Blake Thompson daht Net

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P90X – My First Week

So I know I’ve been needing to make a change in my life. Specifically for my body. That was the motivation behind The Challenge from back in the spring. And FYI I came in second in The Challenge losing around 15 pounds. I’ve put a little of that back on because I’ve stopped running frequently. A goal would be to regularly do CrossFit workouts. They are intense, but I’m probably not near in shape for them right now. But what about P90X?

I’d heard of Power 90 and P90X before. But didn’t know if they were gimmicky or not. My wife owns more Tae Bo videos than you can find at WalMart. And those just seemed dumb to me. But then I started hearing from people I knew in real life about P90X. And finally caught the infomercial. Then saw the countless “transformation” videos on YouTube. And thought, “I should do this!”

P90X

I know I need to add strength and flexibility in my body. And my back/abs/core are pretty pitiful. It seems every other month or so my lower back will get really sore and stiff. So I was thinking P90X can help me with some overall fitness goals. Plus pullups are hard, and I’d love to do a lot of those.

After searching eBay and CraigsList I decided to buy a legit copy instead of risking getting scammed. But I found a great deal where I got 25% off. So I bought the P90X videos, bought a pullup bar (from Walmart.com), and started it last week. Here’s my one week review:

The first three weeks are exactly the same. Then there is more variety afterwards. But here is how the first week shook out.

  • Day One – Chest & Back + Ab Ripper X: It was lots of pushups and pullups. Like a lots. And a few rows. So I did twelve exercises then repeated those twelve. You had your basic pushups, but then wide, military, diamond, “under the fence”, and decline. And you had wide grip pullup, reverse grip, close grip overhand pullups. And then some rows. I tried to do the “Hundred Pushup” plan a  few times. But this was pretty tough. And pullups are tough. I can knock out about four or five maybe with a few days rest. But doing multiple sets of different types…I tire out quickly. I only had some weights that my wife already owned (15lbs) so doing rows with those was almost pointless. But buying dumbbells is expensive and I’d already bought the set of DVD’s and the pullup bar. Ab Ripper X? Man, that’s a weak point of mine. And it kicked my tail. It burned. But I did better than I expected. But there are exercises where I’m supposed to lie on my back and point my leg straight up to the sky. But my inflexible body can’t do that. Hopefully it will w/in the next 90 days. But Ab Ripper X definitely burned. And I took breaks instead of doing all 339 reps of core exercises.
  • Day Two – Plyometrics: It’s basically a lot of jumping around. It takes some balance.  But gets your heart rate up. And makes you sweat some. P90X likes you to sweat a lot.
  • Day Three – Arms and Shoulders + Ab Ripper X: Curls, shrugs, presses, dips, kickbacks, etc. Just lots of that over and over. For some of the exercises 15lbs was perfect, for some it was too little, and for others it was too much (if you’re wanting to get in the 8-12 rep range). But it gave me a good workout I think. It produced some soreness. And more Ab Ripper X. Could tell my abs were sore from before.
  • Day Four – Yoga X: On the front end I was wondering if I’d like this or not. I know some people love Yoga. And I know a guy who likes to do the Yoga X video often. This video was 90 minutes! Let’s just say I did only 30 minutes of it. And I pushed to get to that 30 minutes. I hated it. I’m inflexible. And you gotta hold these poses and positions. And it takes strength to do it too. And I was already sore from the first three days so it was tough. And not enjoyable. But my aim is to finish it at some point. It made me sweat more than the others so far I think. And I only did it 30 minutes (and some of that 30 minutes was me standing up saying, “I can’t do THAT!”
  • Day Five – Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X: This had lots of squats, lunges, and more pullups. The pullups were about like the first day of pullups. Tough. But hoping to improve. The leg exercises? TOUGH. For me at least. When I’ve been to gyms I’ve never done much in the way of weighted squats. And when I did, my back ended up hurting in a few days. These were all body weight leg exercises. But it was over and over and over. My legs were burning afterwards for a bit. And I finally had to get a towel to sop up the sweat as I did the workout. But the biggest consequence was the days that followed. My legs were sore as crap! I walked funny. It was the first real sore that affected how I moved around. And more Ab Ripper X. They’re going to get hit three times a week at first it seems.
  • Day Six – Kenpo X: It’s a karate workout. Supposedly. It’s a lot of kicking and punching. But I think it’s a cardio workout masked as a karate workout. I guess it’s sort of like Tae Bo now that I think about it.
  • Day Seven – X Stretch or Rest: My body is about a flexible as my concrete driveway. So I really need to do the X Stretch workouts. But I took a rest instead. It fell on a full day. That’s my excuse. So I can’t review the Stretch

So after one week I’ve done seven of the 12 DVD workouts. I’ve not done X Stretch; Cardio X; Core Synergetics; Chest, Shoulders, Triceps; and Back & Biceps. The workouts are good. They can be long though. You’re using your body weight for resistance in many of them. But I definitely got sore. At least it’ll tone you and maybe rip you up (IF YOU FOLLOW THE EATING PLAN). But I don’t know that anyone is going to add much bulk.

Think about it, the only chest work you’re doing is variations of pushups. And trust me, they’re not easy. But you’re not getting down on a weight bench and pressing lots of iron above you. Same with the legs. Now my legs are weak already, so I’m not complaining. But sometimes I look at these videos and wonder if the people got big using weights in a regular gym, and then got definition and shredded using P90X? Also, through out the whole 13 weeks, you are only targeting your chest or legs once a week where most weeks your back is getting two days a week. Interesting.

So, after one week what do I think about P90X? I think it’s probably too early to have an informed opinion. But my partially informed opinion is that it’s a worthy exercise program. Some people might not want to watch their TV or computer screen for an hour a day. Yes, an hour. And the Yoga is 90 minutes. But I don’t have to drive to the gym or drive home and can manage my kids’ schedules easier if I do it at home as well. I can see why some people love it. But I can see why some think it can get boring. In a real gym can you get in a quicker workout using free weights? Probably. And Tony Horton, while not over the top, is borderline cheesy sometimes on the DVD’s. And I need to get a few more dumbbells to have variety in the poundage to get the best results.

So I think it will be a great program to go through a time or two. Plus, once you have the equipment there’s really nothing else to buy. They will sell you tons of supplements and nutrition drinks and such. They’re probalby good. But it can get pricey too. But the key to remember is that your body composition is 80% what you eat. So unless you’re paying good attention to what you eat, you can have an 8-pack of abs, but have it covered in a layer of cookies, ice cream, and fried foods so that you never see your abs.

P90X comes with a very detailed eating plan. I’ve not read it yet. I should. But I have to finish eating up the ice cream in my freezer first! I did actually take some “before” pics after I did the fit test. Maybe one day I’ll show them if there’s enough difference after 90 days.

I don’t plan on doing a weekly update about P90X. Maybe after the first full month. But definitely after the 90 days are done.

Inception Ending – Thoughts & Questions :: SPOILER ALERT

Don’t read this if you’ve not seen Inception yet. You’ve been warned.
 
It’s a great movie. See if if you get the chance. The ending of Inception leaves a little up for interpretation. And that may just be the perfect ending. My mind wants to wrap it up nice and neatly. And I think I can. But when I do there are a few things hanging on that make me say, “But what about this….?”
  1. So the biggest question is do you think the top stopped spinning or not at the end? I think it did. But I can understand the arguments as to why it may not have. But on a pure physics level, it seemed to be slowing down and starting tip over. And after seeing him w/ his kids it would have been such a bummer for him to not have made it to them.
  2. Dom and Ariadne were both hooked up to the “sleep machine” in the 3rd level (snowy place) to get to the fourth leven to save Saito. But Saito was never hooked to that sleep machine. He died. Did his dying just send him off to that next level, they “greyness”? And that’s why Dom had to go rescue him?
  3. Did that snowy place remind anyone of “Spies Like Us”?
  4. How long ago did Mal kill herself from jumping off the ledge before the movie starts? I ask because in the memories he has of his kids, they seem to be near about the same age as they were at the end. So it would seem to be not much time had passed (unless the end was also a dream.)
  5. When Dom and Mal spend those 50 years together it showed them get really old. But when the train ran over their heads they were young again. How does that work? Could they have possibly gone to another level at some point?
  6. Do you think they filmed some of this in one of those airplanes like the vomit comet that lets you perform in a weightless environment?
  7. Nolan wrote, directed, and produced the movie. He’s going to continue to get richer.
  8. Did anyone else feel tense from the opening scene til the end? It wore me out.
  9. Hans Zimmer did an awesome job w/ the music.
  10. Focus on the tubes in their arms – when Mal and Cobb woke on the floor after being hit by the train – they didn’t have a machine near by. When Cobb woke on the plane – he didn’t have a tube in his arm. Therefore were they dreaming in both instances?
  11. In the first level dream when they are supposedly being attacked by Fischer’s subconscious, how did the train get there? The trains come from Cobb’s subconscious not Fischer’s, right?
  12. If you check on the cast list for Inception on IMDB, there are two sets of kids that play the Inception children at different ages, which makes me believe that the end was not a dream state.

I have a few more bouncing around, but let me sleep on it.

Ella and her mask

So yesterday we participated in Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A. It’s where you can dress up like a cow and get free food. It was a good deal. My family of five ate for $0.82. Not bad, huh? Here’s a pic of the kids in their home made cow costumes.

But today Ella wanted to make a few alterations to her cow mask. She decided she wanted to make it into a “Super Hero Mask”. But the more I look at it, it seems less “super hero” and more “sinister. Here’s a short video. What do you think?

Ella and her mask from Blake Thompson on Vimeo.

Beach Bullets

Well I’m back from the beach. We had some friends who were going to Destin, FL for a week. They were persistant with the invitations to join them. We finally gave in. And we’re glad we did. They have three kids same nearly same ages as ours, and they loved playing together.

I’d blogged pretty much every day of May until the trip. And then I only did it once from the beach. Sorry.But I did have some random thoughts while at the beach. So here come the bullets:

  • There is no “quick” or “direct” way to get to Destin, FL from Oxford, MS.
  • Generally the hotel pools in Alabama don’t open until after Memorial Day. We left at night to head down and stopped in Montgomery, AL for a pit stop. Pool was locked up.
  • Staying in a condo with six kids ages 8 and under is sometimes wild.
  • You don’t need sugar to stir up that many kids, but it does add excitement.
  • I was a little curious as to how the weather would be. It was cold/rainy in Oxford the day before we left. But it was mid 80’s pretty much the whole time.
  • It didn’t rain a drop on us until the final day.
  • If you go to a restaurant with lots and lots of alligators outside in a pond and has handwritten Sharpie graffiti all over it, you can expect to pay about $20 for a bowl of pasta and 8 pieces of shrimp.
  • I brought more shoes on this vacation than I ever had, but wore only one pair the entire time.
  • That means I never went for a run on this trip.
  • Shuffleboard isn’t just for old folks. It was actually kind of fun.
  • I never saw or smelled any oil in the water.
  • The waves were really strong. Which means really fun. Good for making memories.
  • Outlet Mall” really means “yes, we have a few killer deals, but most things are just about 10-15% off, which you would have paid in taxes anyway. But we know vacationers are just looking for reasons to spend money, so we put a lot of your favorite stores together so you can give us your money.”
  • People that decorate beach condos really like floral print for furniture, wallpaper, and bedding. I mean REALLY like floral print.
  • The adults in my family need road-trip potty breaks more than the kids do.
  • Anything on the lower pantry shelves or in the fridge in the condo is fair game for kids to grab.
  • Seaside has gotten a little more crowded and busy since my honeymoon. But I’d still lik estay there again someday. Maybe Rosemary Beach could be a possibility too.
  • Every condo should provide wifi these days. Just saying…
  • Having an iPhone on vacation is really, really helpful.
  • I actually found an iPhone, but called the people and gave it back. My oldest daughter was disappointed.
  • I always bring books and magazines to read at the beach. But never read them.
  • My kids can’t get enough of the pool. They’d go to the pool at 6 a.m. if they could.

Gum Tree Run 10k 2010

Finally got the video edited, rendered, and uploaded for the Gum Tree Run last weekend.

Blake Runs The Gum Tree 10K Run – May 8, 2010 from Blake Thompson on Vimeo.

I once again carried my little camera with me to record the Gum Tree 10k Run in Tupelo, Mississippi. It was also my 11th anniversary. My wife and I ran it on the morning of our wedding day back in 1999.

I still have a bit of video from the Double Decker Run I need to get edited down as well.

Missed Opportunities?

Yesterday in church Pat was teaching and one of the points he was making is that often times we in the church end up relying on “professional Christians” to do most of the “heavy lifting” when it comes to ministry, serving, and missions, but we as a church need to all take up the initiative and both lead/serve with the passions God has equipped us with.

He said that it won’t always be perfect, but we still need to give it a shot. Then he said something like, “Take this for example….” and then you hear a heavy bass line start up over the speakers. Pat grabs a handheld mic and says, “Karaoke is the ultimate example of regular people doing the job of a professional…” Behind him we all recognize “Stand By Me” starting up. “So I’m going to sing a little to show you that we don’t have to be perfect to be effective.” People start to shift expectantly in their chairs to hear Pat melt their ears with some crooning.

But then he bails at the last minute when the lyrics start flashing on the screens. People laugh. And all was good.

At the end of the service I go on stage to announce a few things, remind folks about communion after the service, and tell everyone we love them and look forward to seeing them again next week. But as I’m finishing the last sentence “Stand By Me” starts up again… People again laugh and I can see they’re wondering if I’ll sing or not. They’re looking for a good laugh, apparently. And I actually consider it. But I end up walking off stage after a bit of hesitation.

It made for some funny conversations after church. But I’ll admit on the ride back home as I was in the truck by myself I killed the song. I mean KILLED IT! I tried a few different pitches or intensities. Found my best Ben E. King impersonation. And I’ll admit that there was some regret mixed in. Why didn’t I go for it? Was it risk of embarrassment? Sounding too bad? Or screwing up? Or failure? [can you really fail at Karaoke?] Was it fear of being laughed at instead of laughed with?

It was probably a cocktail of a few of those mixed together. But as I look at my life, both past and present, I see the same thing has held me back from some different ventures/adventures. And I don’t want my life to be marked by that anymore. I want to be able to move forward and take “risks” without fear of failure. Or screwing up. To have confidence of Christ in me (the hope of glory).

Now of course this doesn’t mean I jump at any chance to embarrase myself, which I probably would have done if I’d actually tried to sing yesterday. But to not be scared to push outside of my comfort zone. I think sometimes my comfort zone can become my complacent zone. Does that make sense?

In honor of all our mothers.

I never have had a brother. But I do have a mother. But I’d assume if I had a brother and we tried to do something for our mother it’d probably go something similar to this.

Today’s Run

Today we ran the 2010 Gumtree Run to celebrate our 11 year anniversary. It was quite fun. I shot more video for it. Should edit it up in the next day or two. So get ready for it!!!

Tomorrow’s Tupelo Gumtree 10K Run

Tomorrow will mark eleven years that Bev and I ran the Gumtree Run together. A few of my buddies and one of her girl friends did as well. Then later that day Bev and I got married.

That’s right, we actually ran a 10k race the morning of our wedding. And four of my groomsmen and one of her bridesmaids. And so did the guy who ran sound at our wedding. It was pretty crazy. Bev finished first out of all of us. And I finished last. But I can say that my mind was on other things, maybe.

But we will go and celebrate our 11th Anniversary tomorrow with another Gumtree run. And just as before, she’ll finish before me. WAY before me. But that’s ok.

And maybe I’ll video this one as well.

I don’t like coffee. And I’m fine with that.

I’m not a coffee lover. Not really even a coffee liker. I bet in all of 2009 I drank one or two cups. And that was from the coffee maker in my office. My office mate drinks it like mad. I have a friend whose blog has a title about it. One who argues on blogs about it.

Growing up my stepdad drank it everyday. I was used to the smell. But never really tried it. But then later the culture decided it was cool. And then I moved to Clinton where there were a couple of coffee shops. I tried to like it. It’s what I’m supposed to do, right? I’m cool if I like a $4 cup of java. But I just can’t make it work.

Yesterday I went to a coffee shop here in town to get a bit of work and reading done. I still usually like the vibe of a coffee shop. But I got a Coke Zero. I almost got a Vitamin Water.If it had been really cold outside I might have gone with hot tea or hot chocolate. Sometimes I go in and just grab a chair or table and don’t even buy anything at all.

But I used to think I needed to drink coffee to validate myself or to fit in. No more.

Do you like coffee? Why so? And if not, why not?

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