Sports column: Goal accomplished, five months late though

When it comes to deadlines, I am very good.

I have expressed many times about the pressure that faces sports writers on Friday night during football season. During a tight game, there is no writing a story.

On Friday nights during football season, we have to write stories. Most football games are over about 9 to 9:15. It is not uncommon to produce 2,000 to 2,500 words over the next 45 minutes because we have to file our stories about 9:45 p.m. to get the Saturday morning newspaper out.

We don't miss deadlines. We get our work done and into the production phase when it is scheduled to be there.

Bragging on meeting deadlines reminds me that it took an extra five months to meet a deadline that I had set for myself five years ago.

That deadline was very simple. I was going to lose 100 pounds. Yep, that was all. My goal was also to do it without dieting.

I am not good at dieting. The main reason is that I have an appetite that is very comparable to a 5-year old. That is not a joke. My grandson Abram Henry is 5-years old and we honestly like the same things. None of those things are vegetables. I will eat corn and green beans as long as they are deep fried. I do like brown and black beans and fried potatoes — not baked potatoes or mashed potatoes or any other potato. It has to be fried.

Last Sunday was a big day for me health-wise. I officially hit the 100-pound mark.

I basically lost a collegiate cheerleader.

It wasn’t easy. It was hard work. The weight was easy to put on, but unfortunately it wasn’t easy to take off.

My journey began just after my first grandson was born. It was a wake up call that I needed to do something to be around so that I could watch him and now his brother and cousin grow up.

It has been a roller coaster ride with many ups-and-downs and many curves. There were weeks where I picked up 10 pounds and I had to start the process over again.

As a matter of fact, the night after I had lost my 100th pound, I had On The Border. It took a couple of days to get that new weight off.

On April 21, 2015, I started this journey in earnest. On that date, I set a goal of getting 10,000 steps a day. That goal has increased to 12,000 a day. I have not missed one day of getting my steps completed. That is 1,971 straight days of accomplishing my goal.

Family members have been annoyed by having to stop so I can finish my steps for the day. I don’t miss hitting my steps.

My running first started with Mandy Kisinger and Ashley Webster. Both of the young ladies were trainers for Jones Physical Therapy, but they took care of the Harrison athletic department. The three of us would meet in the mornings and attempt to run.

We have since parted ways, but I could see the benefits of our runs and walks.

In college, I had to take a physical education class my senior year. It was a running class. I had no problems in accomplishing what was set forth by the coach.

Now, that I am much older than I was in college, running has become harder and harder. However, it is something that has to be done for my health.

I saw a sign recently that stated “if you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”

I am not a good patient. I have to stay healthy.

I also must confess that the last five pounds of my weight loss was from dieting. I have a new doctor, Evan Branscum, and he decided to test several things. I was his very first patient and his very first doctor phone call to a patient.

Dr. Branscum found that I have a little blood with my sugar. My blood sugar level was 13.5. He made me make some changes.

I have made those changes and things are pretty much under control. I wanted to complete my journey without dieting, but I didn’t accomplish that goal completely. I only got 95 pounds off through exercise.

Even though my goal has been reached, I can see that I could drop another 30 pounds. 

When people ask if I feel better after losing the weight, I can’t really tell. I guess I do. I am always tired from running and keeping the hours of a sports writer. 

During my days of exercising, I have completed two half marathons. I really enjoy being able to complete those. I look forward to doing many, many more.

My accomplishment is not something that I have done by myself. My Saviour Jesus Christ has allowed me to remain healthy despite all of my bad habits. I have had a lot of encouragement from friends.

My grandsons have been an inspiration. Abram Henry, Atticus Hatcher and Harley Michael are my world. I will do everything that I can possibly do to make their lives wonderful. They know that and they may be a little spoiled. I would not have it any other way. 

My daughters and son-in-laws were at my first half marathon and cheering me on. Lake and Hannah along with Dusty and Mark sometimes think that I am a bit obsessed with getting my steps.

Becky Brasel, my wonderful, beautiful, talented wife, has been a big support for me. She has set in our car waiting for me to finish a run or to get my steps. She has been there to support me in my goals. I am deeply blessed to have her in my life.

Then I have to thank my parents, Dean and Shelby. Not one time did they say “you are getting fat.” But they have been very supportive of my weight loss attempt.

Lastly, I have to praise Samsung Health. It is an app on my phone. This has everything that a person could want or need to track steps, food, carbs, calories, blood sugar and anything else that needs to be tracked. I am a Samsung phone user for life. 

So, if you are attending a basketball game and wonder what that crazy person is doing walking around the top of the gym, just rest assured that I am not casing the joint. I am getting my steps. I have another goal now and it isn’t near as big as the last one.

Jeff Brasel is the sports editor of the Newton County Times. E-mail him at or follow him at

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