I’ll set the scene first: it was a dark stormy night… well no it wasn’t but it would be more interesting. My story begins in March of 2012, when I found myself a very fat man! How fat? NO CLUE. I did not own a scale that I could weigh myself on, and when I got weighed at the doctor they didn’t even bother to tell me. I do know that I was close to 450 pounds, and I knew that something needed to change.
Now I said that it started in March, but really March was an end and a beginning. For months I had found myself often sleeping in my basement man cave because it was too much work to climb the stairs to get up to the main level and then climb another flight to get to the bedrooms. My marriage was getting rocky, as a stay at home dad to a one year old things were not going well. I would fall asleep often, and found myself to tired to play with him.
Something needed to change! I saw two possible futures: first, and most likely, I would end up like my mother did – 800 pounds and dead. This one gave me nightmares, I would be sitting stuck in a bed and my wife would be handing me my son to hold before I died. The second option was to just pretend that the first one wouldn’t actually happen! As you can imagine, both options looked bleak. DFF, or death from fat, seemed to await me no matter what I did.
It happened though – one day a little idea trickled into my brain. I still do not know where it came from, perhaps G/D? Maybe it was my brain fighting back from the comatose state that the fat was putting me in? No matter how it happened, it happened. I started googgling an idea, an idea I didn’t want to tell ANYONE about, maybe out of fear of rejection/shame or simply people telling me how dumb of an idea it was.
I bet some of you are asking what this idea was, are you not? Should I tell you yet or make you wait? Hmmm….cycling! Yes the #450 pound man wanted to sit on a stick suspended on two little wheels and a bit of vacuum cleaner tubing, and propel himself down the road. Could it work? Could someone my size actually bike without getting killed by flying shrapnel that was once a bicycle?
The answer came from a wonderful tool, the internet. After reading many forums and posts about people wanting to bike at “Clydesdale” size (200+ lbs), I found this story. This story changed my life – if this guy could do it then surely so could I! This guy talked about how the bikes were breaking on him and he bought a custom bike to hold him. No problem, how expensive can a bike be? Wooooah, I was wrong! Thousands of dollars, I did not have, not even close to having. So I threw the idea away, and settled into what I knew deep down may very well be the final years of my life.
A few months go by and I find myself getting chest pains. I ignore them but prepare myself for the fact I may have little time left in this world. I even start to reconsider suicide. An easy way out of it all without the wondering or waiting.
So what changed? What took me from that point of considering death to fighting for life? I made the first step, I told my wife I wanted to go to the bike store and “just look” around. I met the sales clerk, a young skinny guy, I knew deep down he was laughing at me, mocking the fat man who waddled in to his store. NOPE! He was very helpful, I never felt judged in the least, in fact I felt like he really cared. He showed me some options that would work for me, double walled rims, high spoke count, hybrid style without shocks. I was waiting for the sticker shock to hit, 1k? 2K? Under $700! What? This can’t be, I need a custom bike or I will crush it like the ultimate fat joke that my life was. I go home and talk with my wife, she points out the fact that 1. I don’t have the money, and 2. I will buy and in two weeks it will be sitting in the garage to rust.
However, and this is important, I did NOT give up. I sold my favorite lens, my nikon 60 2.8G, I loved that lens and still miss it! I knew it had to be my favorite lens, it had to be personal, it had to be meaningful, it had to hurt. Secondly, I wrote out a contract with my wife with consequences if I didn’t ride. 3 days a week, 15min each ride. I ordered the bike and my journey of my new life started.
The Big Boned Biker was born! Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of my life, I took off with new vim and vigor! Within 4 months it was sitting in the garage rusting! Wait…that’s not good. Depression set in and any weight lost was quickly found, along with its buddies! If you want to know about what happened you will have to go to my blog. Www.BigBonedBiker.wordpress.com
My blog started as a simple journal, nothing much to it, but as you will see it has changed. It has become an outlet for my inner thoughts and feelings to take shape. I hope you will consider following it, it helps me to know that I can help others.
Thank you Henry for letting me share some of my story on your blog!