Day 175: Fighting the Pain

After the last three weeks (prepping the studio for my wife’s grand opening), the last thing I wanted to do today was workout and go to karate.

However, I made a commitment, and I’m learning that I’ll never regret the opportunity to Just Do It.

So, in honor of getting off my duff and knocking out 150 push-ups, 50 pull-ups and working myself into a drench at karate, I’m posting a few quotes I keep telling myself. Maybe they can help you, too.



(No, I don’t want her body, but I loved the quote. Here’s more of what I work towards.)


Day 167: Starting to See Results

The last few weeks have been extremely busy around our house.  We are now T-minus 6 days from the grand opening of my wife’s shop, my son’s first birthday is this week, and summer rugby is kicking into gear.  Posts have been sporadic from me because of the time it has taken to get the shop into shape.  I’ve been putting in a lot of late nights there, painting, building, cutting, moving, etc… All the grunt work that goes into opening a place of your own has been my flavor of the month lately.

However, I have been trying very hard to keep up with the rest of my commitments, and this past weekend I saw some tangible evidence that my working out is paying off.  My Father’s Day gift from my wife was a day to myself, and I chose to drive to Rockford, IL for a rugby tournament.  This particular tournament is not a team tournament; all players enter their names into a hat, and teams are chosen at random.  A full day of rugby is played with your new teammates in a double elimination tournament.  Close to 150 ruggers were present this year.


My team won the whole tournament, and I could tell a big difference in my fitness and strength on the field.  It would have been difficult to make a judgement on my progress in just one or two games but over the course of 6 matches, while playing in both my usual position and out of position, I could tell that my stamina is greatly increased and my confidence is up.  My tackles are stronger and I was able to break out of a few attempted tackles easier than I could have before.

I long ago resigned myself to the fact that it is very difficult for me to put on weight (muscle), especially without having much time to be able to dedicate to lifting heavy.  But even doing the pushups, ab work and stretching every day has been good.  At the beginning of the year, I was having to do 3-4 sets of 10-15 pushups to meet my goal of 50.  Now, I am able to do sets of 50 and I’ve upped my daily goal to 100.  I can see a difference when I look at myself in the mirror, but it’s never enough.  However, I’m ok with that, at this point.  My goal this year wasn’t to pack on weight, it was to get in better shape, and I am well on my way there.


It’s important to not lose sight of your main objective.  As I said, my goal isn’t to get jacked and ripped, it’s to be in shape.  I would be down on myself right now had my desire been the muscle mass.  But I knew I couldn’t devote the time and energy necessary to achieve that, so I chose a different target.  If, somewhere along the way, I put that size on, then it’s a bonus bit of icing for me.


I’ll be posting some pictures of some woodwork that I did for the shop.  I’m quite proud of how it turned out, and every project has gotten better.  The desk that I built is functional and helpful, but a little ugly.  I’ve learned from those mistakes, however, and the new projects look great!

Other news?  It’s summer.  Fully, hotly, humidly summer.  I’m considering breaking out the A/C tonight to help us sleep.

As always: This is simply my journal as I try to better myself. I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself. Make 2013 YOUR year.
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Day 148: Single Dad Project Day 2

It’s difficult enough to write a quality blog post, all the moreso to do on an iPad. This is exactly what I am left with this week, as the wife took the computer to Detroit with her. So this will be short and to the point.

Today was another challenge, but I made it through alright. Mornings are always toughest, because the baby’s nap schedule means we have to get right up and get right into it. Breakfast, potties, clothes changed, and almost immediately put him down for a nap. However, this gave me time to plan the day. I helped the girls get their puzzles out as he was sleeping, then packed lunches, made a shopping list, and got the car ready. Around 10:30, he was up and we were out the door like lightning. Several stops later, including lunch in a park, we had a bike with training wheels to set up and a very, VERY excited oldest daughter!

Today was a proud daddy day. Not only did she take to the bike like a natural, but after a few times around the driveway, I heard “Hey Dad, look! No hands!” Yeah, her first time ever on a bike and she’s already a daredevil. 🙂

I learned something today, however. Well, two things, actually. One, to do this job requires two people. I don’t know how I could possibly manage the parent side of things while also being expected to earn money as I have done. More power to working single parents for what you do, yet there is some truth to the idea that kids need a pair of parents.

Secondly, never underestimate the power of a reward. Yes, we know this almost implicitly as adults, but today was the first time I’ve ever seen my daughter go out of her way to listen, behave, and do everything I asked, because she knew she would get to ride her bike later. I don’t kow how long this might last, but I want to instill the concept of achieving rewards and goals in her, so this seems like as good of a chance as any.

That’s all my wrists can handle. Have a great night everyone!

Day 57: Gonna Be Real Honest…

Gonna be real honest right now…I really don’t feel like doing anything today. I really just want to flip on the boob tube, pour a glass of wine, chill out and do absolutely nothing. With the events of this past weekend, the hard work my wife and I are putting in trying to get her store up and running while taking care of the kids, and the general lack of sleep, I have nothing left in me.

I’m on E.

Here’s the thing: we all have days like this. The secret is to not let it get into your head. You have to take them as they present themselves and overcome each. First, find a way to power through the initial onset of the feeling. (*BAM* I just did 25 push-ups). You have to get in control of the feeling. Yes, it is real. But by taking the reins, you maintain control instead of allowing it to control you.

Second, you need to look into why you’re feeling rundown. Here’s my quick checklist.

  • I had to perform a sleep study last Thursday and haven’t recovered with a good night sleep yet.
  • All three kids are sick with a cold, so nights aren’t restful right now.
  • My grandfather just passed away.
  • I had a long day at work today.
  • The stress of my wife’s potential opportunities is weighing on me, as well.
  • Physically, mentally and emotionally draining. That’s what the above list represents. (Just FORCED myself to do 25 more push-ups). I don’t have much left to give. It’s real, no denying that.


    Third, seek the simplest solution. I am obviously tired. On my list above, 3 of the 5 are directly related to not getting enough sleep. The emotional low I’m feeling of grief can be helped with a good night’s rest. Also, I find I can focus and plan better when I’m rested, therefore I might be able to cope with #5 better if I get some sleep. Thus, my solution is simple. I have to get to sleep.

    (I just did 60 seconds of sit-ups and 25 more push-ups. Believe me, I’m struggling to get this in tonight).

    Fourth and finally, you have to force yourself to enact that solution. It’s 8:45 in the evening. Right now, I could turn on the tv and try to find something to watch. I could putz around on the Internet. Or I could force myself to go upstairs, brush my teeth, turn on a light, set my alarm and crawl into bed. With a good book. I can read a few chapters and have the lights off and be sleeping snoring in minutes.


    For me, that sounds like the best course possible. As my daughter says whenever I mumble or stumble on a word: “Daddy, you’re running out of batteries!” In this case, sweetheart, you’re more right than you know.

    You can overcome these days. Put a plan into action to deal with them, stick to it, and you won’t let it become more than just an odd occurrence. We all have them. Frankly, we all need them. Try remind us to recharge and recoup. Just don’t let it wear you down, or else you might find it becoming the norm.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more push-ups and sit-ups to do.


    As always: This is simply my journal as I try to better myself. I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself. Make 2013 YOUR year.
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