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January 11th, 2002

Running, Jumping, and Punching

I'm in a running, jumping, punching sort of mood ... which is tough. There are no ancient, monster-infested ruins around here to plunder.

When I was roughly 10 years old, there was a TV special on the making of Raiders of the Lost Ark -- and I was instantly in love. At the time, I became convinced I wanted to be in the movies, so I could be an action adventure star.

Only problem was, I was obese. I spent the next several years trying unsuccessfully to lose weight through several start-again-stop-again things ... aerobics, martial arts, tap dancing, weight lifting, etc. None of them worked, but then, none of them lasted more than a few weeks.

I won't speculate on why they didn't work; I have a few theories. But by the time I graduated high school, it was clear that my chances of becoming a hunk in time to get an acting career off the ground were close to nil.

Mind you, I was offered a scholarship to NYU based on my acting ability -- that wasn't the problem. The problem was that I was doomed to a life of character roles and supporting parts -- I wanted to be the leading man! So I turned my back on acting, and went into writing and illustration, instead.

Fast forward to 1999 ... I am heavier than ever, having reached 313 pounds. I am quite round, my health is deteriorating rapidly, and I am just plain not happy. I have short hair, no facial hair at all, and I look distressingly like John Goodman.

No offense, Johnny, but that's not where my self-image wants me to be.

So I started jogging in the mornings, lifting weights, and chopping out large chunks of bad stuff from my eating habits ... and in a matter of months, I dropped from 313 to 270. I lost two pants sizes, dropped from 3x to 2x in shirts, grew a beard, and let my hair grow out again.

Since then, I've hovered around 260 - 270, and have been sorta stuck here. I'm still 40 - 50 pounds heavier than I'd like to be, but at least I can wear jeans without looking like a stuffed sausage, for the first time in my life.

I wonder now, if it's too late for me to become an action-adventure hero. ;) And I also wonder how the heck I'd go about getting there!

-The Gneech

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