In my quest to be one of those old guys working from a nearly forgotten airfield out in the middle of nowhere, restoring aircraft thought lost forever to the ravages of time, I have been restoring myself, bring the old crate up to date.
Of course there is school, and degrees are important after a fashion, but the real meat and potatoes education was from flight school, soon from AMT school, and there will be other schools too as I move forward eventually earning some sheepskin. If only one thing were true about aviation it would be that you are never really “out of school”, it’s a lifelong commitment to learning, maybe not in the classroom, but still a lot of learning.
This post is not so much about the continuous pursuit of knowledge in all things aeronautical, no this post is about personal growth, and like the never ending commitment of aviation, personal growth is a lifelong exploration as well.
While preparing for this career path, I committed to making some changes in my life. I am a big guy, always have been always will be, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Over in the sidebar you may notice a Health and Fitness tab and under that tab a box, today that box reads 37 pounds lost. At 323 pounds, I am at my lowest weight in nearly two decades, but there is a long way still to go. Ultimately I am shooting for 200, which by the way would be my lowest weight since elementary school. I wrestled when I was in Jr. High in the 280+ weight class.
A big part of this has been altering my way of thinking. I have had to replace an ill conceived thought process about what “waste” and “saving” are. This old, mental attitude invoked hording and stockpiling impulses making me think that a filled plate or a filled garage was was a good thing. This thought process could have been applied to nearly anything. “If I don’t take it all now, I might not have the chance later” it’s just wrong headed. One step in the process has been learning to let go of perfectly good clothing that just doesn’t fit, too big or too small, it doesn’t matter. With the frequent changes in size, most of my clothes come from a second-hand store these days anyway so even if I rotated my entire wardrobe annually it would be at a pretty low cost and I donate cloths back when they no longer fit.
While I’m on the subject of clothes; anyone who has known me since high school can tell you I very rarely went out without some sort of loose over-shirt, sweater or jacket of some kind. It could have been 120 in the shade and I would most likely have had a jacket on. This was totally a body image thing that I have struggled with my whole life. I am still a big guy and still have those body image moments once in a while. Since the beginning of 2011 when I started this weight loss plan I have been going out in t-shirts, in public, with lots of people around! For most of you this may not sound like a big deal but this was a huge mental shift for me. I am not planning on running around in a speedo any time… well… ever, and I apologize for the image, but being free from the self imposed torment of jackets and flannel during the summer swelter is very liberating.
All of this freedom to go out into the world makes it much easier to get out and exercise which is of course helping shift my body chemistry along with the dietary changes. Lower blood pressure, faster pulse recovery, longer endurance, less pain, no insomnia, no depression, the list of quality-of-life improvements seems to grow longer every day.
With AMT school starting in 51 days (yes, I am counting) I’m looking forward to seeing how this new healthier me does in the study department.
There are always more things to do and ways to improve. In my case, the slow and steady application of change works well and I look forward to a regular cycle of New & Improved editions of me.
Until next time, blue skies and tail winds,