Short Hills

No, I didn’t run hills short in distance, I worked out whilst in Short Hills, NJ.

Wednesday, June 21 | Row & Thrust

As I spent much of Tuesday traveling to NJ and as I had worked out for three consecutive days, I rested Tuesday. Good. For. Me.

Wednesday afternoon I facilitated a 3.5-hour session regarding Leadership for a pharmaceutical consulting company. As the session was a success and the feedback was positive, I can now admit that there were a few moments when I doubted that the training would be effective. Uhm, or that I’d be effective. I had diagnosed myself as Capable, but Cautious and was in desperate need of encouragement. Ha! I had spent hours and hours preparing for the training, including reading and/or listening to numerous books regarding leadership, developing PowerPoint presentation, practicing (creative visualization, i.e., I don’t practice out loud, with a coach, with a group, etc.), and administrative work such as preparing and printing tent cards, scheduling travel, etc. Late last week it was proposed that the training be delayed until July. As this would allow me additional time to prepare, I didn’t oppose this idea.

I’m delighted that the training has taken place. As the CEO closed the training and thanked me he said, “Paul is quite the salesperson. He’ll definitely be providing additional training for us.” Whilst I don’t consider myself a salesperson, I nonetheless took it as a compliment.

Folks, start with why. Then explain how and what. I’ll be happy to explain in more detail.

The training ended at 4:30, and as I couldn’t get a flight home until Thursday morning I decided to work out. The gym at the Hilton Short Hills is quite nice, and even had a Concept 2 rower!

The heaviest DBs were 25#. I grabbed one, set up the rower, and began my workout.

14 RFT
10 calorie row
10 1-arm 25# DB clusters, alternating arms each round

That’s 140 full squat clean thrusters, folks, so it doesn’t matter if the weight was relatively light — this workout was tough!

I had just begun my workout when a tall gentleman wearing a tight shirt and even tighter compression shorts entered the gym and then looked at me for an inappropriately long time. My immediate thought was “He’s either gay or European. Or possibly both.” He stretched a little and began using a treadmill. Uhm, a treadmill close to where I was working out.

He continued to look in my direction. I had completed 10 rounds but was still rigorously working out when he approached and said, in a British accent, “How long will you be using the rower?” Well, okay then. Gay and European. I was quite out of breath but nonetheless replied, “Another five or so minutes.” He got a gym mat and began stretching. Uhm, very close to where I was working out.

I completed the workout and wiped down the rower. He said, “Thanks for cleaning the rower. I’m a rower and I’ve never seen a workout like that.” “I was rowing for calories and completing thrusters,” I replied. He looked at me blankly. He then said, “You know you can get a card and insert it in the rower and keep track of your workouts.” “Yes,” I replied, “I’m aware of that but I’d just as soon take a picture of the monitor and then blog about the workout.”

I was certain that he was going to begin to tell me how to row. I was surprised when he instead said, “I rowed while at university. You have good rowing form.” I thanked him, gathered my belonging, wished him well, and left.

I’m a married man, people!

Back to the workout. I usually rowed 10 calories in about 11 strokes and completed all rounds of clusters in unbroken reps. I’d stand to full extension, complete a full squat clean, complete a push press, and then bring the DB to shoulder, mid-thigh, and then mid-shin. I was quite noisy as I did so.

Time = 21:53

It took me 9:30 to row 140 calories, and I rowed a total of 2,250 meters.

Thursday, June 22 | Row & Thrust

I set the alarm for 3:30 but was, of course, wide awake at 3. I am making a conscious effort to fight internal bias. How so, you ask? I am not only attempting to appear approachable but am actively approaching African Americans.

For example, my Uber driver was African American. I don’t like to talk with most strangers, and particularly not taxi drivers. I nonetheless struck up a conversation and he and I talked for the entire trip to the airport. And we both enjoyed the conversation!

Two African American women were seated in the window and middle seats beside me for the flight from Newark to Charlotte, and I was already seated in the aisle seat when they arrived. I immediately stood up, introduced myself, and insisted that I place their luggage in the overhead storage bins for them. We talked until the plane was at cruising altitude. When we landed I made sure to retrieve their luggage and wish them well.

I’m going to be a dick to most straight, white men. Except those that are currently my friends. One wrong move, straight, white, male friends, and I’ll kick your ass to the curb. And I’ll feel “entitled” to do so.

I had lunch with my BBF (straight, white male that, however, doesn’t feel entitled), took a long nap, and then worked out in the garage.

30 rounds for accumulated time:
3 deadlifts, 185# (floor to floor, i.e., no dropped reps allowed)
25 single unders
Rest 30 seconds between rounds
ALL rounds must begin after exactly 30 seconds of rest

Uhm, the workout may look easy but rest assured that it was not. I completed most rounds in about 19 or 20 seconds. The 30 seconds of rest went fast. Deadlifts were relatively light, but by the 60th deadlift shit started to feel heavy. I focused on speed of deadlifts and fast transition to jump rope, ensuring that I properly set up jump rope at the end of each round.

Accumulated time = 9:08

Friday, June 23 | Whipped

I was wide awake at 6 am, so Luke and I began our 4+-mile walk at 6:45. I love to see him run!

I did skill work with barbell, focusing on power snatches and snatches. I also ensured that I was adequately warmed up for workout.

15 hang power cleans (100, 105, 110, 115, 130#)
10 floor presses
5/leg pistols

In other words, weight increased by 5# for rounds 2 through 4 and then 15# for last round. As I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete all rounds in unbroken reps, well, that wasn’t a goal.

I did, however, complete first 3 rounds of HPC and FP in unbroken reps, although I did briefly rest at top of lift, i.e., with barbell on shoulders for HPC and locked out at full extension for FP.

I rested my head on the Abmat for FP and quickly discovered that I had a view of the beautiful sky. I still kept focus. For the most part.

I had no failed reps. This did mean, however, that I completed the last round of FP in reps of 5, 4, & 1, as I knew I’d fail the last rep if I didn’t rest.

Shit. Got. Heavy.

Pistols got easier as the workout progressed, as one would expect. I recorded and reviewed, and am pleased that all reps were below parallel.

That’s 75 HPCs, 50 FP, & 25/leg pistols.

Time = 16:34

I finished “Grit” by Angela Duckworth, and it was a wonderful read. I think what often distinguishes me from others in not just endurance, but grit. Yes, I have the lung capacity, yes, I have the strength, yes, I have the experience of running for ungodly long periods of time, but I also just don’t give up. Do I demonstrate grit for everything that I do? Certainly not. When I’m passionate about something, however, I’m gritty.

I like that word. I also like the word “moist.”

I’ve begun my first 30-day challenge. I’m playing 4 octaves of majors scales, switching it up somewhat each day. For example, I played 8th notes with metronome set @ 85 bpm. B Major is my favorite scale, is it “fits” my fingers.




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