Friday, April 28, 2017

Macroinsanity

Diet is a pain in the ass. You listen to all the podcasts, you read all the books, Bulletproof, IIFYM, Vince Gironda, Low Carb, High Carb, Zone, Twinkie Diet, and on and on and freakin'on.

I like the beer and quesadilla diet, but you won't lose weight on it very easily. Well, if you ate just that and drank just that, you would lose weight. I ate chicken wings and drank beer for pretty much all summer one time and lost a bunch of weight. I'd fast until like 2pm and then have wings and like ten Budweiser pony's. During the day, I would lift and do 30 minutes of the recumbent bike, usually first thing in the morning.  But then I started to see the weight coming off and then I'd get crazy and get miserable and do cabbage and beef and a few sweet potatoes and two hours of cardio plus lifting and I'd feel like I didn't wanna do anything but smack somebody. That's some miserable stuff right there.

So in the meantime, you go on, confused as hell because these guys with doctorates are telling you that this works but then other ones with doctorates are telling you that what they think works and what to believe?

So what does it all mean, where does it all go from here? This is groundbreaking stuff, I think. I really think that........... 

You must listen to your body. Crazy, I know.

Now, this is not for people who have absolutely no idea about macro nutrients and protein and carbs, and just the general knowledge thing. I am saying this because some people have no idea what eating right means or even training right , and that's okay, for those folks, it's a different ballgame, start reading, get some general knowledge. Get real confused and then go back to what your grandmother said to eat, and unless she was a Cheeto fanatic, you will be fine. Probably just good for you stuff unless she is real young and then, well then, you are screwed. If that is the case, try to find what your great grandmother ate. You'll be alright, then.

So just what am I saying? Not sure, but it's frustrating. Maybe stop reading and just start living?

I remember being in high school and trying to lose weight and then I ate a bunch of pasta midday and my Dad, the wise one said, just eat less later. He was right. I lost weight.

My son Donald lives down South where everything is fried and most of the women go from hot to not hot as they age because of the fried food that is constantly thrust in front of them. I know that is  a sweeping generalization but its true in my experience and I am trying to make a point here , so that's that.

So when Donald was trying to lose weight , I just told him to cut down on portion size, because when it's yeast rolls and chicken fried steak night, nobody is gonna make you chicken and green beans. That's sacrilegious, it is.  So what does he do? He watches his portions and damn if he didn't lose a bunch of weight and he looks just fine and says that he feels miserable if he eats too much and doesn't like that feeling at all, and MAN!  I think that he has it all figured, too. A lot more than I do, for sure. Because I will eat a whole cake and then go crazy and lose 40 pounds and eat 10 cakes and gain some back and then go crazy and eat tuna and drink club soda for three months and lose it again. Stupid, I know, and enough after awhile, don't ya think?

So let's summarize here:

Eat what you want but don't make a pig out of yourself, and you will be fine and happy. Maybe have a little more protein than the average guy or gal. Don't beat yourself up over having Wendy's once in a while. Have a bad day where you eat a cheesecake and a mess of fries? So what! Do better tomorrow. Look in the mirror and you don't like what you see? Eat a little less and lift your ass off. It works .

And it always will work.








Thursday, April 20, 2017

Modern Times

I read a lot of books. Sometimes I have three or four books going at once. They vary in subject, content, genre. Most are survival stories or war stories involving people facing seemingly impossible situations and the struggles that they face and then overcome with will and determination and heart. Stories where one can see the that the body and mind are capable to achieve so much more than we think. World War II books of POW, Vietnam War books, lost in the wild books.

Sometimes I read books that would be described as Self Help but they are usually about how to shut off distractions and get what you have defined as your priorities done first in the day,  helping you identify what is important , things like that. And inevitably the message in most of the books is that you can have all of the plans in the world , the best plans, the perfect plans, but the key to all of it is action, taking the step to move.  I really believe that the action that you take may even be wrong, but you are moving, not talking about it, or thinking about it, or looking it up on the computer, but putting some movement into the whole thing.

Which brings us to training.  I have gone to a public gym a few times recently and what I have noticed is that most folks don't do a damn thing. It's freaking amazing. Here is what I figured out is essential these days to modern gym life:

Set up a camera to record everything that you do in the gym. Because unless you record it, you really didn't do it.

Warm up with bands all tied around you, stretching yourself , hanging, and of course, filming yourself doing all of this.

Look at your phone, take selfies, text , take more pics, mix some protein/BCAA/Preworkout. Sip on drink while rolling on knobby thing that looks like a foam roller but has bumps all over it. I'm out of the loop on that one, for sure.

Set out all of your wraps, straps, belt with name on it, (or even better- a Velcro belt) to prepare for WAR (at least that what your t-shirt reads). Comparing training to war is a little far fetched.

Take picture of wraps, straps, belt.

Walk outside with phone to ear, covering other ear with hand because of loudness of music that people think is hardcore but is really just metal that is Pantera influenced but never as good as the real thing.  Damn, singers try so hard to be like Phil Anselmo from the old days. Let it go. Or the music is talking and rhyming without anyone playing instruments. Anyway.

I have thought for years now that one should be able to walk into any gym without anything, well, maybe something that fits into your pockets, wrist wraps maybe, or one pair of straps, but not that you have to say, "Oh no! I forgot my____ !" So that you have to turn the car around to get said crutch.

Just walk in, grab the dumbbells and start benching. Is that the first set or your warm up? It is my first set, its always the first set because I just did a set and I don't want to think that I haven't really started yet so hell, we count everything.  Look over  at that guy smiling while he looks at his phone and adjusts his tripod. Just like Draper in the 60's training in the Dungeon.  Use him at as motivation to finish workout before he even starts, taking short rests, chasing the pump. His multi color tights match his cutoff shirt that reads , "SAVAGE". Savagely killing that camera and that smoothie.  Lord.

So the take action advice may get misunderstood by many. It doesn't mean just going to the gym, it actually means that ya gotta do something.

But maybe it's just me, archaic and not hip to the new world. Maybe it is best to analyze your gait in the mirror before you begin, to make sure your pre workout is timed just right or it won't allow for maximum recovery, to write everything down from your feelings about the weather to the perceived exertion of your warm up.  Probably the way to go, wouldn't want to not analyze every damn thing.  

Isn't all that stuff boring? Because while you are doing all that, the weights are just sitting there, longing to be used.

And then you finally do a little something and adjust the camera for just the right angle and do some crunches and drink something for post workout loading and then you tell all your buddies that you just had LEG DAY and you can barely walk as you down just one Michelob Ultra because its doesn't fit your macro's on your carb cycling/IIFYM diet. Then break out the Tupperware with the chicken and rice measured out just right. You have it all figured out.

I reckon that we are getting as far away from doing Viking/Greatest Generation/Highlander/Depression Era/70's Steeler's stuff as can be. Far away from just doing squats and pounding the Budweiser. Away from Old School Metal and cutoff sweats. Away from flannel shirts and Levi Garret. Away from a lone canvas heavy bag in the middle of the gym. Away from the owner's Rottweiler roaming the gym.

Out to pasture I go. And I ain't taking a camera with me.






Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Special Times


​I do not get to go hunting much these days, maybe ten times a year if I am lucky. That may seem like a lot to some, and not much to others.

I'll tell you what though, to me, going ten times is not much at all. If I had my way, I would go hunting every day, and I would enjoy every minute of it and I would have great days even if I didn't kill anything at all. Because each hunt brings excitement like it is Christmas morning.

But then the hunting season ends and you are left with this blank, empty feeling like when I was a little kid and it was Sunday night and 60 minutes just ended and all of the football games were over except the Chargers and somebody on the west coast and I knew that I had to go to bed soon and the dreaded Monday was coming  and school was my punishment on a Monday. 

 Just what is that feeling? It's when anything that you love is ending and you dread the next "have to do" thing and the funny part about it all is that I know when I am hunting that it is something special, I know that it is great. You know how you look back on some stuff and you go, "That was great, I wish I would have enjoyed every moment?" Well, when I am hunting, I am in the moment and I get it, I know that it is special and I am aware that man, this is wonderful and great and that I wouldn't want to be doing anything else at all. From the paddling in the dark to the decoys being put out to the first bunch of ducks to appear to the joy or frustration of a successful or failed hunt, to the biscuits and gravy at the diner after the hunt, all is great and grand and special.

I get the same kind of feelings when looking back into the past an my training when you just know that the gym or your partners or both are special and you just want to stop and freeze time so that you can keep everybody right there and stay the same and continue onward and upward with them.

For sure, there have been times in my life when I had the perfect situation when it came to training. One of the best times was when I was coaching high school football in Florida. I had two of my players who were hell bent on getting strong. We joined a gym called the Power Plant that was in the next town. Also training with us was my buddy, the  former Pro wrestler, Bill. Great guy, strong as all get out. We had some great training sessions together. Sunday was our squat day and the sessions were all good, not one bad one that I can recall. 

The one high school kid, who later became an Army Ranger, squatted 600(in a meet) as a junior in high school.  The other one pulled 700 a few years after high school. What was so special about those sessions? Camaraderie for one. We all pulled for each other, we trained until our muscles were weary and the sweat poured off of us and the Goldline wraps would be digging into your skin and the next set of squats was gonna be a bitch but you knew that everyone was pumped up for you to get your set and you weren't gonna let anyone down. And those high school kids? I could have told them that we were doing sets of one hundred in the squat and they would have done it, no questions asked. Something to be said for that kind of enthusiasm. You'd walk out of the gym and you'd be covered in chalk and your calluses would be bloody and that warm Florida air would hit you and damn, you would feel awesome. After wards, we would all go out to eat and talk about the workout, which is also one of the best parts of having great training partners. 

My buddy Jimmy and I had some great workouts when we were both coaching college football together. We would crank up some Charlie Daniels and get after it. We would "squat and leave" on a regular basis. Sometimes we'd leave the weights on the squat rack and just close the door. Something cool about doing that. And then we would come back later and put them away. But to just finish your last set and walk out the door was our thing. Our mindset at the time? Don't do anything that will mess up the next workout. Yeah, you are coaching and we like doing that and all, but Jimmy, you know we have to squat tomorrow so don't demonstrate anything or run anywhere or even walk too fast, because expending that extra bit of energy may take a rep from you tomorrow just when you need it the most. 

A few years back, when Cristi and Tracy and were competing in powerlifting, we had "Deadlift Fridays", and we would all meet in my office and watch inspiring videos of Kirk or Coan and take our pre workout and the adrenaline would start to get pumping and then Black Label Society would come on, your soundtrack on Friday's and the knurling on the bar felt like old home week and the first warmup set you would swear could be thrown right over your head if you wanted it to. We trained at eleven o'clock  on the dot and you better get your reps while we were all watching. Some crazy numbers were being thrown around and your shins better be bleeding when you were done and the rest of the day nothing else matters a whole lot, because damn, it's Deadlift Friday, and what could top a day of deadlifting?

You can't force any of this to happen, in my experience. Moments and times that are remarkable have to just sort of come together and even when you go back and try to duplicate them it doesn't seem to work very well. Just gotta dig into the moment, realize the uniqueness of it and take notes in your head so that you can remember all of it. I guess that half the fun of it is looking back and wondering why things can't always be special.





Friday, January 13, 2017

Use It Up

It is tough when your pet gets old, and my hunting Labrador, Bas, is going on 13 and life ain't getting any easier for him as the days go on. In his prime, he was a Death Machine, a brave soul who tackled wounded geese full speed and retrieved ducks in icy water without a seconds hesitation. Bas' prey drive has always been off the charts. And he is the sweetest boy, never has he snapped at anyone or been untrustworthy.


Bas and Storm

He still retrieves every day but doesn't follow the bumper that I throw as well as he used to follow it. He has had some accidents in the house which has never happened before. He struggles to get up the steps from the basement to the kitchen door, he has false starts while he is trying to find just the right spot on the steps to begin his ascend to the top.

But he gets up those steps, he gets up there no matter what.

So now what?

Live it like Bas, that's what. Live life like Bas.

What's that mean? It means that Bas doesn't care that the end is near, he will go as hard as he can for as long as he can and when that is over, he will have used up every ounce of his body the way that it was supposed to be used. It means that he wakes up in the morning with enthusiasm and excitement for the day. He doesn't care how old he is or about the pain in his hips and shoulders, he just keeps going.

When I see him struggling but still wagging his tail anyway, I think of what Jack London said many years ago:

I would rather be ashes than dust! 
I would rather that my spark should burn out 
    in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. 
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom 
    of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. 
The function of man is to live, not to exist. 
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. 

I shall use my time. 

Bas reminds me of a battered weight lifter or athlete that has been dedicated to the task of training for years


Keep going, keep going, it is what I love to do.


If you have been training many years and are all banged up and it seems like you are just spinning your wheels and you start to get frustrated, don't.


It's the way that it's supposed to be when you push your body and what is the alternative anyway? Don't train and be like everyone else? Lie on the couch and say that you will start Monday? Or is the better alternative to just take the aches and pains and surgeries that come with it and to grit you teeth and grab the bar and the situation just motivates you to get stronger and bigger and work around the injury and to just keep going until that injury clears up.

 And then wouldn't you just know it, another one comes along but you are different than the masses and you accept all of it as part of what happens when you are a lifer, not a sometimes kind of guy.

You keep chasing that bumper even though you can't see so great, but you keep looking and then you find it and with great enthusiasm, you bring it back and it gets thrown again and you don't have it in you to ever stop because that is what you were meant to do and it is what you love above all else.

One of my good friends has begun doing some personal training in her spare time. She had her first client the other day, a lady in her mid 40's. The client had no idea  that my friend had been a major college strength coach for many years. After the workout, The lady says to my friend, " I know you are new to this, but I came here to just work core and arms, and I didn't want to get all sweaty and work so hard. But I'm sure that you will get better as time goes on."

Seriously, she really said it. Jack London must be doing backflips in his grave when he hears that kind of stuff.

That lady is the anti-Jack London, the anti-Bas. She lives in a world where comfort is her main concern. She is not like you,  you who  has persevered through years of squats and deadlifts and presses and sprints and heavy bag work or you who keeps going, squinting through the sweat that is dripping into your eyes on  your tenth rep of hill runs on a 90 degree day.

But the client can be forgiven. She can be forgiven because she hasn't found the magic of the THING, the magic of the training session and the magic of the lifestyle that calls to you to train no matter what and train when you are sick and sore and everyone else is asleep or skipping a day because they say that they don't have the time. The sheer force of will that drives you to squat on the lone power rack in the corner while everyone else in the gym is talking and trying their best not to break a sweat.

It is 6:12 am as I write this, and Bas is in the next room whining. He wants to go outside and retrieve. He knows that it is something that he has done for as long as he has been alive and will try to do with all his might until he is unable to run another step.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Reunion

I had the opportunity to attend the 30th reunion of my Montgomery College (junior college) 1986 Championship football team the other night.

Damn, it was fun. I saw folks that I hadn't seen in 30 years. All of my old coaches were there, and they all were doing well. Some of them lost some hair, some gray at the temples, some a little heavier, but still kicking and getting it done in life.


My buddy Billy and I
Our team in 1985 and 1986, was a place for the misfits. A place where those of us who were too small to play at a 4 year school, or didn't have grades to get into one or had been in the military or had no other place to go. And the place was not geared towards football, it was a college, not an athletic institution. And the other night reminded me that we didn't have all the "modern" stuff that they have these days at football programs like a player's lounge or the luxury of a strength coach or even a weight room. In fact,we weren't even allowed to use the weight room at the school. Not us, not the uncouth monsters. But nobody complained about it. Some went to the local Gold's Gym in Wheaton ( Where chalk was allowed. I think that there was one piece of cardio equipment; a bike in the corner). I lifted in my girlfriend's basement. 

Practice alone was an arduous affair, the warmup took 20 minutes. Forward rolls, sprints, backpedals, bear crawls, etc (That was "Primal Movement" before it was labeled as such and cost hundreds of dollars to attend a seminar about freaking crawling).We didn't do any A skips, B skips, C skips, or ladder drills. I have no idea how we won without doing any of that stuff. We pushed bags up a steep hill. We sprinted. We hit. We hit all week. We hit and tackled the backs and every day was like a game day.  Nobody got hurt.  And be ready, or you will get your ass whooped. And fight back if somebody messes with you or nobody will ever ever respect you.

 And then my buddy Billy would drive us home and drop us off at our respective houses and then I'd eat pasta and beef and then a little while later, Chris would pick me up and we would go to Beth's house to lift. We would work up to one heavy set of 5-8 reps on the bench , squat, behind the neck press and rack deads. Nobody talked about inter, intra, post workout nutrition. Not sure how we made it without that knowledge, but Chris was squatting 610x3 , benching 485 and behind the neck pressing 315 for reps. He was eating 8 bowls of Raisin Bran for breakfast, which in itself is anabolic as hell. But even with shitty supplements (read zero), no machines except a rickety lat pulldown and a diet of meat, pasta and beer, we managed to make it to the National Championship. No scholarships, no weight room, no training table, one paid coach, no juice bar, no "refueling station, no dorms, no training table, no dietician, one Athletic Trainer, no pats on the back, 60 people in the stands at most (and that was because of the bake sale at half time), no news coverage, no turf.

 People that went to school there had no idea that we even had a football team. 

But ya know what? It was better like that, we had a team and nobody cared and we didn't care that they didn't, the whole world could kiss our collective butts, because if you were there, you were in love with football, you were there because you sacrificed, you showed up and played and you did your own wash and designed your own workouts and monitored your own bed check and you didn't know any other way that it was supposed to be.  And then in practice, you got your ass whipped and then you came back and whipped ass and it was pure, man. You did it just for you and your teammates. And some guys went on to play some more and some didn't. 

And the other night it was great. All of the guys that I  spoke with had great jobs, they were successful. I don't mean that they went to Wall Street, they had jobs that make a difference: Police officer, coach, computer troubleshooter. One guy had 11 restaurants.  

And it just showed me that a chance was all that most of us needed to just get going. And we got it and it wasn't squandered and they learned, we all learned, that coming together, and that the discipline of playing together and sacrificing would pay off in the long run. That the will to get along and get it done without fanfare or anybody giving us a damn thing was worth something.

Again, it was pure.

All who spoke to the audience thanked the coaches for being tough on them. 

None of them thanked the coaches for making all of it easier and for being sympathetic and so understanding.

It was a great night and it makes me frustrated that all of it has become so damn big and that some athletes today think that they deserve stuff instead of having to earn it, but hell, thats just me, an old 1986 championship team member who loves the old days.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Getting Started, Getting going, Getting Inspired

So!
You are starting up with training or you had a long layoff or hell, you just need a kick in the ass, some reminders to facilitate your WILL.

First off cut through the BS and decide on a program and stick to a program for at least 6 weeks. No changing. After 6 weeks you can change, but not until then.

 As far as programs go, to sum up lifting weights and making gains from lifting weights, everything works if you apply yourself. However , as Dr.Squat, Fred Hatfield (Pioneer strength coach extraordinaire), said long ago, there are good, better and best when it comes to most things, and programs are no exception.

 So will you get stronger or bigger just doing one set to failure and a few forced reps at the end of your set? Yes. How about 10 sets of 10? Works. But to get really super heroic strong, you have to do some repeated efforts at lower reps and you need to do most of your work in the 80-90% of your one rep max in your workouts. There is a  huge skill component involved with getting strong, and  the more times you set up for a lift(squats for example),  and the more times that you perform the lift and put back the bar, the better you will get at performing them.

So with all of that being said, to get strong, your program should probably be heavy and low reps with some decent volume and for hypertrophy training, you should probably bump the reps up some (6-15) and focus on the negative portion also.

But!

After all these years of training and coaching, one attribute stands above all when it comes to training and making gains regardless of your program or goals. That attribute?

Attitude.

And attitude plays into the success of whatever program that you choose to do. Your attitude should be positive and your goals should be clear and along those lines filed under attitude is to

Take Training Seriously

Of course, I never understand when people don't take stuff seriously especially when they go on and on that something is oh so important to them. If training is important, make your training time free of distractions and useless bullcrap.

If you are talking with your friends about how your date was last night or how drunk you got or the fight that you got in in eighth grade, you will not make the gains that are really waiting for you. If you are texting or taking selfies, you aint gonna cut it.  Just shut up. Count the reps for your partner,but other than a few other essential words, you should just be working, not talking and talking. Really, just be a  man and shut the hell up once in awhile and train. No great man ever got great at anything by nonsensically running their mouths. And if you profess that training is important, then make it that important by actually concentrating on the task at hand.



 Get to work and focus on what you are doing. Talking is the most overrated freaking thing ever. I have always admired folks who have the ability to shut up and take a step back and look over a situation before opening their mouths and making a judgment. How can you be serious if you are talking about something than can wait to talk about later, or some bullshit that are just words, wasted words that don't mean a damn thing?

Everyone wants to talk, talk , talk, and you only have, in my estimation, so many words in life to spew out and why waste them on stories or talk that are just words that take up space in the air, floating out there and landing somewhere where words and thoughts that don't mean a damn thing go.


Get inside yourself when you lift weights, go to another place where that thing that you are doing right now, at this very moment, is all that matters.

 And this, to me, is the essence of training,  a great attitude that leads into the the ability to get into yourself when you train, avoiding distractions like the plague and concentrating on the movement, the muscles, the execution.  Weights are to me a time of total self absorption but not in a selfish way, but in a way that gets you in touch with yourself in a way that nothing else can compare.

Or

 Simply don't try at all. ... don't try unless you can do it with all of your heart and soul, all of it .

I reckon you can apply that to almost everything in life.

So what do you do? How do you get into that zone of focus?

You must prepare ahead of time(if this is important to you, go to extraordinary lengths) for your training. Now, I'm not talking about using the instinctive way of training, that's some off season stuff when you want to change things up.

So anyway, lets say that you are training legs the next day. Write down the exercises that you are going to use. Write down the sets and reps that you want to achieve, write down exercises and even the rest periods. Get all of that in your head also. Sear it in there. See yourself pushing through the last reps of an exercise.   Feel the muscle working as you are visualizing it all. I have used two ways, one where I see myself like a movie, going through the training, or, I write it all down and then watch a video of someone who trains intensely and picture myself as that person. I used to have to order videos in the mail or look at pictures in the magazines to use for this exercise. Now with YouTube, it is all right at your fingertips. Going to train arms? Put in Dorian Yates arm training or Arnold arm training. I used to, and still do, mimic the mannerisms and the form of top guys, going as far as using the style that they use, feeling myself inside the body of the person that I was watching. Weird? Not to me. One thing that I have learned is to use ANYTHING that you need to use in order to get fired up. Magazines, videos, in person observation, etc. use them all. I was fortunate to be around Kirk Karwoski during some of his squat sessions, and man! Those fired me up like crazy, and that would give me impetus to have weeks worth of great work outs. And then when that was gone? And then I'd watch the Bulgarian training hall tapes, or Ed Coan's video, etc.



Keep going, keep getting inspired, gotta get to work, never miss a session, use what you can to just do it.

And pretty soon it has been a week and then a month and then a year and then a bunch of years and you have ups and downs but you keep training through it all, and keep finding inspiration in even the smallest freaking things that really matter to you but may not mean a hill of beans to anyone else, but that does not matter because you are what matters, and training and striving are what sets up the rest of your life, it is what enables you to do the other stuff in life that are important but that wouldn't get done half as well if you didn't have that solace of training , that time to yourself that sets up everything else for success.





Friday, October 28, 2016

All You

There are excuses and then there are excuses and damn everyone has a bunch of excuses and really, why have excuses at all? I do it too, no question. I am a master at that stuff- The blame game.

Well, it wasn't MY fault.  He did this or she did that and I tried but they didn't listen and I tried to get there on time, but that darn alarm clock and it wasn't my fault!  Yeah it was , you big dummy, you were in charge,  plus you are responsible for yourself and your actions, all of them, so it is your fault. 

Prepare yourself better, prepare your people better. Get it right every time until everybody knows everything about the task at hand , over and over, until they can do it without thinking about it.

 And then if they still screw up, figure out what you missed in your teaching and keep going back over it. 

Elimination of excuses.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Who Needs To Go Inside?

I want to tell you about the picture above. Its a picture of my Mom and Dad and two of my sons. 

My parents come up from Maryland once in awhile to visit.  They usually bring me some old pictures that they found or maybe the Washington Post Book World or the Sports section . They are both in their 80's, but they are very active, playing tennis and gardening.

When they arrive, they come inside and use the bathroom and then that is it for being inside. Dad throws the ball to the kids and makes them race around the tree and times them and then and I bring out my Labrador Stormy and show some of her retrieving drills and then my parents watch the kids ride bikes and then Dad tells me to call Antonino's up the street and get some hoagies or pizza for everybody. Then I bring out the dog kennel to use as a table because we don't  have anything to put the food on.

And then they watch the kids play a little longer and then Dad says, "Okay, Mom." and then they stand up and give out some hugs and then they head on back. No drama, no arguing, no fuss whatsoever.  I just think its cool that they are no trouble at all and that they they think it is silly to go inside. Why go inside when you can be out and watch the kids romp around? It's a beautiful day lets watch the dog do some work. 

And there is no CRAP involved with any of it. We visited, we are done, love you, we wanna miss the traffic on 95. Nothing fancy, hell, you don't even have to clean the house when they come. They would never dream of being any trouble. I hear other people talk about parents visiting and they are worried because such and such doesn't get along with so and so and where is everyone going to sleep and oh my god, we have to go to the store and  let's plan dinner and then we will go out one night and so on. 

Sorta goes along with what I enjoy in life, simple things that don't involve a lot of posturing or politics and zero egos. And there is no beating around the bush about staying longer and please don't go or any of that stuff. Just black and white and see you soon.  

Inside I think that its their generation that sees things simply and that when you have been through the Depression and World War II that you really know what is important and what is not. It's the kids and company, period.And in my mind,  it is the way that it should be.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Damn Fine Thing

Training with weights is a damn fine thing. It is the quickest way, the most efficient way to get stronger and more muscular. and it isn't complicated  to do, this training. Well, let me put it this way: You can make it as complicated as you want to make it. you can use chains and bands and boards and wraps and straps and count the tonnage and use a Tendo unit and obsess endlessly about your recovery, and damn is that pre workout ever gonna kick in

or hell

You can just get under a bar or pull a bar from the floor or row it or press it until your muscles ache and your vision gets a little blurry and then you finish the set and wait a few moments and do it again, and then again, and then in 30 minutes you are done, and you are done in 30 minutes because you don't look at your phone to text or take pictures or check whatever is checked 4,000 times a day, you don't call attention to yourself buy putting your arms out like you could fly away, you don't say a word except to count reps.  you don't even see anyone else because you don't care one bit, because this is your time, the time of day where you and your body work like they are supposed to work, struggling, straining, striving, advancing, finishing. You push until whatever demons that are inside of you are purged out in the sweat puddle on the floor. and then to top it off, you hit the heavy bag for a few minutes to release what is left, until your whole slate is wiped clean.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a year...it's for life. Whether its training or your family or your job...it doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.