Saturday, March 3, 2012

Get that heart rate up!!

Here is my workout from yesterday. I tried to perform the following at the quickest pace that I could and the total workout took me about 35 minutes. Try picking out a few to do on your own this weekend!!

25 Pull-ups
50 Tricep extensions
50 Barbell curls
50 Lat Pull-downs
50 Chest pull downs
50 Step-ups
50 Jumping Jacks
50 Straight Arm Pull downs
50 One Armed Cable Rows
50 V-ups
25 Push-ups
25 Pull-ups
50 Jumping Jacks

Good luck! Let me know how it goes :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mckenna's First Rice Cereal Experience

**At-home workout challenge - I ended up doing a second day of cardio in a row with walking 83 flights of stairs on the stair-stepper. If you have asking to a stair-stepper, hit that up today! If not, you can find some good ol' fashion stairs or try to do some lunges and wall sits at home :)


The doc wanted us to put some weight on our little girl, so we decided to give her some rice cereal daily. This was her first time ever. She smiles throughout the whole feeding and was pretty good given that it was her first time with it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Lullabys & Cereal Time

**At-home workout challenge:
30 minute brisk walk. Need more of a challenge? Every 5 minutes, a 30 second sprint!

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for easy bedtimes. Mckenna may not be the best baby in the middle of the night, but going down for the night, she's a doll. She takes a bath, gets on her PJs, nurses, gets swaddled, I stand next to her crib while holding her and sing a lullaby (which she smiles at me...which melts my heart every night), say "night night," lay her down and leave the room. That's it. She goes to sleep. No battles to rock her to sleep. No having her fall asleep in our arms, laying her down and having her wake back up over and over. It makes bedtime such an easy, stress free process. Plus I love watching her on the camera we have in her room, as she gets herself all wiggled and positioned and then, boom, she's out.

I'm thankful for my hubby and his ability to hear what I mean, not what I say. I talk...A LOT...and Ronnie would tell you "A LOT" is an understatement. When someone talks a lot, there are often times they say things that may sound strange. For example, I started a conversation today with, "I saw someone say they were "happily married," I'd never think to describe myself as "happily married." What I didn't mean was that I wasn't happily married. What I meant was that I would never think to use that phrase, and what I picture as "happily married" is what I pictured marriage as a know, rainbows and unicorns, candle lit dinners every night and roses at least twice a day. Knowing that I'm probably the happiest wife on earth, I know that happily married describes me, but it's just a phrase I never think of and picture something different when I hear it. Anyway, a different man may take offense and think "my wife is unhappy." My man knows I am just talking, to smile and nod, and that the last sentence I say is generally what I meant to say...after talking in circles and re-explaining what I meant in 500 just listen for that sentence. 

I'm thankful for cereal time. Every night before bed, Ronnie and I chow down on a little dry cereal and watch TV together. It is my favorite part of the day. It is our time, just us, to enjoy each other. I LOVE IT. 

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for lullaby songs. We've been trying to get into a really good routine when putting Mckenna down and one of the things we do is sing her a lullaby. Two things that I love about it: one, Mandi's mom sang the same lullaby to her, and two, Mckenna gets a big gummy smile pretty much every time :)

I'm thankful for iPhone apps. What a great way to kill some time! There are times throughout my day when it's nice to take a 2-5 minute brain break. When that break is needed, I usually turn to something mindless - in walks iPhone apps. If you haven't played Temple Run yet, you have to check it out!!

I'm thankful for frozen treats. Now you'd usually think I was talking sweets, but I'm not in this case. I did a little clean-out of our freezer the other day and found some frozen chicken pot pie mix that Mandi's mom made us. We thawed it out and have now had it for dinner the last couple of nights. Deeeelish!!

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sometimes, You're Just Going to Look Stupid

**If you're looking for the at-home workout challenge, you've come to the right place. Remember, this is just an example of something you can do. Feel free to go beyond this list and push yourself even more. If you can't fathom running then walk; can't walk? Crawl! Remember, the important part is to move; it's not important how fast you move!

Here is my workout for today:

5 minute warm-up walk
11 minute run
2 minute walk
11 minute run
5 minute cool-down walk


One worry that gets brought to my attention often from peeps who are thinking about starting a workout or running routine is that they are going to look stupid. Truth is, they're probably right - the fact is, most of us look pretty stupid when we're active. In case you haven't noticed, there aren't too many natural born athletes just walking around us and working out near our station. 

Now, you will come across some that just look like they were born to run, lift weights, etc, but remember, they are the exception to the rule. Do me a favor - next time your near the local gym, peak in the windows. You will see a smorgasbord of people all with the same level of intensity, coordination, looks, feel and clothing choices + or - 10%. There will also be people just like you who have never been in a gym or haven't been to one in years and are looking to make a positive change in their lives. Point is, there are plenty of "yous" in that gym.

Here's another favor to ask - pay attention to the people running on the streets. You'll notice that plenty of them move at a snails pace and don't exactly look like they're taking the running world by storm. I often point to people running and say "Look! There's my running partner" in reference to them moving so slow. But, and this is a big but, they. are. moving. I can assure you that many of them would love to go faster physically, but they just simply can't. They aren't physically able at this time. Just like you. Just like me.

What I have described above was easy as I was just telling my own story - especially when it comes to running. And again, I use the word running very loosely. There are times like today that many would consider what I did a slow jog or maybe even a fast walk. But do you know what? I don't care. I often catch the eyes of the people who pass me in cars, and what they are thinking is pretty clear - "That guy looks like he's hurting". They're right, I am! I can promise you that when I run I'm slow, I look the opposite of athletic, I'm in pain and mostly, I look really, really stupid.

So why am I even bothering to write all of this? Because I want you to look stupid too. More than that, I want you to take a chance on doing something active that you've never tried for fear of people giving you funny looks. I can't tell you the number of times people have moved off of the treadmill near me because of a coughing fit. Multiple people in the gym have told me that they don't want to get sick and to please leave the gym if I am. I've had more pairs of eyes look at me and think "that guy has no idea what he's doing" than I have had look to me as an example. For goodness sake, I've had a woman stop me on the road while I was running and offer to take me to the hospital!!

Each and every time this happens I react in the same ways - I either take it as an opportunity for Cystic Fibrosis awareness or I give them a look that says "What's up? Can I help you??". See, they don't have the opportunity to go home to Mandi and Mckenna. They don't feel what I feel when I breathe. They won't be doing a treatment for me. They will most likely never see me again. They don't have the same motivation to live that I do. They don't know why I'm there. They don't have the same skin in the game. They don't understand that I'll do anything to be at my best for my family. 

There's really only one thing I care about when I get those looks...

All I care about is being the best version of myself every time I put two feet on the ground, whether it's in the gym or on the pavement, even if I do look stupid in the process.   

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cystic Fibrosis is Not My Challenge

**If you're here for the at-home workout challenge, pick some of the following exercises that I did at the gym and give them a try. If you don't have access to a gym, let me know which ones that you'd want to do from home, and we can alter it. Here's my workout:

50 Squats
50 Barbell curls
50 Tricep Extensions
50 Lat Pulldowns
50 Straight Arm Pulldowns
50 Box jumps
50 Face-smashers
25 Decline crunches with weighted ball
25 Pull-ups

We did this as fast as possible to get a cardio workout in while lifting these weights. Don't have to do it all, just pick a few and give them a try!


I also wanted to take a few minutes to respond to Mandi's blog from yesterday. If you didn't get a chance to read it, click here. And be warned, it will probably make absolutely no sense to those of you who read it (as would most of the stuff that runs through my mind). Here we go!!

It's funny the little things you learn (or I guess kinda big) the longer you are married to someone. I feel like I'm pretty open with all of my thoughts and feelings (since I have so few ;), but Mandi may fight me on that one. Nevertheless, I was surprised with how surprised she was at my statement at our last bible study. I know she knows that I'm extremely positive, but I feel like my statements gave her even more insight into how my brain works.

Let me be clear: I understand how and why others categorize CF as a challenge, but for whatever reason, I just have never thought of it in that way. It may be semantics, but when I think challenge, I also think conquer or work through. Basically, something that has an end in site. From a very early age, I was comfortable and embraced the fact that I was born with CF and I would die with CF (notice I didn't say from CF, that is probably another blog for another day). CF is a part of me and it's not going anywhere. I never saw CF as a challenge allowed by God because CF is so intertwined within my life, that to call CF a challenge, would be to call my life a challenge. And I'm sorry, but I do not live a challenged life; I live a blessed one.

I see challenges all around me however. It's a challenge to be the husband that Mandi deserves. It will be a great challenge to be the daddy that Mckenna needs. I've always felt challenged to be the son that my mom and dad can be proud of. I challenge myself constantly in the weight room. Every time I lace up my shoes and go for a run, it's a challenge. Not a challenge to my health, but a challenge to my will. And most importantly, and my greatest challenge, is living such a life that one day my Father in Heaven can say to me "Well done, good and faithful servant".

See, all of those challenges I will hopefully accomplish with CF still in my body. And looking at those challenges, those would be present whether or not I had jacked up cells in my body. CF is a part of me that will always be there and I feel it's up to me to choose how I want to use that fact each and every day. To me, CF isn't a challenge, it's a reality that propels me forward and gives me the clarity needed to tackle my life challenges head on.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Since I knew that I could never defeat CF, I decided that I needed to win at life. 

But winning at life looks different to everyone on the planet; How does it look to you?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Eyes Open: A REAL Eternal Optimist

Ronnie and I are doing an bible study, Experiencing God, with a small group. It's pretty cool. Our church is doing a Sunday sermon series that ties in, and then all small groups (and even some new ones) are doing the workbook that goes along with it. Way cool: over 1600 people bought workbooks and over 600 bought devotionals...just an aside.

So in our small group this week, the conversation turned to challenges. Ronnie said, "You know, I always question how close I am to God because there are so many examples where God gave challenges to strong men in the bible. And pastors say, if you haven't been given challenges or hardship in your life, you maybe aren't being used by God because He often gives challenges to build character before He uses you. And I think, well shoot, why have I not been given challenges?" what?!

I couldn't help but laugh a bit, and then replied, "umm I think probably CF is your thing?!" (that and having to live life with his face..HAHA I KID). Everyone in the group chimed in with, "yeah, I think probably so" comments. And then I started thinking. Man, when Ronnie says he thinks CF is a blessing, he REALLY thinks CF is a blessing. It doesn't even cross his mind that CF would be considered by most to be a challenge or hardship.

This realization stopped me in my tracks. I'm thankful for CF. I thankful for the man it made Ronnie. I'm thankful for the perspective it brings to our lives. I'm thankful for all the people I've met as a result. But I can tell you if you asked me about the biggest challenge in our lives, CF would be the first to pop into my head. And as I digested the statement and my own thoughts surrounding the topic, I began to feel a little twinge of envy. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. What must it feel like to be SO positive about anything and everything in your life that even with something like CF, you don't think you have challenges?

I am not wired like Ronnie. I am a worrier. I often jump to worst case scenarios. I find it easier to initially see the negative than the positive. I'm certainly not a negative Nancy, and try to be positive and an optimist, but it certainly doesn't come as naturally as it does for Ronnie. I hope the longer I know Ronnie, the more he'll rub off on me. What a blessing to have that perspective. So this week, I'm going to work on my perspective. I'm putting on my rose colored glasses and will try to never take them off. Ha!

PS - If you talk to Ronnie, don't mention this post, as I'm hoping he doesn't see it...I don't want to stroke his ego ;-)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rest and Recovery

***If you're here for the at-home workout challenge, today is a day of rest for me. Refer to yesterday's blog.***


Regardless if you perform a combination of overall fitness training or a single aspect fitness program, it is important to properly design/spread your workouts to not overtrain certain muscle groups and to implement rest days into your program. If you have taken a few weeks off of your usual training program, or are starting a brand new fitness program all together, you should start slow and use light weights focusing on higher repetitions.
Ask our MidwestFit Team at anytime if you are in need of guidance or advice.

Integrated Training Programs

A combination of weight training, cardio training, and flexibility training is considered the best style of program to achieve overall fitness because properly combining the different training programs allows for the body to extract the most benefits from all of the separate training styles.
Weight training can benefit you by producing strong bone mass and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, strengthening joints, developing toned muscles and alower body fat percentage, developing better body mechanics and proprioception to assist with daily activities, boosting metabolism, and burning calories even after you are done exercising.
Cardiovascular training can benefit you by increasing heart health and heart strength, reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol, reducing stress and depression, boosting metabolism, decreasing recovery time, and overall muscle toning.
Flexibility training can benefit you by improving overall physical performance, decreasing risk of injury, reducing muscle soreness, improving posture, reducing risk of low back pain, and improving coordination.

Training Opposing Muscle Groups

Depending upon the style of training you focus on, it is necessary to understand the importance of spreading out your workouts and training opposing muscle groups to avoid overtraining.  Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity.
To read the rest of the article, click here.