Just about a year and a half ago, approaching fifty years old, overweight, facing a terrible divorce after over 25 years of marriage, I, Mr. Kickazz, was faced with a decision to make. 11873513_10153637883425086_6669446222541856683_n-1-150x150I could continue to neglect my health and live with low self-esteem or I could change my life by changing my attitude toward my own mind, body and soul. I chose to change everything. Step one was to hit the gym and loose the weight which people identified me and my persona with. At almost two hundred and fifty pounds, on two high blood pressure pills a day, I took that first step and joined the gym. The first day I went I walked on the treadmill for twenty minutes, rode the stationary bicycle and did some stretchy exercises for my fat belly and started to walk out of the gym. On my way out I saw a friend of mine and I told him what I did that morning and he said “no, no, no, no, no.” He said I should meet him there the next day at 5:30 A.M. And he would show me what to do. The next day I met him there. I was ready for whatever he said I should do. I thought he would have some great combination of weights and machines to help me and he pointed to this one machine, the arc trainer. He said “now you get on that machine and you get it up to sixty minutes a day and I guarantee you will get where you want to go.” So I got on the machine and after ten minutes I wanted to die. He said “now get off and take a break, but you have to get back on and get it up to sixty minutes.” I listened and before the morning was over I did my sixty minutes. I was drenched in sweat and outta breath, but I knew I was doing the right thing.
Of course, before I started this exercise and diet I had to consult my doctor. My doctor said I would have to diet and exercise to accomplish the goals I set for myself. First thing the doctor said is that I should stop using food for entertainment. I was familiar with calorie counting and had done calorie counting for a good part of my younger years. Unfortunately I had bad habits that included five foods that made me fat and kept me fat. The five foods I had to give up immediately were cheeseburgers, french fries, chicken wings, pizza and hoagies. I should say at this point in my life I had already given up alcohol completely ten years prior and thank God for helping me through that part of my life. I downloaded a calorie counter on my smart-phone and input my current weight & measurements, then input my goals.

Turns out I was only allowed to eat 1200 calories a day if I was to achieve my goals. My mornings were coffee with dry creamer, grapes would get me to lunchtime and I could eat a salad every day as long as I included a variety of healthy toppings. Grapes would take me from lunchtime to dinnertime and I would get a healthy, less than 600 calorie meal at any number of chain restaurants in town. Each day I would take two multi-vitamins to supplement my lack of high nutrition. At night, my fiendish snacking time I would retire early, approximately 10P.M. Because I had to be at the gym for 5:A.M.
I did this routine of mine every day, without fail and lost what was 48 pounds in seventy-five days. I outgrew, in reverse, all of my clothes and had to give away every stitch of clothing I owned. I bought myself a new wardrobe and the self-confidence stared to build. I knew that taking care of my long-neglected body was the first step to building the confidence to pursue the next steps of taking care of my mind and soul. unnamed-2

Taking care of my mind and soul had to become my priority. After all, if I hoped to find happiness some day, I had better be happy with myself. Projecting self confidence was something I knew I could not fake. Besides, being honest was a trait I tried to strive for in everything I ever did. Once I had lost the weight I wanted to lose, I started to do some amateur body building, lifting weights every other day and continuing the cardio every other day. I found that taking care of my body was taking care of my mind.
Beginning of October 2014 a friend of mine posted a picture of the Cincinnati skyline and said he was traveling there for a seminar one weekend in the middle of the month. On a whim, I told him I wanted to go with him to the seminar that weekend. He was into fitness, had his own transformation and I was inspired by him. I thought the seminar was about fitness, when in fact it was about people, spirituality and business. The seminar was taught by a self-made millionaire who has mentored many people across the country and across the world. I traveled to the three day long seminar in Cincinnati and was adopted by attendees as a member of their “family”. The leader of the seminar had her own ministry and many of the people attending belong to other ministries, but the pursuit of three things that bring happiness to the soul was the common thread. Peace, Love and to be a Better Person than I was yesterday were valiant goals to strive for

After three days of education, I knew I was not alone in my pursuit. I knew I could lean on members of my new found ‘family’ for guidance. Three weeks later, in mid November, Part Two of the seminar was given in Los Angeles. I learned so much about myself from these people. I learned to not be so reactionary. I learned to love my fellow man, no matter what they could do for me. I learned that true happiness comes from within. I decided to stay in Los Angeles and do some soul searching and at the same time I was looking inside I consulted with some of my spiritual advisers in private. My question to my advisers was simple and direct. I asked if I would find the right partnership with another human being. I inquired as to whether I would ever be able to find my ‘Soul-mate’. I didn’t know if the concept of a ‘Soul-Mate’ was even real. In the fast paced society we live in, would it be possible to make a connection with that one person who may complete me.
unnamed-3My spiritual advisers told me that it was entirely possible to make this connection, that the world, however big and frightening, had reserved happiness for me because it was already inside of me. They suggested that I have commune with God and develop a list of the one hundred qualities that my ‘Soul-Mate’ would or should possess. I was given an exercise in reality. I was faced with praying for the opportunity to love.
After spending an extra two weeks sightseeing and soul searching on the Best Coast and thinking about my task at hand, I felt I was ready to create my list. I gathered pen and paper and I was ready to have God guide my hand to fill the paper with the qualities I so desired in a partner, qualities I desired in a girlfriend and the qualities my ‘Soul-Mate’ would or should possess.
The Monday before Thanksgiving I boarded my flight from Los Angeles to Charlotte, North Carolina. After take-off, I folded down my tray table, put the paper down, numbered the page from one to one hundred and began to experience the worst, most frightening flight I had ever been on. The flight attendants didn’t leave their seat-belts for the entire five hours. The captain of the aircraft never let go of the yoke. Imagine the white knuckles from gripping the yoke and keeping control of over two hundred souls and their luggage in the holds below. On this flight, every person was praying to God that they would live. I was praying that I would find my ‘Soul-Mate’!
I ended up writing down what was eighty of the one hundred qualities my partner, girlfriend or ‘Soul-Mate’ might possess. Top of the list was 1. Faith in God and the bottom of the list was 80. Drinks Diet Soda. I purposely left the last twenty attributes blank for one of a few reasons. Maybe I just knew deep down inside that the list would never be complete. Maybe I knew that the right one would complete the list herself.
My quest to find the right girl began a few months before I ever knew what I wanted. It began when my self-confidence was high enough to hold my head up and look them in the eye. I put a smile on and I would catch the glance of others. I knew I was attracting the attention of others and joined a few online dating sights and struck up conversations with women who I though had similar interests or similar life goals, but the picture dating profiles paint is often full of wishful thinking, overzealous attitudes about life and sometimes deceit.
I went out on many dates. I talked to women for hours on end trying to convince myself that my quest was going in the right direction. I even had a long-distance love affair with a woman from Georgia, and not a southern belle, but a semi-Rusian belle from four thousand miles away. I genuinely thought she was the one, but alas if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. She was young and beautiful and I thought she was real, until she asked for money to help her pay the rent.
Christmas time was lonely and I kept my eyes, ears and mind open, in hopes that the right woman would be put in my path. January began my busy season. I continued to take care of myself by eating right and exercising. I saw many people and told many of them my story. I told them of my quest and even asked some of them for suggestions. At the end of January I attended another seminar in Austin, Texas, kind of as a review. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I wanted to make sure I was covering all my bases. She had to be out there somewhere. I needed to find my ‘Soul-Mate’. What was I doing wrong?
Valentines Day was fast approaching and I wanted to go out on a date. After all, wouldn’t it be so romantic to find true love with Cupid’s arrow stuck in my butt. I had been watching a YouTube video of a pretty popular band and found out they would be playing on Valentines Day evening about an hour away. Wouldn’t this be a terrific date to take someone on, including dinner, a nice drive and a concert. Oh the romantic thoughts swam around in my mind. I invited a woman I met online and was sending messages back and forth with for a few weeks. She turned me down and I searched my brain for someone to accompany me. Then I remembered a few events from November.
In late October I went to see a local band in the next town down the road and we became friends. The band invited me the Sunday after Thanksgiving to a birthday party in my hometown for a local Internet Radio DJ.
Her name was LadySpitFire unnamedand she was celebrating her fortieth birthday, in style, with over half a dozen of her favorite local bands playing at her party. The party was dubbed Spitfire 40 and in addition to the two cakes there were lots of her friends in attendance. I was a little intimidated by the whole parade and show, but got up the courage to approach her and wish her a happy fortieth birthday. She, although she knew me from the past, did not recognized me until I told her who I was and showed her my before and after transformation photo. She immediately stood up, handed her camera to one of her best friends and said she wanted a picture of us together to remember that moment. She threw her arms around me and said that I was the Best Birthday Present She Had Ever Received!
This was God, putting in my path, just six days after my prayers, the woman who may well be my ‘Soul-Mate’!
We went out on a snow-covered Valentines Day Evening and there was a magical connection made that has turned our love for one another into the Adventures of Kickazz and LadySpitFire. Turn on to our Radio Show Wednesday nights at 9P.M. and turn on our Adventure page on FaceBook. We would love to have you! #effortneverdies #kickazzandladyspitfire

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