2014 Fitness Goals

About one quarter into 2014 and I am outlining my fitness goals.

It’s better late than never.

In 2013 I had three primary objectives: a half marathon, a triathlon and a full marathon.  I successfully completed all three events but trying to train for all three and have an appropriate amount of downtown was difficult.  Because of this I am going to limit my two big physical events a year.

In 2014 I’m going to maintain two events:

  • The Cap City Half Marathon in a sub 3:00 finish time
  • The Columbus Marathon in a sub 6:30 finish time

I will miss cycling, there’s something really pleasant about getting used to saddle soreness, and feeling the wind in your face as you rush down the trail.  I also feel like I could be a better biker than I could ever be a runner.  As a runner, I finish the races but I definitely think my body was meant for cycling.

In addition to the two events and training for them I have been really lazy in my own personal fitness.  Yes, training for running events helps with my cardio endurance but it doesn’t add a lot of muscle mass.  When I go on an extended hiatus (hint, I’m on one now) working out could help prevent some of the pounds from packing back on my body.

Late last year I bought Shaun T’s Focus T25 (and I also have Insanity) and my friend Ross bought me P90X3 for Christmas.  I’m slightly ashamed to say it but I’ve not even completed a week of Focus let alone even look at what P90X3 entails.


I can’t really say I don’t have the time; each program is less than thirty minutes (or just about thirty).  I work, then when I sign out for the night I veg out and watch television.   I eat very crappily and have boxes of unopened Shakeology in my room.  I need to prioritize fitness, again; especially if I want to complete those two big events in the timing I have outlined.

Starting March 10th I am going to begin (again) Focus T25 and once I finish the base I do want to move onto the Gamma section of the program before tackling P90X3.  In order to keep myself on track I am going to make a commitment, to continuously update and blog about my experience.  Maybe post my before photos; and if you see a lack of posting about my Focus T25 experience, call me out on it and keep me honest about the program.  Your assistance in that task will be greatly appreciated.

This weekend I’ll post some of my before statistics.  The horrifying items like measurements and weight.  I’m not quite bold enough to show the before pictures, but, I promise they will be taken.

Until next time…


Fort Lauderdale (aka My Big Gay Cruise part two)

Friday was an errand and travel day.  Which always seems to be the worst, traveling wears anyone out even if it was a direct flight into my destination.  On top of the travel I needed to exchange my peanut jar full of change; I like to have dollars to  tip people who handle the luggage, the drivers and basically everyone else that you meet that needs a tip.

My flight was at 2:30PM non stop into Fort Lauderdale and fortunately my parents agreed to take me and pick me up from my trip.  I woke up did my few little errands and then met them for breakfast.  From breakfast we came home, let Lola out and gave her, her pills and then loaded the truck up to go to CMH.  I was expecting long travel lines of people trying to get out of Columbus.

I should note as well that for two weeks leading up to my trip I was religiously checking the weather; both the extended forecast and the hourly forecast.  This winter has been exceptionally brutal and I did not want to have my flight cancelled and then try to get to Fort Lauderdale at the very last second.

Fortunately when I arrived at the airport it was seemingly empty.  I walked up to the outside baggage drop off; gave them my bags and got my boarding pass and walked through security in less than five minutes.  Of course that left me with a little over two hours to kill and the only way to start vacation is to have a drink (or two).

photo 1

It’s a pomegranate margarita from Chili’s.  It’s really quite good so I had to have another.

photo 2

Of course every time I say one was good, two must be better I have Dr. Beverly Hofstadter’s voice in my mind from the Big Bang Theory.

During my time sitting at the bar I was able to befriend a lawyer who gave a dinner recommendation (that I still need to check out).  We chatted then went and stood in line for the Southwest cattle call.  All in all the boarding process isn’t terrible and I was fortunate enough to have an open seat next to me.

photo 3

I used to always want to sit next to the window but lately i’ve enjoyed the aisle.  It’s nice to not feel trapped and be able to walk around as needed.  On the flight I had a fairly decent bloody mary, it was even better since it was free.  Southwest was giving away free drinks on Valentine’s Day.

The flight was good, there was little turbulence, wifi and the above mentioned free drinks made the two hours pass by relatively quickly.  Fort Lauderdale airport is bigger than I remember and very busy.  The luggage area’s horn to signal your luggage has arrived is the cruise ship horn.  It’s cute and better than the horn blast you get at Port Columbus.

The ship wasn’t boarding until Saturday and thanks to Dan Howell Travel we stayed at the Best Western with a large contingent of travelers going on Divina with RSVP.  He rents the hotel out yearly for his clients and thanks to our larger group we were able to snag a room (that included airport transfers, transfer to the port of Miami and then shuttles out to Wilton Manner the night before).  It was a great deal.  Plus it was a great way to meet people who you’d continuously see on the ship.

As an aside, Dan was great and even had the bar open with a light dinner on Friday night for all of his guests.

The shuttle from the Airport to the Hotel was slow, but traffic in Fort Lauderdale is shitty.  The shuttle was completely full and surprisingly I flew down with two guys from Columbus I didn’t know until after I arrived at the hotel (it’s always funny how small a community can feel, only to meet people you’ve never met who are from the same town).

Wilton Manners is pretty nice; a fairly large gayborhood, good bars and decent shops down the main street.  I didn’t stay out very late; I was exhausted from the travel and the bars were packed.  Besides, I felt like I’d be going out nightly on the ship and didn’t want to be hung over on the ride to the port.

Saturday morning I woke up, headed to Target with friends to get last-minute supplies and do a cash withdrawal and then other last-minute shopping.  We checked out of the hotel and then waited for the bus to arrive to take us to the port.  That was probably the only downside to the prearranged travel, the waiting.  Of course, we could either wait with the hotel full of people or wait at the port and it was probably more comfortable to wait at the hotel.

The bus ride to the port was fairly easy (nothing like the shuttle bus ride coming home) and by no time we saw the ships stationed at the Port of Miami.

From here on out it’s all about RSVP and the Divina.  I’ll continue in a few days with scans of the Daily Programs and the special notices from RSVP.

Until next time.


My Big Gay Cruise (part one)

This will be my pseudo live blog aboard the MSC Divina through the RSVP Charter sailing.  It was my seventh cruise in total and my first RSVP and my first big gay cruise.  These posts will not be a comprehensive review of the ship or activities; merely a recap of my cruise and my experiences.

A little over a year ago I was sailing on a Carnival ship with a friend and another couple that has done RSVP sailings for as long as I could remember.  Every year they kept bugging me to join them on the next sailing and every year I had an excuse.  My primary excuse for not going on the charter was that it was just too expensive for a single person (and admittedly I have no interest in doing the roommate share).  This year RSVP went with a slightly unknown company in the US and the prices were drastically lower.

My friend and I booked the cruise in a balcony aboard the Divina and paid for it throughout most of 2013 (a balcony this year was cheaper than me doing a single interior cabin alone through Holland America). Once we booked we begin finding a lot of Columbusites, Columbusians, Ohioans that were booked on the ship and the excitement began to build.

The other primary reason I wasn’t interested in doing an RSVP charter…

How do I put this delicately?

… it was going to be a ship with 3,500 queens and I didn’t want to be judged or accosted for wearing a certain outfit or my lack of abs.  Friends that have sailed with them before tried to alleviate my fears and assure me the advertisements RSVP has wasn’t conducive of the entire ship population.  Of course, as I’m stubborn, I didn’t believe them or their assurances.

How could a ship full of gay men lack any sort of the main judgmental factors we see on land? Would I feel comfortable in my slightly chubby, bald build; when all I saw were tall, greek muscled bodies that  permeated their website?

I wanted and did call shenanigans.

Of course, a day into the cruise I had to admit that I was wrong and I was swept up in the gay exuberance of acceptance and the thumpa thumpa.

I’m not going to talk a lot about MSC and their service or lack there of; there are lots of people that weren’t happy and you could google to find their rantings and ravings.  MSC did improve throughout the week; it seemed like on Tuesday the crew turned on a happy switch, began talking and interacting with the passengers and genuinely began enjoying our company.

I will briefly talk about an area of service that I was directly impacted and that is with my special dietary restrictions.  A few years ago I found out that I had celiac’s disease, which if you don’t know is an inability to process gluten (wheat, etc) and their ability for food service to provide adequate information was disappointing.

First of all; to be completely gluten free I had to eat in the dining room every day for every meal.  For a regular MSC sailing that might be acceptable but for an RSVP charter where there was something going on every hour of every day you couldn’t spend two or three hours in the dining room being served.  When I did eat the buffet (at my own peril) I couldn’t find one person to assist and tell me if anything was gluten free throughout deck.  Because of their lack of knowledge I ended up eating a lot of fruit and salads and I tried to stick with foods I knew were safe on land.

The dining room experience wasn’t that fantastic either; while they did have a special kitchen and I had a special waiter to serve me my gluten free foods the speed at which I was served was drastically different than the speed of my dinner companions.  Often times I would be on my last course while they were just eating their salad.

Lastly; when I tried to make a specialty restaurant reservation for six, I was told that none of their specialty restaurants could accompany my dietary restrictions and thusly they lost out on six queens living it up in the steakhouse.

I hope with another year of being home ported in the US the kinks will be ironed out and if RSVP chooses to sail with them next year (and I hope they do) a lot of the service issues will be nonexistent.

The next entry will talk about Friday night in Fort Lauderdale before we boarded the ship for our week long sailing.

Where has the time gone?

I can’t believe it’s 2014 already; 2013 seems like a blur.

Not sure how to recap, but here’s the readers digest version:

  • Lola began developing seizures but is being treated
  • I’ve been taking and enjoying more Photography Classes from CSCC and looking to become a better photographer
  • I completed my fitness goals: one half marathon one triathlon and one marathon
  • I’ve still been enjoying my new job and they sent me to Manila for nineteen days
  • I purchased Focus T25 but have yet to complete the program
  • Ross bought my P90X3 and I want to complete it after T25
  • Spent NYE/D in Hocking Hills with great friends

That’s mostly the high level recap of the year.  I need to get better about blogging and updates.