Just prior to Kelly’s (our Office Manager) return, my wife Sue and I took our traditional after tax season get away deciding to again head back to that little gem on the Eastern Shore, Ocean City, MD. Staring out at the ocean, walking on the boardwalk, talking to one another, taking time to reflect resulted in a new vision not only for Carlozo & Company (C & C), but for me as well. I knew I must face the truth head on – there was no getting around it. Even though many years removed, as a former trained athlete, I all too well knew the discipline required to get my body in “playing shape”. While “game days” were the very best, memories of practice and pushing my body in condition were quite frankly, not pleasant. Now some 37 years later, it would take a serious commitment, but it was more than just exercising, I would need to “take time for myself” as well as “take time away from the office”. Never before, in the history of C & C, had I even considered such an undertaking. As unbelievable as it might seem, even though I owned my own business, I had often thought to myself, how can I do that? Regardless, the time had come for action, and so in late May around lunchtime, I quietly wandered over to The Maryland Athletic Club (The MAC) which was only a few blocks from our office in Timonium, signed myself up and hired a personal trainer (PT). I had no idea what to expect, how my body would react, how the work at the office would get done, but it was time to “damn the torpedoes” and “move full speed ahead”.
As I showed up for my first training session, I purposely arrived early. Like a kid in a candy store, I stared up and down at the basketball court finding myself mesmerized. I decided “what the heck” and went out and started bouncing the ball around taking shots from around the key – I was having a ball. How could I do this when I had work to do around the office? How could I make this commitment? What I had I gotten myself into? Surely, I thought, the other members were going to laugh at me not being able to do what once came easily. Maybe it was last minute jitters, but before I knew it, the time had arrived to start personal training. Then, in walked all 5′ 5″ of Erin Olsen. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she was full of spirit and enthusiasm and a burning desire to help me accomplish my goals – personal training was her calling and she was good at it, very good. She would push me until my muscles hurt (actually burn) challenge me to get better, and not put up with any rationalization on my part. She was on a mission — and it was exactly what I needed. I had finally realized, and came to accept, that I either couldn’t or wouldn’t do it on my own and that was O.K. About a month into my training one of the newly hired PT’s, Erick Baier, began “shadowing” with us. While Erin and Erick are both excellent PT’s, what impressed me most is what fine young adults they are – The MAC should be proud, very proud. When I sat back and thought about it, the cost of the membership dues and personal training wasn’t an expense at all – it was an investment in myself. As the weeks went by and the extra pounds slowly began to peel away, as my muscles got firmer and my conditioning improved, I began to realize that The MAC was really just a little city in and of itself. I met other members, without even trying. I came to know the other PTs and it was always great to see them. It was beyond my wildest dreams and then some.
(Left to Right – Erin Olsen, a tired me, Erick Baier)
The “MAC Experience” doesn’t show up in an advertisement, in a sales brochure, a fitness club review or even in a GOOGLE search for that matter. I was having a great time, and yes, miraculously the work got done back at the office. While I still have a long way to go, I understand that it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish, so I will keep plugging, and plugging and plugging. As a side note, when I glance around The MAC and see all the members working so hard to get/stay in shape and then consider all the health and obesity problems in our society (Marylanders today have a combined obesity and overweight rate of 64.1%, diabetes rate of 9.1% and hypertension rate of 28.2%) it’s a shame that health club dues/personal training fees fall outside the realm of a tax deductible IRS expense. Yet, buying a hybrid and/or electric car can result in substantial tax credits and who can forget the economic stimulus called “cash for clunkers”. Enough said.
If you had wanted for years to get yourself in shape, but always seem to have an excuse, then this MAC for is for you. Don’t wait 37 years. Don’t wait 37 months. Don’t wait 37 weeks. Don’t wait 37 days. Don’t wait 37 hours. Don’t even wait 37 minutes!!! Make up your mind to take action now and don’t feel bad if you cannot alone summons up the discipline to do it on your own; if I can do it, you can too. I can attest to the results and how much better you will feel, and yes, the work will get done.
Have a Great Day!!!! May God Bless You!!!
Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)