This photo is symbolic of how I feel about my life. Open and ready. If you observe this pose, you can see that I am offering my being to the beauty of the ocean, the sun, and I am sinking into the earth. There are certain points in my life where I have felt more open and less guarded. This is a time where I felt I was offering my body to mother nature. And, that is how I feel right now, at this very moment about my life.
I could not find a better pose that is symbolic for my feeling in life at this time. After the grand European tour, which I have promised to post more photos and stories (and I will), there is a calmness about my being. I was both anxious but excited about the tour before I left, because, inevitably and invariably, I knew there would be challenges along the journey. I could not deny the fact that my travels would go without incident. As long as I could retain my passport, a little cash and my credit cards and other identification, I knew I would be okay. It's kind of like trying to be a survivalist in the urban jungle. Pretty silly, but I don't think a lot of people in the world are equipped to be world travelers. But, I did it, and my life experiences in a few weeks time rivaled that of several years of my life, and that's pretty interesting.
At any rate, after coming home, I threw myself into the gym, only taking a couple of days off the recover. I think both Amazon fantasists and general civilians alike can appreciate my efforts in the gym. I do not quite understand it, but I am stronger than ever, nearly rivaling my strength when I lived in Holland with Sas training at Kneet's Gym. I never thought I would see that day again. My life is cyclic, and since I travel a lot, sometimes it is difficult to stay on a normal schedule in training. However, I am fortunate enough to have found a very good man, JJ, that is pushing me to be the best I can be--both inside the gym, and outside the gym. How exciting is that? I rarely have anyone that would even remotely begin to challenge me, not only in the gym, but in other areas of my life to inspire me.
I generally train alone and just try to find someone that can give me a quick spot. I have also decided to help a friend of mine, Jason, who used to train with Romeo, my old training bud, who recently moved to Oregon. It is a great position to be in, because, although I do not have the time at the moment to dedicate to training people, I will assist friends in my inner circle gratuitously, and I have other people helping me in my training. It's a good feeling, because I enjoy helping others, and it also reinforces my own knowledge.
I have also decided to go for my Russian Kettlebell Certification in April. This training methodology is also known as "Hard Style", and Pavel Tsatsouline pioneered the revolution of hardstyle RKB training. I have a good foundation already, now all I have to do is continue to swing, clean, snatch and a few other exercises daily to hone my skills. Hard Style is different from competition style. Competition is more focused on economy of motion, and the number of reps on can achieve. While I am interested in that, it is not my primary focus. It is yet another facet of training that I can add to my arsenal, and it will only help improve my quality of life and others.
My goals in training have always been on functionality, power, and last but not least, aesthetic. I don't know how many people I have told this to in the gym this week! Sometimes I think I should have a business card that states these objectives and actually begin training people, but at this point in my life, I am not ready to take on personal training, although I have done it in the past. I simply enjoy helping and educating others. Therefore, I like to incorporate a lot of power movements, whether it is powerlifting techniques, RKB, sport training, or simply bodybuilding movements. Power and speed are largely intrinsic, however, proper training methodologies can enhance this. Diet and some exercises allow for an aesthetic physique. I always know that you are what you do or eat. So, how one trains, and how one eats, is how one will end up looking. Pretty simple, huh?
So, getting to the meat of things, my strength levels are up, and I have lost about 8 pounds over the past month. I intend on getting bigger, harder, and shaplier in the next several weeks, but stronger as well. I am able to close grip benchpress in the Smith Machine nearly 300 pounds for reps, and all of my other lifts are up significantly. I am working on my grip strength for RKB training. Last year I did nearly 200 snatches with both hands in a 10 minute test, with a 16kg RKB, which is what women use in the open division for hardstyle qualification. This is nearly double the qualification standard. So I know I will not have a problem qualifiying for the certification. My goal, however, is to be be able to make the men's open qualification in the 5-minute snatch test, and that is 100 combined snatches with both arms in the 5-minute test with the 24kg RKB. Now, that would be a good goal for me. I am snatching the 20kg right now for sets of 10-15 reps, alterating arms, and taking a bit of rest in between sets. It would take me a while to get up to 24kg, however, I do not think it is something that is unattainable. Right now, I do not have a problem I am also working on athletic movements such as power cleans, snatches, deadlifts and squats. It is a great feeling getting my power base back where it belongs. Tonight, I did some Russian Deadlifts with 225lbs very easily and I did not lose my grip at all. It felt good, clean and "right"!
I think it will enable me to do overhead lifts and carries that much better and I have some friends that are professional wrestlers that will be able to teach me these lifts even better. It's all a matter of time before I can really perform them, and that is all too exciting for me.
So, it has truly been nose to the grindstone lately, but with pleasure in more ways than one, as I know how to enjoy life! No fear of that, my dear friends. So, stay tuned, as I will continue to deliver to you my progress in training, and my celebration of life.