Friday, October 07, 2011

Eight Days Until Football Tryouts!

That was a close call! I previously wrote about my fear of quitting after being sick, how it always seems to happen like that, etc. I've been over my cold for over a week, yet I procrastinated on getting back into the swing of prep for tryouts.

But I went to the gym today. Wow, am I a noodle! I did a 200 meter row warm-up, followed by 4 x 50 meter row sprints, Abdominal Rotations (1 set, each side, 10 reps at 30 lbs.) and Abdominal Crunches (2 set, 10 reps each at 35 lbs.).

It was a short workout, but it felt really good (even though I feel woefully limp). Since I have a tendency to overdo and then end up laid up for days, I decided to take it pretty easy today. Tomorrow I plan on stepping up my game a little bit...then again on Sunday...and Monday.

It's just a little more than a week until tryouts and I don't feel all. Still, I'm going to go out there, give it my best, and leave it all out on the field.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Football Experience - 25 Days and Counting

I really hate this. What is this, you ask? This is being sick. The sniffles, sore throat, pain in the ears, sneezing, general aches, etc. In short, a cold. But let me back up.

After my weight lifting, I had a couple days of event photography and photo editing that kept me from Thursday's workout session and Friday was spent editing and trying to get all the things done that I hadn't gotten done earlier in the week. On Saturday, I traveled to the Long Beach Health Expo and helped out a friend of mine who is a certified fitness instructor. I helped run her table, answered questions and then photographed her workout demo. After, we all went out to dinner. I had a great time

It wasn't until I was about halfway home that I started to feel a little bit of scratchiness in my throat and a low pressure pain in my ears. My immediate thought was "Oh crap, not now." I knew I just couldn't afford to be sick. But, sure enough, by Sunday morning I was in full blown cold mode. I was supposed to go back to the Health Expo and help out again but I had to call in and cancel. I felt awful for having to disappoint a friend.

It's now Tuesday and I have been cooped up in the house for the majority of the past three days. I'm not sick enough to be in bed, but I'm too sick to be working out. It's so frustrating.

You see, illness is what has stopped me in the past. I used it as an excuse, a crutch, a way to avoid continuing whatever fitness path I was on. Once derailed, I stayed derailed, often for months. I can't let that happen this time. I haven't even been to tryouts yet. So when I whine about my frustration and being sick, it comes from a real place; a place of fear.

I'm afraid of giving up this time, afraid of what it might mean for me mentally and physically. I want to be successful and I don't want to be sick!

I seem to handle injury better than illness. Below is a photo of the after effects of my run in with the Nautilus machine four days after the incident. I still finished the workout.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Football Experience - 30 Days and Counting

One month. One month until tryouts. Nervous, excited, etc. Luckily, I was not too wiped out from yesterday's walk to make working out today a pain wracked experience. I know that pacing myself will be very important in this endeavor. Pacing myself has never been my strong suit. I have a tendency to get involved in something and go full steam ahead until I run out of steam. I have no intention of letting that happen this time.

Tonight was my night in the gym. Now, I am no stranger to the gym, so going in to lift weights is really not a big deal, but in light of my upcoming tryouts, every weight lifted and every drop of sweat seemed to take on a special significance. I was very excited to work on some of the machines and see my baseline strength. I know that I'm not as strong as I used to be and that I am older, but, hopefully, wiser. And so of course, during the course of my workout, I banged my shin on a foot peg, leaving a nice shiny bruise. Oh joy! Still, I didn't let that stop me and continued my workout.

I did a round of arm and shoulder machines and then ended my workout with leg presses. The breakdown went like this:

Bicep Curl - 1 set, 10 reps @ 45lbs.
Lateral Raise - 2 sets, 10 reps @ 40lbs.
Pectoral Fly - 2 sets, 15 reps @ 15lbs.
Rowing - 3 sets, 15 reps @ 30lbs.
Lat Pulldown - 3 sets, 15 reps:
1 set @ 60lbs., 1 set @ 45lbs. & 1 set @ 30lbs.
Leg Press - 2 sets, 15 reps:
1 set @ 100lbs. & 1 set @ 180lbs.
Leg Press - 1 set, 20 reps @ 260lbs.

First off, the bicep curls...ouch, too much weight. Next time I need to adjust the weight lower. The lateral raise, pectoral fly, and rowing were all good, not too easy, not too hard. The lat pulldown was too tough at 60 pounds, tough at 45 pounds and too easy at 30 pounds. It looks like the 45 pound mark will be good for that machine.

This brings us to the leg press. OMG, I was so silly. I started at 100 pounds and it was absurdly easy. I bumped it up to 180 pounds and I struggled a little bit. I think 160 pounds is a good starting place for me on that machine. Then I had to go and get cocky. I really wanted to see if I could lift more than my body weight. So I bumped it from 180 to 260 pounds.

Then I did 20 repetitions. The above photo is from the Leg Press machine with me holding 260 pounds with my legs. The video below is from my last 5 reps of that set. I am not looking forward to how my quads are going to feel when I wake up tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Football Experience - 31 Days til Tryouts

7:00pm - I waited, nervously, for members of the team and the coach to arrive. Would I be able to keep up? Would I injure myself on my very first day out? Would everyone see just how weak and unfit I am?

Luckily, none of those things happened. We met up and did a little stretching before setting off for a brisk walk around a very large park in Ventura. One loop equaled approximately 1.5 miles. We walked one loop and though I got a bit out of breath on the uphill portions, I managed to complete one circuit. We started our second circuit and made it about 1/4 of the way around until we turned into the park's entrance and jogged the remaining 100 yards or so.

I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. I thought I would give up and quit. But I didn't. Though I staggered the final few yards, I made it.

Now I feel just a little bit stronger.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Football Experience - 32 Days and Counting

I went ahead and moved my football experience over here from Facebook notes. Here's my original post:

This morning I went to watch the tryouts for the Black Widows, a women's full-contact football team in Ventura. I went for several reasons: first, I wanted to see if this was something that I could even consider doing physically; second, I wanted to see if I would even like to play on a team with these ladies; and third, I wanted to see how the coaches interacted with everyone.

I was pleasantly surprised on all counts.

No drama is one of their mantras, one I can fully support. The capabilities of the players ranged and I knew that I'd be able to fit myself in there somewhere. I know I need to step up my physical fitness, but I also know that I can improve with practice. The players and potential players were all really nice and seemed very dedicated. And the coaches were great too.

I now know what to expect come October 15th (the next tryout). I know that I need to see how many push ups and sit ups I can do in a minute (each). I'll keep working on that. I need to start doing wind sprints. I haven't done one in over 20 years. I'll need passing and receiving practice (even if I never handle the ball in a game). I need to do many squats and lunges. I'll be in the gym lifting weights to build up my quads, chest and shoulders.

I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to be part of a team again. I realized today just how much I missed it.

Stay Tuned!

Back to today : Since watching tryouts on Saturday, I have been excited. I haven't been this jazzed about something athletic since I tried boxing (which only lasted a couple months before I got injured and basically wussed out) last year. My hope is that I will be able to stick with this, be part of a team, and make a lasting change in my physical fitness.

So I have 32 days until tryouts. Today I did some testing to see where I am physically. I did timed tests of sit ups and push ups. Wow, do I suck at this! While I was able to do 28 crunches in one minute, I didn't have the strength to do one full sit up! I did 17 push ups on my knees in one minute. I feel so...I don't know, a mix of emotions. I want to feel strong, but I don't. I feel sad, angry (at myself), a little depressed, but curiously optimistic. I want this and I feel I can do this. I have a month to do just that.

Tomorrow I join some of the players, recruits and one of the coaches for a conditioning workout. I'll report back...if I survive. Y'all know I will though!