July 9, 2015

Mid-life Crisis

I’m having a bit of a mid-life crisis.

Not the type of mid-life crisis where you go find yourself a twenty year old girl, or buy some super slick sports car, or decide to trek across the world.  No, instead I am wrestling with my own age and the inevitable decline in performance.

Throughout my mid and late twenties I dropped around fifty pounds on my way to improving my health.  Along the way I became somewhat of an athlete again.  Running, hiking, and cycling among other things became a pretty regular part of life.  All the while looking forward to the day when I would hit what really was an ultimate goal of mine, seeing what an incredibly fit Kyle really looks like.  The problem is that the longer I wait, the less likely it is that this goal will ever be accomplished.

Mid-Life Crisis of Another Sort

[pullquote align=”right”]I want to see what an extremely fit Kyle looks like.[/pullquote]

I always have had the end goal of being “the fit guy”.  I was never a slim and trim person even at my peak playing days in high school football.  I was still a little soft and bigger than most guys in my class.  I got a little ribbing about it from time to time throughout school.  Once in college the weight started coming on slowly, then into my mid twenties I really packed it on as I began a regular nine to five.  So I have never been truly fit.

I am by no means completely out of shape, but it’s all relative.  I can run a half marathon.  I can ride century bike rides.  I have accomplished almost all the things I have wanted to with really with this one exception.  Point is, I have never been the fit guy.  It’s something I have wanted to accomplish pretty much my entire life.  Even if for no other reason than pushing it in the faces of people who said I couldn’t.

It’s a matter of shame.  It’s a matter of self esteem, and it’s a matter of pride.

The What

I’m not worried about a six pack, or bulging biceps.  What I am looking for is a little muscle definition, and to lean out. So now the question is what’s missing?  How do I get there, and what more do I need to complete to get to the ideal self image that I want to see?

I need some goals.

Increase Muscle Mass

I have always been pretty cardio centric.  When I first lost most of the weight I did it running.  I ran a lot of miles over the course of probably fours years and in the past three years or so I have slowly been moving to cycling. Now seven or eight years into a cardio focused program I feel like I might be developing some muscle imbalances and this is something I want to fix.  That’s functional.  The other part of this is purely vanity.  Yes vanity.  It’s something I want so I’ll go after it.

Nutrition

The foundation for health is what you put in your mouth.  I have a sugar addiction and I need to address that.  In general I want to shore up my diet and clean it up with lean proteins to help aid in muscle recovery and growth.  This would be in addition to the obvious fat/weight loss.

Weight

BMI tables would have you think I should be in the range of 130 to 170 lbs.  I feel like even at the high end of  170 lbs I wouldbe awfully small.  So ignoring this, my goal was more in the area of 180 lbs.  That being said, this goal is a bit squishy.  Increasing muscle mass may make the target a little bit flexible.  Not only that but I might alter this as I go along depending on what I feel and how I look.

The How

So where does that leave me in terms of this mid-life crisis?  The way I see it there are two legitimate options.  Option one would be to go the traditional route and hire a personal trainer, spent my hours in a gym etc.

Option two, and the option I am leaning more heavily towards is something I really never saw myself doing. In fact it’s something that I have generally been a staunch opponent of.  It’s caused me to do a lot of reflection over the past several weeks to evaluate where my feelings for it come from (more on that coming in the next post).

It’s a dirty little word called Crossfit.

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