Currently, I’m in my forties. I work at an office for ten hours a day—there is no on-site gym. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure more than 15 years ago (it’s like 180/110 without medication). I would say I’m a good 20-30 pounds overweight. On the plus side, I have a wonderful young son and a good marriage.
Previously, I was a high-level swimmer in college. Good enough to be a U.S. Olympic trials finalist. I just missed making the Olympics by hundredths of a second. No one really cares, and I only bring it up to point out that I was incredibly fit.
In an effort to get back into shape, I started consuming diet and training information online. Like most people, I’ve had a series of starts and stops when it comes to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. To help with my long-term motivation this time around, I wanted to create a space where I could keep track of various social media channels while posting my own commentary and missives.
I chose the name Memento Fitness because embarking on this fitness journey has helped me recall the passion I have for diet (or at least attempting to diet) and exercise. Simple things, like the feel of knurling on a weightlifting bar or the smell of chlorine from a pool, can trigger memories from my youth. And while not always positive, these memories do serve as a reminder of the people, places and events that have helped shape my current outlook on life.
As a middle-aged weekend warrior, I’ve seen quite a few changes in the fitness industry. If you’d like to know even more about me, below is a short list of some of the fitness trends that I have been privy to.
• It seems like everyone used to wear weightlifting gloves in the 80s. I must admit that I did own two pairs of black, mesh gloves at one time.
• Guys wore short shorts. I was no exception to the rule. I think I still have some stowed away somewhere.
• Jazzercise was a big thing. I think it was just an early version of today’s aerobics classes. I’ve never done any of today’s Zumba regiments, and I never partook in the Jazzercise mania of yesteryear. I do, however, remember the accompanying leg warmer craze.
• Your music was on a cassette tape that you listened to on your Walkman. I loved my yellow, Sony Walkman.
• Arnold was a big action star. I am well-versed in all of his quotes and still relish the cheesiness to this day.
• Short shorts eventually gave way to long shorts. You can thank Michael Jordan and Michigan’s Fab Five.
• The diet du jour at the time was Atkins. It was all about low to no carbs, although I was eating whatever I wanted and still losing weight.
• I actually owned a pair of rollerblades.
• Flip phones were definitely starting to become more commonplace. I wasn’t part of the cool crowd, so I didn’t actually own a cell phone in the 90s.
• I upgraded my Walkman to a Discman, which obviously played CDs.
• Social media became a thing. Now you could go online and see how much weight all of your friends had gained on Facebook and realize that you were no exception. Also baby pictures, which I myself am guilty of now posting. Lots and lots of baby pictures….
• Crossfit becomes a thing. I tried Crossfit for a little bit. There are a lot of haters out there. I don’t have any problem with any fitness movement that helps people get out and exercise.
• I owned several iPods. Any runner can tell you that the slightest drop of sweat would pretty much render the darn thing useless.
• I got my first smart phone in the 2000s and haven’t looked back. If only there were some way to get my workplace to stop sending me emails….
• What’s up with guys wearing leggings now? It’s all good I guess, but I’m still not sure what to think about tight-fitting, man-pants.
• If It Fits Your Macros (IIIFYM) seems to be everywhere. Intermittent Fasting (IF) is also now a popular thing. I just try and watch the calories going in versus the calories going out. Reverse Dieting (RD) also seems to be a popular discussion topic. Make sure you’re up with the latest acronyms.
• High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is everywhere as well. Swimmers have been doing this forever, but it now seems to be integrated into all forms of workouts—including treadmills.
• Boutique fitness is booming. SoulCycle anyone? I recently saw a fitness program designed entirely around ballet. Haven’t tried one of these yet but will look to do so in the near future. I just hope I fit into my tight-fitting, man-leggings (they can’t be any worse than Speedos).
If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to thank you for sticking with me. I hope to create a memorable experience for everyone involved. I don’t profess to have a magnificent physique nor am I degreed in anything diet or exercise related—I am just a rather ordinary individual who hopes to contribute to the ongoing fitness discussion.
P.S. “Jason Memento” is my pen name.