Category Archives: Risk and Change

P90X again?

Whenever I catch up with friends, whether at work or anywhere else, this question always comes up: are you still doing P90X?

Well, friends, yes. Yes I am. I’m actually starting another round of P90X this coming Monday. And I’ve got a few new faces looking to come along for the ride with me on this one. I couldn’t be more excited for them. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love being a coach for people who have made the decision and commitment to make positive change and progress in their lives. I’m good at helping people reach their own conclusions about what needs to be done and at making people realize how unnecessary it is to stress, in general. (You can either affect change, or you can’t. Stress is the inability to cope with that reality, in my opinion. But, I digress.) And when it comes to P90X, the commitment to the program is a commitment to positive change and progress.

I’ve thought about jumping onto other exercise regimes. I’m a fan of what Team Beachbody has to offer, and things like Insanity and T-25 Focus came to mind, with the big sell on those programs being how little time it takes per workout. The workouts from P90X, comparatively, need more than an hour a day, which was starting to seem like too long a time to commit after my 2nd round at it. But I think the real reason I was looking elsewhere was that I was beginning to get bored of the routine.

So I took a break. I still kept active, but I didn’t work at it nearly as hard as when I was in the program. And then the holidays arrived and oh, how the food appeared. The wonderful, tasty, so-bad-for-you-but-you-can’t-resist food made its way to my gullet. And I indulged. And it was good. And I realized that you can balance the good-for-you with the not-so-good-for-you and not blow up and rebound back into your pre-P90X self. Sure, my weight would flex up and down, week-to-week, but I remained stable. I could have real pizza again and I remained stable.

And with that realization, I knew that breaks were okay. We all need them, not just because the work is hard, but because breaks from anything consistent can make you crave for that consistency again. The recently boring eventually becomes un-boring again. And the routine that you’ve gotten used to and that you know gets results becomes the go-to routine, once again.

And that’s where we are now. I know P90X works. And I’m going to make it work for me once again. If you thought those photos from April of last year were impressive, just you wait.

Bring it, 2014. I will be.

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-Mickey

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Let’s go. Again. Because dedication.

Welcome to the new year. Welcome back to my goal to write something every day for an entire year. Last year, I was able to ride all the way into May (I think) with consistent posts, thoughts, randomness, and hopefully something interesting to read every day. You saw my mind, dumped onto the page, through it’s highs, lows, and places to go — couldn’t resist the rhyme — and this is me inviting you back.

How did your 2013 work out? Mine literally worked out. As in, I worked out. A lot. You saw it. The good news is that I’m still fitting into the plethora of smaller clothes that I had to dig out/re-purchase and I have no plans of having to look at bigger clothes ever again. In fact, just like last year, I’ll be starting off January with a round of P90X, this time with some new faces that I’m happy to have joining me. I love being a coach or a mentor, especially for people who have made the decision to accept that they need a coach or a mentor. I’m always open to people who haven’t made that realization yet, and I might gently nudge those folks into making such a realization, but I think it works the best when the desire for change comes from the self. Deep. Or not. Whatever, I believe it.

So I didn’t get re-fat. Sweet. Now I’m going to work on becoming stronger and finally getting rid of the gut for good. Chip away, chip away, and sculpt: that’s what I’ll do over the next 90 days and beyond. But aside from riding fitness momentum into 2014, the artist-me will be riding his own momentum as well. A re-mounted project, a newly-funded project, and of course, the elusive first album are all a go for the first quarter of the new calendar year. I’ll spare you the details for now — I need that content for future posts *wink* — but let’s just say I’m excited.

I’ll do a full recap of highlights and lowlights of my 2013 year a little later on. As a quick summary, I was able to achieve about 70% of what covered my vision board. Today, I’ll be making a new one, but rather than just wiping the slate clean, I’m just going to modify the board. Again, I was able to achieve a lot of what was on that board, so I can safely remove those items and replace them something new, something to grow on. I’m getting on that right about…now.

Happy New Year, friends. I’m excited, not for what the year will bring to you and me, but for what you and me will bring to this year.

Poppy New Year!

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-Mickey

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When life gets living.

Still here. I don’t expect that you’ve missed me annoying you every day with my random thoughts? 😉

Since my last post, a lot has happened in this amusement park that is my 2013. I’m not going to recap it all here, and I do still plan to do posts for every day of the year, including the ones that I have yet to publish, but I thought I’d drop by and drop a line to get back into the swing of writing.

I’m very tempted to just use everything that has gone down these last few months in this one post to get a jump start on things, but with so much material running through my head, I’ve got to ration it all out. But maybe I can hit you with some previews?

Let’s see. There’s been a lot of shows involved, both with me as a spectator and as a performer. I’ve seen a couple of outstanding concerts, a lot of indie theatre shows, one particularly hilarious big-stage musical, and a whole lot of Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix lately. I travel around the city mostly by bicycle these days. My car gets dusty in my garage and I’ve probably driven it twice in the last two weeks.

I’ve made a lot of amazing new friends, and turned some current friends into some of my closest friends, by the sheer power of hanging out and having fun. I’ve turned into somewhat of a fitness coach among my friends at work, who have humbled me greatly by letting me know that my P90X journey has inspired them to start their own healthy journeys. And yes, I’m almost done my second round of P90X, which was surprisingly more difficult the second time around, not in terms of the intensity of the workouts, but in terms of consistent workout scheduling.

I booked my first solo flight. I’ll be heading to Calgary in a couple of weeks to visit one of my favourites. And since just buying that ticket, my head has been in total wanderlust mode. Peru might be happening in April 2014, just saying.

I’m starting to give it all away, but we’ll just call this a list of things for me to expand upon in the posts that I’ll be filling in along the way.

If you’re reading this, thanks for re-joining my writing journey. Let’s get living.

Oh yeah, and this little dude is my new roommate. But more on Sawyer later.

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– Mickey

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Hello, June!

Don’t worry, I’m still here. And it’s June! Many wonderful things will be happening this month, and I’m looking forward to it all, but I won’t give it all away just yet. I’ve got to spread those out into some fun and memorable (with a side of inspiring) posts for you to read during this eventful month.

Speaking of eventful months, how about that May? Was it as eventful as mine? Right, how could you tell when my last post was published for May 7th? (Well, I guess that’s one way you could gauge just how busy May was for me, but let’s continue.) Yes, it actually was a very busy May, and while being “too busy” was the excuse I would use in 2012 for not keeping up my post, this was actually a case of not having enough hours in a day unless I wanted to forego sleep! It was month full of projects, mini road-trips, taking up new activities and filling my day with them, highlights and heartbreaks (sounds like a sports-related post right there), lots of hangouts, and social fun-times in general. What was I doing in May? Living life for me.

And living for myself means taking care of myself which, in all the schedule-filled goodness of May, means getting more sleep. P90X round one was a huge success, as I posted previously, but one big factor that was starting to catch up with me was a lack of sleep. And while I thought a couple of instances of normal to longer-than-normal sleep would get me back up to speed, it turns out my body needed more. So I tried my best to give it more and if that meant I had to cut down on a part of my daily routine, it would have to be from things that wouldn’t take away from my health and fitness. So that meant that daily posts, among other computer and tv screen-involved things, would be lower in the priority chain. But worry not, for I have drafted a post for every day of the month — I at least started a post for every day so that I would have at least a starting point for each day and still maintain the habit of logging into WordPress to write every day — which means that I’ll be multi-posting every day until that May month is all filled up. We should be back on track to a post every day before the month is done.

But that, in a general overview of a nutshell, is what’s been going on. Thank you to everyone who asked when the next post was coming, keeping me accountable and feeling good that people do enjoy reading my ramblings. Now that I’ve got this amazingly busy life a little less busy and better time-managed, let’s get this 365 working again, shall we?

You stay classy, planet Earth.

– Mickey

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When sleep is scarce.

It has been an exhausting week or so, now. And I can’t say that it’s because of that for any other reason other than my own doing. Well, that and the weather.

And it’s really the way the weather is affecting me that’s the weird part. I’m used to working on a lot of different projects at once while still holding down more than one job, so I know that’s not it. I’m sure spending the energy on working out every day might contribute to it a bit, but if anything it’s been adding to my ability to do more and not feel drained. At least for today, it feels like it has been the sun that has been tiring me out.

It’s totally strange to me. The sun, as I’ve mentioned before is a supercharger for my everyday. (Well, scientifically, for everyone’s everyday, of course.) It usually gets me pumped for the day and that combine with blue skies usually keep me energized until night rolls around. But for the past few days of glorious sunlight, it has been kind of draining.

And I haven’t even really been outside for an extended amount of time. I know getting too much sun for too long can be tiring, but that’s definitely not what’s happening. It’s just sunlight making me sleepy. I made my way through the beautiful, sun-filled day yawning and nodding off. I had to make an extra effort to not lose focus while on the road to teach out of town and also to not fall asleep on my students. (Even weirder was how the night drive back had my fully awake.)

The sun and lack of sleep, most likely are the culprits. When I hit my bed just to rest for a moment before getting dinner ready, I was in complete shutdown mode. In fact, when I opened my eyes again, it was four hours later and it was 2am.

Sleep, come back to me. You’re in high demand.

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– Mickey

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Oh, right. Thank you, again!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I sometimes like to write about my day somewhat cryptically, talking about things like moving, or creating things, or staying motivated and positive seemingly for no reason. The truth is, what I write is most of the time because of something that happened during the day that made me think. I don’t always mention that as the reason behind each post because I try not to just make this exclusively a daily online journal, so I’ll usually just jump right into my thoughts about the event without going into the specifics of the actual event that inspired the post.

That being said, with yesterday’s post being exactly that situation, I totally forgot to stick my pattern of monthly gratitude to you, the reader! So here we go!

Thank you again for following along on this journey with me. I truly believe that taking this third attempt at a 365 blog seriously has helped me to also stick to my fitness goals, and because of my dedication to writing here everyday has caught the attention of many people I had never known before, it has kept me motivated and accountable to get to where I am now. It all ties in together: my vision board, the habit of daily writing turning into the habit of daily exercise, the encouragement of friends and strangers enjoying my writing becoming a visible, growing (but still humbly small) community of fellow writers, fitness-minded people, and people also starting their own journeys have made this blog become one of the farthest reaching things I’ve ever done on the internet and has helped me to become the healthiest and most fit I’ve ever been.

So once again, with all my heart and soul, I thank you for stopping by once in a while to see what pops out of this unpredictable mind of mine. I’m humbled and extremely grateful whenever someone comes up to me at work, or when I’m out with friends and family, and says that they’ve read my blog and it has inspired them to make changes in their lives. I never would have thought that my simple goal of writing anything, really, would turn into something worth reading, let alone inspiring or even remotely life-changing. But as I started to give those little messages of push and inspiration at the end of a lot of my posts, I realized that this is now part of what this blog does. This is a reading place meant to keep me motivated by sharing that motivation with you. It just so happens that the result of that might mean you may feel motivated too. And I love that.

It’s hard to believe that, sometime next month, I’ll have reached the halfway-point of my first successful 365. Yes, that’s right, I’m calling it. There’s no going back now. I’m seeing this baby all the way to the sweet, sweet end (and most likely beyond.) So thank you for keeping me motivated, inspired, and accountable. This wouldn’t be what it is, and I wouldn’t be who I am, without your support, no matter how small.

You rock.

Image by ~hailthekid.

– Mickey

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Every end is a new beginning: P90X Round 2, Day 1.

And so with the end of my week-off between rounds of P90X, we start all over again with the second foray into bringing it. I was the last of this new workout crew that I’ve apparently gathered to do my routine for the day and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I pretty much hit all my previous numbers out of the park for this workout, and it really shows just how important rest is to the body, not only in the short term every night with a good amount of sleep — something I need to get better at for this round of things, because I think it will greatly increase the quality of my results — but in the slightly longer term as well. A week off of extreme workouts has seemingly done wonders for my pushups, and apparently a ten-pound increase in dumbbell weight is a perfect amount to feel the burn, but surprisingly easy to adjust to. (I was expecting to not even get to the 8-10 rep range, but apparently it’s just right.)

It just feels great to be back on it again. I can honestly say that I missed the daily workouts. The break was nice, but I found that even just the last couple of days preparing for round two had me more focused than other day of the break week. It actually like more than just a week off, which I think is a testament to how much this program has changed me. To feel the absence of a workout as something that I wish I could “fix” would not have even skimmed across my mind in January. That me would have been content with ending my day with hours online and sleep right after. But that me is long gone, and the new me just doesn’t feel right without a workout. (Again, it is important to take that rest week and I probably could have squeezed in a rock climb or break dance class somewhere in there, but I’m glad I opted for rest.)

So here’s to a new beginning to an end that will come, but will again just open up another beginning. I’m taking my body to physical levels that I’ve never before experienced or seen on myself. I’ve had a glimpse of the unhealthy side of the spectrum of my (poor) health potential, so I’m very excited to see what lies in store this August when I get to the furthest I’ve ever been in physical fitness.

The times they are a-changin’ in my personal reality. And it’s about time, too.

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– Mickey

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