"The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself."
Today I took the first step into the local "Tri" shop. Prior to walking in I was nervous, I felt flushed and I was beginning to sweat. As I entered the door I noticed a gentlemen showing some shoes to the staff, Since I have a background in the retail business I knew instantly that he was a sales rep from a shoe company. I thought to myself, "I picked the absolutely worst time to come into a specialty store". I just knew that if I was able to wrangle a staff member away from the shoe rep that one of two things was going to happen:
The staff member was going to be distracted and I wasn't going to get the attention I deserved. or
I was going to get thrown into a pair of shoes from the rep's company... or worse, the rep was going to try and sell me a pair of shoes.
Much to my surprise I was immediately greeted by Cassandra and asked if she could help me in any way. I explained to her that I was fat, out of shape, and that I had stuck my foot in my mouth. After an approving smile and my explanation regarding said foot in mouth, she instantly started assessing my needs and goals. As a former cyclist 13 years removed from the sport we made a connection. Cassandra explained to me that she too was a former cyclist and after her 2nd child was born was just getting back into shape. We discussed needs (a pair of running shoes) and goals (to be able to finish an international distance triathlon in October of 2013) she grabbed another employee to assist (her name escapes me). Turns out that it was the owner of the store, and she willing dropped her conversation with the sales rep to assist.
The owner took me over to the treadmill and asked me to remove my shoes. She then explained that she needed to see me run so that she could assess my stride, and determine if I had any "special needs" that would need to be addressed. Starting to sweat again, I did as she asked. She video taped me from the side as well as from behind as I ran. She then showed me the video and explained that I was flat-footed, and that I run with a supination. Additionally she told me that I have a wide foot, which was news to me (I have never been "professionally" fit for shoes).
I was then placed into a pair of shoes, and after a lesson on how to lace and tie them (go figure, I didn't know how to tie my shoes), I was back on the treadmill. She again video tapped me and asked me a series of questions about fit and feel. I was amazed and couldn't believe how good these shoes felt.
After some additional discussion regarding training and some dos and don'ts I was feeling pretty freaking confident. I was invited to join the running group that meets at the store numerous times a week and was generally made to feel like a runner. It's probably a little soon for me to join a running group, but I am going to follow their training advice and in a month or so I should have the confidence to join a group.
I have visited other running and cycling shops in our area, and never have I received service like this. Two Thumbs up for the Extra Mile Fitness Co!!
I want to introduce you to Douglas Mogle, please take a moment to watch this short video.
The following was my reply to that video: "As a rule, I do not meet my patients. As a matter of fact I HATE meeting my patients. For me, and forgive my brashness, my patients are simply task. During my work day I go from task to task, completing each one the best I can, and then I forget about them. This process is how my defensive mechanism manages the “bad” calls, the ones that hit “close to home” or are so gruesome that I might dwell on them and take them to my personal life.
Honestly, I didn't want to meet you, and until my chief persuaded me to participate in that reunion I had forgotten all about Douglas Mogle. As a matter of fact prior to coming out to the campus that day I had to pull the run sheet to re-familiarize myself with your case. I can be socially awkward sometimes and as I recall I remember it being a bit awkward for both of us that day. I mean what do you say to a guy that just spent 12 months going through hell??
That said, here we are again. The same chief that persuaded me to meet you that day sent me a link to this page…But today it’s you that is affecting me.
Minus the heart attack our stories aren't so different. In addition to my normal duties at work I am also a Division Chief with a volunteer fire department where I am often put into a position of mentoring new and young recruit firefighters (knowing what I know about firemen and fourth graders, I can’t imagine there is much difference in our jobs). I too, have let my health fall victim to the “busyness” that I create. I have gained approximately 30lbs since 2008, and while that may not sound like a lot, I have noticed some definite impact in my stamina, endurance and strength. My wife has taken notice too, making innocent jokes, and poking my “jiggle’ies”. Just a week ago, after coming out of the shower at the firehouse another fireman looked at me and stated “Jesus Christ, you’re a fat ass!”. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, I am not the person I used to be (I am 5’11 and 208lbs.). Now, not only is my wife noticing, but so are the guys who’s lived could depend on me at a fire. After all when Joe Q. Public thinks of firemen they are supposed imagine a physically fit man or woman who is capable of doing great things at a moment’s notice. Today, I am not that person!
Douglas, your words:” I NEED, I WANT, and I CRAVE positive change” speaks to me. I know we live too far apart to be “training buddies”, but I will make you this promise. Regardless if you are selected to race with Dr. Gupta or not, and if you’re on board, then I will train “alongside” of you. And when the time comes to participate in a triathlon, I will line up on the starting line right beside you, and I will suffer through this masochistic journey to positive change.
What do you say?"
So there you have it. A man my size and 2 years my younger falls over dead (I could not be any more literal) and I just happen to be there to bare witness...and then a year later I am making a promise. A promise that seemed like a good idea at the time but now that I am counting calories, watching what I eat and propelling my "corpulent keister" down the road (enduring pain I haven't felt in years), I am not so sure. But in then end this isn't about supporting Douglas, it isn't about getting into shape. It's about NEEDING, the WANTING and the CRAVING a positive change.