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 hours....man 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!