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A Difference In Choice…


March 2012

I’ve been quite open about my path to fitness. My starting to run was based on a decision that I made in which I decided to allow myself to get fat. I was so disgusted with the notion that I started running almost immediately thereafter (within 24 hours).

My best friend made a different decision, and that decision is coming back to haunt him – he’s one year older than I am. In addition to multiple serious medical conditions, including heart problems and high blood pressure, he’s got kidney stones and several other problems – including becoming winded on climbing a single flight of stairs.

My friend called me last night and we spoke at great length about his condition and how he plans on changing his situation – to get back to his younger self through a better diet and actual exercise – both exceedingly recommended by his doctor to fix his medical issues in terms a lot harsher than I’ll use here.  Imagine a doctor laying down an f-bomb or two and you’ll get the idea.

Now, I’m sure there are folks out there who would complain that I use words like “choice” and “fix”.  I’m alright with that, they’ll get over it.  Besides, those are my friend’s words, not mine and he’s got a chance now that he recognizes that getting fat was a choice all along…  All he has to do now is make a plan and stick to that plan to change, which we talked about at length last night and will deal with further this evening as we actually sit down and commence to making plans and goals.

Interestingly enough, I’ve been inviting him out to the running club for going on two years running (without pressing of course), though he’s never actually shown up, towards the end of last fall we did go out on a mt. bike ride together – nothing too crazy, seven miles at a pace of around 12 mph.  Unfortunately it was just the one ride as he often found reason to be too busy for a ride at 6 in the evening (another choice that he acknowledged last night).

If he continues down this path, he’ll die.  It may not be tomorrow, but sooner or later, it’ll catch up.

That said, in our conversation last night, for the first time in the two years we’ve been bandying back and forth his weight issue, he started using substantive words concerning his desire to become fit again.  We have a saying in recovery, “you can’t bullshit a bullshitter”, well my BS detector siren during last night’s conversation actually quieted down to a shallow “beep” before it faded out completely in the last 45 minutes – my brother from another mother has a chance, albeit a slim one (30%) to fix what ails him.  I’ve written before, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly – but he wasn’t going to pick up what I was laying down till he was ready.  I’m hoping that he became so over the last week.

The conversation took a lively in the last 20 minutes or so when he started talking about having to run tri’s with me – and to beat me, if you can believe the nerve on him…  The comment he made that really struck me was that he wants to be excited like I am about being in good shape.  I’m finally returning the favor he did me, 18 years ago when he took me in as a roommate/stray, simply by being a good example and showing up.  I’ve never given up hope on him, never quit calling to see how he was doing.  I also didn’t hide my love of finally being in shape and leading by example – and that’s finally starting to rub of (oh, how I hope), just like he did for me.


  1. elisariva says:

    You are supporting and guiding your friend to make steps to save his life – cudos. It is sad that “comfort” foods when abused can lead people to disease and early death. Choices are important – I like your choice of words.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thank you. It’s hard for me to imagine the fear he’s going through right now – he’s pretty messed up. Hopefully it’s enough to get him through the first two weeks until all of this becomes habit.

  2. Kimberly / says:

    What a great friend!! I hope he sticks with it and begins to enjoy being active. As we all know, if he can get past the first workout, and then the first week and the next, the pain will start to diminish and it will start to be fun! He just has to remember what he is working for. Maybe this time, he has the proper motivation and a great friend to help!

  3. This is the true value of leading a fit life: paying it forward and inspiring others to improve their health and well being. I have no problems with your use of the words “choice” and “fix” either. We are what we do. Our actions evolve out of thought and motive. Once he fixes his thinking and discovers what’s been motivating the destructive behavior, then the real change can happen. All about about awareness, I guess. In the meantime, he’s got a friend to show him how it’s done. He’s lucky. You’re giving him a gift.

  4. bgddyjim says:

    Paying it back and forward at the same time – you can’t beat it.

    Thanks for the comment, truer words have never been written.

  5. […] in: Uncategorized. Leave a Comment I wrote about a very close friend of mine the other day here.  He’s going into the doctor today to be cleared for exercise (as he put it, he wants to […]

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