Blogs | 11/20/2011 2:49:07 PM | Don Stevens
First of all, it’s easy to remember November 20th. Today is my son’s birthday, his 28th. Happy Birthday Steven!!! That also means it’s the anniversary of the first game broadcast I ever missed for personal reasons.
I certainly never intended to make this blog about me personally, but something happened today that I’m wanting to share with someone. But since there’s no one around, I’ll tell all of you about it.
I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in my weight loss campaign. It was really the Hall-of-Fame weekend in February where it hit me that it was time to do something about my weight. It was a real shock when I went to get a decent suit for the event. I couldn’t believe what size I had grown to. Looking at all the pictures that weekend, I was really disgusted at my appearance. Not only that, but I really didn’t feel very good, physically and mentally.
In May I started back at a workout program - mostly walking. I began to shed a few pounds, but knew it was going to take a long time. On May 31st, I went to my doctor, Dr. Paul Rapoza (Greece). He told me about a food program for weight loss that he’s involved with. It’s called “Take Shape for Life.” That title seemed to be very appropriate. I was quite skeptical, but willing to try anything. He told me if I stuck to the program, I’d lose about a pound a day. So, it was very tough at times, but I did my part and he was absolutely correct. I started shedding about a pound a day. My weight loss has come to a grinding halt since the season started, but still in five months I’m down around 107 pounds. I’ve gone from a 48” to a 40” waist.
But to make a short story long, that’s not what I’m most proud of. When I started walking, it was a couple times around the block and I was done. Each day I kept adding a little more. By August I was up to my present course which is 3 ½ miles. Then that started to get pretty easy. Dr. Rapoza had taken me off all my blood pressure medicine and cut my cholesterol medicine in half. Blood test results continue to improve by leaps and bounds each time. The numbers show that I’m now in the “lowest risk category” for health problems.
Anyway, about four weeks ago, I started trying to run a little. Now, at my speed it’s a jog at best, so I refer to it as going out for my “wog.” Mind you, the only steps I had attempted to run in the past seven or eight years, was when I tried to get back to playing softball summer before last. In the first game, running from 1st to 2nd base, I pulled a hamstring and was done for the season. So it felt very weird, but I kept pushing, finally getting to the point where I was running everything except the uphill parts. I never attempted to run the hills……until today.
I remember back to my days of high school football. It was South High School in Denver in the mid 60s. After football practice, I used to go across the street to Washington Park and run around it, still in full football equipment. That was three miles, so the furthest I had ever run, non-stop, in my life, was three miles. That is…… until today.
It was about half-way through my run today and I was approaching my first hill. It’s about a two-block stretch, with a very steep incline. In my mind, I’m preparing to start walking at the base of the hill, very much wanting to conquer what looks like a mountain. I started to think about the Amerks games the last two days. Even though it was two losses, the team never quit, and in fact, that’s what I’ve been most impressed with this season. So as I’m thinking about ”never quit”, I find myself running up the hill. I approached the crest thinking that I’ll just keep going as far as I can. On my route, there was one more big hill and after that, about four blocks of fairly level ground. I just kept going back to thinking the same thing……how proud I am of this team because they never quit.
As I crested the next hill, which was only about one block long, I began to think it might be possible to complete the course non-stop. I came to a stop light and had to run in place for about 30 seconds. The light changed across the street, a block to my neighborhood, two blocks and I was home.
I MADE IT !!!!!! 3 ½ miles non-stop, the furthest I had ever run non-stop in my life. I basically live my life around professional athletes, so this wouldn’t mean much to them, but to me this is a major, major, major accomplishment and it’s what I am most proud of. I didn’t quit.
Thanks to Dr. Rapoza and my own determination, I’ve come a long way. I think it’s the weight loss that made it possible for me to physically, and especially mentally, reach today’s goal. The weight loss has given me a new confidence. It sort of renews old hopes. Now that my physical appearance has improved, just maybe, if I do good enough at my job, I might be able to convince the Sabres brass to give me a chance, should there be more chances to fill in for R.J.
Anyway, I’m just dreaming and riding a very big “high” today. I didn’t mean to bore you with all of this, but I wanted to shout it to the world……THIS IS A DAY I”LL REMEMBER FOR A LONG TIME !!!!!