What You Do With Time Makes Time Important

Adrian with his wife Lorrie, and grand-daughter Helen

I am a 52-year-old male, almost 53.  I am a husband of 25 years to a beautiful, fantastic, and understanding woman.  We are parents to two adult children, April and Aric (my step children), 33 and 31 years old respectively.  We have recently been blessed with the title of grandparents.  Our daughter gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Helen in May. I am interested in all things fitness, as well as motorcycles. Though at times I wonder which I love more. I have been riding since I was 9 years old.  My latest experience is long distance endurance rides.  I recently completed a 8,200 mile, 15 day trip to the West in 2011. My immediate concerns are my well-being and the health of my friends and family.  I am not preachy.

I grew up on a farm in rural Upper Marlboro, MD.  It was the family farm and it housed my grandparent’s home, as well as my uncle’s and cousin’s homes.  By the time of my birth the farm was reduced to large gardens and tobacco: the pigs,  cows and chickens were gone.  I grew up with two parents, one younger brother, and an older sister. I was always very athletic.  I played all the sports except organized football.  My father was a local baseball player and my crib was equipped with a glove, ball, and bat.  I pitched, played first base and right field, and hit clean-up.  I was the Reggie Jackson of the neighborhood.  I grew up with one problem however: Ollier’s Disease (enchondromatosis ).  This effected the bones on my left side.  I broke a bone every year or so from the age of 7 to 16 years old.  I also had surgery at 9  to correct my left leg as it was a tad bit shorter than my right. My injuries never bothered me as a child.  They barely slowed me down.  I was just like any kid.  I fell down, I got up, brushed myself off, and carried on.  It’s just sometimes I had to go to the emergency room before the game was over and the following day I played, big cast and all.  I also developed a love for motorcycles.  I bought my first mini bike, a Honda 50, at 9 years old.  My father helped me raise an acre of tobacco to earn the money.  In the 60’s and 70’s the sport of motocross was huge and my brother Steve, myself, and my cousin Rusty were full-on addicts.  We rode from dawn to dusk, and a little beyond.  We converted every piece of land we could into a motorcycle trail or motocross track: our land, your land, the power companies land for power lines, you name it. Oddly enough, I never broke any bones on my motorcycles.

I started fitness training at 50.  I was pretty run down physically and mentally.  Work had burnt me like black toast.  My feet were slowly disappearing under my waist.  I was smoking nearly two packs a day and having a couple of drinks every night: stressed, fat, hacking up a lung, and boozing.  Not a pretty picture.  I think the stick that broke the camel’s back was the thought that if I bought new pants, they would have to be 36W and 32L. Thankfully, our son Aric had stayed with us for 6 months before he joined the Navy.  He had to get himself into shape to pass the physical.  He worked out 5 days a week, followed a strict diet of whole food, and completely changed his body.  I thought, hell, that’s what I want,  I can do that! I quit smoking.  Quit drinking.  I began sleeping 7 – 8 hours.  My body felt better immediately and I began to look better shortly thereafter. Mentally, I recaptured the spark.  The enthusiasm that made me a good software developer and work extraordinary hours, was rekindled by (and for) fitness and nutrition.   I felt, and continue to feel so alive.

My father died from prostate cancer.  Four or five months into my fitness journey I went in for my overdue PSA exam and a couple of days later my life changed. I too was diagnosed w/ prostate cancer, but I’m a survivor.  It’s a rare day when I do not want to work out.  It is a rare occasion when I do not want a healthy meal.  I enjoy this lifestyle.  It generates positive emotions for me. “I can’t stop, I won’t stop!” My wife Lorrie and my family have stood beside me through all of my changes.  They witnessed my drive for fitness and health in the light of my fight against cancer.  They are all in.  Lorrie led the way 15 years ago.  She used fitness and nutrition to help her overcome Crohn’s disease (put it in remission).  She is our families original fitness lover.  She was a huge Weider and step aerobics fan. Lorrie also has taught me how to cook.  She is a professional chef with a culinary degree.  This would have been infinitely more difficult to continue without her support. My friends on Twitter and Fitocracy keep me in check.  What a group!  My #FITFAM is the best!  Their knowledge, passion, and support are unparalleled.  Do you need motivation?  Do you need sympathy?  Looking for direction?  It’s there in spades.  Also note, that sympathy can be accompanied by a boot to the butt.

While I continue to push my personal boundaries with fitness, I still struggle with eating enough, cooking and washing dishes.  Serious as a heart attack.   I can cope, even thrive, with the daily 2-3 hour workouts.  It is a grind sometimes.  But what pushes you over the edge is fixing a healthy dinner and washing all of the dishes. You know that the healthier a dinner is, the more dishes are required to make it.  Direct relationship!  #TRUTH Eating enough is a major task in itself.  Good ahead and enjoy that 1500 – 2000 calorie workout.  Now eat to replace that.  Oh, by the way, eat smart calories not junk food.  I am not some young man with an insatiable appetite.  I eat, I get full, I stop.  Well as long as it is not peanuts, raisins, cake, ice cream, or chocolate.  Actually raisins and nuts is a new addiction for me.  If you have never tried it, don’t.  It is completely addictive.  And it is a horrible combination of carbs and fat.  You have been warned. I work a 8 – 12 hour day.  My workouts typically end around 8pm.  I have my protein and some rolled oats with fruit immediately afterwards.  Shower.  Dinner falls between 9 and 9:30pm.  I am doing dishes after 10pm.  This is not me!  I am a farmer: early to be, early to rise.  I am not European. Finally, dish pan hands.  That is all I need to say.

My workout routine changes often. I just finished a four-day workout: shoulder and legs; chest and biceps; back and triceps; cardio; repeat.  All of the exercises are performed in a 4 – 5 set scheme.  Some sets consist of a high-rep “pump” set. I supplement protein and fiber.  I use Dymatize Elite Gourmet/ISO 1000/MASS whey protein products, Creatine, BCAAs, Leucine, ON casein product, and Garden of Life Raw Fiber/Super Seed fiber products. I use GNCs Mega Men and Garden of Life RAW ONE for Men multivitamins.  I also use GNC’s Triple Strength Fish Oil. For pre-workout I mix my whey protein, creatine, and BCAA.   I will also take a caffeine pill and a cup of coffee.  Post workout I mix my whey protein, creatine, and BCAA with leucine.  I also like to have some raisins to snack on during my workout. I use Dymatize MASS product immediately after a workout if I am going to fall short of my calorie goals for the day.

For meals I practice an Intermittent Fasting/Fasting diet/eating style.  I fast for 16 hours and eat for 8.  I eat whole foods.  I cycle between high carbs or high fat calorie days.  My first meal of the day is lunch, around 11 – noon.  I normally have a 8oz piece of skinless, boneless chicken breast and a large salad.  A very large salad.  It is made of a head of romaine lettuce, 2 big handfuls of baby spinach, a tomato, and about a cup of cucumber.  I have my first round of supplements also: whey protein, fiber, multivitamin, fish oil. My next meal is a post-workout dinner.  That will change through a number of proteins: steak, fish (tilapia), pork, ground turkey, ground beef.  I try to include a vegetable such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans.  If I lifted that day dinner will include a lot of carbs: rice, pasta, bread, etc. Lately I have tried to have an additional meal about 2 hours before my workout.  I am shooting for about 600 calories of protein and carbs.

I want a body similar to that of a Physique competitor.  I want to get leaner and stronger.  I would like to get my BF % below 10% and increase my maximum weight PRs. My body probably looks better than it ever has.  I have a four pack that I am absolutely determined to make into a six pack.  My legs and arms have definition again and I am vascular!

If you want to do this, YOU CAN!

Get started now.  Start small and build on consistency.  Consistency is everything!  You can make substantial changes to your body and mind in just 30 minutes a day. Don’t get caught up in too many fitness and nutritional philosophies.  Choose a workout and nutritional lifestyle that you can adopt for life.  And stick with it for the recommended amount of time.  Don’t jump around doing one thing, then another, then another, etc.  Be consistent. Find some support from family and/or friends (including online friends). My #FITFAM are so important to me.  They pick me up when I am down.  They cheer on my successes.  They brush me off and throw me back in the ring after every failure.  They allow me to say some of the craziest things! So stop making excuses, and get what’s yours.

Me – I want to be remembered this way (Headed home from Lanconia, NH Bike Week)

Personal Note:

I want to personally thank my #FITFAM for sharing their lives with me.  They were all so inspirational.  They drive me forward.  They push me beyond my limits.  When I question starting a workout at 8pm, I remember the person that started theirs at 9pm. No excuses given, and none taken. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.  I thrive on learning and you folks have put me in an environment I have not experienced since I started software development. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Your friend,

Adrian

@adriang1960 or on Fitocracy as adriang1960

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Comments
  1. Tovah says:

    I loved your story! I love to see how people have got through their trials and tribulations in life, so inspiring! Love your motorbike too. We’re hoping to get one soon. We’re of the same generation as you and your wife, but we still think we’re 30!! My partner had skin cancer (cured himself with natural herbs) I had a brain bleed at the age of 27,but thank G-d we’re both still here to tell the tale.
    http://outoftheboxremedies.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/natural-health-how-it-all-started/

  2. Adrian Griffith (@adriang1960) says:

    Thank you Tovah. Wow … you have had quite an experience. I love being in this journey with you and your family. Cheers!!

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