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I'm reluctant to disclose how much I drink because there are some people out there, like doctors, who might infer that I have a drinking problem. I do not have a drinking problem. I don't crave liquor in the morning, and I don't drink to silence demons, and I don't require alcohol to fall asleep at night. I drink mostly because going out to bars and shows usually seems like the most fun thing to do. If I'm addicted to anything, it's to having fun. And in my time on earth, drinking has proved to be a very effective way for me to have fun. If I had to honestly answer that doctor's-office question about how many drinks I consume in a week, most weeks it'd be in the 25–30 range. On a Christmas-break type of week, we might be getting up into the low 40s.
"I'll tell you how you could lose a little weight," a health-conscious friend said recently. "You're not gonna like it. You just have to drink less beer. If you stopped drinking beer, I bet you'd lose 20 pounds."
But that gets into my whole theory about the tyranny of healthy living. Stay with me for a second. There's that story from World War II about Winston Churchill's advisers coming to him and suggesting that Britain cut funding for the arts in order to pay for the war. Churchill refused, saying, "Then what are we fighting for?" — the idea being that a country without the arts is hardly a country worth saving.
That's roughly the way I feel about my lifestyle as it relates to fitness. Yes, I want to be healthy, look good, live long. I want to win the war. But I'm not willing to cut funding for delicious pies and cakes. If I can't drink nine beers on a Friday night and stop by the gyro truck on the way home, that sounds like a shitty life to me. I'd rather be a fat fuck than give up those freedoms.
I realize, of course, that there's a middle ground. I'm not an unreasonable man. I'm willing to make concessions in order to lose weight and gain muscle. I'm willing to eat healthier dinners. I'm willing to curb some of my drinking, or drink a different kind of alcohol. I'm willing to exercise more strenuously.
I'm willing, in other words, to get the help I need. So recently — more recently than that bad day at the gym — I looked up some people in town who know about this sort of thing.
My first stop was Biofit, a fitness operation at 12076 Blue Valley Parkway, in Overland Park. Its founders, Scott Heffner and Justin Prier, are certified personal trainers. Prier is also a physical therapist who favors a neuromuscular approach, which is unusual in the profession. (Heffner and Prier initially bonded over a shared enthusiasm for muscle-activation techniques, which identify and eliminate muscular issues that cause restricted motion, pain and injury.) Biofit's comprehensive approach makes it attractive to athletes seeking rehabilitation and endurance training — it counts Chiefs players, college tennis players, high school golfers and Olympic athletes among its clients.