By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
March 10, 2016
There are always plenty of good instances to illustrate the importance of knowing your limitations. Sometimes, setting yourself up for failure would be rather detrimental for one’s personal physical and mental health, which is something I have always struggled with during my near four year journey of health and fitness. But sometimes, there is that illustration which indicates to you that maybe you should slow it down sometimes, get yourself reset and go forth in a much more roundabout route. For the longest time, I was kind of forced to do this because of work, and the agony that came with that massive change has really hurt me in the gym. I say this because I have lost so many gains in the process, I wish I didn’t have to go through all this pain once again.
I shouldn’t complain. On average, I am still stronger than the average man out there, but then again, that is throwing in all of the older men and the injured men and the handicapped men. Dang! I am weak! Okay, I am being facetious and self depreciating and I should put a stop to that. Especially with so many good things happening in my life these days including the gigantic fact I have a little cash to see some concerts these days, with a nice little show from Neon Indian tonight and future show from Explosions in the Sky. Then low and freaking behold, I find out something way cooler than I could ever imagine….M83 is coming to town. I have written many times about M83, and it is not very often the come to Tucson (they have never been to Arizona!) I will have to get a ticket the instant I get downtown tomorrow,possibly get two just in case I need some money and need to scalp them (okay, I wouldn’t dare do that). And also, some interesting things are happening in my personal life, which I will tell you about someday depending on what happens (yes, it is about a woman, possibly…maybe). But that is what I am liking about life these days. With the advent of a little cash in my pocket, the mood certainly elevates and becomes more positive. And with my bills squared away, my tax return ready to get geared up and the fact I am inching closer to clearing my darn credit report….dare I say things are looking up? Should I be so overly concerned about what I am doing in the gym?
Truthfully, I have to say yes. I have to be incredibly concerned with what I am doing in the gym. It has become a very integral part of my being, a wide reaching fabric of my life. For the longest time, I was going backward, losing ground and feeling weak in the process. And to make matters worse, I aggravated my achilles tendon again, meaning I have now not run for nearly three weeks. I need my endorphins! I guess that may be why I have been so loopy as of late, wondering when I will ever be able to get back on the track. It will be sooner than later I hope, because I want to do things that make me happy once again. Having this darn achilles problem makes me feel fat for some reason, for the ability to run tricks my mind into thinking I am leaner and look more positively on myself. A friend of mine recently stated I might have a bad case of body dysmorphia, which probably explains a lot. But like the screwy state of the political winds, my mood elevated for many reason when someone told me I was quite handsome…and she was ridiculously beautiful! Not some older lady hitting on me, not some married woman being polite…a single, tall gorgeous VEGAN woman. Yup. Made my week. Trust me, I really needed that compliment. There is a great video that has been going around the internet for a few months, where people react to being called “beautiful” for the first time. Some of the smiles will make your heart gush so to speak, because I know it did for me. I can only imagine what it must have been like when this particular woman told me this. Wish I had a camera on my face. I’m sure I had a big ol’ cheeser smile. Now of course, I still have to deal with the body dysmorphia, which I ultimately battled with a well placed Throwback Thursday Post on my Facebook and Instagram page. I was feeling pretty awesome, for it was the first time I ever got 200+ likes for any of my photos. Of course, I should at least get that number due to the 1400+ Facebook friends I have.
These good tidings have all resulted in some excellent work in the gym this week. After a horrible weekend at work, I needed to get myself up for some iron work. Since I couldn’t run for at least a week, I ultimately felt it was time to actually push myself in the gym! This week I have decided I will put in four sessions! Not two or three, four!!! And what is up with the exclamation points!! Am I 13 again!! When I eventually get on the weekday shifts at work, I intend to do something similar like this when I get a little membership from a regular. You see, my body will not be quite as pulverized, and so doing a 45-minute or 30-minute mini session where I concentrate on a couple things may be something I want to do, just to maintain some momentum. As I have mentioned already, I got a wedding to go to in July and with all of the handsome and available men in Denver, I don’t want to look like some sun dried tomato compared to all of them. I need to compete! It all started on Tuesday with a workout I aptly named “My Achilles is on Fire.” I was hurting pretty bad, so much so that my boss from work literally called me, asking if I had been injured on the job when I didn’t show up for voluntary overtime and listed my reason as “injured.” I wish I was more of a loser and said “yes, your company caused my injury” rather than the random hole I had stepped in at my father’s house, causing some kind of weird tweaking of my ankle and by proxy….my achilles. But that didn’t mean I was going to go light! I was hitting 175 on the hang cleans despite sore shoulders while also hitting 175 on the front squats, which is a weight I rarely attempt due to my bad wrists. Needless to say, I wrecked my collarbone! I have a little edge of bone that loves to stick out and I turned it black and blue rather easily! But hey, I was able to get the weight I really wanted for the day and get it done! Some times you have to deal with that strange pain. I felt really good on Tuesday….there was just a good vibe that really elevated my mood.
I needed that vibe so to speak, due to a little triple duty I was pulling the next day. You see, here is a lesson about life when it some to doing electrical work…always get a professional. While I am not a professional anymore in the business, I can spot a bad job when I see one. Once again, Jon and Christa wanted to install a rather fancy light in their kitchen, and I had to run a new switch leg to the spot where they wanted the fixture. Once again, the dolts that did the original light installation had an open splice somewhere in the ceiling, and they had cut the wire so close that I could not even properly remove the wire on one of the fixtures (I had to tear the fixture apart!!) Not to mention, each of the fixtures were different despite looking the same when you recessed them into the ceiling. To me, that always smells of a cheap do-it-yourselfer…not even getting matching fixtures is the work of a loser!! Just my opinion. Anyway, I got kind of lucky and was able to use a single switch that allow me to turn on the dining room lights with no problem. Plus, I really didn’t have to tear anything out or make a huge mess like I did the previous lights I installed. But I will continue to complain about the cheap drywall that was used for the ceiling. Put the money into good stuff folks! Trust me, it will always work out in the end run when you buy something higher quality in regards to your house. Now of course, this doesn’t always apply since Jon and Christa made their own fixture, and it looks like it is something that could easily sell for a good four or five hundred bucks while making if for a fraction of that cost, which looks perfect hanging over the table that would sell for a good thousand bucks that they made for maybe a quarter of that cost. So I’m not always right when it comes to those projects. But hey, when it comes to your home…go all out with the cost!
Now here is something else you have to do with life. You have to pay it forward. For years, Jon has allowed me to use his gym as my own personal playground, breaking in new trainers and getting pretty much free training advice for the exchange of this blog (which I still believe I have the upper hand in this deal!). Anyway, a new intern has arrived at Parsons Training, and not only does she want be a personal trainer, she wants to aid Christa a little in regards to her PHOD business. Now, I have never had to step up in this capacity, but I actually had to help Morgen Rosen learn some lifts. I’ve never been much of a teacher, but I think I was quite awesome in teaching the intricacies of the dead lift. Yes, the lift I have fallen off the map the most for. Well, after barely being ablate lift 305 last week, I pulled out all the stops and did some reps at 325. All the while I had to give Morgen some pointers on how to actually perform this crazy exercise. Truthfully, it didn’t require much since it is quite apparent that she is a natural at the deadlift, blowing out reps at 135 even if all the scumbag boys at the UA keep hogging up all of the free weights at the University of Arizona recreation center (which Morgen couldn’t believe how small it used to be when I went there, not to mention the 135 is more than she weighs!). Either way, I showed her some pointers on another good, basic workout movement in the bent over rows, and then she barely beat me in the final exercise of the day….100 push-ups. I’m glad I get to shape a new perspective and young mind in this business, even if it is for one more session. Because after that, Morgen is going to have to put together a couple workout regimens just for me…no help from Jon. I will say this, when Jon was kind of introducing me…. “Steve is way beyond the foundation work you need to start with” when he described what I did. Yowl! I had some lofty praise to live up to, and it got worse when the strongest 16-year old in Tucson named Ryan Ward showed up, and was telling his friend about the one day I did ten straight reps with his max weight in the dead lift. So yeah, ego boosting all around for me that day.
Anyway, by the time you read this, I will be blowing up my Instagram account and listening to some cool retro themed electronic music at the historic Rialto Theater. I will also have done my third workout in as many days. And here is the real kicker…I got another one on Friday! Four workouts in four days and then a long weekend at work. Not to mention I’m going to try to eat more raw food in the meantime. What the heck is wrong with me? Am I just losing my mind like Edward Norton in “Fight Club” or living out some crazy fantasy like in “Brazil.” Who knows. I couldn’t sleep, for I am wired up like crazy (going out for the first time in a long time can do that…plus M83 is coming to town!!!!) and it is almost three in the morning and I am writing. Strangely, no spelling mistakes.
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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