Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.

This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. Missed the first one? Start here.

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I took a day off yesterday. I was really sore. Made the mistake of getting on the scale. I know I shouldn’t expect to see results so soon, but…nothing. I’m not discouraged, but was kinda hoping for a miracle.

My wife is pumped, though. She went to do a workout with her friend at another gym. She came home and said, “Jimmy, you’d LOVE it. Lots of guys your age lifting weights.”

So I asked her what the difference was. I thought it was going to be like a step class or something. She texted me a website. Top headline: “Inspiring a community of healthy and happy”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’m not trying to get happy or make friends or any of that stuff. I’m just trying to drop a few pounds.

I’m happy enough. At least, I’m not unhappy. Great, I’m going to be thinking about that my whole shift.

I have friends at softball–or I did. I haven’t played for a couple of years. Maybe I should get back into that, but I’ll get back in shape first. Plus I probably gained more weight from the beer after than I lost from playing anyway.

My wife is going back to Alluvium tomorrow to have a meeting. They’ll probably give her a sales pitch. I don’t know why they charge like double what I’m paying at this gym, but she’s excited so I’m not going to bring it up. There’s worse things she could be spending the money on, trust me.

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OK, my wife signed up at Alluvium. She’s doing some 1:1 training to get going. She’s really excited about it, and brought home this piece of paper to show me her body fat, water volume, muscle weight and stuff. It tells you how many calories you’d burn in a day if you were just watching Netflix on the couch. She told me I should go do the test too. I’d be scared to know, haha.

But seriously, they told her I could come to the first session with her. So I’m torn: I don’t want to look dumb in front of her (cause I’m THE MAN, right?) On the other hand, if she’s going to start this Alluvium stuff, I probably don’t want to let her get way ahead of me. If I’m going to try it, now’s the time.

And I’ve got to admit something here: since we both started working out a couple of weeks ago, things are better between us. We talk about our workouts. We went grocery shopping together on Sunday. I didn’t really see it before, but I had my guard up about some stuff, and talking about fitness has really made us both open up a bit. Man, if you can’t be vulnerable with your wife, who CAN you be vulnerable with?

Warm weather is coming. I know that doing stuff with her is better than buying her a bunch of stuff she doesn’t want, so I’ll probably go with her and see what they do. I’ve been pretty consistent for three weeks, so I don’t think they’re going to kill me.

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Well, we’ve done TWO sessions at Alluvium. There’s this private gym time where you go in with your coach, so it was just her and us. Yep, girl coach. Not some teenybopper though. We had to do squats (way harder than you think, I can’t walk today) and then this little seven-minute challenge. No joke, we were in and out in about 40 minutes.

We went back the next day. I was pretty sore, but we did other stuff. I was pretty good at the deadlift and got to show off a bit, which was great. Another super short workout, but it’s HARD. Like harder than 90 minutes doing weight machines and cardio at the gym. I already see that there’s a huge difference between what I was doing and whatever this is called. It’s not cheap, but I get it now. It’s like personal training plus a bunch of homework to do between workouts.

Today my “homework” was to watch a video on nutrition and clean out our cupboards. Seems pretty easy. I’m bringing some boxes home from work and we’ll do that after dinner. Woooo, big plans for midweek! Better than watching Netflix, I guess.

I also got this funny “badge” in my emails for logging in to the website and watching a video. I guess you have to reward old guys for pressing buttons, haha. I stopped learning when I threw out my Betamax.

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Well, we cleaned out our cupboards. I have a truckload of stuff for the Soup Kitchen today. I guess we’re lucky to be able to afford all this stuff that we don’t actually need. Cupboards are pretty empty. But we had fun doing it: we had a glass of wine and started talking about the gym. Then–this is the REALLY funny part–we went to Netflix and saw a documentary about CrossFit. It’s like I’m in a cult and I can’t escape it anywhere.

Homework today is to go into the gym and do a little workout on our own. My wife and I are on different schedules today, so I have to go alone. I’m going to try and go right after noon, because I know there’s a big noon group, and then I’ll have the little gym to myself. I can get in and out without drawing any attention to myself. It’s a CrossFit group, and if they’re doing anything like what I saw on Netflix, I’m staying far away. Those people are NUTS!

Hoping I can kinda watch them finish their class while I do my own workout today. Actually, I’m just hoping I can figure out how to turn the clock on by myself without the coach.

The best news, though: I’m not exhausted at night. I used to collapse after dinner and wake up after an hour. Last night I was totally alert and we had a few laughs while we put cereal boxes away. We actually had a conversation. That’s something they should put on the website.