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Showing posts from 2012

On the rise

Exciting news from different areas of the country lately to share, the largest being that the Pittsburgh Passion, host of this year's WFA National Championship, will be playing at Heinz Field. The story mentions that the effort is partly because of the recent focus on Title IX's 40th birthday; a recent stat I saw said that in 1972, only one of 25 girls played sports and now it's one in three.

It's a good indicator of progress, though for me I'd rather see things like this, an article promoting football tryouts for both boys and girls in Kansas.
It's the first such article I've ever seen to openly promote the game to both genders, yet with so much focus lately on concussions, it seems that now more than ever the gates of access might be open to continue growing the sport.
The CDC has partnered with USA Football on an initiative to help combat this problem, one I think starts at a very young age - with kids often playing on teams coached by parents, not being…

Weathering life's furry whirlwind

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The spring came in like a lion, and left with Journey.
Rewind two weeks to the start of spring football (more on that later) and to the end of our road with the biggest baby I've ever met. I returned from Houston for work and Josh from a wedding in South Carolina to find Ms. J fragile and unable to walk. The next week was spent at the Eastside Animal Hospital - with a brief back-and-forth-field trip. 
There wasn't much upside to the week which included a giant bill (though substantially smaller than expected), test after test with few answers, a dog blood transfusion from Rex (resident "willing" donor) and heartbreak in eventually having to make a difficult decision to end Journey's life. The great part was meeting a team of people who perform their jobs with love, which we were comforted by during and after we said goodbye.
Journey was a modern story of a girl found on Craigslist by an unlikely pair, still grieving from the loss of Brutus (April 22, 2009). She …

Nine weeks later ...

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Technically the photo above is from week 8 - which included a self-imposed physical challenge. I had tire flips as part of my routine and as often is the case, decided I should test my limits.

The workout was a 25-20-15-10-5 ordeal, so during the 25 flips, I questioned my original motives, but there is an insane satisfaction in doing the unimaginable. The structure of the workout provides no desire to quit as the hard part is already finished. So I flipped. And as I flipped I decided I needed more info.

"Steve, how much do you think this weighs?" I called out across the gym.

"Not sure, hun," in a way only Steve can say to all his clients - regardless of age or sex - without being patronizing in the slightest.

So onto the bathroom scale we rolled this monster on top and got a reading of about 170 pounds. Quite honestly, I wasn't sure I could flip the tire at all. Doing it was an amazing high.

Yesterday marked nine weeks of training at PowerThru. Next weekend (e…

Five weeks down & feeling like a newbie

I told Steve to quit going easy on me because of the difficulty of the two workouts I did Monday and Tuesday.

I think the reality is that he's just been making me work harder and I love that.

This is my fifth week training at PowerThru and I absolutely love it more now than ever.

Wednesday:
1 round = Tire flip (down / back) with run to store  +  Tire pull on firehose (down / back)  +  10 pushups  +  10 machine row (0 plus machine)  +  ruck run with 30 lbs of sand to the light.

I did four rounds in an hour - and felt like the hunchback of our town running with the ruck.

Tuesday:
1 round = 10 handle pushups + 1 minute plank + 20 squats (B2B & regular)  +  10 manmakers (similar to burpees and T-pushup)  +  10 hammer curls (with 20 lb each)  +  wall climb (3x attempts)  +  pullups with bar  + sumo squat (45 lbs)   +   10 DB swing (20).

I broke my 12-year record and threw up for the first time during a workout since 1999 at two-a-day football practice.

I have resolve never to again e…

Your trainer is not your therapist.

With yesterday off, I elected to visit Steve a bit later than usual, and in some ways I regretted it. My revelation that I dislike working out with distractions was apparent during my six reps of GI Jane (10 Burpees + 1 bodyweight row after each, 20 situps with 12-lb med ball, 30 bw squats, 4 blocks run).

At the hamster gym, my nerves are frazzled by the zumba ladies shrieking while I'm running 20 feet away, headphones on full blast and I can still hear them. 
At the spartan gym, it's the person who gives not only their life story, but also the stories of anyone who they know anything about. I wonder if it is also a hazard of making your living as a bartender, hair / nail stylist, probate lawyer. 
At any gym, any time, I'd rather not ever talk - I'm there to get in, get challenged and get on with my day. 
It is a contradiction. At the hamster gym, I wear headphones, every day, as loud as possible to not only ignore other people and try to achieve focus, but to drown ou…

Is getting ripped worth it?

I read this funny posting about fitness philosophy.

My favorite line was the one about letting your inner fat kid out... I have to battle mine daily. After two weeks of hitting the morning workouts hard and trying to eat cleaner, things are going well.

Yesterday's workout was a 17-rep descending set of (DB swing with 20 & 20 DBs, squats, pushups and jacks). After I got to 1 rep, I made it back up to 10, and traded squats for situps for variety.

Today's workout was a good combination of pressure (30 minutes) and the challenge to beat 34 reps. I turned in 25 reps of this: 10 pushups, 10 squats, 10 rows and 10 jacks. I did some very ugly pushups at the end, but I had a focus the past two days that was awesome.

In my personal battle for getting ripped, I think it's worth it. My fat kid still loves cake, but I like muscle strength more.

Coaching myself through it.

I like to think I'm a pretty good mentor and coach. 
For all the days I feel pretty good about, I suppose there are at least the same number of inconclusive results. There are platitudes to help with this, spun by famous coaches and motivators. I'm not sure if the real reason we are drawn to them is because we, ourselves, are discouraged but I suspect that was part of the reason this morning: 
“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it." - Vince Lombardi
Of course, that's not to say that I don't completely love this quote, or believe it, but it's hard to keep grinding when you have no focus. 
I'm focused on the 2012 Get-in-Shape-by-Physical-Torture-Routine. I suppose I could go work out only three or four days each week and "orchestrate" some sort of "other" routine, but I know I won't. This is the reason I keep taking my lunch of rand…

If I can clean 405 pounds ....

Buddy Chad sent the man-group (context a group of 3-5 man friends + me who enjoy telling bad jokes and mostly not talking about work) this image in an e-mail this morning:

Me at 70?

I probably should be offended - except this is what we do to each other - and if at any age, I can attempt to powerclean or deadlift 405 pounds, I'll be beyond excited.

Andrew Jackson Penned My Fitness Routine

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When I think about the number 20, I think about presidential Andrew Jackson beaming down from his curled wig. I think about Cookie Monster speaking the elementary Spanish phrases I've managed to remember after 10 years of advanced language classes  ("veinte! ah ah ah!").

I think of this sympathy birthday card I got from friend Julie:

I guess the long and short of this blog post is that I reminisce about 20 because it's such a great number. This morning's workout was, however, not full of this Jackson bliss.

Twenty for Tuesday: 20 reps of each of the following AND 20 step-ups between each exercise including: Wall Ball + Overhead Squats (with 10 pounds) + Ball Slams + Jacks + Pushups + Crunches + Rope slams + Tire flip + Burpees

The good news?

It wasn't 35, which I am not really looking forward to either in age or in number of reps,  ever. Especially reps involving the torture of squats/lunges.

Also good (though not for focus) was the Van Halen classic "Jum…

Monday unwind

After two days of the tightest hamstrings I've had for two years, I went back to work ... 10 clean, squat, press + 10 bicep curls + 20 tire step-ups (better tire) + 10 pull downs (x) + 10 rows +  30 jacks + 10 DB press + 20 squats + Every two rounds, 10 sprints.
I ran faster today and it felt good to just go get it done. I asked if six rounds was enough. They laughed. 
Tuesday's challenge should be harder.

Overheard, Week 1

Friday's recipe: 40 jacks + 5 reverse pullups + 15 pulldowns + 10 alt db press (15/20 lbs) + 20 tire step-ups + 20 (each leg) lunges + run to light = 1. I did five, modifying the last set of lunges to sideways lunges. I ran very slow.


The benefits of early workouts are great, including this short list: 
I don't have to think about a workout, I just have to get there.
I know they are expecting me, so I am committed.
There is some social pressure, but not 200 mirrors to examine the flaws you already know exist.
I don't have to work out like hamster, and the other people there are there to work, not to talk.
I get to see the sunrise every day.
We save money on water, because I now shower at work.
There's not much traffic.
As of 7 a.m., I'm done for the day.
Muscle soreness = hard work.

My favorite quotes from the week:
Today, another exerciser commenting on my step-up style (as fast as possible on a tractor tire): "Seriously?"

I wish I would've captured th…

Physical Challenge 2

So besides this morning's torture workout, fiancee J and I agreed to do our own competition. We're doing a 9-week wellness challenge that includes nine physical or skill challenges as following:

1. Run a 5K
2. Swim a mile
3. Play 9 holes of golf
4. Play 3 sets of tennis
5. Bowling (we were reaching for other ideas at this point...)
6. Miniature golf (which replaces Josh's first suggestion of "arm wrestling" - yeah, like that's fair!)
7. 5-mile bike race
8. Free-throw shooting contest
9. (tiebreaker) Rock-paper-scissors

My plan is to win. We are also going to do a body composition challenge - I think it'll be fun, and allow for us to have some fun with it ...  all I can think about is friends K&W who got married and had their groom's cake as a scoreboard. The work wellness challenge starts soon, and the winner can get $150. That's three months or so of training = good investment.

This morning's workout went pretty well - much harder than th…

A little less pep in my step...

The workout today a bit started later this morning ... I had to drag myself out of my warm bed at 5:30. I am, however, contemplating going to the car for a Diet Coke. Right. Now. I've only been working for 35 minutes. The evil empire has me in its clutches, chemicals and all.

I did seven rounds today of this lovely creature:
10 pushups + 2 long driveway sprints + 35 (decreasing by 5 each set until I got to 5) squats + 10 DB rows with 20 / 15 lbs (Rt & Lt) + 15 reverse crunches

Stacy laughed at me the first round when I sat down and realizing how sore my hidden ab-lets were today. When I took a shower, I realized my arms are probably more sore. I guess you don't need biceps for typing. Hurrah.

5:30 a.m. focus

This morning I struggled to get out sprung out of bed at 5:05 a.m. As an adult, I have enough self-awareness to know that I need to shut off the evil buzz at least once. So that was 5 a.m.

I've had a good off-season and now with the shoulder season (usually filled by me playing football), my mission is to find a hobby.

I've thought about raising chickens, but my good friend Dana made a few good points difficult to ignore so I have a ton of crazy research yet to do. Trip to local organic farm scheduled.

There's always gardening, which terrifies excites me - on the one hand you have fresh veggies, on the other you have a giant weed patch sucking money investment which requires constant care.

Travel is on hold for the moment - hopefully we can rebound for beach season and summer. I'd like to go to Charleston, visit friends Debbie & Willie in Virginia and maybe take a mission trip to Kenya. I think we'll go whitewater rafting and maybe even buy a kayak finally (aft…