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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Getting in the Game... Staying in the Game!

So what is this post all about?

Well - let me just say I continue to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the people that I see and that surround me in my workouts at Praxis and especially at Anytime Fitness.

They span the horizons of age, ability, body type, vocation, race and whatever other category you wanna list.

But they have one thing in common....

The desire, attitude, motivation, energy and self-discipline to better themselves and get the most out of their lives by intense and challenging exercise.

They are not spectators in the Game of Life....

They are willing and active participants.... No... check that.... they are not participants.

They are real life Warriors!

With gasping breath, gritted teeth and muscles trembling to failure, they attack these workouts with a vigor, vitality and voice that screams - 

I will not quit.  I will not be beaten.... to Finish is to Win.

Let me give you 3 examples:

My 63 year old sister took up CrossFit before I did.... at least 2-1/2 years ago.

No - that is not a typo.  My sister is 63 years old.  And before you think.... oh she probably just goes through the motions, let me tell you - I have worked out with her several times.

And she kicks ass!

I watched her do a WOD at CrossFit WMD in Angleton where she rowed 1500 m continuously and then squatted, lunged, pressed and did weighted situps for another 20 minutes.

She emailed me the other day and said she is preparing for a workout this Friday to honor a fallen Afghanistan veteran.... the workout is named "Murph" in his honor and consists of:

1 mile run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 air squats
1 mile run

She will modify the pull-ups to ring rows but complete the rest of the workout as Rx.

Let me ask you something..... How many 25 year olds out there can do this workout?  I mean we're talking about a minimum of 30 - 45 minutes of continuous exercise for a really fit individual to complete this kind of workout....

And my 63 year old sister is gonna do it.... and will complete it!

Kinda makes you humbled.... and maybe a little bit ashamed of yourself doesn't it?

Moving on....

There's this incredible lady in my Anytime Fitness Group exercise classes who I have had the honor and privilege of getting to know.

She is a dancer... and is very active in the subculture of Tango, Salsa, Rumba and other forms of formal ballroom dancing that is prevalent in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos.

She works out in all the Anytime Fitness Group Exercise classes that I go to - 

PIYO Strength twice a week - a very intense body weight only class combining Pilates, Yoga, Plyometric, some Boot Camp elements and a tough Core / Ab section.  Think intense bodyweight movements for 55 minutes straight.

Dance / Stretch - Sounds like a cinch mamby pamby class right?  WRONG! Extreme, Extended Range of Movement that has you in full flexed state supporting your bodyweight on 1 or 2 legs, planks, pushups, etc. while moving through dance and flexibility movements.

Core Strength and More - next to Les Mills Body Pump, the most intense indoor circuit - Boot Camp style workout class I have ever done.  Weighted squats, presses, curls, rows, deadlifts - combined with cardio and agility movements and ab / core exercises with very little rest between.... and yep - it's an  hour of pain and suffering.

So she does all these classes....

And also a Les Mills Body Pump class on Saturdays!

I partnered up with her in 1 part of the Core Strength and More class and we matched rep for rep on a circuit of movements - Marathon Curls, Squats, Lunges, Chest Presses, Ab movements.

This lady isn't as big as a washing of soap.... like a sprite.... 100# soaking wet.... and she's doing all these movements with 2 - 10# dumbbells and an occasional with 15# dumbbells.

We're talking 100's of reps through the course of an hour's workout.

And she's 71 years old!

You heard me.... this lady will kick your ass in a workout, wear you out on a dance floor all night long and get up the next day and do it all over again.


And finally... for my 3rd example.... the whole Santa Fe Meetup Hiking Group that I hike with twice a week.

Hell - I think I'm the youngest one in the group.... I would bet the average age of the group is 60 - 65 with many members in their 70s.

And when I say hiking, I'm not talking about a walk down the yellow brick road.

I'm telling you these hikes are 3 - 5 hours of continuous hiking at elevations of 8500' - 11500' in some steep and rugged terrain.

And these people motor up and down these slopes like a bunch of fucking mountain goats.  

I can't keep up half the time.... I'm at the back of the group sucking hind tit.

And the members of this group just perform these age defying acts like it was a walk in the park while having some of the highest intellect discussions I've ever heard.

Like I said before.... Inspiring!

So let's take a look at a little 22 min AMRAP we ran through yesterday at Praxis.

Dynamic Pushups are a pushup where you create enough of a lift or gap off the floor to land your hands on 3 - 45# plates stacked up which is about a 9 - 10" vertical pushup leap. 10 of those -  Pretty cool!

How bout some Core Work with 10 situps while holding a 35# plate with extended arms.  Yeah Baby! 

And then 10 regular lunges with 40# dumbbells - which is hard enough.

But then they're followed by 10 more jumping lunges while holding the same 80# - God I hope my knees hold up through this (and interestingly enough they did fine.... it was my hamstrings that were crying Mama! Which is kinda encouraging because it implies that the muscles around my decrepit left knee are getting stronger)

And then 10 more jumping lunges with just bodyweight.

And then a 400m run... which was really cool  cause it was about 35 degrees outside with a wind chill below freezing.  Kinda like jumping in an ice bath after a workout..... over and over again.

4 times...

4 rounds of that seemed to be about the max for this 22 minute workout.

I think our own Ed was top dog with 4 rounds and 10 more reps.

I did pretty good with 3 rounds and 40 reps into the 4th round.

Hey - I may not be leading the pack but I'm still running with the Big Dogs!

Not much Heartache involved but I will tell you my body felt like one big Body Ache after that workout!

So what did I do?

I got up this morning and sprinted my bike 3-1/2 miles to the aforementioned hour of Pain and Suffering otherwise known as Liz P's Core Strength and More Class.

It's been a while since I hit the Santa Fe Baking Company so I pedaled over there for one of my favorite sweet treat - salty meat combos.....

A big slice of Peach and Apple Strudel...

Paired with a bowl of spicy Carne Adovado!

And a read of the Santa Fe Reporter....

Where a nationwide survey resulted in Santa Fe being named as the #2 Best Small City in America.

WTF?  I thought we were #1.

So what city was #1?

Charleston, South Carolina.

Double WTF!

This is why I listen to different kinds of music.  I recently discovered The Pretty Reckless as part of my Texas Hippie Coalition iHeart station and TPR is fast becoming one of my favorite groups.

Another indulgence.....

It's been almost a month.....

Since I smoked my pipe.

Figured my lungs needed a break from all this clean mountain air....

Note to Aaron: Still my favorite sweater of all time!

So I inhaled a couple of bowls while sitting in the sunshine at a table in front of Primo's at the corner of Aztec and Sandoval and keeping an eye on a snow-capped Baldy in the distance.

After seeing Zakk Wylde on That Metal Show on VH1 and listening to some of the musical offerings from his group - Black Label Society - I've become a huge fan of him and his music.

Hope I don't offend anyone.... Check that.... I really don't give a shit who I offend.

What I was gonna say was that....

If there was ever a song to fuck to.....

This is it!

"Follow Me Down"
Since I met you I've been crazy
Since I've been with you I've been lost
You make everything see hazy
Love comes with such a cost

Have I lost my mind?
Have I lost my mind?
Have I lost my mind?

Follow me down to the river
Drink while the water is clean
Follow me down to the river tonight
I'll be down here on my knees

So follow me down to the river
Follow me down through the trees
Follow me down to the river, man
I'll be down here on my knees
I'll be down here on my knees

Nights avoiding things unholy
Your hand slips across my skin
I go down on you so slowly
Don't confess none of your sins

Have I lost my mind?
Have I lost my mind?

Follow me down to the river
Drink while the water is clean
Follow me down to the river tonight
I'll be down here on my knees

So follow me down to the river
Follow me down through the trees
Follow me down to the river, man
I'll be down here on my knees
I'll be down here on my knees

When you're young you always take what you can get
Even bicycles and sprinklers get you wet
Now I know that there's a different way to die
My body breathes
Heart still beats
But I am not alive

Follow me down to the river
Drink while the water is clean
Follow me down to the river tonight
I'll be down here on my knees

Follow me down to the river
Follow me down through the trees
Follow me down to the river, man
I'll be down here on my knees
I'll be down here on my knees

Young love as sweet as can be

Big Dad Ritch's voice still makes me wanna do something.....


As I listened to this next song, I realized it was a story of someone who was contemplating suicide but somehow "emerged from the darkness with a Bullet in My Hand". 

Can't say I've ever been there and done that but I've been in a few tough spots in my life and all I can say is if you ever get to the point where you think Life is not worth Living, find somebody to talk to... anybody.

And if you can't find somebody to talk to, go exercise as hard as you can for about 30 minutes.

I know that sounds Stupid as Shit.... but I promise you it will clear some of the negative ju-ju out of your brain and just might give you the clarity of mind and body to get through another day.

There's someone lookin' out for me
I came out of the darkness
With a bullet in my hand
I got one more shot at livin'
I'm lucky that I can
Cause I got a little roughed up
Yeah I really got fucked up
I came out of the darkness
With a bullet in my hand

No matter what..... you gotta....

Stay in the Game!!!

And speaking of Staying in the Game....

It's been a long, hard road to recovery from my July left knee surgery and I continue to struggle daily....

But for me - What's Life Without a Struggle?

I put my body through some hellacious pain and suffering because I'm gonna be old and feeble....

One of these days.

But for now.... How's that old Roman proverb go?

"I'd rather live one day as a Lion....
Than a Thousand Days as a Lamb."

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