In the first part of this series (Camp Nerd Fitness Post-Mortem), I described my experiences at camp. As I said in the article, this was one of my life transformational events. What is a life transformational event? These are important events that change the direction of my life henceforth. Examples of such events include starting college (gaining the first independence of my young life), starting my first full-time job, and when the last member of my immediate family passed away (transitioning to a life alone in the world). So what was the big deal that caused camp to be life transformational? It was the fact that I forced myself to barge right through the barriers of my life like an Angry Bull in Pampona. Could I have done this myself? Possibly. But what made the experience to be the best I could have forseen was the fact that the group of people I was with unknowingly supported me in this effort. If I did this in what I term the real world, I faced an uncertain result - maybe ridicule, maybe worse. Did I feel out of place? Unfortunately I still have to say Yes, but it is a qualified Yes. I’m an introvert. I’m an Aspie. I’m still uncomfortable around meal times and still don’t catch sarcasm and humor all of the time. There are many hurdles to tackle and I did the best that I can and I felt that I accomplished all of the goals that I wanted plus a whole lot more. I still have more hurdles to face. Will it be hard? Heck yes, but it is doable. I have more on these hurdles and how I hope to overcome them later on this post. I came to camp thinking that I was going to be a definite outlier because of my size. While I was the largest person at camp, I felt no stigma and I felt accepted.
When I left the airport following the trip, I actually spent most of the drive home crying. Crying for missing the people and the things we were doing. Crying for the success of breaking my barriers. Crying in realizing that I have thusfar wasted way too many experiences and that I need to make permanent changes. Thus I happily embrace the mantel of #CNF365 that has been passing around the CNF 2014 Alumni Facebook page. Living out the success and leaning on others for the inevitable failures. Seeing some people as my “Yodas” and being a Yoda to my “Padawan”. Support others as they endeavor to be the best version of themselves possible. But I realize I needed to make fundamental changes to various aspects of my life. In particular, I am tired of being the following:
Alone. I live my life in a self-imposed isolation ward and tend to push people away who try to get close. This is true in both my platonic friendships and in any romantic situation I find myself in. It’s hard to not be alone. I’ve lived in a relative “Alone” state since I graduated from college. I then was in a codependent relationship to the parent that I was acting as a caregiver for. This became my social life at the expense of normal friendships and relationships. Now that I face the world alone, I’m a neophyte in building relationships. It is easy to build a cordial relationship with me, but it is another thing entirely to build a deeper relationship. I need to fix this. I need to overcome this natural inhibition and whatever effect my ace tendencies causes in my life.
Fear and Anxiety. I live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. This drives many of the experiences of my life. I conquered some of this at camp, but it was only a tip of the surface.
Laziness. I’m lazy. I’m disorganized. I’m a slob. It manifests itself in many ways. I don’t push myself to be the best that I can be. I accept and embrace mediocracy. I don’t want to be this way. But I will generally take the easy way vs the right way.
Self Esteem. You can probably guess my self esteem is an issue just based on the last three items. I don’t feel a sense of worth in myself. I’m a giver. I’m Spock - “The Good of the Many Outweigh the Good of the One”. I need to be able to set some time aside for myself and do things that are important for me. This is not in my nature. But with a self esteem in the cellar, this is something that is vitally important.
That is a big list and there are many levels and layers involved. But I think it is possible to overcome these issues and convert me into the best that I can be. So what are my goals in moving forward?
Respect my body. Continue on my weight loss journey. Have the surgery I need. Build strength. Look good naked.
Build sincere and lasting relationships. Overcome my fear of people and interact socially. Go out of my comfort zone and find things to do. If I can’t find someone to do something with, meet someone new.
Get out of the frying pan. The constant worrying and stress is not helping me on my journey. I need to stop second guessing myself and forgive myself for things I have done in the past that contribute to the stress and worry. Speak out and express myself.
Get my rump out and do things. Stop hiding. Do things. Do “stuff” that scares you.
Seems simple? Yeah right. So my goal is to stop making my life comfortable. Live completely outside the comfort zone and remove the mask that I don to function in society and be my real self. This was the realization I made during my drive home from camp. Easier said than done? Right?
So what lies on my road ahead? I have came up with a list of things that I want to do in the next year or so. Everything is doable if I put my mind to it. Some of it will kick my butt. But I need my butt kicked and go all out in efforts. So what are these things?
- Do Karaoke (to get over my fear, anxiety, and self esteem)
- Do a one-legged bodyweight squat.
- Do a pull-up. A real pull-up.
- Run a 5K. Note the term “Run”. Not walk. I can do better than that.
- Do a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race. I don’t care how long it takes me to finish - just the fact that I would do this.
- Kiss a Girl. It’s been way too long.
- Play Softball. A good start in a team sport and will force me to work with others on a team.
- Do Toastmasters. Push the comfort zone.
- Go to a Party and not hide. Be a center of attention.
- Climb Enchanted Rock.
- Hike Mt. Rainier.
- Travel someplace I haven’t been before.
- Play more table top games (i.e., go to meetups).
- Find friends.
- Try Cosplay. Probably not something I would normally like to do, but something to push my limits.
- Find a random person every day and just talk with them.
- Actually do the whole Girlfriend thing. It has been years since I’ve been in a proper boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. But I am not getting any younger.
- Play Ultimate.
- Squat 250 pounds.
- Bench Press 200 pounds.
- Throw a Party.
- Take my shirt off in public and not be embarrassed.
- Play Dodgeball or Flag Football.
- Run a 10K.
- Survive all of Amy’s Bootcamp.
- Camping. Hiking. Running.
- Go To CNF 2015.
- March Halftime at Alumni Band at the UT/Iowa State Game in two weeks.
- Have my surgery that has triggered the more urgent need to lose weight. It will be painful and have a slow recovery, but I need this.
These are (some of the) things I would like to accomplish by this time next year. Some have already been planned - I want to climb Enchanted Rock this weekend. Others will be planned when I can actually do them. But it is possible right now to do all of theses things if I put my mind in the right place and pretend barriers are not for me and be the “best” me.
Ongoing things will include my standard workouts including bodyweight squats, rows, pushups and planks. Throw in some powerlifting and challenging walks/hikes/runs. So help me on this journey. If you see me slacking, kick my butt. If you see me doing less than the best, do likewise. Thanks for reading.