Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
December 29, 2016
When I get into certain moods within my life, I start latching onto certain bands and in a lot of cases, certain albums. Being this obsessive compulsive, moody individual that is often being back and forth from high as a kite to as low as an earth worm is not something I recommend. While I can control my self loathing much better than what I used to, listening to some music really aids in the healing process. I mainly do it because I don’t feel like lamenting my problems all over Facebook on a daily basis to try and gain sympathy. Only on a rare occasion do I ever lament online, mainly because I have so many good avenues to latch onto. When I get into this good running groove in my life, I start listening to the longest songs in my library, seeking gratification as the complex and often changing rhythms of the songs aid in the steam engine like pumping of my legs. I am not one of these types of runners that need a lot of positive music or fast paced electronic. Yup, the occasional 19-minute opus created by Dream Theater or a face melting foray into post space rock from Maserati makes it easy to do well in that avenue. Some days I needed something a little ore aggressive, like some Cloud Nothings or Jaill or maybe even Japandroids. You know, something that tells a little story but has an underlying darkness to the sound. I guess that is why I always liked Sigur Ros, for even though they have rarely released the translations to their music, it still has this ominous and epic presence to the music. I am much like John Cusack from “High Fidelity” (sans the asshole part of course) who claims the worst and most awful music to listen to is love music. Think about all the horrific break up songs out there. They easily destroy the number of love songs in both depth and greatness. “Me and Mrs. Jones” by the venerable Billy Paul is one of the greatest love tunes ever, and it is about infidelity! Imagine the shock when Mr. Jones finds out his wife is two timing on him with some unemployed street side crooner (that is what I assume Billy Paul’s character does for cash in the song, because he sure as heck doesn’t have a job). Those are the angles I think about in these sort of things, for I even believe in a slight way that Daniel LaRusso really was the bad guy from “The Karate Kid.” https://youtu.be/C_Gz_iTuRMM I mean, he won with an illegal move! (and some other fun trivia, the All Valley Tournament happened on December 19th! My birthday!….I am such a freaking nerd, no wonder I am single).
Lately I have been getting into a lot of gloomy death rock, because that is just how I feel about myself at this time of year. While I do not have any desire to possibly take my life or anything, there is a lack of purpose and hope that kind of envelopes me. Heck, I have been listening a lot of “emo” rock lately, i.e. My Chemical Romance because those weird bastards did nothing but talk about death and stuff. I guess it is why they are dead and gone much like the other Emo bands that were dotting the landscape at the time. It’s kind of ironic though, that in the midst of the 10th Anniversary Reissue of their album “The Black Parade” (a personal fav that still gets some play time from time to time), a hell of a lot of famous people seem to be dying these days. Normally, I don’t get too worked up about this sort of thing, for my nihilist regression tells me that these people never would have mourned for me, so why mourn for them? On the other hand, I choose not to rain on other people’s parades because I was saddened by the loss of Prince and Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. I legitimately expressed some sadness in this respect. I have been listening to the song “Welcome to the Black Parade” quite often these days, turning it in to the song du jour for the season. Sadly, the list just keeps getting longer and longer of iconic famous people passing away. And it is not just something that happens to the famous. I heard in the gym someone’s father died on Christmas Day. I had to take a call from a person that was distraught and was looking to move all their telephone services to another account because their father died on Christmas Eve and decided to take care of the situation right away rather than wait. And of course, it brings back haunting memories of my Aunt Carol, who suffered a heart attack and two months later passed away during a Christmas celebration.
A lot of people pontificate the reason why so many die during the holiday season, ranging from the poor food that is consumed to the adverse effects of the weather to the general stress of dealing with travel, traffic and last second preparations in addition to dealing with people that don’t always make them feel too good. I have been lucky to not have been the victim of such experiences in my lifetime, for I obviously feel happy and positive when around my family ben though the obvious loneliness and the self loathing sentiments dance around in the back of my mind. Either way, it is a tough time of the year on the body, mainly because our schedules get thrown out of whack and we start putting unneeded stresses on ourselves. It has been tough on my little pups, for I have not had as much time to walk them as I have had in the past. It has not been much different for me, for I have had a rather disrupted schedule and it is causing a lot of problems with my waistline and my running. It’s frustrating to say the least, for I do want to hang out with friends and make time for my family, but man does it affect my schedule. And of course, for a strange individual like myself that is desperately trying to establish routine, it can be an annoyance. The worst detail of all however is the fact these weaknesses in our bodies that are revealed in the worst way is an indication of our health in general. If the stresses of the holiday is capable of killing us, then there are other forces at work here. Poor eating, no exercise and a general ignorance to one’s health cannot be solved by a few weeks of failure after the New Year. They have to be long term goals that need to be established and followed through. For once in a very long time, I will have to actually defer to the New Year to really get some goals reestablished due to the schedule this year in terms of holidays, birthdays and other social gatherings. I can be thankful Ragnar Del Sol is a few weeks later this year, for I will need the extra time to get my body in shape and battle the constant malaise that is induced by my job. Yup, sitting on my butt all day is creating some problems for me.
Oddly enough, the sitting is starting to affect my right ankle as of late, for the constant lack of movement might be aiding in the tightening of my Achilles heel once again. Good thing for me, I have had this problem before, but this time the enemy is something that will be much harder to battle as time goes along. I need to sit down most of the time, looking at screens and trying my best to keep people from trying to sweet talk their way out of paying their bills (trust me, it doesn’t work!). Okay, not so much as sweet but try to bully me out of making me budge. Fortunately I am not an idiot. But what I am is definitely getting lazy from this job. If anything, I might need to start doing some working out during lunch time, maybe do something that will help get the body moving a little better for the remainder of the day. Right now, I have been taking short naps in my car and going on extra coffee runs since it usually only takes me about 20 minutes to eat my lunch during my one-hour break. (remember when I tried reducing my coffee intake? Course you don’t! I am now a full blown addict! hehe) It is kind funny though, the coffee issue has become such a farce that some the early morning people at the Circle K I have been frequenting secretly give me free coffee from time to time. Not because the coffee is bad but because they see me there all the time!
Anyway, back to the ankle and the Achilles Heel thing. I have too firmly believe the sitting has been the problem for me, so I worked up a good sweat on Monday, partaking in a whole lot of reps…700 to be exact. I did some Hundies to get the body working and also try to shed a few extra calories from the weekend of eating. I did well for the most part, getting in 100 barbell Rows, Bench Dips, overhead barbell presses, split cable machines pulls, jumping jacks, jump pull-ups and crunches. I also did a little extra on my snatching practice, for I want too stay on a consistent course with that particular workout. I was pretty darn tired from all of that nonsense, but it did not affect my protein too badly since I ate some beans, spinach and nuts for breakfast, making sure my preteen levels were not only good for the workout but also good for the plasma donation I hd later in the day. I felt I passed all areas with passing colors, getting myself over a hump and getting a little extra booty in my wallet. If anything, I thoroughly accomplished the full body workout that I set out to do that morning, and this gave me the resolve to do some better lifting the next day. Now, with the soreness in my Achilles prevalent, I did some extra stretching that particular day, making sure that I was good and warmed up before I started on the snatch practice. Once again, Jon is getting me to make this a regular occurrence in all my routines, for eventually I will be doing some better weights and refining the process to do this particular exercise rather than turn into a bad video.
I also made sure to do a lot of squatting even before I started my workout, for I knew getting the ankle and Achilles warmed up would make for a better workout. Well, let me tell you, it really didn’t maybe I just worked too hard the previously or the fatigue of a late night before caught up to me, but I just felt sluggish in the gym. I was having trouble lifting 165 pounds on the bench, getting frustrated midway and lowering the weights so I wouldn’t hurt myself in the process. I was able to do extremely well on everything else, but I felt woefully inadequate once again on the bench, most likely due to the rigors of the previous day. I think I will have to start doing my heavy bench presses on Thursdays from here on out, mainly due to the loss of energy and the soreness I seem to be getting on Mondays. I like what I am doing right now, establishing some good functional work on Mondays, but I just need to do a little more adjusting to make the schedule most optimal to me. I mean, look at what is happening the world right now as a great many people are dying at this time of year. It wasn’t just famous people, I have been seeing people on my Facebook feed mourn the loss of various loved ones, and it makes me a little bit sad knowing the holidays will forever be tainted, much in the same way it was kind of tainted for my family.
Sorry to be all doom and gloom folks, but that is the reality of the situation. A lot of people are already getting negative about the influx of New Year’s resolutions and “New Me, New Year” posts that are down the horizon, but I say let the people do it. It literally is the time of year to make the biggest changes your life, and I will never be one of those people that will be inherently negative about the pursuit of good health. Trust me, surviving the holidays isn’t just some bad Hollywood trope, it could be reality for a great many people.
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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
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.