becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


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9 weeks out – finding the drive.

today was the first day of a new, 4-week training block. i really enjoyed the last one, and i feel like my back and shoulders gained some strength and size. since it was a four day split i also enjoyed a little more flexibility with my three off days – i rock-climbed a few times, did some metcons, and once or twice just grabbed a platform after work and did some hang cleans to work on power and speed (my elbows, and really everything, are the opposite of speedy).

this past week didn’t go quite according to program. the girl i’m very much in love with and i called it quits; i’ve been sad as hell about it. it was the strangest, most loving break-up i’ve ever experienced, but i’m still so sad that it’s hard to move sometimes. and on monday i had to have a little surprise oral surgery, which led to more melting down because (a) i hate the dentist ANYWAY, (b) i wanted my mom, and (c) i now have a big-ass hole where my molar used to be.

so with all of that on my mind, i had a hard time hitting it in the gym with my normal energy. plus, my training partner and i haven’t been able to coordinate schedules all week so we both flew solo monday and wednesday.

but nothing is ever perfect. training schedules can’t be followed 100%, all the time. meal plans can’t be followed 100%, all of the time. i got in there and put in work, even on the day when i was still bleeding from aforementioned big-ass hole in my mouth or the day where i laid in pigeon bawling while i was doing my post-lift mobility.

but today i hit my projected squat opener for two triples. so there’s that.

 

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doing the thing.

sometimes relationships get rocky. even when you really love the person and they truly love you, and you both believe in one another and your abilities to make each other happy…shit still happens. and right now i’m with somebody who i really care about and with whom i’m willing to work through the shit.

the last month has been difficult for both of us. i went for about a week only sleeping 2-3 hours a night; i dropped nearly an entire weight class in ten days. we’re still fumbling; we’re nowhere near the couple we were. but we’re working and working it out.

and last night we spent an hour together doing what we do best: goofing around. we did a metcon (which i will discuss no further because i detest conditioning workouts!) and then hijacked a vacant wallyball court to do some acro and other yoga fun.

(if you’re just tuning in, the brick-shaped one on the left is yours truly. the very cute one in the orange is my yoga partner/thai food cohort/snuggle buddy/girlfriend.)

i wish i had the time and patience and general electronics knowledge to splice and cobble together all of my favorite snippets. we took about 20 minutes of video, and my favorite parts are where one of us bites the dust and we end up in a laughing heap of silliness.

but i did capture this image, because we both love being upside down:

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things are far from perfect. we’re hanging on because we believe it’s right. because even though everything seems mixed up and sad right now, when we see each other it all feels okay. and last night was good. i’m lucky to be in a relationship where the “good” is so good it makes you want to work through the not-so-good.

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happy hump day, everyone.

 


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meet prep: 11 weeks out.

we’re nearing the end of our first block of training. yesterday marked the beginning of Week 3; after Week 4 we’ll switch to a new block. since the reemergence of my appetite i’ve been feeling more comfortable with bigger weights (imagine that!) and not as frustrated.

monday we had 12×1 of our final bench warm-up. i hit 120# for all of my singles and they were smoke city. ideally i would like to open at 60kg (132#) on meet day, but i’m okay with opening at 57.5kg (126#) as well. we’re still far enough out that i can continue to plan and strategize!

but then we had 3×10 pause squats. my training partner is a former collegiate soccer player who then started CrossFit after graduation. she owns me in anything high-rep. i, on the other hand, am a tubby powerlifter who considers sets of five cardio conditioning.

we both did 135# for all of our working sets and i was straight f*cked up for three days. i literally got on my yoga mat at 5am on tuesday and thought to myself, “i can’t bend my knees so maybe i can just…freefall down to the floor…”

then yesterday we got to do something i’ve been waiting for for quite some time: we got to pull heavy! i worked up to my approximate opener weight (275# in the photo; will open at either 125kg/276# or 127.5kg/281#) for three speedy singles, then did 225# 3×3 with pauses at the knee. it was great to pull heavy again, and to be back pulling conventional too. i had good bar speed – especially for me, the world’s slowest lifter – and just need to focus on cranking my shoulders down.

275 pull january 2015

and then for fun we did a widowmaker on bench – video here! 75% of final competition warm-up, which had me right at 95#. the final rep was so long i wasn’t sure i would come out of it. and inb4 CHEATER ARCH. don’t hate on lumbar flexibility. brandon lilly even complimented it. so there.

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today we did accessory work, and i teach yoga for 2.5 hours tomorrow for some good ole active recovery. things feel good; a little beat up, but strong. excited to smoke the end of this training block and get going on the next one!


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we’re always all right

I win all the awards for worst blogger ever. Except that now that I have the WordPress app I’ll probably come around a lot more often. Sad but true.

Since acquiring the elusive and sought after status of Doctoral Candidate (Extraordinaire) I have managed to…do pretty much nothing productive. Unless you count copious amounts of cross-stitching, reading four books, and watching lots of Homeland and The L Word with my girlfriend as “productive.”

I spent winter break in Florida with my dad, at his new house right on the inlet:

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and my girlfriend joined me a few days after Christmas. The holidays without mom and now my grandmother too are still hard, but they’re getting more manageable every year. I had a really nice time, and as always am struggling with the whole “back to the grind” thing now.

Before I left I squat 185# for a set of 20. So that was something.

And now, here we are. I have a goal to have my dissertation proposal in a full draft form by spring break. One of my papers got accepted to a regional conference that will bring me to El Paso next month. And I’m competing in April.

Life is crazy. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but most of the time it’s great. Maybe I’ll come back here more often. Until then:

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Smile and laugh, guys.


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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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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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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.