LGN 70: Second Anniversary!

Inside: Year three begins; Kettlebell Sport; Not fun at parties; Thinking about Old Rag; Mania

Happy Anniversary to Me!

I’m over a month overdue but I just realized that I’ve been at UA for over two years.  This may explain my awesome powers.  I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a kettlebell over 72 lbs.  36kg/80lbs.  Cleaning that mo fo from the flo, yo.

Justin used his magical trainer powers to humble me with kettlebells and color coordinated it to what I was wearing.  Impressive.  So if you see me wearing all pink next week don’t be surprised.  And I will be hot.

Two years at Underground Athlete.  3x a week for two years minus a few sessions I missed due to vacations, illness, and general gallivanting   Let’s call it 12 sessions missed overall (but probably a few more).  That’s 300 sessions.  300 hours of getting worked like a rented mule.  300 hours of investment into my fitness and health.  300 hours of inspiring, tough, beautiful people and camaraderie.  300 hours of gym music.  Not quite 300 finishers — there was a period when we didn’t do finishers for a while.  Ah, memories.

I wonder how much weight I’ve moved since the beginning.  That would be an interesting calculation.

It’s been a good time.  Thanks, coach.  Coaches.  I’m going to keep at it as long as I possibly can until circumstances no longer allow (and I don’t foresee that any time soon — knock on wood).

I’m gonna be a friggin’ beast.  And I’m gonna get me one of those ELITE shirts.

Road Trip


Wow.  I saw two Saturday morning sunrises in a row.  That’s kind of wild.  But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.  And that’s get up at the ass crack of dawn to get to Long Island City by 9am.  Well, that was the goal.  Turned out to be more like 10am because of reasons. There were things that needed to be captured on “film” and it seemed like the right thing to do.   The plan was to go up, take photos of and support the Underground Athlete kettlebell crew doing their thang and then bolt.  Hit the road back home, stop in Baltimore to see the family, head home, pass out, wake up, edit photos and so on.  Eat something.  Drink something.  It’s just one of those days where you accept the fact that you’re going to be worn down to the core and frayed by the end of it.  Bring it.

But the crew talked me into staying and that’s probably good because I was freaking tie-erd.  That’s a problem I have, actually.  Reflexive stubborn independence.  On one of my mindmaps from Jennell’s visioning workshop I have two simple words that could probably improve my life exponentially:  “Say yes.”

Actually, it’s something like, “Say yes more often.”

You’ll notice that when you offer me something out of your own sense of goodness and generosity I’ll hesitate.  “Gary, would you like a drink?”

And I’m like, “Uuuuuuuuh.  No that’s okay.”

“Are you sure?  You were stranded in the desert for four days.”

“Well, I guess … yes.  Thank you very much.”

I don’t know what my deal is.  I’m workin’ on it.

Anyway, the kettlebell team is chock full o’ awesomeness and it’s a good time just being around them.  Even though my social metabolism can’t keep up.  Even when I had to disengage and go into recharge/altered state of tiredness mode.  Just being in the same room with them is — entertaining, educational and … I don’t have the words.  It’s really, really, ridiculously good looking.  (Metaphorically, you understand.)DSC08910


The photos (same as on Facebook pretty much but bigger) are uploading to that URL as I type.  It’ll take a few hours, though.  More than a few.

I’ll tell you something, though.  Oh.  Well first.  I’m not a drinker.  Let’s start there.  I had the most alcohol I’ve ever had in my life but it really wasn’t much.  A little tequila, which tasted like someone distilled the Sonoran desert and put it in a glass.  A peach lambic, a Tremens Delirium and a little of a beer that was kind of light and floral.  Well, more than a little.  I was totally stealing sips.  That’s’ right, sucka!  It was some good stuff.  Just made me want to lay down and stare at the ceiling, though.

So here’s what I was thinking, being a little bit socially retarded and all.  And this is not a judgment or criticism, really.  It’s not about good or bad or right or wrong.  The thing is, I spent 24 hours with awesome people.  24 hours of hanging out, waiting around, trying to capture the energy and experience in photos, eating, drinking, talking, and so on.

I know absolutely nothing about them and their lives.  No more than before, I mean.  Maybe two or three things were like getting some character development, but even then it was bits of conversations that I overheard.

That’s really weird to me.  That’s not how I operate, y’know.  How can I like — no.  How can I love these people and know so little substantive about them?  And there is a lot of substance there.

It’s not an issue.  It’s not a problem.  It doesn’t even necessarily have to change.  They’re my gym friends so we tend to talk about gym things or whatever.  It’s just an observation and some self-reflection.

On the Old Rag

So after looking at the hikingupward.com info for Old Rag.

Something was really wrong with me that night.  Not sure what.  I got a cramp at mile 2??  I got muscle crampy at all on  7 mile hike??  That’s just weird.  I’ve walked and hiked longer than that recently.  Oh well.  Maybe my body was like, “Your dumb ass should be in bed.  Lay down, fool!”

It could have been the pace.  I’m a very slow walker.  I have to listen to upbeat music at a good tempo to keep my pace up, but it’s like walking up stairs for an hour.  I tried to pick it up that night but you know how it is when short people try to walk fast.  You’re like, “Oh he thinks he’s people.”  And you’re watching the effort and you can’t help but hear cartoon hustle ‘n bustle music in your head.

What I really need to do is start rolling out the lower legs diligently again.  I’ve been slipping on the recovery thing.

Creative Flow

I’ve been aching to make some music.  And write.  And feeling the urge to get outside and run.  Too many impulses.  I don’t know what’s up with me.  I’m pretty sure I’m not manic but if you think I’m going off the rails let me know.

I just have a lot stuff flowing for some reason.  It’s the time.  Of the season.  All I want to do when I’m at work is come home and make music.  At least for the past few days.  I woke up this morning and wrote a song before I went to work.  Just … blam.  I think it’s a good one, too, even though I can’t really handle the vocals.  But I don’t care.  You do your best, you put something out there, feel embarrassed and life goes on.

Of course, then I had to go to work obsessing over the audio recorded notes.  And had eight hours of work plus an Underground Athlete butt kicking to endure.  I really wanted to say “enjoy” but … I mean, it applies until it doesn’t, if you know what I mean.

I guess I’ll just roll with it.  At the very least, I’ve been finding myself to be hilarious for some reason.  Somebody’s gotta keep me entertained, y’know.

Well, that is all.  Have a good one.  Train hard.  Have fun.

Here comes year three.  Thank you, fellow gym goers.  Thank you, Justin, Matt, Antwon, Sara and Cristal.  (And V.  V is for u.  Even though I have avoided letting you coach me into a puddle of goo.  I’m on to you.)  Thank you, friends.

Let’s get it.

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