Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bye-bye, 2013.

Not gonna lie.  2013 was pretty much a jerk.

On new year's eve 2013, my mom called me to tell me she was at the hospital coughing up blood and that she was going to be intubated and might not get to talk to me for a few days.  And that was the last conversation I ever had with my mom.  She was gone before the end of January.

This was followed by a long series of deaths of friends of mine, clients of mine, people close to my friends and clients, and even my sweet cat Chachi, who passed on my birthday this year.

In June, I chopped off two of my fingertips in a really dumb accident.  Fortunately for me, this had the best possible resolution it could have had.  

So yeah, 2013 was not on my good side, to say the least.

That having been said, a lot of great things happened this year, too, and I'd like to concentrate as much as possible on that.  I started competing in powerlifting, won a lot of gold medals, and even set some state records.  I even competed and came in first in my weight class at Worlds!

I found Baby the Pitbull on the street in March, and she's been a very bright (if destructive :) ) light in my life, along with Sweetie and Oreo!

In my world of business, I launched Evil Munky Enterprises, which I have been wanting to do for a very long time, and that's been great.  I also opened my new studio, another venture I'd been wanting to do for a long time, and although that's been a little scary financially, it's also one of the best things I've ever done.

I got to assist at a StrongFirst certification in Utah this year, which is always an honor, and as a side bit of awesome, I got to spend some quality "me" time hiking Arches National Park, a place I'd wanted to see for a very long time.

In my world of music, my two bands, Styx & Stones and Ed Force One, did several shows, and I also became the female lead singer of Maxxxwell Carlisle.  In September, I got to meet, learn from, and sing with one of my biggest musical idols on the planet, Bobby McFerrin, which was a dream come true!

My goals for 2013 went like this:

-275lb DL minimum.  Nope, didn't hit this.  Still at 255.  Grrrr.  I'll hit 275lbs in 2014, though!!!

-Make the 24kg press look better
.  Honestly, I didn't work on this much.  My goals all went to powerlifting lifts, so this one fell to the wayside.  I did press double 20kg's without training for it, though!

 -28kg press.  Nope.  See above.

-175lb back squat: Yes!!  I squatted 190lbs

-125lb bench press:  Not yet, but I hit 115lbs!

-Enter first powerlifting competition:  Boom.  Done. And then some!

-Launch new surprise and accompanying media:  Welcome, Evil Munky!

-Get cookbook and other book completed:  Unfortunately, I made zero progress on that.  I will hopefully make progress on this in 2014, but I have a ton of other things on my plate, so I have to see how it goes.

My goals for 2014 so far are as follows:

-Deadlift 275lbs. minimum.   Rollover from last year.

-Bench 125lbs. Also a rollover.

-Squat 200lbs well below parallel.

-Do more public speaking. I did a fair amount this year for the NSCA, schools, and such, and would like to do far more in 2014.  I will be launching a series of workshops in 2014 that will help accomplish this goal-- stay tuned!!

-Start my new master's degree.  I am planning on pursuing my master's in kinesiology and rehabilitative sciences; I'd love to teach at the college level!

I also plan to go further with my musician side and will be trying some new ventures in that side of my life.  I'm so fortunate to be doing the two things I am most passionate about (fitness and music), and if there's one lesson that 2013 has reinforced in me, it is that life is short, unpredictable, and precious.  I plan to make the absolute most of mine.

So I salute you, 2013, for the many good things that you brought, but I'd like to leave all the tragedy behind with you and carry on with nothing but happy things from here on out.  So here's to a phenomenal, wonderful, beautiful 2014.  I wish you all strength and health and the best new year yet.

Got any goals for the upcoming year?  Post 'em here!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bored With Pushups?

I love pushups.  Love 'em.  But every once in a while, I like to mix things up.  Sometimes it's for strengthening muscles at a new angle.  Sometimes it's for mobility purposes.  Sometimes it's to support another movement I'm trying to improve on.  And sometimes it's just because I wanna. 

Whatever your reasons, I've compiled a fairly decent little montage of variations on the pushup you can experiment with.  Some are suitable for people more on the beginner end of the spectrum, and some are pretty advanced.  A few can be modified to do with knees on the ground if necessary.  Your basic pushup form should be really good before trying most of these, so make sure you have that down.  As with any exercise, if anything hurts or doesn't feel right to your body, DON'T DO IT. 

Let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions, post 'em here!