Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Great Class!

The night started with me taking the punishment from Amy. Great class! Went something like this...

3 x 3/3 presses - started with the Bulldog and graduated to the Beast (finally!). Pressed it twice with my right and once with my left!
Goblet Squats
Good Mornings
Combo of Body Weight Squats, Good Mornings and Swings
Rack Walks
Farmer Walk
Bent Rows
French Press
Crush Curls
Push-ups from the fore arms

Then it was my turn. We went outside for the first half of class.

Z Health
4 x 1minute swings with 20 sec. rest
5x3 double presses
3x8 swing, swing flip to a goblet Squat
Rack walk around the building
Farmer Walk around the building
2x Gym boss Dead Lifts (30 secs floor to knees, 30 secs knee to extension, 30 seconds full dead lift) - very nasty

Went inside for the second half of squats

3x5 Seated presses
3x8 Back press
3x5 French Press
3x5 Crush Curls
2x7 straight arm pull overs
2x10 Doug style push-ups
3x30 second planks with 15 second rest

Everyone did great! It was a fun class. 1 newbie who looked like a pro. Now I am off to Cincinnati tomorrow for the day. Should be good!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Beginning

Well, this has been in the works for over two months now. My first post of hopefully many! Over the past year a lot has happened, and the focus of this blog is primarily on my newest passion, Kettlebell. But, before I go there, I think it is important to understand my history.

It all started when I was a wee little lad.... OK, maybe not that far back. I am 37 years old. Not to get too philosophical, but looking back on my life, I have become a big believer in inflexion points. Seemingly small decisions in life that have a dramatic impact on the course of your life. I have been fortunate to have a number of these positive points during my life.

Perhaps the biggest one was a discussion I had in September of 1988. Our high school football team was struggling and some friends of mine decided the cure to the problem was that all of us would try out for the team the following year. Now, I was a naive kid and really thought they were serious. So, I approached my math teacher (who was also the head coach) and asked what I could do this year, to prepare myself for next year...

Now, I need to take timeout. At the time I was probably 6'4" tall and weighed approximately 205 lbs. This made me one of the largest kids in high school. A frequent target for the question... "Why don't you play football?" Well for a number of reasons I resisted this calling for many years...

My math teacher, Coach Schumacher, saw this question as an opportunity. He used it to lure me in. He asked "Are you really serious?", to which I responded "Of course I am serious." Then he asked "are you really really serious?" I thought this was odd as all I was looking for were some ideas on how to workout. I played along "Yes, I am really really serious." His response was "come to practice tonight!"

Now the story goes on from there and has some embarrassing twists that deal with the size of my head and the inability to find a football helmet to match. But, I won't go into those details... Suffice it to say, that brief seemingly innocent discussion changed the course of my life and me forever. As a result of that decision, I had the opportunity to go on and play football at Bowling Green State University, earn my college tuition with a scholarship to play football (and I due mean earn), win two bowl rings, meet a lot of life long friends and of course, meet my wife Amy.

This is also when I got a passion for lifting and fitness. I was one of the stronger lifters on the team and enjoyed pressing the limits of my body. We had a fantastic strength coach who is now the head strength coach at Clemson University. I truly enjoyed my time in the gym and committed myself to the challenge of being in great physical condition and playing to the best of my ability.

Well, I graduated and continued to workout. However, over time without the motivation of football, my lifting began to lose priority and eventually, I stopped completely. In December of 2005, Amy apparently decided I was too fat and signed me up to run the Cleveland half marathon. Now mind you, I am still at my playing weight, only now I am just fat and out of shape. I am not built to run. I was fortunate to have a good friend, Mark Orzell, sign-up to run with me. We really got into it for a while. We successfully ran the race and I finished in under 2 hours (which was my goal). Five minutes after the run age got the best of me and I discovered the pain of arthritis. I tried to continue to train, having visions of a full marathon, however, the long runs really started to have a toll on my body. I have run very little since that summer.

So, back to being fat and out of shape... In December of 2006, my wife again decided having a fat husband was not here thing (either that or she was trying to kill me knowing I am worth more dead than alive). The day after Christmas, she lined up a babysitter and took me to a new fitness class she had gotten into, kettlebell. The instructor was Doug Nepodal. At first glance, Doug looked like a real nut case. I think he had a green mohawk at the time, tattoos, and claimed he wore a kilt (which he later proudly proved). Well, I would love to say I immediately took to the class, but, I did not. I was pretty happy with my sedentary lifestyle and a Saturday morning kettlebell class interrupted my early nap! That coupled with major soreness, I didn't come back.

Finally, in the May/June time frame, I decided to try it again. I loved it and Doug turned out to be a great instructor. Well, 5 months later, Doug decides to have an inflexion point of his own and moves to California. My wife (who was RKC Certified earlier that year) and two of her good friends buy Doug's gym and I get signed up for the April RKC certification. It was an awesome experience! That brings us to today.

It also brings me to the end of the night... Future posts will not be nearly as verbose, but, I wanted to give you an idea who I am. I look forward to sharing my struggles and accomplishments going forward!