Trending Up

I am pleased to say that Designated Driver is up and running as of yesterday. I have been working with a group of people that have helped me design and develop the app. There were some complications with the design but once we got through that, it has been easy. I did make some changes to it though. Originally, I was going to have a trivia question, a math question and a puzzle. However, I’ve realized that the trivia question isn’t a good fit because what if they honestly don’t know the answer? So I have changed the trivia question to a form that asks for your weight and how many beers or glasses of wine you have had. That way, there is written proof that you are too drunk to drive, even if you get all the questions right.

I have a friend in law enforcement and he says that the app is a great idea. He said that drunk driving is a big problem, especially in young adults. However, he did convince me to put a disclaimer in the app that shows up every time you open it. Basically it says that I do not claim responsibility if anyone drinks and drives and I also listed the app as a game which will help my case should anyone decide to sue me. I have released a beta version a few weeks ago and I have gotten a great response so far.

Even though it has just been released, I have some new ideas already. There is a breathalyzer phone connector that works with smartphones. I am in contact with the creator and we are going to make my app compatible with his breathalyzer. This way, people will get even more information about their drinking which will hopefully prevent people from driving. Again however, these are tools that are being used by choice, and people will choose to use this app as well as choose to not drive. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what app or tool you have, people will still drink and drive no matter what.

In a way, I feel like this is my calling. It’s like my drunken life has lead up to this app. All my experiences drunk driving, as well as losing my best friend to drunk driving, have prepared me for this app. I want to save lives and prevent accidents. Losing my best friend to drunk driving changed my life forever and I don’t want anyone else to have to lose their loved one due to them having a few too many beers. I have poured my heart and soul into this program so I have high hopes that it will not only be successful financially, but that it will also make a difference in the world.

I have done some calculations and it appears that if the current download trend continues, I should be all set in the next three months. There’s no telling if this app is going to truly take off though as I’ve seen some have a strong start but bottom out soon after. As of this morning though, it appears that it is going to do very well. I already have a few reviews that praise the app. I can’t wait for people to start trying it out. It will be surreal if I am at a party and someone pulls out the app. I can’t wait to see how well it does.

I’m not ready to quit my job yet though. I need to wait and see how much income the app produces. Also, as a friend pointed out, the download rate will drop at some point so this isn’t going to secure my income for a lifetime. So I have decided to stick to the app making business and I have a few ideas that I’m going to try next. Before I make more apps, I have heard that it’s a good idea to establish an official business with a name. That way, everything will be under one umbrella which will make taxes easier and everything more organized. I am truly delighted about this topic and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next. Hopefully this can replace my income so I can finally walk away from my dreaded desk job and travel the world with confidence.

I’m The Running Man

I am happy to say that I have made some progress in my health. I have lost a total of 9 pounds so far and my overall health is improving. I’ve noticed that I have more energy now and I actually get excited at the idea of working out. I never thought I would be a workout buff but here I am. I’ve also increased my water intake, completely quit drinking soda and I have cut back on drinking alcohol; I pretty much save it for special occasions now. This healthy lifestyle is much more work than I had anticipated but it’s worth it. I can already feel the difference.

I have seen my doctor twice since I last wrote. One of the appointments was to review my lab work. He said that I was pre-diabetic and I was considered obese. It really hurt to hear that but it kind of gave me a kick in the butt about my health. The doctor said that if I didn’t make a change now, I was going to end up with diabetes. He also said my cholesterol was not the best but it could improve with proper diet and exercise. Standing on his scale was a big wake up moment for me and seeing that number drop is the greatest feeling. I want my body to be healthier and I know a big part of that is my diet.

I used to eat fast food for nearly every meal. I didn’t even know how to cook. So I started a new way of eating. Instead of going on a diet, I am just changing my eating habits. I threw out all the twinkies and cookies and replaced them with healthy snacks like pretzels and fruit. I also started to create meals using a low-fat cookbook. The recipes are pretty simple and I’m learning to cook while keeping a healthy diet. I used to stuff myself all the time but now I just eat until I’m full. I’ve noticed that my stomach can’t hold as much food anymore and I’m full after eating a decent portion, so that’s good. I’m learning to enjoy healthy eating and I am starting to explore vegetables and fruits. Eating healthy makes me feel good.

I jog almost every day now. Sometimes I jog before work when the streets are still empty and peaceful and sometimes I jog in the evening when the sun is starting to set. If I’m feeling really adventurous, I jog twice a day. Now, when I say jog, I mean slightly jogging but also walking in between. I still can’t jog full time but I am starting to increase the duration. I used to get winded before the end of the block and now I can jog all the way to the park before needing to take a break. I have been getting the famed “runner’s high” which feels amazing. Usually when that hits, I don’t want to stop jogging. The only problem is when the weather isn’t cooperating, I have to stick to the gym.

It’s not that I hate the gym. Well, honestly, I do hate the gym. It took me a bit to get over my two embarrassing gym incidents but I still hate going. I like to work out in private, not with fifty other sweaty people. But nevertheless, I still go to the gym. I have been using the weight room lately and I was able to increase the weights this week, which felt nice. I’ve also been doing laps in the pool on days that I can’t jog. I love working out in the water because I’m sweaty guy and the water cools me off. I’m learning to enjoy working out.

While my results haven’t been that dramatic yet, I have noticed a difference already. I have more energy, I wake up feeling refreshed and my skin isn’t so oily. I never thought I would care about my health this way but Robert’s death showed me that we only get one life to live, one body to call our own. So I’m going to take care of my body and fix the damage that has already been done. Healthy eating, jogging and working out have all helped me get healthier. I now feel better about myself, I’m proud of myself and I don’t get winded tying my shoes. I thoroughly enjoy this new lifestyle and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.

Happiness on a Dark Day

Yesterday was a terrible day. I felt completely defeated by the end of the day. It all started when my alarm didn’t go off. I woke up and bolted out of bed. I never have gotten dressed so fast in my life. I was almost two hours late to work and I’m pretty sure my boss was ready to fire me when I walked in. Then, I spilled my favorite coffee from Starbucks down my shirt and I had to walk around all day with a coffee stain. It was just a terrible day at work. I was completely overwhelmed with work and I just felt really down. I started to feel like this new transformation just isn’t possible and maybe I should keep working at my dead end job and not try. But I’m going to keep going and see what happens. I figure that’s better than doing nothing because I already know what would result in that.

In the evening I went to the gym.  When I started my Beast Body style workout, I noticed my shorts had a gaping hole in them after I was already there. There wasn’t much I could do and I didn’t want to have to leave so I just enjoyed the breeze. I used some of the weights and did some sit-ups before I decided to use a treadmill and do some jogging. I couldn’t figure out how to get the machine started so I stood there for a while pushing all the buttons. I eventually got it started and I started to walk. Once I was warmed up I switched it to a faster speed and I started to jog. Things were going good for a while but it all fell apart. As I was running, my tennis shoe went off the belt and got caught on the side of the treadmill. I tried to grab the bars but it was too late. I went down to the ground and the belt threw me off the treadmill and into the front of another treadmill that was being used by a lady. She screamed and the entire gym looked at me. Now I have two gym stories that were embarrassing. I think I might switch to another gym. Or change my name and move to another town.

Today has been an amazing day however. I woke up early enough to go for a jog. The sunrise was beautiful. I didn’t fall and I jogged in short spurts in between walking. It really gave me a nice start to the day. I ate healthy all day, I only sneaked a chocolate bar twice. I got an email that my developer has completed the app and it is ready to be released. I’m really excited to release it. I can’t wait to see how everyone reacts to it. It could be a gold mine and I could be a very rich man after it goes live. But it could be a dud and if that’s the case, I’ll move on to my next idea.

I am really enjoying having a new outlook on life. Every day is really a gift. Before Robert’s death, I never considered life to be a gift. I was actually really depressed, I just didn’t know it. I was hiding behind the bottle and I was hiding behind food. Having this new approach to life has allowed me to see life in a whole new light. Now, when I wake up in the morning, I enjoy it. I used to dread going to work but now I enjoy going. I’m still hoping that I can quit but I am enjoying it for right now.

I hope that what I am doing is right. I know that Robert would want me to live my life the right way. If the roles were reversed, I’m sure he would feel the same way. I would want him to love his life. Making all these changes is going to improve my life tremendously. I look forward to releasing the app and making a difference. I can’t wait to lose the weight and get healthy by eating better. I am nervous but excited about my trip to Ireland. All of this is making a huge impact on my happiness. It’s changing my life.

Financial Rebirth

I have decided that I am going to make an app. I wanted to create a business to help people. Then I started thinking about Robert. He died because he was driving too fast as a result of him being drunk. If he had a designated driver, that day would have turned out much differently than it did. I want to prevent others from driving drunk. I see a great need for this and if I prevent just one accident, I’ll be happy.

The app will be called Designated Driver. You will log in and connect to chosen contacts. When you are drinking, you pull up the app and it will ask you one trivia question, a math question and you will have to do a puzzle. If you do not get all three correct, it will pop up with your first contact and a pre-written message asking them to come pick you up with your gps location. The person is choosing to use this app, and choosing to message their friends if they need a driver so hopefully they will use good judgement.

I have already started planning the app. I am in contact with three people that are going to help me design and build it. However, I’m not going to quit my day job just yet. I want to wait until I start making decent money before I commit to it full time. The best part about my business being an app is that I can be anywhere in the world while working. This gives me a lot of freedom to go where I want to go and see the world. I’ve never gotten to experience other countries or even other states. I want to see the rest of America, I’ve even thought about buying an RV and driving cross country.

Dunluce Castle

I’m going to plan a vacation to Ireland first. I’m thinking about traveling long term. I can get a storage unit to store my stuff and travel the world for a year or more. With my app, I can work as I travel. Eventually, I want to buy a house on the beach. Somewhere that’s warm in the winter. I’ll probably still travel a lot but it would be nice to keep a home base; somewhere to kick my shoes off for a bit. I want to buy my own airplane and learn to fly it. It would be nice to be able to fly myself around the world. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about the strip search at the airport. There’s so much that I can do and having this business will allow me all the freedom in the world. I will make enough money off of it to support my lifestyle and it will make a difference.

I am going to look into some improvements I can make in my appearance. I want to get some implants in my abs. Of course, this is after I lose the 60 pounds in my belly. I’m not really sure how expensive it is but it’s on my list of things I would like to do. I know that it might be a little conceited but I doubt I will be able to have the look I want considering that I look the way I do now. I just want a second chance at life, including a second chance at my body. I want to look healthy and feel healthy. I see paying for some work and having a gym membership as an investment in my body. I’ll feel better and look better. It will be expensive but it’s worth it.

What I want to do with my life is going to be expensive. I want to travel all over the world and experience different cultures. I want to pay off my debt and establish credit so I can buy a house. I want to get another chance of making something of myself, and that requires money. I’m really hopeful that the app will bring in enough income for me to live off of, it would be ideal. I am pretty confident in the demand for it so I should do well with it. It really is a win-win situation; people’s lives are saved and I get to live my dream life.

 

My Fitness Journey Starts

The only exercise I’ve gotten in the last ten years is moving food from my hand to my mouth. The last time I jogged was in high school. Bending over to tie my shoes is enough work to need a break. But I am ready to change that. So I bought work out clothes, signed up for the gym and started a new routine. I figured doing a simple workout plan in the morning before work was a great way to get started. I woke up on my first day to start the new routine and promptly turned the alarm off, rolled over and went back to sleep.

After two days I finally got up with the alarm, put on my workout clothes and turned the video on. The music was poppy and the lady was irritatingly chipper. I followed the video as closely as I could but I reached a point where I just couldn’t strain myself anymore. Then I realized only a few minutes had passed and I was still in the first section of the video. So I did what any fat guy would do in that situation; I grabbed a bag of potato chips, sat on the couch, and searched Men’s Health online wishing instead of doing. In my defense, I was screening the video for future workouts because I did have to be prepared. I am sure glad I did because after screening the video, I decided the lady was a machine and the video was rubbish so I chucked it in the trash bin.

After the video catastrophe, I decided to instead put my efforts into the gym. I scheduled a meeting with a personal trainer, Chris. Our first meeting was pretty basic. I had to sign waivers and he showed me around the gym. Our second meeting however, was not ordinary. He was going to show me how to use the equipment and then we were going to get started on a workout routine to target my problem areas. We both had high hopes that it would be a productive session but it ended up being one of my most embarrassing experiences.

As we walked to the workout area, Chris was called to the side by a customer. I decided I would go ahead and get started without him. The first machine I got on, I laid on my stomach and struggled to get my legs to go over a piece of the machine. I wasn’t quite sure why, but it seemed like the object was to move a lever with your arms. I was very uncomfortable. After doing about five repetitions, Chris came over and let me know that I was laying on a leg machine. Not only was I at the wrong end of the machine but I was using the wrong body part. I decided to wait for Chris to show me how to use the machines before I got started. It seemed like a good idea.

After using the machines, we went to another area of the gym where floor mats were out as well as some machines for people doing push ups with weights. Chris showed me how to use the push up machine and he showed me how to do sit-ups on a bench. He then told me that the mats can be used for anything but today we were going to do some crunches. He showed me how to properly do it and then instructed me to do the same. He held my feet and counted each crunch and offered words of encouragement as he coached me along.

After about ten crunches, I was done. But he encouraged me to keep going, only five more he said. So I struggled and strained as I curled my abdomen. Each crunch became harder as I forced every last bit of strength I had to get my shoulder blades off the mat. My last round was the hardest, I didn’t have anything left. My shoulder blades remained on the mat and I couldn’t go on. He told me that this was it, all I had to do was this one crunch and our session would be finished. I quickly gathered every last drop of motivation I had, shoved it all into one last effort. With Chris at my feet, I interlaced my fingers behind my head, took a deep breath and tried to lunge my chest forward. And I farted in Chris’s face.

The toot echoed off the mirrors and seemed to ricochet off of every surface in the building. The section I was in was quiet so of course everyone nearby heard it. Chris was silent. I was still in crunch position afraid to move for fear that it would happen again. My whole body flushed and I told him I was sorry and he laughed and said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know the truth though, I scarred the man for life. He will never be the same. I think I should try out jogging again.

Looking Toward The Future

Looking at the mess I have created, I feel quite a bit overwhelmed. I’m not exactly sure where to start. There is so much that I want to do but I feel like it’s almost too late. However, I know that it’s not too late; it’s never too late. Robert’s death broke me, but it also gave me a second chance at life. It has given me the opportunity to make it right. Without Robert’s death, I wouldn’t have even considered leading a different life. I never even thought about doing anything else with my life, but what I was doing was damaging everything about me. I didn’t even know who I was. It was just chaos. I am going to create a five year plan to address my sorry excuse for a life.

Looking at what I want to change, I feel like the most urgent is my health. I haven’t been to a doctor in over ten years. I’ve never looked at food labels or thought about healthy eating. I just knew that the food tasted good and I wanted more, so I ate it. I get winded going to check the mail and I can’t remember the last time I jogged or ran. My skin is oily, my hair is dry, my nails are brittle. I need to lose at least 60 pounds. There is a lot of work in that department. But I know that if I completely change the way I eat, if I start with a simple workout plan and address my health, I can make a big change. It feels overwhelming and like it’s too late, but I’ve heard of men in their 60’s being physically fit so if they can do it, I can do it.

My finances are an absolute nightmare. I owe over $100,000 that I know of, but there is probably more. I have zero savings, not even a coffee can with some cash in it. I’ve been working since I was 15 and I have nothing to show for it. I’ve decided my goal is to fix my finances. The first step to that is to take care of my debt, so I need to find a way to get everything out on the table and create a plan. I need to somehow figure out a monthly budget for my day-to-day expenses while also creating a savings at the same time that I’m paying off my debt. It’s going to be hard, but I can do it.

I also would like to travel. Besides traveling around the county getting kicked out of bars, I’ve done zero traveling. I don’t even know what the world looks like outside of the state line. I want to go all the way to the coast, to the mountains, to the plains. I want to go to Ireland, Hawaii, Mexico and Egypt. I want to watch the sun set in Australia and I want to see the Northern Lights in Canada. I want to see everything while I can. I’ve never even been on an airplane before so this will be a completely different world.

A lot of my five year plan requires money of which I really do not have. I need more money to pay off my debt, create a savings, travel and take care of myself. I don’t want to work at this go-nowhere job anymore because it’s not really serving a purpose to me or anyone else. Using my business experience from college, I want to create a business to help others. When I wasn’t hungover, I did attend classes for a business degree and I did somewhat pay attention so I’m not going in completely blind. I have a few ideas and they can all be done remotely, so I can travel around the world and work at the same time. Now I just have to get down to business and start planning.

Losing Robert has shown me that I’ve been wasting my life this whole time. I spent my days partying, skipping school and work and playing around. Now I’m 30 years old and I have nothing to show for it. I haven’t been anywhere, I haven’t done anything. It feels like a lost cause and like it’s just simply too late. But I’m going to dig myself out of this hole and set everything right. I owe this to Robert, I know that he would want me to actually live my life instead of wasting it doing nothing productive. I owe this new life to him because he never got the chance to truly live his life. I have to do this.

 

 

 

My Defining Moment

In college my nickname was Party Charlie. I lived up to the name quite well considering I could down six beers in under five minutes and I was (and still am, honestly) the master of making Jello shots. I was a champion.

I majored in fighting, partying and women. I dropped out of college after three semesters and I still continued to party into the wee hours of the morning but this time, I partied at bars instead of frat houses. I partied until I overstayed my welcome and I was kicked out of the bar for fighting. Then I would move on to the next bar and then the next, until I had run out of bars. Over the course of four years, I was ejected from every bar in the county (which I’m still proud of). Eventually my apartment became my hub for partying.

My best friend Robert was by my side throughout all of it. If I was doing shots, he was doing shots. If I was trying to pick up a girl, he was my wingman and if he was trying to pick up a girl, I was his wingman. He was often the reason I got kicked out of bars as he would start something with someone twice his size and I would have to step in. Having been friends with Robert since grade school, we were quite the pair. He was a small guy with a mouth, and I was the muscle with a temper. It was Charlie and Robert vs. the world. He was my best friend.

College…

We were roommates in college until we both dropped out and then got an apartment together. We didn’t plan for the future. We didn’t concern ourselves with silly things like financial planning. We just laughed, partied, picked up girls and spent every penny we earned to support our lifestyle. I collected credit cards and maxed them out, sucking every penny out that I could before moving on to the next credit line. Before I knew it, I was over $100,000 in credit card debt. I didn’t care how it affected my credit or future. All I cared about was living for the moment.

Our refrigerator had condiments and beer, I don’t ever remember actually going grocery
shopping, honestly. I ate fast food for nearly every meal though beer was my meal of choice. If it was greasy, messy, fried and full of calories, I ate it. The only vegetables I ate were on my burger and the only fruit I ate was marinated in alcohol. I had absolutely zero concern for my health, my weight or my aging body. What I ate and drank had practically zero nutrition and the calories I consumed were empty. Slowly over the years, my muscular six pack transformed into a flabby keg as I shoved burgers and beers in my face. My weight increased, my blood pressure sky rocketed and I kept going.

I never thought about my future or planned for it. I only went to college because Robert was going and I knew we would have a great time. I felt invincible, like I was untouchable and my life was limitless. As the years grew on, I became more frivolous with money, less concerned with my future and more carefree about my life. Having my best friend by my side, I felt unstoppable.

My low paying dead end job fueled my lifestyle and I did the bare minimum to maintain what I had, only doing what was necessary to continue forward. I grabbed life by the horns, ignored any bit of good advice I had been given and threw caution to the wind.

My Defining Moment…

That was until my 30th birthday. Robert and I were on our way home from a bar (of course) and He was driving way too fast. I don’t remember very much but I heard the car rolled 17 times. Robert was ejected and landed in some brush by the road. My leg was crushed under the dashboard. It felt like decades waiting for help. I could hear Robert crying out in pain but I couldn’t reach him. By the time the ambulance had arrived, he was gone. He died alone on the side of the highway. I never got to say goodbye.

Nothing readjusts your mindset like escaping death and losing your best friend. I came out of the hospital completely shattered but I had a new approach. I was ready to live my best life.

Suddenly I became concerned for my future. My health, my finances, my lack of a decent job. Facing my own mortality, I learned that I wasn’t unstoppable and my life could end any day. I have heard that you should dream as if you’ll live forever and live as if you’ll die today. I’m taking this to heart now as I want to completely change my life and how I have been living it for the last 30 years.

Robert’s life is over. He never got a chance to do anything with his life. I’m still alive and I’m tired of wasting my life. I owe this much to Robert. Now is the time for me to address my health, my debt, my career. I want to see the world, I want to make a difference. I want to live.