This year I set a goal for myself to get out and do the things I felt like I missed by focusing on work too much. I wanted to get out and meet bands, listen to great music, meet new people and most importantly, get off my ass. While I feel like this past year has been one of the most difficult professionally, it has been the most inspiring personally. I have spent more money then I should have, for the first time in my life not paid off a credit card bill in full, pushed the limits when it came to rest, wasted plenty of time sitting outside of concert venues, it was all worth it.
I knew I couldn’t afford to go on some extravagant trip or go to big concerts but meeting famous people really wasn’t the goal. I wanted to meet unique people, artists in their own rights, fellow fans of the music I loved. I have to say all the people I met this year during this adventure have been amazing. Not only are they talented, they have been just all around cool. I mean, given the chance, I would love to get drunk with them and just shoot the shit.
When I was a teenager and jumped head first into music, like anyone, it became a huge part of my life. I feel like this year was just like that. Sure, some of the band names have changed along with the genres, but music has rejuvenated me all these years later.
I think the one thing I leaned about this whole experience is a minor detail that I have never thought about before. It is the look that I get when I tell some people that I went to see musicals on broadway. I guess I never thought it was strange for a straight man to like musicals. Really? Yes. While it didn’t happen a lot, it baffles me that it would happen at all. It is usually followed up by asking if I was a theatre nerd, which is a negative. I guess some people think it is a little strange that someone that likes alternative and punk music can also like Les Mis or Wicked. Or that I could be in a mosh pit at a Finch show one week and seeing Once on broadway the next.
That is enough with the semi-negative, and I need to point out that no one responded negatively, they were just a little perplexed. Another new adventure this year for me to get healthy. I didn’t get started until the middle of August but the key is I got started. I got started and so far I haven’t looked back. Just like the spike in music-driven adventures my life came to a point where I needed a change in my health. While I wouldn’t consider myself terribly overweight, in about 5-10 years things would have started to go downhill… quick.
To put things into perspective, I hadn’t really “worked out” since high school… I am going on 30 next year. Maybe it was driven by my realization that, shit, I’m getting old, or that I would rather not be single for the rest of my life (and as much as I hate it, weather they say it or not, weight is an issue when dating), the point is I was at a crossroads. So I decided I was going to overhaul my diet and more importantly just start walking every day. I knew the dieting was going to be the tougher part but at the time thought that walking wasn’t going to help at all. When I thought of exercise I always thought, shit, I gotta run or some overly excessive workout routine.
Let me tell you something, walking is my shit. I started with short one or two mile walks after work. which were basically casual strolls around the neighborhood. That turned into 3 mile walks on a set path that went through my development. After A while I felt, I don’t mind running, I just can’t go for long distances, why not throw a couple sprints in there during the walk? One sprint each mile, sure, it got my heart rate up, wasn’t killing my body afterwards. By the end of the summer I was up to almost a 4 mile route with one main incline at the end that is about a quarter mile. Now that the cold weather has arrived walking has moved indoors to the gym in my community. I have started walking at least 3 1/2 miles, usually 5 miles. Weekends have turned into 10 mile days.
One year ago I would have laughed if someone said I would be walking 10 miles in a day. But 35 lbs, 4 inches, and a lot of sweat later, here I am. And I am not done. This is one goal I am going to finish, and finish right. While this past year was my year of music, this year I get healthy. I got a good head start already, I just need to finish. This is one journey that I also couldn’t do alone. My friends are my life, the support I have gotten in the past months has been incredible.
To be honest, part of the “I have spent more money then I should have” earlier is because I have had to buy new cloth that fit properly. As much as I am in fear of the word debt, this falls under my umbrella of “something will work itself out” because I am doing the right thing for myself. I have picked up a line from one of my favorite songs “For me this is heaven” by Jimmy Eat World… “If I don’t let myself be happy now, then when? If not now, when?”
Seize the Carp people. As awesome as it would be, things aren’t given to those who wait, you need to show the fuck up. That is what I am trying to do with my life and this new spark I have lit under myself. I am showing up every day and pushing what I thought to be the best I could do. I challenge everyone to do the same. Opportunities come every day, it is just what you do with them. I mean, who knew going to a couple of $10-15 dollar shows and going for a walk around my neighborhood would, not to sound overly dramatic, change my life.