What is a squat anyways?

The blood was dripping in the sand. I was crying and looking for my mom. All I could focus on was the intense pain in my mouth. We were playing chicken on a wood balance beam on the beach. I guess I lost because I fell off. But I hurt more than my pride. I bit my tongue.

We used to go to Grand Haven on Lake Michigan every summer. Going to the beach was one of the best parts of my childhood. I always had a great time when we were there and I especially enjoyed the fountain show that mixed lights, music, and the fountain water feature.


We would do all sorts of fun things like get ice cream and play miniature golf. Sometimes I remember going to Big Boy to get a burger. To summarize something Bill Watterson would say in Calvin and Hobbes, The Days Were Just Packed.


Once we moved to Texas we stopped taking trips to Lake Michigan. Growing up I was a pretty active child and would be playing outdoors as much as possible every day until the sun went down. Usually I ended up with several cuts, scrapes, and bruises but ultimately I would have a blast.

I did play little league baseball growing up and I loved it. I started around the age of 6 playing T-Ball. I played until I was about 13 when I quit because my coach wanted to practice everyday. Even though I was a skinny and sorta athletic kid I also am kind of lazy. I would always play at recess and once I learned how to inline skate and watched the movie Mighty Ducks, my friends and I would play street hockey.

The most physical fitness I did in school was the minimal required gym classes. I tried out for the middle school basketball team. Besides being too short for basketball I also was terrible at it. I don’t think I made a single shot during tryouts. I didn’t play football and so I wasn’t in off season and so the coaches didn’t know me. After that I didn’t try out for anything else ever again.

However at one point in middle school I thought I could play ice hockey. My older sister was kind enough to take me to skating lessons. It turns out to play ice hockey you have to know how to ice skate. I never got down the hockey stop. Ultimately it was too much work so I quit because I wasn’t good at it right away.

That happens a lot in my life. I did end up playing one season of inline hockey in a rec league. A “hat trick” is when someone scores 3 goals in one game. I only scored three goals all season. That’s amazing I scored at all! My first shift on the court I was winded. I had no idea about cardio training at the time and was way out of breath. I had to take a break before it was time really time to switch lines. Again I wasn’t good at this right away so I quit. I still appreciate my family for trying to let me pursue my dream even though it didn’t turn out the way Mighty Ducks led me to believe it would.

Moving On Up

In high school I took the minimally required gym classes. In fact my first “B” in high school was in gym class. It was because our gym teacher required us to do text book work. Which I thought was stupid. And I had no idea that it would affect my grades so adversely. Then I took something called Individual Sports. We had a coach who didn’t really care and we didn’t either. We didn’t have to really do much mostly we just sat around. And then I took a class called Team Sports, which was just like Individual Sports.

After high school my last formal education class on physical education was a course called jogging. I took this my first year in college. I bought a really old jogging book because again there was course work that went along with the class. What’s with these gym coach anyways? And so I did the jogging. But also I cheated. I turned in my card each week showing the 10 miles we were supposed to run. Problem was I didn’t always run all 10. And this came back to bite me in the ass when I had to do the final exam. Which was running two miles. Well I think it was two miles but anyways I was winded and barely completed it in the allotted time necessary to make the grade I needed. Again I hadn’t yet learned about cardio training.

There was a period of much trouble at on point in my life where things had gone terribly wrong. I realized to get my life in order I needed to take care of myself physically. The only thing I really could think to do was jog. I already had the shoes. So what I did was decide to run a half marathon. It went well. But after that I had some issues. Then I quit running for awhile.

Then I quit working out all together.

Then one of the best things that ever happened to me happened. I met and got married to my lovely wife Sarah. Because of my ego I always thought I still looked pretty good. But one day Sarah mentioned that I wasn’t quite in as good as shape as I thought I was. And to prove it she had me try one of her at home workout videos. I just about died. I had never done squats before my life nor had I done any lunges. I was crying by the time I was through.

Randomly one day my dad gave me his copy of P90X. I didn’t quite use it at first. It gathered a lot of dust in one of our spare rooms. One day though I finally decided it was time to get fit again. And so I got Wii Fit.

I got the balance board and everything it was fun and it got me active. My physical activity level soon outgrew the capabilities of the game. That’s when I dusted off the old P90X. And then I about died again. Sarah and I both did P90X about every other day and did most the entire program. It was a lot of work but it helped get us into shape.

Since then we decided to run a half marathon again. Sarah had never done one even though she ran cross country in high school. She was really good at it it but she had never ran very long distances. She did great at the half marathon. Me not so much. I did finish it but my legs were on fire. Part of my problem this time was we started off too fast. Also on the return leg of the course the miles were not marked properly. So mentally I had gotten lost and given up. When you run 13 miles it really starts to be about the mental side of things over the physical.

By the time I crossed the finish line my quadricep muscles were on fire and practically seized up. I was glad to have finished but it wasn’t as fast as I had hoped. Another part of the problem was that we started our training schedule too soon before the race. Then I burned out. I stopped training. By the time the race came I wasn’t in as good as shape as I should have been.

Then we did P90X3.


We did this program in its entirety and followed all the days. I did have some problems keeping to the diet because I was so hungry from burning all the extra calories. I did’t follow the diet plan that closely. And that brings me to where I am today.

I have enjoyed P90 so far but I was getting a little bored of “Block A”. So I moved to “Block B” a week earlier than scheduled. Plus I needed to up the intensity. I have skipped a few workouts here and there. But I always do my best and forget the rest. This time around I haven’t been all that great on my diet but I’ve been much better.

Day 17 of Claudia’s book Become An Idea Machine.

Thank you to everyone who shared or retweeted yesterday’s blog!

Today’s ideas are about improving your “physical” practice. One struggle I am going to have with this is that I am working out consistently about 6 days a week in the P90 program schedule.

1. Don’t skip work outs.
2. Go for walks in the evening with Sarah and Duke and Tex.
3. Focus more on eating right. Finding healthy alternatives for when I am craving bad for me things.
4. Stand more instead of sitting so much. I really would like a standing height work surface at home.
5. Use our rumble roller more often. This thing will rock your socks off!
6. Get my sleep under better control / more consistent.
7. Work in a morning warm up to help get ready for the day.Can you say P90X3 Cold Start? Oh yeah!
8. Don’t wear worn out shoes that bother my foot, leg, knee, thigh and hip.
9. Continue integrating more natural health care products over highly chemicalized commercial products
10. Get less screen time to rest my eyes

4 thoughts on “What is a squat anyways?

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