think things out. I literally saw only one guy actually doing the physics questions the students were supposed to do, and of course my sister Michelle absolutely hated the fact he took a shine to her. Fortunately I was way bigger than the kid (and most of the “boys” running around), so being a bodyguard that day for my teenage sisters was quite easy. It took another decade or so before I finally went to Washington D.C., where I went to a conference about plant based eating. It was a blast, even though I spent most of my time in presentations. I did get to check out Zaytinya’s, which had amazing mediterranean and middle eastern food and see one of my favorite bands called the Raveonettes play at a very cool venue called The Black Cat (where I got to taste Yeungling beer, which was dubbed the best in the nation this past year). Yeah, my day of sight seeing was cloudy and such and I totally struck out with a hot woman from Belgium (okay, I wussed out is more the word), it was an awesome trip to say the least. So yeah, I have never been on a real destination kind of vacation, someday I will get the chance. Heck, I’m barely getting the chance to see Las Vegas this year, even though I might not even check out the night life it has become famous for.
Anyway, I consider this past weekend something of a vacation. For the first time in two years, all my friends from Phoenix and Austin were actually in one place at the same time. It seemed rather bittersweet that it would only last the equivalent of a couple days, but it was certainly better than nothing. I abstained from Facebook and other social media platforms to focus my attention on the situation at hand. Plus I was drinking quite a bit, which meant exercise was kind of the last thing on my mind as I slept in both days and enjoyed my short time with my friends. Anyway, the one problem a person will have when hanging out with friends is the fact you start eating and drinking….a lot. While I managed to abstain from Chino Bandido (a mexican/asian food joint), there was no avoiding the deadly vortex that was Chicken + Donuts. No, I didn’t break my vegan edge, no matter how good the sauces being used for the chicken smelled. I did try two of the restaurant’s vegan donuts though, which I couldn’t believe they actually had in the first place. I scarfed down a Blueberry Cacao donut that was actually pretty good, but it paled in comparison to the Maple donut that I voraciously destroyed. I rarely eat donuts, and even now, I have still yet to try Christa’s “Pro-nuts” that she makes for the St. Phillips Farmer’s Market every weekend. Considering how much I like Christa’s PHOD bars and the cakes she has made for me the last three years, I’m sure they would be quite delectable. Anyway, the two donuts were not my lunch, for I eventually got a chance to stop by a Whole Foods and pig out on their buffet, taking advantage of the excellent garlic mushroom brown rice and the vegan friendly asian noodles they had. Of course, my night didn’t end there, for I ate at my friend’s wedding that night, eating plenty of fruit and getting a treat of potato samosas for dinner (I was the lone vegan at the entire wedding, hehe). I didn’t eat much better the next day, pigging out at Chipotle when I got home from Phoenix after having a light lunch (the only real vegan fare at a greasy spoon diner is baked potatoes and a little bowl of fruit…oh well). So yeah, in the midst of all the reminiscing and dancing (yes, I actually danced at the wedding, and was even forced to do the chicken dance in front of 200 people when I accidentally mentioned if anyone had requested the stupid song…I never requested it and I stand by my story! hehe), I ate kind of like my old self and didn’t exercise whatsoever.
So you can see how things were going to start out for me this week. When I woke up on Monday, at the crack of dawn mind you, I was already feeling apprehensive. So when I showed up, Jon thankfully wasn’t there. Yeah, I had been lazy all weekend, but I opted for something that wouldn’t kill me physically or run me ragged. I chose the old “Pizza” workout, the one created by Christa and the one I had not been able to beat in under an hour for quite a long time. Now the workout pushes all aspects of the fitness acumen, but the 100 lunges and the 90 push-ups are what really make this hell on earth. The good thing about the past weekend--I was well fueled for a tough workout. While I didn’t go as heavy on some of the weights as I would normally do, jumping into a good workout after four days of inactivity is a bit tricky (and no, I don’t consider dancing a good cardio movement!). Anyway, I powered through the workout quite easily, blowing up the tire flips and the tire bangs (with the heaviest jackhammer mind you) and getting it down in a little under an hour. Now of course, I used 25 pound weights on the the alternating single arm side raises instead of 35 (you try doing 60 on each arm after a four day vacation) and 35-pound weights for the lean down curls instead of the 45s, I was merely trying to get myself back in shape, not make up for all the missed days of working out by killing myself!
Anyway, in spite of all the deliberation and precautions I took on Monday, I was still sore as heck! I didn’t even want to run ton Tuesday night, even though I absolutely needed to do it. You see, Jon’s Ragnar Las Vegas team became official this past weekend, and so the time for waiting and posturing was now gone. I know I still have 30 pounds to lose by November 8, and I know I have to run 19.4 miles over three runs in an unfamiliar city and an unfamiliar course, with my final two runs being 8.2 miles and 7.0 miles respectively. I also have to be the guy that crosses the finish line, so there is that! Anyway, I had an ambitious goal to start my Tuesday run, and that was to trying churn out six miles. A mile into the run, I kind of learned there was no way on this green Earth I would be able to do it. I settled for a little over three miles, which I still managed to run at a pace below 10 minutes per mile. And of course, the next day I woke up even more sore than I was on Tuesday morning. It was so awful I had to do stretches at work, which didn’t help of course. I took it upon myself show up extra early to Parsons Training as well, making sure I would have enough time to get myself stretched out. I knew what was coming. I knew I had some heavy leg stuff waiting for me. So I did lunges, did a little work on the rowing machine, stretched my body every which way but loose, used the PVC pipes to stretch out my body and my back and used the foam roller to stretch out my legs. I did everything, for the theme of the half hour before my session was just reviving movement in my body. So with the mission accomplished, Jon told me we were gonna do dead lifts, which his something I haven’t really done in a while. It started out simply enough, doing reps at 225 pounds and then going up to 275 and then pushing the envelope even more to 305 pounds. Now mind you, it had been a few weeks since I had gotten anywhere near this weight, so you can probably guess what happened next when I burnt out at 355 pounds. Now it might have been the psychological jump of 50 pounds that got to me, but in the end, I don’t even know if I would have gotten past 335 at the trajectory I was going. I gave it the old college try, but there was just no use in trying to hurt myself. I still had a lot of other stuff to do, namely front squat overhead presses. Having already spent a good amount of energy on the dead lifts, this proved to be a pretty tough workout. My wrists were getting torn up with each rep, and since I have been having trouble with my right deltoid lately, I had trouble getting 155 pounds locked and loaded over my head when I did the push part at that weight. I was happy with my performance in regards to the squats, so it wasn’t a complete loss. Either way, I finished the day with some barbell bent over rows, pumping out some good reps at 155 and having no trouble with this workout. I finished the day with a little functional cardio, but I knew full well that the next day was going to be hell on earth.
I can already feel it in my body as I write this blog, for my back is getting sore and it was difficult to walk my pups today, who had the absolute time of their lives when they got to play with some neighborhood dogs along the walking path. This probably means my running distance for Thursday and Friday will need to be short and sweet, focusing more on stamina and distance rather than speed. No matter what I think about, it will be tough no matter how ambitious I feel. Now some might be disappointed in the idea they fell behind a little in their fitness regimen, but I’m not going let it bother me too much. I didn’t miss four days of working out because I was lazy, I missed four days because I wanted to live a little, even if it was just for a short weekend. I got to see one of the legends of country music in Merle Haggard last Thursday,which was the perfect way to start the week. I got to check out a cool soul and funk dive in Phoenix on Friday night, hanging out with my friends. I got to spend the day with them for the next two days, doing a little dancing at the wedding and some karaoke in the process (the MC had no problem with us singing certain parts of songs…apparently I do a terrible version of Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”). I even resisted the temptation of one of the best cheese platters I had ever seen at a wedding, a pre-meal collection of gouda, muenster, Monterey jack, brie and gorgonzola. Yeah, I will set myself back for a week, but I think it was worth it. Plus, despite what I am thinking in my head, I still did pretty well at the gym and on the track so far this week. Not too bad for a guy that sort of ate himself silly this past weekend.
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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