MANDIRIGMA on a OVERCOME to the MAX's Journal

Updated NUT-shell 2014-15

December 03, 2014 10:55pm

Just in case you don't know me my name is Duane!

Like a good percentage of you I too was looking forward to giving the Maxformation one last good run, the 4th quarter of the big game. Been on the bench and cheerleader in 2013, water boy in 2014... 2015 was the year to put back on my gear and give my family reason to cheer.

Because in 2012 I seen my potential, didn't live up to it but scratched the surface, got noticed a little, learned a lot (and continue to seek out more ways to improve). I did OK in 2012. Had a couple 15 seconds spans of notoriety instead of just being notorious!

Then a few weeks before the typically December 1st start date I was hearing rumors there would be no MFLC 2015. Ended up be truth and not rumors. My first thought “what about all those folks out there that may have been on the fence past years, wanting to step up and take their health back? The ones who watched lives change and finally thought “2015 will be my year!” Some need that 25K carrot waving in the distance to motivate them, but the true prize is your health, there's a good reason it rhymes with wealth. HEALTH is WEALTH!!!

I feel I'm unique in a few ways and can relate to a wide spectrum of aspiring transformations in the making. Growing up I was smallish and skinny. Hard gainer that wanted to be big, learned it can't be forced for great results. From a hard loser once I reached a point of obesity, I mean I'm only about 5' 9 and a half inches on a good day! I've been on a roller coaster for the past almost 23 years.

I weighed maybe 155-160 graduating high school, built myself up to around 175 my first year of college. Had a vision in my mind “I really want to weigh 200 pounds!” reached that in the next year or two through supplementation and over eating. Eventually my metabolism slowed down and through poor strategy nutrition wise and power lifting I shot up to around 255! Sure I had a lot of muscle and I was the strongest I'd ever been but there was also a lot of fluffy weight. I'm guessing for every pound of lean mass I put on maybe 3-5 of fat poundage.

I was training in boxing gyms throughout the bi-state (Iowa and Illinois) area from 91-98, little amateur competition and ring time sparring with local professionals. Had dreams of being a professional heavyweight but I was not meant to be a heavyweight. In 1998 an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) gym (before it was named MMA, we called it shoot boxing, NHB or no holds barred, vale tudo, Ultimate fighting) opened up in March in my neighborhood. I thought of convenience and it would be good to learn some chokes to help with my weekend bouncing job. 3 months later in late June I was in an 8 man tournament in a weight class limit 220. I had to cut down to that. Like the weight I packed on wrong I cut the weight wrong but made weight. I fought 3 times in one day and lost a decision in the finals to a guy with more experience than me.

After this first competition in August I faced the worst day of my first 25 years on this earth. I lost my brother to an automobile accident, he was my only sibling and my most trusted confidant, my best friend. So this was the start to a long dark period of my life. Always looked to my brother for that LiFT, you know? Never felt so all alone in my life, even when I was in a crowd of people. This one person that was there, had my back and was suppose to be here through all the bad stuff, after 21 years of having that voice telling me “believe”, it was gone in an instant.

I continued training to fight but never really reached my potential. I lost the fight in me and replaced it with a self loathing soul just doing enough to get by. If I was fighting in a match and I didn't score a KO standing and it went to the ground I'd find a way to quit like a coward. I seeked that standing KO gratification, wanted no part of grinding out a win on the ground. Left a lot of regrets on them mats inside cages and between them ropes. Parts of me still have holes that need filled.

Somehow maintained my job floating through my personal life, my job life kept intact. Drank and ate my sorrows away, or more like drowned them. I had bar tabs I would pay off each Wednesday, pay day, and start running up new ones for the next week. At times all that pent up emotion would find its way to boil to the surface and erupt at the worst times. No excuses, lots of regrets, loss of love and respect for myself, nobody else regardless of how low they could think of me could match how I felt about self.

So being overweight, low self esteem, emotional baggage and zero game it was really hard for me to meet people let alone find a girlfriend. Was not the greatest at “breakin the ice”. Did some online dating since face to face I never had the right things to say and didn't look good enough (in my own self assessment) to keep an audience long enough to get to know the real me. People who already knew me were friends and I was just the funny teddy bear to the girls, but behind the jokes and laughing was an angry, depressed beast... Finally in 2004 met my wife, married 2006, had first mini me in 2010 and second mini in January 2014.

I'm sure I'll get more into facets of my continuing Quest to be my best but feeling like I'm getting a bit long winded like I been accused of. But that's one thing that morphed in me, better face to face communicator. But in all serious sense of this QUEST or fitness journey we are on, I find myself at a health crossroads. Been a couple intersections and warning signs in my past, I'm sure I'll get to them in another long winded rambling. But this time, it's not so much as a “I want to get back in shape” or “I think I need to get ready for the beach.” its getting to the point of “I NEED to get my health back! My boys need their daddy!” Failure is not an option. Let's WIN our health back fit-siblings! HEALTH is the grand prize! Thanks for listening.

Sign in to leave a comment