Functional Strength

It’s not about losing weight.  It isn’t really about how i look.  In general, i say “i am working to be as healthy and fit as i possibly can, to allow me to enjoy life and blah fucking blah diddley blahblahblah…”  But that’s kinda like… ummm…. bullshit.

Met with a fitness coach earlier this week.  She asked my goals.  i explained that little encounter with the cancer thing, and my choice to skip the hormonal chemo – better approach in my case was to reduce body fat.  We talked about my fitness habits, types of exercise i enjoy, and the types i despise..

A fast-talker from New York, she and i covered a lot of turf in a very short period of time.  Through the discussion, we finally converged on what it really is for me. 

i have made a choice to live on my own.  For now?  Forever?  Who knows.  But i’m flying solo.  There is also this pesky penchant for independence.  As in never asking for help – although a sincere offer of assistance is often accepted, i never want to count on it. 

Given that my live-in companion is a large, smelly hound?  Someone has to haul those 50 pound bags of dog chow from the car.  And that someone will be me. 

This part of the conversation with the fitness coach is when it all came together for her.  “Functional strength.  That’s what you need.”  She then prescribed a workout plan (with some suggestions on my approach to nutrition*).   We’ll follow up in a few months and see how it’s going.  i like her.  She cut through the bullshit fairly quickly.

Build the muscles you need to live your life.  Can’t think of a better reason to do it**.


* Diet Coke and SweeTarts are NOT breakfast.  Muscle is not built on simple or complex carbs – drop the popcorn, add fish and eggs.  Gotcha…

** Except for winning bar bets.  When that pic was taken (Christmas), i could drop and give you 45 push ups – on my toes – without stopping.  Working back up to that.  And a few more…

29 thoughts on “Functional Strength

  1. I think “healthy and fit” is not bullshit. It certainly trumps “losing weight to achieve the next smallest clothes size”. The latter certainly is bullshit.

    Functional strength is good. I try to maintain it, ‘cuz those 4 x 8 sheets of 1/2″ drywall or 3/4″ plywood ain’t gonna lift themselves.

    I’m cheering you on toward your goals!

  2. Hmm, you doing the 100 pushups in a month/6 weeks thing? YourZ is going to start that in March, and I’ve been tempted to follow him. I have really weak wrists and find pushups a real chore.

    Good luck!

  3. Muscle tone, feeling comfortable with your own body, and general health. 3 good reasons to exercise and stay fit.

    …not that you look like someone I would pass by without a second glance of course. But then.. you already knew that doll face.

  4. it’s 4.45 and i’m having coffee and a couple of ritz cracke3rs for breakfast. *sigh* i like your idea better, sugar. thanks for the kick in the pants re functional strength xoxoxxo

  5. rob – i know. but sometimes when you say the words over and over and over they become rote. 35-40 pounds ago, it was a bit about ‘size’, as in ‘i’ve outgrown my wardrobe and am too lazy and cheap to buy fat clothes’. that’s practical, though… and functional strength requires hand strength, too. never underestimate your need for a good grip!

    mine – a modified version of ‘hundred pushups’! it works, but there is no way in hell i’ll do it in 6 weeks. trainer made some suggestions on how to tweak it… her suggestion for weak wrists? planks (on your forearms). no dip. just hold it. strengthens a lot of back/shoulder.

    jimmy – and you never know when you need to deliver a proper ass-kicking… no shortage of suitors in my world. my demographic? elderly gents with failing eyesight! woo hoo! bring on the “cavalcade of seniors”!

    tNb – the strength analogy applies for me elsewhere… and the weakness corollary? oh, yeah!

    savannah – i just hate eating in the morning. cottage cheese, greek yogurt… blah…. that’s going to be my downfall. well, that and booze…

    nursemyra – in the first pic, he’s wondering what the hell i’m doing to his bag-o-food. The Girl and i were farting around with pics for the christmas letter, and i thought it’d be goofy to deadlift the dog chow…. she had fun getting the ‘in process’ shots…

  6. okay, next i want to see you lift Mr. Pickles over your shoulders!

    yeah, it’s hard hearing ‘don’t worry about the weight’ when we have had ‘lose weight!’ screamed into our systems our whole lives. but i think the trainer has the right of it. sounds like you have a good one.

  7. Wait a minute when did Coke and Sweet tarts not become part of breakfast? next you’re gonna tell me that chocolate candy bars aren’t breakfast either and that beer should only be consumed after 12 noon, i don’t know if i like this getting old shit… and nice cans ;), i’m all class.

  8. Daisy showing off the guns!

    So you didn’t tell your trainer you want to fit into a pair of leather pants? Because there’s no reason you can’t have both functional strength and leather pants.

  9. gnu – the weight isn’t supposed to wiggle. he’d be a bit unweildly. but i could lift him and carry him on my shoulders. if i drug him first…

    unbearable banishment – i know. both the ‘legs’ and ‘pain’. already feeling a difference with what seemed like minor changes to my routine. but it’s working. you like the wife-beater? nothing wrong with a man who appreciates an occasional asskicking!

    DP – you have your own built in trainer. avoiding those shin kicks will make you a champion athlete!

    stephanie – not me. my trainer. she’s 63. and could wipe the floor with me. very, very cool. i’ll never be a gym rat. hate it. but it’s a necessary evil.

    kono – really? sweeTarts are my favorite food group! and i’m not surprised you like the model year 2007 bionic twins. they’ll put your eye out!

    uncle keith – working on being able to do about 100 squats or so, also. no problem. i don’t mind driving…

    syncopated eyeball – thank you! trying to get comfortable with my flawed and mushy body. not all of it can be muscled…

    renalfailure – i have been so inspired by those german grannies who have purple spiked hair and wear leather pants – and do it with confidence. it’s a byproduct, not a goal…

    archie – thanks, but it’s not a ‘fun’ or particularly attractive shirt. i buy these things by the dozen (in every color i can find) and wear them until they fall apart…. nothing special

    nursemyra – nah. but maybe i’ll come up with something fun from the road… traveling for a bit….

    Bb – only 5? FIVE?!?!? oh, we’re not talking about push ups, are we?

    blaiser – so the technique is crap. it’s a wiggly bag. not easy to get a grip on it. i hoisted it over my head, too, but promptly dropped it, so we didn’t get that pic…

  10. Functional strength. I like that. I think that means I only have to learn how to unscrew a club soda bottle.


    Wait. I’m going to have to lug my own 50-pound salt bags when I’m on my own? Shit. Thanks, Daisyfae. I was planning on not going anywhere — like the gym — for 15 days so I could stay in and be patriotic and root for the home Olympic team. Now you’ve infused guilt into my activities. Damn you!

  11. Since I am starting down the path to fitness, you have inspired me to a new mantra- “functional strength”. No more visions of filling out a sailor suit or Hulk Hogan-ish muscles since the only weight I need to lug along is my own ass, a laptop bag, and 50 pound bags of dog chow.

  12. fragrant liar – there is power in that independence… but it’s, like, WORK, so i’m not getting there anytime soon. had a vacation to work in this winter, and… well…. you know…

    dave – i have only recently given up any possibility of having a “media-approved” attractive body. just ain’t happening. i do, however, enjoy feeling strong… and that’s more important to my long term future than whether or not my butt looks cute on the beach (it doesn’t, by the way…)

  13. @rassles – yep. i’m thinking that this trainer-lady is just what i need. said she was glad i wasn’t one of those “i wanna get down to a size 8 in 2 weeks” clients… said she always wants to hit those women. i’m with her on that one…

  14. i live with a large smelly hound too but enough about rip….ya know? you really are a beautiful woman and you look happy. thanks for posting these pics.

  15. Pingback: Functional Strength: Revised Definition « Trailer Park Refugee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s