6:00 AM dynamic stretch with Sam. This morning’s dynamic stretch was significantly easier then Monday morning stretch. The gist of a dynamic stretch is to perform stretching positions in motion. Example “Ankle Crushers”, instead of standing in the same spot rolling your ankle over to the outside, you take a half step forward doing the same motion with the goal of reaching the other side of the room. During Sam’s session there are about 10 different stretches done in this manner. Me being the fat guy, I always end up breaking a sweat.
Rain is predicted for today, so I am not sure if we are going to be able to hike this morning or not. I hope to hell we can, the hikes are a nice way to break up the monotony of the gym and cardio machines. There is even a chance we won’t be in the pool, which would suck because that just means one more session in the gym.
8:00 AM Hike to Solstice Canyon, another tough but scenic hike. The views were incredible. We hiked along what I think used to be a horse trail, the kind of horse trail that was used by the first Americans conquering the Great West. Most likely the trail was put together by the ranchers that used to graze cattle in the canyon.
There are several remnants of homes at the base of the canyon. One of the homes was owned by Fred Roberts who used to own a chain of grocery stores in California. Brick and stone lay like ruins from some great lithic period. In actuality the home was built in the 1950’s, a clear sign of being form this era, the bomb shelter.
The actual hike was tough but frontloaded. My calve muscles really cramped up. Again with the help of Mary I was able to overcome the first half mile. I really feel like she willed me up parts of the intial incline. We are of very differnt ages and backgrounds, but our commitment to improve ourselves, and constantly push ourselves has created a bond.
11:00 AM session was another stretch. A badly needed stretch, it was very zen, very painful, and very much a relief.
12:00 PM personal training session with Sam, this guy is a badass. We again worked on resistance training but using assisted body weight motions. The “warm-up” to my PT session was more like an ass kicking. He calls it the “miracle mile”. I was put on an Arc Trainer, and given a goal to get to a mile as in shortest length of time possible. The Arc Trainer uses both your upper and lower body; it’s very similar to an elliptical machine but more difficult. When I finished the mile 15 minutes and 30 seconds later I was dripping in sweat (and that was the warm up). The rest of the workout involved using a pull up bar, a Reebok step, and a big ass rope.
The idea behind this exercise is to develop the upper body strength so I can do a pull up on my own. I stepped up on the Reebok step, and used my legs to jump up and pull at the same time. I did this motion using various grips for a period of one minute, and then moved right into an array of exercises with the rope. If you aren’t familiar with the big ass rope in a gym, it’s about as thick as a rope you see on large freightliners to tie off the ship at port. The rope is normally wrapped around a post or stationary object then the victim grabs both ends of the rope and moves the rope in various motions and directions. Most of the motions require you to use your entire body.
After eating lunch while listening to a lecture, I had to get up and go back to my room. I was still wearing my clothes from my workout. Following the PT session I didn’t care that I was soaking wet, at the point I just needed food. While sitting in the dining room my wet shirt made me feel cold, so I skipped the lecture went back to my room and took a nap until 2:20 pm.
2:30 PM More mountain cardio work. Again I sweat through another shirt and felt both incredible and crappy at the end of the session.
3:30 PM Pool work. It rained in the afternoon. The pool is heated. We worked out in the pool. I started to feel seasick. Towards the end of the pool rotation, we performed leg kicks in the water. My legs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds. Weightlessness was not helping this time around.
4:30 PM Kick Boxing. I did not think I had anything left in the tank. Boxing as a workout is one of my favorite activities to perform. It’s intense, you burn lots of calories, and your mind is so focused on hitting the bag you are not concerned about the time.
We paired up and went through a series of exercises mixing up punching and kicking. At the end I was again soaked in my shirt, and again exhausted. I got a lot of aggression out; when we were kicking the punching bag I think other people in my group probably thought I had some anger issues.
As the third day of exercise and my fourth day here I am really amazed at the ability of the human body to overcome physical adversity. Everyone here is putting a great deal of stress on their bodies, and I’m not sure how the body can be completed exhausted one minute, then 15 minutes later is back performing at a high level again. There is a complete commitment to excel by everyone. It’s very expensive to be here, so there are lots of very intelligent, very successful people. As a result everyone here knows a lot about Charlie Sheens “winning”.
Perhaps it’s a combination of being fed the right foods, the right mental attitude, the right degree of commitment, and the right amount of direction.
I have always understood the idea that the mind can overcome a great deal, that our minds can push our bodies beyond their physical limitations. It’s a completely different understanding when you experience it; I don’t believe I have ever pushed my body this hard. I mean ever. After three days I feel a paradigm shift in my life. Where it will shift to I’m not sure.