Thursday, February 23, 2012

Week 6 of 26: WOD in The AM = FML

Completing the Workout of the Day, or "WOD", is a challenge in itself.  Completing the WOD at the 6, 7 or 8 AM slots is cruel and unusual punishment.  I envy those of you who can jump out of bed, and into workout gear before the sun is shining.  And I'm one of those people who doesn't sleep much to begin with.  I'm totally functional with 3-5 hours of sleep.  But swapping out the part of my morning dedicated to coffee and reading for burpees, box jumps and kettle bell swings is just not natural.

With less than five months until our little man is born, my schedule is becoming more and more demanding.  My normal 2:00 and 4:00 work out sessions have been pushed aside for extra appointments and meetings with clients.  In my head I told myself, "No problem, people workout in the morning every day."  After all, I'm up by 6:00 anyway, so an 8:00am workout should be no sweat.  Boy was I wrong.

Working out before my body (or my mind) is prepared is like water-boarding while still under the blankets.  OK, maybe that's a little extreme or dramatic.  But for those of you who have made early morning exercises a part of your daily routine, congratulations.  I'm looking more forward to pre-dawn diaper changes than I am 7am WOD's.

Aside from adding an early morning workout to my schedule, I've also already gained 4 pounds.  Some say of "mass", I'm saying of muscle....Pure. Muscle.  Four pounds in 6 weeks is better than I was expecting, but I still have 16 pounds to go, and 20 more weeks to do it in.  Maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew.  Or maybe I need to just continue biting off more than I can chew.  See what I did I there?

164 lbs (+4 lbs total)

Any sage advice for Crossfitting in the AM???  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Out Of The First Trimester, and Into The Fire

Having your first child hits each person differently and at different times.  For some, it might be the second you see a positive test result.  For others, maybe it's not until the baby is delivered.  For me, it was somewhere in between all of that.

Regardless of when the parenting chip kicks in, we all find ourselves going through a roller coaster of emotions, most of which (for men especially) are totally new and foreign.  I went from being a care-free, cock-eyed optimist to being an overly paranoid slightly schizophrenic father-to-be.  I never even paid much attention to children while out in public until I found out I was joining their club.  Now, with absolutely zero parenting experience, I find myself judging and critiquing others parenting abilities in ways that don't even make sense. ....

"Honestly, who straps their kid into the stroller like that!?"  

"Hmmm, hey babe, is it me or are they intentionally trying to make their kid look like Pauly-D??" 

"Oooo, look, look at this lady try and feed her kid goldfish!!  HAHA, you call that feeding???"

"Wow, chicken nuggets??!! You might as well start auditioning her for The Biggest Loser for Toddlers Season 7 now!"

Not sure if I'm the only one who felt that the first trimester would never pass, but now that we're half way through the second trimester, I can hardly keep up.  The list of honey-do's is steadily growing, almost in direct proportion to my lady's stomach.  As uneasy as the first 3 months made me feel, the next 6 are going to be amazingly hectic.  And though I'm sure every parent reading this is saying to themselves "You aint seen nothing yet!", I am already bracing for impact with one hand, and multi-tasking with the other.

High-Five Friday from the Little Man!

I should probably mention something about how all of this has nothing to do with my better half, who has been nothing but amazing over these past 19 weeks.  She's been calm 99% of the time, never gorging herself on pickles or unnecessarily hurling expletives or canned goods in my direction. She focuses on how to redecorate the little guys room, while still working out and an insane schedule, all at the same time.  I don't blame her for making sacrifices in order to continue doing the things that make her feel a sense of normalcy during all the chaos.  And if it means me taking cold showers now and again in order for her to sleep, than so be it.  Sex is SO overrated anyway.....SH*TF%CKBAST&RDMOTH#REFFDEARGODWHY??!!.....ahhhhhh, that's better.

How would we (men) be if we were in their shoes?  Hmmm, maybe this is a subject in itself, but what do you think would be the biggest difference??  What positive/negative traits would we develop upon finding out we were now plus one, and eating on their behalf??  

We still have a ways to go, and even though we're in the middle of an amazingly beautiful and terrifying fire, I'm learning that I have the ability to either fan the flames with my stupidity, or heroically rescue her from the blazing inferno known as planning for first time parenthood. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's Just Toothpaste - Bottle-Necking My Relationships

How many of our "strengths" could also be viewed as "weaknesses"?  Are there beliefs or ideals in our lives that we wear like badges of honor, that should probably be treated as scarlet letters?

I'm stubborn - to say the least.  In business, that can (sometimes) be very beneficial.  It helps me to hold onto my strongest pursuits, in spite of any difficulties or challenges.  It keeps me steadfast at times where it's crucial that I not give up.

However, the same traits that are (in my opinion) helping me grow professionally, can really screw things up personally.  Glen Beaman once said, "Stubbornness does have its helpful features.  You always know what you're going to be thinking tomorrow." - That's not good, by the way.

Let's say you possess a strong work ethic, for example.  This positive habit has served you well in the work place.  But the higher you advance in your career, the larger the toll it takes on your relationship with your family, and maybe even your health.  The same things that bring you up in one area, can bring you down in another.

I'm finding that being stubborn can really stunt the growth of a relationship.  I'm quick to argue - sometimes over meaningless things - just to prove a point.  Add to that the fact that I'm a Leo, and what you get is someone who is up for a fight, and rarely willing to back down.  Add another Leo into the mix, and you get a relationship that sometimes feels like its strapped to a case of C-4, with each of us holding a match saying, "You think I wont???"

The best way I can describe my personality is with the classic Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry clip, where he says, "Go ahead, make my day."

I've literally just finished Googling "how to stop being a stubborn boyfriend" - which yielded 4,360,000 results - none of which were helpful.  The first step towards change is admitting you have a problem.  Listen, I have a problem, and I'm as aware of it as the people it effects.  But what to do??

The easy answer is to start backing down, be more humble, less aggressive and take a back seat approach.  They say men don't change, and that women shouldn't expect them to.  I couldn't agree less with such an age old adage.  I believe the right people, in the right situation, will willingly change, for the BETTER, for one another.  One of my favorite sayings is, "You take care of you for me, and I'll take care of me for you."

This is my attempt to "Take care of me".  Apologizing would be so easy, if I just didn't have to say "I'm sorry".  Arguing would seem so much less appealing, if I didn't feel like I needed to "win" at everything.  Making a meaningless point wouldn't be important, if I didn't care about the score.

Obviously I have a lot to think about, and even more to learn.  But how many of us have held onto traits that really only hold us back?  Sure it effects us individually, but it also has a significant impact on those closest to us.  I'm learning, albeit slowly and painfully, that I need to stop competing, and start completing.  Squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube, in the grand scheme of things, isn't a big deal, right?  And I'm learning to not care about the score, and just enjoy how lucky I am to be playing the game with someone who makes me better.  I'd rather concede and be the happiest man and father alive, than be conceited and alone.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Pug and Our Pregnancy

Playing the fiddle sucks.  Other than the triangle, there may be no lamer instrument.  Playing third fiddle....well, that's as low as it gets.  And ever since the lady and I found out we were having our first child, I was knocked out of the starting lineup, and into the role of full-time fiddling.

The pecking order seems out of whack lately, thanks to the pug.  They say that dogs can sense a pregnancy.  And ours is acting stranger than usual.  He spends his time now one step behind mom, looking at me with disgust, out of the corner of his smug pug face. It's as if he's thinking, "Look at you!  Look what you did. Now I need to step in and make sure the dog sh*t doesn't hit the fan.  Do you even know how to raise a child??  Didn't think so - so why don't you just go fill my bowl or fetch the paper or something.  Make yourself useful, while I keep mom entertained."

And the worst part of it all....there's nothing I can do about it.  While mom is prepping herself for motherhood and baby showers, the pug is protecting her, offering all the support she needs.  He just crept right in, and took my starting spot, before I had a chance to defend myself.

I'm left wandering around the house like some tourist in a foreign country where everyone speaks a language I don't understand.  "Food....I think I want food.  I will walk to the kitchen now and look for food.  Then I will eat said food.  And it will be great."  The pug laughs at my simpleness......and goes back to being the ugliest cute dog ever made.

How did this happen?  Just a few months ago, I was the man of the house.  I called the shots.  I had all the power.  Now the pug is in the passenger seat, while I'm hanging out the back window just happy to be in the car with my new owners.

A funny thing happens to us men when we learn about becoming a father for the first time.  Hundreds of books talk about what to do when the little one arrives. But there are very few that give us instructions prior to the baby's arrival.  My preggo partner now weilds all power.  And it's sexy.  And I can't help but smile over her strength, her calm, her cool.  Sex during pregnancy is safe, right?  They say the sex drive really picks up during the second trimester......hers too.  Her hair looks amazing.....and those definitely look bigger....God, how long has it been??  Maybe tonight is the night!!  

I move closer.

She looks at me out of the corner of her eye.

I put my arm around her.  Give her a kiss.  "How you feeling?"

"Pretty good", she says.

"Oh yea?" is the best line I come up with.

"Yea", she responds.

"Well...."  I inch closer......"Why don't we.....


Damn you dog!  Damn you!!  He stares a hole right through me.  I stare back, as if it's a contest.  And I'm not blinking.  I consider jabbing him in the ribs, but realize that would ruin any chance of moving back into the starting lineup and scoring tonight.  She thinks he's being cute.....which means he wins.  Again.  And I go back to resuming my role as head chef/dog walker/errand boy.  I'm getting pretty good at this actually, and only five more months to go!!  I'm learning how to prepare for our growing, and sometimes growling, family - from the end of the bench.