Tuesday, November 13, 2012
From time to time we all lose focus. For me, this spring I started a new sport. I am now participating in the Heavy Athletics of Scottish Highland Games. For those of you who don't know what that is, It is a bunch of people, wearing kilts, throwing things. Rocks, weights, trees, on occasion anchors, kegs, farmer's walks, etc. We tend to eat, drink and be merry while we're at it.
So I added this to my world this spring as on a trial basis. I kept my normal workout routine and added practices, competitions, fun days. I also had to add some calories/protein to my tracker (I track on myfitnesspal as it is WAY easier!!).
The season ended in September. Most of the people that I practice with were nursing injuries, travelling or just taking a break. So I stopped practicing. But I didn't stop eating. And then the gym cut back on classes. And I didn't stop eating. And then another excuse happened. Yadda yadda yadda.
The pants I was so proud of fitting into started to get a little snugger. I could tell, I had a serious backslide happening.
7 pounds... total fat. F^@%!! I've worked too hard to get this crap off my body to start backsliding now. REFOCUS!!
I keep saying it and it will always be true:
The Highland Games (HG) have become a priority for me. In order for me to not just participate, but compete, I need to get stronger. I have now started with a trainer who is not only a wonderful Personal Trainer, but also a Professional HG athlete. Many of the higher level atheletes are LARGE. Even the women. I'm glad that my trainer focuses on overall health and fitness, not just getting bigger to throw further. He may not be the best, but he's probably one of the fittest people on the field.
I have a new workout routine. I have begun using muscles I forgot existed. Right now, my abs feel like I went a few rounds in the boxing ring. But I'm moving forward
Here are a few pics that are inspiration for me and where I want to go.
I've met her!! Adriane is an amazing athelete, and a great person, who has been training for HG as well as Olympics for most of her life... Pretty good inspiration there!!
Now I know how difficult (probably impossible!!) it will be to get THAT fit. But it gives me somewhere to go. A direction to aim for.
I will succeed!
Eat Less. Move More.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
I competed in my first Highland Games last weekend in Spokane, WA. I managed to not hurt myself or anyone else, I didn't scratch on any events, I improved on my form and lengths. I picked the caber 3 times... didn't turn it, but I did pick it. Seven events, 7 PR's!!
I was trying to think of the high point of the weekend. There are too many to count! But I have to bring up the farmers walk. Women had two 75 lb weights, men had 2x150s and the goal is to pick them up and walk as far as possible. It was an optional event so I figured I'd sign up, see how every one else did it and maybe I'd go, maybe I'd cancel.
Random draw, my name is called first.
Sudden panic attack. Got a few wonderful hints from some friends, head up, shoulders back, soft knees and whatever you do, keep moving!!
So I walk up to the line.
Grab one weight in each hand.
Don't even lift them an inch.
Can't just walk away.
Stand up and start walking, 10 feet, 20 ft, 50 feet.
I can hear the crowd, athletes and onlookers, cheering and clapping.
Holy cow I'm gonna make the corner!!
I turn at 100 feet and that's when I REALLY heard everyone cheering me on, felt all of the other athletes yelling and willing me forward. I can pick out the familiar voices Ray and Andy, with whom I train. Angela, Karyn and the other women that I am competing against. The crowd full of supporters all cheering for me.
150 feet, 175.
Crap these things are getting heavy.
200 feet coming up.
C'mon Gretch make it around the corner.
At 217 feet, 150 lbs, my fingers just gave out and I dropped the weights.
Once again, cheering and applause. I turned and bowed, smiled and waved.
Most amazing feeling EVER!! I couldn't do anything but laugh at that point...
And collapse, I did that too! Walked over to the tent and just laid down for a moment in the cool grass.
My arms were shaking for about 20 minutes later. Pats on the back, handshakes and more hugs than I could count. A couple of jello shots and a shot of whiskey later, I cheered on my opponents who promptly kicked my... behind and walked 300-400 feet.
Didn't matter, I did it!! I conquered my fears, stepped on the field and tried something new.
Gotta tell you how much I love my new Highland Family!!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Several years ago I went to the Portland Highland Games for the first times. I should have felt the initial tug of the hook right then. I love the sound of bagpipes. Meat pasties, beer, scotch and other yummie treats. The Kilted Mile, the dancers, the arts and crafts, celtic EVERYTHING. But most of all, I should have recognised at that moment. I LOVE MEN IN KILTS!!!!
I got hooked on watching these big, burly, muscled, (sometimes not the fittest) but damn athletic men, throw things. Weight for distance. Weight over bar. Sheaf toss. Braemar and Open stone (yes, they throw rocks!!). Hammer Throw... you want to work on your abs... try swinging a 15 lb+ weight on a 3 foot stick around your head several times and then throwing it!!!
But the ultimate feat of shear manliness:
The Caber Toss.
To basically pick up a tree from a squat, that is standing upright on its 16-20 foot end, pop up standing and toss the tree up just long enough to get a grip under the end:
Run while balancing the 120+/- lb tree in your hands:
Then stop, squat and POP that tree up in the air high enough that it flips end over end and lands flat, pointing as straight ahead as possible:
I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to give this a try. If nothing else, I can be on the same side of the ropes now with the Men in Kilts I so enjoy watching.
I love it!! I love the physicality of throwing. I love the technique behind it. I love the calluses that are forming on my hands. I love that I now know that I am an athlete.
Let me repeat that...
I AM AN ATHLETE!!!
I have played sports. I golf, often. I work out. I am on the verge of becoming "a gym-rat". But I never, ever thought that I would be an athlete.
From Wikipedia: Athlete may refer to: A person who is involved in Athletics (sport), which involves track and field events, long distance, cross-country and road running, and race walking
For right now, I am just practicing. Getting ready for my first Games. I will post when I participate in an event. I can't wait to get some good pictures!!
And now... to go shopping for a kilt!!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
FYI, I don't believe in the Biggest Loser approach to weight loss. Quicker the better, only one "Winner" allowed concept, from the tv show that I refuse to watch. Frankly, I believe it gives unreasonable expectations for general public that doesn't have 24/7 doctor, trainer, cook and psychologist. That being said...
I joined the Biggest Loser style competition at my gym (Diesel Fitness ~ Woodburn, OR) this year. It was held February - April 23rd. If nothing else, I viewed it as a little extra inspiration. We had loads of extra classes and some educational seminars as well.
First things first... I did not win. Not even close. I set a goal of losing about 1.5 lbs a week and lost less than .8 lbs per week. And while I do wish I hit my goal, I'm damned proud of myself for doing what I did do:
I worked out, almost 2 hours a day, 4-5 days a week, for the ENTIRE time.
I also enjoyed myself. While I did track my food and calories, I attended parties, sports events and concerts.
I did not deprive myself. I did not starve myself. I did not crash diet. I did not use hcg or another chemical food replacement.
Here's the Tale of the Tame (Measure):
Item Start Finish Change
Weight 188 180.7 -7.3 (now 175!!)
Fat % 39 35.5 -3.5
BMI 28.6 27.0 -1.6
All measured in inches:
Neck 13.5 13.25 -.25
Upper Arm 13.5 12.5 -1
Forearm 9.5 9.25 -.25
Chest 44 40 -4
Waist 38 36.5 -1.5
Hip 45 44 -1
Thigh 23.5 23.25 -.25
Calf 15.25 14.25 -1
What I did do is win the "Healthy Lifestyle" award. It was given as a special award to the people who are the most likely to continue Healthy Lifestyle habits (versus the people who lose, gain, lose, gain.... ) I take more pride in this certificate than if I had one the whole 'game'.
How I see it is that I am a "Biggest Winner". In the long run, I will keep of the weight. I will continue to exercise. I will not need the Biggest Loser contest next year, because I will be at my goal (12-15 more lbs.) well before next February.
I never thought that I would be the one that people come to for advice, that is organizing challenges, that is getting "thank you" messages from people who I have inspired to get healthy.
Me. The girl who has been overweight, mostly obese, her entire life.
Me. The girl who has been called names, bullied, and had things thrown at her by hateful people.
Me. The girl who just fit into some pants that I have been unable to fit into since before having major surgery 8 years ago (10 pounds heavier than I was then, but WAY more fit and healthy now.)
Me. The girl who still has a way to go before I reach my goals.
Me. The girl who WILL reach her goals!!!
Spark on my friends!! Never give up. Believe in yourself. When you need help, ask for it!!
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