Six great years

Six years ago today, I was conflicted. You see, I was looking forward to six years and one day from today, but I was DREADING six years and five days from today.

Tomorrow is my sixth wedding anniversary. Six years ago tomorrow, my wife made an error in judgment that resulted in my being the luckiest man on the planet. And for our honeymoon, we went to Yosemite for two weeks of camping, hiking, rafting, and generally ignoring the whole of society while we celebrated our union.

Part of that trip was a "day hike" around the multiple peaks of the multiple mountains at Yosemite - a 16 mile hike up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down the elevated areas of one of America's largest national parks.

That wouldn't have been terrible... If I didn't weigh 370 lbs.

I had completely let myself go at that point in my life. I was arguably the most unhealthy I'd ever been, barring the day I was born. That's not to say I was a walking tank of human fat - almost everyone who knows me says I didn't LOOK 370lbs. And I still made it to the gym about once a month to prove to myself I could still survive a one mile run and a bit of lifting weights. But yeah... carrying that sort of weight, while being as out of shape as I was... Well, it was hell, quite honestly.

About two miles in, I was nearly useless... I made it through the other 14 miles through sheer stubbornness and pride. I didn't want my new bride to think I was weak and couldn't hack the whole hike (which, I wasn't, and I ended up doing... But it was because of my foolish male side, not because I was actually fit enough to do it).

Afterward, I did start eating better and working out... In fits. I slowly dropped from 370lbs to about 300lbs over four years. Then, I started working on what can only be classified as a huge mistake of a project (and if you're wondering what that might be, just look at the 2006 archives. You'll figure it out). That project found me eating the worst I've ever eaten, sleeping less than I ever slept, and wasting a TON of money (the major reason I left the project in January '07 was because our debt rose to dot-com-crash levels, after working SO hard to get rid of it all). So here I was, the most unhealthy - physically and mentally and financially - I'd ever been.

And she stuck with me.

Not just stuck with me... She supported me through it all. She knew I was going through a rough time, and she just stayed positive and kept pushing me to improve. She encouraged me to quit dismissing the prospect of being published, which led to a Penguin Books deal. She encouraged me to take our debt head-on and destroy it - which led to This Is Not Art! Productions growing out of being just a label on my self-published book and turned it into a pretty busy little company. She encouraged me to start going to the gym with her regularly - which led me to want to play football again, which led to my being the strongest I've ever been in my entire life.

There is no discounting the power of someone who believes in you.

I love you, Andrea Peacock. Here's to six great years of being absolutely perfect for one another.