Colin Dunlap: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It
I threw up.
Nasty, disgusting, ghastly vomit right there in the parking lot of a North Hills workout facility.
And I did it on back-to-back days. The second day, some of it splashed a bit on the wheel of a car that wasn’t mine.
Oh well, sorry — my bad. The person who owned the car probably never noticed.
I did. And I was too exhausted and frazzled to make an effort to clean it up. I couldn’t catch my breath and felt a tad light-headed.
That was back in July. I weighed 215 pounds, needed to make a change and was tired of just telling myself that I was going to make a change. It was time for action.
I was tired of being tired after just a quick run around the yard chasing my toddler boy/girl twins. I was embarrassed by how my waistline bulged and my shirt size had grown.
So at then-36, I signed up for CrossFit. I showed up and threw up on that first day.
Got in my car, contemplated not coming back as I drove out of the parking lot but came back the second day.
I threw up again after the second workout.
The spewing stopped as my body familiarized with the workouts.
Fast forward to now …
Less than a year later, I weigh 188 pounds. I had to buy different clothes and my diet has changed radically. I guess I should also formally apologize to the person who might or might not have noticed vomit on their left-rear tire back in July.
And I owe the people at a place called R.A.W. Training an enormous debt of appreciation.
Here’s the thing though: These words aren’t so much about them, and not so much about me, either.
This column is about you.
I wanted to sit down and write it today for no particular reason, just on a whim, feeling as if I could, perhaps, force change in someone teetering on a fence of whether or not to make a change.
Listen, this column space is generally reserved for an exploration into topics about the sports world; I use it mostly to relay to you thoughts about the Pirates, Steelers, Penguins or other relevant happenings in such a realm.
Today, we’re going in a different direction. Just because, well, because.
Normally I’m not the motivating type. My standard way of operating is that I do what I do, you do what you do and if our paths converge, I might feel a need to get into your business.
But probably not.
Most times, I just keep it moving and would appreciate if you do the same. It’s just the way I have always carried myself. But as I have undertaken this transformation — I guess it has become noticeable — more than a few people have asked, point blank, about the regimen I’ve assumed to allow this change in my life.
I explain about CrossFit and most nod their head, describe that they have heard of it and enlighten me as to how they might look into it. For many, I know this probably won’t happen — it’s just small talk and an inquiry into what I have been doing.
Here’s the funny thing: I used to be that guy. I used to ask people about things going on in their life, changes they were making and for advice as to how to make them and then, well, never followed through.
But one day it clicked, for a variety of reasons, that talking and inquiring, the thinking about it and pondering it needed to transform into carrying out a plan.
My days now are met with, in part, swinging kettlebells, doing pullups and pushups, running sprints up this God-awful hill, pushing sleds on a turf field, front squats, back squats, thrusters and various other activities instructors put us through that paradoxically are a sort of enjoyable torture.
It’s a crazy thing this enjoyable torture. That’s probably the best way to describe it — enjoyable torture.
This isn’t a column to impress upon you that you have to go out and sign up for CrossFit.
Do whatever you want. Go out and go for a light walk or jog. Change your diet slightly or in whole. Sign up for a demanding routine the way I dove into things headfirst or start really slow.
Do everything or do nothing. It is entirely up to you.
I know something is certain, however: I stepped out of my comfort zone about nine months ago and decided I needed to make wide-sweeping changes to get healthy.
I’m stepping out of a comfort zone the same way right here in this column by trying to give you some unsolicited advice. Go out and put in motion those changes you have only thought about enacting in the past — even if you have to push through throwing up a couple times.
If a guy like me can do it, certainly you can too.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weeknights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.