Half Mile Away

While Christmas Eve isn’t the time to discuss details or the reasons surrounding the “why” of the situation, I spent the day packing and moving boxes to our new house. It’s a bittersweet move, as it coincides with my wife going in for her back surgery the day after Christmas. We signed papers Saturday evening and got the keys to the new house. Strangely enough, it’s exactly a half a mile away from where we live now.

It’s a much needed move after 8 years in the current house we are packing up, which we bought (overpaid for) back in 2004. Add a son, some dogs, a few cats and a roommate from New Jersey and suddenly 1419 square feet become very close quarters. Thankfully this home was one of the new developments just down the road putting us 2 blocks away from the elementary school. Talk about how things work out! I also understand that some of his classmates live in and around this street, so that give him more friends to play with over the next few years.

So while Christmas is a time to be with family and friends, I am very thankful we have a new home and the prospects that we look forward to as the new year dawns. I have no doubt my wife’s back surgery will go off without complication and she will be up and on her feet in no time. That gives me about 3 days during her hospital stay to get things around the new house put away and organized. It’s a huge task, thankfully the roommate and I spent all day packing boxes and making trips over the the new house. The movers come on the day after Christmas to move all the furniture, a task I don’t have time for these days.

Vacation just happened to come at the right time for me, as someone at work canceled their Christmas week and I quickly signed up for it. This should allow me enough time to get the new house settled and organized and allow my wife new confines in which to relax and recuperate.

So to all my family and friends, Merry Christmas to all and all a goodnight.

Is it over yet?

December has been an absolutely horrible month! I won’t go into all the details just now, but hopefully things turn around in 2 days as I start vacation. While we won’t be going anywhere for Christmas, I will be attending to my wife, who is scheduled to have lower back surgery…the day after Christmas. This followed by a 3 night stay in the hospital.

Hopefully this surgery will alleviate the pain she has really suffered through the last few years, get her inch and a half back in height and overall give her a better life. We don’t know what to expect after the surgery or the recuperation time. Hopefully the hospital stay will be just 3 days. Thankfully we have many gracious offers from family and friends to help us out as she recovers.

More importantly I requested Family Medical Leave (FMLA) from work. I was able to obtain a doctor’s note from her physician. This will allow me to call in and take days off as necessary to tend to my wife, with no retribution from work in terms of time missed. This is easily something that COULD be abused, but it’s the second time I have requested it. The first was back in 2009 when I had my ACL surgery on my right knee. At that time I didn’t use it very much.

I suspect I won’t be really active the rest of the year, possibly 2 posts forthcoming. One will be my resolutions, which I have posted for the last 5-7 years. The other post will be the bombshell, so to speak, but we will wait on that information to help ring in the new year.

Progress Chart

progress chart

The numbers don’t lie as I have just finished my 6th week following the Stronglifts 5×5 program. Much like changing my diet to a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle, I wish I would have found the gym and barbell training when I was younger. It’s shocking, but I cannot wait to get to the gym, but then end up taking the weekend off, which seems to hurt my progress after a good weight of weight training.

The deadlift and the squat are the two lifts I have made the most progress on. While the chart will reflect a 215 lbs. and the squat, 185 lbs., these are 1RM or 1 rep maximum meaning lifting that weight one time and racking the weight. Currently my work weight for the deadlift is 160 lbs. and 140 lbs. for the squat. Both weights are ahead of my goals I am targeting for this initial 12 week period. If you are interested, you can read the latest scoop from week 6.

Only two minor setbacks, one which was expected but the other came as a bit of a surprise. The overhead press (OHP) I failed last week at 80 lbs. I missed two reps on my final two sets, but I had to work like hell to get the sets done. After some video watching and reading of Mark Rippetoe’s book, Starting Strength I made a few adjustments and I was able to bust out my 5×5 yesterday. The surprise was my failure trying to squat 200 lbs. yesterday. I worked up from 135 lbs. and was feeling good, so after a few intermediate increases, I loaded up the 200 lbs. for a 1RM. It didn’t feel right starting when I unracked the weight. I started the squat and just kept going down…finding myself in a third world squat and the barbell resting on the safety catch. I will give it a try next week.