Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Which Way Did You Go Today?

A person of sizable influence in my life inspired me with a comment a long time ago.  I'm paraphrasing, but you'll get the gist:  "Everyday, at the end of the day, I ask myself two questions.  Did I get better today?  Did I make the world around me better?  If I can say yes to one, it was a good day.  If I can say yes to both, it was a great day.  If I can't say yes at all, I need to go to sleep and refocus myself for tomorrow."

Frankly, I never developed a habit of asking myself these questions.  Until a recent conversation with a friend, I had forgotten the advice altogether.  I believe every single day of your life is one where you make progress or you lose progress.  I do not believe it is possible to stay the same.  In a nutshell, everyday you either get better or you get worse.  

For most of the past two years, I've made significant progress on my health, weight and fitness.  Most days, I got better.

Until recently....

Then I started getting worse.  About 6 months ago, it was only "slightly worse".  My eating habits have slowly worsened.  There are no where near as bad as they were, but I've been giving myself a pass on many things. I've been getting less sleep (because of poor personal choices).  So, for the last 6 months, my weight got slightly worse.  BUT, I had been getting stronger and stronger in the gym.  My PR's were up and I broke some lifting barriers, finally.  I've been slightly slower at some WODs but faster at others.  It was if I traded bulk and speed for strength.  I thought that was an OK trade-off.  Unfortunately, it solidified, in my mind, that my diet was "JUST FINE."  I guess I thought I was still getting better despite the warnings I wasn't.

The last 2 months getting "slightly worse" finally added up to "a lot worse".  The ill effects of losing my way are showing up readily.  I'm slower, not quite as strong, and consistently finish in the back of the pack again. My weight is up (For those of you who were reading my blog during my initial 10 month journey to losing 80 lbs, I weigh the same as I did 2 and a half months before hitting my goal.) and my energy level is down.  I'm still working out hard, I'm eating decent, but my bad choices are clearly impacting me over and over.

I could sit here and blame the holidays or the really busy season at work. Both very true.  Unfortunately, I can look back and see a time where I had a new baby, a new job, and chaos in other areas too.  Through all of that time, I maintained my healthy lifestyle, weight and performance.  In other words, there ain't no good excuse for my current situation.

If you are looking for an inspiring end to this story, I don't have one yet.  My track record suggests this could go either way, but I'm using Lent (even though I'm not Catholic/Methodist) to cut back on my worst vices and get back to improving again.

For today, I can say I'm better than I was yesterday... and the day isn't over yet.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

V-Day Edition: Double-Unders are Like Being a Husband

When you first realize jumping rope is fun, you get all excited.  We hop around like it is so neat.  Doing regular old rope jumping is like being a boyfriend.  How apropos we call it "singles".  We play around with being "single" for a while.  We get a rhythm going.  We become fast and consistent and know EXACTLY the effort it takes to keep singles up indefinitely.  Likewise, you are a damn good boyfriend, hitting all the important dates in stride, saying the right things, planning the right night out.

But the whole time, the "singles" are watching the people doing "double unders" and thinking... "I should be doing double unders too."  At some point, a boyfriend starts looking around at all the husbands and thinks... "I should become a husband too."  With DUs, you think you can start slowly, kinda like a couple  moving in together.  After a while, you realize it isn't the same.  You have to commit at just DOING THEM to really learn how.  You commit:  you speed up the rope, heighten your jump, grit your teeth and go for it.  But you TOTALLY SUCK.  "Holy shit." you think, "what the hell did I just try to do?"  Yeah... becoming a husband feels exactly the same way.

How DUs are like being a Husband
- It looks easy.
- It ain't.
- It can take your breath away.... for a long time.
- Some days you are awesome at it, but you have NO idea why.
- Other days you totally suck at it, and you have NO idea why.
- Sometimes you get whipped in places you shouldn't.
- You walk around with more whelps than a Singapore criminal.
- When it isn't working, you throw things.
- They are hard work.
- But at the end of the the day it is TOTALLY worth it.

Happy Valentines Day suckers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

10 Things Burpees Will Do For You

For Dax,

10. Make you hate your trainer more than the a-hole driving 35 in a 65.
9.  Make you stop and chalk up... even though you ain't grabbing nothing but your underwear outta your crack.
8.  Give you the worst knee burn since you were a horny college kid.
7.  Cause you to question the existence of God but not Satan.
6.  Wonder WTF you were thinking when you agreed to start Crossfit.
5.  Make running seem like frolicking on the beach with a Margarita.
4.  Cause you to wonder if you passed 2nd grade math... because you can't remember if you were on 34 or 35.... DAMMIT!!!  Where the hell is Count von Count when you need him?
3.  Make you Cherry pick WODs.
2.  Make you sing this DAMN SONG the whole time.

and the #1 things Burpees will do for you?

1. Lose a little faith in humanity when you realize just how sadistic people are...

P.S. All the links are safe for work... I promise.