I was twenty at the time and a twenty-one year old man was giving my seventeen year old brother a hard time through interactions on weekends. It was the night of the fbs championship. As a group gathered at the house of a friend, drinking games would ensue. It would be the ride to my house that the altercation would happen. As the three of us were driving the driver would point out his house. After the vehicle stopped I got out not fully understanding what was going to happen. I went to the door around midnight, and he would answer the door. I would challenge him there. All the loud voices woke his father up, who came to the door. I responded by informing the two of them I was willing to make easier for them, and fight the both of them. I was charged with burglary for the forceful way I entered the house, and after a small scuffle, he was able to slip out of the head lock and push me outside. When I turned around the man’s sister was closing the door. I would bang on the door before leaving. The police were already in my drive; I chose to have the driver proceed past my residence, drop me off away from that location, and I would walk home. Once arriving at the front porch, I would be interrogated as to what my name was. My response exhibited that of a person giving up. The fortunate aspect of that ordeal was that the charges all remained non-violent misdemeanors. Which now, I reflect and conclude that the lawyer did his job. That same lawyer would advise me to plead guilty to a later incident, where clearly I was guilty, but it had the effect of violating probation for a separate case. I would then use a different lawyer for the violation, and become a convict.
Being released on Independence day gave new meaning to the holiday. The fortunate aspect of that situation was that seventeen days left on my sentence I would report back from work release intoxicated. I retained my job at the country club once I made work release. It was seven in the morning, I reported to work knowing I had to return by five that evening. Management would cut the staff at ten in the morning, and give me the rest of the day off. I was overjoyed but my prospects were few, and so I walked the two miles to the bar. I was having such a good time I had forgot I was locked-up, but an ex-convict pulled me up a discussed the gravity of my decisions. I had him drop me off seven to ten miles away from the jail; so I could walk and regain my composure. I was two hours late. After my injury, and while making better decisions I went to investigate the engagement process, but while at the seminar I came to understand my criminal behavior was not eligible. It had to do with the state giving me a probationary term, all of which I violated.
I got out of county jail July 4, 1999, I was struck by a car October 10,1999.
There are two facilities local to me, and by local I mean I do not have a driver’s license and I will walk. I was being discharged from the hospital with the inability to walk at the end of ‘99. In 2001 I started exercising at a local gym two miles away. The walk to get there eclipsed three hours because of a lack of endurance. I would walk there, workout, and then walk home in order to construct an active day. I would perform that routine three or four times weekly. Then in 2003 I extended my walk one mile to arrive at a bus stop. From there I could get to the mall; which was down the street from a community college.
Instead of waiting for the bus responsible for taking the students to school, I would walk the mile or so. In 2009 I graduated with a two year degree. Because of the severity of my injury I was required to take the placement exam upon registration. The test reveled shortcomings and I was placed in two prerequisites before college level English and three prerequisites before college level math. The school did have a gym, and I would perform routines working two muscles. (chest&triceps, or bask&biceps, or legs&shoulders) I would consistently perform sets of 15, 12, 10, and 8; sometimes the set of 15 was a casualty. As a warm-up I would routinely do 100 squats, 200 sit-ups, and 300 pushups before chest&triceps, or bask&biceps, or legs&shoulders. I would the repeat the same order before the week was over, and on the seventh day I could rest, but I chose to do cardio or walk to remain active. I performed that six day routine for most of a summer, but with other interest I had weight training became a casualty.
After surviving the injury I thought I was the man and I would enroll in BJJ while also exercising at the local gym, or exercising at the school, in addition to the walking that was done, I felt superior. Tracking myself using an app for the cell phone that triangulates cell towers to produce a map of the days activities. I would measure the time required to journey 1000 miles, sixteen months; I walked for more than a decade. There has been other things that have astonished me, but they remain mostly physical. In school I was astonished by some of the grades I received, but I felt as if the administration was passing me with C’s no matter the performance.
I thought there was a need for change so I switched gyms. Switching to a gym seven miles away and a lower membership cost. Now that the endurance was at a high level I could get there under three hours. I did the routine for a few years then I had a short stint of no physical activity. I started doing pushups as away of isolation, when questioned about the isolation I responded by claiming it was difficult to argue with myself.
Well after a short stint in city jail and county jail after injury I choose to subtract the culprit; I stopped my alcohol consumption. It has gotten easier as the time progressed. Fortunately for me I was court ordered to work a program. I was engaged from day one; this was the last jail-free program I was eligible for. The criminal history started early in my life, and after the injury and getting my driver’s license after a eleven years of walking, it only took one incident for revocation. Before being injured I had exhibited behavior leading to two intoxicated driving convictions; then I got a third drunk driving conviction post injury.
I had cognitive strength regarding my path, and I understood that a conscious decision was to be made for me to return to a lifestyle that produced a convict. I was unwilling to do that, and because of that I have remained true to myself. While at the 28 day program I continued to do calisthenics as a way to break away from the crowd. The most exercise patients will perform while at rehab is watching someone else do it! The first three weeks there I completed over 2300 sit-ups and nearly 2500 pushups. While at rehab doing the exercises for long periods of time inspired another patient to refer to me as a warrior. At a local gym I completed 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, and 100 pushups within a short period of time, to gain the respect of many. After completing ten sets of thirty pushups and ten sets of twenty sit-ups, I would announce the totals for each exercise, and one of the trainers would respond by saying she can respect three hundred of anything.
After the stint in rehab, and the conclusion of all probationary requirements I would use pushups and sit-ups as a warm-up to weight training at a local gym. At the time I was completing 100 of each exercise within ten minutes. Because I would conclude my membership at both gyms the workout was done at home. I would start with pushups and sit-ups and transition to all pushups. For the year ’16 I would average 1000 pushups weekly, and that was going to be hard to beat; but if there was a person.
Twenty-four hours a day is all the discipline it will take for daily progress to be made. June of ’14 was spent at an inpatient facility for 28 days. That was on the heels of an intensive out patient program; which the court found insufficient in reducing any jail time. I had been through the withdrawal of alcohol, and I enjoy a routine based lifestyle, so rehab was another day I was unemployed. A routine the program perceives as the needed element to a sober lifestyle. Leaving the facility I would proclaim, “Discharged from father martin’s Ashley today; I will not have their influence dictate my pathway to sobriety.”
2017 was a year that saw my Mother die in February. I transitioned from doing 1000 pushups within 168 hours, to 24 hours, and finally 3 hours. Around Christmas this year at a local gym the members were fortunate to witness my effort to complete 500 pushups and 150 sit-ups. I now have the endurance to complete 500 pushups within 60 minutes. The resolution for last year was to perform 100 sets of ten pushups within 120 minutes; by reading the previous sentence one realizes one does not have the level of endurance needed to be successful.
This year I will increase the number of pushups in a set to begin to tear muscle fiber earlier in the workout. As it is now I must workout for forty minutes before a workout takes place. Meaning the endurance level is high, and that the muscle fibers are deep. To exercise the specific fibers I must complete an exercise many times. Someone once told me that I fight to live; which I took to mean that if I was not in shape to confront all, that I would dedicate my free time to correcting that issue.
I will make it in ’18!