramadol, Zoloft, Xanax
Back to alcohol
VA Detox: I was 230 pounds and combining Xanax and alcohol. (Stroke recipe)
Detox: Barracks living, drunks, addicts, psychos, constant screaming and suicide watch
Mutual marital separation
I sell my $600,000 home and give her half of the proceeds. $100,000
Close to declaring Bankruptcy. Need her to help with bills.
Credit card companies tell me she’s not culpable on our marital debt.
Wife files restraining order ????
Move back to Arizona with my two little dogs
I get numerous certifications in insurance and personal training. Selling insurance is a joke.
Wife divorces me ex-parte saying she doesn’t know where I am. Empties our joint bank accounts then closes them.
My two little dogs die.
I have nothing now.
I start seriously training to get healthy and help me sleep without medication.
IRS comes after me. They do not fuck around.
Every job I get is a fucking nightmare. I was escorted off a Verizon site by security after a blow up with a manager.
For two years I live hand-to- mouth
January 2020, I get a job at Lowe’s and I am seeing more than daylight.
From August 14, 2016, to August 2020, I lose 65 pounds
I am now writing this book
One thiing is sure, it’s been a wild ride.
And more importantly……
I’m still standing.