Insanity Max: 30 – Day 1

24 08 2015

I did it.  I finished day 1.  It may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but getting through the first day is key because now I know I can do it, and push myself much harder than I ever thought I could.  In the previous Insanity program, I pushed myself to what I thought was my max.  When I was tired, I rested.  I completed the workouts each day, and I felt great.  But was I really pushing to my max?  Short of having Terry Crews standing next to you yelling at you to keep going, it’s tough to really know if you can REALLY keep going or it you’re spent.

The premise of Insanity Max: 30 is that you push yourself as hard as you can and then you take a quick break and get back into it.  And this program does a great job of pushing you further without having someone next to you.  And it’s just a timer.  The previous workouts that I’ve done all count down.  They are counting down to zero; to completion.  Insanity Max counts up.  You start at 0:00 and you just keep going.  And when you’ve gone as far as you can, when you have no more energy or when your muscles can’t go on, you write down your time.  Today I made it 6 minutes and 37 seconds, before I really felt like I couldn’t go on, and it’s because my legs gave out during one of the moves.

The motivation here is, can I extend my time.  6 1/2 minutes is not a long time under usual circumstances.  And there were a few times when I felt like I was maxed out, but I asked myself can I go more.  I look at that number and think…I KNOW I can do better.  Tomorrow is a new exercise, so my time today can’t compare to it.  But the next time this exercise comes around, I’ll have that 6 1/2 minutes in my head.  And I know I can do it; I can go longer.

Honestly I thought the whole write down your time thing was just going to be a gimmick, but it does provide that extra little motivation to push just a little longer.  That said, I probably wouldn’t do it for the second time through.  I’m not going to post any of my statistics or pictures yet.  I’ll wait until the end for that.  However, I was comparing pictures from last night to those from 7 weeks ago when I first started working out, and my wife said she can definitely see a difference.  So we’ll see how this one does.

I’ll probably do a blog post every day for the next couple weeks, but I might drop off a bit after that.  We’ll see.

Workout Updates

23 08 2015

I’ve completed 7 weeks of exercise.  5 days a week, for about 40 minutes a day in the mornings before work.  My eating habits have drastically changed.  I no longer have the cravings that I used to.  I am no longer randomly snacking when I’m bored or just sitting.  I’ve had 1 beer in those 7 weeks (today actually in Leavenworth), but no soda.  My ‘sweets snacks’ have been so limited to the point where I can’t eat as much as I used to because my body is not used to that much sugar anymore.  A piece of cake for a birthday party, or a spoon of ice cream.

I splurged a bit today in Leavenworth.  A beer and a brat, and a couple bits of my daughter’s ice cream.  I did so because on Monday starts a new workout program.  I am going to blog about this one.  It’s called Insanity MAX:30.  It is touted as THE hardest workout program out there, and I don’t doubt it.  I remember the very first time that I did the Insanity program.  Within the first 7 minutes, I had to go outside because I felt like I was going to puke; and outside was a lot closer than the bathroom which I didn’t think I would make it to.  The last 4 weeks I’ve been doing the Insanity program again.  I love it now, it really pushed me and I feel like I get a great workout.  I’ve lost about 18 pounds so far.

I am actually excited about starting it.  The premise of the workout is to push yourself as hard as you can for as long as you can.  When your body finally gives out, you write down the time.  The idea is that you’ll write the time every day, and hopefully you’ll see your time length increase.  Here’s a little preview of what the program is like.

I must be crazy or something to willingly subject myself to this, but there is something about these types of workouts that I just love completing.  So we’ll see how it goes.

Workout routines

27 07 2015

I said at the start of this that I wasn’t going to blog about my workouts.  And yet, here I am with a 3 week update.

I started this workout thing doing the Focus T25​ program.  It’s a great program, but I started feeling like I wasn’t getting enough of a workout during that 25 minutes.  I feels like it’s more of a “maintenance” routine that you do once you’ve already reached your goal weight.  So today I switched to Insanity​.  I’ve completed both before, and done Insanity a few times already.  It really does give that extra intensity workout that I am looking for.

Doing T25, I was always in the warm up or fat burn category, and on a rare occasion I was able to get into the Aerobic area of my workout.  The warm up zone, you’re between 75 – 100 bmp heart rate.  Fat Burn zone puts you at 90 – 120.  I felt like it just wasn’t enough to help me achieve the goals that I want.  With the Insanity workout that I started again today (I couldn’t find the starting disk, so I just did Pure Cardio), I wore my heart rate monitor to see where I was at.  The workout today was 35 minutes.  9m 54s (28%) was in the warm up zone.  9m 03s (26%) was in the Fat Burn zone.  12m 27s (35%) was in the Aerobic zone.  This puts you at 105-140 bmp heart rate.  And 4m 02s (11%) was in the Anaerobic zone.  Anaerobic literally means ‘living without air’.  This puts you at 126 – 160 bmp sustained heart rate.  My peak heart rate was 162.


I really do love the Insanity workout program.  It gives me the workout that I want; that I feel I need to succeed.  That being said, Focus T25 is no joke.  As I said, I have been doing it for the past 3 weeks.  When I started this journey, I weighed 197.8 pounds.  That is the heaviest I have ever been, and I didn’t want to reach the 200 mark.  I had a 39″ waist (measured at the hips) and a 42″ stomach (measured at the belly button).  Today I am down a little over 12 pounds at 185.4, a 36″ waist and a 38″ stomach.  I have changed a lot of my diet, which probably contributes the most to the weight loss.  No alcohol, soda, coffee.  No processed foods like crackers or chips.  No candy…which was probably the hardest craving to battle; the sweets.  And the late night snacking or snacking because I’m bored.

Still have a ways to go before I reach my goal weight, but I like the progress so far.  And I’m not going to stop once I reach the goal, but it’ll be nice to have a glass of wine or some scotch to celebrate.

Days gone by

19 05 2015

It’s been a little over 2 months since my brother passed.  My life has regained that sense of normalcy in regards to my daily activities.  I’m functioning through the days, enjoying the time I have with my family.  But there is still that emptiness in my life where Ryan had previously filled.  Ryan will always be with me; in my heart and in my mind.  We may not have seen each other as often as we used to, but the times that we did spend together really were great.  I look back at our time and I try to remember the best of times we had, but I struggle with the idea that I could have…I should have…done more during his time here to help him fight his demons.  I try to live my life with the concept of not giving in to the could haves or should haves or would haves. There is usually no point in doing that and it never helps to dwell on those sorts of things.   This is a tough one to get past though.

My daughter is turning 3 next month.  We’ve been trying to find a place to for her party because having it at the house just won’t work out too well.  My wife took her to a place called Elevated Sportz (with a Z!) up in Bothell before, and she really enjoyed it.  I have never been there before, so I was looking up their website to see what it was all about.  Turns out, it is the same building that used to be a go kart track called Kartz.  It immediately brought back some memories.  This place was special to me because it’s where I first met a lot of my current friends; about 13 years ago.  It was the site for the very first forum meet.  The guy that worked there / family owned it (I’m not really sure) David has become one of my most trusted friends.  I had become pretty good friends with a lot of the people on the site, but never met them in person.

At the time I was doing graphic design work and had access to a vinyl machine.  I had been talking with a guy who wanted to do some new graphics for his car.  I had never done full car graphics before, so I was excited to give it a try.  He drove a Nissan Maxima and wanted the Nismo stripe design.  All I needed was the dimensions and I could get started.  This meet is where we decided I would take those measurements.  I told him I would be there and we would find each other, describing myself as average height (which is code for short) with a red beard and brown hair.  He said he’s tall.  Great.  So I get there and it’s a cold day, with a chance of snow (which is did later in the evening), so everyone is wearing heaving coats.  And, there are a couple hundred people there.  I was walking around for about 10 minutes looking for a tall guy through this crowd of people who are all talking, when I hear the loudest bellowing ‘BRIAN’ roaring over the crowd.  Enough so to make me turn around and look.  “BRIAN” again, and I see a guy who’s head is clearly above the rest of the crowd.  It kind of startled me.  That was the first time that I met Matt.

I have a lot of people in my life that I consider friends.  Close friends.  But it’s rare to have someone in your life that you can easily call your best friend.  Matt is that person to me.  He is a genuinely great person, and I know there are a lot of people who will consider him their best friend.  Sometimes I sit and think about how long it’s been since I’ve seen him, and it makes me sad.  I know life goes in different directions for everyone, but I miss the times that we used to have.  But he will always be one of my closest friends.

One day at a time

9 03 2015

I spent Friday and Saturday thinking about what I’m going to do for the next week, month, year.  How am I going to get through this.  How I am going to preserve the memory of my brother for years to come.  How am I going to make sure that his son will know the man that his father is.  And I think that is what had kept me in a haze the last few days.

Yesterday I woke up and instead of the repeated thoughts that I had listed out above, I thought to myself, how I am going to get through today.  I didn’t think about what Christmas is going to be like.  I didn’t think about what we’re going to do on his birthday.  I thought about what I was going to do today…whether it involved something with Ryan or not.  As it turned out, yesterday did not involve Ryan.  I feel guilty about that.  It’s not that I didn’t think about him, but I forced myself to think about the things that I needed to accomplish on that day.  Yard work, Costco run, being a father.

The first two days, I feel like I wasn’t much of a father or husband.  I feel like I blocked everyone out.  Maybe that’s not the case, but something hit me on Sunday and I just needed to spend time with my family.  I played with my daughter.  I tried to help out my wife a bit more.  I got some work done outside.  Sunday was a good day.  And I feel guilty about that.

One of the hardest realizations in all of this is the progress of moving on.  It scares me to think that I need to allow myself to not feel the sadness that I feel now.  Am I a horrible person for thinking this way?  I feel like I need to be in pain because of this, that I need to focus on his absence instead of the wonderful memories that I have of him.  I know this is not true.  The truth hurts sometimes, and this time the truth is that I need to allow myself to heal.  And part of the healing is to be able to let go of the pain.

Time is the greatest of all healing.  The hurt, the pain, the sorrow will all pass.  The sadness of his absence will be replaced with the positive memories of Ryan that I have.  I will never cease to miss him, but my memories of him and I are what will get me through.  Yesterday was good.  Today will be good.  Tomorrow will be better.  Some days will include things about Ryan; thoughts, actions, memories.  Some days will not.  And the hardest truth is allowing myself to know…..that is okay.


8 03 2015

A shower.  Something that happens every day.  To clean off the grime.  To clean off the day.  I’ve also discovered that it makes an excellent place to cry.  And you can blame the redness in your eyes on the shampoo.

2015-03-07 21.15.32

As I sit here drinking a glass of Jameson Special Reserve and looking at pictures of my brother, I keep trying to get some thoughts into my head.  It’s been better today, but for the first 36 hours my head was just cloudy and I couldn’t keep or generate a thought.  This is going to be about as random as it can get.

Sometimes I find free writing helps clear my head.  This is going to be about as random as it can get.  I am not going to talk about how we got to today.  Ryan is genuinely a kind soul.  He may have confused people with the way he dressed or the things he did, but when it came to his family and friends he was there and helping out in whatever way he could.

He had such a personality and I really tried to feed off of that.  I was always more of a shy person, but when Ryan was around he made it easy to relax and just have fun.  When we were younger, we used to always watch Ernest Goes to Camp.  I guess it’s a little appropriate that the only thing I can think of is the song that Ernest sings…I’m awfully glad it’s raining.

This whole things is new to me.  10 years ago, I lost a friend in a car accident.  It really affected me, but losing Ryan has been so much harder.  The numb doesn’t go away.  My head remain empty.  I know I should be thinking something.  Feeling something.  But I can get my mind to wrap around this.  It’s not until I sit and think to myself, my brother is gone.  And the tears come.

I just can’t believe it.

I will miss you Ryan.  We may not have hung out as often, but I will miss the times that we had together.  The laughter that was inevitable when we were all together, often brought on by you. I will miss your presence; there was just an aura around him that could always cheer people up.

I will just miss you.

Random Thoughts

2 12 2008

Over this last weekend, one of my co-workers had a heart attack.  We found out yesterday that his heart hadn’t actually stopped, but he was starting to go into cardiac arrest when the paramedics got there.  He had a blockage that they have cleared and he should make a full recovery.

It isn’t so much that he had one.  People have them all the time.  Sometimes they make it out okay, others don’t.  I wish the best for Greg.  What really gets me is that he’s only in his low 30’s.  33 I think.  You don’t think that something like this could happen to someone still so young.

Do I need to change my way of life?  I don’t consider myself a risk for having a heart attack, but then I’m sure Greg didn’t either.

I went to the gym this morning.  Kaitlyn had an early class there so I decided to go swimming.  I forget just how much of a work out that really is.  It might not gain me muscle mass or lose a lot of body fat, but man is it great for endurance.

Yesterday, it was officially stated that the U.S. is in a depression.  And has been since December of 07.  Alright, if you didn’t already know this then you’ve probably got to re-evaluate your situation.  If you didn’t already prepare for this a year ago, then I’m not sure what you’re doing.  I like to think that me and my wife can go out and buy whatever we want.  We can do it.  But we don’t.  Why?  Because we like not having any debt.  It is fantastic.  That is what gives us the freedom to do whatever we want.

No more thoughts for now.  Except for hunger.  Time to go make an egg muffin.  We make the healthy version.  ~1/4 cup of egg beaters.  An english muffin.  Slice of cheese.  And I use a pre-cooked sausage pattie.

Oh!  New thought.  This brings me back to Greg.  How far do you take the lifestyle change?  Watch what you eat.  Exercise mpre.  Look at the muffin that I make in the morning.  Part of me thinks…I should eat the sausage.  It might be bad for me.  But then the other part thinks, it’s not like I leave it soaking in the grease.  I pat it down really good to squeeze that grease out.

I don’t know.  It just brings the question of how far is too far?

Honeymoon Adventures. Day 3.

20 11 2008

Ahh…day 3.  The sun is rising.  A fresh rain just passed over head and is dropping from the trees.  The local birds and other animals are out and singing.  It’s a great morning for a walk.  Instead, we slept in.  And it was GREAT!  This is really only the second full day that we’ve been here, and we were both pretty tired still.  So sleeping in wasn’t too bad.  Plus, I don’t know if any of those things I said were true.  When we woke up, it was cloudy and raining.  When did we get back home to Seattle?

So we go have some breakfast.  There is a little home style diner that has crepes for breakfast.  So we give that try.  I had the peach and KT had banana.  They were okay.  Not the best crepes I’ve had, but not the worst either.

We decided to finally go have some lunch.  There is a little beach side restaurant that had some good food.  Plus they had nachos.  They weren’t any sort of delux monster nachos or anything, but whatever.  I’ll take ’em.  Mmmmm….nachos.

I found this cocnut drink.  It is literally a cocnut that they open up and pour liquor into.  It was good.  But after a while…too much fresh coconut juice made me not feel well.  Or maybe it was too much liquor.  Whatever it was, I didn’t finish it.

That evening they had a local celebration.  They had guests that performed some local music and dancing.  There were also some fire dancers.  They had some tourches and did some dancing with them.  They were also fire breathers.  Which really caught me off gaurd because I wasn’t expecting it…and when I started to smell gas I got a little worried.  Yah, I am pretty convinced that they were using gasoline.  At least use liquor or something!  It works just as good, doesn’t smell bad, and if you accidentally drink some then you’ll probably still be okay.

We went back into the hot tub and relaxed some more before finally turning in.  Tomorrow we had a big day ahead of us anyway.  For some reason, I was willingly strapping myslef into a harness and travelling down a wire from one tree to another…30 feet in the air.  Some places were much higher than that!

Get RSS updates!

18 11 2008

I’ve added a little thing off to the right that you can click on, and you’ll receive RSS updates when I post new entries.  Click on the link that says Entries RSS and you’ll be able to add a feed to your google homepage or to your google reader.  Then you’ll get updates whenever I have a new post.

Bag of candy.

18 11 2008

While writing the story below, I had forgotten about this and I had meant to apologize to everyone sooner.

Kaitlyn and I had both thought that the candy buffet was a good idea.  We wanted to have some nice little containers or bags or something that everyone could put their candy in.  Then we thought, well…we need something to seal them.  Enter stickers.

You’ll recall my story about the envelopes and my mighty extra strength glue stick.  Apparently, I have a problem with purchasing things that bind things together.  Forever!

If you were one of the guests who decided that they would save some for later and used one of the provided stickers to seal your bag, then you will know the intense struggle that came when you decided to enjoy said candy.

Apparently the stickers we got were made for construction purposes or for holding dams together in Holland.  Being scissor-less in St. Lucia posed a problem for me when I tried to open the bag.  The bag did not really survive.  But alas, I was able to enjoy the candy.

So again, let me apologize for my misjudgment in purchasing binding materials.