Friday, July 30, 2010


I thought for this week I would let you read the emails that went back and forth between myself and Heather Heather after almost 8 months of working together knows me very well, and what you all need to learn is that there is much more to her and this process than just what we do in the gym 3 days a week. Enjoy-Charles

H, it is safe to say i am at the cross roads of dunk. when we starte i weighed 275 lbs and now i am hovering at 243. and the crappy part is i know exactly why. i haven't changed my diet and i haven't sold out in the gym. i know you are not big on big shiny dudes. But i am heading to San Diego and need some of your patented motivational words in order for us to charge into the final stage of dunk.

why haven't you changed your diet?
why haven't you sold out in the gym?


Wait are you mad at me? Because that seems kind of angry. Now I feel a little nervous about this entire email-post thingy?

not mad at all. "why" is the only question you need to answer first (even though yoda says there is no, it's there is no try - just do). anyway, you need to answer for yourself, not me, why you haven't changed your diet or really committed to the gym. do that.

With out boring you with all of the stories of my unfulfilled potential (at least in my eyes), I don't know if I am capable of selling out, and I am extremely capable of talking myself out of anything. In college I used to wait until the last minute always to finish a paper or study for a test, and after I would hand in said assignment or bomb said test, I always told myself "never again, next time I will be prepared". But I never prepared.

When I got engaged I told myself that I wanted to look good in the wedding photos and our engagement lasted a year. I never did it. I kept telling myself I would start on Monday, this month, etc.

It's the same shit with everything I do. I should be reading every book on screen writing I can get my hands on, or just flat out writing, but I find myself re-reading Pat Conroy or Dan Brown because it is easy and comfortable.

I know what I have to do to succeed. I have to change everything that I am, but I am terrified of trying my hardest and failing, because then what was it about anyways?

what do you determine to be a failure? do you consider not trying a failure? does that seem more safe? where do you think you got the message that it's best just to not try at all to avoid failure?

Don't think anyone ever delivered that message per say, just what if I give everything I have, and nothing happens?

i don't know. what would happen?

I would become the laughing stock of the village (north central phoenix) I already feel that I am getting labeled as the guy with "good ideas who can't back it up". I guess can you create work ethic if you've never had it. Can you get hungry if you're always fed?

so "people" are just waiting for you to fail? "people" were waiting for you to get a bad grade in college so they could laugh at you? "people" were waiting for you to not lose weight for your wedding so they could laugh at you? try again.

OK, I get it, I am not that important that "People" will relish in my perceived failures or incompetence in the class room, but how do you become un-lazy?

you make a change because you want things to be different more than you want them to be the same.

why aren't the things that you say you want very important to you?

They are H, I am just not a hard worker and I need to learn to be. I feel as though I am really starting to sound like a whiny bitch, so let's do this. I am leaving for Mission Beach this Saturday. You come up with a work out regime and I will tape a flip video of me doing the workout and submit to the Dunk site. I am going to draw my line in the sand. We have until November to do this, and I have to do it. Can't spend the rest of my life as nothing but an idea guy, action is action.

you didn't answer my question (which had a typo ):

why aren't the things that you say you want NOT very important to you?

They are very important to me, I am, I don't know a better way to say it, it's just I am not a hard worker, never have been, but would like to be. I feel that I have the motivation in Abby and the kids, I am just having a hard time manning up.

i think that using abby and the kids as motivation is helpful but you're inevitably going to have to do it for yourself. you have to think that you are worth making the changes. you need to look at why you haven't thought that so far. you also don't want to put yourself in a position of doing it all for them, end up not doing it then you feel like a bigger failure because you let them and yourself down. i think that it still comes back to making a commitment to the action part of your plan. you know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. all of the psycho b.s. reasons for inaction can't get you off your butt. at some point, you just have to do it. like it or lump it....just do it (such a catchy slogan). you have to commit, reconfigure and recommit on a regular basis.

i think the answer is that there is no easy answer.

change takes introspection, preparation and action. every day try to make as many good decisions for yourself. take the time to ask yourself why you continue to make decisions the derail you from your goal. quit dwelling on the mistakes and focus on the accomplishments. you are light years away from where you started physically. you have encouraged people to support you and they do. you got converse to give you free schwag and esquire to look at your writing. quit bellyaching about what you haven't done and just do more of what you know you should be doing.

peace out, homeskillet.

Later Skater.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Almost Dead in Flagstaff

I can’t breathe. Abby, the twins and I are in Flagstaff for the 4th, at my parents cabin, and it’s midnight on Saturday the 3rd. I wake up and cannot catch my breath. Abby assures me I am ok and not to wake the twins, so I down a couple Tylenol and go back to bed, taking very short breaths.

I get up at 5am with Abby, Chloe and Kohen and I still can’t take a full deep breath without coughing. We go for our morning walk and I am dripping sweat, which is not normal because it is 55 degrees outside. I have been hitting the gym hard recently, so I know for sure I am in good enough shape to walk. Abby thinks I am faking it, but in all fairness to Abby, I am a hypochondriac who constantly thinks he is about to die or has Motoba (damn that monkey from Outbreak). So now I am questioning myself as to what is going on with me.

By 3pm that day, after two failed attempts at napping, I go with my dad to the local fire station to get checked out by the paramedics. Of course when I say I can’t breathe, they interpret this as “Chest Pain”. While I do my best to assure them that I am not having a heart attack, they already have me packed into the ambulance on the way to the ER. On the way there, they notice that I am not getting enough O2 throughout my body. A normal person has 99% O2 and I am registering 79% to 80% O2. This is not good.

After they wheel me into the trauma center (I am sure some resident doc is hoping they get to crack my chest open and massage my heart back to life manually) I get a message from Heather. I am thinking, perfect…

No blog from Charles last week. I made an executive decision to publicize my pep talk to Charles. I do enjoy executive decisions.

I seem to say the same things all of the time regarding caring for yourself. People do not want to hear these same things (especially my children). There are two things that are a must to take good care of yourself: workout planning and meal planning. When you find yourself off-track and far away from your goals, go back to those two basics. Fitness and good health are not an accident. They are a result of pain-in-the-ass planning.

1. Schedule your workouts. Use Outlook, iCalendar or old school calendar with kittens of the month. Whatever works for you but write down when you plan on working out. I think it’s best to buffer with one more workout than your goal. If you’d be stoked with five, schedule six. Hit it harder at the beginning of the week because clearly, you’re going to run out of time at some point. Blowing off Monday, sets a tone for the whole next week. Just make it happen. I bet you’ll be tired, maybe hungover, feeling fat from eating too much over the weekend but I know that you’ll feel much better that you took a positive step to start out your week. No sense in carrying that crappy feeling into Tuesday.

2. Grasshopper Spannagel seems to resist meal planning the most. Seems nerdy and also another pain in the butt. It is. So what? After working all day, wrangling the kids, starting laundry and praying for bedtime, this is not the time to be parked in front of the fridge, staring down the nothingness or texting your spouse to bring something home for dinner. You can write meals on the kitten calendar on Saturday and shop on Sunday. If you’re feeling a little nutty, you can make some meals on Sunday that freeze so you just have to heat up during the week. Whoa.

Two things to put into motion. Two things that make you accountable to yourself. That’s not so bad. This will help you overcome the everyday “shiny balls” that distract you. As someone who can be a bit ADD and distracted by shiny balls that float my way (Hi Facebook and!), it takes some discipline and planning to dodge those balls (sorry). Do not schedule things during your workout time. Do not entertain other options during your workout time. Go workout. I promise you that there will always be many other things to do during that time. They might be more fun, too. Might not. It might involve working. Might involve cocktails or sleeping, two of my favorite things. Just doing it beats kicking yourself later when you realized you only managed two workouts during the week.

I totally get the setback. I have worked in a gym for twenty years. My weight has fluctuated with my level of dedication. I do not bound out of bed with the 1992 aerobics instructor’s woohoos. In the past couple of months, I have moved my home, taken care of my sons, survived baseball and t-ball seasons, tended to business matters, fired and hired employees, decided to upgrade and move the studio and taken care of my boyfriend after brain surgery. On most days, the last thing I want to do is workout. I would prefer rocking in the fetal position on a few days. Quite frankly, my workouts have sucked because I have chosen to juggle too many shiny balls and not schedule my workouts. Guess who feels crappier for it?

I am off to Safeway to fill my fridge and cabinets with healthy options for this week. One positive step. Tonight I will sit down with my calendar and schedule my workouts. Two positive steps. That’s all I’ll ask of myself today. Two things.

I read this as the doctors rule out any kind of cardiac problem, and I am again reminded that DUNK is not just about me. I made a promise to our readers and my sponsors (see Converse and Doclopedia) that I would post more blogs, more pictures, more videos and I haven’t done it because I keep telling everyone how busy I am.

When I re-read Heather’s pep talk I realize she is absolutely right. It’s as hard as and as simple as planning and execution. My weight loss isn’t where it needs to be because I am not dieting appropriately. DUNK is about changing your life for the better, metaphorically getting above the rim, and literally as well. I wouldn’t have titled this bad boy DUNK if I didn’t think I could do it.

After 10 hours in the emergency department, it turns out I have “A-Typical Pneumonia” which is a relief from “Blood Clots” in my lungs which they were throwing around for awhile. What this means for Heather and I is that I get to focus on 10 days of dieting because I am not allowed to workout.

So, let’s see if I can lose any weight with diet only for the next ten d