December 10, 2017

2017 USPA New Mexico powerlifting state championships report

BW 138k
Squat 457.2lbs (PR & state record)
Bench 297.5lbs (tied PR & state record)
Deadlift 479lbs (PR and state record)
Total 1227lbs (PR and state record)

Yesterday I completed in the 2017 USPA New Mexico state powerlifting championships. I've been lifting exclusively for powerlifting for only 2 months. And two and a half weeks of that I didn't lift because the family and I were on vacation or I had started out at CrossFit and was to tired to lift. So after only 5.5 weeks of actual training I wasn't expecting much. My powerlifting coach Vernon Smith had a lot more faith in my abilities than I did. He sent me the lefts he wanted me to try and it was much much higher than I had faith that I could do.

The first lift was my favorite one. The Squat. I'd done Olympic style weightlifting for 4.5 years before jumping ship to powerlifting. We squat a lot in weightlifting. But there's absolutely no bench press. And only light weighted clean deadlifts. I got a little freaked out during warm ups because my last set of 405 I struggled with. My first squat of the day was 425lbs. It was felt moderately heavy, but lighter than the warm up 405. The next attempt tied a lifetime best of 440lbs. It didn't feel heavy at all. My last attempt was 457.2lbs. If I made that lift I'd have set a lifetime best of over 17lbs! My last attempt felt even easier than my 2nd attempt. Three white lights. Good lift!! I was shocked! How the heck did I get that strong in only 5.5 weeks of training? The squat was a state record.

Next up was the bench. I've always sucked at bench. And I haven't done any training for bench since Olympic weightlifters never do much upper body work and we NEVER bench. I really didn't think I could do what coach was wanting. But Eric, owner of Iron Soul told me, and I quote, "do what your coach days. You have him for a reason. Do it or your a dumbass." Well, I did it. 270, 285, 297.5 and I was shocked. I had more in the tank. My coach knew me well. The bench was a new state record.

When I first stepped on the platform for my first deadlift I felt like something was wrong. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. But there definitely was. My first deadlift of 430lbs was a good lift. It was also a state record. When the judge went to check my he said, "there's no great to check." I looked down and realized I had forgotten to put on my weightlifiting shoes, weightlifting belt, and knee sleeves. Once I geared up I feel a lot better on my 2nd deadlift of 451lbs. My last lift of 471lbs was going to be a 28lb personal best and another state record. It went up so easy I was amazed. I think a 500lb deadlift is in my near future.

My total of 1227lbs was a lifetime best by 39lbs and a state record. I'm shocked what I was able to do with only a couple months training. I can't wait to see what I'll be able to accomplish with more time in training and more weight loss guided by my awesome coach Vernon Smith.

December 09, 2017

Registered for a Track and field meet

Now that I've been training consistently in both powerlifting and CrossFit and have lost 42 pounds I'm feeling more athletic and confident. I'm getting the itch to go out and see what my body can do. So yesterday I registered for the 9th annual Garden Swartz Great South West track and field classic. I signed up for the 60 meter and 200 meter dash. Best case scenario I do well. Worst case scenario I do poorly and will be able to look back years from now and say, "look how far I've come." The event will be held at the Albuquerque convention center on Mondo track. Mondo track is the 2nd fastest indoor track in the nation.

 This will be my first track and field meet since 1989! 27 years! Eek!

There beginning of 2018 is going to be super busy. In addition to all three of our kids involved in three different sports with practices all over the city. The kids and I have competitions all over New Mexico. This is happiness and living life to the fullest.

-Jan 7 wrestling, Moriarty
-Jan 13 powerlifting seminar, Albuquerque
-Jan 20 wrestling, Carlsbad
-Feb 3rd wrestling, Albuquerque
-Feb 10 9th annual Garden Swartz Great South West track and field classic, Albuquerque
-Feb 24th NASA open, Roswell
-March 17 USAPL state championships, Albuquerque
-April 28, NASA New Mexico state powerlifting championships, Gallup



December 08, 2017

NASA powerlifting New Mexico state records

Since I'm tapering for a meet this weekend I've got more time on my hands. And now that I've lost enough weight to lift in a lower weight class I decided to look up the NASA New Mexico state records for records that are vacant or that I'm strong enough to break. It's a long list.

In the 308lb weight class:
Unequipped pure
Unequipped masters 1
Unequipped masters pure
Retro pure 308
Retro open
Retro police
Retro masters 1
Unequipped push/pull pure
Unequipped push/pull open
Unequipped push/pull police
Unequipped push/pull masters pure
Unequipped push/pull masters 1
Power sports police
Power sports Masters 1
Power sports pure
Power sports open
Power press masters 1
Power press pure
Power press open
Power press police

275lb weight class:
Retro open
Retro pure
Retro police
Retro masters 1
Unequipped push/pull pure (325k)
Unequipped push/pull open
Unequipped push/pull masters 1
Unequipped push/pull masters pure
Power sports police
Power sports open
Power press pure
Power press masters 1
Power press pure
Power press open
Power press police

December 07, 2017

The beginning of a new adventure

 I've struggled the last 2.5 years trying to decide if I should train exclusively for weightlifiting or powerlifting. I flip flopped between the two more times than I'm comfortable admitting. It wasn't until a few weeks ago I finally decided that powerlifting will be my #1 girl. I'm the type of person who throws himself into a project full force once I'm fully committed.

 Today was my last workout before my powerlifting meet. The next training block I do will be significantly more difficult. The last training cycle I did was to get back in shape and to prepare my body for heavy lifting. But after the powerlifting meet on Saturday things will get harder and more intense. So as i threw my last workout into the trash at the gym I got a little sentimental. That little piece of paper is the last piece of the first step of this grand adventure I've decided to partake. Goodbye old me.

Hello to a new adventure, a new lifestyle, a new me, and a huge new goal.

December 06, 2017

Next training cycle

Have I mentioned recently how much I like my powerlifting coach? Well I think he's pretty awesome. I emailed him this morning and asked if I should start training more frequently. I asked if he thought I could handle training some two-a-days. His response motiated me.

His response, "I’d say stick with 4 days of powerlifting a week. Since we’ll be going off of 1RMs during this next training cycle (instead of just slowing getting back into lifting shape), the workouts should be much harder and much more taxing. Doing a two-a-day in the midst of such workouts would, I think, be Ill advised."

Looks like the next training cycle will be pretty intense. I can't wait!!!

December 05, 2017

Crazy taper thoughts

This Saturday is the US powerlifting association New Mexico state championships meet. This week I started my deload week. We used to call it a taper back in my triathlon days. I hate tapering. I keep thinking crazy OCD thoughts, "I could be gaining more streangth if I was training hard. What if I'm doing my taper wrong and screw up my meet. Why don't I Just say screw this meet and continue training through to prepare for the next one. Missing one meet won't hurt. Etc."

I also started eating to maintain my weight instead of dieting to drop weight. That way I'll go into the meet fully fueled and not at a deficit. And of course I'm miserable doing that to. I have more and even stronger OCD thoughts about pushing pause on my weight loss until after the meet. "I could be 5 pounds lighter by now! I could just diet through the meet, 5 or 10 pounds on my meets total won't really matter. I'm finally on a roll loosing weight, what if I can't get back on the diet wagon?"

I know I'm doing the right thing by slowing my training and dieting. But it's hard when I'm such a one track mind kind of a guy.

Oh, by the way. Have I mentioned lately how much happier I am now that I'm not being forced to work 80-90 hours a week anymore? I'm spending a lot of my time with my kids. Driving them to wrestling, volleyball, and weightlifiting practices. Watching thier sporting events. Getting in my workout time. And now that I can sleep a normal amount of time I'm no longer struggling with overeating and depression. Life is finally good again. That 11 years of hell is finally over.

November 30, 2017

Train less, gain more, hire a strength coach

For years I was a hard gainer. That's a term powerlifters, bodybuilders, and strength athletes use for someone who doesn't gain size or streangth easily. Someone who has to train harder and still takes longer to get gains than most. For years I'd heard how the majority of streangth athletes over train. And of course I thought I was training perfectly. I felt I was doing the proper amount of everything. And then I hired my powerlifting coach Vernon Smith. I'm training less now than I ever have. And now I'm getting the best streangth gains I could ever have dreamed. Turns out I was just like every other idiot amatuer athlete out there. To much training and not enough rest. All I needed this whole time was a good coach. I only wish I had figured this out when I was younger. I wasted a tremendous amount of time and effort in my twenties training religiously with hardly any gains.

If your an athlete. Do yourself a favor. Hire a coach. You'll be great full you did.

November 29, 2017

Bear Canyon CrossFit test day

One of the gyms I train at has two boards hanging on the wall. Each board has the top 5 athletes of each lift, benchmark workout, or hero WOD. They only test for these boards once a year. If you make top five athlete in that event then your name's up there for a full 12 months. Since starting to go to this gym I've been staring at these boards everyday in envy. I want my name up on one of those boards! Yesterday was squat testing. Squats are one of the things I'm best at. I assumed I'd squat in the high 300's. Some how I did a 440lb squat! I tied a lifetime PR! That amazed me. I've only been back to training for 6 weeks! That bodes well for me and the USPA New Mexico state powerlifting  championships. The video is below.

We also did the benchmark workout Isabel. Which is 30 snatches of 135lbs for time. I finished all 30 in 4 minutes 1 second. That was huge for me. I wasn't fast. But it was the first WOD I was able to do at RX. So it meant a lot to me.






November 27, 2017

NASA powerlifting men's weight classes

I'm finally on a roll with my weight loss so now of course I'm obsessing about the weight classes of different federations I lift in. I thought I'd put NASA's up and calculated into pounds so it's easier for me.

SHW 140k and up/ 308.1 lbs and up
125-139.9/ 275.01-308lbs
110.01-125k/ 242.02-275lbs
100.01-110k/ 220.1-242.01
90.01-100k/ 198.1-220
82.51-90/ 181.5-198
75.01-82.5/ 165.1-181.4
67.5-75/148.5-165
60.01-67.51/ 135-147.5
56.01-60/ 123.5- 147.4
52.01-56/ 114.4-123.4
48.01-52/ 105.6-114.3
44.01-48/ 96.8-105.5
44 & under/ 96.7 & under

November 26, 2017

Increasing calories for the state championships

I felt a little weak in the gym yesterday. It's because I have been dieting since September 5th. I've made great progress on my weight loss, 42 pounds, while also making some of the biggest streangth gains I've ever made- thanks to my powerlifting coach Vernon Smith. But I'm going to hit pause on my weight loss temporarily. I have the USPA New Mexico state powerlifting championships on December 9th, in 13 days. So I'm going to reverse diet for a couple weeks to ensure a good meet.

I just learned about reverse dieting. I learned about it when I first got on Avatar Nutrition. Reverse dieting is pretty interesting. If you haven't heard about it I highly suggest reading up or listening to some YouTube videos about it. What I'm doing isn't actually reverse dieting. Reverse dieting is to repair a dieters matabolism. I'm only doing it to make sure I'm at my best for the upcoming powerlifting meet. After the meet I'll go back to dieting to get down to my dream weight of 110k powerlifting weight class. But until then I'm focusing on the meet. For the first time I'll be lifting in a division other than the super heavyweight. I'll be lifting in the 139k weight class, thanks to Avatar Nutrition.

November 25, 2017

My review of Avatar Nutrition's customer service

I've been using Avatar Nutrition to loose weight and get back into shape. Essentially Avatar Nutrition is a diet program that helps you loose, maintain, or gain an exact amount of weight each week. If you loose our don't lose enough then the program adjusts how many macros you eat daily to make sure you hit that set amount of weight that your shooting for. I had some questions and contacted them. Keep in mind this was on Thanksgiving day. I'd never attempted to contact them so I wasn't sure how responsive or helpful they'd be. They answered my question within hours. On a holiday! This was my email to them.

Me:
My weight hadn't dropped in three and a half weeks and my macros have dropped tremendously. Today my scale was malfunctioning. I purchased another scale and I weighed 10 pounds less than the malfunctioning scale showed. Apparently my old scale hasn't worked in awhile and I didn't realize it. So on my next weigh in it will show I've lost around ten pounds in one week. I don't want to gain weight with excess macros until the Avatar program adjusts and fixes the problem. Is there anything you could do to help?

Avatar Nutrition's response:
Hi Cody, 

I'm sorry to hear you had that malfunctioning scale. Sounds like a nice "surprise" though. 

So, the best way go about this without throwing the system off would be to mark the next weigh in as noncompliant, even if you were compliant with your macros. This way the system won't detect a crazy change in weight and make the wrong adjustments. 

When you weigh in again the following week, you'll be right on track again!

Sound good?


Best regards, 

I sent them a simple email saying thank you and again, they sent me what seemed like a heart felt response:

No problem, Cody!

Don't hesitate to reach out in the future if you have any other concerns. We would be happy to help. 

Have a wonderful week!

Best regards,

In my opinion Avatar Nutrition rocked my one and only contact with them. I was pleasantly surprised.

November 24, 2017

Avatar Nutrition and malfunctioning scales

The last few weeks i haven't been losing any weight. Avatar Nutrition has been reducing my macros every week. I've been getting increasingly frustrated and hungry. Yesterday I stepped on the scale and the scale said 319lbs which doesn't make sense. There's no way I've gained weight this week with how hard I'd trained and I've eaten perfectly. I stepped off the scale, then back in and it said 307. Then 311, then 319. I realized my scale was broken. I purchased another one. This morning I weighed in at 306.6 lbs. Turns out I have lost weight the last few weeks. Thankfully. I'm so relieved. As of this morning I've lost exactly 40lbs. 86 more pounds to go until I got my goal weight of 220lbs.

November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving sampler

  • Today I completed the longest and hardest WOD of my life. It was called the Thanksgiving sampler. It took me a 1 hour 10 minutes 22 seconds. By the time I finished the Thanksgiving sampler WOD the next class was half way through their warm up. On one hand I was embarrassed. On the other hand I was proud that I didn't give up- which I was close to doing. Something very kind and supportive happened today. 6 of my fellow CrossFit'ers saw I was hurting pretty bad. They all gathered around me and finished the burpees with me at my place even though they had already finished theirs. It made me able to push much harder for longer. Not sure I could have finished without them.

  • For Time
  • 5 Rounds of:
  • 5 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Air Squats
  • Then, 4 Rounds of:
  • 8 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 15 Kettlebell Swings
  • Then, 3 Rounds of:
  • 15 Box Jumps
  • 15 Knees-to-Elbows
  • Then, 2 rounds of:
  • 20 Wall-Balls
  • 30 Sit-Ups
  • Then, 1 Round of:
  • 50 Burpees

November 21, 2017

Day off for recovery and New Mexico health Care connect

Just last week I was blogging about how I'd gotten in good enough shape that I was working out 7 days a week. And that in addition to training every day I was hoping to start doing two workouts in one day at least once a week. Well yesterday I felt like crap. I was tired, sore, grouchy, and wasn't motivated to go to the gym. So today I had to eat my words and take a day off from training.

My day of recovery couldn't have happened at a better time. My wife had the day off from work. So we spent the day together. We slept late, did lots of cuddling, and a few chores together.

My wife has been commuting 120 miles a day for work since we moved to Albuquerque 19 months ago. She got a new job that's only 2.7 miles from our house. That'll give her an extra 2 hours a day at home. The best news is her new job has full benefits. Her medical insurance is only $600 a month. We had been getting medical insurance from New Mexico health connections. For the 5 of us it was $957 a month. But the cost was going to go up to $1257 a month on January. My wife saved our butt financially with her new job! $1,257 a month is rediculous. Needless to say we have cancelled New Mexico health connections.

November 18, 2017

Thursdays WOD from hell

On Thursday I did another brutal WOD. By far the worst one I've ever done. I usually love the grueling Metcons. But this one was so hard it wasn't fun at all. It hurt. Bad. I was the slowest of the entire box again. And I want even close to the men's RX weights. I don't mind being the slowest. But I'd at least like to be somewhat close to the next slowest. I completed it in 21:52. The next slowest was almost 5 minutes faster than me. But, I'm showing up. I'm giving my best every workout. I'm slow. But I work hard. And eventually the training and flexible dieting will pay off. Eventually I'll be fast, strong, and no longer obese. This horrible workout was 4 rounds of:
15 burpees
12 DB deadlifts
9 DB hang squat cleans
6 DB thrusters.
It was hell.

Today is my 42nd birthday.  A couple more years and I'll age up into the Masters division 45-49 age group. I can't believe I've made it this long. I always assumed I was going to be killed on duty during the 21 years I was a correctional officer at the New Mexico state penitentiary. Or die from being worked to death. I worked 80-90 hours a week from 2006-a month ago. 10.5 years. I'm so glad to be alive, to no longer having to kill myself working double shifts, to br healthy enough to train and compete in athletic events, and being a father to three gorgeous children.

November 17, 2017

Powerlifting and CrossFit two-a-days

My weight hasn't changed in three weeks. But my physique has. I was surprised at how much it has. Yesterday I put on pants that haven't fit me for almost two years. My strength has exploded the last month too. At first when I started CrossFit i had to slow down with powerlifting and weightlifiting. But my body has already adapted. I'm up to powerlifting training 4 days and CrossFit 3 days a week. I no longer feel sore or exhausted. After the New Mexico USPA powerlifting state championships on December 9th I'm going to try doing a two-a-day a week. Powerlifting in the AM and CrossFit in the PM. 4 workouts of each every week. That'll give my body another month to get into good enough shape to handle a two-a-days. But since I'm not going to attempt it until after the USPA state championships I know I'll be showing up with good training without worry of overtraining for the meet. The powerlifting meet is too important to risk injury or overtraining. I'll be attempting to defend my New Mexico USPA championship state championship.

The biggest reason for getting so out of shape was that I had worked 80-90 hours a week for the last 10.5 years. I was chronically fatigued and didn't have enough time to train or prepare food. But I'm refusing to work that many hours anymore.i threw down an ultimatum. Next time my wife makes a bad life decision that would force me to work rediculous amounts of overtime to fix, we're getting a divorce. She seems to have fixed her spending and bad life decisions. We'll see. but either way, I'm never working like that again.

November 16, 2017

Training, sleep, and contentment

I've planned and logged every meal since September 5th. I'm making sure I get the proper amount of protein, fat, and carbs daily to make gains. That's a little over 2 months. I've lost 30 pounds. I'm feeling stronger, faster, and I've built up more endurance. My endurance has been the slowest to build, but it's still getting better. For the first time in 11 years I'm getting enough sleep. I feel really good right now. By God!?! Is that feeling happiness and contentment? Yup, I think it is. I think I could get used to this.

November 14, 2017

Today's WOD/MetCon

I never thought I'd be one of those CrossFit bloggers. Triathlon blogger, yea. Powerlifting blogger, yes. Weightlifting blogger hell yeah. But CrossFit blogger? Apparently, yes.

Today's MetCon was brutal and the most fun I'd had on any WOD yet. It was 3 rounds of 30, 20, & 10 reps of box jumps overs, wall balls, and clean and jerks. It took me ten minutes to get through the first round. I was dieing! By the third round I didn't think I'd be able to finish. Coach Dylan McGwire saw I was struggling so he and a couple of CrossFit'ers who were already done went over to support me. Two of them were saying encouraging things while coach McGuire would count down from 5 anytime I was resting. Once he got zero he told me "go!". I did. And each rep hurt worse as I got more out of breath and fatigued. But I finished. It took me 20 minutes and 51 seconds. But I finished. I was the slowest of the entire box. But I finished. After the workout I was so exhausted I couldn't do anything but sit on the couch. But I finished!

My weight hasn't moved in three weeks. I'm still stuck at 319lbs. I assume it's because I'm gaining muscle. But I'm not certain. Avatar Nutrition has consistently lower my daily macros. And I'm getting to the point that I'm hungry. But I still haven't lost any weight. I guess all I can do is workout, eat clean, log my food, and do what Avatar Nutrition tells me to do. Worse case scenario is I'll be healthier than I was before picking up CrossFit and flexible dieting. The USPA New Mexico powerlifting state championships is in a little over three weeks. There's no way I'll be a natural 307 by then. If I want to lift in the 307lb weight class I'll have to cut water weight before weigh ins. I haven't had to do that since my Brazillian jui-jitsue days over a decade ago

November 13, 2017

New Mexico Junior Wrestling and New Mexico youth weightlifiting

My youngest son is a wrestler. He's only lost three matches in the last 2 years of wrestling. This year he's 8 years old and weighs 53 pounds. Unless he looses weight by his first wrestling tournament he'll be competing in the 8 and under age group 53-57 pound class. He'll be one of the older but lighter kids this year. Last year he was one of the youngest and lightest in his age group and weight class and he still did pretty good. I'm excited about this year.

My oldest son is 10 and weighs 29.09 kilos. He has a real love for weightlifting. He's been training with his weightlifiting coach, Vernon Smith, for about 5 or 6 months. I looked up the New Mexico weightlifting state records for his weight class. There are none for the 13 and under age 25-29 kilo or the 13 and under 31-35 kilo weight classes. So all he has to do is lift one good snatch and one good clean and jerk and he'll be a state record holder. His first weightlifiting meet will be the 2018 New Mexico games.

November 12, 2017

Wodify

When logging today's workout on Wodify there was a gold medal next to my name. Turns out that means I lifted the most weight in the CrossFit box for today's workout. I never thought I'd see that happen. There's all sorts of things that motivate in this box. Even the logging program is motivating. Hopefully I'll get another 1st someday.

November 10, 2017

Double metcon

My weight loss has plateaued again. I'm stuck at 319. I'm getting stronger and my speed and endurance is increasing so I'm trying not to get frustrated. My next weigh in is on Sunday. Without any weight loss Avatar Nutrition will decrease my macros. I haven't been hungry at all the last few weeks. So that's probably a good thing.

 Today's WOD was brutal. The strength session was a metcon workout. It was:
12 clean and jerks
50 double unders
9 clean and jerks
50 double unders
6 clean and jerks
50 double unders

And then the WOD was another metcon of:
24 kettle bell swings
12 ring dips
20 kettle bell swings
10 ring dips
16 kettle bell swings
8 ring dips

November 07, 2017

Powerlifting and CrossFit

Last night I attempted one heavy snatch and one heavy clean and jerk. And the weight I lifted was rediculously low. The last couple years I've been struggling at weightlifiting. I love weightlifting. But my body just isn't good at it. I can squat and deadlift very well. But not the snatch and clean and jerk. I've decided I'm going to train CrossFit and powerlifting. Which works well because I really like the powerlifting coach I've been training with. I know how rediculous this is. I've flip flopped between weightlifiting and powerlifting a dozen times the last couple years. I need to decide and stick to it. I think this time I will. But then again I thought I'd decided a bunch of times before and it changed shortly.

November 05, 2017

RX CrossFit, sore shoulders, and recovery

I've been completely wiped out. I need a day to recover. A day that I don't workout. I was supposed to take today off. But when I looked at today's WOD I realized I could RX this one. So I drank a ton of coffee and went for a 9am workout. The WOD was as many rounds as possible of snatches 115 lbs and toes to bars. The reps of each round got bigger each round. 3 of each exercise, then 6 of each, then 9, etc. I was handling the weight of the snatches fine. But my shoulders we killing me. So I had to drop the weight to 95 lbs. And I'm still to overweight to do toes to bars. My belly's to big. So I did hanging knee ups. That's progress. Also couple weeks ago I couldn't do knee ups. I had to lay on the floor and do leg raises. So I thought I could do RX. But I didn't.

Tomorrow is weightlifiting. I never miss weightlifting. So my next day of recovery will be Tuesday. Let's hope my shoulders can make it through one more day of weightlifiting. My shoulders are killing me. I'm still not %100 sure me doing CrossFit is a good idea or not. CrossFit is really hard on my shoulders.

Powerlifting state championships

The USPA new Mexico state championships is in 4 more weeks! I'm getting antsy. I only participated in one competition the entire year. Normally I compete in close to ten a year.

I'm still losing weight, but it's  slowed down a lot. I'm not sure if I'll be competing as a super heavyweight or a 307lb'er  There's no state records in the 307lb or the Super Heavyweight classic division. And in all 10 of the powerlifting meets I've done I've never once had someone else compete in my age group and weight class. So if, as usual, no one else competes in my age group or weight class but me I'll be USPA state champion two years running and set another 4 state records. There's so few overweight masters athletes out there in powerlifting and weightlifiting it makes winning easy as showing up. I love lifting as a masters athlete.

November 04, 2017

Weight loss, getting back in shape, and CrossFit

I'm exhausted. After doing minimal training last year I'm doing CrossFit 3 days a week, weightlifiting 3 days a week, and a bench press program 3 days a week. I'm taking tomorrow off from training. I'm just going to eat healthy and recover.

I can tell my physique is changing. My clothes are fitting much looser. And my wife freaked out a couple days ago when we hugged. She said my midsection had gotten so much smaller it was like hugging a stranger. I'm losing WAY more weight in the last two weeks with CrossFit than I was doing powerlifting and track training. That's one thing I remember from back in the day at Zia CrossFit in Santa Fe NM. CrossFit gets you in shape QUICK! But I also remember being chronically injured. And this morning at weightlifiting practice my shoulders hurt so bad I couldn't do my push press sets. I'm struggling with my decision to go back to CrossFit. Yes, it'll get me back in shape and help me lose weight quicker than anything else. But I'm already beat to hell and it's only been 2 weeks. Is it worth it?

November 02, 2017

Eat and sleep!

Last night I struggled getting through my weightlifting workout. Once I got home I was so exhausted I couldn't get off the couch. I finally mustered enough energy to eat and shower. Then I collapsed into bed. I slept for ten hours. Once I awoke I weighed in, increased my macros on MyFitnessPal,  and ate a big healthy meal. Now I feel like a million bucks!

All week my calories were really low. Probably to low. I gained two pounds this week. I weighed in at 319 with 31% body fat. I assume the weight gain is either my body freaking out from not having enough fuel, water retention, or muscle gains. I'm doing a ton of strength training right now. Weightlifting 3 times a week and 3-4 days a week of CrossFit. But even with that much strength training I'm assuming 2 pounds of muscle gains in one week is pretty much an impossibility. I increased my calories on Avatar Nutrition to only lose a moderate amount of weight instead of the extreme weight loss option. I guess my next weigh in on 11/7/17 will show me if I made the right choice.

November 01, 2017

To much on to little calories

Tonight at weightlifting I could barely finish my workout. I'm exhausted. After doing minimal training the last year I jumped full throttle back into weightlifting 3 nights a week, CrossFit 3 nights a week, and calorie restriction. I'm trying to do to much, to soon, with not enough calories. Tonight I'm getting a full 9 hours sleep. Tomorrow I'll increase my calories and do less weight at CrossFit. I got much to excited about getting down to the 105k weight class. I need to slow down my weight loss and take care of my body. I'm not as young as I used to be. My body isn't nearly as able to tolerate the abuse it used to.

October 31, 2017

Bear Canyon CrossFit barbell club

Last night I did my first weightlifiting workout with Bear Canyon CrossFit barbell club. I had a lot of fun. The people were really friendly, welcoming, and supportive. I was definitely training with a group of like minded people. I enjoyed it a lot. The head coach Dylan was pretty knowledgeable.

The next 7 weeks we'll be doing a pretty aggressive squat program. I'm looking forward to gaining back the strength I'd lost the last year. This gives me 8 months to prepare for my big 2018 goal of The New Mexico games weightlifiting meet. Plenty of time to get my game back.

I seem to be recovering better this week from the crazy hard CrossFit workouts I'm doing 3-4 days a week. It didn't seem to hurt my weightlifiting training last night much, if at all.

October 30, 2017

Flexible dieting

Tonight after dinner I had 2 pieces of bacon for dessert. I've been craving bacon for a week. Those were the best bacon I'd ever had! It's funny how when your dieting even the smallest food treats can be so amazing. At first I really didn't like flexible dieting. But I'm starting to enjoy it. On Wednesday I'll be eating 1 cup of pistachios. Consequently the rest of my meals that day will just be base vegetables and chicken breast. But I sure am looking forward to eating those pistachios!!!

October 29, 2017

CrossFit, Avatar Nutrition, and the New Mexico USPA state championships

Yesterday was my scheduled weigh in day. I lost 9 pounds this week. I have no idea why my body dropped so much weight this week. Perhaps it's because I'm doing such intense workouts in CrossFit? I dunno. But Avatar Nutrition increased my calories to 2094 a day. I'm still in shock that I lost 9 pounds eating 1900 calories a day. But I'll take it gladly! If I continue to drop an average of 3 pounds a week then I'll be able to compete in the 307lb weight class in the 2017 New Mexico USPA (powerlifting) state championships on December 9th. I've only competed as a super heavyweight. Competing as something other than a super heavyweight will be pretty awesome. I looked up the 307lb USPA New Mexico state powerlifting records. I can beat them. 

October 28, 2017

Weightlifting, CrossFit, and powerlifting

Weightlifting is my baby. Has been for about a half decade. I'm not saying I'm great at it or consistent. Just that I love it. It's the most complicated and rewarding sport I've ever competed in.

In addition to weightlifting I also enjoy competing in powerlifting. Weightlifting training transfers well into squat and deadlift, but not bench press. So not only will I be doing weightlifting and CrossFit I'll also be training bench press. I maxed out on bench this morning and I was pleasantly surprised. 285lbs! That's the 3rd most I've ever maxed. 

I completed 3 CrossFit workouts in the last 4 days. I woke up this morning and was exhausted. I needed a day of recovery. Tomorrow I'm doing another CrossFit workout. And then on Monday I'll be starting a weightlifting program with coach Dylan McGwire out of Bear Canyon CrossFit. It'll be my first training session with coach McGwire. I'm exited and nervous. I'm hoping it's quality weightlifting coaching. If it's not then I'll have to start training at High Dessert Athletic Club with Joaquin Chaves or Iron Soul with Vernon Smith. Going to two different gyms, one CrossFit box, and one weightlifting gym would make training much more difficult and costly. I'll keep you informed on how the coaching and training is.

October 26, 2017

Bear Canyon CrossFit and Bear Canyon CrossFit barbell club

Like I said in my last post, I miss weightlifting. I can't train at the two places I want to train at because of my work schedule, High Dessert Athletic Club or with Vernon Smith. And I won't train weightlifting by myself. Weightlifting by  yourself sucks! So I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how/where to train. I found a CrossFit gym a block from my house. I remembered watching them compete in the state games this summer and thinking to myself that they were the only CrossFit weightlifting team I'd ever seen that had decent weightlifting form. So yesterday I drove to Bear Canyon CrossFit to try them out. I did a CrossFit workout both yesterday and today. I'm in REALLY bad shape. No cardio what so ever. I had to keep dropping my weight until I was down to the girls R/X weight. Today I decided I wasn't going to lower my weights during the workout. I started at the girls R/X weight right off the bat. And the workout was still hard with that light of weight. I'm in really bad shape! No one seemed to be judge me. As a matter of a fact they were all super supportive. I also trained with their barbell club. It was max day. So I maxed out my snatch and clean and jerk. I've lost a rediculous amount of strength and explosiveness. I maxed at a 86k snatch and 110k c & j. Those are down from 100k & 125k. That's a big loss of strength. I want to get back into weightlifting, I need to lose a crap ton of weight, and I need to get my cardio back. So I joined for a month long membership. The big question is, how is thier weightlifting coaching? If the weightlifting coaching is good, I'll sign a year long membership. If not then I'll just go back to Vernon Smith's powerlifting program. I'll keep you updated on my progress and what I think of Bear Canyon CrossFit and thier barbell club.

Starting point:
Body weight- 326lb (down from 346)
Max snatch- 86k
Max clean and jerk- 110k

Goals:
Do a competition at 224lbs (the lowest I've ever competed in a weightlifting comp is 288lbs)
Sntach- 101k (1k above lifetime PR)
Clean and jerk- 126k (1k above lifetime PR)
And of course my long time and biggest goal- qualify for the Masters National weightlifting championships

October 23, 2017

Breaking up is hard to do

My family and I returned from vacationing the North East. I planned on training while on vacation. I didn't. But I didn't overeat much while gone. So that's a plus. When I returned I realized something that I've known for a long time. I don't enjoy training powerlifting. I love competing in powerlifting meets. But I don't enjoy the training. I miss weightlifting. I love weightlifting training. And I love weightlifting meets. I miss obsessing over my former goal of qualifying for the Masters national weightlifting championships (I did qualify once in my 5+ years of weightlifting). So I guess what this means is I'm going to stop powerlifting. That sucks because I love my new powerlifting coach, Vernon Smith. He's awesome. I love the way he programs and I think the world of him as a person. I'm not sure how to break this to him. I think, honestly, I need to approach this like a business transaction. I tend to get overly attached to my coaches and feel guilty and stressed when I choose to move on to another coach or another sport. Especially my last few. My weightlifting coach Joaquin Chaves and my nutrition coach Barry Schroeder. I adore botth of them. I still feel guilty when I see them or talk to one of them. So long story short I want to go back to weightlifting. My current work schedule doesn't work with my two favorite weightlifting coaches here in Albuquerque, Joaquin Chaves or Vernon Smith (Vernon coaches both powerlifting and weightlifting). So I need to try and figure out something. Not sure what yet. But I'll work it out somehow.

October 22, 2017

The 3rd annual CrossFit Hellbox triathlon race report

I really wanted to compete in the 3rd annual CrossFit Hellbox triathlon in Rio Rancho NM. But the 2nd WOD looked brutal. So instead of competing I spectated. Turns out the WODs weren't as bad as they looked. I could have completed it. I may have been one of the slowest. But I could have done it. I should have done it. I only need 14 more triathlons to complete my bucket list of 100 multi-sport events. And I've never done a CrossFit triathlon before. 100 multi-sport events completed would have looked great on my athletic resume! Earlier this year I also chickened out of competing in the New Mexico games track and field meet. If I'd have signed up my finishing time would have put me in third place in my age group. Am I turning into a coward in my old age? I used to sign up and compete in ANYTHING! Even if it was something I'd never done or had very little experience. I have a new resolution. I'm going to stop being so cautious and tentative. I've gotten soft since turning 40. That's going to change! I have no clue how long I'm going to be on this Earth. So I want to make the best of it while I can. I'm going to register for all sorts of stuff next year. Anything at all that I'm doing or have done in the past I'm going to compete in. Especially if it's considered a "state championships". I'm putting this out there now. Next year I'm going to compete in the:
1) 2018 NM games for weightlifting
2) 2018 NM games for track,
3) the state state championships USPL (powerlifting)
4) the state championships for NASA (powerlifting)
5) the state championships for USPA (powerlifting)
6) some sort of 2018 CrossFit games, local or otherwise
7) the 4th annual CrossFit Hellbox triathlon
8) and possibly one or more other multi-sport events.

 Next year will be epic. Did I really just use the word epic? What am I 12 years old?

October 08, 2017

Week two of my return and winter post bid

My weight training has been excellent. My strength is returning. I'm not getting sore anymore from the strength training sessions. I've been following my diet plan from Avatar Nutrition perfectly. I've lost 25 pounds so far. I'm down to 321 pounds. I haven't felt focus like this since my best triathlon years of 2008-2010. Anyways, 97 more pounds to lose until I get to my goal weight of of 224 (the 105k weight class). Hopefully by the 2018 New Mexico state games, the weightlifting state championships.

On Tuesday we leave for vacation for New York for 7 days. I'll find a gym and continue my workouts while on vacation. But there's no way I'm going to follow my diet plan. I'll just pick it up when I get back.

I post bid for work on October 19th. The next bid will last 5 months. There's a shift I'm hoping I get. It's Monday- Friday, weekends and holidays off, 1230-1930. That would be perfect for my training and my kids. I could spend the morning with them. Make them breakfast, make thier lunches, help them get ready for school, drop them off to school, I'd have a couple hours to train in the weight room and track before work, get home in time to eat a late dinner with the kids, tuck them in, and be able to spend a couple hours with the wife before bedtime. Sounds like a dream shift to me. The only down side is it's only 35 hours a week. But I figure I deserve it after working 75-90 hours a week for 10.5 out of the last 11 years.

October 05, 2017

Avatar Nutrition and flexible eating

The times in my life I've lost a significant weight I did it with low carb eating or a computer program called Diet Power. Diet Power was awesome because it adjusted my calories to ensure I hit a certain weight of my choosing by a certain date also of my choosing. The big problem with Diet Power was it was a computer program that was downloaded with a disk. So I had to carry a lap top with me everywhere. I also tried flexible eating with a diet coach. That worked well. I thoroughly enjoyed having someone knowledgeable there to tell me how many carbs, fat, and protein I needed to eat to make my goals. I also really enjoyed being able to log my food and prepare meals with absolute control and accuracy of carbs, fat, and protein. But a nutrition coach was expensive and having to report my daily successes and failures with feed back every week was to much pressure for me.

I recently found a website that seems to have all of the positive aspects of a nutrition coach and Diet Power on a mobile site for your phone. It's called Avatar Nutrition. It allows me to prepare and log food. And it also adjusts my calories, carbs, fat, and protein to ensure I'm maintaining my weight loss goals.

I started it today. I'll be able to use it until my family and I leave for a 7 day vacation in New York. During that time I'll put the Avatar Nutrition program on vacation mode, so I'll be able to start back where I left off when I get back from vacation.

Current weight 325lbs, down from 346lbs a month ago. My goal is to get down to the 220's.

I'll keep you updated on how I'm doing and what I think of Avatar Nutrition.

September 27, 2017

High quality training and recovery on the return

I've lost 20 pounds since hiring a powerlifting coach, a track coach, working less, sleeping more, concentrating on nutrition, and putting myself first for once. On Sunday I did deadlifts from the blocks and my biggest weakness, lunges. On Monday my quads and glutes were so sore I dared not do my sprint training for fear of injury. On Tuesday I was recovered enough to do another strength training session. I was able to squat 15 pounds more than I did a week ago. And today I completed 5X125 meter sprints on an incline in front of GI Sanchez middle school before going in to watch my daughter's volleyball game. I already feel faster now with less training than I did earlier this year. Getting enough sleep and not working myself to death is the key to gains. Who knew?

September 24, 2017

First week with coach Vernon Smith

I finished my first week of being trained by Coach Vernon Smith. I sent him an update of how my week went. He sent me an amazing email explaining what we're doing, why the training I'm doing effected me the way it did, what to expect from my body in the next couple weeks, and what to expect from the training program in the upcoming weeks.

I understood coming into this that he was knowledgeable. But I wasn't expecting such great communication. Most coaches aren't able to spend that much time to go that into detail. Thus far I'm beyond happy with him as a coach.

September 23, 2017

The third annual Hellbox CrossFit triathlon

The WOD for the third annual Hellbox triathlon came out. I was wanting to do it. But this year's WOD is way to hard. Only super stud athletes will be doing it this year. I'm going to go and watch it. But you couldn't pay me enough to do it. If next year's CrossFit triathlon is a bit easier I'll do it. But not if it's anything like this year's. This year's is rediculous.

September 22, 2017

The Hellbox CrossFit triathlon

I just saw on Facebook that there will be a CrossFit triathlon here in Rio Rancho on October 22nd. That sounds like a ton of fun... And pain. I only need 17 more triathlons and duathlons to complete my bucket list of finishing 100 tri's and du's. Having a CrossFit triathlon on the list of 100 would be awesome. I'm going to train for this next year! Danm, that would be cool.





Last year this was what the tri and WODs looked like:

2nd Annual CrossFit HellBox Triathlon, Sunday, October 23rd, 8:30am. Swim, Bike, Run with a CrossFit Twist! 

Swim: 400 Meters (Individual and Team)
Transition WOD: Kettlebell Swings (Individual 50, Team 150)
Bike:10 miles (Individual and Team)
Transition WOD: Chipper
(50 Wall Balls, 40 Sit Ups, 30 Overhead Weighted Lunges 45/25#, 
20 Burpees, 10 Pull Ups. Individual 1 Round, Each Person in the 
Team completes 1 Round of the Chipper)
Run: 2 Miles (Individual and Team)


September 20, 2017

Back into it at 41

For the last three weeks I've been running stairs during my lunch, track training (100 & 200 meter) two days a week, powerlifting four days a week, and eating low carb. I hired a powerlifting coach, Vernon Smith. As of this morning I've lost 16 pounds. 106 more pounds to go.

My ultimate goal is to get back down to 224 pounds and compete in the 105k weight class of weightlifting. You may wonder, if his goal is weightlifting, why is he training powerlifting? I've tried losing weight with weightlifting before and it didn't work. I can easily maintain my weight with weightlifting. But not lose. I've heard this before from other people too. Im not the only one. Once I get down to 224 lbs I'll transition back to weightlifting. But until then I'll be doing low carb, powerlifting, and track training.

September 19, 2017

Day one back in the weight room

Yesterday was my first day of no longer working obscene amounts of overtime. After work yesterday I went to the gym. I haven't worked out consistently in almost a year. It felt great to get in there again. I'm pretty sore today. But again, I love it. It feels great.

Now that I've realized I need to make my health and happiness a priority i feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. I've realized the only one in this relationship who cares about my health and happiness is me. No more work weeks above 48hrs. If she makes more bad life decisions or wants a luxury item she needs to save for it or go out and earn extra money. It's as easy as that. I'm not going to kill myself with overtime anymore. 11 years of 80-90 hour work weeks was enough.

I also need to realize I'm partly to blame. At anytime I could have simply refused to work as many hours as I was. I should have. I didn't.

September 14, 2017

Training starting and working much less

Earlier this week my boss cut my hours from the 73 a week I had been working. At first I was freaking out. But I eventually realized this was the best possible thing for me. I emailed coach Vernon Smith and told him I wanted to hire him as my powerlifting coach. He had an opening for a client! The only down side was the days I'll be working out would be Wed, Fri, Sat, & Sun. Three days in a row is not a perfect training scenario. So today I called up my boss and told him I didn't want to work a 2nd shift on Monday's anymore. He agreed. So now I'll be able to work out Mon, We'd, Fri, and once on the weekend. From here on out I'm going to be spending more time working out, spending time with my kids, and sleeping. I'll never allow myself to be forced into working 70-90 hours a week ever again. I'll still be working 52 hours a week. So it's not like I've become a complete lazy slacker...... Could this be the fist step in me becoming happy for the first time in 11 years?

September 12, 2017

Dreams of spare time

I'd been working so many hours for so long that I had began to forget how to dream. I forgot what it was like to have enough spare time to do anything I want in life. To workout, to prepare meals, to have hobbies..... Since advising my wife I won't be working more than 48 hours a week as of November 1st I've started to day dream what my life will be like. Spending more time with my kids, making and having friendships, working out, sleeping a full 8 hours, being competitive in athletics. For the first time in over a decade I'm excited about about life. For the first time in 11 years I believe I'm going to be happy. I don't think my wife will be happy when she cashes my check with ungodly amounts of overtime. But I don't care anymore. She can either adjust her unrealistic lifestyle expectations or go and find someone else who can afford her.

August 30, 2017

New Mexico games track and field 2017 results

I had registered for the 2017 New Mexico games track and field 100m dash for the Masters division 40-44 age group. The weekend of the meet I was feeling sorry for myself because I'd been working a lot of overtime and hadn't trained like I wanted to. So I ended up not competing. I just looked up the results and there were only 2 people in my division. If I'd of competed I'd of been in third place at least.

1st place: Chris Barrett 12.67
2nd place: Vince Ortiz 13.14

Next year I will compete!

August 29, 2017

Marriage is slavery

I've been married for 13 years. I've worked 80-90 hours a week for the last 11 of them. I'm not a workaholic. I don't enjoy working extra hours. I'm beyond unhappy. I'm miserable. From very early in our marriage my wife had unrealistic lifestyle expectations. She spent more than two men could earn. And I had to work more than two men combined to try and out earn her spending.

I always wanted to be a doting husband. A selfless provider who put my wife's need above my own. My assumption was always that if I did enough for my wife, if I gave her the things she said would make her happy, if I sacrificed more than any other man could that she'd eventually love me enough that I wouldn't have to anymore. I was wrong. She'd rather me be exhausted, overworked, missing my kids, and depressed than to go without extra money or the things money can buy. I'm nothing more than a wage slave. A utility to have resources extracted from. I've known this for quite awhile. But I just kept trying. I'd work harder and I'd spend less so she could have more in the hopes I could finally win her over and have her choose me. In the hopes she'd love me enough to not want me to suffer anymore. All the while I'd beg and plead with her to please spend less so I could have a normal life. So I could work normal hours, have time with my kids, have hobbies, and be able to sleep a full 8 hours. Oh how I miss sleep! But last night I finally accepted the truth. She's ok with me suffering as long as she gets what she wants. She'll never put me and my needs above her own wants and desires. Last night I told her after the trip to New York in October I won't be working overtime anymore. If she wants something she'll have to save for it like responsible adults are supposed to do. There's been other times in  the past that I've told her I won't be working overtime. I've told her she won't be allowed to spend more than we make anymore. She always threw a fit. She'd say manipulative things. She'd try using shaming language. She'd blame me and try to play the victim role. I'd always cave in. I'm hoping this time I'll stand my ground and do what's best for the whole family. Me being home would be better for my kids, our marriage, and me. She definitely won't like it. She'll have to learn to accept it or file for a divorce. At this point I've been used and abused by her for so long I'm ok with either decision she makes.

After we get back from New York in October I'm getting back into athletics. I'm hiring a coach, probably coach Vernon Smith, I'll be eating right, sleeping enough, and for the first time in 13 years I will make sure I'm happy. She won't like it. But I don't care.

August 13, 2017

The end of training for......

I finally got the problems for my pituitary gland fixed. I feel so much better now. I have more energy. And I'm sure once I'm able to start working out again I'll start  getting gains again. But I can't work out right now. Earlier this year my wife got a invitation for a wedding in New York City. She desperately wanted for all five of us to go. We made a deal. I'd pick up a couple extra shifts a week and she'd get a part time job on her 2 days off. We also agreed we wouldn't go unless we could save the money in cash. We wouldn't use credit cards, loans, or tap into our emergency fund. As the months passed I continued to do my part picking up extra shifts. But she hasn't done anything at all to earn any extra money for the trip. Last month I reminded her that since she hasn't held up her end of the deal we haven't saved enough money to be able to go. She told me she didn't care if we had the money to go or not, that she and the kids are going. She said she'd use credit cards or empty out our emergency fund if she had too. I don't want her to put us in another horrible mess financially like she has so many times in the past. So for over a month I'm working from 5:30am-8:00pm every weekday. I don't even have enough time to sleep, much less workout. I'm overly fatigued and I miss seeing my children. Since starting to work like this again I'm gaining weight hand over fist. I worked 80-90 hours a week from 2006-2014 because of her bad decisions and disregard for me. And here I am doing it again. It's unfair. I'm tired of being a wage slave.

More men died by suicide last year than in WWII. The reason is ignored or repressed. Studies are met with animosity.

My opinion is that the majority of men's suicides are by middle aged married men or men being destroyed by divorce, family courts, unfair alimony, spousal support, and child support.

Most married men have to work a rediculous amount of hours or work jobs they don't like in order to support their wife's lifestyle expectations. The wife rarely has a job that could support her unrealistic lifestyle expectations so the man has to pick up the slack working hours and jobs he'd never have chosen if he was on his own. But the married man is trapped. He can't escape this nightmare. If he stops working the excessive hours and/or goes back to the jobs that would make him happy his wife will leave him or she'll continue her spending and he'd be in bankruptcy court. Once she realizes he can't provide her the lifestyle or the things in life she expects she'll start looking for someone who will or she'll want a divorce. The husband will get stuck with all the debt. She'll get all the assets. And he'll lose his kids.

Let's look at the numbers. If I make $50k a year the government will take just shy of %35 ($17,500) in taxes. Then I'll pay child support for three kids ($12,500). Plus approximately $600-$800 a month in alimony or spousal support ($9,600). So that leaves me $10,400 a year to live on. That's less than a thousand $ a month. The only way I can have my kids stay the night at my place on the days I have them is if I have a place the state deems appropriate. That alone would take almost all of the money I'd have left over. I'd have no money for food, gas, utilities, clothes..... So the way I see it is there are only 3 options.
1) continue to be a wage slave and live a miserable existence of working 60-90 hours a week with no help.
2) divorce and live an even worse life of being broke and never seeing my kids.
3) suicide....

I don't want a divorce. All I really want is for my wife to act like an adult. I want her to stop making bad decisions that only I pay the consequences for. I feel like she's an entitled child living in an adults body. I'm a wage slave and there's no end to the suffering. I'm tired of working so many hours. I'm tired of feeling like the person who is most comfortable with me suffering is my own wife. I want a partner. A helper. I want to be a part of a team. What I'm experiencing is not team work. It's abuse.

July 04, 2017

Goodbye Dad

My natural father and I were very close when I was younger. He used to pick me up on weekends and every other holiday. Once he moved farther away he'd fly me out to visit him every other summer, spring, and Christmas break. And then when I was 12 he disappeared without any warning. I found him again in 2002. He was living in Truth or Consequences New Mexico, just a few hours from where I've lived my entire adult life. I visited him and I asked if I could could see him every once in awhile. Maybe catch a movie or something. He responded, "that would be abandoning my family." His response made no sense to me at all. Obviously seeing a movie or going out to dinner occasionally isn't abandoning anyone. And I was his family. I didn't contact him again until after my wife and I had three kids together. I thought he'd like to meet them and get to know them. I was wrong. He's never called on anyone's birthdays, Christmas, etc. Last Christmas he traveled the country to spend time visiting each of his kids and step kids. Everyone of them but me. He didn't call when his Dad died. I wouldn't have known about my grandpa's funeral if one of my cousins hadn't called and told me. I called him on father's day. He said he heard in February that my father-in-law died. He knew for two months and never even bothered to call and see how we were doing. Since getting back into contact with him the only times he's ever called was to tell me I was cut out of his will. And another time to tell me he was going to give the watch my grandpa left to me when he died to my uncle instead. Id gladly trade inheritance and my grandfather's heirloom for an occasional phone call. Would an "I love you son" be to much to ask? I've tried really hard to build a relationship with him. But I've come to realize he is dead set against one. At the time I didn't understand what he meant when he told me he'd be abandoning his family if he spent time with me. It's taken me until now to understand that what he meant was he didn't want to spend time with me at all. Ever. I should have known back then. Perhaps I was in denial. But I understand now..... I wish I could say I won't miss you.  But I will. I have mourned over your absence for 29 years. It felt like there was a void created in my heart once you bailed out of my life.... Goodbye Dad. Even though you don't deserve it, I love you. And I'll miss you deeply.

June 23, 2017

Medical update

I saw an endocrinologist this week. She believes my poor strength, inability to recover, weight gain, and fatigue has to do with me getting ran over by a car. She believes my pituitary gland was damaged. In addition to low testosterone I also had no detectable human growth hormone, my calcium has dropped significantly, etc. I'm having more tests done to see what we can do about it. Until we figure it out she requested I slow down or stop training altogether.

June 19, 2017

Poor performance and recovery

I've noticed I'm not making gains or recovering like I used to..... No matter how much I try to lose weight I can't..... Seems the harder I work the weaker and fatter I get..... I get night horrible sweats to the point the bed is soaked..... i expect some of these due to age but not this much. I finally broke down and went to see my doctor. Turns out I have very low testosterone..... I'm not sure what to think about this yet. I'm almost relieved that I finally have an actual reason that I'm feeling like this. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist this week. I'll keep y'all updated as I find things out.

June 11, 2017

Sold my baby

I've had a Cannondale Slice for a long time.
I put a lot of miles on it. Almost 12,000 miles. I'm very emotionally attached to this bike. I tried selling it on Craigslist. But when people came over to look at it I'd end up telling them I'd changed my mind.

This weekend my cousin came up from Lubbock Texas. He said if I was selling it he'd really like to buy it. I was so excited! He takes really great care of his bikes. This couldn't have worked out better. My beautiful bike has a good home.

June 10, 2017

Weightlifter

This week I've been training really hard. My legs are trashed. Last night I wasn't able to finish my clean and jerk workout. That rarely happens. I'm going to increase my calorie intake by 50 a day to see if that helps. This morning I woke up and my legs are still tired. But I'm going back to High Dessert Athletic Club this morning anyways. There was a period of time that I was struggling to decide if I wanted to be a weightlifter or a powerlifter. I tried powerlifting. I didn't like it. I have focus now. A focus I was missing before. I'm a weightlifter.

June 08, 2017

Weightlifting hard!

This week has been a great week for weightlifting training, track training, and eating. During my taper for the state games I was missing working out so bad! This week I've thrown myself back into it hard. I seem to be making progress on eliminating the pause I have at the knee. I also have new motivation. My best buddy started dating a girl with a sad story. After her divorce she started working hard on losing weight. She's lost 120 pounds. Her feelings are hurt because her ex-husband only wanted her back after she lost the weight. And her ex-husband is hurt because he feels she was only willing to get in shape for other men, not him. I've always prided myself on being a selfless and doting husband. But that girl's story made me realize that me being overweight may cause problems in the way my wife sees and appreciates me. Me being kind, hard working, selfless and a good father for her children just  may not be enough.

June 06, 2017

Great financial news

On May 31st, 7 days ago I finished paying off my father in law's funeral and our state tax bill. It took a few months of pounding out a lot of overtime. But it's finally paid off. I'm exhausted​ and ready to catch up on rest, but we're caught up with our finances.
I know I posted this a couple weeks ago. But here it is again. From 2007-2015 I worked 42,120 hours. That's 4,680 hours a year. An average person that works 40 hours a week works 2,080 hours a year. I averaged more than double that. Being put in a position that I was forced to work overtime for so long caused a lot of problems including but not limited to severe depression. I'd never struggled with depression before that. I'm really sick of overtime. I'm hoping this is the end of me having to hammer out overtime. It's doubtful. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

June 04, 2017

The 2017 New Mexico games weightlifting report

91/117/208k
BW 148.8k

Today I competed in the 2017 New Mexico games. This meet is the state championships for weightlifting. I'd won the last three years in my age group and weight class. This year I wasn't expecting to do very well. I was out for 6 months with a non-weightlifting related back injury. I've only been back to training for three and a half weeks.

When I first got there I was so happy. I saw all my current teammates, teammates from my former gym, and other weightlifting buddies I've made over the last 5 years. I love weightlifting so much. A lot of the reason is the people. The only person I didn't get to see who I was looking forward to seeing was David B from my old gym. He and I lifted at the same time the full 3.5 years I lifted in Santa Fe. I absolutely adore him and his wife. They're great people who I miss seeing and training with.

Pictured below is my former coach Shane Miller and my current coach Joaquin Chaves. I love both these guys so much. They are more than just friends and mentors.
 I also was lucky enough to be able to get a picture with my current coach, former coach, and my former nutrition coach Barry Schroeder. I'm going to have this picture framed and I'm going to hang it in with my families pictures. Barry was the one who was my motivation to get into weightlifting long ago and he took me under his wing and taught me about weightlifting specific nutrition.
The last couple weeks I haven't been able to snatch anything more than 86k. I only made 84k two out of 7 attempts. Coach Joaquin Chaves told me he wanted to start out at 90k. I begged him to let me start at 74k. He told me he wanted me to start out at 84 at least. He said he knew I could get a 90 easy. Long story short, I made 3 good lifts for the snatch. 84/88/91. Even after 6 months away from weightlifting I was able to get within 9k of my lifetime best snatch of 100k. Coach Chavez was right. I made 91k easy. No problem at all. I need to trust him. He knows my ability more than I do. Anytime I ever doubt him I always find out he was right. 

The clean and jerks felt great also. I made a 114k/117k and missed a 121. There was no reason at all for me to have missed the 121. I pulled it high enough. I just had that same pause at the knee that I usually do with my snatches.

I've noticed the last few weeks my strength has come back quickly. But it's taking me longer to recover between sets than it used to. I never told coach Chaves I wasn't recovering as quickly. I also never told him during the meet that to do well I'd need more time between lifts. But he knew. And after every set he'd change my weight two or three times to buy me extra recovery time. Thanks in large part to my coach I finished 1st in my age group and weight class. This was the fourth straight year I was state champion. But this time it was just plain luck. I was the only one in my division competing.


Now that I'm back into the weightlifting game my next goal is to qualify for the 2018 masters national weightlifting championships that will be held in Buffalo NY. I'll need a 230k total. That's only 22k more than my total today. That gives me plenty of time.

It's been 6.5 months since my last sports competition. That was the longest I'd gone without competing since 2004. I missed competition. My next sporting event is the New Mexico games track and field on June 24th. Its going to be held at Milne stadium in Albuquerque New Mexico. Thats within walking distance of my house!

May 31, 2017

My son and weightlifting training

I contacted one of my former weightlifting coaches, Vernon Smith, and asked if he'd be willing to train my oldest son. He agreed! My son starts training on Thursday June 1st, 2017. We're both really excited.

I got called in for jury duty. I'm hoping I get chosen. I've always thought being on a jury would be fascinating.

May 29, 2017

A weightlifting wizard

I'm not sure if everyone at High Dessert Athletic Club gets as much from coach Chaves's coaching as I do. But I'm constantly amazed by his ability to diagnose and fix problems with form. The last week my snatches have been absolute crap. After the first couple reps coach Chaves went over and started his magic.
  "Cody, your hesitating after the knee. That pause is causing negative momentum. Which is why your dropping to the front."
  Next set: " Cody, your concentrating on staying over the bar. Which is good. But your overthinking it. It's causing the pause at the knee. Now stay over the bar without slowing down". 
Next set: "now your slowing down to much during the whole lift. Your concentrating on making sure you're getting a good lift so much that you've slowed the whole snatch down. EXPLODE! Don't hesitate! Some of your best lifts are missed. Some are your worst lifts are makes. Now come on. EXPLODE!"
  Not only was he able to see what I was doing wrong with my form, he even told me what I was thinking while I was doing it. And he was right every damn time! Coach Chaves is amazing. I'm so greatfull to have wandered into his gym. 

The pain in my shoulders and elbows is almost gone already. I think I'll be fine at the New Mexico games this Suñday.

May 28, 2017

Help with my snatches

Last week was a great week for clean and jerks. Up until this week the most I'd I c&j was 100k. This week I lifted 110k multiple times. But my snatches were horrible this week. I dropped just about everything I tried. Coach Chaves saw I saw struggling and he diagnosed the problem. Just l like always. His ability to figure out what's wrong with a person's form and help them fix it is unmatched. He helped me a lot this week. I can't say I'm going in to the New Mexico games confident in my snatches. But I'm going in knowing they're better than they were last week.

My shoulders and elbows have been bothering me a bit this week.

May 20, 2017

Nutrition and less weightlifting support

I learned a ton from my former nutrition coach Barry Schroeder. I decided I'd try some of the things I learned from him. I spent the last 15 days logging everything I ate and measuring how much I weighed. Based off of those two numbers I figured out my metabolic rate. It's a little over 4,100 calories a day. So I'm going to eat 3,400 calories on days I do weightlifting. And 2,800 on days I don't train. That should put me at a 7000 calorie a week deficit. 7,000 calories should make me lose approximately 2 pounds. I doubt I'll stick with it for long. I never do. But I'll try it for now.

My weightlifting coach, Joaquin Chaves, told me he wanted me to train three times this week. Monday, Wednesday, and today.  I wasn't able to train this morning at High Dessert Athletic Club. Normally I'd just shoot him a text and ask him to send me the workout for me to do on my own. But he told me not to text him anymore. I waited all day to see if he'd text me a workout. I never got one. Coach Chaves is looking for ways to decrease the demands in his life. I'm doing my best to be patient and understanding.....

May 18, 2017

Yesterday I clean and jerked more than 84k for the first time in almost 7 months. Then I did an 86 and a 94. Then coach told me to try a 100k. I stood there on the platform staring at the bar for an eternity trying to pump myself up. Finally I tried. And it was easy. I was so excited and it felt so good I did it a few more times. Thankfully the old saying about muscle memory is true. It comes back quick.

Anytime my schedule changes and I can't lift at High Dessert Athletic Club I text my coach and ask for the workout so I can do it on my own. Yesterday coach Chavez told me not to text him anymore. That throws a wrench into things. I'm a Dad of three young kids. My schedule can be hectic. I guess on the days I can't train at High Dessert Athletic Club I'll just repeat last week's workout for that day. That's not ideal. But life happens. I just need to learn to improvise, adapt, and overcome. Even with no communication or guidance with workouts during schedule changes, he's still one of the best weightlifting coaches in the nation.

I did some investigating. From 2007-2015 I worked 42,120 hours. That's 4,680 hours a year. An average person that works 40 hours a week works 2,080 hours a year. I averaged more than double that. These are the types of things no one tells men and boys about marriage. If they did we wouldn't do it.

May 16, 2017

Track training, snatches, and overtime

Yesterday I snatched 84 kilos for reps. I didn't think I'd get back to this much weight so quickly after having taken 6 months off from injuries and work conflicts.

Today I did another track workout. 100 meter sprints at %90 effort. I feel a lot faster already. My kids were beating me badly when I started track training. After only two weeks I've closed the distance between us by about half. Pretty quick gains for someone in their 40's.

I'm guessing the last pay period of this month I will have replenished our emergency fund. I've been working a ton of overtime the last couple months. I'm greatfull I have a job that overtime is available.... But I'm really sick of overtime. I've worked more overtime in the last decade than most people work in a lifetime.

May 14, 2017

The 2017 masters national weightlifting championships 40-44 105+

I looked up the results for the 2017 masters national weightlifting championships for the 40-44 age  group 105+ weight class. Turns out my best meet ever would have placed me in 4th place. If I was to lose 100 lbs needed to be able to lift in the 105k weight class I'd of been in 5th place.

May 13, 2017

Weightlifting and track training

Last night after work I trained at the gym for  a couple hours. By the time I got home, prepared my meals for the next day, and got my uniform ready it was time for me to go to bed. This Morning I woke up early and completed a track workout before my overtime post. I'm still slow at track sprinting but I'm gaining speed very quickly. Hopefully I will have improved enough by July that I won't completely imbarrass myself at the New Mexico games.

I haven't been this dedicated since my triathlon years. It feels good. Apparently all I needed was to be away from weightlifting to realize how much I missed it. I'm sure I'll be improving a lot more now that I've my love for weightlifting and track and field has reawakened.

Earlier this month I sent my powerlifting coach an email that said I was going to stop powerlifting and go back to weightlifting. I paid him for an extra month in the hopes it would keep there from being any hard feelings. I never heard back from him. That can't be a good sign. I feel bad. He's a great guy. And he's an absolutely amazing powerlifting coach. Me firing him is no reflection of him. It's just my love of weightlifting keeps pulling me back.

May 08, 2017

2nd day of snatches

Today was my 4th day back to weightlifting. And the 2nd training day of snatches. The first day felt pretty raw. Today the snatches felt a lot more natural and fluid. I worked up to 4 sets at 74k. I'm surprised how little strength my body lost during those 6 months i took off. I may not be ready to attempt my lifetime best of 💯 kilos. But I'll get there a lot more quickly than I originally thought.

6 months ago I was unsure what I was going to do in athletics. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to stay with weightlifting or try something new. But weightlifting is just like that old saying, absence makes the heart 💓 grow stronger. I missed it so bad. I'm glad I'm back.

May 06, 2017

day 1 training for the New Mexico games track and field

I went off the deep end and registered for the New Mexico games track and field. I'll be running in the 100 meter event on June 24th. That's in 49 days. I'm pretty sure I'll be the heaviest athlete to have ever ran in a New Mexico games track meet. Probably the slowest too. But in the next 49 days I'll be the best me I can be. And I'll be having fun getting there.

I woke up this morning and did sprints. My two boys, ages 7 & 9  ran with me. They both beat me pretty badly. It made their day. Nothing but smiles after. My youngest held my hand the whole walk home. I think training for the track meet will be a great bonding experience.

May 05, 2017

Day two of my return

Wednesday was my first day back to weightlifting in 6 months. It was wonderful. My clean and jerk form felt pretty good considering how long I'd been out. And although I'd lost a lot of strength, I didn't lose as much as I thought I would.

Today I was so sore! I couldn't walk normal. After a few sets my legs lost the sore feeling and I was training again. I did my first set of snatches in half a year. They were kinda ugly. But it was still a ton of fun! I'm so glad to be back with my coach's, my team, and weightlifting!

May 04, 2017

Back to weightlifting!!!!

My Dr released me to go back to weightlifting a couple months ago. I wasn't able to go back because my work schedule didn't fit with my coach's training times. This week my work approved a shift transfer that works with weightlifting. So after 6 months I'm finally back to weightlifting!

Yesterday was my first day back. Today I'm pretty sore. But not nearly as bad as I thought I would be.

I went off the deep end today and registered for the state games. The New Mexico games is in 4 weeks. I doubt I'll be ready to compete that soon. But I'll try anyways!

April 29, 2017

Athletes first kind of Strength​ Coaches

A little over a month ago my father in-law​passed away and I paid for the funeral. A couple weeks later we got hit with a $1,300 tax bill. Until I get our emergency fund back up to where it's supposed to be I won't be training. I'll be to busy working overtime.  It's not really a big deal. It'll probably only take me three or four months of 55 hour work weeks to replenish our emergency fund. I told my powerlifting coach, Rich Kahle what was going on. I told him I'd rehire him after we got caught up with our finances. He told me he wanted me to continue training and he'd program for me for free until I got caught back up. Of course I won't do it. If he's training me I'll pay him. There was a time when we were hurting really bad financially. My first weightlifting coach Shane Miller trained me for free back then. At that time I was working 80-90 hours a week to pay off my wife's debt. The only choice back then was train for free or not train. But we're in a lot better place now. I'll continue to pay him. No doubt about it. But think about it, how considerate was it that he offered to work for free? I was touched.

April 13, 2017

Powerlifting training

Well, I hate to admit it, but I'm not enjoying powerlifting training at all. I loved training for weightlifting. I thought they would be about the same. But it's not. And my work schedule doesn't allow me to train at High Dessert Athletic Club (HDAC), a Weightlifting gym here in Albuquerque. So if I don't like powerlifting and can't train weightlifting what now....

This is the 2nd time I've hired my powerlifting coach Rich Kahle. He's a great coach and fantastic person. I don't want to fire him​ a 2nd time. I'm unsure what to do. It doesn't make sense to continue to do something I don't enjoy for fear of upsetting someone I like and respect. Should I fire him and do nothing at all until I can get enough seniority at my job to start training at HDAC again? That could be a few years.....

March 31, 2017

Powerlifting and weightlifting weight classes

I'm a super heavyweight in both weightlifting and powerlifting. I'm currently topping the scales at 332 lbs. I'm excited about transitioning into powerlifting because there's so many more weight classes than there was in weightlifting. In powerlifting I only need to drop 25 lbs to get into the next weight class. In weightlifting I'd have had to drop 113 lbs to get into the next one!!!! In the NASA powerlifting league the 5 heaviest weight classes are:
 (kilos/lbs)
90.01-100k/ 198.01-220 lbs
100.01-110/ 220.01- 242 lbs
110.01-125k/ 242.01- 275 lbs
125.01- 140k/ 275.01-308 lbs
140k+/ 308lbs+

I'm looking forward to all the possibilities in powerlifting. This is going to be fun. I'm not saying I'm going to actually lose weight. That's probably not a possibility. But there's a lot of great possibilities in powerlifting and it'll be great fun.

March 30, 2017

Ready to train

I competed in Olympic style weightlifting for 3 years. 2013 until November 2016 when I was sidelined with a back injury. I haven't done anything at all for the last 5 months. Now I'm all healed up and ready to start training for something, anything really. I've really missed training. I miss working hard. Sweating. Training for goals. And accomplishing things normal people don't.

My new work schedule started on Tuesday March 28th. My new powerlifting coach, Rich Kahle, and I were planning on me to start training then. I haven't received my training schedule. I'm assuming he's either going to wait until my check gets to him, which should be by today or tomorrow. Or he might still be sore at me because last year I had hired him as my powerlifting coach and after three weeks decided to go back to weightlifting. His programming was excellent. I only went back to weightlifting because I missed my weightlifting coach,, Joaquin Chaves. I know I may have ruffled some feathers. So I'm planning on not saying anything to my PL coach until April 1st. I want to make sure to handle this with little kids gloves. I don't want to piss my powerlifting coach off. He's one of the biggest names in powerlifting in New Mexico. I'd like to stay in his good graces. In such a small sport, he's not the kind of person that I'd want to anger.

March 26, 2017

2016 and 2107 NASA Powerlifting records

Even though I haven't done any athletic training at all since November due to a back injury-i got ran over by a car at work- i still plan on competing in the 2017 New Mexico NASA state powerlifting championships on April 24th 2017 in Gallup NM. It's only 4 weeks away. I realize I'm going to have to attempt some very very light weights since I've been without training for 5 months. But there's a bunch of state records that are vacant. All I have to do is have one good lift and I'm the state record holder. While I was going through the NASA New Mexico state powerlifting records yesterday I saw both of my sons own state records in their age group and weight class. I knew there probably hadn't been any lifters competing in their age group or weight class because they were so young and light (scrawny). But I hadn't thought about the fact that they had set state records. They were pretty excited when I showed them their names under the state records page on the NASA website.

Rion owns the unequipped bench press record for 6 year olds weighing 48 pounds. He benched 11kg.

Cody owns the retro powerlifting state records for the 8 year olds weighing 57 pounds. Sq 20k, BP 15k, DL 20k, TL 55k.

This year I'll be entering Rion in the unequipped bench press division.

Cody will be in the unequipped powerlifting division.

I'll be entering the:
1) power clean police division
2) unequipped powerlifting masters pure
3) retro powerlifting masters 1
4) unequipped bench masters 1
5) equipped push pull police division
6) unequipped push/pull masters 1



March 25, 2017

Starting training again

A few days ago I bid for my shift/days off/post for the next 7 months at my new career. I'm going to start training for sports again after my new post starts. Depending on what my hours were going to be would determine if I was going to train for weightlifting or powerlifting. My new schedule works really well for powerlifting, and doesn't fit the hours for weightlifting at all. I called up powerlifting coach Rich Kahle out of Las Cruces New Mexico and asked him to start coaching me again. He agreed. We start on March 29th. I will also be training for track and field too. Between powerlifting and track I'll be training 7 days a week. I haven't trained 7 days a week since 2011 when I was a hard core triathlete. It looks like my tentative schedule will be:
Powerlifting on Monday's, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. 
Track on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The New Mexico Track and Field state championships will be held on June 24th and the NASA New Mexico state powerlifting championships will be held on April 29th. That doesn't give me much time to train for either of these. But even if I do poorly I can use those performances as a starting point. 

March 10, 2017

Post bid

I post bid later this month. It'll determine what my shift and days off will be for the next six months. I'm currently number 65 out of 72 employees. It's funny. I just retired from a 21 year career in which I had to post bid twice a year. And now I'm back to post bidding. It's exciting and nerve racking. The new post bid will start on April 1st.

I miss weightlifting. Especially my coach. He's bad ass. I'm hoping my new schedule will allow me to go back to HDAC.

February 21, 2017

Track running/training

I tried doing some sprints today with my sons during my daughter's volleyball practice. I was planning on doing some workouts for middle distance track running. I was planning on running:
1x600
1x400
1x200
1x100
My back didn't hurt. So that's great news. What I wasn't expecting was is how bad of shape I'm in. I couldn't run that far. By the time I was at the tail end of the 600 I was running a slow jog. So my boys and I shortened the distance to 7x300.

I really enjoyed it. That got me to thinking. Track sprint training doesn't take long and I could do it pretty much anywhere. Like during my kids practices. Which is important because I spend a large amount of my time taking my kids to and from wrestling, volleyball, cheerleading, etc. I don't have much time. I might have a new goal. Track running. Perhaps join a club? They even have a New Mexico master's track and field state championships.

February 20, 2017

Training through back injuries

I've been miserable not being able to work out since my back injury. So I tried some things this weekend. I tried weightlifting. Me back is definitely not ready for that yet. I tried going on a jog. I felt fine the first half mile, but after that my back started to ache and spasm. So I've been brain storming, trying to figure out what I can do. If I can run short distances but nothing over a half mile then how about sprints? Perhaps yoga would work well? There's a hot yoga studio next to my house owned by ex MMA fighter The Dean Of Mean Keith Jardine. I'm going to try both of those things this upcoming week to see if that can get me back into workout mode. Plus it would be cool to meet one of my favorite fighters of all time.

February 19, 2017

Don't move during acupuncture

My back was getting better. And then on Thursday after the acupuncturist put the needles in my back and left the room I had to adjust the pillow I was laying on. It was under my stomach and I was struggling to breath-that's a problem with guys who have big fat stomachs like me.  So I stood up and moved the pillow, then laid back down. Apparently that's a bad idea when you have needles jammed into your back muscles. My back muscles moved and flexed causing the needles to move, scrape, and tear. For three days it hurt so bad I struggled to walk, talk, or even breath. My next appointment is on Tuesday. I'll be still this time. You can count on it.

February 15, 2017

The passing of a great man

My father in law passed away last week. He was awesome. I loved that man. He and my mother in law pretty much adopted me into their family. Shortly after I started dating my wife I'd stay at their house on weekends. He'd take me on trips with them. When I was sick I'd go to their house and they'd nurse me back to health making me home made soup and tea. He was the stable father figure I'd always wanted but never had. He was the best grandpa I've ever seen. He was always willing to spend time with them, watch endless hours of Disney channel with them, and go to thier sporting events. We'll all miss him terribly.

February 09, 2017

Acupuncture and back injuries

Awhile back someone crashed through a security gate at my work and ran me over. Since then I've been struggling with a lot of back pain. I had to give up Olympic style weightlifting. At least temporarily. Since then I've tried resting my back, training through the injury, and even physical therapy. Nothing helps. Last week I tried getting acupuncture. After only one treatment my back pain was cut in half. Today I received my 2nd treatment and I feel almost pain free. Worker's comp has authorized 6 treatments. I think it's possible I'll be back to normal soon with the acupuncture. Man what a difference!