Wednesday, August 31, 2011


So my oldest has started Jr. High. He is liking it for the most part, except the 1 mile run they do every week in gym, which he needs to do more of so he can keep running in soccer. So I was asking him about it last night, and told me that they had to do pull-ups in PE. I remember vainly trying pull-ups, and failing.

Me: "How'd you do?"

Oldest Child: "I could do 5."

Me: "......WOW!"

I'm impressed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"I'd tell you my opinion of football, but then I'd have to repent!"

I heard that from another soccer coach last night. I'll get to that in a second.

Last night we had soccer practice, and a back to school night. We used the old divide and conquer technique. As a coach, I attended soccer, and the wife went to talk to teachers at the elementary.

The reports from the elementary are positive, with the exception of the amount of talking my younger daughter does. On the first day of school she told us that the teacher yelled at her. When I asked if she was talking, or not paying attention she said, "I was paying attention." You'll notice she didn't answer the other part of the question. The older daughter's teacher is great, and is working on helping the kids learn good habits and self esteem, and I don't mean the I'm just great no matter what I do, but she focuses on the positive. I think this will be great for my older daughter.

On to soccer practice. We have practiced for the last three years at the same location, and the same time. This year, it has become infested with football practices. I don't mind this, as our kids can see the calisthenics, yelling, and dull drills they do, and compare it to the games we play. All-in-all I think it helps them appreciate our practices.

Last night we showed up, and set up on the West end of the soccer field. We rarely use more than half. One coach was setting up cones, and getting the players warmed up while I put the net up. All of the sudden a team of 9-10 year old football players comes running through our field to do their lap to start practice. I asked them to get off of our field and got the following two responses. "Soccer sucks", and "You get off our field." Whatever, they are 9 year old punks (and not the good kind of punks like I used to be, the snot nosed kids type that you tell to get off your lawn [I know you usually don't see nested comments like this, but I felt like I should say that I have been asked to get off of people's lawns, so maybe all punks fall under the second type.]) Our players were very annoyed and started yelling back at the kids, until we told them to stop. We're trying to instill that soccer is a "gentleman's" sport.

It turns out that this football team was having a scrimmage against one of the other teams that practice at the park we are at. Like I mentioned we went from having one older team practice on the other field to having 5-6 teams there on Thursday nights. Since we were on the field first, they couldn't make us leave, and quite honestly they didn't even ask. They also had enough of the field that they could run their scrimmage North-South and have as long of a field as they would have running their game East-West with the full soccer field. They didn't do this. Instead, they ran it East-West, and had all of their coaches, and a few parents who were taking pictures stand in our field of play and yell at the kids. Then if a soccer ball came anywhere near them they would turn around and glare at us. The best part is that two of their coaches are friends of two of our coaches. This is about time that Coach Chuck told me the line above. Even better is the fact that all of his boys have played football at some point.

We finally started our scrimmage to end practice, and ran it North-South to be courteous. At this time, three of the dads from the football practices spread out on three sides of our field, and started playing catch over the tops of our heads. I was waiting for a player to get hit with the football, because they were obviously not quarterback material.

I would like my son to play football at some time. I think it helps teach teamwork and hard work. After the way they acted last night I might change my mind. Unfortunately, it also reinforced every stereotype of the stupid jock in my team's minds.

Now it wouldn't be a post if I didn't mention the gym. I didn't reach my weight loss goal the past six weeks, which included a family vacation and lots of family visiting. I did take my measurements though, and I've lost 3/4 of an inch in my waist, a full inch around my hips and chest. I'm pretty happy with that progress. Since January I've gone from a 54 inch chest to a 47 inch chest.

I was talking with my Father-in-law (FIL) about the workouts this week. When I could tell him what we did everyday he was confused for a minute, then the FIL asked, "You mean you're going every day?" I think that freaked him out.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh my aching quads?

Okay, I haven't posted for awhile. So here is whats been going on lately.

Yesterday was back to school, and my oldest started Jr. High. He seems pretty happy, and was excited that his locker is close to a girl he has a crush on. We had to go and get all those little back to school things, 3 ring binder, pad-lock for orchestra locker, 3x5 cards, etc.

The middle two (my daughters) are both loving their teachers. I think it will be a good school year.

We played a soccer game with the Priesthood from our Ward last Saturday. This was a good time. We had 15 people show up, including 3 Deacons. My team was slaughtered, but I did score a goal from midfield. The guy playing keeper for their team had never been a soccer player and was way out of position. I kept telling the young soccer players to take a shot, and no one would, so I did.

You may have noticed the post title, and thought, "That's not like Brett. He only ever complains about his back." I've decided I need to branch out, and now I'm going to complain about my legs.

For the past week the front of my quadriceps have been hurting. I've been working out, but they just don't seem to recover very quickly. The weird thing is where it hurts. Usually the outside, and down by my knee gets sore, but this was firmly in the upper-middle quad. Now I didn't loose any sleep thinking about this, but wondered why the change in the muscle pain. Then I went to the gym yesterday.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are more "strength" days. That's not to say that all the other days aren't also, but we slow down a bit, and focus on good technique. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we focus on getting an elevated heart rate, and getting a good whole body workout.

We walked into the gym on Monday, and my wife looked at me and said, "Let's go home!" This is because the first three exercises contained the term, "mountain climber". Now a mountain climber is where you get in a push-up position, and then alter bringing your knees up to your chest like you're running. We usually do them with our hands on something to give a bit of elevation. This allows us to place our front foot down, which works your legs along with your abs. We had 100 Bosu mountain climbers (where you put the palms of your hands flat on the platform of the Bosu to add instability), 100 beam push-ups (our trainer, Jason Muir, has had some handles attached to six inch square metal tubing. We use this for push-ups, standing rows, and now mountain climbers.), and 100 medicine ball mountain climbers. As soon as I started on the workout, I realized that the mountain climbers were the cause of my sore quads. This was nice to know, but not really nice when you realize you have another 200 to do.

We then moved on to our "Hop-Touch-Reach" exercise. This is similar to a burpee, but without the push-up. We also usually throw in either a weight, or source of instability for the muscles in the arms and chest to get a better workout. Monday we did all of the above. We started with 40 hop-touch-reach with a six foot section of ABS drain line (similar to PVC pipe). This pipe is two inch diameter, and filled with sand. It is awkward to grab, and adds some instability up top. The real trick was putting it on the ground when you jumped backwards, then picking it back up for the hop on the end. We repeated this with medicine balls, and dumbbells.

We then moved into the core session. We started with a TRX 3 ab combo (I discussed most of these in a lovely post title, "Ab H#$@!"), followed by a Power Wheel 3 ab combo, and a Swiss ball 3 ab combo (this is the only set of exercises mentioned in my earlier post.) For the Swiss ball ab workout we first sat on the exercise ball, and rolled our rears forward until our back was touching the ball. You then roll backwards as far as you can and do crunches. The key is keeping the exercise ball still. By being back that far your abs have to be tense the entire time and they get a great workout. You then move to pikes with your arms in push-up position, and your knees on top of the ball. Then end with leg lifts with the ball between your feet.

The next set of exercises didn't really have a theme, besides elevating your heart rate. We started with a half-mile run, then flipped heavy punching bags four lengths of the gym, and jumped up on tractor tires 30 times. Then a new exercise was tried, the double-roundhouse belly. You get in front of a punching bag, and through a roundhouse kick with your left leg, then your right leg, and then do a push-up (making sure to touch your stomach to the ground.) I did have a slight advantage as I didn't have to go as far down as some people! This was followed by 40 band touch-reach (where you stand in the middle of an exercise band, with the handles in your hand, then you squat down and touch the ground, then reach up above your head as high as you can.) We then ran another half-mile.

To cap off the workout, we did a two and a half minute static squat. It was a good workout, and no wonder my legs hurt!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's all about the arms

Today we did something different for Firehouse Fitness, we focused on one muscle group to exhaustion. The idea behind the workout was not to burn a ton of calories, but to let your body burn extra calories over the next three days as it repairs your muscle tissue. We really focused on our arms, and through in some core exercises to burn a few more calories.

We started out with 5 sets of exercise band "3 arm combo". Each set involved standing on an exercise band and performing 20 bicep curls, 20 upright rows, and 20 triceps extensions. This makes your arms very tired.

We then did 100 crunches.

The next exercise was 4 sets of TRX band "3 arm combo". Each set involved doing 20 body bicep curls, 20 shoulder extensions (in this exercise you keep your arms strait in front of you, with the elbows locked and pull them strait out to the side. You end up standing in a "T" shape), and 20 triceps extensions. For those of you who don't know what the TRX system is, it looks like trucker tie-downs, but suspended from the wall. It utilizes your body weight to determine the difficulty of the workout. If you stand up strait it is very light weight, however, if you stand with your feet close to the wall the TRX is attached to it can be quite a heavy workout.

We then did 45 "Swiss ball pass overs". This involves laying on your back with your arms extended over your head. You place an exercise ball between your feet, and then do a jack knife and trade the ball from your feet to your hands. You then reverse it, and take the ball back to your feet.

We then did 3 sets of a dumbbell "3 arm combo". Each set was 15 "hammer fist" bicep curls (the palm of your hands face in instead of up), 20 shoulder presses, and then 15 overhead triceps extensions.

This was followed by 2 sets of a Power Wheel "3 ab combo". Each set involves 20 pikes (you have the wheel strapped to your feet, and get in push up position. You then do a jack knife movement, and bring your feet towards your head), 20 hamstring curls, and 20 leg lifts.

That is as far as I made it. There were two more circuits, but we ran out of time. I don't think anyone made it past this stage.

Great workout, but sore arms!

Monday, August 15, 2011

15 Years and Still Going Strong

15 years ago (since yesterday, my wife monopolized the computer) I married the love of my life.

I remember the day, I had to be up early to finish setting up for the reception. Moving tables, taking care of problems with my tuxedo, even moving some railroad ties. Then we headed to the Temple, and waited in the Celestial room. The man who was performing the ceremony had switched our wedding and his haircut in his day planner. We sat in comfort while our families sat in a room designed for about 15 less people than were actually in there.

The day went great, and I've never regretted my decision to ask you to marry me.

I love you Melanie!