Category Archives: General

Shit Happens


Two words that pretty much sum up every bad event in live.  At least it does if you are on the other side of the event or one of those glass half full people. Me, I know how to look at a glass.  Here’s a tip next time someone pulls that line on you.  What was the previous state of the glass when it reached the halfway point? Was it in the act of filling or empting? If filling then half full, if empting half empty.  Pretty simple right?

Now let’s get back to shit, because it does happen, a lot, as Forest just told us.  If you’ve followed my previous attempts at challenges you know that shit happened on more than one occasion. Broken toe, broken foot, shin splints and most recently pulmonary emboli.

I never disclosed via this blog but back in August I was diagnosed with pulmonary emboli.  If you are up on your Latin, you noticed that was plural meaning more than one. Specifically both lungs.  This meant a 5 day stay in the hospital and a cease and desist on most of my exercise related activities. In a nutshell, I was devastated. From what the doctor told me, if I wasn’t in such good shape (i.e. a runner) it would’ve been much much worse.

I noticed a decline shortly after I completed the Broad Street Run.  Suddenly it became more difficult to run. I thought it was just the summer air influencing my asthma so I thought I would just soldier through it. By mid July I went from running miles without stopping to running only a 1/8th of a mile and being short of breath and in pain which would quickly go away within a few minutes.

EKGCome August, I was literally bend over in pain 10 minutes into a run. My running partner had been telling me for weeks I should see a doctor and seeing how I was bent over I finally agreed. I went to the doctor the very next day and described my symptoms; sudden shortness of breath when climbing stairs, drastic reduction in my mileage and pain in my chest. An EKG later and I was ordered to go to the emergency room.

From there I had a few tests to determine what exactly was going on.  At this point I had no diagnosis but the fear was that it was a heart issue. At about 10:30 PM that evening I received my proper diagnosis and started treatment.

Now I’m nearing the end of my treatment and starting to put the pieces back together.  I’ve been running since September but not as much as I was before. Now it’s time to ramp up.  This year I’ve decided that I won’t create challenges like I’ve done in the past.  I’m going to rebuild, restructure and get rid of the impurities. I’m forging a new iron will.  As always it’s going to be an uphill battle and I’m up for it.

Back again

That’s right I’m back! In the time off I’ve made some changes around here.  First you’ll notice the site looks a little different. I’ve switched to WordPress  from (for those of you that care or know the difference) because of upgrading issues on the backend. I’m a software programmer by trade so I’m more comfortable with the technology behind BE but WP is offering me a better choice in terms of getting posts out there from my phone. So now I’m picking up a new skillset!

With the new platform came a new layout which is always nice to switch up every now and then if need be.

I’m still in the process of converting everything over and feeling my way around WordPress so there may be a few issues here and there but I’ll have them ironed out soon enough. For now, have a look around and get ready for new things to come.

Do Over

Last year was not good for the plan. In the early part of the year I broke my toe which derailed some of the challenges. Once I recovered, I lost my motivation from the lack of activity and my slow bounce back from the injury.

Those are a bunch of excuses and I’m tired of hearing them myself. So I’m calling last year a loss and calling for a do over. So in 2012, I’m starting the activity year over again. Every challenge will be repeated as if they never existed. Look forward to new posts and hopefully no repeats from last year.

The Funk

Not the kind you smell or the kind you hear. I’m talking about the kind you feel or more specifically the kind you get into. The bad kind.

That’s where I am right now. As I write this and most likely as you read this. I don’t know how I got here since I always use my GPS when I go places. Maybe my sense of direction isn’t as good as I would like to admit.

Well I’m here now and there’s nothing to do here.  Everyone else here is just sitting around like they’re on vacation but not with the same enjoyment. I want to get out of here but there are no roads or signs. I haven’t even seen a door in days.

Let’s back track.  It was last month and I was working on my BMI. I wasn’t making big traction on that but that was expected. I remember the month ending and looking forward to the next challenge. The time came and then nothing. No excitement, no hesitation, nothing!

Figuring out how I got here probably won’t be helpfull since it’s not like I can backtrack to get out of here. Maybe I’ll just run until I’m tired and see where I end up. I’ll let you know when I’m done.

Starting from the middle

Now that I’m back in the full swing of exercising it feels great.  My active heart rate is starting to drop, I feel my self getting stronger and soon enough, the pounds will start dropping. But it took a huge ego check to get back on the right path again.

Two months ago after getting medical clearance to exercise again I resumed my normal workout. I hadn’t taken into account that I had a three month lull so when I worked out, it wasn’t as fulfilling as I remember. Matter of fact, it was discouraging.  I wasn’t perfoming where I thoughtt I should be.

Before the injury, I was running a 8 minute mile on the treadmill for 3 miles. I was a great accomplishment on my part. When I returned I knew there would be some loss but I thought I could just keep the same pace and force my body to catch up to the old routine but my body wasn’t having that. I fell well short of my goals.

After a couple weeks I decided to step down my efforts. I immediately noticed an improvement. It was then I realized my error. Now, I’m taking things a little easier than before. I know I will get back to where I was eventually. I just have to work at it.

What’s up with all the meals and workouts?

If you’ve been paying attention the last couple days you’ve noticed that I’m posting meals and workouts, but for what reason? Well, if I’m going to do this, then I’m going to be held accountable for what I eat.

What better way to ensure I’m eating right and exercising than to have the world see what I’m doing. Think of it as a public encouragement.  Typically you don’t know what someone else is eating unless you are sitting right next to them.  And you don’t always know the exercises people are doing.  This way, it’s all on the table so to speak.

Think you have to nerve or will power to show the world everything you eat? Only you know but I’m doing it!

The Will is Iron but the Body is Bone

Actually it was my toe
Actually it was my toe

Oh my where to begin. Let’s start with the foot. I broke my toe back in May and that totally threw this year off. I couldn’t do any of the physical activities I’ve become used to. I’ve lost 3 months of activity.

I got the go ahead to start again at the beginning of July and its been a rough climb back ever since.  This will be a true test of will power, the come back! Stay tuned.

Book Deal

I was talking to someone today about the Iron Will Year and what it’s about and they asked me if I was planning to write a book about it. Of course I laughed at the tough. There are plenty of self-help and diet books clogging up store and library shelves. There’s no need for me to create something else of no value. 

Besides, this isn’t about making money, it’s about changing lifestyles. Mainly mine but if others want to feel inspired by me by all means I don’t need to receive payment for it.

I’m Posting every week in 2011!

I’ve decided that if I’m going to encourage people I need to post more. Rather than just thinking about it, I’m starting writing more about my experience.  I will be posting on this blog at several times a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

To help, I’ve gotten a new Android G2 phone (thanks T-Mobile) and installed the WordPress App to help me post more while on the go.

This will also be a good test of will power to accomplish this but the encouragement I offer to others is worth it.

Year In Review

It’s been a long food restricting year. Many lessons have been learned and many respects have been gained. Most recently, I’ve learned that eating out at many places as a vegetarian is very difficult. Evan more so if you are a vegan.

Many times throughout the year, I’ve experienced more peer-pressures than I can remember as a teen; the pressure to drink, the pressure to eat meat and the pressure of just doing something different than others. Many people go through them sometimes everyday but I’m figuring that I’ve it gotten so bad because I actually made a change in my life that people didn’t expect. Things such as going to lunch or dinner suddenly becomes a chore due to dietary restrictions.

Aside from the complaining (there was a lot of it from many people, myself included), I learned to have a better appreciation for food.  Many time, I’ll put it into my mouth without really thinking what’s in it or how it’s made.

I’ll be making a few changes in my diet next year because of what I’ve learned.  I’ve had the chance to taste some things I wouldn’t normally had I not been forced to such as spinach enchiladas and falafel stew.

Next years plans have already been disclosed and I’m very excited to get started.  Typically I train just to run but this will be a full body experience unlike anything I’ve ever done before.

One last note, now that I am no longer a vegetarian, my very first meal was chicken kabobs at 12:01 am!

Let’s Get Physical

No, no my will hasn’t given out at the end of the year.  I’ve been busy working on next years plan and I’m sure you didn’t want to hear me complain about not eating meat again for another month.

Next year I switch things up a bit and focusing on improving the body with physical influences.  I will attempt to improve my fitness level in the most common areas measured. Each month will begin and end with an assessment of where I am to see if there has been any improvement.  Also at the beginning and end of the year, I will be doing a full assessment to see how I have changed throughout the year.

New this year will be videos, pictures and maybe audio at various times.  No one really wants to watch me eat but since this is now a physically challenge, the results can been seen. I will now let you in a little further to see just how my will is tested.

If you’d like to join me this year be my guess.  Encourage others to join you, to encourage you or to try it for themselves.  See you in January for the assessment.

Where's Blkbam


If you want to look, I really am in there somewhere. If you find me there’s 5,000 cool points in it for you. To get paid, set up a PayPal account and I will transfer the funds into your account.

Seriously though, I’ve been working on things behind the scenes improving the site and other projects.  If you haven’t noticed by now, the comment system is now different.  This should cut down on the spam I’ve been receiving.  All of the comments are now handled through Disqus. Using them you can track your comments all around the web no matter what site you comment on.

Also coming soon will be links to the iTunes store for the same items from Amazon.

There’s still more to come and of course more topics to be posted.  Stay tuned….

How to handle vacation

It’s that time of year when vacations are the first thing on everyone’s mind next to hoping the weather will stay nice.  So how do you handle the Iron Will Plan while on vacation?  I have two answers:

The responsible one:  Stick to the plan. This is a test of will and will power doesn’t take vacations.  What’s more, this is a test against yourself.  You have the most to benefit from it and you will be stronger to not failing the test.

The irresponsible one: When I cater, I have one answer for people on diets; all diets are off!  Yes I know this isn’t a diet but the same rules apply.  It’s vacation and time to relax.  The last thing you want to worry about is when and what to eat.  That’s why Norwegian Cruise Line started their whole Freestyle Cruising ad campaign.

Hopefully my two answers will confuse you enough for you to make the right decision for yourself.  Remember, there are no right or wrong answers.  Just choices.

Unofficial Aid

Yesterday I took a long awaited trip to the orthodontists to pick up my first set of Invisalign.  You know, the invisible braces.

First impressions?  While they are invisible per say, they are noticeable up close.  Case in point, I dropped a pair and lost them on the floor for about half an hour.

They’ll take a bit getting used to but I have a 13 month sentence to do so.

So what’s this have to do with Iron Will Year?  Well, seeing as how I now have to take out my grillz before I can eat or drink anything, it’ll make it much easier to pay attention to what I’m eating.  If I had gotten them in the beginning of the month maybe i wouldn’t have slipped up a few times!