Losing my Gut and Finding my Religion….

22 Apr


I wrote this a few years back and most of it’s still true today! In the near universal truth of any “religion” I’ve had a few periods of Back-Sliding but have been generally faithful to my calling as described below. In addition to a commitment to maintaining my overall level of fitness (which I have, in fact, I ran this morning!) we’ve also added the additional component of a 100% plant-based diet to our lifestyle. We LOVE it…and it’s contributed greatly to the overall Mojo of our focus on healthy living.

Here goes………hope you enjoy it.

8/8/08 was a landmark date in my life.   Truthfully, on 8/8/08  I began a journey to restore  Scott, man to man…chest to chest,  I made a solemn vow to myself to get off my 5′ 11″, 195lb ass and get back into some semblance of “shape” and start a fitness program.   8/8/08.

Laura, Austin, and I left Cedar Park, TX on 8/8/08 and headed North for a very very cool backpacking trip to the Pecos Wilderness just outside of Cowles, NM…less than an hour from Santa Fe, NM.   Our plan was to drive to the trailhead in Cowles, camp for a day (or two) to acclimate to the altitude, backpack to Pecos Baldy Lake and camp for 3 nights, day hike to summit Pecos Baldy Peak and Truchas Peak, then pack down to the car and drive home.   Since we hadn’t really trained, my agreement with Laura was that I’d carry a heavier-than-usual-share of our gear…after all, I’ve always had adequate residual backpacking-strength, right??   I figured my pack would be in the 65#–75# range…well within my limits even considering the altitude, topography, my history, and my flabby couch-ready body.   Turned out that my pack was closer to 80# and my body more couch-ready than trail-ready….OUCH!!

We camped 2 acclimation nights at the trailhead and then headed up the trail for the long  hard uphill to Pecos Baldy Lake.    The hike  damn near  broke me.   I was 98.5% Whipped  by the time we reached our campsite!    Then I had to set up our tent, filter some drinking water, and prepare  our evening meal….My Ass Was Kicked.   Had we  encountered any  kind of emergency we were Hosed……I was a  brain-dead spaced-out  helpless  vegetable-person.

Dangerous stuff.   Not life threatening, but we were in the mountains and  ”exposed” to a certain  heightened level of risk.   It was humbling and scary when the stark realization of just how weak I was creeped into my addled zombie-brain!   WTF??

We ended up  camping 2 nights  and Austin and I summited Pecos Baldy…but. alas, we opted to pack down to  the car a day earlier than planned  due to my ass kicked-ness.   Embarrasssing and motivational in the same instance.   It was then that I realized I’d already had the  psychic premonition  of my weak and compromised state of fitness several days prior, on 8/8/08, but needed, in true Scott fashion, to prove it to myself by attempting (and failing) the test of this backpacking trip.   :-(

Upon our return home I started a rudimentary fitness program, determined to get  back into some semblance of the elusive “shape”.   I joined the YMCA and began to run…..

Then, one glorious day  I visited the online version of The Alpinist magazine and  found links to 2 climbing specific gyms:   One in Salt Lake City, UT (GymJones) and one in Jackson, WY (MtnAthlete).   I had been running and working out on the weight machines at our local YMCA for about 2 months  when this  information appeared and changed my life.   These guys were climbers, MMA fighters, soldiers,  and industrial athletes and the daily workouts, posted on-line, were  the most  challenging, inventive, daunting, scary, impossible, intriguing,  creative, hardening, and logical workouts I’d ever seen.   I have become a practicing and proselytizing  Disciple of mtnathlete.com!!!

Two key words in this essay….one is  100% measurable and the other 100% subjective.
Gut and Religion.

Gut:    My gut is gone.   I’m a 31″ waist, 5’11″, 168#  guy today.    Empirically measurable.    Along with the de-mergence (aka disappearance)  of my mid-section insulation came HUGE increases in my aerobic endurance, core strength, muscle mass, aerobic endurance, core strength, repeat 50 times!   I’m the same weight I was 20 years ago…only now I’m 50% stronger overall  and have off-the-hook core strength.   It’s impossible to explain without Doing It.   Picture this: I’m not quite ready to be a actor in the movie “300″….but I’m a definite call-back for the movie “2300″…..LOL!!!    I’m not bragging, although I’m damn proud of the results of my hard work…..mentally, emotionally, and physically.   In challenging & changing myself, I’ve sorta become “more” than me…..I know that sounds trite and weird.   But it’s true.

Religion:   I may have finally found my religion.   Hmmm.   How does  any person, especially and specifically  Charles Scott Nicholson,  actually “find” something  so 100% subjective as religion?   Hmmm.    Well, I wonder also…..BUT….I know that the purity, honesty, transparency, enlightenment, strength, trust,  and self-discovery I’ve found in this recent journey to self-fulfillment is more profound than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.    Posers are readily revealed.   Dishonesty is obvious…either you did the work or you didn’t.   We don’t have mirrors in our gym…nobody cares what you look like, only that you came  committed to work and be honest with yourself and support/encourage each other.    Our gym is a dogma-free zone with no titles and no need for faith in things unseen.   No church I’ve ever  been in even comes close to the purity and sanctity  and safety and self-awareness and  un-adulterated worship that we have.   Baptised in blood, sweat, and tears we push our limits of commitment and devotion…and, having thus fought and struggled, broken and spent, we emerge strong  yet humble, devoid of ego and full of passion and compassion.
Win, lose, or draw, we grow.

Oh, and there’s the added benefit of a killer Dopa-Dorph-Aline buzz for hours afterwards….!!!!
Stay tuned as I chronicle the  creation, growth, and refinement of my new religion at the Church of Dopa-Dorph-ALine.




One Response to “Losing my Gut and Finding my Religion….”

  1. Mike Kerwin April 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Very well written. Congratulations on your commitment Scott. You latched on to a magnificent obsession. Hang on and enjoy the ride.

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