Friday, October 10, 2014

Got "Gotham?"

I'm not really much of a comic book hero fan and the recent influx of Marvel movies hasn't made the genre any more appealing to me - in fact, it's kind of had the opposite effect (I will, however, be looking forward to this one).

I guess that's why "Gotham" has been such a pleasant surprise to watch this season. I've always enjoyed the Batman mythology (I've tried to wipe the Joel Shumacher movie versions from my memory) but by no means do I consider myself an expert (I've never read a comic in my life). To see this interesting twist on the Caped Crusader mythology has been refreshing. Rather than repeat the same origin story over and over again (like the Spider-Man movies seem to insist on doing every 5 years) or try to tackle FX-heavy plotlines on a television-scale budget (nothing takes me out of a story more than horrible CGI), Gotham has found a way to keep one foot planted in the mythos and the other in original storytelling.

The ratings seem to reflect that I'm not the only one enjoying the ride (as opposed to the ratings tailspin Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is struggling to pull out of) and I only hope the writers can keep up with the high bar they've set for themselves.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Be What?

Today as I was walking downtown I passed a mother and son in front of the library. The little boy was standing against the library wall and the mom held up a camera, moving around to get the perfect shot. I smiled at the picture and then heard her exclaim, "Don't purse! Just be Japanese!"

The reason for my confusion is neither the mother nor the child were of Asian descent. Is this some sort of new slightly racist photographer catchphrase that slipped past me?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

6 Day Shred: Not Bad!

So, in conjunction with starting P90, I've also been doing a 6-Day Shred that came along with the program. It came included with the program and is meant to go along with the first week of P90. They provided a shopping list for the entire week which was nice, as I went to the store and bought everything I needed for the week (or at least 6 days)

I spent Sunday cooking a bit (not much mostly just brown rice and lentils) and then put it all in the fridge to save for the rest of the week. Everything is pretty easy and simple to put together.

It's only designed to be done for a week as the caloric intake is deliberately low to get your body used to eating fewer calories (something I could definitely take advantage of)

I was a bit intimidated at first because the last time I tried something like this I was STARVING by the end of the first day. This time around, though, it's been really nice. I've pretty much stuck to the menu (except for my lattes) but I've also been walking a couple of miles each day in addition to my workouts. 

So far, so good, and on a few occasions found myself quite surprised by how MUCH I got to eat (5 cups of salad, a cup of vegetables, and a cup of rice is a generous amount!). It's Thursday and last night was the first time I felt myself "hungry." I don't know if I was actually hungry or just bored so I grabbed some extra almonds and that helped. It also helped that I've upped my water intake significantly, which helps your stomach stay full and help it to not think that it's empty and therefore needs filled with crap. 

So yeah, I gotta give props to this 6 Day Shred plan Beachbody put together. On one hand it'll be nice to eat a little more next week, but on the other it's nice to know I can eat as little as I did and still actually feel full. 

Amen and amen.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

P90X3 Fit Test Results

Well, yesterday was the last day of P90X3 which means today I re-took the Fit Test. Here are today's results with the results from 90 days ago in parenthesis. It's not the groundbreaking kind of results that will land me as the perfect before and after picture, but it's moving in the right direction and I'm ok with that. Plus, I still eat a lot of crap.

Weight: 176.6 (178.6)
Resting Heart Rate: 66 (60)
Pull-Ups 3 (With actual pull up bar) (30 -No pull-up bar, so I used a set of bands to do seated pullbacks)
Vertical Leap: 15.25" (14.5")
Push-Ups: 35 (26)
Toe Touch: +1.5" (-1")
Wall Squat: 2:15 (1:45)
Bicep Curls: 26 (20-lb dumbbells) (16 (20-lb dumbbells))
In and Outs: 60 (42)
Heart Rate Maximizer:
Heart Rate: 140 (152)
Heart Rate 1 minute: 126 (124)
Heart Rate 2 minutes: 122 (96)
Heart Rate 3 minutes: 108 (96)
Heart Rate 4 minutes: 74 (96)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 30

A visual representation of your imagination

This was a tough one. But I think I came close to getting it.

Monday, September 01, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 29

A monument of the world coming to life and wreaking havoc on the nearest major capital city.

Two words: Arch nemesis.
Three more: Pa dum pum.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 28

An alien species that looks bent on earth's destruction but is actually quite peaceful

It ended up looking a lot more like Slimer from Ghostbusters than I intended, but I was pretty happy with the dual layer of teeth.

Friday, August 29, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 26

An animal that doesn't exist

This is the Lump-headed Squibney. He's pretty dumb.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 24

A pirate (Space, sea, desert, etc)

Somewhere between Peter Jackson and Hagrid lies this here pirate.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

P90X3 Week 9 (Agility X, Deceleration)

Back at it this week with P90X3 Agility today and Deceleration (lots of jumping) yesterday. It's the last 4-week block of P90X3 and although I still can't go full-on all the way through the cardio-heavy workouts, I'm still enjoying doing what I can. 

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 23

Your zodiac sign as a great warrior/wizard

Ah, the great and powerful scorpion. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 22

A battle suit designed for doing something completely mundane

Although let's be honest: There's nothing mundane about making coffee.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 20

A robot (any size, for any purpose)

I can't think of any greater purpose for a robot than to go into the ocean and eat all the sharks. Sorry sharks, nothing personal. I just hate you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 19

A president (as a zombie)
At first I drew this and it didn't look like a zombie as much as it looked like someone took poor Abe into the back alley and beat the crap out of him. So then I added red and now it looks like someone took Abe into the alley, beat the crap out of him, and then pelted him with strawberries.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 17

A devil/demon (without lifting your pen)

When you don't lift your pen from the paper, you sure do end up with a pointy demon (which would make a good band name).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

P90X3 - Week 8 (Dynamix)

This begins week 8 of P90X3 for me, which means it's an easier week. Today's workout was Dynamix, a stretching routine that still leaves me sweaty. Because Sarah has been away at camp and we only see each other on weekends, she notices the difference the workouts have made more than I do. The fact that she sees them was a nice little motivation to keep it up. :)

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 16

A paladin (representing any religion except Christianity)

I have no idea what a paladin is. I looked it up online and all I could find were references to World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons and all sorts of other games I know nothing about.

So I drew this guy instead.

Monday, August 18, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 15

A hover vehicle

Look out, everyone! It's the Hover Bucket!™©

P90X3 - Week 7 (Isometrix)

I may or may not have slipped a bit this weekend. While Sarah was away I took it upon myself to rearrange the furniture in the house. I didn't do any workouts but kind of got in more than a few workouts as I dragged bookshelves around the house and then ordered pizza (the obligatory meal for heavy housework). 

Back on track today with Week 7 of P90X3: Isometrix. And no pizza.

Friday, August 15, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 12

A super hero
That's right, everyone. Freakin' LAZOR is here to save the day. He doesn't have a cape (something I learned from The Incredibles) but he does have the power to shoot crooked lasers from his shoulders.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 11

 Your favorite food (as a gift from the gods)
Hey look, everyone! It's physical proof of why Ed hates drawing hands!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 9

A dinosaur, real or made up
This is, apparently, the Standslikehessittingasaurus Rex.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

P90X3 - Week 6 (Dynamix)

Today was Dynamix, a dynamic stretching routine that wrapped up week 6 of P90X3. Still going. Maybe a little stretchier than when I started off. 

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 7

Day 7. A historical/modern icon you admire satirized using the reason you admire them most (e.g. Carl Sagan as a mad scientist)
Yep. It's Weird Al singing karaoke.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

P90X3 - Week 6 (MMX)

This morning was the P90X3 program, MMX. A fun workout but it kicks my butt. I suppose that's the point, though. :) 

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 6

A hybrid animal
The image in my head was way more successful. ‪#‎PeacockTailFail‬

Friday, August 08, 2014

Thursday, August 07, 2014

P90X3 - Week 6 (Yoga, Triometrics, Lower Eccentric)

Yesterday was P90X3 Yoga and the day before was P90X3 Triometrics (which, I'm glad to report, I made it all the way through this time around). Today I'll be doing one of my new faves, Eccentric Lower. Good times!

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 4

A small inanimate object coming to life

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 3

A Monster (Evil)
You can tell the monster is a bad one because after drawing legs that looked way too shapely to be on a bad monster, I put scales on them. Scales > Shapely legs.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge 2.0 - Day 2

A Monster (Good)
The hammer pants were an accident. At first that was going to be his short stubby feet, but then it just looked like a butt.

Monday, August 04, 2014

The Return of the 30 Day Drawing Challenge

A little over a year ago, I took part in a 30-Day Drawing Challenge. It was a lot of fun and when I recently saw the idea pop up once again on Jorge Garcia's blog, I said to myself, "That was fun." This time, though, when I saw what the daily doodle demands were, I got excited! A brand new set of doodles? I'm in!!

So here we go with Day 1: A self-portrait

P90X3 - Week 6 (Eccentric Upper)

Saturday was P90X3 MMX workout (with Sarah! ) and yesterday was a bit of dynamic stretching. Im looking forward to getting home tonight to begin week 6 of P90X3 with Eccentric Upper!

Friday, August 01, 2014

P90X3 - Week 5 (Incinerator)

Today was the P90X3 Incinerator workout. I wasn't sure what to expect going in. Based on the name I thought it would be a cardio-intense workout but instead it was a nice full-body weight training workout that I really liked. And my Shakeology afterward was yummy. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

P90X3 - Week 5 (Eccentric Lower)

This week's been a tough one for me, mostly in finding motivation. I have been getting up early, eating a little bit, waiting for it to digest, and then doing my workout but this week I've found myself putting it off later and later in the day (For example, I JUST NOW finished today's workout, Lower Eccentric, and it's 6:30pm).
For whatever reason, I just haven't felt like doing it. I know they say it takes 21 days to make something a habit but apparently for me, it's a bit longer.
I have an accountability group I'm in with a couple of guys and they've really helped me push through this week. I felt like if I blew off just one workout, it would be easier to blow off the next and the next and I didn't want to do that to them. I'm super grateful for accountability groups and how they've helped me to keep pushing play.

That being said, I was really dreading today's workout mostly because I hate wall squats (and there hasn't been a Tony Horton workout day that focused on the lower body and DIDN'T have wall squats). Not only did this one NOT have the dreaded exercise, but I actually really enjoyed doing it. It was a really fun workout and usually leg day workouts are my least favorite. I finished the half hour excited and motivated and think I found my second (or twenty-second) wind.

Monday, July 28, 2014

P90X3 Week 5 (Eccentric Upper)

Well today not only began week 5 of P90X3 but also marks the longest I have worked out on a consecutive, consistent basis. Pretty stoked about it. 

Today's workout was Eccentric Upper, a sort of Push-Up/Pull-Up combo, but done slower, i.e. with a push-up you go down for 3 slow counts and then push up in one. Down in 3....up in 1. Never has doing 10 push-ups in a row been so exhausting.

If today was Eccentric Upper, then that means that Eccentric Lower is coming soon and that probably means wall squats, which also means I will be hating life soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

P90X3 Week 4 (Accelerator/Pilates X)

Still continuing my P90X3 "Recovery Week" although I don't know if that's the correct phrase. Yesterday was "Accelerator" which is basically freak-on cardio. I made it about 15 minutes (halfway!)

Today was Pilates X and was my first time ever doing any kind of Pilates class. I thought it was going to be similar to Yoga but instead it shredded up my core and scattered it around the house.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

P90X3 Week 4 (Dynamix)

Recovery week for P90X3, so this morning was Dyanmix stretching. Plus a nice couple-mile walk downtown is making for a nice day.

Monday, July 21, 2014

P90X3 Week 3/4 (Dynamix/Isometrix)

Yesterday was a stretch/rest day. Or at least it was supposed to be. I did the P90X3 Dynamix workout in the morning and then took the XBOX to a friends house where we played Raving Rabbids and Dance Central for a few hours and ended up a sweaty mess. 

This morning began Week 4 of P90X3 which means a change in the line-up, so it was my first time doing Isometrix, which is similar to Yoga in that you don't hardly move and still end up covered in sweat. It was cool!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

P90X3 - Week 3 (The Warrior)

Today was an interesting day, workout-wise. Sarah is home for the weekend and so she did the P90X3 "The Warrior" workout with me. To be honest, it always goes faster when she's there and even makes me push myself a little harder when I have someone there in person I'm trying to keep up the pace with. It was fun and I was able to make it through (with modifications)

A couple of hours later a guy came over from the newspaper to take our pictures for an article about couples who do things together. When he asked us what we did together, we told him we worked out together that morning and so, sure enough, we ended up in our workout clothes once again, working out (this time to the P90X3 MMX routine, which is sort of a boxing/tae bo/cardio-type workout) while he took pictures. We didn't do the whole thing, but we both worked up a sweat again (and nothing is quite as motivating as having someone take your picture while you work out).

After that, we ended up walking downtown together for food (which is about a 3-mile walk there and back). It was nice, although by the time we got back to the house we were exhausted and I fell asleep on the couch watching Disney's Tarzan. A good day. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

P90X3 - Week 3 (CVX)

Today I did the P90X3 CVX workout. All I used was one 3-lb weight and 15 minutes in I was sweating like crazy. It reminds me of the time Sarah said a big muscle dude came into her toning class. It was his first time and she recommended he use a light weight. Of course, being a big strong guy with something to prove to others in the class, he ignored her advice and went with the heaviest weights she had in the studio, not realizing what they were going to be doing with them.

She said by the end he was struggling and just looked a mess. He was able to deadlift a house but had probably never mixed weights and cardio before. 

Same thing here with this CVX program. You don't have to use a lot of weight to get a helluva workout (on the DVD, Tony Horton says not to use anything more than 15 lbs). I was only abot to go 20 minutes instead of the full 30, but I felt good about what I did and any time I'm drenched in that much sweat, I know I got in a good workout. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

P90X3 Week 3 (The Challenge)

Today was P90X3 - The Warrior. It was a good day. You begin by writing down how many pushups and pull-ups you'll do in each set. It's a little intimidating when the people on the DVD are going for numbers like 40 and 20, especially when I'm going for 10 and 2, but it's something to work toward. I hit my numbers today, the first time doing so since using a real chin-up bar instead of bands, and it felt good. Tiny numbers be darned.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

P90X3 Week 3 (Yoga)

This morning I did P90X3 Yoga. Felt really nice. I don't think it did much to counter the chocolate-peanut butter milkshake I had last night (Darn you Chocolate World!), but still.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

P90X3 Week 3 (Agility X)

This morning did the first 20 minutes of the P90X3 Agility routine. It's my favorite one in the series but had to pull back at the end. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

P90X3 Week 3 (Total Synergistics)

Started week 3 of P90X3 with Core Synergistics. I'm a little frustrated this morning because I never know how my body is going to react. I started off strong, bumping my numbers up slightly from last week, and felt great. About 3/4 of the way through, though, my mystery condition suddenly kicked in and I got dizzy and nearly passed out. It's just annoying because sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't and there's never an indicator that it's on its way. I finished out the workout but had to limp through the last 10 minutes. Annoyed.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

P90X 3 Week 2 (Dynamix)

Did the P90X3 Dynamix program. Just because it's stretching doesn't mean you won't come away a sweaty mess. Loved it!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

P90X3 - Week 2 (The Warrior)

This morning did the P90X3 "The Warrior" workout. Paced myself and still ended up a sweaty mess. Good times.

Friday, July 11, 2014

P90X3 - Week 2 (CVX)

Today I did the P90X3 CVX workout. Or at least part of it. I felt good and started off strong. I think too strong. I did NOT pace myself (especially given my weird health condition) and about 10 minutes in I got all dizzy and pass out-y and had to stop. Dang it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

P90X3 - Week 2 (The Challenge)

This morning was P90X3 "The Challenge" workout. I was able to go from doing pushups/pullups on a resistance band to using an actual bar and- go figure - it's way harder. 

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

P90X3 - Week 2 (Yoga)

Tried P90X3 Yoga today but struggled a bit. My left wrist hurt doing each vinyasa/downward dog pose. Although it didn't hurt at the time, I suspect I tweaked it during yesterday's Plyo Pushups.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

P90X3 - Week 2 (Agility X)

Today's workout was P90X: Agility X. Crazy how much difference tape on the ground makes. Even my eyelashes are sweating.

Monday, July 07, 2014

P90X3 - Week 2 (Total Synergistics)

Today started Week #2 of P90X3 with Total Synergistics. Most of the moves are done in time with the DVD but on those that weren't, I was able to bump my numbers a bit. Soooo ready for my Shakeology. 

Saturday, July 05, 2014

P90X3 - Week 1 (The Warrior)

This morning: P90X3 "The Warrior" workout. The Warrior almost defeated me. 

Friday, July 04, 2014

P90X3 - Week 1 (CVX)

This morning I did P90X3 CVX workout, which is basically cardio with weights. Three pounds never felt so heavy before.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

P90X3 - Week 1 (Agility X)

P90X3 - Agility X. I had to stop a few times and take an extra breather but I (sort of) made it through. 30 minutes and sweating like a beast. Zoinks. Bring on the Shakeology.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Insanity 2.0 – Day 05

Given my general horrible health and the fact that I can't run at a steady clip for more than 15 minutes, today's Insanity workout, Pure Cardio, was a bit intimidating to pop into the DVD player. When, in the beginning of the workout, Shaun T himself admits to being afraid, you know it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

That being said, though, I was able to finish the entire workout. Not that I did the entire workout without taking breaks, but I made it through to the end. Given my medical history, that's saying a lot. Of course, I modified the crap out of the workout. Yes, I felt like an old-man with a walker in the lane next to Usain Bolt, but I knew it was for my own good. And, about halfway through, I felt the echoes of a shin splint in my left leg taunting me.

My shin splint didn't return, but I did feel a warm tightness as if my body was saying, "Careful, Ed."

So I took it slow.

My shirt was still drenched at the end and my heart rate was still pounding in my neck, but I was a bit smarter about it than the last time around.

On a side note, I love that the people in the DVD seem to be struggling as much as I am. As someone who's not in the kind of amazing shape my wife is in, it's kinda nice to see that I'm not the only one begging for mercy.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Insanity 2.0 - Day 04

Today was cardio recovery. On the same DVD is a program called Max Recovery. As much as this day had me sweating and thinking about quitting (I didn't!),  I can't even imagine what havoc Max Recovery is going to wreak on my well being. 

Also, my legs hate Shaun T. Just throwing that out there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's Wrong with Me

"Do you do Zumba, too?"

I'll bet I've been asked that question hundreds of times, no joke. You see, my wife Sarah is a fitness instructor. Actually, she's not just a fitness instructor. She's a kick-butt fitness instructor. Take a look at some of her videos on YouTube and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about. As a result, I've heard the aforementioned question on more than a few occasions.

If you think about it, it's an odd question, because I'm sure the reverse very rarely happens. I don't think anyone ever asks her if she edits audio, doodles caricatures, writes comedy reviews, or interviews people for a podcast. If I meet someone who works at Michael's, I don't ask her husband if he works in a craft shop, too, and if I meet a mechanic....well, you get my point. It's just a little weird to me.

Be assured, I'm never offended when I'm asked if I also do Zumba, but the query has been posed to me so many times, it's just kind of taken me by surprise. There are two answers to that question: the short one and the long one. I always give the short one, which is to say I smile, chuckle, and reply, "No, I don't like to pass out in public." It usually gets a laugh and then it's on from there. If only they knew that the short answer isn't just a joke but exactly what would happen.

This post is the long answer.

There's something wrong with me (insert joke here). I don't know what it is and apparently neither do the doctors I've gone to see. To put it simply, when I move around so much that I sweat, I also get really close to passing out. I have no idea why and it's plagued me since I was in my late teens, early 20s. I run around, I get hot, then I get dizzy, then I either need to run my head under water or else it's lights out. Weird, huh?

My very first memory of thinking something was up (and it didn't actually occur to me until years later while reading a blurb in Men's Health) was as a teenager mowing the lawn in the summer. We had a huge lawn and I assume our riding mower was on the fritz because I was using the push mower. I recall being drenched in sweat and suddenly getting really woozy in the head. I stopped and stood there and just stared at the ground and watched it spin. I wanted to run to the five gallon bucket we used as our dog's water bowl and submerge my head in it. That would feel great. I wanted to lay down in the grass and just sleep. That would feel even better.

About that time Dad came out of the house to get something from his truck and I asked him how someone knows if they have heat stroke. Assuming I was just trying to get out of mowing the lawn (something I totally would have tried to do, I'm sure), he replied, "You don't have heat stroke." Which really meant, "Mow the lawn, cry baby."

And so I did. I didn't pass out and I didn't have any other dizzy spells. I just mowed the lawn without further incident.

I used to love playing outdoor volleyball. It was always a family reunion favorite and one day (a few years after the lawn mowing story) I noticed that after only one game, I got really dizzy. I had to sit out (literally) the rest of the games and just watch from the sidelines. I didn't think much of it at the time. I figured it was just a really hot day when, in actuality, it probably wasn't any warmer than an average humid summer day in Indiana.

And that's just how things kind of progressed from there. If I was doing anything too active, I'd need to be careful, otherwise I'd get super-sweaty, light-headed and dizzy, I'd fall to all fours and just want to sleep.

I didn't mention it to a doctor until around the year 2000 because, to be honest, that's the first time I had medical insurance. During a routine examination I mentioned it to my family doctor and his eyes lit up like he was about to gain Doctor Notoriety with a paper he would write about me. In actuality, he told me it sounded like an extremely rare heart condition and, when over-exerted, the symptoms are dizziness (check), the desire to dunk one's head in water (check), and needing to put one's head as close to the ground as possible (and check. That wonderful, alluring sleep).

I told him I had those symptoms and soon found myself at the local hospital wired up to a machine and on a treadmill for a stress test. Did you ever hear the one about the guy on the treadmill wired up for a stress test who actually couldn't run long enough for them to get any readings? Well, now you have.

I don't recall exactly how long I ran, but when they told me I didn't last long enough, I remember feeling a little confused. It's not like I only ran for 20 seconds and it was Game Over. How much info did they need? And how ancient are their machines that they learned nothing? I was standing on the side of the treadmill, dizzy and sweating like a maniac, and they could get nothing out of it.

After that, they attached a heart monitor of sorts to my body and told me to wear it for three days. They also told me not to do any running or strenuous physical activity. I tried to tell them the problem only happens when I do strenuous activity, but they assured me they knew what they were talking about. Not having any sort of medical degree, I conceded.

Three days passed and nothing happened. I didn't sweat and I didn't get dizzy. They unfastened the wires and monitoring device and, lo and behold, one week later called to tell me they didn't see anything wrong.

I mean, I could have told you that.

So, basically, modern medicine shrugged its shoulders and said, "I dunno. Beats me."

And that's where I am today, 14 years later. I have no idea what's wrong with me. All I know is I have to keep myself to one game of volleyball (and even then, I can't go all out), I workout (carefully) at home to DVDs so if I have to get on my hands and knees or run to the bathtub and put my head in water I can (and, once in a while, just lie down on the floor and sleep where no one will see me), and I can't do my wife's Zumba class. She's a little maniac and really goes to town and I can't keep up. I want to, but I can't. If I try...well, see the short answer at the beginning of this post.

Last year I was reading Men's Health and I read a blurb on a study done about people who had suffered heat stroke at an early age and how, in a handful of cases, the symptoms stuck with the person whenever they engaged in physical activity (I wish I could find a link to the article. I looked, but nada. It wasn't an article per se, just a little sidebar quickie).

In my head, that's what I have. Did that day mowing the lawn do it? I don't know. Is it something else? I don't know, but it's an answer that seems to fit and having that answer is a lot more comforting to me than admitting... I don't know.


I forgot to mention there is one activity I can do with no problem: Swimming. I can't run for more than 15 minutes but I can literally swim all day long. And have. Maybe it's because I'm already surrounded in water? Maybe it's because I'm part fish. Who knows. But I'm super grateful I have that.

Insanity 2.0 - Day 03

I've been walking a lot lately. Yes, it's good exercise, but I've usually been walking to 300-calorie caramel lattes, so it sort of cancels itself out. Today I walked a few miles and was going at a pretty steady pace. By the time I got home I was already a pretty sweaty mess (My wife is such a lucky person) and I gave myself about an hour before I started in on today's round of Insanity.

I only made it about 25 minutes into the 43-minute workout before I had to cut it short. Even with my modifying of the jumps, toning them down from jumps to steps, I knew I wouldn't be able to last the whole time (Long story short, I've never been able to last long at all-things cardio, which kinda stinks. I come from a family of long-distance runners and in high school it was always something I wanted to do but physically couldn't). Apparently my body needs a bit more time in between walks and Insanity workouts (or, like I did the previous two days, do Insanity earlier in the day, and then walk).

It's always a bit discouraging when I have to cut a workout short - or else end up passed out on the floor - but Sarah helps me to remember it's a good thing to be smart about it. And, at the end of the day, 25 minutes of Insanity is still 25 minutes of Insanity.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Insanity 2.0 - Day 02

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm taking things a bit easier with Insanity. Of course, this is Insanity, so that's a pretty relative term. Although I'm stepping instead of jumping, it doesn't mean I didn't collapse on the floor every time we were supposed to be doing push-ups. I think I did like 3 push-ups and the rest of my time was spent panting.

On the upside, I'm really good at the jabs and uppercuts that come near he end of the workout. I owned that part.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Insanity 2.0 - Day 01

So, today I began my return to Insanity

You may (or may not) recall how, back in 2010, I attempted to tackle this fitness program. We've all seen the infomercials and we've all been tempted to sign up, if for no other reason than to snag one of those free "I earned it" T-shirts. Last time around, though, I got eight days into the program before my left leg began feeling the pangs of a shin splint. By Day 16 both legs had succumbed to The Splints and I had to give up. Too much jumping too fast as compared to zero jumping in the years leading up to it? Maybe. I was loving it and wanted to keep going, but couldn't. 

 I gave it up for a while and some time later tried it again. It didn't take long for the shin splints to return, this time even quicker, and again I was sidelined. 

 So why, nearly four years later, have I decided to have another go at it? Well...this time, I have a plan and the plan is one word: modification. 

 I never knew there was such a thing for Insanity; it isn't mentioned on the DVDs (I guess because, just like in baseball there's no crying, in Insanity there are no shortcuts) and so it was my impression there were only two speeds: Insanity or nothing. 

Fast-forward a few years and my wife Sarah is a certified Insanity instructor. Each month she gets a new CD and DVD with a new Insanity program to teach in her classes and, besides the instructor showcasing the moves, there's also a person standing beside them showing how to modify the moves for people like me who may not be able to go at top speed all the time. 

When I saw the person modifying the exercise, it was like a light went on. Why didn't I think of going at a slower pace or maybe not as full-on? Because, to be honest, when I started to, I felt like a dork who couldn't keep up. Even though on the DVDs Shaun T encourages you to take breaks whenever necessary and the others on the DVD seem at times to be struggling just as much as I was, I never felt like I had permission to take it down a notch. 

I talked about it with Sarah and she encouraged me that the big difference - for me at least - is to always keep one foot on the ground. The jumping (for those who don't know, there's a lot of jumping) killed me and obviously it wasn't something I would be able to dive right into, no matter how much my ego wanted me to. By modifying, though, I would still get a killer workout, sweat like a beast, and not risk having to bail out again. Or, at least, that's my hope. 

So today I did the fit test once again. I hated not jumping like they were on the video but I knew that if it was something I wanted to be able to stick with for the long haul, I'd have to force myself to drive in the slow lane and let the others whiz past me in the carpool much as I wanted to be in the car with them enjoying the ride. Instead of switch kicks, I was doing switch step kicks. There was no jumping in power jacks but instead power side lunge jacks. Globe jumps became globe side-steps. You get the point. No jumping, just stepping. 

And yet by the time I got to the end, I was sweating, panting, and in need of morphine. I don't know if I'll ever be able to go full-speed Insanity but right now it's not about breaking any world records. It's just about crossing that finish line. That finish line that is waaaaaaaaaaaaay, way out there.