Bob is such a boring name. I prefer to be called Rob, but that doesn’t feel right after 40 years.
People were calling me “Bob” way too early. I still had several more youthful years of “Bobby” in front of me, but a Math teacher in the 6th grade called me out in front of the whole class and said, “Boys are Bobby. Men are Bob.” I was hardly a man, but “Bob” I became.
To explain my upbringing for some context into where my roots came from would most likely turn this site into something I didn’t intend—a sad sap of emotional quicksand and desperate attempts NOT to come across like I want sympathy. So let’s see if I can set this up without getting too far into the weeds…
I am the product of multiple divorces, constant moving around, and never really feeling like I was a priority in life to anyone, something I eventually, and too quickly, adopted for myself.
While the world around me as a kid seemed happy…other families seemed happy and living well; I was gifted a chip on my shoulder. It seemed the universe had at some point in its ethereal existence that I, still Bobby, was unimportant and undeserving. I kept waiting for someone to come along and make me feel otherwise, but it didn’t happen till much later.
I’m the oldest of 3 siblings, a sister and a brother.
I grew up in the Midwest, more by default than by choice.
I struggled as a teenager to ever feel like I was home or wanted, so I found myself moving around a lot between relatives who were willing to try to make things better for me.
It didn’t work.
I wasn’t a bad kid, and I wasn’t a troublemaker. Quite the opposite. I might have been the most well-behaved, non-disturbing teen I knew. I was just a kid who wanted to feel wanted.
I was given that chance around 16 by a couple who lived in Oklahoma. I had never been to Oklahoma. I knew nothing about Oklahoma. But I know it couldn’t make me feel worse than I already did.
I count myself lucky to have found a family that wanted me and friends who accepted me. I simultaneously worked hard to figure out who I was now that I had fertile ground to grow, but I also carried a lot of baggage at the same time. It seems life was like that a lot.
I had grown up religious and happened to have ended up in a similarly religious situation. By the time most of my friends turned 19 and 20, they were all getting married. I was one of the last ones my age (and some were even younger) to be still single.
So I married the first girl I dated, assuming that I didn’t repulse her as it seems all other girls had been up to this point was a sign for God that we should get hitched.
I was 22.
It lasted 5.5 years.
As unhealthy as the marriage was, and its demise was for the best, it still sucked. Even bad marriages are painful to end.
I was a bad husband. I cheated on her big time with the music.
I had put together a rock and roll band that somehow made some waves nationally. We were one of those unsigned bands whose record labels SAID they were interested in but never actually pulled the trigger and signed us. In 2006, on our last tour, we were the only unsigned band on the tour, which was full of huge bands at the time, and huge crowds, as it was an arena tour.
When you are that close, chasing the dream is like a drug. But it’s so close you can smell it. You also realize that if you are going to accomplish what you need to achieve at this point, you have to double down on your commitment to doing whatever it takes.
I took the commitment to be a good husband and put it into the band.
It didn’t work out for either.
In my late 20’s, I got my real estate license in an attempt to go “legit” and try to piece together some semblance of adult life. I remember having to ask family members if I could borrow the money to take the classes, to which they all said no (which was the right thing to say). I scrounged enough pocket money and somehow tricked a credit card company into giving me a card with a $500 limit and started my career (which lasted 12 years).
Shortly after that, I met my now current wife for the second time. We had gone to high school together in Illinois when I was younger, this time on MySpace.
We met for drinks. She had previous marriages too, and three kids as a result. I never wanted kids, but there was such a connection during that dinner that I went home and decided to put all my commitment into whatever the hell this was.
Twelve years later, saying I am happily married would be an understatement. We are a testament to marriage and are a redemption story that we would have never believed possible 20 years ago. One kid is out of high school, and the other two are both now in high school and growing like weeds.
The wife and I got serious about fitness around the age of 35, convinced that we didn’t have to allow father time to break us down slowly, and eventually, our bodies fell apart. We hired a trainer for the first time, which opened our eyes to many things we never knew, which became the foundation for our fitness journey over the next decade.
We have had several ups and down with our fitness journey. While that’s a natural part of the growing process, growth is often not easy, and we make many mistakes along the way. But we have stuck with it together, and that’s been half the fun.
I am now a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM. I have an over 40 fitness videos channel on Youtube you can get to by clicking HERE.