September 26, 2015

weightlifting, boxing, and depression

I've been wanting to start doing cardio, but I'm pushing my body to the max with weightlifting. Anytime I've added some sort of cycling or running into my training regiment i end up overtraining and getting sick. Then it occurred to me that most of weightlifting is legs and the types of cardio I'm doing is also legs. So what if i started adding cardio that primarily  worked the upper body?  But what could i do to raise my heart rate using my upper body? BOXING! Hitting a heavy bag! So i found a heavy bag and gloves on Craig's list for only $50. I'll be picking it up tomorrow. It'll be a fun workout that wont fatigue my legs as much, and it'll be great training for my career as a correctional officer at the prison.

For the last 9 years I was forced to work 80-90 hours a week. Working that much and sleeping so little caused me to be severely depressed. For the last month I've been able to slow down on overtime. I assumed once i was able to work less and sleep more my depression would go away. It hasn't. Perhaps i need to wait longer? Expecting the consequences of 9 years of hell to go away after only a month might be asking to much, but it sucks finally being home and having the time to do things but not have any interest in anything at all. I got so used to going through the motions of life even though i felt horrible that now it feels like i forgot how to feel happy. I don't mean to sound like a pussy, but in the last 4 years I've gained 130 pounds. I'm so over weight I've developed sleep apnea and i just don't care. Now that I'm working less I don't have an excuse to feel like this, but i still do. What gives?

September 25, 2015

trying to qualify for the masters national weightlifting championships

On Monday i set PR's of a 90k snatch and a 113k clean and jerk. My weightlifting coach, Shane Miller told me I could attempt a 92k snatch and a 115k clean and jerk today. If i made both lifts that would give me a total of 207k, which is the amount needed to qualify for the Masters national weightlifting championships. So today i tried, and I successfully lifted a 91k snatch, but missed the 92k. I lifted a 114k clean and jerk easily which put me at a 205k total. I desperately wanted the 207k, so i jumped from 114k to 116k and nailed it! I made the 207k total I'd been training the last 21 months for!  As long as I'm able to lift that amount on October 17th in the sanctioned weightlifting meet i'm scheduled  to compete at I'll have qualified for the 2016 masters national Championships in Savannah Georgia!

Earlier this year i sold all my triathlon gear to be able to afford for my wife and i to travel to Savannah Georgia if i was actually able to meet the minimum total. Looks like that might happen.

September 24, 2015

my home, my gym

The gym i train at is an Olympic style weightlifting gym. It's the most supportive environment I've ever been in. We're all there with the same goal, Olympic style weightlifting. Next to the prison (i work there, I'm not an inmate) I've never felt such comradery.

Last week our gym had two people compete in the masters weightlifting world championships in Finland. One took first, the other 2nd place. This week we have 5 athletes going to compete in the university national championships in Utah. The joy we have for each others accomplishments and struggles is 2nd to none. I'm getting close to the qualifying totals for the 2016 masters weightlifting national championships. Almost everyday someone asks me how my weightlifting is going. They all know  I'm close to my goal and everyone seems as excited about it as i am.

 I've fallen head over heels in love with Olympic style weightlifting. This is such a beautiful sport! It takes speed, strength, balance, form, and incredible mental focus. The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk are the most complicated and rewarding exercises I've ever done.

September 23, 2015

starting to commute by bicycle again

My wife and i have had only one vehicle all week and my wife's been taking it to work. I've been riding my old, beat up, 90's model Raleigh mountain bike everyday to The Miller Gym and work. At first i was afraid the cycling would hurt my weightlifting. But i think the cycling is actually helping it. I used to struggle getting my legs warmed up and ready to lift heavy. This week, by the time i bike the 11 miles to the gym, my legs feel great and are ready to lift right away. So it looks like I'm picking up commuting to work and gym on my bicycle again.

September 21, 2015

new PR's close to qualifying

Today i was scheduled to lift heavy. It's not often my programming has me go heavy, so it wasn't a day i was willing to miss. My wife's van broke down and she needed my vehicle for both her work and school. So i rode my old commuter mountain bike to the gym.

 It was only about 11 miles from my house to The Miller gym, not that far really,  but i was  still worried riding that far on an old dilapidated bike would fatigue my legs. It turns out it didn't. I lifted a lifetime PR of a 90k snatch and a clean and jerk of 113k for a total of 203k. That's only 4 kilos from qualifying for the masters weightlifting national championships.
Qualifying for the master's national championships would mean a ton to me. I used to be a pretty finominal triathlete, i had qualified for 6 national championships and one world championship. I assumed the cycling accident that ended my triathlon career marked the end of me competing in athletics at a national level. But here i am getting close to being able to compete at another national championship sporting event. I'm so excited and I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who's helped me get to where I'm at, particularly my weightlifting coaches Shane Miller,  Kim Alderwick, and Jodi Stumbo.

September 11, 2015

losing weight for an attractive woman

My wife started working out at Praxis (formerly Zia crossfit) a month ago.  She's lost so much weight so quickly that the transformation has been shocking. She's not just losing weight, she's getting that athletic and fit look, muscular arms, a slender waist line, long lean legs, and defined shoulders. On one hand I'm lucky because my wife was already a very attractive lady, but now she's looking unbelievable. And now i need to lose some dang weight or we're going to endup looking like the picture below.

September 10, 2015

forgiven and blessed

On Friday i received two medical bills totaling  $6700. Then a few days later my vehicle broke down, another  $706. Yesterday on the way to pick up my vehicle from the mechanic my wife's vehicles check engine light came on. The only way for my family to get out of that kind of financial mess would have been for me to go back to working massive amounts of overtime. I spent 9 years working 80-90 hour work weeks to pay off my wife's student loans. Working that much caused massive depression, marital problems, and i missed much to much of my children growing up. To have to work that many hours again was more than i could bear. I'll be honest, i started to pray for God to take me to heaven rather than me to have to work like that again. I wanted to die.

This morning i called the hospital to negotiate the bill. By the end if the of the phone call they agreed to forgive the bill. As soon as I hung up the phone i fell to my knees in relief and started crying, praying, and thanking God. Its amazing how loving and forgiving He is. i usually have the worst luck,  but i put it in Gods hands and He gave me so much more than i deserve. I'm so very blessed.

September 08, 2015

sleep, overtime, and PR's

In the last month my lifts have increased substantially. I'm %100 certain its because I've been sleeping more. In the last month I've slept 8 hours a night. That's the first time I've been able to feel rested in 9 years. It shows in my lifting. In 4 weeks my front squat alone increased by almost 20 kilos (42 pounds). I've PR'd my snatch and clean and jerk and they felt easy. Friday we received 2 medical bills totaling $6700. And tonight my Suburban broke down. I'm back to working 12-16 hours a day, 6 days a week and not sleeping much. Looks like until i pay these bills off I'll be going back to getting slow weightlifting gains.

September 07, 2015

medical bills and student loans

I worked 80-90 hours a week for 9 years. It was horrible. I was miserable. Just a few weeks ago ago i was finally able to pay off enough of my wife's student loans that i could afford to start working a bit less & staying home more. And then on Friday i received these. $6,709 in medical bills. I'm so sick and tired of working so much and sleeping so little. Starting tonight i'm going back to working 80-90 hours a week until i pay these off.  I just want to be home to spend time  with my family. I'm so sick of this.