Raw Nipples and a Spiritual Six Pack

April 2008 to July 2015

I blog daily here and at From Drunk to Monk.

At 42 years old I have realized that it’s not about how many crunches you do (I don’t do any). It’s about how emotionally and spiritually well you are. My nipples are raw because I biked 300 kilometers in 2 days. I was able to bike 300 kilometers in two days because I meditate, practice gratitude and read affirmations.

It was a revelation to me that there was a connection between being grateful and being lean, fit and healthy. I wonder how many other people haven’t made that connection.

I used to drink every day. Every. Single. Day. I rationalized it by working out a lot and eating pretty well. The first picture is a typical representation of where my physique during that period. I was heavier than I needed to be and I was spiritually and emotionally retarded. I was also going through a very difficult period in my life.

I looked at exercise as a way of cancelling out the damage I was doing to myself. Drink by night. Wake up hungover and berate myself. Try to repair the damage by day. Not a sound approach to achieving one’s dreams. I created a lot of roadblocks for myself that were very difficult to overcome.

I finally quit drinking which freed up a lot of space in my life. I wasn’t hung over in the mornings. I wasn’t beating myself up. But I wasn’t doing anything with that space and time. I started to wonder about whether I had reached the limit of my capabilities. It was a different kind of agony.

All that changed when I listened to Hal Elrod on the Tom Woods show. He was talking about his book — The Miracle Morning. The premise is that by starting the day with his prescribed routine you can change your life. I thought, “What the hell? What I’m doing isn’t working so why not give it a chance?” It has changed my life.

I immediately noticed that I felt better. Starting each day with little wins felt great and changed my mindset throughout the day. In short order I started accomplishing more of everything. I was becoming spiritually healthier although I didn’t realize it at the time.

And I started getting fitter and leaner than I had ever been in my life — without even really realizing it. All of a sudden I realized, “Holy shit! I’m lean. I have a 6 pack!!” I had never been able to get this lean and sustain it in my entire life. What the hell?

In 2014 I decided to try biking to work. It is 30 kilometers each way. I looked at like punishment.

  • I need to push myself hard to mitigate the damage I am doing from drinking.
  • If I bike to work it shows that booze is not affecting me.
  • I’m doing more than many people that don’t drink, so drinking isn’t a problem

Unsurprisingly I didn’t bike to work that often. But still, I found I enjoyed it.

When I started the Miracle Morning I started to heal myself. I started to look at activities like biking in a very different way. In 2015 I looked at it as:

  • A part of my Miracle Morning
  • 2 hours a day to listen to amazing podcasts. Or just to listen to the sound of my own breath — almost like active meditation
  • I got to see so many incredible sunrises
  • I was exercising and getting extremely fit
  • And as a fun side note I became a little bit of a legend at work. The crazy guy that bikes 60 kilometers each day.

The results?

  • I biked 7000 kilometers last year.
  • I became fitter and leaner than I have ever been.
  • I achieved more goals than I ever had in my life.
  • I strengthened and deepened my relationship with my beautiful wife.
  • I lived a much fuller and richer human experience.
  • I’m proud of myself while being more humble and vulnerable than I have ever been.

Strengthen your soul. Your body will follow.