Sunday, June 22, 2014

. . . . . .

I am still speechless thanks to the end of the USA - Portugal match.  For all the good that he did throughout the match, Michael Bradley made a huge mistake.  Turning the ball over where he did, when he did is inexcusable.

I can't even force my brain to produce more than that.  Heartbroken and crestfallen.

Hoping for a Portugal win, by less than 4 goals on Thursday.

393 days remain . . . .

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday night!

The wife and I are trying to get a little tradition going with our group of friends.  The concept is to once a month plan an adults only get together.  Doesn't have to be anything fancy.  Tonight is just a bar-b-cue at our house.  Really looking forward to it.

On that note, I am not going to spend much time on here as I have things to do to get ready.  I will share this though:  the one year old got a blue marker out today and decided to re-decorate the love seat a little.  Of course this got the wife all worked up, but really unless you're looking for it, you can't even see the dots.

Have a great Friday night and awesome weekend.

396 days remain . . . .

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday night Softball

I have, in the last couple of years, started playing regular softball with a great group of guys.  We started out ok.  Mainly we were just having fun and getting together.  The team has definitely come into shape over the last couple of years.  Each season we drop some guys who maybe aren't good enough and add replacements that are a definite improvement.  Leading us to being better and better each year.  The first year I was with the team we lost way more than we won.  Got a little better last year.  And now this year we are currently 10-2 and sitting in second place in our division.  Not too shabby.  By far the most important part, though, is the camaraderie with the guys.  It's great to get out there with the guys every Thursday night and play a little softball, talk a little smack on each other and drink a couple of cold beers.

Tonight was rough on me.  In the second inning of the first game (it's a double header league) my right calf cramped up on me something fierce.  Running and lateral movement was definitely affected.  Then in the second game I took a hard grounder off the inside of my right knee.  For a couple of innings, I had purple lightning bolts in the shape of a softball's stitching on my knee.  Suffice it to say, I will be moving with a little hitch in my giddy-up tomorrow.  Not looking forward to it.  The bright side is we went 2-0 and my wife and kids were able to take in both games.

Luckily my "warm-up" workout today was deadlifts and military presses.  Not sure how deadlifts would have gone down tomorrow after tonight's events.  Tomorrow is bench and row.  Looking forward to it.

397 days remain . . . . .

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

On Fitness

Without delving too much into the range of weak excuse making, one of the biggest obstacles to getting into the gym the past year has been the project I am immersed in at work.  Between the increased hours (overall) and the decrease of free time (lunch is typically had at my desk) throughout the day, opportunities for the gym have been few and far between.

I hear what you are saying, dear Internet Reader.  When something is important enough and a high enough priority, we will find time for it.  And the time for excuses, no matter how legitimate has passed.

To that point, I happened across an article the other day that I think will help me get back in the saddle gym-wise.  The fellas over at T-Nation published an article based on hyper efficient (and short) workouts.  This workout dovetails quite nicely with several of my beliefs regarding gym work.
  1. Stick to the basics - Be it simple supplementation or relying on the few core lifts as mentioned in the article, I believe simpler is better.
  2. Lifting heavy produces the greatest gains in strength and size.
  3. Crafting strength and size first will ultimately make it easier to shed unwanted blubber.
  4. Compound lifts that activate the largest muscle groups are key to stimulating your body to the kind of gains I would like to see
  5. Frequency is an oft-overlooked aspect of training.
Starting tomorrow with Deadlifts and Military press, I will be following the workout plan detailed in the article for a minimum of 12 weeks.  The 12 week countdown will actually start Monday.  I will consider tomorrow and Friday's workouts to be "warm-up and gym re-acquaintance" work outs.  Those of you that have braved the iron know that after a lengthy absence the first couple of days back are sheer agony of muscle pain and DOMS.  I look forward to and simultaneously dread it.

398 days remain . . . .

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thus It Begins

I realized today on my drive home from work that I might be at a milestone.  See I was thinking (again) about getting back into the gym.  My downfall is always the strong human desire for quick results.  When the results are not as quick as I would like to see, my motivation wanes.  When my motivation wanes, my gym appearances become less frequent.  Eventually they stop altogether.  Then after a fair amount of time I realize I need to get in the gym, if for no other reason than to keep pace with my wife.  Activate desire for quick results and the loop begins again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

This time the thinking started out a little different.  Instead of looking for the quick results, I began to ponder putting a plan in place to be in the "best shape of my life" for my fortieth birthday.  My 40th birthday is one year from next month.  Which lead me to think that I should be close to an even 400 days out from said event.  So I did what any red blooded American would do.  I Googled it:  "Days until July 21, 2015".  400 days to my fortieth happened to be yesterday.

I thought to myself "This is surely a sign from the Heavens above to do something with this".  So I did what any red blooded American would do.  I started a blog.  And here we are.  The aptly titled "The Drive to 40" blog.

"What is the point of all this?" you might be asking.  And the answer at this point is I don't know.  As of this moment in time my vision is for this to be a sort of daily journal/accountability exercise for myself.  Hopefully I pick up some readers along the way, but that is not my ultimate aim.  This is for me, not for you dear Internet Reader.

What's going to happen  in these 399 days that's going to be so ground-shaking that I feel the need to share it with the world?  The aforementioned pursuit of the "best shape of my life".  The acquisition of new positive habits.  The shedding of existing negative habits.  And anything else I might throw into these 9570 hours.  Let's step into each of those.

How does one define the "best shape of my life"?  I would venture that certain aspects of that are quite personal.  For example, my brothers pursuit these last couple of years has been crazy bulk and size, with a side order of strength.  Which is great, but hauling ass around the softball diamond leaves him pretty winded.  I will be striving for a more balanced definition of "best shape of my life".  I saw in Men's Health a couple of years ago a list of 10 (I think) markers that would indicate great overall shape.  I believe I still have this list written down at work.  I will have to come back to them in a future post.

Everyone wants more positive habits, right?  The hard part is always defining which habits one would add to their life to take themselves to the next level.  Common knowledge says that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit.  A little simple math will tell you that in 399 days I can add 19 new habits.  (Another sign from the Heavens)  As in the previous paragraph, I will circle back around to the topic of new positive Habits in depth in a future post.  For now, suffice it to say that new Habit #1 will be to blog right here every day.  So now we all have that to look forward to.

There are probably two kinds of people in the world: those who have negative Habits they would like to remove from their lives, and people who lie about it.  I will have to do some thinking on this, as I do not have an excessive amount of negative Habits.  Top of the list will be the removal of cursing from my daily language.  My language has gotten quite salty over the years.  Makes me sound like an uneducated hillbilly (no Arkansas).  And is really not a good example for my kids to follow.  It needs to go.

So there you have it, dear Internet Reader.  Step one on our 400 (399) day journey to my 40.  I do hope you'll stick around to see all the sights we'll see.