Vacation trip 10/18, Part 1

This was a first for Selene, and I where we actually made the concerted effort to take a real vacation together to St Louis, MO followed up by camping stop in Bellevue, IA, and finish our trip in Dubuque, IA.

I have to say right from the start that Selene is a selfless, and totally giving person and she does not shy away from being herself when she’s the most comfortable around people she honors, and cares about the most. Engaging in conversation with my daughters was priceless. I can not express how special it is when my children have come to warm themselves with the idea that she is a main part of my being.

They are totally engaged in each other’s lives all the while opening themselves up personally, and emotionally in very open conversations of their personal lives that would have been unheard of years before. The maturing of the relationships of these women is a Blessing.

We started out heading south for a three day stay at an Airbnb in University City, MO. I really liked the residential home we stayed in. A full house to ourselves, where we actually hosted a dinner for my daughter who lives in St Louis. We had started the slow cooker for a ten hour cooking clock for the Vietnamese Pho made with chicken. Once started we headed out to see some sights with Daughter #2 and we had a blast. Got to see the Forest Park, museum, and local eateries.

When we got back to the house we finished cooking the Pho, and to our surprise it wasn’t what we expected. See, it (Pho) is easy to cook if you follow the steps provided and you’re attentive to cooking it precisely as described in the recipe. If you don’t follow the recipe then you’ll end up with what we ended it up with. A starchy Rice noodle that absorbed all of the broth once we added it to the pot (BIG no-no).

While serving ourselves the botched ‘Pho recipe we had a good laugh trying to salvage some of the broth from the bottom so we could at least enjoy whatever of it was left. A little bummed, but I would not change it for the world since sharing special moments with those we love not be perfect, but shared. Memories are made from moments as these.

The following day we headed out for a little relaxing day doing a little shopping (groceries) for the camping trip, then we headed out for our last night dinner together at Pastaria. I had been to this restaurant once before with a friend of mine in June of this year. I really like the atmosphere, and they make their own pasta while you wait.

We had a great dinner eating well prepared food. The ladies each ordered the -Bucatini All’ Amatriciana, while I had the Italian Ramen! Wow! Delicious!

We almost had to roll ourselves to the car after that. Full, not sleepy, and satisfied. A place for you to head out to when in St Louis. Highly recommended. The following day we parted ways, to once more start the process of longing to see each other sooner than later especially when the roads are long and travel is far. Either way, I Loved every minute I spend with my children. I cherish those moments.

Now, heading to the campsite in Bellevue State Park, IA. Part two coming up…..

If you know, you know

Today the picture for this post sums it up very well about today’s WOD. Warm up was geared towards mobility, and general dynamic range of motion except the flexor stretch.

Working to make sure the unmarked soccer field route, and the requirements for the skills to be performed were understood we donned our rucks. So much dew on the field, and freshly mowed lawn/field. How fresh? Grass clippings everywhere – Fresh!

During the run, shoes began to get bogged with water, yay fun! Get on your belly and beat your face! Push-ups 50 times with the ruck. Not too shabby, except that I noticed a very particular scent of you know what where I was laying down and beating my face. To my surprise Weber stated that on his side the grass around him smelled like Chinese food.

I told him that may be the place where the last cook was taken out for bad Yelp reviews! Lol. Once you’re finished smelling the grass temporarily you look around and think, it’s not that bad….. pssst! I’ve got news for you, this dew is gonna be your friend. An intimate friend at that.

As we stood up we were somewhat cooled off a bit by the dampness, but a tad out of breath. Ruck swings for 50. Ever swing a ruck with weight in it, and it begins to slide inside so when your swing ends at the top the load falls within, and pulls you harder downward so you try your hardest Not to fall on your face every single time? Oh, I do miss my kb on those moments.

Balancing act done! After much swearing, and trying to figure out what’s next as you’re a little dizzy right about now. Did I mention the weight shifts inside the ruck? Oh, let’s cover the shoulder to shoulder. You have a ruck, shifting weight, wet hands, and if you’re wearing gloves like most of us did you’re GOING TO BE CHALLENGED!

Made it! Now, for the shoulder to shoulder for 50. Would you like to know what a rucksack beside the head feels like? Experience, and future reference box checked off for this one. Good thing I have a tough nugget otherwise that thud, then ringing went away fairly quick – with some expletives to boot. All under my breath, I didn’t want to anyone to be distracted. Hey, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Okay, I said to myself the tough one is finally out of the way since this Russian twist with ruck stuff for 50 I’ll be sitting down, and I will finally catch my breath. I was almost overjoyed until I did the first ten. WTF!! No break, no slack and that bastard of a ruck was now a little damp to the point of discoloration from the dew. Still shifting weight also! Oh yeah! Game face on, and no audibles! F&$)%! Breathes were now short controlled gasps! I did laugh cynically because I programmed this and every WOD we do. I freaking LOVE IT!

Great, finished working on the Russian-twist movement! Wooo! I get to stand up! Yay, I forgot what was next so I walk over to the white board to read – ‘flutter kicks‘! I almost cried with joy! Laying down and holding my ruck! Wait, that little bugger has it in for me and it may decide to slip – off my hands and crush my head before I finish! Going fast G?! Hell yeah!

Stood up and now I’m ready to kill the rest of the workout! Oh, crap! Now up – ‘OH Lunge walk’!

Did I forget that this was a wet, and cumbersome ruck now! The little fucker will not win! Hauled it over head and took the first lunge step. As I proceeded forward it wanted to stay right where we started! Yep, it begun to fall backwards. Oh, yes you are correct…..shifting weight, wet ruck, wet gloves, and shoulders that are getting smoked!

Lunges are an ordeal, and not for he faint of heart! So do them often. I tell you from experience they are the building blocks to power, strength, stamina, speed, and balance. Let’s not forget the benefits also of great aesthetics! However I will never overlook the obvious – Sore as a horse kicking you on your ass – sore!

But, I like them, so we do them….. I did not take a popularity vote after they saw the workout – so there!

Short, very short of breath and now I’m going on my belly! First thought was – I’m going to be much cooler, and I will catch my breath. All I have to do is push my ruck from a prone position for half of a soccer field! Why? It’s the Low-crawl ruck push.

I saw everyone else having a great time, so much so that some walked around, kneeled down, and catching glances all around I honestly thought the crew was just getting ready to cheer me on! Nah! I was a bit delirious since they too were sucking wind, possibly cursing my name also. Heck, I had to do mental health check during he lunges!

Smoked the shoulder. Grass in my shorts, mouth, nose, ears, bag, gloves, and the ruck – it’s getting heavier because it’s very very wet. I squeezed the bag, and it let out a resounding slushy sound. Not good for me since I had only moved half the distance required to finish the low crawl ruck push. Ugh! Head down, suck it up, and let it burn!

I Passed the goal post! Now I switched to the high crawl/plank ruck drag half the soccer field. It ended where the low crawl began. My hips, shoulder, abs…you get the idea. They were not happy, and neither was the crew. However each of them felt, they all had laughed, yelled, cursed, laughed some more and we as a whole were much better for this because we came with a can do attitude! Cheered, and encouraged each other during this event.

Come to a workout like this knowing that the unknown is here for you to tackle takes a certain confidence, inner strength, and perseverance that not many possess. Many can try it, not many will stay. You have the physical portion of these movements that are superseded by the mental game.

You can tell who will come and tackle, and ultimately come back and become a permanent part of what we term ‘The Crew’.

Everyone is welcome. You will grown in so many ways. Just remember to challenge your inner self, and battle those demons. They have nothing on you! We can prove it, and are more than willing to show you how! One day, and one workout at a time.

Hope to see you here!

Mi A Gi

Magister Nosce!

Monday recovery

This past weekend was spent hiking the trail system at Turkey Run State Park, IN.

Camping in a two person tent, and spot we were in was ample enough to host two big tents and two cars with electrical outlets to use. The majority of the days were hot, humid, and a beautiful cloudless blue sky.

Spending Friday morning setting up the campsite, and grabbing some snacks here and there in the likes of Doritos, veggie sticks, and of course my Docaff. Delicious, dark, and tastes incredible!

The camping area was huge! I mean it was full of RVs and not a single tent except for the five other couples we went camping with. RV camping was a sight to see. How they managed to park those gigantic things into a very tiny spot is beyond my amazement. Finesse, skill, and not having your neighbors yelling at you to not knock down their tarps, or tent lanyards go a long way to a good weekend of peace and quiet.

Quiet, silence, and hot nights are not synonymous to peaceful nights. A/C noises drowned out nature, and if they didn’t then there were a few yahoos with a blow horn keeping people awake, or waking people up in the am. Oh, well. It’s not like backpacking where you have to pay to camp at secluded spots in a National Park. Trust me, well worth the hike, effort, and patience to find the secluded silent spot.

The trails were groomed and well maintained. Engineered at some points then turned into regular dirt, and rocks. Taking a hike where a waterfall should’ve been, was strewn with slick boulders, and muddy. Not very technical, and within a certain part called the ice box, it was way cooler there than any other place. Caves, shallow ones were cool but not for camping. Possible for riding out a T-storm but that’s about it.

Eating – oh the benefits of being prepared. Friday night was provided by the Dixon’s- smoked BBQ pork. Homemade bbq sauce, and eaten on a bun, topped with coleslaw, and baked sweet potatoes. For dessert we had brownies, and ice cream that was made right at the campsite!

On Saturday, Paul, Kim, Gint, and Tina threw down with a serious breakfast of omelets, hash browns from-scratch, good Coffee provided by Sandra. Man oh man it was good! Now, on Saturday night Selene had prepared tinga at home and was just ready to be re heated –My Latina Kitchen

There was plenty of other food on the table with grilled salmon a lot of greens and a Quinoa salad….. oh, the full tummy and great company! We have to do this more often.

This was a very short period of time sharing life with people that enrich your life, laugh at corny jokes, and get very down to earth honest with the life stories we shared. From all walks of life, we came together not as friends but as family.

Well we are looking forward to next years outing, since it’s so much fun why just once a year? We’ll see…. ha!

Here we are – group pic…. say con Queso!

Magister Nosce

Mean and Lean….

Throwing down this morning with The RuFF crew – Selene, Eric, Weber, and I took on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) scheduled for Today (180612). We (‘Nene and I) had a brutal WOD yesterday so we were pretty sore going into this event.

Glutes were on fire, hamstrings were taught and the warm up was deliberately focused on releasing those tight areas to make this event as successful as possible for everyone involved.

For the push ups, Selene completed all of her push ups as Rx! Yes, this was a tough one for her and we were challenged to get through with minimum amount of rest to get those numbers.

Sit ups made the tight flexors even tighter. Abs fatigued quickly for me, and the resting and lacing of fingers behind the neck was a challenge for a couple of us performing them in that manner. We focus a lot on the midline strength and stability with many exercises focusing on different ranges of motion, sets, and reps to make sure we are able to keep the spine healthy. We’re going to add these sit ups in the future for variety.

Oh, the Run! We ran a two miles for the WOD yesterday so ‘Nene, and I were feeling it even more at the start of the 2 miler. Weber led from underneath the Cermak bridge on Gardner Rd with a decent pace to the Roosevelt bridge one mile turn around point.

Supporting ourselves during everything we do helps morale, and keeps us in the game. Once I reached the 1.75 mile mark I had to surge to finish with a decent time. Lungs, calves, quads burning at the end I was happy to finish my last mile with a 7:44.6 compared to my first mile of 8:33.8.

We had a great time, and it will be scheduled again. So, hope to see you out there.

APFT totals

Mi A Gi 2 mile

First experiences

As the morning of April 2nd came to be I had a chance to see a dream come to fruition. Starting my own fitness business in the woods of Westchester, IL. It is as scary, and nerve wracking as it sounds but you have to jump in both feet hitting the ground and start running no matter what.

Fear really isn’t the first the that crossed my mind that morning only what if the hill isn’t what I envisioned it to be. No one described it to me at all. I’ve only seen it driving past it and over it heading home for two years. With the seasons gone by I never really contemplated working outside for quite some time.

The one thing other than my expectation was what if no one wants to do this (exercise) outside in the real elements. I mean, it’s just cold enough to freeze water outside within minutes and it’s freaking April!!!!! Really, come on man! I expected way more from the weather than the hills/forest!

Regardless, day one was a hit! Our little band of movers and shakers came out and sucked it up with arms opened wide along with their lungs! Yes, we do have fun while we workout and at tines have to crack jokes to see it through. You must learn to get out of your head to get through these uncomfortable situations and stick with the program no matter what.

Mi A Gi