>I’m at it again. In the last 72 hours I have consumed more calories than I had the entire week. And not only did I create a caloric abundance, but 70% of the caloric excess came from, and here we go (a Sierra Nevada and a shot of 1800 on Friday, 2 bowls of Edy’s No Sugar Added ice cream, 2 soft pretzels, a 24 oz bag of mesquite BBQ flavored potato chips, a Starbucks iced coffee with soy milk [which was great but I did not need the soy milk], 3 sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches, a hash brown, half of a bake at home cheese pizza which I peppered with fine ground Trader Joe’s Sea Salt, a Butterfingers, a Kit-Kat, and lastly, the trigger that started it all, another 2 bowls of Edy’s No Sugar Added Neapolitan Ice Cream). Need I mention that I feel like a disgusting swine right now? My goodness, I’m waiting on my new training partner to get here (last I heard his woman dragged him to a Steeplechase -Chester County, PA is horse country, lots of farms and horse events out here, and that is harsh since it is in the low 90’s with high humidity today), grabbing handfuls of my belly fat to try and teach myself a lesson. And what I need to learn is this:

I can maintain the Warrior Diet for only 6 weeks at a time. The cycle of dietary misbehavior has completed itself once more, and I need to re-evaluate, re-constitute, and re-invest. The 3 “re’s”, or, “What I should have done along doggone time ago”. When I begin the WD, I follow it diligently for quite a while. Snacking on whole/raw/fresh all day, eating big tasty meals at night, hydrating (I’m always well hydrated, save for now, BLECH), and making smelly waste deposits regularly. Then, I’ll fudge out, and blow the diet one night, and the next day, I starve myself, drink triple Espresso and water all day, and then cave at night and take down 3000-500 Kcal of TOTAL SHIT, and the cycle of misbehavior is on. What’s more, I will give myself reasons not to train for a few days. It is an all around bust, and though I have gotten much better at preventing the pattern and even recovering from it, I’m balls deep in it again, and this workout we’re bound to better be my salvation.

“It’s Memorial Day Weekend, Will, relax” says my inner fat kid, “You still look better than 50% of the people on Earth, just train hard and don’t stress”.

“Don’t listen to that fat little bastard, drink water, pound coffee, and take some thermo-genics before you lift” quips the nutritionally challenged 18 year old Prom-Queen Runner Up who also resides in my dome, “You can burn it off, just have the discipline to starve yourself all day and run 10K after the Barbecue you have to go to. . .and oh Yeah, stay away from the keg. . .FATTY!”

“Brother, are you gonna take the advice of an overfed sugar fiend and a laxative popping aerobics Princess? Really, lift hard, eat a wee bit today, big fiber load at dinner, start fresh tomorrow. Sounds good eh?”

“Yes, often ignored voice of reason, it does. Do you have any chocolate flavored Laxatives?”

Big Will OUT.

Here we are again. You and me and the box makes three. Tonight’s topic: Let’s talk about everything. Everything. And let’s go in depth. Multiple posts. No showering or bathroom breaks.

We trip out on the Ghost of kettlebells past, haunting my shit to this day.

The RKC in April was real. A chance for some retrospection, juxtaposition, and redemption. The vacation that followed was equally beneficial in regards to the several emotional and physical leaps I took while returning to the place of my baptism, the USMC base, Camp Pendleton, CA.

By the time I got to the hotel in Mexico I was ready for some old fashioned body movin. The joint had a nice flat breadth of grass offering itself to the very edge of a nice 15 meter cliff. Stairs led to the water.

Standing close enough to the ocean to taste the salt in the molecules set free from the lingering brine, i hammered out my first set of windmills in more than 12 months. Weak side first: 28kg for sets of 5 reps. felt unreal. Yoga works. glutes and hammies opened up no problem. Spine felt stiff but malleable. Abs bulletproof. The tide tried hard to silence the Linkin Park remix that fueled my workout. I turned it up to 11. And then I adjusted the volume.

Finished strong and hit the ocean. Then the shower. The jacuzzi made it three bodies of water in less than 10 mics. Sarah looked hot in her polka dot Jaqueline Bouvier-inspired J. crew bathing suit. I looked huge in the reflection cast by the tinted windows surrounding the poolside bar/grille at our Grand Baja Resort. Tan and
totally satisfied by one perfect shot of Tres Generacions, we rolled out to dinner after a mellow hour in the sun. Baja peninsula I feel you.

Driving back to Van Nuys was a mission made for a Marine. We packed the night before, after a stellar Lobster/Tecate dinner which followed a surprisingly satisfactory massage. The alarm on my cellular device shook me from sleep at a not too dark and chilly 0400. yes, 0400. On vacation. My woman and I are East Coast. (side note: we got up for bagels and coffee at 0600 our first day there. Nothing is open in Mexico at 0600. Except for places I would not go with my girlfriend. And on the day we departed we were crossing the border at 0628. Not bad. Friday AM. The light bulb riddled hills of Tijuana in our rear-view. Fresh Cafe con crema. iPod delivering the best of Dropkick Murphy’s playlist through the speakers of our rented Jeep Liberty. LA here we come.
Touch down in LA at 0930. My boy (now an RKC) was an hour out of the rack and stalling. I wanted a workout. he wanted some tea and thermogeneics prior to. I said “All Natural”. he said stand by. I waved bye-bye. Barbell push presses and Transfer swings were all mine. 20 minutes. I was done and out of the shower before his tea was in full steep.

Fast forward to 1140 that morning. Homeboy’s wife is Ill, sinus infection and nasty cough. His animals are entertaining but don’t swing bells. We boogie to Spiderman 3 (huge comic fan I am, partial to the Punisher stories, not the movie adaptations [they were both lame]).
The worst movie I have ever seen.
Tattoo appt. in Hollywood 1730 hours. After some gear grabbing on swanky/skanky Melrose, we jam up the stairs next to 7 Eleven to Zap Tattoo. he’s late. The retail store adjacent to it screams at my inner-step child. two freshly pierced areolas later and I’m in the chair for some evil work courtesy of Von Shock, a late night DJ/midday vampire cat who spins a tale of spectral missiles which leveled World Trade and the ultimate conspiracy. A show I’m not familiar with saddled with the off-putting title of “American Idol”. He worked my inner arm (strong side) for about 180 minutes. Felt great. Made the pain in my nipples disappear.

I’m back three weeks yesterday. Yet Wednesday I capped off a sick run. Strong, sustained performances have dotted my last half a dozen workouts. I head into the City wed. eve to teach bell basics to tenderfoot urbanites who will then swing MAX reps in 3 minutes to the tune of the Teal Ribbon Foundation. In addition, under the excellent repetition count John Disimone, present owner of Maxercise and co-instructor on this Swing venture, I muster a Personal Record while snatching the 32kg handle bell Secret Service Style for 5 minutes. Many hard-dogs have of course thrown up much more extreme iron than I, but for me, the satisfaction was not in the relativity of the kilos to my body weight-I relished the 16 rep improvement since my last PR many, many moons ago. I snatch the skin right off my hand.
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I bust 108 reps in 5 mics. I’m happy. Since then I have been intimate with my Saturday AM students at the great Valley Creek Park in beautiful Malvern, PA. I joined the 1030 class for sets of Transfer Swings, shuttle runs (elevation courtesy of Mother Earth) Presses with some added push strategically placed. And then the mother. It landed on me very early last week. The Two handed Hot Potato.
It became obvious after one week of trying to teach folks the classic, hand to hand HP that either I housed a serious defect in the manner I teach that drill, or many a folk were just straight up INCAPABLE of using the tension/relaxation method to get really kill benefit from that awesome, simply awesome drill. And like Pegasus to Perseus, it swept me from a sketchy place to the last caress of death. This, with any size bell for any body is, I think, superior to the classic version. Go get some. Keep your mouth SEALED for the entire set and let that shit burn your windpipe into submission. It is like Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club-Harsh. . .

And now I’m tired, as I bared my nipples and told all. I’m tired. Someone mentioned a Team Run in the the Valley Forge National Historic Park. Yes, Valley Forge. Peace be unto Thee, world.

>Sean Armistead crossing the finish line (or the Danish Line, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! of the April RKC Graduation workout, administered by Sr. RKC Kenneth Jay HAR ROO!)

It has been two weeks since I landed in MN for the April RKC. Two weeks since I met with the group of people who changed my life. The last life changing experience I had was on March 31st 2007 when I saw The Roots perform The Police’s “Roxanne” to a crowd of hungry Philly Roots fans. This time, it was different. Let us begin with the team. Present at the cert, aside from the outstanding core of instructors who showed me what it means to be a pro in this arena, two of my closest friends from the USMC, my girlfriend, and a client who has taken on a Father Figure-ish role in my life were all operating as students or assistant instructors. It meant quite a lot to me to be selected as a Team Leader, and it meant even more to me to execute the responsibilities given to me by the Dragon Door team. But what has resonated with me was the team spirit invoked by my stellar 10 man squad of two assisants and 8 students. Everyone who tested passed, and are now a part of history.

I am a lucky man. I was privy to a great conversation between Geoff Nuepert RKC Team Leader and Mark Reifkind RKC Sr., where two schools of thought debated the validity of the stability ball. What was said is unimportant, what IS important is the amount of knowledge that was present at teh table that night. To sit there, much more quiet than I am known for, while Pavel, Rif, Geoff, Kenneth Jay, David Whitley, and the other iron heads spoke out on subjects varying from Strawberry Flavored Yogilates (Don’t ask) to the finer points of Z-Health, had me taking inventory of my own professional value as I sipped my Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade, you freaks!).
It became apparent that I have along way to go before I can really consider myself a memeber of the upper echelon of strength, health, and humanity. I aspire to be one of the best in my field, one of the folk who may make a serious impact on the fitness commmuntiy, and beyond. With the company I presently keep giving me great examples to follow, I think that day is getting closer.

A specail thank you to everyone who attended, and everyone who couldn’t be there for one reason or another. Thank you for the kind words and continuous encouragement throughout the weekend. A special thanks to David Whitley for the conversation we had about creation and aspiration. Thank you to Team Williams for showing up ready to train. Thank you to Jeff O’Connor RKC for getting a handicapped Sarah and I back to the Hotel. And a very specail thank you to the Dragon Door Team for the chance to bring my strengths to others.

It truly was a time to remember. And for anyoen who was there at the Eagle Pointe Grill and Bar on Sunday ngiht, what happened?