Friday Fitness Finds 5/5

Alright, little freaks, it’s Friday and it’s time to get motivated to crush the weekend. It’s been a big week re: finding new content to share so brace yourself for a fairly long list. The weather in east Tennessee is rainy and windy with the temperatures getting down to the lowest they’ve been in nearly two months. The good news is Sunday is clear which I’ll take as the gods telling me to go ahead and smoke that pork belly and get those trees cut up outside. I’m really hoping to share a homemade bacon post with you next week. Fingers: Crossed.

Anyway, on with the reads.

The Benefits of Being (Slightly) Crazy from Mark Manson
I’ve recently added one of Mark’s books to my to-read list and have frequented his blog for several weeks now. I’d suggest you do the same. While this post has very little, if anything, to do with fitness, it has everything to do with crushing personal goals, no matter what they are. Often people mistake your determination as craziness when in reality you’re just focused. A little bit of obsession can be a good thing — it’s even necessary for crushing your goals.

Is a Calorie Really Just a Calorie? from Eric Cressey
So many people get too caught up in calories. They go from being conscious of them to being extra sensitive to them to being fully afraid of them. Ultimately, I think this sabotages your success but that’s a different post for a different day. There are others I know that accurately track their calories but the calories they track could use a lot of help. What I mean is, if you’re tracking 2,000 calories per day in order to give yourself a certain deficit by the end of the week for weight loss, that’s awesome! Now, where are those calories coming from? If you’re tracking your calories by eating “lighter” fare at Wendy’s, McDonald’s and other fast food choices, will you lose weight? Sure. But what are you doing to your body? Garbage In = Garbage Out they say and that’s true of your body during your weight loss journey. Keep this in mind next time you check MyFitnessPal while you’re in line at Wendy’s.

3 Lessons Every Intermediate Lifter Should Learn from Bodybuilding.com
While my focus is primarily on those that are new to fitness, I’m still there for my meatheads and intermediate fitness freaks. This article addresses the latter and focuses on some topics that should be “no shit” but unfortunately aren’t always. Being comfortable with changing things up as needed and actively learning ways to do so is imperative for progressing. So do it.

Protein Cookies by MuscleTech
Not an article to read, just a product I really want to try. I’m running low on pre-workout and will be making an order soon — these may get accidentally added to my cart.

The 21-Day Kettlebell Challenge by Breaking Muscle (Lauren Brooks)
Kettlebells are something I’ve only recently accepted. I’ve been using them with some of my clients and love how versatile they are. This 21-day program utilizes your choice of snatches or swings to tack on to your existing workout and I’m going to start this next week.

The Kimchi Pork Burger with Spicy Mayo from Son OF a Southern Chef
This burger is out of control. A ground pork burger glazed in honey, rolled in sesame seeds and then topped with kimchi, pickled cucumbers, a sunny-side egg and sriracha mayo? I don’t have “cheat days” but if I did, this would be on the menu.

Genetics Suck by Nia Shanks
There isn’t a lot that gets on my nerves quite like people that use their genetics as an excuse for sucking ass. Our genetics give us the hookup on a lot of awesome stuff but they also bring us down in many ways. Is that where it ends? Fuck no. Nia quotes another author (that I link to below) as saying Strengthen your strengths — Neutralize your weaknesses and I think that’s RAD. We can be crybabies and search for the nearest pity party for our lameness, or we can accept that NO ONE GIVES A SHIT, suck it up and get better, genetics be damned. Yeah — I like the sound of that.

F*** Exercise. Try This Instead. from Stumptuous
I just discovered this site today and there’s a treasure trove of goodness to be uncovered. Krista seems to have a firm grasp on what people hate about fitness and has a genius method for dealing with it. If the word exercise gives you the creeps, give this a read and make a few notes. Warning: the decision to better yourself is still up to you. Your decisions are yours and so are the benefits you reap from them. Just by reading this you’ve gotten off to a good start.

Music to Lift Heavy To

Two jams coming in today for heavy lifting. Both bands are new to me. The Furor are from Australia and their most recent effort Cavalries of the Occult was released last week and I’ve been jamming it all week. A “fun” mix of black, death and thrash.

Next, I listened to this jam from HATE. Polish blackened death metal. Everything about that makes you want to load a bar and pick it up. When you’re done picking up the heavy bar, put it down and then go pick up HATE’s most-recent effort (released today) Tremendum.

Halfway to 13.1 (Again) + a Small Rant

Last week I wrote out a short blog detailing the week in running. A quick mile three days out of the week, post Title Boxing Club Power Hour, teaching three of the four classes I attended at Title, and then finishing up the week with my weekly long run of 6.35 miles. I noted the week before that was snow-plagued and only allowed a single mile. Lame. In fact, the entire post was lame, so I deleted it.

If you’re weird and interested, here’s a make-up table:

Last Week
Last Week’s Mileage 9.35 Miles (15.05km)
Last Week’s Pace 10:38/mile (6:37/km)

Not a bad week in running – good mileage and while the pace was a bit behind normal, taking into account my Saturday long run was 6.35 miles, I’m not unhappy.

And that’s a good thing, because this week was…eh, not so great. I skipped my Monday post-Power Hour run because I skipped my Power Hour all together, having stayed up WAY past my bedtime the night before. Wednesday’s run was put off and I did some more weight training in its place, and Friday’s morning mile didn’t happen because I was sick to my stomach. My intentions of getting up Saturday to do it didn’t work out and my back-up plan of getting it in this morning nearly didn’t happen merely because I’m so lazy!

Either way, I layered up and was out at the greenway around my usual time – 9:00ish. No intention of being speedy – just looking to hit that 7 mile mark. It was a little cold, I was a little grumpy, but I made it. Nothing entertaining to report about it, really, just that I finished without hurting feet. I’ve been pounding my right foot in a weird way again, apparently, so I put a lot of effort into rolling my foot in the opposite direction, which seemed to help quite a bit.

Also, around mile 3.5, as I was running past West Hills Elementary School I noticed a hat on the ground. A few inches away from the hat were a watch, a pair of socks, some underwear, and a can of spray paint. It was almost like a vandal had been vaporized on the spot. I just finished George Orwell’s 1984 so vaporization of the public is fresh on my mind. I think the Party are getting sloppy, though I’m writing this blog in the only corner of my house that’s out of sight of the telescreen…

Speaking of vandals, one of the tunnels I run through on the greenway is often covered with fresh graffiti so I snapped a few photos of what’s there currently. Dig it:

Regardless of Big Brother or any ongoing wars, the fact remains that my half marathon is a mere 8 weeks away. Last week I was terrified, but during my run today I realized that I had finished 7 miles, more than half way, and felt great afterward. This half marathon is happening, and I am going to be ready for it.

Before I go into the rant promised by the title, here’s this week’s numbers, followed, as usual, by the YTD.

This Week
This Week’s Mileage 7 Miles (11.27km)
This Week’s Pace 12:50/mile (7:58/km)
2016 Running
Runtastic Runs (1/01-Present) 31.68 Miles
Total Yearly Miles: 31.68

Miles Left Until 2016 Goal (350 Miles): 318.32

Finally, here’s this. Since I was little, something I’ve always hated was being belittled for my age by my elders. More often than not it has to do with how much “harder” their lives are than mine, solely because they’ve advanced in age. The infamous “Wait until you get to be MY age” comments have flowed down no matter what my age is at the time. And in my attempt to be a positive influence on those around me to better their health, to take better care of themselves, and to actually move their asses, I’ve been getting a lot of “wait until…” comments that are intended to say “Because of my age, it’s too difficult to be healthy – YOU can do it because you’re so young. It’s EASY for you.”

Let me tell you something. The weight I’ve lost, the muscle I’ve gained, the health issues I’ve overcome, and the progress I’ve made and will continue to make toward my health goals have not – even for one second – been easy. Getting up before sunrise to learn how to run? That’s not easy. Working up to my first 5k? 10K? Half marathon? NOT easy. Showing up at the gym three times per week for hour-long boxing classes? NOT easy. Doing it at 5:45am? Even harder. It requires sacrifice, hours of my time, accepting that my lifestyle had to change, changing my priorities, and most importantly, refusing to make excuses like “I’m too old” and “It’s too hard.”

Keep that in mind the next time you say you’re too old, it’s too difficult, and it’s easier for me because I’m younger than you are. You’re not too old, it’s not too difficult, and it’s not easy for me or anyone else that’s made changes in their life. To say otherwise tells me you’re a liar and an excuse factory. Change nothing and nothing will change. Shut off your excuses and you will be greater than you’ve ever been, no matter the aspect you’re looking to change. Fact.

I hate to be a downer but sometimes it’s way difficult to be a positive influence when so many people refuse that positivity. That’s the world we live in, I suppose.