Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trail Race Initiation & 9/11

If you recall, the purpose of this little journal/log/blog/babble is to document my quest to forever be the athlete that I thought I once was.  I documented my marathon training, my first time going snowboarding, some golf, and my overall training.  In my effort to continuously try new things, I have signed up for a trail race on Sept. 17.  It's the Morgan Conservation 5 mile race in Oldham Co.  I have never run a trail race before.  I have run a few mud runs so I am hoping these runs are similar, minus the nasty mud pits and crazy obstacles.

Because I have never run one of these things before, I reached out to a friend of mine, Suzy Goodwin, who I'm pretty sure ran her first 1/2 marathon the day she was born.  She gave me a few tips like to not wear my ipod and wear a good set of trail shoes.  While I will definitely heed her words for the ipod, I might have to simply wear my regular shoes.  I am not going out to buy a new pair of shoes for this, although I know I should.  If I like it and want to do more, then I'll head out and get some.  Those puppies are expensive (birthday/Christmas present Katie!)  I'm pretty excited to be doing something new and I will definitely report how it went.

I would be remiss if I didn't say at least something about the ten year anniversary of 9/11.  I still remember it like it was yesterday.  I remember every minute of that day.  I remember watching the news after the first plane hit in the ET shop on my ship.  Everyone kind of thought it was crazy that a plane hit one of the twin towers but we didn't think too much else about it.  Then a few minutes later I watched as the 2nd plane hit when I was in another shop on the ship.  Then we knew something was awry.  About 10 minutes later, my Weapons Officer called a meeting of the ship's security team and I was part of the first group to be sent out as extra watch while we tried to figure out what the heck was going on.  I made a call to my wife Katie, told her I was OK and that it was time for me to do my job.  Even though I was in charge of the ship's training division at the time, I was still a part of the Weapons Division on the ship and that is where my obligations and duties would come first.

We had know idea what had happened that day and we had no idea of the severity of what was going one.  As more news came throughout the day we started to get more and more intel.  We started to understand the magnitude of what was going on.  My ship was on high alert, the base was shut down, the airport was grounded, and while this may sound hyperbolic, our world would never be the same again.  It wasn't until the next day that I fully realized that we were in a different world.  It was a feeling that I will remember for the rest of my life.  I walked outside on my ship the morning of September 12 and the base was completely silent.  No troops doing PT on the pier or elsewhere on base.  No cars driving.  No planes from the Norfolk Airport.  Nothing.  Complete silence.  Extremely surreal.  It was at that very moment I knew the severity of what was going on.  Again, I don't mean to sound hyperbolic, but that's just how I felt at that moment.

A lot has happened in 10 years.  We got Bin Laden, which I touched on in an earlier post.  What i do with this blog is very insignificant.  It's one goofball's ramblings of how I try to stay fit.  There are still countless men and women who give their lives every single day to make sure 9/11 never happens again.  People like Carrie Tripp, Josh Wadsworth, Matt German, Trey Goodwin, and Kyle Baker.  Seal Team 6 is currently in the wake of it's biggest loss ever.  One of my first division officers, Lt. Mike McGreevey gave his life as a SEAL in Afghanistan a few years ago.  These men and women are true heroes and I thank them every single day for carrying out the challenge I was a part of 10 years ago.  If you see a soldier anywhere, be sure to thank them.  And after you thank them, thank them again.  They deserve it.  To my soldiers still in, continue fighting the good fight.  I'm proud of you.  I will continue to do my best to forever honor the fallen men and women from that day and the soldiers who have gone since then.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Corrections Officer

I was working out at a globo-gym the other day and I am very used to seeing plenty of meatheads.  You got the grunters that sound like they are having an orgasm.  You have Super Benchman who only does 16 sets of 3 on the bench press and nothing else.  And you have the conversationalist who spends at least 90 minutes at the gym but 80 of those minutes are spent talking to his buddies about how hard he's hitting the weights recently.  You know exactly who I am talking about and you have seen these guys at every YMCA, Urban Active, Gold's, whatever.  Well this past week I ran into a guy I knew that is a corrections officer.  This dainty fellow is about 6'6" or more and right at about 400 lbs.  He's not a big fatty, although he does have quite a bit on him, he's just a double-extra large man.  While I was completing my 4th set at the squat rack for front squats I saw him get on the bench press.  I figured it was typical of people like him.  But then I saw him do something completely out of left field that made me make a double take.  He was doing single arm bench presses with the 45 lb bar.  To say my jaw hit the floor is a bit of an understatement.

If you have never done single arm bench press with a bar, or with dumbbells for that matter, then you probably don't know how much stability is involved with this.  This exercise takes tremendous wrist strength to simply hold the bar.  Again, it's 45 lbs.  This guy didn't even load the bar at all, he was simply doing the bar for sets of 12.  I walked over to him, being the nosy mobility/stability fiend I am, and asked him why he was doing that and where he learned it.  He said his department was trying to incorporate more mobility and stability training so that they could better handle their job.  Corrections officers frequently are in very tough situations, are often off balance when detaining an inmate, and have to move in many different directions.  He said since he started doing exercises like this he was able to do his job much much better.  He was still doing some basic power lifting exercises but he was throwing these type of movements in also.  He said he had done some research on movement based training and found he was able to carry himself so much better.  Keep in mind this guy is a flippin' mountain.

My point in all of this is that mobility and stability training is moving into more than just your college and professional strength programs.  It's hitting police departments, departments of corrections, fire departments, recreational athletes, and soccer moms that simply want to move better and thwart off that impending arthritis they think is genetic.  I've already hyped MobilityWod, Gray Cook, Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey so I'm not going to beat that horse.  But the word on this training is spreading.  I am still new to the mobility/stability world and after attending a seminar a couple of weeks ago, I feel I have a ton more to learn still.  If you aren't familiar with it, research those individuals and learn.  Or contact me and I'd love to fill you in on what I know.  The bottom line is I was very proud of this monster for incorporating this type of training and am very excited that the word is getting out on this.