My Walden

Ah, Pittsburgh! The cradle of civilization! You have to love the scenery both within and outside the city limits. Especially today, during the best season and the best month of the year. We’re one of very few metropolitan areas that encompass three states, each with their own unique rolling and mountainous scenery. This post is going to take you deep into the mountains, because we definitely love to do more when it’s warm outside, with budding trees, blossoming right before our eyes on this great, pale blue ark we call Earth.

Right, so we spent all winter in the gym, or at least I hope we did. If you have yet to begin a regimen, I suggest you begin right now, before summer hits, so we can look great for our upcoming vacation. I’d like to see you all going at it and getting ready, especially if you have trainers who are holding you accountable and keeping you motivated for what I like to call the second most challenging time of the year, next to that awkward month between Thanksgiving and January 1st.

So, what is it that gets people to fall completely off the map during the spring and summer months, because I know for many of you, April is going to be that last hurrah with your gym buddies until at least September, when the best time of the year (that typically turns into a stressful time for us Browns fans) begins. For others, you won’t see the gym again until January. Yes, I’m keeping blunt with you all because quite frankly, someone needs to be ‘that person’ and do this, so I’m going to be that friend who would be likely to tell you your girlfriend or boyfriend is poison. Right, so now that we have that out of the way, we need to stop reading this post for a minute and really think about what it is that stops us in our tracks during the time of year we wanted to look our best. Well, at least that’s what we said back in January, and somehow this went by the wayside because of work, school, kids, a mixture of that nice, divine trinity of excuses, somehow packed with the mother that trumps all of these excuses. Can anyone think of them? I need one, but I can think of two.

If you couldn’t think of them, I’m going to let you in on what should be an open secret of excuses. Our first excuse begins on April 27th for us NFL fans (and it’s also my 26th birthday, man I hope time slows down, but I have another birthday wish that will benefit northeast Ohio sports fans everywhere). For the rest of us who couldn’t care less about the NFL Draft, which should be the eighth deadly sin in my opinion, maybe a Memorial Day cookout should ring a bell. After that, many of our friends and family give you an excuse to attend, or even hold, cookouts every single weekend from the end of May until the first week of September any time we see a clear weekend with little to no chance of rain. Might I remind you that somehow the weekend begins Friday evening for a lot of us and once the work week is taken care of, we like to party all weekend, especially if it’s a clear weekend.

How many of us have heard of KeyBank Pavilion? I think that’s what it’s called these days. And how popular is country music in the following counties: Jefferson, Brooke, Hancock, Ohio, Wetzel, Washington, Allegheny, Beaver, Westmorland, Butler, Lawrence, and the other counties just east of Pittsburgh that I don’t know the names of? Very, very popular, and it seems like many singers and bands make the annual trip to the Pavilion, and some of the bigger names come to Heinz Field. And then, just south of our wonderful viewing area in Belmont County, Ohio, the Super Bowl of country music takes place, known to locals as Jambo, and known to others as Jamboree in the Hills. If you’re up for living in a camper for a week or two (people are fanatics about this event), then maybe you should check it out. Or you can watch the event on TV and do a workout while watching the show, which I will not be watching because I personally am not a fan of country music.

So, what I’m getting at is the point that we’re throwing away our summer, where we want to look our best, to party, attend cookouts, and quite frankly, engage in activities that are unhealthy for us. So, our New Year’s Resolution, which is postponed more often than a winning season for the Browns, has been more busted than your NCAA March Madness bracket you filled out this time last month.

Let’s compare the Browns to our New Year’s Resolution. Us Browns fans have said “wait ‘til next year” since I was eight years old, so for eighteen years, and two-thirds of my life, I’ve been saying this to other NFL fans. You keep telling us you want this to be your year since who knows when, but when push comes to shove, you tell us to “wait ‘til next year.”

Now let’s contrast the equation: I have zero control over what the Browns do, and so does the rest of our loyal fanbase who is finally getting sick of the losing. Except me, because I realize I have zero control over the winning and losing and 0-16 is going to affect my life as much as the Browns winning the Super Bowl. Sure, I’d be ecstatic, but at the end of the day, I can’t control what these guys do on the field. I’m numb to it these days. It doesn’t bother me. But you can control what you do in your own life, and you need to realize that. So, the reason you postponed until next you is on you, and not on society, your own personal life, your social life, work life, or any other unfortunate event in your life.

Once December hits, you tell people at those Christmas parties with a plate full of cookies and junk food that next year is going to be the year. Also, you tell them why this year just didn’t work out. It usually goes on the lines of “I didn’t have time because of work, school, kids, et cetera.” Or, as the old Seinfeld saying goes: Yada, yada, yada. You were miserable, you just didn’t feel up to it, you weren’t motivated, are we having fun yet? Time to take control of your own life, stop making the excuses you’ve been making for the last X amount of years, stop talking, start doing, I don’t want to hear your excuses and neither does anyone else. It’s time to start doing, and you’re out of excuses.

I told you we were going deep into the mountains today.

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