My 38 year-old self is finally trying to eat right and exercise. I have to. Warbringer is towing along a slew of killer thrash bands, scheduled to arrive in Kansas City on October 30th, and I have to be primed for the ass-whopping I'll receive in the pit!
Back when I was in a band, we had high energy band practices every day and played at least every other weekend. At my job, I worked on my feet. Constantly moving, man. I had no problem with staying in shape.
But almost 9 years have past since I was in a band. For the past six years, I've sat in an office doing graphic design for 8 hours a day while stuffing my face with cookies and McDonald's food. My muscles went to sleep and my belly woke up…and grew.
After all this time, two things happened to finally convince me to lose some of the old man fat. Well, three things actually (my pants no longer fit), but the first two were essential epiphanies needed to begin my long road to carrots and chicken breasts.
Last year during the Slayer/Megadeth Carnage tour, I made it there early to catch the Testament set. I remember Chuck stopping a song in the middle so he could divide the crowd into a Wall Of Death, with the moshing to commence once the song kicks back in.
I just happened to be on the front line.
Before this, I hadn't been in a proper mosh pit since…duuhhhhh…I don't know. It was a long time, okay? For some reason, I think it was a Pro-Pain show and it was well before my old-ass muscles showed signs of pre-rigor mortis.
Anyway, my wife was in the crowd with me, so when the "wall" started to form, she was right behind me. As the front line backed up, I told her, "You can still get out if you want."
The line was then stopped and ready for Testament to trumpet the charge. "Are you sure you want to stay?" I asked my wife again, as my voice cracked.
You see, my wife has been in plenty of mosh pits, but like me, she hadn't been in one for years and I wasn't sure if she was ready for her first Wall Of Death to break her back in to the pit. Hell, I wasn't sure if I was ready!
Too late. Testament kicked in and the line charged. As I dug my heels into the ground out of instinctual self-preservation, my wife was pushing me with full force while yelling, "GO! GO! GOOOO!"
I was worried about her, and she was pushing me.
I finally moved my ass, and I ended up having a great time in the mosh pit for the rest of the song. I haven't felt that rush of adrenaline at a concert for a long time. But once the adrenaline was gone, my lungs were on fire, my chest was cramped, and I was leaning over as if I was going to puke.
Out. Of. Shape.
I got out of the pit area after Testament's set to watch Megadeth. Two songs into Megadeth's set, my wife said, "See ya," and ran back into the pit. I was still trying to air up my lungs.
I wanted to mosh, but I just couldn't. My body laughed and said, "Uh, no." That sucked.
So, Reason #1 to lose weight and get into shape: Can't mosh for more than 5 minutes. Watch wife mosh throughout entire Megadeth set, making me mop my male ego off the amphitheater's concrete floor.
The second thing that happened to me was not as exciting. At a recent family birthday gathering, one of my previously chubby uncles pointed at my stomach and let out a chuckle.
It's a long story as to why he is able to laugh at my attached personification of sloth, but let's say I had it coming.
After his chuckle and a quick exchange of pleasant conversation, I went into the house where one of my aunts was sitting. She is a big woman. Always has been. Most of my family on my mother's side are big people. Farming folks who like their beer and fatty breakfasts.
As I walked by her, she stopped me, put her palm over my belly like some spiritual healer and said, "This means that you're part of the family."
Well, that was THAT.
Reason #2 to lose weight and get into shape: Getting fatter than my fat relatives, and they like it!
I want to fit in my jeans and old concert shirts. I want to get healthier. Mainly, I want to get into the Warbringer pit without barfing up my heart.
So now I'm eating good foods and exercising, counting down the days (as I count down the pounds) to some upcoming thrash metal concerts.
Those of you who are going to attend the KC Warbringer show: if you see a crumpled up figure laying down in a fetal position after the concert, just know that I tried my best.