Saturday, April 29, 2006

Kurt Angle 3 I's

Kurt Angle, WWE Superstar, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Pittsburgh native, attributes his success to practicing the 3 I’s:

Intelligence, Integrity, and Intensity

I have come up with my own 3 I’s, but to out do Kurt Angle, I have 4 I’s:


Let me go into detail about each I:

Insomnia – The amount of sleep I get every day plays a role in how tired I am to complete my workouts. I am a night owl. I like to stay up, watch David Letterman and Craig Ferguson, surf the Internet, play a video game, etc before I go to bed. After work, I take a nap, and then workout. Sometimes I nap too much and sometimes I am still sleepy after my nap, so I skip working out. I can only work out 2 days in a row, then I take one day off. If I work out 3 days in a row, my body gets too tired. Sleep/rest is essential to let my body recuperate from the stress of working out.

Intake – I watch what I eat. I eat lean, healthy foods: oatmeal, chicken, fish, vegetables, yogurt, and very little red meat. However, I do like to cheat. I like Subway, but I also love their cookies. I have to decrease my intake if I am not working out.

Iron – muscle is more efficient at burning calories than fat. I seem to have problems exercising each body part at least once a week.

Inhale – cardio/aerobics is essential to burning fat. I have not been able to work up to an amount of cardio that I could really benefit from.

For me, it has been difficult to maintain all 4 I’s at the same time. Usually, I can maintain 3 of the I’s, but I always miss out on the 4 th I.

Kurt Angle may have 3 I’s, but I have 4 I’s. You SUC# !

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why I Workout

I am on a self imposed “Out of Commission” status until I can get a diagnosis on my right wrist. I have scheduled an appointment with a hand surgeon for next Monday. When I get into a slump where I do not want to workout, I remind myself why I need to workout. Here are my reasons:

1. Self discipline, structure – when my life seems out of control, working out gives me discipline and provides structure when I need it.

2. Stress reducer – Working out helps me relieve stress. I take out my frustrations on myself my building and shaping my body.

3. Endorphins – Working out is supposed to release endorphins, your body’s natural high.

4. Knee rehab – I had a meniscus tear in my left knee about 10 years ago. A self induced overuse injury from working out was the likely cause. I had arthroscopic surgery to fix it. The knee feels unstable if I do not exercise it regulary.

5. Exercise induced asthma prevention – I discovered that I have exercise induced asthma, so I need to do cardio on a regular basis.

6. Goal setting – Working out lets me set goals for my physical fitness level.

7. Mental stimulation – I have found out that mind seems to focus better when I am working out regularly.

Today, I worked my abs and did cardio on my exercise bike. Later.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Weekly Review - 4/16/2006

I only completed two aerobic sessions and mowed the lawn one day. I have taken a break from lifting to see if it helps with my right wrist. I am depressed and unmotivated because of my injury.

I received the results of the x-ray on Monday and no fracture. I was kind of surprised, I thought for sure I was exhibiting all of the symptoms of a scaphoid fracture. I am both relieved and disappointed at the same time. Relieved that I do not have a fracture. Disappointed because my problem has not been diagnosed yet.

The range of motion in my right wrist is very limited compared to my left wrist. Something is still wrong. I have not decided yet which hand surgeon I will call to schedule an appointment. The sooner I make the appointment, the less I will worry about the unknown.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Scaphoid Fracture - Unofficial

Unofficially, I believe I have a scaphoid or wrist fracture. I have not received the official results of the x-rays yet, but everything I have read leads me to believe this. It usually happens when you fall and try to brace the fall with your hands. At first, I could not remember when I fell down. I then realized that I had fallen on 3-8-2006. I was walking on an uneven, unpaved parking lot. I lost my balance, fell forward, and used my hands to brace the fall.

If the fracture is minor, I will just need a cast for two to three months. If the fracture is really bad, I will also need surgery to have a pin placed in my wrist. Recovery is long because the blood flow to this area of the hand is not ideal. I hope I just need a cast with no surgery. Due to the length of time my wrist will be in a cast, I will probably need physical therapy later to re-strength the muscles in my hand and wrist.

It is hard to accept that my wrist is fractured. I thought this only happened to older people with weak bones. I guess my body is no longer as young as it used to be.

This really puts a dent in my workouts. How I am going to keep my upper body in shape? I will be able to keep my legs in shape and concentrate on my cardio. I can not believe this, another setback. Damn!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Wrist Woes

I saw my family doctor yesterday about the pain in my right wrist. She was not able to come up with a definite diagnosis. I was asked if I had injured my wrist somehow. The only thing I could think of is that I may have tweaked the wrist while weight lifting. I was told to use a wrist brace for a week, take Advil every 6-8 hours, and to get an X-ray. If the pain does not go away after a week, I should go and see a hand surgeon.

I went to UPMC Passavant today and got an X-ray on my wrist. No results yet. This is the first time I have been to UPMC Passavant. I moved back to the Burgh four years ago to the North Hills after leaving 14 years ago from the South Hills. I was born in St. Clair Hospital, so it is the only hospital I am used to visiting. This was my first visit to UPMC Passavant, so I was not quite sure what to expect. Anyway, here is my souvenir wristband. There is my birthday. Mark it down so you can send me a birthday card. Later.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cookie Monster

Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! Tasty! My mother made these over Easter Weekend. On the one hand, they are delicious. On the other hand, it really does not help me keep in shape. There goes the diet. The cookies do have oatmeal in them, so they do have some health benefits.

Route 8 Accident Reconstruction

Route 8 was closed after work today so officials could reconstruct the accident that took place last week. Everyone wants to know what happened. Filing charges against anyone or company will not bring back the father and his two children. Hopefully, it will bring about change so an accident like this will not happen again.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Weekly Review for 4/9/2006

Last week was not my best week as far as quantity of workouts completed. I did not even log anything for last week. I believe I completed one real workout with weights. My first lawn mowing of the year does count as a workout. It took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to mow my lawn. The front yard is level, but the back yard is hilly. I have a self propelled mower which helps, but it is heavy. On the flipside, one thing I am not good at is getting enough rest between workouts. I had plenty of rest last week. I essentially took last weekend off from working out to spend with my mother and two brothers. I made an appointment to see my family doctor on Thursday about my carpal tunnel problems. I am predicting I may need to get an x-ray or an MRI done on my right hand. I am hoping for a positive diagnosis which puts me on the road to recovery. I have switched all of the mice at my home and work PC's to the left side of the keyboard to see if this will help. I will be a lefty for a while.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Traditions

One of my family's Easter traditions is to color Easter eggs. My younger brother, myself, and my older brother are all over 40 years old, but we still color Easter eggs. Here is a pic.

Another Easter tradition we have is to visit the cemetary on Easter Sunday to place flowers on my grandmother's grave. We also place flowers on the grave of my older sister that I never knew. My mother never talks about her. I am curious, but I respect my mother's privacy. My sister was her first child, and she only lived one year (according to the gravestone). We have done this for as long as I can remember.

In February 1988, my father passed away from colon cancer. Since 1988, we have also placed flowers at my father's grave.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Spring is Here

A couple of things tell me that Spring has finally arrived:

1. My daffodils are in bloom.
2. The cherry blossom tree in my yard has bloomed. It does not compare to Washington, DC, but it is my little festival.
3. I mowed my lawn for the first time this year.

Later Bloggers.

Route 8 Freak Accident

Last night, I got caught in a traffic jam on Route 8. I thought that maybe an idiot driver had caused an accident. I was worried about getting home early enough so I could either mow the lawn or complete a workout. I sat in traffic for about 45 minutes wondering what happened. Eventually, another motorist walked through the line of vehicles and told everyone that the Police were going to close Route 8. We had to turn around. He also said 3 people had died. Wow. Later that evening on the late evening news, I heard the details of the accident. I happened around 5:00PM. A wood chipper came loose from a dump truck that was hauling it, and slammed into a minivan. A father and two of three triplets lost their lives. After some reflection, I have the following thoughts:

1. Life really is precious. I was only about 10 minutes behind the site of the accident. If I had left work 10 minutes earlier, I could have been in the accident.
2. Me worrying about getting home on time was trivial.
3. I did not know the man involved in the accident, but I do know that he was a dedicated father. The Post Gazette featured the father in an article in 2004 about fathers who get involved with their children. Mr. Morrison actually took a one year educational sabbatical to spend time with this children.

I extend my thoughts and prayers to the Morrison family.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

CTS-not the Cadillac

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, not the vehicle Cadillac CTS, has been bothering me recently - both physically and mentally. I exhibited mild symptoms back in December when I got my annual physical. Since March it has gotten worse. I am right handed, so my right hand is affected. My left hand is OK. I do not have full range of motion when I bend my right wrist. There is pain on top of my right wrist. I started getting back into my workout routine in March, so I wonder if the pain in my wrist is related to my workouts. It is starting to get inside my head also. I am worrying about it. I will have a long weekend break from any keyboard activity when I visit my Mom this Easter weekend. I have checked to make sure that I have my new health insurance card so I can schedule an appointment with my family doctor. Guys like to procrastinate about health related issues. The CTS is a cool looking vehicle. I first time I saw it was in the Matrix Reloaded movie.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sam's Club

I skipped my workout today. Stayed up to late last night, woke up earlier than normal for work, and am sore from Monday's workout. I went to Sam's Club after work today and bought some Balance Bars, Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars, and this Rotisserie Chicken. Tasty! I am a healthy eater and always look at food labels for fat content. It is recommended to eat more frequent small meals than to eat a few big meals during the day. This keeps regulate your metabolism throughout the entire day. The food bars help with this. The chicken will last me about four dinners. It is one huge bird. I was good and only ate the skin from one wing. This pic is from my Canon A520 that I bought for myself as a Christmas present. It is OK to treat myself now and then. I am very pleased with the picture quality. You will see more pics in future posts.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Review for Week of 4/3/2006

I only completed three workouts last week. This included a total of 30 minutes of cardio, not enough to make me happy. I also missed exercising two bodyparts, chest and biceps. I actually skipped 2 days between workouts twice last week. The bodyparts I try to hit are quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, triceps, back, biceps, and abs. I have tried 3 and 5 a week workouts. 3 workouts a week to hit all bodyparts makes for 3 long workouts. I have also tried 5 workouts a week, but this requires a strong commitment to keeping a strict schedule. I have not tried 4 workouts a week, but this seems to be the best choice. It would go something like this:

Day 1-triceps, biceps
Day 2-quadriceps, hamstrings
Day 3-rest
Day 4-chest
Day 5-back

Day 4 and Day 5 can be changed. Day 2 and Day 3 would provide adequate rest for me to hit either chest or back on day 4.

Abs would be done when I had extra time.

As far as cardio goes, I have only been doing 10 minutes during each workout. I would like to increase this gradually.

I started this week on a good note. I rested yesterday, did my chest workout today and 10 minutes of cardio. Good night all!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

What is this all about?

I started working out in 1989, when I was 26. At the time, it was just something to occupy my time after work. It changed from just something to do after work to an actual lifestyle. Exercise, diet, and being healthy became a regular part of my life. I would not call myself an exercise fanatic, just someone who lives a healthy lifestyle.

I have gone through physical transformations over the years. I only weighed 135 lbs when I was 26, and hit my “peak” in my late twenties and early thirties, hitting the scales at 165 lbs. Since then, I have gradually shrunk. Now, approaching my 43 rd birthday, I weigh 152 lbs.

In addition to the physical changes, I also grew as a person. I became more confident (not cocky), and developed a high level of self discipline, goal setting and patience. Working out has given me an identity, shaped my personality, and defined the way I live.

For the past several years, I have wondered if I have reached a mid life crisis with my workouts. It is more difficult for me to stay motivated. Work and life responsibilities seem to disrupt my intended workouts.

What has changed since the glory years of my late twenties? That is what this BLOG is all about. Plus, I would like to meet fellow Pittsburgh Bloggers out there.