The Walking Dead Workout

In honor of the 4th season of Walking Dead starting up next month, we need a Walking Dead WOD!

Walking_Dead_WOD

 4 rounds for time:

- 20 “Merle” Push-ups (One handed, alternating arms)
(be a real asshole while doing this)
- 20 “Hershel” Squats (Pistol, alternating legs)
(you can cut this in half if you have an awesome white beard)
- 200m “Zombie Disposal” run (sandbag run)
(sandbags preferred over dead bodies)
- 1 “Glenn’s Escape” (Climb over Fence/Wall followed by two rope climbs)
(make out with Maggie if she’s around)

And for fun, a group cash out – “The Governor”

All but one or two people do burpees. The remaining people not doing burpees do GHD sit-ups, grabbing a water balloon when they go down, and throwing the balloons on their way back up at the burpee group. When a person is hit, they are dead (finish the workout). Continue until everyone is dead. The governor… What a dick.

Hopefully by the end of this everyone will be feeling like crazy Rick – having fake phone conversations and seeing dead relatives.

DOIT!

* Note, I am not a certified crossfit trainer and probably couldn’t even complete this WOD myself. I just did this for fun. But if a real crossfit trainer uses this, let me know, because that would be awesome.

P.S. So I blogged, big whoop… you wanna fight about it?

My Introduction To Hashing… Or The Best Running Event Ever!

This weekend, I was officially introduced to the world of the international group known as Hash House Harriers, or as they describe themselves: a drinking club with a running problem.

Hashing was the best time I’ve ever had running!

So before I get too far, I guess I need to explain what Hashing is. Hashing follows thee basic rules of a Paper chase or the Hound and Hare game. The ‘hare’ starts off the run and creates a trail. He leaves powder or pieces of paper to mark the trail. He creates ‘checks’, or forks in the trail where he tries to throw the ‘hounds’ off the trail. A few minutes later all of the ‘hounds’ are released to chase the hare. They run trying to find the trail, most likely following a false trail and finding their way back to the ‘true trail’.

The major differentiator between hashing and a traditional paper chase is that the hashers LOVE TO DRINK! The chase is meant to be one big open social event. You exercise. You party. It’s awesome! Now, you don’t have to drink… but come prepared to DRANK! Don’t worry about the extra calories, you’ll burn them off.

Before I get to my hash recap, I want to give you 5 reasons you should stop what your doing, look up your local hash group, and sign up for the next run:

1. Mixes up your run.

Hashing isn’t just running on the street at a set pace like most of your runs. Hashing takes you off the beaten path: through fields, down abandoned streets, under overpasses, in drainage ditches, wherever the hare decides to take you, you go. Not only do you mix up the path, you mix up the pace. You may run for a while, stop to find the trail, or sprint to catch up to the rest of the pack. I definitely used some running muscles that hadn’t been worked in a while.

2. Discover your city

I’ve lived in my city for 6 years, yet I have never been to 95% of the places I ran during my hash. Discovering new places while your running is a little different than driving by places. You’re in the place experiencing it as opposed to driving by and observing it from the outside. Since your running in all directions, you get turned around pretty easily, which brings on some extra excitement when you realize where you are after pushing your way through a wall of brush and overgrowth.

3. It’s like college for grownups

If your in the same boat as me, you have a real job, a wife, kids, responsibility, you probably sometimes long for the days when you were in high school or college; the days you went out with your buddies and drank beer and told dirty jokes and didn’t have many cares. In one night, I satisfied all my yearnings for college days of yore. My wife and I got a babysitter, and went out and had a blast. Between the bars, the house parties, and the fun people, it was like reliving the best parts of college. Just for a night, I could revert back to my 21 year old self, and have 40 other people in the same boat.

4. Age and Fitness don’t mean a thing!

The way the run is set up, you can be out of shape (within reason) and still keep up. The trail can be run or walked, so no worries if you aren’t a runner. In fact, the walkers sometimes do better because they can fall back and let the runners run all over the place trying to find the trail. In the hash I went to, there was men and women ages 21 – 60, weighing anywhere from 100 to 300 pounds. We all walked across the finish line within minutes of each other. The only thing everyone had in common, was were were wanting to have fun.

5. We all need a little bit of ritual

At the end of the trail, we all joined together in a circle to thank the hare for the greta trail, to properly introduce all the new hashers (by making them drink a beer), to welcome or welcome back hashers from other places (by making them drink a beer), to call out the people that didn’t come in costume (by making them drink a beer), and to tease the people who wore new shoes (by making them drink a beer… out of their new shoes). While it is definitely an alcohol heavy event, the important part was to open up, meet new people, and have a great time.

WARNING: I will admit, hashing is probably not for you if you are easily offended. Some of the jokes, rituals, etc. are in what some might consider poor taste. But I say, open up your mind, join in, and you will have a great time.

My Hash Recap

My first hash was with the Rocket Shitty Hash House Harriers on their 250th hash. They teamed up with a local running group, the Dixie Daredevils, to raise money for the American Cancer Society (Running, Drinking, and Philanthropy?!). For the big event they set up a pub run, which is a hash that starts, has multiple pit stops, and ends at different bars along the trail.

This hash took place in downtown Huntsville, AL and followed a course that went about 4.5 miles (not including the false trails). We started off at a bar called the Furniture Factory for our “Pre-Lube”. I admit, I was a little nervous going into the run. I’ve had a little practice drinking and running, but 5 miles and four beer stops, could I handle it? You bet I could!

Luckily, we were able to find a last minute babysitter, and my wife came with me. I had invited another couple we are friends with and they met us there as well. He had done some hashing in Nashville, which was good because I had already had beer when they were giving the hash instructions. I introduced myself as Just George, since it was my first hash and I haven’t earned a hash name yet (each hasher has a special hash name that is given to them by the group).

So after a group picture, the blessing of the hare, and another beer, the hash had started. The first leg was a little confusing. I didn’t know all the rules, so I just followed the pack, but I stayed too close to the front runner, because we got way off course and had to make our way back to the larger pack, you had found the right way to go. The sun was still out, and the temp was around 90, so it was a hot run. I’m glad I’ve been training in the heat, because I was doing much better than some other people. The first path took us over some train tracks, under some underpasses, and across parking lots.

After about a mile, we stopped at a bar called Leanne’s for some refreshments. That’s where the picture at the top of the page was taken. As soon as we walked in, we had bottles handed to us. I nice cool beer had never tasted as good as it did after a mile in the hot sun. My wife even drank one, and she’s not a beer person. I drank one beer for me, and half of my wifes beer and we were off again!

I though it would be bad running with so much beer on the stomach, but to be honest, I never even noticed it. I was amazed how it didn’t affect my running at all. The next leg was around 2.5 miles. The course got harder at this point. We went down old road that have grown over, through fields that needed to be mowed, across a drainage ditch that we had to climb down into (and up out of), through an old mill campus, and finally to some bar that I’ve never heard of. Well at that bar, this was waiting:

So after two more beers and some good conversations, we went off on the last leg of the run. I would have to say the last leg was the hardest. It had gotten cooler since the sun had gone down, but that caused a new problem: it was dark. We were warned to bring flashlights, so we were at least a little prepared. During the last phase, the trail took us through some broken fences, a field that had grass, weeds and shrubs waist high, followed by some ditches that were hard to see. I’m glad I had my Vibrams on and was light on my feet, there were a few times the ground wasn’t shaped the way I expected when I landed.

After a few lost trails, we finally made it to an open gate that led to someones back yard where tiki torches, coolers of beer, and many boxes of pizza were waiting for us. After everyone flowed in and had a chance to relax and enjoy a refreshing beverage, they started the circle.

The circle started by thanking the hare for the great trail (which it was great). They then announced all of the named hashers and welcomed back any that had missed a few hashes. They then introduced all of the virgin hashers and hashers that were visiting from out of town. Of course all of these thanks, announcements, and introductions came with a beer for each of them to chug. Of course, the lucky ones were special enough to dring out of the sacred vessel (yes I realize what it is).

The best part of the night was that the Dixie Daredevils met their $15,000 goal to run the Hood to Coast relay in california for the American Cancer Society. Those girls were super cool and knew how to have a good time. Very proud of them.

For anyone that is interested, my beer tab looked like this (I drank shitty beer on purpose): Pabst Blue Ribbon, Coors * 1.5, Bud Light * 1.5, Keystone Light (my broke college days favorite), and a Bud Light Yuengling mixture out of the sacred vessel.

After a little too much beer and a lot of fun, we decided to get back to the real world and head home (babysitter was paid by the hour :) ). Luckily I woke up the next mornign feeling great, which was an extra, unexpected bonus!

I had a blast. My wife had a blast. Our friends had a blast. I’m so glad we all went, and I will definitely be back at the next hash.

Have you ever gone hashing? Tell me about your experience.

Make It So: Jean-Luc Picard’s Guide to Living Life

Yussssss!

If you are like me, a sci-fi geek with a television in the 20th century, you probably also suffer from NIIS: Nothing Is Impossible Syndrome. It’s not our fault, it it the hoard of incredible science fiction shows that had amazing leaders that couldn’t lose. Whether it was Jack O’niel and SG-1 or Spiderman and his amazing friends, we were flooded with leaders and teams who were truly heroes. None of this flawed, troubled hero crap of the 21st century.  While television of yesteryear was full of great leaders, there was no greater leader than Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his leadership of the crew of the NCC-1701-D Enterprise.

Picard had it all (except for hair): strength, charisma, intelligence, a British accent.  No matter what predicament he was put in, he always knew how to act, what decisions to make, and what to say that would motivate his crew to rise above any dilemma.

In short: Captain Picard knew how to get shit done and live an awesome life.

He gave me such a great role model in my early years. He made me realize that you can always do more, act faster, and be better than you think you can… You just need an inspirational speech and a bald headed smirk.

So without further ado, I bring you Jean-Luc Picard’s six steps to living life to the fullest… Make it so!

1. Know no limits

Picard: Data, find a way to defeat that shield.
Data
: That may be impossible, sir.
Picard
: Data, things are only impossible until they’re not.

Picard was never afraid to push his limits, the ships limits, or the limits of his crew. He constantly raised the bar because he knew his crew could manage. You should do the same with your life.

For the longest time, I never thought I would be a runner. Why? I tried it and it was hard. Half a mile sucked the life out of me. A mile was impossible.  So I thought running would never be for me… But one day I decided to suck it up, and start running. 100′s of miles later, I’m now training for a half marathon, which will lead to a full marathon, which will lead to something else. If I never pushed my limits, I would still be 250 and out of breath when I climb a flight of stairs.

Picard would never approve of that.

2. Do it better and faster, your life depends on it

“I think it’s time to try some unsafe velocities.”

When Geordi needed 10 minutes to repair a warp conduit, Picard gave him 5. Picard knew Geordi could do it if he pushed himself.

Just like you need to believe there is nothing you can’t do, you also need to realize that you can always improve on the things you can already do.

Take some time to measure your abilities and constantly try to break your old records. Everyday might not be a new personal best, but why not use the bar you set for yourself as motivation for the next day. How many times can you keep raising the bar? And while your life may not really depend on doing things better and faster, why not pretend that it does and crush it every day.

Next time you feel like doing something half assed or not at all, just think of an upset Jean-Luc.

 

Image courtesy of picardfacepalm.com

3. Don’t waste time being someone you’re not

“If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for what we really are.”

One of the biggest problems people have with making progress in life is that they are to busy living up to other people’s standards to move forward in their own life. You can spend all of your time trying to accomplish the goals and live up to the expectation of others. It’s only later that you realize you never got anything done for yourself. If you pretend to be someone you’re not or bend to the will of others, you will always hit a wall.

Figure out what you really want to get done, and do it the way you want it to be done. If you are true to yourself and believe in what you are doing, you will keep doing incredible things.

4. Act now

Seize the time… Live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.

Picard knew what his mission was: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. He knew he couldn’t sit around to do that. He had to get out there and do it (though, ironically he did do a lot of sitting once he got out there).

When you have an urge to start a new project or a new subject grabs your attention, do something about it. Try that new exercise. Read that new book. Learn that new programming language. It’s our mission as humans to better ourselves, and you can only do that by action. No more “tomorrow” or “maybe someday” when you can do it right now.

Lay in a course and engage.

5. Live desperately

Unnamed Officer (Fencing with Picard): Interesting move. What technique was that?
Jean-Luc Picard: The technique of a desperate man.

We live in an awesome world full of hope and promise.  The problem with living a good and prosperous life is we sometimes get lethargic and forget what we are capable of. When Picard and his crew were put under pressure – life or death pressure – they pulled out some spectacular miracles (failure would have hurt the ratings).

When was the last time you really lived desperately? It’s always good to think about what your actions would be if you truly had to live like your life depended on it.

Try challenging yourself:

  • Run as if you were being chased by zombies (It might happen!)
  • Climb a wall and pull off some parkour skills like it’s the only way to save yourself from an crazed pack of wolves.
  • Work on a passion project as if your entire career depended on it

Sometimes it takes something seemingly bad to allow you to rise to your full potential. Instead of waiting for that to happen, take some risks and see if you can force it to happen.

6.  Remember what’s important in life

Jean-Luc Picard: I should have done this a long time ago.
Deanna Troi: You were always welcome.
Jean-Luc Picard: So, five-card stud, nothing wild… and the sky’s the limit.

In life, we often get tunnel-vision on whatever we are doing at the moment. When I’m in the middle of a big work project, I often forget about my fitness and neglect my precious family time. When I’m focused on fitness, I often spend more time working out and browsing fitness blogs that working on passion projects or taking time to just rest. When your the captain of the flagship of the federation, it’s easy to get caught up in saving the human race, but remember that Picard’s final regret in the series was that he didn’t spend enough time with his friends… his family.

When was the last time you called your mom/dad/brother/sister/son/daughter/heterosexual-life-mate and told them you loved them? When was the last time you went and had lunch with a good friend? Don’t ignore the things that make you happiest deep down in your soul. You may forget from time to time, but remind yourself to do these things daily, weekly, monthly… whenever you feel yourself getting disconnected. These personal relationships are what living is all about, so get living!

Also, remember to smile!

Remember to smile!

Captain’s Log: Supplemental

I’ll finish up with some awesome Picard pictures and some other great Picard quotes (not at all related to the pictures)

What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived

 

 

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century.
Lily Sloane: No money? You mean, you don’t get paid?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: We work to better ourselves.

 

Image courtesy of WrongTees

 

 

Doctor Beverly Crusher: Personally, I think you just enjoy waking everybody up in the middle of the night.
Capt. Picard: Actually, I really like running around the ship in my bare feet.

 

Capt. Picard: Wishing for a thing does not make it so.

 

Capt. Picard: Don’t try so hard to be human. Just be yourself.

What is your favorite life lesson you leaned from Star Trek: TNG?
What is your favorite Picard moment?
Is it really possible to repair a warp conduit in 5 minutes?

Let me know in the comments!

Titsworth and the Rebel Strength Guide Contest

Image courtesy of d_vdm on Flickr

In case you didn’t know, I am a big fan of the website Nerd Fitness. Well, last week, Steve Kamb, the man behind Nerd Fitness, and Vic Magary released a new workout/diet plan ebook called the Rebel Strength Guide. Since I have recently lost 50 pounds and I now fall in the category of “skinny fat” (not really fat, but not toned and just sort of dumpy looking), the timing of this book aimed at getting you lean, strong, and cut, could not have been better.

Along with the guide, Steve is running a six week contest.

I am going to kill this contest.

I don’t really care if I win the contest, but I am going to give it hell and fight my way to the top of the contenders. I have been fat and mopey for too long, and I now feel like I have the opportunity to be the guy I never thought I could be. The guy mowing his lawn without a shirt on. The confident guy at the party. The husband who can still get a second glance from his wife while getting ready for work.

The time is now.

So I plan on using this blog as a place to keep my status updates and measurements.

Initial Measurements:

Here is my baseline.

  • Height: 6′ 2″
  • Weight – 193 lbs
  • Body Fat %: Need to measure (will do Wed.)
  • Arms: 12″
  • Chest: 40.5 “
  • Waist: 39.25 ” (I wear a size 34 pant, so I’m not sure I did this right)
  • Thigh: 20″

And the before picture montage. As you can see. I still have a ways to go to get to where I need to be.

6 weeks to a better me:

This contest is a also being run in conjunction with the Nerd Fitness 6 week challenge, in which you set 4-5 goals and use the Nerd Fitness message boards to keep yourself accountable. Here are my fitness and nutrition goals:

  • Rebel Strength Guide Dumbbell Division Rank 1. Three workouts a week track.

  • Train for and run in a 10k Race (already registered for one on May 7th and 30th). 3 runs a week, one being 15% improvement in distance over previous week’s best.
  • Stick to the Rebel Strength Guide diet plan and log all of my food in Daily Burn.
  • No sugar in my coffee and only one “special” coffee drink a week.

And some Lifestyle centric goals

  • In bed with TV off by 11:30 every night
  • Don’t bring work home.

So here we go!

Stick with me and see where it takes me.

A Very Belated Geek Into Shape Update

What’s going on all?!

I know it it has been way too long since my last blog post or podcast.  If you have been a long time follower of the blog, you see a trend that I have periods of inactivity. That’s just how my life goes sometimes. But I appreciate all of you who still take the time to stop by and visit the site.

I thought I would take a moment to give a quick update about what’s been going on in my world:

I met my goal weight! And then some!

I started my latest fitness push in December 2009. So the classic BEFORE picture:

BEFORE – December 25, 2009 – Playing the role of the jolly fat man too well

And here is where I am now! Well, this is technically me before Thanksgiving 2010, but I can assure you, I made no extra progress in the month of December, and I’m just a few pounds less now, so close enough :)

AFTER - November 2010 - Me and the family.

I finally got down to 190, which was my goal weight. I then proceeded to drop down to 185.5 at my lowest. Since then, I have been up and down between 185 and 190.  It feels fantastic to set such a long term goal and meet it.  In 2010, I went from 236lbs to 186 lbs — 50 pounds! I went from a tight size 38 pants to a comfortable size 34. All of my XL shirts are now awkwardly baggy.  I’ve had to buy all new belts too!

I want to thank all of the people that have supported me along the way. So to all of you, a very heartfelt THANK YOU!

There is some bad news though. Now that I’m at 185 – I realized that I am still not in shape. Most of my weight loss was accomplished by just being more gooder than badder. I didn’t eat great, but I ate better. I didn’t work out every day, but I did more than before. But now that I have slowly got back into the normal weight range, I look in the mirror and realize that I still have more work to do.

The good news, though, is how I now feel like I’m in control of my body. When I was 230+, I never felt like health was attainable. I had fat man syndrome. I saw guys with six pack abs on the beach and never thought I’d be able to be in that club. Since I have tackled the initial weight loss, I started to realize how much my body is capable of. I now know that if I want six pack abs, all I have to do is work hard at it. And since I have shed all the extra weight, it won’t take long at all. It’s as if a whole new world of fitness possibilities has magically opened up. More on that later.

For reference, here is my before picture from Christmas 2009

A New Geek Into Shape Project

Another reason I have been absent is that my limited spare time has been focused on another project. It is slightly related to what Geek Into Shape is all about. I am in early development of a new website/app that will be super cool. I’m not going to spill the beans on this just yet. I’ll be contacting some of my blogging friends to beta test the website once I have it at a decent point. There is the possibility that I might move my whole geek into shape efforts over to this new project, but I’ll stick with it as a side project for now.

2011 Goals

I realized that I never did the traditional “What I plan to do this year” post. So I’ll do it now. As I mentioned, my world has opened up to what I believe I am capable of. I know I have always been capable of doing these things, but this year I am in the right, positive mindset to make this shit happen! So here are my 11 goals of 2011

  1. Run five 5k races
  2. Run two 10k races
  3. Run a half marathon
  4. Run the Warrior Dash
  5. Have a six pack (or some semblance thereof)
  6. 100 Pushups in a row
  7. 25 pull-ups in a row
  8. Less than 25 minute 5k
  9. Increase flexibility (palms on ground during standing toe touch)
  10. Read 10 books
  11. Launch new Project

So far, I have made positive progress on all of my goals. I’ve got my first 5k and 10k of the year scheduled for March. I have already registered for the Warrior Dash! I’m ready to rock these goals!

In conclusion…

Well, that is all I have time for right now. As always, I will try to make some extra time to blog and come up with new content, but as of now I am in a mainly consumer mode. Of couse, the last time I made that statement, I went through a posting frenzy :) Hopefully that will happen again!

Have a great day and weekend!

Outie Like 5k’s!

Guess who has two thumbs, no shoes, and finished his first 5k last weekend? Well, a few people, but more importantly:

THIS GUY! (And this guy’s wife, too!)

I will admit, I was hesitant to sign up for a 5k.  I have been running 3 miles for a few months now, but it has always been so tough for me. Being a geek, I have a perfection complex about the things I commit to. If I was going to run the race, I wanted to be as prepared as possible, running 5k at warp 9 without breaking a sweat.

The problem: I really haven’t committed to running. I do it because I know I should, but I go for weeks at a time without a run, and I’m quick to cut a run short if I’m “not into it”, i.e. LAZY.

But, I went ahead and signed up for this race, and it rocked my balls off (figuratively)!

It was a beautiful day. Sunny and about 50 degrees at the start of the race. I met up with my buddies Greg and Jeremy who were also running the race. Both of those guys are also in the 30+ pounds lost in 2010 club.

Nerds 2^2 Ever!

Jeremy (on the right) was rocking his Vibram Five Fingers as well. We were the only ones wearing VFFs as far as I saw.

And before I knew it, the race had started. I loved running with friends (I have never done that before). Especially friends that run just a little bit faster than I do. I ended up and pushed myself a little harder to keep up with them. I didn’t stay with them the entire time, but just that little extra bit of chase improved my best time by 3 minutes. Which leads me to the finish:

I think I won!

I came through at 28:51, rocking my VFF Bikilas, and feeling good (Much better than the guy who came through vomiting about a minute before). I was really happy about my time. I could have gone faster if I pushed myself harder, but being my first race, I was more worried about finishing it without walking than how long it took me.

I was even more proud of my wife who finished in 34 minutes (and had only run 3 miles once a few months ago, and that was on the treadmill). Go Titsworth family! Yeah my last name is Titsworth… you got a problem with that?

I know everyone told me this, but it didn’t sink in until I jogged across the finish line: RACES ARE ADDICTIVE!

I can’t wait to sign up for more and keep running, improving my time, and going longer distances. I missed the sign-up for the trail race that was this upcoming weekend, but there are 10+ races coming up between now and Christmas. The one I’m most exciting about is the Krispie Kreme challenge, where you have to run 2 miles to the donut store, eat a dozen donuts, and then run 2 miles back within an hour. Sounds gloriously painful :)

I wanted to give a quick shout out to a few of the people who pushed me to keep running (even though they might not know it):

  • Jess over at Half of Jess for talking me into getting VFFs and for killin a half marathon in hers.
  • Brandon over at A Healthy Dad for making me realize I can run faster (that guy runs fast for someone who weighed 290 just 10 months ago)
  • Steve at Nerd Fitness for reminding me that nerds can have a six pack other than Mt. Dew.

Thanks guys! I suggest everyone follow them on twitter and check out their blogs. Good stuff, fo sho!

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of my running journey, and I’m sure I’ll keep you updated as I keep at it.

I’ll leave you with a few more images from the event:

VFF buddies

The running fam

After the Race (and a sleepy baby)