Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tony Horton's gift to my daughter

Tony Horton's Gift To My Daughter
  April 2009, My girl's slept after a long day of playing at the water park. It was my youngest daughter, Kyra's, 4th birthday. My wife had fallen asleep in my lap on the couch in a separate area of the hotel room. Spread out before us were the remains of a colossal meal complete with pizza, onion rings, burgers, fries and desserts galore. I was the only one awake, barely, as my gut was stuffed to its limit...beer in hand to top off the caloric assault upon my steadily increasing waist-line. This day had taken its toll on me. I was exhausted, so much so that I didn't even reach for the remote control to change the channel on the television when our show ended. That was when I met him for the first time...and it changed our lives forever.

 My relationship with my daughters has been something I have treasured. Starting with my oldest, Lea, whom I had the great honor of being able to stay home and care for when she was very young. Even back then, my struggle to control my weight was bothersome. It made the summer months unbearable, even in Michigan, so we remained inside much of the time to my wife's dismay. When Kyra arrived almost 4 years later, I had slimmed down a bit. It didn't last. My weight quickly increased as we settled into our new home and lives with the girls. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't obese, but i was easily winded going up stairs so chasing around even a toddler had become difficult.
Kyra & Dad - Christmas 2008

  As the girls got older we did as many families do...started venturing out on trips. Our goal was Disney World, however, Kyra was rather capricious so we needed to 'test the waters' so to speak. There were quite a few options, but water parks became our choice. The girls loved them, especially, Kyra. She would've climbed, swam and dashed about the park til this day if we allowed her. 
 Going to a water park wasn't necessarily my idea of fun at that point. My weight had reached its zenith. Chasing Kyra didn't help my situation. Then it happened...that energetic, humorous voice burst through the quiet hotel room as I lay lethargically upon the couch after celebrating Kyra's 4th birthday.
  I never watched infomercials, but my laziness aided trainer, Tony Horton, with a captive audience. I remember watching it and actually saying, "I think I can do that!" I had finally reached the breaking point. I was no longer going to allow ME to do this to my family. A few days later, I had purchased the program, and began to lose weight. Tony Horton became my personal trainer and I can attest to the betterment I have found just from getting in shape and eating better.
  My wife and I have always said to one another that "things happen for a reason." Apparently, that night I was supposed to meet the man that would change not only my life, but my family's FOREVER.  
  After only 3 months, I had lost twenty pounds. It had drastically changed my energy level and physical appearance, for the better. I continued to exercise and watch what I ate since that time and four years later I'm 35 pounds slimmer, but most importantly...have kept it off. 
 It slowly matriculated throughout our family. My oldest, Lea, was unfortunately graced with my family's body type, which also meant she would most likely go through a horribly awkward physical stage...heavy and round. It never happened. She remains active, a competitive dancer at the age of 11, but by that age I was deep into my first of many battles with my weight concerns. She has remained healthy and fit. Recently, my beautiful wive had her 'moment' like I had nearly 4 years before. In 3 months she dropped fifteen pounds.
  For two adults quickly approaching the dreaded 'hill' of life, we find ourselves in better health than when we started our family over a decade ago.

 Kyra will turn 8 this month. As usual, for her birthday celebration our family will be heading to the water park. It will be a far different experience for The Purrett's this time, there my wife and I will be playing with our girls, healthy and happily chasing them around, now and for years to come...thanks to Tony Horton and P90X.

Fantasy/Science Fiction Author - Stories available in paperback on Amazon
ebooks found on Nook & Kindle
Copyright 2013: Christopher M. Purrett

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Musical Memories

  I was driving home from work Saturday afternoon when I turned on the radio. The Dj's wimpy voice droned on about something unimportant filling my car with noise. I only turned it on to avoid silence. "This band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their record release today," he announced before playing the song "Sober" from Tool.
  I was instantly transported back to 1993, driving down a dirt road late at night blasting the song through the crummy speakers of my Ford Tempo while coming home. It was snowy, piled along either side of the rough, pitted road that raised over the rolling hills and railroad tracks before I turned down the long driveway and parked at my parents' house
  "Sober" was one of my favorite songs then and Undertow was the first cd I ever purchased with my own money.
  As the song ended that Saturday afternoon, I smiled. My mood had instantly improved, not because of the songs tone, but because of the fond memories it evoked from my youth. It is something that I have cherished during my life. Music has played an important role in milestones and memories that I have created in my mind...for lack of a better phrase, Music sets the soundtrack to my life. That made me think... what are some of the most memorable albums in your life? Here are a few of mine...
Tool - Undertow (Released April 6, 1993)
 As I mentioned before, Tool's 1993 release, Undertow, was the first cd I purchased with my own money. It gave me a sense of indepenence. My parents would never have even considered picking it up let alone purchase it for me. Fortunately for me, I was 16 when it was released and had just started my first job. Undertow was dark with mysterious imagery and haunting lyrics. It was everything a high school boy like me wanted in his music then. It stabbed at everything that had emerged from the 1980's and pulled me into amassing a ridiculously large music collection by college. Undertow started it all for me.

Live - The Distance To Here (Released November 19, 1999)
   Live was a band, with an awful name for google searching, that I followed religiously by this point in their careers. Throwing Copper is one of my personal favorites (I am actually listening to it right now while typing this); however, the band's 1999 release, The Distance To Here, has a very personal meaning for me.
   That November I was still at college, quickly approaching graduation. My future wife had graduated in May of the same year, moved away and began her career. The Distance to Here was the record we would listen to when she came back to visit. To this day I vividly remember her dancing with me in my room at the house I lived in, long flower dress, long hair pulled back revealing her neck (okay I must focus). When I listen to songs like; "The Dolphins Cry",  "Run To The Water", or "They Stood Up For Love" it reminds me how much I missed her and still love her to this day. It takes me back to the day when I was plotting...oh wait, I mean planning to ask her to marry me. (I love this record, but not as much as you, Misty.)
Fall Out Boy - Infinite On High (Released February 6, 2008)
   This album was released just after my 31st birthday, and I still blast every single song when I hear it. There are so many great tracks; "Thanks For The Memories", "Thriller", "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" to name a few. What makes it so special? It is the first band (this album specifically) that I shared with my daughters. We spent that summer listening to this over and over. Thank God that cassette tapes are history, because it would be warped from use by now. Whenever, Fall Out Boy plays in our house everyone sings along and that is why Infinite On High makes this list.
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light (Released April 12, 2011)
  My final choice for this blog is one of the most successful rock bands of my generation, the Foo Fighters with Wasting Light. This is my favorite Foo record to date, but its the story of its introduction to my family that solidified it as a Musical Memory!
  In the month leading up to Wasting Light's release, the Foo Fighters were consistently being played on a television channel called Palladia. My wife and I had been fans since the beginning of our relationship as their record The Color & The Shape (2007) had recently been released. We spent the month leading up to the release of Wasting Light watching two specials on Palladia, a concert from Wembley Stadium and their documentary video, Back & Forth. We were both so excited when the record came out! We went to see them that fall in Detroit. Wasting Light reconnected my wife and I musically. We hadn't attended a concert together in a decade, something we did frequently early on in our relationship. (Our first date was Lallapolloza '97)

  Music has created so many great memories for me. I can't wait for summer, just so my wife and I can relax together listening to playlists that I spend hours creating to evoke those perfect moments from our history together, and hope to make plenty more for the future.
  What are your Musical Memories? 

Fantasy/Science Fiction Author - Stories available in paperback on Amazon
ebooks found on Nook & Kindle
Copyright 2013: Christopher M. Purrett