As I’ve gone on with this project I’ve struggled with the idea of the November Open being the end of something that has had a huge impact on my life.
There’s no doubt that the 4:30 a.m. practice times can wear me down, and this likely won’t be something I do every day for forever, but to think about not doing it any more is something that’s rough on me. It’s become a part of who I am in these last two and a half months.
I’ve thought about why it’s so tough to think about “retiring” as Jeff King put it today, in passing, during a talk about the Open. Today, though, when I hit the 179 pound mark I think it put it all into perspective.
I had fallen so far out of shape. I mean, 193 pounds, 17.7 percent body fat. That says it all right there. And through this entire journey as I’ve dropped weight I’ve had people tell me how different I look, how much better I look.
It’s a weird thing because on one hand you wonder to yourself: “Dang, how fat was I?” On the other hand it’s a recognition and a reward for all the work that’s been put in.
Yesterday I went to work at the Redskins game and stopped by my girlfriend’s tailgate on my way in. A couple of friends were grilling out and one of them told me he didn’t even recognize me as I walked up.
“You looked like a normal guy before but now man I didn’t even realize that was you,” he said.
There’s not really another way to respond to that but to say thanks, but compliments like these help me realize how much this swimming journey has helped me.
Today I weighed in at 179 pounds. That’s 14 pounds lighter than I was 78 days ago. I haven’t been in the 170s probably since my freshman year in college. When I looked down at the scale, I couldn’t believe that it read that number. I also dropped another inch on my waistline.
I came into this whole thing hoping to get down to about 176 pounds. Realistically, I thought I’d hit 180 and level off. So to get to 179 is a big deal for me. Not only am I only three pounds away from a very lofty goal, but I got under that 180 pound mark — which I wasn’t sure if I’d ever do.
Hitting the mark made me stop to think about what swimming has done for me. I’ve gotten back to who I felt like I really am. I am in the shape I want to be in. I just don’t want to lose it.
So, no matter if I don’t go to the Curl-Burke workouts at 4:30 a.m. every day, I know I have to stay in the pool. And I feel like I will definitely try to head out to some of Jeff’s practices from time to time. I’m getting ahead of myself here, but the point is that I’m so grateful to Jeff for all he’s done to help me get back to this point.
I actually headed over to Gold’s Gym this afternoon to get my body fat percentage after and ended up going up to 14 percent. That’s disappointing but there could be explanations: First, I had already eaten a couple meals and consumed some water. The water is a major factor, according to the trainer at the gym. Also, I might’ve just gone up in body fat. Who knows? I usually do my body fat early in the morning and not in the afternoon and that might also be a factor. I hope to see a big drop next week that shows that the 14.0 number was a fluke.
Now, about this morning’s practice. After a warm up we were faced with a choice of either 20 100s or a straight 30 minute swim.
I opted for the former and tried to push myself through the whole workout. Was it fundamentally perfect throughout? No. The point was to make it through the whole thing, though, without stopping and staying on the intervals and after practice Jeff told me as much.
I definitely feel that I’ve come a long way and now I’m just trying to push myself to that next level. I don’t want to stop improving.
After practice I worked off the blocks for about five minutes and it’s something I definitely want to try to do every day to ready myself for the Open. Someone commented on here that it should help my 50 time and I agree. The more I work on the breakout the better I should get and the faster I should get.
But all-in-all, with the weigh-in and the strong workout this morning it’s been a pretty darn good Monday. Hopefully it sets the tone for the rest of the week.
July 20: Weight- 193, Waistline- 36, BMI- 27.6, Body Fat Percentage- 17.7
July 27: Weight- 189, Waistline- 36, BMI- 27.1, Body Fat Percentage- 16.6
Aug. 03: Weight- 185, Waistline- 36, BMI- 26.5, Body Fat Percentage- 15.6
Aug. 10: Weight- 184, Waistline- 36, BMI- 26.4, Body Fat Percentage- N/A
Aug. 17: Weight- 186, Waistline- 35, BMI- 26.7, Body Fat Percentage- 14.5
Aug. 24: Weight- 185, Waistline- 35, BMI- 26.5, Body Fat Percentage- N/A
Aug. 31: Weight- 184, Waistline- 34, BMI- 26.4, Body Fat Percentage- N/A
Sept. 8: Weight- 184, Waistline- 34, BMI- 26.4, Body Fat Percentage- N/A
Sept. 15: Weight- 181, Waistline- 34, BMI- 26.0, Body Fat Percentage- 13.1
Sept. 21: Weight- 181, Waistline- 34, BMI- 26.0, Body Fat Percentage- N/A
Sept. 28: Weight- 180, Waistline- 34, BMI- 25.8, Body Fat Percentage- N/A
Oct. 5: Weight- 179, Waistline- 33, BMI- 25.7, Body Fat Percentage- 14.0
Washington Post reporter Paul Tenorio will train with a swim club over the next few months and chronicle his journey as he attempts to transform from regular guy/sports reporter to competitive swimmer — everything from his waistline to his best times.