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Mapping out a plan


When I introduced my sort-of-New-Year's-Resolution last week, I was pretty vague with the whole concept. Sure, being active and living healthier is a good goal to have, but that could mean so many things.

It's easy to get away with stuff when there's a lot of wiggle room in your plan, too. So after reading Jayla Andrulonis' column last week, it became pretty clear that I should have a detailed idea of what I want to do.

It's also my belief from my illustrious high school athletic career that it's useful to have a variety of goals to work for, both short-term and long-term, realistic and nearly impossible.

So with that, here's a list of goals I have for this new-and-improved me that I'm working toward. It's non-exhaustive as I'm bound to think of more, but this should suffice for now.

Be active in some capacity every day. There's going to be days where this won't be possible, but I think trying to chip away every day is the best way to keep progressing. Now, I know the popular choice when it comes to exercising is running through Philadelphia with hundreds of children close behind (seriously, where were all the parents in “Rocky II?”) or scaling a snowy mountain in a training montage. But this could also simply mean pickup basketball, racquetball, etc.

This will also include me being “that guy” who goes to the gym at the start of every year. And while that might be annoying to most regulars who know what they're doing, I think it'll be pretty hilarious to see. I cannot remember the last time I lifted weights, so I'll probably resemble SpongeBob SquarePants struggling to lift, minus the convincing Anchor Arms. So enjoy it.

Develop better eating habits. This should be interesting. For example, South Food District’s 4th Meal is at my disposal five days a week and not even 200 yards away from me, and if you've ever been there for some of the menus they have, you know it's hard to pass up. Long story short, this will be a process, so I think a good start is just cutting back on portions and eliminating between-meals food.

Track and lose weight regularly. A quick Google Image search tells me that a man my height should be no more than 200 pounds. I'm not sure where I am at the moment, but let’s just put it this way, in a horrible metaphor — if this was a U.K. version of The Price is Right, I'd be bidding over the actual retail price of my target weight by about 25 pounds. By the way, when was the last time you read a pun about foreign currency?

Losing just more than a pound a week would get me to where I need to be just in time for summer cookouts to ruin everything.'s Drew Magary had to lose weight a while back, and found that tweeting his weight daily was a good way to continue progress. I'm too forgetful to do that daily, but I'll probably adopt this strategy in some form.

So that’s a start. If I can do those three things, then hopefully I’ll be rewarded by being able to do this three cool things, all things worth working for:

Break my 5K PR. It's currently at 26:16, a time that has been taunting me for more than two years. This will take patience, but I'm sure I can get into my stride in distance running again.

Dunk a basketball. And not just at a lowered hoop, as much as I love looking like Shawn Kemp in his heyday. As you can tell by my Twitter avatar, I have some work to do at a regulation hoop. Fulfilling this childhood dream will happen once I get into a much better physical shape.

After dunking, make the Washington Generals. This is something I brought up last time. I think it's pretty simple — they constantly look like fools at the expense of the Harlem Globetrotters, and looking bad on a basketball court is something I'm a natural at.

I just need to look the part, since nobody will be impressed that an out-of-shape guy got dunked on. This goal is unlikely, but not completely impossible — apparently, I need some references and film to apply for the team. So once I'm in amazing shape, I'll start filming my mixtape.

Eric Shultz can be reached at or (814) 865-1828. Follow him on Twitter at @Shultz_Eric.