Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Am I Still a Regular Guy?

If you’ve been keeping up with my admittedly sporadic blog and Facebook posts over the past three or four months, you probably know that 2016 has been a breakthrough year for me. I’ve set major PRs in the marathon, half-marathon and, most recently, the 5K.

You may have seen this pic on Facebook recently.

You probably also know that when I’m not on the road, the trail or the track, I’m kind of a gym rat. I’m not afraid of free weights and especially not the “Big 3”: deadlifts, squats and bench press. I believe these have helped me both with general fitness and specifically with running.

I’ve come a long way since I started the blog back in December 2014. But it's also planted an existential question in my mind: Am I still a Regular Guy?

The whole point of being a Regular Guy is Keeping Fit and Living Your Life. It's about finding the balance between your real priorities and being healthy enough to engage fully in those priorities. Being able to keep up with your kids, keeping your heart strong so you can enjoy grandkids someday, having the physical dexterity and endurance to handle the housework and yardwork that comes with life. That sort of thing.

Here I am getting the yard ready for a party. Tough guy!

So what does it mean that I:
I'll admit: I don't know. I am by no means an elite athlete, that's for sure. I'm certainly not the fittest, buffest, most ripped dude at the gym. And I honestly do try not to be that guy at parties, on social media or anywhere else. 

And yet, here I am wondering. I'm definitely past the point of just trying to lose (or keep off) that beer belly. I'm definitely past the point where I go to a race with the goal of finishing and having fun. I'm at the point where I'm wondering just how good I can get. How much I can lift. How svelte I can look. How fast I can run (especially that one). 

But this isn't just about me and how I view myself. My goal is to have a Conversation about Keeping Fit and Living Your Life. To foster a discussion and a community where we Regular Guys can talk about our health and fitness without devolving into uber-competitive, crazy complicated, ultra-technical, totally unrealistic ridiculousness. It's only worth keeping up this blog and the social-media accounts if it's relevant to you guys.

I guess my challenge is this: Can I relay ideas that hit home for everyone -- or at least most of us -- while pushing myself further and further in my own fitness journey? Or will I just get too caught up in the minutiae of what I'm doing to have a basic, simple conversation? 

And not for nothing, but can I do it without being a jerk? This whole piece has an obvious undercurrent of "yeah, I'm in better shape than you are." Just because I'm at a certain point on my journey doesn't make it any better or worse than where you are on yours. We all have our own lives and our own priorities, and no matter how good the information and ideas in this blog are, you're not going to read it if you think the author's an asshole. After all, there are things in life that you're way better at than I am, too.

So my pledge to all you Regular Guys: I will do my best to keep doing what drew you to this blog in the first place. I'll work to relate my experiences and my reading to what works in your lives. And I'll try to remain humble while I do it. 

Because at heart, I really am a Regular Guy, too.

Me and some of my best tailgating buddies. (courtesy Lou Matino)