Saturday was a great, big, awesome day.
Four years ago, on September 13, 2010, I launched this website and published my very first post. Holy guacamole: FOUR YEARS! Since then, I’ve written 875 posts (this is #876) about my efforts to be healthy, eat well, keep active, stay positive, work towards my goals and better myself. I’ve celebrated my accomplishments, been truthful about the rough times, and had a lot of fun.
The big headline is that I’ve lost and kept off 160 pounds during this time, but I want to celebrate this anniversary by sharing what I’ve gained. In the past four years, I’ve learned about food, nutrition, exercise science, and a variety of other topics, related or not. This blog has led to extraordinary opportunities and partnerships that I’m very grateful for. What’s more, I’ve learned an unmeasurable amount about myself – things I’ve been excited to figure out, and things that weren’t easy to confront. On top of that, this blog has introduced me to some fantastic new friends, and served as a catalyst for conversation and stronger bonds with loved ones already in my life.
And I never thought any of that would happen. This blog has always been, first and foremost, a way to keep myself accountable. I began writing it for myself as a way to stay on-track. I thought some friends and family might be interested in reading it, but any readership beyond that was always just a cool bonus. And what a cool bonus it’s become! Between subscribers and social media (my links are at the end of this post), there are nearly 9,000 of you that follow Keep It Up, David. And how’s this for perfect timing: just one day before the big anniversary, I crossed a big milestone: my 500,000th page view!
I have no frame of reference regarding page views. I don’t know how popular other blogs are, nor is it my business. But I get goosebumps just thinking about how my words have been read over half a million times in the past few years, and by such incredible readers. You guys are unconditionally supportive, funny, honest, and non-judgmental. Thank you.
I’m lucky to have the ability to articulate what I’m thinking and feeling in a way that others can relate to. So many of you have said such kind things about how this blog has motivated you, or spurred you to make a change, and encouraged you to keep going when all you wanted to do was quit. I appreciate all of these messages. I feel so happy when I learn I was able to help somehow. Sometimes the whole thing gets downright overwhelming. I ran into a friend earlier this summer, and he thanked me. “What for?” I said. He pulled me into a hug, and said directly into my ear: “Thank you for writing so openly about your depression. I know that if I didn’t take my medication, I’d be looking around for a tall building to throw myself off of. It means so much to me to know that I’m not alone.” I can’t even describe how how it feels to know that, through this blog, I made such an impact in someone else’s life.
Okay – enough of the mushy stuff! How did I celebrate my anniversary on Saturday? With a fun event that turned out to be a nice full-circle moment. I went to “The Simpsons Take The Bowl” – a fantastic concert at the Hollywood Bowl featuring an orchestra playing music and score from the past 25 years of episodes of “The Simpsons,” with cast members and special guests singing the songs.
The Hollywood Bowl has popped up a couple times in this blog. First, it was the setting of a major non-scale victory when I was first losing the weight, and, more recently, a wonderful training location for my little stair climb race addiction. It was nice to be back, especially for an event based around what it probably my favorite all-time television show (I blogged about “The Simpsons” here and here).
I bought these tickets months ago – long before I realized it fell on my anniversary – and here’s where it comes full-circle: My friend Jen came with me to the concert, and she just happened to be featured in my very first blog post, four years ago! [Insert “Twilight Zone” music here.]
The plaza and walkways at the Hollywood Bowl were lined with “Simpsons” characters, which meant… photo ops! Jen and I joined the entire family on the couch…
…and I got a kiss from Selma…
…although neither of us really like the kiss:
We had pretty good seats, too. My favorite thing about this pre-show selfie is the bored kid in the back:
My friends Kenny and Jason also came, but they arrived separately and met us at our seats, which is why they’re not in any photos. Whoops.
Some exciting celebrities performed during the concert (Conan O’Brien! “Weird” Al Yankovic!), and the whole thing was peppered with clips from the show. I was in hog heaven, and had to fight the urge to sing along at the top of my lungs to songs I’ve known by heart for over 20 years.
So what’s left to say? I’m entering my fifth year of blogging, and I’m just as committed as I’ve ever been, both to my health and this website. I hope you’ll keep reading, and, who knows? Maybe you can tell a friend or two!
Keep it up, David!
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