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Going like Gangbusters!

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.


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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEPHARLO 6/12/2012 5:43PM

    Love reading about the happy times! Thanks for sharing.

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SHERYL_B 6/7/2012 11:37PM

    Glad for you!

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/7/2012 10:48AM

    Great blog! Good on ya for taking time to appreciate things going right--acknowledging the positive really puts the negatives in their place.

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BEATLETOT 6/7/2012 8:45AM

    So happy that your time is freeimg up!

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LOWFATFOODIE 6/7/2012 12:38AM

    Sounds like a great day- congrats!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/6/2012 11:35PM

    Good on you too!


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    Good to hear you've hit your pace right now.
I'm all-in, balls-to-the-wall so to speak right now with fitness and running.....and I've found some breathing room for the time being in regards to work, so it's all balancing out :)

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    Sounds like a great day! Good for you! By the way - I tend to burn more calories in an hour of fast walking than in an hour of a really hard DVD workout. :)

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EXERTIGER 6/6/2012 10:34PM

    Glad you had a good day and that the new assistant is working out. emoticon

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Home gym plans.....for when the zombies attack!

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

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?

Hell no!

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 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 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 6/6/2012 1:16AM

    My, my, am I green with envy. Say yes to the elliptical if either of you will use it. Great cardio, whole-body workout. And yes tv! That's the only thing that gets me through the workouts.

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SAFARIBABE 6/5/2012 4:55PM

    Shoot! After that blog I'm getting a third lock on my door to keep you fom coming north (not that you ever do in all your travels) and wheeling off with my beautiful, still haven't quite found the sweet spot bike! LOL it really is a sweet

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LEEANNV3 6/5/2012 4:26PM

    Great blog ... I was needing ideas for my own fantasy gym and you got me off to a good start.

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TEXAS_GRL 6/4/2012 9:25PM

    Wow, I have read this book and my mind did not drift off the home gym. LOL I figured if I was surviving the Zombie Apocalypse -- I would be getting tons of cardio by running for my life. :)

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NYKIMMIE 6/4/2012 3:51PM

    I have Zombies,Run on my workout,gets you walking a little faster,lol. I will ave to check out the book . emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/4/2012 8:13AM

    Nice! I just joined "Team Zombie" and am working on my 10 song Zombie Apocalypse playlist.

Will work on gym ideas next...although I really like going out to the gym as it motivates me to be around people who actually seem to like to be there. I'm still working on that.

Although, lack of food and having run or be eaten will probably do the trick....


Comment edited on: 6/4/2012 8:14:18 AM

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BBECKER1955 6/4/2012 5:59AM

    Of course you need a TV! How else are you going to get your all zombie all-the-time reports? Great fun and a few new ideas. If only I can get DW to go for the personal trainer idea. emoticon

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BOB240 6/4/2012 3:38AM

    Lat's see..

Cardio- yep. If I had only one piece of cardio equipment - it would be the concept 2 rower you've got. In commercial gyms they last for decades (few moving parts) and can train anyone from obese to Olympic athlete. They lend themselves to HIIT and they pack away small.

The bike would be my second choice too.In real life I'd spend the money on a good outdoor bike. The rower wins over a bike because it'e whole body cardio .

Ellipticals - I've never trained with. I've used them but never really tested them as a means to strengthen. I note though that all my skiing training for cardio was d done on a bike and rower - and it worked very well.

Power rack..... oh yes.............. no question. I might add a lats pulldown and dips bars on it..

Colouured weights.... maybe not :)

Bench is a must to fit into the rack..

Dumbells I'm torn. I like screw fix dumbells with a selection of smaller weights. Fixed weight dumbelles are annoying because they get mixed up..

Stretching... just a mat..

Sauna.. I'm torn. I love them but ... they tend to lure me away from workouts...
Personal trainer...... same problem as saunas....................

I was going to blog a few weeks back about a home gym for uner $1000 - buying critical equipment from ebay. I think a Concept 2, a rack , a bench and the rest made up in olympic bars and weights can just be done for the cost of a years gym membership!!

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LOWFATFOODIE 6/4/2012 12:50AM

    Loved this post. thanks for making me laugh. I have a home gym (in my living room), but no where near cool stuff like that.

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/4/2012 12:08AM

    I'll take the solarium with mirrors on the fourth wall, a tv/dvd player to give me Tony Horton's current version of P90X, a really nice treadmill that somehow resembles a woodland running path, yeah, a sauna c/w massage specialist . . . oh, and surrounded by a garlic garden. Would that keep the zombies away?????

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Fee, Fie, Pho!

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 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 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 6/4/2012 3:36PM

    Sounds like a good option to have while in Vegas!

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SHERYL_B 6/2/2012 10:39PM

    I love vegas! I actually lived there for 8 months and didn't gamble a penny the entire time. I love getting to all the parks around the city. There is so much to do!

What a great idea to visit different restaurants and compare food. How fun!

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SAFARIBABE 6/2/2012 8:59PM

    So????? How much did we win at Blackjack???? And how come you'll go buy workout gear but won't buy new pants til the old ones are falling off your hips??? Enquiring minds want to know!!

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GINGERPAWZ 6/2/2012 3:49PM

    Good job on keeping the calories down while on your trip.

Take Care,

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/2/2012 1:32PM

    Thanks for the "pho"tos of the phos. emoticon

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BEATLETOT 6/2/2012 1:54AM

    That's so cool! I'm glad you got to try out a bunch of different phos!

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Rocky Mountain High

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 5/31/2012 10:13PM

    I like Thai food and am about due for some. The best Thai place I've been to was in a mall, not a stand alone restaurant. And I think they owned the nail studio next door. Wonder if it was the same place as in the article? Of course I also like Mexican and Italian and Chinese and Japanese and Indian get the idea.

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SHERYL_B 5/30/2012 11:01PM

    I've gotten altitude sickness twice (once i ended up in the er). I am now super careful with watching the altitude and not pushing my body hard when I am at a high elevation. Good for you for being able to continue. Be careful thugh!

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GJCAB09 5/30/2012 12:29PM

    Glad you're enjoying our state, I'm a Thai food nut myself ( along with most everything else!). Nice job in the gym! emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/30/2012 12:28PM

    Have a great rest of your trip! Thanks for the article!

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/30/2012 11:28AM

    Sosunds like I should become a 21st century eater and try some Thai cuisine. DW not so advenurous about food away from home--likes to know she's going to like what she gets so we most often hit the franchises. There's got to be ways around this : )

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KAYZAKCX 5/30/2012 10:54AM

    Thai...mmmmm!!! You're making me hungry!

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BOB240 5/30/2012 1:48AM

    Altituide seems to speed up my fat loss. Whilst skiing I lost a large amount over and above the normal rate. Ok was was also skiing 6 hours a day but..

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Sunday HIIT motivation

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 5/29/2012 10:02PM

    Suuuuuuure.....go to Vegas AFTER I leave!! NICE!! LOL

Hope you have a productive trip. What brought on the triple threat cheeseburger or what ever it was??

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GOODGETNBETR 5/28/2012 11:22PM

    Thanks for the heads up on the Beatburn App. Keep up the good work.

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LOWFATFOODIE 5/28/2012 2:40PM

    Going to have to check out that app... Does it work for treadmill too? Also putting that book on my amazon wishlist- sounds helpful.

ST is strength training for the person who asked.

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HAKAPES 5/28/2012 1:18PM

    Thanks for the welcome back notes!

I like "#2 son"... ;-)

Your energy motivates me a lot!

I'm interested in your feedback on the book - share with us.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/28/2012 10:16AM

    "... hit the gym for a nice cardio session and a little bit of ST."

What is ST?


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HEALTHIERKEN 5/28/2012 1:51AM

    Have a good trip!

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