I have never missed more than a handful of workouts in the past 45 years but this past year I have hardly trained at all. There have been a lot of day-one’s and very little more. In the past 365 days, I’ve had shoulder surgery, passed a kidney stone, enjoyed a glorious kidney infection, I tore a biceps muscle, I’ve had six months of extreme psoriasis flare-ups that left me in severe pain and mostly bedridden. I don’t know how many fevers, flu’s, colds and whatnots I have endured that were muled home from pre-school by our precious cherubs. Jesse even gave me pink-eye, a change from the usual and certainly something interesting to deal with, but I’m done with it now and have no interest in getting that ever again.

I’ve lost over 20lbs. And my dignity more times than I care to recall. The biggest concern though was my stomach. There was some consideration that there may be something growing there that shouldn’t be. I did all the tests and then waited. This morning at 8:00 am I walked out of my doctor’s office with a clean bill of health. Alone with my thoughts, I went for breakfast. On the drive, I enjoyed the endless blue desert sky, the cool fall air, and the sunshine that I haven’t noticed in a while.

Then I went to the gym. Day one, again. But this time it felt different. It was like I had turned a corner. I crawled into a leg press with way too much weight on it and banged out four sets of twelve. I did it because the young whipper snapper beside me, that was all jacked up and making the required theatrical noises and gestures a man makes when he wants the entire gym to witness his monumental feat, had the same amount of weight on his leg press as I did on mine. He fought courageously for every one of his eight reps. I did twelve and they were smooth as silk. I got up, and pretended I wasn’t even breathing hard. He got up and left. Welcome to the jungle kid, Grandpa just schooled you.

I’m back with all the confidence, or stupidity, or ego, or just plain assholeness in the world, depending on how you see it, and there’s no looking back. This is was my last day one.

One year of being sick is enough.

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