Saturday, November 16, 2013


I rarely post my progress pictures.  However, I am going to allow an exception to the rule and move into the 'slightly uncomfortable' zone.  It's all part of the evolution.  Here is a picture that I snapped on Monday before I went to the gym.  Apologies for the hotel room decor - I'm clearly not good at "selfies".

Anyway, I want to give a shout out to PROGRESS.  Not just the external indicators, but there are many other (perhaps more import) indicators of progress than the obvious physical changes.  I wanted to acknowledge the following changes over the past month:

1) Smile.  My smile has returned.   I am not avoiding mirrors as much, and I am not displaying signs of being uncomfortable with myself, such as walking with my head down or avoiding mirrors of any and all kinds.  I have always taken pride in my smile being a reflection of the essence of me.  When my body started going haywire, I lost my smile.  I used to love taking pictures and being in front of the camera.  I'm slowly finding my way back to that happy place.  I'm not a vain or self centered person. I am just usually and preferably happy and smiling.  I smile often and proudly now.

2) Improved Cardiovascular Endurance. I notice that my endurance is improving.  I'm still not able to stay on the elliptical for extended periods of time, but it's getting better.  I used to do hours of cardio, broken down into 45-to-60 minute sessions.  I haven't done that in a while. I enjoy being able to push myself, and I'm happy that I'm working my way back up to doing challenging things.

3) Muscular Strength. I notice that I'm getting stronger with certain movements.  Since my friend Pat started training with me at my house, I have been forced to use my 16kg and 20kg kettlebells for minimums on certain movements.  As such, I'm getting much more comfortable with using my 16kg as my baseline kettlebell weight. This is great since I still plan to test for the RKC, hopefully next year, in which my minimum kettlebell weight is 16kg.  It's amazing the way my arms and glutes tone up using heavier kettlebells.  I used to always default to my 12kg bell, but not anymore!  I look forward to adding a second 16kg and a 28kg bell to my set.  I already have 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, 20kg, and 24kg bells at home, in singles and pairs of the lighter bells.

4) Define New Challenges. I still try to identify one challenging item to work on each month in the gym.  On my list for December is to start incorporating the stepmill into my routine. I usually avoid it like the plague. I saw this man at the gym who was absolutely amazing to watch on the stepmill. He was dancing on that thing!  My clumsy a**, I can't even walk on it without constantly looking down at the stairs to avoid falling.  Anyway, that will be my December goal.  So far this month, I've revisited barbell overhead squats and incorporating my jump rope into my workouts in between sets.  I've noticed tremendous improvements in cardiovascular endurance from the jump rope.  I'll continue with this and increase my duration from 1:00 to 1:30 rounds.

What progress have you recognized in yourself this past month? Acknowledge and be proud!

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