Damn, I’m Lucky

Walking home from the library tonight after a 5.5 hour study/work session I kept catching a glimpse of a beautiful orange sunset between the passing buildings. Down each alleyway my gaze instinctively wandered to my left and I was continually drawn in by the late summer sunset.

Having no pressing plans I decided to wander behind my house towards the water of the Cornwallis River. I quickly found a previously unknown path to the waters edge, where I was able to snap this picture looking back towards town.

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Unfortunately, I only had my cell phone to try to capture the beauty but… as I stood there I could help but think of Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”

I’m feelin’ pretty good and that’s the truth
It’s neither drink nor drug induced, no
I’m just doin’ alright

How’d I Fit That All In???

It’s 9:30pm as I write this and I’m just finishing dinner (…actually I’m eating ice cream, but you know…). It’s a long, busy, productive-as-f day, and I love it. Today has been the first day since I’ve been back at school where I *actually feel like I’m at school again. School is starting to pick up, hockey is going steady and I’m in all of my glory

Yesterday, our team had our annual golf tournament with a bunch of sponsors and local businessmen/women. The course we played was in fantastic shape and we couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was fantastic. I was paired up with a few people that didn’t know each other, and I had never met, but by the second hole we were all having a great time.  Drinks were flowing and despite a slow start of even par through 6 holes, we ended up at -6… a respectable score in a scramble for a bunch of non-golfers. Unfortunately, our round took close to 6 hours and as such I ended up eating a bunch of crappy food that I shouldn’t have. By the end of the night I was definitely feeling the effects of my choices, and my allergies were starting to affect me. As a result I was expecting this morning to be a shitshow.

Luckily I woke up before my alarm went off and was full of energy and ready to get the day going. I finished up watching the documentary Food Matters, which surprisingly enough is about how what we eat directly impacts our health. The TL;DR brief for the movie is: take vitamins, eat more than half of your food raw (veggies, nuts, fruit, seeds, etc.) and don’t settle for a pill for every illness.

I knew I needed to grab some more vitamins (zinc and Vitamin C) before I finished up the movie but it kind of reinforced the point. It’s wild how many illnesses that a simple Vitamin C molecule can have a positive impact on… too bad MD’s don’t learn about nutrition and vitamins at school.

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We practiced at 11:40 so I was at the rink by 11, after my ten minute walk across town. Wolfville was packed today thanks to the farmer’s market and 25 degree weather.

After practice I headed back across town and stopped at Shoppers to pick up my zinc and Vitamin C (they’re expensive by the way). I then decided to head to the natural health food store in town. I had never been there before but fell in love as soon as I walked in. Everything you could need was in there, from frozen gluten-free pizza (that I’d never buy anyway) to organic, unpasteurized, raw, local honey (which I did buy). I ended up spending around $40 in the store and will definitely be making a lot more trips.

Part of my haul from the natural foods store. Honey, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, cashews and gluten-free oats
Part of my haul from the natural foods store. Honey, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, cashews and gluten-free oats

Lunch was some left of bacon from breakfast and a zucchini, cucumber and kale salad. I had to sample my new honey too; a quick spoonful was enough to know it was the best honey I’ve ever had.

The library was calling my name at this point and I ended up staying there for over two hours finding articles to reference for my first formal lab write-up of the year.  Our physiology class performed a modified version of the Wingate Anaerobic Test earlier this week and we now have to do a paper on it. The test sucked, the paper will probably suck more.

I hit the gym for a quick workout:

  • sets of 5 of back squats: bar, 135lbs, 185, 225, 245, 255, 265, 275, 285
  • sets of 3 of push press: bar, 50kg, 70, 70, 70
  • sets of 8 dumbbell shoulder press: 35lbs x 3 sets
  • sets of 10 biceps curls: 20lbs x 3 sets

Aaaand headed home to make dinner. While dinner was cooking I finished up an assignment due on Monday and got started on one that just got assigned this morning.

Now here I am, trying to figure out if I’m going to join my friends at a pub and head back to their place for a party or if I’m gonna hit my bed and watch a flick…

Hopefully tomorrow is as productive as today

Turn Off Your Brain And Shut Yourself Up!

I just finished listening to episode 171 of the Barbell Shrugged Podcast with John Broz (go to barbellshrugged.com right now and sign up for the newsletter. I’ve learned so much from these guys it’s ridiculous). God did it ever hit home for me as I start seriously training.

The gist of it was: how you feel is a lie. Basically John, Mike and Chris talked about how the limits you set on yourself are a joke and can be easily overcome if you shut your brain off. John’s athletes squat up to 13 times a week… pretty much 2 times a day, every single day…without fail. And he doesn’t have them doing light weights, his top guys are up to 200kg+ twice a day… serious weights for damn sure.

Listening to this podcast (for probably the third of fourth time) came at a perfect time for me. School is just starting, along with the hockey season beginning to ramp up – a pretty busy time. But thanks to John, I’ve come to realize that just because I am busy, or a bit tired doesn’t mean I can’t hit the gym and get some work done. I won’t hit a PR every time I touch the bar, but as Broz says, “each time you touch the bar is a positive, and every time you don’t it’s a negative”. This is something I really need to remember.

Even if I just go into the weightroom and do some technique work, or positional things it’s a positive. As a result, I’ll be better for it. Ya, maybe I could have stayed home and “recovered” by spending hours on my computer instead, but I won’t be any better academically or athletically because of it.

They also discussed the idea of goals. Broz is not a fan of having small, easily attainable goals. Instead he looks at your goals as what you want to REALLY accomplish. Even if you don’t get to your goals though, you should still accomplish something. For instance, he says you shouldn’t set your goal to make the Olympic team because if you fail you have nothing to show. However, if you set your goal to win Olympic Gold, even if you don’t meet that goal there’s a damn good chance you still made it to the Olympics.

The same goes for the numbers you put up. We all want to be strong and lift heavy ass weights, because we want to be able to tell people about it (humility be damned). We also have a very short period of time to reach those numbers, usually until we reach about the age of 32-35. Assuming you live to 80-ish, you have 45 years where people are asking about your numbers. You don’t want to look back and know you could have done more, so you may as well set your goals high. For instance, maybe you want to snatch 105kg (231lbs)… but do you want to repeatedly tell people that was your max snatch for the next 45 years. Or would you rather tell them your max was 120kg?

The answers to those questions will tell yourself a lot about the type of athlete you are, and you will be.
…I know I’d rather put in the work to tell people 120 instead of 105