Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Saving Scotty Jacobs: Facing Fears, Gaining Perspectives, Accepting Challenges

Martin Harvey Jacobs passed away this very day twenty-five years ago. He was sixty-three years old and my grandfather. The year was 1989 and I was five when it happened. My few memories of him are vivid and I hold them close to my heart. He was frail and his health was fading, but he could still holler with the best of them. Diabetes combined with a lack of motivation and self-control heavily contributed to his poor health. He began to lose his vision. His circulation was so poor that his legs would go numb. I honestly only remember him with a walker or in a wheelchair. Wherever it is he ended up after departing from this earth, I like to think he's been keeping an eye on me.
His family always called him "Sonny", his Navy buddies "Red", but to everyone else he was "Marty". As a younger man he was a big guy who loved eating and making people laugh (Doesn't that sound like another Jacobs we all know?). Really though, like me, he was a glutton. No matter what he was feeling, he would eat. That particular behavior aligned with depression is exactly what got the best of him. I love thinking that him and I had some things in common, but I refuse to have the same outcome.

This picture was too good not to post.
A few days before the New Year I wrote the first installment of "Saving Scotty Jacobs" because it was what I needed to conjure the motivation to get off of my ass. The responses I have received from readers have been incredible. There have been motivating words, confessions of laziness, invitations to workout together and other people sharing their own personal quests for wellness. In light of all the positive response I wanted to share some key components that brought me to my new perspective:

  1. Diabetes scares the shit out of me. My father currently suffers from it and I am always asking questions. Last fall, I spent six weeks staying with my folks. My mother slipped a diabetic cookbook into my designated bathroom, so I could learn more about it on my own personal time. The introduction was like a real life horror movie. It discussed how certain eating habits and lack of exercise contribute to this burden of a disease. The realization was that I was sealing my own fate by choosing to be ignorant. I wrote about my Grandfather before to drive this point home. His was a worse-case-scenario. However my father, uncle and grandmother are now all diabetic. They try harder to live with it than my grandfather did, nonetheless it's something they have to face everyday. This convinced me to be more honest with myself. It was clear that taking a preemptive approach would make me happier.
  2. Motivation is something I've lacked in many of the half-ass pursuits of my life. On the other hand, I love to motivate others to find what makes them happy. I am always willing to listen and stand by them when they face their fears. It brings me genuine joy to help someone overcome an obstacle. Even though I was slow to realize, it finally dawned on me that I needed my own help! It takes believing in yourself to truly overcome any obstacle. That's how I motivate others; I get them to believe in themselves. I had to admit my own downfalls and took the approach of asking all of you to hold me accountable. It built the foundation I needed to get started.
  3. The premise of Brass-Knuckle Love Butter is, "For Those Willing to be Inspired". I started sharing my writing because I was inspired to do so and hoped to inspire others to express themselves. Well, this is something that carries over into all aspects of life. I am inspired to take better care of myself and I hope at least one person that reads this will be inspired to do the same. It really is just that simple for me. Being inspired feels amazing; inspiring others is euphoric. It ranks up there with freaky sex, summertime on the lake, fresh coffee and kind bud.
  4. Sanity. It's easy to get caught up in the perils of today's world. For instance, I don't give a fuck about reality TV and the pitfalls it creates for its so-called "stars". If head injuries are a legitimate crisis in football, then don't give players equipment that makes them use their head in such a way. Get rid of their fucking face-masks already! Problem solved. Skinny jeans for a man do nobody justice. This list of everyday annoyances could go on and on, but it's not worth it. I need a physical release to keep these things from hindering my happiness. There's bullshit everywhere and my energy is better spent on making a better life for myself. 
This will make you feel a whole lot better than an order of onion rings.
I am happy to say that for the last ten days I've been doing great. Kettlebells have changed my life, I love doing them. Also I'm doing some 30-Day-Challenges with a few buddies. We have a little Facebook group to keep each other motivated and share our progress. I have not had any pop in thirteen days. My snacks have consisted of cottage cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt and nuts; not my usual chips, fast-food and candy. It has been a great start to making everyday a better day! My muscles are stronger, my attitude is better, my body is pleased with me and I look forward to the daily challenge.

If it takes doing wheel-barrow races to get you going, then so be it! Let's do some!
That really sums it up, I have needed that daily release. If everyday life was like the show Double Dare, I would most definitely take the physical challenge... EVERY TIME. Seriously, this is a great way to look at it. Double Dare made it fun, so can you!

Scotty J. ~ "Focus on life, not preventing death."

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