The only thing constant in life is change.
This year has been a year of being extremely busy, working through consistent changes as well as experiencing many firsts.
The year started off on a very stressful note. I was living in an apartment with my son, separated from my wife and daughter and the home I had been in for over 10 years. In January, the Chippewa Valley Challenge kicked off its second year and we more than doubled the number of Participants from 2012 with 535 registrations.
During this time, I was training for competition season in both the bodybuilding and physique categories. The stress did take a toll on me mentally, physically and emotionally. In March, I competed in the Fox Cities Showdown and did not place very well. I was way too lean. Two weeks later, after a change in coaches and a different outlook, I took on three different categories and took home one 1st Place trophy in the Couples category with Jen, and two 2nd Places trophies, one in Masters’ Physique and in Masters’ Bodybuilding.
By May 2013, I had moved back into my house with the kids, the Chippewa Valley Challenge was starting to wind down and I was starting to bulk up in size. From April to July I worked on putting on some size. In order to do that, I put on about 30 pounds. When I start cutting that translates into about 12 pounds of lean muscle mass.
June brought even more exciting things in to my life. For a number of months, I had been working with The Biggest Loser RunWalk Race Series (BLRW) in an attempt to bring a race to Eau Claire. My hard work paid off, and at the end of June we had the press conference to announce the BLRW was coming to Eau Claire October 4-5 for a 5k, Half Marathon and a Kids 1 Mile Fun Run.
July was a bittersweet month for me. On July 7, the divorce from my wife of 26+ years was final. It was a very sad time for the kids, as well as myself. It’s something that needed to be done but it was a very stressful time indeed. Then on July 15 we crowned our Chippewa Valley Challenge Campion, Donna Basacker. Donna became our second Champion, losing over 30% of her starting bodyweight during the Challenge. It was a moment of pride for all of us involved with the 2013 Challenge. It’s so wonderful to help people lose weight and change their lifestyle to a healthier way of living.
By September, big changes finally took place at work. The insurance agency I work for acquired a new owner. The months prior were quite stressful, but the deal was finally done. And by this time I had been leaning out and going through what we call “cutting” in preparation for the NPC Northstar in Minnesota where I would be competing in the Over 50 Masters Bodybuilding.
On October 2, I turned 51. Two days later I competed in and took home a trophy at the NPC Northstar. The next week was The Biggest Loser RunWalk here in Eau Claire. After a lot of hard work, a lot of gorilla marketing and a constant blitz on social media, the Eau Claire BLRW became the largest BLRW event in the country! We had over 3,000 runners and another 2,000+ in attendance cheering on loved ones. We raised almost $20,000 for one of our local charities and made some new friends and very influential contacts along the way. One more thing came out off of this is that I got an incredible job offer from BLRW, and I accepted.
Since October, life has been NONSTOP! In November, I had the privilege of playing the role of Jafar in the stage production of “Aladdin." Not to mention, I started doing a lot more traveling with BLRW which has its ups and downs. Recently, I closed a MAJOR deal with BLRW and Six Flags Great America, which I’ll share more about later. And this past weekend on December 29, I did something that just a few years ago I would have never dreamed possible. I ran my very first half marathon! Not only did I run it, I did it in 2:11:22, which was 7th in my age class and 113th overall out of over 500 running the half. Considering that I have never ran more than a 4-mile race before or more than 6 miles at one time on a treadmill last week, I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment.
So as 2013 comes to a close, I have to say that it has possibly been the greatest year of my life! I sometimes feel like I am the luckiest man on earth. I have my health back, two wonderful children, a couple of great jobs including a new, very exciting career and to top it all off, I have the love of a very special woman. Life is good!
So what’s in store for 2014?
The Chippewa Valley Challenge kicks off in just a handful or days on January 6. This year we are shooting for more than 1,000 Participants, plus we are giving away a lease on a new 2014 Ford Focus to our Challenge Champion.
A new competition season starts in March, so cutting starts today, January 1!
BLRW events start in February, so I have lots of travel ahead! And not to mention, my daughter's Show Choir season begins shortly, which has us traveling all around Wisconsin and Minnesota.
This is just the next 3 months! :)
I really do love being busy and staying active. Like I always say, “If you can’t overdue it, why do it at all!”
Have a great New Year everyone! Let’s make 2014 a year to "Focus on a Healthier You!"