Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Days 520...521...pLaYiN cAtCh uP...

I missed yesterday and I had actually almost forgotten to post today!  I guess I need to play "catch up" here.  

DAY 520...

My 7 yr old was home sick...running a fever yesterday...so I couldn't go to the gym in the morning.  By the time my nanny got here yesterday afternoon...I didn't have enough time to workout and take a shower before I had to take him to the doc at 5PM.

I decided to take a run...a hard run...so I threw on shorts and headed for the highway.  It was a tricky run yesterday because I always run on the shoulder facing traffic...but there were a line of 10 wheelers (probably 5) parked in the shoulder at one point so I had to run on the very uneven ground next to the shoulder.  I am used to weird men honking or waving (confused face) so it doesn't phase me, but it was a little different this time.  There were 2 guys in their mid 20s I guess (hard to get a good look at people driving 65 miles an hour) that were waving and screamin "Wooooo!"  I thought..."What LAMOS!" and kept running.  a few minutes later the SAME guys passed again...waving...and "Wooooo"ing.  Okay...that's weird.  They passed a third time and I thought, "Don't these idiots have anything better to do?"  I mean REALLY...I didn't look THAT good!  It takes effort to drive past, turn around and start going the opposite way!  Luckily I was finally ready to cut across and didn't have to worry about them anymore.  Once I crossed the highway (I know...sounds crazy), I didn't have to contend with any crazy fools or parked 18 wheelers..but I did have to contend with a long steep hill and the wind blowing against me...pretty hard.  Not fun.  My hips were sore when I got home and I was a bit disappointed that I never made it to the gym, but I was glad that I still did SOMETHING.


DAY 521...

So, now I have 2 kids home from school sick!  Luckily my nanny was able to come in early because I needed to teach a class at the gym at 8:30AM and I also had a hair appt...that I really needed!  I covered class and then got ready to do the workout that I had planned to do yesterday...the same one the class did.  I was nervous because I had already watched 2 people "suffer" through it...I knew what I was "in for".  L, the lady I use to train one on one now attends classes.  She offered to stay and keep my time.  I always feel pressure to be fast and strong and perfect in front of everyone at the gym.  I wasn't any of those things, but I worked hard and finished pretty quickly.  It was nice to get back in there today...even if my back is now killin me!

RUN 800M

ROW 500M
21 PUSH PRESS (75 lbs)
ROW 500M
18 PUSH PRESS (75 lbs)
ROW 500M
15 PUSH PRESS (75 lbs)
ROW 500M
12 PUSH PRESS (75 lbs)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day 519...wHaT aN hOnOr iT iS...

"Suffering only hurts because you fear it. Suffering only hurts because you complain about it. It pursues you only because you flee from it. You must not flee, you must not complain, you must not fear. You must love. You know all this yourself, you know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation, and a single happiness, and that is called loving. Well then, love your suffering. Do not resist to it, do not flee from it. Taste how sweet it is in its essence, give yourself to it, do not meet it with aversion. It is only your aversion that hurts, nothing else. Sorrow is not sorrow, death is not death if you do not make them so! Suffering is magnificent music - the moment you give ear to it. But you never listen to it; you always have a different, private, stubborn music and melody in your ear which you will not relinquish and with which the music of suffering will not harmonize. Listen to me! Listen to me, and remember: suffering is nothing, suffering is illusion. Only you yourself create it, only you cause yourself pain!"       ~Hermann Hesse

Gasping...grunting...groaning...pushing, pulling and lifting one more time when their bodies were so tired they didn't think they could do it...sweating...lying on the floor in a pool of sweat with a smile on their faces... These are the things that I saw as I trained a group of people at the gym yesterday. I went into work with a plan...a terrible...hard plan. I asked them to do it and they did...eventhough it was hard...eventhough it hurt.  It was an inspiration to me...an honor to be a part of.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 518..."i aM a mOnSteR!"...

Some days...I hit the gym and feel like I can't do a thing...others I feel unstoppable. I got up early because my husband was snoring. I sat down...trying to decide what we would do...I had a few ideas, but it was a day where I had no idea how many people I would have. J had told people they could come in and "make up" missed days with the "B shift class". I knew I could have as few as 2 or as many as upwards of 7. I wanted to maybe do some heavier lifting because we've been having a very "met-con" type week.  I made up 2 workouts and decided to choose once everyone got there.

Big L came in and said he had to leave early and I made a decision between the 2 workouts that I had prepared. He was only able to do 3 rounds because he had to get home to a sick wife and child. I could see this workout was going to be tougher than I had anticipated. I was really proud of L and B (husband and wife)..they insisted on doing all 5 rounds and not cutting it down to 3. They did a great job..I hoped I could match Bryan's time, as I planned on doing this with my husband after the class was done.

P (my husband) and I got warmed up and set up and L started the timer. After the first 10 OH traveling lunges...I could tell I would do well. I felt strong...unstoppable. Honestly...halfway through...I felt like a monster...like nothing could stop me. I ended up finishing with a much faster time than I anticipated. It was a great feeling...one that I really needed after the rough week that I've had. Today was good...just what I needed.

500 M ROW

15 BOX JUMPS (20 IN)
15 PUSH PRESS (2- 25 LB DBs)
5 ROUNDS FOR TIME (23:55..a lil less than 10 min faster than the next closest time!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 517...i'M LaTe...i'M LaTe...fOr a vErY iMpoRtaNt dAtE!...

I had NO time today.  I was meeting my little sis, K for lunch and a trip to the Mercedes dealership to test drive a car...I'm SO excited!  I let time get away with me starting laundry etc and soon I realized that I didn't have much time before I was supposed to leave.  I jumped on the elliptical and did a really hard 30 min hilly program and planned on stopping by the gym and possible working out with the 5:30 group.  Never happened.  That's okay...I'll work hard tomorrow.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 516...oFF baLaNcE...

Today I feel really off balance.  Everything started out just fine.  The sun is shining and I was feeling happy and motivated...ready to go work hard at the gym.  It all crumbled when I got there and started working on handstand pushups.  I can get into the handstand position on the wall and lower myself down...but if I get as low as I should...then I can't push myself back up.  I tried and failed over and over again until I gave up and moved onto my workout.

My workout consisted of different kinds of squats...overhead, front, back, & air (bodyweight) squats...and varying AB exercises in between.  I warmed up and went to clean the 65lbs I was gonna use for my overhead squats and was surprised by the way it felt...heavy.  I chose 65 lbs thinking it would be challenging by the end of 20, but also very do-able because it wasn't so heavy.  I did 5...dropped it...3...dropped it...5...dropped it...2 dropped it...and then the final 5.  This took a while.  I was so frustrated by the time I finished that as soon as I dropped the bar, I sat on the lifting platform and cried like a baby.  I thought about my friend, W...about how much I miss him on days like today.  He always made me feel better when I had these days.  I knew if he were here...he'd listen to me...be sympathetic...not tell me that I need to be "tougher" or blow me off.  I had absolutely no energy...my wrists felt like they were gonna break...I felt completely weak...like a complete failure. 

Anyone who knows me...knows I don't take days like today well at all.  I replay it and practice self-loathing each time.  I tried to pull it together, but I couldn't so I cleaned up my weights...came home...and ate 2 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (bad choice).  I feel really out of whack...tired.  Maybe tomorrow will be better...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 515..."i...cAn'T...bReAtHe!"...

"I...(gasp)..can't...(gasp)...breathe!"  That was how I felt this morning...so extremely out of breath. I mean I am accustomed to becoming out of breath during Crossfit workouts, but today seemed especially bad. I could barely talk. I had watched the 6AM group do this one so I knew it would be bad. I figured I would do this after I was done with the 8:30AM class and use it as my "cardio" for the day.

Only one guy came to class...Big L was at a class so he didn't make it. I decided to do this one with B, because it SUCKS to do this kind of workout alone and I knew I could stop at any time if he needed me. We were both gasping and struggling to breathe within minutes of starting. I was fixated on beating S's time, but I knew it would be really hard. He went hard the whole time so I knew I would have to as well. That last run was pure pain, but I did it. I only beat him by about 12 seconds, but I did it. This one was harder than I expected.

ROW 500M
RUN 400M
3 RDS FOR TIME (20:44)

I'll add my "lifting later on today after I do it...
later on...
I didn't do much...my hips were hurting and I was much more tired than I expected after the first workout...

3 times

Day 514..."oNe dAy yOu wiLL"...

"One Day You Will"

You feel like you're falling backwards
Like you're slippin' through the cracks
Like no one would even notice
If you left this town and never came back
You walk outside and all you see is rain
You look inside and all you feel is pain
And you can't see it now

But down the road the sun is shining
In every cloud there's a silver lining
Just keep holding on (just keep holding on)
And every heartache makes you stronger
But it won't be much longer
You'll find love, you'll find peace
And the you you're meant to be
I know right now that's not the way you feel
But one day you will

You wake up every morning and ask yourself
What am I doing here anyway
With the weight of all those disappointments
Whispering in your ear
You're just barely hanging by a thread
You wanna scream but you're down to your last breath
And you don't know it yet

[Repeat Chorus]

Find the strength to rise above
You will
Find just what you're made of, you're made of

This song pretty much describes where I was at yesterday.  I was down...feeling insignificant...hangin by a proverbial thread.  That's why I didn't post...I couldn't find a positive or hopeful bone in my body.  I didn't even have the energy to workout, but I knew I needed to do something...something that I like to do...so I decided to go for a run.  I ran what I call "The Britton Circle".  I love running down the country road and over the train tracks...past the little wood houses.  It was a good run...and I hung on...and today the sun is shining and everything looks much better.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 513..."tHrAsHeD"...

J texted me last night to tell me that I was in charge of making up the WOD (workout of the day) for today.  I don't get to do that very often.  I feel as though I'm always carrying out someone else's plan, so I wanted to create a WOD that reflects what I like...a "met-con" type workout with relatively low weight and higher reps...one that leaves you feeling "thrashed" when you are done.

I covered the 6AM class and then called my husband to see if he wanted to join me for a workout since he was home for President's Day.  He obliged...knowing it would most likely not be "fun".  I decided that I must have a "dark gift" for coming up with horrendous workouts.  It wasn't terribly long and all the reps were do-able, but I was so out of breath that it hurt.  I did indeed feel "thrashed" when I was done.  I layed in the floor with my chest rising and falling...gasping for air...miserable...hating and loving my workout.  It was a good one.

20 KB Swings (44/35)

20 Goblet Squats

20 Renegade Rows (30/20 Dumbells)

20 ABMAT Sit Ups

20 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (75/55)

Run 400m

3 Rounds for time (23:51)


The pictures are of two of the guys from the 6AM crew

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 512...LiKe a feRRiS wHeeL...

Sometimes I feel like my life is like a ferris wheel.  I go around and around...over and over again.  At the low points...it seems boring and mundane...but at the top when it seems that there is an unexpected pause or jump...it is anything BUT mundane.  Sometimes it's scary...sometimes it's exciting...exhilarating...sometimes it's just unexpected.  I'm learning to embrace every moment and the emotion that accompanies it, because I was reminded this morning that our lives can change almost overnight.  I go into a new week with new eyes...new determination...new focus...new gratitude for what I have.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day 511...vALeNtiNe'S dAy...

Today is Valentine's Day. I woke up in one of the comfiest hotel beds EVER! Me and my husband eventually decided to go down to the fitness room of the hotel. It was one of the biggest and nicest hotel gyms I've ever been in...and we always stay in NICE hotels, because I'm a "hotel snob". We didn't have much time so I just did intervals on the treadmill for almost an hour. Happy Valentine's Day!


Day 510...rUn, rUn, rUn aS fAsT aS yOu cAn!...

This how I felt...all day...like I was the Gingerbread Man.  It was like I never stopped...running...to and from all sorts of people and places. The only times I felt like I was still was when I was driving. I had so much to do.

I went in to work at about 5:25AM so that I could get the gym set up and ready for the group training at 6...and then I waited...and waited...and waited. At 5:59...I thought, "Wow...I got 3 hours of sleep...and no one's gonna show." A couple of minutes later, M came in. He ended up being the only person that came. After I worked with him, I rushed home to get 2 of my kids off to 2 different schools at 2 different times. Then I came home, took a bath and got myself ready. I went from a district Spelling Bee with my daughter, to the store, to home to put ice cream in the freezer, to lunch with her, to home to get the icream, to the elementary school for 2 Valentine's parties, to home to pack for an overnighter, to tan, to back home to shower, to a movie and dinner with my husband and then to a hotel we stayed at downtown for Valentines. It seemed like the day that went on indefinitely.

You may notice that my workout was never mentioned...that's because I never had time...literally. I was a little bummed, but I figure I HAD to have burned some kinda calories runnin like that all day!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 509..."aNyThiNg yOu cAn dO, i cAn dO bEttEr!"...

I went in to train the "B shift" group this morning. Usually it ends up being Big L, but today was nice...it was him and B another firefighter and also LL (the lady I used to train one on one). J had sent me the workout last night...and it was right up my alley...a met-con, endurance style workout. Big L immediately asked me to do it with them. I said, "I don't know...I'm supposed to be watchin y'all...J may not like that!" He said, "Oh CMON! These are simple movements..no heavy weights or compound movements! Tell him YOUR CLIENTS REQUESTED IT!" I gave in...I wanted to...and I knew I could quit or stop to help anyone at anytime.

I took off fast on the first run...gosh, it felt so good to run...fast! Big L stayed with me on round one and two, but I pulled out ahead on round three and held my lead to finish fastest! I don't like to beat PEOPLE...I like to know that I, MYSELF...can do just what "the boys" can do...and even do it BETTER...or FASTER every now and again! I've always been the girl that wants to sing "Anything you can do, I can do better!". Today I got to sing it...in my head of course!

RUN 400 M
5 ROUNDS FOR TIME (20:01...1min 28sec FASTER than Big L ;D )

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 508...gEt tHoSe D*** eLbOwS UP!!!!...

Today was my second day back on "Starting Strength". The lifts today were Back Squat, Bench Press, and Power Clean. I am still just feeling...well it's hard to describe...unmotivated...unexcited...frustrated. The only thing is...I felt the exact same way the first time I started this program and it got better and better as the weeks progressed...so I feel confident that these feelings will pass in time.

It's hard to have been taught by experts...to KNOW what you need to do...and then do it wrong. I was fine on the Squats...and my Bench Pressing form is fine, but I NEVER have anyone there to "spot" me so I WASTE a TON of energy trying to remove the bar from the rack. I feel frustrated with the fact that I can't train as hard, because I'm alone. In fact today I was glad that I remembered Mark Rippetoe's advice. He said when you are benching alone, you should NOT use "collars" because if you get into trouble and can't get the bar up, you can "dump the weight". I had to do that one time. I couldn't complete the bench press and the weigh was resting on me. I simply tilted the bar and the bumpers slid off. As far as the Power Clean goes...frustrated does not begin to cover it. Everytime...I "curl" the bar up rather than popping my elbows up and catching the bar in a "rack position". I tell myself over and over and over again..."GET THOSE ELBOWS UP!!!!" and STILL...I hang on to that bar. Today was not fun, but I finished anyway.

45 LBS X 10 (warmup)
65 LBS X 5
95 LBS X 5
115 LBS X 5
125 LBS X 5
127.2 LBS X 5 X 3

45 LBS X 10 (warmup)
65 LBS X 5
85 LBS X 5
90 LBS X 5
92.2 LBS X 5
95 LBS X 5 X 3

75 LBS X 3
85 LBS X 3
90 LBS X 3
95 LBS X 3
97.2 LBS X 3 X 5


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 507..."aDDiCtEd"...

I...love...to run.  I am not the fastest...or the most graceful runner.   I have never run a marathon...nor do I have the desire to.  Sometimes...my knees ache and my hips grind...after a run.   I know that I should limit the amount I run...but I don't...I can't. When the weather is good...I want to run. Somedays my runs are pure bliss...I feel as though I could run forever and never tire. Other days...I hit "wall" after "wall" after "wall"...I hurt...I'm out of breath...I feel weak.  Either which way...in the end...I love to run...I'm addicted.

Today I am suffering with a really sore back...my muscles are tired...but still I wanted to run...so I strapped on my ipod with my Nike+ shoes...and I ran 4.41 miles down the highway by my house. I "obeyed the voice in my head" that told me to keep going when I was tired and I "let the music carry me" down the road.  It was hard and on the way home...it was uphill and the wind was blowin against me...hard. It was not a fun run, but I am glad ran anyway.

4.41 MILES RUN - 38 MIN

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 506..."bOreD tO dEaTH"...

I was excited to get back to "Starting Strength" this week.  I missed it last week...but I was bored to death today.  I also felt like I lost a lot in just a week of being off.  It was not very fun...but I'm glad that I'm back at it...and I know it'll get better and I'll regain everything I lost.

45 LBS X  10 (WARMUP)
65 LBS X 5
85 LBS X 5
105 LBS X 5
115 LBS X 5
125 LBS X 5 X 3

45 LBS X 5 X 2
55 LBS X 5
65 LBS X 5
70 LBS X 5
72.2 LBS X 5 X 3

95 LBS X 5
135 LBS X 5
155 LBS X 5
175 LBS X 5
195 LBS X 5

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day 505..."GiVe iT HeLL hOnEy! (he he he)"

Another Sunday...time for more of my mindless ramblings that probably don't make sense or interest anyone other than myself...but as I always say, "This is MY diary...I just happen to leave it lying open on the table for all to read.". I have nothing profound or insightful today...just a humorous story. When I was working out at a "big" gym...I had funny experiences every now and then with other patrons as well as employees there. Now it's usually just me and a barbell...and on a good day...if I'm lucky...a few friends suffering along side me...so the stories that involve men asking me to lay plates on their laps for bench dips and pick up lines at the water fountain have long dried up.

Thursday...I ended up spending a good part of my day in the gym...off and on...and I was alone most of the day. I was tired and struggling to get through my warmup...a ONE MILE run...nothin...so I decided to just stop and clean the gym up instead of moving on to workout. I had been working for probaby 45 minutes...wiping down everything...vacuuming...spraying Lysol (I feel like I'm becoming some sort of germaphobe!)...and then finally mopping. I had made my way up to the door when two men drive up in a beautiful 7 series BMW...quite possibly my favorite car...ever. They walked in and asked if they could walk through the gym to the offices behind us. I said, "Sure...just be careful because the floor is wet and I don't want you to slip." I thought it was funny, because the guy driving reminded me a bit of Chris Farley's character Matt Foley on SNL. He didn't have glasses, but he had that booming annoying voice and a big gut...a really big gut...and he kept tugging at his pants. Everytime he would tug at them, he would do this little side to side movement and I would imagine Matt Foley saying, "...That and a nickel will get you a nice hot cup OF JACK-SQUAT!". They walked through..didn't slip..and I quickly finished up and left to go eat.

During lunch, I had this whole "Tortoise and Hare" epiphany and decided to go back to the gym and workout. It was a beautiful day...breeze blowing...sun shining...60s...so I drug all my equipment and did my entire workout outside. It was a workout that I went through and did the entire thing 3 times or for 3 rounds...for time. There was a 500M Row at the end of each round...which felt like pure torture...everytime. Needless to say...by the end of the 3rd round...I was out of breath...sweating...desperate to be DONE. Just as I strapped my feet into the Rower and started my last painful 500 M...the same two men, along with a man that works for the pharmacy behind us, drove back up. I was gasping for air and grunting and groaning with every stroke. They were staring...and not being discreet about it either.

Now I understand that for most people...what we do...what I do is inconceivable.  They have no idea what it takes to complete a Crossfit-esque workout. There is no comprehension as to the amount of mental focus it takes or how excrutiatingly painful it can be...so while it is a bit annoying...I try to be "forgiving" when people want to talk to me or make "cute comments" to me in the middle of a workout. Behind my sunglasses, I could see this Matt Foley-ish guy staring at me...waiting for just the right moment to make some comment. I ignored him...put up my invisible wall...tried to look miserable (which wasn't hard because I was)...anything to just get them to go away. They piddled around at the trunk and carried a few things in until finally my 500 M was complete. I unstrapped my feet and fell to the ground beside the rower as I stopped the stopwatch...my chest rising and falling as I gasped for air...rolling side to side because my legs and back were screaming.

THIS...was the moment that "Matt" chose to speak. He said, "He he he...WHOOO won?...YOU?...or the MACHINE!?!". In broken words...still gasping...I said, "The ROWER...ALWAYS wins!" and turned my head to the side...hoping he would go away...and he did...but not before he shifted side to side pulling his pants up for the millionth time and said, "Weeeell...you give it hell honey!  He he he!" and threw in a wink for good measure. Ewww. In my head, I said..."WTF mister?!? Can't you see me lying here...writhing in pain...out of breath?!? Do I look like I want to have a silly conversation...with a strange man that can't stop tugging at his pants??? WHY DON'T YOU TAKE MATT FOLEY'S ADVICE AND 'SHUT YOUR BIG YAPPER!'" But...in reality...I controlled myself.  I just laid there...speechless...I gave him a really strained courtesy smile and a thumbs up. THIS...is my life.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 504...rEcOveRy...

I took this week off from "Starting Strength", but I still did workouts. I have had fun and worked hard. It's funny how we adjust to things. I thought that doing just "strength work" was so boring...I missed Met-Con workouts...but then this week that I've been "off"...I've missed "lifting".  I'm looking forward to getting back at it next week.  I want to do well, so I have decided to "recover"over the weekend..no workouts or cardio...just resting my tired muscles. I am tired and worn out and sore.  I always put "training first", but I never give my recovery time any thought.  I guess it's because I don't like to rest...and so I don't rest near as much as I should...but I feel like I really need to spend a few days "recovering"...so that's what I'm gonna do.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Day 503...sAnDbAggiN iT...

J is on duty today at the fire station so the gym "duties" are all mine...starting with the 6AM group training class. After they were done (around 7AM) I rushed home to get kids off to school so I could be back up there at 8:30 for the next "group". This "class" has been interesting because there is really only one person that I can count on to be there...L. He is always there. The other guys have had things in their personal lives that have kept them from being there. I was worried because I knew that today's workout would be very difficult to do alone. I decided that if no one else came...I, myself, would workout with him. It was a workout with basic movements that L is proficient in, so I felt good about the decision.

J called to tell me that another firefighter named JS was coming by to drop off a punching bag. When he came in, L and I asked him if he wanted to join us...he did and so began the beginning of a tough workout. The first part was a relay where we had to sprint across the parking lot while carrying a heavy sandbag and continue to do so for 10 minutes straight...counting how many times we got across. That was so exhausting...the minutes seemed to draaaag. Then we moved on to 100 walking lunge steps...not too fun after all that sprinting with weight on you. We rested for 5 minutes after that and then did body weight Deadlifts...as many as possible in 5 minutes. I did 57!!! The most of anyone until CB came in and got 60! My legs were toast when we were through. I have a feeling that I'm gonna have a tough time come tomorrow and especially Sunday. I will probably be walking like I'm crippled. It was a lot of fun though. I'm really glad I got the chance to workout with those guys today.

TEAM RELAY-SANDBAG SPRINTS ACROSS PARKING LOT-10 MINUTES NONSTOP (We each went across 20 times...the most of any other team today!)



Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 502...aM i tHe tOrToiSe oR tHe hArE?...

My kids really liked classic stories and fairy tales when they were little.  We would read two different stories every night before they went to sleep.   There were all the stories one might expect...The Gingerbread Man...Chicken Little...Snow White...Rumpelstilskin...and of course, The Tortoise and The Hare.   Each story has it's own lesson to be learned.

Today, I got to the gym...wrote down what I planned to do on the whiteboard...and went outside to run a mile as my "warmup".  I love to run and I've been running for years.  One stinkin mile at an easy pace is nothin, but today it felt like every step took a concerted effort.  I finished up...feeling really tired and run down. I thought to myself... "Maybe I need to rest...Maybe I need to remember that slow and steady wins the race...just like the tortoise did."  So, I decided to clean up because it was a real mess in there.  I sprayed Lysol and wiped EVERYTHING down with antibacterial wipes.  Then, I vacuumed and mopped. It took me almost an hour and my back was killin me.   I decided to just go eat some lunch and then maybe take a walk...do some "active recovery".

I went and ate and was pulling in to the park when I had an "AHA" moment.  I made a circle and pulled back out...heading towards the gym.  I went in...erased what I had originally planned...and started dragging dumbbells and the rowing machine and a medicine ball and a tire and a sledgehammer outside to the parking lot and entryway.   I did a fun, but fairly tough workout...tough enough that I was LAID OUT on the ground when I was through.  I had no more energy or strength than I had earlier, but I did it for the reasons I am about to explain...

Yeah..."slow and steady wins the race" but ONLY if the other racers are distracted and lazy. We always think we should be like the tortoise...slowly and methodically going towards the goal. But here's a slightly different view that I came up with today.  The hare lost, but what if the hare had pushed himself to keep going when he was hungry and tired...if he had...HE would've beaten the slow, steady tortoise.  So I asked myself.."Are you a tortoise...or a new improved version of the hare?" I am very tired. I do work hard and I could use a little rest. I can come up with a million excuses that would've gotten me out of working out today and no one would think less of me.  I could've been a tortoise and taken a slow, steady walk, but would I feel a sense of accomplishment?...and would I get as much out of it?!?   Slow and steady ONLY wins if all the other "racers" don't try their hardest.  I'm not willing to take that chance and so I decided to be the new, improved, focused hare today.  I'm so glad I went back!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 501..."dOn'T bE aFrAiD tO tRy aGaiN...eVeRyOnE gOeS sOuTh eVeRy nOw aNd tHeN..." ~Billy Joel...

Everyone's heard the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try try again!".  Billy Joel sings something along the same line in The Stranger..."Don't be afraid to try again...everyone goes south every now and then...".  The Hives have a song called Try Again.  It says, "You get up.  You get down and you try it again.", but I think the sentiment I want to portray today is best said by mY "Workout Hero"...Mark Twight on the GYM JONES website.  He says, 
"Failing is the price for striving. Failing is essential to the process one undertakes to reach a position where he or she might succeed. Before achieving our goals we must learn the lessons of failure without getting in the habit of losing. And understand failure is a necessary component of self-knowledge."

I have a really hard time when I feel like I have failed.  I had a moment today at work where for a minute I felt like a failure.  I let those feelings engulf me and they led me to question my ability to succeed...both as a "trainer" and as an "athlete".  I have come so far.  I have overcome things that not many people are aware of to be where I am at...but still at times I wonder if I will ever achieve success in the way I want it.  As I sat down at my computer with tears streaming down my cheeks, I decided to read some of the inspirational quotes and passages that I collect.  I read the one above and then I came to this one by Mark Twight as well...
"Meaningful achievement takes time, hard work, persistence, patience, proper intent and constant self-awareness. The path to such success is punctuated by failure, consolidation and renewed effort. It is wet with the tears of emotional breakdown. Personal reconstruction is art. Discovering one's self, one's talent and ambition and learning how to express it is a creative process so may not be rushed. What's the hurry? Pressure to succeed according to a particular timeline comes from outside. If the goal is selfish self-improvement there is no schedule, no deadline. One's rate of progress is influenced by the intensity used to address the task. Hard, intelligent work speeds us along the path."

I almost felt as if he were speaking directly to me.  I will achieve success.  I work hard and I've been persistent when I wanted to walk away.  My intent is good and I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses.  The parts that I'm missing are patience and time.  I don't need more desire or knowledge or ability...what I need more of are those two things.  I still feel a little disheartened, but I also feel enlightened.

J texted to see if I wanted to "team up" with him and do the same workout that everyone else did this morning.  I was feeling down, but I went...because I knew I would feel better.  I was worried that if I did not do well in my workout that I would fall apart.  I got there and set up weight...he told me to use more...I told him I didn't think I could...he said, "You CAN!"...and so I tried...and I did.   I had 2 "misses" including one where I landed hard...on my butt...while holding the barbell weighing 95lbs.  It hurt...still does..but I got up and did it.  He never had to wait on me.  I did feel much better after working out with him.  I used "intensity to address the task" and I did not let a couple of failures along the way stop me.  I felt a great sense of relief and accomplishment as I laid in the floor...gasping for air when we were through.  I'm really glad that J invited me to workout...that he pushed me to use more weight than I wanted...that he is my friend. 
I can do this.  I just need to stop being afraid and impatient...and remember that "everyone goes south every now and then...".  And I need to keep trying...again and again and again.




Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 500...sLaM iT!...

"The best pace is a suicide pace...and today is a good day to die."  ~Steve PreFontaine

First...I am really sore after yesterday's workout. Still I wanted to workout, so I worked out after training L this morning. The workout that he did is one of my favorites. It hurts and seems endless and impossible, but only lasts 20 minutes and leaves you with nothing if you do your best. He suggested that I do the same workout...so I did. I have one word...hard...okay maybe a few more ...legs burning ...pain ...desperation ...exhaustion. It's a good one!
*The "sweat angel" I left behind after I stumbled off the bike and landed on the floor when the workout was all over...ewwwww!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day 499...sCrEaMiNg aT "tHe bOOgEymAn"...

I really hate working out alone.  It's so difficult to do hellaciously hard workouts without someone to compete against...someone to "share the pain" with.  I need a break from "Starting Strength".  It's an amazing program and it is working...I am getting stronger every time I do it.  I started to slide back at the end of last week and decided to take a week off.  I'm gonna do Crossfit/Metcon workouts this week and start back on Monday.  

In true "MC fashion" I chose an absolutely HELLACIOUS workout off the Navy SEALS site this morning...and not only did I choose it...I wanted to do it...was excited about it even.  When I hit the stopwatch, I felt the first twinge of doubt..."What am I thinking???  This is 125 Deadlifts...250 Pushups...125 Kettlebell Swings...and 250 Situps!!!"   I started to doubt after the first 25 Deadlifts and 50 Pushups..."Maybe I should just do 3 rounds instead of 5..."  I immediately dismissed the thought and exchanged it for this one..."No...I don't wanna be average..."regular"...I wanna push myself past what I logically think I can do.  I wanna be great...and so I'll take the pain and do 5 rounds."

I was in the middle of round 3...I was on KB Swing #60 with a 44 lb Kettlebell.  I was feeling extremely nauseous...in fact...I had just gotten done kneeling down by the garbage can because I thought I might throw up (I didn't).  I was afraid I might drop the KB on my head feeling the way I did, so I had just switched from overhead swings to eye-level swings.  The music was loud...angry...I was in a zone...trying to manage the mental and physical pain...when I caught something out of the corner of my eye and simultaneously heard a man's voice that was not immediately recognizable.  "ALL THE WAY OVERHEAD!!!"  I turned and saw a large man and screamed...very loud...horror movie loud.  I also threw the KB, but not before hitting myself in the leg with it.  Genious MC!Right then, I figured out that I did know that large figure.  It was E...one of our new guys at the gym.  He's a big, strong Marine recruiter and a super nice guy.  "You scared the hell outta me!!!"  He was profusely apologizing and I was saying "It's okay...really...I scare easily."  He offered to leave and come back later...I said "No...no...you are fine." and I stopped the stopwatch and in true Crossfit fashion tried to approximate in my mind how many seconds/minutes I had just spent screaming and talking so I could subtract it from my time at the end.  He made a payment and we chatted for a minute.  Of course any scare he may have given me...any pain from the KB...was all forgiven when he said, "Wow!  You've got some big traps there!"  So, to anyone that that loves me...I'm admitting it...compliments WILL get you far!  

He left...but not before reminding me that I needed to be swinging that KB "all the way overhead" (love it)...and I turned the timer back on and finished up.  It was really hard...especially alone...but I did it.  It took me almost an hour to complete today's workout, but I'm glad I did it.  I'm also glad that it was E and not "the Boogeyman" sneaking up on me today!



lunch and 1 hour rest, then...


*My Sis asked what "Traps" are...Here's a pic of the Trapezius muscle

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day 498...fiRsTs...

There are many firsts in life.  We experience most of them as children or young adults.  I am neither a child nor a young adult, but I've had a few "firsts" myself lately.  I did my first handstand against a wall a few days ago and not so long ago, I did my first dead hang pull up.  That was exciting after trying for almost 2 YEARS.  I didn't get much of a response after my pull up from those that were present...no whoopin or hollerin.  I sent my best guy friend...my first trainer, W...an email to share the news.  I didn't hear back right away, but I didn't expect to because he and his wife work as missionaries in Montana so they are busy.

He did sent me an email a couple of days ago and then...I got a great response...not any whoopin or hollerin...but something better.  He said, "Congratulations on the dead hang pull-up! That's awesome. I wish I could have seen that in person. Oh well, I got to see many other firsts for you."  W did indeed see many firsts with me...he was a part of them...he helped make them happen.  

When I met him...I didn't want a trainer.  I saw no benefit in hiring a trainer.  After a free session with him that I felt had been forced on me...I changed my mind.  I worked with him for over a year and he became one of the best friends I have ever had.  Still...when I have an accomplishment...I want to share it with HIM...because I know he will appreciate it.  When I need advice...he never steers me wrong.  He taught me many things...some expected...many unexpected.

W showed me that you are never too old or slow or uncoordinated to be an "athlete".  I realized during my time with him that everyone has an inner athlete and that if you don't give up...if you are not afraid...you can accomplish things you never thought possible.  It's never too late to have "firsts".  I did my first dead hang pull up and my first handstand against a wall at 39 years old.

So, as I approach Monday...I'm trying to remind myself that I'm facing a new week, full of opportunity for more firsts.  Now that I've got the handstands against the wall...I need to work on my first handstand push up.  It's never too late to have a "first"!