On July 7th of last year I started working for LA Fitness.

I also figured that this would be a great way to learn how to sell; a life skill which I had never much developed.

And, I figured this would be a great way to both get in shape after having gone far to long to the “Covid Couch.”

Now with respect to the later, before my start I had already been able to reestablish the habit of getting into the club most days (which is to say 5 days or more per week).

However, I wasn’t seeing much in the way of physical results other than being increasingly comfortable swimming my goal of 2o laps each visit.

Once I started, I was challenged to do a program called “75 Hard.”

I’ll speak on that more as we go, but suffice it to say that for 75 days, I was able to will myself to do two 45-minute workouts one of which had to be outside; drink a gallon of water; refrain from drinking any alcohol; read at least 10 pages each day from a self-help book; and oh yes adhere to a diet.

Regarding the diet, I just came up with the idea of “forcing myself” to eat an apple a day.

The apple a day was really easy. And what happens to you when you do something really easy? Generally you slide.

As it turned out, I was told that apples are much too sweet for a diet.

And I do recollect my wife noting that after a fair workout, she would look down and find that she had burned 300 calories which she indicated was about the equivalent of an apple. She found that depressing!

Nevertheless, I figured that there must be something to the saying:  “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”

While all of my LA Fitness colleagues noticed that I was eating an apple for lunch usually with a jerky stick and nuts, there was only one that pointed out that this was counter productive.

Alberto, the eldest trainer we have at our club in Ballard, told me that eating apples was not healthy.

He indicated that I needed to take some vitamins instead and texted me a picture of the ones above.

What did I do? Well, I was several weeks into my 75 hard program and I wasn’t going to give up.

So, I just kept crunching and munching my apple a day until I completed my last day of the 75 Hard challenge.

By this time I had long forgotten his suggestion of taking his recommended vitamins.

It was now the sweet, holiday season. There was snow which I had forced myself to walk through and I was sick – perhaps with COVID – though I came up negative when testing, and so I stopped my exercise and water drinking. And then it all caught up with me …

I had a “bout of gout!”

Now, I am not going to go into details about the pain of gout other to say that assuming childbirth is more painful, it is a surprise that we have any people on this planet at all.

Gout manifested for me as an absolutely miserable, localized pain on the joint below my left toe.

Well, I got it fixed by hobbling as best I could to the doctors office.

But, it didn’t just stop there. No. NO!

I like to interpret these types of events as a “gut punch” from the universe.

Essentially, I feel that I am being told to kick it up a level.

Notably, I didn’t feel that I had made very significant advances on losing weight under the 75-Hard program either.

So, what did I do?

I signed up for training with Alberto.

And in addition to putting me through a much more serious workout and giving me directions as to how to change my diet … Alberto again texted me the picture of the vitamins he had originally prescribed for me to take.

These are the vitamins which you see in the picture above!