Monday, May 31, 2010

17 - More

Although I am thoroughly enjoying the KFB workout, my day has been feeling a little off since the first day I started off on this adventure. I pretty much dropped every exercise I had been doing previously in order to experience this one much as a newcomer might when they signed up. The problem I starting running into was that my body wanted to do more.

So, as I am wont to do this time of year, I added my lunchtime walk back into my day. It's only for half-an-hour and because I work downtown there's a lot of stops along the route as I must wait for the crossing signal to (more-or-less) allow me to walk in front of the impatient motorists, but it was better than not doing anything.

After two weeks of that, my body gave me the signal that it wanted to do even more. A brief chat with Patrick later, and my pre-KFB morning routine has been returned to the mix. Fifteen minutes of jumproping plus 8-Minute Abs plus a healthy KFB breakfast means that my morning feels now complete!

I've either got to be a sicko or a health-nut to actually want to do more exercise. I'm going to vote for sicko.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

16 - Family

I have spent much time with family the past couple of days. We were with my partner's family yesterday, and then I saw my family today. Amazingly enough, there was one theme that seemed to resonate with both groups that I got to hear repeatedly over the two days: "You've lost a lot of weight!" or "You look so skinny!" which almost always culminated to a "You're looking real good!" Nothing boosts the ego more than a few simple statements like that!

My partner's parents are getting up there in age. His father just got out of the hospital a few days ago after a nasty bout of pneumonia. They needed help digging up some dead bushes and planting new ones, so we went over there to assist because neither parent really has the capability any more to do manual labor like that anymore. Strangely enough, neither is my partner. He's tall and skinny with no muscle strength whatsoever. So it was up to me to dig up the bushes.

Although this wasn't something beyond my capabilities before PCP and KFB, as I had much experience pulling stumps out of our backyard for a number of years, this felt a whole lot different. I could feel a strength that I don't think I've ever felt before as I ripped those bushes out of the ground. Energy was at a premium and it just felt totally amazing! Will the wonders never cease?!?

And although I had a real late night, the energy lasted through a long drive today, when I visited my own family at the campground where my brother has a seasonal pass. I brought my workout sheet and jumprope with me and proceeded to show them what exercise program I was on now. Needless to say, I think they were impressed. (Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete all the sets and reps, as I did get bombarded with questions as to what I was doing and how I was doing it. On the other hand, I was stuck in some positions for far longer than a few breaths!)

It was actually a pretty restful day. I had the opportunity to sit and socialize with my family, which I don't often get to do because I live far away from them. There was nothing that needed my attention, no impending deadlines, no nothing. Just chillin' with everyone. Just being there in the moment with them and not worrying about anything. Sometimes, I think that's almost as good as sitting and meditating.

And now I'm home, tucking another long drive and late night under my belt. I really need to quit this whole staying up late thing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

15 - Cheese

Finally! Something I'm use to seeing—the diet plan with all the gram allotments all measured out. I know it sounds a little weird, but I like those little listings. Makes me feel like I'm in control of what I'm eating. (Yeah, I know I'm in control the other times too, but numbers just feel more real to me than trying to eyeball the whole thing.) I will say, though, that I wasn't at all expecting this:

Where's the eggs? During and after the PCP I was so use to eating egg whites (two for breakfast, one for morning snack, two for lunch, and one for afternoon snack) that the sudden lack of them took me by surprise. In it's place was cheese. Now I don't mind cheese. I absolutely love cheese. I was just use to egg.

For those of you who don't know, I'm a vegetarian. I guess under a technical clarification, I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarain. That means I eat dairy products (lacto) and eggs (ovo). So, while most people on the PCP and KFB have a gram allotment for their favorite protein source, I get cheese and eggs. I love cheese and eggs, so it don't bother me. During my time on Peak Condition beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and most of those meat substitutes were verboten, so eggs and I became great friends. On KFB, I can visit them once in a great while but they're not a protein—they are a carb. That's cool too.

So now, it's like that favorite old hymn: "What a friend we have in cheeses!" We'll see how long we'll get to be friends. Certainly hope I don't grow a tail and start squeeking.

Friday, May 28, 2010

14 - Fresh

I will say that I'm lovin' the KFB exercise schedule, mainly because it mimics my old PCP schedule—Friday is the "end of the week" and therefore the easy workout day. This is perfect for me because Friday is the day that me and my friends gather for a potluck dinner and a movie of some sort (usually a bad one). These "easy workout days" gives me enough time to leave work, get home, exercise, make something fresh and simple, and meet everyone by 7pm.

This is a great time of year to begin a program like KFB. All the little farmer's markets are starting to pop-up like daisies in a field. It's the one thing I miss in the wintertime.

Now, I'm not totally opposed to the big supermarket chains as they have their own niche to fill, but there's just something disconcerting about overpriced food! I don't like how they seem to take advantage of everyone. The farmers suffer because the supermarkets don't pay them enough to grow the food, the town suffers because the supermarkets usually don't support local farmers, the environment suffers because the food has to be transported large distances, and the consumer suffers because they jack up the price to outrageous levels.

But then comes summer and the playing field starts becoming level again.

On Saturday, the huge Regional Market is open for business. That's the first day of the week I buy my vegetables. (Amazing how my food buying has synced up to our diets and exercise "week".) The Regional Market is doing quite well this year as they have had to expand to allow more farmers to sell their produce.

Next will be Tuesdays, as that is when the Downtown Market opens. (Only a week to go before it begins!) It's quite a bit smaller than the Regional Market, but you can still get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. As an extra bonus, it is close to where I work. A quick ten-minute walk gets me to the market, another ten minutes to do two circuits around it (one to view the produce, the second to buy) and then a final ten minute walk back to work with my purchases. Exercise and food! Woo-hoo!

Then there is the CSA that we belong to. "CSA" stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The basic idea behind it is that we pay a local farmer a certain amount of money in March with which he buys everything he needs for that season's crops. Around June we go to a nearby pick-up point weekly to get our share of the produce that he has grown. It's a little hard to plan meals around this type of program, but I will say that it's fun to get a box of food that you have no idea what's in there until you open it up. I guess you might call it "Vegetarian Christmas".

That's the beauty of summer—fresh food for three to four months. If I work it just right, I will not have to take a step into a big chain supermarket for much of this time. What a way to "stick it to da man"!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

13 - Bad

It's confession time and I need to come clean. I was really bad today.

Over the past few nights I haven't gotten much sleep. Usually I'm in bed somewhere between 10 and 11pm and up around 6am. It typically gives me about 7 to 8 hours of sleep which makes me well-rested the next day, allows me the morning energy to do the j-ropes and 8-Minutes Abs (pre-KFB) and kept me revved and strong throughout the day.

That hasn't happened since last week Wednesday. Visiting a night-owl friend in Pittsburgh created many late bedtimes. Returning home to kitties who want attention was another sleepless night. The past couple of nights I've been arguing with my computer until midnight or so. None of this would be all that bad if I was able to sleep in, but I'm not. I still wake up at 6am.

By today, I was very groggy and sluggish. I also have one of those desk jobs where you sit in a cubicle for much of the day. Throw in the fact that there were tons of leftover snack food from parties and meetings yesterday—I'm sure you can see the recipe for disaster here.

The upside is that I didn't do as much damage as I possible could have to my diet. The downside is that I allowed myself to partake of the chips, cookies, brownies, and stuff which really isn't on the meal plan. (I don't think anyone at my workplace knows how to make healthy snacks.)

So, regardless of the fact that my computer still wants to pick a fight with me, I need to let it go and get a good night's sleep so I can feel energized, rested, and ready to battle any nasty temptation that comes my way.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

12 - Plug

Today the temperature got even worse! It was in the low 90's around here and set a whole new record. Typically this time of year tends to hover around the high 60s/low 70s in this area. This was just insane!

I did all of my exercises inside, with multiple fans running in a desperate attempt to keep the air circulating. I still sweated like a pig, but every little bit helps trying to stay cool.

I find that I have to be cautious when doing the Side Kick. If I try to be overzealous and tilt a little high, I will get a slight twinge in the groin area when I go for the kick. It goes away immediately when the leg returns to the standing position and if I lower my aim a little bit, it's fine. So at the moment, I can give someone a good, strong kick to the knees.

One of the downsides I've found is that sometimes it's hard to figure out how to do some of the flexibility positions properly. There are moments where I'll be staring at the little pictures trying to see exactly how to get into those stances. For example, the Backbend on today's sheet. I see that Patrick is bent backwards and he has his hands on the wall, but exactly how far away from the wall is he? I encountered the same question when doing the Wingspan a couple days ago.

Luckily for me, I have a tool that helps figure out the answer to some of the questions I have on the poses. It's called the Knowledge Worker's Survival Guide: Posture by some guy named Patrick Reynolds. (Yeah. I know. Shameless product plug.)

It's loaded with lots of good information about muscles, and posture, and flexibility, and blah-blah-blah; however, the part I'm finding most useful are the sections it has flexibility exercises. A number of the poses there are the same ones that we're doing now!

The nice thing about the Knowledge Worker's Survival Guide: Posture is that there's some good description about how to get into the pose, what's the correct and incorrect way to hold it, and—best of all—bigger pictures.

Although it came out after my PCP days, it has helped me over the past few months with one exercise that I never quite got while I was on that program: the Pistol Squat. I would stare and stare and stare at that workout sheet and I never got the same feeling that everyone else seemed to have with that exercise. With the Knowledge Worker's Survival Guide: Posture, I finally figured out what I was doing wrong (I was lifting the heel of the leg I was balancing on).

This has been a great resource for me these past few days to get into as close to proper form without a yoga teacher standing there to pull and prod your body into position. I'm lovin' it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

11 - Hot

And so the heat wave begins with higher than normal temperature in this are for this time of year. Yesterday I did the exercises indoors and by the end I was feeling like this:

Since the inside of the house was warm (mainly because my partner doesn't want to turn on the air conditioning yet), I decided that I should take my exercises outside. And, if only to complicate things even further, I was simultaneously making dinner on the grill. (Once again, my partner. If it's warm in the house, he won't let me use the stove or oven. Plus he's already begun his complaining that I'm not making dinner for him because I'm on KFB. It's just a repeat of the complaint he gave while I was on PCP. I swear the guy is helpless!)

It's been a while since I did the j-rope outside, and boy did it ever take me a while to get use to a different surface. I tried doing it in the back yard, but that was a no-go. I ended up jumping in the driveway. It was better, but still not the greatest. Let's just say it wasn't my smoothest jumps in a while.

I did the leg swings and Horse Stance outside, the rest of the strength exercises inside, then back outside again for the punches and kicks. By this time dinner was ready, so I brought the food inside and finished off with the flexibility sets.

I'm finding Down Dog a little hard. Part of it is because I can't see what my form is like, but I'm sure it's nowhere near a perfect arch as the picture. I think it's a bit more rounded. The other part is that I'm not able to get my feet flat on the floor yet, which I bet is throwing things off.

Down Dog Twist is a whole other kettle of fish! Trying to balance on an imperfect Down Dog while adding that "throw the leg over" twist is just crazy! I did something that I think was close to the picture and boy did my muscles feel it. It's also a little hard to breath at that angle.

I'm still hot and sweaty, so I don't think being outdoors helped a whole lot. At least I'm sitting in front of a fan for the moment. That always rocks! Now if only ice cream were part of the menu....

Monday, May 24, 2010

10 - Tiger

Last night I didn't get much sleep. The kitties were soooooo glad that we were home, they decided that they needed lots and lots of attention all night long. Not an hour went by without one of them purring in my face or gently nudging me awake so they could get petted. Happy kitties made for one tired daddy!

Morpheus is on the left. Murphy is on the right.

Sometimes it's amazing when the daily email mentions something that you've just noticed yourself.

When I do my punches and kicks, I face the fireplace that's situated in the living room and use some of the decorations as visualized "targets" to help with my coordination. Last night as I was doing my straight kicks I could have sworn that my legs were actually going as high as the mantle over the fireplace. Previously they only went as high as the top of the fireplace screen. As I did it more and more, I was sure that my kicks were higher. Of course, there's always that little niggling doubt in the back of the minds that says: You're imagining things. You probably were paying attention last week. Your kicks have always been that high.

Then came today's message, which says that we may start noticing our "leg swings getting higher and higher as the hip abductors and hamstrings are ballistically stretched dozens of times." Holy crow! I certainly was kicking as high as the mantle! That is awesome!! Totally freakin' amazing! Can't wait to see what else I'll be able to do.

Another message from Patrick indicated that our large inaugural was going to be split up into three smaller teams, coded "Leopard", "Crane", and "Tiger". When I looked at the list to find my name, I found that I had been put on the "Tiger" team. Immediately a certain tune started playing in my head:

Yes, I am a huge Power Rangers fan!

Go Team Tiger!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

09 - Late

Today involved a lot of lateness—late getting up, late breakfast, late goodbyes, late on the road, late lunch, late arrival, late workout, and of course, late going to bed.

Even after a long day on the road home, I still had the energy in me to do the exercises for today. It actually felt pretty good to stretch out everything after sitting behind the wheel of a car for an extended period of time. (We did stop about every two hours, but those itty-bitty little breaks really don't seem to do much.)

By the time I finished the meditation, I was more than ready for bed—well, outside of having to make a quickie entry for the blog.

Today's meal plan really wasn't all that hot. I kind of ran out of my packaged supplies for the weekend, so I fudged it a little bit. Nothing too bad, just a little extra on the carbs and a little less on the vegetables. At least I managed to have no carbs for the evening, so that was a bonus.

Now it's time for me to crawl into bed and get a good eight hours of sleep for a well-rested body. See ya!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

08 - Rain

I knew today was going to be a long one, so I wanted to get my exercises done in the morning, which in turn would free me up for the evening. Although I managed to do the j-ropes yesterday in the apartment, I decided that I really didn't want to challenge the thick carpeting a second time. Besides, our host slept in later and it just didn't seem right to wake him up with j-ropes. That left one option: to go outside and find a relatively level bit of sidewalk. (Pittsburgh is notoriously hilly, and our friend lives on one of them!) There was only one catch to the plan:

Yes, it was raining, but that was okay. Truth be told, it was relatively warm and it wasn't downpouring, which made the whole thing doable.

I quickly ripped off 4 sets of 150 jumps then went back inside to do the rest of the workout sheet. The strength exercises are still a bit easy compared to what I had been doing before this program, but I'm starting to feel the flexibility and agility sets. Still not as limber as I thought I was!

My eating was unfortunately very hit and miss, though. Had a breakfast burrito wrap that nicely covered all the bases, including a generous portion of veggies! However, since most of my day was spent at one of my famous SCA weekend events (SCA stands for Society for Creative Anachronism), I was outdoors most of the time, in the rain, without any sort of time-keeping device. This meant that I pretty much missed my lunch and both snacks.

On the plus side, I wasn't hungry and I got to spent a lot of catch-up time with friends I only see once or twice a year. I did manage to have a pretty early supper of a wrap with baba ghanouj and peppers with a side of hard-boiled eggs. (This was a tricky part. We're not suppose to have carbs in the evening meal, but since my supper today was actually far earlier than my usual time—around 4:30pm instead of 7:00pm—so I think I'm pretty okay as I didn't have any carbs afterward.)

The long day turned even longer as we didn't get back to our friends apartment until 10:00pm or so. Talk about exhausted! But it was a good, active day overall.

Friday, May 21, 2010

07 - City

Thankfully the day seven routine is pretty light. I spent most of the day shopping and touring the city of Pittsburgh, which included about four hours in the Heinz History Museum. It's six floors of all sorts of interesting things, which translates into lots and lots of walking!

The Heinz History Museum in Pittsburgh.

I had planned pretty well on food for the portion of the trip when I was on the road yesterday: lots of veggies, hard-boiled eggs, a little cheese, much water, and some carbs. The planning didn't necessarily carry over to today.

My partner and I were staying with a friend in his moderate apartment. It's plenty large for one person, but a little cramped for three. Once he got up, we were out the door for some breakfast and traveling about the town.

The trickiest meal of the day was supper. It's hard enough for a vegetarian to find a meals at most restaurants; it's even trickier when said vegetarian is cutting out all carbs from the evening meal. This is where Amel's Restaurant saved the day.

One of the specials for the night was a dish of grilled zucchini, artichokes, and beets in a balsamic vinegar. It was absolutely fabulous! I've always found beets to be a very tricky vegetable. It's hard to make it tasty without that dirty beet flavor coming through. But what Amel's did was divine! I now need to try and replicate it for my cookbook.

It was about 9pm by the time we got back to the apartment, and I still had to do my exercises for the day. Immediately I took over a little space in our friend's abode and did my 5 sets of 150 jumps. That was full of fail. I discovered that one cannot do the ropes on plush carpeting in a tiny space. The carpeting puts too much drag on the rope and I had to jump a little bit higher than normal in order to gain any clearance as it passed beneath me without it touching the rug.

On the other hand, I showed our friend how it's possible to jumprope inside. He's been on a healthy lifestyle kick and had bought himself rope but didn't think there was a space in his apartment to do it. Now that I proved it could be done, he's willing to give it a try.

Who would have thought that the guy with the bionic knees from a year ago would be showing someone else the ropes? Cool beans!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

06 - Trip

One of the things that I knew was going to happen, before I even started the Kung-Fu Body program, was that my summer was going to be full of travel. Some people might consider that fact to be a bit of a deterrent, especially when starting a new exercise regimen; I think of it as more of a challenge to be undertaken.

The first thing that made the Kung-Fu Body appealing was the fact that there are no resistance bands to be used during the program. I'm not adverse to using the bands, mainly because I use them all the time in my exercise routine, but I was having to do a bit of mental gymnastics trying to figure out how to use them in some of the locals I'll be in during the summer. I knew it wouldn't be impossible to use the resistance bands as long as I could do some MacGyvering to attach them to something. (There are rarely any doors in the outdoors.)

The Kung-Fu Body focuses quite a bit on flexibility and agility, which really don't require any extra equipment. All you need is some floor/ground and you're ready to work out. The other two components to the program are the jumprope and some strength building.

The jumprope is pretty easy to pack and meets the same requirements as the flexibility and agility—just some floor space. For the most part, the strength exercises don't require much equipment beside a pull-up bar and a chair. The chair is pretty easy to find in most places, and I'm sure I can find a suitable substitute when I'm on an outdoor adventure. The pull-up bar alternative may be a bit trickier, but that is something I'll solve when I encounter it.

Which brings me to my next item—traveling. Yes, today I will be leaving for the first of many trips this summer. It's time to test out some of my ideas on how to do the Kung-Fu Body program while on the road. I've got all my portable internet devices so I'll be able to more-or-less keep in touch. I'm also bringing a pad of paper and a pen in case I want to blog without having access to a good Wi-Fi signal. (In that instance I'll just upload the information later.)

So, here's to the first big adventure on my Kung-Fu Body journey!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

05 - Plank

Today saw the return of my old exercise buddy, the "Plank". Why I haven't seen that position since—let me see long has it been—oh yeah...last week. I bet you all were thinking I was going to say, "months" or "since I finished the Peak Condition program in October."

Strangely enough, "Plank" and I have become quite good friends since those days. I usually do the Plank stance about two to three times a week, 4 sets at 1 minute apiece as part of my post PCP maintenance routine. His reappearance after a week's absence has left me—well, a little unfulfilled.

Today's routine only called for 2 sets of planks for 20 seconds each. It wasn't enough to even cause a small bead of sweat to form on my brow. The same goes for the push-ups (only 4 sets of 8 reps coming from my usual 5 sets of "until failure") and the sit-ups (4 sets of 10 reps as opposed to my usual of 4 sets of "until failure").

But this is only Week 1. If there's anything I can be assured of, it'll get a lot harder. Bring it on! (Did I just say that? If you told me a year ago that I would be an exercise junkie, I would have laughed right in your face. See what you did, Patrick!)

I discovered that I have no problem with my stance for the Agility exercises. According Patrick, you should always have your weight on the balls of your feet. Amazingly enough, that's how I often stand and sometimes walk! Granted, I also tend to be a bit bouncy while on the balls of my feet, but for some reason I don't like to be flat footed. Never have—not even as a child. I always had to be on the go, much to my parent's exasperation.

So far, the daily routines don't take me much more than about 45 minutes to complete, and that's with the 20 second rests in between each set. I remember when doing 500 jumps use to take me 45 minutes! It's funny how your body reacts differently to situations once it's fit. What once was hard, is now a piece of cake. God, how I love that feeling!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

04 - Meditation

I am so liking the meditation part of the daily routine. I've always wanted to get into a regular practice but was never quite sure how to do it or work it into my day. There have been moments where I would try to sit and be, it just never turned into a daily thing. This is one area that I would like to see become a habit.

I have no idea if I'm doing it right or wrong. I've read many different opinions on how one should meditate that after a while it all becomes confusing. So I'm just doing whatever feels comfortable and relaxing to me.

I like meditating with my eyes closed. It provides one less thing to distract me from what is going on in the world and helps put me into a sort of dream-world. It's fun to just sit there and listen to all the sounds that exist and never really pay attention to during my waking hours.

The goal this week was to just pay attention to what goes on in our heads, to experience the chatter of thoughts in our minds. I don't know exactly what I'm looking for. I sit there and wait. Sometimes I think there's a thought, but I'm never to sure if it was really a thought because it's too fleeting to catch or it gets interrupted with another thought where I'm specifically thinking, "Hey! That was a thought! Or was it?" Eventually it seems I get caught up on thoughts discovering thoughts that were themselves discovering thoughts that had discovered thoughts. It's a vicious cycle.

I never seem to be really thinking of anything while I'm meditating. There's no puzzles going on that need solving, or situations that I'm trying to work through. I just seem to sit there listening to the world around me and blinding accusing things of being thoughts.

Then the five minutes are up. The time always seems to fly by just when I think I'm getting into it. It is the one part of the program that I look forward to each day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

03 - Sore

It took a couple of days; however, the muscle soreness has finally made it's appearance. It's located in the middle of my back, right between the shoulder blades. I've located a muscle I don't think I hit before. Lucky me.

The day started out quite beautifully, albeit a little chilly. My morning routine has been feeling a little wonky because my jumproping has moved to a different time slot, so being inspired by Patrick's post, I decided to walk to work today. I got myself ready, put on my sneakers, packed my things in my backpack, and headed out the door.

Have I ever mentioned that I live on a hill? A big hill? I mean a really big hill? The kind of really big hill where you can look out over the city that is nestled in the valley below? Probably not. The next time I decide to walk to work I need to take that little fact into consideration.

An hour later I arrived at my place of employment. I was feeling great, had a sense of accomplishment, and full of energy to begin my day. Yeah. None of that lasted. My legs, although very fit, began to ache a little. The energy slowly evaporated until I was sleepily nodding at my desk in a sort of lethargic stupor. The sense of accomplishment faded away under the piles of paperwork. I was a hurting puppy.

As lunchtime rolled around, I knew I needed something that would rev up my engine again. So I did the same thing I do every day at lunch—I took a walk. Needless to say, when I left work I immediately went to the stop and took the bus home.

I had enough energy left to do the routine today, although my leg muscles were a bit sore and my form was a tad off. On the other hand, I feel thoroughly exhausted and I'm sure I'm going to get a great night's sleep, so it all works out in the end.

This is definitely a whole new ballgame.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

02 - Change

Last night I was bad. I stayed up way to late socializing with my friends, ate too much food, drank a little...well, tea (I very rarely drink alcohol), and was pretty much exhausted this morning. All-in-all a good time was had. (And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my usual one night splurge. Yeah, I'm a total party animal!)

As I blearily opened my eyes, I totally dreaded getting out of bed because that would mean putting on my workout clothes, grabbing my jumprope, and jumping. That has been the morning routine for months regardless of how much energy my body has. (Of course, if I start jumping with low energy, sure enough it will recharge my batteries and I'm good to go for the rest of the day.)

Just moments before I threw back the covers and set my feet on the floor, I remembered that I'm on a whole new program! That was old PCP. This is new KFB. Right at the moment I don't have to do that as the jumps are with the routine. With a big grin on my face, I snuggled deeper under the covers for another bit of shuteye.

However, I have to say that it feels all wrong. For months I have been following a certain routine and I have to say I was pretty comfortable with it. Now this thing comes along and starts shaking my world! What's up with dat?!?

It's that funny little thing called "change". Sometimes a change is needed in order for progress to continue. Once a body gets use to doing something consistently without any change to the routine, growth kind of stops happening. Muscles won't grow and develop, the body falls asleep, the minds starts to wander, and pretty much you hit the plateau from hell.

Thus comes in our buddy, "change". It's something new, something different. The body suddenly awakens with a "what's going on?", muscles begin to develop again, the mind becomes more focused on the task, and once again you're on the road again.

I just need to remind myself that sometimes you need to take a few steps backward in order to get a good running start for the next leg of the race. Yes, things feel very—unchallenging is pretty good word right at the moment—but I know that the running start is about to occur soon. This is only a rest area on the journey.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

01 - Expectation

I will admit that at first I didn't know exactly what to expect. Sure, I was reading all the words that Patrick sent out (flexibility-blah-blah-blah-strength-blah-blah-blah-kung-fu-blah-blah-blah-meditation-blah-blah-blah...) and I became really excited to begin the Kung Fu Body program—but what exactly did it entail? There were many different ideas in my head, each one more fantastic than the prior. It almost felt like the anticipation for Christmas!

Today the wait ended. Today began the inauguration of the Kung Fu Body. Today I finally got to see all the stuff I had been hearing about. I excitedly opened my email and looked over the first day's exercise list—and was a little surprised at what I saw there.

I have most of this past year living the Peak Condition life. Every morning I jumprope for 15 minutes (which equals a little over 2,500 jumps) and 8-minutes abs with the evening full of resistance band work and tons or strength building. When I read the first exercise was only 4 sets of 100 jumps, I'm pretty sure my face did one of those cartoon character double-takes. "Only 400?" I said to myself. "I can do 2,500! Where's the challenge in that?"

In fact, the number of push-ups and sit-ups just felt very low. "My god," I continued on, "this is going to be too simple."

Then the rational side of my brain began speaking. "Yeah. Enjoy it for now, bozo. You know how it this thing goes. Last time you found it difficult because you were really, really, REALLY out of shape. Now that you're looking good you think this is going to be piece of cake, huh? Patrick don't work that way. Just you wait until you get to that flexibility section, then you tell me how easy it is!"

Okay, so my rational side gave me a smack-down, and my body just confirmed it when I hit the flexibility routines. I'm a little flexible, but there's much room for improvement. Actually, there's probably going to be improvements in a lot of areas—which will mean there will be plenty of straining, sweating, and who knows what else. So I might-as-well enjoy the easy for as long as I can. It may not come again for another 90 days.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

00 - Start

This is where E is going to kick it kung-fu style.