Wednesday, June 8, 2011


C "doing pull-ups" I love that he loves the idea of training =)

Stern-spiration ;)

I’ve been pretty directionless lately. I should tell you that nothing bothers me more than not having my mind set on something: be it a near future goal, project, or long term plan. So when I’m without any of the above I STRESS OUT. The nicest way to describe how my quarter has been going is “less than stellar” a more accurate depiction would be “shitty.” I can be really great when I want to be, but if my goal is questionable at best and the going gets rough I get stubborn and shutdown. You would think being fully aware of it would be enough to right it, but nope. I have to have a purpose, a “thing” if you will to motivate and excel. I had this great float going up until now where all the coursework had a lot of direct relation to my work experience and I hadn’t particularly expected that trend to end. Then, boom, this quarter 2/3 of my classes were all brand new crap I’d never seen before, AT ALL. Stuff that’s hard to memorize, less than intuitive, and well shit I’ll use that word that I usually leave out of my vocabulary: HARD. I dropped one class a month ago in an attempt to save the other. It didn’t work; I fared even worse on the second midterm. Thankfully I have one class that still relates to what I know; one small point of success for the quarter. I’ve been having a hard time even studying for that final though. Why? The whole goal (become a CPA) I set in motion 3 years ago is faltering. Being a CPA in 10 years is practical when my son will hit his teens and no longer think it’s cool to hang out with mom, but until then he has a right to a present parent. I’m the one he’s got, sporadic hit and miss contributions from the other half of his genome aside. I need a good job that only asks for 40 hours a week. Personally, 60+ doesn’t put me off, but I’m obligated to shorty first and that would set him up to be raised by babysitters. Child or career, child or career? Many women do both, but that is far more fair in two parent households. I’m going to finish my B.A. in Accounting. I only have a year left so it would be silly not to. Does it make any sense to do a fifth year now to cover my CPA exam eligibility anyways? Who knows, the only certain selling factor I can list for that is it would keep C in the college preschool (which btw is the best preschool ever!) until he hits kindergarten. I’m trying my best to try something new: to be guided rather than to plan. I’m going to just say I’m a college student for the next year, not that I’m “working towards getting my CPA” as I’ve been saying for the last 3 years.

I’m going to be something else too though. I’m a BODYBUILDER and I’m going to own that and embrace it. I’ve been waffling since Emerald as to whether or not I ever wanted to compete again. Yes, publicly I’ve been saying I should do Ironman, but I didn't believe in it. I wanted to try competing outside of the NPC too and had my eye on an NANBF competition late this month. After Emerald I’d gotten setup with a nutritionist and trainer I met at Emerald and had planned to prep for the June competition. A week in I realized that I was still burnt out and my classes were kicking my ass (translation: shitty ass grades on midterms in two classes) so I dropped the plan to compete in favor of focusing on school. Surprise! It didn’t work.
Winter quarter I had 16 credits, was training 15+ hours a week for Emerald, spending 7 or so hours weekly on this blog, and January is what I fondly refer to as “bookkeeper’s hell month” (W-2s, year end, etc. on top of the usual grind). Yet despite all that going on I pulled out a 3.4 GPA, at the time I thought it crappy as I’d somehow managed a 4.0 till then, but looking back that 3.4 was GREAT. Now here I am not training, not blogging (well at the moment I am haha), not in the busy season, and I may not even come in high enough in a class to get credit on my degree for it. How can one explain that?

Here's how. I NEED BODYBUILDING. Training doesn’t just give me big muscles, take my body fat into the cool sub-normal person realm, and pump me full of endorphin highs. It does so much more. I love that it keeps me sane in times of maximum stress. I love the amazing friends it has allowed me to meet in the weight room. I love that my sweet and caring boyfriend kept giving me his number after watching me drip sweat squatting my bodyweight or curling 20s at his gym when I visited home (and that thankfully I eventually gave him a chance ;) I love that weight-lifting can be sexy and feminine. I love that my barely 4-year-old son loves going to the gym, plays with dumbbells at home, imitates Rich doing pull-ups, and bossily told me to “do it just like that momma” after watching a video of Erin Stern doing hang snatches last night. I love that I feel good when I sweat. I love that I’m better at all of life when I’m in training. I love bodybuilding.

How a pro does it :

At long last that lengthy lead up brings me to the Stern-spiration. Erin Stern is one of the top three figure pros right now, actually her and Nicole Wilkins-Lee have been duking it out lately for the top spot and it varies competition to competition which one is number one. On Facebook I have all three in my “likes” (Erin, Nicole, and Ava Cowan) so what posts on their pages shows up in my feed. Last night I happened to click on one of Erin’s videos. She may be HUGE in the figure world, but I felt like we could relate because she goes and props up her camera and walks off to start what she’s filming just like I have been for this blog. I also find her relatable because she started in track (a high jumper) and she still integrates hurdles into her workouts. I did track in high school and loved it so I can’t help but respect that. Last night I was watching her video on hang snatches and also one on cleans. I’d never done either, but it’s finals week and I’ve been wanting to throw a barbell from the frustration so it looked far too fun to not try.

I went to The Rec first thing this morning and ran smack into my friend / trainer Laura (yay!) then immediately into my friend Rachael (totally amazing power-lifter woman who can deadlift 395 lbs!) who showed me how to do a hang snatch. In a case of perfect timing there was a guy doing cleans in the next rack over so I got to see both, but we focused on the hang snatch. The bar weighs 45 lbs and we did that first for form. In the video there are some 10 lb plates thrown on and the cuffs are 2.5 lbs each bringing the bar to 70 lbs. Weanie! I know, as it turns out these ARE NOT something you just go throwing weight on (ya know, like squats ;) it takes a long time to get good form and build that strength up to roll heavy in Olympic lifting. I’m now doubly impressed / inspired that Erin Stern has a vid of herself doing 3 reps at 135 lbs. That’s hardcore! Especially while on a competition diet. Damn.

I’m going to start “officially” training for Ironman on the 24th of this month. It’s taking place September 24th. I’m going to shake up my routines and try some more crazy barbell throwing moves. For the moment we’ll call the hang snatch my new favorite move (replacing such former top hits as push-ups to failure, real pull-ups, and single arm bent over dumbbell rows). I also one upped my triceps bench dips today. I’ve done them at body weight to failure as the end move on my triceps circuit for a good while now, but Erin throws weight on and I’d been meaning to start. So today I did them with a 35 lb and a 10 lb plate on my lap (the 45 lb plate is just too big for my lap haha). Good fun =)

When in doubt, hit the weights!

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