Monday, August 15, 2011

"I'm Spartacus! I'm Spartacus! I'm... semi-fit."

Old School Spartacus, because seeing a half-naked
dude on your blog seems a little weird.
Okay, so summer is coming to a close and I've spent most of it being lazy. Though I can't take full responsibility for my laziness. Science has proven that extreme temperatures and probably lack of rain causes a certain feeling of laziness among people. So my desire to come home everyday and just crash on the couch is not entirely my fault. The mythical winged beast known as global warming is to blame. Not to mention living in Austin, Texas where one hundred plus degree days have been the norm.

So as I said, summer is coming to a close, back to school season is underway, and I have a vacation coming up in about twelve weeks. With all of that, I figure it was time to get back to business and start working out again... as well as writing. Might as well create some total life discipline.

Southern California, where I'll be a beach bum
for a week
Initially the vacation was to be in the Florida keys, but has since changed to the opposite end of the US map with California. While I'm sure I won't be sporting much a shirtless look in early November in California, I thought it would still be a good time frame to work with to get in shape. With that, I went in search of something I could do for twelve weeks, what I found was a workout program from Men's Health, The Spartacus Workout. Apparently, it was inspired by the Starz television show, 'Spartacus', whose actors must constantly stay in shape with little time to workout.

Scouring the web, I tried to see if in fact the workout was legit. Unfortunately, all I found were Ad sites trying to promote themselves by piggybacking off the popularity of the workout or forum sites filled with meat-heads who diss the workout because it doesn't make you like a WWE wrestler. Realizing it couldn't hurt... much, I've decided to give it try, since I myself have no desire to look like a WWE wrestler, but just desire to be strong and fit.

So today is Day 1. The plan is to incorporate a couple of days of weight training in-between the workout as well as maintain a decent diet. No hardcore calorie counting or anything considering I generally know what I should be eating and my breakfasts and lunches are nearly the same everyday. The key will to just be disciplined at dinner and know what I eat then.

I'm also thinking of doing the stereotypical before and after, but since I'm a wuss and self-conscious I might at least take the pictures now, but post when it's all said and done. That way, if I fail miserably or nothing really happens, I don't look like an idiot. Though, if it does work, I can be the first real person to say "No, I'm not thinking of trying it out, I did try it out and it worked (great, well, okay, or who created this thing?!)" and provide real answers to anyone else wanting to know.

What I look forward to the most though is a workout routine that doesn't involve me buying expensive DVDs, workout machines, or going to the gym to attempt to use machines I would probably have to wait hours to use and not in order as part of a circuit. It's all either yourself or free weights. Not even a chin-up bar that would never fit or hold in my house (I worry about the walls now without my hanging from some bar attached to them).

So it may still be a one hundred plus for the next month and a half, but I'm saying farewell to summer laziness!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life on Pause and the Batteries are Dead

So I thought I would do a personal post as I've revived my writing website after some time away from it.

Check it out here:

In about one week, it will have been one year since my college graduation and like many college graduates over the past few years, I'm exactly where I started before I graduated. Thankfully, I have a job that pays the bills.  While I know many out there are not as fortunate, it's still hard to sit idly by with no prospects of anything new. We go to school, study hard and make good grades to make it into college. From there we study some more and maybe party as well, all with the hope of graduating and getting a degree  that is believed to "open doors". We bounce around a bit from job to job and hopefully find that career that makes us feel pretty good. Something we can at least tolerate for 40 plus hours a week. For me (and my wife), that's something that is still being sought after.

Unfortunately, with our modern economy it seems like we're all stuck on pause. This not to say that I haven't tried to dig myself out of the mud. As in my last post, I made an attempt at fire fighting with no luck. I was just a bit too much "Batman" and not enough "Superman" on paper for their liking. The next attempt was a couple of applications with no call backs. And the most recent attempt at a change was a complete tease. The job was listed as paying in a range less than what I make to more than what I make. As any logical person would conclude, had I gotten an interview and done well, you'd expect I'd be offered either my current pay or better. Well, as it turned out, I did get an interview and made the top of the list, yet the pay changed and not for the better. The offer was for less than my current salary. I had no choice, but to turn it down. Still on pause.

Changing gears, my wife and I have also gotten antsy feet in wanting to move out of our neighborhood and our state. With 100 degree plus days nearly every day this summer, we are wanting something different. Maybe even another country. What has happened to the world of adventure? It almost seems like the world is boxing us in more and more. It almost feels like a modern day '1984' (the book) where any sense of adventure, change or uniqueness is all out of reach or dead.

I won't lie, it's been hard... and yes, I realize how blessed I am in many things, but I find it hard to believe that this is it. A job with steady pay is nice, a home with superficial things are nice, but I care more about a life of joy rather than being a machine. My wife brings me joy and my dog makes me smile. I'm blessed for sure, but I want us to live a life that is fulfilling and not just routine.


So while I wait for life and the economy to get back in gear, I'm doing the one thing I know I can do that maybe, just maybe, can help get us out of this slump... writing! Yes, I know it's a long shot, but I've played most of the cards I have (which aren't many).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Site, New Goals!

While unsurprising, I think I will be slowly phasing out this blog for a new one... or maybe I will keep this around as a personal blog. I'm not sure yet. I kind of feel bad abandoning the hard work I've put into tweaking this blog to look nice (at least to me).

Why leave you say? Well, over the last couple of months Amy and I have decided to pursue or goals and desires to write and after taking some necessary steps to make that happen, we both decided that we each need a solid web presence considering our 21st century world is all about social networking and other electronic media and a simple blog was just simply not gonna cut the mustard. By the way, why the phrase "cut the mustard"? While not a fan of the stuff personally, my experiences have only ever been with a pasty or powdery substance.


Okay, after a brief Google search, Google doesn't really know either. Anyway, coming back to the subject at hand, like I mentioned above Amy and I felt the need to be more legit. This not to say that anyone with a blog is not legit, but we just wanted more.

So far we both have websites that we are working on to make presentable with real content, each of which have their blog and connections to our new Twitter accounts and Facebook Fan Pages. Yeah, we're kind of serious and want this to happen. With that said, once I launch my site and everything officially, most of my blogging content will be found there, but maybe I'll keep this blog around for my less than structured blog rants.


On a separate unrelated note, I have begun the process of hoping to be hired by the city of Austin as a firefighter. So far it has been a long process that started with over 5,000 applicants that was slightly whittled down to about 4,600 (including myself) applicants who were eligible to take a basic written exam last week. According the reports, about 3,300 showed up and from there the Austin Fire Department plans of whittling that number down by about a third based on scored on a moral/personality test we took that same day. If they didn't deem me a crazy man and I passed the basic written assessment test (which I felt good about) I should move onto the next step which is a structured oral interview. From there, those who make it past that are then moved on the the physical test called the CPAT. Then if I make it that far and pass that test and am among the top or remaining 100+ candidates I can then be hired to attend the Fire Academy to begin learning how to become a firefighter. It's a long process and some of the competition is fierce, but I hope I make it.

So far I've been trying to run and get into shape and get back into the swing of lifting weights and getting stronger... unfortunately ridiculously freezing temperatures lately don't provide too much motivation. More to come I hope.