Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Whether stepping up my weight training or starting to run so I don't die like Pheidippides did after his run from the Battle of Marathon during the MCM in October, one word has been used a fair amount recently to describe my efforts: "Absurd."

In a country where over 34% of the adults (and 17% of the adolescents) are clinically obese, and another 34% are overweight...more than two-thirds of our country... being fat is the norm.

You know what? If being fat and out of shape is the norm, then being "absurd" not a bad thing.

I used to fit in that statistic, and if you use BMI, I still am by 0.2 points. Side note: BMI is bullshit. Body fat percentage should be used instead of height/weight calcs, but that's a rant for another time. At 6ft tall and 260+lbs, I was the epitome of the new norm. I lived my life being lazy and eating foods that were shitty nutritionally. It became habit.

"First we make our habits, then our habits make us." - Charles C. Noble

I would sit on my ass, play video games all day, and eat junk food. Don't get me wrong, I still game with the best of them, but instead of chips and fast food, I choose chicken and veggies. Instead of planting myself on my couch for the whole weekend, I get up and play football, lift, run....and then sit on my couch (don't worry, I shower first!). I changed my habits, and then my habits changed me.

I now make my habits to continually grow stronger, faster, and leaner. To not be average. To be the best I can. This means not being content and stopping just because I can pull the full stack on the lat pull down. That I can go a mile further than I could before. That, what used to be my max, I do now for reps. To always be making progress.

So I'll take it as a compliment. I'm completely absurd.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Let’s get one thing straight: I. Hate. Running.

Running around while playing football or soccer or doing wind-sprints – I can handle. In fact, it’s rather enjoyable, then. There’s a short term goal: sack the qb, get the TD, beat your opponent to the ball, there’s something usually within 5-30 seconds. What can I say; I have a short attention span.

Distance running, however, is the bane of my existence - I mean, aside from doing laundry - which is exactly why I’m going to run the Marine Corps Marathon.

Waithuhwha? Didn’t you just…

Yup. I just told you that I hate running with the fire of a thousand suns.

It’s all too easy to stick to the stuff you’re good at. For me, that’s lifting weights. You’re in your comfort zone. You’ll most likely get better and better at it, sure, and hey, if your paycheck depends on that skill, then by all means stick with it. For most of us though, fitness is a hobby, and complete mastery of a sport isn’t needed for our day to day. We get confident, perhaps overly so, in the things were good at. Believe it or not, there was a day not too long ago where I couldn’t deadlift more than 95lbs, I was benching only the bar, could only do 5 pull-ups. I sucked up my pride and worked at it. With the challenge, I grew stronger, I became knowledgeable, my confidence increased. The challenge is trying your hand at something that you suck at.

Enter: the marathon.

Sure, I can challenge myself to lift heavier, to get stronger, and get more reps. But functionally speaking, why would I ever need to leg press more than 700lbs? to do dips with an additional 200lbs strapped around my waist? to row over 300? I’m not competing in a strong-man, I won’t be pulling any 18-wheelers. It’s time to develop a new set of physical skills. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to keep lifting – I love the “holy shit, I just did that” feeling I get when I get a new PR too much…now I’m just going to get that from running a new max distance or keeping a quicker pace.

I'm going to become *gasp* a runner.

So what are you doing to challenge yourself?