As the year progressed I continued to be in agony. It was difficult to walk let alone breathe without pain. I lost my appetite and couldn’t move without shuffling. Remember Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett show? Yes, that was me shuffling along going on the second year. Many x-rays were taken and I saw a few doctors but no one could see what was wrong with me. Until one glorious morning a corpsman that really knew his job sat me down and had me tell him what was going on, from day one until this current appointment.
When we were done he said lets take some x-rays. I told him he was wasting his time but this time we took them in some different positions. On my left side, right, back, and stomach. I had my doubts of what we’d find until we looked at the shots of me laying on my left side with my spine slightly curved.
As a child I was in awe of my father. He was always working. If the sun was up he was working. My earliest memories were when he was awake very early in the morning before he was going to work he would eat toast every morning. I remember smelling the toast in the toaster. It would always wake me up. My father would work Monday through Friday, typically an eight hour a day. On the weekends he’d wake early and wake my siblings so we could help with the weekend chores. He’d make breakfast, usually his famous pancakes. Wow, those pancakes to this date are still my favorite of all time!
My dad in his early years was a weightlifter. His personal best in the bench press was 490! His goal was to hit 500 but that goal just fell short. I remember his biceps being large. Not huge, but large for his size.
My dads stature was why he was able to lift such large amounts of weight. He was a shorter man and his work ethic was amazing!
My father is still living. He’s 82 years young. He continues to work out three days a week. Up until he was around 75 he would work out up to six days a week.
Physical requirements for the Navy are set in stone. Every six months I had to perform a physical requirements test. This test consisted of a sit reach, sit-ups, push-ups and a 1 1/2 mile run. If we were deployed and out to sea the test was waved. If we were in port, we’d do the test. Doing the test took quite awhile to complete. The entire division would go out and complete this test. It wasn’t like boot camp where we performed the test as a company.
We’d all perform the sit reach. This was done by sitting on the ground, our legs out stretched (no bending the knees) and touching our toes.
We’d then either sit-ups or push-ups. We’d perform as many as we could in two minutes.
We would then do the 1 1/2 mile run. Looking back, many would try to squeak out the minimum amount of everything. The run for most was the most difficult part. At least for me that was most difficult.
We had numerous drills on the ship so we were always strong with push-ups and sit-ups. We would run to the drills and casualties but only some would be able to achieve really great running scores.
We were sleep deprived and would work 12-18 hour days so only a few took the time to lift weights on there off time.
As I look back through my story of health It has to start when I joined the Navy in May of 1987. I was 22 years old and in no shape at all. I couldn’t even run a mile! I remember that it was April and I was going into the Navy that next month, so I went outside and started running. I ran for a block and quit in exhaustion. I was scared and thought I’d be out of the Navy that first month. Little did I know is that once in the Navy it was all about team work and we would all succeed as a team.
Once we formed as a company we started marching. We marched everywhere! We marched to our barracks. The chow hall, grinder, swim tests and back to our barracks all the time.
This got us in shape. I remember running for every PT (physical training) test and maybe three other times. Other then those times that was it. My company commander did not like to run at all.
We did thousands of push ups. Thousands of sit ups. It was intense and painful. It seemed like whatever we did wrong we were in the push up position. Then onto sit ups.
Once we successfully graduated boot camp we were on our own for our fitness. There were no set schedules per se for any type of fitness, at least with my rate. In hindsight my rate of damage control man (firefighter) probably needed it more then others.
Sure, there were groups of people that would work out all the time. But it was a choice and not mandatory. I worked out several times off and on through out my years in the Navy but I’d usually take the low road and not do it.
For this I suffered greatly. I was usually exhausted once I finished work. I’m talking, I’d get off work, go home and crash for hours till bedtime then sleep the night away. No wonder my family was upset with me. If I was fit I’d be tired but not to the point of just neglecting my family.
In my later years I became stagnant. From 1996 – 2000, I didn’t work out and my body suffered greatly. I had to have back surgery to replace a herniated disk. I was suffering in pain for years before my surgery.
It was May 2005, I had my back surgery. My disk was replaced and I was recovering. I was out of pain but lost. I felt like I was going no where fast. I was transferred to Norfolk, Va. I hated the memories of Norfolk. My marriage ended there and now I was probably going to be stationed there for quite awhile.
I was in a pretty great job to recover in. I was a Morale Welfare and Recreation Officer. I was in charge of anything related with the morale of my shore command. I loved the job but I was gaining a lot of weight. I wasn’t allowed to work out.
Once I was given permission to work out I did not. I just couldn’t form the habit. I ate like crap and it showed.
I then received the news that I couldn’t reenlist because I couldn’t go back to sea duty when I was supposed to. This was crushing to me. I wanted to try and make Senior Chief but I was fooling myself. I just had so many non completed PRT tests that it would take years to even be considered for advancement. So I retired. I quit.
Next week…………. The story continues.
Well, for those that missed me I’m back! I took an extended break and now I’m returning to continue my current story.
I’m sure you’re asking, “What is Steve’s story now?”
“Where” I’ve been? If you didn’t know I work for the USPS. I’ve worked there since I retired from the US Navy.
“What” have I been doing? I’ve been working there for eight plus years now. I work seven days a week for 28-29 days then try to take the last two days off. Some months I work the entire month. That’s why my last blog suffered. I don’t enjoy my current job. I’m grateful for it but it’s not my passion.
“When” will I be posting my current story? I plan on posting every Thursday.
“How” will this current story be different from the past story? My blog up until now was my story from the past. Starting today my story will be my current story which includes fitness. I’m going to be a fitness and nutrition coach and to do that I’m going to blog about that. The blog going forward will almost be like a weekly diary of my current life. I’ll attempt too be a positive as possible. Working at the USPS is very stressful so that might come out in my story. My passion is to help people and being transparent is what I want to be for you.
“Who” might resonate with this current story? Anyone who wants an insight to my current fitness journey. Like I said above. I will be a fitness and nutrition coach. In order for me to pursue this passion of mine I want to document my story here.
“Will” I ever continue with my past story? Yes, but not in the distant future, I really want to concentrate with my current story. I understand if you delete your name from my e-mail list because this isn’t the story that you’re looking for. This new story is me doing me.