“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde
Oscar really says it all here. I’ve accomplished a lot of good things with the Captain Hammer Project. It’s been a wild ride that I haven’t even seen the best parts of yet. However, I got wrapped up in focusing on results, and acting as cheerleader captain. These things are certainly important, positivity begets positivity. But I haven’t been reaching out to the people who this is really meant for, not until now. You know who you are, and you are legion. I’m straying from the beaten path here in that I’ve come to the conclusion that this particular beaten path is the wrong one.
Starting today, I’m going to come clean about my roots, my trials, and the REAL reason the Captain Hammer Project will be a success.
When I started the Captain Hammer Project, I was in a strange place in my life. A long-term relationship I was in dissolved and I was devastated by it. That event is the single most difficult thing I’ve ever been through, and my life has never traveled a particularly smooth road.
Still, that event also triggered a number of positive things, like the rebirth of PSS. Some slight few of you may remember what this place used to look like. It was not overly pretty, had zero functionality and was (as far as blogs go) Pretty Terrible, Sis.
The repurposing of the blog and renewal to making it a place of quality (your definition may vary) was born as much from a desperate need for distraction as it was an earnest interest in creating something I could be happy with later. My vision for PSS is still taking shape, and I am very excited about where it will go as I implement more of these changes.
Another result of that break up was the annihilation of my appetite and general energy levels. “The Break-Up Diet” was responsible for shedding a bunch of weight, even though I couldn’t say much for my activity levels at that point.
These two things tied together in a strange way. There are gajillions of nerd blogs out there. I wanted to present something different by way of my unique voice, but that wasn’t enough. All voices are unique, even if they aren’t as awesome as the ones you find here. My weight loss was kickstarted by heartbreak but I was determined to capitalize on the momentum. That’s when it hit me that this was a subject that a LOT of my would-be audience could relate to. I needed to talk to the other “mes” out there.
Which several months later, is something I haven’t bothered to do.
It wasn’t always hip to be square. Nerd chic is a relatively young phenomenon. Many of us don’t know what to do with the sudden social acceptance. It’s a curious culture shock to be sure, and interesting to see what a group of people who have ingrained ostracization into their identities do when they aren’t feeling like they’re being pushed out.
But that’s honestly not what we’re here to discuss. Being a nerd didn’t help matters any in my youth, but more damaging by far, was seeing myself as an undesirable. And the main reason for that was being heavy. This is the real root. Even here, even now, when I’m writing this post with the express intent of honesty via full disclosure, I’m finding myself dancing around the subject. Like I have my whole life.
How many of you out there avoid cameras? We’re the first to volunteer our services as photographer. We’d never in a million years admit to it, but on some level, we do so because we don’t want another reminder of this thing you’ve attached to so much shame. I have.
I’ve seen a lot of amazing things that don’t have any photographic evidence outside of my memory. Good times with good people that I would love to share. The fact that the pictures don’t exist is not an accident.
In one hand, I enjoy flipping around picture albums of my friends on Facebook and the like, and in the other hand zealously untag myself from any picture that pops up.
I am father to one of the most amazing children in the universe. (I know, every father will say that, but I’m the only one who’s right. Just like you.) There are probably less than 20 pictures of me and her in existence, and she’s now 5 years old. Someday when she’s looking back through old family albums, she’s going to have to rely on her memories of me. And I did this on purpose. Not to deny my daughter pictures of someone that she loves so fully and unconditionally. But to spare myself the agony of truth.
Does any of this sound familiar? I’m willing to bet that it does, because I’m not the only one who does this. We hide from it. We make ourselves believe somehow that it’s not true. When confronted by it, we don’t deny it, but we work quickly to change the subject.
Pictures are just one facet of a flawed gem that I’m going to examine from every angle. This is symptomatic of a strong disapproval of oneself, and the ripple effects from that are catastrophic.
I’m working hard to change. And make no mistake, it is very difficult. If these updates make it sound easy, it’s because I’m either riding a high of accomplishment or I’m simply avoiding talking about how hard it really is. But hiding that is kinda counterproductive to the point, isn’t it? And it’s not enough anymore to just work on myself. Some of you are watching this from the sidelines. Some of you applause. Some of you stay silent. None of you stand up. Because change is hard. And so is facing the truth.
If I’m going to stay honest to the spirit of the Captain Hammer Project, then it means more than cheerleading. It means offering sound advice on what you can do to affect change in your own life, and moreover, making you understand that I know your troubles, because they are mine. It means stopping intentionally avoiding the specifics because hiding behind the results allows me the luxury of showcasing the triumph.
This is the real challenge. To understand that the “healthy” in “Healthy Gamer” means more than a lowered BMI. It means proving a sense of personal accountability and honesty unheard of in my life.
Does it suck? Well of course it does. I’m going to systematically expose every one of my insecurities under the microscope of the public eye, all the while saying “Right, guys? Right?” and hearing no response but the crickets. Who are making fat jokes. You think I don’t get your chirps, but I’m onto you assholes.
But this is the first step. To stop running. To face down my demons by means of publicly acknowledging them. Ideally, this will break their Damage Resistance, ’cause that shit is just killing me.
Now to find some pictures.