Sunday, February 1, 2009

Baby Come Back!

Whew!  What a weekend!  I had an absolutely wonderful time with the wife, she seems to make everything better when she's around.  Food tastes better, the sun seems to shine brighter, and life is all the more sweeter!  

You'll have to bear with me on this entry as I haven't blogged since Thursday.  So if this starts to look more like "War and Peace" than a blog entry, my apologies!


I woke up early to go to Woburn for more massage and soft-tissue work, as usual the treatment was fantastic!  After a snack and a nap, I went to Excel to do my workout for the day.  Usually I would have waited till late afternoon to lift but Lauren's flight was landing at 3:00 P.M so I wanted to be done by the time she arrived.  The emphasis was on the bench press today and Merlin..... sorry I mean Carl, found a way to structure it perfectly.  Heres the workout:
Physioball Walkouts- 3x6
Pushups (bosu ball) 2x10
A1. Oblique Pulldowns- 4x8 w/40 lbs
A2. Pallof Press 4x5 w/50 lbs
A3. Landmines 4x5 w/45 lbs.
B. Bench Press:
2x12 w/135 lbs.
2x8 w/225 lbs.
2x5 w/245 lbs.
4x3 w/275 lbs.
C. Chest-supported Row 1x10 w/45 lbs., 4x5 w/90 lbs.

As I said earlier, Carl calculated the sets, weights and reps in such a way that the final rep of the final set of 275 was an absolute grind!  It always feels good to get a solid upper body day in, or as Craig puts it "full body but no legs!"  

Almost as soon as I finished my post-workout shake, Lauren came running through the door!  It was so good to see her and I was proud to introduce her to everyone in the gym.  After a quick change and fighting off numerous yankee insults about the very stylish boots I was sporting ("Hey Tex, when you get to the league we need to get you a stylist!"), we were off to downtown Boston for dinner. 

On the way there I noticed a few things:
1. The seats in the Pontiac G6 are absolutely the most uncomfortable seats I have ever sat in!  I kept shifting and adjusting the seat but I couldn't find any relief.
2. Once you approach downtown Boston a strange thing happens; the roads go underground!  Much to my dismay, my beautiful view of the Boston skyline soon turned into a labyrinth of converging roads and exits!  The next thing I knew, the skyline was BEHIND me!
3. I don't think I've ever paid as much in tolls as I did driving the Mass. Turnpike!  After the final toll booth, I kept checking my side and rear-view mirrors for Little John from Sherwood Forest, he probably wanted a share too!

"A toll is a toll and a roll is a roll........." (I actually prefer "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" with Kevin Costner to "Men in Tights" but the bridge scene in Men in Tights is hilarious!)

At the suggestion of John Sullivan, co-owner of Excel, we ate at the historic Union Oyster House.  The Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in Boston and the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S.  Being very nostalgic and a student of history, I absolutely loved this place!

 I started out with the Clam Chowder which was brilliant, then they brought me the Cold Seafood Sampler with shrimp, oysters and cherrystones.  For the main course I had the broiled seafood platter with salmon, shrimp, scallops, scrod and swordfish with new potatoes and cornbread.  C'est magnifique!  Something about being in downtown Boston was very special, while I regret that landfill has changed the geography of the city in modern times, it exciting to know that I was walking the same streets as the Sons of Liberty and standing on the same soil that great patriots of old fought and bled on in the infancy of our great country.  I got the feeling that we are "standing on the shoulders of giants" as they say, great men who paved the way for liberty and freedom as we know it.  

After this great dinner, we went back to the Hilton in Woburn and got some rest as I had a big training session on Saturday.  In a great city with my great wife, and life..... well it's great too!


We meant to wake up and hit the Freedom Trail in the morning but with the mercury cresting at a chilly 26 degrees, we decided to sleep in!  After a meal at the mall in Woburn, we went over to Athletic Evolution in Woburn, another great facility, to do some sprinting and lifting.  After a warmup, Carl had me do some 12 lbs. med ball tosses.  Maybe I was just showing off for Lauren but I hit the roof of the place numerous times with my throws, even from a static start.  Carl said this was the first time he had seen somebody do that, including his past NFL clients.  After 20 or 25 throws, we ran a lot of 10 yard sprints.  I'm starting to cement some good habits at the start and as a result we were able to start using a more aggressive angle out of the start and I'm really excited about the implications of this!  A good start is basically a controlled fall and the soreness in my quads the following day was an indicator that I was getting into some aggressive acceleration angles.  When we moved the distance out to 20 yards I had a few issues with my transition but these can be solved by doing things correctly from step one.  Towards the end of the hour long sprinting session, I started to put together some solid runs.  Exciting stuff!  At the first sign of the quality of the sprints starting to deteriorate, we moved to the platform for cleans.  The progression is listed below:
3x3 w/185 lbs.
3x2 w/225 lbs.
2x2 w/245 lbs.
2x1 w/265 lbs.

The sprints depleted my high threshold fibers and motor units so these cleans we're not nearly as easy as they would normally be.  As a result I had to focus a lot on form and technique, I find that the cue of "getting tall" after the second pull is especially effective for me.  After the workout, I drank a delicious Cytofuse recovery drink and went back to the Hilton to shower and get ready to go to Plymouth to see Lauren's Aunt Beverly and Uncle Ed.

The drive was about an hour long to Plymouth and to my great surprise took us on the Old Sandwich Road, the oldest continuously operated road in the U.S!  It was pitch black on the road, I'm sure of this because I turned off the headlights intermittently in search of the authentic Pilgrim experience!

 I remarked to Lauren that woods here have a history and a character of their own, I wonder if somewhere down the line my great-great-great-great-great grandfather walked these rugged woods in the outpost that was North America.  Ed and Beverly's home was charming, nestled right in the woods in Plymouth, no more than half a mile from the Atlantic Ocean.  We had a great time at dinner and I spent a good deal of time talking about the area and New England in general with Ed and his son Ryan.  It was so good to spend time with family and fellowship together.  The older I get, I'm only 22, the more I realize that it's relationships with family and friends, not to mention with Jesus, that make life rich and sweet.  I've been blessed abundantly in this area and I plan on cultivating and maintaining these relationships for the rest of my life.


Yet again, me and the Mrs. slept in!  Not to say that I'm complaining, I love sleeping and I love waking up to her pretty face every morning!  We finally got going and drove to Concord to have brunch at the Colonial Inn (Est. 1716).  After lunch we went about 600 yards down the road to the North Bridge,  site of the opening engagement of the American Revolution.  This is a very special site, I stood on the same ground that marked the beginning of our independence!  Admittedly, such a scene reduced me to acting like a little boy and shooting my air musket across the bridge to the side where the British regulars stood, complete with sound effects and all!  My imagination was running wild trying to picture the exact sights and sounds of that morning on April 19, 1775.  Engraved on the statue of the minuteman which stands yards from the shore, is four stanzas from Emerson's "Concord Hymn":
"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."

Before heading to the airport, we drove through Lexington to see the Battle Green, the site of the first shots of the Revolution.  Unfortunately it looked a lot more like the "Battle White" today as snow blanketed the ground.  However we did get to see the monument which was erected over 200 years ago.  Engraved were inspirational words that were very moving.  After today my patriotic fervor is very high!  I'm proud to be an American!

Unfortunately, such a wonderful day ended in me having to take Lauren to the airport to head back to Dallas.  We always hate saying goodbye and this time was no different.  I had a great time with her this weekend, I love experiencing and exploring new places with her!  I absolutely love doing life with her, what a companion!

After saying goodbye, Carl picked me up at Logan and we went and watched one of the craziest Super Bowl's I have ever seen!  I was pulling for the underdog (Cardinals) all game long but the Steelers showed the heart of a champion on that final drive.  Congratulations to my former teammate Daniel Sepulveda!  Two years into the league and he's already sporting the hardware!  For the rest of his life he can say that he was a Super Bowl Champion, what an honor!  Hopefully when I hang up my cleats for good I can say the same thing.......

Tomorrow is more soft-tissue and massage work followed by some upper body work.

God Bless,


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