Fittest at 50 Begins


I’ll admit it: I like a challenge. So when Morgan, our Chief of Staff here at LIVESTRONG, challenged me to find a way to incorporate the great aspects of health, wellness, nutrition, prevention with our cancer fighting mission and Team LIVESTRONG, I was all in.  In fact, I am literally all in…

What evolved from this discussion is a 15 month project I’m calling Fittest at 50, trying to answer the simple question, “Can I get in the best shape of my life before I turn 50?” – and that’s December 30, 2012. But this isn’t some fantasy situation where I get to be a pro athlete for over a year, far from it.  It has to be sustainable and done within the norms of my social and business life, and I want to take you along with me for the journey.

We’ll share all the training through our friends at Carmichael Training Systems, all the nutrition / weight loss via the Daily Plate application from our friends at, and of course tell you how things are going here (pulling no punches) and how you can join in, especially through Team LIVESTRONG and our associated events.  We’ll have plenty of guest bloggers and interviews to share their perspectives as well as feature articles that can get us all moving towards an amazing year in 2012 and beyond!

A little about me and where I’m at currently.  I’m a 15 year testicular cancer survivor, having been through two rounds of chemotherapy and seven abdominal surgical procedures since 1996.  I’ve been very fortunate to have been associated with LIVESTRONG literally since day one back in 1997 and currently head up communications on the Development team. I would put my fitness level at a little above average, coming in at 6’2″ and 226 lbs as of this morning – note I was in the worst shape of my life about a year ago, maxing out at 254;  I think I’ll be at my best “fighting weight” at around 195.

But an even bigger question is, “What does it mean to be in the best shape of your life?” And while I am going to find that out personally, I’ll also be asking athletes and other inspirational people that same question, too, and share their thoughts with you.  It’s going to be a great ride and one I hope you’ll not only follow, but jump in with both feet!  We’ve got some cool things planned, more on that soon enough, and the first goal is a Big One for me – running the LIVESTRONG Austin Half Marathon on Feb 19, 2012!  LOTS more to come.

Me with my friend Steve Nagel
at the 2011 LIVESTRONG Challenge Austin


  1. Brendan Burns says:

    Very cool, kick some butt man.

    1. You need to tag along, too, my friend – you made great progress in a very short time here in ATX – Cb…

  2. Scott Joy says:

    Love it already. I’m coming up behind you, and looking forward to the inspiration!

    1. Thanks for all you do, my friend – keep me honest! – Cb…

  3. Nigel Allport says:

    Following a similar path Chris, good luck, I will enjoy watching and learning from the UK

    1. Awesome! Please keep me posted on your progress, accountability and comrades are always needed – Cb…

  4. I’m here for ya if you ever need a riding partner… pumped to follow your progress over the next 15 months!

    1. Not just follow, you’re in, my friend – Cb…

  5. Okay, I’m 60. Can I get a do-over?

    1. Nope, you just get to keep on inspiring people as always, my friend! Need you along for the ride – Cb…

  6. I look forward to reading… I will turn (gulp) 60 in December, and need to work back to shape too. (cycling accident in July and just starting Phys therapy now, so I have some way to go

  7. Richard Holmes says:

    Chris, I’ll be following your progress, should be great fun! A guy I train with is 52 and for his 50th birthday he undertook the 3 Peaks Challenge in the UK (walk/run the 3 highest peaks) and cycled 450 miles between them, all in 48 hours! 50 is the new 30! Good luck.

    1. Always good to hear from you, sir – and I agree. I want to end this with something BIG, but have yet to figure out what that is. I’ll be wanting input from folks, so let me know as things progress! – Cb…

  8. Pat Raymond says:

    Love this idea; I’m 51, but I’m in!

    1. Great to hear, it’s going to be quite the journey! – Cb…

  9. Cancer Survivor Cyclist says: I’m STILL trying to get them to stop spamming me with e-mails about dubious diet plans and cheap prices in HGH products.

    The ‘branding confusion’ over the “” and “” web sites seems to be growing, which is a bad thing for people trying to find any real information about cancer diagnoses, treatment options, and service.

    1. Thanks for writing… I think it’s pretty clear now to most that is all about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness. We’ve long held the belief here that one of the most effective ways to fight cancer is not get it in the first place. And there’s compelling evidence that three simple things can make a world of difference: stop smoking cigarettes, eat right, and exercise. This not only impacts cancer, but also other non-communicable diseases like heart and lung diseases and diabetes. And if / when prevention has not been possible, we here at are here to help with direct services as well as providing a platform for advocacy in the policy arena. I think in the very near future you’ll see even more effort to make sure that people know what the mission is and services LIVESTRONG provides clearly are, so thanks for your input, and let’s make it happen! – Cb…

  10. Erik Pearson says:

    I turn 41 in January and while I’ve lost 2 pant sizes in the last year, I’m nowhere near where I want to be. Your max of 254 is a short-term goal for me, I’m currently at 282. My goal is 225 and then I’ll see how I feel.

    Count me in.

  11. Matt Ellefson says:


    You’re an inspiration to me! I REALLY love this blog post!

    I’m a 2-time advanced lung cancer survivor, had surgery 3 weeks ago, started on a new treatment drug last week and will turn 50 in April 2012. We share a goal of running our first half marathon before we turn 50. That’s huge for me as I haven’t even ran a 10k yet. Your blog now has me ramped up! I think Austin’s Half on 2/19/2012 (my mother’s 76th birthday) fits well with my recovery and training. Perhaps you’ll see me ahead of you in Austin??? Or will you be ahead of me??? 😉 Game on Chris!

    Thanks for the post and thanks for everything you do!

    don’t just live…..LIVESTRONG!

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