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

Leaving it all at the gym -- Farmer's Carries and Bowling

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Well today SWMBO and I threw #2 son's birthday party. We invited about 20 of his good pals to a bowling alley where we rented a couple of lanes and fed them pizza, cake, and soda for 3 am I glad that's over!

Last week was #2 son's actual birthday, but he had a Special Olympics event to go to so we held the party today. He's a special needs boy and we had a good mix of boys and girls from the specials class from both school and church in attendance. They all had a blast! SWMBO and I know pretty well how to deal with most of the kids that have more serious handicaps and/or emotional needs and we helped them along as best we could, making sure they partook and felt included. They're a great bunch of kids that do some pretty incredible things, struggling but never giving up. SWMBO is fond of saying that watching them makes you want to both sing with joy and cry in sorrow.

Hell I felt so motivated I even had pizza and soda with them!

But to gear up for this event, I needed to get to the gym early and knock out some serious cardio intervals....and to try out a new exercise that has intrigued me for a few weeks now....Farmer's Carries!

I hit the bike hard for about 45 minutes, doing some pretty hardcore intervals that got me up to 90-95% of my max heart rate a few times, bringing it down to a more sustainable 70-80% in between. I had a chance to try out a new playlist and that really helped, especially with the peaks.

Then I grabbed a pair of 50 lb dumbbells.....and walked.....and walked.....and walked.

I gotta tell you, it was pretty energizing! It's quite a different thing to just hold on tight to some mildly heavy weights and walk. I felt it right where I wanted to....right in my forearms....pretty much everything below the elbow....I felt like Popeye after a can of spinach

And that is exactly why I wanted to do them. I think it's a very functional exercise, learning to walk and maneuver while carrying some heavy weights (I did a circular loop in and out of the weight room down the connecting hallway). By the third set, my forearms were radiating fire, so I re-racked the weights and went to my car.

Then #1 son called. He's our 25 year old who lives in North Carolina.....and a true gym rat. I gave him the blow-by-blow of my workout and then he asked, "Sounds good dad....did you leave it all at the gym?"

"Yeah, I had a good workout, I feel pretty good"

"I know dad.....but did you leave it all in the gym or did you have any left in you?"

I'm thinking, "who the hell raised this little son-of-a-bitch" but I knew the answer so I just answered, "I might have another rep or 2 in me, so what?"

"If you're still in the gym, you should leave it all there"

At this point, I've already walked out the door, my car is 20 yards in front of me....but the front door is 5 yards behind me.

"Seriously, you're challenging me? You're playing the guilt card on me? This from the kid who routinely complained about being too tired to take out the trash or empty the dishwasher?"

"You're call dad, I know I left it all at the gym today"

"OK, you're on! Don't forget to call your brother at the party today or I'll take these Popeye forearms of mine and crush you like an empty soda can"

"That's cute dad, considering I did my warm-ups today with your max effort!"

Children truly are a blessing!

So I went back. This time I picked up a pair of 55 lb dumbbells, cranked up the volume on my new favorite motivational song (Nickelback - "If Today Was Your Last Day")....and walked until I had absolutely nothing left and the weights were slipping through my jelly-like fingers.

Needless to say, I truly sucked at bowling....even the kiddie weight balls were tough on my grip. But my horrendous bowling brought squeals of delight to all the kids, so I didn't really care!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 5/1/2013 10:47AM

    emoticon I have been Looking at Kettle Bells for awhile now. I think this might be a really good reason to Stop Looking and Pick a Couple of them Up, LOL!!
emoticon Son #1 sounds like a Fun Guy to have around!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KA_JUN 4/1/2013 11:36PM

    I love farmers walk! Sounds like your family can really throw it around, I like what your son said, I'll keep that in the back of my mind the next time I lift, for sure!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAKAPES 3/29/2013 3:27PM

    Thanks for sharing this!
For now about two years, I decided to make all my shopping with a backpack, and handbags, and carry it home. It's another easy way to cram in some exercise minutes, and I'm also more conscious about what I shop ... I have to carry it to home. Now I'll have the proper name for it, Farmer's Carries! :-)

Thanks for sharing! I enjoy your blogs all the time, you write in a lively way that cheers me up.

And also thanks for the comments!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Love this! I only hope to one day have my children challenge me and keep me on my toes.


Report Inappropriate Comment
LEANJEAN6 3/27/2013 8:10AM

    Great--motivating----Lynda emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRIANGLE-WOMAN 3/25/2013 9:51PM

    What a motivational blog! I know I have been going to the gym and definitely not "leaving it all there" In fact, I've been "phoning it in" the last few days. Tell your son "thank you" for me. Will leave it all there tomorrow!

Ha! I've been doing those Farmer's Carries for a while now! Called them 'Suitcase Carries" but I only use one 20-35 lb kettle bell and switch from hand to hand as I walk around the track.

I also do "waiter carries". And then there is one in between, shoulder level, but can't remember the name of that one.

Check out:

Take care and keep spreading the Spark!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ATTACKFATCAT 3/25/2013 2:35PM

    What great motivations from your son and way to take him up on that challenge! I saw the farmer carries during an episode of Extreme Makeover: WLE and it looks like a great exercise that will help you build muscle for everyday life. I am constantly carrying in heavy grocery bags and 42lb containers of cat litter, so I'm sure exercises like this would help because I know I'm straining my back when I'm doing bueno!

When I was student teaching I had a student with Down Syndrome in my class. It was an elective class and I had never known anyone with DS before. But he was one amazing kid. He was always saying hello and would always give his all on any assignment I gave him. He gave way more effort than any other student in my class and he always had a great attitude. He was in the paper a few weeks ago for a special program they are doing at the school and I'm proud of all he has accomplished. He was definitely a joy to be around and inspirational as well!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOUGDC 3/25/2013 1:24PM

    Delightful story. Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 3/25/2013 1:09PM

    Never heard of farmer carries before!

Your son seems to have inherited your gift of persuasion! ;)

Report Inappropriate Comment
HANSBRINK 3/25/2013 11:44AM

  I do paddling. During competition the coach reminds us to leave it all on the water. Thanks for your blog. Its another idea on how to train to do just that.

And I admire you for you work with the special needs kids.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HANSBRINK 3/25/2013 11:44AM

  I do paddling. During competition the coach reminds us to leave it all on the water. Thanks for your blog. Its another idea on how to train to do just that.

And I admire you for you work with the special needs kids.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 3/25/2013 3:41AM

    Framer's carries... never heard of that before. I guess, I do this exercise every week when I walk with my heavy bags grocery shopping for 1 mile. I sometimes reach home and my hands and arms are falling off.
Your son might be stronger than you but surely not wiser. You've got the brains more developed than him!
Great bowling event and good for you for making their day! I am sure they will be talking about it for weeks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEATLETOT 3/25/2013 3:41AM

    Wow, these sound like a fun idea, though maybe not the best idea before a bowling birthday party! =) Maybe someday for me....

The birthday party sounds so lovely, and your description of it made me want to go bowling! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    LOL! Good for him! I've never thought of trying farmer's carries or even heard of them. Now I'm intrigued! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

    LOVE THIS! And I love farmer's carries. Trainer #9 used to make me do them on "light days" (yeah RIGHT! His idea of a light day would make some shudder lol). He had me walk the track outside - pair of 35# dumbells for one lap, pair of 50# 2nd lap, pair of 45# 3rd lap, and then pair of 40# for the last - some light day indeed! I felt like I'd run a marathon instead of walking a mile lol.

Keep up the farmer's carries. They improve your posture and your core, as well as all of the other benefits...

Glad the birthday party went so well!


Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANTMICROBE 3/24/2013 7:40PM

    Hahahaha that's so awesome :) I do walking lunges with weights but never just a farmer carry. Will have to try it out!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIWVU121 3/24/2013 7:39PM

    Great blog! You and your son made me laugh. Awesome that you went back in though! And that's really great that you had everyone come out for your son's bday party!! Have a great week!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Strength Training, Cardio....and Twinkies!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

So I'm very pleased to report that rest days have their payoff (see my last blog

I felt totally refreshed and raring to go for a heavy legs ST session last night. I freely admit, these are tough days where I push my max loads for squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, etc. doing anywhere from 5-10 reps depending on the specific exercise. Luckily I only do these heavy days about every 2 weeks to build in enough time to recover.

Well yesterday I rocked the house! I felt nice and rested with 2 days totally off from working out over the weekend. I set PRs on squats (4 sets of 6 with 240 lbs) and deadlifts (3 sets of 5 with 305 lbs) my absolute favorite lifts.

But man was I sore today! I slept like a rock for almost 9 straight hours and must confess, I was a little slow this morning (I run our staff meetings on Tuesday mornings.....I was uncharacteristically quiet!)

By lunchtime, I knew I needed to do something, so I ducked out for a Spin Class, quite possibly my smartest call of the day. Curvalicious instructor gal worked us hard!

When I got back to the office I was in noticeably better spirits and not nearly as stiff.

This week I'm going to focus pretty closely on diet. I've been stuck in the low 180s for a while. I have no idea what my goal weight should be, but something tells me I'm within 10 lbs of it.....I'd like to stay between 170-175. So I'm going to pay a little closer attention to calories. Since going low carb, I've not worried much about total calories, just trying to keep carbs below 50 gms/day. It's worked great, but I think I'm up for a change.

So I'm going to track and maintain within my ranges for a while and see what happens.

On a totally unrelated note, someone at work mentioned (with quite disturbing glee) their utter joy at the following news release;

"Twinkies are Back!"

So the North Koreans are bonkers with nukes, Syria is imploding, our federal budget is on par with Cyprus, yet the resurrection of Twinkies as a food source is grabbing the headlines.

Must be the same folks that came up with the 90-day "Think About It" exercise weight loss challenge

Try to have a good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARRENLYNN 3/24/2013 4:59PM

    Way to keep taking care of yourself! I don't know why but I was surprised by the amount of attention that the disappearance of twinkies receiced!! emoticon


Report Inappropriate Comment
STRONG_SARAH 3/24/2013 2:47PM

    Ha ha ha ......great blog. I live in Italy and don't miss Twinkies AT ALL! I wish they would go out of business actually.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOLLY2 3/22/2013 7:31AM

    Ur blog is genius especially the "think about it"

Report Inappropriate Comment

    You're a MACHINE!!!
In fact, I wish you were my gym trainer. No wait, you would surely KILL me.

Anyway, I love reading your blogs - No matter what the topic, your humor always leaves me laughing out loud and your illustrations are PERFECTLY Hilarious!


Report Inappropriate Comment
FANGFACEKITTY 3/21/2013 2:50PM

    Really? Twinkles are back? And that makes the headlines? I never understood the attraction for them, never liked them at all. Certainly never shed a tear when the were gone and shook my head in disbelief at the people lined up at the outlets to stockpile Twinkies before they were all one. And now they are back, just what the people need.

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOUNGNSMYLIE 3/20/2013 10:17PM

    Haha, love the think about it campaign pic; glad you aren't just thinking about it--you are DOING it. Great work, hope you are doing well with nutrition this week.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOB240 3/20/2013 2:45PM

    twinkies are the unsung hero of those wanting to lose weight. Try the twinkie diet:

Report Inappropriate Comment
EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/20/2013 11:45AM

    LOL I love the "Think About It" before and After

Report Inappropriate Comment
ATTACKFATCAT 3/20/2013 11:26AM

    I'm glad you managed to take the rest weekend and that it really paid off for you! I've found I wind up doing my best PRs on the bike after a lighter weekend of exercise, so I really believe in rest/recovery time.

I don't get the Twinkie obsession either. I mean, I do like them personally and will eat them on a rare occasion, but it wasn't one of those things I was shedding a tear over or anything if they were gone forever. It is a little disturbing that people get more riled up over a food that brings back memories for them (but that I'll bet they rarely eat these days) than they do over things that are a little more concerning to them right this minute. But unfortunately we have a society that would riot in the streets if junk food was banned, but could care less if we have a government that can't seem to reach a consensus on anything.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEATLETOT 3/20/2013 10:17AM

    Yay! I always enjoy reading your blogs!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 3/20/2013 9:15AM

    Way to go!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANTMICROBE 3/20/2013 8:21AM

    Hahaha, I love all your illustrations.

I don't get why Twinkies are so popular. There's no chocolate in there, so who cares?! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
BBECKER1955 3/20/2013 6:59AM

    Those are some PR's!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 3/20/2013 3:37AM

Great job knowing what you can and need to get where you want! The pic about the gym and the kitchen is perfectly right... and the zombie pic... just too funny!
Have a great day and thanks for the idea of the loop running during long days!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KA_JUN 3/19/2013 11:28PM

    Dude, you're a monster! Hardcore, for sure. Not going to lie, I laughed at the Full Metal Jacket spinning pic. Great job! Twinkies on the, breaking news on Ho-Hos.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Great job on the ST and very good call to do spin class to get all that lactic acid out of the legs. Rock on!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Woot woot! on the heavy legs day!

Haha on the twinkies bit. Isn't it sad what captures some people's attention?

Keep on pushin'!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Rest....gotta do it!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

So I like to work out. Since 2007, when I stopped smoking and decided to get up off the couch, I have found immense pleasure in moving, running, cycling, lifting, pushing, pulling....almost everything except jumping.

Being a bit of a data hound, I measure everything; max heart rate, resting heart rate, BMI, bodyfat percentages, hip/waist ratios, one rep max deadlifts, squats, etc, and even some old-fashioned measures of success, like can I fit in to those old pair of 33 inch jeans (YES I CAN!)

I've been very happy to find that on almost all of my ST measures for various types of lifts, I am firmly in the INTERMEDIATE range for my age and weight (here's a link to some pretty cool charts)

I try to lift 3x/week, alternating between heavy and medium weight days, working out everything from legs, to back, to chest, to shoulders. I also try to get in 3 days of cardio, anything from biking, to spinning, to ellipticals, and rowing machines. Overall about 5-6 days a week.

One of the oddest mental shifts I've made is that in the past I would look for reasons NOT to I look for reasons TO workout....motivational posters like these now make perfect sense to me;

Having said all that, one of the great (and hard won) lessons I have learned is the need for proper rest. This is a tough concept to get right.

Used wisely, rest allows your body to heal up and build strength & muscle through a program of periodization, the idea that you cycle through periods of putting stress on the body to progressively improve, while building in time for rest and recovery before putting it under more and increased stress.

Used un-wisely, rest can lead to inaction and longer and longer times between workouts, until, one day, you realize it's been months since you've hit the gym and you need to start breaking out the sweatpants because nothing else fits!

Like I said, I've been averaging 5-6 workouts a week for the last 2-3 months. This week, even though I did very good in the ST and cardio department, I noticed I was mentally dragging quite a bit. Nothing specific, just a slight sense of fatigue. 2 weeks ago I pulled a hamstring. Thursday, my calf tightened up on me during a spin class.

So I decided to listen to the signs, heed the voice of trainers and authors who emphasize rest and recovery as part of a total program of health & wellness.

This weekend, I shall do nothing!

Well, not exactly....just no working out. Today we've got family pictures planned, so I actually have to bathe and shave. Tonight, I'm escorting #2 son and his date to go see "Oz, the Great and Powerful" and we're going to take them to Golden Corral for dinner before the movie (teens can eat like crazy and not gain a pound!)

Tomorrow is #2 son's birthday (Yes, he's a St Patty's Day baby!) A friend of ours is a restaurant owner in town and is throwing a corned beef and cabbage charity event for lunch, so we're going there at noon. Then, for his birthday, #2 son wants to have what we call "breakfast dinner" in our scrambles up eggs, fries some bacon, browns up some potatoes, and even makes pancakes for dinner.

So yeah, the do nothing weekend coincides with a high potential for high eats as well. This might just be a weekend to write off on all SP measures of success.....but I'm surprisingly OK with that. One of the great benefits of finding discipline about food and exercise through SP is that these INFREQUENT detours are OK. This'll be a lazy, eat without remorse weekend....then right back into it on Monday. As another kitschy motivational poster says;

Have a great weekend Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 3/18/2013 10:31PM

    PS. OMG! "I beat anorexia" t-shirt will have me laughing in my sleep tonight! Priceless!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JULIAMOONCHILD 3/18/2013 10:28PM

    Your weekend sounded just lovely and, perhaps, much needed for that 'recovery' period to happen. Hope you're feeling rested and much improved for having taken that bit of time off.

Now, the birthday breakfast/dinner idea of number two son was sooooooo up my alley of what would totally rock for any celebration on my calendar! Breakfast foods for dinner - that's REAL LIVIN', in my book! LOL, I even asked my number 1 neice to do breakfast foods at her wedding, if she ever gets married, that is. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ATTACKFATCAT 3/18/2013 3:24PM

    Hope you had a great "no workout" weekend! I think we get so engrossed in our routines that we freak out over the least bit of variation. Like if we get sick or injured or some other major break in our weekly routines. I think two of the things we need to include in our "mental" workout routine is listening to our bodies and flexibility in our schedules.

There is a huge difference in not wanting to workout because of the "I don't wannas" and genuinely being worn out mentally and physically. And not being able to make that distinction is what winds up causing most of us to burn out with exercise or wind up really getting injured. Or we panic if we have to miss one workout for some reason (flat tire, illness, etc.). It's like we think all our hard work is going to be undone with that one missed workout or that we might as well quit if our schedule isn't perfect.

I can say those things because I've experience those exact same slipups. I've burnt myself out and I've just given up because I had to skip a few workouts due to injuries (from overdoing it and not taking proper rest). That is my real challenge this time around. Going home instead of the Y when I am just exhausted, but getting back to working out the next morning or evening. If I have to skip a workout due to something like a doctor's appointment, I find another day or time to make it up if I can, but if not, I don't sweat it.

Like everything else in my life lately...I can control what happens, but I can control how I react to it. And if I react to bumps in the road by just giving up entirely, then that's when I undo all my previous hard work. Not when I have to skip that one workout.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANGFACEKITTY 3/18/2013 10:27AM

    I'm sure you enjiyed your restful weekend just make sure your rest day doesn't turn into 2...or 3...or more days or weeks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOODGETNBETR 3/17/2013 4:15PM

    Sounds like an awesome weekend. As long as the wagon isn't too far off the ground the fall shouldn't do too much damage. Enjoy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LEANJEAN6 3/17/2013 9:01AM

    Enjoyed yer blog so much------sounds like you are successfully Sparking-Lynda

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 3/16/2013 11:18PM

    Hope you're enjoying your restful weekend! It can be such a tricky thing...I always cite Newton's Laws of Physics: An Object at Rest...yadda yadda, but also and Object in Motion...? Which is why stopping for me is sometimes risky. AND tough to get 'er MOVIN' again!


Report Inappropriate Comment
BEATLETOT 3/16/2013 8:32PM

    I LOVE that last picture!!! Enjoy your rest week!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADEWYN 3/16/2013 7:45PM

    Huugs... completely made sense... good for you to realize you need the rest.. and as far as the eating.. track anyways and no worries... I am 5-6 day at te gym person too until i moved to t and i have only made it 4 days a week but i am still getting 8 classes in .. in those 4 days.. hang in there .. hgs and love.. enjoy the weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOUGDC 3/16/2013 4:10PM

    Great reading, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and to son #2 (and the rest of the family -- don't want to leave anyone out). It's great that you share your understanding of how exercise and strength training work for the rest of us who are a bit more puzzled. Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHIERKEN 3/16/2013 2:31PM

    "So I like to work out. " I almost laughed out loud when I read that monumental understatement!

But you've hit every nail on the head at least since I've been reading your blogs here on SP, and this is another one full of wisdom and common sense. Yes, work hard; yes, eat carefully; yes keep the temptations in check. Most of the time. Yes, take the occasional return to hedonism in stride; and yes, definitely, definitely yes, incorporate strategic rest periods into the fitness/wellness regimen.


Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 3/16/2013 1:04PM

    Enjoy your weekend and food without remorse! I know you will be hitting the gym on Monday and pushing it to the max as usual! It is very wise to listen to your body's sings of fatigue.
emoticon emoticon
Maybe you can train you vocal folds under the shower as kind of alternative to hitting the gym on rest days.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IRISHBEANERGAL 3/16/2013 11:54AM

    Well thought out! And I love the last *motivational* poster - made me laugh out loud. How many times have I thought that (and thankfully, most times turned myself around before doing it). Now I will have the image of me stomping on my phone firmly in place -- quite the visual motivator for sure!

Enjoy your weekend - you've EARNED it!


Report Inappropriate Comment

    Love this! Enjoy your rest day. I also find them important in feeling better and recovery!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Great decision! I decided that today is a rest day for me, too. I've worked out hard three days in a row and my entire body is sore so I take that as a signal to rest. Have a great weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
REBECCATKD 3/16/2013 10:55AM

    Thanks for all the motivational posters -- I especially like the one about dedication vs obsession. Enjoy the birthday tomorrow!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIWVU121 3/16/2013 10:54AM

    I've got to say your plans sound like fun! (Maybe minus the awkward feel of being the chaperone on a date, lol) Have a great weekend and remember this nice little rest will make working out on Monday feel that much better!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YMWONG22 3/16/2013 10:42AM

  Rest is important in weight loss. I need to work on getting adequate sleep.
Happy birthday to your #2 son and have a great weekend ahead.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 3/16/2013 10:33AM

    All makes sense to me!


You're doing the right thing. I find that mental fatigue is a warning bell that my activity has exceeded my body's rate of repair.

Your 'rest' days sound exhausting, though! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/16/2013 10:37:24 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALL-IS-AMAZING 3/16/2013 10:29AM

    Enjoy your weekend emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

First, do no harm!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

So one of the great thing about being 53, as opposed to being 23, is that I have a much better appreciation for what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong, what is important and what is not important.

At 23, I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. I could drink like a fish and wake up fine the next morning. I could party like a rockstar all night and not miss a beat the next day. I could workout hard ignoring all sorts of aches and pains.

Not any more!

I can't eat a tenth of what I consumed in college; I don't drink any more; a hard night of partying now means watching the fireworks on New Years Eve and going to bed at 12:01

And now I pay attention to aches and pains.

Some of my long time Spark buds know my story. The Reader's Digest version is that I joined SP in Jan 2001, 2 weeks after I had Hip "Re-surfacing" surgery (instead of a replacement, the doc went in and installed a modified ball & socket joint in my left hip). It really was a miracle....I woke up after the surgery, pain-free in my left hip for the first time in years!

My path to getting there was long and tedious, but it mostly consisted of ignoring a lot of minor aches & pains, toughing out things I should have been smarter about, telling the docs much earlier than I did.

Anyway, post-surgery the ortho doc said, "Enough of the high impact running, you're done. You need to start cycling, working out on rowing machines, ellipticals, etc. And you probably need to drop 20 lbs"

So I revamped my whole approach to exercise and fitness. I hired a trainer to start working on getting me stronger again (hence my SP name) and the first thing I told him was, "First, do no harm!"

I wanted to exercise right, I wanted my form to be perfect, I wanted all around total body improvement, I wanted to gradually build muscle & lose fat....I wanted to be the poster boy for recovery to the ortho doc who did my hip re-surfacing surgery.

And it has worked!

And so one of the good things about being 53 is an enhanced ability to recognize the difference between good pain and bad pain.

Even with all the care and attention in the world, even doing everything exactly right, even with having a professional trainer watch and assist when things get tough, sometimes weird muscles can tighten up, seize up, do whatever the hell they want, and cause a sharp, sharp pain.

At 23 I ignored 53 I pay attention and honor them! I know what good pain is and I know what bad pain is.

The burn of doing 15 squats with 170 lbs on my back.....good pain
The strain of deadlifting 300 lbs off the floor....good pain
The white hot fire in my legs at 110 RPM on the spin bike....good pain
A sharp tug in the hamstring doing hamstring curls....bad pain

So Monday night, I'm working legs out pretty hard and my hamstring seizes up on me....not too bad, but I feel something there that's not quite the burn of a good pain....but I decide to do one more curl.

Bad move....bad pain....bad, sharp pain....bad, stop all movement pain!

Too late, I felt a big fat knot, smack in the belly of the muscle, just radiating soreness, refusing to be ignored.

I told Stasi trainer guy, "we're done with legs today, let's finish up doing back and arms"

Monday night was not fun. I kept waking up every time I rolled over in bed. The next day I was walking around work trying my best to disguise a slight limp. Needless to say, I decided against a spin class Tuesday.

But today I woke up and most of the pain was gone. Even so, I focused on upper body only at the gym tonight, wanting to give whatever demons that still reside in my hamstring no reason to stay there any longer.

So, again, the good thing about being 53 is to not be the fool I was at 23 (even the fool I was at 33 and 43!) I may have done one too many hamstring curls that aggravated something deep inside there that seized up....but right as that kicked in, I knew it was time to stop and to give whatever was in there the time to heal back up.

And it's gotten better...2 to 3 days to recover and I can get back into it without major damage.

Patience, attention, awareness, maturity....yeah, growing old may not be for sissies, but there sure are a lot of advantages to knowing when to push hard and when to ease up!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 3/12/2013 1:00PM

    Kudos to re-inventing yourself and to be celebrating your health & wellness!


Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 3/10/2013 10:44PM

    I definitely take better care of myself at 38 than I did at 28. I used to down a bucket load of margaritas the night before and still manage to show up for school and work the next day! Not anymore - there are consequences! And so now I have a freaking halo - eat right, exercise, and have just one.

I just want to grab some of the kids half my age I see who are overweight and say, "Don't waste your pretty years on bad food! Eat right and get some exercise!" But I figure that isn't a good idea. I'm saving my crazies for my cat lady days in two or three more decades.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PROT358 3/9/2013 11:35PM

    It was really interesting hearing the back story of how you came to sparkpeople. Young and reckless go together for a reason! "Do no harm" is a good lesson for all.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOUGDC 3/9/2013 8:54PM

    Really well described. Glad you're healing quickly. Glad you're keeping active. Glad you put the event out for the rest of us to learn from.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VEEJAY3 3/9/2013 1:37PM

    Rage! Rage against the age!

OK: paraphrasing a famous poet there, but I'm in your boat, and you're a lot more graceful about dealing with those kinds of aches and pains than I am. I have an arthritic knee, and I'm soooo aggravated! I've always had such robust great health that the things that have come my way the past two years are an affront! A slap in the face!

Thanks for showing an example of good grace in the face of pain. I'll TRY to learn from you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOM23JS 3/9/2013 12:12PM

    Great job listening to your body!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    IDK, us cats are smarter than that, we prefer to avoid pain altogether. And they have drugs for when it is unavoidable. emoticon

I've always been "smart" about pain (read that as "a wimp") and inclined to stop at the slightest hint of anything resembling bad pain. Being accident prone makes one slightly cautious. But I know what you mean, which is why tonight I skipped the run even though I can't afford to miss any more training I can afford an injury even less.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHEEKYGEEK 3/7/2013 8:47PM

    BTW--excellent descriptions of good pain. That's exactly how it feels.

Here I always thought my common sense, slow and steady wins the race attitude was a result of being a Capricorn. LOL It's bad enough I let my own mind derail me--but stupid injuries are infuriating, so whether it's age or astrology (haha), I'm glad to stay bad-pain free.

Glad you are feeling better and didn't push yourself into a more debilitating pain. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRIANGLE-WOMAN 3/7/2013 8:07PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JTROBERTSON 3/7/2013 9:55AM

    Even at 33, I can tell a difference in my body's tolerance level for things, so I get what you're saying.

Also, I know how unenjoyable and unrestful a night can be with a painful leg. At least it's settling down. I know you know what you're doing, so no need to tell you to take it slow and get it better. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 3/7/2013 7:30AM

    Thanks for this blog. It's a good reminder of how I need to deal with training. At 57, I'm learning the same lessons later and perhaps slower than you; but I'm learning them.

One of the more frustrating things is that there's no good way to learn what bad pain is other than by making mistakes. I hope I've made enough mistakes to recognize bad pain soon enough now; but time will tell.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BBECKER1955 3/7/2013 5:40AM

    "To soon to old - to late too smart" one of my father's truisms. Guess it applies to all of us in one way or another!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 3/7/2013 1:37AM

    Very true! I try to do the same - stop as soon a "bad"pain appears - but sometimes I still push a little too far.. that might be age related, if I understand you well.
One definitely has to learn to feel and listen to ones body.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    An important lesson! And one I have learned as well. At age 47 (almost 48) I can't abuse my body like I did in the 20s and 30s. And quite frankly, I don't want to!

Glad you listened to your body and things turned out as well as they did. Carry on!


Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYZAKCX 3/6/2013 11:43PM

    The One More monster got you.... emoticon Glad you fought it smartly after getting bit.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Take it easy! So often we want to do more than we should. We need to listen to our bodies.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 3/6/2013 11:05PM

    No kidding. That sense of good pain vs bad pain can make a big difference. Way to go.!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KICK-SS 3/6/2013 10:39PM

    As we get older, we pay more attention to what our bodies tell us. Maybe we've just gained common sense over the years?

I'm like you, at 23, I'd of tried anything hurting or not - now, at 74, I think twice! And do NOT do a lot of things that I did.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Geek Heaven!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yes, it's a sad insight into the human condition to witness how material things can bring us such pleasure......BUT I AM REALLY DIGGING MY IPHONE 5 AND ALL ITS GEEKY APPS!!!!!

Some of you remember my existential angst from last week when I witnessed how totally inadequate my stone-age iPhone 4 was in the spin class I took where a guy was sporting an iPhone 5 on the bike next to me (

So this past weekend I upgraded my phone (and for anyone considering this, I also sold my iPhone 4 on line for $225 which more than made up for the upgrade....I used and had it sold in less than 24 hours!) I also ordered up a nifty new Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor from Amazon, the Polar H7

Then I downloaded the Digifit App on to my phone ( ) and voilą, today I took them all for a test drive during spin class....I was in Geek Heaven!

No more puny, single digit readout of just your heart rate! No more squinting down at a watch display to see what zone I'm in! Today I had bright, technicolor charts painting the total picture at a pedal-by-pedal glance!

I don't know how I ever forced myself to exercise before under such barbaric conditions! How in this techno-logic age could I suffer from such a dearth of instantaneous information, at a glance, at my fingertips!

Needless to say I am shamelessly impressed by all this. It appeals to me in a Rainman-esque infatuation with numbers, data, and tabulated information.....instead of collecting notebooks full of Judge Wopner's decisions, I love compiling charts and files with heart rates, miles, pace, cadence, weights lifted, etc, etc, etc.

I think this phone, blutooth HRM, and Digifit app combo has a lot more capability under its hood too. There are some pretty cool fitness test assessments it can run, there are map overlays for taking it out during runs or bike rides, even some pretty cool custom routines you can build.

So, more to follow....this isn't the last you'll hear me speak of this...but for now, this geek has to go get his steampunk goggles ready for his ultimate cosplay role during next week's DungeonCon....does anyone have some Vulcan ears I can borrow (PS, I can say that in Klingon AND Elvish!)

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAJESTICWINDS09 3/5/2013 11:22AM

  Very cool post! ahh got to love technology! lol keep up the great work! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOSPELCLOWN 3/4/2013 11:56PM

    Sorry, can't lend you Vulcan ears. I'm better at sewing the costumes!

Have fun-
Karen in Canada

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAKAPES 3/4/2013 9:28AM

I loved your check-in!

I'm in stone age compared to you, with my Nokia N8, Zephyr bluetooth heart rate monitor, and 2011 edition of Endomondo only showing my heart rate as a single digit!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 3/3/2013 7:29PM

    This past Nov. my son migrated up to the iPhone 5 and passed along his iPhone 4S to me for free...dumbphone no more! It sure is fun to play with all those apps. I love being able to read books on my phone. Used to read like a fiend when I was time as an adult. BUT: when waiting for this and that, which who isn't? Whip out the phone and read away! :-)


Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYZAKCX 3/3/2013 4:16AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 3/2/2013 9:56PM

    Yep. You've gotta love technology!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ATTACKFATCAT 3/1/2013 5:34PM

    I really like that app and the new flexibility you have with your new gadgets. For us geeks, we can never be happy with what we have. I'm OK with my HRM, but I have to admit, I'm drooling over your new toys. I plan on getting an Android smartphone later this year, so maybe I'll upgrade to the H7 HRM and ask for that for a bday or Christmas present!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KA_JUN 3/1/2013 3:25PM

    Dude...DATA. emoticon . That's sweet, I like the color chart, even though it's vaguely reminiscent of those much maligned threat levels we had. It's crazy how much data we can obtain and crunch nowadays.

Keep up the great work!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 3/1/2013 1:48PM

    Very cool and as so often very funny blog!
You really pushed yourself in the red zone! Good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 3/1/2013 8:56AM

    Ooo!! I've been looking for a bluetooth device that I could sync with my iTouch! I'll see if this is compatible! I also need one for my bike, but still looking.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PLMITCH 3/1/2013 8:42AM

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing. Will have to investigate some of these apps....

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 3/1/2013 8:24AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANTMICROBE 3/1/2013 7:25AM

    I actually do have a pair of Vulcan ears you could borrow!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PMRUNNER 3/1/2013 6:03AM

    Wow, I haven't seen anyone that excited since we brought a big box home that the kids turned into a huge fort! :)

Glad to see you have your new toy and that it is everything you wanted it to be. It looks like it gives you a lot of great feedback!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMREITE 3/1/2013 12:39AM

    if technology is enjoyable and it keeps you motivated then go ahead and enjoy!

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