When I was 49 years old, I talked my wife into letting me get a dog. She reluctantly said yes, with some of the normal conditions that might come from a spouse. I found a litter, drove for a couple of hours and picked up our little 8 week old Vizsla puppy.
We named him Duder.
He saved my life.
Later that year, I turned 50 and went into a midlife crisis type spin of self-reflection, and some self-loathing. I was triggered and spent most of my time reflecting on my current life. I was overweight. I did not feel good, always tired. My relationship was very rocky. My job was so-so. All my regrets about my life were top of mind. I wish I was a better husband. I wished I was a better father. I wished I was a better grandpa. I felt like I was just coasting along, day after day, just trying to survive.
Along comes Duder and he and I started going for a daily walk. Sometimes around the neighborhood, sometimes on a hiking trail. These are the times that allowed me to truly ponder where my life was. But more important, it allowed me to ponder where my life needed to go.
During the year from age 50 to 51, I walked and talked with Duder every day. Three very important things happened during this year. 1- Awareness. I had to truly understand where I was an acknowledge this current state. 2- Choice. I made a conscious choice to do something about it. 3- Why. I wrote down, studied, pondered all the reasons why I needed to make changes.
When I turned 51, I moved into the “Do” state and went to work.
I am now 55, in the last four years,
- I have lost 70 lbs and I am in the best physical shape that I have ever been.
- I learned to OWN all my choices. OWN all of my circumstances. OWN my side of my relationships.
- I run half marathons, marathons, and ultramarathons
- I completed a van build conversion into camper van and the blonde (my wife of 37 years) and I go on adventures to cool places, with the dogs.
- My mindset changed to one of hope for the future
- My relationships with the blonde, my kids and my family have greatly improved and is core part of my life.
- The blonde decided not to divorce me.
- Duder was our first dog, then Daisy, who is no longer with us. Then Roxie. The blonde and I currently have Duder and Roxie.
My life has transformed, in virtually every aspect I can think of. I am not done, I will continue to grow, and live my life to the absolute fullest that I can.
My soon to be release book tells my story of transformation and the lessons I learned along the way. Duder truly saved my life.