Tag Archives: Silver Medal

The Beer Shelf

Am I the only one who joked about their drinking and all that went along with it, all the time doing so without really realising that there was a problem here.

Was the joking a way of trivialising it, I don’t know, I can only assume it was, I joked about many things about my drinking.

One thing I joked about and talked about on many occasions was what I called my beer shelf.  I guess most men who have drank a lot and formed the well rounded beer belly like I did, will maybe, associate with this.

The beer belly, just seems to form, it’s just there sticking out, you don’t seem to put weight on all round, it just sits there below the rib cage and poking out above the waist line.

It really does just stick out there, but when it does it forms the perfect “Beer Shelf”, the perfect place to rest a pint.  When your stood in a crowded bar with friends, with a pint glass, in my case strong lager or cider, it can make your arm ache after a while, so you look to take some of the weight of your arm, after all you need the strength for the all night session, so what better place to rest your pint than on your very own “Beer Shelf”.

I beat myself up a bit these days, as these thoughts come into my mind as I walk in the mornings, I have an amount of anger with myself, that I could make fun of my drinking, but I still never realised the serious situation that was brewing.

I have a demon in me
It shows its teeth and escapes
when I impatiently speak
that’s when i make my mistakes
It seems I’m prone to abuse
(Cheap Shots by The Classic Crime)

When I looked in the mirror before, I saw this mess I was becoming, but I was trapped by my inability to handle the situations surrounding me, I wanted to sort myself out, but when the night time rolled around, I couldn’t face the nightmares that would follow if I dared not to drink, the madness just kept rolling around, every twenty four hours.

My Big Change

Me in July 2011 & 4th November 2012

The image of me on the left was taken in July 2011, it shows the “Beer Shelf” in all it’s glory, on this day it became a medal shelf carrying a silver medal, all other times it was a beer shelf.  The image on the right was taken on Sunday 4th November 2012, it shows the changes I have made, since closing the cage on the monster and quitting the drink.

I am glad to say, that having been sober since the 29th March 2012, having exercised and walked so much, together with the reduced calorie intake from not drinking, that “Beer Shelf” has gone, my stomach is back to being flat.  I’m not joking about the “Beer Shelf” anymore or the other joke of “I don’t have a six pack, I went for the full barrel”, I’m showing the world I am reborn, a new man, I’m in the same skin, but the contents within have been rebuilt!

A Great Competition

Just got back home after a very long day at a karate competition near London, so tired now, but it’s been a great day.

After the roller coaster week I’ve had, I have to say I’ve been in two minds about going, but not only had I entered myself, I had also entered two of my students, one young lad was taking part in his first competition, so I was really obliged to go, although deep down I really didn’t want to miss my Sunday morning in Church, it means that much to me now.

But I’m glad I did, my young student did well for his first competition, although he lost in the first round of the kata (the performance of pre set routines), he beat the same opponent in the kumite (free fighting) before losing in the next round, a great start to his competition career, I was a proud instructor.

My other senior student, who entered, finished joint third in the kumite, narrowly losing his semi final to the eventual winner, another great performance.

Now to the bit I know you are all waiting for, how did I do?

Well I got through my first few rounds of kata this time, no first round exit, made it to the semi finals, then comfortably made the final later by winning my section. At this point whilst waiting for the final I had to get out, get some fresh air, well sort of, I really just wanted to cry, I was overwhelmed with emotion, I needed to shed some tears and in a hall with 300 plus karate competitors was not the place. Why the emotion? It wasn’t over yet, there was still the final, but at that point I was so happy to be doing well, to be competitive again, I just wanted to cry, the final was just a bonus, actually taking part was the victory.

Having said that I am very self-critical and I wasn’t overly happy with my kata in the final, it wasn’t my best, but it was good enough for second and a silver medal, behind the current National Champion, so after all that I was a little disappointed not to win, having come so close, but so happy to have taken part, still been competitive and in light of the past year done so well.

It was also great to catch up with old friends, some I haven’t seen for some months, the first thing that hit many of them was my new slimline figure, the little fat man was gone, I must admit I enjoyed soaking up all the great comments about my new look, I think I deserve to feel good about myself today, I’ve worked hard for it.

Some of my friends knew a little bit about my struggle, many of them didn’t know a thing, I spoke with a few people about it, I guess I was drawn to speak with these friends and each one had similar stories from their past, they gave me so much encouragement, I feel blessed just to know them.

Once again this week, despite all my self doubts, everything turns out pretty good, it’s been a fantastic day, if only for meeting old friends.  Just to compete again was a great feeling, to get a silver, well it actually feels great.

Everyday is a new day
I’m thankful for every breath I take
I won’t take it for granted
So I learn from my mistakes
(Alive by P.O.D.)

I feel good about myself today, the last ten days have lifted me so much, but I’m sorry I feel a little selfish here, a little self-centred, but I’ve loved all the fantastic compliments, I think for once I deserve to feel this good, because these comments do not just praise how far I’ve come, but they praise the glorious work our God has done within me.