Half a year later

I honestly don’t even know where to begin. My last post was in December of 2014, and it’s now July 2015. That’s WAY to long to go without posting. So today, I start again.

But where to start? Do I make a post about Jack, Lane, Tough Mudder, my new tattoo, the basement, work, beer, the gym, or somewhere else? Too much has happened over the past 7 months to capture it all. There’s just no way to get it all into a post, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten more things than I’d ever be able to share here.

So now that I’ve wasted the first two paragraphs talking about how much I haven’t talked about in the past year I’m just gonna get right down to things.

Jack is about to be 9 months old. We love this guy! He’s got so much personality and is such a Turner that it hurts some times. He’s not quite rolling over consistently yet, but he’s certainly done it a few times. He is on baby food, eats everything, and is growing like crazy. Right now he’s teething and about to cut his 8th… or 9th tooth. We’ve lost count as it happens so rapidly. The other week he started saying “dadadada” and then “mamamamama”. So talking isn’t far off. We’ve got a walker that he really enjoys being in because he’s mobile. I have a feeling this kid will be walking before he can craw, which is something he’s not really been keen on as of yet. So, this is a far cry from the last time I posted about Jack. He still frustrates the hell out of us, but I don’t know of any 9 month old that is just always the perfect baby. Oh, and he’s trending about 8-9 months ahead of his age as far as clothing, so that’s always fun.

OCR (Obstacle Course Races):

Watch these. That’ll pretty much sum things up. Jess and I have done both a Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash this year. I have 2 Spartan races coming up in the fall and can’t wait!

Work is work. I’ve been working on the same project for the better part of 2 years now. The good thing is, its not something that has either a budget or end date. I can always add more features and functionality and as long as our sales team sells it, I’ll be in demand!

The house:
I don’t know what I have / haven’t posted about in regards to what’s been done around the house. We’ve done more landscaping in the back yard, had some more trees cut down, painted some rooms, re-arranged furniture, contemplated finishing things, started new things and generally been home owners who own a home that always have something to do. Also, it seems that no matter how much water I put on the grass it doesn’t want to turn into a golf course.

Jack and LaneLane:
Where to even begin with this kid?! He’s grown so much in the past year that it’s hard to capture it all even if I posted every day. There’s nothing this kid can’t do, especially if you ask him. As a general rule he really can do most things, and even things he can’t he’ll give it a try. This kid surprises me all the time. He wanted some yogurt out of the fridge the other day, so he found a stool, took it into the kitchen, climbed to the top shelf of the fridge and got it. He only likes to ask for help, so you can watch him do something on his own. He loves his family, gets frustrated and communicates why, tells jokes, remembers things that both Jess and I have long since forgotten, is able to follow even the most complex of directions. I want to freeze time so I can keep him at this age forever, but I am also excited to see what’s next in his big little world.

It seems that these days its becoming more and more difficult to make time to hang out with my friends. We’ve all got kids now and syncing up schedules and such is always such a chore. On the off chance that we do get to hang out, its a great time. I love my friends and have some really great people in my life.

Speaking of great people in my life…. This woman. She’s my best friend. My companion. My wife. My everything. There are days when she frustrates me, days when I frustrate her, but at the end of EVERY day there is such a deep love and respect that I can’t imagine any other life. She has grown so much as a mother, teacher, and person in the past year and I am just so proud of all the things she has accomplished. There really is a never ending list of ways I love her.

The gym:
First off, I still HATE pull-ups. I have continued to get stronger, faster, better, and more well rounded in the gym. But my hands and my grip are still weak and no matter what I do, I will most likely rip. I did the Memorial Day Murph, which has 100 pull-ups and despite finishing I did some serious damage to my hands. Despite my pull-ups not getting much better, I’ve increased the weight that I can lift via deadlift, clean, jerk, push press, drastically. But with that being said this past week I discovered that we all have bad days and my bad day was an abysmal performance while trying to do a bench press. In my attempt to simply do the same weight/reps I’ve done before I failed. A lot. This left me with a sour taste in my mouth, but at the same time, it gave me a drive to get back in the gym and work on my weakness and turn it around.

Varicose veins:
I had them, not so much any more. Many, many, many years in the making and I have finally gotten ride of the veins that were so unsightly in my legs. I’m only about a week out from my final procedure, but I can tell that things are improving. In about 5 more weeks all the swelling should be down and I’ll have some silky smooth legs! Well, maybe not that much, but they’ll be tenfold better than they were.

Chase, Jack, JessChase:
We have a teenager. And a teenager he certainly is. One minute he’s dancing and singing in the kitchen with us, the next he’s completely shut him self into his room and won’t join us for anything. He has some massive mood swings and they come out of nowhere. With that being said, he’s still a really good kid. There are other teens out there that are just unbearable, but not Chase. He has all the signs of being a teen, and just like with our other two kids, eventually he’ll grow out of that phase and move on to the next one. Hopefully the football he’s signed up for that starts in the fall will help him with that.

All the rest:
Like I mentioned earlier, I can’t begin to cover everything. My goal is to keep posting and try to capture as much of the day-to-day as I can. Pics, videos, Tweets, etc., I’d like to get it all, or at the very least a majority of it.

Today I didn’t do “Murph”

While the rest of the CrossFit world did “Murph“, I spent the day not doing it. I really would have liked to do the WOD. I didn’t do it last year, mainly because I was no where near prepared and I was rather ‘green’ at the gym. This year I feel like I am at least prepared enough to make it through without dying. I may not do it with the weight vest, but I think I could manage the entire thing.

The one thing about Murph that would have really gotten me would be the pull-ups. I simply don’t have the proper kip down, and my overall upper body strength is not at a level that I can consistently do lots of reps of strict pull-ups. On top of that, my hands have some wicked blisters/calluses. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to keep my hands from tearing or bunching up to the point where it hurts to simply put them on a bar. I’ve tried all manner of things to no avail. I’ll get it one day. I mean, this time last year I wasn’t even able to do 1-2 pull-ups with out a band. Now, I can string together quite a few. And it’s my damn shoulders too! They just hurt and are sore and tense and still need a lot of work.

Any way, today I didn’t do Murph. There were a lot of factors that went into that. Instead, I spent time with my family at the pool and then with good friends hanging out enjoying the weather. It was a good day indeed!

The Test of Fitness

I’m tip-toeing back into the blog thing and wanted to start off by posting this video.

Jess and I are so drinking the kool-aid right now, that we’re trying to make it and serve it to others. CrossFit has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. We talk about it pretty much every day, or at least a few times a week. One of the first things I check in the AM is the days WOD, even if I’m not going to the gym. I just love the idea of being fit, pushing myself, pushing Jess, pushing the limits of what I once thought I could do.

Next week the CrossFit Open starts and it is the true test of fitness. Well, the Games are like the World Bowl Slam Ball game, but it all starts with the Open. This will be Jess’ first year doing it and I can’t wait to see her awesome results. She was very timid at first and didn’t want to do something that she didn’t think she could excel at. But eventually she signed up and is now more juiced than ever. I got a ticket (thanks to a friend of mine at the gym) to go see the 14.1 announcement next week and couldn’t be more excited. This, to me is like if Sport Team Squad had a press conference where they were announcing their Spring training lineup starters and at the conference 2 of the star athletes on the team were doing some sort of demo/tryout/scrimmage/etc. This is my sport (yes, I do in a way consider it a sport).  I am so pumped to go see the whole thing and watch 2 people who I respect very much in the CrossFit community perform at their best…. doing a workout. I know it sounds crazy. I mean…. I’m essentially going to watch an announcement of a workout and then watch 2 people DO the workout! But I couldn’t be more excited.

So that’s that. The video has gotten me even more pumped and jazzed. I know this post may have rambled or seem disjointed or whatever, but that’s how CrossFit is. It just kinda comes at ya and changes when you least expect it! Stay tuned for more updates as to our progress and journey through the Open, the games, and on into a healthier, more fulfilled life! For now, I’m off to get on my gym clothes and go do today’s workout!

Whole30: Day 19 – 24

Meals Day 19 – 9/06/13

  • Breakfast: Omelette, sausage, sweet potato mash
  • Lunch: Chopped steak salad with avocado, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes
  • Dinner: Salmon, asparagus, mushrooms, puréed peas
  • Snack: This big ass bouquet of fruit! (Well, some of it)*

Meals Day 20 – 9/07/13

  • Breakfast: 2 egg omellette, sausage, sweet potato hash, tomato
  • Lunch: Turkey breast, collard greens, broccoli
  • Dinner: Rotisserie chicken… like literally half a chicken

Meals Day 21 – 9/08/13

  • Breakfast: Sausage and egg scramble, fruit
  • Lunch: Pork chop, zucchini, tomato
  • Dinner: Brats, peppers onions mushrooms, guacamole

Meals Day 22 – 9/09/13

  • Breakfast: Sausage and egg scramble, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Salad with steak, guacamole, bacon
  • Dinner: Chorizo stuff tomatoes with avocado

Meals Day 23 – 9/10/13

  • Breakfast: Banana, turkey bacon, egg white (Starbucks breakfast sandwich w/o the bread or cheese)
  • Lunch: Burger patty with tomato, pickle, avocado
  • Dinner: Salad with steak, guacamole, bacon

Meals Day 24 – 9/11/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with avocado, egg, and bacon
  • Dinner: Steak and eggs with sweet potatoes and bacon

The breakdown

In all honesty, I’ve kinda fallen off the wagon. Not necessarily the food wagon, but more so with the updates. In the beginning I was gung-ho about the updates and posting about food and whatnot, but now… its a tedious process to update/post my food and then post it again and take a picture, etc. Here it is day 24 and I’m just now making my post for day 19 – 23. The food and eating is pretty easy at this point. I know what to look for at the store or on a menu. I know how to fix a meal that meets the restrictions of the program. And in all honesty, I don’t really think the program is all that restrictive any more. There are so many foods that I can eat, that I don’t really think about the foods that I can’t. Plus, the foods that I can’t, I don’t really even want, so that’s definitely a good thing.

These past few days have been fairly good. I’m still battling this stupid sickness and its making me frustrated. In addition to the runny nose, cough, and congestion, I also get dizzy when I stand up from sitting down. It could be from the couch or the car or a chair at the office, but when I stand I get dizzy. I’m fairly confident that I have chronic subjective dizziness. And by CSD I mean, that I get dizzy and its most likely related to the head congestion. I did go to the doc to get things checked out, but its most likely not anything alarming. I don’t think it has anything to do with the food or workouts. I’ll just wait to see what the doc says when my blood work comes back.

On Friday the weather was great and our usual group of co-workers headed out to lunch. This meant a patio and an extended break from the humdrum day. The eatery of choice today was Mellow Mushroom. Dude, I LOVE me some pizza and add a patio and the notion that I didn’t have to return to work for a while and that’s a recipe for beers and a lazy afternoon. NOT TODAY!! While the rest of the crew ordered their calzones, cheesy garlic bread appetizers, and beers-a-plenty, I went with a salad and some water. I could look around the table and see each of them getting more and more sluggish as the meal went on. In addition, no one finished their lunch… other than me. Either beer or Coke + loads of cheese and meat and bread was just too much to handle. Plus they were all sweaty and hot from the sun. Gross! I mean, this is rather braggadocious of me, but I felt great. I had a salad with some steak and avocado and bacon and was good to go! I ate all the food I paid for ($7 for lunch ain’t bad) and the rest of the day I didn’t “need a nap”. Bam! PALEO!!!

When I got back from lunch I noticed a huge ass basket of fruit sitting on my desk. I thought surely someone placed it there by mistake. However to my surprise it was a gift from my wife! She had been hinting at wanting a basket of fruit all day, but it wasn’t until I got back from lunch that I realized why. Earlier that day she placed an order and had it delivered to my office. Literally there couldn’t have been a better gift waiting on me when I got back from lunch. We snacked on that bad boy for a few days. Yum!!

On quick side note about Friday’s dinner… We had dinner at The Chicken and the Egg and I was incredibly underwhelmed with that place. Way over priced and our waiter wasn’t helpful at all when I asked how various items on the menu were prepared. When we asked about subbing items he pretty much said we couldn’t. When I asked him to leave the honey off my salmon, he said “it’s just a little bit on there.” That doesn’t work for me. I don’t care how much of something is on there, if I don’t want it or ask for it to be left off, please do so. For a place this pretentious, I expected a lot more accommodations when it comes to their “farm to table” approach. It really did come down to the service. I mean, the guy was just REALLY not helpful at all. Simple things like “can I get the collards with the trout instead of the rice and beans?” was met with a “no, it just kinda comes that way.” That’s unacceptable. I know chef must have put some thought into how the dishes were prepared and what would go well with each protein, but I should be able to sub an item out. Especially on a limited item menu. In addition, they brought me the wrong food, then offered me a salad. I said sure, and the salad came out with cheese and a vinaigrette. I guess thats on me for not asking what all was on the salad, but I sent that back too. Then to make up for the messed up dinner they offered us dessert. When I turned it down, he said that it was on them. Again, if I turn something down, don’t continue to offer it. Your justification of why I should have it, will never be as good as my reason I shouldn’t have it. I left there feeling very frustrated and mad. It was my fault for taking in a kid that was cranky, and I understand that. But nothing about the food made me want to go back, even after the Whole30 thing is over. I can prepare meals at home just as good if not better.

Saturday, Jess went and got her hair chopped off (it’s suuuuper cute btw) while Lane and I had some boy time. The weather was gorgeous and we knew we wanted to go to a park and spend the afternoon outside. On the way we stopped by the store to pick up some toys and such for Lane and some snacks. The problem was, there’s not really anything to snack on, while out and about, that’s Whole30 approved. Jess, always the thinker did the best thing she possibly could… she got us a rotisserie chicken! That’s right, we ate an entire chicken as a snack. Two people driving down the road on the way to the park just devouring a chicken, caveman style! It was pretty crazy just nomming on a chicken, but sure enough, 20 mins later and the thing was down to just fat, skin, and bones. Needless to say, it might be a while before we go to town on another rotisserie chicken again.

Tuesday night was another pretty big milestone for both Jess and I. We went and saw Mumford & Sons and typically we would have had a few beers before going in and then maybe a few more during the concert. This would have made one or both of us have to make constant trips to the bathroom. On top of that we would have been bloated, hot and sweaty, felt sluggish, and then the next morning we would have been hung over and just wasted the day trying to sleep off the effects of our poor choices. However, we made a smart choice to not drink. The friends that we met up with certainly did not make the same choice and were constantly back and forth to the beer line or having to pee, and I’m sure they felt the effects in the morning. I attribute being sober to us enjoying the show more. We didn’t have to worry about drinking or being uncomfortable we could just enjoy the breeze, the music, and each other’s company. It really was just about us and not about what we were consuming. The show was hands down one of the best I had ever seen and I really didn’t miss the drinking one bit.
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Wednesday Jess and I both had the day off. We took this opportunity to go to the gym together. This is a rare occurrence and one that we like to take advantage of whenever possible. Now that we’re doing the Olympic Lifting Program I was really looking forward to today’s workout. Mario (one of the owners/trainers) gave a fantastic session on proper cleans. One thing that I’m really trying to work on is my overall technique. The strength portion will come with time, but if I’m lifting improperly then it doesn’t matter how strong I am. As it pertains to the Whole30, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about proper pre/post-workout fuel. With it being a noon workout we knew going in that we had plenty of time before to load up on proper proteins and fats to give us energy and we made preparations for after so that we wouldn’t be struggling. Well, by “preparations” I mean that we went to Taco Mac and had a grilled chicken salad and like 14 cups of water. This turned out to be clutch as we felt good for the rest of the day… other than the general soreness of the actual workout.

We’re now down to the wire. Six more days and the Whole30 is a wrap. I don’t know what my final results will show, but I can tell you now that I feel better. I feel stronger and more adept to what ever life may throw at me. I don’t feel dependent on food or drinks to get me through the day. I eat to fuel my body properly and that’s becoming enough. Food to fix problems that food caused is no longer my way out. Just six more days and that’s it! I have a feeling that post Whole30 this family will continue to reap the benefits of the Paleo lifestyle.


The Whole30, or at least the Half30… or maybe Half15

Over the past few months Jess and I have been doing fantastic at going to the gym. We’ve also done really well with our eating. That’s not to say that there’s no room for improvement, but in general we’re doing pretty good. On the flip side however we’ve kinda stalled out.

This happens with virtually any fitness/health routine. You do great the first week, maybe a month, but eventually you hit a wall or plateau and just come to a halt. Your body becomes use to the way things are, the level of effort required to do your WODs and most of the toxins have been sweated out in the gym. Slowly but surely, things slow down. Something has to change. With Jess and I its our diet. Like I said, we’re not making bacon cheeseburger pizzas for dinner or loading up on double decker tacos, but we are making choices that could be improved upon. That’s where the Whole30 comes in. Most of the people we talk to at the gym are on Paleo or some form. The owners have touted about Whole30 for quite a while now so we decided to tip-toe into the arena.

The Paleo Diet

We did our research, looked over the can/can’t have lists and decided it was going to be a lot tougher than we anticipated. With 2 kids (11 and 19 months), it was going to be even tougher. So we decided to do a modified version. I’m deeming it the Half15! Mainly because we’re still consuming SOME of what we did before, and we’re going to start off with 15 days rather than the full 30.

So here’s the rundown. Our biggest hurdle is alcohol. We’ve decided to not have any alcohol, with the exception of a wedding we’re going to in 2 weeks, for 30 days. This is pretty big for us. We added it up and on any given week, we would go through a 12 pack for beer or 1-2 bottles of wine. I know, we might as well join AA… but not really. This seems like a small amount, but over the course of a month it adds up, both in calories and on the wallet. We don’t NEED that beer while cooking dinner then another with our dinner, so we might as well cut it out of our diet. And yes, wine does pair nicely with red meat or fish (or tacos, or burgers, or hummus, etc). But again, we don’t need it. So why not eliminate it completely from our diet. Only good can come of that, right? We’ve already established that we will most likely be grumpy at each other or pout about not having our whiskey drink while watching TV, but we’re gonna stay strong and stick to it.

The next part of our plan is to eliminate as many grains, starches, sugars, and such as we can from our diet. This is a big part of Paleo and the Whole30. Much of the breads, pastas, rice, flour, etc that we eat on a daily basis is so processed that it has virtually no nutritional value, and what value is there actually does more harm than good. I’m not going to preach about what other’s should/shouldn’t eat, I’m just going to know what we’re doing. Now there will be some exceptions and I’m not going to rush out and buy a tiny bag of almond flour for $12, but for the most part we’re cutting things out. Another big change is the fats which we use to cook our foods in. We don’t go Paula Deen style and use a stick of butter when scrambling an egg, but watching what you cook your food in, is just as important as the food that’s being cooked. So we’ll look for coconut oil and what ever other approved fats we can.

There are things however, that we will not be giving up just yet. For example our morning coffee is something that is needed. We probably won’t die if we don’t have it, but other’s around us might. We will continue to use the Truvia and fat free creamer. After all, most of the “paleo creamers” have coconut milk and raw eggs. Nope. That’s not gonna happen. In addition, there will be some occasions when we’ll have some bread or peanut butter. We have to stay realistic. If we go cold turkey and eliminate all these things off the bat then we’ll be setting ourselves up for failure. This is something we’re going to have to ease into. Over time we may find it easier to eliminate these types of things, but for now, we’ll just do our best.

As I mentioned before, we have 2 kids. One is a picky eater and the other is a pickier eater (I’ll let you decide which is which). They live off things that are processed and laden with sugars. I’m not going to make my kids go through the change with us. I mean, Chase started middle school last week and I’m fairly confident they don’t have a Whole30/Paleo option on the lunch menu. And when he gets home in the afternoon, its been a good 5+ hours since he’s eaten, so if he goes for a bag of chips or Pop-tart, I’m ok with that. We can certainly cut out some of the bad options that we provide in the house. Sugary drinks will be replaced with less sugary drinks, we’ll have more fruits and vegetables available on the off chance that he goes for some carrots instead of Funions.

Its going to be a process. It won’t simply happen over night, and we will stumble along the way. But we will also be there to help each other along. We will do our best to chronicle this adventure and see how things progress over the next 30 days (or 15 for now).

This is why we CrossFit

This is Rich Froning, this is not me.
This is Rich Froning, this is not me.

This past weekend was the Reebok CrossFit Games, and man were they exciting! Well, they were exciting for me, my wife and those of us who really enjoy doing CrossFit. I don’t think I can call it a sport, but that doesn’t make it or the athletes any less spectacular. 

Lets go back one year. I had been doing P90x steadily for roughly 75 days. Its a 90 day program (hence the name), and was determined to finish. On day 78 I had a car accident… how did I not post about that?! An accident that left me with a Grade 3 AC Joint Separation in my left shoulder. My arm, and my car, and my workout routine was out of commission. I had surgery to repair my shoulder and a month or so later I was back to my trainer working out. This however meant that I did not complete my P90x. I was 12 days short of finishing the program. By this point I was rather frustrated with my shoulder and working out in general. I wasn’t able to get the progress I wanted, lifting things was not as easy as I would have liked and it was just painful at times. You would be surprised at how much you actually depend on your shoulders for day to day activities. Overall, I was slowly creeping back towards how things were before I started the program. This did not sit well with me.

In November we bought a house, and as anyone who has ever bought a house can tell you, that pretty much consumes all your time. Packing, moving, paperwork, planning, schedules, days off, etc., its all you can do. Couple that with the holidays, Jess commuting 100+ miles a day, <1 year old baby and there just isn’t much time in the day for working out.

January rolls around and I’m getting the itch to start working out again. I start looking around at various gyms, since I know that I would a) need a trainer that could tailor routines to a recuperating shoulder and b) push me to excel beyond the wall I had in my head. My previous trainer did a great job at this, but we now lived 60+ miles away and that was just not going to cut it. Eventually I found CrossFit on the Square. Since working out with my previous trainer I had been introduced to the notion of CrossFit and the types of workouts. I knew it was growing steadily in the fitness world and wanted to give it a shot. I like the intensity of the workouts so this should be something right up my alley. The good thing about CFSQ is that its not your typical CrossFit gym. Rather than be all Bros and CrossFit For Life or super douchey, they are super down to earth and “real”. The workouts aren’t strictly CrossFit, rather they are a combination of strength, agility, mobility, cardio, and mental. The classes weren’t 30 people watching 2 instructors go through the motions, and doing the same workouts every time. We have small classes, very personable and knowledgable trainers. It just felt like a second home. A home that makes you lift weights, sweat, and want to puke from time to time.

Well, the first few weeks was ROUGH. I was hurting badly pretty much every time I went. It sucked… a lot. But I pressed on. Weeks turned into months and eventually I was breaking through walls. Not literally, though I’m sure that could be considered a workout. I saw a transformation in myself. Finally my shoulder was getting back to 100%, I was lifting heavier weights, had more stamina overall, my spirit was higher (especially on gym days), and overall… I just felt good.

Eventually, Jess caught the fever and started drinking the Kool-Aid! She was very hesitant at first, but once she got in there and started seeing her own successes, she was hooked! That’s the thing, you are either going to not like it at all, or you’re going to love it. With both Jess and I, we love it! We love most everything about CrossFit, the intensity, the various workouts, the challenge, the endorphins, its just a natural high for both of us. Its something we can do separately and come home and talk about, or we can go together (when the stars align) and push each other while at the gym. We share in our successes, talk about our failed reps, our new PRs, and as of this past weekend, stay up too late just so we can watch the CrossFit games.

Its our new addiction and I couldn’t be happier. I feel healthy and capable of doing most anything these days. CrossFit for me is about bettering myself, pushing beyond my personal walls, and ensuring that I am as healthy as I can be for my family. It gives me a break each week to recharge my batteries and clear my mind. When I’m squatting 200lbs that’s all I’m thinking about. When I’m standing there, looking at a kettlebell, or pull-up bar, or a medicine ball. I can’t be thinking about work or poopy diapers. I have to focus on that one task, clear my head, push through it and get the job done. When I walk out the door I feel refreshed and more alive. I, at time fail at the goal I set for myself, but those failures make me stronger the next time I walk through those doors.

Speaking of walking through the doors, its time for me to change into my gym clothes. I got some pull-ups to do!


Tough Mudder!

We are tough mudders!!

Around Christmas time I was in need of some serious exercise motivation. Baby weight plus holiday eating was a bad combination. Ben mentioned “tough mudder” and while I never really thought I’d survive it, I said “Sure, why not”. If this doesn’t motivate me to do something then I don’t know what will. We were pumped about it. I watched YouTube videos, winced at some of the obstacles, and printed out the training suggestions to start right after the new year.

….I think you can probably guess where I’m going next. Not to the basement to train. We ran a few 5K’s, did a few small things on the equipment we have at home, and even did an “obstacle course” style 5K (which ended up being the PreK version of Tough Mudder). The event that was once 12 weeks away was suddenly around the corner. Um. What? No way I can do that. But we signed up, and were going to make the best of it. I preface our TM experience with this story to help you understand that training and preparation were NOT what got me through the 11 mile/21 obstacle course. Not by a long shot. What got me through was my husband, the other mudders I was running with, my fierce stubbornness, and the sheer will to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Next year, the training (I’ve already started) will pay off and I will shave hours off of my 6 hour total from this year.

Other than the intensely sore muscles, the cuts and bruises, the ruined clothes/shoes, and the sunburn, the event itself was one of the most painfully rewarding experiences of my life. Despite the debilitating difficult physical challenges, this was equally a test of mental strength. I am my worst critic. I approached every single obstacle and the voice in my head repeated “There is no way I can do that. Are you kidding me with that? I can’t do THAT. These people are crazy. There is no way”. This voice continued for eleven straight miles. After every obstacle (and Yes, we attempted every.single.obstacle; only failing to complete three), I was in a state of disbelief. I looked behind me to the pool of ice water, or the dark underground tunnel, to the barbed wire, or fire, to the 10-12 foot walls or the cords of electric current I’d crawled through, and my voice always said “I can NOT believe I just did that!”. I shocked myself (ha) through the entire 11 miles. Every marker that showed another mile down was a glance between Ben and I that said “I’m not sure how, but we are doing this!”. There are few better accomplishments I’ve had in this life than the one I felt crossing the finish line with my husband. Limping and bleeding and running on fumes, we did it together. It wasn’t always pretty, but we DID IT!

Despite going into TM intimidated, I have never been a part of something so physical with people who were SO awesome. You cannot do this challenge alone. Even with my partner, we took on every obstacle with the help of another mudder (or several mudders). Every fall in the mud was followed by three hands to help me up, pat me on the back, and encourage me to keep going. I was pushed over walls, pulled over ledges, and cheered on by strangers around me the whole time. I “Hoorah’d” that day more than I ever have in my life, and was filled with such gratitude and appreciation for the communities of mudders that I am now so thankful to be a part of with my husband. This event changed how I think. I have an untapped strength that has been discovered and for that alone I am so thankful that Ben signed us up. Not only did my husband keep me motivated and push me to my potential for 11 miles, I failed to mention he held a GoPro mounted to a piece of PVC pipe the whole time. He got some great footage that he’s ‘doing his thing’ with and will post the footage we have soon. Some more permanent memorabilia is in the works as well. 😉

We will certainly do this again next year, and I want to put together a huge team for it. It’s an experience everyone should have once in their lives…if not once a year. We are Tough Mudders!

Here’s our video! Well, this is the short one. For the longer version, see the link at the end. Enjoy!

Tough Mudder – The Beginning

First off, what is Tough Mudder. Watch this video to find out!

Now that you have an idea of what Tough Mudder is, you can appreciate why its going to take at LEAST five months to get prepared for it. Jess has done several 5Ks and I have like 2 “obstacle” runs under my belt, but nothing of this caliber. This thing is 10-12 miles and 25 military grade obstacles! Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Well today we signed up for it and if all goes well, we’ll be in shape and running that beast in April. In the meantime we’re looking for donations to support the Wounded Warrior Project. If we can raise at least $150 then we’ll get a discount on our submissions. And regardless, its a great cause to donate to.

So wish us luck, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Stay tuned for updates on the progress.
Tough Mudder

P90x: 40+ days

This post is about 10 days over due. Here’s my 30 day pic for P90x.

P90x - Day 30

As you can see, I have achieved results! On day 30 I had more definition in my arms, legs, back, shoulders, stomach, and smile. I was feeling fantastic and wanted more. This however was short lived. Shortly after my day 30 awesomeness I departed for a 3 day field trip for Chase’s PC class. It’s hard enough doing P90x at home, but it’s impossible to do any sort of exercise while tending to a gaggle of 4th/5th graders and walking around learning about maritime forests and such. So when I got home I was feeling rather bleh. Three days of cafeteria food and sand in my ass had taken it’s toll. However, I was ready to jump back to it on Thursday! I crushed another workout and was back in the swing of things. That is, until the next day when we were invited to hang with some friends at a beach house for the weekend! How could we possibly turn this down?! The beach trip in general is for another post and I’ll let Jess handle that one. I had great intentions and  packed my DVDs and some gear for a few workouts at the beach. Well as anyone who’s ever been to the beach will tell you, that is pretty much a wash and workouts are most likely not going to happen. Tack on a few kids, some wicked sunburn, and a few drinks and I can kiss those days goodbye.


By Tuesday I was feeling dreadful and wanted to either exercise the toxins out of my body or die. Well, I have a family to look after so I decided to exercise. Again, there were obstacles all over the place. From a sunburn that left me itching all of my skin off to a hand that looked like a zombie attack (an injury suffered while digging a trench from our sand castle to the ocean), it looked as if it was going to be another battle to get my routines in. I would do my best to exercise here and there, but it just wasn’t the same. I felt like I had lost my drive. I could feel myself slipping further and further from my goal and the scale was certainly reflecting this.

Then came the wall. The 215lb wall that I was either going to bust through or let stop me. Some how I had gained 3 more pounds that my starting weight. Luckily I didn’t let it stop me. It took some time and a lot of internal struggle, but as of this morning I feel like I’m back in the driver’s seat. I am now at 209lbs and am ready for my next exercise.

Last nights workout was probably one of the toughest ones I’ve done in the past 40+ days. I did not eat well yesterday and certainly did not provide the right fuel for my body to do a great workout. But with the encouragement of my wife (who is also doing daily exercise routines btw) I got out there and did some Plyo X. It wasn’t easy, and I threw up before finishing, but I finished. I got over that hurdle and am so happy I did. I’m not ready to finish the second half of this program and get to that goal fitness level that I have set for myself. I feel great and I can’t wait for my next routine. I know the next 45 days will bring struggles, hurdles, and all manner of things to slow me down, but I am determined to see this thing through. I may be exactly where I am today in terms of weight and muscle or I may be “fit as a fiddle”, as Tony Horton would say. Only time will tell.

Oh, and as I mentioned earlier my wife is now doing her own daily workouts. She’s stuck to it so far and I am exceedingly proud of her and can’t wait to see her awesome results. I have faith in her and know she will bust through it. Stay tuned for more!

Everyone HAS P90X…

P90X - Day 1

But no one ever really does it. I’ve said that for quite some time, but now I am to prove myself wrong.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been a tad on the chunky side. “Big bones”, “husky”, “healthy”, you name it, I’ve tried to mask what it really was… obese. I come from a family of eaters. We love us some southern food. It’s not always the best food or the healthiest food, but we would eat it and ask for seconds.

My childhood was spent playing with computers or in-doors helping with chores. I would go outside on occasion, but for the most part I was not to be found out and about doing anything athletic. As years went on, I got bigger and bigger. At my heaviest I was around 305lbs. This was in early high school. I didn’t, nor had I ever had a girlfriend, wasn’t into sports or anything involving being active, though I did join the drum line. I got by and was “happy”, but eventually I knew it was time for a change.
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