Origin story – Chapter 1
Everyone has a story. I have lots of them. I’m a huge superhero comics fan, and every superhero has an origin story. This is The Rock-It Rider’s origin story:
The key story related to health and fitness is the one I propose to tell here. In 2006 I was a new father. I was also fat. And sick. And frightened.
Fat, because of injuries, bad habits and addictive behaviors related to food.
Sick, because I was fat.
Frightened, because I had just welcomed a new life into the world and fell completely and totally in love. Holding my daughter in my arms, having her nap on my chest, feeding her and watching her grow transformed me from the inside out.
But I was terrified. My father had died of a heart attack at 54 that took everyone who knew him by surprise. No one who knew Jim Selby would have guessed that he was suffering from advanced coronary artery disease. My grandfather was in his early 60s when he died from complications form a stroke… and he was significantly overweight. Oh, and pictures of grandpa in his 30s looked a whole lot like me.
I was terrified because I was certain I was not carrying the sort of genes that allow you to be casual about your health.
And let’s be honest – my habits were awful. Bad day at work = ice cream buffet that night. Great event at work = visit to the vending machine for a couple Snickers bars. Suffice to say, whether I got positive or negative feedback, my response was to consume sugar and excessive calories.
I will never forget the work potluck lunch where one of my coworkers – a guy who was over twice my size and totally ripped, looked at the plate I’d made for myself and said, “Whoa, where are you gonna put all that?”
I was terrified, fat and sick (I’ll spare you all the gruesome details of my various ailments). I needed to do something. My initial idea was to get back to doing what I’d done before at the last point that I remembered being what I considered fit – cycling. I signed up for Team In Training to ride around Lake Tahoe. I figured I used to be thin when I rode a lot, therefore I need to ride a lot.
So, I rode a lot. Hundreds of miles during training and then a hundred miles around Lake Tahoe after four months of training. I lost 10 lbs. I was also still fat, and had developed some new ailments. All I had changed was my level of activity. I was still eating badly, still seeking comfort and reward from food. I still had a long way to go…