My #Roadto40: Trauma on the Treadmill

My nemesis turned friend
My nemesis turned friend

My first small group training session for the 360 Degree Abs program got off to an auspicious start.  I walked into Precision Athletics at exactly 7:27am – 3 minutes before my half an hour class was scheduled to begin.

“Good morning, I’m Clay”, I blurted out to the trainer.

“Nice to meet you, Clay”, Amy answered.  “Have you warmed up yet?”

“Sort of…I ran over here from my office.”  I failed to tell her that my office was only half a block away.

“Go get on the treadmill for a few minutes.”

I walked confidently over to the treadmill ready to show it that there was a new sheriff in town.  Apparently the sheriff didn’t know how to read because I didn’t even know how to turn it on.  It basically looked like a computer with a conveyor belt and handles attached to it.  By the time I figured it out, I only got on for about a minute before being called back.

A tad confusing
A tad confusing

Amy put me through a painful 30 minutes of exercises:  painful for me and my out-of-shape body and painful for her that she had to witness the whole ordeal.  This initial session confirmed what I already knew:  my core is quite weak, my balance is horrible, and my flexibility is close to zero.  Have you EVER seen me sit cross-legged?  Didn’t think so.

After the session, I went back to the treadmill to complete 20 minutes of cardio (as prescribed by the program I’m doing).  Now a treadmill expert, I quickly got up to what I thought was a decent speed.  I was jogging at a quick clip and pretty happy with myself.  That is until I started walking in place and I realized that I could have just gone at a walking pace the entire time.  Sheepishly, I increased the speed until I was actually jogging for real.

The set up of the treadmill area is quite nice.  There are 2 TVs overhead that are always tuned into TSN and Sportsnet – thus I get my fix of hockey highlights.  The windows give view of a nice basketball court and the Cambie Street Bridge in the distance.  A couple of times I caught myself daydreaming a bit while on the treadmill and thus either drifting to one side or coming precariously close to falling off the back edge.

After a quick shower, I walked out of the gym feeling quite good about myself and eager to get back at it.  However, I had to wait a week as I traveled to Saskatoon the next day for a national youth ministry conference.

I returned to the gym exactly a week later on a Monday.  Katie, another trainer, did some measurements for me including my weight, stomach, and waist.  All of the numbers looked too high, but they gave me an accurate starting point and point of comparison for down the road.  Two days later on the Wednesday, I started the 21-day Fat Flash.

As I outlined in my previous blog, I committed to not consuming the following for 21 days:


-Processed Sugar


-White flour

-Processed dairy

-Grains (Breads, cereals, pasta or rice)


-Packaged goods

The first couple of days I had a slight headache…likely from the absence of caffeine –namely pop.  But within a few days, a weird thing happened.  My appetite got smaller and I found that I was less inclined to snack throughout the day and worse late at night.  The small group training sessions every second day certainly helped, and for the first time in forever I went to bed before 11:30pm on two consecutive nights.

I quickly improved in many of the exercises and I started to learn some of the terminology.  Now I know that “Dead Bugs” aren’t just what I find in my garage and that “SB” stands for “stability ball” and not “small bladder”.

My first workout
My first workout

The 20-minute treadmill time is one of my favourite parts of the day.  Not only can I catch up on the previous night’s NHL action, but I can pray a complete rosary while on there.  Combining both, I’ve been praying for the Canucks a lot recently.

As for the meals, they haven’t been that bad at all.  Gail has been absolutely amazing from a shopping and cooking perspective.  She’s been my biggest supporter and cheerleader over the past 2 weeks and I can’t really complain when she’s making delicious meals like this salmon dish:

Gail's delicious salmon creation
Gail’s delicious salmon creation

Believe or not, I haven’t had any cravings for pop or junk food.  I feel more energetic throughout the day and sharper both physically and mentally.  While I’ve done a good job with the exercise and diet parts of the program, I still struggle with getting enough sleep.  It’s challenging with family, ministry, meetings, blogging, and Canucks games but I still need to try to do better.

I’ve finished 2 of the 3 weeks of the Fat Flush program and I’ve lost 10 pounds.  My watch is loose on my wrist, my wedding ring is loose on my finger (I better be careful), and I’ve moved to the next notch on my belt.  It’s a wonderful feeling when people come up to me and tell me – unprompted – that I look good or that they can tell I’ve lost weight.  It inspires me to keep pressing on.

With the unexpected success of our Seattle Seahawks music video that went viral, I ended up doing a couple of TV interviews and on the front page of the Richmond Review in a massive picture.  On both TV and in the paper, I look better than I did even a month ago.  Although if I knew better, I would have started my #Roadto40 six months ago!

We made the cover!
We made the cover!

I appreciate all of the time and energy that Precision Athletics trainers Craig, Katie, Teri-Lynn, and Amy have invested in me.  I’m very grateful for family members and friends for affirming me, encouraging me, and checking in on me.

I’m even thankful for a good friend who went to McDonald’s and posted a picture on my Facebook wall of himself eating a Filet-O-Fish and poutine with the simple caption “Thinking of you.”

Or another good friend who upon seeing me said, “I can tell you’ve lost weight:  your face looks a lot skinnier but your stomach is still big.”

I know that I’ll be able to get through the final week of my Fat Flush.  But the proof in the pudding (poor choice of words, I know) will be if I’m able to maintain this healthier lifestyle moving ahead.

At least I now know how to work a treadmill.

One thought on “My #Roadto40: Trauma on the Treadmill”

  1. Wow Clay your friends sound so encouraging “your face looks skinnier but your stomach is still really big” LOL you will have the last laugh when you are ripped for 40. Keep up the great work.

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