The Thoughtful Cave Dad

I don’t have a story. I’m not a State Powerlifting Champion with a New York Times Best Selling book on nutrition. I’m not 60 year-old, former tri-athelete with ripped abs and a hugely successful blog. I didn’t lose 200 pounds to subsequently start an online media empire in order to help thousands of people with their weight issues. I’m not an active duty Marine with an incredible talent for photography and cooking. And my wife and I are not a cute foodie couple (though we think we’re pretty damn cute in our own way!) who love to cook and produce possibly the best cookbooks ever seen.

What I am is a guy in his early 40s with a beautiful wife and two little girls. The three people my world revolves around. I’m a high-tech engineer who got bit by the computer bug fairly early on (I can remember writing programs for a friend’s TRS-80 when I was 12). By day I architect, design, and automate large complex environments with literally thousands of systems interacting with each other. This is my life. My family, and my work.

So what does this have to do with health, nutrition, fitness, or anything else? How does this translate into me writing articles on the web or have an authoritative opinion on any of these? Well, that’s an interesting, long-winded story. Many details of which I’ll leave out for now. The road to fitness and nutrition obsession starts in early 2010, though, looking back over my life, I seem to have had some kind of interest in this area all along.

In January of 2010, just a few months after finding a new job and getting back on our feet, my wife (The Tooz, long story, don’t ask) convinced me to join the local health club. I conceded, and, having been a cyclist, figured I’d hit the spin classes in the early mornings before work. This got really boring after about 2 months. Spin, for those who have never suffered such a torture, is the complete antithesis of biking; consisting of everything I got into biking to avoid. Consider for a moment that I’m somewhat of an adrenaline junky who loves the outdoors, isolation, fresh air, sunlight, and speed. Spin is a dark, crowded room, with a deep, rank, sweaty smell, and bad music where you pedal constantly going absolutely nowhere with nothing to see. Ever.

On top of this, I was used to biking about 120 miles or so a week; 15 miles, twice a day, 4+ days/week. Two 45-minute sessions were nowhere near enough for me. I was getting fat, and spin wasn’t cutting it. So I ventured out into the weight room, where, to my surprise, were a bunch of Marines from the local base doing their morning PT. This got me thinking. The best shape of my life was when I was in boot camp and doing nothing but tons of body weight exercises throughout the day. So, that’s what I started doing. I pulled up a corner of floor and went to work 3 or so days a week doing jumping jacks, push ups, sit up, flutter kicks, 4-count body builders and anything else I could think of from back then.

I got stronger, but not leaner. Then one day I saw one of the Marines doing this insane workout swinging this ball of lead then leaping on top of a stack of aerobic steps piled 10 or so high. When he could finally breathe again, I approached and asked him what in the world he was doing. He gasped, “Crossfit…go…to…crossfit…dot…com”.

And so it began. For the next nine months I tortured myself 6 days a week with the main site workouts scaled down to the pathetic levels I was capable of. I got stronger, but not leaner. I still felt and looked flabby. At some point I came across the nutrition forums on the Crossfit Brand-X site and got introduced to The Zone and Paleo, and I have never looked back.

Today, a few years later, I spend several hours a week reading, listening to podcasts and educating myself on fitness, health, and nutrition. I use my ability to research and understand deep, complex, technical information that I have honed from over 20 years in high-tech and apply it to myself and my family to improve our lives.