What a crazy life since the last post. Life has been chaotic, but in a good way. Career wise, my company has fired the CEO, closed down the Boston office and is in the process of moving my office out of Providence back to Massachusetts in the next two weeks. Believe it or not from a state tax and commuting perspective, it’s better. Demanding candidates and plenty of roles to fill. In a previous post, I commented on a mini meltdown I had in a shopping plaza parking lot about a deal. Well, I was able to structure a deal he would accept. I had to cut my fee and bend over backwards to get it. Something is better than nothing right? The candidate had the audacity, after he accepted to tell me he had to have 4 weeks vacation. Luckily I had that one in my back pocket. All I could think, was, “you want a couple of $%@$ing free oil changes thrown in to boot?” Another candidate, whom I can get a 11k/17.5% pay hike + bonus with an opportunity for career advancement tells me he needs a $13k pay hike or he’s not going. So for almost 1k more per month you’re going to walk away….Stay tuned.
I’m head coaching an 8th grade basketball team. Our season starts tomorrow in a tournament. Three games, plus my younger son also has three games this weekend. I love coaching and can’t wait to see how we do. I forget everything other than basketball when I’m coaching. My dilemma is to play my best guys together or mix the teams. Because it’s pre-season, I’m going to mix it up and not stress. Unless they don’t run a play right that we’ve practiced for the past 8 weeks. My father was a boys high school coach for 20 years and I’m using an offense he ran that took them to the state semi-finals. We’ll see.
Speaking of vision; finally, on Tuesday, was able to get a set of hard contact lenses that fit, and allow me to read and see distance. Third times a charm, but 4 hours after I picked them up, I splashed dish soap in my eye. Next morning, eye infection. Back in specs for another couple of days. Parents coming to the house tomorrow for a 4 day stay before Thanksgiving. Family photographs, whole family including brother’s family and my sister. The funniest part is the female vision of having the pictures outside with the pond in the background. ”It will be so pretty!” Sure will, except the high Sunday is 28 and the low is 12 with the wind blowing sideways off the pond. Mother’s idea, trying my best to cooperate and not be reluctant. My father made the patriarchal decision that we’ll be taking these photographs in the sun room in front of the picture window with the football game on.
In the middle of all this, went on a guys’ weekend down to the Carolinas. My college buddy’s sister lives down in Charlotte and her husband is a sales director for a wine company. We went to the South Carolina / Florida game on Saturday night in Columbia. If you are a college football fan, you have to see an SEC game. Put it on the bucket list. Insane in the membrane, 88,000 people, stadium shaking, women screaming like banshees over a game between an 8-2 team that will lose to Alabama by at least 3 touchdowns and a beaten up 4-6 Florida team. Complete culture shock, to say the least. Redneck/Cracker Central. My Uncle Butch one time said, “Rednecks are experts on 3 things; NASCAR, Barbecue, and College Football.” We had a good tailgate, but next to the stadium, there is this line of old train cars that people rent out for $100 k a season to tailgate inside. They’re called Cockabooses. Don’t you hate when people mix up they’re with their with there? It was good scenery watching all the young female co-eds dressed to the 9′s trying to get an invite. Great take, where else can you hear women scream “cocks?” GAME COCKS GAME COCKS…
Sunday we left, slightly hungover at 8:30 to Charleston to catch the ferry to Fort Sumter where the first shot of the Civil War was fired by the South. I’m a history buff and this was fun. Hearing the Southern perspective. It was maybe a 1/2 hour too long on the boat, but interesting. Then the party started. Our friend’s brother in law got us into a $450 suite on the top floor of a Downtown Charleston hotel for $130. One of my buddies says Charleston is his favorite city in the US and he lived in San Francisco. Mine is San Francisco, but I liked Charleston a lot. One restaurant and wine bar after another, beautiful homes on the water and Southern charm. Money wasn’t an object and we weren’t getting cheated on food or drink. Henry’s might be my favorite bar of all time. Scotch note, the Oban 14 is quite a nice whisky.
On Monday we drove back to Charlotte. I set the world speed record driving across South Carolina in my buddy’s sister’s Honda Pilot. Loaded up on beer and went to downtown Charlotte for a 5 hour tailgate for the Patriots/Panthers games. Fifty person tailgate with every spirit, wine, champagne and beer imaginable. I walked toward the stadium carrying a bottle of champagne and sharing it with my fellow fans. So much for Octsober. Anyway went to the game, watched the Pats lose. I couldn’t remember the last time I went to a Patriots game where they lost. It must have been about a 25 game winning streak, 2005 vs. the Colts on Monday Night maybe? They got screwed on the last play, but don’t fumble the ball on the 3 and don’t let Newton get around the edge when you rush him and you win that game. I’m getting kind of bitter about the Patriots. Third highest average ticket price in the league and they are $4 million under the salary cap. Always trading down in the draft, except last year and talking about value. How many 2nd round picks can a team possibly screw up? Spend some money, Tom Terrific isn’t getting any younger. And it was so easy getting in and out of the stadium in Charlotte. In Foxborough, it’s at least 20 minutes in line. Much better experience. Did I mention the tickets for both events were free? This perfect storm of a vacation for three married guys in their mid 40′s will never happen again. Never been to an SEC game, never been to Charleston and never have seen the Patriots play a road game.
With all this going on, training has been great. Ladders of double 70 kettlebell military presses were started in rungs at 1,2,3,4. By the 3rd time doing this, I was able to complete all 50 reps. Switched to 2,3,5. 50 reps in less rungs. Bench press record of 2,3,5 x 185 was set. 5 sets x 5 with 315 for squats. Pulled 345, went for 365 on dead lift but failed. Ladders work for strength and size. Want more size? Less rest between sets. Want more strength? Get the reps.
The downside of all this is my diet has gone to semi shit. Not following my own advice, the day I got back from Charlotte, got on the scale and was tipping 194.2. A solid 8.6 lb.gain in a month. Didn’t feel that heavy, but fasted for 24 hours and dropped some of it. We’ll call it about a 5-6 lb gain total. With that and Thanksgiving coming up, I decided to start the Dan John 10,000 swing workout. I put my own little spin on it.
Here’s how I’m going about it. 5 sessions a week. One session, I’ll do nothing but swings. For another session, I’ll do a complex ladder of Double 70 Military Press, Front Squat and Double Row in rungs of 1,2,3. The final session will consist of Pull-ups and Bench Press in rungs of 2,3,5. I’m going to use a 55 lb/25 kg bell to start and move up to a 62 lbs. / 28 kg after a week. From there I might try the 70, but we’ll see.
I’m through two sessions so far and have finished all the swings in the 10,15,25,50 sequence. The workouts have taken over an hour due to the exercise combinations. At the gym, the bench and pull-up combination was fatiguing but in a good way. My forearms weren’t frying but had a good pump. I’m using 195 on the bench and did 41 reps. The third rung I did 5 once. Still a PR for me so I’ll take it. This is right in my wheelhouse in that it’s only four weeks. Didn’t we talk about 4 weeks in the last blog? It’s only 20 workouts. I’m shelving the back squat and dead lift for a little bit.
The moral of the story, you can be in a state of chaos, but you can still make gains if you stay committed.