If you have time…

Tonight 7PM on hamiltonradio.net it’s The Robbinsville Trainwreck 

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My Insanity Max 30 Adventure Part III: What’s Happening to Me?

I’m about 45 days in and I’m noticing that things are starting to change. My clothes are starting to fit differently. I feel like my legs have a bit more room in my pants. Not that they were tight before, but they almost feel loose. My muffin top is closer to non-existent. I noticed this last Friday when I put on my jeans and was nearly late to work due to my dance of celebration.

I’m starting to look different in the mirror. I happened to catch a look at myself in a full-length mirror while I was getting dressed and holy crap! I have a line down the center of my stomach and the beginnings of what may or may not be a 6-pack. I’m ecstatic about this because the only other 6-pack I have that much of a vested interest in contains Not Your Father’s Root Beer. I looked down at my arms the other day and I’m starting to look like I have tickets to the gun show. Yes, I know that’s a terrible joke. Forgive me. I couldn’t help myself. I’m incorrigible.

The changes haven’t all been celebration dance-worthy. I’ve noticed a bit of an uptick in aches and pains. Doing this workout has increased my strength and endurance to the point where I have a sense of adventure. When I get adventurous I attempt the un-modified versions of the moves. This is okay for some things, but it doesn’t always turn out for the best. I attempted a diamond jump. I not only immediately regretted that decision; but I also rued and lamented it hours later when my knees were on fire. My take-away from that experience: I can do little hops, but I’m not ready for the big jumps yet.

The strain in my lower back on the right has improved greatly, but the left side is now feeling a bit sore from time to time. Luckily the harrowing experience with my right side has prepared me to handle things on my left better and I’ve been able to loosen it back up when it gets tight.

I’ve been getting this weird air bubble feeling in my ankles, however when they finally mercifully crack, it’s only a short time before the feeling comes back. I looked this one up on Google because I didn’t feel like being diagnosed with something without being sent for any diagnostic imaging whatsoever…again. Apparently this is a common phenomenon among runners. As the muscles in your legs get stronger, you start to lose flexibility in those muscles which causes the air bubble sensation. Some people have swelling. If that’s the case, ice is recommended. However if you’re like me and there’s no swelling the answer is heat. In either case, you’ll also want to do a good, long stretch of everything from your hip flexors down to the fancy names for the muscles in your feet. I’ve also been really focused on increasing my range of motion bit by bit to improve flexibility.

Overall, I feel like the positive changes are outweighing the minor aches and pains. As they say in the military pain is weakness leaving the body. I may really dislike the pain in my lower back, ankles, knees and well, all of my joints really, but in the grand scheme of things it’s really not that monumental of a problem. Having a sound recovery plan in place and a bit of heating pad TLC makes it easy to manage. Speaking of recovery plans, former soccer player Lori Lindsey aka Lighting Lori wrote this great piece about recovery on her blog that’s definitely worth a read (Is Your Bucket Full?).

Insanity Max 30 has also helped me improve something other than my looks. I’m working on changing my eating habits to make healthier choices. It’s made me more aware and that awareness led me to realize that my diet was way too carb-heavy, so I’ve pulled some switcharoos that I’m trying out. Stay tuned to see how that goes.

My attitude toward working out for a long time has been “Oh what fresh hell is this?” Now I pick out my least favorite move and that’s the one I work on the hardest. I’ve applied this to martial arts training and it’s led to improvement there, too. I know this because my instructor is correcting me less often. It’s really helped me push my challenge lines out further in other areas of my life. I’ve started writing and testing out edgier stand-up material and if the video of my set from Take 5 last Friday is any indication, taking on that challenge has paid off in laughs, my favorite form of currency. You can see for yourself using the handy link I posted in my last entry here.

My journey is ¾ of the way complete and the finish line in sight. The question now becomes will I be dragging myself across it or will I blow on through it? Stay tuned to find out in the thrilling conclusion I’ll be posting in a couple weeks. Also I cannot stress this enough, if you have any information on the identity of the inventor of the burpee please I both implore and beseech you, come forward.

Take 5 Friday 5/13

The fact that it was Friday the 13th and a full moon didn’t stop us from doing a great show at Take 5. Kurt Zimmerman put together a great line-up of comics and then there was me. Kurt warmed up the room for us as every host with the most should. All three hosts of The Robbinsville Trainwreck were present and getting laughs. I tried out a lot of new material that came out of me embracing the dark side of comedy and I was pleased with how well it did. You can watch the video here.

My Insanity Max 30 Adventure Part II: Don’t Smell My Shoes

I’m now 30 days in and I’m starting to make some rather curious observations about the side effects of working out and I’m sharing them because NOBODY FREAKIN’ TOLD ME!

There’s quite a lot of sweat. I know I mentioned this in the first entry, but it bears repeating. If you’re I sincerely hope you have clothes on because men and women both have certain bits that shake about quite a bit when unsecured and that could be quite uncomfortable. However no matter how much your clothes claim to wick moisture away from your skin they will eventually get soaked with sweat; leaving you have a nice dark, warm, moist place right next to your skin. Bacteria love those types of places, so you end up with pimples even though you’re immediately peeling off your sweat-soaked clothing and hopping into the shower. Isn’t biology grand? I invested in some tea tree oil. It’s an astringent and also has antiseptic properties. I DO NOT recommend using it anywhere near your eyes and if you’re using it on your face, do so sparingly lest you walk out of the bathroom looking like Red Skull from Captain America.

Your sneakers are going to become offensive. There will be bacteria and odor because bacteria have nasty digestive gasses. They’re like microscopic cows. Despite knowing all this going in, I was not entirely prepared for the sheer magnitude. I’m surprised the UN hasn’t tried me at The Hague for war crimes since I’m slowly engineering a biological weapon with my sneakers.

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Me Day 30 re-thinking my life.

Post work-out recovery drinks give people epic gas. It has come to this: I’m talking about farts. I like to provide highbrow entertainment on my blog. While this may be a rather unfortunate side-effect, you should NEVER skip any part of your recovery routine. DO NOT skip the cool-down and stretching. Your heart rate was pretty high and it needs to be taken down. There are also micro-tears in your muscles because you worked them and they’re in desperate need of your attention. You’ll reduce the aches that go along with exercise, increase your range of motion and overall mobility, and be less prone to injury. You’re welcome. Foam rolling, though painful at first, is extremely helpful. It releases trigger points, unties your knots, and helps you keep everything loose which is important for any type of exercise.

Take your vitamins. Most doctors recommend taking a daily multi-vitamin. You may think they’re not worth taking because they contain more nutrients than the body can metabolize and use, but when I forget to take mine I feel it. I get all sluggish and foggy and experience other symptoms of my vitamin D deficiency that I have because I’m Irish and work indoors.

Drink your post work-out beverage. Any kind will do, but I’m loyal to Muscle Milk because out of all the others I’ve tried it tastes the least like well, crap. I tried Shakeology and it tasted like mud with some cocoa powder in it. It’s a matter of personal preference but I use a post work-out beverage for the dose of protein and amino acids my muscles need to repair themselves. It makes me feel less like I got hit by a bus the next day so I can train harder and more often so to me the gas is worth it.

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You’re probably going to poop more often. Now we’re talking about poop on this highbrow blog. Yes, making twosies more often is a side-effect of working out. Your metabolism increases and burning the calories and nutrients you take in creates a by-product in the form of solid waste and it’s got to go somewhere. Most people go once per day. If you see an uptick don’t be alarmed. I also don’t recommend trying to hold it unless absolutely necessary since that could lead to bowel problems. You’d be surprised how much of your overall health comes down to poop. However, if you start having persistent diarrhea, you should definitely consult your doctor. It could be dehydration, but if it’s a sign of something more serious your doctor will let you know. Copays are expensive, but better safe than sorry.

Despite the gross side-effects of working out, there are a lot of good ones. Weight loss is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also the release of endorphins (aka feel-good hormones), improved body image, stress release, and a host of others.

After 30 days, I still think Shaun T has the right idea. So many people think that fitness is some sort of competition and it’s not. There is only one person that you’re competing against and it’s you. You’re competing against the person you were yesterday. You jot down the time that you need your first break is so that you know where you are now and can compare it to where you were so you can keep pushing past that point and surpassing your own limits.

If you’re doing something to better yourself, don’t stop. Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” People are going to talk about you and probably question your decision no matter what decision you make. Tell anyone who’s questioning or criticizing you that you’re not thirsty so they can go peddle their haterade somewhere else. That’s one of my favorite lines. Feel free to use it.

I’ve made it 30 days. I didn’t come this far to give up. Whenever I get that voice in my head that tells me I can’t, I say watch me, b*tch! Give that a try and see how it works and if anyone has any information on the inventor of the burpee, I am extremely interested. Please let me know.