Bright, Shiny Mirrors

27 06 2007

round tableIt’s amazing the kind of light your kids will shed about you……to yourself. They’re like a bright shiny mirror, reflecting everything back at you. Probably because they haven’t yet been sullied by the dirt one tends to collect as they move thru life (which we then work at cleaning off).  And kids don’t judge what they soak up, you get both positive and negative back at you with the same force.  I’m not talking about all the obvious stuff either. I’m talking about the totally sub-conscious behaviors and thought patterns we don’t even know we emit (or have ignored it for so long that we’ve forgotten;). These kids just feel it and start to manifest what they feel. So it can give a sense of responsibility to continually working on yourself (of course not at the exclusion of your family, otherwise what’s the point), for your kids sake, to pass on more tools to them then you had to work with growing up (and less baggage to carry, they’ll pick up enough of their own along the way;). Continues to expand the idea of the purpose behind what we are doing with these workouts and hikes.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because just last week, I had two positives reflectedIsa back at me from the kids. First was from my niece (Chris’s daughter), Isabella (almost 4 yrs old). We were all hanging out in the front yard and I was doing some yard work, digging up sections of grass. The kids were taking these clumps of grass and placing them in one of the soon-to-be flower beds. And these were pretty big clumps. I commented to Isabella on how strong she was. She came back with (very matter of factly:) “I know. Soon I’ll be strong enough to use the Kettlebells with you and Papa”. I was stunned with joy to hear that come out of her mouth. The kids see us exercise sometimes or stretching and of course hear us talking about it. And they will join us (especially when we do Super Joints, they like that one). But we don’t push them or try to get them to do it. But if they want to join us, we don’t exclude them and so they see that as a really positive experience.

OleeThe second was the next day, when I was playing with my son, Olaf (19.5 mths old). He loves animals and so we were playing with his collection of farm and safari animals. He had the hippo, the horse, zebra and goat all lined up next to each other. Then, making them walk, he said “Hippo…..zebra……hike..” As in the animals were going for a hike. I thought it was great that that was an activity he had his animals doing. Again positive experience for him.Diego

And just to throw my nephew (Chris’s son) Diego (16.5 mths) in there, it was awesome watching him take the big rocks I was laying along the walkway and shot-putting them two handed over and over. Just like an old school strongman event. See how they soak it up! He can barely talk and he already UNDERSTANDS!;)

Mirrors…….pay close attention………they’ll have oodles to teach you:)




27 06 2007

Important Note: With this type of workout, we are constantly pushing the envelope of our physical limitations. As science has shown (or at least all the stuff I’ve read to date), constantly pushing forward, at the peak of performance will lead to over-training, injuries and burn-out. It can take a long while to recoup from injury and burn-out. You need to periodically pull back and take a break in order to move farther forward. And this makes sense. It’s kind of like Action and Reflection. If we’re constantly in act mode, we eventually tire out, mentally and physically, to the point where we just shut down. And starting back up can take twice as long. If we step back for a moment, take a little breather every so often and collect ourselves, we can fine tune our actions. With that fine tune and the rejuvenated energy, we can push further and harder. Keep that cycle going and you get to keep going, always moving forward and increasing your capacity.

There are all kinds of cycles you can follow (and switch up between), but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll just use the example of 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward . Over the first 8 weeks, we gradually increased our workload from level 1 – level 6 (these are arbitrary numbers). We then had the test week. Now in beginning this new cycle, we will take that “one step back” and start over again, but a little farther ahead then where we began last time. So for this next cycle we start at level 3. Over the next 10 weeks we’ll work our way up to level 9. Then next cycle, start at level 6……..and so on and so forth. Even within these cycles we make sure to take small breaks (that doesn’t mean stop) and do a lighter workout.

Many of you probably already know all this and some of you might not. Either way, just wanting to throw it out there as a little reminder ( and help in continuing to paint more of “the whole picture”;)

Happy Training!


Week 10 (June 18-24) Cycle 2

26 06 2007

Well, we’ve completed our first cycle, ending it with the test week. We’re now moving into cycle #2. This will be a 10 week run, as we gear up for doing the full out “300” test. For simplicities sake, we’ll just keep counting the weeks from when we began all this (rather then get into “was that part of week 2 in cycle 1 or week 2 in cycle 4”? “No, no it was part of week 1 in cycle 5”. Ouch;)

DAY 1 (Rest)

Note: Did the big Hanes Valley hike yesterday.

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Naming Conventions

26 06 2007

hanes 10One thing to keep in mind when thinking about Gym Jane is that we like to have fun while doing what we do. Gym Jones talks about discipline and Crossfit has a wicked form but we have taken what was useful for us and added what we needed to make it work.

When I was looking at the name page today, I realized that it was the same with the names. It might seem like we are mocking Gym Jones but in our minds it has always been about taking something and adapting it to fit our work out needs.

Case in point was the ‘Turkish Get Downs’ I am sure that many people find the getting up hard but for me the getting down is the bigger challenge. There is a lot more concentration to make sure that all muscle groups are doing the right thing… while dizzy and with 26 lb a foot above you head.

Fam HikingAbout the 300! We are still working up to being able to do the whole thing but I don’t feel its our most important goal any more. I think there are higher things to aspire to.

Turkish Get……Down’s?

26 06 2007

This morning Chris and I were doing Turkish Get-ups. At the end he said “these should be called Turkish Get-Downs. Getting up is the easy part. It isn’t til you’re all the way to the top that it then hits you “Crap, now I have to get back down””. 🙂


A Different Type of Workout

25 06 2007

Normally Shane and I go on a hike every weekend… but not this time. This weekend we were asked to fix up an office, which basically meant to put some paneling on the walls and clean the looks of the office. At first we thought that it would take about eight hours work. hahahaha… not quite so. On Sunday, we thought it would take four hours! hahahahah…. Think again. In the end it took us about 25 hours!

Fixed OfficeSo basically we spent the whole weekend in a workout. The paneling was not incredibly heaving but after moving as many times as well did for cutting and measuring they sure felt heavy.

The truth is that it was more of a mental workout than a physical workout because we had to continuously refocus our attention at the task at hand. Even when exhaustion has set it. The picture of the office does not really show all the work but I wanted to show something!


The Dreaded Code

22 06 2007

the codeI’ve been meaning to address the “code” that is our workouts for a bit now, but we’ve finally had enough people comment on it that I need to make it a priority.

In all truthfulness, I’m not doing it to make it seem more complicated than it actually is. The workouts themselves are in fact really simple. It’s a few exercises done for a given time or number of repetitions. Our workouts last no more than 30 min. That’s it, done (that’s part of what makes this style of fitness so great). The reason for the code is expedients sake. When I had started writing out our workouts, I was writing it all out unabbreviated. And it was taking me longer than I could afford to spend on it (I’m not the world’s fastest typer unfortunately:). So I decided to go with the abbreviations. The difference was I was going to make sure I threw in an index for people to refer to. And within that reference, refer even further to other sources where it can most easily be found, with full out description on form, proper technique and videos.

When I started learning all this jargon a few years ago (originally with the kettlebell gang) it was a total foreign language. I felt the exact same way as most of you do. Difference was, there was nowhere for me to go for easy reference. I painstakingly read and researched thru all the various front doors and back doors and side doors to figure out what the hell they were all talking about. And slowly, but surely, over months, it started to make sense.

Now, the last thing I want is for my writing in the “code” to be an obstacle to your wanting to implement this in your day to day life and getting started. It would defeat the purpose. That being said, I think in all fairness, I’ve walked halfway. And I get the sense, if you are serious about wanting to implement something like this into your life, you’re also prepared to walk the other half and meet me in the middle. Think of it as the beginning of developing whatever quality you want to get out of the workout. For example, to sit down and take the time to learn it will take Discipline or perhaps Patience or Determination or Commitment. All qualities that we need to get thru the workouts. All qualities we need to get thru our lives, at their highest potential.

Thanks all for your continuous feedback. It’s great! It tells us that people find value in what we are sharing, which in turn keeps our excitement for Gym Jane going. Keep it coming.


P.S. Any suggestions as to how to make the “code” more efficient or easier to read (given everything above)? Let me know, I’d love to hear them. If it works, I will most definitely implement them. Thanks:)