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Volume 1: Ground Zero

Updated: Jul 1, 2023



Minimalist Conditioning


Volume 1:

Ground Zero






© Copyright 2023 by Minimalist Conditioning. All Rights Reserved Any unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Please obtain a physician’s approval before engaging in any exercise program. Please get checked out from a doctor, and be safe. Exercise common sense more than anything.









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“Less is More”

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Minimalist Conditioning

Volume 1:

Ground Zero



“The start is what stops most people.”

-Unknown

Equipment needed:

Comfortable Clothes

Walking Shoes

Water

Notebook

Desire to change



Ground Zero

Starting out and getting in shape can be very difficult and even intimidating. Even with the desire, one might not know where to start. It can be one of the clearest examples of making a mountain out of molehill. Being buried in a sea of information in our daily lives only adds to the frustration and confusion of getting started and “climbing that mountain.”

In my case, I had let my body go so far and abused it so much that moving past my current condition seemed impossible. I may as well have been getting ready to climb Mount Everest. I felt like I was looking at this huge mountain, and I didn’t know how to do it. Pair that fear with the guilt I felt for letting myself slip so far, and it was major mental and physical obstacle. Searching for “how to get in shape” on the internet only multiplied the degree of difficulty in my mind. I didn’t know what to do.

I thought about improving my health all the time. I was a smoker. I was overweight. I had a bunch of health problems. I had chronic headaches. I was always sluggish and sore. My feet and ankles were always swollen and I was prone to gout flareups in which the pain was excruciating. I was breathing heavy all the time lumbering around at my job. I was a prime candidate for a heart attack at a young age. I was stressed all the time, which led to severely elevated blood pressure, light-headedness and muscle tension paired with good old-fashion explosions. I had this nagging feeling in my brain that I was heading for a major disaster. It wasn’t a matter of “if” but “when.”

The train came off the tracks a long time ago, and I kept feeding it with bad decisions until I found myself breathing heavy on the couch with a splitting headache. I was unhealthy and my life sucked because of it.

My doctors had been warning me for years.

I needed to do something.

It all came to a head when I went to the doctor because I felt like I had the flu and woke up with a splitting headache and sweats.

They ran tests which came up negative for the flu or COVID, but the blood work was scary. My blood pressure and cholesterol were astronomical. After some more tests, and meeting with my regular physician and cardiologist, needless to say, they were deeply concerned. They told me that I had a 75% chance of a heart attack and it would happen sooner than later. My appointment ended with them telling me the warning signs of a heart attack, and if I felt any of these that I needed to call 911 immediately.

Something needed to be done today, not tomorrow. I realized more than I ever had in my life that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

I was 44 years old.

What do I do? Where do I start?

I started reading, researching, and thinking, and thinking, and thinking. While beating myself up, and trying to get my head right, I was trying to motivate myself and come up with a plan. Getting healthy seemed insurmountable, but I didn’t want to waste another day.

I came to the conclusion that thinking about it over and over was never going to change anything. An imperfect plan was better than inaction.

What did I do?

I walked.

I set my alarm for 5 am. I rolled out of bed, and walked. It was a cold morning in early winter. I grabbed my coat, gloves, hat, and flashlight and I walked for 20 minutes. My feet and ankles were so sore when I was done. I was breathing heavy and coughing. My face was cold, but I did it. I can’t say that I felt any great accomplishment, but there was this little flicker inside of me that felt hope.

I did it again the next day, and the day after that. I kept at it. A few days later, when I got home from my walk, I did 20 pushups holding the sink in the bathroom before getting in the shower. I repeated the routine again the next day, and the day after that. A few days after repeating that routine, I added in a set of full pushups or squats to my desk chair when I got up and got back to my desk at work. I was building good habits.

During that time, I got up every morning and started my day with a good decision. I found that more good decisions followed as I went through the day. I started questioning what I was eating during the day, and started to look for a healthier option. I started packing my lunch to work. Processed foods started not to taste as good, so I started to avoid them. My cigarettes that were my crutch during the day started to taste terrible, and I was even more mindful to the fact that I was slowly killing myself. A few weeks later, I committed to quitting smoking. I bought some nicotine gum, and the I haven’t smoked a cigarette since.

I exercised a lot when I was younger. I loved being in the gym and the pool. I loved learning about exercise and fitness so I had a basic knowledge of information to build on. I loved lifting weights and pushups. I also spent a lot of time swimming laps in the pool through my teen years.

I wondered, given my passion for exercise when I was younger, how I could let myself slip so far down?

I came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter. I was here now. The only way is forward.

I knew from experience that one bad decision can lead to another bad decision and will continue on unless something is done to break that pattern.

The flip side was that one good decision could lead to another good one and so on.

I also knew that I am an all-or-nothing kind of person. I had to do something every day, and I can’t give myself an inch because I will take a mile. Experience had shown me that undisputable fact of my life.

I had a burning desire to change. I needed to build my daily routine, and I needed to get aggressive about my health.

My excuses had wasted my time up to this point, so I didn’t have much of that left.

I also didn’t have any equipment.

I needed to keep it simple.

Only forward.

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