I'd be lying if I didn't say it's pretty depressing that the heavy sets I work with now are significantly lower than what I used to warm up with. Yes, I certainly understand that losing 115 lbs will cause me to lose some strength. I also get that I am now 48 years old. Combine that with competing in powerlifting for 30 years and things were eventually going to dip, but I don't have to like it.

I guess it's only natural that if you are in the strength game long enough, you are going to run face first into the law of diminishing returns. The problem is that the physiological issue seems to be exacerbating the psychological issue. I knew it would happen and I thought I'd be prepared, but it's still messing with me.

An option to combat this problem could be to quit lifting. A lot of guys do it, they just stop training. That I don't understand. I friggin' love to train. I can't imaging not lifting. I'd probably go on a five state killing spree without it. Training gives me balance.

Clearly quitting isn't the answer. In order to keep my head out of the noose, I have come up with different challenges for myself. One is my weight loss and body composition. Even though I am not nearly as strong as I have ever been, I am in the best shape of my life. I can at least hang my hat on that.

Another thing I can do now is condition much harder. As a result, I am able to do something I haven't really done since I was a kid, run. I am not running on a regular basis, but it's nice to be able to do it when I want. I'm thinking I'll look into running some 5k's.

With the improved conditioning Jess and I have also done more hiking over the past couple of years. This summer we went on a pretty aggressive hike that took a good five hours. Something I have wanted to tackle for years is to hike Mount Washington. It might not be Everest, but it's not something I could not have done a few years ago either. I plan to tackle that in 2018.

The last challenge on the horizon isn't exactly new. Jess and I are doing a couples strongman contest in December. We had done it once before, but were in the heavyweight division that time. We'll be lightweights for this event. It was very competitive and it was a blast even though I popped my hamstring. It will be another way I can test my strength along with my conditioning. Plus it's for a great cause, Catchaliftfund.org. It provides funding for gym memberships and equipment to post 9/11 combat wounded veterans. You can't beat that.

So that's how I'm coping. I'm training as hard as I can and finding new things to challenge myself with. Not to forget enjoying life in general and everything I have been blessed with. While getting weaker is a huge kick in the balls, luckily it's not the only thing I have going on in my life.

Just remember if you are in the same place I am presently or anticipate it down the road, being able to start each day safe, happy, and healthy is a pr of its own. At least that's what I keep telling myself.