Dan Preuett

Racing Red Team

Dan Preuett joined the TinCaps full-time as the Assistant Director of Ticketing and Reading Program Director after spending the 2013 season as the ticket office & reading program intern. Another game day duty for Dan is being one of the four Bad Apple Dancers that perform at the end of the 6th inning of every TinCaps home game. Dan was raised in Randolph, New Jersey and spent many summers at the Jersey Shore before moving to Indiana to attend Ball State University. In his free time he enjoys watching and playing all kinds of sports, watching movies, and going on walks with his wife Sarah and their three dogs. A fun fact about Dan is that he has bowled a perfect 300 game three times, and a 299 three times, but he prefers not to talk about those.


Follow My Blogging Journey

7/7

Well friends of the blog, this is it. We have finally reached week 15. It started with a Half Marathon, there have been two blind weigh ins, and a lot of time for reflection. There are not enough Thank You's in the world to describe how thankful I am for this program and these people. I don't know how many years I have added back onto my life, I don't know where my weight would have ended up if I wasn't selected to be a part of the program. All I know is that I am in the best shape of my life, have a whole new confidence as I go about my day, and my closet is full of clothes that are 1.5-2 sizes too big for me. It has been an honor to be a part of Season 10 and buy into this amazing program and all that it has had to offer. There is so much giving, and all that is asked in return is your best effort. The physical changes are great, the decline in weight is awesome, but nothing will compare to the everyday feeling of accomplishment I now get looking in the mirror. I have the education to maintain this healthy lifestyle, and I would be letting too many people down to let myself slip back!

Saturday's half marathon was an incredible feeling. I can't thank Jen and Anthony enough for pushing me. I lost the mental battle with my body around mile 11, but I made sure to finish the race as strong as I could. I crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 16 minutes. A 10:24 pace!  From a timed mile of 11:55 in the end of March to sustaining a pace 90 seconds faster for all 13 miles is truly remarkable. The atmosphere for the race was amazing. The option of Gatorade or water at every mile was genius! Jen's knowledge really helped me through any pains and struggles I was feeling. And a very special shout out to my wife Sarah and Father in Law Joe for coming out and supporting me. Knowing they were there kept me focused, and helped me bring home the 3rd place medal for my age group! Incredible stuff I would have never imagined was possible. Mix in the fact that on Wednesday I ran a mile in 7:29, about 3 minutes faster than I had ever run a mile before this program. I am built for success, and I plan to take advantage!

I am signed up for 2 more 5Ks, 1 15K, and 1 half marathon through September. I am not letting up on running, and look forward to the challenges and accomplishments ahead. Tomorrow is the finale. Everybody is going to be dressed to impress and all of our families and friends will come together. I am excited to see the end of year video and find out how the final 2 weeks of the competition shaped out. I have been all about setting goals this season, so here is one final one. Whatever number my final weight is, you will find me below that number come the start of Season 11. I will see everyone again as an Alumni. I want to mentor the next wave of people and help however I can. It is the least I can do!

Thanks for reading this Season!

6/30

I debated whether or not to write this week's blog today or tomorrow. 24 hours difference isn't normally a big deal, but when you're running 13.1 miles in under 24 hours, it is a life changing event. That is why I decided to write this blog now. Give my pre race feelings, hopes, and wishes and then follow up next week with how things went. We have been training for tomorrow since March. I remember looking at the training program and thinking about the stretches of 6+ miles where I felt I wouldn't be able to keep up. I remember early on when I could not shake my achilles pain and had difficulty completing the easiest rotations of walking/running. And then I also remember over time that something just clicked where all that doubt and pain went away. My body got stronger, my cardio endurance was greater, and running no longer was a workout but a hobby. I am ready for tomorrow, but let me sum up the week real quick and then get into that little run.

Last Saturday was an awesome test for my body. Run 3 miles, take a 90 minute break, run 3 more miles. I was sore, but the 2nd 5K was only 10 seconds slower than the 5K we ran at Germanfest. Consistency! Monday was another great workout day for me, because it is all up to me to decide the work I put in. A spin class with Mari, followed by a 40 minute run around the gym. Came back later in the morning and did a modified version of Rick's 3 machine challenge from a couple weeks ago. And then before weigh in hoped on the elliptical for 20 minutes to get another sweat going. And felt great about every workout! This would be the point I would post how I weighed in and optimism for the competition and getting to a weight that starts with a 1. I don't have that number for you this week, nor will I until after the finale on July 8th. But what I can tell you is that I am sticking to my nutrition and keeping up with my workouts, which is what I have done all season. It worked before, no reason it is not going to work over the final couple of weeks.

Relays on Tuesday were a fun chance to bring out the competitive side of everyone. My quad gave me a scare by tightening up at the very end, but happy to say it was just a race week random quick pain. Wednesday we did a good job of kicking our own butts. Each team got to decide a 7 minute workout. Not surprised the alumni threw a car wash at us to put the cherry on top of a workout full of wall punches, planks, pushups, and crunches. Thursday was right back into competition mode with a game of water polo. You knew it was going to be a battle when we popped the beach ball within 2 goals. For "second workouts" I just made sure to walk more laps around the ballpark during the homestand from Monday-Thursday. Nothing crazy or difficult, just an emphasis on staying moving and burning a few calories. I took off from work today to rest up. Only things on the agenda are grocery shop, clean some dishes, and packet pick up!

So, the race is tomorrow. I have been able to find a good group of people to run with in Berg and Jen H. Berg and I are good about keeping a similar pace and keeping each other distracted on the longer runs. Add Jen to the mix with her running knowledge, nutritional knowledge, and awesome personality, and it is a home run group. We have a pace in mind for lap one and lap two, food ideas along the way, and a reminder from Ashley not to do anything stupid or anything we haven't done leading up to the race. Water and gummy bears! I have my morning meal already planned out, the alarm is set. Tomorrow it's just waking up, stretching and accomplishing something I have never imagined I could do before this program. The forecast looks great which is just an added bonus. I have set a goal for myself of under 2.5 hours. This would be around a 11:00 mile for the entire race. Considering our miles times during training are somewhere from 9 to 10 minutes, I believe this is very attainable. Negative split from lap one to lap two is the 2nd goal. Show myself that my body can get stronger as the race goes on. It might mean holding myself back at the start, but a slower 1st miles means the next 12.1 miles won't be as difficult. 

Thank you to everybody who has put me in position to run in this event tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it. I am looking forward to it so much that i have already committed to running the half marathon at Fort 4 Fitness in September, even before knowing how my body holds up in tomorrow's run. All about pushing yourself to the next goal. Tomorrow I will try to accomplish a once impossible task, and in September I will beat whatever time I run tomorrow! Good luck FWSW crew, we are gonna crush it tomorrow!

 

6/23

It's getting down the stretch here and the mixed emotions are kicking in. I am excited to see myself succeed after the program, to take everything I have learned and do it on my own. This ranges from the workouts to the nutrition to the accountability. I know I will have the Fort Wayne Smallest Winner family behind me, but at the end of the day my future fitness and nutritional success is based on me sticking to everything I have learned. I am not the same person I was four months ago. Temptations are going to be there, but will power and the knowledge of how hard I have worked to lose 60+ pounds through this program. I know how tough life was for me 4 months ago. These are the thoughts that have been going through my head this week. I am still enjoying every moment in Season 10, but I am getting more long term focused. Still a lot of work to be done in FWSW (and I still have some work to do to pass Parker, Mike, and Chuck), but if I didn't start thinking about it now, I wouldn't be the overthinker/planner that my wife loves!

Monday was a fantastic day. I was having a major debate in the morning of whether or not I wanted to sleep or go to spin class. I took the day off work to rest up, so I felt like sleep would be preferred. But I knew if I skipped the workout I would feel nothing but regret so I went and it was great! Always a good way to start the day, and then I followed up the workout with the 50 minutes of running. 50 minutes non-stop, and 5 miles ran around the gym at Spiece. I was tired in spots, but my running buddy Jeanie gave me extra motivation to keep it up. Stopped back into Spiece mid day for the 2nd attempt at the challenge and got a little faster at every station. I enjoyed that challenge, and plan to do something similar for my own individual workouts going forward.

Eddie Merlots was an incredible experience (minus the construction on 69 getting there). Everyone looked fantastic, and it was awesome getting everyone together in one room for a night out. The thought that went behind the menu, the presentation of everything, and the atmosphere was amazing. Thank you to all involved who helped plan and execute our evening. Eddie Merlots definitely has my business in the future!

Tuesday's weigh in was as consistent as always, losing another 4.2 pounds to get under 215 (214.8 was the weigh in). That brought me over 60 pounds for 12 weeks and kept me on track to be under 200 when this program is done. Competition is tight at the top of the leaderboard, and I know I gotta keep it up! Really appreciate how everyone still supports each other no matter what, even though everyone wants the title of Fort Wayne Smallest Winner for themselves. The weigh ins are blind from here, so who knows what order we will be called up in on the 8th!

The workouts this week have been challenging. It hasn't helped matters that Wednesday I tweaked my hamstrings. Shooting a promo video for the Three Rivers Festival Bed Races at work involved more sprinting and not enough stretching. It is my own fault, and I am fortunate that I didn't do too much damage. Ice, stretching, and taking it easy are the goal over the next week to be 100% on race day. With the incredible FWSW team behind me, I know I will be good to go.

The goal for this week is all about health. I have to run 13.1 miles a week from tomorrow, and going into that day injured is not how I want to be. Instead of a more intense 2nd workout last night I decided to do 2 laps around my neighborhood with Sarah to keep myself active, and get some quality time in before another home stand starts up next week. This next week is going to be a long one, but I took the day before the race off of work to get my mind and body right. All about the little things adding up for the end result to be great!

 

6/17

Another week in the books, and more progress gained! My body is getting stronger, the workouts are getting tougher, and my run times are getting faster. This is the best shape I have been in since High School. Can't say it enough, this program is life changing!

Last Saturday was a good example of that. We "only" did one full loop on the course to start the day, and followed it up with the VisionWalk. Had a great time at both, but the soreness definitely kicked in on the drive from the school to the walk. The end of the weekend was difficult because we were wrapping up a 7 game home stand at the ballpark, our longest to date this year. But I made it through and rounded out the week with a 4.4 pound weight loss, and I'm no longer in the 220's. A weight I hope to never return to again!

This was definitely a week of soreness. EJ kicked it up a notch on Tuesday, CeCe kicked my butt on Wednesday (I always knew my last name was hard to spell, now I know it can be painful to spell as well), Mari turned it up in the pool on Thursday, and EJ kept the intensity up on Friday. My quads are still sore, but in a good way. Glad I bought that foam roller a few months ago. And while all this goes on, Rick drops a challenge that needs to be completed all in one workout. I have 1/2 attempts done to this point, with the second attempt coming Monday morning. Figured resting up Saturday afternoon and Sunday would help me attempt to beat my 49:55 time from the first attempt!

This morning was a day I have had circled on the calendar for a long time. Two weeks from our half marathon, 10 miles to run at a pace of 1 & 9. When we started the program this sounded insane! How was I supposed to travel that far and run that much. Well both those questions were answered today with a 10 miles run in an hour and 45 minutes. Couldn't have made it through without the help of Ashley, Chantell, Jeremy, Parker & Anthony. We all pushed each other and supported one another all the way through. You definitely feel the love within Fort Wayne Smallest Winner family. My body held up except for a tight calf muscle, but that's just a reminder to give my lower body a little extra attention during the warmups. I feel ready for the Half Marathon. I've been given the tools to succeed, and now it is time to step up and execute.

The goal for the upcoming week is to make the most out of the 2nd workouts. There are no games Monday-Sunday next week. We already know the challenge will be in the pool, so it is up to me to get the most work in possible during this week. Only a couple weeks left in this awesome program, don't want to walk away with any regrets or what ifs!

 

6/9

Much happier writing this blog than I was last week. Maybe it was better nights of sleep (doubtful as we are in the middle of a 7 game homestand), better meal plans (got a little creative with different lunch and dinner options where I could), or maybe its just the camaraderie that is involved in Season 10. The last one is probably it. 25 contestants, many alumni, and a group of the best motivators and trainers Fort Wayne has to offer. I have felt tired, but I always make sure that the breaks are short and quitting is never a thought. I have accomplished more from a fitness perspective in the past week than I have in a long time. What were those fitness milestones you ask, well here we go!

Last Saturday I ran 8 miles in a single workout. We made our first complete loop of the half marathon course. It has been a core group running up front with Parker and Anthony. Ashley, Chantell and Jen have been critical in keeping us going, at a good pace, and overall under control. I was able to complete the 8 miles in about 85 minutes. This is an awesome pace to me, and it is great to say it is a comfortable pace as well. Negative splits still need to be improved on, but there is time to focus on that over the next few weeks.

Monday came and I felt ok about my week before. Like I said previously the meals last week didn't taste the best. I didn't get extra workouts in when I thought they were possible. It just didn't seem like my week. But I stepped on the scale and lost 4.8 pounds. 10 weeks, 52 pounds. I could not be more grateful that Tina, Rick, and the rest of the FWSW took a chance on me. I wouldn't be here today at this weight and in this health without this program. The education is something I will never be able to say thank you for enough. I'm set up for a brighter future than I could have ever brainstorm or research myself.

Tuesday it was time to knock out part 1 of the challenge for the week. 200 floors on the stairmaster. A few weeks ago 100 sounded like it was brutal. Then a few weeks later 150 floors sounded like crazy talk. Well I did 200 floors this week while maintaining a speed/level I hadn't tested for more than a few minutes. It was awesome to feel my body respond to the tougher workout. My butt was kicked by the end of it, but I walked away knowing I could kick it to that level again soon (or maybe more. Who knows what Rick has planned!)

That's a pretty awesome week so far. And I am not even done yet. Wednesday was our 2nd 5K of the program at German Fest. Going into the race I was unsure of what I wanted to do that day. I went back and forth between running 8, walking 2 or just running as far as I could. After stretching and talking to Anthony and Ashley, the plan was to run the whole thing. We ran with Ashley, Jen, and Chantell again and everyone knew the goal was to keep our time under 30 minutes. Considering my first 5K of the program was just under 35 minutes, a 5 minute improvement would be awesome. Well we crushed that projection and I crossed the finish line at 28:23. When I turned the corner to see the finish line and saw the time I cracked a smile immediately. You set goals with the idea of breaking them. And that was exactly what I did on Wednesday. Only gave me more confidence as we continue the run program down the stretch here.

The rest of the workouts for the week were tough. Emotions run high, fatigue sets in. It is how you channel that pain that makes the difference. I cant speak for others, but I know I use it as motivation to dig deeper. Short breaks followed by maximum effort is my goal during workouts when I feel myself wearing down. There is no benefit if I spend 10 minutes of my workout laying on the floor breathing heavy. My abs are sore, my arms are sore, my shoulders were on fire today, but I did everything that was asked of me. You get what you put into the workouts. I want to be the Smallest Winner. I am within striking distance of that goal. A lot of competition at the top of the leaderboard between Chuck, Parker, Shawn, Mike, Anthony, and Dan. The seven of us all have a real possibility to lose close to 25% of our body weight by July 8th. What an awesome feeling!

The goal for the upcoming week is pretty simple for me. It is just to take care of my body. I've had aches, pains, sore muscles, cramps, etc. over the past 11 weeks. I own a foam roller, I have Epsom salt lotion to help my muscles recover. I want to get my body feeling better going into every workout next week. Feeling better will lead to better results in the workout and better potential for extra workouts throughout the week. I still have games Saturday through Monday, and then Friday through Sunday next week as well. So the weekend hours are going to be long, but available evenings next Tuesday through Thursday followed by an entire week off from games is going to lead to some great weigh ins and great results.

On a final side note. Went shopping this past week because my khaki shorts were finally too big to stay around my hips. I had already punched one hole in my belt to get them to stay up. I entered the competition wearing size 40 pants and was probably needing to bump up to 42. I happily purchased size 34 pants that fit just right. So much improvement, such rewarding results. Thank you FWSW!

 

6/2

This week's blog is one of those that I don't necessarily want to write, but I want to be honest with myself and anyone that may read this. This week has sucked. It has nothing to do with the workouts or anyone else involved in the program. For myself mentally and physically, this week has sucked. My normal meals all haven't tasted very good, I wasn't able to give it my all a couple times throughout the week due to body fatigue, and I just wasn't there mentally Wednesday morning. I did my best throughout the week to remember all the different motivators that we have touched on over the previous weeks, but at the end of the day, I got myself to each and every workout. I could have slept in, I could have decided to eat something outside of the diet plan to appease my distaste for the meals in front of me, but I didn't. I have put in too much effort, and have too many people cheering me on and watching me to slip back like that. In the long run I feel like these feelings will only make me stronger. If I can power through the negatives and stay on track, the positives are only going to be that much better.

As far as the workouts go, I did enjoy what we had planned out this week. Another week of good butt kicking in the extra love with rick, followed up by some really challenging but quality workouts. It was a good mix of classic workouts we have learned along the way, along with some new experiences like today's relays. We keep pushing more and more, and I don't see anyone in the group that can't handle it.

As far as the weight loss goes, I am very happy with my progress last week. Another weigh in with a 5+ pound weight loss has been my consistent total over the course of the program. Now I sit 2.8 pounds away from crossing over the 50 pound mark for the program, I am sitting in the top 5 for % lost, but there number could easily be higher or lower based on a third of a pound. It is a good core group of guys at the top of the leaderboard, and I can tell each one is ready to push it over the stretch to see if they can claim the top spot from Parker. I want it, and I am ready to fight for it over the last month of the program.

We are officially less than a month from the half marathon, and that reality is starting to set in. Completing the first loop tomorrow will be a big thing on the checklist to have completed. Looking forward to it!

My goal for this next week is the find new options for my menu. I want to enjoy what I am eating, while also enjoy the nutritional value of what I am eating. I will get with Abigail and my teammates to figure this all out!

 

5/27

Its pretty crazy to say this is the end of week 9. Only 6 more weeks to go. But over those six weeks there are two 5ks, the vision walk, countless workouts, a lot of meal prep, and a half marathon. Being over half way done may sound like the end is near, but with 42 more days to go, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears left to go.

As far as this past week goes, how I felt was a lot better than the weather we have had! Monday started with spin class followed by my second attempt at the stairmaster challenge. I felt this one more than the first attempt, but a workout is not meant to be easy. Got it done 2.5 minutes faster than the first attempt which was very exciting to me. The hard work last week paid off come weigh in time, losing another 5.2 pounds, bringing the total to 41.6 for 8 weeks. That progress is owed 100% to Rick, Tina, the trainers, Abigail for the nutritional info, and all the alumni that keep us motivated and push it when we need it. 

I made sure to get myself to extra love again this week, because I just consider it part of the weekly workout now. The workouts tend to repeat, but new additions are added each week to make them more challenging. Longer planks, different planks, different weights on the sleds, an occasional trip to Rick's zoo. Anybody that may be reading this as a part of Season 10 that hasn't made it out yet, I highly encourage you to dedicate yourself to it for at least a week. Just an extra 25-30 minutes three times a week, time that is usually spent walking around the gym anyway. I cant imagine a week without this extra love being a part of it!

I feel like the theme of the week was how sore people were from the workout on Wednesday. We got our butt kicked in the best way, and I can't thank thank the trainers enough. Faster pace, more weight, less breaks are all things that we need at this point. I know the change of workouts keeps my body engaged, my mind focused, and coming away feeling like I have learned something new that I can apply to future workouts on my own. Our bodies and our weights aren't going to keep changing by doing the same old thing. I welcome the pain, as I know that it is temporary while the changes it will bring are for a lifetime.

The goal heading into this next week is a big milestone for me. I would like to be over the 50 pound weight loss by the end of week 10. I have 8.4 pounds to go in these next two weigh ins to get there. The number on the scale has never been that important to me. How clothes fit and how I feel are far more what I care about. But 50 pounds is the desired weight loss from the program, and if I can get myself there in 10 weeks, I would be ecstatic. 

 

5/19

Another week of workouts in the books, and I am definitely feeling the most fatigued I have in the program. I don't blame the program for that, this week of workouts just happens to fall during another stretch of home games for the team. And also the fact that yesterday was a 16 hour work day, getting home at 1:45 AM doesn't help matters. But here I am, ready to reflect as we crossed over the half way mark for the program.

Monday started like any other Monday, with a trip to Mari's spin class. Always feel good about starting the week/the last workout before weigh ins being 45 minutes of spinning. The run that afternoon was a hot one, but I was able to get through the 85 degree day out on the ballpark concourse. Weigh in that evening saw me cross back into the 230's, weighing in at 239.0. Another awesome achievement for me, as I am not down 36.4 pounds. The group crushed it this week with weight loss, and it is very encouraging to hear Rick, Tina, and the rest of the crew praise our effort and weight loss.

Tuesday and Wednesday kept us moving in the workouts and the extra love. Some good info was learned and we continued to push ourselves to the next level. Wednesday night was just as warm as Monday, but I felt a lot better about how the run went. It's always motivational to have part of the group together and be able to pace yourself with multiple people. Got in just over 4 miles in 50 minutes and feeling a lot stronger each week as we get closer to the half marathon. Still having some tightness in my Achilles from time to time, but I checked in with Andreas on Monday and he saw no noticeable damage or issues, so the focus is still on stretching it out pre and post workouts.

Tuesday was also my first attempt at this week's challenge of 150 floors on the stairmaster. I was able to get through the workout in 33 minutes flat, which was really good to me considering three weeks ago I did 100 floors in 29 minutes. Thursday in the pool was another step forward. I feel I am getting stronger in my swimming, which in turn means my cardio and my strength are both improving along the way. This morning's workout was difficult due to the 2 hours of sleep, but it felt good to do a good mix of workouts. Learned and completed something I never would have even thought of doing as a workout called the car wash, but we got it done to finish up the week at Spiece!

7 miles tomorrow and a weigh in coming up Monday. 7 miles will be the furthest I have ever done for a workout, so I am excited to get that done. As for my goal this week, I want to get better about the 2nd workouts. After a home game on Sunday the 21st, we do not have another home game until May 30th. Back to normal 8 hours work days means my evenings can be spent on those additional workouts. As long as my Achilles can hold up, I also want to try to get more ballpark workouts in using the 30+ sets of stairs at my disposal here.

 

5/12

A lot to catch up on here, so let's get into it! All went well with the traveling down to Raleigh. Sarah helped me a lot with the meal prep getting ready for the weekend and making a list of what to bring and what to buy. As soon as we got off the plane and got to town we went right to the grocery store to make sure we had everything we needed, and our hotel mini fridge was stocked! I was also able to get my own workout in Friday morning and my run allotment in Saturday morning. I told Tina that the videos and pictures from the Fort Wayne workouts gave me extra motivation to push it a little harder. It was awesome to be able to participate in this program and use what I learned so far while traveling to stand in one of my best friend's wedding. Got back to town late Sunday night, and made sure the alarm was set to get to spin class Monday morning. Followed that up with the sled challenge which went very well! Definitely something I can incorporate into my own 2nd workouts. Quick weigh in showed I lost 6.2 pounds! 242.8 is what the scale said, which meant I reached the goal of now being down 32.6 pounds. My clothes are fitting better and I am really appreciating everyone's kind words about the progress I have made. But we are not even halfway done yet, so this week was no time to let up!

Great info from the Kroger visit with the Red Team. A lot of burning questions got answered, and some new plans were made to proceed forward. This week is a tougher one, because I am writing this blog in the middle of a six game homestand. A lot of time is spent at the ballpark which means meal planning and preparation is vital. Getting away from my desk to move around the ballpark hasn't been the easiest this week, so I have made sure to put in my best effort in the morning workouts, and making another appearance for a full week of Extra Love. Tuesday and Wednesday got us more work with the station training which I am a big fan of. It is a complete workout that you have to stay engaged in the entire time. It keeps us working as a team, while also pushing each other as a group. I walk away learning a few more tips each time as well about how to optimize my workout and make sure I am doing the exercises correctly.

Wednesday's run group was a good reminder of how careful you need to be throughout the entire process. We were encouraged to test ourselves and push it if we wanted, so the group I ran with gave that a try. We learned that while working out harder for a short amount of time might feel ok in the moment, it does not outweigh working out smarter for the length of the program. I have had Achilles pain throughout this process, and continue to do my best to stretch and prepare my body so that this pain is minimal to non-existent. While there was some soreness on Wednesday, it was no where near as bad as it had been in the past. But Wednesday brought a new issue that I had yet to encounter: chaffing! A runner's nightmare, when you're already battling the course you're running and your body holding up, now add in the mix fighting the clothes you are wearing. Talked with Tina towards the end of the run and immediately went to Kohl's/Walmart post run for some compression shorts and glide. Not letting the issue come up again as these runs get longer!

Pool workout on Thursday and Friday both felt like they had the same vibe to them: you get what you put in. Pool days are not off days, and listening to the trainers instructions is very important. At this point we should not have to be told to always be moving in the pool. When CeCe tells us to punch hard, we should do so. I fell victim to not doing both at certain points, and that is something I know I can improve on. Both to show my appreciation for FWSW by giving it my all, and for the results that hard work will provide me. That's my new goal for the upcoming week, is the commitment to push myself further, extend my 2nd workouts so I walk away feeling as tired as I do in the morning workouts. We have been given enough knowledge and shown enough workouts where this is more than possible. Something I have started doing when I am feeling tired or beaten down is to twirl the wedding ring on my finger. It is a two part reminder for me. The first is how far I have come already in these first 7 weeks. Going into the competition I was on the edge of needing to increase my ring size because I could barely get it on and off. Now I can spin it around my finger no problem, and am getting dangerously close to needing to change the size to something smaller. The second reason is because the ring represents the whole reason I applied for the competition. I wanted to get my life back on a healthier track, so that my wife and I can enjoy the most time together possible. Try to eliminate preventable health problems by working out and eating better. Be in better shape so that when we start a family that I can do everything it takes to raise a child and be the support system Sarah will need.

 

5/4

With a crazy weekend upcoming wanted to make sure I got a blog done early! It has been a week of ups and downs. Monday started with the usual Spin class followed by attempt number 2 on the stairmaster challenge. A lot of lower body work to start the day, but I was able to push through both well. Add in the run program Monday afternoon and my body was pretty tired. I lost 3.2 pounds this week and left feeling unsatisfied. I am well aware it isn't always going to be a big number each week, but still felt as if the effort I felt I put in matched the weight loss. But the positive was cracking the 250 pound mark and weighing in at 249.0. I am guessing its been a year and a half or so since I've been below that mark. 26.4 pounds overall, a number I am very proud of.

Made sure I volunteered for extra love this week, and my abs are still sore 48 hours later, which is an awesome feeling. Workouts are only going to get tougher from here. Gotta embrace the pain and trust the process. Enjoyed the Tuesday and Wednesday workouts as well. Had a bit of a concern with the Achilles Wednesday both with the morning workout and the evening run, but Tina and CeCe were quick to act to make sure I don't injure myself more. Lot of time in the program left, I'll be back to full burpee strength in no time.

This afternoon I am flying to Raleigh to be in my friend's wedding. I've meal planned, made a grocery list for arrival, contacted the caterer to make sure we were on the same page, and scouted out my course for the 4 mile run Saturday. This preparation is a big difference from the usual flying experience of normally eating fast food every meal while on a trip. But that fast food isn't even a temptation in my mind. I used to avoid driving down Illinois road on the way to the run group just so I didn't have to see all the fast food places I used to frequently visit. Yesterday I drove down that road for the first time without a care. I had no more desire to stop, no craving for meals I could be ordering. This program is all about those little accomplishments as you prepare for the rest of your life. This weekend away is all about proving to myself that I won't take a step back and resist previous temptations. I've worked too hard, and there are too many people sacrificing for me to be in this program to now stick to every aspect of the program. Looking forward to a great weigh in Monday. Quick and easy goal this week, lets have the total weight loss through 6 weeks be 30+ pounds!

 

 

4/29

Time for the week 5 recap, and it was a great one! Sunday was the 5K and going into the day my expectation was to walk the full 3.1 miles. My ankles/Achilles just hadn't been holding up well during the previous training, but after buying some news shoes and a better round of stretching, I got the green light to go for it. With the help of Ashley pushing us, both Anthony and myself were about to push a pace of 5 minutes walk, 5 minutes run for the whole race. This got us both over the finish line in just under 35 minutes, blowing away my expectations. It was awesome. Carried that momentum into Monday morning with another spin class that I was tempted to sleep through. But I kept reminding myself about the limited time we have this opportunity, and how great I feel after the class. I got myself there and got a better workout done before 6 AM than most do in a full day. Monday night at the weigh in I had my highest single week weight loss in this program with 6.2 pounds lost, making my total 23.2 for 4 weeks. Could not be happier with the progress! The class and information at St. Francis was awesome, helpful, and cant wait to implement some of the info we learned.

I accepted the challenge this week of going for Extra Love before our regular workouts. While I enjoy the warmup of taking laps around the gym, I knew the extra work would pay off in the long run. Tuesday was a good way to start the workouts with some extra sled work. Especially doing this before knowing Friday's sled training was really going to kick it up a notch. Wednesday got a little weight training involved and kept us moving the whole time. I really enjoyed the extra work, and hope my appearances there will continue on my own choosing, not for failing to meet an aspect of the program!

Overall the week of workouts went well. A lot of stations and interval training. Which I really enjoy because its up to you to put in the work to succeed. I wasn't happy with only getting 7/10 stations on our second lap on Wednesday so I made sure to stay after and get the final workouts done. I wanted to know I gave it everything I had this week. Thursday's workout cancellation through off my week a bit, as typically I use that time in the pool to still work out, but take a little pressure off my lower body. I will admit I went back to bed and slept in. But using my goal from last week, I made sure to use the ballpark to my advantage. I got two full laps in of doing squats in one corner, alt. knees in the outfield, jumping jacks in the other corner, and going up and down each flight of stairs to finish the loop. It kicked my butt, but came away feeling good. I also used the ballpark for my Monday run program. I hope to continue this trend going forward. This morning's run group was also another great challenge. This time with the help of CeCe, Anthony and I were about to maintain the 5 minute walk/run pace for the full 5 miles. My body felt great, and it was awesome to see everybody else crushing the 5 miles as well.

A couple cool achievements this week. My belt is now two notches bigger, which also happens to be the last one. Looks like a new belt will be needed soon! I am also in a wedding next weekend and got fit for the tux before the competition began. I decided to go back and get re-measured just in case things have changed, and it turned out I went down a full jacket size! My body is definitely changing and I am really enjoying the results. Starting to hear compliments from family and friends about how I look like I've lost weight only gives me further drive to keep going. So now onto week 6 goal.

This has always been the toughest week of the program in my mind. I am leaving Thursday afternoon for a wedding and will miss the Friday workout and Saturday run group. I have a plan in place to get my running in Saturday, and will do the best workout I can with whatever the hotel gym or surrounding area allows me. So my goal for this week is push myself as much as I would be pushed if I were in Fort Wayne. Push through the voice in my head that tells me its time to stop. Push through the pain and discomfort so I don't get off track from the previous weeks of work. I know I can do this, and the support system will be at this wedding with me to make sure I don't lose sight of what this is all about!

 

4/22

To finish off the rest of the week so far, I wanted to check in again! Thursday was another great pool workout. We got back into swimming laps, and it was a reminder that its doing the exercise right, not doing it fast. I find myself having pretty bad swimming form, so its worthwhile to take a few extra moments to complete the exercise to prevent swallowing the water. Leaving that workout you could get the sense from the trainers that the effort wasn't being seen. Im focused on myself in these workouts and its tough to keep an eye on others, but I know it made me want to push myself more going forward.  Friday's workout was one of my favorites thus far. It was all about keeping yourself moving, and at the end of the day its your accountability how much or how little you did. I made sure to stop at the mats every time one was available, got my runs on the stairs in, worked with the medicine balls whenever possible and made stops even when I wasn't chosen to partake in the exercise. You get what you put in, and there is no benefit to not giving it your all. Friday night I finally gave in to what my body was telling me. I went back to Three Rivers and purchased some new running shoes to replace the 2 year old shoes I was trying to make work. I am confident in the advice I received at the store, and hope this new support can eliminate the issues I am experiencing. Got in a 2nd workout on the machines at Spiece yesterday and now a day of rest today before the 5K tomorrow. I will be walking this one to not risk anymore injury. Looking forward to seeing the FWSW family out there tomorrow. Week 5 Goal: Get more active at work. I find it hard to get away from my desk during the day, and thats not helping anything. I have a ballpark at my disposal that is a 1/3 mile concourse, on top of 15+ staircases. Forecast is great, and I am going to take advantage!

 

4/19

Another 5.4 pounds down! Three weeks in a row over five pounds lost is right where I want to be! Tuesday's workout was about 75% physical, 25% teaching. That was good, because I feel like next time we come back to those exercises it is going to be 100% physical. I look forward to the upcoming weeks of more intense workouts, while also changing up what workouts we are doing. Today's workout gave me more confidence in how my body was changing. I definitely felt stronger and able to push my self just that little bit more. I look forward to that trend continuing. Was hoping for a run outside tonight, possibly in the rain, but mother nature said no go. A good 40 minute session at Spiece as a tune up before the 5K Sunday. My body is fighting me right now on these walk/runs. I hope to be able to run the 5K Sunday, but if I cant I will speed walk with the best of them! Back in the pool tomorrow. 

4/14

Looks like Fridays are my blogging days, well here it goes! Baseball season started, and I am happy to report I did not have one craving during the games. Granted the concourse smelled delicious everytime I went outside with a combination of cheesesteak, burgers, hot dogs, and funnel cakes. But all those food items are a want, not a necessity. I am on a strict calorie count, and there would not be any benefit to wasting 2/3 of my calories on one snack from a concession stand. Ill stick to my pint of milk from the kids meal!

Monday was our third weigh in since the program began. I did my best to kick things up a notch in the workouts with the goal of having a better weigh in. I started the week at 269.6, and weighed in at 263.8. My second consecutive week of 5.8 pounds lost! This brought by total to 11.6 pounds in two weeks, and I feel that is a very sustainable number to lose throughout the program. Starting at 275.4 with an average weight loss of 5 pounds per week would put me right around the goal of having my weight begin with the number 1 for the first time in 10 years.

Workouts were tough this week, but also very different every day. Monday I started out with spin class and immediately followed up with the required run schedule. I made the mistake of going up to the track, and I will be sure to avoid that going forward. I definitely felt the burn in both workouts. Monday's are now for spinning! Tuesday led the red team up the gravity room and I learned how good of a workout I can get just trying to pull my own body weight up and down. Back to back days under Mari's leadership definitely kicked my butt, but in the best way possible. We could hear the rest of the group yelling from upstairs, so we knew they were getting a great workout in as well. Wednesday brought us into the classroom to do some stepping. I enjoyed this workout because it's all about getting into a rhythm and staying locked in. The squats made it a difficult day to sit, but thats worth it. Later that day I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and went golfing instead of going to the run group. I enjoy the flexibility of choosing which run group you want to join, so I could join my coworkers for a post-game 9 holes. No shortcuts taken here, made sure I was walking 9 holes instead of riding in a cart. Take the stairs, park further away, and turn down the golf cart. 

Thursday in the pool brought out so much from our group. We got pushed and we responded. Thats how it needs to be. We had 5 sets of eyes on us making sure we were handling what was being thrown at us, and I felt like everybody brought their best. I feel the overall group getting closer as the workouts go on. FWSW is all about being a family, and Season 10 has embraced that mindset from the word go. Run group that night was definitely a challenge. I started out these groups getting sucked up in the pack and not pushing myself. I changed that last week and pushed even harder this week. Myself, Parker, Anthony and Rose were able to make it 2 full laps around the track up at the Y, totaling somewhere around 3.4 miles in about 45 minutes. Great training for the 5K next weekend! Today was the day the boxing gloves were coming back out. These are complete workouts of your shoulders, arms, chest, core, and legs. At times it's tough to fight through the burn, and I am probably one of the softer punchers of the group, but its all about staying engaged. I am motivated by the fact that the FWSW team is here on their own time to help us get better. When the alarm goes off and snoozing sounds so good, I think of the crew that is getting ready across town to come motivate us and make us stronger. If they can do it, I certainly can!

I've found it helpful to end each blog with a new goal for the upcoming week. This week I want to focus on the fundamentals. Measure everything out, plan meals to hit all the major categories and requirements, workout smart, stretch, and focus on the task at hand. I had to see Andreas this morning for some lower leg pain that luckily isn't something that will hinder my workouts. It sounds like a focus on additional stretching, and getting my body loose will help this issue go away. I can carry this mindset into all aspects of the program. Take the extra time to focus on the basics and fundamentals now, so that over the remaining weeks there will be nothing holding me back!

 

4/7

Today marks the end of the second week of workouts at Spiece, and you could really feel things kick up a notch. It is awesome to hear that the trainers are pushing us harder than other seasons early on because they know we can handle it. I started my week Monday with an early morning workout of 2 miles on the track. That evening was incredible with seeing everyone's results. For a group of 25 people to come together and lose 199 pounds in a week, plus the weight loss by the alumni was inspiring and motivational. All week in work outs I made sure to push myself a little harder because I know my effort level wasn't consistently 100%. Since it was difficult to get out of the car when I got home from the workout this morning, I know I accomplished this goal. I was pushed harder than I would have ever pushed myself in a workout, and that is why I signed up for this program. If it was easy, everyone would do it. And if it doesn't challenge you it doesn't change you. If you're not moving, you're not losing. All great motivators as week 2 wraps up. The goal for this upcoming week is get more creative with my meal options. Baseball season is starting for the TinCaps, so that means a lot of good smelling food is being cooked on our concourse. During games I used to get an "appetizer" of 2 hot dogs, wait a bit and get a chicken tender basket with fries and a large mountain dew. Then return later in the game to get some dippin dots or ice cream. Not surprising I got to the weight I am with that kind of meal 70 days a year. Now I will be prepping my own meals for gamedays until I get comfortable with understanding what is acceptable to eat at the ballpark. The issue of choosing food at a sporting venue that some people only have to deal with once or twice a year is now my challenge for the next 6 months. But I welcome that challenge, and know I have the support group behind me that it will soon no longer be a challenge at all. I have gotten some new food ideas from my Fort Wayne Smallest Winner family, and look forward to giving them a try! Looking forward to the walk tomorrow, and another awesome weigh in Monday!

 

3/31

Today we finished up our first week of workouts at Spiece. It was great to see everyone kick it up a notch. Everyone in the room is tired, sore, and hoping the next words said were water break, but everyone powered through. On Wednesday as we were walking up the stairs Abigail asked me what kind of mile time I was hoping for. My answers was that under 12 minutes would be awesome, and I crossed the end line at 11:55.  Followed that up with a morning in the pool on Thursday that left me pretty sore going into the workout this morning. But now here I am feeling better now than I did this morning. One area I know I need to get better at is my arrival time, because I see so many names signed in by the time I get to the book. No reason for me not to be getting the extra work in early and taking full advantage of the blessing this program provides us. That is my motivation going into the weekend and the rest of the program. 

3/28

Between yesterday's weigh in and today's workout, I came away amazed at just how powerful this program is. To bring a group of strangers together each season and build the family that is clearly on display by the alumni support is incredible. Going into the workout I didn't know what to expect my body to be able to handle, but I came away feeling better than I walked in. The toughest part of the day by far was getting started on the meal preparation and planning. It is a reminder of how poorly I have eaten to this point in my life, because the idea of looking at serving sizes and portion control seemed more like a hassle than a necessity. But from leaving Spiece and seeing just how amazing the results are for those that trusted the process, I am all in! Tomorrow brings the opportunity to run a timed mile, something I have not done in close to 2 years. It is an opportunity because as it was described at Orientation, there are dozens of people sitting at home that wish they were in my shoes running tomorrow morning. Anything less than 100% is not fair to myself and the program. Starting weight begins at 275.4, can't wait to see where that number is at July 8.