Monday, August 31, 2009

1. From Julie & Julia to P90X--my next birthday present to myself . . .

If you've seen the movie, maybe you already see the connection. Julie decides to commit herself to a daily challenge for 365 days to see what she's made of--she will cook her way recipe-by-recipe through Julia Child's rather daunting French cookbook, and start a blog to chronicle her experience.

The first time I saw Tony Horton's P90X Extreme Fitness System on television was maybe two or three years ago--I'm not sure--but it was being offered on VHS. And I remember how something in me started to stir as I watched--I suspect it was the same something that led me into the Marine Corps for four years at age 18 after a not-so-productive freshman year at Columbia University, NYC.

But now it was a great many years later!--and like Julie, I was feeling the need to jumpstart my life again--and get busy fulfilling some old and deeply cherished dreams.

Anyhow, the P90X program looked like 'way too much for me to take on, so I left it where it was. Then last June, I accidentally captured the latest P90X infomercial on my DVR. So I kept it and watched it two or three times. And I thought, "I haven't used my treadmill and Bowflex much at all in the past several years. Could I actually commit to 90 days as intense as this is and actually get through it?" And there I sat firmly planted on the fence.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when my girlfriend and I saw the aforementioned movie. And as the movie ended, I was thinking about what it might do for my life to commit to some kind of ongoing pursuit like Julie did, and start a blog to record my experience and help keep me on track.

So what could I do?

Uh oh. . . .

Now I was face-to-face with the challenge. I did the math and figured out if I started the P90X program by this week, I would be giving myself a brand new body for my birthday on November 26, Thanksgiving Day this year. Which, as it turns out, will be Day 89 of the program for me, 'cause I started yesterday--Sunday, August 30, 2009.

After coming up a little short on certain parts of the fitness test and taking those grotesque "before" photos--what an unpleasant epiphany that was!--I discovered that, although I've always been very healthy, I am clearly in the worst shape of my entire life.

So this former Marine Sergeant stood in front of the mirror yesterday, made the "X" sign, hollered "Bring It!" and pushed "play." And now as I sit here writing this at the end of Day 2, aching all over and exhausted after struggling through the Plyometrics workout (appropriately nicknamed "The Beast"), I'm feeling happy and grateful for my life--and from somewhere I can hear Frank singing to me, "This could be the start of something big!"

Thank you, Tony....


  1. Hi John, it's great! I am really glad I waited until this evening to look. It was really fresh and new to me. What a great start. You are a wonderful writer.


  2. John,

    It's your young 51 year old pal Tony Horton here. This is fantastic! Can't wait to track your progress. I do not want you to feel pressured by that. Do your best and well, you know the rest. Consistency, Intensity (that will change from day to day) and consistency are the keys to success. Healthy food don't hurt either.

    Bring It!


  3. I just happened to see your comment on Tony's blog and was inspired that you have taken P90X at your age. That is truly awesome! I am much younger and usually sit on the sidelines and watch my husband do P90X because i thought i didn't have the stamina to do it. Well, not anymore!! You have inspired me and I am going to start P90X from tonight!! Keep going and rock on!!