T Nation

Older, and Hopefully Stronger

I remember when this sub-forum was created and thinking I was a long way away from being able to post in it. Turns out, my grandfather was right, time does fly the older you get.

This past week I celebrated my 35th birthday. It was a good day of celebrating with my wife and friends, yet there was something gnawing at me, and I knew exactly what it was. My fitness, or lack thereof.

Sure, I have been running a few days a week for the past few years, in addition to some mountain biking and body weight exercises (some kettlebells, too), so while compared to most I am what you’d call decent shape, I knew I was capable of much more.

Back in late 2007, after a year of rigorous training, and two years removed from my first panic attack, I competed in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. Although I didn’t win, just getting back into a competitive environment was such a great feeling. My panic attacks were non-existent and my energy was off the charts. The other day, I looked at some photos from that competition and I cut a pretty imposing figure compared to the other men I competed against. I don’t like to boast about myself like that, but it is true that at that point I was in the best shape of my life.

So, what happened?

Well, injuries sustained during training started to pile up. I broke a toe, had a bad shoulder injury (still bothers me at times) and then, the Gastrointestinal issues started to appear. To this day, I don’t know why, but perhaps a combination of stress and other factors caused me to constantly feel like my stomach was in a vice grip. I had tests done and outside of being diagnosed with ulcers and gastritis, really had no answer for why I was not feeling good.

After several years, I finally stumbled upon the answer. Gluten. My wife’s aunt had experienced similar issues to me and eventually went gluten-free and immediately noticed a change. She encouraged me to do the same, and I did. Wow! Immediately I noticed that the pain was gone and I didn’t feel the need to pop a Tums after a meal.

So, with the nutrition cleared up, that should’ve been my ticket to get my training back on track, right?


As I mentioned, I was running and doing a few other things, but was not lifting weights like I had for 10-plus years.

I could list a bunch of excuses, but there’s no point in that. I realize that in the end, I am responsible for my actions and have to hold myself accountable for the fact that I’ve gained nearly 20 pounds, gone up a size in my shirts and pants and have allowed panic and anxiety to creep their way back into my life.

The good news is that I’m here now and I’m committed to turning all of this around, both mental and physical. If that means I need to go back to therapy and get help dealing with my anxiety and getting off Xanax, then so be it. As of now, I’m back to writing in my journal on a daily basis and working on breathing exercises.

Physically, I’ve secured a gym membership and have started up one of my all-time favorite programs: Chad Waterbury’s Total Body Training.

I’ll continue to run/bike 2x a week in addition to the weight training.

The tools are all in place for me to be successful, it’s up to me to use them.

Welcome to the older side of life.
Sounds like you know what’s needed. Look forward to following your progress.

I remember being ONLY 35. But, the commitment now will make it that much easier, and truly better, at 45.
Continue to post here, please. I’ve found having some sort of ‘accountability’ assists in keeping on track.


[quote]jdsumner wrote:
I remember being ONLY 35. But, the commitment now will make it that much easier, and truly better, at 45.
Continue to post here, please. I’ve found having some sort of ‘accountability’ assists in keeping on track.


I definitely will. I plan on using this as a training/accountability log for myself. I was a regular poster on the boards many moons ago. The site is a lot different from when I was a regular.

As OP mentioned it sounds like you have a good plan in place, now it is just a matter of putting the time in at the gym.

Just got back from the gym. Great workout! Used DeFranco’s Agile 8 to warm-up, then went into some TBT. Today was 3x5 (60 sec. rest)

Squat 165, 165, 165
DB Bench Press 70, 70, 70
Bent-over Rows 135, 135, 135
Standing DB Press 50, 50, 50
DB Curls 50, 50, 50
Triceps Extension 100, 100, 100

Finished with some stretching.

Yesterday I got in a 5-mile run, finishing just over 45 minutes.