I've been a bit frustrated this week with my weight. Here is the ramble of stuff in my brain.
So....why is my weight relevant? Because -I made it so. And here's how.
I don't think about weight so much anymore. A scan of this blog shows one of the truths of my heart. I love this sport.
But when sharing with most people ....it's often a story about how much weight I have lost. Everyone gets that. They can see it. And the rest of the journey....while so much more valuable to me .... hasn't made it into my vocabulary beyond the closest friends and this blog. It seemed personal ...a bit un-graspable.... irrelevant to others.
And the competition added the weight-on-the-scale to my radar. And it became my focus. And that little continuous ping reinforced the weight story. And if that's the story...the real story , then NOT losing weight when I head to a meet where I made it some sort of brass ring...well then that's failure, isn't it?
But neither story (despite the fact that I wrote them) ...is autobiographical. Unless I MAKE THEM the story. And I actually do get to choose.
So I write this blog to sort out my head and my heart. And I'm going to start telling people that the weight loss is nifty but that if veils and deeper and more relevant truth. And I am going to eat healthy, and compete at whatever weight I am at when I get there. And I'll lift more than I did a year ago.
And I'll have another story that's true, that I wrote and that I chose.
I got really irritated this morning at the gym when a stranger said "no no no for god sake don't hurt yourself " and handed me 10 pound weights in place of my 17. 5s. I don't think he would've done it if I was a dude. But I also think he was genuinely trying to help. Is there a "right" way to correct a strangers form at the gym?
Deadlifts and I struggle to get along. Always.
I did have a 13# PR in July...at 198#...and was overjoyed. Hugs were even squished out to Jerimiah. But it was months before I got even close again. Partly it was just the way the programming block was built. But then even at the end...it was still basically the ceiling. Squeezing out 200# 5 months later gave me mixed feelings. Yeah, it was more. But the smallest amount. And that was really all I had in me. Was it that going to be it? And if it was, then what!?
And then at the beginning of February I threw my back out...doing deadlifts, of course. We were doing reps (and reps, and reps) and the fatigue was building and I lost form. It was pretty bad. Tears. Doctor. Meds. Physio.
So I didn't train for a bit, and then did but ensured NO stress to back. I missed squats but didn't miss deadlifts one bit. I felt like they had met me down. Or I had let me down.
Well, we started up again, and I screwed up my optimism and told myself to just do the work and trust the process. It was hard. It was a few sessions of back to basics and changing things up. I was all awkward AND had low numbers and didn't have the excuse that I was a #newb. But I kept at it ....with a slightly wavering faith that it would build up to...something different.
And it did. A 5# PR at 205#....With maybe a bit left in the tank. Evidence! Finally a little translation into the actual lift.
Let's be honest: even at twice the increase in the previous 5 months, its a tiny increase. But it's the encouragement I needed to remind me that trusting the process is not about blind faith, but rather about relying on what you know and who you trust ...and sticking it out.
I'm elated about the result, but even more so by this little gift of the encouraging reminder that progress comes ....as long as you keep at it.
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.
Yeah, I know that's a cat. But I was thinking ... if "hair of the dog" is taking some more of what made you busted in the first place... then "hair of the cat" could be something that should mess you up worse but fixes you. Right?
Anyway... I think we've made a breakthrough on the back spasms. My RMT had mentioned that more ballistic style stretching might be better, and to save the long holds for after I work out. The idea being that I'm relaxing the muscle right before a big load, and that could be what was driving me to cramp up. So JW incorporated a few more things in to the warm up last week and it made a difference. I've even been "Frankenstein walking" around work (Hidden hallway… But it probably has cameras) and it's made a massive difference. Today we added a few more things. Had the best day yet.
Super relieved. Based on the numbers, you couldn't exactly call it an excellent session under the bar but, it felt good. More importantly, I feel good. I think I was going into a bit of withdrawal...
January is coming to a close. Did you keep your resolutions, or the other promises you have made to yourself over the years? I am trying to cut back on coffee…. And it’s a struggle, so I get it. But whatever that was; breathing more deeply, not hitting ‘snooze”, eating more greens… It’s “just” a matter of keeping our word. And most of us would say that we keep our word, no?
A great Keynote was done quite a while ago (you can read the whole paper here – that talks about INTEGRITY, and I particularly was drawn to the idea of a cost-benefit analysis of keeping ones word. At first blush, it sounds so…. dishonourable. “Should I keep my word, or not?” But it’s a practical question we face every day. The paper points out that the best time to ask this question BEFORE giving ones word. I can’t improve on what they said, so here is a direct quote.
“When giving their word, most people do not consider fully what it will take to keep that word. That is, people do not do a cost/benefit analysis on giving their word.
In effect, when giving their word, most people are merely SINCERE (well-meaning) or placating someone, and don’t even think about what it will take to keep their word. This failure to do a cost/benefit analysis on giving one’s word is IRRESPONSIBLE.”
Once your/my word is given to others, I already believe most of us put a lot of weight on the cost of not keeping it. Here is what I hope…..
So, with that off my chest, I am going to get a glass of water. Because I already have had my coffee for today....
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.
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.
So-so feels at the gym today. I thought we were testing, but we are still working up. Kept missing on depth on the squats. Despite being heavy, it felt good. Just not deep enough.
And failed out at bench. But it was at 115# so I suppose as we get closer to the top, I'm more likely to crap out. I'll try to remember how I felt HERE, and that this is my week of putting it all out it there.