December 28, 2014

December 26, 2014

I wasn't lying if i really believed it was true

Today was the third day i was following a healthy eating plan. Between that and my new goals (see yesterdays blog post) i was pretty excited to go to Miller weightlifting to train and to share my new goals and motivations with my coach and fellow gym rats. The response was not what i was expecting. There was awkward glances at one another and a half hearted "sounds good." They might as well of laughed out loud and said, "bullshit". My feelings were hurt, but i shouldn't of expected anything different. I've announced hundreds of times that,

 "I'm going on a diet." 

"I've lost 5 pounds!"

"I'm going to do it this time! "

"One of my old t-shirts fit for the first time in weeks."

All of these grand announcements end up with the same results. Me falling off the wagon and gaining all of my weight back and more. This time is different. I know,  i always say that. But this time i believe it's true. Time to put mt words into action. 

2015 & 2016 Olympic weightlifting goals

When i first started weightlifting in December of 2013 my ultimate goal was to beat an amazing local weightlifter by the name of Barry Schroeder. After watching him lift at a couple meets and seeing him break every New Mexico weightlifting record in both the 94k & 105k thirty five to thirty nine age group i decided to change my goals to something more realistic. 

On August 1st 2014, only 8 months into the sport of weightlifting i was strong enough to break the 105k+ forty to forty four age group New Mexico weightlifting state records. At that time I also become motivated to lose weight and i decided I'd attempt to break the state records in the 105k & 94k forty to forty four age group New Mexico state weightlifting records as i lost weight. Shortly after setting those new goals i fell off the diet wagon and gave up on losing weight. Since then I've gained more weight, for the first time in my life I'm over 300 pounds and I've developed the beginning stages of sleep apnea. So here i am motivated once again to break state records as i lose weight and get to an ideal body weight.  

Barry Schroeder will age up and start lifting in my age group in 2017. So i have until early 2017 to break the old 105k & 94k records, after which its possible he'll crush any records i set between now and then. Or the other option is I gain enough strength to accomplish my original goal of beating Barry Schroeder so my records will stand regardless of what age group he's in. 

My current best lifts after 12 months of Olympic weightlifting are:
Snatch 79k 
Clean and jerk 103k 
Total 182

The records for the 105k 40-44AG are: 
95k snatch set by Doug Briggs in 1999 (I'm currently 16k away from this state record)
122k clean and jerk set by Doug Briggs in 2000 (19k away)
215k total set by Doug Briggs in 1999 (35k away)

The 94k weight class state records are:
100k Snatch set by Jim Snyder in 2005 (I'm currently 21k away from this state record)
117.5k clean and jerk set by Jim Snyder in 2005 (15.5k away)
217.5k total set in 2005 by a Jim Snyder (36.5k away)

December 15, 2014

fat gain and olympic weightlifting

First things first, The Miller gym has changed the date of the The John Davis memorial weightlifting meet. The John Davis memorial is the meet I've been training the last 12 months for. The date has changed from Jan 17th to Jan 24th. I'm glad, that will give me an extra week to prepare. My strength has been gaining faster the last month than I've ever had happen. My strength has gained so much the training program coach Shane Miller has me on has become ridiculously easy. I've been wanting to throw some extra weight on the bar during my training sessions. The only thing that has stopped me is that I don't want to end up screwing up something with such an important meet coming up in January.

I'm still struggling with my weight. Struggling horribly. I've always struggled with my weight, but since I've picked up weightlifting controlling my eating has seemed like an impossible task. Now that I'm an olympic weightlifter I'm constantly hungry. At this point even when I'm not struggling with emotional eating I'm still struggling to not shovel excessive amounts of food down my throat because of being hungry from lifting. I've gained 40 pounds in the last year of olympic weightlifting. I know some of it's muscle, but most of my weight gain is fat. I have no idea how to stop getting fatter. Yeah yeah, I know some of you people out there are saying to yourselves "the way to not get fatter is to not eat so much". If it was that easy for me I'd never have become obese to begin with. What I really want to do is go back to a 12 step for emotional eaters. The only time I was ever in control of my weight was when I went to and utilized the things from a 12 step program. My church is against any 12 step. I'm not sure what to do. Even if I ignored the teachings of my church and was willing to go to a 12 step I don't have the time. I wont have the time until my wife either graduates nursing school or quits school to go back to work.

December 05, 2014

42 days until my big weightlifting meet

It's 1 month 12 days until the John Davis memorial weightlifting meet. All of my weights are moving up and my form is getting better day by day. My ultimate goal would be to have a 186 total. At my last meet I totaled a 182. I'm relatively sure with my recent strength and form increases I should be able to accomplish my goal. I cant wait, I'm super excited.

I've been trained by coach Shane Miller for a little over 11 months and already I can front squat more than I could back squat before. This week I set a front squat pr of 118.5 kilos and a back squat PR of 137 kilos.

My wife failed a 2nd class this semester. The nursing school she is attending kicks out any students who fails 2 classes. She is appealing the decision in hopes that she can continue. If she wins her appeal the school wont let her continue if she fails a third class. If she fails her appeal she's going to attempt getting a nursing degree in a third school. If she fails a third semester at the school she's at or at another school we have agreed she'll go back to work. We're racking up so many school loans we never be able to recover. Pray for her please.

November 28, 2014

The upcoming John Davis memorial olympic weightlifting meet

The olympic weightlifting meet that I've been training for over a year, the meet that I'm hoping to break the New Mexico weightlifting state record by over a hundred pounds at, has a tentative name and date. As long as the name and date is approved by USA weightlifting it will be called the John Davis memorial and it will be held at The Miller gym here in Santa Fe. I'm excited that the meet I may be able to set the 105k+ 40-44 age group NM weightlifting record will be named after my favorite athlete, John Davis. John Davis died in Albuquerque NM on July 13, 1984 and is buried here in Santa Fe. He died alone and relatively forgotten. Weightlifters are the only family he has. He died without a spouse, children, or any living family at the time of his death.

Here's a little history on John Davis: John Davis was the most dominant weightlifter in history. He took 2nd place at nationals and competed in the world championships at only 16 years old. At that world championship, Davis literally shocked the weightlifting world by winning the 82.5 kg category in his first appearance on an international weightlifting platform. What amazed the world even more was that Davis won his championship at the tender age of 17. This win occurred in an era when there were no junior championships and when weightlifting was dominated by athletes in their 20s and 30s. John had made weightlifting history by becoming the youngest athlete ever to have won a world championship. It was a distinction he was to enjoy for nearly 50 years.

 Davis won the Nationals again in 1942 and 1943, but was prevented from competing in 1944 and 1945 by his war service. In 1946 he was back again to win the Nationals and to go on to win the first post-war World Championships in Paris. The following year, Davis won the Nationals and Worlds again (those World Championships were held in Philadelphia that year--the first time the US had hosted the Championships).  In 1948, he won the Olympic Games, and in 1949 and 1950 the World Championships. In 1951 he made his highest lifetime total of 1,063 lbs. at the inaugural Pan American Games. That same year, at the 1951 Nationals, he made weightlifting history once again by becoming the first lifter to C&J 400 pounds under official conditions (Charles Rigoulot, the great French professional strongman, had done this some years earlier but on a specially designed bar that would not have satisfied the rules that were in effect in Davis' day). Continuing his fantastic string, Davis went on to win the 1952 Olympics.  In 1953, John injured his leg, which hampered his training significantly. Although he won the Nationals, Davis was defeated at the World Championships by Doug Hepburn. The Canadian strongman had ended the longest undefeated streak in World Weightlifting history--a record that remains to this day.  All told, when his victory string ended in 1953, Davis had won 6 consecutive World Championships and 2 consecutive Olympic Games. Since that time, only two other weightlifters have ever duplicated Davis' achievement--Tommy Kono and Vasili Alexseev (Naim Sulemanaglou won more World Championships than this legendary trio and one more Olympic Games, but his victories were not consecutive, and Naim's record was set up 43 years after Davis'). One can on ly imagine how many championships Davis might have won had the war years not cut 7 years out of the prime of his career. He was undefeated for straight 16 years.

November 20, 2014


2 more months until my next weightlifting meet. This next competition is the one I've been training for for the last 11 months. It's the one I've been training my heart, body, and mind for. It's the goal that I think of when I'm feeling tired and beat down and need motivation. This next meet is the one I think of when I'm struggling to get another repetition. I haven't been this excited about something since my first Ironman triathlon way back in 2006. Shane Miller, the meet director hasn't named the meet yet, but as soon as he does I'll let you know what it's named.

November 19, 2014

A new olympic weightlifting program

Yesterday my Olympic weightlifting coach built me a new weightlifting training plan. I love getting a new training plan. Since it's something new my body isn't used to I'm fatigued beyond belief for at least a couple weeks. Today after my workout, the first one of the new plan, I was so tired the only thing I did all day was sit in my lazy boy chair. The new workout regime is a 5 day workout program. I'm excited about this. It looks tough, it looks like something that will be extremely challenging and take me to the next level.

November 13, 2014

self doubt in olympic weightlifting

After Sunday's weightlifting competition I was happy I'd made gains even though I'd struggled during training the last 4 months. But I still harbored a lot of self doubt. I've been afraid I should be at a much higher level than I am after doing this consistently for 11 straight months. I got tired of that fear hovering over me and my training and decided to ask a couple of really amazing local lifters, Will O'Connel out of Zia CrossFit and Randy Steward from Miller weightlifting, what their totals were after about a year, so that I could get a base line to compare. I was relieved to see I'm right there with their numbers.

Randy 12 months: 80/108/188
Me after 11 months: 79/103/183
Will 19 months: 75/100/175

Another outstanding lifter, Erik Hickey, told me recently ,"the most important thing to train in here (weightlifting gym) is our own self doubt." I am exactly where I should be after a year. I'm not falling behind at all. Now for the first time in this sport I believe in myself, I can put the fear and self doubt aside and throw myself into my training with full confidence.

November 09, 2014

"the Jody" invitational weightlifting meet Santa Fe NM November 9, 2014

Today I competed in "the Jody" weightlifting competition at The Miller gym in Santa Fe NM. This was my third weightlifting competition. My previous one was in July. Since the weightlifting tournament in July I've been struggling. My technical lifts hadn't gone up at all. Today I felt sure I wasn't going to be able to lift as much as I had at the last meet, which was a 76k snatch, 100k clean and jerk, a 176k total. My coach Shane Miller gave me a great motivational talk before my third and final snatch attempt. He told me to attempt a 79k snatch. 79k was higher than anything I'd accomplished in training, and MUCH greater than I felt I could make today. But if there's one thing I've learned in almost a year of Olympic weightlifting is ALWAYS trust Shane Miller. Shane is ALWAYS right. I nailed the 79k snatch which was a PR! After that I felt strong and confident and went 3 for 3 on my clean and jerks setting a lifetime personal best of 103k!

My next competition will be in January. If all continues to progress as it has been under Shane's tutelage I'll break the105k+ 40-44 age group New Mexico state record by over 100lbs.

November 08, 2014

The upcoming "The Jody" weightlifting competition and creatine monohydrate

On my last post I stated I was getting weaker even though I was training hard. I started taking creatine monohydrate. Less than two weeks later I had added 2k onto my snatch and 9k onto my clean and jerk, setting a PR on both. Creatine is amazing. I love that stuff.

I started making gains again just in time, tomorrow is the "the Jody", weightlifting competition at The Miller gym here in Santa Fe NM. I was so busy today I didn't eat or drink well all day. Not the smartest thing to do the day before a weightlifting competition. I'll post how I do tomorrow here on my blog..

October 09, 2014

weightlifting setbacks, parenting, and life

It's been awhile since I've posted. My wife is in nursing school and I'm working 12 shifts at night so I can do the parenting things during the day that my wife isn't able to do much of right now. Things like drop the kids off and pick them up from school, homework, driving them to their sports activities and practices, girl scouts, plus laundry, cooking, dishes, shopping, etc. I don't sleep much. Even though it feels chaotic keeping this busy, I've ever been this happy. Last year I wasn't handling the stress of such a busy life as well as I am now. That changed not to long ago when I met a little old lady who was depressed and lonely. After meeting her I had a revelation that even though life feels so incredibly busy, my quality of life is probably better now than it ever will be. My house is full of little people who love me, want me in their life, and are happy that I'm their Dad. My wife is so grateful for all I've been doing, she has never shown me this much love. Life is perfect. I've never been so content. Some day I'll be that old person willing to give up everything I own to have my kids  back home and to feel loved and needed every moment of the entire day like I do now.

I've still been training olympic style weightlifting. I'm still loving the heck out of it. But since July the totals of my snatch and clean and jerk have actually gone down. My totals are down to a pathetic 75/92/167k! I lost a few weeks of training last month. I had strep throat and my son had surgery. But the biggest reason my totals haven't been going up is lack of sleep. I'm averaging 2.5-3 hrs of sleep a day. I can't get stronger if I'm not sleeping. I started taking creatine monohydrate again yesterday. I'm hoping creatine will counter some of the negative effects of not sleeping.

September 03, 2014

a rough but healing time

It was a rough week last week. We knew something was wrong with my 7 year olds sleeping. We'd gone to the Dr every few months since he was little. The Dr always sent us away and told us everything was fine. I finally demanded to have my son seen by an ear nose and throat Dr.. As soon as the Ear Nose and Throat  DR saw him he said he has a level 4 airways obstruction in his throat, and the obstruction was probably to blame for his difficulty learning, emotional out bursts, irritability, etc. So on Thursday I found out my 7 year old son is going to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. At first that sounded horrible to me. But it's supposed to be an easy surgery and all the medical people who know about these things say this will turn his life into something so much easier and happier.

On Friday night I came down with a horrible illness. By Tuesday I wasn't better, went to the Dr's and found out I had strep. For 6 days I've been stuck at the house, bored, unable to train. I was supposed to take the family out to dinner on Saturday (we're on a strict budget, we don't get to eat out much)and camping on Sunday and Monday. we missed both. This sucks. Hopefully I'm going back to work on Wed night.

On a good note I think I've finally come to peace with my Dad not wanting to be a  part of my life. I'm not 100% certain where this peace in my heart came from but I think it's because I asked for my church group to pray for our relationship to get better. Our relationship didn't improve but my heart healed rather unexpectedly.

So back to my Dad. I've come to think each person sees others not as those people are, but as they would be themselves. For example my 2nd step dad thought I liked to have so many pets because I was a control freak. I was shocked and confused when I heard that. I've always had so many pets because I'm a nurturing and paternal person. He saw things incorrectly because he saw me not as I am, but as he would have seen himself. So now with that tid bit of information I realized that I was seeing my Dad's relationship the way I think. To me, there's nothing that means more to me than each one of my kids. I assumed all dad's felt the same way deep down inside them. And if he felt that way then he must think I'm a horrible person for him to not care about me enough to call me more than a couple times a year. Well now I've realized him wanting to have minimal contact with me isn't a problem he has with me, it's just because he's different then me. He has different priorities than me.... And now I've healed from 26 years of guilt and shame. It feels good.

September 02, 2014

exercise bulimia

Well, as you saw from my last post I fell off the weight loss wagon again. I've dieted a thousand times and have never been able to continue to eat healthy or keep the weight off. The closest I came to abstaining from binge eating was 9 months of abstinence and 1.5 years of maintaining a healthy body weight. 
That one time of success I was doing a some things well:
- I was going to 12 step meetings
- I was working with a sponsor
- I was working the 12 steps
- I was praying
- I wrote out a meal plan daily
- I was exercising regularly

The things I was doing wrong:
- I was too obsessed with triathlon and put in so much time training it was taking a crazy amount of time away my family and God 
- I was an Exercise bulimic

I still can't figure out if I had that one long streak of success with my weight and eating because of the good things I was doing or if it was because of the bad things I was doing. 

I found something in the AA book that I'm afraid is me. In chapter 5 of the AA book it says:

"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves."

I'm killing myself by overeating. I can't stop. I don't know what to do. My wife is starting to get scared. I can't stop.

September 01, 2014

low carb diet and olympic weightlifting final update

My low carb diet/experiment went for 10 days before I fell off the wagon. I realize 10 days isn't a long enough time to make any big gains in knowledge, but I can share what bits of info I did pick up.

I found during that time of low carb I gained strength while losing fat. I didn't follow the low carb diet and train long enough to see if the strength gain were equivalent to a regular diet, but i did gain strength while on the low carb. I set a couple lifetime PR's during the 10 days I was low carbing it.

- I fatigued quickly at explosive exercises like snatches and clean and jerks. Training at more traditional weight training was fine, but the balistic exercises I couldn't do many of.

-I couldn't finish the long grueling workouts my coach had planned for me as well as I could on a more traditional diet. I countered the loss of endurance on the hard workout days by eating a high carb meal right before training. I only had to eat the high carb meal a couple times a week, for the harder training days. The other workout days were form and recovery days and I could finish the workout while continuing low carb and without a high carb meal. The high carb meal made it so I could inish my workout just as well as when I was eating a more traditional diet. Eating the high carb pre-workout meal only slowed my weight loss of a low carb diet slightly, barely noticeable amounts..

August 01, 2014

new olympic weightlifting goals

When I first started olympic weightlifting in November of 2013 the lifetime goal I set for myself was a 100k clean and jerk. Since I had never been naturally gifted with strength I thought 100k would take years. Turns out it only took me 8 months of training and it happened at my 2nd weightlifting tournament. Since I accomplished that goal I've set my eyes on 4 more.

1) break all 3 of the 105k+ weight class 40-44 age group New Mexico state weightlifting records by early 2015.
2) get down to the 105k weight class by late 2015 or early 2016.
3) break all 3 of the 105k weight class 40-44 age group New Mexico state weightlifting records.
4) Get down to the 194k weight class in the year 2016 or 2017.
5) Break all three of the 94k weight class 40-44 age group New Mexico state weightlifting records by early 2015.

The records for the 105 and the 94k  weight class 40-44 age group are similar in weight and are both very high. They are as follows:

105k weight class:
95k snatch held by Doug Briggs since 1999
122k clean and jerk held by Doug Briggs since 2000
215k total held by Doug Briggs since 1999

94k weight class:
100K snatch held by Jim Snyder since 2005
117.5k clean and jerk held by Jim Snyder since 2005
217.5k total held by Jim Snyder since 2005

July 31, 2014

low carb and olympic weightlifting workouts

This morning I had my 2nd olympic weightlifting workout while on the induction phase of a low carb workout. I felt fine at first, but I became fatigued about half way through the workout. I want to lose weight, but not if it means screwing up my progress in weightlifting. So I've decided to eat a couple cups of white rice before my strenuous workouts, and a cup of milk with whey protein post strenuous workouts. I only do 3-4 difficult workouts a week, so I'm relatively certain if I follow a strict low carb all week except when I eat to fuel myself well for a strength training session I'll get the best of both the weight loss and weightlifting.
This morning I weighed in at 290.4lbs, a loss of 4lbsin 3 days of low carb dieting.

July 28, 2014

Low carb and olympic weightlifting day 1 and 2

I'd Googled Low carb and olympic weightlifting to see if there was any info on the web, there wasn't. I decided to use myself as a guinea pig and post everything I learn here on my blog.

Day 1: My first day going low carb was Sunday. By noon I was thirsty, a little irritable, and by that evening I had a headache. Other than those three things there's nothing interesting to report.

Day 2: I woke up weighing 294 lbs. 4/10ths of a pound lost in one day. Pretty good so far. Day 2 was even more boring than the first day. I woke up with a little residual headache from the night before. Other than that I felt completely normal. During my work I felt just as strong as usual. I fatigued quicker, but I think that had more to do with having competed in a big weightlifting competition on Saturday. It's almost 4pm, I've worked out, and I've been doing this diet for over a day and a half & I feel completely normal. I don't feel any of the horrible side effects I've read about the induction phase online.

So far this experiment is very boring. Nothing of any significance to report. It will be interesting to see if my endurance returns while I'm on the low carb diet or if I'll struggle to finish my workouts until I increase my carbs again.

July 27, 2014

"The Kevin" weightlifting competition July 26th 2014 (with video)

On July 26th 2014 I competed in "The Kevin" olympic weightlifting competition at Miller weightlifting in Santa Fe New Mexico. I took Friday night off from work to be sure I'd be well rested and ready to lift. I'd already blogged about the morning of my competition, if your interested read the post before this one.

I was broken hearted at the weigh in. I weighed in at 133k, which is 294 pounds. I had been losing weight for about a week, but that went to crap, obviously. As of this morning I weighed more than I ever have in my life. I'm not ok with that.

I didn't feel nervous at all before this event, which was progress. At my 1st weightlifting competition 8 weeks ago I was a nervous wreck. Rise Miller worked with another athlete by the name of  Danny and myself. He put us through all our warm ups and corrected any bad form we had. He did an amazing job, especially considering he's only 15 years old.

I made all 6 of my lifts. For the snatch I started at 66k, which is amazing because my opening lift was higher than my best lift at the New Mexico games 8 weeks ago. I ended up getting to a competition best snatch of 76 k, which was only 2k away from my lifetime best.

For the clean and jerk my opening lift was 90k, which was higher than my best lift at the New Mexico games. After my 2nd lift my coach, Shane Miller of Miller weightlifting knew I was having a great day of lifting. Coming into this competition my lifetime best clean and jerk was 98k, which I did a couple weeks ago, and it took me 6 tries to get it. So you could imagine how surprised I was when Shane asked if I wanted to try 100k for my final lift of the competition. I felt there was no way I could make that lift, but I didn't want to seem like a sissy to my coach so when he asked I said ok. It must have been all force of will, but I made the lift setting a new lifetime PR!!!

My best lift total so far had been 154k. At this competition, just 8 weeks later I crushed my old best putting up a 176k, 22k more! My total is now only 31k away from qualifying for the masters PanAm championships!!!

Thanks for sending me this video of my 1st ever 100k clean and jerk Kim!

July 26, 2014

weightlifting competition morning

Olympic weightlifting is more enjoyable than any other other sport I've ever completed in. The morning of a weightlifting competition is especially so. When I competed in triathlons I'd have to wake up and start loading equipment up at 4:30am. The traffic at a triathlon could at times be horrifying and stressful.Often times a triathlon would be held at a lake in the middle of nowhere so I couldn't rely on GPS to get me there. I had to be at the race site by 6-6:30am and set up my transition area. Race started at 8am. In weightlifting weigh ins aren't usually until 10am! There's no need to load gobs of equipment either. All I need is shoes and a suit. In weightlifting I slept late, drove to the gym, weighed in, then I had time to leave for lunch and still make it back in time for my 1st lift! All in all weightlifting is so much less stressful for me. I'm really happy to be doing this.

I'll start my warm up for my 2nd weightlifting competition in a couple minutes, this one is being held in my home town of Santa Fe NM at Miller weightlifting. I'm excited, I've made really great gains in the last couple months. I'll post how I did as soon as I can.

July 25, 2014

taper for olympic weightlifting

This week I'm tapering for my 2nd big weightlifting competition called "the Kevin" which will be held at miller weightlifting in Santa Fe NM. This is the 2nd time I've tapered for Olympic weightlifting. Tapers suck a lot less for weightlifting than they did for triathlon. A lot less!

Both endurance athletes and weightlifters do what's called a taper for big events. Tapering, especially in endurance athletics makes athletes feel like crap. Some of the symptoms of tapering are: Feelings of losing fitness. Sluggishness. Panic that the race or competition is approaching. Grumpiness. Aching muscles and nagging pains. Inability to sleep and feeling constantly tired. These are all normal. Your body has been pushed to its limits for months and now it does not want to stop. That is your mind telling you that you are going to be out of shape in a week. Trust the taper. Tapering is a vital part of the overall training cycle. This allows you to maintain your peak fitness while allowing your muscles to rest and recover.

July 21, 2014

going low carb and olympic weightlifting

I've been trying to drop weight the old fashion way, calorie counting. I've been failing miserably. I've never really been able to lose weight by counting calories. Back when I used to compete in triathlons I was able to lose weight going low carb, and then maintain my weight by counting calories. I asked my Olympic weightlifting coach Shane Miller if he thought I could still be successful in olympic weightlifting while going  low carb, he said ok but that he'd want me to eat carbs before and after my intense weightlifting days on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. I have a weightlifting competition this Saturday at Miller weightlifting and I don't want to mess up my performance so I won't start the new diet until Sunday. I tried to google low carb and olympic weightlifting and there wasn't any information online. What info there was had to do with bodybuilding which isn't applicable to olympic weightlifting. I also tried looking up some info on low carb on some olympic weightlifting web sties, again there was no info at all. So when I do start the diet I'll post how I feel and how my strength is doing with the low carb diet. It'll be an interesting experiment.

July 11, 2014

Comfort Doctor heating, cooling, and plumbing Santa Fe New Mexico

On Tuesday the Comfort Doctor heating, cooling, and plumbing came and put the finishing touches on our air conditioner. They nailed a piece of plywood in between the swamp cooler and window, they also screwed a grate on the front of the swamp cooler. A few cuts on a piece of plywood, a total of 8 screws and they charged $608. I might be wrong, but I think they charged WAY to much! Consumer beware.

July 10, 2014

Chris's tree service Santa Fe New Mico

The tree in our front yard has been leaking a HORRIBLE smelling sap, it stinks bad enough I cant stand to be near the tree. It also and has MASSIVE swarms of black flies on it.

I contacted Chris Schaum, Owner of Chris's tree service. He spent almost an hour with me telling me what's wrong with the tree, how it got the disease, and how to treat it. He didn't charge me anything. Excellent customer service. His contact info is:

Phone: (505) 660-0698
Fax: (505) 757-6533                   
PO Box 1756, Santa Fe, NM87504

July 09, 2014

rebound day

I had a stressful weekend, then on on Monday I had a horrible day of lifting thanks to stress and binge eating. I didn't pray once all weekend. I felt like I hit rock bottom this weekend. I've been eating well since then, eating a few hundred calories below my metabolic rate. I hope I can continue to eat well and continue to keep the Lord in my life even during stressful times. Perhaps I'll even be able to get down to my short term goal weight of 235lbs, eventually getting down the 205lbs.

Today I showed up at Miller weightlifting for clean and jerk day. I felt tentative at best. If I struggled on Monday's snatch day, with snatches being my strength, then what would today be like? Coach Shane Miller had seen I'd struggled horribly during my last workout so he spent some extra time coaching me, telling what to focus on, dealing with bad lifting days and self doubt, and how to make today's lifts. It worked perfectly. I missed my first 2 heavy lifts, but nailed my last two with perfect form setting a lifetime best clean and jerk. It's amazing the difference having a knowledgeable and passionate coach makes.

July 07, 2014

eat like crap perform like crap

The last week has been so stressful. Each of our vehicles broke down 18 hours apart, our swamp cooler is getting worked on, my wife and kids went camping with my emotionally abusive and controlling mother and her husband, my cousin and her kids are visiting, and I miss my natural father who still refuses to to call or visit. Friday and Saturday I missed my scheduled workouts which is my way of dealing with stress in a healthy way. So this weekend I ate like crap. I usually do when I'm stressed, but this weekends diet was REALLY BAD! worst few days of eating I've had all year. Yesterday I didn't eat anything with any protein in it, it was all crap. Last night I knew I screwed up when I woke up with excruciating leg cramps. My body was going catabolic, eating my own muscles.

Usually olympic weightlifting, especially snatch day, calms me, makes everything feel better. Thanks to having virtually no protein and nothing but crap all weekend this morning I missed all my big lifts this morning. No stress relief in being weaker than I was last week.

I desperately want to drop 60-70 pounds and maintain an average weight of 234 pounds so that I could bounce back and forth between the heavy weight and super heavyweight division, but to do that I'd have to control my eating and I don't see that happening. This whole binge eating thing never ends with me. Sometimes I can control it for a short while, but it always returns with a vengeance.

July 02, 2014

greater totals and greater goals

This week was a great week for lifting! On Monday I lifted a new snatch PR of 75k. Today I lifted a new lifetime PR of 95k in the clean and jerk. I'm foaming at the mouth thinking about hitting a 100k clean and jerk! My next competition is the last Saturday of this month at Miller weightlifting in Santa Fe NM. If my weights continue to increase it's possible I'll lift 20k more than I did in May at the New Mexico games. That's a big increase in only a couple months. In January I age up to the 40-44 AG, and I'm currently lifting 132 pounds above the New Mexico 40-44 AG 105k+ total state record.

I'm having so much fun with the sport of olympic weightlifting. The next big mile stone I'm shooting for is a 400lb total, which is 181.4k. I'm currently 11k away. I'm really loving this.

June 29, 2014

more strength gains and a little weight loss

The last time I posted an update on my training I was struggling with my jerks. I've become much better at them. I've made a few form corrections. The jerk is still my biggest weakness, but I made a 5k jump since I last posted. Pretty good progress I think. This week I set lifetime PR's on my snatch of 74k, my clean and jerk at 94k, deadlift at 163k, and bench press at 272.2 pounds. The exercise I've made the biggest gains with is my bench press- I know, bench isn't an olympic weightlifting exercise, but I love it so I do it anyways. The bench press has always been my weakest exercise. In the last few months it's jumped from a 235lbs max to a lifetime PR set today at 272.2lbs! My old best was 270 pounds set in the summer of 1999, 15 years ago.

A few weeks ago I was weighing 290 pounds. This week I'm down to 284. I'm finally feeling like I'm getting my diet under control. I'm hoping to get down to the 240's by next years Pan American masters weightlifting championships.

June 28, 2014

my 1st goal set by coach Shane Miller

My coach, Shane Miller, has set the first big goal for me to accomplish. The goal he set for me is to qualify for the 2015 Pan American masters weightlifting championships or the 2015 American masters championships. On Jan 1st I age up to the 40-44 AG and the qualifying totals I'd need for the 40-44 AG 105+ is 207k. To put the masters weightlifting championships qualifying totals into perspective, my current total is 168k, which is 28k above the New Mexico 40-44 AG 105+ state records set back in 1999 by Scott Capenter. Even though I'm currently 28K above the New Mexico state 40-44 105+ record I'm still 39k short of the weights needed to make the masters qualifying totals. This will be difficult, but I expect with Shane's help I'll be successful.

June 10, 2014

coffee thermos for comuting by bicycle

After a few failed attempts at finding a decent thermos that I can commute to and from work with on my bicycle I finally found one. I wanted a coffee thermos that would fit into my bike bottle holder, keep the coffee hot, hold enough coffee, and be durable enough to withstand a daily beating of cycling! It's called the Big Bubba. I found it in Target in the sports section. It holds over 20 oz of coffee, keeps it hot for a long time, and fits in my bike bottle holder. I've been using this one everyday for over 2 years now, so it's made to last too!!!! Finally, the perfect coffee thermos for a bike commuter!

Here's a link to it. Click on the name: Big Bubba

June 09, 2014

Another snatch PR and the New Mexico games women only weightlifting competition

This morning I finished a workout set building up to a 2X2 snatch of 71k. 71k is a lifetime PR for me. I completed it easily, making all four attempts. I'm not sure why I do so well at the snatch but struggle at the clean and jerk. After the snatch I did a 1X5 back squat of 120k.  I also set a new lifetime PR in the deadlift of 163k.

This weekend my wife and I watched the women only weightlifting for the New Mexico games. There were so many amazing athletes. I have a few videos I want to upload soon onto my blog withing the next couple days. A lot of those women were stronger than the men lifting a couple weeks ago.

I'm freaking out a little bit. In the last couple weeks i gained a lot of weight. I'm now up to 289. I gotta do something. This is getting ridiculous.

June 05, 2014

skin cancer and middle aged athletes like me

I had a Dr's appointment yesterday. All of my tests like blood pressure, blood sugars, triglycerides, and liver functions came back great. She found a couple precancerous growths she froze off. She also found another spot on my back that was concerning to her so she wants to cut a piece out and send in to biopsy.

Each year for the last few years my DR has had to freeze off a couple precancerous growths. Last year they found a spot on my chest that had to be biopsied. She has become concerned enough to send me to see a dermatologist. Looks like I'm getting to that age where my irresponsible parents and my reckless youth is starting to catch up to me.

Parents, put sun screen on your kids no matter how busy and broke you are.

June 04, 2014

max weight olympic lifts, focus, and intensity

Up until this week I've gone into the gym knowing I should be able to accomplish each set of every workout that my coach has had planned for me. This is the first week that the weights have become heavy enough that its doubtful if I'll hit most of my lifts. I'm now doing 2 sets of 2, often at a PR weight. Now that I've got to the point of my training that each lift is a challenge, Olympic weightlifting is totally different. Now every time I approach the bar I have to be completely focused on that one repetition. The energy of being in that kind of a situation, where each rep is vitally important to the entire days training is more intense than anything I've ever felt. I'm enjoying olympic weightlifting more than any sport I've ever done before. This is intense.

May 29, 2014

clean and jerk day

Today was the most strenuous day I've had of lifting. I did 5 sets of form work, then did 3 doubles of 89 kilos at the clean and jerk. 89 kilos is my PR clean and jerk, so getting 6 at 89k felt wonderful, but was also the hardest thing I've done thus far in olympic weightlifting. It was the first time I felt unsure if I'd be able to finish my workout. After the CJ's I completed 2X3 front squats at 104k. I left feeling beat, but wonderful. I celebrated by buying myself some pork ribs and strawberries. Not the best way to celebrate since I want to get down to  the 94k weight class, but they still tasted magnificent. Turns out success tastes even better!

My shoulder felt much better today. Through trial and error I've found that the faster I move my feet on the jerk the less my shoulder hurts. Imagine that! The better my form the less it hurts my body.

My wife passed a very difficult test in nursing school today. She passed with a 95%. In her entire class there were only 6 people who passed. Nursing school is getting difficult, but she's smart and capable. She'll continue to do great, I'm sure of it.

May 28, 2014

treadmill tabata #4

Today I did a light recovery workout for strength training. Then I hopped on the treadmill and did a tabata. I warmed up for 5 minutes the ran at a 12% grade at an 11:45 pace 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. This was the fastest pace I've been able to keep since I started doing cardio a month ago. This workout was absolutely my max effort! I'm going to need to stay at this pace for awhile.

I did snatch's, squat's, and deadlift's yesterday. It was a great day. I PR'd my snatches, building up to 3X2 at 69k. I then completed a 5X5 at 104k on squats. I rounded the day off with six sets of heavy deadlifts setting another PR on my last set with a single at 356 pounds.

May 26, 2014

An old shoulder injury flaring up

Since the New Mexico games my right shoulder has been hurting after clean and jerk workouts. I couldn't figure out why until yesterday. Then I remembered my shoulder got separated in a cycling accident awhile ago. I've never had to train through an injury or pain while olympic training before. I'll keep you posted as I learn more about training under these conditions. This may be interesting.

May 25, 2014

heart broken again

Back in February my wife, kids, Dad, and I went to Kansas for a funeral. While there my Dad promised he'd go camping with us on Memorial day. As usual he bailed on us. I haven't heard from him at all since February. You'd think after all these years I wouldn't let it hurt me anymore, but it still does. Even though I'm so angry and hurt, I still miss him and desperately want to have a relationship with him. I think what hurts the most is that I have no idea why he doesn't want a relationship with me.

May 23, 2014

creatine monohyrate and olympic weightlifting cycle #2

I started taking creatine monohydrate on Monday. The last time I started taking creatine I made the biggest gains I'd ever made in strength and weightlifting. The last time I cycled 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off. This time I'll take creatine for 12 weeks on, 8 weeks off. The only thing I really don't like about taking creatine is that I'm so much hungrier all the time. Seriously, creatine makes me hungry! All the time! I understand that the hunger is because I'm making more muscle and strength gains so my body needs the extra calories. I know that I wont get fatter because of the extra calories. I'm trying not to freak out, but it's hard for me because I know how I look right now. I'm 280 pounds. I'mcrea obese. I'm in the process of losing fat while gaining muscle, and that process takes time. I didn't gain it all in a year, so I can't expect to loose it all in a few months either. I'm working in the right direction every day. In the mean time I'm trying to be gentle with myself.......

May 22, 2014

treadmill tabata #3

Today I did my 3rd treadmill tabata since starting up cardio again a little under a month ago. Today I did my usual 5 min warm up, then put the treadmill to a 12% grade and ran 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for 4 minutes. I did the first 2 minutes of the work set at a 12 mile an hour pace, the 2nd 2 minutes at an 11:45 pace. I felt like it was a struggle to keep that pace up, but I like pushing myself. Next Thursday I'll attempt the full 4 minute work set at an 11:45 pace.

Everything I've ever read says you can tell your getting in shape if your heart rate returns to normal after being elevated through exersion. My heart rate is lowering more quickly after cardio now, and also I'm not as out of breath when I'm training at olympic weightlifting. Progress baby. Progress.

May 21, 2014

the 2014 New Mexico games: weightlifting

The 2014 New Mexico games weightlifting competition was an all around awesome experience and a perfect event for someone who is lifting in their first competition. There was so much going on, so many people involved in the experience, and so many emotions involved that I seriously doubt I'll be able to explain in one post how wonderful the event truly was. I was a nervous wreck the night before the meet. I realized this was going to be nothing at all like any of the 86 triathlons and duathlons I'd competed in before. This was all new and somewhat overwhelming territory I was in. I ended up contacting the best female American super heavy weight Sarah Robles and top female 69k lifter Jenny Lyvette Arthur on twitter. Both of them were quick to respond with support and suggestions. I was kind of in awe. In no other sport in America outside of weightlifting could an athlete get an almost immediate response from a top level pro to give support to a newbie in their sport. Think Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, Kobe Bryant, or George St Pierre would have responded to a stranger claiming to be competing in their first game in the morning and asking for advise? Nope. 

A very experienced lifter, Dominick Ferris, decided to drive up with me the morning of the competition. I was so very grateful for the company. He was great at keeping the conversation going and keeping my mind off of being nervous. (Dominick ended up being the top lifter of the day).

Thanks to a detour on the interstate we got to UNM with only 10 minutes to spare until weigh in. And then of course finding parking was difficult, so by the time I walked into the UNM weight room I was freaked out that I was going to miss weigh ins. Turns out the 1st group of lifting ran late so i had plenty of time to wait.

All the other lifters I met were awesome. I'm a chatty guy before races, tournaments, and meets. Part of it is nervous energy, some of it is that I love the life style of competition, but mostly I just really love people. So there I was bouncing around from person to person starting small conversations with people I'd never met before but would be doing something with them that is, in my mind, special. As i was talking to the other lifters I found out that there were only 3 athletes lifting in the 105+. Each of the three 105+  were in a different age group, so as long as each of us got a single snatch and clean and jerk we'd all get a gold medal. I was the 2nd lifter to lift in the 2nd session which comprised of the 94k, 105k, and the 105k+. When i walked out onto the lifting platform I just about had a heart attack. Every judge, spectator, athlete, and coach was looking right at me. That was COMPLETELY different than I was used to at a triathlon. It rattled me. I got so nervous it was ridiculous! I actually froze half way to the platform and stared out at the audience. Coach Shane Miller actually had to tell me from the side lines, "It's ok Cody, go on, you got this."

Even though coach Miller had me start out with an opening lift that was ridiculously easy, 60k, i was still amazed I made the first snatch with how nervous I was. My form was horrendous. My shoulders didn't stay over the bar long enough, the bar swung out away from my body, I didn't pull long enough to get the weight up high enough, and I started to drop into the squat position too soon. After the 1st lift was successful I calmed down a bunch.

By the 2nd snatch of 65k I'd calmed enough to be better at concentration of form. But I wasn't expecting the adrenaline to make me so strong! I pulled that weight up so high and back so much farther than I ever have before that I ended up not able to catch the bar, the weight went flying one way, and I fell the opposite direction landing right on my butt!

On the 3rd snatch I repeated 65k. I was expecting the adrenaline and was able to make a good lift. It felt easy.

Clean and jerks are my weakest event so I was nervous again and doubting myself. On my 1st clean and jerk I tried to force myself to stay calm, but I made the mistake of putting all of my focus on ignoring the crowd and trying to stay in the moment. I totally forgot to think about the lift at all. Thanks to muscle memory I made my 1st attempt which was 80k. It was an ugly lift, but it was ruled good by the 3 judges.

The 2nd clean and jerk was 84k, which was only 3k below my lifetime PR. I made the lift relatively easy.

On my 3rd clean and jerk i attempted 89k, which was 2k above my lifetime PR. I'll tell you now I love adrenaline in regards to weightlifting! I lifted that bar up like it was nothing!!!!

I ended up succeeding at 5 of my 6 lifts and taking 1st place in my division of 35-39 age group in the 105+ weight class and setting a clean and jerk lifetime personal best lift!!!! It was a good day.

May 16, 2014

tune up session before my first weightlifting meet

Today was my last day of lifting before my first olympic weightlifting meet tomorrow at the New Mexico games. All I was scheduled for was 5 or 6 sets building up to my openings lifts. I missed a couple lifts even though the weights I was using was lower than anything I'll be lifting tomorrow.  I assumed I wasn't going to be nervous because I've competed in so many competitive events from triathlons, duathlons, jiu jitsu tournaments, running events, cycling races, and CrossFit competitions. And truth was I wasn't nervous until today. But today I realized I'd done so many endurance races there was nothing I could have happen to me that I hadn't had happen before. Now I'm a rookie. Up until today I was confident and ready for anything. But now I realized an olympic weightlifting competition is like nothing I've ever done before! Before if I had a bad swim, bike, or run  it was ok, because I could make up for it in the other events.  There was room for error. I've realized that if I make a mistake in olympic weightlifting it pretty much grantees I'm going to miss the lift. Now I'm nervous.

May 14, 2014

last heavy weightlifting day before the NM games

I work nights and sleep during the day. Yesterday I wasn't able to sleep because my neighbors were blasting music. This morning I was forced to work a 16 hour shift at the prison. After my shift I slept for 2 1/2 hours, then woke up and went to the gym. I was exhausted, but I didn't want to miss the last heavy training session before my first olympic weightlifting competition, The NM games, which will be held this Saturday. I'll wear my old NM outlaws triathlon bib for the competition. I trained in it today, it was tight, but it worked. Next time I post I'll let you know how my competition went. Thanks for tuning in.

May 11, 2014

strength gains at Miller weightlifting

Back in the late 1990's I did nothing but strength training. I was semi-strong and looked good, but the strength gains I ended up attaining took SO LONG to get! The gains came so slowly I finally gave up and swore off weightlifting forever.
Here's a picture of me after I lifted my bench PR of 270 lbs in 1999. I weighed somewhere around 210 then, I still had low body fat, and hair- at least a little hair.... more than I have now that's for sure! As you can tell I've been posting a lot of pictures from when I was still in shape. Even though all other aspects of my life are doing great, better then back then even, I have a hard time being content when I'm as overweight as I am now.
15 years later (last November) I decided to try olympic weightlifting. But this time I hired a weightlifting coach rather than struggle on my own again. It's amazing the difference having a coach makes. Coach Shane Miller of Miller weightlifting has been training me for only 5 months now and I'm already at a 265lb bench, 5 pounds away from matching my lifetime PR. All my other lifts are already greater than they had ever been.  I've developed a love for weightlifting I never had before. Now if I could just lose some weight so I'd feel better about myself and so that I'm not lifting in the super heavy weight division. I think the 94k weight class would be best for my body type.

May 10, 2014

wife now at Miller weightlifting too!

Just when I thought marriage couldn't get any more fun, my wife started training with me at Miller weightlifting. This week we had so much fun working out together. Now on our down time she and I talk olympic weightlifting and training. Can life get any better than Olympic style weightlifting with your spouse? I think not.

Yesterday I did a moderately heavy workout of snatch, clean and jerk, and went heavy on squats. I set a new 5 rep best on squat. It was a good day. Today I was scheduled for cardio and an easy strength day. I started with a 5X5 bench press at 75% and realized my body was very fatigued. So I stopped my workout and went home. Today is now a recovery day, I'll also take Sunday completely off from any training too. I'm only a few weeks into supplementing my workouts with cardio and the cardio I do is high intensity, thus very draining. My body hasn't acclimated to the extra work load. I'm trying to take the slow and steady rout rather than do what I used to do which was push myself as hard as possible until I got sick and/or burned out. So far that mentality is working. I'm getting close to doubling my max snatch in the last 5 months and I've put 35 pounds on my bench press in the last 6 weeks. I'll take the gains and be happy while taking an occasional rest.

May 09, 2014

US and Pan am masters olympic weightlifting records

Since I'm currently lifting above the New Mexico state olympic weightlifting records for the 40-44 age group 105k+  I thought I'd look up the masters US and Pan American records. Those records are unbelievable! They can snatch almost as much as I can squat!

the 40-44 AG 105+ for the US is:
snatch 155k
clean and jerk 188
total 335

the 40-44 AG 105+ for the Pan am is:
snatch 150k
clean and jerk 190
total 340 

May 08, 2014

2nd treadmill tabata workout

Todays workout was a day for recovery from strength training, and hard cardio. I did a bench press workout of 5X5 at 65%. After the easy bench press routine I did a treadmill tabata. I did a 5 minute warm up then put the treadmill at a 12% grade, then ran 4 minutes of 20 seconds hard and 10 seconds recovery at a 12 min per mile pace. I felt like I was working hard at that speed. I'm pretty sure I could have ran at a slightly faster pace-, not much more though. I was close to max effort. Next Thursday I'll try the same workout with 2 minutes at a 12 minute per mile pace and 2 minutes at an 11:40 pace.

Man am I in horrible shape! It's hard to believe I used to be so good at running back in my triathlon years. I used to be able to hold a 7 minute per mile pace indefinitely. Now I struggle running sprints on a treadmill at a 12 minute per mile pace. But as long as I'm moving I'm going in the right direction. I have to keep this up and start eating healthier. Being this heavy is not ok. Yesterday my 6 year old was in a play. It hurt to sit in the chair through the whole performance. My belly is so big it pushes against my legs and makes it difficult to breath. No one should allow them self to get so fat that it's uncomfortable to breath while sitting in a chair. I'm currently 279 lbs. My first weight loss goal is to get to the 105k (232lbs)weight class in olympic weightlifting. My 2nd goal is to get to the 94k (207 lbs) weight class. Back when I was training and racing for triathlons I felt best at 200 lbs. Here's a picture of what I looked like at 186 pounds, my body fat percentage was eight & a half percent.
I figure I'll have a lot more muscle now that I'm a weightlifter, so 207 should be pretty lean and healthy for my body type. My #1 goal is to get to a healthy body weight again. While in triathlon I was at such a low body weight it was causing health problems, now I'm at the oposite end of the spectrum.

Healthy. That's where I want to be. Healthy for my wife. To support her through nursing school and the start of a wonderful career that she's always dreamed. To be be a parent and spouse with her, not just a memory. To live long enough to show my baby girl what it's like for me to love her, respect her, treat her with kindness, and listen to her thoughts, feelings, and opinions in the hopes she learns not to settle for anything less than a man who treats her the same way. I want to make sure I'm there for her to walk her down the isle. One of my wife's friends had to get married without her Dad there because he died young. I don't want to do that to my baby girl. I want to be there long enough to teach my boys how to be good, strong, and kind men. If I don't change my eating soon I wont be able to be there with them and it'll be my fault.

May 06, 2014

5 minute AMRAP

Today was cardio day. After doing 5 sets of 5 reps of bench press I did a short and hard cardio session. Rion, my 4 year old, did the cardio session also. The cardio was a MetCon (metabolic conditioning) workout that was a 5 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of
5 push ups
5 burpees
5 wall balls
I was able to finish 4 rounds exactly, no reps on the fifth round. Rion completed 4 rounds and a some extra reps into the fifth.... Yes, my 4 year old beat me...... Since starting up cardio again a couple weeks ago I've made some pretty great gains, but I'm still REALLY out of shape. After the workout I thought to myself, "I'm glad I'm not in CrossFit right now, because I'd have been an embarrassment". I know that if I continue training the way I am, in no time I'll transform myself from a fat and out of shape olympic weightlifter to an olympic weightlifter who is in great shape. Today was another step in the right direction.

My weight has stabalized at 280.

May 05, 2014

Increases in bench

I maxed out at bench press this weekend. Since the last time I maxed out 6 weeks ago my max bench has increased 35 pounds!!!! I'm now 5 pounds away from matching my life time bench PR set back in 1999! Life is good here in the strength training side. Join us and feel the power. Muahahaha!

April 29, 2014

a new weightlifting phase and wifes blood pressure

Yesterday my weightlifting coach placed me into a new phase. This phase rotates 3 days. Each focuses on something different from form, volume, or maximum lifts. I'm very excited. Every week I'm getting stronger. 20 days left until the New Mexico games!

Today I did a Metcon workout called death by meters. It was brutal. Here's how its done: Two cones/medicine balls will be set up 10 meters apart from one another- the 1st min. you will run 1 apart from one another- the 1st min. you will run 1 10 meter, the 2nd min. you will run 2 10 meters, (from 1st cone/medicine ball to 2nd cone/medicine). The 3rd minute you will run 3 10 meter (from 1st cone/medicine ball to 2nd cone/medicine ball and back) and so forth until you cannot ball and back) and so forth until you cannot complete the appropriate 10 meters in the allotted complete the appropriate 10 meters in the allotted time.

The last week my wife has had debilitating migraines. Last night we checked her blood pressure and it was 157 over 121. The diastolic number was high enough she was in danger of a stroke. She spent last night at the emergency room. Thankfully our new Warden is a good man. Warden Franco approved me to be off from work all week in case I need to take my wife back to the emergency room.

April 25, 2014

clean and jerk day!

Today was my 2nd favorite day, clean and jerk day, 2nd only to snatch day! I can now get 2 very good reps of the clean and jerk at 5 kilos above the New Mexico clean and jerk state record for the super-heavy weight 40-44 age group. So far there's no sign of my strength gains slowing down. I've set a new personal best clean and jerk AND snatch every week for the last 5 months. My coaches Shane Miller (who's athletes owns over 450 world and national records), Jodi Stumbo (holds numerous world records), and Linda Tetrault (multiple national and PanAm champion) of Miller weightlifting are amazing. With them in my corner I can accomplish anything! Today they helped me clean up my jerk, which has always been a weakness of mine. It's not much of a weakness anymore though!

I'm also getting close to breaking my lifetime PR in the squat which I set last year and bench press which I set way back in 1999! Even better news.... tomorrow is snatch day!!!!

weight loss for the New Mexico games

Well, it's a miracle. I started my diet yesterday. My only goal is to fit into my triathlon bib by the New Mexico state games held on May 17th.

On top of eating healthy and cutting my eating back by about 500 calories I also did cardio. Yup cardio, it's a 2nd miracle in one day! I did a Metcon workout that took me 16:36. It was 3 rounds for time of:
50 calories row
15 handstand pushups
50 double unders
C/D of 5 min easy cycling

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!

February 06, 2014

gaining strength and the Natural Athletes Strength Association (NASA) state championships

Today was a great day for training. I did my first clean and jerk with good form. It felt great and my coach Shane Miller said it looked great. I'm getting stronger and my form is getting better every training session. Today I squatted 99 K 5X5 easily. The last set felt like a warm up set, and last week I struggled with that weight. I also did a set of bench pressed, 5 reps at 93 K easily. I'm pretty sure I could have done 6 or 7 reps.

My best friend and I have agreed to compete in the Natural Athletes Strength Association (NASA) state championships held on April 26th in Gallup NM. I've decided to enter all three events consisting of:

a. Squat
b. Bench Press
c. Deadlifts

Full Power Sports Division:
a. Curl
b. Bench Press
c. Deadlift

Power press:
a. Clean
b. Bench Press.

February 05, 2014

The 2014 Missile man duathlon DNS (did not show)

My Grandpa died. During the week we were at the funeral, visiting family, or traveling I didn't train at all. This Saturday was the Missile Man duathlon at WSMR, NM. I figured the time off was nothing more than a taper. I paid for the race, packed, and even started to drive there, but an hour into the drive to the race I had realized there was no way I was going to be able to ride my bike in a race with vehicle traffic. I DNS'd (did not show). Getting ran over by a vehicle while cycling back in 2011 really screwed me up. I only have to complete 14 more races to accomplish one of my bucket list of finishing 100 triathlons or duathlons, but I'm beginning to doubt if I'll be able to do it now that I'm afraid to bike in traffic.

Yesterday was my 1st day back at weightlifting. Since I had taken a week off coach Shane Miller had me train with slightly lighter weights than usual. He's a smart man. Even with the lighter weights I'm still a little sore today. Today I rode my bike indoors on my Cycle Ops trainer:
5 min warm up
3 min hard, 3 min recovery
2 min hard, 2 min recovery
1 min hard, 1 min recovery
2 min hard, 2 min recovery
3 min hard, 6 minute cool down

I ate like crap the entire time we were traveling. I'm afraid to see where my weight is now.

January 25, 2014

Natural Athlete Strength Association (NASA)

My best friend and I have decided rather unexpectedly to go and compete in a strength lifting competition. I found that there will be 3 events held in New Mexico this year through the Natural Athlete Strength Association (NASA):

April 26th - New Mexico State, Gallup, NM
Septmember 27th - New Mexico Regional, Roswell, NM
December 27th - New Mexico Christmas Regional, Roswell, NM

The NASA has a lot of different divisions an athlete could enter, but their web site is very difficult to navigate. Here are the divisions:

Power lifting:
a. Squat            
b. Bench Press   
c. Deadlifts

Full Power Sports Division:
a. Curl
b. Bench Press
c. Deadlift

Power press:
a.  Clean 
b. Bench Press.


single lift events:

a. Curl -- Power Sports
b. Bench Press -- Power Sports, Unequipped or Equipped Divisions
c. Deadlift -- Power Sports

Competition takes place between lifters in categories defined by:

a. Sex,
b. Body Weight
c. Age.
d. Unequipped divisions
e. Equipped divisions

Mens Division:
Open Division: from 13 years upwards (No category restrictions need apply.)

Teenage Division: from 13 – 19 years of age.
Junior Division: from 13 years to and including 23 years of age.
Intermediate Division: 24 to and including 29 years of age.
Sub Masters I Division: 30 to and including 35 years of age.
Sub Masters II Division: 35 to and including 39 years of age.
Masters I Division. 40 years to and including 49 years of age.
Masters II Division: 50 years to and including 59 years of age.
Masters III Division: 60 years to and including 69 years of age.
Masters IV Division: 70 + years of Age and upwards.

Women’s Division:
Open Division: from 13 years upwards (No category restrictions need apply.)
Teenage Division: from 13 – 19 years of age.
Junior Division: from 13 years to and including 23 years of age.
Intermediate Division: 24 to and including 29 years of age.
Sub Masters I Division: 30 to and including 35 years of age.
Sub Masters II Division: 35 to and including 39 years of age.
Masters I Division. 40 years to and including 49 years of age.
Masters II Division: 50 years to and including 59 years of age.
Masters III Division: 60 years to and including 69 years of age.
Masters IV Division: 70 + years of Age and upwards.
Body weight Categories (Men)
52.0 kg Class up to 52.0 kg    
56.0 kg Class from 52.01 to 56.0 kg
60.0 kg Class from 56.01 to 60.0 kg
67.5 kg Class from 60.01 to 67.5 kg
75.0 kg Class from 67.51 to 75.0 kg 148.8-165.3 lbs
82.5 kg Class from 75.01 to 82.5 kg 165.4-181.9 lbs
90.0 kg Class from 82.51 to 90.0 kg 181.9- 198.3 lbs
100.0 kg Class from 90.01 to 100.0 kg 198.4-220 lbs
110.0 kg Class from 100.01 to 110.0 kg 220.5-242 lbs
125.0 kg. Class from 110.01 to 125.0 kg 242.5-275 lbs
140.0 kg. Class from 125.01 to 140.0 kg 275.6-308 lbs
140 + kg. Class from 140.01 to unlimited 308.7 lbs+

January 24, 2014

2nd treadmill tabata of 2014

Today I completed my 2nd treadmill tabata of 2014. This time I wanted to push myself harder than I have in awhile so I increased the treadmills elevation to %12 and ran at a 10:45 pace for the hard sets. The goal was to run 10 hard sets worth. Even though I pushed myself to the point where my legs were almost collapsing and I was getting dizzy I was only able to run 8 hard sets. Next time I'll decrease my pace to a 10:56 and try for the full 10 sets. Once I 'm able to complete the full 10 I'll start increasing the speed I'm running and the amounts of hard sets I'm completing.

This morning I received a call from a loved one to tell me my grandpa died last night. His funeral will be held outside of Dallas Texas. I usually cover any emotions I'm having with eating. I'm going to try really dang hard to do a lot of praying, working out, and talking to my family about my feelings rather than turning to food.

January 23, 2014

Finally a decent snatch, and I need a different goal!

When I was involved in all the other sports I've tried I would usually struggle for awhile, then get worse for a single practice or a week, then make a huge jump. My progress was almost never gradual or consistent. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I've been training for Olympic weightlifting for over 2 months now and my snatches suck, my cleans are only a little better. Sunday was my worst training day to date, and then today I felt great! I actually completed a few reps that looked like a real snatch! I live for moments like that. Finally, some progress. Perhaps I'll be ready for the New Mexico state games this summer after all.

On another note, there's a guy I've blogged about a few times named Barry Schroeder. he's in my age group, and I hope to get down to the weight division he's lifting in, the heavy weights. I've said I wanted to continue to lift, progress, and eventually try to compete with him. Yesterday he hit a 400 pound squat. I think I need to find another golden carrot, a different person to try to strive to beat. my max lifts are ridiculous compared to his. My max power snatch was 152, bench was 270, squat was 280, and my max dead lift was 350. My best lifts are no where near his warm ups!

January 22, 2014

weight gained again. Paleo time?

Earlier this month I got down to the 250 pound range for the first time in a couple years. And now I'm back into the 260's again. I love food, I hate dieting. I'm getting frustrated. I lost 20 pounds in a few weeks of starting Olympic weightlifting and have now become stuck, bouncing around between 258-262. I think I'm going to try the Paleo diet again. Perhaps just until I lose this extra 30 pounds and I get into the 105k weight class. I've had great losses when I get onto the Paleo diet, but I also end up with the worst cravings in my life, which often times ends up causing me to binge and gain all my weight back and then some.

Oh how glorious it would be to be back into the 230's.....

January 21, 2014

My first Olympic weightlifting goal

I've been training in Olympic weightlifting for a little more than 2 months now. My form is still really bad, especially in the snatch. I don't think I've progressed enough to have picked any goal weights to hit this year, but I have decided I want my A event to be the 2nd annual Buffalo classic weightlifting competition held by Zia CrossFit November of this year here in Santa Fe NM. I have 10 months until the 2nd annual Buffalo Classic . That's 10 months to work on my form and build some more strength. I'm planning on competing in a couple sanctioned Olympic weightlifting events before the Buffalo Classic so that I can get used to lifting in a formal competition.

I posted a link to the 2013 1st annual Buffalo Classic weight lifting competition below.

1st annual Buffalo Classic results

Event NameEvent SiteEvent StateEvent DateAthlete NameWt. Class(kg)Body Wt.(kg)Best SNA(kg)Best C&J(kg)Total(kg)
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Biddle, Makalah Grace 69.0 66.00 40.0 55.0 95.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Schaum, Eliza 63.0 60.83 31.0 44.0 75.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Applewhite, Faith 63.0 62.02 43.0 59.0 102.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Kleinsmith, Marissa 53.0 52.84 48.0 59.0 107.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Stumbo, Jodi L. 75.0 72.40 65.0 78.0 143.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Werenko, Deborah D 58.0 56.44 35.0 42.0 77.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Miller, Vedder Rise 77.0 76.56 75.0 90.0 165.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Monroe, Logan 56.0 55.95 63.0 75.0 138.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Ferguson, Hunter T 85.0 77.23 75.0 90.0 165.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Farris, Dominick Ethan 105+ 116.22 105.0 131.0 236.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Hernandez, Lorenzo 77.0 73.00 0.0 84.0 0.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Lovato, Leonard Steve III 77.0 73.70 0.0 89.0 0.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Harris, Nate 85.0 83.90 70.0 94.0 164.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 O'Connell, William 85.0 84.23 80.0 105.0 185.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Johnson, Martin William 105+ 114.43 76.0 117.0 193.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Nester, Jacob E. 94.0 87.88 85.0 107.0 192.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Fletcher, Benson 94.0 91.80 85.0 98.0 183.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Robinson, Darrick 94.0 88.22 66.0 90.0 156.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Martinez, Mark 85.0 81.38 60.0 0.0 0.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Schaum, Christopher 85.0 80.67 55.0 65.0 120.00
SANTA FENM11/9/2013 Longhurst, William L. 105.0 99.59 53.0 76.0 129.00