Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The whole "giving up blogging thing for Lent" excuse I used yesterday to explain the dearth of new blogging entries was as convenient as it was fabricated. Normally, prevarication is not something I'm so adept at, but Lent has always provided a morally-sound, irrefutable justification for not doing something, like the time when I was 10 and I gave up "cleaning my room" for Lent. Once, being a carnivore, I tried to convince my parents that I was giving up "not eating meat on Fridays." I had to go to confession and received a large penance for that blasphemous shenanigan.

But with a finite number of hours in any given day, in order to incorporate and accommodate something new into one's schedule, sacrifices must be made, things must be given up. So I gave up blogging, which I usually did in the early hours of the morning or mid afternoons after work. I had a new activity that seemed to fit nicely into that time slot, an activity that required as much mental fortitude as blogging and a whole lot more brawn, discipline, and dumbbells.

On March 1, 2009, I began the "Infomercially Famous" P90X workout program. With the guarantee of getting "absolutely ripped" in just 90 days doing the "most extreme home fitness program ever," I hoped to achieve a fraction of what the Gerard Butler and the rest of the cast of the movie "300" looked like when they finished the program in preparation for the movie. I wanted to be King Leonitis, except without the cape, sword, and loin cloth.

With so many testimonials about the results of the program and the convenience of doing it at home with a bare minimum of equipment (pull-up bar, yoga mat, dumbells, spray-on six-pack abs paint), I figured I'd give it a try. Besides, with my bum knee, running was now out of the question. The program offered enough variety (12 different workouts, ranging from pushups & pull ups, yoga, kenpo, plyometrics . . . ) that I figured I could slowly work up my strength and flexibility in my right leg.

With the unrelenting, but comical and unbelievably fit taskmaster Tony Horton (pictured at top) pushing me on the whole time, the first workout nearly killed me as well as my motivation to do it for another 89 days. With most workouts lasting 1 hour (except the 90 minute yoga-X workout . . . by the way, you add "X" to the end of every workout) and an extra 15 minute "Ab Ripper-X" workout three times a week, I knew the hardest part would be finding time to actually "squeeze" in these workouts around being dad, husband, teacher, Xbox addict, etc.

The workouts were very difficult but I figured there was a hump on the horizon I was about to get over, after which things would get easier all while my shirts became tighter. As the weeks went by, the hump never came and things didn't get easier. In fact, they became harder. As the program continued, my form got better, I did more reps, I used more weight, I became more flexible and stronger. I also got sleepier.

Waking at 4:00am every morning (no days off--"rest" days involve 60 minutes of extreme stretching) was beginning to take its toll on me. The increased energy from being in better shape was losing the battle to the sleep deprivation. Consequently, I began doing more workouts in the afternoon, but soon found that the last thing I want to do after work when I get home, after I feed the dogs, tend to the chickens, do dinner, kids' homework, pack school bags for the next day, etc. is listen to Tony tell me to "GET 'EM (knees) UP!" for 90 minutes. But I still press "play" on the DVD player every day.

Now into week 6 of the program, I'm nearing the halfway point. My bad knee is getting much stronger, but hurts everyday (in a good way!?) without the down time. My body feels much more dense. I'm drinking tons of Gatorade. I'm wearing a hole in my living room carpet. I'm a "Downward Dog" loving fool! I'm to the point of no return now. I've got to finish the program now. I've invested too much time, sweat, and tears to turn back now. Besides, I'm not yet "King Leonitis-esque," but I'm no "King Henry VIII" either--I only have one wife--and incidentally, she's doing the progam with me!!!!! That means TWO worn spots in the carpet.

Now that I'm blogging again and committed to continuing my body sculpting, something else has got to go. Grading homework and tests takes up a lot of my time, but I'm not sure I should quit giving those assignments lest the students mount a revolt in much the same way fans (both of them) of the shortlived "Cavemen" television series rebeled against ABC executives. If my students WERE to resort to violent agression, me P90X body and I will be ready for them. It's probably best to avoid that scenario altogether.

Perhaps I can get rid of those darn, filthy chickens? Or watching American Idol? Or quit spending time with my kids? No, no, no. Nothing is as worthless as an empty chicken coop, I like watching Adam Lambert, and my children like not listening to me too much for me to deprive them of that joy.

I guess I'll just give up a little bit more of my precious sleep. I can always take short Power-X naps, right Tony?


SK said...

Some advice from Tony could apply to your blogging: If you need to take a break, go ahead and take one, press the pause button, get some water, we (your loyal readers) will be right here working.
I hate it...but I love it.

kwkorpi said...

SOOOOOOOOOO Awesome! Nice connection there SK. Life imitates art, or at least it imitates grueling workout advice.

LC said...

All of you (SK, KK, TW) are looking awesome. I get tired just thinking about your workout.

Keep up the good work.

Andrew said...

If you ever feel so compelled as to take a break from all those pesky grading chores, I'm pretty sure we, as your students, could manage. I'm absolutely positive that we wouldn't attack you, but at least you're prepared.

Good to have you back in the blogosphere.

bob s said...

I hope this workout program works out for you. Take care not to damage the knee again. Glad you are back to the blogging.