Hello, Don’t be Afraid

Well, what do we know?  Today (well yesterday) is a big dick day.  The kind of day I just want to walk about with my man meat on display for the whole world to see.  Let them all gasp in awe of it’s mighty pulsating tumescence. With my head held high, a bit of swagger in my step and my  penile mastodon bouncing jovially between the tree trunks that are my legs, I am now beginning my second year of this blogging shit.  That’s right, one year ago, I looked in the mirror and decided I needed change (can you spare a quarter?) and that I was going to talk about it some on here.  My actual words, and I’m pretty sure I said them out loud, were “I am so fucking tired of being a fat fuck.”  True goddamn story.

However, this is not a fitness blog.  I know that a year ago, the thought of running a 5k was a terrifying thought, so blog posts on that sort of thing were necessary in documenting my progress.  This past April I ran my third 5k mud run.  This one was called Mud Factor.  Everyone bailed at the last minute, and I ended up running alone.  That was fine, but it’s quite entertaining to watch a buddy fall into a mudpit, so I did miss it.  At any rate, this run was, by far, the most organized and well designed course.  The obstacles were challenging too, not solely due to a back and chest workout I had completed the evening prior.  I found that the height of the obstacles were intimidating.  There were a few 15 foot wooden pyramids to climb with an intimidating gap between inclines.  Climbing on a 2×4, 15 feet above the ground, with shoes caked in slippery mud, is quite a breathtaking experience. Though the feeling of accomplishment was great that morning, I didn’t feel the need for an exclusive post on it.  It just didn’t seem like there was much to report.  I ran, climbed, sweat like a pig, got filthy, gasped for air, over came some minor fears, and had a  metric ass ton of fun.  The end.

I’m continuing to hit the gym on a regular basis.  As an on going experiment, I force myself to go even when I don’t want to.  Even on days when my body and mind are in full agreement that a night of booze would be more fulfilling.  I know that equals a falsehood and it’s always by the end of my first set, that I get that head change I so desperately need.  Even anger directed at my job, or whatever, seems to dissipate and leave my thoughts after a good workout.  Considering that, about a year ago, I stopped taking a cocktail of psychotropic prescription drugs that were given to me to address self deprecating mental habits and thought patterns,  I seem to be doing something right.  I truly believe that my previous DSM IV diagnoses were due to poor diet and a lack of adequate exercise.

One of the things that has aided me in this new direction is an acceptance of myself. Even though I was quite the delinquent in the past, deep down I was a people pleaser.  I could never live up to the expectations of my family or the people around me.  This would eat me up.  It started long long ago as a young kid and lasted into early adulthood.  I still catch myself wondering what another person thinks of me, then I remind myself, that it doesn’t fucking matter.  That’s part of the tragic beauty about this technological age; even by being able to connect to some degree with people through a variety of platforms, one is still essentially alone.  That feeling is multiplied when my time is being spent with someone who I don’t really want to be around, but do subject myself to it, for the sole means of getting off.  It’s much easier to just be alone.


Which brings me to something I realized recently.  I’m not afraid of a relationship, however, I am unwilling to expose my own vulnerabilities and emotions to someone I do not trust, and I do not trust easily.  This seems to be a huge roadblock in the romances I have had this past year.  To me, it feels like each of these girls, even though they didn’t say it verbatim, were on a fast track to trying to tie me down.  A cornered dog is not a friendly encounter.

Thus, for the future, I plan on continuing my road to fitness.  I will continue to make healthy food choices.  Music making, fishing, reading, biking, and skateboarding, will be my go to activities.  I will maintain this blog, and attempt to post more often.  I have a ton of stuff sitting in draft form, but that is my curse.  It’s the follow through that matters, and I get so distracted by the new songs I am writing, shit with work, social life, etc. that I don’t finish a draft, and then all of a sudden, it’s a month later and the material is out of date.  Like my review of the new Die Hard, which I never posted.  Maybe I will.  However, don’t see it.  It’s crap.  At any rate, it sounds like a good focus to follow through and complete my tasks, to break the habit of having multiple unfinished projects going on at the same time.  However,  it’s baby steps that are needed; finish rhythm guitars, refine the drum track to accent the melody hits, review the vocal melody, back up vox for the chorus, add organ, complete the mixing, export it.  Just like going to the gym.

Organization has never been my forte.  That comes with the OCD tendencies of being a music writer.  Something gets lodged between the walls of my skull and that is all I can think about, until the next thing gets stuck there.  I’m not narrow minded, I just have a singular focus and a short attention span.  To remedy that part of my thinking, I have been practicing meditation.  I haven’t talked about that here, but I might in the future, especially if there is some interest in it.  Anyhow, thank you to everyone who has read my stuff over the past year, I look forward to interacting with you all in the future.





Rojo’s Road To Fitness

I have been slacking on posting.  Things got a little hectic over the holidays, one of my friends got married, and I took a nice week off of work to go to the snow.  I don’t do resolutions these days because I am on a constant track of self improvement.  In a not so recent post I was asked by Solo to give some detail on what I have been doing to cut weight and get in shape.  So hang on to your knickers everyone, here is a glimpse into my routine.

During this past summer, I recall looking at myself in the mirror and thinking to myself, “Damn, I am sure sick of being a fat fuck.”  I had put on about 60 pounds over the period of about 3 years.  I looked like an overweight mountain man.  I remember that day looking in the mirror like it was only yesterday.  I decided right then and there that I was going to change and it started NOW.  I had a friend who was doing good things with a combination of a paleo (and I hate that phrase) diet along with some cross fit training.  The first thing I did was cut out all processed foods and starchy carbs.  This meant, no potatoes, (which this Irishman definitely loves) no rice, no pasta (which the Italian in me also loves).  I then went a picked up Mark Sissons Primal Blueprint.  I took some of the suggestions in the book and put them to practical use.  I had recently purchased a fine pair of running shoes specifically for my foot type and running style.  I have a tendency to over pronate which in the past would give me terrible shin pain.

Armed with a new dietary regimen, which I will go into detail later, I started out with an exercise routine.  Now I have to mention that I do not like going to gyms at all.  Also the only affordable gym in my locale is unfortunately located right in the middle of downtown.  Instead of joining the gym, I researched some home / prison workout systems and started doing those.  I purchased a pull up bar and forced myself to do at least a pull up when ever I passed it.  It was a daunting task at first because I was 275 pounds.  I couldn’t lift that much of me to save my life.  So I would hoist myself up and hold myself as long as I could then slow let myself down.  I would repeat that about 20 times a day until  I could finally do a pull up.

On “body weight days” my routine looked like this:

I would repeat those exercises 3 times.

On non body weight days I would do sprints.  This consisted of about a mile of brisk walking warm up, until I started sweating.  Of course, I always had my dog in tow for this one, it’s his favorite thing to do.  I used my cell phone to time my sprint and rest periods, so it looked like this:  After warming up, as to avoid unnecessary injury and shin splints, I would run as fast as my tubby ass would take me, for a total of 30 seconds.  Then I would maintain a brisk walk for 2 minutes, whilst panting like I had run a marathon, and sweating like a pig in a fire pit.  I would repeat this 6 times, with another mile of walking for cool down.   This usually takes 45 minutes – 1 hour and covers around 3 miles.  The nifty thing about it is after doing this for a month or so, I was able to run a 5k and utilize my sprinting abilities.

That’s the fitness routine I stuck with.  My current routine is the same for body weight, except on sprint days, I work in 50+ push ups.  I usually do 25 before and 25 after.  As far as the number of days I do these, I sprint one day, body weight the next with one day off of body weight during the week.  This past week looked like this:

Sunday:  Sprint + Push ups

Monday:  Body Weight

Tuesday:  Sprints

Wednesday:  Body Weight

Thursday: Sprints

Friday:  Day off because I was playing a gig.

Saturday:  Sprints

Sunday:  Body weight before the Super Bowl

My sprints will begin again today, Monday.  I also recently purchased a weighted vest to get more out of my body weight sessions, and it has been kicking my ass.  However, I do love the feeling of being sore, even if I am walking funny.

Now that we have covered exercise, let’s move on to the new food regimen.

I Love To Eat

I really do.  In order to lose weight, and still enjoy eating I knew I wasn’t going to go full granola and just eat veggies.  I liked what the Primal Blueprint had to say, so I took the 80/20 advice and started eating only non processed foods.  I ate a ton of arugula salads, avocado, bacon, eggs, fish, chicken, leafy greens, and a ton of cruciferous veggies.   In a future post, I will outline some of my favorite recipes.

Basically I ate a high protein, veggie heavy diet 6 out of 7 days a week.  I also stopped drinking beer for the most part and simply stuck with spirits.  I cut all soda out of my routine, aside for the occasional Go-Girl.  (Don’t judge me, it tastes like carbonated pez and it’s made in West Sacramento, so essentially it’s like drinking Guiness in Dublin.)

This was my initial start and after about 2 weeks I started noticing changes.  However my biggest leap came when I started juicing.  Around August 15th, I went out and bought the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer and began juicing veggies.  I would make a juice each morning and drink it either before work, or at work.  Juicing was a game changer for me.  Weight started melting off, I found myself consistently in a good mood, I slept better and my stomach shrank.  My progress inspired several of my co-workers to start juicing and now they are juice fiends.  I was even able to get my folks into juicing and they gave me the Omega 8006 juicer for the holiday.  The omega juice tastes cleaner, is easier to clean, and comes with a 15 year warranty.  You can’t beat it, it’s amazing.  Also you can juice small berries in it and it gives higher yields for leafy greens.

The final change I made is I began supplementing with vitamin D and fish oil.

In addition to all of that I had stopped fapping.

What changed

In a period of about 4 months, I dropped 40 pounds.  I went from a size 42 waist to a size 36.  My shirt size dropped from XXL to L.  I nearly tripled my strength, as observed in the number of push ups and pull ups I can do now, compared to when I first started.  I’ve gained much more confidence, and I seem to have more mental clarity allowing me to express myself in conversation and my music in a much more coherent manner.  The transformation was visible to most around me, garnering me increased attention from females, questions by people who had seen this change, and an overall sense of well being.

What’s Next

My plan for the upcoming months is to tack a extra sprint onto my routine every 3-4 weeks.    Possibly 2-4 days a month I am going to do straight cardio running to see how far I can go.  My current best is a little over three miles and around 11 minute miles.  I am also going to meditate in the morning before starting my day.  I had played with this a bit earlier last year and really liked the results, however, I plateaued at 30 minutes and couldn’t get past that amount of time, even though I had my timer set for an hour.  I think it was an anxiety thing.

Hopefully that answers the question.  If any readers have questions, feel free to post them in the comments or send me an email at Rojobags at gmail dot com.

****Disclosure: If you purchase any of the products linked in this post  I receive a small percentage from the respected affiliate programs****

Rojo Runs ANOTHER 5k Sans Zombies

I was going to use this short break from work to get caught up on some posts I have pending, but during my latest drunken antics, I spilled bourbon on my keyboard and have to replace it.  Replace the keyboard that is.  Easy enough, and it will be coming in a slick black color.  Without further ado, a brief tale of getting filthy.

Fall had just started to break and the mornings were cold.  I headed out toward Sloughhouse to get my run on with my female CEO.  She’s a tough chick so when I told her I was doing this 5k she was all in.  However it should be mentioned that she is crazier than I am; she ran a 21 mile race the next day.  We get out to the race, number up and get ready to take off.  The event was extremely well organized a far cry from the previouszombie run I participated in.  The number of people participating was also much lower than the zombie run, with only 50 people running in a heat.  Heats were broken up by one hour increments and there was even a kid run.

The race began and I took off with B at a nice jog.  We went about a quarter mile before arriving at the first obstacle, which was a mud pit.  Trudging through the pit we came up on the next obstacle:  log and a six inch diameter pvc pipe over a creek bed.  This was tricky because our shoes were muddy from the recent pit.  There were two crossings so for the first one we slowly side stepped across the log, which was about a foot in diameter.  The runners were bunching up here as everyone was trying to cross on the log so B goaded me into crossing the pvc pipe.  I went really slow, but made it across, it felt great.

We came up on another mud pit with high and slow pipes across it.  We were instructed to go over and under.  Next was a rope swing over a mud pit, then a traverse across some monkey bars.  The push ups I had been doing really paid off as I was able to complete the entire set.  A man instructed us to “jump” at the next mud pit.  B, who is a little taller than me, jumped and ended up with mud up to her neck.  I stepped gingerly into the pit and we moved forward.  Another mudpit, and a high wall, and we ended up at a soapy slide.  This was major fun as I took a running jump and slid the entire way down to the mud.

A few mudpits later, we had to pick up and pumpkin and run with it for about a quarter mile.  There were a few more obstacles and we were finished, took a great victory picture, showered it off, and went home feeling fulfilled having accomplished more before 10am than most folk will accomplish in a day.

The saga of Rebirtha

While I was crawling on my belly in the middle of the race underneath some low placed rope, there were two younger runners in front me.  They were on their hands and knees not on their belly so they were catching the rope on their things and thangs.  One of the ropes caught on the guy in front and snapped back with such speed, that bits of mud flew into my mouth. (Note to self:  Keep mouth shut during mud run.)  I didn’t think much of it, until about two days later.

Tuesday morning:  I wake up, put on my duds, comb out my fro and head on down to work.  It was a big day as the new dental system we were implementing went live and there were still some bugs to sort out.  Around 9am I start peeing out of my butt.  I’m on the toilet about every 35-40 minutes for another round of chocolate waterfalls.  It’s terrible.  I was out to lunch in my head, because my head was in my leaky ass.  I couldn’t answer questions and was just all around miserable.  My boss cut me loose after I mentioned my circumstances.  I spent the next day and a half on my couch and toilet.  Awesome.  I started drinking kefir for it’s probiotics and lustfully awaited the day I would have a solid movement again.

Thursday morning:  I’m back at work, carefully moving through the day.  I finally feel the green light from my asshole that says, “it’s time for the 2lbduke my friend.”  I book it to the bathroom, drop trow, and proceed to have the most earth shattering movement.  I felt like a kid again.  I got up and observed what I had created and dubbed it “Rebirtha.”  My pants were a bit looser and I felt about 10 pounds lighter.  With a shit eating grin of accomplishment I strutted out of the bathroom to be greeted by merely TWENTY of my co-workers getting a safety tour from our facilities manager.  WTF?  How long had they been out there?  Could they here me cheering myself on?  Did they hear me naming my duke?  It was quite embarrassing, but it didn’t slow my pride or stride.  I made that, hear me roar.

That aside, I put two and two together and realized that I had giardia.  So after two days of rapid fire anal leakage, and one solid bowel movement, I then had a week of “I’m on a cheese only diet and don’t drink water so I’m more plugged than a freaking reservoir.”  This all might be TMI but I tell you this, so if you my read, are going to go run a mud run, do yourself a favor and keep that trap shut.  That way you will not end up like this guy and have ass issues for days. That shit should be reserved for old age.

Rojo runs his first 5k

It was actually around 4 miles, a little more than 5k and it was my first official foot race.  This was not, however, your normal empty gesture run / walk.  The race I participated in was training for the zombie apocalypse.  That’s right, it was a 5k zombie mud run and it was such stupid fun that I plan on doing it again next year. Hopefully, my brother will do it with me.

I woke up around 6:00am, made my juice, and took off to the ranch where the race was held.  There were a good number of cars there already at 8am and a ton of people waiting to get their bibs and flags.  I had already picked up my race package so I was good to go.  My friend and coworker Corky, joined me and we strolled around to get our blood moving prior to the race.  It was around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.  A perfect day to get our run on.  People were dressed from normal running gear to crazy survivalist outfits.  A number of great costumes were seen and there were some AWESOME zombie outfits.  My favorite had to be either the nurse zombie, or the near twin cheerleader zombies.  Not hard on the eyes at all.

The way this thing works is, there are two factions: runners and zombies.  Runners are given a belt with which to attach two flags.  There were supposed to be three flags but this was the events first year, so it was a little clown shoes.  They didn’t have bibs for the runners who signed up through living social, which included my friend.  I digress..  The object of the race is to get through the obstacles and zombies without losing both your flags.  If you lose all your flags, you are allowed to finish the race, but you are considered mortally wounded, and infected, death being imminent.  If you keep your flags, or flag, you get a certificate saying you survived and you get a beer ticket.

Corky and I line up, and they sound the horn and we’re off, like a herd of turtles in a cloud of peanut shells.  First up on the map, about a football field in, was marathon runner zombie (MRZ).  This dude looked like he could outrun the entire crew, and do it longer than anyone there, he was fit.  He was sprinting back and forth on the path with a fist full of flags.  We booked it through unscathed and kept going.  There we a few more zombies and then the first mud pit.  The assembly crew had put rope across the pit.  I assume this was to get people to crawl under it, but the panicking runners had pretty much torn it all down.  There was a narrow mud pit right after this one with a zombie in it.  Again we made it through unscathed.

The dynamic that occurred in the early stages of this run went like this:  relaxed jog to get down the road, see commotion up ahead, arrive at said commotion, sprint like a motherfucker.  This went on until we came up on a series of walls with a lumbering zombie in front.  I figure he was instructed not to grab to many flags unless a runner stood right in front of him because there was a small line to start climbing.  Corky and I waited on the outside until we could get to the walls.  My shoes were wet and muddy, so on the third wall, my foot slid across the top of a 2×4 and kicked the younger girl climbing next to me. She was focused and didn’t mind, and ended up booting me on accident as well.

Danger ahead in the least expected size.

I crest the final wall, which is one of the smaller ones, and I plan on jumping down and sprinting as fast as I can because there are 3 zombies in front.  I hop down and start off and this little girl, who couldn’t have been older than 6, steps in my path.  Now if this was an adult, I could have just blazed through, hip check and all, but I’m not going to do that to a wee lil girl.  So I do a sideways skip, and this little beast, eye level with my flag, snatches it off me.  Damn, I got got by a little girl.  They’re always the creepiest in the movies, so I shake it off and keep going.

The track is getting narrower so Corky and I develop a strategy.  We found ourselves alone and instead of braving the track with the zombies with MRZ waiting. We waited for a group of folk to catch up, then ran with the cattle.  It allowed us through.  So after a few more groups of zombies we crossed a tall hay bail stack and then made our way to a two story high tower made out of 2×6’s.  Running up, I came face to face with a zombie who was determined to get my flag.  I busted out a spin move that would have made Emmett Smith green with envy and made my way up the tower.  I took my time doing this tower, because although I am not afraid of heights, the memory of my slippery shoe was vivid in my thoughts.  I actually got a little nervous cresting to the otherside for my descent.

Zombies were waiting on the other side, but I sprinted past them and on to the next obstacle.  This one was not ready, which I attribute to being in the first heat.  It was a long tarp so I assume it was a water slide.  Bummer, that would have been fun.  By this point in the race, many people had lost their flags so the zombies were getting hungrier.  You could just see it in their eyes “FLLLAAAAAAAAAAG”.  After some tight situations (the zombies were posting up in bottlenecks on the course, where the path was forced through gates and the like) we came up on a mudpit.  This pit had three sections and I could that the two zombies were about chest deep in the water, and there was not much room in between.  I got up to the pit and there was a land whale of a zombie, or hochunk if you will.  I start sprinting, leap OVER the beast, and throw myself face first into the next muddy watered section.  Crisis averted.  At this point, Corky powered ahead faster than me, I kept my pace and move on.

When I signed up for this thing, I read that there was going to be a blood cannon.  I was excited.  I envisioned climbing up a slippery slope into huge waves of blood.  I thought wrong.  When I got to the haunted manor, after sprinting past hungry zombies, I got squirted in the face by a small discharge from a metal cylinder.  The cannon was disappointing.

Moving forward, this was the return leg of the race.  Flags were few and far between.  I caught up with some people I knew, and walked with them for a minute until the very last part.  I started jogging again, and from about 50 yards before the finish line, there were 4 zombies, including a zombie bride in a bitchin’ costume.  I took a casual jog past the first zombie as my remaining flag was behind me.  Once I passed that zombie, she screams out, “He has a flag!”.  I take off at a dead sprint and yell back. “Yer damn right and I’m gunna keep it, WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”.  The spectators start cheering, and I blaze past the remaining zombies and across the finish line.  Awesome.

Some takeaways I got from the event:

  • It’s good that I had been working sprints with my dog because those muscles were key in surviving the race.
  • I was impressed with my endurance as I did not know I had it in me to break out in full sprint at the end of a 4 mile jog.  The max I had been doing was 3 miles.
  • I need to quit smoking cigarettes as that is the main thing holding me back.  My lungs were pissed after the race, as they always are after some intense cardio.
  • Runner culture is tits.  There was a ton of talent on display at this thing, I think that’s something I can totally embrace.
  • When doing an event like this, always get the earliest possible heat.  The cars were lined up for about a mile when I was leaving at 12:00pm and the parking looked to be about two football fields back towards the horizon.  Long waits.
  • I like running fast more than I like smoking, change is imminent.

I’m way proud of myself, a major accomplishment for me.  I’ve dropped 35 lbs. so far and my clothes are fitting great.  I started out last year as a XXL and size 42 pant.  I’m now at a L and size 36.  Change is possible with determination and perseverance, as I am living proof.  Fuck yeah.

Also, I’m registering today for another 5k, except this is just a mud run.  I’m doing it with some folks from my work and it should be a load of good, dirty fun.  I can’t wait.