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You Can't Ever Go Back

You can’t ever go back.

What’s done is done and what was is, well…was.

It’s not how it is now and like most everything else, once it’s gone, you can’t ever get it back.

But that’s not something any one of us ever want to hear, let alone believe.

But the fact remains, you just can’t get ever go back.


It’s funny…for a species that is forever in a state of forward motion, we always seem to be looking backwards hoping for the impossible.

But the fact remains, you just can’t get ever go back.

We all feel pangs for the ‘good old days’ and reminisce incessantly about how it was ‘back in the day’. Reminiscence is one thing, but there always seems to be a definite belief that talking about it can resurrect it. You can’t ever go back.


If you realize that point, you can still enjoy your memories. In a lot of cases, that’s all that’s left of ‘good old days’ – just memories.

The sad part is that if you whole-heartedly believe that you can go back and relive them, you’ll end up losing those memories, too, because the memories will begin to fold over into the present want to go backwards.


Forward motion.

Don’t move backwards. You can look, but you should never try to touch.

Keep moving forward.


I’ll turn 56 next month, so I can give you a perfect example of what I mean.

The gym and old men.

When I was a kid and first hit the weights, it was a no-brainer: curls and bench presses and squats. Get the biggest muscles to grow fast and pop. Back then, I didn’t have to worry about anything else. Well, I should say that I never really worried about much else, but I should have.

Anyway, point is, that was then.

Nowadays, after having my hip joints lock me up solid and having both of them replaced, I’m in a different sort of spot.

I lost a lot of my weight-loss progress (one hundred pound loss after this picture was taken back in 1999) – meaning I put some of the weight back on – because I couldn’t move my legs. I couldn’t even bend enough at the hips to sit in a chair. That’s not an exaggeration…I had to sit on a slant with my legs extended.

No ability to move = zero forward progress = weight gain from fat.

I lost my cardio abilities along the way, too.


So when I was able to get back to the gym after the surgeries, I hit it as hard as I could.

But – and maybe this was due solely to my experiences over the previous several years – I couldn’t look any way but forward. I was faced with critical limitations, not severe but critical. If I respect my limitations, my new hips should be my last set of hips.

There was no way I could ever – or would ever – try to go back.

I don’t ever want to go through that again!

What makes it so hard is that I always look back at what I was before all this and all that I lost from it. No, this is not a “woe is to me” moment. I lost all that because of my own bull-headedness – no other person or reason was to blame. It’s all on me.

Anyway…I had to set up my workout plan based upon forward motion.

“What is going to work the best for the direction I am now headed?”


I started working on regaining my cardio first. That was truly the hardest part, but now I pretty much restored it. I used to work the elliptical for two-hour sessions, but during recovery, I could barely muster a full two minutes. But it was what I needed to keep my forward motion in motion, so I kept at it and now I’m back up to 45 minutes at mid-level, and that is exactly where I want to be. If I were to try and go back, I would keep escalating and accelerating and pushing farther and farther. But what’s the point? I am no longer a kid working a kid’s body. I can’t ever go back to that, so all I can do is keep moving forward. And that is what I’m doing.


I still do weight training, but it’s controlled and no longer wild and experimental.

My forward motion is now my control and it’s working quite well, I think.

I need to regain my core strength and I do 80lb crunches non-stop for four songs of my playlist.

For the same reason, I do the same workout with 100lb back extensions.

My core strength is slowly returning.

It may seem excessive, but at my age, the fat that I put back on during immobility is the absolute hardest to melt off. I think it’s funny that so few people understand this. Maybe I wouldn’t either if I had a different history?


As usual, it’s all in my head. Like I said, the biggest problem is which way you look at things.


When I’m grinding away in my workouts, I don’t have much to do but distract myself with the gym TV’s and all the other people milling around.

That’s when I began to notice something.


A lot of the men my age at the gym are in there working out like they’re back in high school.

Their bellies beat them to the door, but they will only work their biceps and their quads and their pecs. I see these guys every time I’m in the gym, and I have never once seen any one of them ever do a crunch. When you’re eighteen, you can get away with that, but when you’re a man in your fifties or sixties, you need core strength. Not to mention the fact that your skin and muscle fibers take on a different form and texture – your biceps are not likely to be cannonballs anymore, and even if they are, they’ll be completely overshadowed by other more prominent features of your body.

It also strikes me as odd that the ‘kids’ in the gym (guys in their twenties) are the ones that are doing the comprehensive work outs. I believe they are the ones doing it right.

Times sure have changed – always in forward motion.


No, this is not a body-shaming rant. Not by a fair piece.

These are my own, personal – and one hundred percent deserved – observations of myself growing older. Everyone works out in their own way, the way that makes them happy.

But that won’t change the fact that you can’t ever go back.


Always look forward and always move forward.


That’s the single biggest lesson I learned from all of this.


As foolish and bull-headed and reckless as I tend to be, at least I can say that I did learn something.


So I got that going forward…


“So I got that going for me…which is good.”


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