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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Change Now, Goals Evolved

I recently read a pretty good opinion piece from http://crossfitlisbeth.com/ that was titled “Time to Do” that pretty much sums up my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. Like the caveat in the article, if resolutions work for you then use them as a tool for change. If you constantly find yourself cheating, or downright breaking, your resolutions then you should probably find another tool set to use on your journey. In my last post I talked about some of the tools that I am utilizing on my journey for 2012. Those tools being as follows: Regular updates to this blog with candid evaluations of my performance, the motivational goal setting index cards, and the tools of friendship and coaching through my family at http://www.crossfit5280.com/ . Through this I plan on having an exceptional year, a year that I am calling “The Year of Strength!” I do need to take a couple of lines for a small rant. 5280 is putting on a “Challenge to Change” for the New Year and I think that this is an awesome idea. It has been really well thought out for the most part, and it is being presented very well. I believe that it will hold athletes accountable for at least 6 weeks during the transformational challenge. After that hopefully the majority of us will stick with the change and not revert back to unhealthier ways. I do have one small issue with the challenge, and this might have been a little hard to do with such a large group or it might be a little to personnel to put out there. This issue stems from a couple of comments that I have heard, and they are comments that I myself made when I was embarking upon my journey. The comments basically have the form of “You want me to give up what?” or “I have always done it this way, it is just who I am.” These comments bring a very large question to my mind, that question is “Why do you want to change anyway?” Until you can look yourself in the mirror, which by the way I am actually now able to do with pride, and explain to your true self why you want to change; there is little use of the challenge. I am not an expert or life coach, I am just a person who has been at the bottom and am still fighting my way back up. My little piece of advice for those of us who are stepping up to the challenge is to start by defining your goals and defining your purpose for being on this journey. My purpose is to live for my girls, to be there for my wife, to be a hero to my daughters, to be an inspiration to everyone I meet, to be able to protect my friends and family in any situation, to be faster, better, and to be stronger than I was yesterday. What is your purpose? Ok, I know I said that this was going to be a small rant, but I have one more thing that I want to throw out there. I will not be fully participating in the gym’s challenge. By that I mean that I will put my money in the pot, I will be keeping my journal up to date, I will follow the nutritional guidelines, and I will follow any additional guidelines to the best of my ability. What I won’t be doing is stepping on the scale or getting measured, that will put me out of the running for the end prize and I fully accept that. You may ask why and make the statement that after 2011 this would be right up my alley. Well it is not, the scale and tape measure came very close to derailing my journey last year and I am not prepared to face them yet. Like I said earlier I am just now getting comfortable with looking at myself in the mirror and I am not mentally prepared to go beyond that yet. I know that I have body image issues and I know that I will have to face them, but not this Saturday and not during this challenge. Ok my small rant is done, now on to the real reason you are reading this post. 2012 Fitness Goals, drum roll please, my 2012 goals are to get stronger. I will become stronger physically and stronger mentally. Currently my max C&J is sitting at 164 pounds (74kg) and my max snatch is 115 pounds (52kg). By the time I compete in October in the 2012 FRCF Fall Weightlifting meet I am training for a C&J of 240 pounds (109kg) and a snatch of 200 pounds (91kg). I am confident that the rest of my lifts will go up as well, but these are the two lifts that I am focusing on in 2012. In addition to my OLY lifting goals I do have some gymnastic and CrossFit movement goals and those are as follows: handstand pushups, double unders, C2B pull-ups, running, and a number of others that keep me from performing workouts as prescribed. I am going to treat these as secondary goals from my lifting benchmarks. You might notice, if you are paying attention, that mountain biking events and goals are absent thus far from my list of goals. I am not giving up mountain biking, but I am also not focusing on it. Biking will be for recreation and fun as a sport. Yes this is a drastic change from last year, but it is my life and I have rediscovered a passion of lifting heavy weights. I have cut back my events for the summer of 2012 from 5-6 endurance events to 1 endurance event. I will be running the Tough Mudder June 9th with the CF5280 team. Other than that the only other event I am training for is the OLY lifting meet at FRCF. If I get recruited (read roped in) for any other team events it will be on a case by case basis and will be because I am worthy. So here it is on the internet, my fitness goals for 2012. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Game Plan

As I sit down to write my first blog post for 2012, also the first post that I have had in the past six months I ask that you go back and re-read my post from June 18th, 2011. That post will give you some insight to this post. That was the second to last post that I had on my blog from 2011. You may ask what happened. Did I fall off the path, did I stop my life changing journey, or was it something else? I can happily say that I did not fall off my path, I did reach my initial weight loss goal of 100 pounds in one year. With a heavy heart I have to say that I only succeeded in meeting two of my 2011 goals, one being the weight loss and the other being setting max weights on my lifts. With fight gone bad I only completed 202 reps, 48 reps short of my goal. I was not able to run the warrior dash due to my calf injury. The longest mountain bike ride I was able to complete was 20 miles and the longest run I was able to do was a 5k. Some might say that I should be proud of what I did accomplish and not focus on what I missed. I do have to admit that 2011 was a great year and I did see a lot of progress. What this does show me is that I am really bad at setting goals or maybe it is that I am bad at following through with goals and doing what is needed to see that I do succeed. The year 2011 is now in the past and now it is time to focus on 2012 and set forth the battle plan that will be the foundation for my success, 2012 is going to be a strong year!

I have been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about setting goals and what is the best way to maintain my motivation and drive. In the initial stages of my weight loss journey my blog was a good way to keep me honest and help put a voice to my training frustrations. I think that it is a good place to start for the 2012 year of the gorilla. So my first tool I am going to use for setting my goals for 2012 is to update my blog regularly, maybe even once a week, but to what end and to what purpose. I think the main purpose is to have a record of my training and like I wrote before have a voice for my frustrations and successes. Another tool that I am going to use is a method that I am borrowing from Adam Farrah of SINS (Strong Is the New Skinny). That method is using index cards to record goals and motivational cues then to use these index cards for daily reflection and affirmation. I believe that this will be a good tool to use prior to my lifting sessions and whenever I feel my motivation faltering. Let me take this time to digress a little and give some insight into why I believe that I will need this tool.

This past year has taught me a great deal about myself, it has shown me the great man that I am capable of, but it has also shown me the pitiful slob that I could become if I succumb to my inner dark side. There are two things that threaten to derail me on a daily basis, they are the inner dialog that tells me to quit and my lack of healthy body image. Those two things I fight on a daily basis and have a feeling I will be fighting for a long time. I honestly believe that the daily affirmations from the index cards will help me fight my inner demons and keep them at bay.

The last tool that I want to discuss in this post is the tool of friendship and coaching. I have found an awesome family in CrossFit 5280. The coaches are amazing and very passionate about what they do. Also the other athletes are very inspirational, I have yet to walk into a WOD or lifting session where I am not inspired by those around me. More than once they have pushed me through a WOD and I am better for it. In 2012 I want to be the inspiration, I want to be the one pushing my fellow athletes. I know the type of man that I am, I know the mental fortitude that I have, and I want that to shine through my actions.
So now that I have discussed the basic tools that I will utilize in 2012 to reach my goals one would think that it is time to list my goals. Honestly I am not prepared at this moment in time to put specifics down on paper yet. What I do know is that the goals that I wrote back in June are no longer valid. I want to keep up with mountain biking, because it is really fun, but I don’t believe that hardcore endurance events are where my heart is. I have found a love for Olympic lifting and Power lifting and this is going to be my focus for 2012. The two main events I want to do in 2012 are the Tough Mudder and Xterra sprint Tri. I am going to sign up for the 2012 CrossFit game sectionals, I know that I am not fully trained for them but it will give me good insight for future years. The short of it is that 2012 is going to be a strength year, a year where I focus on nutrition, and a year where I focus on myself as a man.

In the next couple of days I will be putting some meat to my goals, so keep checking back! 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

DNF is not DNS

I apologize first for the long post, but I have a rant. My name is Bruce and I DNF'd the WOD today. I didn't complete the pull-ups or K2E, I reopened a tear on my right hand. That aside, I listened to my body and quit. A quote from an awesome person got me to thinking "It's not worth it." You know what it is not, there is a fine line between pain and discomfort. Discomfort you can push through because it is temporary and the nature of the WOD, pain is one inflicting harm and injury on ones body. Sure pain can be fixed by working on your form, decreasing intensity, or rest to heal. Know this if you push through the pain and injure yourself that is a stupid act, it's not brave or courageous, it is stupid. The WOD is not the same as pulling your brother out of a burning vehicle or saving someones life it is a workout. We all have our own reasons for stepping into the box everyday, we all want to get better, faster, stronger, and maybe work a little on our LGN goals. We step into the box, look at the board and do what we have to in order to accomplish our part of this life's journey. That is just it we show up. So next time you feel that pinch, listen to your body, listen to your trainer, drop the weight and not RX, or just quit. Did Not Finish is not the same as Did Not Showup. I might have another DNF tomorrow but dammit I am going to show up. Life is a marathon, it is not about the individual steps, it is the distance that counts!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Gauntlet has been Picked Up! I'm Back!

What sets me apart from others in this world? Is it my strong chin, broad shoulders, and striking good looks? Is it my quick wit, calculating thought process, and logical mind set? No, not really, those are traits that I do not hold high in my mind. What sets me apart from others and the trait I want to hand down to my kids and be remembered for is my heart, my code, my dedication. Honor, courage, commitment, loyalty, and love, that is the code that is branded upon my heart. That is the code that I have been blind to the past week due to a silly injury. That is the code that came shining through as I stepped into the gym this morning, as I walked across the field this morning because my body is not ready to run, those are the words that were spinning through my head as I lifted the weight and did the push ups. I might be a mere mortal man, with weakness and faults, but above all I am a Husband, Daddy, Friend, and US Marine. I have a duty to none other than myself to ensure that I do not fall or fail. I have set in motion a great many things on my life changing journey, a journey to bring my true self to the world again. I can not and will not lose site of the horizon by staring at the ground, I will hold my head high and charge into the battle. The battle for my life, my family, and my friends. I will recover, I will continue on my journey, I will get stronger, I will get faster, I will be powerful, I will love with all of my heart, and I will dance like no one is watching! So I ask you to stand by my side and get ready for the coming storm, for I am coming, I am unleashed, and I am ready for battle!

So I did want to take some time and thank some dear friends, you know who you are, that have helped me and guided me out of the mire of despair this past week. Very few times people walk into your life that are true genuine friends. These people have a great impact on ones life and will leave lasting marks! I was asked what my goals were, what goals that I have set, and for some reason the cloud of my despair masked them from me. Well the veil has been lifted and I would like to mark down my specific goals for all the world to see. Keep in mind that these are at a level below my high goals that I set to live for my girls, these are the stepping stones to help me get there.
2011
1. Return to mountain bike rides with Dave-August 3rd
2. Warrior Dash- August 20th
3. Set Maximum's on all my lifts-Sept. 3rd
4. Fight Gone Bad 6 (score above 250)- Sept. 17th
5. 60 mile mountain bike ride-Oct. 15th
6. 10k run barefoot- Nov. 1st
2012
7. 1 mile swim-Feb. 2012
8. Rock to Rock Adventure Race
9. CrossFit Games 2012
10. Optic Nerve 24hour Mountain bike race
11. Tough Mudder
12. Warrior Dash
13. Big Mountain Adventure Race
2013
14. Complete all 5 races, including the Breckenridge 100, of the Rocky Mountain Endurance Mountain Series.
15. Full Xtera Triathlon
2014
16. Iron Man Triathlon

Some may look at this list and think that I am crazy, and you know what? I am crazy, crazy in life, crazy in love, and crazy in friendship. I will accomplish these events through hard training and dedication and with the help of my family and friends. I will use CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance as my main training tools, and I will do this with primal nutrition. Anyone is welcome to join me in any training or activity, what you are not welcome to do is tell me that I can not accomplish this. Those of you who know Bruce, Sgt. Keller, BaBa, or Chunks you know that I do not take kindly to people telling me that I can not do something.

So in parting for the day I leave you with this. I am back!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Derailed, Depressed, Determination

It has been awhile since my last post. I was in a groove, things were going great, and my game plan was right on track. The Elephant Rock ride was a huge success! CrossFit was going great, I was prepping to set max's on all my lifts. I was researching CrossFit Endurance and looking to pull it into my training. My diet was dialed in, I had started a 30 day primal eating challenge. I stepped on the scale at 230 pounds, a total of 76 pounds lost. My goals and dreams were coming into focus and I was adding things to my bucket list of things I wanted to do. My fitness goals, my family happiness, and my work life balance were all within my grasp!
Then it happened, the slap in the face, the reality check, the kick in the balls. I was having an awesome Friday! My morning workout went really well, a group of us rode to the park, we let the kids play, and then we hit the field. We had bear crawl races, low crawl races, and wind sprints. We had kids from 5 years to 36 years having a blast, then it happened. I went to push off on a race with my right leg, it felt like I hit something with the back of my leg, I heard/felt a pop, I looked back, and then the pain hit me. My calf was shot. In an instant my great day and my good roll changed. I found myself sitting in my chair with the port-o-cool pumping ice water on my calf. I could walk without pain. I went to the doctor to rule out an achilles rupture or calf rupture. Come to find out I sustained a stage 2 calf strain. The strength in my right calf is gone, I am having a hard time even doing seated calf raises. To say the least this sidelines my training. From what I was told and what I have read it is 6-8 weeks before I can think about training at the level I was. So what does that mean. Where do I sit on my journey?
I would love to say that I took this injury in stride and didn't let it effect me or my attitude. Well that is not true, I failed miserably! By Friday evening I let depression set in and I turned to food with the justification that I was injured and my training was derailed. My diet went to crap over the weekend. I sat in my chair all weekend, ate like crap, and felt sorry for myself. I let all sorts of dark thoughts enter my head. I basically failed myself and everything that I have worked for.
Now what do I do? How do I step out of this funk? I wish I had the answers, but right now I don't. We will have to see what tomorrow brings.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Can't Go On!

"I can't go on", those four words pass through my head multiple times throughout my day. It pops up in the middle of a CF workout, during a bike ride, packing my food for the following day, or just sitting in my windowless cubical. So far it has been followed by another little voice that says something to the effect "Suck it up buttercup" or "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" or "Shut the Fu&k up and get it done!" I'm worried about what would happen if the second little voice stops trying. What am I to do if my own mental fortitude fails me? Honestly I have started down a path of some serious self doubt and self loathing the past two days. I have to admit that my body image is the lowest I have ever seen it in my life, I can hardly look in the mirror to shave. I remember Sgt. Keller US Marine and wonder where that man has gone. I walk into the gym at 0545 and have to admit that I am the fattest most out of shape person there. How the hell did I let this happen? How did I go from being CrewChief of the year to have high blood pressure and bad blood work. I went from riding high on life to anxiety attacks and depression.

Well that was 6 months ago, now my blood pressure is back in normal range, my blood work is within healthy ranges, and for the most part my moods are leveled out. Is it due to the diet changes? Is it due to the weight loss? Is it due to the increase in activity? I would have to say yes to all of the above? So what would happen if I go back to old Bruce, to my old ways? What would happen if I give into the voice that says I can't go on? Would I go back to working 60+ hours a week, stressed out beyond belief, and being depressed. Hell yes I would I am 100% sure of that, I can not stop! I will not fail!

So what am I doing to prevent this fall back into the pit? What safeties have I put in place? I decided when I started on this journey that it was a one way trip, a total lifestyle change. I am out to reinvent myself in my own vision. I have wonderful reasons to be healthy, to extend my life, and to be happy doing it. The CrossFit family at CrossFit 5280 has welcomed me in and is pushing me hard and helping me keep going. The encouragement I hear when I am finishing dead friggen last, in my ears it is like a gold medal crowd cheering. I am still working on the nutrition side of things, I dropped the first 50 pounds with a reduced calorie clean living diet with whole grains and dairy. When I started CrossFit I switched to the paleo/zone plan and the only issue I have is the time spent planning and prepping a 16 block plan. Recently I have been researching and reading more about primal and paleo eating and trying to digest (no pun intended) all the different studies and information out there. I have been reaching out and surrounding myself with influences that understand what I am trying to do. People who understand what I am trying to do and why I am doing it.

My goals are simple and I need help with making them more specific and obtainable:
1. I want to be healthy and live a long life.
2. I want to be happy and enjoy life.
3. I want to be the best Daddy and Husband possible.
4. I want to be able to protect my family and friends at all costs.
5. I want to lift and throw heavy objects.
6. I want to look good naked.

The journey continues! My knees hurt, my back aches, I have to use a foam roller every-night! I have to suck up my fragile pride every-time I step into the gym, I have to use bands to do pull-ups, I run slow! The thing is I get up every morning with a new spark and hit it hard, I play with my girls every chance I get, and I love my wife with every fiber of my being!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone