So, I lost my job yesterday. Not really a surprise – we’ve had lots of layoffs at the office and the economy is, well, you know. But still it’s hard to take. Kind of like losing your girlfriend, except in my case my girlfriend was fat and not really attractive and I didn’t much like her anymore. But I’ve been going out with that girlfriend for 12 years, and that girlfriend has been sending me checks twice a month for 12 years, and something you do for 12 years gets to be a part of your life and becomes hard to do without – a habit if you will.

Like most habits, this one should be good to break (or have broken for me), even if it means I can’t Paleo-Zone on steak and lobster for a while. I’ll be honest, I’m scared and nervous and sad and angry and frustrated, but I’m also a little excited. I think when you break a habit, you make a bit of space, and if you work it right, something better can fill that space. In between the temper tantrums and the pouting, I feel a little bit of joy and wonder at what might fill that space. It may be a better job, may be worse. May pay more, may pay less. It will definitely be different, and make me do and think about things differently.

But at least I won’t have to sit on that 12 year old couch eating Cheetos with that girlfriend anymore.

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Let’s start a new, recurring column and call it, “Stupid Shit People Do In The Name Of Fitness When They Really Have No Idea What They’re Talking About.”

Our first entry (and I’m thinking will be the best ever) is a new product called the Power Plate. As far as I can tell, you’re supposed to stand or sit or straddle this thing while it vibrates really fast, causing your muscles to involuntarily contract.

In their own words –

Power Plate® equipment is the premium vibration device powering a new dimension in wellness solutions for all ages, lifestyles and physical abilities. It uses the principles of Acceleration Training™ to stimulate the body’s natural response to vibration. These vibrations transmit waves of energy throughout the body, activating muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second, enhancing overall performance in sessions as short as 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week.

Acceleration Training™ on Power Plate® equipment offers a host of benefits, ranging from an immediate improvement in blood circulation, to a variety of other measurable outcomes: such as increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved range of motion, decreased cellulite, increased bone mineral density, reduced pain and soreness and faster recovery.  Our three-dimensional vibration technology continues to lead the industry, and its benefits are grounded in extensive academic and independent scientific medical research.

All that for only $10,000! (Two grand for the cheapie model.)

Acceleration Training? Whatever. I haven’t used the thing so I can’t say for sure, but it sounds like the latest example of  “Here’s something that will work out for me while I just stand around looking pretty in my leotards.” It didn’t work 50 years ago and it doesn’t work now.

exercisebelt

I don’t care about your scientific studies and your laboratory testing and your advanced technology, there is no substitute for lifting and pushing and pulling and running really hard. Shame on you for preying on humanity’s lack of effort and surplus of cash.

I can think of a lot better things to spend ten grand on, and I’m sure I can find what is basically a giant vibrator for a lot less.

Girl Pushups are Hard.

July 21, 2009

Or perhaps I should be PC – push-ups from your knees are hard.

I am now 2.5 months since my shoulder injury. The recovery is going well. I have about 90% range of motion, very little pain and my bitching has gone down dramatically. My recovery process has consisted of range of motion exercises, ice 3x daily, and acupuncture treatments. I have been working out all along – running, sit-ups, back ext, air squats and whatever I can do one armed.

Three weeks ago I started working the shoulder with a little weight, a soup can actually. That 3 oz can was heavier than it looked, and I couldn’t get it locked out overhead.

But progress comes quickly when you give your body enough time to heal (something new to me). Today I did a running workout and then 2 rounds of 10 clean & jerk (45#), 10 knee push-ups, 10 kb swings (25#), 10 dead-lift (65#), 10 pull-downs (75#).

WARNING: Pornographic image follows. Do not view if you are too young to do so in your community.

The best fitness advice you’ll ever get (from me anyway) is this: Do not do 100 sit-ups on a hard floor wearing jean shorts.

I did such a thing and now I’ve got two giant bright red strawberries on either side of my butt crack, and let me tell you, they hurt a lot more than the 100 sit-ups did.

What hurt even more was when I whined to my wife, hoping for a little sympathy. Ordinarily my wife is a paradigm of virtue and compassion – a veritable heapin’ helpin’ of Mother Theresa with a side of Florence Nightingale gravy – but something about second degree burns on a white man’s ass struck her as funny. The fact that they were self-inflicted, real funny.

So ha ha, I endured all her wise-cracks (cracks – get it?) and then asked her to spray Solarcane on my grievous injuries.

“You’re not serious.”
“Yes I am, I can’t reach it.”

That brought on another round of jokes, like maybe I need to go to a CrossFit Sit-Up cert so I don’t hurt myself anymore.

Finally she ran out of insults and agreed to do it.

buttburn1

“Spread your cheeks, I can’t get a good shot.”
“Ow, ow, ow.”
“I haven’t done it yet you big baby.”

You know how when little kids get cut their loving moms spray Solarcane on the cut and then blow on it to stop the stinging. I know my wife used to do that, but somehow in this instance she forgot.

“Blow, blow it stings.”

She couldn’t blow because she was laughing too hard, and it is impossible to pucker up and blow when you’re laughing.

“I am not blowing on your butt.”
“Ow, ow it stings, blow.”

She did finally blow, more of a laughing spit actually, but by then the stinging had stopped on its own.

So I guess there’s two learnings from this. One: don’t do sit-ups in jean shorts. Two: don’t expect anyone to blow on your butt if you do.