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.

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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.

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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.

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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 92: One Quarter In

 

keep-calm-and-check-progress-5So now that I am one-quarter of the way through this year, I took the opportunity to revisit some of my goals to see where I stand…

Physically:  I’ve been able to get a workout in every single day.  Some days, that workout consists of 50 pushups as I get ready to crawl into bed.  Some days it’s a full, heavy weight session at the gym.  But I’ve done some sort of muscle punishing workout every single day.  I’ve seen some results, too.  Nothing too tremendous, but enough that I’m happy with my progress.

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Day 4

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Day 89

No, I’m probably never going to be huge.  I resigned myself to that my senior year of high school.  Nor do I want to, as my wife claims she doesn’t like overly muscular dudes.  So that’s good.  But I am happy with my results so far.

Reading:

I’ve completed a number of books so far, but I’m slightly behind pace.  I realize that, but I’m not freaking out too badly by that, because when I get into a fiction book, I usually devour it.

Skills:

I’m pleased with my progress.  I’ve made a desk, learned to identify a lot of birds (which reminds me, we’ve seen our first robin in the yard), and I’m progressing towards my first belt in karate.

Running:  

Again, pleased with where I am.  I’m slightly off pace, but that will all change as rugby season comes into full swing this spring.  I run a lot during the spring and fall seasons.  So anywhere that I am behind, I will make it up very soon.  In addition, we’ve got our first adventure race of the season coming up in two weekends.  I’m excited to be running with my wife.  Also, I love my Vibram Five Fingers.

People Who Matter:
I’m a little behind on this, but several upcoming posts include more than one person, so I will be back to pace very shortly.

So that’s it.  A brief look at the first quarter.  I’m sure I could be more in depth, but none of this matters to you.  What really matters here is you.  Is this inspiring you to do something better?  Does it help you continue on a path you’ve wanted to walk?  In the end, that’s what I hope to do…inspire you.

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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 37, Babe’s and Quick Shots

Today would be Babe Ruth’s 118th birthday.  In honor of the birth of one of the greatest ballplayers to ever live here are a few words to live by, from George Herman Ruth, Jr himself.

“Don’t let the fear of striking out get in your way.”

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Quick Shots: As I mentioned before, I finished Captivating a week or so ago and have moved on to How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.  I’ve also picked up Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldredge.  I read this month’s Imprimis essay last night.  I’ve selected the French Silk Pie recipe I will be making this weekend (finally), and the desk is coming along wonderfully.  I hope to post the full write-up on the woodwork tomorrow night since I want to get the finish work done on the desk.

I’ve still been able to get in a workout every day so far this year.  We identified another new species of bird the other day – the American Goldfinch.  And I’ve been pouring a lot of energy into work so far this year.   So I’d say I’m still on track.

Finally, one last quote to chew on, from another great man who shares today’s birthdate.

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As always: This is simply my journal, nothing more, as I try to better myself.  I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself somehow.  Make 2013 YOUR year.
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New Year’s Day, or How I Learned to Love the Water

Polar Plunge

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I decided to start 2013 with an easily achievable goal. I likely would have done this regardless of whether or not I was doing the #betterin365 challenge. However, it was still on my list, and there was a point late in the countdown where I thought it would be easiest to just not jump. Yet jump I did, so I have started the year off on a successful note!

A polar plunge was one of the physical goals I had set for the year. These goals are tests of my physical stamina, strength, determination, fitness and guts…goals that exist to push me further than I have pushed myself before.

Yes, jumping into freezing water may not be the most physically demanding challenge, but it required a lot of mental determination and wasn’t easy on the body. I was shivering prior to the jump just thinking about what I was going to do. Stripping down to my swimming suit in 8 degree Fahrenheit temperatures was daunting. But once the crowd started cheering as the jumpers made their way into the water, adrenaline took over and I plummeted, feet first, off the side of the river bank into the awaiting icy bath.

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Your goals for 2013 might not have started off so easy (5 minutes and I was done) or so challenging (not everyone jumps into ice cold water), but I hope you began the year off on the good foot, none-the-less.

Check in with the BetterIn365 Facebook page, or tweet along on Twitter with #betterin365. Together, you and I can make this our best year ever.