Thursday, March 8, 2012

RKC 2 - The Decision. I'm taking my talents to Venice, Italy!

No the above isn't a typo. For a month or so I've toyed with the idea. I was excited about RKC 2 next month in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was looking forward to meeting Dave Clancy, Linda Elizabeth Mertens, Kevin Knapp, and others. I was looking forward to participating side by side with my coach and friend Mark Snow and doing the shooting stance with Jason Nold. I was looking forward to learning from Brett Jones and getting to meet Jeff O'Connor.

But I had doubts. Prior to my trip to Omaha I hadn't slept comfortably in a bed in 2 years, due to my herniated disc. With the recent flare up of my back, my very wobbly pistol with a counterweight, was gone and, produced pain everytime I tried it. My heaviest press was a 36kg far from the 44kg I need for level 2. Last, I'm 15 pounds heavier than my "game shape" and my pullup was terrible. I had zero confidence. While in Omaha, Mark asked me, "which do you want to do"? "When you say St. Paul, I see you get nervous and tense." "When you mention Italy, you get more relaxed". Everyone needs a coach and my coach had me pegged.

With that talk, I made the switch. I've made progress in my pistol training again and, hit a PR in the press! I hit a 32kg bottoms up press last Saturday and a 40kg military press on Tuesday. I've also got a new program from Mark to work on. This and the extra 90 days gives me the confidence that I'll be successful in June. Hmmm, guess it's time to get Rosetta Stone!

The Gun Show at the RKC 8/20/11

This post is also about goals. I wasn't proactive enough with mine. I let my own doubts get in the way and built excuses. I tell clients you should have a goal, take before and after pictures. The photos from the August RKC were posted the day after I made the switch to Italy. This photo reminded me of what "game shape" looks like. This photo was months in the making. This photo is what I need to get back to. Time to GET MONEY!

Pharaoh out!

Friday, March 2, 2012

A week of learning!

A week of programming!

I was in Omaha, Nebraska last week with Mark Snow of SG Human Performance . Getting ready for RKC 2, I asked Mark to design my program. This visit was to go over some things, and assess my readiness for RKC 2 in April. I was also there to attend the FMS combo workshop. I did the CK-FMS back in October, so this was a review for me. I was fortunate to be an assistant for the first day of the workshop.

First things first, I'm jacked up. Having to list your injury history, and then look at them on a white board for a week, can do that to you. After looking at my injury history, SFMA and FMS score I said to Mark, "If I walked in and asked me to train me, I wouldn't do it". "I'd be scared sh#tless".

I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and went straight to the gym from the airport. Being on 2 planes (the second one might as well have had a single propeller) I felt really stiff. I grab a foam roller to un-glue some things. Of course "Dad" walked in and I got scolded. SMR work has an effect on your movement screen so we put it off until Wednesday morning. Instead Mark did a SFMA assessment and some trigger point therapy. One word, OUCH. It did pay off, as there were several triggers in my neck that needed to be addressed. The rest of the afternoon was spent going over correctives, deadlifts and power swings. There was constant assessing going on. Some drills would work, others would cause pain. One corrective in particular (Kettlebells From the Ground Up 2) worked everytime. After dinner I went to my room to sleep.

Ah, the sleep thing. I have a herniated L5 - S1. I haven't slept comfortably in a bed in over a year. Most times I sleep in a recliner, since it's one of the few things that don't irritate my back. Going to certifications, workshops and seminars is always tough. I was hoping this trip would change some of that.

Wednesday morning, I wake up with no back pain. Hmmm, something must be working. I went to the gym and got my screen in. 13/21. Not where it needs to be, but a major improvement from the 5 I had in October. My lowest score, a 1/1 on rotary stability. Of course with my back the way it is, it was no surprise that was the low score. A few drills to see if we could bring that up, as well as some Kalos Sthenos TGU and armbars. I also got a neck massage to release some of the triggers in my neck and pecs. Some kettlebell drills and correctives rounded out the morning. The afternoon session was a few circuits of goblet squats, swings, bottoms up presses, weighted pullups and pistol progressions.

The Pharaoh demonstrating the TGU with Mark Snow at Midland University

Thursday morning I go with Mark to Midland University, where he teaches 2 classes. In his first class, he covered the active straight leg raise and shoulder mobility. Many of the student athletes in his class had some issues. Hopefully, they take the things they are learning in the class and stick with the correctives. After class, SMR work and some kettlebell drills. I'd been having some trouble with the snatch and couldn't figure out why. Mark pointed out I wasn't using glutes. I started to tighten them up and the bell flew up. Something I've known, but needed someone else to remind me. As I've said before, everyone needs a coach, and this week proved it for me. In the second class, Mark taught the students the TGU.  Tons of learning going on at that time. Students, starting to understand how their bodies move (or don't move). The TGU is truly a fascinating exercise, as it requires good movement and stability. It also points out weak links. That evening we went to the event center to set up for the FMS combo course. In all of this my dude Kareem was stuck in Chicago. He was coming in to take the 3 day combo course. Snow in Chicago cancelled his flight and he was on stand-by. Luckily, he made it to Omaha (I think he hired a farmer to bring him in on a crop duster).

I didn't do any training Friday - Sunday. That was for the FMS course. You can always learn something new, even when you've taken a course before. At the CK-FMS, we did more correctives with the kettlebell. During the combo course we did a lot of correctives with the Gray Cook band. There was some R & R as Kareem and I went to a hockey game (oh there were some funny stories with that). We also had a chance to play Buck Hunter (if the Zombie apocalypse occurs, I want a Glock), and learned the Nold Shooting Stance. It was amusing, and actually similar to the shooting stance of soldiers in World War 1.

Before going to the airport Monday, I went to the gym for another training session. One of Mark's new students, Rhonda, thanked me for working out when she was there. She said it was inspiring.  I thanked her, because it was inspiring to watch her. I told her that somewhere in NYC, there is a woman who wants to learn about kettlebells. She may have a similar story and I would be able to share that.

As I said, it was a week of learning. Learning about myself. Learning about the FMS. Learning different approaches to teaching classes. Learning the NoldMy friends laughed when I said I was going to Omaha for a week. With all the learning I did last week, how could I not have gone to Omaha?

Pharaoh out!