What I’m Riding . . . Summer Check-In


I’m sure I’ve said this before, but a college professor once told me I would never be a successful writer until I laid bare my soul.  I’ll admit I have a hard time doing this; it’s easy to do when I’m splicing myself up into other characters, writing a novel where there’s a piece of me hiding in each person.  But writing about me, letting people see me; difficult to say the least.  So that is why I have included the picture of myself that you see here.  This is what I look like, full bodied.  This is the best I can possibly look–in my opinion–doing my own hair and make-up, buying off the rack, feeling the way I do about myself on the inside.  Most times I would rather eat Fear Factor Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches than trumpet over the Internet that this is what I look like.  This was me on February 10th right before I went downstairs to the hotel ballroom to meet Alex Ovechkin.  I won’t go into the self-abuse of how this was absolutely positively not the way I wanted to look meeting him, or anyone else who has inspired me or whom I have a crush on or anyone I’d like to leave with a lasting impression of me.  But this was the best I could do with what I’d given myself.  What I’ve turned myself into.  I’ll take the blame, I’m over forty, I’m responsible for how I look and feel.  I’ll share with you an exchange I had with Mr. O when our picture was taken together.  He stood on the left side of me, which I quickly changed by jumping on his right side; I have a crooked smile so I always smile for the camera with my head tilted to the right.  I said to him, “Wait, I have to get on my good side.”  He thought this was funny and laughed and said, “Oh, yes, by all means.”  Of course, any side was a good side for me standing next to him.  Anyhow, when I settled into place, I heard him ask, “Better?”  “Much,” I said.  “Thank you.”  “Anytime,” was the reply, we smiled pretty and it was over, I was thanking him for his time and moving on.  There are many things I’ve wanted to say to him if given the chance, very witty things I’ve actually written down to say when the time came, but they were nowhere when I had him in front of me, when I had his attention.  All I could think of was, “How can I not look terrible in this picture?”  The answer:  change.

So here we are, the end of May (three months after I’d promised myself once again in February that I would do something about my weight), beginning of June, Memorial Day, official kick-off of summer.  Since January I’ve done squat to advance myself, physically or professionally (meaning in the writing arena).  If anything, I’ve moved less and barely written at all.  Anything I’ve tried to do to motivate myself thus far this year has failed.  So where am I now?  What am I to do and what makes today worthy of a check-in?  Well let me tell you . . .

In the previous blog I mentioned the show I Used To Be Fat.  There’s a rip-away calendar at the center of each person’s progess that tallies how many days are remaining until they reach their goal deadline.  I tried to do this at the end of February, counting down how many days I had left until traveling to New Orleans; I stared at Day 67 for three weeks.  So I’ve decided this time to incorporate that idea–which I think is a good one–with my own journaling of a progress report, which works more for me.  I’m counting down my progress from today to Labor Day–97 days–in two journals, with pictures taped in to help remind me of what’s important.  I watched Susan Powter’s Ex-Change Motivational video this afternoon.  Susan Powter is my fitness god, the one who helped me lose thirty pounds back in 1995 when I had a bum gallbladder and wanted to look good for The Pianist.  (I actually kept it off, too, until I lost the gallbladder and then my dad and then The Pianist and slipped into my who-gives-a-shit-what-I-look-like mentality.)

So, if I am diligent in my pursuit this time, you will see more blog postings from me, because I will be following my journals and doing what I’m supposed to.  If you don’t, I’m definitely not doing the right thing, so please yell at me (thank you, Jeff Robson, for asking me why I haven’t been writing, it is your asking that made me finally do this, so bless you a million times).

Okay.  Time to get ass-cracking.  P-chah.  (That would be the sound of a whip cracking).


About whatimriding

Born and raised in Philly, I spent several years in Las Vegas, working at the House of Blues and writing about the city. I now reside in Tampa, where I continue to work on novels, scripts and short stories and tearfully await former Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier's return to the bay area.
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2 Responses to What I’m Riding . . . Summer Check-In

  1. Jeff Robson says:

    I now know for sure why we are friends (besides the difference in opinions on clowns). Your writing brought a literal tear to my eye. I am in the I don’t give a shit what I look like mode and I can’t seem to stop. I hate watching the one Austin Powers movie with Fat Bastard.
    “I eat because I’m lonely and I’m lonely because I eat”. I am the poster child for self loathing, yet I don’t “man-up” and do anything about it.
    Thank you for writing. I am glad I made a difference.

    • whatimriding says:

      Thank you for sharing; it sucks when you don’t care about yourself, doesn’t it? Vanity aside (because if it weren’t for trying to impress some man, I’d never bathe, put on make-up, clothes other than stretchies) my mom shared with me a story of a friend’s daughter who died from a heart attack at fifty because she took one too many trips to Burger King. Burger King has always been my “safe” fast food. They do flame broil, right? whoppers are much more healthier than Big Macs, right? So death and pain can be a big motivator in doing the right thing. So can friends, and I thank you for being mine. Also thank you for the Fat Bastard words; comedy and tragedy are best buds, right? Follow along with me, care what you look like because you are quite a handsome dude. I’ll be checking in on you, Robson.

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