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Vacation Workout

"Vacation workout"  sounds like you are obsessed and should take a break. In my case, I don't think I'm obsessed, I just wanted to keep feeling good and be free to eat a little extra and enjoy myself on vacation. I've worked hard for the last two years to get my waist down to a healthy size. One week wouldn't necessarily blow up all that work, but keeping my metabolism running each day would help. I finished my workout before my kids woke up. The days were filled with swimming, sight-seeing, and other play.  This is what I did: Ladders (1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 or 2,4,6,8,6,4,2 of the main four exercises) Split squat Push-up Lying Back Press or Lying Scapular Press (an isometric exercise) Single-leg Glute Bridge 2 sets of RKC Isometric Plank for 10 seconds Stretch The only equipment this required was a dining chair for the Glute Bridges. The whole workout took 20 minutes. I felt good on vacation and think it was worth it.

If I Were a Personal Trainer Again. . .

   A couple of months ago, I had a few thoughts about what I would do differently if I were a personal trainer or fitness studio owner again. *I don't want to do that. I have no desire or plan to be a trainer again. These thoughts are based on what I've learned about growth, fitness, aging (your thirties are different than when I was a trainer in my twenties), life balance, etc. In no particular order: I would focus on giving workouts that are an experience. I would make them fun, good workouts. I think that when I was a trainer, I gave people what I thought was the perfect workout, but there was not an element of fun, games, and what makes this interesting. I was all about efficiency and effectiveness. I would have tried to find ways to make it an experience. Now, when I workout, I think about what makes it fun and effective. If I don't enjoy it, then I won't do it. I would inject my personality. Out of fear, I was not myself. I was very calm and straight-laced. I thin

My Gardening Shelf

  Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest is probably my most used of these books right now.

Seeing Old Friends

 Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year. It is the day I plant tomato seeds.  Opening that file is like seeing old friends. They have come from friends, acquaintances, breeders, and catalogs. I've carried them between states, saved some from years past, and renamed a few that got confusing. They come in all sizes (large, medium, and small) and colors (pink, purple, brown, green, yellow, orange, striped).  They will grow indoors until Memorial Day weekend.   The best day of the year.  "for me each seedling that sprouted was its own kindness, its own obedience to Christ's command to come forth from the grave." The God of the Garden , 117 Andrew Peterson

Winter Projects: Refinishing furniture

 I've been working on a couple of furniture projects this winter. I didn't plan on it being a theme, but it is. Project #1: I (along with a friend) stripped the inside of a piano out, refinished the outside, modified it a bit, and turned it into a modern keyboard rig. This is for our church. Project #2: I bought a large oak table that needed refinishing and fixing. I fixed the gears, and then have prepped and painted it. We need a large table and I wanted one where the wood would be stable. An older oak table fit the bill, and this is also extendable beyond what we need.  I'm not sure my wife will like the way it turned out, but I told her that if she doesn't like it, then I can strip it an start again. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that. (Update: She did like it!) I'm trying to get my physical projects out of the way before spring hits and I start yard and garden work.

Variety in Reading and Exercise

What I would change about being a trainer If I were a personal trainer again, I would plan in more variety in my clients' workouts.  Just like variety in reading, I've found that variety in my workouts helps me to stay motivated and on track even if I'm not feeling my normal workout. I have found that sometimes I don't feel like doing the very best workout. Sometimes, all I can handle is some time on the Airdyne bike and some stretching. I imagine my clients sometimes felt that. Since my goals now have to do with getting in good workouts rather than lifting a certain amount, it doesn't matter if the workout is strength training or cardio on the bike.  Variety means that there is always something smart that I can do.

What's Growing? January 7th

We always start our year planning the gardening. That means that my spreadsheet is what is growing this time of year (and all my scratch paper). I use spreadsheets for most things these days. I had already started a file with all the preferred seeds and vendors from the last year. I tend to forget details from the last year, so writing things down helps me. My most helpful file from last year was a spreadsheet that was my journal and included gardening notes, rain amounts, along with my reading and other events. A spreadsheet journal works way better for me than any other kind. *I got the idea from an article I read on a tech website, but I can't remember where. First, I narrowed down the list of plants to just what I wanted to grow. This was a hard but freeing exercise this year. Usually, we add more plants and more varieties. We cut away at things that are hard to grow or that aren't worth the effort this year. For example, our kids don't care for my homegrown carrots bec