07 June, 2012

P90X Day 41: Kenpo X

Yesterday, I said that I expected to be disappointed with the results of Kenpo X today. I was wrong. It was another great workout. My side kicks still need work, but that will come in time as I increase my flexibility. Heart rate was good throughout though. That makes it six days in a row now that I've been pleased with my workout. That must be some kind of record for P90X.

Really don't have much else to say. It's still an hour of punching and kicking at air. Nothing's changed since last week. :)

Tomorrow, I'm making a quick trip to Chicago and back. I'll be leaving here around 5:30 in the morning, and likely won't be back until after 10:30 at night. Tomorrow is "Rest or X Stretch" though. I suppose I could take advantage of my scheduled day of rest. That would be the easy way out, and perhaps the smart way as well.

But there's that calendar staring me in the face. The last day that I did no workout whatsoever was December 25, 2011. That's 166 days ago. I don't want my streak to end. So, I'll be getting up an hour earlier in the morning so I can do the X Stretch before I go.

I told you I was crazy.

I likely won't post tomorrow due to my other commitments, and I am participating in the National Blogger Day of Silence in support of Aaron Walker and other bloggers who are being silenced by Brett Kimberlin and his cohorts.

See you Saturday.

06 June, 2012

P90X Day 40: Legs & Back

It’s strange how your body changes from day to day.

Last week I remember thinking to myself that I could definitely tell that I’d reached Phase II of the program. Despite only two workouts changing, it felt quite a bit harder. Both the new workouts were pretty hard, and I was pushing myself harder on the other five.

Then came last Saturday, which was a disaster for me, as I mentioned at the time.

However, every day since Saturday has been almost pleasurable, if you can actually call a P90X workout pleasurable. I don’t want to call them easy. If a P90X workout is ever “easy”, then you’re probably doing it wrong. But, it seems like I’ve settled into a sort of routine. I know I’m pushing myself harder. I can see it in the increased weights, increased reps, increased heart rate, and increased flexibility. But there are very few exercises that just make me groan in dread when I realize they’re coming up. Maybe it’s because I know I can do them, now. I don’t know.

And, I’m not watching the clock, wondering when it’s going to end. I’m pushing myself to failure on every single exercise, but at the end of the workout, I feel like I could still do more exercises, if there were more to do. That was definitely not the case the first few weeks.

Today, the only exercise that really bothered me was when we got to Single Leg Raises. The pull ups are getting easier every week. I’m still not where I want to be with them, but I’m starting to get pretty close.

And the same is true with Ab Ripper X. I’ve started doing the harder versions of some of the exercises, and my form is getting better on the exercises that are just naturally harder. I almost feel like I’m doing the workout correctly now. Before I was just doing it as correctly as possible considering the shape I was in.

It’s strange, like I said. I feel like I’m going through some sort of metamorphosis. But, if I am, it’s all on the inside so far, because I still look pretty much the same on the outside.

Anyway, that’s enough self-congratulatory babble for me today. Tomorrow is Kenpo X. I’ve only been truly happy once after a Kenpo X workout, so the odds are my bubble will burst a little bit tomorrow. As Doris Day said, “QuĂ© sera sera.”

June 6, 1944

Walker Survives Recall: What Does It Mean?

I have a slightly different take on the WI Governor race than most of my conservative brethren. Last night, Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) survived his recall election against Mayor Tom Barrett (D-Milwaukee). The margin of victory was about 7 points (53%-46%). This exceeds his victory margin from 2010 (also against Barrett) slightly.

Exit polls showed the race a dead heat, at 50/50. These same polls also gave President Barack Obama (D-USA) a 7-9 point edge over former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) in the race for the White House. Conservatives are saying that the exit polls were about 7 points off, so WI is now a battleground state, and is essentially tied.

Maybe. My guess is likely not, but I won’t say that’s certain. I will say that’s the wrong lesson to be taking from last night’s election.

My guess is that Obama still wins WI in November, by about 3-4 points. Now, that’s certainly close enough that it’s worthwhile for Romney to invest some money there and see if he can gain any traction. But, I think it’s unlikely to be a deciding state. If Romney wins WI, look for him to cruise to victory nationally in November, with probably something approaching 350 electoral votes.

That may happen, but few people are betting that way just yet.

I think looking at WI and wondering whether Romney can win it is taking the small view. I’m looking at the big picture. The last 3 elections have all been “wave” elections, with Republicans winning big in 2010, but Democrats winning big in 2008 and 2006. Even 2004 was a small wave for the GOP, in that President George W. Bush (R-USA) expanded his win over 2000 and got expanded majorities in both chambers of Congress, which is exceptionally rare for a 2nd term.

More importantly, the D/R/I breakdowns of the electorate shifted dramatically between 2004 and 2006, and again between 2008 and 2010. We have a very frustrated and volatile electorate right now, which makes prognostication exceedingly difficult. If you’re a pollster and you’re using a model that projects 37% of the electorate will be D, but it turns out to be only 33%, your whole forecast is going to be wrong.

So, the challenge for all the pollsters, and for anyone else who wants to take a stab at projecting 2012 results, is predicting where that D/R/I breakdown is going to land. So far, no one is predicting that 2012 will be a wave election. But, the question in everyone’s mind is whether it will more closely resemble 2008, or 2010.

Walker exceeded his victory margin from 2010 over the same opponent.

That means, in WI at least, 2012 looks like it may be much closer to 2010 than 2008. Perhaps even better than 2010. Will that translate nationally? That’s the billion dollar question. If the answer is yes, Romney can start thinking about who’s going to be in his Cabinet. Obama can not win in a 2010 environment.

Yes, there are some caveats here. Recall elections are oddballs. Also, it’s very possible that WI may be getting sick of elections, so they may not be quite as enthusiastic in November. And, it’s hard to say whether Romney can generate the same kind of enthusiasm in November anywhere that Walker did in WI yesterday.

In other words, it’s just one data point. Don’t read too much into it. But, if you think they’re not smiling in Romney HQ today and panicked in Obama HQ, then you’re not paying attention.

My personal opinion? Lately this feels like a re-run of the summer of 2010. That makes me very happy.

05 June, 2012

P90X Day 39: Yoga X

Yoga X. Easy peasy.

Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration. Same caveats for Twisting Triangle, Half Moon, and Twisting Half Moon still apply. Also realized I wasn’t doing Royal Dancer quite right. The right way is a little bit harder.

But, overall a nice, pleasant 90 minutes. Pretty sad when Yoga becomes one of the workouts you look forward to as part of P90X.

Tomorrow, Legs & Back. And Ab Ripper X. Let me go ahead and get this out of the way now.




Ok, I feel better now. See you tomorrow.

Chris of Rights Will Always Support Free Speech

My wife is upset with me for my post on Brett Kimberlin last week. I understand why. Aaron Walker was arrested for blogging about Kimberlin. Stacy McCain and his family are in hiding for blogging about Kimberlin. Patterico had police with weapons drawn in his house looking for bodies, and all because he dared blog about Kimberlin. And now, blogger and tweeter who tweets under the handle @ali says his family has been threatened for the crime of supporting the people mentioned above.

So, you can understand why my wife might be upset with me for getting involved in this. I’m only semi-anonymous on this blog. It’s not that hard to find out my real name if you want to do a bit of research. I’ve given enough personal information on this blog that you could certainly find me and my family if you knew my name. She doesn’t want our family to go through what others are going through. And that’s a very reasonable viewpoint. And I don’t want my wife upset with me. The quote “happy wife, happy life” is a true one, after all. Nor do I want my wife and children to be in danger. Particularly over something that I use as more of an expressive outlet than anything else. I know I have very few daily readers, and that doesn’t bother me. That’s never been the point. The point is that I get all of this bottled up inside me, and this is my way of expunging it.

Despite that, I have no intention of lessening my support for Aaron Walker, Patterico, Stacy McCain, @ali, or any one else facing the wrath of Kimberlin and his lackeys.

Why? Am I just crazy?

No. Remember the name of this blog. It wasn’t chosen just to be cute. It’s not just happenstance. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, the Bill of Rights, particularly the First Amendment, are extremely important to me. This isn’t a left/right issue. It’s a right/wrong one. If the roles were reversed, and it was Kimberlin who was attempting to blog, and Patterico, for example, had sent police to his house on a fake 911 call, I would still be writing this, only in support of Kimberlin.

I believe in Free Speech. No matter whose speech it is. The left should be coming out in support of these bloggers as well. They need to be shamed into it, if necessary. Freedom of speech is, in my opinion, the most important of our God-given rights. If you let them take that away from you, then they can take anything away from you, including your life.

You need to understand. What’s going on here is beyond terrifying. I try to avoid comparisons to Nazi Germany. I think they’re overdone. And I think that hyperbole tends to weaken, rather than strengthen your argument. But here the comparisons to the Third Reich are warranted.

This is exactly how it started in the 1930s with the Jews. Jews were targeted, isolated, and attacked. And not just Jews, but the people who came out in support of them. Most of the general citizenry of Germany didn’t agree with this. But it was made clear to them early on what happened to people that spoke up in defense of Jews who were unfairly attacked. So, instead of standing up, they lived in fear that the eyes of oppression would turn next to them. And they did their best to hide from those eyes.

I can’t do that. I’m not trying to be macho here, or pretend that I’m displaying real courage. For me, it’s a decision that I can’t live in shame and in fear. I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror every morning and know that I’m a good person and a good father. I couldn’t do that if I didn’t stand up here.

Kimberlin and his associates are trying to destroy freedom of speech in America. The left, in their silence here, is complicit in this. We cannot allow this to continue.

I have one more link, and I want you to follow it, and read every word. It’s from Ace of Spades HQ. I support his decision, and will be participating in the National Day of Blogger Silence on Friday.

One quote, but do read the whole thing:

On Friday, this site will be absolutely dead-silent, which is what Brett Kimberlin and his stalker crew seeks, and what the media and our supposed Representatives in Congress would permit.

The only post on Friday will be a bold-faced Open Letter to Congress, urging them to act and not attempt to pass the buck to others.

They are our representatives; we would like some representation.

They vowed to defend and protect the Constitution; they can honor that vow now.

I will post links of Congressmen's and Senator's email addresses and offices and phone numbers, and urge every concerned American citizen to let them know, in no uncertain terms, that a crime in progress against the First Amendment (and people's safety) is occurring, and we humbly request they take this seriously.

They are literally going to get someone killed. That is their endgame here.

Will the media and Congress pretend "we didn't know" when this happens?

ABCNews knows.

The Weekly Standard knows.

The Daily Caller knows.

And many, but not yet all, Congressmen and Senators know.

I encourage all bloggers and twitterers to essentially strike that day, or write nothing except your desire that you expect your Congressmen to take threats to your First Amendment rights seriously.

04 June, 2012

P90X Day 38: Back & Biceps

Hooray! Today was a red-letter day. I didn't hate doing Ab Ripper X. Pretty sure that's the first time. Not that it was fun, but it wasn't excruciating. My form is definitely getting better for that 16 minutes too. I've definitely made some significant progress. But there's a lot more to make.

As for the main workout, this was the second time around for Back & Biceps. I still like this workout. I mentioned last time that I thought that I had done much better at picking good starting weights for this one than I did for others. I was correct, and it definitely helped this week having a good solid baseline from last week. For every exercise, I either increased my weight from last week, or increased the number of reps. And, for a couple, I actually did both. Still, I landed in the 8-10 reps range for almost all of the exercises. I need to review my sheet from today and see if it'll be necessary for me to pick up some more barbells this week. I don't think so, but I could be wrong. After next week, I don't return to Back & Biceps for a few weeks. I'll almost certainly want some more weight by then, but I'll have plenty of time to make those adjustments.

One thing I am noticing now that I'm working with heavier weights is a marked difference between my left and right side. I can usually get out one more rep, and sometimes two, with my left arm, than I can with the right. I'm not sure if I should start working on using different weights or not. If I don't, it seems like they'll eventually get closer together, because the right will be getting more of a workout than the left. However, that also means that I won't get all the benefits on the left side. I need to think about this.

A friend of mine who's also doing P90X has been doing some of the workouts outside. I haven't done this yet. If I could figure out a way to do pull-ups outside, I might for this one though. I think this one would be a fun one to do outside. You need several different weights, and even though I'm doing it in a decently sized room, I have to be careful that the weights I need are both easily accessible, and not in my way.

Of course, the Superman exercise might lead to grass stains, but that's ok. It's amazing how hard that particular exercise is. Try it. Lay on the floor on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you like you're Superman flying. Then lift up your arms and legs and hold them up for 10 seconds. Put them back down for another five. Repeat this whole thing 5 times, and make sure you really stretch when you're lifting. You'll definitely feel it.

(And I haven't even mentioned "Superman-Banana"--don't ask)

Tomorrow, Yoga X. I'm actually looking forward to it. Really, I should have my mental health checked. ;)

03 June, 2012

P90X Day 37: Plyometrics

Or…What a Difference a Day Makes

If you recall, I wasn’t too happy yesterday. And, Plyometrics is one of my least favorite days, so I wasn’t looking forward to today at all.

Still, today ended up being pretty fun. It still kicked my butt, don’t get me wrong. And it probably did so harder than ever before. My heart rate was consistently in the 160s from almost the opening seconds. And that might even be a bit high for me. Still, I enjoyed the workout even though I was completely drained afterwards.

While jumping around like crazy today, I let my mind wander a bit. Not really sure why anyone complains about Plyometrics, to be honest. It’s a mere 58 minutes long. And about 16 minutes of that is warm up & cool down stuff. That only leaves 42 minutes. But it’s not even that bad.

During those 42 minutes, you do 32 exercises that are 30 seconds each. You also do 11 exercises that are 1 minute each. That’s a total of a mere 27 minutes. The remaining 15 minutes, you’re just standing around doing nothing. Winking smile

There are a few 30 second breaks, but most of that 15 minutes comes from the short downtime between each of the exercises. These breaks are about 10-15 seconds on average. The first couple times you do Plyometrics, you might wonder why these little pauses are there, but by the time you get to week five, you’ve learned to take advantage of them. In fact, you take advantage of every single second of downtime you can get during this particular workout. You need them.

And you’re still drenched with sweat and out of breath at the end.

Tomorrow: Back & Biceps. That’s another of my favorites, so with luck I’ll still be smiling tomorrow. See you then!