The best shape of my life!
A little over 3 years ago my wife learned she was pregnant. Faced with becoming a father, I realized that I needed to make some changes. I was pushing that line between overweight and obese. I had used an old injury as an excuse to not run and I hadn't done any kind of calisthenics or other exercising in years, either.
That January, I tried to do a chin-up and could only do one. I couldn't do a second one until I had been trying every day for almost a week. I couldn't do as many push-ups or sit-ups as I had in the past, either. When I started back running, I was slower than I had ever been and my heart rate was very high the whole time, even at a slow pace.
For the past few years, I've been working consistently and have been very pleased with my results. Recently, I did 11 pull-ups in a row, which ties my best total from high school! I also beat my high school record of 65 sit-ups (curl-ups) in 1 minute. Additionally, I can do almost 60 consecutive push-ups!
The running has been the best part, though. I trained for and ran my first marathon in 2012. During the training, I became convinced of the wisdom of running most of miles at an "easy" pace. This has really helped me improve my aerobic fitness. Now, I can run 9:00 minute miles with a heart rate under 70% of max and not get out of breath at all. Less than a year ago, that would have been my top speed for any distance over 3 miles. This year, I ran over 1000 miles in a calendar year for the first time ever! Compare that to less than 100 in 2009 and less than 50 in 2008.
Now, at 35, I'm in the best shape of my life! I'm stronger, faster and more fit than I've ever been. I also feel better about how I look than I have since I was a kid, having lost about 50 pounds. I've learned that the most important thing is consistency and patience. I haven't always seen results as quickly as I would like, but when I look back at how far I've come, I know that if I keep working, I'll keep getting better.