Monday, February 6, 2012

A little motivation

Sometimes we all need motivation.  Sometimes we just get distracted or its just way too easy to come up with excuses.  We've got 90 days until our Tough Mudder event and it is easy to say I'll run tomorrow, i'll do some core work tomorrow, I'm too tired tonight, etc.  There are a whole bunch of great motivational/inspirational videos out there, below are a few of my favorites.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Will's Warriors

I resurrected this blog after almost 5 years when I became inspired to focus a lot of energy and time on overcoming obstacles.   Invisible fences is a reference to the obstacles we create for ourselves by saying things like “I can’t do that because….”, “I’m not in good enough shape for ….”, “I would love to, but….”.  If there is something I have truly learned in the past year it is that most of our challenges are self-created and things truly are 90% mental, or at least most of the time.

There are some true physical obstacles we often have to overcome as well.  For me personally, I have had to learn how to properly manage a chronic respiratory disease that I have had the vast majority of my life.  It was easy to use it as an excuse for lots of things which certainly helped contribute to the excess pounds I am now hell bent on shedding.   My goal is to complete the Tough Mudder at Mt. Snow, VT on May 6th.  

Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated and inspired but whenever I get to that point I think of a special little guy who is probably stronger than anyone I know.  Will is the son of two good friends of mine.  Will and his twin brother Luke were born 11 weeks premature and had to fight for life.  Anyone who has had children can tell you that it is such a wonderful experience but can be tremendously stressful  even when things go well! My friends Amanda and Nate didn’t get to hold Will until he was a week old (I can’t fathom this, I would be a wreck).   Will had complications with being premature that has resulted in him having quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy.  

Now I have a real soft spot for kids and my wife is a truly amazing special ed pre-k teacher who works with children with all sorts of challenges.   Though we have not had the chance to meet Will in person yet (they live in NC), we love keeping up with him and his family through his mother Amanda’s blog.   Will is such an amazing, strong, and smart kid! He has gone through more in his almost 5 years than most of us will in our lives.  He does it with endless courage and a smile that melts hearts.  He truly is an inspiration. (Amanda wrote a wonderful overview about Will, which can only bring tears to your eyes here)

This is why we decided to dedicate our Tough Mudder run to Will.  We formed Will’s Warriors as a way to raise money to help Will do some of the things that he truly enjoys but are horribly expensive (everything for special needs children is stupidly expensive) such as a therapeutic pool membership or therapeutic riding.  Of course there are things he needs as well which insurance deems as luxuries for kids like Will such as communication devices or a wheelchair lift mini-van.  

So I ask that if you can spare a little (I know times are tough for many) please consider donating to the Will’s Warriors Fund so that we can help Will get some enjoyment out of life by doing the things he loves.  You can donate here.  Thank you so much for your support!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

On running....

I hate running.  I have never liked it.

I am not a small person.  Currently I am around 265 pounds and am built like the football player I never was.  I am oh so lucky to be barrel chested (53") which you would think would increase my lung capacity but it doesn't (of course the asthma doesn't help that either).  Needless to say, I am not built like a marathoner. 

Running was just never comfortable for me.  I could never find my stride and it always kills my lower legs.  Being asthmatic never helped either though as it would only take a few minutes of jogging to induce some tight breathing.  I have always admired those that can run and make it look effortless because it is such a convenient exercise which I would love to enjoy.

In order to successfully complete the tough mudder I need to be able to run.  Not run fast or exceptionally long distances, but I need to be able to run comfortably.  This will easily be the toughest thing for me while training for the event.  I have started running intervals on the treadmill (2 min running, 1 min walking, repeat while increasing the run time each session) and I am getting used to it I guess.  My goal is to be able to run a 5K non-stop by the event in May.

This truly is one of the invisible fences I need to knock down to make this happen and I will do it.  The journey there is going to hurt but in the end it will be so worth it.  I hope to say at the end of all this that I like running and hope to make it a regular part of my routine.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Strength in Pain

I am approaching my one year anniversary of starting to workout at Tyler English Fitness.  Honestly I did not know what to expect to get out of it.  I thought I would loose some weight and get a little healthier.  What I actually got was something so much more.

I remember the orientation class I went to on a Sunday in early January 2011.  There must have been at least 80 people there (there had been a groupon for the bootcamp on January 1) and I was tucked off in the corner listening to Tyler and some of his trainers talk about the class and then they had us do some excercises and that was the exact moment I realized just how badly I was out of shape.  I was winded by the end of the short set and that's when they told us that was just the typical warm up!

That first week was hell.  The morning after my first official class I thought I couldn't walk.  I was sore from head to toe.  I kept going back and the soreness didn't stop. Eventually it got better and I could feel my body changing.  In those first few weeks I dropped 16 lbs without blinking.  It was a great feeling.

In the months since then, I have come to appreciate and even enjoy the soreness that I get from a good workout.  My weight dropped but then fluctuated for awhile.  I took part in a 49-day challenge and ended up finishing in the top 30.  One very important lesson I learned from that was that Tyler wasn't lying when he said "you can't out train a bad diet" and that "nutrition is at least 80% of this".

So as I said before, I didn't know what to expect out of this but what i ended up getting is a whole new outlook on life.  I know that may sound corny but it really is true.  Getting better just builds confidence and makes you want to push harder to see what else is possible. 

There are 135 days until the Tough Mudder in Vermont and while I am taking a few weeks off from boot camp but have started running on the treadmill (running is not my strong point) so I am ready for a whole new type of soreness.  So as New Year's approaches I expect to be sore as hell again but loving it.

Merry Christmas to all and remember to go easy on the cookies.