Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Day in the Life of PCP...

Err wait....

We're finished! Fin! Done! Complete!

... in a way.

The hardest part is next: life-long change. When you have a goal or a deadline, it becomes easier to strive towards the achievement of reaching that goal. In this case, 90 days of working out and eating a specific diet. As a dreamer and an idealist, I tend to get lost in my lofty desires, but thanks to the PCP, I've relearned the importance of breaking dreams down into tasks and goals. I know, it seems so obvious, but when you entrap yourself in a lazy mindset, the most obvious, productive methodologies seem to be evasive.

In the past three months, we've learned about the body, how to eat right, how to exercise properly, how to set and attain goals, and so much more. We've both struggled and prevailed, and now it's time to take these lessons on into the rest of our lives. As the PCP will show, I think the answer lies in regular change.

I love change. I love changing up what I'm eating, the exercises I'm doing, the projects I'm working on, the blogs I'm reading, the podcasts I'm listening too. Now I'm going from performing the PCP under the wise tutelage of Patrick, to showing others how to lead a healthy, fit lifestyle. It's a change -- one that keeps me interested in health and fitness.

Our bodies love change as well. Eating a variety of food gives you all the different kinds of nutrients you need. Changing your workout routine keeps your body from becoming accustomed to it, allowing you to further develop muscle. The theme here is change. And yet the hardest change is making the decision to change. We must first admit that we need change, and that in itself is change.

The other day I vented my frustration in sticking to things, in being reliable and committing, and in struggling with constantly wanting to do something new. I think the answer lies in setting a goal so that I can stick with something until completion, while frequently changing up how I approach that goal in order to remain interested. I'm going to try it and I'll let you know how it works for me.

This means that I'm keeping this blog open. Like Sean, I want to continue to update this blog. It is a goal in and of itself: to take the time to write more often. I intend to dive further into the mental aspect of peak conditioning. After all, peak condition is, again, a mindset. I aim to allow this to continue to be a medium in which we can further discuss how peak condition can even affect our every day ailments, like ADD, or what that even is to be honest. I hope to further discover how health and fitness can turn the mind around in addition to our bodies.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, readers, for being an encouragement, for being critical, and for sticking with me. I am a work in progress, and I need a lot more work; but I'm considerably more "complete" than I was 90 days ago. Again, thank you.

Thank you so much, Sean and Corry, for truly being the best teammates that I could ever ask for -- seriously. It is such a joy getting to endure this journey with you. I truly look forward to continuing this life-long journey together, if not in word, at least in spirit. I hope our paths cross some day. We did it! Can you believe it!?

Finally, Patrick:

I am truly indebted to you. I owe you so much thanks for leading me to a dream of mine -- a conditioned body. You've taught me so much. I've gained so much knowledge from your instruction, and most importantly, I've grown spiritually. I have a new mindset thanks to you, one that will be with me for the rest of my life. You have changed my life, Patrick, and there is no way I could ever put a price on that. You have my deepest gratitude. This is an experience that I will truly treasure and speak of for the rest of my days.

This end is only the beginning. Until next time...

Monday, August 11, 2008

"What's a gym? Oh, a gym." -- Homer Simpson

Good ol' Homer Simpson.

So I just got back from the gym. They got a membership out of me, but for two reasons: 1) they have an awesome bar for pull ups and chin ups. 2) Yoga. They have some beginner Yoga classes and are adding more next month. I've been wanting to do it for some time. Now that I have a membership, I have to go to get my moneys worth.

There wasn't a whole lot of people there. The first thing I noticed as I began to work out was how my muscles felt on the machines. I found that I could achieve a burn quicker, but it felt easier to cheat, and the burn didn't last very long. After using resistance bands and doing exercises like push ups, you feel energized, yet you want to collapse from exertion -- in a good way. The machine burn just doesn't go as far. It's no wonder machine muscle doesn't last as near as long.

It was fun using free weights again for a change, but still, not as near as exerting as a resistance band. Those bands make you fear them, that deep burn within. The free weights, well, you get over them pretty quickly.

I really surprised myself on the pull ups. I expected to really struggle to pull myself up, but I cranked through the first three sets no problem. This was probably the most defining moment in my realization of my new found strength. I've noticed it before, but not like this.

I started chatting with the owner and got to mention the PCP briefly. She thought it was pretty interesting, and agreed that fitness, diet, is an everyday choice. And therein lies the rub. As the PCP comes to a close for us tomorrow, will we continue to choose, every day, to be healthy, to be fit? I think this is where encouragement and community comes in.

Just today, I learned that one of my best friends bought some resistance bands and a jump rope. He's totally ready to do this, and I hope that we can be a good influence to each other, keeping each other accountable. That's what I need more than anything at this point -- accountability.

Let's be honest: I'm not a very reliable person. Patrick has had to get on me from the beginning about getting new pics up. Sometimes I honestly forget about things. Sometimes I am unbelievably busy. Most times, I'm really distracted. A lot of times, I'm lazy. I've had this curse for some time where I always want to try something new. I struggle to finish something I've already started.

That has been my absolute biggest flaw for some time, and I don't exactly know what the solution is. I know it involves a change in mindset, but I'm not entirely sure how to get there. I admit that I need to change, but when someone confronts me, I get defensive. How do I extract myself from this pleasure seeking, distraction oriented society? That's an honest question. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I need more criticism. I need further refinement. This is a call for help.

The PCP has further revealed in me this need to change. I _am_ a complete jerk face. This is my flaw. I don't expect to be perfect, but I sure as hell expect to improve. I can't keep floating like this. Perhaps I need a PmCP, a "Peak (mental) Condition Project."


It turns out the fitness center I was going to visit wasn't open as late as I had hoped, so I didn't get to it today. I'm going to go later this morning.

I've been dealing with moving situations over the past week. Saturday was our first big day of moving. I gotta say, it was a good test of my new found stamina. I didn't feel winded at all and could've easily gone a few more hours. I've got another day of moving coming up this week. I expect it to be just as easy.

As the PCP comes to a "close" for us tomorrow, I have to admit, even just a year ago I would not have expected to be able to reach the condition that I have on this project. We've all come so far. We've stuck it out. Now for the longest part of the process: making it a part of the rest of our lives.

JUST ONE MORE DAY! Can you believe it!? It really did arrive sooner than I expected.

My schedule for the day: nap, gym, meetings, workout, blog. Talk to you all soon, and thanks for staying with me.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Gym Day Tomorrow

So tomorrow I get to visit a gym tomorrow to see what all of the fuss is about. This will be a good lesson to take with me as the project comes to a close. I'm pretty addicted to working out without machines at this point. I think it's important to be sensible about what you are doing to your body, whether it be in what you consume, or how you exert yourself. Everything in moderation, right?

It's been a long day of helping people move, so I'm gonna get a good night sleep. I'm actually looking forward to checking out this gym. I have a friend that is trainer there and she's been wanting me to check it out. We'll see.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Another Day Closer

We're another day closer to completing this project successfully. The hard part is, I feel those desires to break my new found habits growing stronger and stronger every day. It's like my body wants to just quit on the last day.

I can't let that happen. I've realized lately how important both encouragement and criticism can be. I think it's important to have others around you that can encourage you. I think it's also easier to adhere to something when you have to teach it.

As this project comes to a close, I'm hoping to find a friend of mine that would be interested in eating super healthy and working out with me every day. That way, when things get tough, we can be a strong encouragement to each other. When we are failing to deliver, we can be constructively critical.

It's amazing to see how far we've come in just three months. I am extremely happy with the progress we all have made. I hope to "pay it forward" by being an example to others. I hope to show what future gains there are in present changes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Finally, a Chance to Breathe

It's true. I'm a terrible blogger. I've allowed projects to get in the way of a lot of things such as blogging. Now that I've wrapped up some big projects, I finally have a chance to breathe. So what's been on my mind this past week besides work?

Priorities and discipline, actually. I met deadlines and finished projects, but if I would have been more disciplined, I would have been able to spread my workload out, allowing myself time to do other things if not finishing the projects sooner. I've struggled with this for some time, yet I do well under pressure.

I was discussing this with a friend a couple nights ago, and he used a phrase that I thought was perfect: "failing forward". I love it. In exercise we discuss failure. In working towards our goals and dreams we are aware of failure. Yet as much as failure can be frightening, every time I take a step back to look at it, I see that it is a good thing.

It is the catalyst for great change. The ultimate failure is defeat -- to give up and walk away. Progressive failure is to get back up and keep trying. I know we've all heard this stuff before, but it's amazing how much it begins to really click in when you commit to something long term.

The PCP is something that I have committed to long term. I will not fail it, and considering the fact that it ends in about a week, I'm confident I'm going to make that goal. The things I have learned from the PCP, though, have really given me insight into other areas of my life. I've tried to make changes before, but I realize now that I accepted defeat in those areas instead of pressing on. Through the PCP, I now see what long term change can bring.

I talked to a friend of mine that is a trainer, and he said that a lot of people don't make it past six weeks. I think part of this is because they expect too much change too soon. Changing core areas of your life, such as your health and body, are a long term goal. It's a part of you, thus change has to become a part of you. This must take time.

I apologize that I haven't prioritized this blog. It's an incredible outlet for myself, and I appreciate all of your words (yes, Patrick, I am a jerk face :)). Perhaps in time this will be another lesson that I learn, another "fail forward", as I love to write, but I struggle with taking the time to do it.

We're almost there!