IF You Work With The Truth, The Truth Will Work With You…

The place where most of my progress happens, little by little

So the other day, after i got trapped under the bar, I got to thinking about some things. For instance I remember when my mom got crushed by her horse and I was driving back and forth from Billings to her ranch, about 70 miles the other side of Kalispell,700 miles plus one way, how tedious the trip was and how I often drove so very fast to get it over with. During one of the trips back to Billings I was talking to my counselor at the time, recounting the story of picking up a hitch hiker on my way back to Billings. Of course he did not think this was a good choice, or maybe he asked me if I thought it was a good choice. I was very stressed, mom sick, divorce under way, wanting a new life and terrified I would be causing irreparable damage to my son, and this manifested it self in a rash measure of flippancy. I told him I was not worried about it because I was sure my rider was not going to try anything stupid as I was averaging 115 miles per hour. I no longer remember how the rest of the conversation went, beyond me being sure that it was ok because my son wasn’t in the car. Some how I had totally missed the effect a drastic car accident would have had on him long term. Me, the same person who was in counseling because I was so very worried about the effect of a divorce on him! In fact until I picked up that poor hitch hiker it never once, in all those trips back and forth between mom’s and home, occurred to me that I might wreck. How odd that when it did, it was a misguided thought of self preservation. “he won’t hurt me, I am driving so fast he knows he’ll die too.”

It wasn’t that he didn’t know how fast I was driving either, but to give him credit, he said little or nothing about that except to point out a hi-way patrol car that I never saw or really believed was there , but it did if I remember correctly, cause me to slow down. We stopped for gas some place, and in the end he asked to be dropped by a bridge. I do feel now that I owe that man an apology for putting his life at risk.

The point of this deflection is to say that when I got under the bar the other day, I knew it was a bad idea to not have a spot or at least warm up. I knew before I got under the bar, I knew when I lifted the bar and it felt heavier than I remembered, I knew at the half way point,and I did it any way.

Life is a funny thing. I have been given more helpings of grace than I ever could have earned, again and again I have made decisions either based on self will, or not thought out at all, and taken potentially and some times actually disastrous action and yet I am still here.

That’s the thing about grace, you can’t earn it. It’s a blessing, pure and simple.

Fast forward to today. Today I wanted to try again for a pr, but this time I did it different. I lined up a spot first, I warmed up first. I ramped up, and I made adjustments as I went, and while I did not do it as stunningly as I might have hoped, I was pleased with my effort and I was glad that I had not put myself at risk. That I had been grateful for the grace granted that day when I trapped myself and reconsidered my willful impatience. I was grateful and I acted like it.

Impatience is deadly for me. I know that. Wanting what i want when I want it has caused me many times in my life to take actions that have hurt others and myself. I also know that comparing myself to others is just as dangerous. That always feeling like I come up short without considering the truth of my own worth, has also caused me to take actions that have sometimes hurt others, and always myself. That seeking to be more of something to make up for another area where I feel I am lacking is a short cut to trouble.

I am amazed by the people I know and the things that they achieve. I want to lift and celebrate them and not compare myself to them.

Gaining power is a slow process for me, but no slower then anyone else. I came to this later in life and there are age based considerations. This is a fact, not a barrier. If you work with the truth, the truth will work with you. Constantly fighting against this instead of working with it slows down my progress and a time or two has lead to injury. I don’t wanna be like that. I want to accept my weaknesses and celebrate my achievements. I want to be an asset to the people about me and not my never impatience to be more and better become a source of turmoil.

I cut this out of a magazine a long time ago. It helps keep me on track attitudinally. Is that even a word?

Take good care of you, be proud of yourself just as you are now,and be kind to yourself…

Stuck, and other cautionary tales.

So, the other day the kids and I rearranged the gym in the basement. The main reason for this was that my last rearrangement was not well planned. For instance, I am lucky enough to have collected two bars, and I keep one set up for dead lifts and one on the bench. The dead lift was too close to the bike and when I was loading plates the other day i nearly knocked the bar off the concrete block I use fro rack pulls, and trying to move I nearly tripped over the sandbag which didn’t belong where it was in the first place.

I also felt trying to load plates on the bench was crowded. So after much groaning around from the under 15 set, we went to work and created a more spacious and safe arrangement.

Roll forward a day or so, and I went down for my workout. I was scheduled for bench and upper body work. Unfortunately I was in a hurry and elected not to warm up. Usually this is not a problem for me, although it is a poor habit, so you can imagine my surprise when I found myself at the bottom and stuck! I had to yell for for help. I was embarrassed, because I knew if I wasn’t sure I should have waited for someone to spot, and because the weight i had on I usually manage easily when I ramp up. So I dropped the weight and put up a few to mend my confidence, and next time I will have a spot.

The last time I got stuck under a bar was 2012, that little incident taught me to leave off the clamps when I lift alone. I don’t intend for there to be a next time…

Lift safe, get a spot when you can, and always leaves some in the tanks when you can’t, and for God’s sake Grace, WARM UP

Its all in the Perspective.

Times like this remind me of when we moved to Montana. The house was not ready to move into, or more properly the old owners had not been delivered their new home yet. We lived at a camp ground by one of the lakes between Kalispell and Libby for the whole summer. 5 kids,one a baby still, two adults and a dog. I was 10, Michael 9ish, Sonja 7ish, Audrey 6ish and Martin was one.

Why I think of this is that my mom fed, bathed and cared of all 5 of us kids in a camper in the back of a truck. She was stuck with us all day and night. She sorted out fights, owies, bedtimes and all the hassle of getting those of us old enough sighned up for school 40 miles away with not cell phone, or phone of any sort.
When the noise of two kids and 2 dogs in a full house where everyone has their own rooms, seems WAY too much to deal with. I remember this. When the hassles of computer education with its beginning bumps and hiccups frustrate me, i remember this.

A large part of my growing up was spent on a ranch of sorts 25 miles from the nearest town, with no near neighbors and a party line. There were no computers, no tv reception, no cell phones. I don’t recall ever being bored.

There were circumstances at home that made me dread not being able to go to school, but boredom was not an issue. I like to joke about and say that we didn’t dared tell my mom we were bored for fear of the work that would come, but I don’t really know it that was true. That is the way of family mythology, some one thinks it sounds good, and repeats it till the next person also does, and then it becomes mythological truth.

There was always plenty to do and any true time i had I spent reading, or drawing, or making up songs, or exploring.

It is not the fault of today’s’ kids that they don’t know how to live with out constant distraction, diversion and or entertainment, we, as children, did not know there was a choice.

How fortunate for me that I can pass on these skills.

I’ll part with this, I am thinking seriously about ordering up some yarn and teaching both kids basic crochet skills. I never had the patience for knitting, though I watched my mother read and knit at the same time in the evenings, but someone on the school bus during the 25 mile ride every morning taught me how to crochet. They can make pot holders, and scarves. There is something very fufilling in making something you can actually use.

Take care of yourselves, start with a good night’s sleep. Experience would suggest that sleep can bring miracles, and above all, don’t eat your young!

Hiccup Lament: Time for a Reset!

It hasn’t been that long since work and I had to take a temporary hiatus. I miss my work. I love doing personal training, and I especially love doing it in person with people who might not be able to do it otherwise. People with age, health and balance issues for whom trying to follow along on the computer is not really an option even if they are tech savvy. I also miss my little swimmers!

I’m not sure when my attitude dipped and the eating commenced. Stress eating, boredom eating, emotional eating, call it what you will, i would have said no, its not a problem, but last night I was bloated and miserable, from poor food choices. And when I started back tracking, I found it began on Sunday, when I was slated for heavy legs and could only do part of my workout. I remember voicing the concern that I would lose a lot of ground without that part of my workouts.

So Three days. Not a lot, but I can do a lot of nutritional damage in three days.

But its also just a hiccup in a long term plan…

Today I have been concentrating on the basics. Drinking lots of water, because I am a ‘Bring on the Salt’ type of girl. This is not good for my blood pressure among other things. Taking a look at what I can add to my program to make up for the loss of heavy work, and believe it or not, adding more cardio. This is to help fill time, and not an effort to out run my eating.

Meanwhile on the food front, for today I can say I have only eaten what i intended to when i intended to eat it.

I know a lot of people are struggling right now with being able to workout at all, or with having to make such drastic changes to their style of workout that it nearly kills the desire to try at all.

I am fortunate to have what I need mostly, for the type of work I like to do. I can bench, I can dead-lift. Over the years I have collected various and sundry types of accessory equipment. Losing hope over the lack of one area of my program does not suit me well.

I will embrace this time to:

A. do what I can B. Work on the areas I usually neglect ‘how do you spell flexibility and mobility?” C.Try something new

And above all I will be grateful, for my health, for the health of those I love, for a clean warm safe place to live, and for discipline, that magic tool which always keeps me moving, regardless of how I feel about it on any given day.

Take care of yourself, celebrate the good things, hunker in with your families and make excuses to have fun, and know this, if you think you see someone jumping at my house, its not me. LOL

Do What You Can

I’m doing some deadlifts at home today. Not only do I like working out in a quiet space, but this morning I felt like my working out at the gym was keeping other people from doing what they need to do.

I have everything I need here to get in quality workouts and in fact had to get rid of some equipment when I sold my home.

I am trying to do more workouts at the gym because I need to learn to live with and close out distractions, and because people think because I don’t workout there I don’t workout at all. This used to be true about cardio, but has never been true about lifting. 😉I love to lift. To conquer my own weakness and find the next point. I will do what I have to to lift, anything from getting up two hours early to lift in a quiet gym or at home, to lifting in a busy loud environment.

But I am flexible. I enjoy people and activity. I just don’t want to make a mistake and hurt myself.

So today I did what I could I the time allotted and now am finishing up at leisure. 😀

Today’s deadlifts will be light. Several short sets. I’ve been increasing my running time gradually and I find I am having a small issue with residing discomfort in my legs and hips. Nothing I can’t live with and nothing that a couple of days rest doesn’t eliminate, but I want to respect my body in a way I never really have before. Always before I have worked with out workouts and without regard for the need for rest. I took my body for granted and I can’t even claim the I didn’t know better. In fact I secretly set out to prove to myself that the norms did not apply to me. The need for rest, the training over 40, the long term life changes over short term results.

I know better and now I will act accordingly.

In the meantime as regards the title, there is a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt among other, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” We all have preferences, health needs, scheduling considerations and lives to live. Exercise should enhance this, not detract from it. If hiking is your thing, hike and design any other exercise to enhance that. Dancing, golfing, baseball, football, yoga, whatever flips your coin. Do it with the kids or without. Do it with friends or alone. Blast music or work in silence. Make it awesomely and totally yours. Try new things or work on improving the old. Love it all, and yourself as well.

You only have one life. Enjoy today and do tomorrow tomorrow…

Flexibility mindset

This morning I was grumbling in my head about being a full workout behind on my schedule. Unavoidable life circumstances and the need for equipment I do not have here at home in the basement, coupled with not wanting to be less than fully able for the workout I had planned for Tuesday but finally got to yesterday just meant I had to delay a day. And remember, i made a commitment not to fill my schedule with junk work.

I felt uncomfortable with having to delay the work, it is in my mind, a commitment I made to myself. The follow-through amounts to discipline, and discipline is an easily lost companion.

The thing about discipline for me is that the closer I adhere the better I feel and the less likely I am to miss, which is why having to postpone a workout sets me a little out of sorts.

It has nothing to do with fearing I’ll lose my hard earned progress. I know better than that, and that rest is an important factor in proper recovery and long term wellness and injury and burnout prevention.

All this blather leads me to this; having a flexible mindset is crucial to resilience,

Being willing and able to say to myself, “self, tomorrow is another day, and one day more or less really makes no difference” allows me to drop the negative mindset of something lost and look for what has been gained.

I want to be willing to flex a little, in the interest of a more full life. To zig and zag where necessary or simply desirable. To approach health in a holistic and positive manner.

I hope your day is enjoyably flexible. That you make time for an extra cup of coffee, a conversation with a friend or few extra winks of sleep. That you find you blessings not to be burdens and that taking care of yourself brings you joy.

And, don’t forget to stretch… 🙂

Begin well to finish well.

I began the year with some dead lifts in the basement, where I was training for my second try at competing at power-lifting. The photos above were taken on Dec 30, marking the completion of my latest 6 week program. The weight is 210 which is a 30 pound gain over the year, but not as much as I had hoped. Over the year I learned a lot more about my body, and what it will take to get where I want to be, and the importance of physical, mental and spiritual rest.

Some of the changes I made last year were to try not to add junk to my workouts, a habit to combat the feeling I have that I am never doing enough, and my work out log will show that its a hard habit to break.

To be more diligent about cardio and to track it more closely I bought a new tread mill in May and started tracking, working for 50 miles a month. By September I moved to goal to 100 miles a month, a goal I never quite hit, but with diligence came close to. Most of those miles were logged on my treadmill using the ifit program to make it more interesting, or on walks with the dog, myself or my clients, tracked by my Garmin. This mileage me a better idea of what I could do if i were consistent though not exactly pushy. And I started to run a little.

I tracked my swimming and pool time, but only because I can. I know I am not working hard enough in the water to make a difference on my physique, but I love the mobility the water allows me to achieve, and I don’t want the water to become work. I count it as rest.

I also joined the 10 week Holiday challenge at Granite, masterminded by Jenn. I liked seeing the posts by other people who had joined and feeling a part of the whole. I am sure i’ll do it again next fall.

I mostly gave lip service to eating better. Emotional eating is big problem for me, as is grabbing something on the run. To combat the latter I did more meal prep with healthy foods. I mostly cook all my food, except for white corn chips and ice cream. In the kitchen I I made changes for us all, moving mostly toward smaller potions of meat fluffed up by more vegetables. Starchy carbs I left the same, moderate portions. I do not believe in extreme difficult to maintain diets. Therefore I worked and continue to work toward conscious eating, with an eye toward cleaning up what goes on the plate.

So now I am looking toward the new year as a continuation rather than an over haul.

The only real change I will be making in my workouts is to alternate power cycles with strength and endurance cycles. The later allows for lighter strength workouts, as in heavy but shorter reps and sets, and when I do the power cycles I am going to steadfastly avoid filling the rest days with junk. In order to do this I will need to find other things to fill the time when I am supposed to rest. My over all goals are for a 200 pound bench and a 300 pound pull. I am not close to either yet, but I have a plan and I will follow that plan and for sure, I will continue to improve.

I liked the goal of 100 miles a month, so will continue that and when it becomes reality I will increase the mileage in 10 mile increments.

I will gradually make the changes in my life necessary to eliminate the desire for emotional and boredom eating. To do this I will need to plan more carefully for fueling and to fill my time with more productive or enjoyable activities than eating. Tough row to hoe, right?

I will also do more of my workouts at the gym and not just in the basement.

And I will go to more AA meetings, because I enjoy them and because I am grateful for my sobriety.

So in line with my previous post, here are some goals for my new year, coupled with a rough idea of how I plan to get there. Pencil and paper will be required to flesh them out, pencil so I can erase if I find a better plan.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Goals, goals, goals

Building blocks

Have you considered your goals for the coming year? Are they concrete, reasonable and challenging? Take a few minutes and pencil them down. Don’t limit yourself or your scope. Think about all the things that go into helping you be more content with yourself and your life. Do you have spiritual, intellectual or material goals? What about your physical health? Your home life? Don’t worry about the how right now, just concentrate on the what and the why. Put them down in black and white and leave generous space after each one.

Set a timer and get it down, don’t linger too long, those things that are most important to you are already lingering within the grasp of your consciousness. Try to stay away from negative minded terms like should and must. What do you WANT to accomplish. What will bring you joy? What will set you up for the next most logical step in your progressive growth and happiness?

When you have that done, pick a goal and examine it for worthiness. Is it something you really want to do? Can you see yourself happy with the work it will take? What will it take to do it? What are the steps to get you from today to done? Can you figure that out yourself or do you need help? If you need help are you willing to get it, to ask for it? How will you track your inevitable progress? Who will you enlist to help?

Continue with each goal till you have an actionable plan, rather than a wishful list of some day maybes, or worse an obligatory list of oughtas. (yep I know it’s not really a word)

The exercise should bring hope and excitement, not dread, so keep the list short. Aim for an achievable march toward fulfillment, not pie in the sky perfection, and throughout the progress be sure to celebrate each achievement.

When you mark the final step or any goal as complete, you can then set another goal, and begin again!

I look forward to hearing how this goes for you, and I will be working on mine as soon as I finish my workout and cardio.

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