Monday, June 06, 2011
So I'm a little competitive. Most times it's good, sometimes it can be a liability, although I don't do as many of the stupid things today as in years past.
Today, I was an animal.
After a full day of meetings, my brain refused to accept any more information and my voice was giving out after talking all afternoon, so by 5:30 I was very relieved to find my day over and skedaddled up to the gym.
I found a nice Lifecycle bike, plugged in this week's playlist, and revved up to 100 RPM. Life was good, heart rate monitor showed I was in the zone, and I cruised happily for about 30 minutes.
As I walked back to the locker room, I passed a big glass enclosed room and saw them setting up for step aerobics.
Step aerobics......hmmmmm, I haven't done that since 1990-something. Should I take a chance on this newly installed bionic hip of mine? What if I trip, or jam it, or do the funky chicken and wind up all over the floor? Probably better to not risk it....but let me see how long the class lasts for.
So I asked a 40-something skinny guy near the door about the class. "Oh, this is the Monday ADVANCED class. It lasts an hour, because, it's an ADVANCED class," he said giving me a condescending stare over his fake-Armani glasses.
I showed infinite restraint, checking my desire to move 2 feet closer to his nose and saying, "Bring it, Dieter", I just smiled and said, "Well then I guess I better just take a spot in the front row!"
Sometimes my brain just over-rides everything else and says, "we're all in"
So, not to brag Spark friends, but I can handle the simple 4 & 8 count step moves, grapevines, lunges, & cross-overs pretty damn well....even while reminding myself to not go crazy and do the funky chicken on the floor. And one thing I have is endurance.....a real stubborn endurance.
But ADVANCED class?!? Please. This 51-year-old dude, recently recovered from hip surgery, taught those people the meaning of the word RESPECT by the end of the class. One thing I do when I workout hard is to give out a victory cry when in the moment. At the end of the class, we started doing 8-count lunges off the end of the step....10 sets of 8 lunges.....I know, because I yelled out each one.
Meanwhile Dieter was a sweaty, uncoordinated mass of arm & legs, who had to strategically stop to "tie his shoe" after the 8th set.
Did I mention this was the ADVANCED class?
So I felt good on sorts of levels afterwards. The nice instructor lady came by to tell me thanks for helping motivate the crowd with my counting at the end and would I be coming to her next ADVANCED class. I got a few backslaps from some of the younger dudes in the class, one even asked if I was, like, an instructor or something. "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night"....he thought I was joking.
Dinner was a simple microwaved 300 calories of chicken and whatever.....I'm enjoying a definite Spartan existence on the road after weeks of plenty at home. I've been pretty steady +/- 2 lbs of 188 lbs lately....it's time to re-adjust the calories and aerobics points to knock off a few more pounds.
Maybe I need to stick my nose in the aerobics rooms back in Florida and be told I shouldn't do something!
Good night Spark friends!
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Well having a Saturday at home, with some relative freedom, felt pretty good. Started the day off slow, putzing around, getting caught up on e-mail, doing a little reading, etc. When SWMBO went out to get her mani-pedi, I went outside to put together the "cozy conversation" (actually called "cozy chat" according to the box) patio furniture that came in while I was out of town. One massive box containing parts for 4 rocker chairs and a low table & umbrella stand. Apparently making it "cozy" is not at all a cozy chore.
For whatever reason, it had metric-sized screws and bolts, sizes I of course did not have in my new Makita 18v drill box. So after 45 frustrating minutes putting one chair together with the included (and properly sized) Allen wrench and an ultra-cheapo aluminum wrench, I made a dash to Lowes and came back with a 30 piece driver set that will now let me unleash my fury on any and all sized screws, bolts, and nuts.
An hour after that I had 3 chairs, the table, and umbrella stand all put together and sat down for a nice cozy rock as just as SWMBO made it back in time for us to chat on our new outdoor living ensemble. I was hot & dehydrated, so I showered up and we went out to a nearby crab shack and had some....wait for it....crab cakes for lunch...quite nice and I think about 400 calories total.
We are now about 10 days settled into the this new place and the one thing we have not been able to find anywhere is our silverware. We have half expected it to show up in the next box we open up, but during our cozy chat on the patio, we decided to cut bait (I am getting pretty darn tired of eating with plastic forks and knives....it was bad enough eating with my hands like a beast in a hotel last week!), and buy some new silverware as part of our House 2.0 upgrade.
Apparently, there is a whole industry out there producing silverware with large sections of department and specialty stores dedicating wallspace to the stuff. I think I actually gasped out loud at Williams Sonoma when, what I assumed was not a bad price for a 12-person setting, turned out to be the price for a 1-person setting. I reminded SWMBO that I have a tendency to scar up the silverware by dropping pieces into active garbage disposals and so maybe we should buy something a little more utilitarian for everyday use....something that doesn't cost as much as our new 50" plasma TV, please!
So we went to Dillards and walked out a couple of hundred bucks poorer with a set she likes and some everyday stuff that I can grind away to my hearts content in the disposal.
During our outing, #2 son kept hinting that the new X-men movie just came out, and since I'll be gone again all next week, wouldn't it be great if we could have a guy’s night out with pizza and a movie....sheesh, even at 17 he has a way about him that can make me feel as guilty as if I had shot Bambi's mother. But I still have to pack for my trip tomorrow….oh alright.
So we went. And it wasn't a bad movie at all. We got back a few minutes ago and I threw a couple of things (starting with gym clothes) into my packing sacks. I'll finish the rest of it in the morning. It's off to Virginia Beach tomorrow through Wednesday, then Albuquerque, NM Thursday & Friday, back home late Friday night.
Next blog will be from the road.....good night Spark friends.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Well predictably, today's meetings held all the eye-poking excitement of a turtle race. Lots of slides, but as usual, most of the work gets done in the sidebars during the breaks.
Snacks and food were pretty skimpy and none overly healthy, mostly pretzels, dried out mini-bagels, and what looked like trays of cookies from Sam's Club. Lunch was sandwiches & salad, not too bad; it was the mid-morning and mid-afternoon grazing that was tough.
Actually, what was tough was the icebreaker afterwards....I didn't read the agenda close enough, so right as I thought we were done for the day (and me free to bolt over to the gym) they announce that the icebreaker would start at 5:30 and they'd have buses taking us there in 10 minutes.....damn the luck!
I was torn. The icebreaker was an opportunity to do some serious networking and schmoozing with some folks that have the ability to greatly simplify my life or to make it a living hell in the coming months. But an icebreaker also meant fatty fried foods, lots of drinking, and me likely to be too tired or too full to work out later.
What to do?
So I did a little risk/reward calculation in my head. Risk of going to ice-breaker.....miss my workout. Risk of not going.....life is hell next few months. Reward of going to ice-breaker....life is simplified next few months. Reward of not going to ice-breaker.....I log 45 aerobic minutes later in the day.
But wait....are these my only choices.....am I just a dumb ape, or can I use these frontal lobes to solve higher order problems?
What if I go for the daily double?!? What if I get in, corner the folks I need to see, grab a table where we can seriously pow-wow, scarf up a few scooby snacks, eat, but don't fill up, knock it off before 7:00, come back to room, change, and hit gym before 8:00 PM?
Crazy, sure it was crazy, but maybe it was just crazy enough to work!
And it did! Turns out to have been a great move actually, because these 2 dudes were about to cause me some serious ass-pain, and after hearing each other out over some chicken wings and beer (they had the beer, I stayed sober...but did have about 6-7 wings), we're closer on a way ahead than any of us thought beforehand.
Fast forward in time, and by 7:45 I was up to 110 RPM on the Lifecycle! Since it was late, I opted for a little higher intensity and cut the time down to 30 minutes. Thankfully I was smart enough to choose a bike in front of one big-ass fan (use those frontal lobes), but even so I was soaking in sweat after 10 minutes.
Besides, I'm in a hotel room for the night and really have nothing better to do. SWMBO called and told me that the furniture we (she) bought back in March ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4120710 ) just got delivered to the new house....as did the "cozy conversation" patio chair set she bought the other day (is there really a category of furniture called "Cozy Conversation"?? Really, this is a category?)
Another day of meetings tomorrow, then an 8:00 PM flight back home, getting in around midnight...maybe I can squeeze in a workout before hitting the airport!
Good night Spark friends!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Now how weird is this....today I feel more in charge of myself on the road than I do at home. Now "home" has had a very transient feel to it of late, what with house guests, boxing and unboxing, 7 days all 3 of us and 1 cat in a hotel during the move, yadda-yadda-yadda. So arriving in DC today, I had a nice smile on my face as I departed Reagan and pulled into a grocery store to stock up on bananas, oranges, yogurts and water for the hotel room on this 3-day trip.
And I kept smiling as I drove to the gym and let loose with 40 minutes of hardcore cycling!
All of a sudden 3-days of mind-numbing meetings seems blissful in comparison to the mind-destroying quest of opening cartons and dish-packs, trying to find the one that contains a hammer, or the toaster oven, or SWMBO's favorite egg-timer (I finally just bought her a new one!) Oh yeah! Bring on your worst Powerpoint presentation, drone on in a monotone voice, pitch me your worst idea....I moved 15,000 lbs of "stuff" this past week, I can stand any conference lackey these next 3 days! Hell, I even joked around with the TSA gropers as they slithered their blue-gloved hands on me at the airport!
Even when I realized that I had no silverware after I got back from the gym and grabbed my little Healthy Choice dinner out of the microwave, nothing bothered me. I dug in with my hands like a Clan of the Cave Bear Neanderthal and put my opposable thumbs to good use!
The only bad thing is that my hopes for some cool dry weather were dashed as they opened the aircraft doors. WHOOSH! Hell I could have stayed in Florida if I wanted this kind of humidity!
All seems right and true with the world right now though, so good night Spark friends!
Monday, May 30, 2011
It's been a few days since I've blogged. Five days actually. The longest I've gone without blogging since I joined. Not a record I want to break again.
Needless to say, I've been busy. A good busy. Staying healthy busy. Non-fattening busy...which is the best kind.
SWMBO and I have spent long hours moving, arranging and re-arranging. She went on a curtain buying spree, and I went on a curtain rod hanging hangover. I paid homage to the gods of Lowes and Home Depot on at least 6 different trips in the past 3 days for various items, tools, and advanced gadgetry (I upgraded to an 18V electric drill....10 curtains rods to hang....tell me I don't deserve it!)
The place is coming together nicely. We made sure top "open up" the living room so that we could get in some Wii family bowling during the long weekend. We also took breaks at night and got caught up on some DVRed Memorial Day movies (John Wayne, some Bogart, and a token Audie Murphy flick....SWMBO has always had a crush on Audie Murphy.) And this morning all 3 of us went to the town cemetery for some remembrance ceremonies with local veterans and the community. That was very nicely done and helped us remember that moving a household is not really that big a deal...all things considered.
Of course we cooked up burgers on the grill for dinner and ate it out on our new patio. Now knowing this, I avoided a temptation trap at lunch; we went out to Ruby Tuesdays after the Memorial Day ceremony. I was dehydrated and starving.....and boy did that Triple Prime Cheeseburger look good.....1080 calories of evil goodness. Thanks for bursting my bubble iPhone Spark app!
So a few quick keystrokes later and lunch consisted of a tasty Tilapia with mango salsa, some nicely roasted zucchinis, and grilled spaghetti squash. 320 calories of yummy-yummy goodness to offset the planned burgers tonight.
Then I got the last of the wiring done, connected up the washer/dryer, hooked up the home network and made sure to set-up SWMBO's computer before heading up to DC tomorrow. In between all that, I made it to the gym and had an awesome ST workout before dinner....chest and shoulders were singing!
Well, I gotta' go. The North Vietnamese just attacked Dodge City and John Wayne and the Green Berets are about to kick some serious butt:
Men who mean just what they say
The brave men of the Green Beret!
Good night Spark friends!
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