Ouch

“You oughta see yourself,” she says, chuckling. “You look like…,” and she makes motions with her arms that are very clearly imitating a monkey.

Oh, I know, Grandma… I am incredibly aware… 😛

After the workout yesterday – mile run, 100 pull-ups (modified to difficult ring rows), 200 push-ups (modified to dumbbell push-ups for my wrist), 300 air squats, and another mile run, both runs with a 10lb weight vest on me – my arms are in big time muscle soreness. I hadn’t done push-ups in months because of my wrist, and I suddenly shot out 200 of them. It’s no wonder they hurt today, but boy, do they hurt! I actually woke up in the middle of the night last night, they were hurting so badly. I was rubbing and stretching half the night after that. Then, today, I couldn’t quite get my arms to bend normally, so, every time I itched my face or wiped my mouth or brushed back a lock of hair, my overly rounded arm shape made me look and feel just like a monkey.

Fortunately, all the vitamins and food and water and stretching and low-grade use of those muscles today has helped significantly. They aren’t healed fully, but they are much better than this time last night!

God, thank you for the blessing of this pain, this reminder always to take care of myself and be grateful for my body and its capabilities. Please, help me to heal fully that I might pursue fully and fulfill your will. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

My Body

My body is extremely sore,
Worn out,
Ground,
Grounded.
But it is also satisfied,
Sated,
Lifted,
And elated,
For it comes from a week
Of releasing what is weak,
Embracing my state
and pursuing my strength,
Letting go of what’s in the way
Of being my best
And fittest
Self.
This week was great
In a really hard way.
Indeed,
I will pass out hard
After a week so hard,
And I will relish
The restoration
Tonight’s and tomorrow’s rest
Will bring.
And I will breathe
Easily,
Freely,
And with increased oxygen.
And,
Next week,
I’ll do it again.

Post-a-day 2022
(Still got it wrong…)

Lieutenant Michael Murphy

Today has been Memorial Day, a day for remembering, honoring, and extending gratitude to those who have served in the military, whatever branch they may have been, and who died during that service. In their honor and memory, I now always honor specifically Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy and the 18 others who died for Operation Red Wings on 28 June, 2005, through my practice of the workout now called “Murph”. While it is a thing worldwide, today was a bit extra special for me.

One of my cousins used to live in San Diego and work among the SEALs. He was not technically a SEAL, as he was brought in in a non-traditional way, but he worked and trained alongside them for many years. One of his best friends from that work was on the first helicopter that had aimed to rescue the original four SEALs from the reconnaissance mission that had gone so terribly sour. That helicopter was shot down before any aid could be given, and all those in it died.

Below are all of their names, both those from the original four and those who died while aiming to rescue those four. I list them here, that those who read this might offer up a prayer, a positive intention, some light, some love, and/or some gratitude for the efforts of these men to make the world a better place by giving their all, both physically and mentally, as well as for those efforts continuing all the way to the end of their lives. Being in the military is more than about guns and fighting – it is about being one’s best self, such that the country itself has the opportunity and ability to do that same. Therefore, I am always grateful to those who serve in the military, and I give my love to each of these men listed here, that their souls may be at peace, and their families, too.

Navy SEALs

LT Michael P. Murphy

SO2 Matthew Axelson

SO2 Danny Dietz

SOC Jacques J. Fontan

SOC Daniel R. Healy

LCDR Erik S. Kristensen

SO1 Jeffery A. Lucas

LT Michael M. McGreevy Jr.

SO2 James E. Suh

SO1 Jeffrey S. Taylor

SO2 Shane E. Patton

Army 160th SOAR

SSG Shamus O. Goare

CWO3 Corey J. Goodnature

SGT Kip A. Jacoby

SFC Marcus V. Muralles

MSG James W. Ponder III

MAJ Stephen C. Reich

SFC Michael L. Russell

CWO4 Chris J. Scherkenbach

Post-a-day 2021

Nerding

I finally looked up something that had been bugging me. You see, for the workout called “Murph” by CrossFit, something was off. CrossFit said to wear “body armor” or a “20lb weighted vest” for the workout, back when it was first announced officially.

However, the workout itself was the workout done by a man named Michael Murphy. He was a Navy Seal. (Wait for it…) And yes, David Goggins trained with and knew him. (He comes up basically every day, now, no matter that I don’t even try.) From a combination of interviews I read that were about him, I learned that he wore the Navy-issue body armor vest while doing the workout. Someone mentioned in the interview – I think it was his dad – that the vest weighed 16.4 pounds, and that Michael would finish the workout, on average, between 32 and 35 minutes. That means that he did, in just over 30 minutes, a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and another mile run, all while wearing a 16.4lb vest.

But the workout says to wear a 20lb vest. What gives?

Well, I finally looked up the government-issue body armor vests, the ones that were (are?) worn by the Navy from, at least, the year 2000 through the year 2017 (possibly still now, but I didn’t delve that deep). It is called the Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System (IBA).

And guess how much the total weight is. Just guess.

16.4 pounds.

It was an upgrade in lightness from its predecessor, which was 25.1lbs and went by a different name, and the latest version apparently weighs 33.1lbs.

So, under no version of this vest would Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy have had a 20lb vest. And, given the years that he was a Navy SEAL, he would have worn the 16.4lb vest. If he only wore the outer shell of it, it would have been only 8.4lbs. Those are the two options. Not 20lbs.

Anyway, I know officially now what my goal weight is for this workout: 16.4lbs in the vest.

Hashtag NerdAlert ;P

Post-a-day 2021

Baseline

I did the baseline for my fitness test today. And I was rather at my worst. It hadn’t been long enough since I had eaten, so the running portions had me wondering all throughout them if I weren’t going to hurl on the street. I started menstruating right in the middle of it all, and had to use the bathroom quickly during one of the rest times – talk about being exhausted on the first place, with all the menstruation prep that’s been going on in my body. It was mid-afternoon in Houston, Tx, right near the start of summer – temperature was 86°F with a feels like of 93°F. Plus, the entire running section had almost no coverage at all from the sun, so I was running on bright concrete in full, blazing, direct sunlight. Talk about hot. And then, I had some measuring difficulties with both runs, thinking I had reached the end of the run, then suddenly realizing I hadn’t, and having to jump back into the run to finish it. That added annoying time to both runs, which are judged by their times, by the way.

So, I was miserably tired, undigested, out in the stupid afternoon humid heat of Houston, and I messed up my measurements twice, adding time to my runs. Plus, I had an improved setup for the sit-ups, but I only have 15lb dumbbells, and, though they helped significantly in helping hold my feet in place, they moved around a whole lot more than a human’s knees and hands pinning down my feet would have done.

And yet… I still only had the push-ups as my one area that didn’t pass the test. And that already was 100% expected to be an area that didn’t pass. But all the other areas, despite my being at my worst, still passed! And, if I had gotten the bare minimum requirement for the push-ups, my scores were high enough that I would have passed the entire test.

And so, my training began this evening for my push-up preparations. I obtained coaching from the gym owner on Saturday, as to how to proceed regarding my terrible push-ups abilities. And I put those plans into action today. I need to be able to do 20 push-ups comfortably for me to be satisfied for this test, but I technically only need to move up from ten to 14 as my baseline. Nonetheless, that’s a 40% increase. And my goal is actually a 100% increase… but I know I can make it happen. The only question is a matter of how long it will take.

Also, separately, now that I have these specific fitness goals towards which to work now…, what are my financial gain goals towards which to work right now? Because those have an absolute max of three more weeks to get sorted for, at least, the next four months.

Post-a-day 2021

Training

Just because I’m reading David Goggins’s stories of doing intense physical training, I have found myself feeling like I were doing intense physical training.

But I’m totally not.

Right?

Sure, I’m doing the workouts at the gym 4-5 days a week, weekdays at 5:15am, Saturdays at the 10:00 class (because there isn’t one like it earlier). But that’s it, right? I guess I am training for Murph for Memorial Day. That’s usually once or twice a week. It is actually a rather intense run with a weighted vest, where I do between two and four and a half miles. I end up sore for days afterward, every time I run, and almost all over my body. I’m at the ten pounds now, and am considering finding a way to get it to 16.4 before the end of the month, even though the weights don’t come in increments to allow that very easily.

But that might just need to wait for next year. I am into this Goggins approach, but only to a degree. I want to take care of my body more than I want to push it at far as it can go. The 40% Rule is great, and I’d love to increase myself to 50 or 60% more often, but, more than that, I want to increase significantly what my 40% is in the first place. I want my 40% to be what my 100% would have been in the past. I like to be strategically smart and safe. I will get things done, but I always will be strategic and safe about doing so.

On that note, I must sleep, as the gym awaits me early in the morning.

May the fourth be with you all. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

A day of rest

My weighted vest arrived yesterday. I went to bed last night, considering that I actually might not be going to the workout this morning, but still leaning more towards going. When I awoke this morning, around two hours before my alarm, I was almost certain I would not be going to the workout. I felt terrible, utterly exhausted. When my alarm later sounded, it was confirmed: I was going back to bed, because I needed some serious rest. I slept an extra three and a half hours before waking for real. I didn’t actually get up until another half hour later, listening to an audiobook as I lay curled on my side under the comforter, eyes closed.

I eventually got up and made breakfast, though. After eating, I went and unpacked the vest with delight. I was super excited. As soon as I unpacked it, I put it on and wore it around the house for a while. It was certainly heavy, and would take some major adjusting, if ever I were intending to run two miles with this thing. I’m still not sure that I’ll ever do it, but I’m not giving up the idea so easily. Slow and steady, were my thoughts. We still have time.

By 10:00, I was barely staying awake, however, and so I lay down comfortably on the floor… and passed out… hard. I woke only once, and fell right back asleep, adding yet another additional three hours to my sleep tank for the day. I really was wiped, I thought. I had needed this day of rest, for more than just resting my muscles – so much of me was tired. Last week and the weekend and start of this week had been, well, a lot. And being behind on sleep with all of that only made things harder, both then and now.

And so I truly rested today, swapping between a new book on the kindle – got the notification this morning that it was now available from the library! – and the audiobook on my phone (also from the library, of course), and even spent close to an hour just stretching while reading, and half an hour swinging on the front porch, despite the heat and humidity (once the mosquitos arrived, however, I was done sitting out there).

Around 5:00pm, I was unsure as to what to do. I had rested much today, but didn’t want to rest too much. I also didn’t want to exert myself when I actually just needed rest. But I could feel it within myself that I needed to move. Not intensely or hard, but truly to move. So, I donned the weighted vest, though only with 10lbs now, instead fo 20, and went on a long walk. Two and a half miles in the heat, I walked at a mostly brisk pace, experiencing moving with the vest on me. It was simultaneously rough and easy.

Now, it is 9:00pm, and I can hardly stand up, I am so sleepy and tired. Therefore, I bid you all a wonderful night. 😉

P.S. Tomorrow is my anniversary of first beginning as a member at the gym. I had reached 55 workouts so far this calendar year yesterday, and so was comfortable not going today. Last year, at this point, I had done only 51 workouts. I still considered going at noon or in the afternoon today, just to round out the year’s total, but my body went into sleep mode for the noon class, and was too exhausted to fathom doing such work by late afternoon.

Post-a-day 2021

Saturday morning shows?

Saturday morning. Sleep in. Relax. Restore.

And then go to the gym, right? 😛

When I first joined the gym, I rarely made it to the Saturday workout, because it was at 9am. I was not a morning person. Period. Even as a child, I missed all the best Saturday morning cartoons, because I was, as my sister said, “a sleeper”. When I joined the gym, I was also deemed by the owner to be “a nooner”. And, when I walked into that noon class each day, I had only just woken up to an alarm maybe an hour earlier. For most of my life, the opportunity to sleep in usually meant I would sleep until close to noon, if not later. And that’s even if I went to bed at ten-ish the night before. At some point last year, all that shifted, my body determined that 4:00 was a good time to awaken – and that is AM – and I went ahead and adjusted my life to fit it. Now, I usually wake up before my 4:20am alarm, I go easily and gladly to the 5:15am workout, and I go to bed around 8:30-9:00pm each night. Sure, there are days that go longer than others, but I usually end up waking up at the same time, anyway, the next morning.

That being said, nowadays, when I am considering attending the Saturday workout, I just sleep on in, and then decide when I get up if I want to go. And I can do that, because sleeping in means sleeping until roughly 6:00 or so most Saturdays. If I stay up late Friday night, and I’ve been up late other nights in the given week, too, I might even sleep until around 8:00am. But that one is more rare.

In addition, there is now a 10:00am weightlifting class, which is specifically focused on building strength and on improving aesthetics. I have been purposely aiming to increase my strength…, and my physical aesthetic lately, so… I dare say that it is a class I could appreciate greatly.

Basically, that means I love my Saturday mornings now, more than ever. But not a lot of people attend the lift class. They prefer the cardio-strong class at 9am still. I don’t mind that class, but it isn’t a good idea to do both – not at this point in my body’s path, anyway – so I have to pick one. Of course, I pick the lift one. Strength is my current weakness, after all. Who else tends to do the lift class? Take the stereotype on this one, folks: men.

And so, how did I spend my Saturday morning today? I slept in (which felt amazing), and then I went to the gym for an awesome workout, which I did while being surrounded by five ridiculously fit guys who also were workout out. And most of us were shirtless…. talk about glorious, gleaming abs and muscles... Whew!

So, can a Saturday morning get much better than that? 😛

Post-a-day 2021

^Man! I hesitated.

Working it out…?

I am going to test out my old gym this coming week, and see how it goes, how I like it all. I am nervous both that I will like it and that I will not like it. If I like it, I still will have to figure out whether I want to find a way to make it work to go there again, despite the super high price now. If I don’t like it, I will have to get myself sorted in entirely doing workouts at home for the future. While I trust that I can do that, I do not want to do that. That’s a lot of alone time for something I prefer to have as a social situation.

So, we shall see… fingers crossed that, no matter the experience this next week, I am complete about how it goes and about how to move forward with and from the experience.

And now, I must sleep, as my alarm will be going off at five, because sign-ups open 24 hours before the start of the class… and they have very limited capacities…, and I need to attend the 5:15am class. Ugh. So, I’m getting up at five not even for a workout, but to sign up for a workout. Totally ridiculous, I agree. 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Goodnight with Green lights

This evening, I did my first workout in what feels like quite a while. This Friday will make five weeks since I had that dreadful fall while on a workout run, and found myself tumbling through the street, and then lying in un-breathing shock and pain in the middle of a neighborhood road, while everyone around was too afraid to help me, for fear of catching COVID-19 from me… which, as it happens, I did not have at the time.

I was a total mess in a way I hadn’t been since last year, when I had fallen off the Vespa, going about 30-35 miles per hour one night… I guess I lacked all the padding and protection for falls this time, so such a fall, though at a significantly lower speed, left quite similar effects as a road accident, but with a lot more blood.

I tried jogging on Sunday or Monday, on a long walk with my mom, and it was fine at first, in a sort of lazy, easy, short-stepped jog. But, as soon as I increased to a regular stride for genuine but still easy running, the quivering feeling in my shin shook me to a quick stop.

Not ready yet.

Today, Wednesday, though, I was feeling very comfortable in my leg’s ability to function on low-ish-impact, smooth, easy activities. And my whole being wanted to exercise. So, I tested out a workout that didn’t involve much knee work at all…, and it was spectacular. I even was able to do walking lunges gently. And it felt really good to use my muscles in such a way again… gosh, it was lovely. One might think they were made for such things, even… 😉

Yeah, I’m going to bed tonight feeling both relieved and enlivened. Thank you for such a beautiful opportunity and result today, World. 🙂 As Matthew McConaughey might put it, thank you, World, for these red lights turned green lights.

P.S. I started listening to his audiobook during the workout. It is delightful so far, as is he, the author and reader.

Post-a-day 2020