May 272014
 

It has been over a year now.  I mark the weekend of St. Patricks Day as my official entry into the kettlebell world.  I guess that I could say it was February of 2009 that I started but that was not as memorable.

So here is the chronicle of my rise to the kettlebell.  My wife and I have been looking for something to supplement our weight machine and elliptical.  She asked if I had heard of these “kettle thingies”.  I didn’t realize it but I had.  I remember saying “those are those Russian things that are supposed to be really good exercise.”  I did some research after that and decided that I was right, kettlebells were a great workout.

In February, I went a bought a set of kettlebells at Big 5 sporting goods.  The set had a 5#, 10#, 15#, and 20# and it was on sale.  That is what sold it for me.  I looked up some exercises and started with the 15 and 20#.  I was quickly done with both as they were way too light.

It was St. Patricks Day weekend in 2009 that I bought my first 35# bell and went crazy from there.  Now I have written about how cool kettlebells are for me before.  I have also written about how much time I have spent researching and playing around.  I am fairly content now, using my 35# for most things and my new 55# that I got for Christmas for swings and heavier practice.

I just love using the things.  I don’t do much with the lighter bells anymore.  Even with all the time I spent drilling out the 15# bell I don’t load it up much anymore.  I am teaching my kids to use the bells though.  My 3 year old uses the 5# for “up downs” which are her versions of swings.  This is one of the main reasons that I started with kettlebells.

I want to get healthy and stay healthy.  I want my family to be healthy.  I want my family to have something to do together that will let us go play baseball all day long.  I want my kids to be strong both mentally and physically.  They should be able to lift heavy things.

I would live to hear comments!

Justin

May 272014
 

 

I have been thinking for 2 days now about this post. I didn’t get to it yesterday and today I decided to do something else and now, I am going to combine them. If that made sense to anyone else, you may need professional help. So here goes.

I finally got my 55# kettlebell for Christmas. It was a gift from my parents and they thought I was strange for even asking for it. It was kind of funny how ticked off I was when, after they asked what I wanted and I told them a 24 kilo bell, my mother said the clerks in the sporting goods store didn’t think anyone should need a bell that heavy and only football players and weightlifters needed that size. My response was childish I suppose. I was mad that anyone would presume to know me and what I needed or not. It went on but I digress. The short of it is, I got a nice shiny black kettlebell for Christmas. It has taken me a few days to get used to the size of the thing, it is much bigger than my 35# bell. And the handle seems huge but it works. So, here and now, is my only resolution (so far) I want to rub all of that shiny black paint off of the handle and the sides of the bell. I want to use it so much that there is not only no shine left but no paint. That will take a lot of work but I am looking forward to it.

 

Now for the sarcastic rant of the day. I live in Utah. It snows in Utah. It snows every year between November and February. Much of the time that it snows people need to drive. So, it goes logically that at some point, living in Utah will require a person to drive on a snowy day. Right!?!? Well today it snowed most of the day. There was not much that ended up on the ground and the roads being plowed and salted ended up just the other side of wet. WET ROADS ARE NOT SLICK! I just get tired of people only going 5 MPH when the limit is 45. I didn’t slide at all or use the anti-lock brakes. It continuously surprises me that people here can’t drive in the snow.

Just my 2 cents

Justin

Nov 112013
 

Just have to keep it up I say to myself.  Just do it.  How do you ever expect to make anything as a writer if you don’t write?  That is where I am today.  I did get some great Christmas shopping done and a few other things that I needed to do, but it took me quite  the long time to get around to writing.

See I have this problem, I like to procratinate and talk alot.  I am full of …..well knowledge among other things.  I have spent way too much time reading or “researching” how to do things instead of just doing them.

I started kettlebell training last February.  I read a bit then got some small kettlebells.  Then I read.  and Read.  And Read.  Trained a little, and read a lot.  If knowledge of the kettlebell were worth anything tangible, I would be rich.  As it is I am somewhat stronger and do like to use them, but I spend way too much time reading about them and complaining about Jillian Michaels doing it wrong.  Bah.

I am getting the same way about my writing.  I am finally getting off of my duff to write a book that I hope can be published within a year.  I have read tons  of blogs on writing and blogs just to read.  I have written very little.  I have ideas, I have well researched dates to be somewhat historically accurate.  I have barely 1000 words written.

I started this blog to write.  To force myself to write something without consequences.  To write something where the only deadline is midnight.  To force myself to craft, to craft sentences that are coherent and a cohesive message each day.  I can do it.  I have always been able to write fairly well, at least that is smoke that has been blown at me since elementary school.

Hopefully I will accomplish a decent blog.  I am going to work on it.  I will at least write for me whether or not anyone else reads it.  I owe ME that much.  Maybe I will find something of myself in all of these pixels and HTML codes.

Write on,

Justin

Sep 262013
 

Hello All.  I really need to get my prewriting done so that I can post at the same time every day.  This has been another day of labs and running.  I haven’t decided if it is a good thing or not that my 3 year old is so good for blood draws.  with the help of some numbing cream she doesn’t flinch or even cry anymore.  She is amazing.  My wife works in an ER and she comes home with stories of football players and “manly men” that cry and blubber over the sight of a needle.  And my 3 year old puts them to shame.  I am so proud.

She is small but a great example to me of Inner Strength.  The part I am focusing on here is just doing what needs to be done, no matter what.  She put up with 9 major surgeries and 2 years worth of 4x per week dialysis (about 4 hours per session) and didn’t complain much.  She puts out her arm for blood draws and puts up with more prodding and poking by doctors than should be legal.  And then she comes home and plays like a normal kid.  I only hope that I can be that strong inside.

I am not actively working on inner strength.  I am working on Functional Strength.  My motto has been “I don’t care how big my arms are, I want to lift and move heavy things like rocks, cars, small buildings, things like that.”  I chose Kettlebells to do much of this with for reasons I am going to get into in another post.

I have been a huge advocate of functional strength for long time.  I figure you should be able to do things with muscle.  You should be able to break rocks with a sledge hammer or carry Costco sized bags of dog food around without a problem.  I started this train of thought almost 15 years ago on a rabbit hunt.

Here is the story.  My sister was engaged to this guy who was a gymnast.  He was fairly good at gymastics and had far out hopes to be an olympian.  He had the visible muscles that women swoon over and considered himself strong.  So, my Dad and I decided to take him on a rabbit hunt in the desert with us.  We went down to central Utah where my Dad grew up and started out walking.  We walked all day, up and down hills, and covered several miles.  Over that time we had to stop several times.  It wasn’t for me or my Dad.  It was for Mr. Gymnast.  He then fell asleep on the drive home and slept the whole way.  We completely wore him out and he was in the best “shape” of any of us!  That was my first wake up call.  You can be strong and functional overall or you can be strong in a specific way that is not good for long durations.

Now, I have always been strong.  My Dad always made me move things and help.  He always had us walking either hiking or hunting.  Even fishing is an active sport for him.  Fly fishing is great because you walk up the stream for 5 miles or so before you stop.  He has never quite given up the “Give Em Hell” attitude that he earned in the SEALs.  But, while I am not him I have been taught to push until you collapse.  Or close to it.  I have always been able to move fridges and couches with not much problem.  I hauled a piano on a dolly out of a guys basement pretty much by myself.  I have always been able to walk most of the day with a pack.  But I know there is more that I want to do.  I am using the kettlebells and punching bags to be fit over my whole body and finally be able to do pullups.  I always thought that my shoulders just would not let me do pullups.  I now know that I just don’t have “those” muscles built up enough to do them.  That will change. And it will change with old school equipment, no aerobics or fu-fu machines.

I know that if I build up my functional strength with kettlebells and the punching bag, (and yard work, there are many trenches to be dug and rocks to be hauled in my yard) that will help my Inner Strength that I am not actively working on.  Every time I complete one of my goals or can lift something heavier or for a longer duration it boosts my ego and self esteem.  Every boost builds up the inner strength by making me think that I can do anything.  At this point even setbacks are positive, my inner strength is building and not letting me quit.  Even needing to go back to some basics is not a setback, just a refinement of technique.  Doing what has to be done without complaining.  Lessons from a 3 year old girl that a 35 year old man is finally beginning to understand.

My goals right now, are to make my body stronger and to make my writing stronger.  Functionally Stronger, able to lift cars and rocks, able to write coherent readable posts and stories.  Internally Stronger, able to push past mental barriers, able to put out content under pressure.

Better, more focused writing and overall strength.  I think those are good goals.

Thanks for indulging me.

Justin