|Terrapins Football (credit Nick Hall)|
A part of watching football is hoping nobody gets hurt. Most people enjoy the intensity and the hard knocks, but nobody wants players to get injured, even the hated rivals. But injury is an ever present threat, and catastrophic injury – though thankfully rare – is only one tragic play away. You worry about the players and their health.
At Maryland Terrapins games, though, it’s the coach they worried about. Until last year, Ralph Friedgen stepped in at a shocking 410 pounds. Having celebrated his 60th birthday, with a father who had died at age 69 and doctors predicting his impending doom, Friedgen got serious about weight loss. After rejecting lap band surgery because of restrictive eating rules, he tried a low-calorie approach like Mike Huckabee used, losing 30 pounds, but not gaining a lifelong habit. A chance encounter with a local fan who works at a commercial weight loss company resulted in him taking on their service, which delivers 1000 calories a day of pre-planned meals. (I don’t recommend this calorie level, personally, but Friedgen had a team of experts advising him.)
Long story short, Friedgen was down 105 pounds in time for football season last year. He still weighs too much, and he hopes to lose more, but he’s a lot closer to a healthy end to his coaching career than when he started.
I enjoyed reading Freidgen’s stories. The three I’ve linked to paint a picture of a normal man who has had struggles with his weight. He’s had successes and failures. It’s obviously not easy for him. He should have started earlier. But he’s working to improve himself, which is the modeling I need as I work to improve myself.