My Commitment To Myself

September 23, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Goruck Nasty at Massanutten Resort - 09/21/13

 

Last January, I became sick with the flu. I went to my doctor and as part of the routine I was weighed. I was astounded when I saw the magnitude of my gravitational footprint. I knew I was overweight, but I did not realize by how much. So, I made a commitment to myself to reduce my gravitational footprint and get into better physical condition. I radically changed my diet and started exercising. Since last January, I have reduced my footprint about 40 pounds, and lost more than four inches from my waist. When I rise each morning, I do 40 push on my foam roller, and I walk the ski trails at Wintergreen at least every other day. Who needs a treadmill when you have ski trails in your back yard. The exercise has helped me tremendously. 

 

I lead a very active lifestyle and my weight was restricting it. As a child, I could never sit still. If Ritalin was available when I was a kid, I would have received by IV. Looking back, I really admire my mother. She put up with me when I don't think I could have. I was an active kid, and I was thin throughout my childhood. I did not start gaining weight until I graduated from college and started my career. As I grew older my weight increased, and several stressful events in my life exacerbated the condition. My weight increased to the point where I could not do the things I liked to do. I did not like the way I looked which adversely affected how I felt about myself. The final insult was when I found it difficult to buy clothes.

 

Most of you know that in addition to being a photographer, I teach alpine snow skiing. My weight was limiting how well I could ski. It affected my fore and aft balance, how I executed turns, as well as my stance. I had to adapt my skiing to my weight. Moreover, the kind of photography I do is physically demanding. I don't work in a studio and I don't have technicians to carry my equipment for me. I photograph on location and I carry my own equipment. When I photograph high school football I carry more than 20 pounds of camera gear. One of my lenses weighs about 13 pounds. I walk from one end of the football field to the other (goal line to goal line), not only at the change of the quarter, but also when the ball changes possession.

 

Over the summer, I photographed The Wintergreen Cliffhanger Bike Race, a football game, the Reebok Spartan Race, and the GoRuck Nasty. With the exception of the football game, all photoshoots were at ski resorts, which meant the course was laid out over ski terrain. I could not have photographed these events to the extent that I did if I was not in good physical condition. I draw inspiration from the people who participate in extreme sports.

 

I am proud of what I have accomplished, but before I pat myself on the back too much, I still need to reduce my gravitational footprint by an additional 30 pounds to reach my goal. I keep working at it. I plan to achieve this goal by the end of next ski season.

 

Anyone up for a walk to the bottom of Dobie (ski trail at Wintergreen) and back?

 

Until next time,

Paul

 

 

 


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