Chase Hits the Gym, The Gym Hits Back

I am 300 lbs. Well I am not 300 lbs., I weigh 300 lbs. I am Chase, a person who likes silly things and is not a number. But either way, its jarring to see when you look down at a scale.

Now I wish that I could proudly proclaim that this was all beautifully sculpted man-meat. That I was some towering viking god of merriment. But it is not. Some of it is quality bicep beef, but most of it is All-American flab and Taco Belly.

"Meet my college sweetheart, the Briefcase of Tacos."

“Meet my college sweetheart, the Briefcase of Tacos.”

While weight issues aren’t exactly a new playground for me, batting 300 on the scale has put me back in the gym with renewed vigor. Since early January I’ve been hitting up the rec center gym with my friends Mark, Bailey and Keegan. I’m supposed to be training for the Tough Mudder run that’s happening in May. I think that’s why I was first invited. But mud is gross and running is hard, so I’ve chosen to focus on the more practical goal of not having a stroke by the time I’m 25.

I’ve been rocking the fitness life five days a week for a few months now. Showing up in my Wonder Woman t-shirt with my inner Katy Perry roaring, ready to throw down while wearing unnecessarily colorful socks. Most days, one of two things happens. One: I throw around some iron like I’m late for a Superman audition. Or two: I see how many things I can move around the gym until they realize that Chase is daydreaming about nachos instead of participating in Back Day.

Let’s face it, even though I am showing up to the gym most days, I often leave the eye of the tiger back in the car. I’m not one for pushing boundaries. I know my comfort level and I stick to it. I like lifting heavy things with my chest. I’ll go to town on the bench press like I’m getting sponsored by protein itself. But once we venture into the territory of a lunge or a crunch or the barren hell scape that is the cardio room, Chase is ready to curl up on couch with a martini class full of gummi bears.

"This is decadence."

“This is decadence.”

I like to over-worry about little league baseball injuries or the fact that I only ate two hours before coming into the gym. Squats are always threatening to hurt my knees and I have bad form not because I don’t know better but because I am lazy. The gym is hard and I’m not making it any easier.

If you’ve read any of this blog before, you know that I like to obsess over silly things. Inane stupid fears keep me up at night, but I’m often oblivious to the real things worth being scared of. Things like hypertension and a lifetime of blood pressure medication. The number 300 used to bring to mind pictures of ab-riddled Greeks lopping off heads and Gerard Butler kicking dudes down wells. Now it reminds me that I should have been running instead of watching crappy Zach Snyder movies.

"300: Rise of the Risk of Heart Disease."

“300: Rise of the Risk of Heart Disease.”

The first obstacle has been overcome. I have a burning desire to be in the gym most days. I’m setting goals and meeting them. (I recently benched 205 lbs. That’s, like, an entire person.) But I also know that just standing in the gym won’t make me any healthier. Not when I’m eating three meals for lunch (It was an accident.) or stopping myself the moment something gets tough.

When I’m looking like Blake Griffin and dunking over high school kids at the park, we’ll all have a good laugh about how silly it was that I was once 300 lbs. I’ve just gotta do some work first.

"The dream is real."

“The dream is real.”