I remember this moment.....I was playing at a place I have always loved near Gualala, on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California. Before me, the wave and the rocks. My fingers on the strings felt good. The ocean air taking the sounds and whirling them around me. But what you can't know, I'm going to tell you...
That morning, I wanted to go down to the beach. It's a steep set of 116 stairs. More like a ladder in places. I know there are 116 stairs because there was a sign saying so. And so, down I went. And that wasn't too bad. I walked along the sand, fiddled in the tide pools and enjoyed God's amazing hand at all of this beauty.
Time to return to the room and so up I started and I'll never forget those 116 stairs. I spent two hours recovering from the ordeal. And it was, an ordeal.
Getting fat has come with all kinds of hassles and I think that most of you know these. I'm not going to try to wow anyone with a tale of how I can't find clothes, or how I don't fit places I used to. Boring. But what I can say, and what is deeply personal to me is that over time, at the young age of 43, I have become an observer and not a participant in life.
You may see a nice picture above, and I'm sure your mind can recall the sound of a guitar to sample in, but what you don't know is that while playing, looking out at the ocean, I felt a hole in my heart as large as the sea in front of me. I couldn't do any of what I wanted to do. I couldn't run, jump, climb or dance. I had to sit and play. I had to be passive and not active. I had to pretend that I was running on the beach. And that made me hurt. Deeply hurt. A pain.
I'm not going to be all joyful and happy right now. And in fact, that is one of the things that I do to hide my addiction. But I am going to be honest and real here about what I have missed out on...as I have lead a life of a fat man (there I said it) for too long now. I have travel stories that need to be told about how I traveled the world working to create beauty and inside I was screaming and dying. The deep, dark, harder core me might not be fun. It might not make the jokes I have made about being "Little Dave". It might not let me lie about what I eat or how many pounds I have grown to be. It hasn't been a pretty life inside my head for a time longer than I can remember. When beauty surrounds me, invites me to be a part of it...I, in my current state, with my food addiction and my size, can not accept that invitation. I know...if something changes not, that invite will end.
This is what I saw as I sat and played...and this is where I wanted to be:
And I could not enjoy any of that beauty...because it was down 116 steps that I wouldn't have been able to make it up a second time that day.
I'm Dave. And this is not...The Biggest Loser Comedy Hour. This is real. There are people around me that tell me that if I don't get real, I'll be dead. Can I ask for your support?