Bad News: I haven’t been counting calories for probably over two months. Additionally, while I wouldn’t say that I’ve been eating bad OVERALL, there certainly has been days in there where I didn’t eat well either.
Good News: I’ve only gained a few pounds. I know, “only” right? Any other time in my life I would have put on 10-20… but since I’ve been so active recently, my body is starting to adjust, and I can literally feel my metabolism getting better week by week.
Truth be told, I am more active these days than I’ve ever been in my life. I work out at Alpha Fitness twice a week and play basketball twice a week. Starting Friday, I’ll be working out at the YMCA again with my rad personal trainer, Heather once a week as well. But as active as I am, none of it matters if I’m not getting what I eat under control.
This isn’t a call to arms post, it’s more of a “huh, that’s interesting.” I’m not displeased with myself (I’m not proud either), it’s more of something that is just interesting to me. My metabolism isn’t where it needs to be yet to get away with not counting every single calorie. So, back to counting I go.
Now, what will be REALLY interesting, is to see how the weight comes off now that I’m as active as I’ve ever been AND sticking to a 2000 calories a day diet.
Every single time I come here to write a post, I get about three sentences in, read what I had, and then think to myself “who the eff cares?!” and then hit delete.
Seriously… I’m not playing an emo card or anything, it’s just a logistical fact. Everyone and their mother has an opinion on something these days, so blogging just for the sake of blogging (or, I’d even wager blogging just to foster community) is on it’s way out. Maybe it’s just me, but I find myself skimming over the hundreds of blogs I’m subscribed to through Google Reader these days and MAYBE reading 2% of them. The rest just seem like they’re blogging because they feel like they NEED to.
Someone give me something new. Something real. I’m bored with the norm.
So this morning was one of those times where regardless of what is going on in my life, I had to just take a moment and truly appreciate my life.
You see, last night was one of the once-in-a-blue-moon lately nights for Becca where she woke up in the middle of the night, and would not go back to sleep easily. Ryanne tried for an hour or so before giving up and finally announcing it was my turn. I stayed up rocking Becca for about an hour myself before she finally gave in and fell back asleep. It was 4:30am before I finally got back to bed. Couple that with the fact that I didn’t get to bed till around 1am, and I was a VERY tired guy this morning.
So I slept in. Most mornings I get up around 7am to help out Ryanne with her morning routine and spend a little time with Becca. But today, I was still asleep upstairs in our bedroom when Ryanne came in carrying Becca just before leaving for work.
I heard Ryanne come in and announce “Say bye-bye to daddy!” and set Becca down on the bed. Now, here’s the great part…
Becca crawled right up to me, her near-sleeping father, made a few cute noises, and gave me a kiss. I then gave her a hug and kissed her cheek. Normally Becca doesn’t like to sit still for more than a few seconds, but this morning she wasn’t letting go of me. She hugged me for what felt like eternity (but probably closer to thirty seconds) and that was enough to melt my heart, let alone my worries and stress from the last few days.
It’s so easy to take times like that for granted, but man… I really hope I never do.
I didn’t know anyone in New York City on 09.11.01.
No family members, no friends were even close to New York City on 09.11.01.
I was out driving a company vehicle for a job I had at the time as a residential/commercial alarm repairman when I heard the news break in over ESPN Radio. I immediately drove home, turned on the television, and watched in shock as the second plane hit on live television.
I was home. Safe.
But that day would become the single biggest catalyst for change in my life up until this point, and I don’t expect anything to beat it out.
When people ask me about my “story,” how I came to where I am in life, I generally don’t include this part. I’m not really sure why, I just never have, but as I was sitting in my bed reflecting this morning, I realized just how important this day was for me. I remember watching what was happening in NYC in complete horror. I was overcome with fear, sadness and grief. But I remember another feeling. I remember a feeling of hope. Even in the midst of all the terror, I remember feeling like there was something bigger going on. I remember watching the firefighters, police, and EMT/Paramedics running IN, while everyone else was still running away. I remember seeing that, and thinking “wow… they’re making a difference.”
Up until that point, my life was lived 100% to benefit me. I was still partying. I was still taking part in other illegal activities (my parents read this, I’ll save them the details, ha). I was still single. I certainly didn’t believe in God. I was completely selfish in how I dealt with anyone and everything.
Then came 9/11. Something happened to me on that day that I know happened to countless others. I felt a new-found sense of direction. Something clicked in me, and I knew there was more to life than living just me for me.
Two weeks after that horrible day, I started emergency medicine classes, and eventually become a paramedic. I realized that my life was being wasted, and I wanted to live me for YOU (others). I didn’t want to go through my life any longer only serving myself. So I started working a job that was 100% inspired by the events of 9/11. After all, I was too out of shape to be a cop or a firefighter, so that was the next best thing.
I won’t wax poetic about being a paramedic. I did it for three years, and I hated it after the first year. It just wasn’t what I expected. But, it did eventually drive me to a point in my life where I started asking even bigger questions than the ones I started asking myself on 9/11. Questions about life, eternity, why bad things happen, if I’m fighting for a life, who am I fighting against and why… etc.
Eventually, with some prodding from my parents, it eventually led me to church and a life-changing faith in Christ. Eventually enough changed in me to become a better man, which in turn allowed me to convince my amazing wife of now seven years to give me yet another chance, and that eventually led to the birth of my world changing daughter who owns her daddy in all the best ways. Eventually I would even come on staff for a Church dedicated to changing lives for the better.
Now I live a life that serves others. Not as much as I’d like most of the time, but the difference between the thirty-year old man I am today on 09.11.11, than on 09.11.01 are so far apart I don’t even recognize that twenty-year old boy I was then.
9/11 changed my life. It was the single most horrific event I can remember in my life, and I grieve for those that lost so much on that terrible day. I am not worthy of the sacrifice of near-3000 people, including 343 firefighters. I am not deserving of what the people who survive today lost when their husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters lost when they chose to run in, instead of doing what any normal person would have done and run away. But I am thankful for the example they set. I am thankful for the inspiration they put in me and COUNTLESS other lives that day to change, and realize that a selfish life isn’t really a life at all.
Me for me became Me for You.
I wasn’t there, but it didn’t matter. No single event has ever changed my life more. I will always be able to remember 9/11 not just as a day of horrible tragedy, but as an event that finally made me realize how precious life is, and how much better it is when we as a human race live not just for us, but for each other.