Posts Tagged ‘church’

My First Mud Ninja Experience…For Real…

July 30, 2012

Hello, Everyone!
Hope all is well with you today! It is 4:12am, Sunday, July 29..and I just got out of bed because I had to write about my Mud Ninja experience! I tried to wait until later in the day, but nope, couldn’t do it! I am sure I will add additional detail in the next day or so.

I generally don’t do  long posts, but in order to tell my experience, this one may be a bit lengthy!

If you are considering doing a challenging obstacle course run (Warrior Dash, Mud Ninja, etc) or if you just want a good laugh, or maybe you just want to visualize what my crazy friends and I experienced on this journey, then keep reading!  Yeah, we are some crazy folks – we said that to each other while running down the hill over rocks, mud and weeds.

Training tip: When I train, or train others, it’s always good to remember to do pushing and pulling movements, or a push/pull routine. When you do a “push”, do a “pull”. You will mention this during the post.

When my wife and I arrive at the event we were amazed that the event was less than 25 minutes from where we live – Chillicothe, Ohio!  We thought, is this still in Ross County??  We were to meet 2 friends of ours also participating in this event.  There were people from all over there – Atlanta, Baltimore, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, just to name a few, all to come participate or to just experience this event.

This was my FIRST Mud Ninja event (my friends Todd and Dawns, too) so  I thought, ok, how rough can it be – I’ve done the Warrior Dash before.  Lord Jeeezuz help. Was I in for a rude awakening.

In order to prepare for this event, I started running hills and trails early part of June..I knew there would be hills.  I am soo glad that I did!

After we got registered, it was time for us to start…..here we go..!

As soon as we take off, 100 yards into it, no lackadaisical stuff here, the course goes directly into a steep, steep STEEP decline full of large rocks, so you really had to watch your footing and maintain your balance. Not a problem so far…but we knew the further we ran the winding trail down, we would have to come back up at some point.  People were walking already so we went around them.

We get to what we thought was the bottom, and we have to wade thru a pond – a smelly pond with grey water and green stuff floating on top – but hey, it’s the Mud Ninja right? So, we’re up for any obstacle! After getting out of the pond we said “we are some crazy people” ain’t we ! We laughed and then crazy me said you don’t see many black people doin this type of stuff! (although there were some there. Another post on that coming soon!)…sure don’t! But I am a fan of doing different stuff!

Well, we continued to descend even further..then here it comes..we start to go up..we run..so far so good (walking lunges and hill runs really helped with this).  By now the trail is muddy, so people were slipping and falling on some parts. we get to the top and the next obstacle was a water slide – back down again we go.  It was about 100 ft slide. You slide down into water…..oh yeah, and some mud. Fun.  Then we go down hill some more and run into the next obstacle – a very tight zig-zag maze of thin rope you had to go over while long rags hung in your face (like a jungle)..once out, it was more downhill from there. Seriously?   More downhill? You needed good core strength for this part – the trail was muddy and slick and you had to maintain your balance.  We get to the bottom and we had to cross two creeks..and what lies ahead, the first obstacle that required pulling.

It was a vertical, yes, VERTICAL climb up the muddy side of the embankment. You had to grab rope and pull yourself up…slippery, wet and muddy!  I loved it! Some people were struggling with this one. I thought I was Bruce Willis or somebody saving someone hanging from the side of a building! Just like you see in the movies, I grabbed onto the top of the rope and stretched my hand out.  I yelled to one lady just hanging there..”c’mon honey, take my hand! ” She didn’t at first-she was afraid to let go.  Then people said “take the big mans hand take the big mans hand’! I finally got her up, then I  had to crouch and make my way thru the thicket. Off running again – more down hill.  What the???  Still going DOWN?? Really??

Ok, FINALLY…here it comes..steep hill..I saw how far up we had to go. Let’s do this. I ran it – pushing myself and telling myself “do it!” “come on..come on”..WOW. My legs on fire now-but I work thru it.  Finally, it levels off as the course starts winding in another direction….SCREECH!! tall grass hid THIS from me  around the corner.  A TUNNEL. A dark, gloomy tunnel. Lord, jeezus help.  UUUGH! I run to it..and stopped again…ok, I love the Lord and all..and sometimes we slip…well I thought I THOUGHT a few cuss words..but uhm..but before I knew it, they actually slipped out!  *$*&@#N@(#N and *(#$#^&)N)@*#N@@)(*&!@  ….then the words started coming out like a machine gun – *&#$(#* (*#(@N@#….*$(#N…&^^%…(#&#!…*##*#)!*…..forgive me, Lord!

I am claustrophobic and I had forgotten all about this tunnel on the course! I jogged in place…looked around..then I jogged in a circle…trying to sike myself up.  OK, I can do this…I proceed to the small opening..peep in…I come right back out! OK, let me try it again…got in a little further this time..but nope, I backed that thang right back up!  By now, Todd and Dawn have made it thru. They knew I had a fear of this..they were encouraging me from the other side and they waited.

On the fourth attempt, the attendant said, you can go around..well, I started to just go around, then I said “no”.

So I tried again. I yelled back at the attendant “don’tyouletnobodycomebehindme!” If someone came behind me it would not be pretty! I was already in a state of panic and I needed this tunnel all to myself. Yes, I did.  Ok, here goes… My heart racing 5x it’s normal speed, I get down, and I crawled and screamed the entire way thru..I did not look back..I get to the middle and I can see shimmers of light about and ahead..I crawled faster..sho’ did. I see the light! Crawl, Sidney! Faster, I see the light!  Shoot, I tried to get out so fast I bumped my head on a beam – ouch! But I did it! I faced my fear and got thru it.  I had to crawl about 75 yards in the mud and water.  The animal exercises, spider man pushups and the crawling moves helped with this.

Once out, immediately there was an ascent – this was steep, too! Really??  The tunnel took a lot out of me and I couldn’t get my heart rate down fast enough from the trauma – but I continued to run. We get to the top of the hill…finally a water break..uh oh..I get a bit sick on the stomach ..What??!! Me? I never get sick on the stomach due to exercise…well; I took a swig of water, swallowed a bit and spit it out, cleaned mud of our hands and headed directly to the next obstacle.  No time for nausea to stop me.

The next obstacle was a wall of about 20ft high I guess. The wall was wet, and there was nothing to help you get over it. No rope, no pegs, nothing. You had to have upper body strength and use team work – Or make a human ladder as I called it. We hoisted and pulled several people up.

Uhm, but why did I have the guy in fatigues who I’m sure weighed 50lbs more than scrawny ol’ me, waiting to be hoisted up?? And he had on a weighted back pack!!  He was on the ground, I was on top of the wall already, and here I am trying to lift him! Well, after several grunts we did it! Todd and I said, ok, time to go.   Lets get down and keep moving.  The pulling motion was mostly used here – the rows and lat pulldowns helped with this.

Skipping a few obstacles ahead, we are now on the other side of the property.

Low crawling thru water and mud, under barbed wire was next. You had to stay low for this one..then up an down mounds. Upper and lower body strength needed for these. At times you had to slide down into the pit and crawl your way back out.

Uh oh..repel time! Hanging upside down while dripping wet and muddy hands! Awesome! You had to pull yourself across a very thin rope to the other side. Otherwise, if you let go, you fall into a deep pit of water.  I’ve never done that before that I can remember – even as a kid. We all had success on this one! That pulling motion is required again – upper body strength needed for this one.

   

A gorge, a valley, a canyon or whatever you want to name it, was now before us.  Is this really in Ross County??? Well, we ran down and down and down and down what seemed like 100 miles. (Sigh..) now my wet shorts started to fall down from around my waist due to the constant pounding of running down hill.  I could feel them getting lower and lower. So I had to try and pull them up while running. I did the the RT – you know, the “run and tie”. That’s when you run and tie at the same time.

Well, as we continued to run, we knew we would have to save our strength – we could see far off in the distance thru the trees people scaling up the side of a mountain. Lord jeezuz help….They looked so little. How much further we got to do how much further!!? We’ve already been on this dag on course for what seemed like 6 miles!  People just walkin like they out for an afternoon stroll. I know how they feel!

We finally get to that vertical incline we saw in the distance. There was a huge wet, slippery log blocking our way that you had to pull yourself up and over. We did it…now time to climb – vertically. Without any rope.  Laaawwd jeeezuz help. You could solely use your legs, but here is where I tried to balance using upper and lower body strength.  Bear crawls really helped with this obstacle.  By the time I reached the top (seemed like forever), I could feel my glutes burning. Did I need a quick breather.  Yes! But, ummph we didn’t take one!  We pressed forward!

It started to level out, but we weren’t out of the woods just yet! We had to run more hills. Were did all of these hills and crevices come from???!

Ok, about 3-5 mins into the run, I had to walk a bit here. But the last portion of the hill I ran. At the top of the hill – water break. I needed it. I think I only took about a few sips..poured one cup over my head.

Next was balance and strength again. The Log Scoot.  Upper body strength required.  Men, be careful on these logs..uhm, yeah, be careful scootin’ on the logs and you know whyyyy. (little did we know there would be more of that coming!)

Next we had jumping over ditches – they were about 4ft deep and about 5feet apart with mounds of dirt you had to maneuver over, in between each ditch. There were about 7 total. One thing I do know – I can jump forever! So this one was easy for us.  Plyometrics, squat/box jumps, squats etc, helped with this one.

More running and another pond. This pond looked like a scene from a military movie where the soldiers were wading thru the swamp with cattails all around.  Yes, there were cattails in this pond.

Next, monkey bars.  Yeaaah! Another test of strength!  But these were not just your everyday type monkey bars. There was a deep pit of water and mud below, so don’t fall off!  The “bars” were pieces of wood. Slippery. Did I do it – yes!   Much upper body strength required.  Pull-ups and “hand walking” across an overhead bar, feet off the floor, helped me with this one.

Before the finish line we encountered one obstacle that you had to pull a 30lb bucket of concrete up 30ft and hit a bell. Different. The pulling motion, hand over hand; seated rows helped with this one.

Time to run some more…and oooh boy! What do we see ahead!

Back to back to back mud pits!! High walls of dirt/mud..slippery slides…awesome! This will be challenging.  I love it!

First we had to plank walk the tight rope. If you were short – good luck! I’m sure there was another one that could be used, though. Those planks and plank walks we do sure did come in handy for this one!

Here comes the muddy mounds and muddy pits. Wow! Excitement and mayhem to the tenth level! But no up and over by yourself – no sir’ree bob…not possible! Team work is needed here. At any position you are on these mounds, you are constantly pulling and pushing yourself and someone else up.

To conquer these mounds, you  have to form a “step” with your hands. One person steps into your hands so they can get onto the mound, then they grab a rope, or dig their hand into the dirt, then you have to push them up and they pull! They crawl to the top. At one point helping, I told the man and woman I ain’t getting fresh, but shoot, I had to push them from their butts!  I needed to get up and over too, one man returned the favor by pulling me up. Todd was a master at this-he would help as many people as he could get up/over.  Team work, baby!

You also had to strategize on some of the mud pits on how you would get out of it. There was more log scoots..people would slide down the mound and watch out! Or you would get knocked off! This happened to Dawn….bam!  They both fell into the water!  The man was nice enough to help her back up.  Sheer determination along with upper body/core strength needed here in the mud pits/mounds.

Well, we finally made it out of the pits.  We were surprised that we were finished! We crossed the finish line together in victory!

We thought this was a 3.5 mile course..but we are sure it was more like 5 miles..!

One thing is for sure they sure did map this course well!

You will need to be somewhat cardiovascularly fit, and have upper, lower body and core strength.

Here are some of the exercises that I did that I am sure helped me completed this Mud Ninja Extreme course:

  • Pull-ups
  • Pushups (all variations)
  • Lat pulldowns and Rows
  • Planks (walking planks)
  • Climbing
  • Hill/trail runs (for distance and endurance)
  • Bear crawls, Alligator walks and Tiger crawl
  • Squats and Squat/box jumps
  • Plyometrics
  • Lunges and Deadlifts

Well, I hope you enjoyed my commentary of my first Mud Ninja experience! I LOVE this challenging stuff..the mud, the camaraderie, etc.   Was it extreme – Yes. Will I do it again? Definitely!  Also, this challenge gave me the opportunity to face my fear (going thru the tunnel) and conquer it, thru a physical fitness event.  Will I go thru another tunnel at another event…hmmmm..can’t answer that at the moment!

It was good to participate in this event with friends, Todd and Dawn as well – they are beasts when it comes to fitness! And I appreciate them for supporting & encouraging me to get thru the tunnel. They could have ran ahead, but they waited. One thing that is sure sportsmanship is that we did not do this event for “time” we did it for fun and to say that we FINISHED. That’s what it’s all about- finishing.  Sure we could have saved alot of time by not helping others, but that’s not what we (I) do! We all finish.

In my age group I came in 3rd…WOW!  Overall I was finished 98th out of about 2000 people! Dawn finished first 1st in her age group and Todd finished 5th..but we all crossed the finish line together so I’m confused about  the times….oh well, no worries!  Overall, we had a great, great, great! time!

Funny thing..but we felt good that we were able to either do as well or better than most of the young’ens!  One lady shouted to me “well, look at you! Awesome” as I ran passed her up the last hill. I guess the gray in my goatee gave my age away?

I will be back hittin’ the trails again this week.  I wonder if the people who own the farm land would let me do some running out there? hmm..it’s a thought.

Plans are in the works to do the Tough Mudder in Pittsburgh, Pa..August 2013!  Yeah, that’s on my bucket list!

If you would like to view all of the pics my wife, Joy, took of the event, you can view them here:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3035488104926.100961.1794685569&type=1&l=6baeba2196

Oh! please click “like” on my fan page, too, and join!

Please leave me a comment!

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uggh! cookies! my food downfall..!

February 22, 2011

Hello, everyone, I hope you are doing great today!

As I was driving into work the other day, I thought to myself..boy wouldn’t it be nice to have some double stuff Oreo cookies!?

mmmmm

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It was a thought that I did not act upon!  That evening, I shared my thought with one of my exercise classes and they laughed, too.  Well, I right this blog to say that, even as a fitness professional, we all have our vices and/or weaknesses when it comes to food. 

Mine, as some of you may know, is cookies. Lord hammercy. I do love me some cookies! And my wife, being the great baker that she is, makes great cookies, too!

Certified in many areas, including sports nutrition, I do understand that it is hard to just go cold turkey and not eat some of the things you like to eat! I recommend eating those things you like, in moderation. 

So do I have my cookies? You bet I do! Oh! I have to tell you; for the first time in my life on Thursday, February 10, 2011, I had a TWIX candy bar! And boy was that thing good!  It really was…now, mind you I can go without a candy bar; it isn’t one of my vices, or struggles…but the Twix was a combination of cookie and milk chocolate!

Now, I love the Lord; but you may ask, “Sidney did you every pray about giving up cookies”?  Lord Jesus, help.  No, I did not. I also know  prayer changes things, and when I  am weak, He will give me the strength that I need. 

But I do know that on the weekend that I will be having one or two big chocolate chip cookies!  Then, my soul is satisfied!

So you see, the reality of it all if you have a vice, or weakness when it comes to certain foods, you are not alone.  I think there are many fitness professionals who eat stuff too! If there is a fitness professional out there that does not eat something every now and then, I would like to meet them and give them their props! 🙂 Whew! Cause I for one know it’s hard.

I have become accustomed to just eating certain types of food (right foods) at this point in my life. But I will tell you, cookies are NOT off of the list. I do laugh sometimes at myself about this!  Can I go a month without them? Yes.

It takes dedication and a new mindset.  You have to have that on this lifestyle change of better health.

I know this may be a bit humorous to you, and I hope it is, but is there anyone out there like me that can relate?  I always say that we are in this fitness lifestyle together!  I am here to help. working on our “house” is a continual process.

I think if I have a similar situation or experience that you can relate to, the help is much easier.

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So what is your food vice, or weakness?  Let’s share. You may be able to relate to someone else who leaves a comment. And who knows; maybe your comment will help someone else strive to do better.

uhm, ahh..uhm…Is anyone hungry for some chocolate chip cookies now??

Leave me a comment – I would love to hear what you have to say!

And the survey says…..

January 29, 2010

Well, I hope you are enjoying this new year so far!

Some of you may or may not know, but I have been selected  by some of the top fitness experts in the industry to make an exercise DVD and to write a book to accompany it.  Glory to God! 

Psalms 37:23 reads: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  

This awesome blessing happened in October 2009, and the is giving me the desires of my heart.   I am forever grateful for that.

Now, here is the part that you can participate in!  I am getting ready to shoot the DVD and I would like to see what YOU would like see in it – exercise related.  So that is why I am doing the survey.

The DVD is to be ready this year; hopefully by the summer. 

 

There is a lot of time and hard work involved, but I know that the reward will be great! Especially if both the DVD and book are able to help someone make that lifestyle change to exercise and to eat better.  Let’s  live the way God wants us to live – prosperous and healthy!

Again, this is where you come in.   What would you like to see on the DVD?  Do you see any DVD’s out there that are spiritually based and have real church music to exercise to?  I know there are a few DVD’s out there…but  the goal is to make this different from those.

I have my ideas but would like to hear from others. 

So please tell me what specifics you would like to see in the DVD – in shape people? normal weight people,? overweight people  and/or  white people? Any specific exercises?   

Each and every post will be considered.   God has given me a gift to share I want this DVD to be for the people!  Please tell me your thoughts.   Let me know! I would love to hear from you!

 

this is on my mind…

December 21, 2009

Hello all

Hope you are well!  I was off for a week..but I’m back…and I have a question for you.

….do you want to feel beautiful?  Or handsome??  I think every person does, rite?

What do you do when you get up in the morning? You shower, shave, make sure your hair is rite (I know some women who will take a sick day of work if their hair ain’t together!). 

But in the morning, we “prepare” ourselves to go out in to the world.  We want to look our best.   Oh yes! The men shave, take the time to have on a belt that matches their shoes, tuck in the shirts and get ready to head to the office or wherever they work.   I know I do these things!  I even get my hair cut every week.

The women take time to put on their lipstick and makeup; put on perfume.  They check themselves in the mirror as they drive. Both – men and women, wanting to look good.  There is nothing wrong with that!

Even an overweight person feels they look good – they WANT to look good.  They want to feel good on the inside and out.  I am not against anything and people do what they want, but this is what I’m thinking…and I could very well be wrong.   But if there is an overweight person, man or woman, and they have taken the time to look their best, that means they love life so to say and they care about themselves.

Again, they WANT to look beautiful or handsome.  I don’t know why I am writing this, and where it is coming from! I am just typing…so bare with me!  So if they WANT to look good……again, they are wanting to look good,  so why do they put the BAD stuff inside their body?? 

 Their body is turning against them! Do they realize that? 

One blogger wrote during my first blog that “..I can remember eating the entire pack of chunky chips ahoy with no guilt.  Freely eating until my heart’s content (and artery clogging, hips spreading, etc…Jesus!).    This was just an excerpt, but this blogger went on to make a lifestyle  change and indicated it was well worth it.

So do the overweight people actually know what they are putting into their bodies?  They see the food or pop advertised on TV or hear it on the radio and they run out and buy it! Eat it, drink it and then want some more.  So is the media tricking us or persuading us as we become overweight as they rake in the money!!??   Hey! I have some good junk food over here! C’mon…it’s good for you.   (sigh…) we are all being lied to! Deceived I tell you! Deceived! 

Ok, I just got a butterfly in my stomach – I am starting to feel this thing.  I was supposed to do a video blog today, but as you see, the format of this blog has changed!  ( I guess this is why I do what I do – try to help people).

What is in the advertising? Is there a warning that says if you drink a pop you’ve exceeded your daily sugar requirement?  I don’t think there is.  What about some of the food.  Is there a warning label that states “if you eat this you will be lining your arteries waxy substances and you can bet your sweet tooty it will someday make you be dependent on medicine..!”   is there a food label out there like that?  Probably not.  

I was at dinner with two very close teacher friends  of mine yesterday and we got to talking about the childhood obesity epidemic.  Schools are now requiring that lunches have more healthier choices than the ‘junkier” choices and that students can select these healthier food items.   I thought that was very good. And now some schools are not going to have vending machines with candy bars, fruit drinks and the likes.  

Ok, so now we know we have healthy food. Junk foods.  And the really, really bad foods.  Are our bodies that messed up because of the poor food choices we made/make?  Yes.  We have eaten the bad stuff all of, or most of our lives.   And yet, we are still walking around – alive.  How can that be? only by the grace of God.  He has blessed us!

How much water do you drink?  How much splenda do you use? Hmmmm…how many cigarettes do you smoke?  How much pop or alcohol do you drink?  How much candy do you eat? 

So our bodies are messed up because of the food choices.  For me if i eat rite, I FEEL right.  If I eat something bad, my body can REALLY tell.   So can that be a reason why we have so much sickness?  Due to the things we eat?  u bet.

 So if you are reading this and are overweight, don’t be afraid, offended or discouraged!   Take small steps by changing your food choices!  That one step will lead to bigger and better!  Don’t procrastinate.  Take massive action. Do it now.  You want to be around for your kids, your grandkids and your family!  You can do it!  We can all begin by eating right and exercising!

As we prepare  or focus on making  ourselves beautiful or handsome on a daily basis, let’s propose to do the same with our food choices (include exercise).   Can we make a conscious effort to do that?

 Ok, I’m taking up waaaay too much of your time.  I will finish this up next week! 

Any comments?

losing weight is too dag on hard!

November 30, 2009

Hey all, this is part three of my  blog!

Thank you to all who participated in replying!  Also, if you look to the right, if you want to get this automatic updates on the blog, click “sign me up”. 

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and you enjoyed the time with family and friends.

For today’s Let’s Talk Church blog, I would like to  discuss methods you have tried for weight loss – for those who have actively tried to lose weight and did not have any success, little success and those who’ve had success  keeping the weight off. 

If you were not too successful in your weight loss program did you experience any of the following:

  • there are habits that seem just too dag on hard to break?
  • your friends/family always have foods around that you KNOW aren’t good for you to eat,  but you eat it anyway because you gave in to temptation? (and now we are in the holiday season)
  • Is the commitment to eat right and exercise just not there? 
  • you exercise very sporadically – one day, then the next time you exercise a month has passed!
  • You don’t see results as quickly as you hoped so you give up? 

 What about “I’m too busy”, “I don’t have time. work, family, kids”, “other activities interfere”  oh! and…..what about church activities??  Is there anyone who has a very busy church and you spend most of the week there?

Did you answer “yes” to any of the above?

If you answered “yes” you are not alone.  As a fitness professional I see and hear things of this nature a lot.  People come to me and say I just can’t seem to lose the weight.  “I eat rite, and I exercise. I’ve tried everything”.  But as we get deeper into the conversation,  I uncover challenges sometimes that the person did not realize where things that hindered their program and the progress.  But saying “I’m too busy”, “no time”, “work, kids, family”, “I’m tired”, “other activities”,  “taking care of the house”, etc (the list can go on) are really excuses

Yep, sorry to say, but they are excuses. Maybe not valid ones, but excuses nevertheless. 

So don’t let excuses hinder your goals to exercise and drop those unwanted pounds. 

So what do you do? You have to PLAN. I believe we can all say we have pretty busy schedules.  But planning is the key.  We plan and schedule time for meetings and other activities and events.  Why not schedule time for exercise? And don’t get discouraged if the weight isn’t falling off as quickly as you hoped.  Remember; no time for exercise, make time for illness.

 Ok, I’d like to hear from you. 

What have you done to try and lose weight? Did you keep it off? If so, what worked? 

If you did not keep it off, what methods did you try and how long did you try before you gave up – 3 weeks, a month?   

Did you only exercise on Sunday when you shouted or ran around the church!?  hmmmm

So, let’s talk about what you’ve tried to do to try and lose weight.  (dvd, exercise class, etc)