In Episode 4 of the Fit Father Project Podcast, Dr. A talks with Glen about life, health, and fitness.
In another incredible and inspiring interview with one of the Fit Father Project's successful members, this episode of the podcast introduces us to Glen Page, a 57-year-old teacher who transformed his health and fitness after his doctor wanted to put him on more medication for high blood pressure.
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Avoiding Medication: Full Episode 3 Transcript
Glen Page: I think one of the turning points was when my doctor, I think I was on one or two medicines at the time already. And my doctor at an annual physical looked at me and said, well, you know, your blood pressure's back up. We can either put you on another med or you can try to lose some weight. And then he just said, but nobody ever loses the weight. So here's another med. And I was like, wait a minute. This is not right. The solution is not just to throw more drugs at somebody to try and control things. There's gotta be something that can be done.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Alright, everyone. Welcome back to another episode here at the Fit Father Project podcast. Again, my name is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi. I'm the founder here at the Fit Father Project and the host of this podcast. And as I mentioned in some of the past few episodes, one of the biggest initiatives of this podcast is to share the stories of real guys, all around the world, from different walks of life, different ages, different goals, who have come together into a brotherhood of men, committed to living healthier and their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond.
And today I am privileged truly to host this conversation with one of our members Glen Page, who found us in his late 50s. Basically out of shape from years of busy life, managing his family, working as a teacher, letting himself go, Glen's going to tell us his story today so we can learn how we went from where he was, like most guys like him at that age, to being an athlete today who regularly runs half marathons and Spartan races. And I actually had the privilege of running a race last week with Glen, and he is fast for 57. So on that note, Glen, welcome to the podcast. Thank you. So tell us your name, age, where you're from, and a little bit about yourself, and then we'll take it from there.
Glen Page: My name is Glen Page and I'm from Haverhill New Hampshire, which is up in the middle of nowhere. And I am a high school teacher with 33 years of experience behind me. I spent 13 in the classroom and then 19 as a director of it before returning to the classroom now as a teacher again. So that's, you know, I've spent all those years either in the classroom or sitting at a desk, trying to manage, manage computers and keep them running. So it kind of caught up with me.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: So is that what happens then? So you have this long, beautiful, very impactful career, and thank you by the way, for teaching our kids. I mean, it's incredible. Where did you find yourself at the low point of your health, where you started to say, hey, maybe I need to do some stuff differently. Where was that? What was that like?
Glen Page: Oh, it was probably about five years ago that I realized that my weight had crept up to 205 pounds.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: How tall are you?
Glenn Page: I am 5′ 9-1/2″ and I'm like how did my weight creep up to 205? That was probably from years of just being too busy, being, you know, I had transitioned to working as a school administrator, which I spent a lot of time as a desk jockey, just not getting up, not getting out and walking, not doing the things that I love to do.
I was always, you know, as a younger man, I was always hiking. I did some running up until probably the belt entry to college. And I mean, I was a competitive swimmer in high school as well. I have a varsity letter in swimming, but I just, between life happening, to kids, wife, everything else, I just slacked off and wound up putting on the pounds and found myself eventually just looking at it, going, you know, there's this gut here and there's this spare tire and love handles that need to go away.
And so I started trying to lose that on my own. I started trying to get more active and I did lose some of it, but I had found myself as well with high blood pressure that I was taking three medicines to control. I think one of the turning points was when my doctor, I think I was on one or two medicines at the time already and my doctor at an annual physical looked at me and said, well, you know, your blood pressure's back up. We can either put you on another med or you can try to lose some weight. And then he just said, but nobody ever loses the weight. So here's another med. And I was like, wait a minute. This is not right.
The solution is not just to throw more drugs at somebody to try and control things. There's gotta be something that can be done. So that was part of the turning point. And then the real turning point was about three years ago when I had a couple of very close friends, one of which is now the father-in-law of my son.
He's a couple of years younger than me, the other friend's a couple of years older than me. Both of them had massive heart attacks within about six weeks time. And I found myself going, wait a minute. That's me if I don't turn really turn this around. And so I tried starting to lose weight, tried starting to get back into shape and you know, everything I was thinking of.
You know, less calories, a little more activity was working, but it wasn't seeing a change in my, you know, muscle definition or the gut wasn't going away. It was just there and it was hard to get rid of. So that was probably about, you know, I had gotten down probably, I think I was at about 176, 178, somewhere in there when I happened to be, you know, surfing Facebook, which I do constantly or YouTube one of the two. And I saw this ad with this guy named Dr. Anthony in it. And I was like, OK, this is probably some fad set up, but I'll take a look at it. And I think it, at the time you were doing the Apex 10 and the free one day meal plan. So I, I said, well, I'll give it a try. And I think it was December of that year, December of two years ago that I gave it a try.
And I was like, wait a minute. This is really working. And then, you know, you came along with a New Year's Fire Sale or something. And I said, OK, I'll give it a trial buy-in. I think my wife was a little skeptical. She has always had problems with her weight. She's a big success story as well, though. Because she's lost so much weight that she wound up having to have skin reduction surgery.
She had five pounds of skin taken off, which was absolutely incredible. And to see the difference and she's gone back and forth. She's usually very busy as well, you know, like I am, she actually manages and a dairy store, so she's around ice cream all the time. So it's a dangerous game.
I think I had my first ice cream yesterday in quite a while, but together we've, we've started doing stuff and getting that going. And so when I found the program and got into it, it was like, it clicked. And not only did the weight start dropping off, but I started to see things like the love handles disappear. The gut disappeared.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: I want to dial into this a little bit because what I like about your story is when you started this journey, you had general principles in mind of stuff you needed to do. You knew you needed to eat fewer calories and move your body a little bit more, and you were seeing some results before you found us, as you'd lost about 20 to 30 pounds up to that point, down from starting around 205.
And then you felt that you were kind of successful, but not where you needed to be because there was a next-level clearly to the exercise component or stuff like this that you wanted to go deeper on. You find us, and we have this unique kind of exercise, these circuit workouts with great strength, training motions, those metabolic resistance workouts, and you start doing these and you incorporate them into your routine.
What was it like for you? As a guy who was losing weight to start, to do some more strategic exercise, if you will, what were those first couple of weeks like? And what were the changes you saw from being from a guy who wasn't doing, let's just call more vigorous exercise, to getting a couple of these in per week?
Glen Page: Well, first of all, they kicked my butt when it went from being the, you know, trying out the Apex 7, which was tough enough to be in with, to kicking over to the full Apex 10. It was a struggle. I was doing it all at home. I've never been a gym person. Never liked going, never wanting to do anything in front of anybody else.
And so I was doing them at home. And I would get done with those workouts. And of course, I'm recording them with my Apple Watch and it's telling me my heart rate. And I'm sitting here looking at my heart rate and I'm looking at the charts that were being given to me for where my heart rate should be for at the time, a 55-year-old guy.
And I'm looking at it going, this is not right. This is too much. But then I started seeing the results and I said, it's working. Let's just keep at it. So I kept doing it, kept watching the heart rate. I started to notice that the heart rate was stabilizing that, you know, something must be going on.
And I started thinking about the idea that, you know, much like the Apex is strengthening muscle groups, the heart rate was strengthening. The heart muscle was strengthening as well, you know, to the point that at my most recent physical, my doctor was taking my pulse and looked at me and said, that's a long time between heartbeats, my friend, cause I had dropped down to like 40 beats a minute.
So, you know, it's now, I mean I ran 10 miles yesterday and I think my heart rate got to 138 beats a minute for, for a 10-mile run.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: And if you would have tried to run half a mile probably beforehand, your heart rate would have been 170?
Glen Page: Oh no, no. I had times where I was when I first started trying to train to do a 5k, being that it's Northern New Hampshire and I was trying to train in the middle of winter. I was doing them on a treadmill and on the treadmill, my heart rate was going over 200 beats a minute. And I was just like, that's not good, scary. But then I started seeing it come down as I said.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: The thing, Glen, that I love about sharing is from what you just shared is the heart itself is something that all men over 40 need to take seriously.
I mean, if there's something that kills men over 40, it's heart disease — it's the leading one. Why? Because we have inflammation from bad foods, bad lifestyles. We're not exercising the heart naturally through cardiovascular activity, as much as the whole combination of the stress, the smoking, the drinking, whatever, all of it.
But what's amazing is the body has this capacity to regenerate and heal. As we get older, it slows down. That's why those aches and pains stick around a little bit longer. It's harder to recover from workouts. These are facts of getting older, but the regenerative capacity stays when Glen, you started doing those workouts, although very hard and challenging at first your fitness level, went up dramatically, your cardiovascular system responds very quickly. In fact, a cardiovascular system responds quicker than the muscles do. And so Glen, you got this new heart and some new energy. Keep on going, tell us where it goes from there because I know you were a launchpad into these athletics that you now really compete in.
Glen Page: One of the things I did was I set myself a goal probably about a month into the program. I've seen so many people doing couch to 5k and things like that. And I was like, they all say they're going to do a 5k, but they do the program and then never actually run the 5k. So I actually found a 5k in the area and paid the money to sign up for it, made it my goal.
And even though like, I think it was a week before the 5k, I went through to do a training run and I had to slow down to a walk a couple of times on the training run, but I said, I'm going to finish this one way or another. And so I went to this, this actual run about 20 minutes north of here. And I not only ran it, but I ran the entire thing and did it in 29 minutes.
And I was like, that's just absolutely incredible. And I wasn't sure how the heck I had done it. It was a nice flat one. Because we have a lot of rail-trails in the area and it was, it was actually called an ale-trail, which they had me at ale, because at the end, at the end of the race, you got a beer and a glass to go with it.
So that was kind of nice, but I couldn't believe that I ran it in that 29 minutes. So I said, hey, 29 minutes, I was pretty good. Let's see what I can do next time. And so I signed up for another one, and in the next one I did it in 25 minutes and I was like, whoa. And I was hoping to take maybe 30 seconds off my time.
And I just took, you know, four minutes off of it. And so I just kept adding more of those. And then my, my wife, she actually regularly goes to a gym and has a, there's a personal trainer there that works with her. And he challenged her, he sent a text message to all of his gym members to say, hey, who wants to do a Spartan race?
And not only a Spartan race, but Spartan that started at Killington ski resort, which is about a little over an hour away from here, kind of due west of here. And he was looking for people that wanted to join a Spartan team to take on Killington. And my wife was like, no, she doesn't like to get her feet off the ground.
She doesn't like doing the jump, you know, even, even jumping onto the box, jump-type stuff. She doesn't like doing that. So she said no, but she said, you know, Glen's looking for challenges. So, let me send him the link. So she sent me the information on it. I took a look at it and immediately said, this is my next challenge.
This is a 5k. But instead of it just running the 5k, you've got 22 or 23 obstacles built-in. So I said, yeah, this is it. So I signed up for it, then found out that to be part of the team I had to show up at 5:00 AM every Wednesday morning for training because there's a lot of stuff that if you're not ready for it, for the obstacles, you're not going to be able to do it.
I mean, for instance, they've got a giant tire flip that great big tractor tire that you've got to somehow flip over twice and it's not, you know, there's a technique to doing it. And so I got involved in that and just absolutely loved it. And then I set my next goal to do one of the Ragnar races I had heard about.
The fact that Fit Father had put together a team the first year that I was involved and they were looking for runners. And I think Craig actually contacted me and was like, you know, we're, we're recruiting and said, if you want to do it, let's get you here. So, because he knew about the fact that I was doing a lot of running. And so that was, that was the next challenge.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Let me pause you there because I want to take a couple of things from what you shared because I think there's some really good wisdom in that. How, and the first clarifying question is how long into your Fit Father journey we're with you with us when you started the Spartan?
Glen Page: I started Fit Father in January 2019, and the Spartan race itself was I think, middle to the end of September of that year. So I think it was during the summer that I actually started the training.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Nine months. Which is the amount of time I would say, if you throw effort at it, you can make an incredible health transformation in nine months.
And Glen, you know this because you see guys in the brotherhood who lose 100 pounds in nine months, right. You can do a lot in nine months. You got yourself to a point where now for fun, you are going through these crazy obstacle courses, getting up at 5:00 AM to flip tires. And I think it goes without saying that at this time you were probably 56. You have new renewed fire in your life. Which I thought you were supposed to be over the hill, Glen. What happened?
Glen Page: That's what I was told as I was supposed to be over the hill and I keep running into, you know, working in a school. It's kind of interesting. Because I'm back at the same school that I started my career at. And so I'm seeing kids that are the children of the first students that I had. And some of the employees are of the school are former students of mine. And, you know, I leave school in the afternoon. Like yesterday I left school and immediately went for the 10-mile run.
And these, you know, former students are looking at me going, wait a minute, you're older than us. You're not supposed to be doing this stuff. And so it's phenomenal. It's just a great way to do things. And, and I have people that just look at me. I have some of the students that are looking at me going, you know, I can't do, I'm doing now basically a 22 minute 5k and they're looking at me going, there's no way I can't do that. So it's an incredible feeling.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Yeah. I mean, you have a lot to be proud of. You're breaking the mold, the mold from being what they say it should be like at your age, and in a way, they're not lying to you because if you continue doing the regular stuff, you know, burying your head in the sand, eating the crappy foods that you know shouldn't, not doing anything with your exercise — this is the path that many guys follow. But just as easily in nine months, Glen, you turned your life around and now you're inspiring literally kids that are probably a third of your age, maybe even less.
Glen Page: I mean, wow. With some of the teachers, it was actually pretty funny. We had a casual dress day and I wore a sweatshirt that I bought the first year that I taught school.
It was, you know, the high school sweatshirt had the school name on it and everything. And I realized that there were actually teachers that I was working with that had not been born when that shirt was purchased. But I'm definitely the old man. I think the principal is older than me. I think the dean is older than me, but I think other than that, most of the faculty is at least, you know, 10 to 15 years younger than me.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Well, there there's a lesson in there. I think at a certain point when you start to live, well, we're going to call here the Fit Father lifestyle, like getting your nutrition system, getting exercise that you enjoy doing, the process to get the weight off, you can start to uncouple your chronological age, the amount of times around the sun, with your biological age, which indeed you're aging backward. I mean, look at even your skin, your demeanor, I'm sure your energy and everything has gone through the roof as well. So that's amazing. And in Glen, I want to, I want to have one, I want to turn it back to you for one more time, and I'd also love for you to comment on this question for guys who are starting out. Who don't even have the ability right now to dream that they may be doing athletics. They're just like, I know I need to make a change. They're kind of like you at that early starting phase. What do you say to that guy? Like what piece of advice do you leave him with that you feel is going to best serve him to get him started?
Glen Page: I would say do the most that you can. Like it's come up several times in the brotherhood that basically the Apex, people look at it and they think this is going to be easy.
And then they start it and they realized that it's really a butt-kicker. And they get discouraged because they wind up, they start off doing the pushups on their knees and they start off not being able to get past about five or six on the way up. And then there they give out. And what I've tried to tell them every time anybody said that is, first of all, anybody that tells you this workout is easy, is lying to you.
And second of all, that just do the best you can. And each time try to go a little bit further and eventually that in that first month, you pretty quickly, you know, as you were hinting at before, your body adjusts to it, your muscles adjust to it and you get further and further each time. And then at the end of the month, you're looking at it and going, hey, that wasn't as bad as I thought it was.
I can do that now. I look back when I first started, and I sat there and I totaled up, I'm one of those math geeks that decided to total up what the exercises were in there. And because of the way it's set up, you don't realize that you're doing a hundred pushups.
You're doing a hundred of every one of those moves in there. And so now I look at it and because I've kept with it, because I didn't give up, and just decide that it wasn't possible. I get up every morning and do a hundred pushups. And sometimes it's a hundred pushups without stopping, which if you had told me, you know, a couple of years ago that I could do a hundred without breaking, you know, without taking a break and saying, OK, I've got to rest for five minutes before I finish.
I'd have laughed at you because it wouldn't have happened. And now it's just like, I've made it a goal for this year to make it through a hundred pushups a day for the entire year. And, you know, I missed the first couple of weeks of January. So what I've been doing is every couple of days, I'll throw in 150 instead of a hundred and I've got it all in a spreadsheet and I'm recording it all and catching up on those days that I missed. So just keep at it. Just don't be afraid to fail the first couple of times, we all do that. And the real thing is, you know, and, and the same thing with people that, that post in there that they fell off the wagon and they can't do this.
What I usually tell them is to look forward, not back, just continue forward, keep going. You'll see the changes. And you'll really know you're seeing the changes when somebody actually says something to you, when somebody looks at you and says, are you losing weight? Or, I remember actually visiting my niece and her looking at me and going, Unky, you've got muscles! Or, going to give blood and the nurse looking down and saying, you're 57, look at those guns. You just keep at it and that eventually comes.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Yeah, so true. And I also want to highlight the spirit of personal challenge that you've maintained throughout all of this, you know, at a deep level, you challenge yourself from the beginning and all the way through this with these little micro-challenges, this stuff can be fun.
I think looking at your journey, Glen, I mean, we talked a lot about this Apex 10 workout, and it is a core workout of the beginning of our Phase One program. It's good when you're starting out to have the structure to have something to do and push yourselves on, and that's why Apex is great. But also this, these kinds of early choices are going to be a launchpad for all sorts of different stuff.
You're going to get into all the races, all the runs, all the beautiful things. So, Glen, I have one more question because I just love what you just said. How have other areas of your life outside of just the way your body looks and feels maybe in terms of just other aspects, what kind of changes have you noticed over these last few years since taking on this new path?
Glen Page: Well, for one thing, as I hinted at before, I found myself in the middle of this basically a year ago. In April, I found myself suddenly without a job. And, you know, I was working at home already because of the pandemic. And I actually got an email of all things telling me that they had decided to eliminate my director of IT position, which, you know, after 19 years, I was looking at that and going, OK, this is where I'm going to retire from.
And I was all set. I figured I had about five more years and I'd retire. I'd be all done. And I get this email and I was completely devastated. And I just said, wait a minute, there's gotta be something else I can do. There's gotta be a way that I can keep going. I've come too far to just give up. And so just like I didn't give up on the Apex, I fought the battle to try and keep that job. I went through the whole appeals process, which was turned down, and actually a year ago tomorrow, I had a Zoom-based interview to go back to the classroom in the same school that I started at, ironically, replacing a former student of mine who had decided to move on.
And I just did the Zoom interview and found myself basically a week after that with a new job and just having to get through a summer of unemployment and then back into the classroom, doing what I've always loved doing, which is teaching kids.
And, for the fall semester, one of the teachers took me aside, a teacher who is retiring, he's probably about five years older than me, took me aside and wanted to know if I wanted to take his position, which is basically teaching what you and I probably knew as shop back in the day. And one of the shop classes that I get to teach is called wilderness technology. And so we're actually going to be building canoes and taking the kids out on a canoe trip at the end of the year.
So each kid builds his own canoe. And then at the end of the year, it's their one-man canoes. We pack them up, take them out for a three-night trip to a local river. It's incredible. And I think it's going to be an incredible way to kind of bookend to my career. And I really don't think I'd have had that without the right mindset.
You know, I probably would have just gotten discouraged and said, nope, I'm just gonna go find a job, you know, pushing, shopping, carts around or something and do that instead of actually going back to what I love. So it's, that's the big thing is that the whole mindset change of, of you can do this and yeah, there's going to be a challenge involved, but if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.
And that is just kind of been the theme for me all the way through this is — I need to challenge myself, you know, whether it be through the Apex workouts or the mini and half-marathons, or the Ragnars, or anything like that, the challenge has got to be there.
And I, ironically, am one that, you know, my former students will, or some of them are laughing at me because I told them that if they ever saw me running, they should try to keep up because there was something chasing me and here I am, I swore I would never run a half marathon let alone a full marathon.
And I've already got a half marathon this week. I've got another half marathon coming up in the fall and then I'm already scheduled for a full marathon in November, so crazy changes, but I love it.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: I love it too. I love it too. And just the last little cornerstone on that is you got reacquainted with what we call here at the podcast, ‘taking the hill back,' like whatever that hill was, whatever challenge you've had, you have that fighting spirit to get back.
And because you got acquainted with being uncomfortable with doing workouts that were hard, that's what enables your mind to get strong, because you can notice the uncomfortability. You can notice the fact that you didn't want to do this, but when you do it anyways, it unlocks this power and this energy inside of you where you get stronger.
And then that mind that you have, Glen is the mind that fights for your job, that puts a beautiful capstone on your career. Like helping people build these beautiful canoes that they're gonna remember for the rest of their lives and to capstone your career. I mean, congratulations on everything, brother.
Thank you. You're amazing. And I consider it a deep privilege to be able to share your story. I know it's going to help a lot of guys. It is never too late. If you ever forget that, you come back and listen to Mr. Glen Page, because I promise you three years from this episode date, this man is going to continue to be running marathons, climbing mountains, and I'm not gonna be able to keep up with him and that's how he likes it.
All right, everyone. We'll catch you on the next episode. Thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Fit Father Project Podcast. If you love what you heard, please rate and review our podcast on Apple Podcasts. It really helps spread the show to more men who need this valuable info. To watch full video episodes of this podcast and other motivational videos to inspire your training and more, visit our Fit Father Project YouTube Channel. It's free and everything's made for busy guys over 40 like you. Visit youtube.com/fitfatherproject to get access to our entire video library. And finally, if you or someone in your life is interested in becoming a Fit Father or needs help losing weight, building muscle, or living healthier after age 40, visit fitfatherproject.com, where you can see our proven programs, something in line for guys 40 plus, and free meal plan and workouts to get you started. This is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi signing off. I'll see you in the next episode.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on avoiding medication.