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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hi hello i didn’t forget you!

spring break has finally arrived!! and with it will come posts and updates…just not tonight.

i have a very special post in the works right now, and i’m excited to share it with you all as it’s off my usual topical trend…but it’s not quite finished yet so you’ll have to sit in suspense!

but to tide you over, here are some highlights of life since i disappeared:

  • TEXAS WAS AWESOME. my paper was very well-received. i met amazing people. i ate my weight in fajitas. and i drank some killer margaritas. (hey that rhymed!)
  • we’re on spring break – did i mention that?! because we are. and it’s awesome.
  • i’m <4 weeks out from my meet. recent training in a nutshell:
    • squat 200# for a triple
    • squat 215# for three clean singles, belt no wraps
    • did my circuit max squat and got 315# with wraps and reverse bands!!
    • benched 125# for a triple
    • pulled 275# for a (very ugly) triple
    • feeling good about my numbers and my prep!
  • school is eating my soul. it’s my last semester of coursework and i am just riding the struggle bus right on into struggletown.
  • i’m visiting my dad and his new house next month!
  • i filed my taxes today and for the first time in my adult life i’m going to spend my tax return money. my computer is old and decrepit and breaks down more and more frequently, so i’m finally biting the bullet and getting a new one. so i’m not exactly blowing my tax return on something frivolous, but…my inner frugal queen is screaming.

there ya have it. bear with me as i get my feet back under me in the glorious span of 9 school-less days. i have three papers to write (finished one today) and then i’ll feel much more in control of my life!


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we had a 48-hour spring.

and now it’s cold again. kentucky weather is exhausting.

i can’t believe february is nearly over. i leave for san antonio in just over a week (AHH!), and spring break is breathing down my neck. not that spring break is a bad thing – it just usually is synonymous with “write all of my papers now since i haven’t been working on them throughout the semester like i should have.”

i have this week and next of training – Weeks 7 & 8 of my cycle – and then i start my deload the day i leave for texas. convenient how coach mapped it out that way, right? i take that week easy and we do a circuit max beginning on Week 9. then as we taper off my squat and pull, we start playing with my bench to figure out openers and attempts.

the deload will be nice – i’ve felt great this entire training cycle as far as strength gains and technique, but holy shit am i sore lately. i think the fatigue is just starting to catch up to me, and maybe the switch to keto has effected my muscle recovery a bit, who knows.

once we do my circuit max we’ll have a plan for openers, and some options for second and third attempts. i’m trying to not get my heart too set on a 700 total, but it’s definitely within reach if i keep my head in the game. (and keep my butt from kicking out from under me when i squat…)

keto-livin’ continues on. i’m planning on making cauliflower “mashed potatoes” tomorrow night so stay tuned – my next post will either include a recipe or a story about how gross it was! march means i need to get my body weight down to 60kg…wah. i’ll worry about that after i go to san antonio and eat a burrito the size of my face (keto or not, this may be my only time ever in texas and i’m having all of the tex-mex my little self can handle!)

hopefully the weather starts to warm up again – we had two reeeeeally nice days and i’ve been spoiled and would like them back, please!!

 


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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 week in review.

this week was Week 3 of our semester, but it was our first full, 5-day week.

mine began with somebody smashing the rear window of my car, in attempt to break in, at 4:45 monday morning. 213$ and some very lovely gentlemen at Safelite later, i had a new window that now bears a sign:

WAIT
if you’re planning on breaking into my car – and you would be the third person who has tried in six months – there are a few things you should know.
(1) i am a BROKE ASS grad student
(2) there is nothing cool in my car
(3) in fact, here’s a list of what’s inside:
     – protein bar wrappers
     – a book of clementi piano sonatas
     -crumpled receipts
     – one ice scraper (broken)
if, after reading this, you have decided that you still want something from inside my car, please COME FIND ME AND ASK. i will gladly let you in so that i don’t have to pay for yet another car window.

in all seriousness though – i was so angry. like, i realize i live in a shitty area, but really, people??

and when something like this happens, i get what i call an “anger spiral:” i get pissed at the asshole who damaged my property, but then i get angry at the person i lived with before who shit all over my roommate and i and left us scrambling for a place to live, leading to me ending up in this dump in the first place; i get mad at k for breaking my heart and leaving me feeling like i might as well stay in lexington since i had no reason to go anywhere else; and then i just get sad because none of this – my break-up, subsequently staying in lexington, ending up at the last living situation which landed me in the current living situation which resulted in my shattered car window – would have ever happened if my mom hadn’t died.

how’s that for a cognitive pathway??

besides that though – training was a little bleh this week. my bench has felt like crap lately and i don’t know why. i’m in the process of my weekly carb-up right now. last week’s made me feel kind of sick – my belly did NOT respond well to the reintroduction of carbohydrate! – so i’m trying different foods this week to see how it feels.

and for today’s Project: Going Keto revelation: keto pancakes. these are especially great if you’re craving carbs or something bread-like and sweet.

soften some cream cheese to room temperature. for every ounce of cream cheese, you’ll need one egg. put the cream cheese and eggs in a blender or magic bullet. add some cinnamon, and stevia/splenda/sweetener if you like, as well. blend away. what you get will look a whole lot like pancake batter. make them as you would pancakes! they’ll be more like crepes – thin, and they cook quickly – but they are 100% delicious and wonderful.

welp that was a bit of a lame “week in review,” but it hit the salient points! car got injured, found a new yummy recipe, and currently i’m happily guzzling milk and eating rice cakes. february is almost here!

 

 


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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.