Wednesday, June 06, 2012
So every now and then everything seems to hit on all 8 cylinders. I have learned to accept those days and be grateful.
Today was such a day!
My secretary was out for 10 days (cruise to Alaska....she's the one that talked me and SWMBO into taking the same cruise in July). Anyway, between her being out and me breaking in a new 20-something office assistant, my schedule has been getting a little out of control.
Now that she's back, and the fact that 20-something kid is actually working out OK, I actually had huge chunks of white space on the calendar today.....time where I could actually think, get caught up on reading, plan for the future, and not be rushed from meeting-to-meeting and decision-to-decision.
It felt GRRRRRREEEAAAAAT!
I was also able to take care of a few personal things (my tail-light got broken in the airport parking lot when I was out of town last week…luckily the guy fessed up and their insurance will fix it…..I found time today to take the car to a repair place to get an estimate at lunch time)
On top of all that I had a fan-frickin-tastic ST session with trainer guy in the gym tonight!
It sounds weird, but after being at it for 3 years straight, I think I’m at a fairly intermediate level of proficiency, where I can discern improvements and make differences by focusing on things like breathing, core firmness & stability, and proprioceptive feedback on body position. While still physically hard, I’ve got the mental focus to where I can still think pretty straight and clear even when my body wants to say, “Basta!”
So tonight I sit back, grateful that I can look back on a day where most everything went like gangbusters….and will try to remember it on those many other days when they don’t!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, June 03, 2012
So I sometimes indulge a rather rich fantasy life. I chillaxed today on the deck, reading nothing but perfect summertime beach trash (World War Z)
In between asking myself how I'd react to the Zombie Apocalypse were it to happen today (SWMBO's prepared us only for hurricanes and wildfires), my thoughts floated to how I'm in pretty good shape....today
But what about down the road? What about a few years from now, 5, 10, and beyond? Can I still maintain? Will I still be motivated? Will I just retire and shuffle around slowly in white shoes and sansa-belt pants pulled up to my chest, trying to hitch a ride out of town as the undead swarm the condo gates?
So obviously, to avoid this scenario, I need to stay healthy....all my life. And to do so, I need.....
....a home gym!!
So SWMBO and I are lucky enough to own and rent out houses in other states. We haven't decided where to move to when the day comes, although if it were up to her, we'd go to Oklahoma.....her family and friends (one gal she has been friends with since Kindergarten!) are all there.
But rather than dwell on that idea, I made a mental shift as I watched pelicans and herons hunt for fish in the Santa Rosa Sound, and spent a dreamy afternoon planning how I'd take a bedroom (or 2 if I can convince her to let me knock out a wall!) and transform it into my home gym fantasy!
(Now I'm smart enough to know it won't be all mine, so of course I gave due consideration to putting in a some things for her as well.....God forbid she doesn't have a place for her mini-trampoline!)
So, given that in my mind there is almost infinite space, here are a few of the things that I absolutely must have:
Winters are cold in OKC, especially when the wind comes roaring down the plain, so to keep warm, I'll need to be able to do indoor cardio. What would be better than a fleet of machines to rev up the heart rate!
A Rowing Machine:
A Spin Cycle:
(SAFARIBABE already beat me to it and has one of these wonderful beasts in her NYC apt.....GRRRR)
and maybe an elliptical.....not sure yet, but what the hell, it's my dream gym!
This is what really go me thinking! No more having to wait for squat racks or benches! No more wondering where the 40 lb dumbbells went! ST on demand I say....in my own house! (And besides, I can use the barbells to crush a few zombie skulls when the time comes)
The cool thing is that as I travel I get to see a whole bunch of neato gyms and have been keeping notes on stuff I really want (like that Keiser spin cycle Tory!)
First and foremost, a really good power rack:
To keep it fun for SWMBO, I'll even splurge on some colored weights to improve the aesthetics:
Of course we'd need a nice bench:
and a good set of dumbells:
I was undecided about a TV, but in the end, I figure I need to make room for it just in case....maybe I'll put it in the sauna room off to the side:
(of course this means that I'll have to hook up an entire home audio system to the gym as well in case SWMBO wants to pump in Lady Gaga, Fergie, Adele, or whoever is hot on the UK charts in 2025!)
Oh yeah, can't forget about stretching, so we'll definitely need a Tru-Stretch rack!
I figure I'll leave wall coloring and mats to SWMBO. Of course we'll have to have at least one if not two walls mirrored......but then I got to thinking.......
....some of my favorite gyms layouts have been big, open spaces....so maybe we need this to be....
A Solarium Gymnasium!!!
The only real question then becomes, do I keep a personal trainer on the payroll?
So that was my afternoon reverie as I prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse......what did you do to get ready?
Have a great night Spark friends!
Saturday, June 02, 2012
So I freely admit, I sometimes get a notion in my head, and when I do, I pretty much ride that shark non-stop all the way to shore.
Longtime SP friends will know of my fascination with a Vietnamese dish called Pho, specifically, Pho Ga, or Chicken Noodle Soup
Well this trip, since I was hitting 3 cities in 5 days, I decided to sample as many Vietnamese joints as I could, eating the same dish (Chicken Pho and fresh spring rolls) at each
Midway through the meal, I'd started writing a review in Traveladvisor (my most trusted travel website & restaurant app) on my iPhone.
Well other than feeling slightly "Rainman-ish" (as SWMBO describes my obsession) it was quite fun....and it was a sure fire way to keep calories down on the road.....one of the main reasons I like Pho so much (other than the myriad of ways it can be prepared....more below) is because it basically clocks in at less than 500 calories for a whopping big bowl.
So in Utah, I noticed that they grilled the chicken before putting in the liquid. In Colorado, they served the spring rolls on big fat Mint leaves.....what a great burst of flavor! In Vegas I got to try out 2 different places on the north side of Highway 15, where there's a community called "Little Saigon".....I was the only Anglo in both places, and walked in to one where they had a satellite feed piping in some matronly woman singing swan songs of lost love and broken hearts direct from Asia.....my thoughts; "Alright, this is where I get the real deal!"
Well one place was great, the other, only so-so. In any case, I felt pretty darn good just soaking up the atmosphere and staying under calories for six days straight.
The only other adventure I had was to go hit the Premium Outlet mall off the strip and stock up on a bunch of discounted Nike technical shirts and a pair of neato minimalist workout shoes.
Yeah, I know, I'm in Vegas, I should be gambling & carousing, but I come out here all the time and I had a long, long day of meetings starting at 7:30 and by the time I got done and had hit the gym, all I wanted to do was to grab a bite to eat and get back to my room & relax....especially since I have to get up at 4:30 to make a 7:00 AM flight out tomorrow morning.
That's all for now.....have a great night Spark friends!
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Well once again, I'm way out west....and up in the mountains.
I actually got done with my meetings fairly early and was able to enjoy the great DRY weather here in Colorado. After leaving the muggy 94 degree Florida heat, it felt perfectly wonderful to feel some cool mountain breezes today.
Of course the downside snuck up on me in the gym.
I hit the elliptical for a hard 15 minute warm-up before going in to the weight room. It was a much harder warmup than it should have been. Why? Because my trusty Theodolite app told me I was 6100 feet above the seaside wonderland I left yesterday! Good to know!
So to not make a total fool of myself in the weight room, I took about 20lbs off most everything I did....good thing too, because it still felt like a whole lot of extra work pushing against gravity in what seemed like an ever-thinning atmosphere.
But I persevered...and I have to admit, while I don't put a lot of credence on the actual amount of weight on the bar, as I relaxed on the bench between sets, I felt pretty good that at 6100 feet above sea level, a 52-year old me still had a bunch more weight on there than a good number of the huffing and puffing 20 & 30 somethings.
Lunch & dinner were oriental themes. Traveladvisor app led me to a nice Vietnamese joint near work for a bowl of chicken Pho, and, at dinner, I found a nice little mom & pop Thai place where they sizzled me up a wonderfully spicy plate of Chicken Pad Thai.
Last month I read a great article in The Atlantic called "Six Rules for Dining Out"
In it, he gives some great pointers to find local gems....things like, "go to the strip malls", or "find a Thai restaurant attached to a hotel"
So I compromised and found a Thai restaurant in a strip mall, but it looked like the family owned the nail salon next door.....anyway, read the article....the Pad Thai was spicy and scrumptious!
Off to Salt Lake City tomorrow.....have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Well just as a follow up to yesterday's blog, today I felt my usual self, quite nicely motivated to hit the gym for a nice cardio session and a little bit of ST
Truth is, I had to spend about 4 hours in the office cleaning up some reports I had to get done before hitting the road tomorrow, so I was ultra-motivated to get my blood pumping.
Got in a good HIIT session on the elliptical. If I haven't mentioned it in a while, the BeatBurn Elliptical app creates a great friggin' High Intensity workout. Since I also wanted to get in some abs and back extensions, I set it for an Advanced 30 minute workout and it kicked my ass! The cool thing about the app is that it adjusts the BPM of your songs without messing up the pitch. Voila, the beat of all your favorite tunes adjusted to whatever pace you're supposed to be at.
Came home and read some more of Mark Rippetoe's book "Starting Strength" on the Kindle
I'm really digging it and have made tons of major & minor adjustments to my ST form to great effect. Kind of geeky I know, but what's great is that after almost 3 years of lifting, I feel "strong enough" to actually have it make sense and say "Aha" every now and then when he points out a visualization or explains why your anatomy makes a particular adjustment so much better.
Anyway, I'm off to pack for my road trip this week. Tomorrow at 11:00, SWMBO, #2 son and I are helping out the local DAV chapter with a Memorial Day service (#2 son is leading the Pledge of Allegiance!)
In lieu of a BBQ, we're going to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch where I fully plan on devouring one of their most excellent Triple Prime Cheddar Burgers!! Nutrition tracker be warned....we're going to be cutting it pretty close tomorrow!
Then I catch a flight to Colorado Springs at 3:30. Meetings there all day Tuesday, flight out to Salt Lake City in the evening, two days there, then to Vegas to install my new division chief on Friday, and back home Saturday AM.
In case I don't get a chance to say it tomorrow, thanks to all Warriors and their families, past, present, and future--your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers and all your fellow citizens appreciate all you have done!
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." – Winston Churchill
Have a great night Spark friends!
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