Fitness Quest and Crohn’s Update: April 2016

The good news is that I’ve been keeping busy since my last blog. I’ve actually completed production on two plays that I acted in (one in February and one in April), I’m feeling pretty comfortable with my “new” position at work (I’ve been in it since September so I can’t really call it new anymore I suppose), and over all my health has been good. Not great, but good.

My Crohn’s seems to be more active over the last couple months. I haven’t had much in the way of full-blown flare ups but I’ve had some significant pain on and off, digestive issues, and an overall malaise/weakness/weariness which are all signs of Crohn’s activity. Things have been mild enough that I feel the Humira is still working but something has been going on. I’m also suspicious that some of what I’m attributing to Crohn’s is actually gallbladder related as the pain is just below my right rib cage. However, the “gurgling” and assorted noises sure don’t sound like my gallbladder! On top of this I’ve been plagued with a on again/off again cough. Sometimes it’s a full blown cold, sometimes it’s nasal congestion, all the times is annoying.

In terms of my fitness efforts, well…due to the previously mentioned feeling of malaise I haven’t been working out like I should. My weightlifting has been spotty at best, I haven’t been getting in my walks regularly, and as far as running goes…I don’t. I have had an attempt or two and now that spring seems to actually be here I really need to get back on track. I’ve been averaging less than 10,000 steps per day for some time and it’s time to get that count up at the very least.

On the plus side I’m at my lowest body weight this century! I have been tracking my food and macros so I think that is really helping. I’ve noticed that I’m not getting enough protein and too many fats so I need to reverse that. Especially since the protein will help me to retain/build muscle which becomes more critical as I approach yet another birthday next month.

I have goals for the summer which includes some mountain climbing on a trip to Colorado. If weather and conditions permit I hope to finally summit Long’s Peak – one of Colorado’s 14,000 footers. I had gotten as far as the Keyhole once in the past but due to a storm was not able to push on to the peak. Fortunately, I have a cousin who is an avid climber and he’s offered to take me up when I’m out there. But, in order to make it I’ve got to be in good cardiovascular shape – especially since I’m not used to the “thin” air – and my legs have to be strong enough to tackle the 15 mile round trip (half of it uphill).

The good news is that I won’t be lugging as much fat on the mountain. Wish me luck.


Long’s Peak 
In the Boulder Field of Long's Peak
Me in the Boulder Field of Long’s Peak back in the mid-eighties

The ‘Extrovert’ and The Arnold

Back in 2011 I first went to the Arnold Sports Festival, affectionately know simply as “The Arnold,” and was in many ways awestruck. The event is huge and more over very crowded! I got it into my head that I wanted to go again this year. So, last Saturday off I went – along with a young man on my staff who has recently decided to give bodybuilding a try (and who, in my humble opinion, probably has better genetics and will power to succeed in bodybuilding than anyone else I’ve ever known – except for one other person who also, coincidentally, worked for me a few years ago. But, I digress…).

We got to Columbus without incident quickly found parking near the convention center and followed the crowd to the doors. There we found the convention center literally packed with people! I’ve seen smaller crowds at Big Ten football games. However, the event did not disappoint.

The Expo was the centerpiece of the day and there were plenty of supplement companies there. The ones you’ve heard of and ones you haven’t heard of. Compared to last time I noticed that there were fewer exercise equipment companies which was a shame since I’m not much into supplements anymore. The amateur bodybuilding finals were going on most of the day at one side of the Expo hall and the WWE “experience” crowded them in at the other. There were lines everywhere! So much so that we didn’t get much in the way of supplement samples – and I gave most of what I had away to my young protege (ha) since chocolate was the flavor of the day and I don’t do chocolate. The longest line of the day appeared to belong to and a lot of people seemed willing to wait probably two or more hours to get a t-shirt and a picture with a celebrity or two. But, not us!

However, we met some famous people in the bodybuilding world include Ed Corney who competed until he was about 70 years old. An inspiration for us older lifters.

We broke away from the Expo a couple times to see some gymnastics, martial arts, boxing, almost saw fencing, artwork, and I caught a glimpse of the jump rope finals (yes, really). All for the $15.00 entry fee – and there was more going on in other venues around Columbus. This event seems to take over Columbus. I’m impressed with how many people it draws.

Oh, and the extrovert part of this? Despite my usually reserved nature around strangers my brother-in-law insists that I am an extrovert. Not because I am gregarious and outgoing (unless I know you) but because he has noticed over the years that I seem to be drawn to crowds and am energized by them. It was late afternoon at The Arnold while surrounded by a crush of humanity that I realized something. I felt good. I wasn’t tired and actually seemed more energetic than I was in the morning. This led me to think about the places I like to frequent in general, amusement parks, NYC, etc. and it dawned on me…son of a gun, my brother-in-law is right. I am an extrovert.

I hate when he’s right…

Oh, and I finally got my picture taken with Jay Cutler. I seemed to be the last gym goer on earth to not have a picture of him! Nice guy but by the time I got to meet him at the end of the day it was clear to me that he’s an introvert!


Jay Cutler and I at the 2015 Arnold.
Jay Cutler and I at the 2015 Arnold.
Oh the humanity!
Oh the humanity!