Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One week gone by

In a previous post, I listed some of my goals for the coming year.  It's been a week now, which is really nothing when compared to an entire year.  So far, I'm off to a good start in some ways, but trips to CF have been more difficult than imagined.

On 1/1, CrossFit was closed and I chose to rest.

On 1/2, I made it to CF - something I wasn't sure I'd pull off on my birthday.  I got my butt kicked that night.

On 1/3, I did nothing at all.  Well, I did something, but I didn't train.  We are dealing with some issues with an aging dog, and poor Nikki needed to go to the vet.  I worked from home and then took Nikki to the vet at the end of the day.  Nikki turns 9 this month, and the typical lifespan of a Rhodesian Ridgeback is 10-12 years.  Regretfully, Nikki has been going after our younger dog very aggressively at times, and we wanted to have her checked out to see if there was an underlying cause.  It appears that she has a cataract in her left eye and her vision isn't clear in that eye.  She also seems to have some arthritis.  Plus, she has had chronic ear infections that can make her very irritable.  So, after spending a couple hundred dollars, the diagnosis is that she's getting old, and let's try some anti-inflammatory medications to see if that helps.  After the trip to the vet, I might have gone to the local gym.  However, when my wife changed jobs last year, we lost subsidized membership to that gym, and working out close to home is more difficult than in the past.

On 1/4, I did some voluntary ski instruction at Suicide Six, a small local mountain.  They have a Friday afternoon school program and all of their instructors are volunteers.  Many of them are neophyte skiers and only 20% have any real teaching experience.  A friend of mine and I spent the afternoon working with their instructors to give them a little bit of training.

On the weekend, I did my normal ski instruction.  With great snow conditions in Vermont right now, we skied some really difficult terrain on Saturday (off trail), and Sunday was a combination of racing and easier off-trail terrain.

On Monday, 1/7, we started a 60 day Paleo challenge at the gym.  This challenge focuses on body composition, adherence to a Paleo lifestyle (not just diet), and improvement in some benchmark workouts.  We started with some easy Olympic lifts, and then did two benchmark workouts.  The first was max pull-ups.  The second was made up of squat cleans, toes to bar reps, and burpees - as many reps as possible in 10 minutes.

The lifestyle adherence part of these challenges is always the worst.  We can accumulate up to 17 points in a day.  Ten of those come from adhering to the Paleo diet - essentially living on meat, veggies, eggs, quality fats, limited nuts and seeds and fruit, and that's about it.  No grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar, limited coffee.  We get up to two more points per day for training.  One point for post-workout nutrition.  One for drinking lots of water.  One for taking fish oil supplements.  One for doing at least 20 minutes of mobility work per day.  And, one for sleeping at least 8 hours per night.  A good day for me is usually about 15 points.  I rarely meet the parameters for the post-workout nutrition and I don't feel like my performance suffers if it takes me 90 minutes to get some calories in after the workout.  I also rarely work out twice in a day (almost never these days), so that's another point gone.  The water requirements are tough, but possible.  Fish oil is easy.  Sleep is hit or miss.  I got 9.5 hours last night, but if I wasn't working at home today, I would have been up two hours earlier and missed the 8 hour minimum.  I know my wife missed that mark yesterday.  I get the mobility work done on the days I go to CF, but rarely on other days.  Due to the problems I'm having with my shoulders, I really should do this every day, but there simply isn't enough time some days.

This would all be so much easier if we didn't have to work for a living.  I remember reading Bill McKibben's book "Long Distance: Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously", and wondering what I would be able to accomplish if I had a sabbatical year that allowed me to maximize my fitness over a single year. He did that in his late 30s.  Now, at age 51, if I had all the time and resources and I wanted to give that a try, I'd probably just train myself into the ground, and I'd emerge as an older gimpier version of my current self.  Or, I'd squander the year fly fishing.

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