Monday, May 31, 2010


Sunday, May 30, 2010
I spent last weekend in St. Paul packing serious amounts of information into my little brain. While the CK-FMS is brilliant in its simplicity, it is also a LOT of stuff to process in just a few days. The gist of it is that it is a simple screening using 7 basic movements and a score for each to assess a person's risk for injury and whether a person is safe to do particular movements. Then, using a specific protocol for action, an FMS practitioner can help a client fix his or her problem areas. 103 of us spent 4 days learning that protocol both through lectures and labs where we practiced on one another in our given teams in much the same way we did at the RKC. I had already established for myself what a genius of movement Brett Jones is when he was my team leader for the RKC. Now I understand why he is teamed up with Gray Cook. Occasionally, we come across someone who just sees something differently. They might not understand why or how, but for whatever reason, they can break something down to its most basic level and then extrapolate from there. I suspect Gray is one of those people, that he sees movement and specifically movement dysfunction in a way most people do not, and then can reverse engineer that into a way to fix it. Even better, he can communicate to others what he sees--and be entertaining in the process :). I suspect it is very much like the way that Pavel evaluates movement and strength. This feeling of learning from people who just see movement differently was very much the same as it was at the RKC, and I enjoyed it.
A couple of things that were distinctly different from the RKC were the lack of an overall feeling of camaraderie and the lack of a physical beat down (though the mental beat down was plenty). Though we had occasional "movement breaks" in which we went over the TGU or had a short 20 minute workout to clear our minds for a little while, the long, grueling workouts and constant physical punishment were just not there. Instead, they packed our brains full of information. At one point, I felt like my head was one of those Hefty garbage bags with seemingly infinite stretch, and Gray and Brett were using one foot to pack in more and more and more. As the weekend went on, though, the thoughts began to come together, and I think we all were able to make better sense of it. The other thing (to which I had actually really looked forward as I anticipated the weekend) was the lack of camaraderie between the candidates. I thought a lot about this feeling and talked about it with a couple of friends. Though we were unable to reach a specific conclusion, we had a lot of thoughts about why there wasn't as great a feeling. First, everyone there was at least RKC certified, and there were many level II's, team leaders and seniors. We were no longer newbies, hoping to measure up. Instead, I think many of the people there were in some sort of pissing contest trying to be the smartest, best, coolest RKC around. Granted, not all of us were that way, and the people who do feel like they have something to prove to earn a position in the "cool crowd" are always the ones who are a little bit loud, a little bit boisterous, and a lot noticeable. But given the mood I was already in before I got there, these few sucked a little bit of the fun out of it all for me. Instead of feeling like we were all working together to get a job done, to support one another, to uplift each other, I felt a little like we were in middle school and I was the geeky fat kid with Coke bottle glasses again. How much of this feeling was my general funk and how much was actuality is hard to discern.

Despite this general feeling for me, I was able to meet some great folks and solidify some friendships started months ago and built slowly via phone calls and the internet. Two other Florida RKC's made the trip for the weekend. Jon Alford is an RKC from Pensacola, and Laurel Blackburn is an RKC from Tallahassee. I can't even remember how I met Jon, but he and I have talked over the phone, met up once to work out, and have been internet pals for a while now. Laurel and I met when she came to the Sara Cheatham workshop I hosted in November of last year, and we followed each other on Facebook after that. They both have been wonderful inspirations and, along with many of my other blog readers, have helped keep me on track when my faith was waning. I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know each of them better over the four days of the FMS and am all the better for it. They are both outstanding individuals (as most RKC's seem to be despite my feeling last weekend), and I wish we were all closer together than what we are.
I did get to catch up with the Irontamer a little while we were there.
Overall, I am happy that I went and pleased with the experience and definitely would do it again. If my primary gig were personal training, I'd be beside myself with the info I came away with.

WORKOUTS: I'm on week 10 of Pavel's Fighter Pull Up Protocol, and I am definitely advancing with the bands. I tried an unassisted pull up today, though, and didn't really seem to get any further than I did before I started the protocol. I knew going into this that it would still take months and months to get to an unassisted pull up, but I am hitting a point at which my motivation is waning. Honestly, I think it is waning in all of life and that is just carrying over here. I have SO many fitness goals, SO many things I want to do.I am finding staying on just a couple of things with such slow results very difficult.

With regard to that 169# up there, I left for the FMS weighing about 165#. I had followed my plan just as laid out for over a month, and I had scheduled to splurge on the trip. I splurged 4 meals and had dessert for 3 of them. Yes, I realize that is overkill, but no I would not expect to completely negate more than 5 weeks worth of hard work in a short 4 days. WTF?! I think I'm just frikkin' gonna be a chubbling the rest of my life. There's a string of expletives about a mile long I want to insert right here--about 15 f-bombs. I f'n give up. It is what it is. I am what I am, and apparently that's just gonna be chubby.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why Do We Train? Part II

Monday, May 17, 2010
RKC's call it the "What the hell" effect, the way that kettlebell fitness overlaps into fitness in daily life or into fitness required for other endeavors. For instance, a basketball player might find him or herself with a higher vertical jump after a month of swings and snatches performed with a proper hip snap. This overlap is always fun to find.
A couple of weeks ago I spent 5 days training for one of the most intense things I've ever done, cave diving. Obviously, one should take this endeavor very seriously and train physically, mentally and emotionally. Training for it, though, can be difficult because it's kind of hard to mimic the action of using a frog kick to swim up a water hose. The frog kick is not a natural motion for non-frogs--I'm just sayin'. On top of worrying about swimming in a manor that doesn't stir up silt and trying to keep up with a buddy and the line and everything else, one must keep an eye on gas consumption, a real-life application of VO2 Max. Despite the unnatural feel of the movement, the nerves that tend to make a person over-breathe, and the newness of it all, I held my own with a veteran. I made it farther into one of the local difficult, high-flow caves than most people do on their first dive (by far), my gas consumption was great, and I wasn't sore the next day. Undoubtedly, all of this is directly related to my kettlebell practice, quite a nice "what the hell" effect.

Here's an underwater (yes, it IS that clear) pic of the hubby taken by Hollywood stills photographer Gene Page who happens to be a friend of ours.
WORKOUTS: I am on 9 rep max week in Pavel's Figher Pull up program, and on 8 rep max week of applying it to pistols. At the end of the 3P workout, I usually have been adding some squat thrusts with a jump, some snatches or some swings. When I get back from CK-FMS, the ballistics at the end of the workouts will become more regimented.
I am slowly but steadily making progress with my form in the 3P's. I am adding tension and explosiveness with each workout and feeling the movements more each time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Do We Train? Part I

Monday, May 9, 2010

I have had the pleasure of being off of work for the last 8 days--an advantage of the type of work that I do. While I might have been away from work, I have not been away from work. I have been busy.
Last Monday I went with my fishing buddy Earl on a float fishing trip down the Ichetucknee River. Earl is quite the inspiration. He is 80 years old and more vibrant than most 50-year-olds I see. He has spent his entire life fishing the rivers in this area, and wandering these dirt roads (only main roads in north central Florida are paved). He walks an hour every morning--barefoot if it's more than 70 degrees outside. As a matter of fact, once spring hits, he doesn't ever wear shoes unless it's to the store or church. He always offers a smile, and is an eternal optimist. Anyway, he wanted to take me on a float fishing trip which amounts to sitting in float like this oneand casting your line. Though we usually fly fish, the stretch of river we went down was too narrow, so we were spin casting. Loaded with a fish basket, this float weighs about 10 pounds and is seriously unwieldy. When I threw it up on my shoulder, the ends hung down to about my knees. Then, of course, we had rods to carry too. Because the trip laid out the way it did, we had to walk about 1/2 a mile to the put in, climb a fence, then muck through a fair amount of knee deep bog to get into the water. I offered to carry both tubes, but Earl insisted he carry his own and was a little bent that I wouldn't let him carry mine. LOL. About half-way through the trip, a fresh-fallen tree completely blocked the river and we had to portage about 100 rough yards through some seriously nasty bog. It was no cakewalk for me, yet Earl had no more trouble than I did. Did I mention Earl is 80? I do what I do every day in hopes that 80 looks the same for me.

Incidentally, I gave myself a little pat on the back on this trip. We parked his vehicle a 1/2 mile from the put in and mine at the take out. Unfortunately I forgot my keys in his car. Sooooo, when I realized it as we were pulling the tubes out of the water, I took off for my keys which were at this point about a mile away (after convincing Earl I would be quicker at it than he would since he told me he had walked the same trip last week in a little over 20 minutes because he was fishing alone). I had my 5 Fingers on and was headed down a dirt road, and since walking takes way too long, I decided to run. I made the mile no sweat though I hadn't run in well over 6 months. Nice WTH effect, huh? :)

TODAY'S WORKOUT: I decided at the end of my 8 rep max week last week that I needed to repeat it. The pull ups were just not as solid as I would have liked them, and the push ups weren't even that good, and I didn't want to build on a less-than-perfect foundation. I got a couple of days into the second week of 8-rep-max last week before taking a break for other endeavors. So today I resumed my 8-rep-max 3-P's (pull ups, push ups, partial pistols) routine without feeling like I had lost anything.
I did 92 16kg snatches in 5 minutes before giving in to a callous that was about to rip which I canNOT afford right now.

WORKOUTS FROM TUESDAY TO SUNDAY?...You've got to wait a couple of days for those because they are a part of Why Do We Train, Part II