I’m not great at selfies.
For my “featured” photo on a blog post, I try to use a reasonably polished-looking picture. And I usually have someone else take that picture for me. As my friend Suzanne will tell you, it’s not just selfies. Photography in general is not my strong suit.
But today, I am proudly broadcasting this selfie over the interwebs for the world to see (okay, maybe just the awesome cluster of people who read this blog, but still…). Behind this selfie is a three-year journey of sweat, strength, and self-discovery.
Continue reading “A 20 Minute Hike that Took 3 Years”
It’s been a month since my last blog post. My goal is to publish at least twice per month, but in the past few weeks I’ve had some unexpected (and upsetting) change come my way. I sat down to write a few times, but I just didn’t have it in me.
But today I’m grateful to be back doing what I love, and I’m returning with a message of hope for anyone who has ever struggled with emotional eating.
What happened? Continue reading “Bricks Over Spoons”
Practice makes perfect, right?
Well, sort of. Turns out, it’s slightly more complicated than that.
There’s something called the Law of Specificity. When I first heard that term, I had no idea what it meant. It sounds fancy, but it’s quite simple.
If I want to be a better basketball player, I have to practice shooting, dribbling, and quick footwork. If I want to swim like Michael Phelps, I have to spend hours upon hours in the pool. If I want to get stronger, I have to lift weights. Practice makes perfect on the specific thing I want to do better.
“Well, duh,” you may be thinking. “Why do we even need a ‘Law’ for something so obvious?”
That’s what I thought, too. Stay with me… Continue reading “Spice Up Your Rack”
My trainer Matt Wenning told me something in my early days at Ludus Magnus that I will never forget. I said that I was really surprised at how good a workout I was having that day, since I had been feeling stiff and sore before coming to the gym.
He said, “Never judge how a workout is going to go based on how you feel.”
Boom. Mind blown, grey matter everywhere.
Turns out, I don’t have to want to do something in order to do it. I don’t have to “feel” motivated. I don’t have to “feel” my best. I just have to physically pick my body up and go do it. Once I get into motion, my mind will usually catch up and want to be wherever I am, doing whatever it is I’m doing. Even if my mind doesn’t get with the program every single time, that doesn’t matter. It matters what I actually do, not how I feel about it. Continue reading “Motivation is Overrated”
One of my favorite comedians, John Mulaney, has a great bit about the difference between kids and adults. It goes something like this:
Ask a kid what they did over the weekend: “Awww, we didn’t do anything!” *pouty face*
Ask an adult the same question: “Ahhh, we didn’t do anything!” *happy face*
As an adult, is there anything more satisfying than canceled plans? If there is, I haven’t found it.
What is a top complaint among grown people in the modern world? Too much to do, not enough time.
And when people get busy (myself included), diet is one of the first things to fall by the wayside. We reach for what is fast and convenient, which our industrial food sector is more than happy to supply. Continue reading “Have it Your Way”
There’s an old parable often referred to as the “streetlight effect,” that goes something like this:
A policeman comes across a drunkard searching for his car keys under a streetlight. Neither can kind the keys. The policeman asks the drunkard if he lost his keys in this spot. The drunkard replies, “No, I lost them in the park.”
“The park?” The policeman responds. “Then why are you looking here?”
The drunkard responds: “This is where the light is.”
When dealing with a problem, we often do the same thing. We look where the light is because it’s the most obvious thing we can see. But sometimes the light is misleading.
As I described in part 1 of Anatomy of a Pain in the Ass, the “light” was coming off my back in waves: I had a bulging disc in my lower back. I had signs of arthiritis in my back. The pain was in my back. Stands to reason that I, and all of the health professionals around me, were focused on my back.
But the true origin of the problem was not under the streetlight. It was in the dark, obscured nether regions of my ass (and hamstrings, to be precise). Continue reading “Anatomy of a Pain in the Ass: Part 2”
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my journey to strength training at Ludus Magnus began with back pain. Chronic, limiting, debilitating back pain.
I lived with it every day. Some days it was a low-level ache, a kind of white noise that lingered in the background of my daily movements. Other days, I would have recurring spasms in my low back, accompanied by sharp stabbing pain in my ass cheeks that radiated through my hips and down my legs.
In hospitals and doctors’ offices they have pain rating scales such as this where they ask patients to assign a number to their pain level:
I lived between 4 and 9. Even with chiropractic care and massage therapy 1-3 times per week, daily ibuprofen, regular stretching, and multiple icing sessions per day, it never got better than 4. Continue reading “Anatomy of a Pain in the Ass”