Tonight I’m posting a little late. I had a pretty hectic past couple of days. I got an offer to do a job so I have been focusing on that for now. I have been feeling like I am running out of good ideas to write about. I really find it awesome that some people can write full blog posts with thousand words everyday about a new topic. I’m going to try to refocus my attention on my blog more after I get adjusted to this schedule. I have to say I am disappointed in myself because I haven’t been hitting the gym like I planned I was going to. I guess every once in awhile I am going to fall down but I need to pull myself back up. I think of the best things to do is to revaluate situations and see where I need to put more time and effort. Tomorrow, I will look at my situation and try to come up with a new game plan. If anyone has any suggestions or tips with blogging, working out, or even life in general don’t feel shy to comment.
Last night, I wanted to go to one of the wrestling matches for the team state championships. I haven’t gone to any this season and knew there were going to be some really good ones this year. However, I was put in an awkward predicament. I knew where I wanted to go, but I had no one to go with. All of my wrestling buddies were at college so there was no way they were making the trip back to see a high school match. I had to make the decision whether or not I would stay home or go alone.
I started wondering to myself if it was weird to go to places alone where most people attend with family, friends, or even loved ones. This not only has happened to me last night, but has been a dilemma for some other situations. Going to the movies, going to dinner, and even shopping are things I might not have people to always go with. I hate going to a diner and sitting down at a booth alone as I look around and see friends laughing with each other and couples snuggling up next to each other. The worst is when the waiter takes the place mat away in front of you as if to broadcast to others that you are alone. At least at the movies, it is dark enough where you can sit alone and no one can really see you. It’s only bad if the theatre is packed and you are sitting in that awkward place situated in-between two couples. Not only is it horrible when they stare and judge all the food you are consuming for one, but then its just uncomfortable if you look around as the couples are holding each other and making out. So what are people going to think when I’m sitting alone in the bleachers while they are all talking with families and friends.
Fortunately, one of my friends was home and called me to go with him. It was one of the most intense matches I have ever been to as the gymnasium was packed to the brim with screaming parents and a chanting student section. People were pulled out by cops and the athletes actually really put it all on the line with their rivals. As I was sitting there, I was thinking that I still would have enjoyed the match just as much by myself. Yeah, I wouldnt have had someone to talk to during the matches and drive there with, but the actually match still would have been exciting and entertaining. And all this stuff I made up about people staring and judging me was probably just something I have made up in my head. If there is no one around and you really want to go somewhere, you should just go and enjoy it. In the end you’re not going to have someone around you all the time to do regular stuff. So why should it stop you from doing something you really enjoy and like.
There used to be a time in my life when everything going on would constantly be floating around in my mind. A minute wouldn’t go by were I’d be panicking about my next test, my plans for that weekend, or if I’ll make weight for my wresting match. If one little thing didn’t go the way I wanted it to, I would be totally thrown off and quickly go into crisis mode. This way of living definitely aged me a good few years. So I recently decided that I just don’t care anymore.
Now, I’m not saying sit in your room and do nothing with your life. That is not the message I am giving. I am saying put everything you have into something you care about. Don’t settle until you are a hundred percent confident in what you have done. If you do that, then you won’t be worrying about what will happen. You won’t be staying up until the middle of the night tossing and turning hoping you studied another for your test. All you have to do is give it everything you have, and whatever will happen will happen. The cards will fold the way they are supposed to be. This is how I will live my life now. I am not going to worry and panic about the minor things. I am not going to care about that kind of thinking. I am going to do everything I possibly can to do what I want. And however it plays out, is how it is meant to be. All I know is I did everything I could and that’s all I care about.
I have the worst luck when it comes to sleeping. I toss and turn in my bed all night just hoping when I open my eyes it’ll be morning. Instead, I look at my clock to find only two minutes have clicked away. I have tried everything from drinking warm milk to counting sheep. But nothing seems to help. I have been battling with this problem for most of my life. My days are just filled with tiredness and anticipation to come home and pass out. The earliest memory of this problem is most likely junior high. I was the biggest nerd when it come to school. I’d stay up all night just memorizing every line in my text book to the point I could recite every word. I’d do great on my test, but I would find myself passing out right when I got home. This set up a horrible sleep pattern for me where I would stay up the rest of the night after my nap, and then be tired throughout my whole day. It was destroying me and even crippling my ability to stay focus and interact with people.
Fast forward to now and I am still having this problem. I can’t force myself to sleep at the right times so I find myself awake until bout five in the morning. To get back on a regular sleeping pattern, I need to make myself stay awake that whole day without sleep. Usually, this is unsuccessful and I pass out at some irregular time. I feel like insomnia is a huge problem in the world and we don’t have the answers to help correct it. It’d just be easier if our bodies didn’t need sleep and we could be active all day long.
For people living on the east coast, this winter has been one of the worst. Now that everything is finally getting back to normal after the blackouts, gas station lines, and devastating losses of Sandy; we were now hit with the storm Nemo. While I think this is my favorite name for any hurricane, I was anticipating the worst after being without heat and power for almost two weeks from Sandy. Fortunately, Nemo wasn’t as harmful as most people thought. There weren’t any power lines coming down or trees collapsing in the middle of the road. However, the storm did bring the most snow I have seen in a couple of years. It was so heavy that I had to shovel my driveway once at night and again in the morning. When I was done, I showered up and laid back for a a little. I felt awesome with that feeling you get after you had a good workout at the gym. My muscles were relaxed and my whole body was filled with energy. I never realized that shoveling could be this great of a workout.
While it doesn’t snow everyday, I feel like shoveling the driveway is one of the best cardio exercises I have done in a while. Unlike just running on a treadmill, you are putting emphasis one very muscle in your body. You use your arms and chest to push the shovel deep into the snow, and then use your back and legs to lift the snow up and throw it to the side. You repeat this over and over again as you pump up those muscles carrying a good amount of weight up and down the driveway. Even though this is a simple task that most people do, it makes me proud that I accomplished it. I almost feel like one of the weightlifters in the World’s Strongest Man Competition carrying those 200 pound balls of cement, even though the snow is probably only twenty pounds every shovel.
Another great thing about this task is you can’t focus on time and can only put your attention on what you are doing. One of the worst parts about being on a treadmill is the timer flashing in big lights. You try to ignore it, but it draws your attention like a fly to a light. Not only is it distracting, but each time you count the seconds it makes you feel like you are so far away from how long you want to run. With shoveling, there is no timer or watch. You just keep plowing the snow until you are finished. When you are then, you just realized you finished an hour cardio workout.
I really was dreading the potential of hurricane Nemo. Fortunately, it wasn’t too bad and actually enjoyed my time being snowed in. While I’m not a big fan of the snow, I have to say it did look really pretty outside at night with all the street lights bouncing off it. As I was shoveling, I couldn’t help but to get upset. My neighbors were all easily clearing their driveways with snow blowers. I definitely wouldn’t mind having one of these to get the job done, but the part that really ticked me off is that they offered the machine to everyone except me. As I was grabbing on to the shovel to catch my breath, they were all chatting it up as it only took them ten minutes to get rid of the snow. After I was done, I was actually happy they didn’t come to help me. I felt a sense of pride that I could do something like shovel my driveway without anyone’s help. The best part about it is that I was so bundled up in clothes, I probably burnt off more weight doing that than actually running or lifting. So if you ever want a really great workout, pick up shovel the next time it snows. I guarantee it’ll be some of the best cardio you have done.
Since I started working out again, I have placed myself on a strict diet. It is one thing to push yourself at the gym, but your body needs the proper nutrition and foods to replenish and stay healthy. I know I am not going to drop any pounds if I stuff fast food in my mouth after the gym. That defeats the whole purpose of even trying to get back into shape. I haven’t dieted since my senior year in wrestling, where I cut close to thirty pounds. It is hard to stay motivated and always remind yourself that the sacrifices you are making are worth it. Temptations are creeping around every corner. Just driving down the road I see all the bright lights of Burger King, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s. I see people enjoying themselves with mouthwatering burgers topped with sizzling bacon. I try to keep my eyes strictly on the road and tune it out with the radio, but then I hear three food advertisements that make me want to dive into a milkshake as I shove french fries down my throat. While these are very enticing, I feel that one place is the worst to go when dieting. It is more seducing than an all you can eat buffet or free burrito day at Chipotle. It is the movie theatre.
How can the movies be more tempting than actually going to a restaurant. I have seen people just order water at a diner or even a small salad, but I have never seen anyone not get something to eat at the snack bar. Growing up, we all have fond memories of our parents bringing us to the theatre. I remember ordering the huge bucket of popcorn drizzled in butter and coated in salt. The thing was bigger than my head. And of course, you can’t fully enjoy a show without a nice soda to wash everything down. I usually turned down the caffeinated beverage because I only wanted the large cherry slushy. And if your parents were really in a good mood, they’d let you pick a candy from the theater’s stand that almost rivaled Willy Wonka’s factory. I am pretty sure I have seen every type of candy in a cineplex from Snow Caps to Sour Patch Kids. After all of these decisions, you are ready to enjoy the actual movie. Wait, that seemingly endless tub of popcorn is now finished before the previews are even done. You flash that innocent smile to your parents, and you get another bag. Nothing makes a movie more complete than the full experience.
Even though I am grown up, I love going to the movies and enjoying the snack stand. Somedays, I just crave theatre popcorn and will see a random show to fill my need. It’s bad enough the prices are jacked up, but not even that will stop most people from buying a large in everything. Since my days as a kid, the snack stand has really revolutionized. It is more than just popcorn and candy, it is a full on food cart. It has hotdogs, pretzels, and even funnel cakes. Some movies even have a dining theatre where you can eat and have a waitress serve you food. If I was a kid now, I wouldn’t be able to make up my mind with all these options.
Going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy nothing more than to get lost in a good movie and find myself wishing it never ended. I’ll admit, I am definitely a long time patron of the snack stand. But I don’t know if I could handle that much temptation. It all looks so tantalizing that my tastebuds are almost dragging me to that jumbo bag of popcorn. And I have been so accustomed to this eating routine when seeing a movie that I don’t think I could sit two hours and just focus on the screen. As a kid, I always felt bad for the people who brought their own snacks into the movies, especially the kids whose parents made them eat fruits and vegetables. I guess some kid will be saying that about me as I dig into some carrots for the next big show.
I always want to have the best day I could have every time I wake up. I hope to accomplish something during the next twenty four hours or maybe an unexpected surprise will happen. Unfortunately, reality sets in and somedays will be just boring and monotonous. And other days will be hard to get through because of obstacles and unexpected misfortunes. Everybody is bound to have a bad day once in awhile. I guess yesterday was mine.
Just waking up, I knew it wasn’t my kind of morning. I went to the gym right away and my leg cramped up in within the ten minutes on the treadmill. I decided to skip cardio and just focused on lifting. However, I just felt off like my whole routine was screwed up. I pushed myself through and frustratingly finished my workout. On my way back from the gym, I needed to refill my car’s tank. I couldn’t pull into any gas stations as they were packed around the block. It seemed like hurricane Sandy all over again as people carried five gasoline jugs in both hands. I had to drive about twenty minutes from my house before I could find a vacant pump. After this ordeal, I managed to get home, shower up, and take care of some errands. It was one of those days I couldn’t wait to pass out in my bed.
While yesterday was awful, not everyday is like this. It’s obvious that good days will certainly outweigh all the bad ones. Despite all my problems , I was able to get a good workout in today and now can relax as I am snowed in. Despite being trapped inside my house, I always enjoy some good rest and recuperation from the daily grind. Other people find it so overwhelming when they have a bad day. They just want to throw in the towel or whine and complain. I can barely go on Facebook anymore with all the annoying statuses about how awful their life is. My favorite is when people post about why they have to deal with so many unimportant problems. I hate to break it to you, but there are others in this world who have it a lot less wonderful than you do. Yes, people always take things for granted as they become accustomed to them. But just take a second to think and you will realize how good you have it compared to others. And most of these problems you make seem so dramatic with long tweets and cries for attention will probably be forgotten in the next week. If you have an issue with something or want a change in your life, you need to make it happen. If you want something bad enough, you will do everything you can to make accomplish it.
One of my other favorite statuses is how bored people are. I’m pretty sure no one else really wants to read your twenty posts about how lame your town is or begging people to hit you up with your desperate attempts at attention. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve sat in my room doing nothing. It all seems like a blur that has clouded most of my high school days. I have realized that boredom is only your fault. I can’t stand by being idle in my life. If you have absolutely nothing to do, set a goal and accomplish it. Go out for a late night run or gym lift. Finish your homework that will count for half of your yearly grade. Be productive. All of these things will help you later on in life. None of those high school parties or hang outs with friends will truly amount to anything later on. I am not saying that having friends is unimportant, but being productive with your time and accomplishing things will help you on later in life.
Life is going to be boring sometimes. If it was all fun, then how could someone appreciate all the special moments that happen maybe once or twice. Memories like graduation, prom, and passing your driving tests are occasions that will always be cherished. If we had these event happening all the time, than they wouldn’t be called memories. They wouldn’t be as special.
As I was coming back home from the gym, I was stopped at a very busy four-way intersection. The problem here is only one road has stop signs as the main road always has cars whizzing around the corner. You begin to inch up as the last car passes, but then another truck comes whizzing by when you’re about to cross. After patiently waiting a couple minutes, I finally had my chance to go. But just as I was creeping forward, I saw a van coming up the road. I was in that awkward situation where I don’t know if I have enough time to go or I should just wait. I decided to be a nice guy and let the car pass. I guess it might have been my quick glance, but I didn’t realize this car was rolling at about five miles per hour. It was close enough for me to wait, but since it was traveling seven times slower than the actual speed limit I could have crossed the road probably three times back and forth. At first, I thought the car was stalling out or something terrible had happened to the driver. As I was ready to get out and help, I quickly realized what was going on: old people driving.
It was a elderly couple peering out the dashboard window. The woman sitting in the passenger seat seemed like she was in pain with a grimace I’ve only seen people passing a kidney stone make. I couldn’t even see the driver, but could tell it was her husband by the cap that just creeped above his steering wheel. I see it all the time with elderly men that operate cars but don’t fix the seat so they can actually see all of the road. This moment seemed like it lasted a week as the couple’s car actually moved in the middle of the intersection to make a right hand turn. They almost clipped my car as they swerved into the street. I was dumbfounded that these people thought it was a good idea to drive. They are clearly aware that they can’t handle all the responsibilities of operating a car.
Now I understand some senior citizen are in different situations. They might not have a loved one or any family close enough to drive them around places. It actually made me really appreciate having a car that I take for granted. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t just pick my keys up and go wherever I needed to without a hassle. It was a nightmare when my car was in the shop for one day and I couldn’t get out of my house. I could never imagine someone knowing that they weren’t fit to drive for the rest of their lives.
It is a terrible thing to have to deal with, but there are also solutions. Hopefully, some retirees have saved enough throughout their life that they can afford a car service to get them to certain places. I’m not saying rent out a limo to drive to Atlantic City every weekend, but there are affordable driving arrangements to help elderly citizen get to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and visiting friends/family. And if they really planned ahead and worked on your savings, it’d be possible for retired people to reside in a adult community. I have actually visited one of these places recently, and I was tempted to live there. They have everything you could need from grocery stores, doctor offices, recreation centers, and even a bowling alley. The houses are wonderful and feel like you just bought a brand new place to call your own. However, not everyone sees eye to eye about this.
Now, this post isn’t about bashing grandmas and grandpas. I just feel like safety should be an issue and taken seriously. Some people feel like age doesn’t affect them, when they can barely read the signs and determine if the light is green or red. I have seen elderly citizens drive with their nose on the steering wheel as they can barely see the road with glasses thicker than actual street signs. They don’t want to be burdened with relying on others so they can still feel like they have independence in their lives. It’s probably the worst feeling knowing you are not as youthful as you used to be. But people that are not capable of driving should not be on the road. They not only put themselves in harm, but also can cause serious injuries to other people. The past year I have seen the terrifying videos of elderly people driving into grocery stores at about forty miles per hour crashing into shoppers and even children. I personally think after a certain age that everyone should be retested and given eyes exams. It may be the only way to bring them to the grim reality that their days of driving have come to an end. Hopefully, most people will grow old with loved ones and family they can rely on. While I love driving, I sadly know one day I will have to hang up my keys for good as well.
My arms are killing me even as I type this. I forgot what it was like to get back into the gym for the first time. After the first few days of extreme soreness have worn off, I am finally able to bend my arms down and touch my back. It was excruciating trying to find the motivation to get myself to lift weights as I was still in pain from yesterday’s workout. Even though I should have eased back into exercising, that just isn’t the way I have grown up working out. If I do something, I want to put all my effort into it. If I owned a company and relied on people working for me, I wouldn’t want them to give me less than a hundred percent. And I am the only employee of my life, so I need to go beyond my expectations and potential. And just like a business, my body felt the aches and pains of starting from the beginning.
My biggest goal is to not only get back to my original form, but to try to get into the best shape of my life. I know it is a long process, even though I am already checking to see if the results are showing. I can definitely feel it in every muscle of my body. The couple of years of goofing around, going on late night fast food runs, and no exercise at all are really showing as I can barely run for thirty minutes. I saw where my body was heading and I knew I had to change my life styles. I even began a new diet and have been eating less portions and more healthy foods. While I barely got through one week, I am happy I successfully pushed myself through it. Not only is it beneficial to my physical health, but I feel much better all around. I feel like I have been given back my energy and drive to go after things. I no longer want to sulk around and wonder why my life is the way it is. I have a schedule and a routine. I am time managing my days and taking the steps in order to achieve my plans for the future. These are some things I could barely do when I was on top of the ball in high school.
As I get ready to go back into the gym for my second week, I have no hesitations to continue to work out hard. I am still battling some aches and the the fatigue my body is feeling from this new routine of exercise, but it is all worth it. I am not looking back towards my past anymore and questioning my decisions. Regret is nothing more than a word to me. No longer will I feel sorry for myself. I am the only one responsible for my life, and will take on every challenge life throws at me in full stride. I am living in the present and feel great about where I am heading.
I posted yesterday’s blog entry “15 Tips” because I couldn’t believe the outrageous fees that gyms try to scam people into signing up for. The employees are possibly even worse than car salesman by pressuring you into deals that you can feel in the pit of your stomach is wrong. They try to persuade you with all their fancy gimmicks, state of the art facility, and classes that you will never attend. Luckily, I was able to find a gym that was the perfect fit for me. There weren’t any NFL regulation football fields or tennis courts built to the exact specifications of Wimbledon. It is a simple, no-nonsense gym with all the equipment I need to get back into shape. Unfortunately, my success in finding a gym didn’t take away from the pains and aches of lifting for the first time again.
After a quick, ten minute jog on treadmill, the adrenaline rush began to kick in and I felt like Superman. I puffed my chest out and was ready to lift a eighteen wheeler if I had to. I sat down on the lat pull down machine and busted out a set of twelve. I got up and began to strut around feeling good. My muscles were pumped and I felt that amazing sensation of blood rushing through my body. Even though there was no one else in the gym, I had to parade around as if I just went twelve rounds with Apollo Creed. I sat back down on the lat pulldown machine and busted out a set of ten on a heavier weight. I got back up to do my march of victory but it wasn’t as sweet as the one before. The adrenaline rush now faded and I began to feel the downfall of getting back in the gym for the first time. My head was lightheaded and those muscles that were filled with adrenaline now began to feel the aches of being out of shape. This is what Rocky must have felt like after the first time he fought the World Champ.
I finished my back exercise and continued with biceps and triceps for the rest of the day. I probably drank three bottles of water as I huffed and puffed like I just finished a pack of cigarettes. I battled through all the aches and pains to finish my workout. It wasn’t enough that my biceps were so worn out I couldn’t extend them down, but my lightheadedness now turned to nausea. Every time I lift for the first time, I usually throw up from pushing myself too hard. This is one of my biggest fears lifting, and I didn’t want to embarrass myself at the new gym (even though there wasn’t anybody there at this time). I decided to take it easy so I wouldn’t end up tossing up my breakfast. I finished with a light, thirty minute jog as I barely got through my first day back to the gym.
Now that it’s morning after, I felt like a truck had just run me over. Even muscles I didn’t workout the day before are aching. After a few minutes of getting out of my bed, I am slowly walking off the soreness. This is just one of the drawbacks of getting back in shape, but I still could not be more excited to go today and lift again. I’m nowhere near my high school days being a wrestler with one percent body fat that could throw around weights all day and not be tired, but I still have that determination and passion when it comes to going into a gym and blasting out a lift. Those day of being an athlete are behind me, so it’s now time to open a new chapter of my life with exercise.