Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

When I was eight or nine years old, my mom took me to the local YMCA for swimming lessons.  I was outdoors and remember being herded like cattle with other "minnows", "tadpoles" or whatever pet fish name they had for us novice toddlers.  I remember being nervous and a bit scared as I was certainly small fish in a big pond.  It bored me to some extent. 

Fast forward to last week when I attended an introductory, free workshop on sprint triathlons put on by the owner of Team Go, a local triathlon training group here in Indianapolis.  I've thought for awhile that I want to start applying my fitness progress to something else:  a half marathon PR, a crazy obstacle course race/run, or possibly my first sprint triathlon.  With a sprint triathlon, I get to cross-train, continue my endurance training, and it "changes things up" and provides a new type of goal for which to strive.  

So Sunday morning, I drove a few miles away to a local fitness center, paid my $8.00 and for an hour, and received individual attention in the pool.  What a humbling experience!  Lisa, owner and founder of Team Go, broke down the swimming stroke with me as I swallowed and choked on water.  I really did not have much of an expectation, but I did not think I'd struggle quite like I did.  I could not even get my feet moving in conjunction with my breathing.  "Don't ride a bike with your feet," Lisa kept saying, "Keep your legs somewhat straight and relax."  Easier said than done.  

I knew I would not look like this....

Rather, I felt like I needed this lesson......

So I forged ahead, spending an hour working on my stroke, swallowing more water, and wanting to do things the right way.  I wish I could say, "It was like learning to swim", but I guess that would not make sense.  I guess I felt like I was learning to walk all over again.  I've known how to swim for a long time, but not like this....not efficiently....not technically, and not for 500 meters, the length of a sprint triathlon.  

So I've decided this is something I want to pursue.  It's easy on the joints:  no knee pounding. I'm not good at it at all, and so it gives me a new challenge to reach, overcome, conquer.  It's a new way to keep fit and over the course of time, as I get better, I'll be able to exercise in a way that is easier on the body.  In the meantime, I'm sore like I was when I first started Crossfit, eight months ago.  

So I'm interested in what you have to say.  Leave me a comment and share the following:  What is something that you would like to do better that is hard for you?  

In the meantime, I'll be adhering to this......

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Need a Do Over

I wish there was "one thing" I could figure out that would keep me focused and disciplined 24/7.  You see, I need a "do-over" as Billy Crystal's character talks about later in this movie.  This week, for whatever reasons, I've not paid too much attention to my diet.  I've had pizza, beer, and some sweets.....all foods I try to limit considerably.  No big deal, really.  I've also had vegetables, meat, and other more healthy choices.  However, I don't feel focused.  I don't feel like I have a purpose or mission in relationship to my eating.  I know that I'm in that lull at work trying to get so Spring Break.  I'm over it with the Midwestern cabin fever as we are in the 40's again in Indiana.  So while I know I don't always need to be aiming for something, I do know that I feel better when I'm more focused on what I'm eating and why I'm eating.  

Some observations about how I have felt:

--My stomach felt awful after the sugar intake especially yesterday when I had a donut and grazed at "donut pieces" later in the morning.  After literally eliminating sweets for a long period of time, the sugar intake made me feel like I wanted to throw up afterwards.

--I was hungrier than usual from the sugar up and down.

--Beer, bread, etc means this....
.....and I mean like the scene from Blazing Saddles!!!!

--I have had less energy the past two weeks as I've not planned my meals well nor have I eaten as frequently on smaller meals in between breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

--My mood is impacted by my eating.  I don't feel as confident about working out when I'm not eating as well as I can.  The two go hand in hand....for me.  

So I need a do over.  Saturday, I strolled in to Crossfit Carmel, fresh off a dinner of frozen pizza and a couple of beers not feeling confident in the fact that we were re-doing our Crossfit Sectional workout from last week to see if we could improve our scores.  The workout was....

In 10 minutes complete as many rounds as possible of....

30 double unders
15 ground to overhead (75 lbs.)

To give you some comparison, here's a video of a guy who is in the Top 10 in the region.  He completes three whole rounds more than I do.

Last week I posted 4 rounds plus 17 double unders.
My do over:  4 rounds plus 30 double unders plus 3 ground to overhead.  

I was pleased. Perhaps this was the catalyst to my diet needing a do over.  Because it does. 

With Spring Break next week, I'm calling a do over with my diet as well.  It's back to basics for me:  Better portion control, more veggies than meat, limited to no bread, bye bye sweets, and only one cheat night per week.   

It's easy to get in ruts.  The reason my weight has yo yo'd my whole life is due to falling in ruts.  No rocket science there.  However, the key is finding "that one thing" just like Curly says.  I'm not sure what it is well enough to put it into concise words just yet, but I'm getting there and I will share it soon.  I know I need a do over and I know I've not completely fallen off the wagon.  I just don't feel like I've had the structure and discipline the past couple of weeks like I've had in the past.  Call it a rut.  I'm just glad it's smaller than the ones I've drowned in before.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

124 Pounds Lost!!!

No matter what you do for exercise.  No matter what your preferred dietary lifestyle is.  No matter what.....


It may be my favorite story of someone who decided enough was enough and decided to get healthy.

From The Crossfit Journal.  Great info. on health and wellness and not just all about Crossfit.

So no matter where you are in your path to wellness, I hope you find some inspiration in this story.  I know I did.  I keep watching it!  

Monday, March 21, 2011


Has it all come to this?  That statement is a bit too permanent for me.  I don't view my fitness as having an end.  Rather, this weekend brought an opportunity to see how far I've come with my fitness since I started this new path back in June.  For those who don't know, back in June, I was pretty heavy.  I could not do one pull up.  I was down.  I was lethargic. And I was creeping back to my heaviest weight ever near 270 lbs.  

Crossfit changed my life in many ways.  At first, it made me more sore than I knew possible, but after sticking with it, listening, watching, and being patient, I knew this regiment and community was going to help me transform my life.  I'm now stronger than I've ever been.  I've decreased my body fat and increased my lean muscle mass.  My endurance has increased, and I know what it means to eat well as a lifestyle.  Now THAT is permanent.  

Enter The Crossfit Games

Now, now, now.......I am not going to the Crossfit Games.  I am not going to even come close to making the cut here.  These guys and gals are elite world athletes who train full time for this stuff.  However, the great thing about Crossfit is that it is open to everyone and anyone.  I figured I'd throw myself out there.  I figured it's time to see where I compare.

As Many Rounds as Possible (AMRAP) in 10 minutes of.....

30 double unders (two revolutions of a jumprope)
15 Powersnatches

Check out this video for official rules if you are interested on learning more.

The official rules state that you don't have to do a powersnatch as long as you use proper form getting the bar above your head, so I actually push pressed it.

And my results:
4 rounds plus 17 double unders.

My rank:
As of today, that is good for 265th out of 445 in the Midwest Region....and....
5,119th out of 7,486 in the world!

Not sure I care too much about that, it's interesting to see where I compare to others ages 18-44.

There are 5 more workouts to go.  One per week.  For's about learning where I am, how far I've come, and enjoying great competition.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Leg/Huge Heart

This guy makes me want to work out harder and continue eating smarter.  So inspiring.........

Click here to see how he did in this weekend's NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

A must see!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crazy Treadmill Workout

I sort of hate the treadmill.  And so this post has little to do with health and fitness and more to do with "a side of other stuff."  These guys intrigue me as I featured them in my previous post.  I kind of like their music, but don't try this at home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's all Connected

Lately I've been thinking how interconnected things are in relationship to my overall health and fitness.

Need a break from work.
Not as focused on my dietary habits as I want to be.
I want to be more flexible and want to make this more of priority.
Getting over a groin injury has set my fitness level back just a tad.
Busy times at home going in a few different directions.
Itching to get out of the house more as the weather breaks.
Overall, just yearning for a bit more balance in my life.

All of these things contribute to my health on one way or another.  Getting them working in the same direction at the same time is the key.  It's all, home, food, emotions, family, etc.  The Institue for Integrative Nutrition, the school where I am studying to become a Holistic Health Coach, refers to this as my PRIMARY FOODS.  These are the things that impact the food we actually eat which are secondary.  

So the answer for me is to get myself registered for a series of races and adventures in the very near future.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post which will reveal my commitments.  This will force me to get more focused as I'll have something to aim for and will offer some variety to what I'm currently doing.  

This whole topic came to my conscious today thanks to our family friend Mary, educator, and life long learner who shared this video with us. It's a great visual about how things work together.  Enjoy.....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chris Rock Teaches Me About Crossfit

I was listening to NPR the other morning, and Chris Rock was being interviewed.  How could I not listen?!  I normally don't go for comedians who curse, cuss, and carry on, but Chris Rock CRACKS.  ME.  UP.  He's starring on Broadway in a new play which I'd love to see.  During the interview, Rock talks about being interviewed by Conan O'Brian explaining how he still gets nervous about performing after all his years of success.  This struck a chord with me as I was just having this discussion with a fellow Crossfitter the other night.  

We were about to row a 2K for time and the top three male and female times make the record board, an honor as a Crossfitter.  I've NEVER made the board and don't really concern myself with it.  It's not why I work out and I'm pretty sure it's not why anyone works out there.  But before the row, the girl next to me states, "I don't know why I get so nervous.  I've been doing this since June."  She took the words right out of my brain that night.  In fact, before most crazy, taxing Crossfit workouts, I get those butterflies.  

So Chris Rock taught me a lesson about myself and without cussing.  He says Conan told him, "You are still smart enough to be nervous."  And so Chris Rock affirmed what I've been feeling and thinking as he says.....

"Anything you could suck at should make you nervous."  ......and......

"One should always be cognizant of how bad it could go."

I guess one would call it humility.  Others may call it being competitive.  I think about it as respecting the sport.   Either way, it made sense to me.  

This says it all.....

My 2K Row Time:  7:11  (good enough for second on the board!)


Seemed like the most fitting for the blog.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Diving IIN!!!

Today's the day.  Day one and 364 to go.  After a few years of thinking, "I'd like to do some work on the side that incorporates my counseling work with people, but I want to do something I am passionate about away from things related to working in a school."  Long story short, I found The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I'll have a certification as a Holistic Health Coach, and I hope to help folks bridge the gap between their working out and their eating, something that is so hard, but with focus, encouragement, and me as your health coach it is doable.  

If you are interested in all the content I will study, click here.  Or....leave me a comment.....or send me an email if you have any questions at

You can also drop me a line and I'd love to conduct a free Health History with you.  We'll sit down or chat on the phone or Skype about you and all things related to you and your fitness, health, and diet. 

What do you wish you could pick up and do that you are passionate about?  Leave me a comment.  I'd love to hear.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baby Steps

This poster hangs in my office.  By day, I'm a school counselor, working with kids and families to help solve their get them to arrive at their own answers for themselves, and give them the motivation to do so.  

By night, I'm a dad and a husband and I try to model such a positive attitude to my kids.    

The other part of me is passionate about eating well and keeping fit.  I say PASSIONATE because I'm not obsessed about it.  While I think about it a lot, I have my ups and downs.  I ebb and flow like everyone else.  I think the difference is, I thoroughly enjoy working out.  I enjoy just about everything about it.  And who doesn't love eating?  (Those who need a counselor is the right answer.)  So because of this, I come to my point before I digress too much......

I've been injured as you may have read in prior posts.  As I fight through this injury, I have found myself craving foods I normally do not eat much of anymore:  chips, cheese, sweets, Chipotle!!!  I've also had a tough time accepting that I can not run right for now.  I've struggled with not being able to do the prescribed weights, movements, etc. of my Crossfit workouts.  For instance, yesterday.......The workout called for the following:

5K run
100 kettlebell swings.  

I can't run yet.  Grrrr!!!  So I took to a 5K row instead.  I can accept that.  But I usually swing a 50 lb. kettlebell.  Lin, the coach and owner of Crossfit Carmel says, "Dude.....swing a 35 lb. kettlebell.  You don't want to tweak that groin any more."  Stubborn me goes over the 44 lb. kettlebell and all seemed well.  Lin, being the great coach that he is says, " me."

And so I did this....
Low and behold............28 minutes later............I felt like.......

Well.....maybe not so patriotic, but it was a GREAT WORKOUT and it wasn't what was prescribed, called for or the RX for the day as is the Crossfit jargon.  But it was MY WORKOUT.  So after three weeks of an injury that isn't going away any time soon, I've learned the following:

--Focusing on eating is paramount no matter what I do for a workout.
--It's MY workout.  Focus on me and not keeping up with or beating someone else. 
--Injury is a part of life.  Letting things heal will only lead to a healthier life.  
--Good coaching is undervalued, overlooked, and not appreciated enough.  
--Listening to those I trust is very important and often taken for granted.

And the most important thing I've learned through this injury:  

Staying balanced does not just come to me.  I have to work at it and it takes baby steps!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trying to Keep it Together

If you've haven't been reading my intermittent posts on my own health issues of late, I suffered an injury to to this playing soccer three weeks ago this weekend.....

NOT HAPPY.....I thought I'd be back in action after a couple of weeks.  I tried to run the other night and I felt like this.......

So I got on the rower instead.......Then......a week ago, I got this........

..........and this.......

At least my nose can run!!!!!

So I continue to focus on this.........

Trying to be this guy.....

Stay tuned......Monday starts my year-long path to becoming a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ABC News Does Paleo and Crossfit!

Ok I've been blogging about this for a few months now, talking about how the Paleo diet is not a diet but a lifestyle.....that it's transformed my life in many ways.....that it may not be for everyone, but it's been for me.  Well thanks to my Crossfit friend Jen (who also blogs on this kind of stuff) I stumbled upon this clip from ABC News.  No matter where you are in your fitness journey, you may want to consider giving it a try.  While the part about the guy hauling his truck is a bit over the top for me, the rest of it is spot on. features, Robb Wolf, who I have mentioned in several previous posts. talks about Crossfit in a very positive way.  That it's not geared just for crazy insane workout freaks, rather it's a functional program for everyone and anyone.  Kudos ABC!  Hope you enjoy it.  Let me know what you think by posting a comment.  I'd love to hear your feedback.  


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