By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
July 5, 2015
I hate to make you guys feel sad, but in reality, I have never been on a real vacation. Call it a bunch of wrong decisions that has led me to this point in my life, but I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to travel the world, or heck, just take a trip outside of the state (which I have only done a few times but mainly when I was a kid). I don’t dwell on it much, because other things in my life move to the forefront and make me forget about the lack, things like my parents, my dogs and my friends. So anytime I get to do something out of town, I become a bit gleeful, even then it was just a little day trip to a sleepy small town named Page. http://blog.parsonstrainingtucson.com/2014/10/so-you-wanna-run-half-marathon.html
Being stuck in your hometown can be a little constricting sometimes, for it makes you kind of despise the very place you cherish the most. When I ultimately get a new car, I’m going to try some out of town runs and even take some day trips. I think that is the ultimate goal while I look for a new job. I want to see some other parts of my country, which I have seen...
very little of. It’s a strange goal to have at my age, since so many are looking to save for an early retirement or trips to Europe or whatever. I say to hell with that! I would rather check out my own country than check out some boring basilicas in France or seafronts in Greece or go on a tour of the rolling green hills of Iceland (I take it back, I would love to go to Iceland). Why fill the coffers of foreigners when there is plenty to see in my own homeland! I want to check out the beaches of Florida. I want to hike the Blue Ridge Mountains in the south (provided they don’t get too weirded out by a liberal vegan environmentalist, hehe). I wouldn’t mind checking out the 9/11 Memorial in New York City or the Rocky statue in Philadelphia (kidding, I will check out the Freedom Bell). I would like to run the plains of Kansas and bike ride the Badlands of North Dakota. I want to check out Utah and the landscape before Orrin Hatch eventually sells the public lands off to corporations. I want to actually be able to visit my sister in Denver and check out the cool vegan culture while visiting my other sister in Maine to check out the cool craft beer culture. I actually want to watch an Oakland Athletics game in Oakland (preferably against the San Fransisco Giants)! I guess they are dreams for the time being, but one can still dream. Just a matter of time is all I can say.
I’m getting all misty and stuff because Jon and Christa are taking off for vacation for a couple weeks. I’m a little jealous they get to watch a Canadian League football game, for I kind of enjoyed that style a little more so than the American version before I gave up television (I know, I’m un-American!) Unfortunately for you all that read this blog, that means we will be taking a hiatus until July 23. But most unfortunately for me, this means I will have to tackle my weight lifting and my fitness all on my own! Gasp! I’m like Macaulay Culkin after he found out his parents stole all his money….I mean after he found out he got left home alone in “Home Alone.” Yup, I get pretty snarky when I am worried. I shouldn’t feel so sad or worried about this whole thing, because it is not like I have done it before. The big difference though is the fact I have no pay sessions available, so this means I won’t be able to utilize the services of the other trainers at Parsons. If anything, this means I have to finally do some applied fitness, to actually utilize some of the things I have learned and create my own workouts. I shouldn’t be surprised that Jon has this much faith in me, because I can kind of see what he is doing in recent visits to the gym. Instead of just letting me do my own thing and stand off in the corner doing hang cleans and such, he is kind of forcing me to actually interact with other people, especially people that are kind of on the same journey as me or even further along. I talked a couple weeks ago about doing a fun workout with one of Jon’s other clients named Jesse, helping him do a reintroduction to the whole fitness thing as he looked to increase his strength for the upcoming rugby season. More recently I have worked out with another guy named Scott, who despite his 190-pound frame is a pretty strong guy (we call him the strongest IT guy in the world). Working out with Scott is certainly fun, because he too is also pretty motivated in his strength training. Heck, I saw him deadlift 320 pounds like nothing the other day. I also had a short workout on Friday with the youngest of the Ward Clan, Ryan. Gotta say, it was pretty fun working out with this beast in the making. Jon had me go in on some deadlifting with him. Now it is a little strange working out with him, considering he is about 130 pounds and I’m 255. I had a little a little work on my hands though, because Ryan is pound for pound stronger than me. While I was churning out rep after rep on all the weights we were doing, I was mainly trying to save face. Ryan topped out at 275 pounds, which is unbelievable since he has kind of slacked off on his deadlifting the last couple months. His immediate goals are to deadlift 300 pounds and bench 200. I think he will do that in no time! Granted, I did my best to look good, doing seven reps at 275 and then doing three reps at 315. But man, I have some work to do. To do what Ryan did, I will not only have to seriously lose some weight but also up my deadlift game. To equal what he did pound for pound, I would have to lift 539 pounds! Ouch! Makes me wish I had heeded some of the advice of other people when growing up and start weight training when I was young. Now I have tendinitis and a sore deltoid to slow me down. The things we should have done when we were young and injury free! Fortunately for me Ryan is a good kid and doesn’t get too boastful about the weight, and cheers me on when I do the huge weights.
The good news about the vacation though is I can try to concentrate on my running a little more since I will not have much supervision (or equipment) to do a lot of heavy leg exercises. Hopefully this will give me a little time to work on my body weight as well, since I am running a little low on cash at the moment due to slow times at work (who always keep promising more hours….ugh). Anyway, back to the running. I think it is time I try to start doing more incline training, especially since Ragnar Las Vegas is just around the corner. Plus I want to do this half marathon in October that goes up “A” Mountain (no one calls it Sentinel Peak here in Tucson) just to see if my body can handle it. Either way, I need to get this going again, mainly for because I want to try and put a dent in the 800-mile goal I put for myself within this upcoming year, which is pretty darn ambitious for a non-runner like myself. But I have to get going soon, because I have already slacked off this week! Don’t you just hate it when you set a goal and you are already behind?
So how does one really get going when they lose a little guidance? Fortunately for me, I have some good resources at my disposal. My parents still have a good weight set, one where I might be able to hang clean my way to some new gains. I still want to hit 200 on the hang clean, but without any practice, this isn’t going to happen to begin with. I’ll have to be careful, for my parents don’t have bumper plates and I’m going to have to do those in the first…with various pooches running around in the yard. Now some might say I should let my dogs work out with me, but I think all my pups are pretty much world class athletes without my help (except for Benny the Basset Hound, who is exceptional at being lazy). I still have to visit my friends in Austin to see if this weird trend of dog yoga is actually true. Sure, I see the videos online where some men have actually taken the time to teach their dog how to do these various moves, it is certainly something I have no time for. Plus my dogs pretty much have me under their paws, for they have been pretty naughty lately, running out of the house and not listening when I yell at them, forcing me to chase them with the morning still crusting over my eyes while wearing slippers.
Either way, when did this blog post become so stream of consciousness? Maybe it is the fear of losing my edge, because I still have some issues with self starting. With all of the things happening in my life and my city fully being engaged by the dog days of July, you can see why I have been lazy this past week. But I need to keep moving. Maybe I can do yet another workout like I did earlier this week, where Jon forced me to do four types workouts: stamina, endurance, strength and function. It was pretty tough to do, because each level had a time limit on it. The “Strength” part was what I started with, doing 150 bench presses at 145 pounds and fifty depth squats with 30-pound weights. I barely got under the 15-minute time limit. The “Functional” was the easiest for me as I plowed through 50 20-pound ball slams, 50 clean presses and 10 skunk push-ups. I called my stamina section “Hell on Earth,” merely because I was forced to do planks, squats, side raises and curls for two minutes without stopping, which I barely did in the ten minutes I was slated (complete with rest time). I had the most fun with the “Endurance” section, easily busting my 2-mile row (which was supposed to be one, but I decided to go a little further) and the did 100 mountain climbers.
As I look forward to the next weeks of not writing, who knows what will happen. Personally, I kind of like taking time away, for even though writing a blog post has been quite rewarding for me during these three years I have been doing this, it is kind of nice to give my hands a little rest. Just imagine trying to do a post after having to do bench presses and hang clean-push presses just a few hours before. Seriously, the carpal tunnel stuff is real! Or is it my tendinitis? Either way, my hands could use some rest. See, I can’t even think right now! Anyway, I will see you in two weeks, and just remember to stay in shape folks!
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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.