Stories from the ‘Life Challenge’, New Cabinets, Trail Running

Hi and welcome to another week,

I am so OVER multi-jumps.  My excitement for them this time last week has been surpassed by the pain in my quads, hammies and glutes – not to mention knees – from completing (approximately) 113002 of them in the last 6 days!   What felt like fun on Monday and seemed like it might still be fun on Tuesday was not a great time by the time Friday ‘No-rules’ and Saturday rolled around!  Needless to say, no multi-jumps next week…there are a couple of cool new exercises to have a go at though!

Before going on with the blog, I just wanted to congratulate everyone who is doing the challenge who has stuck at it through the first 3-weeks.  Given the resoundingly positive results that have been coming from the ‘mid-point measurements’ I am really hopeful that everyone who is participating is feeling nice and motivated to keep it going for another 3 weeks.  Me?  I am pretty happy to have stuck steadfastly to the diet to this point – not a single point lost – and I do feel better for it.  Sure, the temptation of bread (maybe just one sandwich?), sugar (maybe just a powerade?) and alcohol (beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy) is strong at times, but to this point anyway my belief in the benefits of denial have been stronger than the temptations!

As part of the week 3 challenge, all of the participants were asked to write a few short sentences on topics relating to the challenge – how they are feeling, how they are staying focussed and how they plan to keep up the momentum at the conclusion of the challenge.  Here are a few samples – and I deliberately haven’t quoted the authors:

  • I feel great – healthier, fitter, and have lost more weight than expected.
  • I have realised over the past few weeks that my diet was extremely unhealthy.  I used to think that I was relatively healthy but after reading product labels and researching what I can and cannot eat I now realise that my diet was bad.  This process has opened my eyes up to the amount of sugar in foods, the foods that I and my family used to regularly eat.  It is with this in mind that I hope by the end of this challenge to have inspired my husband and children to curve their love of processed food.  I am in the process of exposing them to healthy eating that is good for you and tastes good.
  •  Am also realising that I need a holistic approach to health/fitness/losing weight, etc. I need to combine diet, exercise and positive thoughts and actions in order to succeed.
  • For twenty-odd years I’ve enjoyed my tea with milk and one sugar. For the past two-and-a-half weeks it’s been black and unsweetened. I’m actually beginning to like it that way. (Black coffee with no sugar is another matter altogether). Prior to the challenge I also ate bread every day, sometimes six slices, and either rice, pasta or potatoes pretty much every day as well. Now I’m forced to be much more creative with what I eat and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m eating more fruit and veggies by default, but I’ve also made Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie, Paleo Fruit Crumble, and all manner of ad hoc concoctions within the rules of the challenge. If I’m completely honest, we’ve never eaten better.
  • The support group through the facebook page has been fantastic, even people not doing the challenge are joining in which has really helped keep my motivation solid.
  • I have been really surprised how much I have NOT missed my old eating habits, I have loved trying new things and I don’t want this to come to an end when the challenge finishes.
  • I will stay strong and carry on with this challenge even after it has finished, as I know in my head and my heart that I cannot continue to live the lifestyle that I was.
  • I have always referred to myself as a bad cook, but I think lazy cook may have been more appropriate. I’ve just never thought about meals in depth before this challenge – I’ve traditionally gone with whatever was easy without a lot of consideration for nutritional value. Prior to this challenge I don’t think I’d ever read an ingredients list (and so had never realised that there is sugar in almost everything). Therefore my life plan at the end of the challenge is, at the very least, to maintain the practice of thinking about what I’m putting in my mouth and evaluate how good it is for me.
  • Giving up alcohol is no mean feat. Not that I am a big drinker by any means, but I regularly, well almost every day, would get home from work and pour myself a glass of wine. This often led to some cheese on crackers or another glass of wine once dinner was served.  3 weeks in and I haven’t touched alcohol. I don’t know whether I am necessarily feeling better for it as I have cut so many other things out of my diet to be able to tell, but I do have a sense of pride knowing I DO have the will power to break the habit and not pour that glass each night.
  • I have gone without grains, dairy or sugar since the beginning (of the challenge). I’ve tried, many times in the past, to cut out all of these things, but have never lasted more than a few days. I had a splitting headache on day 2, but after a good sleep, woke up feeling more alert and clear minded than I had in ages. The difference was significant. As soon as my eyes open in the morning, I’m wide-awake and have energy; it’s been quite a change.

My favourite ‘story’ actually quoted a passage from a book published way, way back at the start of the 20th Century – ‘The Game’ by literary legend Jack London.  I have recopied the quote here in the hope a few others might join me in being inspired by the sentiment:

“Look at me. I tell you I have to live clean to be in condition like this. I live cleaner than she does, or her old man, or anybody you know–baths, rub-downs, exercise, regular hours, good food and no makin’ a pig of myself, no drinking, no smoking, nothing that’ll hurt me. Why, I live cleaner than you, Genevieve–”

“Honest, I do,” he hastened to add at sight of her shocked face. “I don’t mean water an’ soap, but look there.” His hand closed reverently but firmly on her arm. “Soft, you’re all soft, all over. Not like mine. Here, feel this.”

He pressed the ends of her fingers into his hard arm-muscles until she winced from the hurt.

“Hard all over just like that,” he went on. “Now that’s what I call clean. Every bit of flesh an’ blood an’ muscle is clean right down to the bones–and they’re clean, too. No soap and water only on the skin, but clean all the way in. I tell you it feels clean. It knows it’s clean itself. When I wake up in the morning an’ go to work, every drop of blood and bit of meat is shouting right out that it is clean. Oh, I tell you–”

There are countless other stories I could have shared, but I hope everyone gets a feeling of what everyone is experiencing and how a little bit of sacrifice is leading to big changes and positive results.  You can’t do it with diet alone.  You can’t do it with training alone.  You need to take a holistic approach – diet, training, rest – if you want results and want to achieve whatever health related goals you have set for yourself.

Life Challenge – Week 4 Challenge

The challenge for week 4 is back to the physical:

1/.Write down the score you recorded for your ‘mid term’ pushup test.  For example, my score was 61.

2/.Take 75% of that score – again, in my case – 45.  This is your ‘target number’.

3/.Complete ‘your target number’ of pushups on the minute, every minute – for 8-minutes.

Now – these are not ring pushups – they are just ‘normal’ pushups on the ground (though I do expect these pushups to be completed on your toes, not on your knees).  Each day you COMPLETE the challenge you will receive 1 x Challenge point (up to a maximum of 3).

Gym Update #1 – Sparring gloves are GO!

The new sparring gloves have finally arrived in the gym and they look and feel great.  These are – just like our leather punching gloves – 100% leather and I am really proud of this product – there has been a fair bit of time spent in getting them ‘right’ and I think they are right on the money.  If you are looking for even more hand protection than our punching gloves provide then these might be the solution you are looking for.  $65 in a range of colours.

Gym Update #2 – New Cabinets

I am very happy with our new cabinets and believe we have really transformed the reception area at Round 1 into a much more functional space where our products – colours and sizes – are much easier to find.  I would love to hear your comments on the cabinets, how they look and whether or not the way the products are presented is helpful.

On a similar note, please let me know what you think of our range of gloves – I am pretty proud of them – particularly the leather punching gloves and the new sparring gloves – and would love to know what you think.

Next step – sort out the storage area…baby steps!

Hands On India Ball

The 2012 Hands on India Ball is on Saturday October 20th at the Hyatt Regency Perth.  The ball is a fundraiser to help the Chiropractic students at Murdoch University travel to India to provide free chiropractic and medical care to the Siriguri community – find more details HERE.

Tickets to the ball – which features a three course meal, four hour beer and wine package and entertainment including music, Bollywood dancers and Henna tattooing – are $175 each.  If anyone would like to be part of a table and help the students out, please let me know via email and I will look after the admin side of things.

Facebook Highlights

A great week on Facebook – lots of debate about the classes (especially the multi jumps) as well as mentions of the Body Work class, some TANKS discussions and the posting of a couple of ‘interesting’ pics.  There was also a couple of threads all about Vanessa Gaspar’s weight loss story that she told on 92.9 this week – as R1 was the gym she was training at throughout her transformation there are lots of well wishes and appreciation for Vanessa and her incredible effort.  Some other highlights:

Plyometric pushups:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HZYRvYXoIc

Urban Flow:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrxpH6_viMU&feature=youtu.be

Terry Crews:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ15vCGuvH0&feature=share

Fun fitness blog:  http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/

Make sure you join us on the site (click HERE) and get involved with the daily conversations – it really does help keep you focused on your training and diet.

Link of the week

There was a bit of interest in the various fun-runs etc around Perth last year – and the ‘Perth Trail Series’ is about to enter its second year.  The trail run schedule for the upcoming summer have now been announced and you can view them here:  http://www.perthtrailseries.com/summer_race_series.htm

This is certainly something I am really keen to have a go at and I hope we can get a crew of Round 1’ers cruising around a few fire trails and bush tracks in the early new year.

See you in the gym!

Michael.