I can distinctly remember it.
Walk backward with me in time to the winter of 2013. Obama was president, the Red Sox had just won the World Series and I was just starting this fitness journey. I didn’t know much what to do, but I knew I wanted to do it.
Hell … I knew I needed to do it.
I’d march up the stairs in my parents’ home to the workout room built by my dad, where a treadmill and Bowflex awaited me. At that point I had no plan or routine established, so I’d end up just messing around. I was finding my way. I’d walk on the treadmill, do some awful pushups, pull some rows (I loved them even then!) and probably a few other exercises.
Even then, in great part due to Pete’s influence, I knew squats were important. But folks, at 378 pounds, squats suck. Why? Let’s go through that.
- Every significant physical motion, including walking, hurts when you are 378 pounds (especially if most of that is, sadly, fat). I oughta know.
- Squats put pressure on muscles, ligaments and fascia that aren’t always used by modern, mostly-sedentary Americans. Which was and still to a degree is me, as I spend most of my day at a desk. In general, that meant pain and a lot of it.
I did as many as I could, and I managed to somehow drop a bunch of weight in my pre-heavy cardio days, but I never developed good form. It’s just really hard to do so.
But that was then. Now? Now, I’m focused on it. Good squat form means you have built a wonderful tool to burn a ton of calories (why? Your legs are full of big muscles!) and move at a much more efficient rate. This is exciting to me, a new path, a new venture. I’m blessed to have a coach willing to tolerate me, too.
For about a month now, as you’ve read about, I’ve been working on this. Sure, I’m trying to build my shoulders and develop my back. Yes, I work hamstrings too. But squats are my focus.
Sometimes my knees ache, but they don’t hurt. That’s a big difference. That had become a mental block for me, but with that going away?
Squat and squat and squat and squat.