Quick note thanks everyone for the really nice comments, text messages, and facebook messages. I will respond to all of you as soon as I get a chance. Time is very much in a vacuum here.
6:00 AM missed the morning stretch because I forgot about the paychecks for one of the washes back home. This is the first morning since I’ve been here that I’ve experienced any stress.
8:00 AM Beach Hike. After 4 other hikes and lots of rain, my group aka “Van 5”, aka “The only group who stops all the time to take group photos”, finally had our opportunity to hike the beach.
In some twist of fate from a 19th century novel, the dense fog dissipated as the group marched along the firm sandy beach, when the fog lifted it seem to evaporate into small particles transforming itself into a surreal palate of blues, a real life metaphor for the hikers who over the course of 5 days overcame immense personal, physical, and emotional turmoil. It could not have been a more perfect last official hike for this group. (End literary license here)
The hike started along the beach working its way down the coast along the beach, with kelp washing ashore as you trekked along. At the end of one beach a big cliff jetties outward into the Pacific Ocean, we climbed the trail leading to the top of this cliff. The views that we saw from the top of this cliff were incredible. There is a lookout point on this particular trail which overlooks the beach. A buoy can be seen about a half mile from shore, dolphins congregate around this buoy. Apparently smaller fish like to feed near the buoy, which brings the dolphins.
Further along this route we saw the most unbelievable homes. The houses sit above the ocean on ridges with the most fantastic ocean views, these houses even access ways that lead to the beach from their homes. Most of the houses have stairs that lead down to the beach but, some of the houses have elevators, or trolleys. Who are these truly privileged people who can afford to live in such a beautiful setting…how do I become one?
This hike is not very difficult, it does have some ascents, but relative to our others hikes it’s a cake walk. If it was harder I still don’t think it would matter because the views would keep your mind occupied. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
11:15 AM Cardio Intervals. I am beginning to learn that each trainer is a bit different in how they conduct their classes; each class is basically a frame work to allow the trainers to get creative but provides direction. At the same time they are open to creating routines that vary so we get a bit of variety in our exercises. Today’s Cardio Interval class was a bit chaotic because the trainer forgot a stop watch which makes teaching this class very difficult.
I again used the Arc Trainer and really pushed myself to peak at level 25. I think next week I will try to peak at level 30, this machine goes all the way up to 100.
12:15 PM Kettlebell Personal Training. I had another session with Michael. There was only time for a 30 minute session, but he increased the level of difficulty in kettlebell swings. He taught me swings which required changing hands, changing directions, and releasing the kettlebell in midair and then catching it again. I will post some video of my workout with him tomorrow.
1:15 PM Pool Intervals. The later the week as gotten the tougher the pool classes have become. I think as my legs become more fatigued the pool exercises are far more difficult. Today’s class involved several actions which required us to leap, skip, and shuffle along the distance of the pool. An example we opened the class with leaping forward in the water to the dividing line between the shallow and deep end, from the line we moved forward to the wall by moving our arms and legs as if we were running in place. The funny thing is the motion actually keeps your head above water, but you move forward very slowly. I think we did 5 laps of this exercise. This was one of many.
For the conclusion of this class we all got into a straight line in the deep end, and began to tread water. We then were told to keep both hands out of the water so we could pass along our line foam water dumbbells across the pool, and back. It was a game of hot potato with the foam dumbbells, while treading water with no arms.
2:15 Cardio Intervals. This session involved alternating between cardio machines, and weight training machines. Two minutes of cardiovascular machines, and two minutes of weight training. I decided because the next class was “Cardio Disco” where the instructor dressed up in disco pants, shirt, and a big fro. This guy is not my favorite instructor, and this type of class is enjoyable to me about as much as I enjoy turkey bacon. If it’s not pork don’t fucking call it bacon! (Yeah, I’m ready to eat some protein, the little piggy that went “wee, wee home” better not walk by my cabin on the way home because he would be a roast faster than I could skin him!”).
As a result of the 3:15 class not being my cup of turkey bacon, I decided I would just do two hours of Cardio Intervals. Each machine has a number marked on it; the progression follows the numbers in chronological order. I started at machine 1 which was a treadmill, and ended at machine 36 which was a chest press.
I am so happy I got a chance to lift some weights. I was surprised to find how much strength I have retained. I guess I won’t know whether or not lifting more than I had to was a smart idea until tomorrow morning. I am supposed to meet up with one of my hiking crew to stretch tomorrow morning before our hike.
Tomorrow is a half day, my entire group from hiking this week decided we would do our last hike together as a group. We are going back to Solstice Canyon. I would have preferred the beach but I do want to hike with these people again.
The group of people that I have hiked with are diverse, they come from all over the US, but for some odd reason a real bond has developed in this van. This morning before we left we took pictures outside the resort, and people from the other vans gave us looks like we were some type of oddity. There must be some hormone or chemical that is released in the body that makes us connect with other people, when we are put in difficult situations. Everyone may have kept a happy demeanor but I’m sure everyone deep down was overcoming something deep in their soul, otherwise why would you take your free time to subject yourself to 6-8 hours of working out, and eating food that isn’t glamorous.
One major epiphany that I had personally is that I know for a fact I will see a 32 inch waist again, and I need to make myself happy. I need to find a calling in my life and not a job. I want to find work which enriches my life, makes an impact on other people in a positive way, and gives me a reason to wake up in the morning. I don’t want to lose this balance I have inside right now. I don’t want to go back and live the same life. If I do I know for a fact I will be back at over 400 lbs.
Physically I feel much better than I did Monday evening. I didn’t take an Oxy-Pro Elite this afternoon, and I haven’t had a single five hour energy (I bought some at target Monday night because I was afraid I wouldn’t make it without it).
My personal victory here have been miniscule. Getting to the next ledge without a break, or finishing 1 minute of jogging on the treadmill, or swimming a lap for the first time in 15 years, nevertheless when you add up all the small victories this week they amount to a significant leap forward in my weight loss and personal development. I have felt more like the man I have always wanted to be this week then I ever have in my life.
If you recall my first entry on Sunday night I was a bit of a prick. Now that I am going out of this on the other side I get why the people who were already here are the way they are, it’s addictive. Thanks Charlie Sheen because I’m “Winning”.
Moment of Zen video provided by Mary.
Bye for now…