Fitness Update! Or…What’s up in Tony’s Wacky World!

Brace yerself folks, this is gonna be quick…

Me being silly

…ok, ok, the GASP as all of you reacted in shock and disbelief was NOT needed!  Really!

Yes, you…my dearest readers!  All six of you including my awesome cousin Roger!

Hey, I can be short if I have to be.  And today I have to be because even though I have no “scheduled” thing to do today, I have a LOT of “things” to do…


Coffee.  Proof that there is a higher power and she wants us to be AWAKE!

Progress… and FRUSTRATION on the fitness front

I now weigh 295 lbs!  Yay!!!!

That is a total of 40 lbs lost!!!!!  YAY!  Yeehaw!  Yippee!

But…  Grrrrrrrrrrrr  Grumble Mumble [ saying dirty words ] BLEEP Bleep BLEEP

I’ve been STUCK at 295 for about a month now.  sigh  Grrrrrrr…..  I wanna be SLIMMER!

I’m getting fitter and healthier…

True that I am “stuck” on the weight loss front…but other indicators are more rewarding…

Applause Kitty…and THAT friends, neighbors, and dearest readers, is why you use more than one metric to measure your progress.  I know I’m getting fitter and healthier.  Here is why:

  • I can do more; I’m moving more; I’m more physically active.
    • THEN: The last week of Feb, taking a “dance lesson / training” (more on that later) lasting 2 hours was at the upper limit of my physical ability and stamina.  and I had to rest most of the next day.
    • NOW: I can not only take 3 hours of “dance lessons / training” (more on that later)  I can also on the same day do an hour of practice or teach an hour lesson. And [drum roll please] I do NOT have to rest the next day to recover.  The following day, I can do another dance practice or a lesson, or meet with a student or do laundry or get groceries or any number of routine things.


Coffee Kitty is NOT a Morning Person

This “Coffee Kitty” design is available on a wide variety of products at TxCowboyDancer Designs

Coffee helps in this.  Do not ask how I know this.  😉

  • Doing “things” is now easier
    • THEN: In Jan and most of Feb, “doing laundry” was an all day affair.  Basically that was my entire “to do list” for a day.  Sort clothes. Rest. Get coins, key and laundry soap ready.  Rest.  Spray pre-wash on sorted clothes. Rest.  Take clothes to laundry room, put them in the washer.  REST Go to laundry room to move clothes to the dryer.  REST Go get clothes from dryer and bring them to the condo.  REST A LONG TIME Hang clothes, fold clothes and put them all away.  TAKE A NAP TO RECOVER and then rest most of the next day.
    • NOW: I do other stuff while I’m doing laundry.  It basically ain’t no big deal any more.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t suddenly like doing laundry and I really wish we had a washer dryer in the condo…but this activity is no longer something that I have to plan for and allocate a rest day afterwards!  It is well within my physical capabilities and no longer is at the TOP of what my body is able to do.
  • Ditto all of the above for getting groceries.


How did humans survive before coffee was discovered?  Hmmm?

More indicators of “getting fitter” and “getting healthy”

  • I am dancing more:
    • THEN: in Jan…once a week practice.  In FEB twice a week.
    • Applause Sign (CC)NOW: I am dancing at least 3 times a week. Indeed, most weeks it is 4 or five times: either taking lessons (more on that later), teaching a class, practicing and/or rehearsing.
  • Going up and down the stairs is easier.
  • The average number of “Daily Steps” taken on my pedometer is on an upward trajectory.
  • My blood glucose levels in the morning after the nightly “fast” are between 108 and 129 which is within the normal range.
  • I am taking my daily medications and vitamin supplements as scheduled morning and evening about 98% – 99% of the time.  Not missing many.  Woot.
  • Showering is no longer an ordeal.  Hey…read back in my blog.  Yes, dearest readers, once upon a time not too long ago “taking a shower” was my “daily exercise” routine.  And done only 2-3 times a week!

I am sleeping better!!!!!!  YeeeeeeeeeeeHAW!


Folks this is a big one, which is why it gets it’s own section.  For most of the past two years, my sleep patterns have been all over the map.  Sometimes drifting to be completely opposite of the “rest of the US population.”  I’d go to bed around 8 in the morning and sleep through most of the day.

Or I’d take cat naps of 2-4 hours the stay up for a few hours then cat nap…throughout a 24 hour period, sleeping sometimes up to 12 or 14 hours a day.

Not good.  Not good at all.


  • cat sleepy-visualizing my dance routines-with copyright watermark ©2012I go to bed between 10p and 1a about 98% of the time and wake between 7 to 8 hours later between 7-9 am.  At which point I stumble, zombie like, to the coffee pot.
  • Mostly I’m no longer having any trouble going to sleep when I lie down at “bedtime”.
  • I usually wake only once or twice during the night.
  • When I wake up in the mornings, I’m generally refreshed and rested.
  • I rarely need a nap in the afternoon any longer and when I do it is generally just about 30 minutes or so.

Wow!  Can I have round of applause?

Awwww… Shucks.  You’re so kind!  Why…thank you.  Thank you.  THANK you.  “I’d like to thank the Academy….”

I’m dancing again….

2006.07 First World Otgames - MontrealFolks.  For someone like me for whom dancing is such a BIG part of their life to go from dancing all the time to not dancing at all…well that ain’t a good thang.

Now I’m dancing again.  Not only am I dancing.  I’m teaching dance:

  • Line Dance Tuesdays…in Fort Worth..
  • Line Dance Wednesdays…in Dallas
  • Private Lessons in partner dances:
    • West Coast Swing
    • Texas Two Step (the regional dance known to most folks in Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Louisiana and Arkansas simply as the “Two-step”)
    • Two Step (the dance done in competition and known by the REST of the world as “Two-step”)
    • Progressive / Double Two (what folks at the Roundup call the “Shuffle”)
  • Private Lessons in:
  • I am in the Dance Instructor Training Program at Dancemakers of Texas.  Yay!
    • The owner of the studio has invited me to join their staff as one of their studio instructors. Yay! Did you catch that?  This is BIG! Huge! Woot!
    • In addition to teaching weekly line dance class which started this week, I have begun the instructor training program to become one of their couples instructors, eventually teaching students partner dancing in not only Country Western, but Ballroom as well.  Yay!!!!!
      couples dancingThe training program works like “on the job” training.  I already know how to teach some partner dances (West Coast Swing, Two-step, Double Two/Progressive) but this program will enable me to teach partner dancing in Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha-cha, Rumba, Tango, and East Coast Swing, and Night club Two-step. Woot!  Yay!I am honing my dance skills and soon the studio will have most awesome “Moí” sharing my passion for dancing at their studio for years to come!  *grin*  Yes, I know…I’m a handful.  😀
      In complete seriousness, I am honored and humbled that Julie, the studio owner, selected me to be a part of her studio. It is a fantastic facility staffed by a great group of instructors and I’m thrilled to be joining them.
      Between me and you, my most awesome, fabulous readers, I am working VERY hard to learn the material, because the sooner I can master the syllabus, the sooner I will get hooked up with students and start earning some much needed money.
  • Speaking of money.  Or rather the lack of it…I am also preparing to compete at dance events all throughout the year.  Money is the issue…. *sigh* If you have $20, or more, which you could toss my way to help me achieve my competition goals, I wouldreally appreciate it.  Entry fees and travel expenses well, are, uhmmm…expensive!  *sigh*

Last bit…a warning / caution…and I’m done

Cramp in calf

“Ah Grasshopper…”

Listen to the voice of experience… mine!  And learn.

When you are out of shape and getting back into shape you have to be VERY CAREFUL.  There is a tendency to (1) overdo things and (2) to get depressed about how slowly things are moving in a positive direction.

About 3 weeks ago, I was practicing and I strained a calf muscle.  OUCHIES!  It was a VERY close call.  It was as close to a major cramp as you can get without actually having the cramp.

The past three weeks have been a constant regimen of light stretching, rest, using Icy Hot, resting, stretching, using Hyland’s Leg Cramp tablets, eating LOTS of bananas, more stretching, more resting and so on and so on.

And it has worked.  As of yesterday, I was back up to speed.  No twinges in the strained calf.  Yay!

And now, morning stretching is BACK on the daily “routine.”  Yay!

But that was a VERY close call.

The lower back, shoulders, and assorted aches…


I wish my shoulders and arms looked this good!

I’ve also had periodic soreness in my lower back, my other calf, my hamstrings, and my shoulder.

UGH!  I sound like I’m falling apart!  Well, uhmmm… not actually…

…what is happening is that I am COMING TOGETHER after having been apart. If you’ll allow me to stretch the metaphor.

Get it?  snort  giggle  “…stretch…” the metaphor?  LOL  I crack myself up sometimes!

Soreness as you get fitter is normal.  You should feel as if you’ve been using your muscles after, well, uhmm, using your muscles! 

You should NOT feel pain.

I’ve managed the soreness in the back with stretching, rest, and Doan’s.  I really like Doan’s — I don’t know how it works but it really does seem to target the lower back and relieve the sorness.

Alieve helps with the arthritis and torn glenoid injury in my shoulder.  So does stretching.

My shoulder…and begging for your help

I really need to get to the Physical Therapist.

I have a Posterior Glenoid Tear.  The “glenoid” is like the creamy stuff in an Oreo Cookie.  But in this case the “creamy stuff” is the squishy tissue that keeps the bones in your shoulder from rubbing against one another.  Well mine has a tear in it.

The physical therapist will train me how to do the exercises and how to do the stretches to strengthen and improve the flexibility of the joint area so that it won’t hurt and ache all the time.

I really REALLY need to do this!

I  even have an Rx and a referral however I have not been able to schedule an appointment because I do not have the money.  Each visit costs $30.

I need to do two of them this month which would be $60.  And I just don’t have the money.  It really sucks to have to choose between food and medical.  Yes, I’m begging for money here.  If you can throw $30 my way to go to the PT that would be awesome.

If you have $60 and want to help me out then I will sing your praises.

Better yet if you have a business of ANY kind I’ll even post an ad here on my blog for one month in exchange.  Use my contact form if you want to do the ad.

It takes time…

I did not get into the shape I’m in now…. VERY ROUND …overnight.  No, indeed, it took a loooooooooooooooooonnnngggg time to get this badly out of shape.

Change-is-a-ProcessThe low spot was a year ago:

  • Walking was difficult.
  • Going down a flight of stairs was a 3-5 minute ordeal requiring hand on rail and step by step concentration.
  • Going up a flight of stairs was a 5-10 minute ordeal.  And lawdy helps me if I had groceries or laundry to contend with.
  • Standing for more than 10 minutes to cook or fix a meal was painful.  As in “you’d better sit down before you injure yourself” kind of pain.
  • Dancing? No way. No how.  The only “dancing” in my life was watching posts on Facebook from all my “dance friends” going out and having fun that was no longer possible for me.  *sigh*

I’ve come a long way in 12 months.  40lbs gone!  Yay!  Almost 3% body fat reduction.  I don’t know how many inches I have lost…measuring my waist, chest, etc is one of the “thangs I gotta do today” which I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

I’m dancing again.  I’m teaching again.  I’ll be competing again soon.  And I’m even going to be performing in the Saturday night show at the Texas Hoedown on March 12th!

Bottom line…

I feel better.  I’m enjoying life more.  I’m dancing again!

I am confident that by the end of the year I’ll be even fitter, healthier, slimmer, and happier than I’ve been in a very long time.

It is a process and a journey.  And getting to my former level of fitness is just a way station or pit stop on the journey.  It is not the destination.  The destination is to be fit enough to be able to dance for the rest of my life.

See ya on the dance floor!


PPS… Check out my Special Offer: Introduction / Overview of Competition Line Dancing

Curious About Line Dance Compeition?

YeeeeeeeeHAW!  See ya on the dance floor!


About TxCowboyDancer

Professional Dance Instructor teaching Country, Ballroom, Swing, Latin and Line Dance. Eleven time Country Dance World Champion.

Posted on Thu, Mar 3, 2016, in Dance, Getting Fit, Getting Healthy, Line Dance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hey Tony!
    You’re well on your way to staying in the fit zone! Congrats buddy! I’m soooo happy for you that you’re dancing again! Woohoo!



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