Thursday, September 27, 2012

Living, Lifting, and Loving


Sometimes life reaches out and slaps you, and I don't mean a nice fun slap on the rear end, I mean a cold, hard, stinging slap across the cheek that leaves a red mark. I have felt like that for a while now and am starting to recover.

I am not one who likes to complain, in fact, when I see people only complain about issues on Facebook, I just take them off my feed, I don't want or need to see their downers.

I have had a few injuries for a while and I tried to keep people updated but I tried to avoid whining, I detest whiners.

I had a contracted glute muscle, then a hamstring strain, and two strained hip flexors. This all started back in June. Here we are, September 27 and I think I am healed, finally.

I never stopped training, I just modified my lifting. In the course of that I discovered that I was neglecting a few areas so I have now added them into my regular days. The problem is, there aren't enough days to fit everything in! So I am cutting back on cardio and adding in more weight lifting. I think that's a grand idea, too much cardio does not create the look I like.

Last week I started in with hamstrings at BodyComp Gym. We did RDL's but went "light". Now light is relative, right? Hamstrings need to be trained with heavy weight if you want to grow them, those little light weights really won't do much for these massive muscle fibers. We ended up doing 170 pounds for sets of 10 reps, then on the second session moved to more reps but left the weight the same because I could feel a "pull" a little and was afraid I would tear the muscle..... 

On Saturday I tried squats. My last day squatting prior to this was August 25, so it was almost a month to the day and I was apprehensive. Roy said not to lower my weight from what I was doing a month ago. He said do lots of warm ups till you feel good, then start with the same weight. Drop the reps if you need, but never, ever lower the weight.

So I didn't. I did 5 sets of 8 reps with 135 pounds, below parallel. I felt great, squatting is real weight training, in my book if you don't squat, you don't lift.

So now that I am back on track I had to change my split a little, when I couldn't train quads I started training triceps and biceps, boy my arms looked great after a couple weeks of doing this twice a week. Now I want to keep them looking like that, so what's a girl to do? Here is my split for a while now:

Monday 5:00 am Gold's: Calves, Posing, Cardio
Monday noon San Jose State: Stairs, jump rope
Monday 5:30 pm BodyComp Gym: Hamstrings

Tuesday 5:00 am Gold's: Shoulders
Tuesday noon San Jose State: Stairs, jump rope


Wednesday 5:00 am Gold's: Biceps and Triceps
Wednesday noon San Jose State: Stairs, jump rope
Wednesday 5:30 pm BodyComp Gym: Quads


Thursday 5:00 am Gold's: Hamstrings
Thursday noon San Jose State: Stairs, jump rope

Friday 5:00 am Gold's: Calves, Posing, Cardio
Friday noon BodyComp Gym: Shoulders
Every other Friday 4:30 pm 24 Hour Fitness: posing with Kristy Enos

Saturday 6:00 am Gold's: Quads, Posing

Sunday 6:00 am Gold's: Back, Posing

I am adjusting the calories down slightly (slightly!!) by reducing the fats and increasing the lean proteins, starches are staying the same but very little as usual. That's a nice way of saying I am keeping my paws out of the nut butters!

I am missing my son more than ever. He's been away at school now for five weeks, so not only was my passion in life taken from me (the lifting) but my son also. I will get to see him soon, and then once again life will be completely back to where it should be.

Living, Lifting, and Loving.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Motivation







































“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, 
tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.”
~Eliza Tabor


"The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of 
that hope never entirely removes.”
 ~Thomas Hardy 


"There is nothing final about a mistake, except its being taken as final."
~Phyllis Bottome

"You can't have a better past."
~Richard Carlson

"I came to feel that the most loving thing I could do for anyone was to tell them how it was with me and share my imperfections with them. When I did this, most people came back at me with what was deep within them."   
~Jess Lair

"Don’t get hung up on a snag in the stream, my dear. Snags alone are not so dangerous—it’s the debris that clings to them that makes the trouble. Pull yourself loose and go on."
~Anne Shannon Monroe

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes the difference."
~Virginia Satir

"Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten."
~Unknown

"We grow through adversity. We need not seek it out; we can all look back at moments when our lives were in utter chaos, desolation and despair.  Growth comes when we respond to adversity by stretching just an edge beyond our talent and experience."
~Dr. Robert D. Wald

Friday, September 21, 2012

Miracle Rice







You may have also heard of Shirataki, although these are not the same. Generally the Shirataki in the stores has soy, Miracle Noodle has none. I avoid soy and prefer this. If you are hoping this will be just like rice, it won't be, I will assure of that now. But if you are looking for a substitute, that has virtually zero calories and carbs, and has a similar texture and usage, this is your baby!

I have a bunch of rice, fettuccine and angel hair, I got it all on a special online deal. It is made of a healthy natural fiber called Glucomannan, you can pretty much eat as much as you want, feel full and satisfied and not worry about the calories. 




The bag also has health claims, but I am not aware of any real health benefits, only the fact that a bag of this won't cause your blood sugar to spike like a bowl or rice will! Now that Cooper has gone away to school, David and I are eating more of the same foods...not all the same but close. Tonight I was making some Miracle Noodles, Spanish style, he would have fingerling potatoes.

The noodles (rice)  smell when you open them, be sure to rinse them well, then boil a couple minutes and then place in a colander to drain, or on a paper towel. They will be heated later in the sauce.

I love to experiment and this one evolved quickly. I put a small amount of olive oil in a pan, and added three thinly sliced garlic cloves and let them heat just a couple minutes, I didn't brown them. I then added two large heirloom tomatoes that had been finely chopped, about a cup and a half (I found them in my purse, it's a long story but I was at a Tomato Dinner....).


I then let it cook down a bit and added a splash of balsamic vinegar, about a tablespoon. I decided it needed more so I added a teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika, some black pepper and a big pinch of saffron threads. I love saffron and get big containers when I visit my brother in Spain, or he brings it here.



It was looking a little dry so I added some water, or you could add broth. I think I put in about a 1/4 cup. I wanted it slightly liquid, but not saucy, this would coat the rice only. I added the cooked Miracle Rice. 



I mixed the rice thoroughly in the sauce, until it was all nicely coated.



I then served it with grilled wild salmon and grilled radicchio that had been coated in a balsamic vinaigrette. I found a nice squeeze of lemon was superb on the rice. It was fantastic! This is a great side dish, and will help you feel like you ate a huge meal (if you want to feel that way).



Guess who ate several bites and asked if I might share it with him next time?


David!

I will be making this again and again, and have several ideas to change it up a bit.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sometimes It's OK to Skip Training





I didn't go to the gym on Wednesday, it's a vary rare occasion for me to skip training. I have to have a reason, a real good reason. Something like "oh, I'm tired" doesn't work well around me, nor does "I stayed up late drinking too much". So, I always end up going to the gym!

The point I am trying to make is you really need to suck it up and decide if you want to look good or just talk about it. If you actually want to look good, you need to go to the gym regularly and stop with the excuses.

But, well Wednesday I was a little indisposed, as you can see above. I had to have some routine work done, just to make sure I am as hot and healthy as I look (and I am). I still had a great sense of humor, I was flipping David off with my oxygen reader finger! LOL!

I couldn't eat for about 30 hours, which meant Tuesday I had breakfast and then only broth the remainder of the day ....for someone who eats 25 ounces of fish, meat and eggs a day, this was not good, not good at all. But what a breakfast I had! Take a look at what David made for me:

It all had to fit into my glass food container, so it's cut odd, but it was a big, fat omelet with cheese, chives and avocado, a 1/3 pound grass fed burger patty and a thick slice of spelt toast which was coated later in peanut butter.




Then after this, nothing. All.....day.....long. And the night too. Except broth and that is not food in my book! I don't do well without food.

Wednesday up at 4am to prepare and then into the Surgical Center by 8am. They gave me a few drugs, one was Fentanyl. I recall giving this to my mother and to my friend Emily when they were in the last stages of life, it's a very powerful drug. It works fast though, it is 100 times stronger than morphine!

When all was said and done, they sent me home and they told me not to drink alcohol, not to drive and not to operate heavy machinery. I was home and a little bored, so I wanted some tuna now that I could eat, and since I should not be operating heavy machinery, I decided to open the can with a spoon.

Hmmm, maybe the drugs took longer to wear off than I thought?

(Email readers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view this video.)



After this failure, I DROVE to the grocery store, then went out to dinner with David and had a glass of WINE!

Thursday I will be at my usual 4am and will go to Gold's, then I train with Roy at night, since we had to skip Wednesday. I am super excited as the hamstring is not bothering me and I pushed hard on Monday. I am on my way to being close to fully recovered. 

If you want to see how to really open a can with a spoon, here is the video that got me started. Think I will give it a try again.





Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Posing and Physique Changes


I realize these pictures are slightly blurry, I had a very hard time flexing, posing and pointing my phone in the right direction! But I want to show how my physique is changing, and how the posing is coming along.

I have been doing well at adding mass and maintaining a fairly lean physique. I fluctuate up and down a few pounds here and there, but for the most part I have been adhering to my regular diet with one or two "normal" dinners a week. "Normal" is food my family eats......

I am definitely bigger, that's clear to everyone around me and to myself, I am the hardest one to convince! I told Roy that recently I was in a meeting at work, and for the first time in my life I felt almost like a freak. I looked around and noticed that my arms were bigger than anyone else's in the room, male or female. I was muscular, none of them were. I felt odd, but then I realized I work damn hard to look like this and I am proud of my physique, and it quickly passed. I picked up my pen, flexed a little and thought of my training later that night. LOL!

The upper body looks great- better than ever actually! In these photos my arms are pumped up, this was taken after training Biceps and Triceps on Sunday morning. The previous day was Back day and the day before was Shoulders, so the upper body had three days of hard and heavy training.

I have been working with Kristy Enos for posing and she has been amazing - she is a wealth of knowledge. She started in Bodybuilding, so was well versed with posing prior to when she switched to Women's Physique. 

She has helped me to find the poses that work best with my body, for instance, I will be using this pose (with arms raised up) for my double biceps front pose. I have such a great wide back and V-taper that having the legs both out creates a great shape, and the illusion that my quads are bigger than they actually are.

This pose can be done many different ways, but at least one foot must never be flat in all of the poses, hence the reason I am on my tip-toes. Most competitors seem to favor the one foot flat, and one on tip-toe, I plan to look different.

Kristy has taught me that in Bodybuilding and Physique, you think "bottom up", meaning the first thing that moves is your feet, in a smooth and flowing manner, and the rest of the body follows. This is not at all like figure where the posing is much easier, much, much easier.

Posing is very, very important in this sport, more so than what people realize. Yeah, Everyone on the stage has a rockin body right? (well most of the people), so what makes the difference? What makes one competitor stand out from the other? Stage presence and posing. You need to look comfortable, confident, and like you are enjoying the experience. It's tough, especially if you aren't particularly comfortable standing in front of strangers nearly naked! But that's where the confidence comes into play. The confidence that comes from working hard training and eating right day after day after day. The confidence that comes from watching yourself grow and improve.

I think these photos also demonstrate what a great job Roy Ganju has been doing with my overall training program, and now my arm and shoulder training, they look fabulous to me! Big, full, round and well proportioned. Legs had to have a bit of a break due to injuries, but the month long rest may prove to be just what I needed to kick start the growth. My long term goal has been to increase the size of my quads, and I have, but I had a slight set back so now these little legs are ready to work hard!

Saturday, September 22, I believe I get to start squatting again, so that means re-thinking my training split all over again.  I don't want to stop training the arms, so I will need to go back to some of my two a day lifting splits. Typically on the days I lift with Roy after work, I only do cardio (and train calves) in the morning. I will need to start throwing in some additional lifting mornings then,  and that's OK since I am not trying to drop any weight right now, so I really don't want to do a lot of cardio. I still run my stairs and jump rope at lunch, so I am set  I think.

Whether or not you plan to compete, I think you can see that the training program I am on has been making dramatic changes, and it's the type of weight training anyone can consider, just for the aesthetic appeal alone. You don't have to compete, it's great just to look ripped!



Monday, September 17, 2012

Motivation




"The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear."
`William Jennings Bryan

"Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment."
`Thomas Carlyle

"Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy."
`Brian Tracy

"Someone's opinion of you does not have to become your reality."
`Les Brown

"If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started."
`Marcus Garvey

"Nobody holds a good opinion of a man who has a low opinion of himself."
`Anthony Trollope

"Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence."
`Michael O'Brien

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
`E.E. Cummings






Sunday, September 16, 2012

Musings, Music and Motivation


A good morning, I love lifting weights, absolutely love it! It's funny how I was so angry when I had to stop squatting, and I turned to training my arms. Well just look at them now! They look pretty massive and it's only been a few weeks.  I am sure all of the chin ups I have been doing every week are also contributing, there is never just one factor at play.

When I refer to "arms" that generally means biceps and triceps, I always train deltoids and that is "shoulder" day....I would typically throw some biceps in with my back training, it's a natural to combine them, but when I sustained some injuries, I had time to fill, so I have been devoting two days a week just to biceps and triceps.

I'm really liking how my arms look, they certainly snapped to attention quickly. Roy said they would, I eat a lot and a lot of good, clean food. I also go to sleep early, so combined with some new heavy training- boom!

Today though was "Back" day, one of my favorites. I guess they are all one of my favorites, there is not a body part I don't like to train!

Friday I had been watching some video's that Roy told me about and heard a song, this would be great for chin ups I immediately thought, so onto the ipod it goes, then of course itunes suggested another and it led to another and I ended up with a lot of great new music. 

Saturday I was high as a kite, listening to my new music, cranking out my chin ups and I had to do more than the previous week (yet again). I had my dip belt on, and a total of 12 1/2 pounds and was well into my set, but sitting resting in between when a good looking guy walks over to talk to me.

"I'm not trying to pick up on you or anything, but you have a great body! I have been watching your muscles ripple as you do those chin ups!" 

Dayayum!

He looked at my stopwatch and apologized about interrupting me and I quickly said "It's ok, I'm nearly done..." LOL!

We talked for a while about diet and supplements, seems that's almost all I ever talk about these days, but I guess I know quite a bit at this point, at least what works for me.

He said "You just keep on, I will watch from back here" and so I started back in to finish the set.

5,7,7,7,6,7,7,7,7,6

66 chins

4 more than last week

I then went on to the Low Row, Barbell Bent Over Row and Pulldowns.

I think I was smiling and humming and singing, guys were smiling back (not many women at Gold's in the morning, and most that are there, are upstairs doing the dreaded "C" word....a couple guys I see everyday, but never talked to waved goodbye as they left. Obviously I was having a good time in my own little world and it was showing.

I practiced posing and then some stretching. My view from the floor, I could have laid there all day at this point but food was on my mind.




Just what were some of those songs that got me through the 66 weighted chin ups?

Here is 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues by the White Stripes, great for chin ups. (Email readers will need to navigate to the link at the top to go directly to the blog to view the video).





Other songs that helped me through the morning (and I ended up being there two hours!) Have a listen, it might help get you through your next workout with a smile too!


Top Yourself by The Raconteurs
The Sex Is Good by Saving Abel
S.E.X. by Nickelback
Go It Alone by Beck
Love Of The Loveless by Eels
T.M.S by Rhymefest

Friday, September 14, 2012

Brad's Kale Chips


Brad rocked my boat the other night! Oh my!
Well, not Brad, but

(say that fast five times!)



I am not a real snacker, that's a big reason why I stay pretty much on target with my bodyweight and bodyfat year round. I learned a long time ago, eat your meal first (the macro's- the good stuff) and then, if you have room left over, and the desire, go ahead and have a little snack or treat once in a while.

But Kale.....I mean really, how bad can it be for you? I was grocery shopping at Whole Foods and saw these, a whopping $7.99 for a very small container. But there was one word that got me.

NACHO


 Yup, I love nacho flavor! You never would have guessed huh? But I rarely enjoy it. I allow myself one bag (those .99 cent bags) of nacho Doritos after every competition, and David always buys two small bags for me as a Christmas gift...it's sort of a running joke, we have been married 28 years now, so we gotta do funny stuff, how much jewelry can one person own?

Kale is one of the healthiest foods on the planet- it's considered a Super Food. So, I am all about being fit, hot and healthy, they all go hand in hand as far as I am concerned.

My friend Virginia makes kale chips and they are good, but not...quite.....this.....good. I think the two of us will need to get together and figure out how to make them ourselves.  Maybe call them Kristy's Kick-Ass Kale, what do you think?

Back to Brad's though, they did a great job, these are a treat I shall probably keep in the house quite a bit- that is if David doesn't eat them all! He kept munching away at them and "kale" is not his middle name....

For my next road trip to visit Cooper at Chico State in October I will buy a few different flavors. I bet he even likes them!


And next time you see me, let me know if I have kale stuck in my teeth will you? I hate it when no one tells me, it's like walking around with your zipper down and everyone stares, but no one says a word.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back Day and Mind Games



Saturday I walked down the stairs from the locker room at Gold's, my dip belt in my hand, heading straight for one particular power rack. I see Steve and his training partner there, doing pulls ups, just what I had planned on doing.

One reason why I try to get to the gym first thing is to claim my space- see I need this cage for about 30 minutes. Sure I can share, sharing's not a problem for me, but it's also nice to have it on my terms the whole time, my rest periods are timed so I have only enough rest to recover and no more. I was about 10 minutes late today.

The guys looked up, big smiles on their faces and waved and said hi. They either knew what I wanted, read my blog, watch me on Saturdays....or I may have just looked like I was on a mission.

I asked if they would be there long and Steve said they only had one more set then the would move to another cage, they were going to use this to do bent over rows, but they don't have to. This is the only one with the different pull up bars, the rest are strictly squat cages. Bent over rows can be done at any of the cages.

I really appreciated their willingness to move and thanked them, and started stretching.

I told Steve I was up to 61 chin ups, but can't get past 7 at a time. Not bad, really, not bad at all. He asked if I was adding weight and I said "Yes, 9 1/2 pounds". He nodded his head. I told him that I am not sure if I should add reps or add weight, I can't just do chin ups all day and I need to change something! It takes me almost 30 minutes just for that one exercise.

He said "If you are looking for size, add weight" so I did. I threw on a 10 pound plate and started into my sets.


5, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 5, 5, 5

I realized I had mad a mistake, but I kept going. See last week my total weight (belt and plates) was 9 1/2 pounds. This week I had neglected to add (in my head) the belt, so by throwing the 10 pound plate on, I actually had 12 1/2 pounds added!

So....I did one chin up more than the previous week, BUT, I had 3 pounds more added, the entire time!

The power of the mind! All I needed was Steve to tell me to add more weight and I did, not realizing that I added quite a bit more. If I hadn't talked to him, I would probably have plodded along doing the same weight, and maybe one set more. I never would have thought I could add another three pounds!

Our minds can convince us that tasks are too difficult, or our diet is too strict, our training too hard. It's important to remember this, that our bodies are designed to lift, push, pull, run, jump and generally be active. Our own minds can often be our worst enemies when it comes to training.

There is just no going back now, I mean, Saturday when I go in again, I certainly cannot lower the weight, I must add the 10 pound plate again, and do more reps, you see, I have already established that I can do it, and I will.


again
again
and again








Monday, September 10, 2012

Motivation



Motivation
Dedication
Inspiration

The pursuit of life

I love to watch athletes, real athletes. There is something about that inner drive that I don't see anywhere else, the need to succeed. 

I don't see many at the gym; no, they are training in college or professional facilities, day in and day out, constantly pushing themselves to be better.

We can all strive to be a better athlete, but it takes more than what most are willing to give. How much are you willing to give? How much are you willing to give up? How badly do you want it?

I am often asked how I do it all, work full time, have a family, write my blog, train everyday and compete. It takes hard work! It takes dedication, drive, desire. It doesn't come easy, so many people think there must be a secret- something that they just don't know about, something that will magically make them into the athlete they want to be.


There is.

It's called hunger.

How hungry are you? 

Below is a video (email subscribers will need to navigate to the blog link at the top to view this).




The Athlete is Giavanni Ruffin and the inspirational speaker is Eric Thomas. Both of them create chills up and down my sine.

Last year at this time, I posted part 1, and if this video motivated you to be just a little better, take a look at that one. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hardbody



I visit an online site called Hardbody- anyone who is into Figure or Physique competitions most likely does too, or just guys and gals who like to look at....hardbodies.

There is a mindset, you have to be a little crazy, a little more devoted to your beliefs  than other people, a little more willing to fight for what you want. You need to have confidence in yourself and not be afraid of what others think or say. You need to be prepared to struggle, cause it's not easy, it's not easy at all. If it were, everyone would be a Hardbody wouldn't they?

Being a Hardbody is not just a physical place, it's a mental, emotional and spiritual state of mind.  It means waking early every single day and training hard. It means preparing for the day....24 hours ahead of time. Eating what you know you should, instead of what you want (most of the time). Thinking about everything you do and how it will affect you later- sleep, food, water, rest.

Spending the money on quality foods, supplements, training, posing and coaching. Understanding that you really cannot do this alone. Seeking out others who will mentor you. Listening to and taking their advice, pondering their life experience, trusting that they want to actually help you be the best you can be. Becoming you.


Believing in your self worth.

Believing in you.

I do consider myself a Hardbody. I may not look like a woman on a magazine cover year round, but that's a choice I make to maintain my relationships with others. I look damn amazing compared to most other women around me all the time, any age. I can get myself prepped and ready for whatever event I want, whenever I want. Here I am in my "off season", I am not on a diet and I am at my highest body weight give or take 2 pounds.

The deal is, I have to feel good about myself all the time. I have to believe in what I am doing, I have to honestly think that it's the best thing for me, and not care about what others think. Some think I am very inspirational, others think I am vain and shallow. I love to hear from others who enjoy the pursuit of health, and those naysayers? I look at them and laugh.

I do what I do because I like myself, I like what I have done with my physique, my health,   my life. I love waking up feeling good and ready to attack the day. I compete because it is a challenge for me, I challenge no one but myself.

I'm not concerned with what others think, I am concerned with what I think.

I love what I do, I really don't care what anyone else thinks, I feel I am on the right path, the right path for me. My life is filled with excitement, physical and mental struggles and accomplishment. I feel I have won a battle every single day. 

I am lucky that I have Roy Ganju as a talented, educated, and caring trainer; along with Kristy Enos as a fantastic posing coach. And of course my husband, David who supports and cheers me on every step of the way!

Hardbody had this on their site recently, as they discussed what it takes to be a "Hardbody". I couldn't agree more.


THE MAN IN THE GLASS

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.


For it isn’t your father or mother or wife

Whose judgement upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts the most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.


You may be like Jack Horner and Chisel a plum

And you think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.


He’s the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.


You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


Dale Wimbrow written in 1934.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Women's Physique Music






Monday morning, labor Day and I have the day off. I went to bed early and woke up early, Roy was taking the day off so I would train on my own in the morning, it was hammies. 

Although my left hamstring is still healing, I can train it but I go light, I have to keep moving it to make sure adhesions don't set in and I retain range of motion. Oh it's not that bad, really. It's just been a very long time and I am feeling much better about it all!

I took my time and felt great. I warmed up and then did my hip thrusts, I am supposed to be doing single leg but it pulls too much on the hip flexors, so I am doing both legs at once.

Then onto the back extension with weight.

I wander over to the standing leg curl and decide to give it a go, I wonder if I will feel any pain or tightness?

15 pounds and I felt silly, but I didn't want to push it. 20....25...30...Nothing! No pain, no tightness, I am on my way to recovery!

I wanted to hop on the Glute Ham Raise so badly, but no, I will wait, wait until I am finished with physical therapy at least..

I feel so good, so absolutely alive, I want to go home, finish the holiday just so I can go to sleep and come back to the gym again. 

I have found my music, the music I have bee practicing my routine to. I have been watching Women's Physique routines and almost all of them are slow. I am wondering if they know something I don't, or they just don't have the same drive and desire I have to dance on stage? My music is actually slower than what I first started out with, but it has a great beat, a wonderful, earthy beat that makes it all come together for me.

Here is my music, on my morning drive to the gym. It's early, 4:45 a.m. and dark out, the music is loud, the top is down, it's a great way to start the day.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Standing Work Station





Yup! I stand at work now! because of all the issues I have had with my hip flexors, my doctor wanted me to get a standing work station, so that's what I did. I have a pretty nice office to begin with, I mean look at this nice big window! It overlooks one of the buildings that houses about 600 Freshmen here at San Jose State University, sometimes I see some pretty interesting stuff in those windows!



Roy saw these and said "look at how you are standing!!!" Not quite sure how he wants me to stand but I think it's feet together, pointing straight ahead, butt tucked under (no pelvic tilt), shoulders back...

My nice soothing fish on my bright blue screen.


Front view of my computer and station, gotta have some good speakers! The sub woofer is the big box just in front of the mouse.


Refrigerator



Microwave under the desk (which I hardly sit at now). Along with my bottled waters. I really don't have to leave my office for much! 


Trophies and my huge white board on the right- I use it to get stuff out of my head, I need someplace to transfer this madness! Paper just never works that well, I am extremely visual, I need to SEE things to understand them. 

The gold trophies are from work, the others are all from Figure competitions. That's not all, just some of them. 

My hip flexors are feeling better, although I am still not ready to start squatting again, I am making progress. I am getting used to the standing work station, and I now have a HUGE space where I can lay down and sleep in my office.

If you haven't read my last post about standing instead of sitting, take a moment to read it here. It may change your mind about your own work environment!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Motivation




"Don't start living tomorrow, tomorrow never arrives. Start working on your dreams and ambitions today."
`Anonymous

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
`Eleanor Roosevelt

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
`Henry David Thoreau

"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
`W.B. Yeats

"You'll never achieve your dreams if they don't become goals." 
`Anonymous

"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams." 
`John Barrymore

"Dreaming permits each of and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives." `William Dement 

"My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected." 
`Anna M. Uhlich

"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains. And we never even know we have the key."
`The Eagles

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Acknowledging Injuries




Injuries, frustration, disappointment, acknowledgement, commitment , change, excitement, growth, renewal.

A circle






It’s a process I just went through and I am sure anyone who is actually devoted to their training has experienced it, but did they realize they even went through this process?

Since June I have been working through some injuries, it has taken me three months to get where I am. Most of that time has been spent convincing myself I wasn’t injured. It took me that long to work through the process of admitting what I need to do so I heal and can start to move forward.

Training is a very big part of my life, I am not really complete unless I have done my training for the day, and it is the best part of my day. It is a rare occasion where I do not look forward to going to the gym, to the track, to train with Roy.






I strained my hamstring back in June and just kept pushing through it. That’s the “tough” thing to do right? But that really wasn’t my mentality, it was actually the fact that I feel fairly invincible, I couldn’t be hurt, it must all be in my mind, it’s just a muscle that’s a bit sore.

It took a few visits to the Chiropractor and my physician to convince me that it was more than what I had actually thought it was. And there was the hip flexor pain, sitting was unbearable, I would wake at night due to the aching in my hips, especially my left side (where the hamstring strain was).

Then I started physical therapy. The first session was nothing strenuous, he put me through several stretches that did not really feel like much, but it turned out he was assessing me more than anything.  I figured it was being paid for by insurance; I should go through with all sessions and see how it turns out, any stretching will be helpful to regain my range of motion right?  





The second session was different though, it seemed better, or maybe my head thought it was. Sid started by foam rolling my leg as I lay on a massage table, I said “good luck- I use a lacrosse ball!” Smart ass I was, he was good. Then he used his hands. This was even better. Next came assisted stretching, better still.  I asked him not to stop so he continued a while longer.

As we moved to another room I went through other stretches and exercises.  Brian shouts over “Be sure she uses what she calls the kettlebell jewelry”, which was what I said the itty bitty bells looked like since they weighed only 2 pounds.

I explained how my hip flexors hurt so much, and what my training has been like. I have been trying to grow the legs; I have been hitting them hard, really hard. Heavy and volume. He suggested that they may also be strained or just need a break.

I told him David had said the same thing, and so had Roy, we actually had already decided to cut squats to one day a week instead of two.

Since PT was mainly dealing with the hamstring strain, I had decided to see Dr. Leahy immediately afterward about the hip flexors.  He could at least do some Active Release to loosen up the tight muscles; the tightness was what was causing so much discomfort.

In his office I go through the whole story again, he works on both hip flexors and the hamstring.  He asks when my “event” is and I tell him not until May. He says I am progressing right along. “What does that mean?” I ask “It’s a compliment, take it!” he replies. 

I tell him I know, but I need to know what he “sees”. I see myself everyday and want to know what he sees. “Well, it looks like you have been adding mass, in fact, quite a bit. That’s what you are trying to do isn’t it?”

“Yes!” I tell him it’s the peanut butter sandwiches (I am joking) and I laugh.

Dr. Leahy suggests that I stop squatting all together- at least for a week or even two if I can manage the downtime. If I cannot take the downtime he suggests some light therapy.  He said I should just avoid anything that hurts my hip flexors, and when it no longer hurts, I am ready to train again. Insurance does not cover Dr. Leahy, doctors can be expensive when you pay on your own.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? It might be for some people, but it hasn’t been a simple process for me.

How many people would even have an issue with this? It has taken me a lot of time to actually confirm in my own mind that I am OK not training my legs for a couple weeks.  I sent a message to Roy and explained.

We had decided that I would be replacing my Saturday squat day with a biceps and triceps day, and move some of the the other splits around, so we just axed the squats all together and started the arm training then, the following day, on Wednesday when we would usually do squats. 

I really don’t train arms much; I train the shoulders but not the rest.

Wednesday was fun; we went through barbell triceps lockouts superset with scott curls. Then on to skull crushers and reverse barbell curls. I felt like a wimp, it was a lot of new stuff for me.

Thursday I did my hamstring training, but modified it slightly so that my hip flexors felt no pressure, I concentrated on the glutes so that’s where I felt it. I tried some kettlebell snatches at the end, but the hip flexors immediately felt the strain and I stopped after one set.

I will switch my Back training to Saturday (instead of squats) and repeat my arm training on Sunday, adding in some pullovers too. My upper body will be fried by Monday.

I’m excited again and looking forward to the changes! I already have some impressive arms, so imagine what they will look like after all this training in a few weeks!