Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Health Fail

Ready? OK!
Well, in the past few weeks I've missed quite a few workouts. I had fully intended to stick to it, but I keep getting sick and/or hurt. And it isn't as if I'm hittin' it all that often in the first place. I'm only able to make it to bodypump classes twice a week. That's two workouts a week and no more. Pretty sad. And I'm missing half of those.

I got a new phone and lost my diet tracker app with the old one. I eventually found and reinstalled the app on my new phone, but I have yet to enter a single meal into it. It wasn't as if I had so drastically altered my diet in response to the calorie knowledge anyway, but it had helped to know just what I was eating and how many calories it was adding up to. For the record, I average about 2000 calories a day and I'm 6 feet tall. So I should weigh ... what? Less than I currently do, that's for sure.

I keep getting sick. It has started to worry me. I don't think I've ever been so sick so many times before. I even ran the Warrior Dash while sick just because I'm so tired of being sick and I was simply not going to let it make me miss that. It wasn't just a race. It was an experience. And I wanted it. Supposedly, lots of exercising and careful eating is supposed to make you healthier, not sicker. So if that's the case then what kind of shape would I be in if I weren't working out so much? Would I be in the hospital with some fatal illness or something? This is really getting ridiculous.

Where does it hurt?
So, I've discovered that the GNC website has no wish list and won't store the items in your cart for more than about 24 hours. Awesome. Thanks, you douchebags. So I guess I'll start keeping a GNC "grocery list" in Excel or something and then just go ahead into the store itself and skip their useless website from now on.

Why doesn't Blogger know how to spell 'douchebags' yet? Seriously, it's got a red underline to let me know that Blogger thinks I've misspelled it. Sorry, Bloggerbags, but I think I've got it right. If not, then close enough.

I'm ripping $5 WalMart CDs right now and currently Whitesnake is singing "Still of the Night" and making me feel like I'm in high school or something. Somewhere in my mind I'm picturing Tawny Kitaen doing gymnastics on the hood of my old car and making me mess my pants. Did you know she did that video totally unrehearsed? They had brought in Paula Abdul to teach her how to dance for the video and when Paula saw her doing her gymnastics on the cars she said, "what do you need me for? She's got it." And she left.

Well, this is truly a rather random post. I mean, I've pretty well said what I came to say. Tomorrow is another pump class and I intend to be there, but all day today my wrist was killing me and I have no idea why. This keeps happening, much like my repeat sicknesses, and it's bugging me. I'll be in class tomorrow, but that's still only one workout for the entire week. Hardly accomplishing much.

Sometimes I feel as if this is my theme song:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Warrior Dash 2011

Well, I ran the Warrior Dash, and I use the term "ran" loosely. I did not do especially well time-wise, but I did have a great time. I didn't get hurt (one guy broke his ankle right in front of me and had to be dragged out of the mud pit.) My worst injury from the event is the horrible sunburn I am currently wearing from staying at the Warrior Dash for 4 hours and having a blast. I'm definitely doing this again.

Here is a video I compiled from this year's race. This is the one I ran:

I'm sorry that you can't see the actual course itself very well. I saw some runners wearing video cameras on their heads. I don't have a camera like that, but I hope to have one next time I run it so I can record the whole thing.

This race was like nothing else I'd ever done before. One major problem that I had was that I got extremely sick the week of the race. Wednesday I even had to stay home in bed. I slept until 4 pm until someone knocked on the door to my bedroom to see if I was OK. If they hadn't of awakened me I don't know how long I might've slept. That's how sick I was.

So because of being sick, all my training stopped. I couldn't do any more running or workouts. I just had to focus 100 percent on getting over being sick enough that I could participate. I went to the race not even knowing for sure if I was going to be able to run it. But I figured I had paid my money and I wanted to see what it was all about if nothing else. Luckily, when I got there, I felt well enough to take a crack at it.

My time was horrible. I think I did it in 50 minutes, more or less. And I walked A LOT. I have never before in my entire life walked during any race. But I walked probably half of this one. The funny thing was, I flew over some of the obstacles, such as climbing steep walls with ropes and then climbing down the other side. I flew up several of those without much effort.

But by the time I got to the end of the course, I was so exhausted that it was all I could do to make myself trot to the final stretch. I did my best hurdler impression over the flaming logs. There were 2 rows of them. And when it came to the final obstacle, the mud pit, the spectators were screaming for all the guys to dive in and do a big belly flop. It was all I could do just to step into it and crawl on my hands and knees at an agonizingly slow pace. Some people threw themselves in, splashing mud onto the spectators, and then swam the pit. I was lucky just to make it from one end to the other without collapsing. And then I climbed out and somehow found the energy to jog across the finish line.

I was surprised by how many people walked most of the race. I was even more surprised to see so many people walking across the finish line. But to be fair, this is not a race you compete in to see how fast you can go. At least, not for most people it wasn't.

The biggest surprise of all, though, came after the race when we were all gathered around fire hoses trying to spray off the mud. Girls in skin tight tank tops and sports bras just threw their shirts into a box for unsalvageable clothes and started spraying themselves down like something out of a wet T-shirt contest. One particularly busty, slim, Playboy bunny-looking girl stuck her boobs in my face as she was hosing them down and shook them at me. And she was surrounded by other similarly busty girls, apparently all part of a group who ran together, who were also soaking their boobs and shaking them at the guys. I have run a lot of races, but never have any of them ended like that. I was nearly punched in the face by jiggling, wet, hot girl boobs. Talk about motivating - I'll be back next year!

There were a lot of people running dressed in costumes. You can win a prize for having the best costume in the race, so it is encouraged. Maybe next year I'll run dressed as a viking. I haven't decided yet.

Anyway, I did pretty lousy, but I did it. I'm sure Alana's time was much, much faster than mine, but then just looking at her photos I can tell she's in tremendous shape. My friend who encouraged me to run it is a personal trainer, pump class and spin class instructor, and I believe she used to model. So I don't even want to know what her time was, either. She did tell me that she walked a lot, too, which made me feel better about myself. But I still have a long way to go to getting into a condition that I'd call competitive.

Monday, September 12, 2011


So I've been trying to run and get ready for this race. I don't want to run, though. I don't feel the urge at all. Right this second I'm supposed to be getting ready to go to the gym and I just don't feel like it.

 OK, I wrote the above several hours ago. That's how awesome of a day I'm having. I write one paragraph and then I can't even find the time to finish the thought. I did end up going to the gym. I skipped BodyPump class and ran on the treadmill instead. Boy howdy, it was SO exciting, let me tell you. I just love treadmills. They make me all tingly and orgasmic from the fabulous boredom. There's nothing like the thrill of staring at a muted TV while trying to increase your running pace to something less embarrassing than your current pace.

You're so slow!
While I was stumbling rapidly along, because that's what it felt like I was doing, some relatively attractive college girl in short shorts and a tank top came along and got on the machine behind me. I'm sure she did this so I couldn't ogle her, but to me it created the illusion that she was looking over my shoulder, noticing how fast (slow) I was running and mocking me for being slower than her.

So, of course I sped up.

How do you like me now?
I don't know why I do this. It isn't as if this girl is going to give a flying fart about me even if I were running 4 minute miles like some Olympic superstar. In fact, if I were on a treadmill running that fast, all the banging and rocking and noise would most likely cause her to get off the machine behind me and move all the way to the opposite end of the gym to get the hell away from my crazy ass. Still, logic went out the window and I sped up just because some girl who will never look twice at me except to make sure I am a safe distance away from her or to aim her pepper spray came in and got on a machine in the vicinity of me. I am a moron, I freely admit it.

I didn't do my usual distance. I've been trying to psyche myself up for this race by running a distance shorter than the actual race if only because it makes me feel less pathetic and slow. I can haul ass, relatively speaking, for 2 miles and tell myself that I'm still in shape, but if I try to do that for 3 miles then I end up sore and tired and likely to skip the next workout. I should know how to train better than this, but somehow I seem to have forgotten everything I think I once knew about how to train for a race. Or maybe I just always got away with showing up and running without much effort because I used to be really fast and really young. Whatever the truth is, it isn't true of me anymore.

So I'm trying to run every single day, about 2 miles, or even a mile and a half. I just want to make sure that I run something instead of deciding to run 3 to 5 miles and then making some excuse to skip. It isn't as if the Warrior Dash is a race that people worry about their time on. That's not the point. It's obstacles and mud and fire and you have as much fun as you can without having a heart attack. That's the goal. At least it is the goal for me. I just don't want to be in such lousy shape that I stagger up to the obstacles and can't get over them because I'm so exhausted and weak.

Alana runs the Warrior Dash
After I finished my 2 mile stumble, I got off the treadmill and went down to the leg machines to work on my quads. I was a competitive runner for years and years and as a result I have a muscle imbalance that will probably stay with me until I die. They call it "runner's knee" but all it is is just an overly developed outer thigh muscle relative to the rest of your leg muscles. It pulls the kneecap outward and causes knee pain when you run.

I sat down on the leg extension machine. Some guy was on the machine to my right and some girl in a pink shirt and black pants with long hair to my left. I didn't even look at the girl. I just assumed from what little I saw that she was good-looking and would not want me to make eye contact with her because I was all sweaty and nasty and a guy. As I was doing my leg extensions, the girl got up and walked by in front of me. She wasn't good looking at all and I suddenly wondered why I just assumed that she was too good for me and wouldn't want anything to do with me. What kind of defeated person assumes they aren't good enough without even looking at the competition?

I really need to change my outlook on things, especially concerning my own self worth.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Workout Fail

For one month I have been out of the gym. For one blessed, restful, lazy month they had torn apart the men's locker room and disabled the showers. No showers means no workout for me. I took the month off.

Oh sure, I could have gone to the workout class after work, the one at 6:30. Truth be told, I did go to that one once. That was the one where I hurt my back. Then my car wouldn't start. Then the people at AAA kept bouncing my calls between 2 different cities and never sent my tow truck. At nearly 10 pm I got a ride home and wrote a nasty letter to AAA telling them that they'd better come up with some compelling explanation for why I should continue to use their services since they have failed me so horribly. The next several days I dealt with the pain of the injured back, plus taking a day off work to fix my stranded car.

How not to impress women
There is nothing like the indignity of working on your car in the parking lot of a gym connected with a University where beautiful 20-something girls in shorts and tank tops pass by all day long. It makes you want to say, "hey girl, don't look at me like that. I have a much cooler car at home in the garage that would make you think more highly of me if you ever saw it." And of course they would assume I was lying.

For the record, I'm not lying.

So, one month of no exercise coupled with eating out with friends during lunch or going home to sleep, plus the week of being sick as a dog, has ended. Its back to the pump and grind, to the carefully selected rhythm of cardio music, which I almost totally ignore. Except today, that is, where the voice of a girl saying "I like it with my feet back and my face down low" over and over again somehow caught my attention. I tried to Google the lyrics, but I can't find the song. One of the problems with pump class music is that they aren't exactly real songs. They take other people's music and redo it with different artists, sometimes combining several songs together. Oh well, it's not my style of music anyway. I was just curious.

I have no idea who today's instructor was. I had never seen her before. She said something about having recently had a baby. I couldn't tell anything about a baby. She said he is 4 months old. All I knew was she had a super tight set of abs and some huge breasts. I'm assuming the huge breasts are because she's still breast feeding. But I honestly have no idea. Either way, her entire body was in super tight shape, as compared to mine, which is most definitely not.

Example of distracting instructor
We did lots and lots of squats and lunges and jumps. And some deltoids. I tried to give it all I had, doing every rep with my best form and keeping up as best as I could. I did alright at first. And then my energy tank started to run low and the sweat began to pour out of me almost as fast as the US economy is leaking jobs.

And then, just as we reached the point where I was ready to fall over, we started doing push-ups. I should have rocked the push-ups, being a guy and all. But by that point I was totally out of gas. My chest and arms were willing, but my abs were not. They began to cave on me as I was straining out my reps. I started to look like the bow in a bow and arrow set. I tried and tried, but finally had to either drop to my knees or stop and breath. I chose to stop and breath. The black girl next to me kept on going.

I hated her for that.

I went back at it and tried to keep my body straight, but it didn't last long. Finally I gave in and let my knees touch the floor. Even then I wasn't lasting much longer. I was relieved to note that the black girl next to me also had her knees on the floor.

Yeah, you wimp!

Perfect Lunge
I try my best to do my squats and lunges with the best possible form despite my not having any apparent sense of balance at all. When I do lunges you really don't want to be the person next to me because I may fall over and take you out. I'm truly that bad. They say no balance is related to having no core muscles, but I think my ineptness goes beyond that. I mean, I definitely have no core muscles. There's no denying that. It's been months of me doing this class and still my abs show no sign of having improved at all. And I'm not even talking about when I look in the mirror. Screw the mirror. There's nothing to see there. I just mean when I'm doing the exercises and I look up I see my stomach muscles forming the upper arch of the Sydney harbour bridge. It looks ridiculous. And I've never noticed anyone else looking like that. It's just me with the horrifically useless stomach muscles.

My abs look like this, minus the opera house
I have honest to God thought about buying some of those muscle-stimulating electrodes and electrifying my stomach muscles while I work my abs just to see if I can force them to push down instead of forming the Appalachian mountains like they do. If I had a yellow t-shirt I could be the McDonald's golden arch. I really should contact them and see if they'd hire me. Give me a Ronald McDonald mask and a tight yellow shirt and I'm a human ad for their brand. I could be the McDonald's equivalent of Subway's Jarod.

Desperate Measures
Anyway, I started to die. At first I wasn't too concerned. I thought we were about done with class anyway. But then I looked at the clock. We were only 30 minutes into it. There was still 30 minutes more to go. And I was covered in sweat, wheezing like Mrs Jefferson, and about ready to collapse onto the floor.

YOU are totally wimping out
Meanwhile, the big-boobed, tight bodied instructor kept glancing my way. She did it all class long. I realize it has nothing to do with her being in any way attracted to me. They all have to make sure their students aren't passed out on the floor with a heart attack. But with the shape of her very female figure coupled with her flying ponytail acting as some kind of waving flag, it was constantly triggering some deep reproductive instinct in my brain somewhere and telling me "ALERT! ALERT! She's reproduction material!" Her steady glances were a real distraction. You would think that as exhausted as my body was, my genitals would be completely out of the equation here. Apparently not, though. I guess God considers the importance of reproduction to be too vital to ever fully let a man have a break from those instincts. Either that or I'm just really lonely.

Marisa Miller - clearly out of my league
I seem to have a problem with determining where I stand with women. There are women that make me feel that they are totally out of my league because they are so hugely attractive. But there are other women that I just have no idea where I stand with them. If they make me nervous at all then I seem to assume that I couldn't possibly make them nervous in return. I guess I assume that if they have impressed me that much then they must be out of my league and couldn't possibly be attracted to me. I believe this comes from my upbringing. My father used to say things to me like "what do you care if someone sees you naked? No one cares what you look like anyway" and lovely, helpful things like that as he held the bathroom door open. This did wonders for my self-image, as you might imagine. He wasn't what you'd call the most caring man. Actually, he always hated me. Both of my parents were big believers in putting their own children down as much as possible. They thought that parents who praised their own kids were big pretentious morons who were going to raise weak, useless brats. Ironically, our neighbors from across the street raised their daughters with the exact opposite view and all three of them are today very successful and happy, not to mention very beautiful, which I'm sure has helped with their success and happiness to some extent.

My neighbors daughters looked a lot like this
So anyway, after class I asked the instructor if she was signed up for the Warrior Dash later this month. It's a 5K race with endless obstacles, including climbing a wall, crawling through mud and leaping over fire. She said she was considering it. She has a friend who signed up and isn't going to be able to make it, so she offered her spot to her. She didn't sound like she was going to do it, though. While this conversation was going on, a beautiful blonde woman came in and began talking to her about a triathlon she had placed third in recently. And she encouraged me to enter one that is coming up. I am thinking about it. I know I will do terrible, and I might even drown in the attempt, but I'm bored with running and more running and I think I'd like to try something new for a change. A triathlon sounds like a good idea. The worst that it could do, I'm assuming, is kill me. I'm a lousy swimmer.

Warrior Dash - pit of fire obstacle

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Finishes the Week

Another Friday. I made it! Over the past few days I've noticed people being more pissy than usual. I'm not sure why. Today on the way into work I had a guy who seemed determined to fight with me and possibly get himself killed for absolutely no reason. I mostly ignored him, but in the end I showed him my brakes and sent him on a detour. He isn't the only one, though. This is a weekend that is going to require a lot of driving from me and I'm not looking forward to it. If everyone is pissy, and this is a holiday weekend, then that means the cops will be out and everywhere. And they will be pissy, too.

Last night I really needed to get out and just see people. I went to eat with a friend. She chose a place that is freaky, but always has a staff of mostly hot 20-something girls. So if the conversation lulls, I can always look around the room and see something interesting, tattoos and girls who I'd like to ask to model for me so I can practice my photography, except there isn't really a good way to approach a girl about that without sounding like a freak of some kind. And there was a regular crowd of people who obviously hangs out there at the bar a lot, guys about my age hitting on the 20-something waitresses every chance they got, waitresses smiling, dodging, maneuvering away and then back again, wrapping the men around their fingers, etc.

May I take your order?
My friend is dealing with a break-up and trying to stay distracted from her broken heart. I was trying not to be distracted by the football game on the wide screen TV just overhead in my line of sight, or the sexy black-haired waitress dressed head-to-toe in black who keeps looking over at me with her dark brown eyes. I'd like to believe she was looking at me because she was attracted to me, but I know better. I must have been staring at her more than I thought I was and so she was keeping on eye on me in case she should need to reach for a knife or make a run for the kitchen to hide. I'm sure she gets that all the time. Her pants were those form-fitting yoga pants and when she walked by it was virtually impossible to ignore her rear end, or her long, flowing black hair trailing behind her. I did my best, though.

I'll be your hostess for the evening

 The hostess of this restaurant looks like Cindy Crawford at about 18 years old. She's thinner than Cindy Crawford probably was and shorter, but so similar looking. I know she once overheard me talking to my friend about wanting to photograph her, and I get the impression that she'd like me to ask, but I haven't gotten up the nerve. And I haven't bought the camera I want yet. I keep blowing my money out my ass on other things instead.

Yeah, we all know your name, Jackass!
 After my friend went home I went to another place that I sometimes hang out, where everybody knows my name and most of the people are closer to my own age. A guy I graduated high school with was playing guitar and singing. Another friend from high school was there with a huge group to celebrate her birthday. But I didn't see them when I first walked in. I only saw three friends who are always nice enough to let me sit with them and who talk to me even when it seems like no one else will. So I went straight to them and sat down. Another friend from high school, a girl I had the hots for back then, was sitting with them. Sometimes she will call me and ask me to come hang out with her, but this time she hadn't, and she didn't seem happy to see me.
Here today, gone tomorrow
 I hugged the other 2 women, shook the guy's hand, and then hugged her. She was the only one who didn't seem keen on the hug, but she hugged me anyway. I don't know what's going on, but I knew better than to ask her what was up because she's never going to tell me. Apparently she's had a rough month. Whatever went on, she didn't want to talk to me about it. I didn't press. She's had 2 tattoos removed and she showed me the damage. It looked painful. She said it was. And apparently she got hurt rollerskating earlier that week. She talked to me for about 20 minutes. And then she left.

 When I saw the other group, the huge group of my old friends from school, they were somewhat intoxicated. I tried to wave to 2 of them who I know saw me. They didn't wave back. I texted one of them, the only one whose phone number I thought I had. She didn't respond. Later in the night, I walked over and talked to whomever would talk to me. 2 of them turned around and said 'Hi'. Then my friend onstage performing said, "hey, you graduated with most of these people. Why aren't you sitting with them? Are you too good for them?" And then he laughed. But I got the impression that what he said was what they were all thinking and why they were all pissy, or seemed to be, towards me.

Later that night I went over again and tried to talk to a few of the ones that I hadn't gotten to talk to before. 2 of them were friendly to me. The rest mostly blew me off. Ironically, I had only just that day added 2 of them as friends on Facebook after having not seen them in forever. Yet tonight, they were not friendly to me at all.

I saw a book on the table. It was "The 5 Love Languages." I know that book. People whose marriages are in trouble read that book. And, I guess, people who have just been divorced and wonder what has gone wrong read it, too.

I went home. I had laundry to do. While my laundry ran in the washer I got on Facebook. I noticed that several of the people in the group that seemed less than enthusiastic to see me had been talking to one another. They seemed to be talking about heartbreak and failed relationships. It sounded like several of them were pretty depressed. Apparently someone had just walked away from a relationship after giving it as many chances as they could. Another, I know, got a divorce earlier this year. I wondered, or maybe hoped, that they only seemed unhappy to see me because they were just in a depressed mood and not necessarily feeling all that happy to see anyone.

Whatever the case, this is a 3-day weekend and I'm not sure what to expect. I hope it goes well, because I'm about all out of hope. I'm about all out of patience. I'm about all out.