Happy to be part of team Mercury and looking forward to what the next 90 days will bring.
Coming off of KB 3 about two months ago and keeping up with the maintenance routine (not the diet), I have been adding some extra sets to the workouts. I am really concentrating on my form and taking my time to get it right. All in all, I feel good.
Another Program Completed GRADUATION POST
I enjoyed KB 3 very much. Especially the different ways to attack the exercises though negatives, centuries, and the all-time favorite... 21s!
This program was not as fraught with humor and stupid human tricks like the others. It was more of a grind and each day I looked forward to it. Of course... it leaves me wanting more.
The photo for this post is from Melbourne. An interesting touristy fact about that city is that in narrow lanes that crisscross the Central Business District (CBD or Downtown) are countless artistic forms of graffiti. The walls are forever changing and if I were to return, this portrait will probably no longer exist. A perfect metaphor to how Kenzai, and the attitude it brings, helps you change and morph into the version of you that is best for the lanes you are walking along.
A rest... then perhaps... another program?
Last week was a mad dash of closing deals, negotiating contracts, and motivating the team to hit the number. Got my workouts end (secretly love centuries) and did not stress break the diet. Been running more than skipping and enjoying that again... for now.
In the last week!
This past weekend I wrapped up my trip to Australia.
Downsides of the trip are getting my bags searched because of the bands, missing workouts while diving (but that was a workout in and of itself), and I am way behind on my lessons. Like really behind.
Positives of the trip are that I worked out hard when I did, switched from skipping to running prior to the exercises when I could (when you add tropical humidity creates a whole lot of sweat), stuck close to the diet, and had a great relaxing time off.
I added some of my run times during the trip. I got slower as the weather got more humid. Running was a great way to add a twist to the workout and see some different views of the city.
My trip across Australia continues.
I have been skipping the jump rope for running about 5km+ each day (except for four days when I was diving off of the Great Barrier Reef) in the humidity. I figure it is like running in water with a hair dryer on full blast. My workout clothes are drenched in sweat and it makes me feel like I am making giant weight loss strides. By the way, when you run in drenched clothing it adds weight to your run making each stride a little harder.
The one thing I have noticed in my foreign travels on KB is how easy it is to stay on plan. In the States, when I travel, I find it harder than when abroad.
I celebrated my birthday on a liveaboard boat where I learned to SCUBA dive. After four fun days of adventure, I am now certified for open water diving, deep water diving, and enriched oxygen diving. I saw four giant sea turtles, I saw Dori, I found Nemo, and I saw some sharks. I highly suggest that you take a reef adventure in Australia. Even if it is just snorkeling, it is totally worth seeing all the life below. It is another world completely just below the surface.
If I am on Kenzai then it is a given that I am traveling. Five programs, three continents, four countries, and hilarities continue to ensue.
For the first time, I am in the same part of the world as some of my fellow KB teammates. Granted, I am not in the same time zone as most of them but I am on their side of the world. To my teammates in Asia, you may not know it but thank you for the kind welcome you have given me.
Now, where am I? You might be wondering (or probably not really.) I am in Australia. For me, at least, it is like entering a parallel universe. I think I am starting to understand why the show Sliders chose Australia as the nemesis for the United States on the parallel worlds. Like the show, that contemplates the reality of such different parallel worlds, I have found it to be so in Australia.
Everything is different... and then the same. It is so weird.
The commonality... the bands. Traveling with them is traveling with danger curled up in a bag. This time, while going through the domestic terminal in Melbourne, (Terminal 3 if you really want to know), I got my bag opened and searched. Just like on KB2, I entered into that Kafka-esque circular argument over how the bands “look like ‘suspicious’ wires” and that I should know better than to travel with them in my carry-on luggage.
Now you would think that I would have learned my lesson from the previous encounter... and I did! I am in a foreign country! I am not going to be completely asinine and argue for the sake of arguing. No... not this time or any time for that matter. I do know better.
Except... I did say, “They are just exercise bands, what’s the big deal?”
An innocent question. An innocuous question. An irreverent question. Which resulted in a complete thorough search of every piece in my carry on. Everything was swabbed with the bomb-sniffing patch. Everything was analyzed with a sharp eye and inspected with skepticism. The bright side out of all of it... I got my carry-on packed better than when I did it myself.
On a more exercise note, I ran each day in Melbourne. Each day earlier than the next cause the heat was incredibly insanely hot! The last heat wave of the Summer there. I usually don’t run when I am on KB. I stick to skipping. When traveling, and the weather permits, I do like to get out and enjoy exercising in the locality that I am in. If you are in Melbourne, I highly recommend you run the “Tan” around the Botanical Gardens and Remembrance Shrine. From where I was staying to running the route, it was a good 4 miles. Each morning run was better than the last and a bit of an ass kicker as well.
Good afternoon gang. We are at that magical halfway point in the program. I am not sure about the rest of you but for me, it seems as if KB3 is going to over really soon and then I realize we have a few more days. It is upon that realization where I am like, “Yay! More KB3 to come!” I am starting to wonder if I have entered that place where you have just gone over the edge completely… yeah… I probably have.
I have been enjoying the negative exercises. Not as much as the 21s. Those seriously kick my ass and made me have to play with the resistance levels to keep form. On the negatives, I have found that my mind tends to wander more than with any other exercise. I feel like it slows down my sets giving me time to question if I am really getting any benefit from the exercise. It is around the third set that the burn starts to kick in and as I slowly do the rep I go from a wandering mind to a mind full of colorful English expressions mixed with some German. The final set is… an ass kicker.
I have been finding myself looking forward to some days more than others. I have to admit, I am not a fan of the leg exercises. So the more predominate leg day with shoulders is a bit of a snooze fest for me. That means that the chest and back days are my faves. I feel like I get more out of those workouts and I am probably putting in more effort into those days as well.
The halfway point… there are now going to be fewer days ahead… I am looking forward to maximizing my effort throughout the rest. Yes, even leg days.
Photo by Caleb Minear on Unsplash
I have been reading through our team's blogs and the common theme from the 21's is the burn. I am feeling the burn for sure. Yet, the 21s have been my favorite exercises so far in the program. It has brought in a variety that I have been missing from some of the other programs I have done on Kenzai. The burn... feels really good.
Which has brought me to think of the song Disco Inferno by The Trammps when my muscles burn from the workouts:
Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
I couldn't get enough, so I had to self-destruct
The heat was on, rising to the top
Everybody going strong, and that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down y'all
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
I have included the song for those of you that have not had the pleasure of seeing bad dancing, bad lyrics and really bad fashion from the 1970's.
Like the picture on this blog, I do feel like a creaky gate when going through the exercises at times. Especially, when I do not really put the effort into skipping at the beginning of the workout.
The diet has been going well and I have moved beyond missing carbs in the evening. I am taking solace in the fact that I still have my milk. (Which is so weird... I hated, and I mean truly detested, drinking milk straight without cereal as a child.)
Photo by HENCE THE BOOM on Unsplash
I am at that phase of the program where the carbs have been removed from the evening meal. They are gone. Gone! As in no more! Well, at least until they return again later in the program and after the program. For now, they have been lost as we enter the Plateau and the Valley... it feels so dark and cold.
Which, of course, means, it is Sashimi time!
The funny thing is that without the carbs is when I think I spend more on food than when there are carbs. Which either means there is a grand conspiracy around carbs and how they are used as fillers or I tend to spend more on fish. Hmmm... probably the later for sure.
Either way, at dinner this past week all I have been thinking about is bread and beer. For some reason, rice never seems to enter into the picture. Just bread and beer. I have to get past those thoughts at first and then set my sites on the 'morrow for when I can have some Dave's Killer Bread for breakfast.
The great thing is that milk is still there. So at least I have that going for me.
Bread Making Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash
I have been thinking through what makes the time fly for me. (I know... I am a few lessons and blog posts behind... it happens to me on occasion. Okay, every program I do tend to go a bit dark. Apologies for being like that.) When it comes down to it, what makes the time fly and I am in the "zone" is when I am cooking, brewing, or baking. I know, those are three different skills but they have something in common: creating something consumable for those around you. Also, by nature they take time and when you are in the moment... time becomes a guide rather than something to fear.
The last few weeks I have been pushing myself beyond what the reps call for to get to the burn. I found the full body exercises to be harder than expected. That made everything fun again. It also fueled a few interesting burning sensations in a good way... a very good way. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of the "normal" program. I am practicing on my form to make sure I milk each and every rep.
So we have two weeks in the books. Two wonderful glorious weeks completed in a journey we have taken numerous times. Some of us together. For others, it is our first time on the path to completely changing ourselves for the better.
The best piece of advice I have ever had was from a customer of mine over twenty years ago. Before we inked the deal, we had numerous meetings about how we were going to deploy our service for his company. Sometimes the meetings were just about the meetings. Other times, it felt like we were making progress to finally becoming their vendor of choice. After each meeting, I'd ask when he would sign the contract in front of him, and each time he would reply, "It takes two years to make an elephant." I use that same phrase now with the team that I lead because what it means: You need to be patient and you need to persevere for good things to be birthed. :)
That brings me to how I chart my days during the various programs I have been on. I do not have one particular day that stands out worst from the other. When I first read the lesson I was instantly thinking about the scene in the movie Office Space where the hero is in the therapist's office:
Peter Gibbons: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.
Dr. Swanson: What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Dr. Swanson: Wow, that's messed up.
It is one of the joys or sorrows of start-up life. Every day is thrilling and exciting while filled with the joys of stress sprinkled on top. Each sprinkle is worse than the last. That then leads me to how I deal with it. Of course, it is another movie that pops into my mind. (You'll find that I think of movies and pop-culture references a lot.) In this particular movie, which is called Lone Survivor, the opening scene shows what Navy Seal training is like. It is not for the faint of heart. It has a motto that they tell each Bud during the worst of it,"Find an excuse to win." It is worth the three minutes to watch. Finding an excuse to win helps me break through the stressful days and the exercises I hate.
Finally, if there is one thing I would love to get rid of it those love handles that have stuck with me since I was ten or so. If I can just have one week without them, I would be happy.
Week three... bring it and the other nine weeks that follow. Let's kick some ass!
Photo by Camille Couvez on Unsplash
Hello KB3 Team,
I am excited to get the program going and kicking the last pieces of fat off! This is my fifth program on Kenzai and each one has had a unique impact on my body, mind, and spirit. You'll find through my blog that each program has its unique challenges and shows me the absurdities of modern life. I look forward to enjoying the adventures together!
I reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and work for a start-up. That means lots of stress, challenges, and travel. The one thing I have learned throughout my two-plus years on Kenzai is that the stress and inability of others to understand the "why" about what you are doing can cause some tough challenges. We few, we crazy few, already know this from the previous programs and yet each time we confront them, they are different and tough.
Body movements done. Pick up soccer for the cross training this Sunday. Bring on the diet! Don't touch my milk!
A Great Program With Wonderful Lessons GRADUATION POST
Another Kenzai program down in the books.
This one was unique for me as I had my first setback that was not an injury. I learned to deal with it, accept it, and overcome it. I enjoyed the wonderful feeling of lifting iron. I could feel myself get stronger and look forward to particular days and exercises with a whole new light. If there is an Iron 2... I am in.
Great team and group of people. Thank you all for a wonderful program!
I have survived another stressful week. One filled with deal negotiation, disappointments, and photo finishes. Add to the stress: the 'rents showing up. Nothing like family to want to take you off of your workout routine and diet. Ahh... the family... they tempted me with the dark side and resisted!
I also got amazing amounts of sleep in too.
One more week... just one more.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash