Nah bro, it’s not luck

Usual day at work today. I had meeting after meeting after meeting. I don’t mind; honestly. I like it when my opinions and ideas matter. I like it when people ask what I think. I like being responsible and accountable for work getting done. It’s my favorite time of the year too. It’s “performance appraisal” season; meaning that I get to tell all the peeps who work with me how great they are at their jobs. Yeah, I can see that for some people at other companies where it might not be great. All of my peeps are awesome; not a bum on the roster.

That takes me to one particular conversation I had earlier today. One of my direct reports that I’ve been meeting with regularly about how things are going and he said how lucky I am to have lost this weight and how lucky I am to be getting fit. I had to remind him that it has nothing to do with luck! It’s about deciding to make better choices and being committed to doing the work and the discipline to do it day after day! Once you get to that point anyone can do it!

Believe me, friends, if I can do it… SO CAN YOU!

  • Decide to make good choices
  • Commit to do the work
  • Discipline yourself to do it every day!

You’ll get there.

Down 130 lbs from Jan 7 2023; about 40 to go!

I couldn’t have done it without her! <3

How I’m going from a really fat guy (again) to a less fat guy (again)

Well, it’s been long enough.. it’s time to fess up. I admit it. It’s true. I have been eating right and exercising again. If you followed long enough, you’d remember that back in 2011, I went on a journey to get fit…. and it worked; better than I could have dreamed.

“How I went from a really fat guy to a less fat guy”.

I was supremely disciplined in what I ate and really got into the exercise. As you’d expect, that yielded fantastic results. Naturally, over time the discipline slipped and the weight came back! Admittedly, it took 12 years for me to feel it (though, it was apparent).

I’ve had a couple of lower body injuries over the years. First, while running, then basketball, then I blew my calf out last November while walking. Physical therapy for the calf got me started moving last fall. On January 7, I committed to starting it back up… I started eating right. That means ~2000 calories per day of high protein, well balanced diet. That means finding a way to get back in the weight room and to start adding muscle back. I have been on-track and working at is since that day.

Today, while thinking about buying some new Football “Spirit Wear” I went through a few of my old sweatshirts and none of them fit. All of them were ridiculously too big. That felt great. The scale is moving; which is a terrific motivator (down 85 lbs as of this morning) but so are those things like “oh crap, when it gets cold out; I will literally have nothing to wear”

Keep fighting the good fight, my friends…. Remember, if I can do it: so can you.

Yours truly at NNHS Moms’ Practice on August 12, 2023

What?!? New Content?

Hey ya’ll. Yeah, it’s me. It’s been a while since I’ve blabbed out my thoughts. I thought I would give you all a quick update. It’s been a few YEARS; and I’ve struggled mightily with my health and weight and all the things. I’m excited today because I feel like I’m in a new normal.. and while my knee is killing me.. and running is definitely not in my future; it’s been fun to get back into the weight room to start lifting again and to get going. Feeling really good about myself today.

More updates to come!

Going to start conservatively….

So, Michelle and I just had this text message exchange… and I’m not sure how I feel.  Bear with me while I work through how I’m feeling about it.

Let’s go back to the beginning of the year, when I started feeling my right knee pain and how it was really limiting what I could do and how I felt.   I put off going to the doc; because I felt like I just needed to rest it a bit; then I’d be back at it.  I took a couple of weeks off of pushing cardio hard to “let it rest”.  I came back and started running again; after a couple of weeks of 3 days per week running, I just couldn’t do it anymore due to pain; and had to stop.  It was at that point that I decided to get a referral to an Ortho doc.  I went in to see Dr. Nicholson in April; and he and his resident recommended an ultra conservative treatment, which I signed up for despite the fact that I thought it wasn’t the right course of action.  A steroid injection and PT.  The injection worked like magic on my other knee; so I thought I would give it a try on the right side.  The pain went away; no doubt about it for two whole weeks.   I took the time to give it a chance to work.   After those two weeks, I got on the elliptical; felt a familiar twinge in the right knee and haven’t touched  exercise equipment since.   I scheduled another appointment with Dr. Nicholson and he ordered an MRI.   On June 21st, I got a call from Lindsay the PA in Dr. Nicholson’s office to let me know that “Lol, you have no ACL in your right knee anymore; and this is more than Dr. Nicholson can do; so he wanted to refer me to Dr. Cole.” (emphasis mine, Lindsay was great and professional.. she would never have “LOL’d” at me).

So, today, when I went in with Michelle to meet Dr. Cole; I was really unsure of what to expect.  I had done my research into ACLR surgeries and recoveries and was ready for that discussion.   His recommendation is to go conservative.  He’s going to do a scope and clean things out and see if that alleviates the issue; rather than an ACLR with a big long recovery.  If I’m not having stability issues (which I admit, I’m not having major stability issues); then having that surgery off the bat isn’t worth the risk.

The struggle that I’m having is that its been nearly 8 months already.. and going conservative seems OK; but if it doesn’t fix it; and after another 3 months of PT and treatment it’s still not better and we end up doing the big ACLR anyway; I’ll have lost another YEAR toward reaching my goals.

So, in that respect, I’m a bit disappointed/doubtful that it will work.  So far, conservative treatments haven’t worked for me.  On the other hand, I know just how much work the recovery is from an ACL Repair; so I’m glad that a simple solution maybe, just maybe this time will work.

Also, I get it that he can’t promise that this will get me back to running and moving normally; but come on man, I’m coming to you because you are the best knee surgeon on the planet, give me something!  If it comes down to work that I can do; then he can take it to the bank that I’ll be back.   Beside, he’ll be just another doubter that I can prove wrong.

Let’s talk worst case.   Let’s say he gets in there and cleans it out and says “Aric, you’re good to go”.  I do PT like a robot; and am a machine.  I get back to it; and its still not right; or going out and/or causing pain.   When I’m there, then I can look at having the ACLR.   It wastes time.  That’s the biggest annoyance.  Doing a 1/2 Iron Triathlon before I’m 50 looks like a stretch goal now.. wait until I have another 8 months of rehab on top of it!

So… here we go again… again…

Well, here we are yet again.

My right knee ACL has failed (again) and something has to be done about it.   The past few months have been miserable because I can’t do any of the activities that make me who I am.  Consequently, I have put on weight; which is not good… I love to blame the fact that I can’t actually exercise, but in reality; its likely overeating as a reaction to both stress and depression.   That is something that I definitely will have to get a handle on.

I have an appointment with Dr. Brian Cole at Rush Orthopedics tomorrow mid-day, where I’m hoping that we get a plan of action for fixing this thing, so I can get back to what I love doing.   On the “bright side”, it seems that the most common treatment is Revision ACL.  Michelle shared with me some documents that describe the procedures (interestingly, one of the docs was written by Dr. Cole).   There is a 10% chance that I’ll need to have a 2-stage ACLR.. that means, open the knee, pull out the screws; fill in with bone graft.. heal for 6-8 weeks.. then go in and do the ACLR; which then means another 6 months before I’m back to sport!  That sounds horrible… twice the PT and twice the surgery for the same outcome!   Let’s hope that my first knee surgery was done properly (so that the screw holes align) AND that the holes themselves haven’t widened.

The first time I had my ACL repair; I took the time to write down my thoughts about the process and what I was going through.  That was long before the internet was huge; and I ended up having to write my own HTML to publish it.  It should be a lot easier now, right?

Uh oh.. here we go again!

Well, I have been pretty lucky so far.  I have had aches and pains all along, and have taken appropriate time off when needed and knowing when to slow down.  This time, I decided to play a little basketball with the other old guys at the gym.  Had a really sweet head fake and cross over.. pushed off my left leg to drive to the basket for an ez-pz layup… and went down like a sack of wheat.  I love talking about over coming obstacles and this is just another one.  Stay tuned!

Maybe its time to think about not playing basketball?
Maybe its time to think about not playing basketball?


Wow! 2014 has just flown by!

So much has happened, so much fun, so much craziness.

I did a triathlon:

Here I am not drowning!After Finishing w/Will and Michelle











I’ll probably do some more; it was fun.  The training was tough, just what I needed and without too much running.  I like running as an activity that is part of a fitness routine; but less as “the thing that you do”.  I guess I’m just too old and fat for it 🙂

But most of all I was a cheerleader for Austin’s soccer team, the Blue Bombers!


Goals for 2013; a new year a new list!


Well, my friends, 2012 has come to a close; and its time to set some goals for 2013.  Let’s remember that a goal is supposed to be SMART.  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.  I hit every single fitness based goal in 2012, and am carrying one weight number over.  I’m finding that as my weight loss slows down, my fitness is really ramping up.  That feels amazing.


1 One-Legged Squat on each leg

The One Legged Squat


This is by far my most aggressive goal.  Frankly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it.  Lets be honest; this is something that is for people a LOT smaller than I am.  I mean, the girl in the video weighs what, 90 lbs dripping wet?   Sounds like it should be a great challenge.  I admit, I have started on this one already.  Wanting to do ONE of these, is what started me down the path of the Bulgarian Split squat to really focus on the single leg strength.    This should be measurable as well; in that I can start out doing one legged from a chair as my core strength improves; then I can push the proper one-legged squat.


Ab Work 2x per week

Now, this one should be very achievable, in that in order to do the squat mentioned above, I am going to have to do a *LOT* of core strength and thats Ab and lower back work.  I’m not looking for a six pack or anything like that, just functional strength and a LOT of it.  I’m going to need it.


Half Marathon

This is one that I have talked about off and on for the past couple of months.  I’m sure this one will get done (barring injury) in July. I have already signed up for the Chicago Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon  and will formally start that training in March.  I am planning on using the Hal Higdon Novice 2 program  to ramp up for the race.  13.1 miles is a HUGE stretch, but I realize that at this point, its mind over matter… in that if I don’t mind the pain, it don’t matter!!  Come and cheer me on, I’ll need it!


Healthy BMI

The one carry over from 2012.  I had set a goal of a healthy BMI by the end of the year 2012; and I didn’t even come close.  I started celebrating early and have been at 220-ish for several months.  Those last 30 lbs are indeed the hardest!  I’m going to do it; and have recommitted to the program for 2013.


That’s it; I can do it, and so can you.  Its an easy plan; but hard to stick with it.  JUST KEEP GOING.


My new year’s resolution:  Make one healthy eating decision every day, instead of making a bad decision.



In the interest of full disclosure:

Dear Friends:

Having looked back through my little blog here it seems that I have done a really nice job of publishing my accomplishments and proud moments.  I have done this hoping to inspire and motivate people to see what is possible and that you can do seemingly impossible things.  There is, however, another side of the story.  I have failed over and over again.  Overall, I seem to be winning the war; but I have lost many mini-battles.  I have missed many mini-goals that I have set for myself.  Yes, I’ve been successful so far.  Yes, I am very proud of how far I have come.  But please, please, please remember that its not all WINNING. Its overcoming a lot of losing and disappointment as well.  Be prepared for that.

In fact, I am fully expecting to miss a goal that I set for myself.  If you recall, a month ago I told you about a contest where Michelle and I are racing to “Healthy BMI”.  Our first checkpoint is next Friday.  It looks like I’m going to be behind!  I’m trying to stay positive that I still have plenty of time to get there; but I am really disappointed that it doesn’t look like I will hit it.  Well, I probably *could* hit it; but I don’t want to starve or kill myself just to hit an arbitrary number.  I want to do it the right way!

At any rate, keep at it my friends. You won’t hit every goal and you won’t win every contest.  Just keep an eye on the prize: Long term healthy lifestyle changes and you will get there!


Dear 50 minute hills…

Dear 50 minute hills,

I’m sorry that I got through the first 15 minutes of your workout and thought you were too easy and that I wasn’t pushing myself.  I really underestimated the amount of workout that you would put me through.   I’m sorry that I thought you were a push over workout.  Looking at the lovely notecard that Michelle gave me, I thought “no way is this going to be hard.. I mean its *WALKING*”.  Yeah, well, I was wrong.. you were a good challenge.   Thank you for that.  I needed to do something different.  But yeah, now that we are all done with the workout, I wanted to let you know that I kicked your ass… but you knew that already. I spat in your challenge and pushed you over.. you know what?  I’m going to do it again.. only this time I’m going to go faster and push harder.  I OWN YOU.

Your friend,


ps – for those of you interested 50 minute hills on a treadmill looks like this:


Time Pace Incline
0 – 5 3.0 0
5 – 7 3.2 2
7 – 9 3.3 4
9 – 11 3.3 6
11 – 13 3.3 8
13 – 15 3.0 10
15 – 17 3.0 12
17 – 21 3.0 15
21 – 25 3.0 12
25 – 30 3.0 10
30 – 35 3.3 7
35 – 40 3.3 5
40 – 45 3.3 3
45 – 50 2.5 0