By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
July 23, 2015
Well, at the end of my last blog, which seemed like a year ago or something, I urged you all to stay in shape. Boy, I wish I had taken my own advice! Anyway, the last couple weeks weren’t necessarily all that bad and filled with nothing but laying around and eating, but it strangely felt that way. While Jon was on vacation, I did take some initiative into my own fitness, though that initiative wasn’t as strong as I normally partake in. You see, I rarely if ever get to go on vacation. Okay, never is the more plausible situation. Either way, I’m trying to figure out a nice way to say I got a little lazy.
Perhaps I should say the effort was lacking? Or maybe the river had been temporarily stopped up? It wasn’t entirely my own fault, for I finally got some hours at work and was thus grinding my legs into the ground during the two weeks I didn’t get any guidance or formal training. This sort of thing is common in the shipping and receiving game, for when all you do is stand and walk all day, it’s going to add up and turn your once healthy regiment into a sporadic slew of losses, not gains. You can imagine what your body will be reduced to when put in 46 hours in four days, with little time for turnaround or rest. I got to admit, the first thing I would do when I got home is just crash on my couch and pray for death. Needless to say, running was kind of out of the question, especially when my knee and ankles kind of flared up. And then the other problem with this strange time was the fact I just ate too much. I admit, the pain of those two weeks caught up to me and made me eat a little more than usual. It was made worse by the fact my grocery store had a huge special on Stacy’s Bagel Chips, and was abundantly stocked with the lightly toasted garlic flavor (which is the understatement of the industry, for the garlic just explodes in your mouth). I cleared out the store’s stock, and they literally have not had any in the 12 days since I last bought them. You would think a major grocery store would have more than six bags! I guess the Stacy’s stuff was enticing people too much from buying the other garbage that is always on special (like Doritos and Cheetos). But on another note, the Kettle brand chips (including my favorite flavor, the Roasted Garlic) were also on special. Fortunately I made a choice to only go with the bagel chips, for this would have been a guarantee that no woman would want to make out with me the weekend I went out with an old friend (more on that later). But considering how much garlic I eat total, I don’t think any woman will be kissing me any time soon. haha!
So yes, I was a bad boy during this time. I might have gained back a couple pounds in the process, especially since I went out a couple weekends ago and had a really good time. You see, this was the same weekend I worked 36 hours between Friday to Sunday. Anyway, I haven’t seen my old friend Yadira in years, for it had been so long that she had started a band, broken it up, started a radio show in San Francisco, got married and intends to start another band. Yeah, a decade can do that for you. It kind of illustrated the weird juxtaposition of my own life, where I fell into a depression and was well on my way to eating myself to death (there really is no other way to put it). But it was funny talking about the past, delighting her husband Joe with the joys of being the last generation of film projectionists and having to deal with the issues of celluloid. “Damn you George Lucas!” is what I joked about at one point. In case you forgot, Lucas was the one pushing for digital projection in all theaters, and thanks to the rise of HD televisions, he won that argument. He and James Cameron pretty much put an end to a rather cool industry, eliminating the need for people that actually knew how to build prints and maintain projectors with people that only need how to hit a “start” button. Yeah, I’m not bitter at all, especially when I was easily the best print builder at the old Century Park 16 here in Tucson. My co-workers still couldn't believe I could do three or four prints in the span of a seven-hour shift! I really blew some minds when I did the two prints for Return of the King in a little over two hours (which was a three and a half hour movie in case you forgot). Of course I didn’t get paid for doing that, but I did have the reward of screening the movie in our best theater. Just imagine watching that movie by yourself! It was pretty freaking awesome! Anyway, back to the that great weekend. I have to admit, I was a little out of character, staying up late and actually drinking both on Friday AND Saturday night. So why would I be dumb enough to do such a thing, especially with the fact I was working 12-hour days? Well, it is called confidence. I kind of know what my body can do and not do. I stayed properly fed during the subsequent days after, sucking down plenty of water in the process. I was a little sluggish on Sunday, but I had the ultimate trump card in my favor by blaming the slowness on a bad knee (which it was a little sore and inflamed, but not enough to blame on my lack of energy). Well, I eventually got a second wind after a couple hours and was just fine the rest of the day, but I tell you it was not easy. Putting together that kind of schedule and having that kind of fun makes me glad I have opted to go the route of a healthier person rather than sticking with the old days, where I might have called in and not go to work period.
So yeah, this whole fitness thing is still working for me and paying dividends even though I have been lazy. Since I don’t have a regular gym membership, I just did a little running (when my knee was bothering me, which I rested quite a bit) and some push-ups in my bedroom. So in reality, I wasn’t completely lazy. I’m still behind a little on my Ragnar Training and my half marathon training, but I have to ease back into it due to the heat. I know I could churn out 19 miles in the span of 30 hours, I just prefer to do it at a sub 10-minute per mile pace. Anyway, I was kind of happy to be back in the gym, even if it meant getting killed by the simplest of exercises. Now I was already a little tired coming in on Tuesday, simply because I did my first run in a week the night before and low and behold, fell way behind on my nutrition. I lazily didn’t eat anything after that run, merely because I wasn’t hungry. I just had some of Stacy’s Bagel chips and some hummus to tide me over. Other than, nothing. And then I made a second mistake that morning by not getting up. I kept hitting snooze and hitting snooze…until I realized it was almost eight in the morning and I promised I would show up around nine. I managed to sleep nearly ten hours, and I just wanted to stay in bed! Without any leftovers, I booked it to the gym and just thought the extra fat stored would save me. Ugh, big mistake on my part.
For my first structured workout in two weeks, Jon went all crazy on me, forcing me to work my entire body. First and foremost, he had me do hang cleans. Now I have grown accustomed to hang cleans over the last couple months, so it was no problem getting the light weights. What he had me do was six rounds of varying weight in sets of three. It was a pretty standard way to start the workout, for I was pretty confident in the lower weights. But the 165-pound hang cleans kind of worried me, because my lack of actually doing the exercise was the issue. But like a trooper, I powered through the movement. All throughout this part of the workout, I was also forced to do lunges across the gym, which typically meant I was doing 20 per each set. So basically I did well over 100 lunges, which is something I don’t recommend doing on your first day back in the gym. The next thing was something that seemed a little easier in my mind, i.e. dead lifts. Now let me tell you one thing, doing deadlifts without any nutrition is absolutely brutal. I was only expected do six reps for four rounds, but the real issue was doing the alternating overhead presses with the 55-pound dumbbells. So you can imagine how I was wearing out my back and my arms and then wearing out my legs and hands. Needless to say, these first two exercise really taught me one things. One, going into a workout with no food in your system hurts, and going full tilt makes it even worse! I barely survived the five rounds of the floor bench presses, doing five reps for each round. Then I did another alternating movement where I would do single arm rows with the 55-pound weight and then do 20 bicycle crunches (my least favorite of the crunching family, merely because my shirt kind of rides up and shows off my still soft mid section). Nevertheless, I survived, and opted to not go running that night even though I was planning on doing a short run every day this week.
I pretty much paid for my laziness the next day, having a hard time getting out of bed and dealing with the sorest pair of buttocks I had ever had in my life (who thought dead lifts would do that to you!). You can imagine how bad it was while I was looking for a new job, sitting in an uncomfortable chair and such. I had to cut it short due to the issues and merely lie down. Fortunately, it was so darned hot in my house that I was able to fall asleep. Waking up a sweaty mess is a small price to pay to skip out on the mental hell that hot weather can bring upon you. The worst part about summer and the humidity is the fact a swamp cooler is useless, as well as a ceiling fan, even if you are sleeping directly under it. It was rather laughable how sore my body was, for even when I ran at Reid Park, I felt so hindered. I ran a good pace, but only churned out three miles. Like I keep mentioning, I am trying to increase my distance and having a banged up body won’t help. But on the other hand, having an injured body due to overuse could be even worse. Still, I kind of like the fact I was sore and hurting. It kind of made me believe just how important it is to stay on the right path, even if I cannot see the real results due to the fact my body seems to be an unchanging gelatinous mass of goo. This is what happens when you take time away from your regimen, but on the other hand, I am kind of glad to be back. My desire to possibly join a gym is increasing, especially since my work schedule is starting to look like a consistent Friday through Monday ordeal (I really miss having the weekends off!) But at least for the next week, I have to ease myself back into this world of fitness, much like coming back from an actual vacation. But the good thing is, the adventure will continue. It won’t fall prey to the issues of technology or changing mores much like my two old professions of print journalism and film projection. I will keep moving forward.
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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
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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.