Sunday, April 20, 2014

Funny Faces, Functional Muscle, Wild Fires, and Unexpected Illness

Me - On My 2nd Birthday. Pretty sure I still make that face...
In so many ways, I love my short trips to California. I enjoy helping out my family and visit some friends, even when the circumstances are far from joyous. It's always a welcomed change of pace to get some vitamin D (sunshine) and having a nice long stroll down memory lane.

Yesterday was my 2nd day with Mud in the gym. It was a great day. I'm really loving working with him and seeing him progress so quickly as he learns different moves. He is a talented dancer and performer and we've known each other over 4 years. But we've NEVER worked out together until this week. Once he learned I had my Olympic Weight Lifting Coaching certification, he was all over meeting up and working out. And honestly, it's been a true highlight of this trip.

It's been an amazing experience. I've always valued the attitude he comes into life with. It resonates with an open willingness to learn. He believes (as I do) that there is something to learn from everyone we meet; it's just a matter of staying open to it, paying attention, and listening for it. Sure, he learned a lot regarding form and lifting, but I also learned things from watching him go through the process.

It doesn't get much better than that in the gym. He lost some confidence after an invasive surgery on both legs, but he's worked his way through it and is impressively continuing to push onward. I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to see his progress moving forward, though I've committed him to sending me videos so we can discuss tweaks along the way.

That's kind of where the wildfire started. As I was having coffee with my mom later in the day, her gym buddy texted her and wanted to 'see' some of my moves - even though they hadn't been to the gym together in weeks, and she's never met me, seen my videos, read my blog/articles.  I was completely flattered.After a few minutes, it turned into that she wanted to learn some of my moves. I'm practically giddy at the prospect of working with someone I've never actually met before. I absolutely love seeing people do what they don't think they are capable of.  It's exciting for people to seek out connecting with me.  I'm still in the 'auditioning' process of this whole thing, but whether or not I'm able to train at the YMCA, this life isn't going anywhere. It's pretty clear I'm on the right path (kinda makes me wonder why I didn't discover it earlier!).

Once I finished training with Mud (and finished my own training program as well), I ended up going over to my brother's house to help him build some shelves and move some pretty heavy boxes. My back was sore from some heavy deadlifts earlier in the day, so I made sure I squatted and put my Atlas lifting know how to work.

Stance wide. Squat deep. Arms around item close to body. Hug. Get to thighs. Stand and raise to chest.

I laughed to myself as I trucked through hauling boxes and bags and other awkward items, remembering my Strongman Training and Trainer Guy's mantra of building 'functional muscle.' All the skills I've learned have easily translated into everyday life stuff. (But beware! As soon as people know you lift, you're expected to be the best mover on the planet!)

This isn't the first time my lifting skills have come in handy. I can't wait to see what kind of things Mud discovers. I wonder what kind of things Mom's gym buddy (and maybe even Mom) will come away with.

The Gym has been the highlight of my time here. It's made me a bit homesick for my Washington stomping group, with my training friends. Irrational? Probably.

But no matter how you slice it, functional muscle can be used in the real world. And that's incredibly rewarding.

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