Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Hard Road

In October 2013, I wheeled myself from my hospital recliner to the bathroom, and I sat and stared at the mirror shocked at the image I saw in the reflection.  "What happened to me?" I thought.  "This isn't me."  For the first time in five years, I saw the end result of five years of doing nothing.

Step back five years.  Before being diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis, I was a competitive Strongman.  And five years before that, I was the number one prospect for the Sydney Olympics weightlifting team as a super-heavyweight.  I was big, but I was massively strong and lean for my size.  I was an athlete and was proud of it.  

But by October 2013, I was a shadow of that old self -- a huge, fat shadow.  Call it depression, lethargy, loss of desire to move forward, or fear of the pain I lived in, I lost my way.  I ate like I did when I trained for Strongman.  My Sports Nutritionist had me on 8,000 calories a day, and I needed every one of them to build muscle.  I even leaned up then.  But without the work, I still ate big thinking I was invincible to "fatdome".

Return to Halloween 2013.  Five years of surgeries including joint decompressions, a shoulder replacement, and bilateral total hip replacements had left me a shell of a man with little hope.  How would I drop the 100 pounds my surgeon ordered by May?  I couldn't even stand on my own or dress by myself at the time.  I was immobile and was tasked with the impossible.  I pounded my fist on the counter.  "I will never be me again!"

The next day, I watched the movie "Hercules" on TV.  The old movie with Steve Reeves, not the new one.  Suddenly, he became a hero to me.  Here was a god/man who lived a belabored life.  He had to overcome all kinds of obstacles, and no matter what he faced, he always overcame.  No matter how much he was hurt, his strength always returned to him.  That's when I decided to face my own "labors."  And I made my personal motto "That Which Won't Kill Me Will Make Me Stronger" in mental preparation for the work and pain that lay ahead during my journey to return to who I once was.  That's what this blog is all about, and I invite you to join me every day in order to keep me accountable so I keep fighting and win this battle.

Obviously, this is an introduction, and I've already journeyed a while and fought a few fights.  The next few posts will catch you up, so you can see how far I've come so far.


  1. Thank you for your support, Tim. You've always been a great friend and motivator, and I appreciate it.

  2. This is great Mark and I really admire you for it. YOU WILL GET THERE ... looking forward to reading more about your progress ... way to go !!!

  3. Esty, thank you for your support and always lending a helpful word. This is a journey that I could not undertake without everyone's support and encouragement...and the occasional kick in the rear!