2009= Failure

The above picture is the only picture I took at the Polar Rhino Ride, about 10 minutes before the event got underway.  Taken from the back of the riding field as people where still assembling.  The rest of the ride, to be honest, I was too petrified to take my hands off of the bars, except for a few sections of actual roadway the rest of the ride was on a snow covered ice rink kind of conditions.  If you want to see more pics of the event you can look at the Kinetic Systems Facebook page.  Now riding lik this most likely does not appeal to about 99% of people who ride a bike but I assure you if you get the chance take part in a ride like this, do it.  There is comfort and a little bit of fun in mass frostbitten misery. 

I couldn’t help but get lost in my own thoughts on this ride, the first ride of 2010…a new year.  I gladly put 2009 behind me there were events and ramifications of those events in 2009 that will follow me well into 2010 and for the rest of my life for that matter.  2009 will forever be the year that my dad died, the year that changed me in ways I still am trying to come to grips with.  2009 will always be the year I took to the trenches and tried to pull my own health back from the disaster it was….and I almost succeeded.  I say almost because in essence I failed…I let myself down…I failed to reach my goal.  If you look at the top menu tabs of this site you will see the heading “The Goal(s)” goal one was lose 100 pounds in 2009….failed.  I came close and you all know it and I am surprised no one called me out on it.  I have accomplished some things more or less by accident, sure if you lose enough weight your cholesterol usually will come down and sure if you ride enough your cardio will be better than it was when you where a young thin soccer playing high school student.  However, it does not change the fact that as far as goals go I am only batting 500.  I reached one of the goals and came within 10 pounds of the other.  I liken this to reaching the “Hillary Step” on Everest only to turn around and ascend back down to base camp…..its dietary blue balls and it sucks.

 So what now you ask?  I keep going; I keep grinding away through the snow for those last 10 pounds with the bitter taste of failure in my mouth.

20 thoughts on “2009= Failure

  1. Sorry but you can’t win unless you fail sometimes. I got on the scale on Friday and still had the 20 Lbs I had a year ago. So don’t dump on yourself.

    Hitting 500 in the majors would make you a hero (and VERY rich).

    If you could hit all your goals there would be no pride in the goals you do reach.

  2. Failure? You’ve impressed me with your vocabulary these past few months but, apparently “failure” is a word whose meaning is lost on you.

    1. The person that has given up in life. Decides it’s easier to zone out after work (if they work) and have a bag of chips and a 12 pack in front of the T.V..

    2. The excuse maker- never their fault- I woulda shoulda coulda people. They annoy me the most.

    3. The too cool people- They’ll make fun of your lycra and bike shoes, but will never ride with you. Even if it’s 5 miles. No, they’ll have another cup of coffee and cigarette as you pedal past their house Sunday morning and complain to each other
    about their aches and pains while their bikes sit in the garage.

    4. People without any goals or ambitions.

    Sorry Gene, Don’t see you in any of these definitions.

  3. Yup. You failed.

    It appears to me, however, that we all should be aiming for failure … that perhaps the more important thing is to set lofty goals … goals worth attempting … goals fraught with the risk of failure … goals that make the effort worthwhile … goals that keep us from being ‘cold and timid souls.’

    It’s been said by others with a greater grasp of the language than mine, but if you’ve not read it before this seems apropos …

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


    1. Svend,

      I used to compete in Jiu-Jitsu and after a string of losses a fellow came up to me and quoted this word for word. Its a truly magnificent piece. Thank you.

  4. You’ve got to be kidding. You lost 90 pounds. So what if it’s not 100? Are you really telling me that not meeting some artificial goal is a failure?

    Dude, get real. You’ve done more with your life in 2009 than (I’m guessing) for a very long time. You’ve achieved so many really good, positive things.

    I cannot believe you are treating a reduction in cholesterol or an improvement in cardiovascular fitness as “accidents”, things that happened along the way just by happenstance. That stuff didn’t happen by accident. It happened because you worked bloody hard for it! You went out in the snow, rain, cold and heat, not to mention being assaulted by the local wildlife. You did it because you wanted to become healthier, stronger and fitter. And that has happened!

    Now stop being such a baby and get back on your bike for a ride. Stop obsessing about that number. There’s WAY more to what you’ve done than “just” 90 pounds.

    1. MAXXX,

      I dont consider reduction in cholesterol and increase in cardio as accidents….kinda….well actually I do since I was simply aiming to lose a bunch of weight. Hard to explain.

  5. We’ve had this discussion via e-mail talking about the perfection-is-required nature of our respective professions. If you fail at work, someone dies, if I fail at work, someone has a horrible meal (I guess they could die if I really screwed up!). If I screw up 50 meals in an eight hour shift, my day has been catistrophic-even though I’m hitting the mark for the other 950 guests I served. I sense that your general nature is why you can call losing an 8th grader from your body a failure.

    The thing is, although you didn’t hit the number you set for yourself, your effort WAS immensely successful. In terms of healthy weight loss, 1-2 pounds per week is considered the max without serious health risk. March-December equals (roughly) 40 weeks, which means roughly 80 pounds. You’re at 90 off, so your ahead of the curve, and remember, as a professional, I know about these things.

    We’ve met (digitally) because we both read Fatty’s blog. Now the guy is cool and funny and has inspired thousands to help fight cancer, but was he ever really fat? Not by my yardstick (253 this morning) and not by your old yardstick! I see what you’ve achieved and now believe I do it as well.

    Lots of folks admire what you’ve done, Gene, and you have every right to be proud.

    Now, just in case positive feedback isn’t your thing, here’s the other angle..So it’s going to take a little longer to dump the last 10 pounds. Stop whining and go do it.

    1. Funny you should mention the “Ahead of the curve” a certain author of a certain book called me and said the very same thing.

  6. Nope, nope, nope. No one here is going to let this pass Gene. Sorry. Not hitting that goal is most emphatically NOT a failure. You lost 90 freaking pounds. Inspiring? Absolutely. Awesome? You bet. Failure? Not even a little bit. It was a goal, not a guarantee.

    You have added years to your life and maybe someone else’s as well. Am I right in saying you’re better equipped to haul my fat ass out of a fire than you were a year ago? If one of your Firefighters needs to be rescued can you do it more safely now? Bottom line. Are you a better Firefighter now than a year ago? I don’t think there’s any question about it.

    My brother, revel in your victories. You are the very definition of a success.

    You have quite literally changed your life and the lives of your family and everyone you have touched here.

    And that my friend is a WIN!!

  7. OK so I am a blog stalker. However, I feel compelled to weigh in. No pun intended. I began following your blog in September. I stumbled upon it from Fatty’s blog. I love it, one of the first blogs I check everyday.
    At the time I began following I felt that the 100 pounds was an arbitrary number you picked out of the air, not having a lot of thought behind it. So are you really going to beat yourself up for failing to reach a goal you “pulled out of the air”?

    On the other hand, I can relate to your thought process. I too have set goals (maybe unrealistic) that I failed to attain. Others around me applauded my drive and the success I had achieved, but the failure to finish fueled me to continue on. That my friend is what sets you apart. You will use this as motivation to push on and finish it. I am sure you will look back someday and see the 90 pounds for what it is, a true signal of your willingness to completely change your lifestyle and get yourself healthy.

    1. Andy,

      The 100 pounds was far from an arbitrary number the actual goal is 102 which would put me at 198. At 198 I am at my (as near as one can be) best weight. Given I am 6’1 and large build. 102 pounds was a number that was discussed and planned out with a Doctor. Perhaps one day I will look back and think that to lose 90 pounds was indeed a feat of the epic variety but right now I simply cannot, its my nature.

      1. gotcha, and I stand corrected. Either way, I am proud of you. Keep the losses coming, looks like you have 12 more pounds to lose.

  8. Gene, your accomplishments in 2009 were fantastic. The most important one being that you realised the physical conditions you were in and the fact that you were going to do something about it.

    What was that about a long journey and a small step?

    You should be proud of what you accomplished. Keep that in mind.

    Now go and lose the remaining weight! 😉

  9. I simply wanted to add a comment here to say thanks for you very nice ideas. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming therefore I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and carry on You’ll defintely reach your goals! have a great day!

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