I probably should have taken a rest day today, but I knew I would not be able to get to the gym tomorrow AM. I am stubborn sometimes and don’t listen to my own advice. My shoulders are toast and it is probably one of the reasons why I literally HATED today’s workout. I had to talk myself into finishing multiple times because I just wanted to stop. But I did finish, although it took every ounce of mental strength I had. And now — tomorrow it’s a rest day.
It didn’t look daunting either but after doing some Max Rep Bench Presses, it was B R U T A L.
Strict Pull ups
DB Hang Clean Press
2 min plank holds
Yeah, so that was fun – try it and let me know what you think.
A bunch of people around me are starting to get sick – ’tis the season I guess. Last year, around the holidays – Scott and I both came down with the flu which sidelined me during the entire holiday break. Scott is laid up in bed, hacking up a lung right now as we speak. Wash your hands extra, eat right and exercise –those are ways you can do your part to not get sick! And if you do get sick, do everyone a favor – stay home and rest!
- 5 FALLACIES OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL OFF-SEASON STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING- PART 1
- 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out
- Jeff Kuhland’s Mobility Holiday Wish List
- The 50 pictures in perfect timing
And finally, a really amazingly cute video that just made me smile. Some people are just destined to do things. This little boy TItus fits that bill -
Busy day but I wanted to share a few things I think everyone should read and also just mention something that happened to me yesterday. I stopped in to Wegmans to pick up a few things and while I was heading towards the Gluten Free/Natural foods area – I noticed this woman who was furiously leafing through a gluten free cookbook, trying to make sense of what to buy and what was what. I found out later her name – Marie and she is from South Africa.
She looked up at me and said – this stuff is so confusing and explained that her tween daughter is allergic to wheat, dairy and soy. Have you tried to find any sort of non-fresh food without one of those ingredients? Holy cow! And if you do, some of it tastes like crap! We got to talking about some stuff that I have used and I ended up walking with her through the natural foods section pointing out Larabars and a few other things that met her criteria. I also talked to her about looking into getting a dehydrator - so she can make her own beef jerky and dried fruit and gave her some ideas for snacks. She was so thankful that I took the time and offered up my own experience – as I was saying goodbye, I gave her my blog info and my email and introduced myself.
Once she finds things that work for her and her family, it will definitely be an easy transition but I remember how daunting and hard it all felt at first. I was glad I could lend a hand!
If you are looking for Paleo resources, I created an entire section with links to popular Paleo authors, books and websites to help make it easy to find and easier for you to get started!
- Are Sugar and Sloth the Causes of Obesity — Or Just Convenient Whipping Boys?
- Study says nut eaters have lower cancer, heart disease risk
- When We Lose Antibiotics, Here’s Everything Else We’ll Lose Too
- Recipe: Top 9 Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Recipes
Read about all of these kiddos doing kind things - small ripples make big waves!!
Today I accompanied Nate and his fourth grade class to Jamestown, VA for his school field trip. It’s not the top thing on my list to do but I could tell how much he wanted me to do it. And other than the constant noise from the kids on the bus, I had a great time. Nate and three other boys were super fun, smart and really well behaved. The kids in his class really knew their Virginia history and seemed to be really into learning more.
It was my first trip there and I will definitely go back with the family one day! Historical tours are fun and important — learning from the past.
Sitting in a bus with a bunch of fourth graders was not only a lesson in patience, but also a lesson in how different they are today than when I was a kid. Almost every kid had some sort of device and the first thing a few of them asked me was “Is there Wi-Fi on this bus?”. When I was a kid, we had books, a notepad, pencils, our friends and songs to keep us occupied on our way to a field trip. Not sure it’s better or worse –but it sure is different.
I gotta say that I love Russell Brand – he’s wacky, screwed up in so many ways, but sharp and smart as a whip and because of that, I just think he’s awesome. He has a way of getting his point across in such a coherent way that hits the point where it counts. I embedded an interview below that is making its way around the web that he did earlier this week with the BBC – at the end of it, he says something that totally resonated with a quote that I shared earlier this week from, of all people, Jillian Michaels:
Mr. Brand says: “Why is that naive? Why is that not my right because I’m an ‘actor’? I’ve taken the right. I don’t need the right from you. I don’t need the right from anybody. I’m taking it.”
Jillian Michaels’ quote asks Why Not You? Think about it: Russell Brand is saying: Why Not Him? So, I ask you – Why Not You? We are all responsible for the message we send out to the world and we can all make changes in our own lives, that in turn impact us all. Watch the interview and you will start to understand what I mean…and probably become a Russell Brand fan.
Here’s the link to that video as well as the first video, where I discovered how awesome he really is. Again, he’s probably a really screwed up character in many facets of his life –but many times, those are the people who end up having an indelible impact on the world.
On another note, we all know how important exercise is – but this study “Study: More Active Teens Get Higher Test Scores” highlights an interesting finding:
“…the effects seemed to be lasting. A child’s physical activity at age 11 continued to be linked to how she performed academically at age 13. And at age 15 and 16, for every 17 minutes a day a boy exercised, he enjoyed a boost in his scores while 11 year old girls saw a benefit in their scores for every 12 minutes a day they exercised. As the girls grew older, the link between more exercise and better science performance continued to be strong.”
The impact of having physically active kids doesn’t just impact their here and now, it actually helps them learn and progress academically indefinitely. And for girls, more exercise led to better performance in STEM subjects. Findings like these are no joke — we need to get our kids moving. We are failing our kids as we continue to see cuts in physical fitness programs in school. There is proof, actual scientific proof that exercise helps them learn. Why are we not screaming and yelling about this to our school board/state representatives?
workout: Muscle up progressions
Saturday, after Nate’s football game and my workout, we headed to Kings Dominion to check out their Planet Spooky event*. I wish we had left earlier to avoid the horrible traffic on 95 and of course there was an accident so it took forever – but we got there eventually. It was a gorgeous day too — upper 80s, maybe even 90.
When we arrived, we picked up our tickets at Guest Services. Along with the tickets, they gave each of us with a Planet Snoopy drawstring bag – which HB and Nate loved! Looking at the time we had, we decided to check out the Dinosaurs first.
I have never seen this attraction before, so it was cool to see these gigantic dinosaurs complete with sound effects and movement. As you walk through, you get the feeling you are actually walking around where Dinosaurs actually live thanks to the all the special effects. As you are walking through, they have trick or treat stations where they give out candy and/or other treats.
Kings Dominion charges an extra $5 to do this attraction – if you haven’t seen this attraction before, it’s pretty cool. Very realistic looking dinosaurs and candy for the kids. (They did have non candy treats available upon request.)
Then we headed to Planet Spooky in the younger kids area – we didn’t get to hit all the special attractions set up but the ones we did – the kiddos loved including the Pig Pen’s People Washer:
All the normal rides were open too – so the kids drove the cars, went on the swings and the mini-roller coasters and the lines weren’t long at all.
As part of Planet Spooky, there was a petting zoo set up with Polish Chickens, Baby Pigs, Goats and more. The Polish Chicken seemed to really get comfy on my arm –falling asleep for a few seconds.
As the day was winding down, the kids kept asking if they could stay for the evening attraction of Haunt. They could handle it they said. So around 630P, the park started to get foggy, the lights were going dim and by 7P -the park was transformed into a spooky, creepy haunted park. As we walked through and hit our first zombie, HB went hysterical with fear. Guess what? She couldn’t handle it –and we high tailed our butts out of the park as she had a mini-breakdown the entire way out. They have zombies walking throughout the park so as we were leaving, one in particular zeroed in on her fear and went for it. HB fell to the ground super scared — and it was over. We couldn’t get her calmed down. I had to take her off to the side, near a store entrance and tell her to pull it together – didn’t really work well but well enough to get us out of the park. As a side note – Nate was fine. Go figure!
If you are looking for a fun family road trip – go for it. The lines were short, lots of kid friendly and adult friendly stuff to do – and with the weather the way it has been in the DC metro area, it’s a great experience that the kids will love.
Families can enjoy Halloween together with a street party of frightful fun including a petting zoo, foam pit, pumpkin painting and more! Planet Spooky runs every Saturday and Sunday from Sept. 28 – Oct. 27. Activities are from 12:00pm until 5:00pm.
*DISCLOSURE: The great folks at Kings Dominion provided my family with free tickets to attend Planet Spooky and Trick or Treating with the Dinosaurs. They in no way requested that I share a specific viewpoint or details of my experience in exchange for the tickets. My opinions and recommendations are my own.
Mondays arrive way too soon in my opinion. The weather is absolutely fantastic in NoVA and it makes the weekends that much harder to leave. We went to a carnival yesterday for a few hours. I am not really into rides, especially of the spinny sort but i am fine watching the kiddos have the time of their lives. While I was waiting for them to finish their thrill ride, I started looking around – seeing the smiles, hearing the sound of laughter and joy, noticing the displays of friendship and family, smelling the funnel cake and candy apples. Yup, just as I remembered when I was young. The more things change, it’s stuff like this that you start to appreciate that seem timeless.
I took a pic of the little cars because I remember loving that ride. The cars look exactly the same as when I was young- same square steering wheels .I was transported to my childhood for a brief moment. Funny how memories can just hit you without warning.
Do you ever have a moment as a parent, when you are talking with your kid and you see yourselves in them? Some personality trait that you recognize and totally ‘get’? It happened on Saturday. HB had her first Volleyball match. She’s on a team of beginners and I do mean beginners. She just started playing for the first time in her life less than three weeks ago to give you an idea. But in the three weeks since she started, she has improved greatly. So much so, that the coach has noticed and has taken a special interest in coaching her. Well, Saturday –their team lost every match but HB played pretty well. She set up a lot of shots and never backed down from the ball. The rest will come with time, work, practice and experience.
Well she got frustrated because others on the team don’t work quite as hard as she does and they weren’t acting like a team. There was very little of the supportive words, cohesion that HB expected. Granted, the team just formed a few weeks ago, but the teams they played were definitely more into team camaraderie. So, afterwards in the car, she started crying. She was upset that others on her team aren’t working as hard as she is and aren’t as into it –she was angry and frustrated about it. That’s when the light bulb went off for me — That’s exactly how I feel and what I was referencing in a previous blog post: CrossFit: Learn Each and Every Day. And that’s when it dawned on me, that she gets that trait from me.
She is driven to be better all the time. My Mom is like that too. She loves learning. She loves the challenge. She loves being around people just like that too. When you have no choice but to be around people who don’t see the world like that regularly, it makes no sense and eventually you either have to take a different path or it will bring you down. There are followers in the world and then there are leaders – -and that doesn’t necessarily mean leading others. It means having the personality that blazes your own trail and being confident enough to believe you can. HB is clearly in that category.
We talked on the way home about how she felt and how it mirrors how I feel -the key difference though is I am going to help her learn how to manage it so that it doesn’t hold her back. I find that my passion and drive can sometimes get in the way of my career. At the end of the day, you have to learn how to channel those feelings and drive in a way that can adjust depending on the situation and circumstance. It’s where I fall short — but each day is a new day for me to work on it.
Run (bumper plate), 15 lbs, 200 m
– then –
10 Sumo Deadlift High-pulls, 53 lbs
20 Double Unders
– then –
Run (bumper plate), 15 lbs, 200 m
Yesterday was a tough day I am sure for everyone. I was taken a bit by how emotional I was throughout the day. I’m going through some shit personally and it seemed to be compounded yesterday - which made for a day of sadness and feeling sorry for myself. I’m mad at myself about it – because what happened to all that perspective I have on what’s really important?
I had no idea Scott wrote this yesterday, and came across it this morning and it brought tears to my eyes — it really touched me. He doesn’t tend to get very emotional about things –he’s my steady rock. I am in awe of what he wrote — simply speechless.
Whenever I see the numbers 9 and 11, I remember.
Whenever I fly and go through airport security, I remember.
Whenever I drive past the Pentagon, I remember.
Whenever I see the New York City skyline, I remember.
Whenever someone says “Let’s Roll”, I remember.
Whenever I see the letters F.D.N.Y. or N.Y.P.D., I remember.
Whenever I see Giuliani, or hear his name, I remember.
Whenever I see an American flag at half staff, I remember.
Whenever the Department of Homeland Security is mentioned, I remember.
Whenever I hear about a U.S. soldier being killed in action, I remember.
I remember seeing my yet to be born daughter for the first time via sonogram, and how happy I was. I remember the confusion going on in the doctor’s office as we were leaving, but not understanding why.
I remember my boss calling me as I drove to work late, and her telling me to turn around because they were evacuating the campus.
I remember being glued to the television, when the second plane hit the south tower, and I remember watching the footage over and over again until it was permanently etched into my brain.
I remember people hanging out the windows, and then falling/jumping to escape the fire.
I remember the shock of watching the south tower collapse.
I remember “All circuits are busy” when trying to use the phone.
I remember hearing false information about the Pentagon, and the White House.
I remember being scared and helpless when the north tower collapsed.
I remember footage of thousands of people walking out of the city, covered in grey ash.
I remember newscasters switching from talking about and showing the horror, to honoring and showing the heroes.
I remember reading the scroll at the bottom of the screen for hours and days.
I remember breaking down and sobbing in the middle of the night as I thought about all of those lives lost.
I remember mobile surface to air missile launchers deployed around Washington D.C.
I remember David Letterman, coming back on the air and not telling any jokes.
I remember New York City tourism grinding to a halt, and making it a point to show my support by visiting.
I remember seeing the gaping hole where the Twin Towers stood from the top of the Empire State Building, and the site still smoldering over a month after 9/11.
I remember walking all over the city with my pregnant wife, and having a great time.
I remember Shock and Awe.
I remember ignorant people saying horrible things about Muslims.
I remember having a great sense of Patriotism, and being thankful for the brave men and women who serve in our military.
I remember crazy conspiracy theories.
I remember President Bush standing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln with a banner that read “Mission Accomplished” in 2003.
I remember the U.S. soldiers that were killed in action.
I remember having a conversation with a young coworker about where we were when the planes hit, and he replied in middle school – I remember I am getting older.
I remember how precious life is, and how much I love my family and friends.
I remember that the world was forever changed.
You are damn right I remember……..everyday.
After that – how can I complain about the small annoyances in my life? However, I think it’s the day to day stuff that we focus on that helps us move forward and beyond tragedies. Life does indeed go on – whether we like it or not and we have to pick ourselves up, persevere and do our part to ensure we are making the world a better place day in and day out. Which is why I am focusing on doing a 21 Day Kindness Challenge – if we all practice kindness, we really can change the world.
- 800m run
- 5/side Turkish Get-ups 26# KB
- 400m run
- 7/side TGUs
- 200m plate run 15#
- 15 burpees
- 3min Plank Holds
Now that we are done with our first week of school, the kids’ activities are heating up. Nate is doing flag football and HB is learning volleyball. She’s so hard on herself –she literally has never played the game before and was upset that she didn’t make the ‘team’. I love the outlook of kids that age –they have no filter and really do think they can conquer the world. She has the spirit of someone who will change the world. I can feel it.
So Saturday, after working out – we spent time with the kids, running errands and getting their sports supplies. I am going to go broke!
I’ve been under a lot of stress, so I headed into Highbar on Sunday to work it off a bit–figured I would just do some active recovery work. Nothing intense:
- 500m row
- 20s x 4 Pull Ups
- Instep Lunges
- Ankle Mobility
- Shoulder PNF stretching with band
Then I came home, got HB and we met the Highbar gang for some paddle board lessons! Yes, I went way outside of my comfort zone and went paddle boarding at Beaver Creek Reservoir. Although I was the first one to fall in after trying to stand on my board the first time, the second time I owned it! I did lose my cherished Oakley sunglasses with my first fall –down the murky waters they went. So, it turned out to be an expensive excursion but I was so proud of myself for even giving it a got! HB, of course, got right up and ended up staying on the board the entire time. If you have the right board, it’s actually not that hard once you get the core stability down and you create a stable base. What an arm workout it is! Needless to say – I’m a little sore this morning. But it was such a fun time, hanging with everyone and seeing my daughter just flourish. The weather was perfect, and it was a good day!
This morning – ugh. My mind was not in the game. My pal Omar thinks I worked out too much this past week and just over did it. I would normally disagree with him but after trying my lifts this AM — I think he’s right! My body was just achy and my focus was off. I put 103# on the bar but couldn’t get it cleaned. Funny that although Coach Dan was not there this AM –when I misfired, I said out loud -If you’re scared, go home! Which is what Coach Dan says to me when I fail to get under the bar. He has my brainwashed to coach myself when he’s not around –very sneaky coach.
Tomorrow is another day to try it again!!
5×2 Power Clean 93#
5 Manmakers 20#
5 DB Snatch 20#
Total: 4+ rounds
then: 200m Farmer’s Carry 25# DB
One of my friends this morning, pointed out the definition I am developing in my arms –mentioning the coconut shape my biceps and shoulders are starting to form. It really is because of the programming at Highbar – I have been doing this for years, without any cut, definition in my arms and since I switched gyms, there it is!
Today is the big day — Back to School 2013. Hard to believe it’s September and that my kids are growing up this fast. Hannah is heading to middle school and Nate is a proud fourth grader this year! I am so proud of both of them and hope this year strengthens their love of learning.
Yesterday, I came across this status post from Just Eat Real Food and I had to share it:
“Go outside. Hug your family. Laugh with your friends. Work hard and play hard. Get enough sleep. Read. Experience. Keep life in perspective. Avoid negativity and unnecessary stress. Eat yummy food. Don’t define your self-worth by the number on the scale or the supposed “purity” of your diet. Keep your health in mind, but don’t let it become an obsession that rules you. At the end of your life, you won’t look back and dwell on the foods you did or didn’t eat, so don’t dwell on it now. Stop worrying about other people and what they do or say or think or feel or eat. Don’t be afraid to learn, change, grow, evolve. Find your joy, and live it.” – Chef Amber Shea
I think we all can do better in all of the areas mentioned above and my favorite part that resonated:
Don’t be afraid to learn, change, grow, evolve. Find your joy, and live it.
So many of us are stuck in a rut, or a fear circle and are not enjoying the lives we are living. It’s not easy to change and many times, it’s a painful process but nine out of ten times, it is so worth it. Fear holds us back -
On that note, read this post: Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready - and think about how fear can control you and hold you back from success. Many of us are scared to start before we are ready and that is what differentiates being successful from just getting by.
I don’t want to be one of those people that just gets by – i am always striving to learn, grow, progress. Be better than I was yesterday. I don’t quite understand how some people aren’t wired that way and are ok being average. I was at a party this weekend and someone I have recently met at the gym said to me — “I think of you like a mentor . You are so willing to help others learn and want to make things better.” I don’t think she realized how much her words meant to me –those words capture the person I am focused on being. Do I mess up from time to time? Absolutely, but that’s all part of the learning process – no one is perfect and to expect it from anyone is crazy. My intentions are good and usually my heart is in the right place and I am learning to quiet my mind, in hopes that it helps me learn to quiet my mouth when necessary. We all have to have goals, right?
Today’s workout was BRUTAL. The air was thick and it was all about conditioning.
strength: Front Squat 5×3 140#
10 Burpee Box Jumps
15 Wall Balls
-200m run with 15# plate
time cap of 15m
For all of you out there with kiddos heading back to school — enjoy the quiet and the routine. As much as I love this time of year, it also is bittersweet. Our kids grow up so fast. I wish we could bottle them up and hold them tight a bit longer.
It’s Friday – Friday – Friday! Can you tell how happy I am this week is over? It’s busy season at my job, so people’s stress levels are high, tempers are short and we all have too much to do. I am lucky that I genuinely like what I do because it really does make it easier to handle it all. Someone told me earlier this week that they could tell I like what I do by the energy and enthusiasm I emit. How nice is that?
The other day I read a graduation commencement speech all about Kindness and it got me thinking about it in context of the people around me. What is it about ourselves that prevents us from being kind – if you stop and think about it, whether we are or not, really is a reflection of us inside. How we filter others & their actions – how it makes us feel. What can we do to just be kinder in our own lives – go out of our way to help, no matter how bit or small. A smile, a wave, a word of encouragement, a gesture just because — whatever it is. If we all start to be aware and make it a daily focus, I bet we could make some real changes in our lives. Simple acts of kindness can go a long, long way and help both the recipient and yourself in return. How can that not be good?
“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.
Now, the million-dollar question: What’s our problem? Why aren’t we kinder?”
After reading that yesterday morning, I came upon this story last night: The Mystery Man at Miller Park almost as if it were a sign. A sign that good people, who practice kindness are all over the place.
Thank you for what you did for my son at Miller Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. As we were preparing to leave the stadium, I reached out my hand to offer my sincere thanks for your act of kindness. To my surprise, you pulled me in for a hug.
This young man, who at the end of the story – they did locate – showed his character and sincere kindness and that little boy will NEVER forget it and I am going to go out on a limb and say will probably behave similarly as he grows up. What that act of kindness did was help set the foundation for a lifetime.
Have a great Friday!!
Shoulder Press 5×5
25 Slam Balls
25 Ring Push Ups (on knees)
25 slam balls
25 ring push ups (on knees)
the cap was 15 minutes. I came up 25 seconds short but wanted to finish my run, so even though I was out of time – I did it anyway. I was so close and I hate running – gotta work on your weaknesses and after the week I had, I had a lot of stress and frustration to get rid of.