It’s The Climbing That Makes The Man – Andrew’s September Goals (And August Re-Cap)

As you know, while still recovering from a very serious car accident, I entered August with a new perspective and new goals.

I’m happy to provide a positive report about my goals from last month:

– Run a mile in 10 minutes or less

CHECK. Despite rib pain and some issues taking full breaths due to my injuries, I was able to get down to the 10 minute mark this month and even lower – able to run a mile in the 8-minute range.


– Begin Bench Pressing Again

CHECK. Hey, I’m no competitive lifter or beefcake, but I prided myself in being able to bench twice my body weight at one time. After my wreck, however, I wasn’t able to do any lifting at all for months. In August, I was finally able to put some weight on and begin lifting. I now easily do sets with more than my body weight on the bench. It’s not a lot (especially considering I don’t weight a lot due to my weight loss from the hospital stay), but it’s progress.


– Be at the gym three times a week

EH? SORTA? Both Lesley and myself had some great stretches where we ran and worked out at the gym multiple times a week. That included lifting, swimming, and yoga. Consistency, however, has been an issue, due to the hectic schedule we have because of Lesley’s job, my school, and Connor’s school.

– Run 3 miles

CHECK. I’ve run three miles a few times. Speaking of which… in important news on my recovery front, I’m lacing up the running shoes for the first time since my accident Saturday morning at the Westminster Apple Festival 5K.


I’m not overly concerned about my time for this one… I just am so grateful to God and my family and friends for continuing to help me through this recovery. I’m constantly amazed by what God allows me to do. LIttle more than 2 months ago I was laying in a hospital bed with a chest tube jutting into my side and blood transfusions pumping through me. I could barely walk, and any effort to that effect was agonizing. I’m not supposed to be my old self until Christmas, but the fact that I’m actually running a race puts a smile on my face.


So, now comes the time to set goals for this month.

– Renew my dedication to devotions with Lesley. My wife and I love to read together, but it’s something we simply won’t do unless we deliberately make time for it. Over the summer, we’d been enjoying doing devotions together in the morning and at night, and this is a routine I’d like to recapture.

– Gain weight. I lost at least 15 pounds in the hospital, and I’ve gained a decent amount back. However, after getting back into running, I shed a few pounds again. I now need to gain 5 to 6 lbs in order to get to my pre-accident weight. I want to do it the right way – through reasonably high caloric intake, high protein consumption, and weight training.

– Attain under 10 percent body fat. This goal, when combined with the goal above, makes for a pretty steep challenge.

– Achieve structure. Life is getting crazier. School is already really ratcheting up, especially my Anatomy and Physiology class. I’m hoping to start working soon, I begin CNA classes in the next two weeks, and Lesley and I have fitness goals that include preparing ourselves for the Disney Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October. This is only going to be made possible by really achieving structure and routine in our daily lives. Study time, personal time, fitness time, dinner time, etc – it all needs to be allotted. This won’t be easy.

As you can see, I have a challenging set of goals for this month. Essentially, I’m just trying to improve in all facets of my life. I want to be a better Christian husband through devotion and meditation. I want to be in better shape through running, lifting, etc. I want to be a more ambitious student. I need prayers and support as I try to climb some pretty steep obstacles.

I once read a book in middle school called The Contender. It’s a story about an aspiring, underdog boxer and the ruthless, unadulterated passion with which he has to pursue his dream just to even have an outside shot at being a contender. In it is a quote I believe describes my attitude toward the next month, which will undoubtedly be a difficult one.

“It’s the climbing that makes the man. Getting to the top is an extra reward. ”

It hasn’t been easy recovering from more than a dozen broken bones. It hurts to lift. Every rep. Every stride. Every breath. People simply are unaware. I put on a brave face.

It won’t be easy in the middle of a drastic career change. I’m learning new things, new terminology, and a new way of thinking after spending years excelling in a familiar field.

It won’t always be easy being a patient, encouraging, thoughtful husband or an involved father leading his family when I have thoughts of bills, school, work, house chores, and fitness goals swimming around in my head.

It isn’t supposed to be easy. Nothing of value in this life ever comes easy. It’s the climbing that makes the man.


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