Online Now
80,000-99,999 SparkPoints
GETSTRONGRRR's Recent Blog Entries

Valentine's date, women, and song!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Soon after we moved to Florida, SWMBO and I "adopted" a nearby Assisted Living Facility. The place is chock fill of mostly widows (a few guys live there too) and we decided long ago that we would do our part for the local community by volunteering to help out this outfit.

So for the last few years we, and a few of our close friends, go there on Christmas, New Years, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, etc to help out. For Valentine's Day, us guys put on ours tuxes and we wine, dine, & dance with the ladies for a couple of hours.

The cool part is that they start around 5:00 PM and by 7:00, they're done, tuckered out and going back to their rooms! And I get date night credit with SWMBO!

It's actually pretty cool. The ladies get all fancied up, putting on their brightest, reddest outfits, do up their hair, and get out their best dancing shoes. They've got a DJ that plays everything from Maurice Chevalier ("Thank Heaven for Little Girls") to Dean Martin ("That's Amore") to Lou Bega ("Mambo #5").

The problem is, I'm not much of a a matter of fact, I suck.

That's where SWMBO comes in. She's the diva of the dance floor in the family and is perfectly happy getting out there and sashaying herself around with whatever retiree is out there. While she dances for the two of us on the dance floor, I work the tables, sitting and chatting up the ones that can't walk or get around.

And did I mention I still get credit for date night....and dancing....and Valentine's Day all in one!

Actually we both have a blast. She got a pair of 90 year olds out there dancing tonight who were just as lively as anyone could hope to be in their 90s! I floated between a few tables where some of the ladies had had some recent operations (hips replaced, knees replaced, etc), patted their hands, asked about their grandchildren (one had grandchildren older than me!), brought them some red velvet cake and chocolate-covered strawberries and made a festive night of it.

Overall we all had a good time and as SWMBO and I drove back, we both realized that no matter how rough we might ever think we have it, life is actually pretty darn good and we're in pretty good shape (although I did tell her that she's just building up some goodwill and karma, waiting to knock me off so she can go live there herself.....that got me an elbow in ribs!)

So a good reminder for me....this living healthy thing isn't just a temporary to do it for the long haul....I'd like to think I can make it to my 90s and be just as fun, lucid, and active as some of the ladies I saw tonight!

Have a great night Spark friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEEJAY3 2/16/2013 2:04PM

    ooops! double post

Comment edited on: 2/16/2013 2:05:07 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
VEEJAY3 2/16/2013 1:40PM

    OK. Seals the deal. I'd threatened to add you as a friend when I read your spin class blog. Now this? C'mon. You're all kinds of adorable.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 2/14/2013 1:03PM

    Way to go!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MNABOY 2/13/2013 11:22PM

    Jewels in your crown.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HANSBRINK 2/13/2013 11:42AM

  This is hilarious! And a very sweet Valentine's Day story. You've earned triple Heaven Points for doing this.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 2/13/2013 7:46AM

    Way to go!! Didn't think you had it in you. There is hope for you after all. A super nice gesture by your SWMBO and yourself.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 2/13/2013 2:53AM

    Great that you are doing this!
Did SWMBO try to get a dance with you? I would only give you "date night credit" if you would dance a dance with me!
Yes, let's do our best to stay healthy and fit until we die!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I love this -what a wonderful gift you are giving to some very deserving people.


Report Inappropriate Comment
PINKNFITCARLA 2/12/2013 11:27PM

    Love it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 2/12/2013 10:50PM

    That is the sweetest Valentine story I've ever heard! I like you even more now!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DRB13_1 2/12/2013 9:59PM

    you both are angels, and I love this post!
Bet you can learn a lot from those retirees. They've lived through some of the most important history in the world.
You both have emoticon hearts of gold! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Florida, the Wind Always Blows in your Face State!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

So I must confess; I haven't ridden my bike since September.

No it wasn't the weather (winter is always like a perpetual spring here in the Florida panhandle), it's not like I was too busy (I am, but I've never let that keep me from working out), and it's not that I don't like cycling, I love it.

But I hate flats....with a passion, I...hate....getting....flats!

Last fall, I averaged 1 to 2 flats per ride! It sucked big time. They've got these stupid prickle bushes that bloom around August and they just attacked my tires with a vengeance.

So I sat out these last few months, lifting weights at the gym and doing my cardio in spin classes and on stationary bikes. But I've been itching to get going again....and besides SWMBO gave me a kick in the pants.

Here's how my brain tackled the problem.

"Hmmm, it's a pain in the ass to get the road bike out there, I keep getting flats and it's ruining my mojo. Hey, I like spinning on some of these stationary bikes at the gym, maybe I'll buy me one. Hmmmm, the one I like is about $1800.....sure I can get that. No, SWMBO will kill me, it's more than the love seat she bought that I gave her a hard time about"

"Hey maybe, I can get that trainer I researched a while back! I can put it on the back patio and spin like crazy watching the dolphins and pelicans!"

Here's how my conversation with SWMBO went last weekend:

ME: Hey I'm going to get this really cool magnetic trainer so I can get back into riding

SWMBO: Magnetic what? Why?

ME: It's pretty cool....AND MUCH CHEAPER THAN THAT SPIN BIKE I WANTED (wink, wink!)

SWMBO: Why do you need this again?

ME: It's pretty cool, I can put it on the back patio, mount the rear wheel of my bike on it, and I can spin like crazy on my own bike! AND ITS MUCH CHEAPER THAN THAT SPIN BIKE I WANTED (wink, wink!)

SWMBO: How much is this thing again?

ME: It's pretty cool.....about $340 on delivery!

SWMBO: 340 buck so you can ride your bike on the patio? Why don't you just get new tires and ride your bike on the road......LIKE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO!

ME: Ummm.....well.....yeah but this way I could ride even if it's raining out.

SWMBO: How much are new tires?

ME: About $80....for a pair of good ones.

At this point SWMBO goes silent and just gives me that look signifying, "Do we really need to be having this conversation?"

So I ordered me up a pair of Kevlar reinforced Continental Gatorskins, hardened with a synthetic diamond coating (not really, I made that up). I had a pair of these before, but I've ridden them hard for about 3 years, so yeah, it was time to replace them. They came in last Thursday, I put them on yesterday, then cleaned and tightened up my sweet, sweet Trek 2200

I decided to test out how my spin playlist translates onto a real ride on a real bike.....not so good, it's about fifty/fifty. The fast songs are good on the flats, but I can't always time the hill climbs to real hills here....besides, this is Ft Walton Beach, FL....I am at sea level on the sea.....hardly a hill to be had for miles.

I have noticed, however, that 6 months of squats & deadlifts have done wonders for my riding. I'm trying to find my new sweet spot between cadence vs speed. I had some very good stretches where I was able to sustain 18-20 MPH at 90 RPM on a flat road for a good long while. My goal is to be able to sustain that pace and cadence for about an hour comfortably.

The only bad thing was the was blowing up a storm here today. And I'm pretty convinced that, contrary to popular Spanish folklore, the name Florida is not derived from Juan Ponce de Leon's exclamation of how "Flowery" this land was. No, I'm pretty convinced that Florida is an old Indian Seminole word for "Wind Always Blows in your Face!"

It didn't matter what direction I was going in, I had a headwind at every turn!

But, it's February, and while my mom is snowed in in Boston, I have an opportunity to ride my bike outdoors.....can't be all that bad! And besides, I rode for 90 minutes without a flat!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 2/11/2013 9:47PM

    I think you'll be in pretty good shape with those tires. I'll be curious to hear how you make out. I'm no fan of flats either and have had my share of learning from mistakes when changing them. One of my biggest shortcomings as a cyclist is my mechanically-impaired nature...ugh!


Report Inappropriate Comment
ATTACKFATCAT 2/11/2013 11:18AM

    I'm glad you were finally able to get back out, and really happy you didn't get blown off the road!

I've been using stationary bikes for the past month, but will probably go out and get my own bike in April, once the weather decides to cooperate (I live in TN). It's going to be interesting...I haven't had my own bike since I was a kid, and things like flats, new tires, etc. are going to be all new to me.

I had another SP friend comment that extra ST really improved his swim time, so it seems that squats and such will also impact my biking in a good way too!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 2/11/2013 8:33AM

    How to Avoid Flats 101: Stay on the roads; Inflate tires at the proper PSI; Buy good quality tires; and replace tires sooner than 3 years. Good luck!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 2/11/2013 2:46AM

    Wow... you basically live in paradise, if it wasn't for the prickle bushes! Good for you to have fixed your bike and exercised outdoors. It surely makes you feel alive to ride a bike through nature and feel the wind in your face. Love it! I am going out now for my run - felt temperature: 12 Fahrenheit. But I know coming back I will feel soooo good.
Have a good week - hopefully not as busy as last one.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Great job! I'm jealous! It snowed 6 inches on Thursday and today it was 40 and raining. Ugh!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMSMILEY88 2/10/2013 6:47PM

    How wonderful not to have a flat!!! I sure saw a lot of people dealing with flats yesterday. And, I love that I can ride here in Texas basically year-round, too! What a great feeling! And, we don't have any prickle bushes. emoticon

P.S. Thanks for the tip on squats and dead lifts! I really need to strengthen my legs to handle those hills & the wind better!

Comment edited on: 2/10/2013 6:47:56 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 2/10/2013 6:11PM

    SWMBO is very wise. *wink*

Report Inappropriate Comment

This is a sprint not a marathon!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

So in my never-ending quest to balance diet, strength training, and cardio, I came upon an interesting fitness realization.

Intensity matters.

I've been doing variations of HIIT (Hi-Intensity Interval Training) for a while now, but somehow in the back of my mind, I've felt guilty about not doing longer, slower cardio to burn off more calories.

But the other day, reading some articles by Mark Rippetoe (most famous for his well-written "Starting Strength" book) it hit me.....sprinters have more muscle than marathoners

Now I've done my fair share of marathons and enjoyed the experience of training on long, slow runs, getting ready for the big 26.2. And believe me, even though I slimmed down in my running days, I was never an ectomorph.

Since switching to cycling and getting serious about strength training, I've seen the value of adding muscle while losing fat. Now, as I look to drop these last pesky 10 lbs, I want them all to be fat pounds, not muscle pounds.

As I planned out my February/March riding (I just ordered new tires and will be dropping my bike to the shop for a well-deserved tune-up and re-cabling), I debated about training for a century (100 mile ride) this spring, figuring it would do nothing but help me drop those 10 lbs of fat.

Well not so fast, or rather, yes, I need to train fast....and hard.....but for shorter durations.

Maybe I need to train for some time trials!

(Not really....when I priced out a time trial bike, that idea went out the window!)

Intensity just makes for a much tougher workout, albeit for a shorter period of time....but those short periods of time do seem like an eternity.

But what better way to prepare for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse! Would you rather be fast & strong, or lean with lots of endurance/

Who do you want to be when the undead rise, hungry and looking for brains?!?!?!

(Hint, you'll need some upper body strength to wield that 9-iron into the soft spot of their frontal lobes!)

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 2/10/2013 6:34AM

    This is very interesting! What I need to motivate me with my always 'pushed on the side' ST!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ATTACKFATCAT 2/7/2013 1:38PM

    Ha, I never thought about how tri training could help prepare me for the zombie apocalypse! Not only will I be able to run from the undead, but I can also ride and swim away at a good pace!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Interesting picutres and comparison.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRIANGLE-WOMAN 2/7/2013 5:17AM

    Great Blog!

That sounds like the Body for Life philosophy.

20 minutes is all you need for total muscle failure if you do it right.

No one whats to end up as a human Happy Meal. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISAINMS 2/4/2013 4:24PM

    I think you should pick up the training habits of triathletes. We do a mix of days with intense intervals and days for distance. And you could do it on your roadie. But the cool kids have TT bikes. Note: I am not a cool kid. Yet.

I was thinking about you the other day. Got my annual bloodwork results and my LDL is noticeably increased. As in "push the panic button". I am done expirimenting with Paleo/Primal and all that jazz. I haven't lost weight, my bodyfat hasn't changed and my LDL is up. I didn't even go down the path of red meat with the fat. All I did was increase the nuts, avocados and coconut oil to keep my calories up sans grains. So much for "saturated fats do not increase your cholesterol". Apparently that's not how it works in my body, lol. Welcome back whole grain bread.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAKAPES 2/4/2013 8:00AM


For burning fat, nothing beats having a lots of muscles!
Allows also eating more, so the calorie budget is bigger.
Thanks for sharing!

How is your fat% going on lately? Decreasing, or stable? Mine hasn't changed in the last months.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOB240 2/4/2013 4:49AM

    The odd thing is that sprinters generally to not train with heavy weights to get muscular. They do a lot of intense body weight work but it takes them a very long time to build their physique..

Zombie invasion - take up archery.. Thats what I've done. Everyone knows that zombies respond to sound so you can't use guns..

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 2/4/2013 3:30AM

    There is a lot of truth in that! Good luck with becoming what you wish with the appropriate exercise. We become what we eat and we become what we do!
I noticed your "loosing challenge" with BILL60 - good luck - If you need a judge I am willing to take that job.
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Report Inappropriate Comment
MILLIE5522 2/3/2013 6:05PM

    When there is a zombie invasion I won't be running away, I'll be on my bike!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/3/2013 6:05:34 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I'd just like to be able to run come the zombie apocalypse. With a side of strength. I say box jumps and high intensity drills will get me where I need to be as well. Both sprints and distance definitely have their benefits!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 2/3/2013 5:11PM

    Sprint for the win! Very paleo, too!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Playlists, abs, and how deerhunting saved my marriage!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

So my first meeting today started at 7:30 AM. They were actually a series of working meetings, which I much prefer to the "sit back and listen to this presentation" type. Still, we were at it pretty hardcore for the next 9 hours.

Then a bunch of my colleagues wanted to hit this BBQ joint for dinner. I told them OK, but I had to hit the gym first, so we agreed to dinner at 7:30.

I lifted yesterday after landing, so today was cardio. I found a lone spin bike in the over-crowded gym here. It had an interesting set-up, with a big video screen that you could adjust to show you either a) bucolic scenes of winding roads, b) an effeminate male instructor urging you to "pedal faster", and c) A readout of all your vitals (heart rate, cadence, calories, etc)

I went with C!

For the last few weeks, I have been tweaking my "Hard Interval Cardio" playlist. It's not an HIIT workout (i.e. short bursts of all out sprinting interspersed with 60-90 second breaks), instead I wanted something that I could sustain for about an hour that has alternating hard hill climbs and sustained sprints.

I downloaded a pretty cool library of kitschy workout music free from Amazon (see blog:
) and I've been messing with my playlist to the point where I've finally got warmup, hard climbs, flat road sprints, and rest breaks all alternatingly built in just right for a good 60 minutes.

And today it paid off! I really like having audio cues to kick in that guide the workout. It helps not having to keep looking at my watch. When a particular tune comes on, I kick it up a notch or relax as needed. Hey, it works for me.

I then tackled the Nike Training Club's "Ab Burner" workout, the one that kicked my ass last week.

Well, I can't say yet that I kicked its ass, but after adding abs back into my routine (I've done this 15-minute ab workout 4 times since the 20th), it was decidedly easier. If there is any consolation to this tale it's that we can get back in shape quickly once we've built a good foundation. But those first few tries are rough!

The last piece of trivial knowledge I feel compelled to share with my SP friends is the coolest so far!

Don't know if any of you is troubled by your gym gear getting a little "stale" after repeated use to the point where even after a good washing they're never quite as good as new.

Well I do, and I have some favorite shirts that need constant washing and SWMBO is on the point of revolting, threatening to stop doing my laundry! Yes I know I could go buy some more, but I REALLY LIKE THESE SHIRTS!

So last weekend this buddy of mine was telling me of his deer hunting adventures (he has totally bad luck out there, but every now and then he bags me a few lbs of fresh venison)

He starts telling me how he washed all his clothes the night before in some Gucci new deer hunting detergent to get rid of the human smell (deer have very sensitive noses) and that leaves no UV reflecting light (they also have great eyesight into the UV range)

I ask him to tell me more about this magic elixer and he claims that it is super-charged stuff that gets rid of every possible trace of human scent...."even a bloodhound couldn't track you!" he tells me (not sure what he meant by that, but I tried not to take it personally)

It's called....wait for it.....Scent-A-Way!

Intrigued, I called up the local Bass Pro Shop and sure enough they had some in stock. So before flying up to Virginia this weekend, I gathered up everything in my workout clothes drawer (yes I have a "workout clothes drawer") and emptied about a half gallon of this stuff into the washer.

So far so good! So far pretty incredibly good! My fave shirt has survived 2 solid workouts this trip and is in perfectly clean smelling shape for a 3rd one tomorrow before I fly back home.

More to if I can just find something to get that cat smell out of the catbox!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLMITCH 1/31/2013 9:08AM

    Thanks for the tip on the Scent-a-way. My workout stuff is in OK shape, but if it does reach that "stale" category, I'll be sure to pick some up.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 1/30/2013 9:15PM

    Sounds like a great product. I'm curious what the ingredients are. I'm fortunate that I get a locker at the gym, including laundry service for only $75 per year.

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOUNGNSMYLIE 1/30/2013 8:29PM

    Best tip ever about the scent-away. I hate admitting this, but I smell like a wildebeest after most workouts, and sometimes the smell lingers in the clothes even after a good washing. Luckily I live in a prime hunting area, so I'll probably be able to find a store that carries this stuff. AWESOME! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 1/30/2013 7:09AM

    I guess my days/weeks in the field, while in the military, have made me real sensitive to the re-wear of workout clothes. Meaning, I cannot wear the same clothes more than once w/o washing. Thus the reason for having many bike shorts and jerseys.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHIERKEN 1/30/2013 3:45AM

    Scent-a-way sounds like a damn good product. I bought supposedly odour-resistant compression shirts online. pfffffft! after one wearing they smell like stale sweat no matter how often I wash them, or hang them out in the fresh air and sunshine. Scent-a-way, here I come!

And here, from your blog title, I figured I'd have to go out and kill Bambi ; )

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 1/30/2013 2:11AM

    Congrats for telling the co-workers that you wanted to hit the gym before dinner! BRAVO!!! Fabulous example for us and others!
Who does not have a "workout clothes drawer" and takes out the same shirt every single workout anyway...
I have a cat allergy and never dealt with cat-smell - help from Belgium...and by the way... your sun did not arrive, yet...come on sent some over!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I need the link to the kitschy free workout music on Amazon, please! I've been taking to spinning on my own some days (since I've taken up running the elliptical just does nothing for me now, and spinning is awesome).

And the litter box smell would go away with the elimination of the source problem.

Maybe bath the cats in scent-a-way?

Comment edited on: 1/30/2013 12:21:46 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 1/29/2013 11:01PM


Cool info! I have teenage boys and NEED this stuff!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

I never regret working out....but I always regret NOT working out!

Friday, January 25, 2013

So here's an interesting insight I had into myself today....I look forward to my Strength Training workouts all week....until I actually get to the gym!

Three times this week, as I changed in the locker room before hitting the weights, I had this nagging voice saying, "Oh man, this is going to hurt today" and I wanted to think of an excuse to not go in.

Weird huh?

I don't experience this at all on cardio days, even when I know I'm going into a tough session, either on my own or in an advanced spin class, or a scheduled HIIT day, I am digging every minute of it (well almost every minute.....HIIT days are pretty tough too!)

And I look forward to my ST days as well...except for the 30 minutes from when I change my clothes and go into the weight room. I think it's mostly due to the fact that I'm at my limits for most all of the lifts I'm doing, gains are very incremental, adding maybe 5 lbs every 2 weeks as I increase my reps.

One of my new pictures on my SP page says, "It never gets easier, you just get stronger" captures my current ST regimen. The pain, the strain, the effort, call it what you will, is the same every workout. You get stronger and are able to lift more, build more muscle, lose fat, gain definition....but it takes work....mostly physical....all mental!

So maybe that's why some part of my brain wants to stop, drop, and roll when I know what I'm about to go through in there.

The workouts are tough, and that's why I work out with a trainer, because I really don't think I would do as much, as hard as I do, on my own.

Today for example we moved up on squats. 240 lbs, 4 sets of 5 repetitions...after 3 sets warming up with lower weights. Then 4 sets of deadlifts....5 reps with 280 lbs (I do find these "easier" than the squats), then......

This is where Stasi-trained trainer guy earned his pay. He spotted me well, took just enough pressure off the bar when I stalled, then had me repeat when I thought I was out of Schlitz.

It's slow, it is painful.....but when it's done, I find myself already thinking about how great the next ST session is going to be, and how cool it'll be to do so many of this and that exercise, and man look at how great my arms are looking!

So what's my point? None really, it's just a personal observation I need to say out loud about myself, recognizing that I've got little voices that want me to quit, that don't want to exert or feel strain or pain or discomfort.....I need to know that they are always there and be mindful that it could be real easy to give in and let them have their way, keeping me from feeling discomfort.....and keeping me from getting where I want to be!

I never regret working out....but I always regret NOT working out!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOUNGNSMYLIE 1/29/2013 9:03PM

    I love that quote: "It never gets easier, you just get stronger." So true. And the voices telling you to quit can be pretty loud sometimes--I think it was a great idea to write down your thought process here. Great blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KIMBERLY19732 1/29/2013 1:28AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 1/26/2013 11:35AM

    very true! Maybe I can use this idea for my eating motivation... It never regret NOT having eaten that piece of chocolate...but I always regret HAVING eaten it... or something like that!
Have a great weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 1/26/2013 10:53AM

    Good self-analysis! Most of the time the anticipation of pain is actually (mentally) worse than the pain itself. It's like ripping off the bandaid. You have to steel your nerves to actually do it, and yes, it hurts like hell, and then it's over and you've moved on.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 1/26/2013 7:29AM

    The essence of self-discipline.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 1/25/2013 10:07PM

    I agree, the psychology of fitness is fascinating.

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 Last Page