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I’m Soft

It’s been a rough week. I haven’t been thrilled with work and life has beat me down a bit. I’ve also been going through some realizations that I think are taking some time to settle. One of these realizations is that I’m soft.

I had a flashback to the scene in Battlestar Galactica where Adama tells Lee, he’s a fatass and has grown soft. He was right in the show, and I guess, its something I’ve needed to hear myself. As I pulled back that first layer of accepting that I’m soft, I realized that a lot of my issues underneath connect to me being out of shape and not feeling confident.

Over the past several days, as I’ve reflected on this, I realize that some of my issues are no doubt related to the attack/confrontation I had in December 2021. My wife and I had just left a AEW wrestling show and stopped by the Sheetz next to our hotel for a late night dinner. As we waited for our food to be prepared, we went to grab some soft drinks when a man walked up to me quickly from the side. I turned and saw him, and thought that maybe I had stepped in his way as I bent down to grab a soda. Something didn’t feel right, but I apologized and stepped out of his way.

A moment later, another man ran up to me from behind. Instantly, my radar went off that something wasn’t right. Why were these two men, that looked similar, approaching me from different angles at 11 PM at night. This second man was friendly, and started talking to me about the AEW hat I had on. I positioned my back against the glass of the drink freezer, so that no one come up to me from behind. As the man kept talking, he finally told me that the first man, had spit on me. Sure enough, my jacket and back of my cap was covered in spit.

Anger, confusion, and all that comes with an unprovoked attack swelled within me. Then the safety of my wife kicked in. Getting angry and fighting was not the answer. She had walked over when she noticed the strange man talking to me, and I thanked the man for letting me know, and my wife and I stood to the side to discuss the insanity that was occuring. About that time, a bottle of motor oil came flying toward our heads. It busted against the glass of the drink freezer and covered my wife’s jacket in oil. Thankfully, she wasn’t actually hit with the bottle.

Fight or flight kicked in huge at this point. I started looking across the store for the man or the next attack. I still wasn’t convinced the second guy wasn’t a decoy of some sort. My wife began to panic and begged for us to leave, but I had no idea what may be waiting in the parking lot, so I dragged her to the counter so we could let the manager know and have the police called.

I sum up the rest: the man was a trucker driver who was high. He returned to his truck and went to sleep. The police reviewed the footage and saw that I had done nothing wrong, it was just a random unprovoked attack by someone on drugs. The second man actually followed the guy out into the parking lot and he was the one who directed the police to his semi.

We were two hours from home, and to press charges we would need to return to the county we were in on a weekday and then of course, come back possibly again. At first, I was all about pressing charges, but then I just really wanted to put it behind me. We had the police escort us to our hotel next door, we checked out and drove home early.

Having dealt with a previous situation with someone who was obviously crazy a few years earlier, this wasn’t the biggest deal to me. My main concern was calming down Brandy and making sure she was okay. It took her a few months to feel comfortable going to a gas station at night, but she seemed to bounce back well. Surprisingly, I did not.

I began to struggle in crowded places. I was on the verge of a panic attack in Walmart shortly there after. I became jumpy and on edge, and that feeling has not left me completely. I invested in some pepperspray and took Brandy to a introduction to pistol class. My dad gave us a couple of pistols and that made me feel slightly better. Then we moved into our new apartment, which is a two story townhome, and suddenly I was quite far away from the front door. I couldn’t hear it being opened and it started causing me anxiety. Thankfully, a few weeks ago, I found a sensor that sets off an alarm (the type you use for a driveway) and I placed it on the stairs, just incase someone gets in I’ll have a heads up. I also bought a motion sensor light to illuminate the hallway, because I kept waking up at night and just staring in th darkness, expecting someone to be there.

As I shared the story of the man at Sheetz with family and friends, a good portion of the responses were what you’d probably assume they would be: “Oh, luckily it wasn’t me. I’d kick his ass.” It was shaming for me, and made me feel like I had failed as a man. It made me feel like I should have went outside and found the guy and beat him down. But even in the mist of the chaos of that night, I knew that wasn’t the answer. I had no idea how many people were outside, since at the time, I wasn’t sure if the two men weren’t working together. I also had no idea if someone had a gun. It wasn’t as simple as chasing someone down and beating him up.

But as I internalized these messages, something else flared up within me: I am weak. While I do not regret how I handled that evening, I do know that I’m not in the shape I should be to proect myself and my wife. I’ve allowed myself to become doughy and lazy, and that has to change. Not only am I getting older and I need to make some changes for my own health, but I need to make changes for my mental health. I need to feel stronger. I need my confidence back.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been formulating a plan of action. The first step was creating an informal side blog just for me to write about fitness, both physical and mental. I know that by writing about these things, I’ll keep myself motivation. My next step was to clean out the garage and make room for a weight bench. I want something cheap and simple, kind of like what I had in high school.

As I cleaned out the garage, I found myself also thinking about cardio and that led me to buying a punching bag last weekend. It’s obviously not a perfect cardio fix, but it’ll give me some time to get in form of hitting things and also get my heart rate up a bit.

In a couple of weeks, I’m going to start counting calories again and drop some of this weight. My thought is, if I can drop 25-30 lbs, which will put me around the 200 lbs mark, then I will begin taking some martial art classes. I’ve always loved doing martial arts, and it’s been just about twenty years since I did Krav Maga. I think I may look more in the realm of Muay Thai or jiu-jitsu this time around. I found a school nearby that looks pretty legit.

I’m hoping I can make these changes stick and I’m hoping I can get my confidence back. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I think I’m at the point where I have to do something.

Published inPhysical FitnessSelf-Reflection


  1. Sorry to hear about the random attack! This is why I almost never go to stadiums or games in person. If its not an attack, its just wild crazy people that don’t know what personal space is anymore.

    I obviously have no idea what your diet is, but even just starting now with a 20-30 minute brisk walk each day and completely cutting out fruit juice and sodas, you will see a difference!

    I also completely cut out cereal as a breakfast/snack and that also contributed highly to weight loss.

    Good luck on your journey!

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