Advice From a Fit Bottomed Dude: Embrace Change
Why are you reading about dude-related stuff? Because it’s Fit Bottomed Dudes’ Week, that’s why! Click here for all the special posts, and please share with the guys in your life! The below post is by Tony DiLorenzo, co-founder of Fit Marriage where he helps busy couples and on-the-go parents get fit, stay healthy and live a life they love. Sign up for the free Fit Marriage newsletter today to learn how to make fitness a powerful fuel for your busy life!
Being a fit dude wasn’t something I strived for during certain periods of my life. There were more “important things” that occupied my time, and my health and fitness weren’t at the forefront. That all changed when after two years of marriage, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I was appalled at what I saw. I couldn’t believe that I had become a 20-something who was fat and out of shape. I wasn’t pleased with the belly and taking my clothes off in front of my wife certainly didn’t make me feel confident—let’s just say the lights stayed off.
Shortly after that wake-up call in front of the bathroom mirror, I let my beautiful wife, Alisa, know how I was feeling. It turned out that she had similar thoughts about her body and her energy levels. So, we made a pact to walk together every evening after work. The first walk was a couple of blocks and a bit of a struggle for us both, but we did it. This is how we started our journey to physical fitness and health. That was 13 years ago.
As our walks around our neighborhood expanded, we decided it was time for a new challenge and a change of scenery. We headed for the mountains around our home in Orange County, Calif., and fell in love with hiking. That year we hiked the three highest peaks in Southern California, backpacked in Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon, and visited many other scenic areas. It was during one of our backpacking trips that I shared with Alisa my dream to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. That dream came true in 2000 when I completed the 2,650 mile trek in 138 days.
After months on the trail, I was physically annihilated. I took time away from everything as I let my body heal, and we made a move to the Pacific Northwest. Months later, I was introduced to rock climbing at a local gym. I fell in love not only with the thrill of climbing a wall but also the different tactics I needed to learn to become a better climber. This lead to climbing outdoors, mountaineering in Canada and Washington, and winter backpacking.
We moved back to Southern California where there was little of the mountaineering activities I had been enjoying. Again, I took months off until I started trail running in and around our home in San Diego. Nine months later, I ran my first and only ultra-marathon. I’m not a runner, but it was an awesome time learning something new and pushing myself to my limits.
Then, I began the search for something else to fill my fitness needs. A good friend of mine asked me to go road riding with him one afternoon and I fell in love with it. My passion for cycling grew, and for seven years I trained and rode. I completed many centuries, double centuries (200 miles in one day) and other shorter events. During the cold winter months, I would work out in my garage to gain core strength and flexibility. These workout sessions were great and, as the years passed, I learned a lot about how to achieve great results with short at-home workouts—30 minutes or less.
In May of 2011, my cycling partner was tragically killed when he was hit by a car. This event was a turning point for me. As much as I loved riding, my kids were getting older, and I wanted to spend more time with them. My love for physical fitness was there, but I needed a new challenge. I decided to do the Insanity fitness program to see how much I could transform my body in 60 days. Wow, was I super excited with the results.
Now almost a year since discovering all the good things that come with full-body workouts at home, I’m training for my first men’s physique competition. For the first time in 20-plus years, I’m lifting weights and loving it. Alisa has even started lifting with me, and she is seeing wonderful changes in her body with just four 30-minute sessions each week.
Why do I bring all of this up? Change is good. It’s good for our bodies, our minds and our souls. Change allows us to learn more about ourselves and grow in the process.
You might be loving what you are doing right now. Right on! Keep it up and crank it. You might be looking for something new, too. Pick a path and jump in. Set a goal, pick a challenge, and most of all have fun. From one Fit Bottomed Dude to another (or to a Fit Bottomed Girl!), that’s my best advice: embrace and seek out change. —Tony DiLorenzo