Monday, December 26, 2016

Astros County Fitness Challenge

If you're like me, you look like someone stuffed 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5-pound sack. When I graduated from college, I weighed 305 pounds. Within nine months, I was down to 203. How? I had two jobs, not enough money between them, and running/working out helped me keep my mind off of how hungry I was. I also quit drinking. I was in a long-distance relationship with the Now Mrs. Astros County, and I wanted to impress her whenever we got a chance to see each other.

I moved back to Abilene, and we were so happy that I quit running and started eating things like "appetizers" and "desserts." I was back up to 270 before I knew it, and since than I've fluctuated like Oprah.

I'm 221 pounds now, and would like to see the number on the scale start with a 1 for the first time since, like, 5th grade. I'm going to try to get back in shape, regardless, and I figured we can use a little extra motivation or perhaps some cutthroat competition in the form of accountability.

So today I'm introducing the Astros County Fitness Challenge. Anyone can sign up - 23 people are already confirmed as participating (UPDATE: 31 confirmed), with more on the way as soon as they send me details. Just send me a message on Twitter (@ me and complain that I'm not following you, if necessary) or email astroscounty at gmail dot com with:

1. How you want your name to show up on the sheet. Yes, women are participating. Yes, people are using pseudonyms. No, I won't be able to remember which pseudonym is yours.
2. Give me your weight today (or whenever you want to start).
3. Give me your target weight goal.
4. Periodically send me updates, and I'll take care of the rest.

I'll give you the link to a Google Doc with everyone who is participating so you can check your progress against everyone else.

There will be four stages of this: The first stage runs from today, or whenever you start, until pitchers & catchers report. Stage Two is the duration of Spring Training. Stage Three is from Opening Day until the All-Star Break. Stage Four is from the All-Star Break until the end of the regular season. The Astros' World Series Run will be a nice finish line for us to treat our bodies like $10 hookers before we potentially start it back up.

I'd like to offer prizes for the end of each stage for the person who loses the highest percentage of their body weight. I've got some ideas in mind, but if you have any ideas, or hook-ups, or would like to provide a prize, please let me know. I'm not going to ask you for pictures, or for verification, because honestly if you cheat on this then it's between you and God.

Ultimately, this isn't really about the Astros. It's about being a healthier person for my wife and daughter, and since we're a community as it is, it could be a lot of fun. Or it could suck - but it least we'll all hate it together. Let the games begin!

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