becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


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All But Done!

as of this past monday, i am officially ABD. (which really stands for All But Dissertation, but All But Done works just as well…) passing my qualifying exams was the goal of this semester. i put training on the back burner; for the first time in my teaching career i wrote lesson plans the day of instead of the day or weekend before; i took advantage of the fact that we have no “official” dress code and my students have thus now seen me in jeans.

but it was all worth it because i passed and am one step closer to my PhD.

and now that it’s november and i can breathe a little, i can also sit back and reflect on what has gone down the past few months.

first off, i started dating this lovely lady (see below) in july. one of our favorite things to do together is acro yoga. i started out as our base but we were getting nowhere; one day we randomly switched and in five minutes i was up and in bow.

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this was day 2 of us messing around with me flying.

10405430_10101934463706025_3197186026047467459_nlast week or so? upside down bow. when i’m standing i feel like a very stout brick-human; here somehow i look like a spider monkey.

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can’t win ’em all!

besides that…training is going well. we’re continuing to un-yuck my squat technique. on halloween we worked up to a single at 225, did 3×2 at 185, and then closed with a widowmaker at 155. and then i tried to not puke or cry:

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my advisor instructed me to take this week off. no worrying about my dissertation, my proposal, next year’s fellowship…just relax. and i have been and it’s been great. i’m teaching 5 yoga classes a week plus i’m in the middle of a four-week workshop i’m running on yoga for athletes. i just booked my flight to see my dad for christmas, and the girl is meeting me in fort lauderdale for new year’s. i’m spending thanksgiving with her and her family.

sometime this week i want to come back and spruce this blog up. change the URL, maybe reorganize the pages, get some training videos up. i’ve got a instagram nowadays – @jenncanliftyou – if you want more photos of my silly faces and flexing and random acro things.

life is good. really good. maybe i didn’t get here quite the way i would have liked, but i’m really really content.

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change and things.

life is crazy. busy and stressful and insane and wonderful.

the semester has started; i’m teaching two sophomore classes. the faculty member i’m working under for one of them is a lot of fun and super laid-back. my adviser is on sabbatical this term so while i miss her intensely, she has gifted me her office as an office/study space in her absence. and it’s a beautiful thing.

my seizures have been out. of. control. these exams need to be over so they’ll hopefully settle down.

i moved. i’m sharing a house with three other people. i’m a 5-minute walk from my office and a 3-minute walk from a coffee shop, a fro-yo place, and a liquor store. aka i have moved to heaven.

 

10394511_10101746354408565_8498642638783457684_ni bought a bike. she’s fun.

i squat 275 with wraps last week. and then two days later i pulled 285 for six triples. i’m competing in two weeks, just for shits and giggles, and then our big meet is in december. if i can cut to a 56kg and not lose any strength i can put a serious scare in the national deadlift record.

i’m seeing someone. and it’s fucking spectacular. we’ve known one another for a few years, peripherally, and we started hanging out this summer. she’s somethin’. it’s a new relationship but i’ve got a good feeling about it. it’s relaxed. i laugh more with her than with anybody, outside of maybe my college best friend. we take things one day at a time. and today, things are awesome. hopefully tomorrow they will be, too.

my first qualifying exam is in 19 days. it’s my non-area exam but it has been eating up all of my study time lately. i think i’ll be fine. i have tons of outlines, i just need to commit them to something of a working narrative in my memory. then once that’s over i have exactly one month until my 8 hours of area exams.

this is a hurdle, a rite of passage. i’ll do well, but not without some tears and fits and  lot of caffeine, i’m sure.

this blog…i don’t know what i want to do with it. i have a new phone and i make training videos a lot now. i want to make a training-specific blog, especially now that i’m getting my technique de-bugged and starting to get more confident in my lifts.

we’ll see. it’s a process. everything is a process. change is inevitable. sometimes it sucks but damn sometimes it’s awesome.


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the whirlwind of semester four.

we’re only in Week 6 of the semester and i am already 100% worn out. teaching, grading, coursework, a pending conference, and all the while the lurking knowledge that this is my last semester of coursework and that qualifying exams are thus looming…it’s been crazy.

i’m also in Week 6 of meet prep, and there have been some awesome highlights since i posted last!

i squat 185# for a couple of triples not too far back, and then last week i got 200# for two solid singles! as we all know, my squat is my weakest lift, so this is all good news. at my last meet i opened at 171# and then failed 198# twice. the fact that i tripled 185 means that it’s a good candidate for a conservative opener, and knowing that i can bury 200 will make it easier to hit my second attempt, which will probably be 210ish.

i’m also pulling conventional for this four-week training block, to force me to engage my lats more. it has also meant that my posterior chain DOMS is out. of. control.

bench training has been great, too, after a few weeks of technique feeling weird. i had 6×6 on saturday and hit 110 for four of the sets and 115 for the other two. i opened at 110 in october and got red-lighted on technicals at 120 (twice). needless to say, since i can nail 115 for 6s, i’ll be opening probably in the 120-125 range.

i’m definitely getting stronger and that’s an amazing feeling.

as for Project: Going Keto – we decided that, since my body was NOT handling carb-loading well, to take it on a day-to-day basis. i skipped my friday carb-up last week, and then last night had a carb-y meal rather than devoting an entire day to it. 10-14 days between carb cycles seems to agree with my body better, and a single meal rather than several hours of carb-ageddon suits me better, as well.

i’m also currently scraping the last remnants of my cream cheese – sour cream – peanut butter frosting out of the blender. i didn’t put it on anything…just ate it with a spoon. also known as “i’m lazy and needed a shit-ton of fat to meet my macros.”

i miss blogging. i shall try and come back more often!!


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a little more “almost.”

wednesday was the first day of my last semester of coursework for my PhD. i’m that much closer to being dr. jenn! my advisor refers to me as “almost-doctor” now. : )

this week i also finished my first week on coach’s programming. i feel great – definitely working out some technique things while the weight is still light. we met today to begin Week 2 with some high-volume squat action!

1×5, open bar
1×5 @ 95#
1×2 @ 115#
5×6 @ 135#

everything felt strangely awesome. form is improving every week (which is strange to me since right now i’m actually only squatting on fridays!) and the new depth feels a lot more natural than it did last week. after squats we did some GHRs and reverse hypers for my posterior chain and some ball slams to release the hips. then –

“i want to push the sled,” i sez.
“don’t go too heavy,” he sez.
“in fact, do a 155# walk,” he sez.
“high push the entire time, just walk for five minutes, feet flat,” he sez.
“that sounds lame, but okay,” i sez.
…and then i did it and laid on the floor while my posterior chain exploded afterwards. for real, that consistent sled pushing is NO JOKE.

it’s been a good week. my students seem like they’ll be a lot of fun, i enjoy the courses i’m teaching, and the seminars i’m taking will be good, if not slightly overwhelming in workload. i was awarded funding to go to san antonio in march for my conference (yay!), and i feel much more adjusted to keto-living after another week.

i now have astronomical amounts of grading and lesson planning to do, since i have to work on my conference paper on top of all of my coursework this weekend. thank goodness we have that extra day off!

happiest of fridays y’all.

 

 


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throwin’ it back.

here’s a little throwback thursday for ya!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWEpu1qhKRM (sorry, i can’t figure out how to embed videos!)

this was nearly exactly a year ago, when my other yogi colleagues and myself made a promo video for campus recreation! here i am in my power yoga teaching glory. : )

i actually had a good chuckle watching this, and it’s crazy to think that was an entire year ago!

  • my hair, thank goodness, has grown out of that horrid awkward phase. (new friends, i donate my hair every couple of years. i was, and still am, growing out this particular chop.)
  • i was just beginning my training cycle for the derby half marathon when this was filmed. running ~3o miles a week; lifting minimally. you can tell the difference in my body – i’ve put on 10-15lbs. since then, my back is broader, my quads are bigger, and i’m slightly fluffier. : )
  • i hate my voice but i guess i’m stuck with it.

a lot can happen in a year! (just ask my hairdresser – she’s always marveling at how quickly my mop grows.)

i have some interesting/fun things on the horizon that i’m getting ready to post about. until then, finishing up these first few days back to the class and teaching grind, and getting ready for some heavy squats tomorrow!


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happy monday! let’s get conditioned.

happy monday everyone! we start classes on wednseday of this week, so meetings and bypass exams and such things are beginning to creak to life today and tomorrow.

i had to give some exams at 8:00 this morning, so i figured that would still leave me plenty of time to bang through my conditioning this morning – as long as i dragged myself out of bed on time and got to the gym right at six. ’twas a miracle, but it did indeed happen!

i spent about 10 minutes foam rolling and doing some dynamic warm-ups before i got going. today’s chosen path was:

5 rounds, not dropping the bar until completion of each round, of
10 deadlifts
10 hang high pulls
10 front squats
10 overhead presses
10 back squats

for me obviously the limiting factor was going to be the overheads – there are very few weights i can put over my head for 10 consecutive reps, especially when those reps come after my delts just got destroyed during high pulls.

i did this entire thing with just the bar and i swear i thought my shoulders were going to explode, and my legs were actually shaking. i took about 2min rest between each round. using just the 45# bar sounds kind of lame, but when you get right down to it, it’s a 250-rep metcon.

it was so so hard but so worth it. my heart rate was through the roof and i was sweating up a storm. (plus i had a sick shoulder pump going on, with some vein action, but that just sounds douchey so i saved it for last.) i did some hanging leg raises and then foam rolled some more, and was in the shower at 7:05.

not too shabby for an hour’s work! and i made it to the office to give my exams with enough time to eat my bacon and eggs before anybody showed up! : )

i’m actually home now for a few hours – i teach a yoga class later tonight. i have a few odds and ends to do, but i’m mostly just relaxing and tidying.

on the P:GK front, i’ve found myself getting hungry more frequently lately – more so than i was when i initially began keto. i think part of that is due to the fact that i got the plague/a head cold those first few days of my transition, which in effect killed my appetite. now that i’m healthy again, and back on a 5-day training schedule, my appetite has ramped up. once i add in classes and teaching, it’s only going to get stronger. which means i may need to re-address my macros. not a huge deal; it’ll be a lot of trial and error, i’m sure.

since i have no interest in being in caloric deficit (i’m okay riding around 60kg until march; then we need to start whittling me down towards 58kg or so and i can waterload out the last 2kg the week of the meet) i still think it’s interesting that my body has definitely changed a bit since starting keto all of 10 days ago. i did drop about 1.5kgs (of water i’m sure), and my muscle definition has begun to pop a teeny bit. (remember, i’m still a noodle.) but i can definitely tell in my quads and triceps that there are some baby lines peeking out.

not the goal of keto for me, but definitely a nice fringe benefit!

it’s crazy windy outside and i have a very drafty apartment, so i do believe that’s my sign to throw some coffee on. i hope everyone has an outstanding start to their week!


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set the world on fire.

be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.

– saint catherine of siena

the semester is 99% complete. all of my major papers (3 of them plus an article review, totaling over 10,000 words) have been handed in. i know that i received an A on one, so that’s a nice feeling.

i have 2 final exams to give and grade, and 2 to take myself. i should probably be studying right now, but it’s friday night and i’m exhausted so i’m going to be a lump and then hit the books (and recordings) hard tomorrow.

three weeks into the term i was crying on the phone with my father, convinced i wasn’t going to make it. classes were too much work, i was teaching two new curricula, i wasn’t smart enough, i was going to crack under the pressure.

yet here i am. as silly and cliche as it sounds, i find myself more and more every day. i bother less and less to hide my laugh, my personality. i don’t worry about being quiet, being contained. i realize that i am truly good at my craft; i’m a more confident teacher every time i step into the classroom. (both of my faculty evaluations came back with very positive remarks, which is wonderfully encouraging.)

oh and did i mention i’m getting strong as heck?! i benched 115# for 7 reps earlier this week; six months ago that was my 1RM. i pulled 235# for 7 last weekend; my 1RM in august was 240#. my squat continues to get more stable – i hit a triple and some solid doubles at 150# earlier this week, and did some banded box squats up to 175# bar weight/about 250# top weight with band tension.

oh and this happened:

(i know it’s the slowest pull ever. my right ring finger got caught in the seam of my leggings and i stalled for about 2 seconds so i could detangle it. but that moment when i lock out? pure bliss.)

i’ve been chasing a 300# pull for a while now. i pulled 281# pretty easily at the meet in october and i really wanted that next milestone.

i fly home on thursday. it’ll be a week in NY, then a week in FL with my uncles. when i get back to lexington i have another 2 weeks off before classes begin.

we’ll also start our meet prep training; my next meet will be the middle of april. if i stay healthy and keep progressing, it’ll be a great time had by all.

it’ll also be my triumphant (and very short-lived) return to 56kg-status. because right now your girl is lovin’ life at 62kg. a little bit of fluff never hurt anybody; i plan on doing serious work on the christmas cookies back home!

this semester has been one of growth (no pun intended har-har). definitely one of struggle, but mostly joy. every day has been about finding myself, even if only a little bit. i have found a field i love, a profession i adore, and a sport that fuels me and makes me feel alive.

i will, in the best of ways, set the world on fire.