Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Thoughts That Are Scratching In My Head



This was the roughest term since I have renewed my academic journeys.  I never felt comfortable in my American History class and my Critical Thinking class, which I expect to blast through, never left the launch pad.  Somehow, I managed a “B” in both classes, and am looking forward to figuring out what classes I am going to take for spring.  In other news, I am also a certified United States Amateur Boxing Federation (USABF) trainer, so if anyone wants me to get them ready for a boxing match, I am available!  My girlfriend will likely be my first pupil, and I am sort of excited about getting her going.
I took a couple of spills on my bike last week… one the first, I got a nasty wound below my left knee.  It was (and still is) painful in the way that superficial wounds can be painful.  Even the brush of my pant leg is enough for the wound to let me know, “You don’t have any skin covering this area”.  The other fall was, and is, more substantial.  I took bad fall near the downtown library.  Not only was I sore, but I had a hard time of “getting it together”.  Yeah, I know… I should have prolly went and got looked at, but hey, I had my helmet on and I am as up to speed as I can expect to be.
Nebraska and I have started training together.  It is a good opportunity to practice working with a client.  One thing that I will have to work on for sure is how I speak to a client.  My tendency to be flip with people I know vs. how I plan on being with a client is a little bit of a contrast with how I am with someone who I thought I was familiar with...
The other day me and a co-worker were talking about nothing.  I can’t recall the particular thread of the conversation, but seemingly out of nowhere he suggested that, “I write a book”, ostensibly about whatever we were talking about.  It was one of the best indirect compliments that I can recall getting from a person, though there have been others that are right up there with that.  So far, I have enjoyed my decision to move to Omaha, no reservations or second guessing.  This is a feeling that I have had since my first visit to town, when I had to fill out my paperwork for housing.  Now, from an empty apartment, I have gone to where I am sitting on a couch with a Japanese Chin, who has loved me from my first appearance in her life, snoozing peacefully, as I sit here typing this and listening to a podcast through my JBL speaker.  Things could be better, but not by much!!
THE GHOST
A few years ago I went out on what was the best date of my life.  Everything about the evening had that whimsical touch of romance, so much so that it could have been a scripted Hallmark movie!  
It was a warm, early fall evening.  We met in the Old Market and I was immediately taken with her.  She really was stunning, looking far less stressed as she was on our initial encounter at the Med Center in Midtown.  I recall her brief nervousness being undone by my enthusiasm.  I was not only impressed with her, but by how “perfect” the evening was and how right our simple date was going, and that it eventually ended with a sweet, tender yet simple kiss, as well as a vow to meet again soon.
We would get together for another simple and elegant date.  It was memorable for her thoughtfulness, and her chance to do a little tour guide of Omaha.  After two months of regularly making time for one another, there was talk of spending even more significant time together, riding to Indiana and Detroit, and from there, who knows?  Then, it happened.
I will need readers to bear with me when I say “it”.  There was never any catastrophic events, no emotional outburst, none of the typical disappointments that usually leads to sudden stops in a budding relationships.  No hidden relationships that suddenly explode unto the scene via a Telenovela-like coincidence.  As far as I knew, we had spent a wonderful weekend, including a sleep-over and breakfast at her place.  I had met her near-adult children (a 17-year old boy and a younger teen girl… she has and adult son that I never met), and I knew of her oldest son but I never met him, as he did not live at home.  So when she had dropped me back at my apartment, I had no idea of what was to come.  
There has been a time where I was quite a character with regard to relationships with women.  Because I figured that once I mentioned to a potential new “Miss What’s Happening”  that I have 3 girls WITH 3 different girls, that details would not be necessary!  But as crappy as I have been, there were some things, not unlike the honor that theives are said to have amongst themselves, that I not only have not done, but would not do.  Like ghosting.
For those unfamiliar with the term, ghosting, according to Google Search, is when a person stops all contact with a person after a few dates.  Though I did think that we had safely made it through the period of uncertainty where you don’t know if you are a couple or not, the sudden stop with communication was bracing. She was an objectively beautiful-looking woman, a good cook, not to mention thoughtful and caring.  We had a lot in common… or so I thought.  So why is this person a topic that is currently ciculating in my thoughts?
I don’t remember what specifically caused me to delete her from my phone… but she has never deleted my number from hers.  Over the past three years, she has occasionally sent me text messages that she saw me riding my bike … never giving me a hint of where she saw me. But she sent another message recently, informing me that she saw me cycling again… and that she lives not far from my old apartment… and that she still remembers where I work.  Which is something that I find very discomforting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

THOUGHTS ON THE PROCESS

One of the things that I am becoming more and more convinced of as I study for my personal trainer’s certification is the psychological link in becoming more fit and healthier.  Some of the information behind these connections has always been known… one source of health and fitness tips featured a pamphlet from the late 1800’s that for the most part held up to what we know presently about fitness and exercise.  But what has not been as explored or connected quite as much with the desire to becoming healthier and pursuing being fit, is the psychology behind the process.

The brain is an amazing piece of equipment.  From movement, to conscious, to managing the function of our organs, the brain has even convinced us of our reality and significance in the universe!  I recall watching “The Biggest Loser” and seeing the trainers (mostly Jillian Michaels) yelling and demanding of the contestants.  While I think that being able to motivate a client is an important part of being a personal trainer, being considerate and thoughtful with regard to the client, is at least as important as creating the appropriate workouts.  

Coming to this realization, I have to accept that there will be some psychology involved.  Referencing the brain, one of its function is to get the physical body through its day as easily and painlessly as possible.  Stressing the body, by definition, is painful.  I remember being told as a soldier that I need to learn how to “be comfortable with being uncomfortable”.  For all the good that comes from exercise, the ability to persevre, is essential to achieving the health benefits of a good, balanced, exercise routine.  I do think that having the willingness to bear discomfort is one of the more underrated aspects of exercising.

The last topic I would like to discuss is the difference between exercising and training.  I feel that I have touched on this before in my journal, but I do think that I should go over the difference.  When you have goals, whether it is to fit into a smaller pair of jeans, or you want to bench press your body weight, you will have to observe a trainng program design to help you reach that goal.  Training is specific, working out to achieve a goal, and it usually will include diet and cardio programs as well.  Exercising will change your body, increase your fitness level, but will not necessarily change your physical appearance.  This is not to say that by exercising regualrly that you will not achieve many, if not nearly all, of the benefits from becoming more lean and healthy.

I hope to avoid talk of what the human body is designed for and is meant to do.  But there are enough positive outcomes involved with exercise to get and keep people moving.  It is only when those outcomes fall short of satisfying an individual that they will need to begin training.  Not only does training involve more effort, it also asks that you improve upon what you did in your prior workout, adjusted for your particular goal.  Anywho, I hear some deadlifts calling me and I am ready to answer them!

Monday, January 2, 2017

In The New Year

https://youtu.be/dpBH1Dx2lI8
The Life And Times



Depression is hard.

As I dealt with my own internal struggles with the season (which came off winningly), a very serious migraine arrived, blooming with an aura while I was at work on the 20th, and just recently subsiding.  But other than that, the holidays have been pretty alright.  If there is any real disappointment, it is that I was not able to get out any holiday greetings to the few friends that I have made through the blog and keep in touch with.  I am going to amend how my approach to not only the holiday season but to my relationships as well.

For instance, I want to be sure that the people I have met and associate with through the fitness center I work for KNOW that I think they are kind of neat.  To say nothing of my good friends at Nutwood and my maybe-neighbors-to-be in the Motor.  I do think that I was able to have the presence of mind to send Nebraska a card, but I would not hold my breath.  From the tension, I felt as the season drew near (which prolly added to my migraine) being on the other side of it feels good.  Now, for my departed Mom’s birthday, with which I will mourn the regressiveness of the coming Presidential administration (Mom’s B-day is Jan. 20th).  Speaking of which…

Yes, I am a more than a little frightened about the next 4 years.  Being disabled, what goes on in Washington is a bigger deal for me.  Though I should be done with Metro Community College this summer, as well as a Certified Personal Trainer, I don’t know if I will be entering into the best of economic conditions.  Judging from the people that are going to be involved with the incoming administration, it looks as though the darkest of times are forthcoming for this country.

______________________________________________________________________________

I don’t have a lot going on with regard to my personal comings and goings.  That stability that I have achieved in the last few years, certainly since I have been in Omaha, has allowed me to be able to manage my emotional perspectives.  The kind of randomization that occurs when a life is careening from one personal fiasco to the next has ceased.  I work in an environment that is not only comfortable but is a caring and nurturing one as well.  My home life is stable, surrounded by people who invest in me emotionally.  I feel supported and appreciated for being a part of their lives.

Having access to a mental health professional has also contributed to the lack of journaling. Not having to deal with “storms brewed in a teacup” domestically means I have more energy to deal with things myself.   So for now, I sometimes think of making my journal more of a “Dream On” kind of story, filled with side riffs using media to express ideas and feelings (or perhaps they will be more like the short-lived “Andy Richter Controls The Universe”!).

So now that my internal life has become stable and I find myself moving along in the direction that I set out for when I started journaling, hopefully, there won’t be a lot of flux as I continue on.  While I am not naive to think that I am immune from anything, the chance of me acting against my own best interests has been reduced.  There have been times where my thoughts are not unlike the thoughts I had in my 20’s… only that I understand that there is a certain ceiling to my hopes and dreams, and unless I “hit the lottery”, my level best will be more than enough for me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

SURVIVED CHRISTMAS

School has started!!  I am taking American History and Critical Thinking winter term, and I am looking forward to possibly being done with Community College in 2017!  There are a bunch of thoughts that are awaiting moderation in my mind but I have to make sure that I do the hard work of achieving my Associate’s Degree first.
I will be adding tips on physical exercise and personal health tips on a regular basis in the New Year.  The topic of fitness will be a regular subject in this blog, but again, to expect one of those fancy blogs made for mass consumption would be a bit much.  I will focus on practical tips with either a video embed (more likely) of the exercise being demonstrated by someone or by me (less likely).
Right now I have been getting my news from the chyrons that run on the bottom of the screen on the televisions when I am at work.  I have no interest in following the comings and goings of the world beyond my circle.  In fact, I still find that I am unwilling to find out any more regarding national politics than I was when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old.  The thing about it is my understanding of things and with the broadness of said understanding, I am sure that there will be enough that occurs over the next 4 years that I have to deal with, intellectually.  But I am looking forward to shutting that part of my brain down for a bit and to elevate other things in my mind that I may have been taking for granted.
...speaking of things that I am looking forward to…



These are two bodyweight routines that can be done at home.  You don’t have to worry about going to a gym or even equipment.  You don’t have to complete either routine right away… but it should be your goal that you can use to motivate yourself throughout your exercising. Personally, I would begin with the "Burns 1000" because you know for sure that once you accomplish the single round of exercises that you are assured of having burned 1000 calories. If anyone needs any further explanation of the exercises or parameters, just stop by and drop a question and I will do my best to find an answer for you!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

ALMOST DONE WITH 2016

JUST A GENERAL ENTRY

The holiday season has never been one of my best times.  Since I am more at home by myself, it is only in the presence of other people that the complications begin.  The quote, “Hell is other people”, by Jean-Paul Sartre, exemplifies the feelings that beset me at times such as this.  Having to deal with not only what you are supposed to be, but also what others think of what you are supposed to be is a burdensome weight.  This year, one of the realizations of a plausible solution has crept to the fore.  Who knows, had the recent Presidential election been different…

...and no, I don’t want to expound on politics.  I have been experimenting with not being informed, not minding what is being considered “newsworthy”.  My focus is on getting myself prepared for the future, and being overly concerned about the world outside of my orbit is not a part of being focused.  For the next four years, at least, I will be practicing “disengagement” from broad, and political, newsworthy stories.

It has been a transition.  You are talking about a healthy habit that has been over 40 years in the making.  From NPR to Beth’s Facebook feed, any information that does not have the most direct and immediate impact in my life has, at least for me, little use.  So it will be interesting to walk around deliberately uninformed, as the notion that it is a choice to be ignorant is different from not even being interested in current events, is something that I have always thought of as criminal, the breaking of a social contract between myself and society.

School is been going well.  American History and Critical Reasoning, two subjects that I rather enjoy, are my classes this term.  The Native American Trump-tastic student doesn’t seem to be as unbalanced as he first came across, and I even shared my book with him.  While it could have been a show of character for me, it also doubled as a “keep your friends close, but potential mass murders who need to be kept closer” kind of moment for me.  American History has been tame, focus on America after Columbus and such.  I await the discussions on slavery and the Civil War, but what this class has really done has re-established my belief in the construction of the top-down social system that exists across all of society and culture.

Finally, I am going to focus in on some of the things that I believe it takes in becoming fit.  Not only will I suggest exercises and perhaps a workout that achieves goals and physical changes, but I also hope to discuss the true nuts and bolts to fitness, the mental and chemical influences that help to shape our shapes!  Happy holidays!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

SINCE YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ONE... LET'S MAKE ONE THAT STICKS..!

I think that you can consider this your pre-resolution resolution..!  Many people are going to make promises to themselves, their loved ones, maybe even the medical professionals in their lives.  The reason that I am calling this a resolution is that the nature of my advice is given with the most important aspect of health and fitness… the understanding that the objective is not something that will reveal itself in a few weeks or even a few months.  As I picture conversations with clients in my future, the idea of improving one’s health and quality of life is paramount, and the physical changes have to be secondary to a person’s goal.
The main reason that the health and everyday function will be the main player in my approach to personal training is the comprehensiveness that losing weight entails.  For years, the dominant themes have been “calories in/calories out”  along with “just move” when discussing general health and fitness.  While I agree with the sentiment, the primary issue that has made weight-loss transformation shows watchable television, the complete transformation myth has saddled the fitness industry with unreasonable expectations.  And this is key.  Your goals temper your fitness approach and plan.
In order to have the complete body transformation that has been demonstrated on television shows and in weight loss ads, you have to first have a distinct goal so that you can base your expectations on.  Once you have that, be it an image or a number, you can map a strategy that will help you achieve your expectation.  The next step is prolly the most difficult of them all… the realistic formulation of a plan to safely achieve whatever goal or outcome of your fitness journey you are on.
Trying to make a permanent change through fitness is a mental process through which a person has to decide what they are going to give up in order to obtain their goal.  This is the lever by which the modality is moved by.  If you don’t want to do it, if you don’t want make time for it in your life, and by “it” I am talking about becoming fit,  you simply won’t.  An unmotivated individual has no reason to exercise.  When you ask a person who does work out, who does exercise, what moves them to do so, they often give a variety of reasons.  And having a reason to exercise is what has to be a major part of any fitness program… the want to do it.
Finally, losing weight and becoming fit are only related to one another.  That is why for my next entry, the difference between training and exercise will be the main topic of discussion.  They are not the same, nor are the rationale behind them the same.  Hopefully, my next entry will help clarify the difference and help whoever is reading to know the difference!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

LITERALLY, JUST GET UP AND MOVE..!

HEREVWE GO..!
Never postpone change.  No matter the effective date of implementation, the moment to begin going into a new direction is in the moment of telling oneself that change is needed. It is in that moment, that change begins. For instance, I will examine the holiday weight gain and the New Year resolution to lose the extra weight as an example.
Sitting at home, watching football, after eating large helpings of food that would not be on a vegan’s plate and drinking more than a couple of glasses of wine (ok… I didn’t overeat… I HATE Thanksgiving food… and only could drink one glass of wine, so work with me..!), with both Christmas dinner’s, parties and New Year’s (resolutions) celebrations to look forward on the horizon, the thinking is we are going to just kill it in the gym in 2017!  I don’t think that I would be alone as far as having the initial desire to workout, but the question is what separates those who not only make it to the gym in January but all the way to their weight loss/ fitness goals from those whom the act of becoming healthier and fitter is simply conversation?  
Before I get to that I will share something with you… a recent Iowa State study made the claim that running 7 minutes per day is all one needs to gain benefits from running.  Not only is the duration very doable, the intensity does not have to be that high.  A good jog (maybe a brisk walk..?) down the block and back could give you most if not all, of the positives from a 3-mile run.  How cool is that?  I would not say that jogging down the block will be the way to reach all of your fitness goals, but it could be the start that a person needs to take on more healthful habits along with their running.  That being said…
As a teenager, I became enamored with Friedrich Nietzche.  I don’t think that I even “knew” what philosophy was but I did understand that reading his books’ would somehow shape me into the person that I hope to become.  One quote of Nietzche’s, in particular, has hung over my entire life, and it explains how it is that so many “want” things but not the will to achieve them -”If a man has a why he can bear almost any how”, not only gives the reason most people fail at their fitness goals but their life goals as well.  And yes, it is like that because becoming healthier is a lifestyle, not something that you do once or twice and then its “fixed”.  For many people, it is not about knowledge, nor is it about instruction… it is about finding that ineffable quality in oneself that defines for them their purpose for action and letting that determine their way.
Now with the scientific literature giving the green light for being “lazy” and improving one’s health you have to wonder what is keeping people from doing just that and improving their well-being?  This is where the difference in where people get their motivation and the role of a personal trainer comes into play.  For someone who is intrinsically motivated, the news about how simple and easy the steps to becoming healthier  is likely to be enough.  But for a person who is externally motivated, even with being told that “just walking 7 minutes a day is enough to change their future health outcomes is not going to be enough.  They need to be pushed, cajoled, and shown how to do what they may even know how to do without instruction.  Hence, the role of the personal trainer!
As a personal trainer, my job will be to augment a clients’ “why”.  It isn’t that people don’t have the information that they need to achieve the majority of their fitness goals… it is more that they need a little push to be driven by their own personal reason as to why they want to become fit.  Even with knowing that 7 minutes of walking each day can greatly increase their health outcome, I don’t think that people will “know” what to do.
That is my first fitness tip… walk 7 minutes each day.   I am going to add that the walk should be brisk without being taxing and that the minutes be consecutive.  With that, get out there and get moving!!