Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Off--Slept 1030-1630-161.5#
Main Entry: for·ti·tude           Listen to the pronunciation of fortitude
Pronunciation: \ˈfr-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\
Etymology:Middle English, from Latin fortitudin-, fortitudo, from fortis
Date:12th century
1: strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage
2obsolete : strength
A little different format today...

My workout today was as follows:
4 purple and black band assisted pull-ups
2/2 assisted pistols
Run ("run" does not equal sprint but instead is a pace faster than a jog which is a lumbering pace I can keep for a long time. "run" is about the speed I can keep for a mile without keeling over.) around the yard=~100-120 yards.
Push-ups with brutally strict form for 30 seconds. These are slightly demoralizing since I have to do them from the knees. Mr. Calleo, however, graced me with some of his wisdom as learned through his many studies, and I have resolved to do them right whatever way I am forced to do them and take solace in knowing that I will surely build to a full push-up some day. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate all the feedback on my video--given both publicly and privately. Thank you.
Run the yard.
Hanging leg raises alternated with hanging knee raises x 10 total (this should be for time, but my watch self-destructed a la Mission Impossible).
Run the yard.
Plank for 30 sec.
Run the yard.
Repeat for a total of 3 rounds.
This was supposed to be done for time, but again, my watch didn't cooperate, so I just worked on through instead of stopping to use a different timing device.

Then...AMAP 20kg TGU which ended up being 1/1x4

I like this workout.
I think I mentioned this the last time I posted it, which was also the first time I did it. And as much as I liked it the first time, I liked it more today, but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect.

I do this workout, or some form of it, to work on those things I feel are some of my weakest points. I call it my "Better Me" workout, version 2, an adaptation of what I've been doing for the last 4-6 weeks (version 1). People, myself included, have a tendency to "mentally masturbate" as a favorite firearms instructor of mine once put it. They will find the thing they are good at and do it over and again, calling it "practice" or "working out." When they finish, praise themselves for the discipline to do it and their remarkable skill and go home. They will stand square and still, facing a still target, in sunny conditions with no stressers, hit the mark a dozen times and go to the house confident they can kick ass in a firefight. They will run a treadmill or an elliptical machine or sit in a machine and move the peg, pushing the resultant weight and work up a glaze of moisture, hit the showers and go to work boasting of the ass-kicking they just gave themselves. Those folks are "mentally masturbating." When the SHTF, they are the ones left looking around wondering what the $^@% just happened.

Those people, though, that the rest of the world sees as just a little bit off their collective rockers, the ones who go to the outdoor range in the rain, set up half a dozen targets, bring a jump rope or a kettlebell and hit that for a couple of minutes or just run around the empty range for a bit then start blasting the hell out of the targets while they're moving, crouching, or finding cover, the ones who you never see in the gym because it doesn't have the right toys, the ones whose workout clothes don't match and stay stained, those are the ones who are truly ready for what life just might throw their way. Those are the people who are comfortable facing a weakness, or even a fear. Only when we acknowledge then turn to face down our fears and weaknesses can we overcome them and, therefore, be better ready for tomorrow.

That is what my Better Me workout is about. I face my weaknesses and in doing so, will hopefully one day make them strengths. As I was facing them today, though, I realized I was building strength in an area I'd not anticipated. About half-way around the yard, somewhere during round 2, I was ready to slow down just a tad, make it a jog instead of a run. Typically, my workouts involve some down time, maybe just 10-20 seconds of shuffling my feet, but some downtime regardless. This workout by design pushes me to keep moving, never stop. I realized today that more than a physical accomplishment for me, this is a mental one. My mind is ready to give up way before my body makes it truly necessary. That realization, somewhere between pull-ups and a plank, where fortitude overrules a treadmill, was an important one for me. I get out there and sweat it out consistently for a thousand good reasons, but I keep finding more. And today, the idea that as I'm not only strengthening my body, I am building fortitude as well, was much more tangible for me. I have known it on some level all along, but today it hit me like a train. I also realized that that is one of the things I like SO much about my friends here in the blogosphere. We are hundreds or, sometimes, thousands of miles apart, most of us out there each day duking it out with ourselves in solitude, yet we are out there, finding our weaknesses, facing them, and pushing through to make them better with no one to hold us accountable but ourselves and the harshness of life itself.


  1. Well put. That is one of your best posts sister. This really is all about finding and attacking weaknesses. Glad I read this before I hit the bells, I'm ready now. Thanks Jen.

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  3. Me again... Mitch's wife Shannon. Sorry for the technical error above. I haven't heard from you for a while. I sure hope you are still in the contest!

  4. Excellent writing, Jennifer! You are so right. I will remember this when I run tomorrow. Although I haven't been pushing hard recently, it's starting to feel like that's something I'm ready for, so your words are perfectly timed for me. Thank you for that!

    For what it's worth, I prefer incline pushups from the toes over from the knees pushups. But there are benefits to both -- THAT I'm sure of!