T Nation

The Slumber Is Over


#1


Figured it would be about time for me to start up a training log. Something to keep me honest while I'm out here. Currently, I'm 5'10, 240 lbs., with 20% BF (guessing). I'll probably go hit up the medics to get a more accurate assessment today or tomorrow. My goal is to be a lean 220-225 lbs. by December. That's when I return to the states for R&R. Ego-wise, I want all eyes on me when I enter a room.

Either fear, intimidation, admiration, or lust. But, overall, I want to be in good shape and healthy for my future family. So with that said, I'll go back to Monday and yesterday's workouts. Then I'll go through today's along with what I ate and such. Feedback is welcome, of course. Attached is going to be my "before" pic. Taken last night after a workout and eating dinner. I was pretty disgusted.


#2

Starting with Monday morning:

5:00am- Perimeter Run (1.6 miles)
5:15am- Stretch & walk to gym
5:30am- Jumprope/Barbell Complex/Heavybag Work Circuit
-Jump Rope for 2 minutes
-The barbell complex consists of:
Upright Rows x 8
Bent-Over Rows x 8
Military Press x 8
Good Mornings x 8
Lunges x 8
Squats x 8
Calf Raises x 8
Behind-the-Neck Press x 8
Stiff-legged Deadlifts x 8
-Heavybag Work consisted of 50 total roundhouse kicks or clinch knees

I completed 4 rounds of this circuit with 1 minute rest in between each round.

6:15am- Abs

After a full day of work (either sitting behind a desk or running around the FOB networking), I returned to the gym for my weightlifting session. The breakdown went like this:

5:00pm- Bench Presses
-225lbs x 5 (Warmup)
-315lbs x 3 (2 sets)
-305lbs x 3 (3 sets)
-295lbs x 3 (5 sets)

Hammer Strength Chest Presses
-275lbs (guesstimate) x 5 (4 sets)
Overhead Triceps Extension (D-bell)
-85lbs x 8 (3 sets)
Triceps Pushdowns (Rope Attachment)
-90lbs x 10 (3 sets)
Dips
BW x 15 (3 sets)

That's all for Monday's work.


#3

Now for Tuesday's fun! I was a lil more energized than normal, however, that did not last long.

Jumprope/Barbell Woodchoppers/Pushups/Heavybag Work/Box Jumps
-Jumprope x 2 mins
-Barbell Woodchoppers x 20 reps (10 each side)
-Pushups x 25 reps (gotta do the military thing!)
-Heavybag Work 40-50 knees and kicks
-Box Jumps x 10 (2ft. box)

I completed 5 rounds of this, and almost lost the previous night's dinner. I then attempted to do some dips, however, that was short-lived. The evening workout consisted of:

Deadlifts
-135lbs x 5 (warmup)
-315lbs x 3 (2 sets)
-345lbs x 3 (3 sets)
-365lbs x 3 (7 sets)
Barbell Rows w/underhand grip
-225lbs x 5 (5 sets)
Kroc Rows
-80lbs x 20 (3 sets)
Barbell Curls
-95lbs x 6 (3 miserable sets)

Yes, I went a lil crazy with the deadlifts. I tend to fall into my Zen and forget about my set range. I also did them barefoot (socks) for the first time. Different feel. The Kroc Rows were done out of curiosity. They obliterated this damn cat. I liked them!


#4

Well now, yesterday got started on a pretty good foot, but towards the end...death. Times 4. Yup, we lost 4 more Soldiers out here. One bomb took them all out. Pretty thought-provoking, especially when you watch their bodies get loaded onto a bird and fly away.

The only thing I could think of was my retard of a Soldier. He is one of those kids who talks a big game about things he has no idea about. Such as wanting to get a Combat Action Badge and a Purple Heart. We told him that those 4 Soldiers just earned theirs. The sad thing is that he still doesn't get it. Oh well. Not losing any sleep over him.

Now, onto the fun stuff! Last night was devoted to shoulders. And I believe I showed them plenty of devotion, as I was pretty damned motivated for some reason. Had my supplements running through me, Slipknot's "People=Shit" blasting in my ears, and some mouth-watering Skittles to chew on...I was in my zone from the start. The workout went like this:

Military Press (Barbell)
-135lbs. x 3 (1 slow, warmup set)
-135lbs x 6 (8 sets w/kicking drills between sets)

Lateral Raises
-25lbs x 8 (3 sets, all done with a 25lb. plate, as we have a shortage of dumbbells)

Reverse Dumbbell Flyes
-25lbs x 10 (1 set)
-20lbs x 15 (2 sets)

Barbell Shrugs
-225lbs x 8 (3 sets)
-135lbs x 15 (6 sets)

I decided to back off of the presses a bit, as I have felt a tiny tweek in my right shoulder for the last few days, but I opted to make up for it with less rest. I think I earned my dinner with that workout. So, I got back to the Refugee Camp (tent where 12 of us live) and fixed my protein shake.

I started mixing it with Soymilk, as it tastes good and it doesn't give me gas, as normal milk would. Yes, I'm very much lactose intolerant, and I've been threatened by the other 11 guys. I'm normally not worried about their threats, however, I opted to err on the side of caution as I'm typically the first one to go to sleep at night. For dinner, it was a very difficult decision, as they had nothing but grease. Grease with spaghetti, grease with pork loin, grease with grilled cheese, and so forth.

I settled on a wiped down hunk of lasagna. It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Tasty, and very short-lived. My boss, who was seated beside me started questioning my decision to diet. I basically put some truth out there. I'm not going to spend a year out here getting fat and sedentary. Like a lot of the people here. Hell, I don't like the way my body looks and feels now, so I can only imagine how I'd feel if I were really fat and sloppy looking.

Besides...my future wives would have a fit if they saw me fat and weak. I tell ya, these T-Vixens would whoop my ass. Not that I would have a problem with that.

Moving onto this morning's workout...yeah...not so much of a workout, as it was a "recovery" day. I did a lot of static stretching and a lil bit of yoga. My entire body was pretty stiff and sore. After doing some movements to get the blood flowing, I spent the next 45 minutes just doing all kinds of stretches and poses. Even stood on my head for a lil while. I was called "insane" for doing that. I look forward to hearing what people will say when I start incorporating my handstand work into my workouts.

Picture a gorilla-looking dude walking thru the gym...on his hands. Yes. That will be me soon. For now, I think it's time for me to actually attempt to do some work. Then lunch. Gotta eat good, as I will be working legs this afternoon. Now that is going to be a bitch of a session!


#5

The past 24 hours have only solidified further my belief that I don't need to stay in the military. A lot of these people are just plain ignorant. And some, are just idiots. To start things off, I decided to take a break last night, as I strained my knee a lil bit getting some tents into a container that was 20 feet off the ground.

However, being unable to stay away from the gym, I opted to watch a couple of tent-mates do squats for the first time. Now, both are more on the hard-headed/negative Nancy side of the house, so dealing with them takes some getting used to. As they began, C asked me if he was going low enough and to watch. I showed him where parallel was and that is where he went.

Let the whining begin. G begins his set and struggles with quarter-squats. Talking to him is like talking to a brick wall. So I let him do his thing. As the sets go on, C continues to gripe, so I back off a bit. Next, they ask about leg presses, so I assist with that. That actually goes without complaint, go figure. Fast-forward to abs, and I show them a couple of different exercises to complement their leg workout. G goes through it without complaining at all, actually likes it.

C, on the other hand calls it all gay and explains that he is conservative when it comes to training. I only say that there is nothing wrong with that, but don't just blast a variation because you don't like it or have trouble doing it. Whining continues, so I leave for the tent. After around 15 minutes, C and G arrive and somehow we get on the topic of who is a better athlete between myself and C.

C, in his younger years played basketball and baseball. He is in fairly decent shape for his age (36). He stands at about 5'7, 180lbs. He has a gut, however, he can still run and do pushups and such. Now, as the argument started, I asked how he figured he was a better athlete and in better shape than I am. His basis was with running and pushups. I told him that mine was based on man-to-man combat. No weapons, just two guys going.

Granted, that line of reasoning has it's cons as well, but ultimately, that's what a lot of physical conflict between people boils down to. Now, as we were dissecting all of this, he gets upset and starts feeling as though I'm saying I can beat up anyone and I'm the toughest guy around. He adds to that that if it came down to it, he would just shoot me, as he has done it before. Not knowing where this is coming from, I tell him it's not even about that or us.

Going back to the original focus, I remind him it's about what makes one a better athlete. He continues to rant about how I think I'm big and bad and such, and starts throwing other people's names out that he feels are bigger and tougher than me. I take a lil bit of the bait and tell him my thoughts about the size portion, however, the "toughness" portion I don't dispute. And I remind him again, it's not about that, and that I don't walk around thinking I'm the biggest, baddest person around here.

No clue where he got that from, but I decide then and there that he somehow might have an issue with me, so I leave him alone. That's when G starts chiming in about a physical fight being combat and his thoughts about use of weapons and such. I immediately dismiss his argument and go back to reading my book. The whole deal left me pretty disappointed. That and wondering if I was wrong at some point.

Do I walk around thinking I'm better than everyone else? Not that I'm aware of. Do I think I'm tougher than everyone else? Hell no. I've had my ass kicked before. Is my thought process and training philosophy wrong? I don't feel that it is, really. I went to sleep wondering when I gave any indication that I would kick C's ass or anything. That and how I would get to him before he picked up his M4, loaded his magazine, and chambered a round.

Needless to say, I decided I would use the sledge hammer that is on the way to him as either a distraction or a way to get the weapon out of his hands, then I would ultimately break his neck. Things one thinks about before sleeping...

Woke up this morning feeling a mixture of sadness and anxiety. Sad because I know now that C and I are on totally different levels, and anxious to get into the gym and continue on my path. Once there, I immediately began setting up the circuit I did on Tuesday. Once that was done, I did some warmup exercises consisting of:

Torso Twists w/broomstick x 20
Good Mornings w/broomstick x 10
"Hindu" Squats (courtesy of Matt Furey's Combat Conditioning) x 10
Leg Swings, front to back, then side to side

After that was done, I grabbed my jumprope and started. I added an additional 30 seconds to the the time, however, I didn't complete it as some local dude kept sniffing around my setup. I immediately stopped jumping, went over to claim my barbell setup, and started that complex. In case you don't feel like looking at my first entry, it went like this:

Upright Rows x 8
Bent-Over Rows x 8
Military Press x 8
Good Mornings x 8
Lunges x 8
Squats x 8
Calf-Raises x 8
Behind-the-Neck Press x 8
Stiff-Leg Deadlift x 8

This was done with 85lbs. From there, it was the Barbell Woodchoppers for 12 reps (w/a 25lb plate attached). Then came the knee-strikes to the heavybag for a count of 50, and finally 10 box jumps. I only did 3 rounds today, as I wanted to save a little bit for tonight's workout, so I decided to close out with 3 rounds of an ab circuit I picked up at Kandahar Air Field.

Situps x 25
Side Planks x 25
Knee-in/Toe Touches x 10 (4-count exercise).

I will always hate this circuit. But, with that session over, I can now happily await tonight's fun. Meanwhile, I'm left pondering what the best course of action is for me to make it through this deployment with few "issues". The only thing I can come up with for now is stay to myself and continue focusing on myself. That seems to be the tried and true safest method. Especially with the larger conflict that is heading my way. More on that one later.


#6

Alrightâ?¦I typed this thing up this morning, however, due to circumstances outside my control, ie-power and network issues, all was lost. So, here I am with the second go â??round. This past weekend was pretty turbulent, to say the least.

After the whole ordeal with the tent-mates, I decided itâ??d be best if I just stayed solo, like I referenced previously. Itâ??s been going alright, so far. Itâ??s pretty reminiscent of my time in Germany, prior to deploying out here. There is a saying I picked up from Despair.Com that goes "The only constant in all of your bad relationships is you." That is actually a very accurate statement.

Between conflicts with the people in my barracks, to conflicts at work with coworkers, to a potential conflict with my then girlfriend, I decided I was better off alone. So, I basically isolated myself from all. At first it was a little disconcerting, but after a day or so, I hit my stride. This was in April.

During that time, I was to go on vacation for a couple of weeks due to the pending deployment. I was very much looking forward to this time. Not because I was going anywhereâ?¦but because I would be left alone. I decided to make the vacation an internal one. All I did was train, eat, and sleep. If I was awake, I was moving. Typically with a 50 pound pack on my back.

I walked a lot of miles during those two weeks. At dawn each morning, I was either hiking, running, sprinting, or in the gym. Afternoons were spent doing some more hiking, or reading somewhere, and the evenings were spent in the gym, lifting everything in sight. Or trying to, at least.

Also during this time, I had let my hair grow out, and had a full beard and mustache. I was looking very rough. Kinda like Denzel in Book of Eli. Hey, I didnâ??t just imagine that oneâ?¦a couple of people actually told me that is what I looked like! So, as time went by, I was in my groove and dropped 15 pounds. When it came time to go to work, there were some questions raised as to my behavior, as well as the environment within the office.

I let it be known that the environment is no longer a concern of mine and continued on my own path. Some people understood, most didnâ??t. I really didnâ??t care either way. All I wanted was to get this deployment over with.

Fast-forward a month or so, and I am here in Afghanistan with a new set of acquaintances and such. Iâ??m still wary of most people, but I roll with it. As the days go by, however, peopleâ??s true colors tend to reveal themselves. And when that takes place, I react accordingly. In any case, I remain the way I am: completely honest and blunt.

I donâ??t sugarcoat anything, however, Iâ??m not an ******* about it. Iâ??ll temper how I say things, so as not to offend, but sometimes, itâ??s inevitable. In the matter of C, I believe his own personal misgivings kicked in and he got very defensive. Nothing I can do about that. With all of this said, Saturday was like a reset day for me.

For starters, I had a lapse in judgment regarding my consumption of protein. But, it was a day for me to get reacquainted, once again, with flying solo. Iâ??ll touch on this more later. First, Iâ??ll break down Fridayâ??s leg workout:

Front Squats:
135 x 3 (warmup set)
155 x 6 (5 sets)

Back Squats:
255 x 6 (7 sets)

Stiff-leg Deadlifts
135 x 10 (4 sets)

Lunges
Bar-only x 30 (3 sets)

Not a bad workout, however, due to time constraints, I had to sacrifice calf-work. Now, I had spent a lot of that day researching various supplements and such, as well as when are the best times to take in my protein.

That brought me to Saturday morningâ??s debacle. Upon waking, I opted to drink a serving of the **** so that I can be all anabolic and stuff. That was a bunch of happy-horse****. I called myself going in for my morning workout an hour later. The only thing I worked out were my abs, as my stomach was cramping up the entire time. I wonâ??t even waste your time putting down what I managed to get done as it was all a waste of time.

I spent the rest of the day physically thrown off and off-beat. Never again!! I will continue to conduct my morning workouts on E! Now, after the workouts, Iâ??ll consume a measure of proteinâ?¦just not the complete serving, as I still have to eat afterwards. With that said, Saturday became a "reset" day.

I pretty much exercised my mind all day, and got back into my solo habits. That lead to Sunday morning starting off pretty comical.
Not only did I shun the protein upon waking, I had an interesting chat session with my mother on facebook. Yes, my mother is on FB. And yes, it was strange chatting with her online. But it also gave her the opportunity to "voice" her displeasure at not having grandchildren yet.

Youâ??d think sheâ??d be cool with me being single with no baby-mamas at my age, however, she used my age as her weapon of choice. And used my best friend as ammo. I had no defense, other than the typical "errr uhhhh". Yeahâ?¦I guess my choice to get out is definitely a good one. Iâ??ll have to set up auditions for the mother of my kids. Iâ??m sure my mother will want to sit in on them as well, knowing her. But, with that bit of comedy past, it was time for me to put in work.

Elliptical x 10 min. (Warmup)

Circuit x 4 rounds
Jumprope x 3.5 min
Pushups x 25
Pullups x 7

Box Jumps x 10 (5 sets)

Heavybag Work

75 kicks (each leg)
1 x 3 min round freestyle

Hanging Leg-Raises (Knees to elbows) x 10 (3 sets)

The workout was pretty good. Especially after the bag work. So far, the day was alright. Then came work. What a waste of a day. First the A/C in the tent died on us, so we were forced to work in the 100+ degree heat, plus sand blowing all over everything, but then our computer network died on us as well. I took it all as a sign to end the day a lil early. That meant it was time to get it in at the gym! Chest day!

Incline Bench Press (Barbell)
135 x 8 (warmup)
255 x 6 (5 sets)
185 x 10 (3 sets)

Incline Dumbbell Press
90 x 10 (5 sets)

Close-Grip Bench Press
135 x 12 (4 sets)

Skull-Crushers (on decline)
75 x 12 (4 sets)

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdowns
50 x 10 (individual arms- 3 sets each)

Abs

I was feeling my Wheaties yesterday afternoon. All until we got the announcement of another casualty. That was a very bitter buzzkill. Iâ??ll be glad when we are finally allowed to remove the restraints and go after these people. I think that would spark a new beginning out here.

That and I currently donâ??t see this ending by next summer. Not a chance in hell. Especially after we all but forgot this place for the past several years. What with Iraq and all. Oh well. I decided to end the night with a good book and some sleep. Sleep is always good. Especially, for some odd reason, out here.

In the rear, I donâ??t sleep very well, if at all. I have been on sleep meds for a long time. I marvel at the fact that Iâ??m able to sleep without them out here. I can only hope that I donâ??t ever have to go back on them when I return. Weâ??ll see. For a quick view into this morningâ??s workout:

1.8 mile run (at a faster pace as nature opted to call half-way thru)
Dips
BW x 10-15 (pyramid up)
Lunges
BW x 30 (2 sets)

Sledgehammer Work!!!

Two-handed x 1 min. (3 rounds)
One-handed x 30 sec. (3 rounds)
I had an audience while doing this.

Abs & Stretching

Now itâ??s time for me to get ready for this eveningâ??s workout. DEADLIFTS!!! One of my favorite days. Until tomorrowâ?¦


#7

Lately, Iâ??ve been giving a lot of thought to my beliefs when it comes to training and such. Especially after the conflict mentioned in my earlier blogs. For those new to my little slice of the networked world, my views about training and fitness are pretty simple.

In life, there will come a time when you have to stand up and defend either yourself, your loved ones, or your beliefs. When that time comes, will you be physically prepared to do whatâ??s necessary? Either fight or take flight? Will you last long enough for help to arrive? Will you maintain the presence of mind to utilize a weapon if and when one becomes available, or will you freeze up?

Give in. Admit defeat without ever raising a finger. My personal answer to that is no. A lot of guys, especially guys I encounter being in the military, swear up and down that they are somehow better physically than others because they can knock out a certain amount of pushups or situps in two minutes. Or they can run their two miles faster than the next guy.

My logic is pretty simple in comparison. Will you be able to hang with me in a fight? Will you outlast me? Are you stronger than me, or strong enough to keep me at bay if it came down to you or me? Repeatedly, these "PT Allstars" have no answer. Now, Iâ??m not deluded into thinking that there is no one out there better than me. That would be stupid.

I simply approach training as making preparations. Always learning something different, or relearning something lost over time. One of my favorite books is titled "Critical Space", by Greg Rucka. One passage is all it took to make this an all-time favorite:

"Itâ??s always about you and your body. Itâ??s how you see yourself, and as a result, how you see the rest of the world. The body dictates everything. Itâ??s where it all starts. What you can make it do. What you can make it endure. How quick you can be. How precise. How quiet, and strong, and flexible, and still.

It is the one tool you always have at your disposal, no matter where you travel, the one weapon that can never be discovered going through customs, never be spotted by a watchful guard or an attentive police officer. It is the heart of everything you do, and you must be able to trust it absolutely. The body."

Now, some people will read that and think Iâ??m crazy for adopting that. Some would nod their heads in agreement. Ever since Iâ??ve read that passage, itâ??s become part of my foundation for training the way I do. Keeping that in mind typically helps keep my mind focused on what Iâ??m doing and why Iâ??m doing it.

While a part of me does appreciate how I look when Iâ??m "in shape", that is only an added benefit. My mind gravitated in this direction largely because of experiences in my past. From being bullied, beaten, molested, and threatened as a child, to watching my relatives literally try to kill one another, to watching someoneâ??s life get taken right in front of me when I was two seconds away from preventing it, all of these things shaped me.

It took a lot of years for me to embrace this frame of mind, however, my actions always preceded the thoughts. I remember during my junior year in high school, I was at an after-party (football), when a bunch of guys from a rival school showed up and attacked a group of guys and girls in the front lawn.

I wasnâ??t too worried about the guys, however, it was when I saw one of the guys punch a girl in the face that I realized something needed to be done. Blink, and Iâ??m in the middle of the street suddenly, pounding on one of them. No memory of leaving the front porch, running, or how I got through several of them. I was just there, with his throat in my hand.

When I released him, his friend tried to run up on me, however, my best friend was right behind him. Wouldâ??ve been very bad for him had he really wanted to try me. That basically stopped the fighting until the cops arrived. When questions were being asked, one of the big ones was who scuffed up this boys face? Being one of two black guys in the midst of a whole lot of white people, it wouldnâ??t have been hard to point me out, so I stepped forward and explained to the cop why he was scuffed up.

Thankfully, the girl who I fought for got in the copâ??s face, along with several other girls and vouched for me. That was a very interesting night that was talked about for most of that year. Almost like a coming out party, in that I was always viewed as the "quiet" one, or the one not like the other guys I would hang with. And I know some of you saw the "coming out" part and immediately thought GAY!, but I can assure you all, that is not the case!

After that night, and while I was grounded for the next week, I couldnâ??t understand what exactly happened and why. It wasnâ??t until I was stationed in Texas, soon after watching the death I mentioned, that understanding hit me, so to speak.
I joined the military promptly after high school and after basic, school, and a lil side trip to Indianapolis, I was stationed at the wretched place, Fort Hood.

While there, I became a bouncer. It was pretty decent money, with even better benefits, what with me being a nineteen year old boy with hormones blazing. It was like a buffet every weekend. Three things were guaranteed with the job, fighting, f**king, and money. The fights werenâ??t an issue as all I had to do was snatch a person up and take them outside. No fists involved. I was always good at building a rapport with people, so that when things happened, I always had help.

It worked pretty good, usually. Now, one night, a guy by the name of Kadrien got way out of hand. He began molesting the ladies on the dance floor, then tried fighting me. So, I locked him up and carried him outside. He was obviously high out of his mind, as he could barely keep his eyes open, he was trying to grope me, and he didnâ??t realize who his own people were as they tried to take him home.

So, that left him on my hands. I finally had to have the cops called. Normally, at least two cops arrive to the club when called. On this night, there was only one. As I was holding Kadrien down, my coworker explained what happened to the cop. He then walked over to us and told me to get off of Kadrien. I warned the cop that if I get up, so is he, and he is going to start swinging.

Uncaring, the cop repeated himself, so I got up. Kadrien got up. All hell broke loose. As the fists began flying, I quickly restrained Kadrien, and for my troubles, I got pepper sprayed with him. Not cool. So, I get up and move so I can find my lungs on the floor. Kadrien gets up and proceeds to attacking the cop. It was a sad scene, really. Not one hit of Kadrienâ??s connected, while the copâ??s ASP connected quite frequently.

As I was able to draw breath, my coworker voiced her concern over the beating the boy was receiving, so I took off after him, all the while yelling to the cop that I will get ahold of him so he can cuff him. I got within an armâ??s distance of Kadrien when the cop draws his weapon and fires. I freeze, Kadrien falls. The floodgates of my mind exploded open after that night.

Fast forward a few weeks, and Iâ??m working outside at another club. This one a bit "safer" than the last. It was a night Ludacris was to perform, so people arrived early. One guy in particular got there early enough to drink himself stupid. When he was escorted out of the club, he tried to plead his case. The manager left it in my hands to decide.

Understanding the dude paid pretty good money to see the concert, I decided to work with him. I told him to go across the street for a while, drink some water, get some foodâ?¦sober up a bit, then return in about an hour and I would walk him back inside. I turned to ensure no cops were at the store, and as I turned back to the drunk guy, he punched me on the chin. Blink. Iâ??m physically being pulled off of him, as he is beaten to a bloody pulp.

Iâ??ve got his blood all over my clothes, and Iâ??m growling and cursing at him. It took all five coworkers to get me off of him. When I finally realized what I had done and was doing, I was a wreck. The cops were called and questions were asked as to how he ended up the way he did. Once again, I was saved as my coworkers all claimed that he caused a lot of the damage to himself due to his drunkenness.

After that night, I knew I needed help. That was the first time I realized that there was something else inside me. The anger and rage I wrote about previously. To bring this portion of my story full circle, itâ??d taken almost ten years for me to get control of the anger, and realize why I did the things I did.

As one of my therapists pointed out, I reacted out of protection for both myself and others. I initially tried to dispute this claim, but given my history, which goes beyond the scenes I just mentioned, it made sense. So the only logical thing for me to do was to use that realization as a focus for my training.

To let that instinct guide me. The book passage just fell right in line with that.
Nowâ?¦with that small bit of my story shared, I think itâ??s time I went over my workout last night and this morning. Good times in both sessions.

Tuesday Night- Shoulders

Behind-the-Neck Presses (Standing)
135 x 5 (Warmup)
165 x 4 (8 sets)
155 x 4 (1 set)
135 x 5 (1 set)

Shrugs (Barbell)
185 x 12 (5 sets)

Leaning Lateral Raises
40 x 8 (each arm, 1 set)
30 x 10 (each arm, 3 sets)

Front Raises
45lb plate (lack of dumbbells) x 8 (4 sets)

Rear-Delt Flyes
20 x 15 (4 sets)

Abs

I actually tried to do shrugs from behind my back, but I have a lil too much ass for that to be effective. So next time, Iâ??ll just grab dumbbells. It was a pretty decent workout overall. I was actually looking forward to this morningâ??s workout, however, and it didnâ??t disappoint!

Wednesday Morning
40 meter hill sprints x 12

Heavybag Work (Punches)
3 rounds x 2 minutes

Realizing I was not in fighting shapeâ?¦the first minute of the first round!!

Lots of stretching followed the bag work, as I was pretty tight. I have a lot of work to do when it comes to getting back in fighting shape. Iâ??m looking forward to it, though. Feels good to unload on something. Iâ??m even getting the itch to head on over to the SF compound and spar with some of those guys! Not going to happen anytime soon, though. Iâ??m not that crazy, just yet. Iâ??ll give it another monthâ?¦


#8

Beast, great log man. Thanks for sharing about discovering what you had inside of you for all those years, I bet it feels better knowing that you have control over it

Good luck over in the dirt pit man, and stay hydrated.

Workouts look brutal.


#9

Hey, Ink, thanks. I had to chuckle at the hydrated part. Don't know why. The workouts are made that way so I don't get bored. That's the one thing I try to avoid at all costs out here...boredom!! Time to start the next entry!


#10

Just a reminder man, that's all. I saw too many heat casualties over there, you don't want the "silver bullet" now, do you?


#11

Solid Training.
Stay busy, it's the only thing to do over here. (sand pit)

_Mel


#12

Haha! Oh no! I've seen quite a few as well! As much as I sweat, I'm constantly pounding the water. I'm just waiting for my Soldier to finally fall out, as he drinks very little water, even when I get on him. So, only a matter of time.


#13

Hell yeah. Nothing but time out here!


#14

Good day peoples! I hope all is well in your respective worlds. Mine was attacked last night. Iâ??ll get to the details here in a moment. For the moment, Iâ??ll recap yesterdayâ??s workout:

For Time:

Lay on cot w/ eyes closed (first set: 3.2 hours, second set: 6.9 hours)

Yes, folks. I succumbed to the â??Zâ?? Monster. It was a beast! I made the awful mistake of sitting down after getting my mail, and that was a wrap! But, it felt good. Up until I woke up around 2100 with a god-awful sweet tooth. And it just so happened that in the mail I received several boxes of stuff that I really didnâ??t need. Yes folks, my people back in the states, some of the most thoughtful, beautiful people imaginable, sent me two boxes of Entenmannâ??s Mini-Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The attack was on! The battle last maybe two seconds. I lost. Badly. Iâ??d like to say that in my sleepy-headed stupor, I didnâ??t realize what I was doing when I sat and ate an entire box of the cookies, however, I managed to carry on some semblance of a conversation at the same time. Something about having Patti LaBelle stuck in my head. It was tragic. As soon as the last juicy morsel was devoured, I took my contacts out, and promptly passed back out. I didnâ??t realize what I had done until I saw the remnants this morning. I felt a cold horror wash over me. I cried a little in dark tent.

As the tears of guilt and despair ran down my cheeks, I felt the stirrings of a familiar anger. With that, a new determination was borne. Oh yes. I vowed not to let my guard down ever again. I vowed never to allow those damned cookies into my world again. If someone happened to send more, Iâ??ll send them right back! No, I wonâ??t. I need to stop lying on that one. Iâ??ll probably do what Iâ??m doing now with the second boxâ?¦trying my damnest to give them away. Them, the box of Oreos, and a 1lb bag of Twizzlers! Yes, the fam definitely hit me where it hurt most.

As penance, I grabbed my weighted vest, which also arrived yesterday, and went to the gym to work off those sinfully delicious calories!

Elliptical x 20 min

Donned the vest!

Jumprope/Barbell Complex-3 rounds
Jumprope x 2.5 mins

Complex-75lbs.

Dips/Wide-Grip Pullups-6 sets

Dips- 10 reps to 15 reps

WGPs- 3 reps

Back Hyperextension

10 x 3

I figured I worked it off after all of that, so I went forth to conquer the day. Now tonight is LEGS! I am not missing out again! I wonâ??t let that happen two days in a row! Mark my words! Outside of that, enjoy your day people. Mine is just about over.


#15

Keep it up!


#16

Good afternoon, all. Today, I would like to talk about repercussions. Specifically, what happens when you take a certain action, or in my case, when you DONâ??T take a certain action. Iâ??ll begin with what Iâ??m doing at this very moment. It has nothing to do with what I didnâ??t do yesterday, however, it fits in with the theme of this entry.

There is a saying that goes like, â??what you do in the dark will almost certainly come to light.â?? What I just finished reading is a testament to that. People are stupid. Let me rephrase that, certain people in the military are stupid. Thatâ??s better. I just finished reading about a female NCO (leader), and her two male sidekicks, also NCOs.

Now, this is a â??specialâ?? group as they do a lot of things together. Hang out. Eat. Drink. Party. Sex. Yes. They do it all together. Thatâ??s cool. I canâ??t knock it, as thatâ??s their thing. Now, when you, as a leader, start inviting your subordinates out with you to do those things, then you have a problem.

Especially if those subordinates are pretty leery of you all anyway. And even more so when you begin talking about what it is you do and would like to do, and you begin baring all of your â??assetsâ?? in front of the subordinates. Oh, and you take pictures of everything, as well. But thatâ??s not it, folks! You further cause a problem when you take the cookies from one of the subordinates while he is pissy drunk, AFTER you have sex with a random stranger in front of him.

THEN to make things worse, you go on vacation with your husband, sleep with every man that looks at you, and your husband takes pictures of the acts. Yes, folks, we have some winners here. Now these NCOs are about to meet with some repercussions. Some serious ones. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Oh well, enough about them. I figured that was a pretty good opener.

Now, yesterday afternoon. I was all set to make up for the previous dayâ??s indiscretion. I was pumped and ready to go work my legs like the madman I can be sometimes. Ipod was charged, Slipknot was on standby, and all I had to do was let nature take its course, then I would be on my way to my fortress of solitude.

Somewhere between the restroom and my tent, my pump, motivation, direction, purpose, whatever you want to call it, just up and abandoned me. In its place was a catch in my lower back, and a wariness that I have no clue where it came from. It was pretty bad. I promptly went to the tent and was dead to the world until 330 this morning. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I screwed the pooch yet again!

Iâ??m not one to make excuses. In fact, I typically step up and accept full responsibility for my actions or non-action. So, with that in mind, upon waking up this morning, I got dressed, put on my weighted vest, grabbed my IPod, and was out the door. This, my friends, is the consequence for bailing two days in a row. Keep in mind, this was all done with the vest on the entire time. So add 20 pounds to the numbers.

Perimeter Run: 1.5 miles
Squats:
135 x 3 (Warmup)
225 x 3 (1 set)
255 x 3 (8 sets)
225 x 5 (8 sets)
135 x 10 (8 sets)

I think that was a good enough repercussion. What do you think? I got strange looks from quite a few people in the gym. Was asked by a couple of people what I was doing. And was told that I was insane for doing that. I actually enjoyed every minute of it.

Now I have to figure out what Iâ??m going to do this afternoon, as I want to do something. Might go for high rep clean and presses. Thatâ??s sorta what Iâ??m leaning toward. That and slapping the shit out of my Soldier for falling asleep at his desk. Waitâ?¦let me back up, as we are not allowed to put hands on Soldiers, so Iâ??ll say â??smoke the dog-shit out of himâ??. Thatâ??s better. For now, itâ??s time for me to go see some docs about a CPR class. Good times.


#17

Awesome training sofar Beast! Motivating how you write down your posts.


#18

Hows the quote go? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?


#19

It's something like that, I believe. And it's very true, apparently.


#20

Itâ??s been a very interesting 24 hours, so far, to say the absolute least. From being tied down later in the day with work, to what is fast becoming an issue with sleep, to what has become an issue with a jacked up back, to more deathâ?¦quite the interesting time. In case some of you havenâ??t noticed, I use "interesting" quite a bit to describe things that I donâ??t have a distinct feeling for. I wouldnâ??t call it indifference or apathy, just a lack of a solid emotion. Interesting.

In light of yesterdayâ??s fun, I stayed in the office for an extra few hours helping to go over a lot of the stupid **** done. After that, and eating, I must have passed out. I say must have because I donâ??t remember laying down, getting undressed, and going to sleep. All I remember is waking at 2230, pulling my contacts out, and passing out again. Donâ??t know whatâ??s behind this, but Iâ??m starting to not like it. That and the fact that my lower back has progressively gotten worse as the days go by. Iâ??ve pinpointed the reason behind the pain, as well. My cot. I can no longer sleep on my back, apparently. Especially as my ass seems to be getting more "shapely". That sounded like a total female thing to sayâ?¦shapely. No better way to describe it, though. I am now having to sleep entirely on my side, however, I still tend to wake up with a lot of stiff pain in my back. Feel like an old damn man waking up, grunting and such.

After this morning, I finally broke down and decided it would be best to let the medics look at me. With that decision, I opted to forgo my morning PT session. Yeahâ?¦Iâ??m feeling like a slacker right now. I even took it a step further and ate "normally" for breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, and french toast. That will be the last time I eat that crap for a while, as I felt like puking immediately after eating it all! Add to that the bad news we received at the breakfast table, and it was an altogether bad morning. We lost four more Soldiers to an IED this morning. I swear, these people out here are making some huge ass bombs if they are taking out the vehicles we have.

Itâ??s pretty disturbing stuff. Iâ??m still of the mindset that we should be actively hunting down the Taliban and other combatants more aggressively. Actually maintain a more forceful presence in the community. Keep constant patrols out on the roads. Stuff we did in Iraq. Of course, I donâ??t have a view of the big picture, so I can only make uninformed suggestions at this point. But, while I can sit here and spout out my thoughts on this situation out here, I donâ??t really feel anything about it. I honestly donâ??t feel a pang of sadness or regret or anger or anything when I hear of another Soldier passing. Or when Iâ??m out saluting their bodies as they are escorted onto the bird. I know I should feel something, but, I donâ??t. You can call it numbness, coldness, what-have-you, but I just canâ??t feel anything.

Iâ??ve actually tried dissecting this many times. Iâ??ve even discussed it with my doctors back in Germany, but to no avail. Itâ??s funny how certain people can cause me to lose my cool and be destructive, but this, the taking of lives, doesnâ??t faze me at all. My first assumption is that we are engaged in a hostile conflict, so death is inevitable, but can it be that simple? That is my end-all, be-all logic? Inevitability? I donâ??t know if I can, or want to accept that.

And speaking of people causing me stress, I just had a quarterly review with my boss. It was exactly as I expected, really. I need to make an effort to bring my childish, irresponsible, liability of a soldier up, and at the same time, "be the bigger man" and engage an NCO that I flat-out have run out of patience and tolerance with. He and I have been at odds for several months now, and itâ??s not for a lack of me trying to "be the better man." Iâ??ve tried to meet this dude three quarters of the way on a lot of things, based on his rank and position, but when itâ??s all met with no results and he still brings issues my way, then enough is enough. Well, with that said, my boss decided to try a different tact.

Make him my immediate supervisor, thus forcing us to work together. I told her right off the bat that it was a bad idea, and that she is only speeding up the process of one of us finally losing it on the other. During our discussion, she broke down her method of madness to me, and while it makes a certain sense on paper, history tells me that the two of us finally going at it is inevitable. I decided, for the last time, to try and engage him to clear the air and set a new path, however, Iâ??m very skeptical of it all. All it will take is one time for him to cross me again, and all bets will be off. This is usually where some would say, "this is why I canâ??t wait to get out of the military!", however, I know for a fact that itâ??ll be that much worse in civilian life.

Iâ??ve seen and heard the horror stories. But, the one thing I can say that would be to my benefit is that in civilian life, I can walk away at any time. Iâ??ll have that choice, rather than being confined to a very small, remote location with people I would eventually HAVE to avoid. Stuff to think about, I suppose.

To bring this back to the title of my rant, I miss the old days when people actually took time to write a letter. Call me a romantic, but nothing made me feel better as a Soldier and a person than being away from friends and family and receiving letters and such from them. It is a lot more personal and intimate than a stinking email or got-damn facebook!!! While I, too, have an active facebook account, I would much rather NOT use that as my primary means of getting in contact with a person. Just as I am not going to put all my most personal business out there for all to see, I donâ??t expect other people to do that. But, some, if not most, do.

I actually see stuff like that as a good way to lose touch with more people than what itâ??s intended for. Now, with that being said, there are people that I have written while out here, and last night, I was feeling a little disappointed that in the month since Iâ??ve written, Iâ??ve yet to receive anything in response, however, after chatting with one of them on facebook (ughâ?¦) this morning, I just found out that they JUST received my letter! It had been sitting in the black hole that is Kandahar ALL F**KING MONTH LONG!!!! Iâ??m giving serious thought to lodging a complaint about them down there. If mail can run smoothly in BFE Iraq, why in the hell is it running like hot **** here!?! In my often wandering, daydreaming mind, I see myself coming down on that postal center like the fist of an angry god! Striking fear and awe in those who would succeed the current group running things. Then, I come back to reality and opt to write a letter or send an email to complain.

Gotta love reality!!! For now, Iâ??m going to take my old, cantankerous self to chow. Iâ??m going to rest some more tonight. Whereâ??s my walker?