Here is your first #TBT Blog post. I figured it was a good idea to start at the beginning. So here is my first post ever from this blog. Dated 9/22/2012(Unedited)
Every great story has a small beginning. A spark that starts the fire, a thought that leads to an idea that turns into a wanting that forms into a plan that makes one embark on a journey. This one starts, as many do, with failure. There have been many things in my life, more than I care to mention that I have started, failed at and never finished. Things that meant alot to me even if it was only at that time. I have held these failures up as badges of inadequacy and shame for most my life.
Of course success has been inbetween those failures but we never seem to holds those quite as close do we? Why is that? Is it because of the lessons we learn from it or some kind of primal instinct to remind us we are mortal? Maybe both, maybe neither. The answer is not the purpose here. The purpose is to chronicle the journey of someone who decided that he wasn't going to stop working towards his goal because of failure this time. No matter how trivial that goal may have been.
I have been falling in love with the sport of weight lifting (Snatch/Clean&Jerk) for the last year or so. I had been using the lifts in training for about 5 years now but never had paid them any serious attention until recently. I under stand that at my age and ability I will probably never qualify at the olympic or national level. I do not care. I have found, in these lifts a certain clarity and grace that I have not found in anything else in life. This brings me to my goals.
I have had the dream of achieving a total of 275K (125k/275lbs. snatch and 150k/330lbs Clean&Jerk) for about as long as I have been interested in the sport. This was when my TOTAL numbers were more along the lines of 161k. My numbers are now at 241k (107k/236lbs snatch and 134k/295lbs Clean&jerk) and I have hit a stand still. These are respectable numbers for most in the line of training I do for a living, far from where I started but no where near that goal. So I ask myself how do I continue forward? How do I adjust my training and make that dream real? Should I even care? Is there any money in it? No. Is there any glory? Maybe a little but certainly not much. Is there any significant reason at all to keep beating myself half to death for this goal even if it seems I'm swimming against current and making no progress?
The answer is yes and not for any reasons to do with weightlifting, health, fitness, work, money etc.. The answer is yes because the clarity I found at the start of this courtship, I have found again in the follow through and process of it. The answer is yes because every day I don't try is a day closer to that complacency. Complacency is not living. I have settled for so many damn things in my life that it makes me physically ill. It wasn't until I met this sport that I began to not accept where I was or what I was doing as OK and try to push forward. As silly as it is, this sport has put me in a position in life that I can honestly say I am happy with and proud of. This sport, cliche as it may be, has in many ways saved my life. So how can I stop pursuing the goal that has been the vehicle to my happiness and success? It's simple. I can not.
Make no mistakes about it. This blog is not a how to on weight lifting, health, or fitness. It is not something I am doing for anyone else or to gain notoriety by. I have no plans of choosing my words carefully or making this an inspiring story with a happy ending. What I do plan on doing is using this blog as a tool to force myself out of bed and under the bar everyday because I owe it to the sport. I owe my drive to it and I am going to make good on that debt.
So I start this story with failure because that is the spark we all need.
Today I stalled on front squat for the first time in 2 months. I have been climbing up from 275 for three by five pounds a week and today that stopped.
"I can't believe this thing still works."
I'm not sure if that statement is about this blog or my body. The blog has been abandoned and almost forgotten about for years now. As far as the body, I've put it through hell and back in and out of the gym my entire life. This blog actually a nice snap shot of those decisions I've made consistently to choose strength, aesthetics, and performance over health. This is mainly to do with my pride and insecurity. I felt like I needed to assert my physical dominance in order to be appreciated, accepted, and legitimized in my field but also just in general. This, often times has been with blatant disregard to my own health and longevity.
This has led to some cool experiences and many things I am proud of, but also to a broken, beat up, vessel that is worn far beyond its years. I have had torn labrums, rotator cuffs, broken back, broken neck, nerve damage, countless amounts of arthritic cartilage, bone spurs, bone bruises, patella issues, and the list goes on. Some have been talked about here and others not.
I think I want to continue this blog as a way of chronicling my struggle and process of transitioning from performance and athlete to health and coach. All while making sure my body is as functional as possible. I don't want to push my body to the point of sacrificing it for a moment of glory anymore. I have truly changed my mind set. But make no mistake about, I would love nothing more than to push the envelop every day were it a possibility. I hope my continuation of this, if nothing else, is cathartic and allows me to feel as though I have stayed on the same path all these years, have just taken detours and changed the destination as needed. The goal has always been the same: Chronicling my odyssey of finding balance, happiness, meaning through doing what I love with who I love.
My business thegymgypsy.com has become my main source of energy and income over the last 3 years. That is my future. However, if it were not for my old blog Questto275k.blogspot.com, I would have never ventured or tried to create that business. So... to better understand my future, I will be diving into my past. For the next couple months and possibly longer, I will be posting old Blog posts from the past and earlier stages of my training and coaching journey. I will have the original dates and will not update them. I will also be adding new content to both of these site. While, my main site if the gym gypsy, I have a deep desire to keep the original alive as long as the site is up and running. Hopefully some of you will enjoy reading these and maybe even take something out of them. There very well may be many things I no longer agree with in these posts, and will most likely make a new post about those discrepancies, but again I will NOT be altering the originals. I'm sure many may not care about these and there are so many more blogs and fitness sites now than when I started it and that is fine. This is more for myself than anyone else but I did think it would be good to at least share it incase anyone is interested.
Be on the look out for first throwback post this Thursday on thegymgypsy.com
P.S. did anyone get the PUN in the name of the post? #dadjokes
. When I started this fitness journey back in January, I had 3 goals:
- Chase a 800# total
- Compete in a Powerlifting Meet
- Get my abs back
April 25: I got my first check mark! I maxed out all 3 lifts and totaled 800#.
Words can NOT express how excited I was. This has been a goal of mine for the last 2 years and to finally accomplished it meant the world!
3rd and final goal: Abs. And we all know that abs are made in the kitchen. I started my meal prep plan back in January. I stuck to the plan Justin wrote out for me and had 1 free meal a week. Ok ok ok, lets be honest, I had a free night vs a free meal. But you get the idea. I did NOT deviate from the plan. It was a long process, but well worth the time and dedication but I finally got them!
So now what? What do you do when you set goals for yourself and then crush them?
You make another one.
I was so disappointed with my body after baby #1 that I wanted to change that after having baby #2. I wanted a body that I could be proud of. I wanted to be able to look at myself in mirror and say "This is you, you worked for this and you should be dang proud of yourself."
I created my next goal: Postpartum to Powerlifting to Photoshoot ready!
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to do a gym/bikini photoshoot but never had the body to do it. And when I say I've never had the body to do it, I mean, I never had the drive to actually put the work in needed. Until now!
After the meet was over, I went straight into a photoshoot prep. This was much different than prepping for a powerlifting meet. I wanted to look healthy. I wanted a body that I could maintain even after the shoot was over. My abs weren't as defined as they were previously, but, I was eating more food and drinking more water. After all, this wasn't a weight cut, but a body composition change. I took 5 weeks off of powerlifting and focused on aesthetics and nutrition.
To say that I was happy with the results would be an understatement!
Here is a sneak peak of some of my absolute favorites! The rest I'll release slowly but surely on my Instagram page ;)
All photo credit to: Justin Metts
When I look back to Day 1 and see how far I've come, it gives me that much more motivation to continue. Its not a diet, its a lifestyle!
So now what? I've crushed not one, not two but FOUR goals in 2017 already.
Its time to make a new one.
The next goal: Total 1000 at USPA Worlds in November. I need to add 200# between the two lifts but I am hungry for it. Training has already started and I am on my 2nd week of a 12 week cycle. After that...who knows! I might just join the NPC world for a fun challenge in 2018. Might.
I did it! I finally did it!
After 2 years of "talking" about doing a Powerlifting meet, I finally stepped up and did it.
I owe so much to Justin for his help in nutrition to get me down to 60kg, his programming that ultimately lead me to break 4 state records AND hit a lifetime PR on deadlift.
If you are serious about getting your nutrition on track or if you are interested in programming, contact us today and we can get you on the right track!
Thank you for all the support and love leading up and on game day! Here is a small glimpse of my journey that day. I seriously can't wait for Worlds!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!
We have a special Flavor Friday for you guys. It's the healthy version of Mexican food. And who doesn't like Mexican food?!? Am I right?