April 24, 2014

olympic weightlifting bib

I looked up the USAW rules and my triathlon bib fits in their rules for competition. So the good news is I can use my tri-bib to compete in Olympic weightlifting competitions, the bad news is that I don't fit into my tri-bib anymore. I need to lose at least 10 pounds before the NM state games on May 16th. If I can't fit into my tri-bib I cant compete because we cant afford to buy a weightlifting bib right now. I'll be broken hearted if I cant compete. I'm currently 279.6 pounds..... Looks like I'll start my diet tomorrow..... or maybe Friday..... or perhaps Monday...... If I can't compete in the NM state games I'll just be all that much stronger for the next competition right?

April 23, 2014

what I live for

I've felt amazing the last week! I've felt rested, happy, and alive! I took 4 days off from work to spend with the family for their spring and Easter break. Nothing makes me happier than being with my wife and kids. During that time I slept a full 8 1/2 hours each night. It's not very often I get to sleep as much as my body needs.

In addition to time with the family I've made some awesome gains with my strength . In the last 2 training sessions I've set lifetime PR's at the clean and jerk, snatch, and deadlift, I'm hoping to break my bench press PR set back in 1999 by the end of this summer. I'm sure a lot of my gains has to do with catching up on my sleep, but I think the majority of my gains has to do with the feeling I get from competing. I've been training in Olympic weightlifting for 5 months now. I have my first competition, the New Mexico games, in mid May. This whole competing in weightlifting thing is totally new to me, and now that I'm getting close to my first weightlifting event I'm starting to feel alive! I haven't felt this good since I was training and racing for triathlons. I need to compete to feel happy. I've learned its the way I'm wired. There's nothing I can do to change it, so I might as well live it to its fullest, enjoy it for all its worth! That's what I'm starting to do. I'm getting back into the groove of training and focusing on competing. But doing well has never been good enough for me. I have to beat people who are great! When the dust settles I need to be on the podium, being better at what I'm doing than people who have better genetics and have been doing it longer than me. I have the drive to push myself harder than most people can. After only 2 years of swimming, cycling, and running I qualified for my first national triathlon championships. A year later I qualified for the 70.3 world championships. My goal is to do the same thing with Olympic weightlifting. I'm planning on breaking the 3 state records for the clean and jerk, snatch, and the total before I hit the 2 year mark of strength training. Wow. I live for this stuff. It fuels me, makes me feel happier and more passionate about all aspects of my life!

April 09, 2014

exercise nutrition during strength training

Now that my training sessions are getting longer I've been struggling to complete my weight training workouts. I've tried drinking juice during my workouts. That helps a little but a lot of the juices upset my stomach. So today I tried eating a Power gel half way through my workout to see how my energy levels were at the end of my workout. It worked AMAZING! I progressed from me struggling to finish my strength training to me feeling like I had so much energy I could have done a cardio session after my strength workout!! What a difference! From now on I'm eating a Power gel half way through all my weight training sessions!

And today I set PR's in the snatch, front squat, and deadlift! My snatch PR was 1 kilo higher than the superheavy weight state record for my age group!!!!!!

April 08, 2014

Brain injury problems and the angels who make me feel undamaged

I've had a lot of the problems listed below since my brain injury. I used to be awesome in social situations. Now I usually can't follow the ebb and flow of the conversation or I say things that don't fit, then things get uncomfortable for everyone. I see it, I feel it, and it hurts. I'm a people person. I love being around people and talking to them. Since the brain injury I feel alone a lot. Even when I'm around people I feel alone. When I'm in a big group of people I've learned to not speak unless asked a question directly because the chances are high that I'll say something stupid and everyone around me will get that "What the heck" look in their eye.

There's very few people who are patient with people who have traumatic brain injuries. There's a couple people in my gym, Faith A. and Jodi S., who seems to roll with any of my out of sync comments and coversations. They make me feel normal. I get so happy when I see them at the gym. Talking to them is some of the rare times that I talk to someone and not have the conversation make me feel like I'm abnormal or an awkward person to be around. I try to minimize my conversations with them because I don't want them to feel overwhelmed when they see me in the gym. I mean seriously, why do people go to the gym? Is it to work out or yap with the chatty dude?

On this blog post I just wanted to vent about some of the problems I've been having for the last couple years and to say thanks for great people like Faith A. and Jodi S. who are angels here on earth who make me feel like I'm normal and undamaged..

Communication problems can cause persons with TBI to have difficulty understanding and expressing information in some of the following ways:
Difficulty thinking of the right word.
Trouble starting or following conversations or understanding what others say.
Rambling or getting off topic easily.
Difficulty with more complex language skills, such as expressing thoughts in an organized manner. Trouble communicating thoughts and feelings using facial expressions, tone of voice and body language (non-verbal communication).
Having problems reading others’ emotions and not responding appropriately to another person’s feelings or to the social situation.
Misunderstanding jokes or sarcasm.
They may lack awareness of social boundaries and others’ feelings, such as being too personal with people they don’t know well or not realizing when they have made someone uncomfortable.

April 07, 2014

Beet juice and strength training attempt #2

Aparently what bothered my stomach was the beet juice. I tried drinking nothing but water and and small amount of beet juice and it jacked my stomach up for 18 hours!

April 04, 2014

beet juice for long streangth training sessions?

When I was a hard core triathlete I used to eat Power gels and drink Gatorade mixed with a little whey protein to make sure I didn't run out of energy during long workouts. Now that I'm training in Olympic Weightlifting and the weights I'm lifting are getting heavier its taking me longer to complete my workouts, and now I'm struggling with fatigue the later part of my workout. Rather than trying gels and Gatorade again I decided to try some fresh beet juice mixed with a little whey protein. It worked ok. I still had a little fatigue by the end of the workout, but not nearly as bad. The problem I had was by the end of my training session my stomach was upset. The stomach ache stayed with me until the next morning. I'm hoping it wasn't the beet juice that upset my stomach, but me drinking a combination of water, beet juice/whey protein and coffee- yes I drink coffee when I strength train. Coffee while training is something I started doing a decade ago, now I just don't feel worth a darn while lifting unless I have a hot cup-o-Joe to sip on in between sets. On Saturday I'm going to try the whey/beet combo again this time without the coffee. If I complete the entire workout without fatigue or a stomach ache I'll know beet juice was a good idea. If I still get a stomach ache then I'll know I need to switch to Power gels, Gatorade with whey protein, and yes of course..... coffee.

April 03, 2014

another 3 PR's!

Today I was barely able to wake myself up in time to make it to Miller weightlifting. I need a day of rest and recovery. An entire 24 hours where I can do nothing but sleep and veg out on the couch. I've been working WAY to much and I'm SO TIRED! But all that fatigue disappeared once I started lifting. The gym was virtually empty today. It was just Faith, me, and some kick butt music jamin' out from the Zia CrossFit side of the gym. It was the perfect environment and perfect company to throw some weight around. Faith A is a hero of mine. She's one of the strongest, fittest, fastest, and most humble athletes I've ever met. Virtually everyday someone says something along the lines of, "I wanna be Faith when I grow up." Ya, she's that awesome. Apparently all the conditions were right because I set PR's in the snatch, front squat, and dead lift. I completed 2 reps of my snatch PR, which happens to be a state record baby for the super heavy weight 40-44 division!

More good news, I didn't binge eat yesterday. That's rare now-a-days. Any day I don't binge eat is a good day.

March 29, 2014

blog update and Miller weightlifting

It's been a LONG time since I've posted. Anytime I stop posting on my blog it usually means I've fallen off the diet wagon and I'd rather not post at all than admit how badly and how much I'm eating. Emotional eating is my biggest problem. It's my way of hiding from emotions and punishing myself. It's a good thing I'm addicted to food and not alcohol because if I binge drank like I binge eat I'd have killed myself a long time ago. I've gained 20 pounds in the last 6 weeks. I'm back up to 280. This is the 2nd heaviest I've ever weighed. I'm trying to convince myself my weight doesn't define who I am. So far I'm not convinced..

When I was 12 my Dad's girlfriend told him him he had to choose between her or me. He chose her. A few years ago I tracked him down. He lives in Truth or Consequences NM, just a few hours from where I've lived since 1989. 6 weeks ago my grandpa (my Dad's Dad) died. Thankfully a cousin tracked me down to tell me, otherwise I'd never have known, my Dad didn't care enough to tell me.. My wife kids and I drove to southern Texas for the funeral. My natural father was there, along with his entire family. It was extremely uncomfortable. Everyone kept asking where I'd been, why haven't they seen me since I was a kid? I had no idea what to say without trashing my Dad to his brothers, Aunts, etc. It was very awkward.

Less than a month later my uncle died and we drove to Kansas for that funeral too. Same side of the family, same questions. It unburied a lot of my resentment and anger. I came so close to telling them the truth. That my Dad abandoned me when I was a kid and when I needed him most, that because he disappeared from my life even though he knew my Mom was unstable and abusive I ended up living on the streets, alone, a homeless teenager.

Because of the 2 funerals in less than a month, the loss of work, and the cost of travel I'm back to working 80 hours every 6 days. I'm tired. I'm burned out. I am so sick and tired of working in a prison. In the last month I've developed TMJ because the entire time I'm at work I'm so stressed I clench my jaws. It's causing migraines and a myriad of other irritating problems. I'm eligible to retire next year. 242 days left. I can't wait. It's so unhealthy and stressful in a prison for both staff and inmates, such an unhealthy place.

Because of current financial struggles I'm going to have to miss the NASA strength competition in Gallup NM in late April. I have to admit, that hurts. I wanted to compete in that so badly!

On the flip side, even though I've been stressed, eating like crap, working WAY to much, and not sleeping enough, my strength is shooting through the roof! In the last 3 days I've set 7 PR's, one of which tied the state record for the clean and jerk in the super heavyweight division 40-44 age group!!! Shane Miller of Miller weightlifting is a genius. I'm accomplishing things I never dreamed I'd be able to accomplish!