...And, yet, I’m just beginning.
(Please do note that I will be adding more pictures as the week goes on so please stick with me and enjoy the celebration)
Wow, I almost don’t have words enough for this post. Funny that for the first time in all of these 90 days with all of the hundreds, possibly thousands, of words and experiences and ideas that finishing something that’s been such a huge part of my life for the past three months has left me nearly speechless. But perhaps I’m grasping for something deep when that really isn’t necessary. No, I think that I’ll just celebrate with you all, give myself a good and hearty pat on the back, and let the thanks, acknowledgments, reflections, and future plans fly as high as I am right now.
Speaking of celebrations, I just remembered that about this time last year was when I first decided to become a vegan. It was about mid-August and I had just finished watching a movie called Earthlings which is all undercover video taken at factory farms, science labs, circuses, etc. and is free to watch on Google Video. I’m especially proud of that commitment I’ve made and I’m looking forward to how the next year and years will turn out. Whoo!
I’ve got to thank Patrick first and foremost. Without him and his example and guidance I never would have taken the first step toward improving myself like this, in fact, I’m absolutely positive that I would still, at this very moment, be stuck on a couch wiling away my life with all of the horribly unhealthy habits that so possessed me and my daily life before the project. Without him I would never have broken those crippling, destructive habits that dictated my life and kept me in a perpetual state of sloth. Without him I never would have built the knowledge and habits that are so present in me right now and that will stick with me for the rest of my life--a long life, I’m sure now, because of all of the beneficial effects the Peak Condition Project has had on me.
So thank you, Patrick, you do truly rock. Your unfailing enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me. You’ve taught me more about myself, and from so many miles away, than I could ever have hoped to learn.
My fellow PCPers, Corry and David, well, We Did It! I almost didn’t think that we’d be celebrating this day together that’s how much I got to myself in the early days of the project but you two, man, you two helped pull me through the tough times I was having at the beginning by your optimism and all of the gentle and inspirational support. Your words, in your comments and in your own blogs, gave me something to anchor myself to. You guys were my lifeline that I could climb up on whenever I was sinking. You two helped me keep my head above the murky depths of my own self-doubt and made me able to skim on the surface of this great ocean of improvement.
You two are beautiful people and I won’t be able to forget you guys or what you gave to me, never asking for anything in return. I’ve so much enjoyed our journey here together and I so hope to keep hearing from you guys as time goes on past these tough days of the Project. Despite the distance separating us three, I believe we were a team in the best sense of the word--a stable support for all of our ups and downs and some of the best cheering sections we could ever hope for. Thank you, thank you.
And everybody, both online and in my personal life, who followed our journey through our blogs and offered help and support and advice, well, this simply wouldn’t have been possible without all of you. All of you out there in the wild land of the internet who kept up with us all the way through the project, and even those who came and went and maybe came back, kept us going. You gave me a reason and a drive to keep going, to keep sharing my experiences with you, to keep you all in my life. I would never have forgiven myself if I had quit on all of you sometime in the middle of the Project because it didn’t feel as if you were simply just unknown eyes scanning through the sometimes random and incomprehensible tales I set before you, no, I felt as if there was a conduit linking me to all of you, like we were one and the same and if I quit and let myself down then I would be letting all of you down and there was no way that I could do that.
Thank you all from the bottom of me.
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So what did I learn from all of this?
My body can take and do a heck of a lot more than I ever thought it could. I was never out of shape and by the time the Project started I was considering myself a pretty fit person, certainly not in top physical condition but healthy and strong. Boy was I wrong. There was so much more to me just hiding under all of that fat under my skin and lining whatever muscle I did have and the Project showed me that all I had to do was take a little time out of my day, put some effort into myself, and believe that I could be better than I already was.
Boy did I come out a believer in myself. I now know that I am capable of so much more than I would have thought of at first and even now I can see that I am capable of improving myself and becoming so much better than I am at this point. I’m capable of anything.
I’ve learned that jumproping takes a little practice to get into (and squatting jumpropes even more so) but once you do it’s as if a whole new world opens up for you. I never thought I would have enjoyed a “classic” workout (read, not karate related) as much as I did. It started out as a bit of a love-hate relationship but by now...it’s all love, baby. I love the feel of the jumprope in my hands and how I feel after a couple thousand jumps and the sharp snap of the rope on the floor. It’s wonderful and I would recommend it to absolutely anyone.
I’ve learned that I love fruit. Before the project I was already into fruit but now, after three months of having to eat it every single day, I dig biting into the stuff so much that I can’t imagine going a day without it. I especially love papaya spears and pineapple rounds and if you ever happen upon any of those, my fair readers, then hop on the bandwagon and ride it straight on through to amazing taste city.
Surprisingly it does not take much money at all to get in the very best shape of your life. I spent only, maybe, a hundred dollars on everything (jumprope, resistance bands, blender, scale, etc.) and I wasn’t being frugal by any means. Gyms are not necessary at all and there is a particular kind of satisfaction that comes with getting into just as good a shape as those who spend thousands a year on gym memberships that they hardly use and at places where the employees hardly care whether you succeed or fail. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they’re rooting for you to fail just so that you will keep paying up on your gym membership plans (and the personal trainers they keep trying to talk you into).
Making close to (probably) 300 soy protein smoothies within a 90 day period will make you a master smoothie craftsman. I can make them in my sleep now, I’m sure, and they all taste delish. My nightly banana infused smoothies are something that I will continue to make because they are oh so tasty. Let me tell you, if you ever plan on making a fruit smoothie then please add a banana in the mix, it will make it so much thicker and tastier. You can thank me later about that.
Ah, the very last "Project" banana smoothie. I'll miss those the most, I think.
The strength of your body directly impacts how you live and how much you get out of life. Simply enough: a strong, healthy body will produce a healthy, happy life while a sluggish, fatty body will make life miserable.
Nearly all of the Project is mental. Patrick put it best when he said that the project is 90% mental and only 10% physical. The hardest part about the project is getting over the hurdles you set up for yourself. The thing is though, that, your body desperately wants to get over those hurdles--it craves it--all you have to do is give it the means to do it and BAM! your body will do things you never thought possible and will consistently surprise and please you. Give yourself a chance.
These satisfactions are permanent.
- - -
There doesn’t seem to be much more for me to say here that I haven’t already said right now and over the past 90 days so I’ll end with looking towards the future.
My Post-PCP Plans
The 29 Olympics started just at the end of this Project and has inspired me to become even more healthy than I already am and greater than I imagined myself could ever be. It’s been a huge inspiration seeing those people who have trained for so long to be the best they could be and to be as strong as they could be that I want to follow in their footsteps, so to speak.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a bike, a very nice Specialized number, hanging upside down from big black hooks in my garage. I’ve never put much effort into riding it which has been a shame. I want to do something about that.
I’m working on developing a post-Project Project for myself that will have me becoming one with that bike and have me driving myself to a better condition than I am even now.
My PCP blog will be up for ever and I want to tell you all about the struggles and triumphs I will have as I go from a very novice rider to, hopefully, someone very skilled, in shape, and driven to be as good as I possibly can be. I’ll be starting off slow around the neighborhood and will build myself up to zooming around the town, with all of its hills and straight, smooth paths, until I’m able to compete with the big guys (possibly, probably). I want to share that experience with all of you, possibly in a weekly posting (that's the plan, at least) with all of the routes I’ve taken and my experiences with those rides, how I’m adjusting to it all, my thoughts on everything, etc., because I know that you will give me the support I need to keep myself on the path to my goal.
Thank you in advance for all of that.
It seems that I’ve said what I wanted to say here. I’ll be putting up as many pictures as I can and I hope that you’ll all be coming back to check those out as they come up.
This is me, signing off for now. This has been an adventure I will never forget.
Thank you all. Have a nice day.