Friday, November 28, 2008
but has a darkly funny edge to it (please don't think I am not an
animal lover-this is just one of those things that strikes me funny).
"A baby seal walks into a club."
So then at the grocery today I saw this and about fell over.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thanks to all of you who have sent well wishes to me and my dad. He is doing fairly well at home now, though not drinking nearly enough water. He'll go back to have labwork done tomorrow or Wednesday to make certain his kidneys are continuing to recover. I can't even imagine how tired he must be. I'm still worn out from the 36 hours I spent in the hospital last week, and he was there for 6 days not to mention having his carotid roto-rooted.
For the last couple of weeks, I've really felt a little lost, like I'm floundering around a bit. My last program from David ended about 6 weeks ago. I decided then that I needed to be able to construct a productive, progressive program on my own, so I began to put together my own program to see how I could do. I think I did okay constructing the program, but I just don't feel as dedicated to it somehow. I'm not as driven not to miss a workout, to roll my ass out of bed and get the job done. This combined with a lack of purpose (no forseeable competitions/meeting of the kettlebell minds) leaves me feeling as if I have no direction. Usually I don't need any specific thing like this because getting leaner and stronger is motivation enough. Lately, though, I've not had much motivation to do anything. My apartment is a wreck. I have about a gajillion loads of laundry that need doing and at least 5 computer tasks that take precedence over either of those yet I just sit on the couch--not even with the laptop. I just sit. Or sleep. So I have to figure out how to get my butt in gear.
SATURDAY'S WORKOUT: I did the VO2 max protocol with a little improv. I started out doing it with 12kg swings like I have the last few weeks, but after the first 5 minutes, my fingers were feeling pretty good, so I went ahead and did 8kg snatches. I finished out the rest of the 40 minutes getting 8-9 reps/set. My biceps and brachioradialis are still sore.
SUNDAY'S WORKOUT: I did this one after work when I got home Monday morning, just didn't get out of bed early enough Sunday afternoon to get it done.
For time--which ended up being 18min 5sec:
20 squat thrusts--5 swings
18 ST--10 Swings
16 ST--15 swings
down to 2 st--50 swings.
TODAY: No Workout, barely got up in time to eat before work.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
As put to paper Thursday night...
I sit frazzled and exhausted after spending the last 36 hours on the "other side" in the hospital. As I do, my father lies sedated and swollen in the ICU, the right side of his neck bandaged from the surgery that cleaned blockage from his carotid artery. I never enjoy seeing medicine from this perspective, but it is always enlightening.
While I was standing there feeling as if someone had just kicked me in the gut, looking at one of the strongest man I've ever known look as vulnerable as I've ever seen him, it occurred to me that not only was he a product of his choices, but so was I at that moment. We are all free to pretty much do as we please, make the choices that we want, and I feel strongly that this is how life should be. As we do make those choices, however, we should understand that we do not make them in a vacuum. We will live the consequences of those choices. Those loved ones who choose to stay close to us will live those consequences as well.
My father smoked for 30-some-odd years and shortly after quitting developed diabetes. That was over 15 years ago, and during that time he has not taken care of himself. For years a blood sugar of 250 was something to rejoice about. He ran the roads as a trucker, sleeping in short naps for days at a time and eating truck stop food. When he came home on the weekends, he took advantage of the home-cooked Southern meals and desserts. I can't count the number of times I begged him to quit long-haul trucking so he could take care of his medical problems, long heartfelt conversations always ending in tears. Eventually he retired from trucking, but he didn't take any better care of himself, and slowly the consequences starting stacking up. He developed horrific congestive heart failure, refusing to seek help until his legs were the size of tree trunks (he'd gone past cankles to thankles) and he could barely walk the 15 feet from his chair to the restroom. His vision began to decline and has reached the point that he has to read from large print books. He developed peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) that took away the feeling in his feet and lower legs and enteric neuropathy that led to diarrhea that almost killed him. Now, the vascular damage has reared its ugly head in the form of this blockage they have now removed from his carotid and two blockages in his heart that lie ominously in wait of intervention. His kidneys, weakened from the diabetes and hypertension, will not tolerate the contrast load of another cath for at least a month. So we'll go home and hope for the best between now and then.
At times, he acknowledges the problems, but most often he just ignores them or supresses any worries and becomes brooding and grumpy. My siblings and mother and I are the ones who talk and worry and beg him to change his ways. I find myself alternately angry and tearful--angry at him for not taking care of himself, for making the choices that brought him here. And when I break into tears, it is because I know those choices have shortened my time with my father, and my heart breaks to think of it.
He has made his choices, and he is living the consequences. He does not whine or expect anyone to feel sorry for him. He does not even expect us to suffer the consequences with him, but we do because we love him. That is the choice we make, and as such, we live the consequences of his choices as well. My hope is that my siblings and I learn from this experience and make our decisions accordingly, understanding that if we are blessed enough to have people who love us enough to hang around, our choices affect them, too.
Dad made it through the surgery beautifully and is well enough to be grumpy about going home which looks like it might happen tomorrow or Monday depending on his kidney function. His kidneys aren't happy about the insult of the contrast, but so far, they look like they will recover without requiring dialysis. Now, we just have to wait for the heart cath to place stents that will come in the next month or so and hope that his kidneys respond equally well the second time.
TODAY'S WORKOUT: Has yet to be done since I'm so off schedule working during the day, but I'll get it in later.
5 Rounds for time which ended up being just a fuzz over 20 min:
Pull-up x 5--assisted with the green band for 3 rounds and the green and black bands for 2 rounds
box jump x 5 push-up x 5--on one foot with the other foot crossed over. I've found this helps me create tension.
pistols 2/2--assisted w/1hand on the door jam
hindu push-ups x 8
jumping lunges x 20
Then...AMAP 16kg TGU's in 15 min=22
I had initially considered throwing a few rounds of swings onto the end of this, but as I went through, I realized that my body just wasn't up for that. The stress of my cold, the sleepless time in the hospital and worry coupled with dehydration just weren't conducive to a longer workout.
THURSDAY'S WORKOUT: None. I was exhausted when I got home from the hospital and needed the therapy of lying on the couch with the dog and the hubby.
WEDNESDAY'S WORKOUT: None. Worked Tues. night, slept a couple of hours and got up just in time to make it to the hospital to see Daddy before his cath. Spent the night with him there, so just didn't get it in.
Friday, November 21, 2008
...but then again here I go posting when I'm tired...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tonight's flavor in the ER has been stupidity--even more than usual. Or maybe I'm just grumpier than usual... You tell me.
1. One of the nurses who is about 5'5" tall and probably weighs at least 260 pounds (I'm a really bad guess), of which at least 100 pounds of it is in her ass,was wearing $200 MBT shoes today. For some reason, some of the nurses here have decided that's what they need to help get their legs and back and butts in shape. They call them their "Make Butt Tight" shoes. Now even if those shoes make her butt tight, how in the hell is anybody going to see it for the 100 pounds of tabletop rear overlying it?!
2. 27-year-old white female came in complaining of fibromyalgia, lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, back aches, head aches, numbness in her fingers, memory loss, spells of cold sweaty hands coupled with a hot body, dizziness, nausea, cough, abdomenal pain from her left ovary, left ear pain, difficulty breathing, and panic attacks. Now this was all her complaints for tonight, what she wanted us to deal with tonight. Then she tells me, (read whiney tone here)"but I can't find a doctor who doesn't think I'm a hypochondriac." She wasn't having so much trouble breathing that she couldn't suck down a friggin' cigarette before she walked in!
3. 56-year-old white female with headache for 36 hours came in with a headache that's the worst one she's ever had, but it wasn't so bad she bothered to take any Tylenol, Motrin, BC powders, Alleve or any other over-the-counter medicine before she came. She just pranced on over to her friendly, neighborhood ER.
4. 28-year-old white male and female couple who together tip the scale at over 500 pounds decided that tonight was the night they just had to deal with this cough that they had had for the last month. It seems their usual provider, a nurse practitioner, has an office that is too "inconvenient" to get to. The good news is that they've cut down since they've been sick and are now only smoking 1/2 a pack a person a day. Unfortunately, I was unable to give him a work excuse for the three days last week that he took off from work but didn't bother to see his usual provider. They got a little miffed when I asked them, "Do you have any medical problems other than your weight?" Apparently, they don't see their weight as a problem...or their smoking...or their complete stupidity.
5. 32-year-old 5'1" 260# African American female came in at 0230 for left back pain, that she thought was "just a pulled muscle" which was going on for the last 3 days. It was just so bad tonight that she couldn't rest, so she decided to come to the ER. Apparently lifting her arms to take some pills and a drink of water exacerbated it too because she didn't bother doing that before she racked up several hundred dollars in ER bill.
I also had a 84-year-old white gentleman who is originally from Key West, and about whom I could almost bet money Jimmy Buffett wrote "I Wish I Had A Pencil-thin Mustache." His black, pencil-thin mustache was perfectly trimmed and colored black. That was just fun.
These are just the ones I thought to write down so I could remember and share. I'm sure there are more. And, honestly, interspersed amongst the insanity were some great people. The good news is unless I make a major league screw up, I guess I won't ever have to worry about being out of a job.
I've been nursing the crud--a cough, sore throat, aches, etc. That and the medicine I'm taking for it has contributed to my oversleeping today and yesterday. Yesterday I felt bad enough that I decided the rest would do me better than the workout, and I believe it did. I did grease-the-groove with a bunch of assisted pistols at work, though. Today, I dragged my butt out of bed eventually and did all of the workout that I could. I'll do the rest in the morning before I go to sleep.
4 rounds of 4 of each:
Double 16kg C&P
Double 16kg Squat (these were just brutally hard today)
Double 16kg KB Burpees
Double 16kg Renegade Rows
Rest about 1.5 min--this is usually 1 min, but today it had to be longer. I'm trying to learn to listen to my body.
Then...4 rounds of 15 Double 16kg Swings with 30 sec rest b/w rounds.
When I get home, I'll do the Essentials test twice with the 12kg with a min or two of rest b/w rounds.
As a side note, my dad is scheduled for a heart cath today which scares me a little and makes me very sad. He's supposed to be Superman--even if he is 72. :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
Team Jones, October 2008 St. Paul RKC
This weekend marks a month since the RKC. I've done a lot of thinking for that month trying to understand what made the RKC weekend such a special experience and trying to find a way to articulate it. Jason Marshall, RKC helped this process along some with his post about being an assistant instructor. He commented on being around a group of people who "get it" with regards to fitness and nutrition. Certainly, the kettlebell workouts at the RKC represent a force to be reckoned with, and the instruction is unsurpassed, taxing the mind much the way the muscles are taxed--productively and to exhaustion. Surviving and even at times thriving on this intensity and being presented with one's RKC definitely instills a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride. These things alone make the weekend worthwhile and probably would still even qualify it as amazing. The people there, however, are the reason coming home is so bittersweet, making the days after feel a bit anticlimactic.Almost every day, either just after rolling out of bed or before settling in for a night of family time, I grab my music, some water and my bells and I exorcise my demons. This includes the days otherwise filled with a fourteen hour workday and days when the weather could easily be considered too hot or too cold or too wet. It includes days when I really just don't feel like it and times when everyone else at the house is doing something different.
To fuel such insanity, I further confound my skeptics by choosing real food. No matter how frequently they ask, I still don't order anything from Sonic or eat a piece of pie. That's at best low-octane fare, and I'm looking for jet fuel. I don't want to cancel out all the hard work with the bells with Twinkies, birthday cake and Doritoes--at least on a regular basis.
When I talk about these choices to work toward a better me, the sideways glances, smirks, and comments about my "cattleballs" tell me few people in my circle "get it." They see a passing phase they look forward to seeing go by the way side. But the other RKC's and candidates understand. They get it. They live it. They make the same choices.
To be able to be around someone who understands and encourages is priceless. I worried that the RKC would be one large pissing contest, every man and woman for him/herself. But it was so far from that, it was a collaboration of effort, each person there to see the others succeed. Feats of strength were not resented but applauded and defeats were shared by teammates who did all they knew to do to help those defeats be overcome. When all of the grunting and sweating was done for the day, we shared a meal and a beer, and found fast friends amongst our comrades as we swapped stories of patients, clients and personal goals, accomplishments and disappoinments. All the while feeling a sense of being at home with family.
This comradery, I think, is what makes the weekend something to miss when it's over, something I'm still thinking about 4 weeks later.
VO2 Max for 60 rounds of swings with the 12kg.
My fingers are still bothering me, and I think I might have even had a setback with the left pinky. It hurt like hell tonight--probably because I did a lot of 1HS today during my workout. I had been doing it all as 2HS, but my hands felt good today before the workout, so I decided to see how it'd go. That apparently bit me in the ass. The right 4th digit, however, seems to be continuing to heal. I did finally suck it up and do x-rays at work tonight because the left pinky was hurting so badly--negative, of course.
5 rounds for time which took me 22 minutes:
Pullups assisted with the black and green bands (1 round done with just the green) x 5
Box jumps x 5
Pushups x 5--These are still really hard for me for some reason. They are truly my kryptonite.
Pistols, assisted with one hand on the door-facing 2/2
hindu pushups x 8
Jumping lunges x 20
AMAP 16kg TGU in 15min = 22
FRIDAY NO WORKOUT
20 Squat Thrusts/5 16kg swings
18 ST/10 swings
16 ST/15 swings
down to 2 ST/50 swings.... for time was 21'40"
4 Rounds of 4 of each of the following:
Double 16kg C&P
Double 16kg Squat
Double 16 kg KB Burpee
Double 16kg RR
1 min rest
Double KB swing 15 x 4
2 rounds of 30 seconds of each of the following with the 12kg (2 min in between)
on the right..
alternating high pull and snatch
figure 8 to a hold
with the left...
alternating high pull and snatch
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
First I should say that my only child is a neurotic golden retriever, and raising her to be a productive citizen of the dog world is difficult enough, so I have the utmost respect for good parents.
I take issue, however, with one of the trends in youth sports now, a trend that has been pushed by coddling parents. Even more so than when I was a child, parents are pushing for equal play time for all children regardless of skill or merit. In my area there is even a whole league dedicated to this type of team play. It is called Upwards (it is also a Christian sports league). I commiserate with the children who otherwise would see limited play time, but I believe in the lessons taught in earning a position on the first string and in learning to play a supporting role to others with different talents. Life is not fair, nor is it something that will accomodate weakness or inferiorities while also granting rewards equal to those with superior skills. One can choose not to better herself to earn a better life, but she must expect to maintain her current status which means that someone with superior skills or better work ethic will in some way "rise above" her. Such is the way of the world (at least until Obama takes all my hard work and shuffles my damn reward to some....okay I digress). We rob these children of this lesson by placing them in contrived and artifial situations.
As a child, I played every sport available to me which amounted to basketball, a brief stint at cheerleading, softball, and volleyball. At best, I was mediocre at everything other than volleyball which seemed to be my niche. I was never the best player on the team, and about half the time I played second string. But wherever or whenever I played, I gave it hell and played my heart out. I understood that if I were a better player, I would get to play more and in more active positions. And I understood that my job even when I wasn't actually on the field or court was to be a team player and support those who were. Jealousy was not in a true team player's vocabulary. After all, my true talents were academic ones. That was the gift that I had been given. Expecting to be athletic too would just have been greedy.
During those years, I learned a lot of life lessons. One of the most important ones being that things will not always go my way, no matter how much I wish for them to. However, if I were to work to make them go my way, for instance practice a little harder or try to be a little bolder in my play, sometimes things would change and I'd start to see them go more the way I liked. I learned that sometimes I could give 100% of what I had to offer, and it wasn't enough to win the game. And I learned that if I truly gave 100%, I had fewer regrets about the loss. Then, I learned to buck up, put that loss behind me and figure out how to beat the next opponent. Sometimes, even when I was the better player, politics would come into play and another girl would supercede me on the roster. This was not "fair," but it was life, and seeing that happen prepared me for injustices later down the line. Life is not fair. The victories go to the persistent, the tenacious, the people who realize that rewards do not come to you, you have to go out and work for them. Losses are inevitable as are games spent on the bench, but you learn from those and make yourself a better player from the experience. That some parents would trade an occasional set of hurt feelings for these invaluable life lessons saddens me and makes me worry that we are raising a generation of children who are being taught to settle for mediocrity.
WORKOUT:5 rounds of the following:
20kg swing x 1 min
Rest 30 sec
16kg swing x 1 min
12kg overspeed swing x 20 sec
12kg swing x 40 sec
Repeat the 12kg min as above for a total of 3 minutes
Each round lasts 5.5 min.
Monday, November 10, 2008
We got back home from Florida late Saturday night--just in time for me to catch some z's before work Sunday morning. Yep, you read that right. They have me working some days this month which should be interesting.
Coming home was bittersweet. As we left our friends behind, they were heading to one of our favorite places to eat in Gainesville with some other cave diving friends from Australia which promised to be a rip-roaring time. I suppose I shouldn't begrudge it too much. We at least had a chance to visit with lots of friends and make lots of new friends while we were there.
On Thursday before we left, we decided to let Abbie take part in the vacation fun and take her on a little adventure, too. We took her to Ichetucknee Springs State Park to walk the trails there. You would have thought we had brought her with us to hike the Rockies. She thought she was the biggest girl ever, grinning from ear to ear.
Would you have ever thought Florida would have fall color like this? That hickory tree looked like stained glass. Can't you tell the hubby and Abbie thought it was grand, too? LOL
Come on, Mom! They would turn around occasionally and make sure I was still there and not back on the trail taking more pictures. Notice Abbie's ears. Those are her "I mean business" ears. Here they mean she's ready to rock on down the trail, but if it's windy or raining, they mean she' s about to start freakin' out.
After our hike, I came home, showered and went for a massage. Then the hubby and our friend met me in town for dinner. While I was waiting on them, I decided to take some pics.
This is where we were going to eat dinner. It's one of our favorite places to eat down there.
This is the inside of that restaurant. The walls are cypress, and that is a handcrafted canoe hanging from the ceiling.
Look at that ceiling. It's a copper color.
16kg TGU AMAP in 15 min=22 (inside)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
For a very long time now, I have wanted to swim with manatees. I have swum with sharks and dolphins (multiple times), and next on the list were manatees, currently an endangered species. Fortunately, this trip to Florida has fallen at the beginning of their migration to the warmer waters of the Florida springs, affording me a greater chance of being able to interact with them. My interactions with sharks and dolphins were naturally limited. The dolphins came closest, checking me out with their sonar, fascinated with my artificial fins, hovering near as long as I didn't reach for them. The sharks were more hesitant, checking me out as they did leisurely swim-bys. The manatees, though, were actively interactive on a level I never could have hoped for. Though it is illegal for a human to swim toward or in any minuscule way pursuit a manatee, there is no need to do so. They come to you. They nudge you, use their fins to show you where to scratch, roll over and show you their bellies to rub. They're not unlike big water puppies. At one point, as I was swimming away from a couple of manatees with which I had been playing, they took turns swimming under me and then lifting me up on their backs trying to get me to stay and play. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced.
The hubby's cave diving instructor recommended we use Bird's Underwater which was a wise choice. They were pleasant, knowledgeable and environmentally aware. Below are a couple of pics of Crystal River, Florida as viewed from the river system that allows a person to travel through it--not unlike Venice.
Our first stop was at Three Sisters Spring. The hubby is snorkeling in the left of the pic, and you can just barely pick out a mama manatee and her calf to the right of the brown sign.
The hubby hovers waiting for me to join the fun.
The pic below is of the actual Three Sisters Spring which is accessed via a short "run." The spring sits back in the woods in an idyllic enclave that makes me think of something a child would imagine in their their world of play--magnificent.
The hubby swims down into the sink to be amongst the large school of fish you can just make out in this pic.
The hubby and the manatee check each other out at our second stop at Magnolia Springs. Obviously the water here was a little less clear.
Now it's my turn...
Another mama and calf. This calf was much younger and a little nervous with us around.
This is the attractive after-dive (or snorkel in this case) look.
Today, I hung out at Peacock Springs State Park while the hubby went cave diving. Below is Peacock II. This is Orange Grove Sink. It, too, has its own cave system. You can just pick out the diver in the duckweed which, by the way, is gajillions of tiny leaves on the surface of the water, not unlike freshly mown grass on the surface of a puddle, not at all scum.
After I walked from Peacock to Orange Grove, I came back to Peacock and sat here at the picnic table and read. It was glorious.
5 rounds for time:
Double 16kg bent rows x 5
Box jumps x 5 (these are getting easier)
Pushups x 5
assisted pistols (one arm) 1/1
Hindu pushups x 8
Jumping lunges x 20
15 minutes of AMAP 16kg TGU = 18 today
Swimming with manatees. :)
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Off, in FL
The initial plan for this vacation was to jet off to Vegas, but as we are wont to do, we changed our minds and find ourselves in northern Florida. Our first full day here found us at nothing less than a Mormon church "trunk or treat" function--yep us at a Mormon church function, go figure. We were a little more in our element the next night at the National Association of Cave Divers Halloween function. Though the hubby knew plenty of people there, I only knew a couple, so I took the chance to practice my low-light camera skills.
The pic below is of a pumpkin carved with a line marker, a plastic or aluminum marker that is placed on cave line to point the direction out of the cave.
Here the hubby sits with our new friends Ric and Leslie. Ric is a horse masseur, and Leslie is a retired hyperbaric nurse. They both are cave divers.
Saturday we went to Ichetucknee State Park and did a bit of hiking. I snuck a quick pic while we were on the trail...
Today we went to eat Sunday lunch with Wayne's dad Earl and stepmom Jeanne. They are wonderful folks and the dinner was fantastic. The entertainment was Earl's "rockhound" dachshund Velvet who retrieves rocks. She was crazy.
4 rounds of 4 reps of each with a minute of rest between each round.
Double 16kg C&P
Double 16kg squat
Double 16kg KB Burpee
Double 16kg renegade row
4 rounds of 15 Double 16kg swings with 30sec of rest between rounds
2 rounds of the following with a 12kg with 90 sec of rest b/w rounds... I need to be doing this with the 16, but my right 4th digit still won't tolerate it, so I just put this at the end of my workout instead of the beginning and do it with the 12.
30sec of each starting on the right...
Highpull alternating with snatch
figure 8 to a hold and end working on the left
high pull alternating with a snatch.
MaxVO2 with the 12kg.
This should be snatches, but again, that damn finger's jacking me up, so I did a couple of rounds with snatches then switched to swings, doing them as much as I could with one-handed ones.
Went for 60 rounds.
5 rounds of the following for time which today was 23'05"...
Double 16kg bent row (would usually be assisted pull-ups, but since I am out of pocket, it was rows)
pushups x 5
hindu pushups x 8
jumping lunge x 20
Then..16kg TGU AMAP in 15 min = 20 today as it was outside which always slows me down.