Fit to Fish at 51

Over the years I have been known to rack up a few miles on foot or bicycle in an effort to track down my favorite fish, the largemouth bass.

For a handful of those years, I was actually in decent physical shape to get it done, most recently about 2011 through 2014. Not so coincidentally, I had won a weight loss challenge at a former place of employment by dropping 22 pounds in six weeks for a whopping $42 in prize money.

Well, fast forward to 2018 and another weight loss challenge at my current job with a $10 buy in and a shot at $150 for first and $50 for second thanks to an added donation from the boss shortly after the six week challenge kicked off. A good opportunity for me to shed some pounds from a health standpoint, possibly put the improved stamina to the test during some fall fishing and maybe earn some dough.

Nice round number (and gut) to kick off this fitness adventure at 51 years of age

So, here’s my contribution to the myriad of diet and fitness books, videos, blogs and such that are better at dropping your bank account than they are at dropping pounds.

While heredity and genetics indeed play a role, pretty much all you need to really do is eat less, eat better and exercise. Oh yeah, don’t forget a perpetual dose of will power, that’s the tough part.

Will power test in the fridge since August 31, no contest, I’m on a mission

You can thank me later as that advice is free folks. So quit giving your money to the diet gurus, buy you some tennis shoes, plenty of fruits and veggies, add some fiber and subtract all those sweets, sodas and yep, cut back on the beer.

So, how’d I do with this approach when committing to getting back into “fishing shape?”

August 4 pre-contest kickoff, took a pic of my last beer just for fun, 50 days tomorrow as I continue on quest even though contest has completed.

Had my last beer on August 4, even took a picture of it as a reminder and successfully refrained from grabbing one of two that Julie and her cousin, Carie, left in the fridge on August 31 (yep, I know the exact date).

Week 1 traveling for work had to resort to hotel treadmill walks (too out of shape to run at this point, anyway)

Walked in excess of the 25 miles between treadmill, park and neighborhood (in and around getting fit enough to actually run again)

A lot of lettuce and other healthy stuff has disappeared in the last six weeks, folks, this one from O’Hare airport

Only “diet cheats” were two M&M cookies and that was only because I had just donated to the local blood bank and needed to eat something. Also participated in an annual family food festival but was proud of my moderation. There’s a lot less lettuce in the world too.

My constant companion in the truck bed, ready to ride when time and responsibilities provided a window

Well over 200 miles on the bike during a batch of 10 or 17 mile rides.

Week 6 – Grand finale Sat-Mon push, three days = 9 miles running, 45 miles biking and plenty more walking

Up from being able to run 1/8 mile to 1.5 miles between breaks and 1.0 miles total to 4.0 miles total during a workout to the tune of over 20 miles racked up bookending a two week Achilles issue.

And now, drum roll please, the winner from the September 18 final weigh in is…

Not me.

Runner-up at 10% weight loss in six weeks as I dropped from an even 200 pounds down to 180. Lost out to a 10.38% loss which means that if I’d have lost one more pound…really shouldn’t have done the math on that one post contest. Also not really fun is the fact that I shed 22 pounds the last time I pulled this stunt and would’ve been a winner had I matched it this time around.

Success…but a 12 day running lag in the middle while nursing a left Achilles strain proved to be my “Achilles heel”…DANG!  Still bothers me, and I ain’t referring to the heel.

But hey, I’m now in walk-in fishing shape, just need to find time to get away. However, since I no longer have to worry about finding time to exercise now that the contest is over…

Just kidding. Kind of tempted to see how low I can go, made it down to 163 last time and over half way there.

In the meantime, hang in there for a future fishing report with details on how this 50+ year old body fares while being more fit to fish. Talk to you later. Troy

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