Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Psycho Path

This year for Halloween, I was invited to a bar for a costume party. While it sounded like it could be both a fun and a supremely annoying experience, I found myself taken in an entirely different direction...

Instead I found myself east of town at a campground. A low income campground just a few miles from the job I was laid off from and has several residents that attended that school. They had a corn maze, a path through the woods, and a haunted hay ride through the woods. Additionally they had a fat guy badly singing cover songs for drunk people and a small cafe. We thought it would be a good idea to go through the corn maze first but couldn't find it. The employees told us to go to the top of the hill and the maze should be there. Well, that wasn't the case and a few residents told us to go to the bottom of the hill near the road and we should find it. And that wasn't the case either. So after giving up, we did the Psycho Path, and it was a pretty uneventful jaunt through the woods as was the hay ride.

So after that we stopped off for some hot apple cider at the little deli and the entire thing really took a turn. The lady serving us was a mother of a couple children attending said job i was laid off from. She said she recognized me from the school and wondered where I have been. I told I had been laid off a few months ago and she apologized profusely for bringing it up. I have since moved on from all that and a more than ready to move on from that. She felt so bad about it that she offered up free refills for all of us in my group. I didn't take advantage as I had some pulpy hot apple cider that has since left me with a sore throat.

It was an odd turn for the night as the realization that for a good portion of these people as they are just living their lives set in. After we finished up and left, I got some odd sense of closure on the whole deal with that job. Quite a bit sobering. And to think I could have worn some ridiculous costume at a bar and got hit on all night.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


During my workout Monday, I noticed my shoulder was popping with each and every single exercise. It was definitely not painful but consistent enough to make me take notice. So on Tuesday I woke up extremely tight in my shoulders and that's when I knew the time has come to take time off from working out my upper body. I took off Tuesday entirely and let my entire body tighten up like my shoulders. Same goes for Wednesday but I have come to the realization that doing cardio would help things quite a bit. I can ride a bike and not put stress on my shoulders and the blood flow should loosen me up a bit. So I did just that. 35 minutes of cardio since five were spent talking and riding. Obviously one day of cardio will not undue the nearly two years of not doing any cardio, but it has loosened me up just a little bit. It could be that and a combination of the rest in general. I guess I should look at the big picture.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

That moment

I've been lifting weights for 5.50 years now and are now 220 lbs. solid muscle. Obviously my life has changed entirely.

But what was that one thing that led me to actually stick with lifting weights? Oddly enough it was my favorite video game series - Dragon Quest. You see, Dragon Quest 7 came out for the PSOne and while the graphics are sup-par to say the very least and the music is merely alright, I absolutely loved it.

By this point, there hadn't been a new Dragon Quest game in the U.S. since Dragon Quest 4 for the NES. Basically this game was so different from back in the NES that I almost couldn't believe it is part of the same video game series. This game had puns galore, while still having the spelling errors and odd translations that made the series so endearing to me in the first place. The long and short of the game is that the only landmass in the entire world is a small island with no monsters. After nearly an hour of exposition, the hero and a couple of his friends head out to play in the abandoned shrine and wind up in the past. As they complete the scenario this landmass returns to the present. After restoring the world, you learn that God and the demon Orgodemir had an epic battle that sealed off everything in the world but the little island you started out on and now it's time for you to fight Orgodemir himself. Obviously there's a little more to the story and I have to say that while there are parts that drag on way too long I found myself completely enthralled. There's some hilarity like a teammate who's an old man who once fought alongside God, and then going on to fight God after you beat the game. The game has a cool town building scenario where you send people to your new town and the final transformation of the town is highly dependent on what types of people you have residing there - i.e. more merchants turns the town into a huge bazaar with awesome weapons and armor for sale. And the game has a really cool class system in which changing vocations only alters your character's stats rather than making you go through class specific weapons and armor and the like. So there's a lot to do is what I'm saying.

Even better is that you can play the game one handed. The right analog stick and the triangle button are all you really need. I used to play the game over breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My first run through the game turned out to be about 200 hours long. Those were 200 satisfying hours. So me being me, I played through it a few more times clocking in at about 150 hours each time. On my fourth time starting out, I realized I dumped a whole hell of a lot of my life into not only this game, but video games in general. I stopped and started cutting back on video games and finally getting into weight lifting for real.

It's funny to think that the very first RPG I ever played was Dragon Quest and it started my life long love of RPGs, and that the 7th one in the series was the one that made me realize I have got to start doing something with my life.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Imitation Rock

I heard this song for the first time recently and decided I need to comment on it in this blog. For one, I was surprised to learn it came out in 2006/2007 and flew completely under my radar. Now this was the time of my full break from music in general so I guess it's whatever. To me, this song represents music's progression to a pale imitation of music I used to love. These guys sound like The Offspring during their heyday. Every part is calculated out exactly in a way I would like, but I just don't. Is this post-punk or am I post-punk for not liking it?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I haven't been this sore from exercise in quite a while. My gym has a boot camp class and I took a teaser with a member last night. Turns out my cardio is much worse than I thought and I damn near puked on a couple occasions and was really seeing stars at the end. But not being one to call it quits there, I went ahead and finished my own workout to which I must say that my legs feel like they are going to explode today. I finished up with chest as usual but my chest isn't too sore, but by the time I got to my chest workouts I knew there was no way I would be able to get through them all. I need to start doing some cardio workouts is what I guess I'm trying to say.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lack of understanding

Last week, a lady came into my gym with a guest pass to try it out for the day. As this is very much part of my daily routine, I have her sign in and go about her business. But the odd part is that she seemed to be intimidated by the freedom to work out. I told her that if she had any questions, she should feel free to ask and I started to go about cleaning up the gym for the evening.

About a half hour goes by and she worked up the nerve to start asking me how to use the leg machines. I go over each of our three variations on squat machines and start to get a feel for where she stands on the workout knowledge continuum. As it turns out, she knew nothing. Absolutely nothing. She proceeds to tell me that her main focus is to become muscular but without looking like a guy. I informed her that becoming so muscled that a woman looks like a man is pretty much impossible unless that woman were taking steroids. And then I let her know that I completely understand wanting to be muscular and that I have put on 70 pounds myself. She really warmed up to me at that point so we began a marathon of going over how machines work, what they work, and how to use them properly all the while I am trying to sell her a membership as she is clearly wanting to join our gym.

On what had to have been our fifteenth machine, she drops on me that she had been in before and the membership consultant was trying to set her up with a personal trainer. Now the guy is the most expensive trainer we have, and he is the size of a diesel truck, so clearly if you are looking to put on muscle mass he would be your first choice. She didn't want to go with him at all because she felt he was too expensive and that she didn't want to buy and do a whole bunch of trainer sessions up front. She basically wanted to work with a trainer a couple times a month. I informed her that since she knows so very little about how to go about reaching her goal, that several trainer sessions would likely be the best way to start out and she could ween herself off of them once she has developed the knowledge and aptitude for working out on her own. She kind of understood my point.

I offer up a different, much less expensive trainer to her to help her get started along with membership options for our gym and she still resisted doing anything. The second trainer is shorter than and a bit smaller than the first but I would have no doubt the second guy could make himself the same size as the first one without any problem. I gave her the trainer's information and sent her on her way. The total time I spent with her was 45 minutes.

So the next day I come to find out that one of our membership consultants spent and hour and a half trying to get this lady to join. And the real big trainer talked to her over the phone about trainer sessions and membership options for an hour, along with me spending 45 minutes with her, and none of us got her to join yet.

So all of this begs a couple questions. If you want to join a gym and have a trainer, why would you expect to not have to pay anything for those things? For better, for worse we are a private business and we operate as such. Also, why would you deal with us upward of four times without even joining at the end of one of those conversations? Clearly the interest is there.

After all that, she asked if she could just work out with me. Now, obviously that is not going to happen. Just because I've turned myself into a semi, doesn't mean I have any desire to work out with someone who knows not a single thing about exercise just for the sake of making a sale. It's kind of a conflict of interest. And I don't have workout partners for a good reason. My lifting time is me time, time to exorcise my demons as mentioned in a previous post. So yeah, I took issue with that question.

With that said, I passed her on to trainer number two for him to work with. It would be nice to get her in after all the time we've already put into trying to convince her to come work out at our facility. I just don't understand why it would be so hard for a person to commit to a membership if she's already been in several times.