A Squirrel-Given Destiny

It all started with an idiotic purchase of a pair of 33X34 khakis. There I was, a first-year grad student walking across Emporia State’s campus with a belt trying desperately but largely failing to hold up my pants that I purposely bought a size larger because I was sure I was going to grow into them (no one reading this blog will ever mistake me for being clever ever again).

My rationale for the purchase was easy: 1. Most people my age seemed to be growing around the waist, so it just seemed like a new stage of puberty with my now growing horizontally rather than vertically being bound to happen. 2.  My diet wasn’t the best thanks to McDonald’s running coupons in the student newspaper for free Big Macs after 11:00 PM with no purchase needed, no expiration date, and no limits on the number of coupons utilized. How could I pass up such an opportunity?

That’s where a squirrel changed my destiny.


As I stood by Wooster Lake, pulling up my pants for the umpteenth time, something literally hit me. I looked up at the bushy-tailed beast who had just pegged his target and was now cursing in Squirrelian. I shook my fist at the ferocious monster and thought, as a Gemini would, something completely unrelated – why don’t I just work out and buck the national trend?

At that time, the idea of working out intimidated me. Middle school flashbacks played through my mind of a scrawny nerd (me) being picked on almost every single day by the athletically-inclined.  The very thought of going to the weight room sent chills through me, for the others  would be bench pressing hundreds of pounds, and I was going to be bench pressing more around say twenty, which would just lead to their laughing and my going back to the worst years of my life.

Along with the nut, the squirrel had thrown an epiphany, and I was going to find a way to work out. The khakis were carefully placed (aka thrown) in my closet just in case this whole working out thing didn’t, well, work out, and my excellent roommates, the cheerleading coach and the football player, were fine with my buying, placing, and using a weight bench in our somewhat creepy basement with parts reminiscent of the Blair Witch Project (my mother still claims it is one of two places she has visited that truly frightened her).

Several months of working out in a possibly demonic area led to the confidence needed to go to the college gym, where everyone was friendly and supportive. That habit carried over to Melbourne Uni and then to Hutchinson, where one of my first purchases upon moving here was my Genesis membership. Three years later, a desire to tackle swimming led to my switching to the YMCA, and after a year there, a mixture of P90x and a fear of drowning every time I swam led to my working out at home.

The circle was completed.

Now the room formally known as the home office is stocked with enough equipment for a small gym.  Many pros and cons have come with working out at home, but that is a topic for another time.  One pro/con is my personal trainer who feels I need her coaching at all times.

My personal trainer coaching me on my ab workout.

Over the last year, dust has collected on much of the exercise equipment, but a certain New Year’s Resolution with four sub-resolutions is going to help with putting the excellent habit back into my life.

Everything I read states to take a before picture, so one can see the progress made. Here would be mine:

Enough ’80’s and ’90’s movies show that a person pre-transformation needs to have glasses and be in need of a different hair style. For good measure, I threw in the facial expression. In theory, the December photo is going to look much, much better (and whole lot less crazy), but that’s in theory of course.

Right now, I am weighing in around 168 with a 13.7% body fat percentage and a 32″ waist, and I have no desire of purchasing any pants larger than that anytime soon.


One thought on “A Squirrel-Given Destiny”

  1. I saw an absolutely brilliant post on FB the other day: if you find me dead on a running path, call the police, I was murdered somewhere else and dumped there. Bahaha. New Year mantra!

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