Monday morning, training with J, revisiting the cable machines. I always want to call it the “Life Cycle” machine, but it’s actually Free Motion is the brand of it. J switched up the order of things and layered in a couple of new elements, of which my brain has decided are unimportant for today and purged the order and actual exercise list from the system. Which is also why there is no list today. I’ll update the post later, when J has an opportunity to update my master plans, but for today we are going radio silence on the list of exercises. And I believe that is perfectly okay for right now.

It’s been a busy, hectic, crazed day after training. If I had not been quite so zen lately who knows what other very bad reactions I might be having to today’s unexpected, frustrating, hair-tearing events. The urge to scream at various people “WOULD YOU PLEASE ACT LIKE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT?” has been surging. But I restrained myself and may have holes in my tongue for the effort.

But oh well. This is obviously why they call it work. When not fighting the urge to scream back at people yelling at me, I have enjoyed an amazingly great day. Unfortunately suppressing the whole screaming instinct tends to displace the joy of all but the most upbeat of days.

Training is always a good thing for me, makes me feel good physically and tends to engage my better self on both mental and emotional levels. I walk away thinking about things – like the layered incline/decline (pressing down, so it seems like it would be decline, but the cable parts are up, so maybe it is actually incline). It feels different, engages the little professor in my brain trying to decipher why and how as J explains what I should be feeling, what muscles are engaged/should be firing.

Another member of the training tribe has been working toward some sort of modified fitness/physique show that happened yesterday. J texted me from the venue, and from the photos his descriptions, the photos he shared, and what I have seen on Facebook sounds like it was a great success. I know my brother in training tribe has much to be proud of and pleased about; I have been loosely following his check-ins and journey through J’s likes and such. Because I’m not much of a FB user, yet I want to be supportive, even silently, of those who discuss their own quests so publicly. I thought it took huge amounts of guts to go forth with this type of show and display. As I said to J, I would need drugs and/or liquor to get me to even consider such a thing. And from someone who has essentially never experimented with drugs or alcohol (I doubt a very occasional sip from a glass of champagne for toasts at weddings counts), that’s saying something.

Years ago, friend J competed in weight lifting physique shows, and I actually attended a couple. I have enormous respect for the amount of discipline that goes into it, and I try not to look upon them as kind of freakish with the bulgey muscles and vein definition. What I recall from it is always wondering if friend J was starving himself to death in advance, because for as loaded down with muscle as he was, it seemed like he resisted eating actual food.

And because we talk weight and such while training, I finally remembered to ask trainer J about the massive weight loss effort he undertook last year. I have been wondering why he chose to lose the weight and the crash diet methodology he employed, whether he wanted to be so much thinner or if it was one of those training experiments he has undertaken to be able to more empathetic and able to advise clients better. I believe it was just prior to when I began training with him, because he was noticeably thinner when we first met. Not that I am suggesting he is weightier in the less desirable ways now; he is just bulkier and seems to have new bulgey spots on his arms and legs every other week. Today it was his forearms, a little muscle by his elbow I noticed months ago is now noteably larger and standing up and waving as he was demonstrating a triceps movement.

And because M is also dropping weight like crazy right now, but he has also been steadily increasing his mileage the last month or so and being uber careful about his eating. I, on the other hand, have been stress eating like a madwoman off and on the last week and am thankful that RD is over his respiratory ailment and back to work. It feels as if my don’t-give-a-shit-about-my-eating has been fully engaged today. Thankfully I do not think there are any gratuitous carbs lying around the home kitchen that I can mow through in today’s remaining hours.

I’ve written tomes recently about my mental and emotional gains, and I suppose I shall not be shutting up about them anytime soon. From someone who has always been extremely insecure, this is such a new and different feeling. I wander through the gym picking up my pieces and parts to do my warm-ups and practices, and I barely notice other people working out around me. I endure a day of people screaming and yelling at me on the phone, in email, even in all cap text and have not resorted to swigging real, full-sugar coke to calm my nerves. In actually, I’m hugely annoyed but not feeling anxiety-ridden or depressed as if I have done something wrong. Practicing my zen instead. Looking foward to curling up with my book and a glass of fizzy water.

When it comes to work, I’m pretty steady. There are basic guidelines surrounding professional behavior and accountability, and I have crossed no boundaries. I am and always have been quietly confident about my professional capabilities.

But when it comes to my personal life, insecurity and low self-esteem reined. But not so much anymore. The bad influences – you’re overtraining, your arms are unflatteringly big, you should be losing more weight – I am so done with that sort of bullshit. There are people I have had to limit communication with because of our extreme differences of opinion. And I am growing more comfortable with the idea that sometimes people, and friendships, cannot change with me and perhaps liked me so much better when I was insecure, anxious, and only so-so comfortable inside my own head and skin.

It’s happening again in a different way and over different things other than diet and exercise, which is another post for another day. Suffice to say I feel as if I am a caring and sympathetic person, but I know my limitations with regard to mental and emotional conditions. It’s as if my reservoir of understanding is the size of your average drinking glass and once filled, the pouring input overflows and makes a big huge mess. If the pouring party has genuine mental and/or emotional complications, leaning too hard on anyone will not just overflow my drinking glass and make a mess, there is potential to make it crack and break and be rendered unusable.

I am still exploring my boundaries in this realm, questioning whether I let it go on too long, to the point of exhausting my patience and ability to protect myself before I snap versus being too proactive about protecting myself and pushing back too soon or too harshly.

Then again, this is why I have a blog, to pour all my crap out and purge it from my system before I am blathering away at my husband or other friends to the point of frustrating them with my fixations.

Most of the time, my fixations are fairly short-lived. EXCEPT here on the blog, when they bob along like a cork in the water. And that’s okay. Plenty of other content to view out there besides me and my first world issues.

But maybe my first-world issues are not quite so pressing these days?

I have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes I say yes, other times I laugh and believe my crazy is back on full display. Where it matters most to me, in my real, day-to-day life I feel far more relaxed and cocooned in my own safety net. Most of the time I am not hiding behind others or hoping someone will be behind me to help me up when I fall on my ass. These days, I do not actually anticipate with trepidation that I am about to go down. I know it will still happen, and it might leave me with a big honking ouchie on my bum. But oh well. I do not think anyone has been been diagnosed as terminally ill for a sore bum and a bruised ego.

We were doing single leg Romanian deadlifts this morning with the cable, and I struggled. Because it feels different and the balance is different with the cable versus the dumbbell. And while I have been working possibly daily for an entire week on my single leg anterior reaches and mixing up those with single leg RDLs and feeling better, more confident, not at all weeble-wobbly, all that took a header off the balcony this morning. My frustration was not very deep, more a distraction born of fatigue and trying to figure out why I am struggling. So I did the bare minimum and called it good. Tomorrow, this week, I’m sure I’ll be back at some cable machine struggling my way until I feel better about it. Because I am quite sure now I can and will conquer and vanquish those wobbles. Eventually.

It makes me smile to realize I have worn a groove into my schedule for gym time, and it gives me a new and evolving sense of competence. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll get there with the meal planning and eating, because I lose my focus and the whole house of cards falls apart.

M has been suggesting I incorporate some cardio into my weekly exercise time. He is insanely proud of the work I have been doing, the new habits I am implementing, but I was whining complaining bitching talking about my blood sugar this morning and M, also being a pretty practical, pragmatic guy, suggested a couple/few cardio-focused workouts each week would help. While I wanted to throw myself on the ground and have a “nooooo!” type tantrum, the newer and improving zen-focused version of me sighed and agreed. What issue brought the issue to focus at 4:30 in the morning? I woke up feeling carb hung-over and with a high fasting glucose reading – 174. The culprit? Mongolian BBQ. Those noodles are my downfall, I swear. But by this afternoon all was fine and normal in my blood sugar world. Even after eating lunch and feeling like I was consuming mass quantities of bread (2 pieces in a sandwich is really not that bad), it was back into the normal range.

I am having to learn to adjust my panic buttons when it comes to the sugar. I have not be swigging soda or snarfing down packages of cookies on the sly like some sort of closet cookie monster, and since every now and again we love Mongolian BBQ, I’m going to have to make my peace with numbers being up once in awhile as well. Dinner with my kids and their partners is worth a little extra time in the gym or scheduling regular quality time with my rower. Or even not worrying about it. One day in several weeks does not zoom my A1c up into the prescription drug range.

More and more I realize moderation is not my friend, and more and more I am recognizing that I have to simply go big or go home. The habits that propelled me into consistency with the gym are not as transferrable to food and healthier eating, and I really, really need to get busy and back to my routine of eating the same things, day after day until I cross some mystical habit mark inside my own system, hoping I will know it when I feel it. I have allowed external stressors with work and other responsibilities to family and close friends distract my focus. I am not beating myself up over my shortfalls in this area, but I am almost looking forward to throwing myself on RD’s mercy tomorrow to help me pull myself together and get back on track.

Since this is a training recap, I will say it continues to be amazing it how much I enjoy it, learn from it, and am just overall better for it. Even if I cannot really remember the details of all we did. It’s been a bit of a long day.

Friend J told me this weekend (after trying and fall short of the mark on my lower body workout) that he now understood why I worried at first about trainer J moving on or firing me as a client. When you find someone competent and who really works well for and with you, the natural impulse is to want to keep them in the village. Having now sampled one of the workouts trainer J has taught me and that I willingly practice on my own, he has a much better sense of who he is and the exercise practices I am learning and striving to master.

Friend J is not big on compliments, and that was kind of huge. Not that I care what he truly thinks, but it’s nice to have my village residents coexisting peacefully with my advisors.

And a final word about this week’s post title …

Over the weekend I started looking for and listening to songs for my mother/son dance at G and K’s wedding reception. (This is a whole other post that has me thinking further about the benefits of drugs and liquor.) In my travels through Amazon Prime music service, I came across an old story song by Kenny Rogers. Even if you hate the genre of music he toils in and are completely turned off by storytelling songs, the lyrics made me smile and think … this could be me sometime soon with my training and practice pursuits. I have never had much luck or skill with anything baseball/softball related (hand/eye coordination and focus have not been my strong suit), so I do not precisely relate to this on that level. But I love the mindset and see some of that gumption in myself and my own exercise journey. In my view the little boy is not conceited or full of himself, just confident and able to see the upside and not be discouraged. Confidence and healthy self-esteem are qualities I am slowly developing myself, and this song touched a happy, smiling nerve for me.

The Greatest

Little boy in a baseball hat. 
Stands in the field with his ball and bat.
Says “I am the greatest player of them all.”
Puts his bat on his shoulder and he tosses up his ball.
And the ball goes up and the ball comes down,
swings his bat all the way around.
The world so still you can hear the sound. 
The baseball falls … to the ground.

Now the little boy doesn’t say a word. 
Picks up his ball; he is undeterred.
Says “I am the greatest there has ever been.”
And he grits his teeth, and he tries it again.
And the ball goes up and the ball comes down,
swings his bat all the way around.
The world so still you can hear the sound.
The baseball falls … to the ground.

He makes no excuses; he shows no fear.
He just closes his eyes and listens to the cheers.

Little boy, he adjusts his hat.
Picks up his ball, stares at his bat.
Says “I am the greatest, the game is on the line.”
And he gives his all one last time.
And the ball goes up like the moon so bright
swings his bat with all his might.
The world’s as still as still can be,
the baseball falls … and that’s strike three.

Now it’s suppertime, and his momma calls.
Little boy starts home with his bat and ball.
Says “I am the greatest; that is a fact.
But even I didn’t know I could pitch like that!”

Says, “I am the greatest, that is understood,
But even I didn’t know I could pitch that good!”

Have a great week everyone!



2 thoughts on “Training #35 – The Greatest

  1. You are doing great with all of this – especially the mental/emotional part! And you know this is all about sustainability – which means some Mongolian BBQ (yum yum) and some cardio (yuck).

    1. Yep, I do. My RD broke out his “tough love” toolkit last night (another post) and I’ll be trying to buckle in and get back on track with healthier eating … tomorrow. 🙂

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