becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


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achievement unlocked.

yesterday began Phase 2 of my STV training cycle. i did some measurements in the morning to see what changed and what didn’t over the past four weeks/Phase 1. in a nutshell: shoulders grew an inch. body weight and body fat went down. pretty much everything else stayed the same/only shifted marginally.

then at around 8am yesterday i got a text from my coach: “we’re moving heavy weight today. get ur mind right, if everything goes as planned we walk away very happy.”

i walked into the gym that afternoon mostly excited, and a little nervous. maxing always makes me jittery. we warmed up and got in the rack. did some open bar work, then a triple at 95, double at 135. from then on, singles: 165, 185, 205. my PR is 215, which i squat at the georgetown classic last month.

so then this happened: i bring you, my first two-plate (225#) squat!

after that we did another single at 225, then one at 235. that one was definitely a max effort/grind, but my favorite part is my dorky laugh at the end because it really did feel like the longest lift on the planet.

after that he stripped off the 5 and one 45 from each side and said, “now we’re gonna prove a point. you’re gonna squat this for a set of 20.” and i wish we had video of it because when i racked it i literally melted to the ground and laid there panting and laughing and unable to undo my belt but not caring because what just happened.

in summation, yesterday i:

  • squat two plates
  • officially hit the 100# mark on my back squat, in under a year (in july 2013 my max was 135#)
  • proceeded to squat my july 2013 max for a set of 20
  • went home and ate an entire pizza

watching the videos i can definitely see where my bar placement and form still need work, but i’m pleased with my improved ability to squat into the bar, keep my knees driving out, and just my increased mid-back strength overall. plus i’m not tapered and have no knee wraps or even sleeves on. tapered and wrapped i should have a 250 in me somewhere!

while i was laying on the floor laughing and gasping my coach was sitting on the box next to me grinning like a fool. when i finally started moving he goes, “i’m not even gonna strip the bar. we’re just gonna leave that there, i don’t care. you own this gym right now.”

i was literally in a haze the rest of the evening. partially because my legs were stunned and i was anticipating debilitating soreness, but mostly because i was so dang excited and proud i could barely function.

and now i have my STV Phase 2 plan…today was a rest day, and tomorrow is a “beach body” day (aka “do whatever makes ya feel good”) and then i kick into Phase 2 on monday.

in a nutshell…life is good.

 

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breaking up with keto.

i had a really easy transition into ketosis. like…weirdly easy. few to no cravings. no fatigue. no debilitating DOMS.

after two months, then, it would stand to reason that i should have been far, far out of the woods.

i had mentioned to my doctor that the past few weeks i hadn’t felt quite right. not necessarily in a physical sense; just really on edge, snappy, unfocused, tired all the time even though i’ve been really good about getting my usual amount of rest…nothing life-threatening but everything annoying.

she took one look at me on thursday and said simply, “cut it. it’s not worth it.”

now to be clear, the caveat with me going keto as a means of seizure control was that if it made me feel like shit, i was done. my seizures are not (as of right now) life threatening, or even really lifestyle threatening. they are just a pain in the ass, and one that won’t go away.

but a strange thing happened once i went on keto. the longer i was on it, the more anxious it made me. i didn’t like feeling like i “couldn’t” eat or drink certain things. i didn’t like feeling backed into a corner. and i fucking missed being able to eat bananas, dammit.

but in all seriousness – it was starting to wear me out, mentally and emotionally. i’m long into recovery from my eating disorder, but that doesn’t mean that certain things still don’t reek of the “old” jenn. and keto was one of them. not that i think it’s a bad lifestyle choice for anyone else; but for me, it wasn’t going to work. because, as i’m coming to learn through trial and error, any sort of restrictive diet is just not acceptable for me any more. as soon as i feel like i “can’t” or “shouldn’t” eat something, the old crevice of my brain gets revved up.

keto forced me to start tracking macros again, watching little columns add up and turn green or red depending on if i was over or under my predicted intake. it was starting to drive me crazy.

my body is not a calculator, it is not a skin and muscle and bone abacus of nutrients. on any given day i am going to want or need or require different things, and i don’t feel comfortable in a lifestyle that tells me that, no, i can’t have some of those things.

so after eight weeks, keto and i have officially broken up. i feel the same physically, but the mental and emotional weight that has been lifted is astronomical. i feel much more at ease now. we’ll deal with the seizures if and as they come. i made a valiant attempt; it just wasn’t for me.

but after i ate some carbs yesterday i went ahead and squat 215# for three singles – so all has not been lost. : )


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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.

 


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look, it’s a me.

i’ve been AWOL yet this will still be short and lack substance.

it’s the last week of summer. i’m mildly prepared for teaching. TR @ 8am and MWF @ 9am, plus four yoga classes a week. thursday i’m killing a few dozen trees to print out syllabi and assorted worksheets. where did summer goooo??

training is going really really well. i sent in my registration for the meet, ad ordered my belt today. i don’t want to discuss the price; i’m telling myself it’s a lifelong investment, since inzers literally last forever. i still need to order my singlet and knee wraps, but i’m going to wait until my academic year paychecks start coming in, since they’re 8x larger than my summer ones.

speaking of training, here’s my deadlift PR from monday. i literally uploaded my first video to youtube just so i could show you guys.

notice the derpy smile at the end haha. it was my first day pulling sumo. and then a PR happened.

real writing soon, i swear.


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happy friday! i’ll leave you with this:

i PRed my deadlift today.

by 20 pounds.

i pulled a 225# deadlift. it was ugly and it was my third, laborious attempt (i get the bar off the floor and to the hang fine – my lockout is crap. need to work on upper back strength). but holy shit guys – 225 freaking pounds.

i also leg pressed (300+ for 3 sets of 10!) and did leg extensions and hamstring curls, and went for a run.

i have proceeded to eat everything since! a footlong chicken sub, a box of annie’s mac and cheese, a fruttare strawberry and milk bar, and a beer.

i love this day.