This is my fitness diary, so this post might be a little bit of a diversion. We went to Garths family reunion in Saskatoon on the weekend. Many of these people were virtual strangers to me, but it was very apparent that they loved him. And he mingled and chatted in a way that I have never seen. It was beautiful, and also sad that it took 20 years for me to see it. And it merited a little note here. There is something special about the love of family. Cherish it. And get as much of it as you can.
The chart mostly speaks for itself. But I also told Jerimiah that I'd really like to be a bit brave on a last attempt in 2018. Not that the last on any of these above were guaranteed, but they had been done before a few times.
And we aren't currently setting a date target other than "next year". We'll just work on progress and keep checking in and when it seems within reach, sign up for a meet and to a 3 month (probably) prep cycle.
I said the same last year, but by November was desperate to get signed to a meet to have it firm. I'll try to exercise patience and remember that more meets are added regularly and I won't miss out. Then I can try to be a bit more organic with the planning, which may be helpful given my travel schedule can be hard to have any long term insight into or control over.
HERE WE GO!!!!
It's almost here! I knew after last years meet that I'd do it again. And I narrowed it down to a few events in November, and have been prepping for the Apex Summer Showdown since January. And now it's less than 2 weeks out, and I am getting the prep emails and reminders..... it's HERE!
I will have a buddy going to her first meet (Daphne) , which makes it a little more exciting. I'm hardly an old-hand, but having a bit of experience makes me feel like I have something to offer her as she goes on this adventure. It's such a great community, and I have received so much encouragement from it: it's nice to be able to support someone else who's taking it for a spin.
I have (mostly) gotten over the stress of not competing in the same weight class as last year. Maybe a tiny bit sheepish, but nothing that will hold me back from giving it my all, and putting some good numbers forward. .... on which to build my next year worth of progress.
In an article on Linkedin, I talked about some lessons from powerlifting. What I have learned from powerlifting is a topic that often gains my attention, as it’s really changed my perspective on growth, community and a number of other important aspects of both my work and personal life. And today….. I put another one on Linkedin for the “books” (even if this is digital….). And it made sense to put it here as well, even if this platform is uusally reserved for 'fitness' and is introspective, while this one ends with a question.
A stickler will say that I should be using the word decrement to describe what follows. And while grammatically correct, it just does not convey what’s on my mind.
There is a lot of noise lately about innovation in general. And it is important. It’s exciting. It’s often FUN! But it does not replace improvement. I have made some major changes to my gear (not technically innovation, but from the perspective of me as the lifter) that have given me measurable boosts in a short period of time (I really love my SBD knee sleeves), but MOST of the gains have been incremental based on constant small improvements to mobility, strength, and technique. Even looking at a quarterly progress (chart above)…. There are no momentous moments here. Just incremental improvement. But it remains real material progress of which I am proud.
Here is the rub. I won’t get to stay here unless I keep it up. In fact, in order to consistently do what my current best is, I need to get better still. And if I take too long of a break from testing my strength by using it…. By requiring ALL OF IT it to complete the activity I’ve chosen to do…. I’ll actually fall back. Staying right exactly where is I am - stasis - is not likely. People don’t stay exactly the same; we change. So the odds are very high that I will either take an incremental step BACK, or get STRONGER. I am grateful that I have the choice. I am not going to waste that on incremental decline.
Enough about Bench Press. The same can be said about many areas of personal and professional development. My job is to take what powerlifting has taught me, and bring it into all that I practice.
How about you? In what areas do you continue to improve, and where have you gotten stale…. Even maybe started to increment in the wrong direction?
We just wrapped on a vacation to COUPLES .... and it was such an amazing rest. We are not really much for "adventure vacations" per se. We already really enjoy our life/lives and aren't looking to a vacation to fill it up with parties, thrills or physical exertion. A real vacation for us is a rest. Not just the lack of daily obligations, but almost a mandate to just "chill out already". Garth already has that down pat, but I struggle. It would be easy for me to find stuff to fill the time. And for some, that might be just what the doctor ordered, but for me; a good vacation is a serious reboot; complete with some time just being....being. Still. Quiet. Sometimes listening to music, or reading. Or a walk. But mostly just a nice slow crawl, a slower pace in the brain, and a release of "need to be doing" for my heart.
And I sit here on our patio for the last 1/2 hour before leaving, feeling grateful for this opportunity, and equally thankful for the life we return to. There is not even a hint of wistfulness about leaving.
All of this leaves me feeling immensely blessed and grateful.
We ease back in tomorrow. Laundry. I'll go to the gym and train. Then back to work on Thursday; full steam ahead.
My meet is around 14 weeks out. I have a whole cycle to work through, and hypertrophy starts tomorrow. I am eager for the work, for the inevitable progress, for the opportunity to practice. For the endorphins. :)
And work is really humming. I love the product and it's shaping up to be a fun and challenging 2017.
I have quoted Seth Godin (his blog, more specifically) hundreds of times, but none more than this:
I've probably already referenced it in my blog. Sometimes, I am quoting it to try to encourage others to MOVE ALREADY! And sometimes, I have to speak it inwardly to do the same.
This time it's a bit different... it's the convergence of two things.
ONE is this. Last year I set some goals, and posted them here.
Suffice it to say... it's the end of Q1 soon, and I didn't get there. But I did get a lot closer, and while I have this lingering disappointment, I can also remember when setting these targets that they were do-able, but very hard. And yet here I sit, pretty darn close to being able to pull off the squat and bench numbers.
TWO: is this:
I registered for my next meet.
So I haven't reached my goals for Q1, but I registered for a meet anyway.
Well, frankly... I'm perfect. Perfectly ready. Perfect enough. Not enough to win. Not enough to qualify for anything. But that's not why I went last time, and I LOVED IT.
And while there is a little part of me that cries at the thought of being at the bottom, I'm not going to let that stop me from taking hold of the experience. And if I won't let anyone else steal the joy and magic of this discipline from me, I certainly won't do it to myself.
Therefore, no matter what my numbers are; I am perfectly ready.
As I mentioned in the last post, we're into more volume. Not what most would call high reps (10) but definitely not what I do most of the time. I really noticed the fatigue when training by myself today. While I felt good going in, my performance was not so hot.
Anyway....We do it again this week. And "We'll try for 12 if we can. But it's ok if we can't." ~Jerimiah
And after, I was thinking...how do I know if I can or can't? With the high intensity stuff, it's easy enough to tell. Oversimplifying, but either the weight is going to move, or it's not. But squatting for 10 this past week never felt like I could not drive the weight up. Legs and glutes etc were a-ok. But at the top, getting ready for the next rep was ....I am looking for a word only slightly less emphatic than "excruciating". My heart was pounding, and I wanted to heave out my lungs. And my breakfast.
And then I figured if I have to ask that question (should I go for 2 more, or not), then I guess I should. After all, I know how to bail, and what that feels like, so it'll all be ok.
I texted my little self-talk to Jerimiah.... ( I'm sure he loves that...) and ended with what chrystalized for me only as I typed it.
"Seems like now our sessions are a lot more work and a lot less fear."
And that idea has stuck with me all weekend. I have less fear because of the work we have done. A trust in him, in the process, but most of all in myself. I am going to be ok. I can handle this. And I can only work this hard because I've left fear behind. Well, at least a lot if it. And I did have a lot. :).
It's a virtuous cycle.... I can feel it. And I built it.
My husband ends all of his sessions with Jerimiah by saying "I think he's trying to kill me!". And now I would say the same (tongue in cheek, of course).
We are back to hypertrophy. 10 reps....and my heart felt like it was exploding out of my chest. And it's not that the speed made it cardio; just... whoa. 153 BPM is a lot for me unless I am doing sprints (bike or treadmill), but I officially achieved that squatting. I was so sure that it was more like torture than usual that I checked to see if we had done 10 reps before, and indeed, last hypertrophy cycle we did. A bit less weight, of course, but essentially same deal.
So at least I know I'll get over it quick, since I could not remember and it was just September. :)
I am really tired, but my head feels energetic, so that’s good. And I was a bit nauseous after, actually. And really hungry. And sitting down is basically just a small bend at the hip and then letting go (as my hamstrings are also rather sore, and don’t really want to be holding any weight in a bend).
And yet… still happy. Go figure.
Tomorrow is the first day back at work in 2017... all of the festivities and extra free time over. Back to routine.
I almost hesitate to use that word. Routine sounds so ...routine. Hum-drum. In a rut. Same-old. It just sounds so unintentional.
And I don't think of it that way at all. As I prep lunch, planned for work and the gym, it's all very intentional. I'm not just going along with the flow, but taking charge of what I do with deliberate action towards concrete goals.
So yeah, back to routine. But don't get the impression I am just floating about with no special reason. See what Google tells me above/left? Let's call this one a noun.
A nice little "accessories" workout to finish 2016. I'm gonna get me some pretty shoulders. :)
As I was putting the workout in Liftium (app) I got a nice little smile from myself on Decembers consistency. When asked (usually the question is "Do you go to the gym every day?"), I tell people I hit the gym 6 days a week.
And looking at December... seems about right or at least close. But wait! I did 21 of 31 days. That's 67% (I'll spare you the decimals but rest assured I checked). If you pace that against a 7 day week...it's NOT EVEN 5 a week.
I'm not complaining. It's just a little reminder to at least sometimes consider quantifying from fact vs feeling. If you are going to believe a number.....get it from somewhere.