Under Construction

Four weeks from the upcoming Saturday, I will be strutting my stuff on stage and flexing my deltoids, trapezes, triceps, rhomboids, biceps, and more.  And so the real countdown has begun.

musclemap

It is hard to fathom, that only six months ago I decided to compete. For nearly six months, my focus has been eating clean, getting adequate rest, sculpting and constructing my physic through creative and consistent weight training, and an unwavering dedication to training.

Going into the stretch, besides my “regular” workout regime, 30 minutes of cardio, is a part of the mix.

No two-body types are the same, which makes it a tricky, scientific, and methodical process. Who knew? I certainly didn’t! What works for one body may not work for another body. Thankfully my friend is guiding me through this process. Honestly I’d be lost without her. Thank you AR!

Slowly my caloric intake has reduced, but nothing crazy. Amazingly, the combo of 30 minutes of cardio and slightly cutting calories is resulting in slow weight loss.

Monday is weigh-in day. Here are the earlier numbers:

March 31st – 147 lb..

April 7th – 145.2 lb..

√ April 14th – 142.9 lb..

I am astonished by the quick decline! Why? Because I haven’t done anything extreme, like run 10 miles or eat less than 2000 calories on any given day. The other surprise in all of this is the redistribution of weight. Typically 147 is a big number for me, yet my clothes are fitting me differently.

Last night I was able to pull my size 8, normally fitted jeans, off without unzipping or unbuttoning them! Hubby and I laughed hysterically about that. Pretty much all of my clothes, including my undies are falling off of me.

At the end of most days, the frequency and intensity of training, working, and trying to take care of the house, leaves me feeling exhausted. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out… like a light…into a deep sleep. Some nights though when I attempt to roll over, especially the days that I worked shoulders and arms, the soreness of my muscles wake me. Oh Boy!  Ouch! But I manage to fall back into my deep sleep.

To get a little R & R and “mommy-daddy time,” a few days ago, hubby and I took a break from both our schedules.

We didn’t travel far from home, but it felt like we hopped on a plane and flew south. Overnight temps on Tuesday in South Jersey plummeted some 30 degrees to a low of 34!

We rose to frost and a dusting of snow! But once I nestled into the 85 degree tropical like home for the day, the reminder of winter was a distant memory.

Relaxing and cooling it with hubby in a warm, sunny, and tropical like retreat.  Nice!

Relaxing and cooling it with hubby in a warm, sunny, and tropical like retreat. Nice! I know, my hair looked a hot mess, but my hair wasn’t the priority.

 

getaway2

 

Did I have a meal cheat? That’s a negative!!   Absolutely not! I ate clean and I ate well. I was permitted a little fire water, so I opted for (one drink) a little Vodka with a splash of cranberry juice.

I let the bartender get carried away with the Grey Goose, but when he poured the juice (which is loaded with sugar), I hovered over him like I had a weapon. I’m sure he thought, woman, why bother! After my first sip, I thought the same. Ha! Ha!

The following day I went to CrossFit. Fran! Fran! Fran! She kicked my butt!

The WOD:  Fran x’s Duet

21-15-9

Thrusters (95/65) (75/45)

Pull-ups

Rest 2 min
 & repeat

My trainer reminds me not to over do it when I go to crossFit.

No injuries!

With that in mind, I completed the thrusters with 55 pounds; believe me, that was enough.

For the sake of time, when I did the pull ups, I rotated bands between the thin blue and green bands. Yes, I was challenged but enjoyed every minute of it. My completed WOD time: 18:09

After yesterdays back workout, my trainer reminded again to continue to switch things up. Instead of using the CYBEX Arc Trainer, which I used yesterday, I did something different that was an extremely intense cardio workout, that consisted of 20 minutes of 5 rounds of:

2 minutes – Jacob ladder (JL)

2 minutes – Running at a 6 on the treadmill

I didn’t really rest in between, I just focused on my music, tried not to think about the fire in my hamstrings and quads, and keeping JL between 85-95! Whew!! Twas a lot but fun!! Lol!!

Today was leg day.  Within the first 20 minutes, I did at least six different sets on the Smith Machine.  Mr. Smith as I like to call it, gave me an intense workout.  Lots of squats were incorporated in today’s workout, as well as, (at the end of the workout) some cool plyometric exercises–they used every ounce of my remaining energy.

I realize that today is Easter Sunday; however, we’ve opted for a quiet day.  For most of the week, hubby has been working on replacing the balusters on the steps, pulling up carpet, and adding hard wood flooring on the steps and hallway. I’m so lucky, hubby is great with his hands. His skills are all self taught and he is outstanding at what he does. Nope!  In case you’re wondering, he’s retired from his second gig as carpenter.  Lol!

 

Today, after my workout of course, we decided to chill and watch The Bible on the History Channel.  My feet are propped up and that’s exactly where the need to be.  Rest is crucial to muscle recovery.  Tomorrow we revisit shoulders; my body is still under construction.

Happy Easter and Happy Sunday!

Eight Weeks Out And Counting

 

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

-Buddha

Yesterday marks the 8-week out milestone to stage day! Woo! Hoo!   It’s crunch time!

Pinch me!  Rarely do I have the house to myself; it’s a treat. As I write this, my home is completely silent. Well… other than the tapping sounds of my keyboard and Alex’s paws strolling around the kitchen floor looking for crumbs.

Alex

Speaking of crumbs, there’s probably lots of those on the floor these days. I don’t dare peak. Training has minimized house cleaning..  Oh wow!  Birds are chirping out back. Lovely!  As I was saying, training has cut into house cleaning, plant watering, and other household chores.  But–the fort is still standing and that’s what matters, so I’m over the dust.  LOL!

My training is going well.  To reduce the risk of burning muscle, CossFit is only an option when my work and family schedule prevents me from getting to the gym, which is occasionally.

We’re going heavier with the weights.  Legs, arms, shoulders, back… legs, arms, shoulders, back… and so on.  Three sets. Yes, of course we’re doing ab work, everybody wants to see abs on stage.

The American Natural Bodybuilding Federation held a competition in my area last weekend, so I got the chance to see a show from a competitors perspective.  It was awesome and lots of positive energy!  The competitors looked amazing. With my friend/trainer seated next to me, I learned the do’s and don’t’s of being on stage.

Walking, stage presence, transitioning, posing, and more.  Very helpful, I found this was.  The show was great and I loved more than I expected to.

Attending the show help me to realize that I should also have fun too.  Of course, not so much fun that I lose focus, but don’t take myself too serious and let my personality shine.

Consistent practice will bring me comfort and confidence, which is what I need to rock the stage.  I’ll get there.

Sunday mornings, I spend about an hour walking and posing in my five-inch heels.  Did I say Sunday?  Yes!  OMG!  Sundays are usually my rest days, but I’ve given them up.  I am going to do whatever I have to do to win this.  Win!  So what I’m a novice, if I put the work into training, I should expect the best, so there it is, I said the “W” world.  :)

I finally have some pictures for you.  Forgive my hair and tired looking face…LOL!  It’s Sunday Morning!

Standig sideways

Posing is much harder than it looks.  Viewing pictures of myself help me to visualize what I should and should not look like on stage. I was so focused on the pose, that I forgot to smile.  LOL!  I won’t do that on competition day!

side pose

In this picture, I’m learning how to do a side pose.  I have to work on those stiff hands. Ugh!!

back pose

This is the back pose.  I’m amazed at how my back has grown and developed.  All of the hard work is paying off. There are those stiff hands again!  Working in progress!

Fall/Winter 2013

 Progress!   October/December 2013

edited back

March 2014

Think Forward and…   Happy Sunday!

Rest In Peace Boston

Completing yesterday’s WOD was the intended topic of this post. However, in the middle of writing about my workout, I became captivated by the audio that hubby was listening to.

Nearly six-hour earlier, a deadly fire in Boston killed two firefighters. My hubby has dedicated his entire life to firefighting. At age six, the smell of smoke, blazing fires, and sleek ladder trucks racing through the streets of Atlantic City mesmerized him. It was no surprise to his family and friends that he chose Fire Suppression as his career.

As we listened to the audio of the fire, we sat on the bed frozen by the desperate and frantic voices pleading for water.  At the time, neither of us were aware of the tragic outcome, but hubby was frustrated and worried about the survival of the firefighters.

The heavy breathing of the voices trapped in the basement, screaming “mayday.”  A female dispatcher’s, focused but concerned, voice assures them that help is coming.  This went on for over 15 minutes.

At some point, attempts to communicate to Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy resulted in silence. They no longer responded… Goose bumps covered my arms.  I looked at hubby.  “They’re gone,” he said.  My eyes filled and the tears streamed.  For the first time, I’d listen to two firefighters make the ultimate sacrifice. Oh my God! 

Completing the WOD a couple of hours earlier meant absolutely nothing to me.  At that moment, my heart was grief-stricken. Their loved ones would receive the news that all spouses and families fear.

I am sad for the firefighters on the scene who tried to save their brothers. God help them.

Every day firefighters, police officers, EMT’s, military and others, risk their lives for the safety of others. Thank you for all that you do!  Yesterday the two firefighters died battling the brownstone fire.

According to Boston CBS Local, Lt. Walsh was married and the father of three young children. Sadly, his children will never get to kiss or hug their father again.  My thoughts and prayers are with both families and the Boston Fire Department.

Yes, the story hits close to home, but is yet another reminder of how quickly our lives can change.  A plethora of statistics exists on the life expectancy of just about every group on the planet.

However, “expectancy” is not a guarantee of how long we get to live, so delaying our dreams is futile. I say go for it (whatever it is you’ve wanted to do)! You may need to begin your journey with small baby steps, but if you remain steady and focused, you will arrive at your destination. Failure will only occur when you don’t try.  Sure we experience setbacks, but setbacks are part of the process.  Valuable lessons come from setbacks; those lessons are what moves us forward.

The other day I watched an interview with Michael Jordan. When MJ first joined the NBA, he was noticeably smaller in comparison to players like Charles Barkley, Patrick Hewing, and Larry Bird.  Earlier on he took a physical beating because they were bigger and stronger.  While MJ didn’t fail, he did realize that to compete and to play on the level he desired, he had to step up his game. He worked harder on the court and even harder in the gym.  MJ grew bigger and stronger.  Pretty much the rest is history.

Folks don’t put everything on hold for your children, your spouse, your partner, your boyfriend or girlfriend.  You owe it to yourself to find your purpose and a happy place in life.  You will certainly be a happier, more full-filled, and joyful person.  We can give to ourselves while giving to others.  The trick is finding the balance that works for you.

Fifty days remain until show time and I’m busting at the seams with emotions!  Is this an easy journey?  No. But if it were easy then it wouldn’t be worth the effort.

Effort…   That is precisely what Lt. Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy put forth yesterday….  An incredible amount of effort that may have saved other lives but cost them their own.

RIP Lt. Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy.