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Wow… What a great month!  Finishing up strong and making strong gains.

This month’s challenges of 1) Do something athletic 6 days out of the week and 2) a subgoal of climbing at least 2500 vertical feet are completed.  For the sub goal of climbing 2500 ft. I did 3 sessions of 40 stairs at 20 vertical feet per stair climb.  That with all the additional stairs I do in a month, I climbed the needed 2500 ft.  The stairs were run at the Collingswood High School.  There were some amazing sunsets the last two days which almost make me sad to have to end the month… I may be going back. The stair days were the most challenging days of the challenge.  2 out of the 3 days, my friend Matt came with me and we would do abs, upper and lower body while the other guy would run stairs.  Great workouts. See the pictures of the stairs and sunsets below.

For the main challenge I have closed out the last two weeks strong.  I have done something everyday the last 9 out of 10 days including a make up day yesterday.  Yesterday I did the Tough Mudder workout (http://toughmudder.com/training-prep/) in the morning and then ran 40 stairs in the evening after work.  Great day.

Most days for the main challenge I was able to either get in a run, jump rope session, tough mudder workout, stair climbs, or general interval style workouts.  A more exciting day was on Sunday, when my girlfriend, Jess, and I went for a hike in Fairmount park’s Wissahickon Valley outside Philadelphia, PA.  It was a great hike. 5 miles at a quick pace.  We took a break at the bridge and river you see in the pictures.

I’m still deciding on what next month’s challenge will be. It will probably be something physical because I am still training for my events as well as for an Alaska skiing trip that I planned.  I’ll let you know.  Till next time… anyone up to a good challenge for themselves?

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Yes. I already know. I’m one week late on this post.   Do with me what you wish. Whip me, slap me, shoot me, berate me…

I have no excuse, just been busy.

This week’s report is pretty simple… The challenge is going well.  Out of the last 2 weeks I have done something athletic 11 out of the 14 days.I missed 2 days this week so one will need to be made up.  Getting the make up day in doesn’t bother me, I know I can find the time.

As for my sub/secondary challenge of the month, to climb 2500 vertical ft.,  it is going well. I did about 800 vertical this past week.  I did 40 flights of stairs that equaled 20 ft. in elevation gain each.  That was a tough night.

Justin jumping rope

Cool down jump rope after 45min interval session with snow.

All in all, I will say that this challenge came at just the right time. I had hardly realized that most of the winter had slipped by and that I have some serious physical events coming up in April and March that I need to train for.   At this point, I have about 60 days, or 2 months, to get ready for the Medford police departments annual adventure race: 5k to 2 mile canoe to 10 mile mountain bike singletrack ride to a second 5k.   Right after that is, “the challenge” which Tony Jones and I created.  It consists of a 4 mile canoe ride, 20 mile mountain bike ride, and 15 mile hike with a 25lb backpack over two days.

Most of the winter has been spent just keeping my body in maintenance mode/strength training phase.  It is time to up the amount of miles I am running as well the amount of miles I’m biking.  Along with the extra exercise I need to watch what I’m eating to drop some weight. I could stand to lose about 15 lbs.

With all this training, an issue comes up because I haven’t full healed all of my injuries from last season. The plantar fasciitis in my foot is acting up again, my shoulder is still injured from over training with crossfit, and now my ankle is hurting me!  What is happening to me? Ha!

There is an important lesson in all of this. It is important to give your body time to heal as well as to monitor your condition to ensure you are actually making progress towards your health goals. Many people train just to train and don’t actually measure their progress.

The week ahead should be fun.  I’m going to get 2 850 vertical ft. stair days in to get the subgoal for the month complete.  Regardless though, you just have to take time to enjoy each workout. Each one is a great gift. Imagine not being able to go for a run or get a workout in…. I couldn’t imagine….

Till next week.

Any good challenges out there?

 

All,

So, the second month ended with no lapses… I’m quite proud of myself….    I almost broke down a few times but it never really was that difficult.  As I said before, some of the most difficult parts were when I was out to eat with others… It is hard to find a vegetarian option everywhere you go…..

I’m proud that I was able to accomplish it.

The best part of the month was definitely the times when I would get the oddest looks from people when I would have to announce that I was vegetarian.  Some people could just not believe.  Some of the better comments I got were: 1)”wait, you’re a vegetarian?” 2) “it just doesn’t fit you” and the best of all 3) “what else is there besides meat?”… The last one is definitely my favorite…. Silly people.

 

Ok, so here we are on the dawn of another month and a new challenge. I been mulling this one over for a bit and have decided to do….. (drum roll please!)   At least 1 athletic activity everyday of the month besides Sundays. Sundays are to be considered a make up day/rest day.

As a sub goal for the month I am going to put a 2,500 ft vertical climbing challenge out.  I have to climb 2,500 vertical feet within the month to finish the challenge. Since there is not a lot of vertical change in the South Jersey area, I think I will be running alot of stairs…  which I secretly despise and love at the same time…

 

Till next week…I’ll have some pictures for everyone!

Tell me some of your challenges? Does anyone have one for March for me?

Justin

 

 

All,

So, after 3 weeks I’m still going strong and feeling great. My energy level is as high as ever and my physical conditioning has not suffered.  Overall, I’m very happy with the transition that has taken place.

The last 2 weeks since my last post have been hectic. I find that the more hectic my week is can effect how easy it is to stay away from meat.  In my case, this mainly comes from the fact that I pack most of my daily meals. When I am too busy to pack my lunch or even food shop ahead of schedule I usually wind up putting myself in a situation where I have to refuse meat based meals.  Mainly this is because when you go out to eat many of the options at most places are meat based.

I almost did breakdown once last week.  I had an estimate for work at 630 and I went to the gym before hand  from 5-6.  I had planned to eat dinner somewhere after the gym and figured I could find a place with a good vegetarian selection. Well, the time frames didn’t work out and I found my self at Wawa trying to decide what to get. They only real option was the cheese sandwich/sub and I really didn’t want it. I seriously stood at the ordering kiosk for 5 minutes looking at other sandwiches.   In the end though I did buy the cheese sandwich and I am extremely happy I did.   What made me decide on the cheese sandwich was my responsibility to this blog and my readers…. Thanks for supporting me!

Anyway, overall I have been eating great and I don’t really miss too much of my former life.  The hardest part so far is simply getting enough variety into my daily diet to keep me interested.  It is easy as a vegetarian to simply find 1 or 2 places that you like to eat and wind up eating there all the time.  You really have to make a concerted effort to leave your comfort zone and try some new things.

Attached you will find some photos of meals that I’ve been enjoying.  This past weekend was the easiest so far because I went away on a mini vacation with my girl friend who is a vegetarian as well.  We ate like kings all weekend and it was great.  Well, till next week; 8 days left!

 

Week 1 down and it is not that difficult being a vegetarian. I realized how little of my life I actually had to change around to make it comply. I already don’t buy meat at the store and I don’t really eat meat for breakfast or lunch anyway.  Dinner and eating out is the hardest part.   One instance that was difficult to avoid was Friday at lunch. I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Guadalupana, on Haddon Avenue in Westmont, NJ.  Mexican meals typically always have meat as the base for their meals. Thankfully though I was able to find some bean and rice based dishes that allowed me to eat with everyone else.

Overall, it really wasn’t that bad.  I ate well all week, feel great, and always had options at the restaurants I went to.  Regardless I’m excited for the rest of the month. I’ll keep you guys updated.

I’d love to hear about any challenges that you guys/gals are going through. Anyone?

Justin

Happy New Year everyone!  I trust that everyone had a great time and enjoyed themselves responsibly.  My new year was fun.

After the first month of the blog, I must say that I am very excited for the new year and the twelve challenges that I am going to attempt to complete this month. December ended great and I’m excited for January’s challenge.

December review: I will admit, attempting to get 31 separate 25+minute Spanish lessons in 19 days was quite the challenge. I don’t believe that I was really prepared for the challenge when I issued it to myself.  Although, what kind of challenge would it have been if I didn’t have to go through some discomfort?  A boring one.

Well, I tallied my results and it appears that I missed my 31 separate lessons by about 5 lessons. I simply ran out of time and energy at the end to do 3-4/day.  They can be tiring and extremely time consuming.  I will admit, that every time I wanted quit and just take off one day, I kept thinking of my commitment to myself and this blog. It really kept me going. Also, after the month, I am going to keep up the ritual and attempt to do a spanish lesson as often as possible, like 4-5x/week.

I am disappointed that I did not complete the objective for the first month. What a let down.  But, I am not the type of person to just give up, hence I’m here to admit defeat and ready myself for the next challenge.

JANUARY 2012 Challenge

I had what I thought was an excellent challenge for January until my “special lady friend”, Jess, came up with a challenge for me that I am going to undertake: No meat for 1 month. 

Now, I must say that I do love meat but it is not something that I have not lived with out before.  Personally, I have issues with meat because of the health issues involved (plant based diet=longer life and chemicals/practices used by the meat industry) and environmental issues (energy required to raise 1 lb. of meat vs energy for 1 lb. of crops and that the meat industry is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases, methane), over my concern for animal welfare.

After seeing Food, inc. I have made a choice to be what I call a, “Freegan”. I only elect to eat meat when it is free.  I have chosen not to vote for the food industries with my “food” dollars.

Well, since I don’t have too many readers right now, I’m not that concerned with alienating anyone with my above comments. :)

I’ll keep you posted. Let’s see how this month goes! Thanks!

Hola! Feliz Navidad!

The past week has simply been amazing. I’ve made solid progress and have been able to nearly get a lesson in everyday this week even with the holidays.  As with anything, learning a language is a marathon and not a sprint.  The lessons are getting incrementally more difficult but my vocabulary is increasing quickly.   Conjugating verbs and getting different tenses down is increasingly difficult.  I am intent on keeping the momentum going into the new year.  I have some friends, Mike and Marcella, who speak spanish at home (Marcella is from Chile’) and I hope to spend much more time with them. Perhaps we can set up some spanish only nights where we watch a movie in spanish and just talk. It would be fun.

On a separate note, I follow the blog: The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau and was reading his annual review that he did in 2011. He does it every year but I just started getting in to it.  This years post was pretty interesting so I decided to give it a shot on my own.

He has a very simple format for evaluating your past year:

What went well in 2011? and

What went wrong in 2011?

For me, what went well in 2011 was: 1) Graduating from Babson with my MBA.  2) Making a major change in my life and securing some solid employment. 3) reaffirming my conviction to get my own business up and running online or off. 4) Taking a stab at another relationship.

What went wrong in 2011? 1) Franchise partnership falling apart right at the critical moment. This was the killer in the year that really set me back mentally and financially 2) Financial situation has not improved as greatly as I wished. 3) Lack of confidence in my ideas and abilities. Overall, I am a highly confident person but lately I have doubted my plans and goals.  I need to find something to sink my teeth into that really motivates me.  Really though, it is as Seth Godin says, “Do the work when you don’t want to.”

Anyway, I will keep everyone updated with my progress with my spanish lessons and get back to you next week with 2012 goals and how I plan to get there.  Until then! Adios!

JK

 

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