Monday, February 16, 2009

the numb3rs...

you ever see that show numb3rs? i've caught the odd episode. judd hirsch plays the father of two boys who - if i remember correctly - are investigators for some government agency (fbi or cia or something). and one of them happens to be a math genius. there's a quote from one of the shows, where the math guy is trying to explain something to everyone else, and is having a difficult time finding the words, and says something to the effect of "it's almost impossible to explain, because, in my head, it just is what it is, you know?"

well, sometimes i feel like that. i'm sure we all do.

anyway, lately i've been thinking about some numbers...

33: years old last week. (as my buddy paul says: "l'age du christ.")
21: days in a row of hot yoga.
8: pounds lost so far.
5: days without smoking (thank you allen carr).

i can't remember exactly, but if i had to pick an age, i'd say i started really smoking around 16 years old. sure, i'd had a few puffs here and there before that, experimenting with my friends in the playground with a found pack of cigarettes, but at 16, well, that's probably when i started buying them and smoking regularly. i moved out of the family home when i was 16, stayed at a friend's place for a while, and shortly after my 17th birthday, i moved into my first apartment.

what scared me, last year, when i turned 32, was thinking that, well, if i started smoking at 16, and was now 32, well, i'd been smoking exactly half my life.

freaked me right out.

nobody ever starts smoking and thinks they're going to be a lifelong smoker.

when you're a kid, it's a social thing, something you do with your friends on weekends, when you're sneaking beers out of your dad's fridge in the garage and hanging out at the firepit down by the river or at the house of whoever's parents are away that weekend. it makes you feel rebellious, or grown up, or like a character in a movie. it's a prop. part of the role. "hey, i'm a teenager..."

and then, shit, you're hooked.

and then, even bigger shit, you wake up one day and it's your 32nd birthday and you've been smoking half your life and your promise yourself you will quit for good this year, because, god forbid you turn 33 and you're still smoking, because at that point it will be for MORE THAN HALF OF YOUR LIFE and then your goose is really cooked. it's like you've given up. and you're a slave.

so here i was, at the start of 2009, smoking, drinking regularly, eating shit food, 20 pounds heavier than i should be, and deciding it was TIME.

so, i joined a yoga studio. signed up for a 30-day challenge right off the bat. didn't think i'd have a snowball's chance in hell of actually completing the thing.

but here i am, 21 days in, and i KNOW i'm going to finish it. planning everything else in my life around it. matter of fact, everything else has pretty much disappeared in the last 20 days.

i also told myself that at some point during the 30-day challenge i would have to quit smoking. for real this time. i had gotten myself down to 3-4 sticks a day, but i needed to make that final leap of faith across the chasm of withdrawal. so i started reading allen carr (again). brilliant man. i think i actually GET IT this time. (lord, i hope so!)

and then, last wednesday, it was my birthday. 33. ("l'age du christ.") i woke up, and it was TIME. "i don't smoke anymore," i said to myself, and i haven't since.

something about it, this time, at this age, i just feel like it's the biggest battle of my life, and that i've crossed a certain line that, i just CAN'T do it anymore. it feels bigger than me.

anyway, that's my story, for now.

i remember when i quit two years ago (why oh why did i ever start again!), and somebody asked me how difficult it was and i said: "it was the hardest thing i've ever done in my life, but it wasn't nearly as hard as i thought it was going to be."

so now, back to some numbers...

33: you know, i feel pretty good at 33, at this point, i'm just happy to be here.
21: days in, and i am FEELING the benefits. i can feel/see a different in my body, and my mind is calmer, and, well, i am just more aware of my body and breath. i'm taller too. no joke. about a half inch. yoga really stretches out your spine.
8: this is the start. my goal was to get down at least 20. maybe 25. or even 30. basically, start with 20, and see how i feel from there. i'm stoked about this.
5: shit, that was yesterday, i'm on day 6 now. almost a week. and i feel GREAT. seriously, i recommend reading the easy way if you want to quit. instead of "oh god how will i survive without smoking?" this dude changes your mindspace into "oh god i feel FREE, how the fuck did i ever smoke?" and it's almost instant, the change. he just gets inside your head and moves everything around until you see it for what it really is. wish me luck, and i'll do the same for you...

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