How I Started
In junior high school I played football, wrestled, and ran track. I loved the tough workouts for these sports. However, when it became apparent that I wasn't going to grow past 5'7", I started to take my musical instrument and academics and extracurricular activities more seriously (All Regional Concert Band '81 and '82; 1980 Governor's School for the Gifted; Yearbook Editor, Debate, Senior Class President, National Merit Semifinalist and National Achievement Scholarship winner, etc.). I marched in the band through high school years and did not pursue any more athletic activities. Marching Band kept me in pretty good shape and when I went off to Virginia Tech for my undergraduate studies, I was in pretty good shape. After three degrees (from VIRGINIA TECH and OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY), I found that I had gained weight. At one point, I got up to 185 pounds and knew that I needed to get back in shape. While pursuing my doctoral studies at SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY, I took advantage of the free gym and began to get myself back into shape. During this time, starting in 2000, I lifted heavy weights, combined different types of cardio, and watched my diet to get into really great shape.
I began researching bodyweight exercises. Using my research I cobbled together my first six-week workout cycle with 1-mile walks that eventually progressed to 1-mile runs. This began in March of 2008 after almost two years of no physical activity. I never stopped researching and came across ways to enhance my bodyweight exercises to add mass. I got a backpack and added weight to my exercises. I changed the pace of my reps, and used different positions for the exercises. I came across bodybuilding.com where I found one of my favorite articles on bodyweight exercises. It changed my approach and attitude about my workouts. I continued to refine my workouts and to add a bit more equipment here and there. I found some cheap 30-pound dumbbells. I put up a pull-up bar outside. I worked on finding effective variations on exercises for all body parts with or without bodyweight. I also modified my cardio workouts to utilize a number of different modalities to enhance fat loss (slow, Tabata, Interval, etc.). Over the years I have also made some very good friends here on this website, who have gifted me useful items that have allowed me to keep pushing myself to the next level. I am forever thankful for the generosity of my friends on here.
Now, I am in my 50s, functionally fit and healthy. I am looking forward to continuing working hard and returning to top form. I write this so that some of you may read it and know that you can indeed push through obstacles and achieve your dreams. Feel free to comment and/or to send a question or comment via personal message. Finally, I implore you to be encouraged and keep moving forward, even if you have two dumbbells, an exercise ball and your body! http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/body-transformation-get-with-the-program.html
Why I Love it
At my current age, 52 (September 3), I have continued to change my body and have received a great deal of positive feedback and encouragement from my BodySpace friends. I love finding ways new exercises and ways to challenge my body to grow and change. I love not only seeing the changes my body continues to make, but to see the transformations of others. As mentioned above, I cannot afford a gym, but that is NO LONGER AN obstacle! In fact, we now have gym less than one mile from me on Main Street here in Waverly, Virginia! It is a surprisingly nice facility. However, even if I could afford it, I would not join! I also like the challenge of growing old(er) gracefully and being a positive example of what a fit body can look like over the age of 40 and NOW 50! Right now my 50s are feeling great!
A word to those who add me as a friend. PLEASE FILL IN YOUR PROFILES. I try to be open in my dealings with others on here and my other online communities. The vast majority of people on here are very kind, knowledgeable and supportive. Push through your vulnerabilities and engage! If I and many others on here in various stages of health and fitness can share, so can you. Plus, a completed profile signals to us who take this lifestyle seriously that you are serious about your own personal health and transformation! I love to encourage people and see them meet their goals. It is hard to do that when there is a blank profile. I won't add blank profiles as friends. Do visit my page often and feel free to leave a comment on my page! Finally, let's respect one another and treat all as we would want to be treated!