As I get ready for my AT2SM (Arc Trainer to StairMaster) challenge, I think it would be a great time to tell you how it came about for me.

A few years ago I went to a week long seminar for work. I worked for Buca di Beppo at the time, and their home office was in Minneapolis.

The meeting was in February, which meant snow.

I am not a fan of snow.

It meant cold, which meant I bought over $300 in winter clothes from the Casual Male XL (I live in Florida so I never wore those clothes again.)

It meant Caribou coffee, and I am not a fan.

Buca had to buy me two plane tickets because of my size. I was happy they did because it made the plane trip more bearable (Although I do not think they were so thrilled).

Yet, I felt so self conscious on the plane that everyone was looking at me.

The hotel I stayed at was in downtown Minneapolis, and the home office was only a block away.

They said we needed to walk there, which was not a big deal.

Well, I was over 400 pounds. A block away was a big deal. Needing to walk there was a big deal.

I was always late to the home office. I could not keep up.

Plus, when I got there, my face was red, I was sweating and my back hurt. It was also like -76 degrees outside.

They never questioned me about being late, but I was embarrassed.

Then, one night, we did some charity work. It was for a women’s shelter (I do not remember the name).

When we got there, it was an old building. The leader of the charity apologized to us that the elevator was broken, but their office was only three flights of stairs up.

THREE FLIGHTS?!?!!!?!

The other people were irritated but all went up the stairs. I tried as well.

I walked and stopped a lot. What took other people 3-5 minutes to do, I finished in around 30 minutes. I was so out of breath and sweaty that I did not contribute.

When I finally got up the stairs, one of the corporate Buca guys (Former HR director) looked at me and said

“How do you run a restaurant?”

I was so out of shape. I was a heart attack waiting to happen.

I hated my time in Minneapolis. I hated the snow, I hated walking a block every day, and I hated stairs.

The Caribou coffee was not so bad though.

As you know, I have lost weight. I started off slow at the gym and worked my way up. Yet, when I went in the gym, I never liked look at the StairMaster.

There were always thin women or muscular guys on there. I did not feel like I belonged on there.

Especially since I could not climb stairs in the past.

Then I had this idea to challenge Jen. I have always had and will have the utmost respect for her. She has lost 100 pounds and changed her life. But there was another reason I challenged her…….

Jen is from Minneapolis. The same place where I could not climb any stairs.

I am so glad that so many people have committed to working out on 4/20/2010. It is a big step for most.

I have read the comments and have been amazed at the workouts people are doing. How you all are pushing yourselves. Doing things you might not believe you can do.

But before you doubt yourself, remember, two years ago I could not climb 3 flights of stairs.

Now, I will do it for 99 minutes.

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