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Monday, October 29, 2012

My 'Rules of 3'...

In the Bible, the number 7 is a sign of completion... 

Of perfection. 

In my experience, the number 7 has had little or no significant meaning in terms of predicting future events or providing actionable information. 

But the number 3.... 

Now that's another story. 

Based on repeated experiences over the last 30 years...

I have developed 3 Rules of 3...

Ok. Maybe they're not real Rules but more like... 

Rules of Thumb.... 


Good Things to Know. 

Anyway, here they are:

Rule 1.  If you have no idea what the answer is, say 3. You'll be amazed how many times you are right. 

Rule 2.  When faced with uncertainty, question or a difficult decision, ask or present to 3 independent, informed sources the same question or problem.  If they give you the same answer or recommendation, there is a 90% probability that the common answer from the 3 different sources is the correct or best answer or decision. 

Rule 3. Trouble, Bad News or Negative Events tend to come in Clusters of 3 and typically within 3 days of each other. 

This last week was a perfect testament to Rule 3. 

The first event was my 25 year old Maytag dryer went out last Wednesday. So there goes x hundred $ to replace that. 

As soon as I learned about the dryer going out, I told my wife - "Better look out.  I can feel it.  Trouble always comes in Threes.  There's gonna be at least 2 other bad things that'll happen in the next few days."

Then the next day, I learned about a legal matter involving a family member that will have significant negative time and cost ramifications for that person.

Then on Saturday, I learned of another negative event that will likely cost me some moolah. 

I could feel the stress starting to eat at me and cause me to focus on things that were out of my control.  That is my natural tendency. I am a Worrier. 

In the past, I've let it get the best of me. 

This time, I backed off, thought through what I needed to do, put the plans into action and then focused on stress relief. 

Intense Exercise and Good Food. 

One of the things I've decided, especially given the frequency and intensity of my workouts,  is that I'm not eating enough protein to build lean muscle mass and gain strength. 

Randall's had a special on Pork Chops so I bought a package of those and treated them with my standard meat tenderizer - dry rub. 

I bought some more veggies and focused on treating myself right with a combo of pork chops, tofu, boiled eggs, squash, zucchini, peppers, tomato, arugula and alfalfa sprouts. 

Nice morning temps. 

So I fixed a light, vegetable rich breakfast with a small piece of pork before my Body Pump workout. 

And then followed that with a full blown post workout recovery meal. 

Things are already looking up. 

Just got word...

Negative event 3 may end up being a non-event. 

Remaining calm and controlling emotions during negative times has not always been my strong point....

But I'm working on it and I'm getting better at it. 

So the next time a Rule of 3 situation rears its ugly head....

Keep your head, consult reliable resources, act on what you can control...

And then go get a good workout and a healthy meal. 

Things may not get better, but at least you'll be in a better state to handle it. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Riding the Lonely Road...

To Body Pump...

It's about 8 miles round trip. 

Just enough to get my bad knee warmed up and get the rest of me loosened up
and ready to work out. 

It also gives me 15 minutes to mentally prepare for the workout and the day ahead. 

It seems like no matter where I am or what is offered to me, I always choose the....

Too much time, thinkin' 'bout all of my mistakes
My heart, my mind, my soul, my body aches
I hunger for the loving arms of your embrace
I walk along the lonely road

I walk along the lonely road
My back is strong, girl
I'll carry the load
I'm on the grind, in time I'll pay the debt that's owed
I walk along the lonely road

Too much time, thinkin' 'bout everything that went wrong
I cry my eyes out every time I hear your song
I hope this path leads me back where I belong
I walk along the lonely road

I walk along the lonely road
My back is strong, girl
I'll carry the load
I'm on the grind, in time I'll pay the debt that's owed
I walk along the lonely road

Too much pride for me to up and take the blame
Deep inside, girl, it's killin' me with pain
Every night when I sleep I call your name
I walk along the lonely road

I walk along the lonely road
My back is strong, girl
I'll carry the load
I'm on the grind, in time I'll pay the debt that's owed
I walk along the lonely road

I walk along the lonely road
My back is strong, girl
I'll carry the load
I'm on the grind, in time I'll pay the debt that's owed
I walk along the lonely road
I walk along the lonely road
I walk along the lonely road

It's been a Week of Challenges...

Things had been going too well so I....

When you're faced with tough decisions, for yourself or for others, it's not like there is always a Right Thing to Do. 

Most often, the decision for your path forward may be dependent on your time frame and your goals. 

Hopefully you have someone to talk to, who you can trust to help you. 

Is there really a silver lining in every cloud. 

My survey days "NO!"...

The motor on my Maytag dryer I've had for 25 years went out.... 

I've fixed a broken belt and replaced a heating element over the years. 

This time the repair cost was more than half the cost of a new one...

Time to move on. 

Ever feel like everyday is....

One thing I will not let slip is my workouts and my diet. 

Haven't been making any noticeable progress on either lately. 

Just sticking with at least 2 group exercise classes a day and lots of meat and vegetables. 

Jimmy Dean sausage, Kalamata Olive bread, bell peppers, jalapeños....

Add in grilled Baby Bella mushrooms, an egg, some sliced tomatoes and a few alfalfa sprouts. 

Now that will get your mind off your troubles. 

I was stopped by a trio last night after I finished my TRX suspension class workout and they asked me what I was doing to look so good. 

They remarked at how big and defined my arms and shoulders were and asked if I was taking protein. 

I said "Nope. No supplements.... No vitamins. Just meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts with little or no dairy, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc."

I added that I cooked everything in a cast iron skillet with little or no oil. 

For workouts, I am doing 4 body pump classes per week with at least 6 - 8 cardio / core training / agility classes every week....

So about 10 hours of exercise per week or an average of an hour and a half per day. 

It was nice to have someone notice and complement me on my progress.  

These types of conversations are rare.... 

A fact that has caused me to formulate a theory about Southern culture. 

I'll have more about my experience regarding the "culture of conversation" in the South in a later post.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Random Walk through Pain and Sleep Management....

Yep.... That's what this post is about. 

So why the screen shots of songs I'm listening to?

Cause that's part of it. 

Listening to music when I'm working out, when I'm relaxing, when I'm happy, sad, pissed off....

Is a way of managing discomfort, pain, emotion - both physical and mental    .

Huh? - your body, your muscles have emotions?

You better believe it and your body will tell you what it's feeling if you just give it a chance and listen. 

If you're sedentary and overweight....

And you're hurting...

That's your body telling you....

"Hey Lazy Ass - I wanna go do something. Take me for a walk or a bike ride or let's go to the gym and do that Body Pump class!"

If you're overdoing it, your body may be telling you the same thing....

In fact, your mind and body may be having a heated discussion....

Like your mind is telling your body....

"F your pain and soreness....

I like what I see and how I feel. I like that high I get after a great workout. I like how my clothes fit. I like how much lighter I feel on my feet. I like that people are telling me how good I look. "

While your body is saying...

"Hey Mind.... I'm done. I'm hurting.... I need some days off". 

So we have a Mind - Body conflict....

A staredown... If you will. 

Hold that thought...

I went to the gym this morning....

Didn't do my standard Fat Burner - Zumba classes this morning cause my left knee was hurting.... 

More than it normally does. 

I did do my filler workout - Abs, Calves and Lats. 

That's one of the ways to manage pain....

Work around it. 

While I was there, I was watching one of the men that's in my Body Pump class, Reuben. 

I don't know how old Reuben is but I'm gonna guess he's in his late 60s early 70s...

And this guy is lean and muscular. 

He's the one doing the situps in the foreground. 

There's no doubt in my mind he has some approach or regimen for managing pain from exercise. 

And I'm thinking about my own pain...

But you have to face it. 

There's no substitute.... No way around it...
No lying to yourself...
You have to experience some pain to get where you want to be. 

My continuing knee pain caused me to go try some of the new "cushiony" running shoes... 

Reebok Men's Smoothflex Cushrun

They felt great and I could definitely feel the softness of the soles....

But I didn't like the yellow accents...

So I went home and fixed a good lunch.

Poblano Pepper, squash, sausage, turkey, egg and apple. 

That's another way to manage pain....

Give your body some good food. 

I did some research on the Reebok Smoothflex Cushruns and found out they do come with a blue accent which is the color I wanted....

So I called all the local stores and naturally they didn't have them...

So I ordered them online. 

We'll see if they help with the knee pain. 

Manage pain by trying new equipment or techniques that address what is causing you pain. 

And if all else fails, take drugs!

Only kidding,,,, I'm no doctor.... I just know what works for me.

Only you can decide what is best for you.  Obviously, consult your doctor before taking any medication. 

Here's my OTC pain and sleep management drugs of choice. 

From left to right. 

Generic Aleve - Naproxen Sodium - it is a dual purpose anti-inflammatory
and pain reliever. 

Generic Extra Strength Tylenol Rapid Release - I only take this when I am really hurting bad. 

Glucosamine Chondroitin - for cartilage rebuilding. 

Melatonin - the only thing I will take if I have problems sleeping. 

So there you have it. 

My own approach to pain and sleep management. 

As you get older and especially of you exercise intensely as you get older...

You better have some sort of plan for managing the pain that comes with progress....

Or the Pain....

Will Manage You!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Info on Les Mills and other Group Exercise Classes offered at Family Fitness

I've referenced the Group Exercise Classes at Family Fitness several times and figured it was time I gave you more information on the ones I have attended and have some experience with.  The class descriptions are from the FF website:

  • H.I.T. - High Intensity training at it's best. This class will help you build strength and endurance as you blast calories and fat in short but intense segments of exercise. Wear supportive shoes and bring your A game and water bottle as this class will challenge all fitness levels.
  • Fat Burner - Slow the music down and work your entire body. Urilizing small handheld weights and basic movements to get your heart pumping and feet moving. A great class to get started in!
  • Cardio Blast - Combination of two powerful workouts!!! First half of class you will do traditional easy to follow step combinations...second half you will shape up with boxing moves to burn tons of calories and body fat, helpingh you reach your goals.
  • Cardio Boxing - An overall cardiovascular and endurance workout. Traditional boxing combinations are used in this high energy class to great music. Work out all of those frustrations while you burn some body fat!
  • Boot Camp - This class is the ultimate cross trainer! May include running, weight training and various callisthenic exercises to challenge your agility, strength, speed, and endurance.
  • Zumba - If you enjoy moving and shaking your hips to a Latin beat, you'll love this dance workout. No partners are needed. Salsa, Reggaeton and more. This is more of a party than a workout! Suitable for all levels. Enjoy the cardiovascular and body-shaping benefits of a dynamic workout that tones muscles, develops core strength and increases balance.
  • Yoga - Light cardio warm up transitions into a series of yoga postures for core strenghtening, balance, flexibility and final total relaxation. Come see what all the talk is about!
  • BodyFlow - A class that reinforces flexibility and strength, combining the best of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. Truly a fitness class for the 21st Century, BODYBALANCE brings mind and body into perfect harmony. Try this revolutionary, holistic approach to fitness.
  • BodyPump - A rapid fat-burning class that uses barbells to give you the fastest way to tone and condition muscles! After an exhaustive study, BODYPUMP was verified by The University of Auckland as providing the fastest body fat loss of any fitness class.
BodyPump is the one I do the most - Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  Here's some links for more info:

In January, FF will begin offering Body Combat.  Here's a description and link for more info:

BODYCOMBAT™ is the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Supported by driving music and powerful role model instructors, you strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness. Like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new BODYCOMBAT™ class is produced every three months with new music and choreography

I've just recently begun the TRX Suspension Training. Here's some info on it:

Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.
It requires the use of the TRX Suspension Trainer, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete 100s of exercises.

From what I've experienced, the Les Mills based classes and other group exercise classes offered at Family Fitness are top notch programs and the instructors are all very well qualified and serious about the classes and the adherence to program format and participant form and technique.

They offer a variety of approach and structure, motivation and intensity that only group exercise classes can give.

There are many other classes including Cycling and Pool classes that I have not highlighted here.

The bottom line is that if you are interested in a Group Exercise class, there's plenty to choose from.

If you're stuck in the rut of running or cycling or lifting weights and you're not making any progress in your workouts or fitness levels, you might want to consider attending a group exercise class where the program and pace is set for you and you just have to keep up.

You might be surprised at the results....

I know I am.

I'm Sick and Tired of Always Being Wrong....

I make it a point to Never say Never or Always because there are always exceptions....

But I think I have an exception to that....

I am always wrong in discussions or arguments with women.

Some might say I'm a woman hater.... that's not true.... I love women.... I love looking at women.... I love talking to women.... I think they are God's Greatest Gift to Man....

I just hate the fact that they're always right.

You think I'm kidding.... I'm serious as a heart attack.

When I think back over the last few years (let's just say the last 5 years), I can count on probably 2 hands the number of times, following a discussion or argument, that a woman has ever come right out and said "William, you're right and I'm wrong and I'm sorry".

That's messed up (and impossible).  There's something called the Law of Averages that makes it impossible.

However, just in the last week, I can tell you I have had at least 5 interactions with 5 different women where I've had to say "You know what ______, I'm sorry.  You are right".....

And slink off with my tail between my legs.

I mean how is that possible?  How is it possible for me to always be wrong?

I'm not wrong when I talk to men.  I can tell you it's about 50 - 50 on the "I'm sorry.  I was wrong" exchange with men.

People tell me.... you need to to interact more.... work on your interpersonal skills.

That's fine.... I'll consider that.....tick tock tick tock..... Ok..... it's been considered.

F*** that!

I need to stay away from women.

And all the guys out there are saying "Oh yeah.... Women... Can't live with 'em.... Can't live without 'em".

To which I say..... "Oh yeah.... you can live without 'em.  The sex ain't worth the hassle."

How's that for a Rant of the Week?

Bed and Breakfast???

If you're gonna lie, you better be good at it....

Or find someone who likes to be lied to....

Bed of Poblano pepper and yellow squash with sliced, grilled turkey and Kalamata olive bread and boiled egg waiting for...

A spaghetti cover...

I need my strength cause I'm about to cut loose with something that's been on my mind for awhile!!!

After a Too Quiet Weekend...

I've got my own agenda this morning including a Fast Start Breakfast and a max out Body Pump workout. 

Truth be known, very few people act for anyone else besides themselves. 

We like to think we are charitable and benevolent but most of what we do for others, we do from a sense of obligation or guilt or established culture or...

Because it makes us feel good. 

Nothing wrong with that realization....

As long as you realize it. 

Another thing I realized this morning is that....

Limo Bizkit can sing....

Nice cover of this classic...

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes
And no one knows
What it's like to be hated
To be fated to telling only lies

But my dreams they aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what its like
To feel these feelings
Like i do, and i blame you!
No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through


Discover l.i.m.p. say it [x4]
No one knows what its like
To be mistreated, to be defeated
Behind blue eyes
No one knows how to say
That they're sorry and don't worry
I'm not telling lies


No one knows what its like
To be the bad man, to be the sad man
Behind blue eyes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Makeup Workout...

I've gotten in the habit of coming into the gym on Sunday afternoons and working on muscle groups and exercises that didn't get the proper work during the week or that are lagging behind....

Abs, Calves, Lats, Lower back, Lower chest

Worked calves hard but thighs are still dominating.

As they have since I was 20....

Starting to see cross striations in the teardrop part of the quad...

Haven't seen that since I was 20....

Prep'g for a heavy Deadlift...

Better have your mind and body right...

When you put a maximum effort in...

Most muscular pose at 50...

Not what it was at 20...

But I'm working on it. 

Finding the Right Balance for You...

Everybody's different especially in terms of what they like to eat...

But what you like to eat and what is the best thing for you to eat may be two different things...

This shopping basket shows the right balance for me....

Lots of vegetables...

Some fruits, nuts and berries....

A pre-cooked lean protein (Jennie-O Cajun Turkey)...

A fat protein (Jimmy Dean Hot Pork Sausage)....

And lots of Foglifter coffee - Yay!!

The key is consistency....

Find a variety and balance of healthy ingredients that you can rotate through...

It's the ON - OFF....

One day you're Hot...

One day you're Cold...

Dieting and exercise cycle

That messes you up!

You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes
Yeah you, PMS
Like a bitch
I would know

And you over think
Always speak

I should know
That you're no good for me

Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
(you) You don't really want to stay, no
(but you) But you don't really want to go-o
You're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down

We used to be
Just like twins
So in sync
The same energy
Now's a dead battery
Used to laugh bout nothing
Now you're plain boring

I should know that
You're not gonna change


Someone call the doctor
Got a case of a love bi-polar
Stuck on a roller coaster
Can't get off this ride

You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes

Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
You're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
(you) You don't really want to stay, no
(but you) But you don't really want to go-o
You're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down, down...

So for lunch, I sliced and seasoned a summer squash, a red bell pepper and a jalapeño pepper....

As a bed for a couple of spoons of the spaghetti sauce I made yesterday.

I added a couple of slices of the turkey and a boiled egg for some extra protein.

This was delicious, was a large volume of food, but didn't leave me feeling all blown up like a regular spaghetti dinner. 

Find your balance....

And then be consistent. 

What's Black and Blue and Red all over?

Sunday morning wake up with 1 cup of Foglifter?

That ain't right!

Dialing up Corey Smith iHeart Radio...

Ain't no Next Year....

I'm leaving it all on the field this year...

Been a hard week of workouts and I'm tired and sore...

So I'm wearing Black and Blue...

But no matter how you feel, you still gotta take care of your stuff....

Like washing The Other Red Mule....

My 2003 Ford F-150...

10 years old....

That's 50 in People Years.

Not bad for a couple of Old Timers!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hooking up with Big Red....

Nice bend in a Big Rod...

Means a Big Fish...

Whadja think I was gonna say?

Bringing him to the jetty....

The net approaches....

Fish in net....

Fish breaks net...

Big Red on Deck!

Told ya the jetties was a cool place!