MidLife Crisis?!

2 07 2012

No, I’m not  getting a new sports car or a girlfriend, but I did turn 40 just over a month ago. And as many people do, they re-examine their lives. I’m probably 75+ pounds overweight. I have high blood pressure, which I am sure is caused by the excess weight. My knees and joints crack  and ache from time to time. My wife and I have an amazing family, 5 beautiful children. Angie lost her father just weeks before his 40th birthday. And as a result she and I have a lot on our mind about being here for the long term for each other, for our kids. So while most of these thoughts have floated through my head for years, they’ve not to this point coalesced into a unifying force to effect change in my life.

To get to the point I am finally making a change to improve my health. I signed up for Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping. It’s a intensive kickboxing, strength training and nutrition program designed to reshape. I am excited about it, nervous, but excited. We started this past Saturday with initial testing: weight, measurements, pictures, body fat %, resting heart rates, push-ups, sit-ups and a 1-mile run. Here’s where I start out. Maybe I’ll get brave and post my before picture after I’ve made some progress.

  • Weight: 254
  • Body Fat: 34.3%
  • Chest: 46.5″
  • Waist: 47.5″
  • Hips: 45.75″
  • Bicep: 16
  • Thigh: 26
  • Sit-ups: 14
  • Push-ups: 10
  • 1 Mile Run: 13′ 02″

My Goal is to get to 180 lbs by my 41st birthday. For the specific 10 week program, I’d like to loose 30lbs. I know that in order to accomplish this I am going to have to focus my efforts on the nutrition. The workouts are going to come and I’ll overcome those hurdles. It is the nutrition challenge that I will have to be vigilant.

I’m going to journal here my experiences with this challenge. I doubt there are many following, but maybe others will eventually see it and can learn from it.





Gadgets

25 05 2011

I just got an iPad for my birthday from the wife and kids. I have a sneaking suspicion the kids will have their paws on it more than me. But today it is all mine!

I have loved technology for a very long time. I got my first computer in approx 1983. My brother and I bought a commodore Vic 20. I poured through the user manual trying to teach myself Basic. I’ve loved computers and gadgets since an early age.

So now I have at my disposal my iPad, an Android phone, an iPhone 3G (w/o cell service), and a work laptop. But I’ve recently developed a technolust for a new DSLR camera. I have fallen for HDR photos, like those from Trey Ratcliff from StuckinCustoms.com.

I think I’ve settled on wanting a Nikon D5100 camera, but am torn thinking maybe if I get an older camera, I’d be able to get a higher tiered camera. Or maybe I’m over thinking things and just need to start saving for the D5100. Anyhow, the shutterbug bit me and I’m having a hard time not trying to scratch the itch!





MBA

14 01 2011

I got some advice from an associate of my father’s that suggested that to be successful in business, you HAVE to get your MBA. He felt that I should do it immediately after college so as not to get caught up in the trappings of a job (steady income), a wife (time and focus sink), and a children (a sink hole of time, focus, and money). I’m sure he phrased in more politely than that at the time, but as I look back now, this is what he was saying to me. With only the advice from one person, I applied post haste to 5 of the top 7 MBA programs in the country (Northwestern, Univ of Chicago, Wharton, Harvard, and Stanford). I was unceremoniously declined by all, citing the lack of experience to meet their criteria. Fortunately, one of my aunts, being the kind soul that she is, forwarded me an article about her university’s MBA program being one of the top bang for your buck programs. I applied and was accepted on fall of ’95. I finished up in the spring of ’97 and began my career. Many of my classmates came in with 3+ years of working experience. From the schools perspective, I think they wanted the candidates to be more well rounded and allow their own experiences to contribute to the classroom setting. Many times though it seemed like their previous work experience was more applicable to their interpersonal work relationships than business knowledge, so I am not really sure how well it contributed. Regardless, I was a young MBA student. Looking back on the decision to get my MBA I see both positives and negatives (I’ll avoid the personal ramifications since I met my wife at Grad School).

On the positive, it continued to teach me a great deal about business, finance, investments, etc. Information that I certainly would have learned over time in the real world. But it brought it all together for me very quickly. I picked up a wide array of knowledge in finance from corporate finance and investment banking to options pricing and fixed income securities. But probably the most important thing I learned was how to tackle a project, how to solve an in depth problem, and how to work with a team.

The downside from my viewpoint, unfortunately, is the cost. I racked up almost $70K in student loans for tuition and living expenses. 13 years later and I’m still paying off those loans. There are so many companies that provide tuition assistance to their employees that you could get most of your education costs covered by an employer nowadays. The opportunity cost, in my opinion, has been steep.

In retrospect if it were not for meeting my wife and our eventual family, I am not sure if I would really choose to do it again. Then again, I don’t know what I would have done had I not had this idea to go to grad school.





Fighting Apathy

10 02 2010

My son struggles with focus, especially when it comes to homework. I know this is not a unique struggle that parents face, but it is a struggle none the less. Tonight was particularly frustrating for he and I. He will constantly complain about hating homework. I try to help him realize that homework is inevitable and therefore, should embrace it, do it quickly so he can go on and enjoy some free time. After he spent more than an hour and a half of grumbling, letting distractions steal away his attention, and just plain procrastinating, I said to him as I walked away, “I’m done”. I was throwing up my hands in defeat, letting him choose to sink or swim completely on his own. I felt pretty confident that he would not finish. The kid is wicked smart, off the chart smart, but his motivation to apply himself leaves much to be desired.

5 seconds after I threw up the white flag, I heard a little voice in my head that said, giving up on him says that you don’t love him. I instantly regretted my prior words. I came back in the room, got him to get up and go to the table and helped him finish his last 8 math problems and english homework. It took all of 15 minutes once we sat down and did it. I only wish he could see how easy and “painfree” it is if he only focuses. One day at a time.





Master of a few

4 02 2010

I have for a long time felt that I needed to have a broad range of skills for my career. As I’ve developed my career, I’ve read more and more about the need to specialize. Frankly, I haven’t been particularly fond of the idea of specializing. I have felt a greater calling to be a generalist, to know a little about a most everything, and to be the master of several things.








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