I find contentment when my heart rate hits 160 – 85% of my heart rate max. My brain clears of thought. My awareness of “me” disintegrates. It feels really good to work that hard – mindlessly working and loving it!

85% is right around my lactate threshold – the point at which the body produces lactate FASTER than it can clear it. When my heart rate goes above 85% I begin to tire. The length of time I can spend above 85% depends on how hard I am working – I can build to 92% but need to shut it down immediately or I could stay at 88% for 45 seconds. My tolerance to repeat intervals above 85% is dependent upon the intensity of the efforts – I may have the capacity for 4 92% efforts or 10 88% efforts.

My long-term recovery is also impacted by amount of time I spend above 85%. I haven’t figured all of it out yet, but the more time spent above 85% the less likely I am to be able to reach 85% on the next attempt. I notice this more in the summer when I ride more. Some days my body just can’t work hard enough to get anywhere near 85%. When this happens I need to take a few days off from riding and allow my body to recover. This can happen even when my leg muscles feel fine; just as I can push my heart rate above 85% when my legs are still sore from specific leg training.

Regardless, it feels amazing to be working right on the threshold of exhaustion. It’s both mental tough and mental rewarding. Tough in that I can work harder and longer than my internal monologue believes I can and rewarding because I reach a point where the internal monologue stops and my body functions uninhibited by thought.

The Opportunity I’ve Been Waiting For

My best friend once told me that if you don’t go looking for what you want, you’ll end up settling for what you get. He was right. Before I took his advice I had lots of jobs that were soul destroying and very unsatisfying. Right before I took his advice I quit my job and spend a month travelling the east coast with a tent, my bike and enough money to buy food, beer and a few other things that I may need along the way. I’ll tell you this, it was one of the best months of my life and I learned a lot about myself during my time on the trails, roads and sitting in the tidal water with a belly full of Keith’s Light and growing desire to find my purpose in life.

When I made the decision to quit my job and take the trip I hadn’t realized that my old life was ending and that a new one was beginning – life is funny like that, you really don’t know that a paradigm shift has occurred until you look back on it and that see something new started.

Fast forward to now. I have just started the next chapter of my purpose filled life. Larry, my old boss, friend and owner of Sports Specific Training is expanding his company into Richmond Hill and helped me secure the role as Director Of Sports Programing for the facility. This is the dream role for me. This is the job that I have always wanted (at least since that trip out east when I began dream of getting what I wanted out of life vs. getting what I get).

I am a helper, a guide and a facilitator of change. My purpose in life is to help others achieve their potential. The role I play is to add something to the equation that allows one to move past their plateaus or sticking points and find greater success in their life. As a strength and conditioning coach, the opportunities to do this are huge. As the Director of Sports Programing, these opportunities are almost limitless given that I’ll be creating the programs for the athletes along with leading the team of strength and conditioning coaches.

To say that I am happy or excited about this opportunity would be a modest understatement. I am ecstatic! This role is a singular accumulation of all of my past work experience – my 3 years in IT management, 2 years in fitness club management, 2 years of personal training, 2 years of sales, 2 years of instructing fitness classes and my endless hours in the gym training. It will even draw from unsatisfying soul destroying jobs I took before I realized I had a choice to do what I wanted. I am grateful and see myself as lucky for having decided to work at what am passionate about for long enough to earn the opportunity to do this role.

Over the next few months I will be writing about the experience of opening the new center and my experience of starting this dream role. Check back often to get the updates of the important changes, benchmarks and personal growth steps I take along the way. I look forward to all of it!

New Exercise This Week

Mid cable core rotations / holds. This movement works the entire core along with recruiting the VMO and Gluteus medius and Gluteus minimus. It also recruits the pecs in an isometric contraction.

To preform this movement you need to be standing in front of a mid cable machine that has a handle attachment. Your feet and hips will be in line and will be at a 45 degree angle to the front of the machine and your upper body will be rotated about 45 degrees towards the machine. You take the handle in both hands and straighten you arms so they are extend and at shoulder height. Once you are in this position you rotate your upper body so your shoulders are in-line with your hips and feet.

If you are doing static holds, you hold this position for 15-30 seconds before rotating to the starting position and resetting to work the other side.

If you are doing dynamic movements, you use a tempo of 211 with a 1 second lift, 1 second hold and 2 lowering of the weight. Do 8-12 reps and switch to the other side.

What I like about this movement is the VMO and glute recruitment that you don’t normally get with core rotational movements.

The Dreamer of Ridiculous Dreams

I haven’t written on newstasis in a while because I have had very little inspiration. I left my management job at SST in August and found a job as an IT recruiter. I figured I would try it out and see what it was like and for 7 weeks I was a recruiter. When I took the job I thought that I had found something that I was going to love and make a career out of. I didn’t. I do not have what it takes to be a successful IT recruiter; mainly because I do like it and can’t see myself doing it for much longer than a couple of months.

But there was a lesson in the whole process and now that I am back with SST I’m able to see things more clearly.

I am a pathological optimist. Rachel would say that I have a tendency to dream and I would agree with her. Often times my dreams taint my judgement and I make decisions that are based on the happy-blissful feeling I get when I’m thinking about all the things that are possible vs. the slightly muted or dull feeling that is associated with the acceptance of how things actually are. The end result is that I agree to things that are, in hindsight, not suited for me. IT recruiting is another example of this tendency.

I knew even before I started doing it that the fit was wrong – Rachel knew, my friends knew, my family knew – but such was my decision to leave SST and try something new. They all supported me because that’s what you do with someone who dreams the ridiculous dream.

At 35 I’m not sure I should even attempt to change this aspect of my personality because I don’t see it to be a flaw. In fact, I think people could benefit from being a little more optimistic about the future. I would say that being hopeful for the possibility for change is a requirement for things to get better; at the very least, it’s a requirement for seeing things in a different and better way. This seeing things as better and believing that they can be this way is the first step in make your world the way you want it to be. Even if this means taking on jobs that you don’t like after 7 week.

Hey, I could have been right and found my happiness as an IT recruiter.