End with a bang?

I certainly have gotten out of the habit of regularly blogging, and I think the reason is that in the past my entries have focused on exercising. I began by blogging about races that I ran, and then switched to CrossFit. As I’m no longer a runner, let along a racer, and since I no longer consider myself a CrossFitter, well, there’s not much to write about.

I suppose I could record my thoughts on workouts I’ve completed on the stationary bike, but they’d all sound about the same: warmed up, did hill repeats OR intervals OR rhythm ride OR endurance ride and then cooled down. Booooring.

I do, of course, still run, lift weights, and complete metcons. And I haven’t been injured in years. Perhaps most importantly, I can say with all honesty that I do NOT miss working out in a group setting. I benefit much more when I focus on my own wants, needs, and desires.

I also don’t miss coaching. Sorry, not sorry.

I recently completed the following…

NFT
Stiff-legged deadlift + hang power clean + push press + bent over row
10 reps of @ 75, 80, 85, & 90#
Then 10 singles beginning @ 95 and ending @ 140#

That’s 50 total reps, and I focused on proper form each and every rep. And I never dropped the bar.

(Meg just sat on my lap. Bad kitty.)

The last rep was at bodyweight. Yup, I now consistently weigh 140#.

Here’s another workout…

15 RFT
Pushup + wall crawl + burpee
5 strict K2E
5 box jump + stiff-legged to touch

I watched a 4-part documentary on Heaven’s Gate. A sociologist stated the people often think that cults are only religious, when there are many different types of cults. Yup, that includes political. That’s all that I’ll say.

I’ve also been binge watching Bob’s Burgers. Uhm, this isn’t the first time I’ve watched the episodes. Seasons 5 & 6 are my favorites.

This year I binge watched (and thoroughly enjoyed doing so) Breaking Bad, The Leftovers, What We Do In The Shadows, Archer, and The Good Place. And I recommend you do the same.

Uhm, I see folks NOT adhering to CDC guidelines regarding travel, masks, and social distancing. The most egregious behaviors are insisting on visiting with family members/friends in large groups. I’d much rather visit post-pandemic then, well, not be able to visit at all.

Stationary

I’m referring to our myxfitness bike. I almost chose to record my review on fancy stationery. See what I did there?

I know I haven’t blogged in a looooong time. And that’s okay.

I haven’t rested a day in months and months, although many days could be labeled “recovery.” If you use that term loosely.

I have been listening to Taylor Swift’s folklore, evermore, and folklore: the long pond studio sessions. I didn’t consider myself a TS fan until folklore, and have only casually listened to previous albums. I’m still listening to Sufjan Stevens (The Ascension is incredible), Sigur Ros, and Troy Sivan.

A few months ago Jeff purchased a myxfitness (pronounced “mix fitness”) stationary bike. I once attended a group riding session and left after 15 minutes. Uhm, I guess I’m just not a fan of group fitness. Yes, I know CrossFit is group fitness, but I haven’t worked out in a group session in well over three years and will likely never do again in this lifetime.

And I no longer consider myself a CrossFitter.

I am a convert to the stationary bike, and truly enjoy using the equipment. Jeff has an account and this allows me to view coaching sessions and record progress. A few things to note:
1. I like three of the coaches: Justin, Shaun, and Jess. I truly dislike many of the coaches, particularly those who find it necessary to share too much personal information (I don’t near to hear the same fucking story every time I do the same workout) and/or disfluencies. I like coaches who provide direction and not inspiration. I don’t need a “You got this!” or “Good job!” Uhm, you can’t see me so for all you know I’m smoking a joint and painting my nails.
2. Rhythm and endurance rides are my favorites, and I also like HIIT rides. That being said, it annoys me to no end when the coach isn’t pedaling to the rhythm. I must pedal to the rhythm.
3. I enjoying riding to 80s, disco, EDM, and some of today’s music hits. I do not enjoy riding to hip-hop and/or country. And why no show tunes? Seriously, why no show tunes?
4. The coaches will often say “start at zero and turn the resistance to the right 5 or 6 full turns until you feel something under your feet.” But it takes 8 or more full turns for me to feel resistance.
5. I much prefer riding in position 3 (standing) when the resistance is heavy.
6. I begin to feel the burn in my legs when my heart rate reaches the middle of zone 2, about 132 bmp. Zone 3 is above 147 bpm, and I reach and maintain this during many of the workouts.
7. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how much more fat I’m burning. I’m consistently weighing about 142 lb, and some days I’m below 140 lb. My 29″ waist jeans fall of my hips. And I only own 2 pair of 28″ waist jeans. Dammit.

I can’t begin to recall all of the workouts I’ve completed, but I do recall part of today’s as well as a workout I did earlier in the week when we were at Carolina Beach.

AFAP
10 rounds
1 strict L-sit C2B pull-up
2 strict pushups
3 air squats
4 Abmat situps
10 rounds
1 strict L-sit C2B pull-up
2 strict pushups
4 air squats
5 Abmat situps
10 rounds
1 strict L-sit C2B pull-up
3 strict pushups
4 air squats
5 Abmat situps
10 rounds
2 strict L-sit C2B pull-ups
3 strict pushups
4 air squats
5 Abmat situps

I completed in just under 30 minutes. That’s a lot o’ reps.

9 RFT
15 unbroken floor presses @ 95#
Run about 1/3 mile

A light weight for presses, but shit got heavy the last 2 rounds. Uhm, 135 reps will do that to a person. I obviously wanted to run a 5K.

I’ve been baking like crazy, particularly chocolate cakes with different types of frostings and fillings. Today I made a chocolate & peppermint cake, and it’s delicious.

I’ve been playing the piano somewhat regularly, and as Christmas is just 5 days away I’ve been playing holiday tunes only.

Shelter at home, people. And stay the fuck away from me.

I miss Zac.

RBG

It’s been difficult for me to rationalize blogging about exercise when there’s so much shit going on in the world. I detest tRump, McConnell, and the entire Rethuglican party. There, I said it.

The hypocrisy is astounding, yet expected. Power is evidently more important than people.

AFAP
3 stiff-legged deadlifts
2 hang power cleans
1 push press
7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, & 7 rounds @ 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, & 110#
Run 15m + 10m 95# sled pull sprint uphill + 10m sled pull downhill + 15m sprint after each round

4RFT
1-2-3-4-5 strict pull-up(s) + strict pushup(s) + 24″ box jump(s)
Run 200m after each round

NFT
35 unbroken double unders
Sprint 10m
5 bench presses, beginning at 95# and increasing weight 5# for 13 rounds (155#)

I see far too many people posting group pictures that clearly show they aren’t wearing face masks and/or practicing social distancing. This includes far too many friends who are CrossFitters, and I’m disappointed.

I’m pleased that my presentation for NCSHRM went so well. I’m also pleased with the direction of virtual training that I’ve been providing.

It’s been a long time…

Work has been sporadic, but is starting to trickle in as folks realize training must continue despite the pandemic. I am fortunately very comfortable teaching and leading sessions remotely.

I have completed innumerable workouts since I last blogged, and haven’t rested a day in months. Yup, months. Working out is my outlet, and I think/feel I might go insane if I don’t get in at least a 20-minute workout. I’m enjoying the myxfitness bike (and missing having it at the beach), and particularly like using it for a good warmup.

AFAP
Run around the block (about 1/3-mile), completing 5 mountain climbers/leg each 10th foot strike (20 foot strikes total)
Then
Run around the block, running forward 10 foot strikes & 10 strikes backwards
Then
Run around the block, running forward 10 foot strikes, twisting 180 degrees & completing 5 mountain climbers and then running backwards 10 foot strikes, twisting & completing 5 mountain climbers

7 RFT
5 reps of strict pushup + strict T2B + strict K2E
10 Abmat situps
5 reps of 10m run forwards + 10m run backwards

AFAP
Strict L-sit C2B pull-up + 10m sprint; walk quickly to start for recovery
50 reps in unbroken sets (5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4)

Every 27 seconds for 27 rounds
Strict plate (45#) pushup + plate press + plate squat + plate box jump (27″) + forward roll; jog to start for recovery

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 (i.e., until failure and/or 90% of 1RM) strict presses, beginning @ 45 and ending @ 135#
Complete 7/leg forward lunges after each round

It is beyond my level of comprehension who someone can say they support tRump and support the LGBT and BLM movements. I want nothing to do with any family member or friend who supports that abomination.

Jeff suggested that we get a kitten for Meg. I disagree, as she’s enjoying all of the attention that’s being lavished upon her.

Indoor Biking

I cry myself to sleep and cry myself awake. I’m missing Zac terribly, and am reminded of him constantly. Thus, I need constant distractions. Exercise serves just that purpose, as does cooking, writing, reading, and playing the piano.

Yesterday I did a double, and I haven’t done a double in years.

10 RFT
Row 10c
STRICT L-sit C2B + C2B + pull-up + T2B + K2E
~Rest~
15 RNFT
Strict pushup + 10 mountain climbers + strict pushup + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery

Then later that afternoon

15-min interval on bike
~Rest~
10 RNFT
STRICT L-sit C2B + C2B + pull-up + T2B + K2E
~Rest~
AFAP
15 reps of strict pushup + 10 lateral bar hops
15 reps of 200# deadlift + 10 LBH
15 reps of strict pushup + DL + 10 LBH

Jeff’s myxfitness bike arrived last week, and I’ve been including in workouts most days. Much like any equipment, you get out of it what you put into it.

Today was my first time doing a 45-minute workout on the bike, and it was grueling. I enjoyed (if that’s the right word) looking at heart rate results. I rested and then completed the following.

15 RNFT
Strict L-sit C2B pull-up
225# DL
Strict HSPU

Zac would wake me up most morning, asking to be fed. It’s now eerily silent in the wee morning hours. Aaaaand, I keep hearing him meow.

Luke and Meg are acting peculiarly and both are very clingy. Yes, I think about what they must be thinking and feeling, and I find myself saying “I miss him, too” to both of them numerous times throughout the day.

My heart physically hurts, I miss him so fucking much.

The Story of Zac

Nine years ago this month, we adopted Zac and his sister Meg.

Bud, Jeff’s cat (as he adopted him well before we were married) had lived 19 years, and after he died Jeff was so heartbroken that he couldn’t bring himself to adopt another cat. I let him grieve for more than a year, and then gently persuaded him to consider once again adopting.

He had his heart set on an orange, female cat, as that was Bud’s color and gender. We began to visit websites and then began visiting adoption agencies.

During a visit to our local PetSmart, we met many cats. My eye was drawn to a tan and white kitty with beautiful blue eyes. Jeff said, “It’s a male and he’s not solid orange.” The volunteer whispered to me, “And no one is going to want to adopt him, as he only as four toes on one of his front feet.” “No one will adopt him?” I stated incredulously, “Then we’ll take him. He’s adorable.” Jeff gave me one of the looks I’ve grown accustomed to, you know, a resigned look. The volunteer suggested that we visit with him and one of his siblings in a separate room, and as I’ve always been drawn to black and white cats, I asked for his female sibling to join us.

They were wild kitties! We were informed that a large group of cats had been rescued from a women who was a cat hoarder.

I immediately feel in love with Zac, but as I knew he would be Jeff’s cat I wanted to ensure that he liked him as well. He did.

I informed the volunteer that we’d wanted to adopt the tan and white kitty. She said, “Great! You’ll have to wait two months, as we don’t allow kittens to be adopted until they are six months old to ensure that they are properly socialized. Unless two or more are adopted at the same time.” “Great!” I exclaimed. “We’ll take his sister as well.”

Jeff said, “We didn’t ever discuss adopting two kittens.” “The boy can be yours and the girl can be mine,” I replied. And Jeff knows that when my mind is made up, well, my mind is made up. We completed the paperwork, submitted our application, met with a volunteer who ensured we were serious about adopting and had the proper setup, and waited for the arrival.

We had to sign a form stating that both cats would be fixed and vaccinated, that we wouldn’t have them declawed, and that they would ha e a room of their own, as our dog Xander would be residing in the house with us.

The adoption agency had named the kittens, and I can’t for the life of me remember their original names.

Jeff named Zac after Zan Efron. I named Meg after Meg (Megatron) Griffin from “Family Guy.”

Meg and Zac quickly adapted to Xander. And then Xander suddenly became very sick and I had to make the difficult decision to euthanize him.

(As an aside, I immediately cry whenever I think of Xander. I loved that dog with every fiber of my being.)

A month later we adopted Luke, and the Luke, Meg, and Zac have gotten along splendidly from day one.

While both kitties were loving and good natured, Zac had numerous digestive issues. We had to change his diet many times until we found the right mix. Zac was also a voracious eater, and would consume as much food as was put down in front of him. Our vet thought this might be because as a kitten he never knew when he’d have his next meal. Many years ago we began feeding them first breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And treats.

Zac was most definitely Jeff’s cat, and the two of them were inseparable. Zac would often sit on Jeff’s office chair, forcing Jeff to sit on the edge of the seat. Whenever Jeff would lie on the couch he would place a blanket over his lap so that Zac could crawl under the blanket and snuggle with him.

Meg has been my kitty from day one, and continues to be so.

Zac and Meg (and Luke, of course) moved with us to Asheville, and adjusted well. They both enjoyed spending time on the second floor deck, and only needed to be told once or twice that they couldn’t sit on the railing. Such good kitties!

A few years ago, Jeff started traveling extensively. And Zac began spending much more time with me. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but I fell in love with him all over again. We became inseparable, and he would spend hours on my lap while I scratched his head with one hand and rubbed his belly with the other.

Zac would be on my lap and Jeff would call him to him. Zac would look up and towards him, and then put his head back down on my lap. It was sometime last year when Jeff proclaimed “He’s your cat now.”

Two weeks ago, whilst Jeff was at the beach house battening down the hatches, Zac began vomiting. He was still eating, so I wasn’t overly concerned. We took him to the vet, and the diagnosis was a likely hairball. And then he stopped eating. We took him for X-rays, and there was nothing to be concerned about. Yet he continued to show no signs of getting better. We took him to the vet yet again, this time for an ultrasound. And the news was cancer. When the vet said, “Zac isn’t going to be with us much longer” I began sobbing loudly and hysterically. As neither Jeff nor I ever want to see one of our babies suffer, we made the painful decision.

Even though we’re in the midst of a pandemic, the vet had a bereavement room. Jeff said his goodbyes, and I stayed with Zac during his last moments. I knew it would be too painful for Jeff to do so, but I didn’t want Zac to be alone.

I took thousands of pictures of Zac, and for this I’m very grateful. The last video I took is of him purring in my lap. It breaks my heart to watch, yet I can’t stop doing so.

I miss him terribly. I am truly heartbroken, and find it hard to imagine my life without him. Grieving is such a horrible process.

THREE TWO FIVE

Wednesday | 10 RNFT
35 unbroken double unders; rest as needed between rounds
~Rest~
10 RNFT
25 unbroken double unders + 15m sprint; walk to start for recovery

I hit a milestone in that I didn’t miss a single rep. How the hell did that happen?

Thursday | 7X7
HPC + FS + PP + BS + behind the neck PP + BoR + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery
Rounds @ 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, & 95#

I like workouts where there’s a gradual and consistent increase in heart rate.

Friday | 10 RFT
Sprint row 100m (>40 s/m)
Strict HSPU
Strict C2B pull-up
~Rest~
10 RNFT
Sprint 10m
10 unbroken V-ups
Spint 10m
Rest as long as needed between rounds
~Rest~
25-24-23…3-2-1
Unbroken Russian KBS + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery

‘Twas a humid morning. I ensured that I dried my hands and wiped down the KB during past portion. And that’s 325 KBS, the most I’ve completed in a workout.

Like similar workouts, this was as much psychologically as it was physically challenging. It was interesting to review heart rate, as it was highest during rounds of 24, 23, 22, & 21 reps, decreased somewhat as reps decreased, but then skyrocketed near the end as I wanted to ensure that I completed in under 30 minutes. Uhm, and I did so in under 27.

I made skirt stead with homemade chimichurri sauce, cauliflower soup, and grilled watermelon for dinner last night. So freaking good.

Days Go By

I’m addicted to Taylor Swift’s “folklore.” There, I said it. And I’m counting down the days until the election. The tyrant has to go.

The Bon Appetit Blackout cake is, in a word, phenomenal.

A few workouts that I can recall.

10 RFT
10c row
10 BP @ 115#
~Rest~
25 RNFT
Thruster (100#) + 10 sprint; walk to start for recovery
~Rest~
NFT 25 total reps
Strict pu + HROU + ploy PU

10 rounds 1 DL (225#) + 25m sprint w forward roll + 25m jog to start
10 rounds of 2 DLs…
10 rounds of 3 DL…

25 RNFT
Strict L-sit pull-up + strict C2B pull-up + strict pull-up + strict T2B + strict K2E + windshield wiper + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery

20-18-16…6-4-2 med ball (20#) squats and 10m shuttle sprints (110 reps total)
~Rest~
AFAP
Bike 400m
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 5-second count strict C2B pullups
30-second headstand

For whatever reason, I was thinking about the Peanuts comic strip. I used to purchase the paperback books and read them ad nauseam. I then began thinking about which character I most identify with. Some would likely say Linus (I did suck my thumb until the age of 5), Schroeder (although I didn’t begin playing the piano until high school), or Lucy. Lucy? Yes, as she’s confident and bossy. Definitely not Charlie Brown. I little like Pig-Pen, as I can be rather messy. Or maybe Franklin, as that’s my middle name.

And I decided that I’m most like Schroeder. I don’t particularly care for people, and would much rather spend my time playing the piano (and/or baking, exercising, writing, etc.). Aaaaand women fawn over me, even though I have no interest in them.


No shoes, no shirt, no mask, no services.

Uhm, it’s the 20th of July and this is the first blog o’ the month. Yet I’ve exercised all but one day since I last posted. Yes, I know rest days are important, and I ensure that every few workouts are indeed a “recovery” workout.

Forty-nine percent of white Americans support that monstrosity. Now try to convince me that racism isn’t alive and well in the good ol’ US of A. I’ve recently discovered (although I was certain it was there) deep seated racism in some of my closest relatives. And why is it that the more educated a relative is the more likely they are to be progressive? I just answered my own question.

I purchased a bathroom scale. I haven’t gained any weight during the pandemic. What about you?

I continue to cook and bake, and my most recent success is the French macaron. Boom. My piano playing skills continue to improve almost exponentially. Boom and boom.

I also continue to complete a session of the “Elevate” app most mornings, and have achieved 400/400 on quite a few of the activities, all of them in writing and reading and none of them in speaking or math. Ha! WTF is up with that?

There are, of course, far too many workouts to list, so I’ll just mention a few that I can recall. All were NFT.

5 rounds each of 5 deadlifts @ 185, 190, 195, & 200# + 10m sprint; walk for recovery

1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 strict C2B pull-ups + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery

10-9-8…3-2-1 strict & unbroken T2B
Begin each round with 10c row in 10 strokes

100/leg alternating leg box (24″) step ups

50 rounds of DL + HPC + hang thruster + thruster + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery

25 rounds of 10/leg mountain climbers + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery

NFT & TNG
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 ring rows; end each round with strict ring dip

Yup, a hell of a lot of running. Because I fucking love running. Keeps the heart healthy and strong. My focus has been on strength and conditioning. Most days I’ll complete two back-to-back workouts, averaging around 20-25 and 10-15 minutes, respectively.

Lots o’ sprints

I have been working out daily, and most days end with a kicker. A few examples.

25 RNFT
5 SHDPs @ 100# + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery


50 RNFT
Stiff-legged deadlift + BoR + HPC + thruster + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery


10 RNFT
5 clapping pushups + 5 mountain climbers/leg + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery


20 RNFT
10 clapping pushups + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery


30 RNFT
10
jumping air squats + 10m sprint; walk to start for recovery

Today’s main workout was fun!

40-min AMRAP
Bike 400m
Max rep unbroken and strict pull-ups (no rest at full extension)

I easily completed 10 the first round, and completed no less than 6 any round, for a total of 101 reps. And without a second to spare. It took 14 rounds of biking, i.e., 3.5 miles, to complete.

Our next door neighbors are assholes. Keep in mind that I genuinely like the rest of our neighbors, and have become fast friends with J, E, and B&L.

When they first moved next door I went out of my way to be friendly, bringing them baked good and offering assistance. While my assistance wasn’t requested, they certainly didn’t hesitate to ask for “small favors,” you know, like allowing the use of our driveway to park and heavy equipment when they cut down the shade tree for our patio. And signing rights to allow power lines to run in our property to the shitty the home. Oh, and installing a rain barrel (more in a moment) so that rain didn’t run off into their yard by the shitty tiny home they built — and did I mention as close as they were legally allowed to do so to our home? They also requested to tear down the $7K retaining wall that we installed because the railroad ties have creosote. That didn’t happen. And never will.

Yet no request to pay for and install a fence.

D (doesn’t stand for “Dick,” but he is) had the audacity at one point, when describing rain pipes to say, “The pipe is perforated. Do you know what then means, ‘perforated?'” Yes, I fucking know what perforated is. And he asked the same question at least three times.

We’ve had a rainy spring going into summer. We occasionally water the newer plants, and have done so using the garden hose. I had cleaned the deck, and the runoff went into the rain barrel; thus I didn’t want to use the water in it to water plants.

I attached a long hose to the end of our driveway and began to empty the rain barrel, with the water running down the street into a drain. Like it’s supposed to. Yes, it ran in front to their yard, but not INTO their yard. Because I’m not a dick.

I was watching the bees and taking slow-motion pics when D approached. As I was startled, I even said hello, which I don’t usually do. Then the following conversation took place. I’ve included my thoughts in italics.

D: May I ask what you’re doing? (He was looking toward the rain barrel.)
Me: Emptying the rain barrel. Be nice, answer his question. Don’t say “None of your fucking business.
D: Why?
Me: Because the barrel is full. What business is it of yours?
D: Yes, but why are you emptying and allowing the water to run down the road?
Me: D, it’s going into the drain, and not your property. What the fuck does this have to do with you?
D: Are you aware (the exact words he used) that you can use the water from the barrel to water your plants?
Me: Yes, but I choose not to. How fucking stupid do you think I am? Like I didn’t know I could use the water for a variety of reasons?

D then gave me a condescending look.

Me: Just walk away. You are an asshole.

D mumbles something under his breath as he walks away.

Me: Fucking asshole.

Yes, I said that loud enough for him to hear. Later that day I asked Jeff, “Why do you think, knowing that I don’t like him, D approached me today?” Jeff replied, “Because he’s a condescending asshole that thinks h’e better than everyone one.” Nailed it.

And they wonder why EVERYONE but them gets lots and lots of baked goods.