The Gauntlet, She’s Been Thrown.

Ok, ok. I’ve been talking a lot of smack lately about goals and accountability and all that rot. In fact, I’ve goaded my father into setting a few fitness goals (all of which he has met) and my sister just came to me with a monster goal that is totally attainable but much longer term than my father’s (that’s a whole ‘nother blog).

All this to say, I’m coming out of the closet with mine. I’m laying it down. I’m putting it out there. I’m going to have to caveat the hell out of it but I’m going to make it public all the same.

I want to get my body fat under 20% by my 30th birthday on August 23rd.

“20%! That’s not very low”, you’re thinking (I can hear you – scary huh?).

Well, actually it is. It doesn’t sound low to me either though, and frankly the idea that my body fat is currently at 24.8% sort of makes me cringe. That said, I love the way I look right now – I’m lean and mean and happy as hell. I’m fit and fighting and lighting the world on fire with a blow-torch of ambition, drive, and tenacity.

I’m in a good place.

Then why this stupid body fat number? Why not a fast mile time or a fast 5k or a fast-ish half-marathon or a big fatty century?

Because this year, this time around, it’s just not about that for me. I have always been fit. I have always been athletic. I have always run and been moderately fast. I have always been active and enjoyed the outdoors.

I have never pushed myself to really create, sculpt, and form the exact type of body that I imagine for myself. I have never done the really, really, really hard work of drilling down and getting straight to the numbers.

And now I’m going to do it. That’s it.

In order to get there I will need to exchange fat for muscle. Burn fat, build muscle (and by building muscle thereby burn more fat). I am going back to 5 days a week for boot camp, I am going to track my food intake again, I am going to come out swinging.

I’m going to kill it, one goddam percentage at a time.

There’s not a lot of room for error here – my birthday is less than three months away. That time is going to be about focus, dedication, and massive, massive suffering.

Daniel and I charted the curve of my progress today and he named the chart, “Why am I Crying?” which I love. Part of cracking this goal is finding ways to push myself to new levels of effort, new echelons of pain, new and fantastic ways to achieve exhilarating exhaustion.

Part of me wants to be ashamed of this goal. The athletic part of me that tells myself that it’s really all about performance and I should not be getting caught up in physical appearance. That part of me is full of horseshit because it knows damn well that if I bring my fitness to this level (as measured by body fat) my performance will sky-rocket.

So there it is. 20% or less by August 23rd. I said it.

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