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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The strength of the effort is the measure of the result

"The strength of the effort is the measure of the result!"

Is it one of those days when you feel tired? Even exhausted? All you can think of is your bed and your comfy pillow? You know you have a bunch of things that are waiting on you to be done...but the desire to take a break...walk away from everything and just rest is irresistable? What do you choose? Show some attitude and get the work done or just let it wait for tomorrow?

Truth is you always have a choice, and sometimes it is only a choice of attitude! And it is your attitude which determines where you go in life...wether you enjoy your triumphs or suffer your failures!

I will tell you a story. Back in 2005, when I was living in the USA and playing basketball, I had a goal. To become the best basketball player I could truly be! Pretty tough,right? Well I did not spend my time daydreaming about it. I worked hard for it. Every morning in 4:30a.m. my alarm went off. Did I want to get out of my bed, walk 3miles to the gym and practice? Hm...didn't feel like it...but in my heart I knew what I wanted to be, and I knew exactly how I was going to achieve it-WITH HARD WORK! So I used all the will I had and got out of the bed, went to the gym and gave it my all!

Did it pay off? Well at first it felt like evrything was a waste of time...the more I did, the less I seemed to get...but in life you have to keep pushing...keep walking! You never know what is hiding behind the turn on the corner....Just when I felt like quitting, I kept pushing my hardest and it all payed off. The next season I blew everybody! I played the best I have ever played. I became MVP at the Balkan Games; I won every single award there was to be won in my country, I played pretty good at the European championship and so on...

But guess what? It did not happen, while I was sitting and waiting! It happened because I took action, I worked hard, I refused to quit! Every morning you wake up, you have a choice! To strive for what you want or to put up with being mediocre!" To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Interview with Lauren Plumey-not just a woman...an inspiration

Lauren Plumey in action
In everything you do in life  you need to find something or somebody to light the fire in your heart. Sometimes that are people closest to us...and sometimes those are people that have never met us...they do not even know we exist. An year ago I started doing crossfit and there was a woman(a real crossfitter) that was my motivation, my role model. For the past year on my phone screen and on my computer wallpaper there is a picture of her.  Every ime I do not feel like practicing or I feel like eating junk I look at that picture and it gives me motivation to do the right thing in order to achieve the things that women has done. And you know what is the funny part? That I have never met her, neither has she. She did not even know about my existance till I asked her to give an interview for me. As I expected she turned out to be beautiful not only on the outside but also on the inside....probably you are wondering who she is?...Her name is Lauren Plumey and I will let her interview do the talking....

Introduce yourself.
My name is Lauren Plumey.  I am a 30-year-old affiliate owner and CrossFitter in Branford, CT, USA.  

How long have you being doing crossfit? 
I began doing CrossFit in April of 2008.

Have you been involved in some other sports before that? 
No...I was never considered an athlete in any regard.  I dreaded gym while I was in school.  However, I had been working out since the age of 14 religiously.  

 How did people around you accept the fact that you are doing crossfit?

Did they take a jaundiced view of it? I know that my friends that do not CrossFit and my family secretly think that I am a fitness fanatic.  In the beginning, my husband used to mock my constant banter of "the WOD."  Slowly, I began to persuade most of my friends to do CrossFit, including my husband.  He now owns the affiliate with me.  For those that I haven't been able to bring over to CrossFit, they wouldn't dare to say anything negative because they see that CrossFit works.  Its physical effects on my husband and I speak multitudes regarding the efficiency of CrossFit.

 Do you have a nutrition plan that you follow?

If yes, do you meet disapproval from you friends?Or do they understand why you eat the way you do?  I am a strict follower of the Paleo diet.  Most of my friends follow this diet as well (as most of them are also CrossFitters).  My Italian family thinks it is ridiculous that I NEVER plan to eat pasta again, but once again, my health (And their lack thereof) speaks for itself.  However, I never try to impose the diet on those that are not interested.

What does crossfit mean to you and did it change your life in some way? 

Oh my God..what a loaded question!  Well, first off, CrossFit made me an athlete.  I regret not finding it earlier in life.  It has taught me tenacity, and turned me into a problem solver, which I never was.  Prior to CrossFit, if things didn't come easy to me, I didn't attempt them.  Now, I ENJOY working for things.  CrossFit has also given me a healthy habit.  Through college, I made a habit of going out and partying.  Now, if I party too hard on Friday night, I can't perform the way I'd like to in the WOD on Saturday morning.  It has increased my confidence in all avenues of life and allowed me to forge friendships with like-minded people.

What is your favorite WOD and which one do you hate the most?

My favorite WOD is "The Filthy Fifty" (I love chippers), my least favorite is "JT" and the thruster/burpee WOD from the '09 Northeast Regionals (5 135/95 lb Thrusters, 10 burpees, 12 minute AMRAP)

Is it hard for you to combine your daily tasks with workouts?

And have you ever used the excuse that you are too busy to workout?  WORKOUT first WORK later!  I've called out of work to workout! I have found that, like anything in life, if it is important enough to you, you will find a way to squeeze it into your schedule.  So, yes, working two full-time jobs and training myself can get crazy, but I love it too much to make an excuse not to do it.

What is your biggest accomplishment in crossfit so far? 

 Qualifying for the CrossFit World Games two years in a row. Successfully running an affiliate.  

Do you remember some funny story with you and crossfit? 

  There are certainly a lot, but none that I am sure would transfer as humorously into text.

Lauren Plumey and her husband David
What advice would you give to the beginner crossfiters in Bulgaria?
  Don't be discouraged if it seems like you are the only one of your friends involved in this "insane fitness cult" Just as it did in the USA and Canada, it will spread like wildfire throughout the country in time.  Be patient~you will not be a CrossFit rockstar immediately.  But, like anything in life, the things that are worthwhile must be worked for.  "What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem to lightly."  True fitness is earned.

 And here is  a link to the website of her crossfit gym. http://shoreline.crossfit.com/

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Help others grow

"Try hard to get what you like...or you will be forced to like what you get!"

Have you ever found yourself in a situation when a friend or somebody close to you wanted to achieve something. They put a decent amount of work, but sometimes when it got hard they tried to find an excuse why it won't happen? They let the physical pain or physical incapability of doing something, take over their mind. They let the pain the body felt, crush their mind and force them to quit. What did you do? Did you encourage them to keep on pushing or did you just let them quit...telling it is ok, and that if they do not feel like doing it, they could just walk away?

I've noticed that most people that surround you will let you quit. They won't be brave enough to tell you that you are being a baby that always whines when things are not going the desired way. Most people won't have the courage to be tough on you and make you push harder, just because they think that this will make you hate them! But is this the right thing to do? Just let the once we love go the easy way and thus never find out how great they could be?

I think that if you really care about somebody you should treat him according to what he could be...what he could accomplish! People could rarely achieve something if they do not push beyond what they think is their limit. In life you should always be able to see the beauty, ehind the ugly. You should always be able to recognize the strength, behind the weakness!  You should expect things out of people and thus you will plant in them the seed of confidence...so they could truely believe they can achieve.

As a personal trainer you should be able to see the potential in the scrawny newcommer in the gym, that looks worse than my great grandmother in shorts...the one that lacks all physical skills you could think of. The newcommer that looks unmotivated and insecure. Make sure you light the fire inside....don't let him go easy when the WOD gets hard.  treat him as he is already the athlete you wish he could. At first he will be mad at you, he will hate you...but in the future he will be grateful for the way you treated him.As Johann Goethe once said "If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."  What do you wish for the people you care of?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A different perspective

At the end of the day you either focus on what is tearing you apart or what is holding you together!

I watched a short scene from a movie, where there was a servent who was talking in fron of a group of teenagers. She showed them some pictures. They looked kind of blurry and they were taken from really really close. She asked them to guess what was the real object in the picture. One of them actually looked pretty disgusting. It was similar to a really close view of brain, but it did not look nice at all! They tried to hit off the object, but none of them guessed it right! At the end it turned out to be....A WALNUT! Then she said that sometimes in order to see the object you should look at it in a different perspective.

That got me thinking about how life goes on. Sometimes when you find yourself stuck in a difficult situation, things look hopeless. You feel like you are carrying world's burden on your back. You catch yourself thinking that it can't get any worse and probably often wonder why this is happening to you? How did you deserve it?-you'd ask. Well the story above made me think about life and the problems we face. Sometimes when you are in the mids of the problem, it looks like it can't be solved. Looks hard...and the more you try to find the solution the deeper you get stuck in it. But hold on...don't give in to desperation...remember the servent and her pictures? Remember how the disgusting thing in the picture turned out to be a simple walnut? Well, take that example and adjust it to your life. When you face an obstacle, don't dig deeper in it, just to find yourself drained and unable to cope with it. JUST LOOK AT IT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE!

Do you remember when we were little, how we loved to take the magnigier and look through it? Using it, you could se ethe smallest bug like an enormous tarantula! Even the smallest things, grew bigger if you looked at them through the lenses. But then...you just move the lenses away and it is still that small tiny bug it actually is. So, why are you scared now? What makes you feel that fear and insecurity? What if you are exagerating the situation just because you are looking from so close at it? Move further...let it rest! Don't stress over it and "the big tarantula will turn to a little bug", that won't scare you anymore.

When having a problem, don't give in to the negative emotions that try to overatke you! Be stronger than them....why? BECAUSE YOU ARE! Just remember that we are just a small part of the big Universe....and thus our problems are small on the background of world's disastours!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I can...I will..I must...

"Every artist was first an amateur"-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The other day I had a workout with four guys. I've been training them for the last two weeks. They are still beginners but so far they are showing big motivation, dedication and hard work. I haven't had a client so far that gave up. Most people may feel frustrated if they feel tired, if they feel like quitting put usually they push hard and finish the WOD. Well that is not exactly what happened the other day.  During the workout there was a guy(Ivo) that was working out on his own. He is an advanced crossfitter and he is pretty damn good at it. One of the man from my group, obviously felt intimidated by the strong and athletic look, that Ivo had. At first I catched "my boy" throwing glances at him,admiring his abilities. Nothing wrong with that...Then he said " I will never be able to do half of it." I encouraged him that we all started from scratch and build on it, till we became what we are now!Do you remember the first time that they showed you the alphabet, the first time they encouraged you to read? You felt a little overwhelmed...found it hard...even impossible...reading a whole book looked like a mirage... well let's turn the time forward, and find you now, sitting on the couch  reading that thick book, without even thinking about it. See how far you've came? But it was a long road wasn't it? It is the same in the gym. When you see how the advanced athletes train, you should get yourself motivated. You should use the desire to be in their place, to push you towards reaching your full potential. You shouldn't pick on yourself for not being in the same shape. You shouldn't intimidate yourself...shouldn't feel inferior...you shouldn't give in to the desire to quit!...
That is what the boy in my group did. He quit! He was doing the WOD ( 5rounds: climbing ladder of 2deadlifts;1round Cindy), when he quit two rounds before the end. He gave up on the assisted pull-ups. I told him to take a breath and finish the WOD. He looked at me and said "I can't!"...but I assured him that there isn't I can't...there is only I do not want! After he heard this he kept pushing a little bit more, when he said "Oh, I am done for today." He walked away. When I tried to encourage him to take a rest and still finish the WOD he almost cursed me and said that he won't do a single exercise anymore. At first I felt a little frustrated, because that has never happened to me before. Usually I succeed in motivating people to work hard, and finish the workout, but not this time... But then I realized, that you can't give somebody something if they do not wanna take it. He didn't want my words of encouragement...he felt better feeling sorry for himself, comparing himself to somebody that has done the same thing all his life! But that's fine! I know he will be back. And this time hopefully  he will be stronger...mentally and physically.If you ever get yourself in the same situation...remember that sometimes people don't run far enough on their first wind to find out that they've got a second!Even when the competition gets tough...when it seems impossible...keep in mind THAT IMPOSSIBLE IS NOT A FACT. IT'S AN OPTION! It is up to you what you pick!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Be the change...

The soul of an athlete can change the game...the heart of an athlete can change the world...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It is not the final destination...its the JOURNEY

Today after my favorite walk in the park, I went to visit my sister. We watched some TV and as I was surfing through the channels I saw one movie I watched a couple years ago- The Peaceful Warrior.It is a film adapted to the biography book of Dan Millman- "Way of the peaceful warrior". Ever heard of Dan Millman? If you haven't, I assure you that you've missed a lot!Dan Millman  is a former Trampolining world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor and college professor, and an author of fourteen self help books. At the age of 17, he won the United States Gymnastics Federation (USGF)'s Trampoline Championship and competed in gymnastics at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles. While a freshman at  Berkley, he won the 1964 TrampolineWorld Championships inLondon.In 1968 he crashed with a motorcycle. The doctors told him he might never be able to walk. But with the determination and never ending will that Dan had...led by his love for the sport he returned ten months later.

But what I want to talk about is not his life in particular, but a scene from the movie that captures my attention and reaches my soul everytime I see it. When Dan returned from the injury the coach told him that he won't be allowed to compete in a competition for the Olympics because this way he threatened his health and even his life.  Dan was devestated. At a car-service station, he encounters an old man  who seems to know more about Dan's problem than Dan himself knows, whom Dan later nicknames "Socrates." So Dan went to Socrates and told him that he tried his best to give up gymnastics but that is the only thing he knew he loved for real. Socrate told him that no matter if they let him or not, he could still do it for himself and enjoy the sport. He said that not the gold medal is what makes it all worth it. It is not the award that gives meaning to the sport. Dan seemed like he couldn't understand it.

So, Socrate decided to take Dan for a walk in the mountain. They walked for three hours till they reached the top. During the journey Dan was really excited, he was eager to find out what was on the top. When they reached their final destination there was nothing there but a little stone. Dan was disappointed. He couldn't believe he walked so much just to find a stone!

Socrate looked at him, laughed and said " I never know what I am gonna find at the top. You looked like a child before Christmas, while we were walking and now where did all that joy go?"That was the moment when Dan actually understood the meaning behind it. It is not the final destination that makes it all worth. It is the journey itself! The journey with all the failours and the success. The pain and the joy. The expectation and disappointment. The moments of pride and shame. That is what makes the destination interesting and exciting. That is what gives meaning even to the worthless.

During your life, you shouldn't focus only on the last step- the final destination you are headed. What is more important is NOW. It is the journey. It is what you do, how you act and what you overcome on your way there! The movie ends with the words :

Where are you?
What time is it?
Who are you?
This moment!

Make sure you live in the present. Make sure you enjoy the moment right now! Focus on every detail in the present, in what you do at the moment. Do not think about what is going to happen next. How other people will react to your actions...rather live the moment! Fell it and enjoy it!

Here are some nice videos related to the movie:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

There's beauty behind the darkness

“People don't do things for you or against you, they do things for themselves - it's fortune, good or bad, to be in the way”

Do you ever take a walk at night? Do you ever look up...see the sky...the clouds...and the moon..? Ever noticed the clouds passing infront of the moon? Looks like the sky is dark and there is nothing to brigthen it...nothing to light your path and lead you forward...and then after a while if you are patient enough to watch...the clouds move away...and there it is the moon-brightening the sky...and everything around, bringing the light and the hope back...ever noticed how just because you do not see something now, doesn't mean it is not there...doesn't mean that its existance is a mirage...In life sometimes there is beauty behind the darkness. It is a mastery to know there is beauty somewhere, when you can't see it with your eyes...it takes faith to believe it...takes love to endure it...
Sometimes when you are drained in your saddness...when it seems like darkness takes over...it strikes you...the moments of happiness...those we enjoy...the once that take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.

I had a birthday yesterday...just because it is your birthday it doesn't mean that the world stops for you...doesn't mean that it will be perfect...doesn't man that the pain will be absent...but when you have wonderful people in your life...it happens! They help you get up, take the dust off and enjoy the moment...help you find the strength to be thankful...for the good and the bad...for their presence...and their helping hand!

With my dad and my twin sister(we decided that if we both turn 22, we could just add up the candles.:)

Love pork stakes :)

That is wat a CAKE should look like...only fruits :)

Always happy when I am around food;)

Some of the presents and part of the surprises by my wonderful frinds!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Effort pays off

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances.Be more active. Show up more often.”
-Brian Tracy

Yesterday was another great workout. There were a some new people, that did really good, and showed some motivation and hard work! The "veterans" did great. It is really fullfilling to see how people get better, when they put the efforts needed.

The workout was:
On the speed ladder- straight, in and out (about 20metres)
20m walking lunges
20 swings
20metres tire flip
20 sledgehammer hits
20metres burpee+ long jump

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pay attention to your thoughts

There is one saying- "Thoughts become words, words become action, action becomes habits, habits become destiny."- that I find to be the mere truth. Yesteday I read Crystal Nelson's last blog post where I saw the video below. I think it is really well put.  One of the lecturers at a Strongman seminar in Crossfit Overload is talking about what Greg Amundson said about the pyramid that should express your steps toward sports mastery. What Greg said was that at the foundation of your pyramid is NUTRITION! It is the most important thing, if you consider reaching the top in your sports career. Next comes metcons, followed by gymnastics, weights and finally you apply it to your sport, and you are on the top of the pyramid. But if you dare to fall in the habit of eating junk, if you do not pay close attention to your nutrition, your pyramid will flal down, and all your hard work will go to waste.

Next the lecturer talks how at a bootcamp he was thinking about the nutrition pyramid and a thought popped up in his mind. Why not build this pyramid in a different perspective. Why not put thoughts and words on the bottom and build the pyramid till you reach your destiny. Just like in the other pyramid, where nutrition is the fuel to all other steps, here thoughts are the food that fuel your mind, and body. The fuel that drives your actions which transform in habits and lead you to your destiny.

Just like in the first case, if you let your nutrition slip, here if you let negative toughts overtake your mind, you risk taking the wrong road and thus ending in a destiny you wouldn't like for yourself.

So make sure you lay the right foundation on your pyramid, so you will make sure that at the end of your life, you will praise your destiny and not feel sorry for the way your life turned out to be!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Latest WODs

The group practices have been going pretty well. Everybody is getting faster, stronger, more skilled and as a whole fitter.

The last two WODS were a lot of fun.
On Friday we did:

AMRAP in 20min of:

2Tire flips Ladder
1 Round of Cindy between sets:

5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats

Round 1: 2 tire flips + 1 Round of Cindy
Round 2: 4 tire flips + 1 Round of Cind 

On Sunday we did:

5min run
4min box jumps
3min burpees
2min squats
1min pull ups

5min run
4min(2min swings;2min sledgehammer hits)
3min tire flips
2min walking lunges
1min push ups

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The useless scale

Today's post will be dedicated to one of my best friends-Marta and another friend Kiril, but in reality it refers to a whole more people. What I wanna talk about is THE SCALE! And hold on! I bet that when you hear that word, the adrenaline starts rushing through your veins, you feel the butterflies in your stomach and the fear of that useless object starts overtaking you!

You are more than a number...YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

What made me write is a story that has to do something with both of my friends. Marta is a great looking young lady that is according to me way too thin. The other day she was on a walk when she saw a scale and decided to step on it. And guess what! Big panic! The scale showed that she was a little heavier than the last time she stepped on it! So now she thinks she is fat and she should loose weight! Deadly wrong. I won't post a picture of her, because I do not think it is appropriate, but I assure you that she looks more like she needs to pack on some weight instead of loose more!

Next let's talk about Kiril. He is tall about 6feet 2inches. He weighs about 130lbs and he conciders himself fat??? What in the world is fogging his mind??? He needs to open the fridge, grab all the food inside and eat it, so he can make sure he won't blot out himself from the face of Earth! He thinks the scale shows way too much and he should loose weight!

It is so sad to see that so many women and obviously even men measure their attractiveness through what the numbers on the scale show! Because I feel perplexed how to explain what a useless thing those numbers are, I asked my friend wikipedia and what it says is: "weight is the name given to the force on an object due to gravity." So you are trying to convince me that measuring how gravity affects your body could be comparable to the way you see yourself, to how attractive you will feel and how sexy others think you are? Hm...doesn't sound with much authenticity to me!

Let's look at it that way. The gravity on Jupiter is about ten times stronger than the gravity on Earth. That means that if you go there you will weigh a lot more than you will weigh now. Does that make you look fatter? Feel less sexy? Makes you less attractive?? NO! Just because gravity affects you in different way on Jupiter, that doesn't make you look worse! Then let's move on to the Moon! There gravity is 5/6 less than it is on Earth. So iuhuuuuu you will be a lot lighter! does that rise your self-esteem? Does it make you feel better? Well, it shouldn't! You will look just the same way as you look now. So did you see, how you could weigh yourself, and the scale could show three different weights and you'd still look the same?
Always remember-YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

I hope that is enough to convince you that the numbers on the scale, are not relevant to your attractiveness. Nobody cares how much you weigh. People perceive objects by the way they look. When you meet somebody, they won't carry a scale with them. They won't ask you to step on the scale, see the numbers and according to them decide if you are worth being their friend or not!

I read an article that gave me some things to think about. It was said how in Playboy you get all the measuremeants of the models beside their weight! And why do you think it is that way? Because nobody cares. These girls are hot no matter how much they weigh because proportions are more important for the way others perceive you! That is why if you want to keep track on your body composition, it is way better to grab a meter and take your measures, instead of ruining your mind with the useless numbers on the stupid scale!

Think about people with chicken legs and big bellies. And now imagine a fit, strong person. Both of them might way the same, but do they look the same? NO! I wouldn't care how much they weigh! I'd just admire the second one and encourage the first one to get his nutrition right and start lifting some weights!

Don't use it!

The numbers on the scale do not matter! It is just a trick of the marketing world. It is just a way of the industry to get in your head and make you feel bad, so you will use all their pills, foods, creams and other bullcraps to crave yourself. But it won't happen. Just take that wrong invention of humans-the scale...put it in a box, somewhere in the closet and forget about its existance. Live your life and enjoy it! And make sure that you never compare your attractiveness to some useless numbers!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The more is your potential...the more they will try to break you

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the Dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." ~ T.E. Lawrence

The past weekend I went to watch the Bulgarian National Swimming Championship. During competitions like this you can see everything. It is strange how competitions and life are so much alike. You could experience the whole palette of feelings in just three days of competeing-the triumph and the failure; the pride and the shame; the satisfaction and disappointment; the happiness and the pain... some people need a lifetime to experience all these feelings...and an athlete needs just an opportunity to compete...

It can be overwhelming at times to be out there, with so much going on at the same time...lost somewhere between your own expectations and other people's expectations for you! Something that I witnessed made me think of the time when I was a basketball player. At the beginning of my career I was playing at position five or also cold center. After that when I became a better player and started playing for the national team I saw what other centers looked like. They were way taller and bigger than me, and I realized that if I wanted to achieve my dreams and play with the best I had no future being under the basket. I was skilled enough to be playing at position 3(small forward). I had to work a little bit on my speed(that was the only thing I lacked at that time). 

Most coaches in Bulgaria did not like the idea to work additionally with me, so I could persue the goal of being a small forward. I was fine as a center but just in my country where I was among the tallest players. So why would they care about my future? I was doing a pretty good job now, so I had to be a center. And my dreams...they are just for me. All they cared for was theyr own benefit.

After some time of wondering in different teams I found a coach that wanted to help me become a small forward. I started getting faster and better and I was starring in every game. But that was still not enough. Game after game I was tired of hearing why I couldn't be a small forward. I remember how I scored 52points, grabbed 25rebounds, had 10 steals and 10 assists. I was averaging 34points a game, 23rebounds, and 6steals for the whole season and I was never good enough. They had their own view for things. It was just that if I was a forward I was taking somebody's else position in the national team and you know how it is with mommy's and daddy's girls. They are sacred and even if you are better you can't take their place. So till my last injury that was just the usual situation. I was helping my team win a game after game, I received almost every personal award there was out there but there was always somebody to deny my abilities. Why am I telling this?

Because that is what I see happening with one of the Bulgarian swimmers. He is really hard working and talented, and he has big dreams about his swimming career. But there are still those that out of envy or something else try to belittle his ambitions  and seed thoughts of doubt in his head. He is 25 and they tell him that he is TOO OLD to achieve what he wants! ome on? Too old? Do we live in the same worl? Haven't you already seen that nothing is impossible for the one who dares to dream..who dares to fight for his dreams? Haven't you heard about storries for disabeled people, starting to walk, run,win and so on? About people braking records after their biggest failures? Why do most people always try to discourage those that dare to achieve?

Is it out of insecurity? That is what I think! If somebody tells you why you can't, it is most likely that he is seeing the potential you have. he is afraid that you will use your abilities, and you will reach the top...that will make him feel inferior! That will make him feel a failure...just because he doesn't have the strength to dare...the strength to fight and be what he can! He is afraid to reach his full potential and that is why he'd rather you stay where you are...so you won't make him look bad! 

When somebody tries to discourage you...tries to make you quit...that should motivate you to try twice as hard, because that means you are a threat! That means you have the potential to pursue what you dream for! Go ahead and don't quit. Do not let scared people to interfere with you living the life of your dreams!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Food for comfort...no more!

There are a lot of people that do not like reading books, but I bet that there is one book that everybody has read- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. There are a couple quotes from that book that are always alive in my mind. Today I was walking and thinking about something when this quote from the book popped up in my mind:

'What are you doing here?' he said to the drunkard whom he found sitting silently in front of a collection of bottles, some empty and some full.
'I am drinking,' answered the drunkard lugubriously.
'Why are you drinking?' the little prince asked.
'In order to forget,' replied the drunkard.
'To forget what?' enquired the little prince, who was already feeling sorry for him.
'To forget that I am ashamed,' the drunkard confesed, hanging his head.
'Ashamed of what?' asked the little prince who wanted to help him.
'Ashamed of drinking!' concluded the drunkard, withdrawing into total silence.
And the little prince went away, puzzled.
'Grown-ups really are very, very odd,' he said to himself as he continued his journey.'

And what this has to do with proper food choices you'd ask? Well, have you noticed most people that are extremely overweighed. What do you see about them? Just how big they look on the outside? Is that all you can say? Haven't you noticed the saddness in their eyes? The pain? Sometimes the way we look can be misleading. You'd think they are so big, because they indulge to all of their food cravings...but is it really that way? Just like the drunkard that the Little Prince met, people often try to bury their pain,fears and insecurity somewhere deep inside, masking them with something else...either it will be drinking alchohol,coffee, eating or something else. It is just a try to run away from what scares us....what overwhelms us...

Sometimes when our pain and fears oppress us...when we try to avoid them, keeping them hidden somewhere deep...they just eat us from the inside...and we desperately try to feel the holes with something...and most often we turn to stuffing ourselves with food...

But is this really the solution to our problems. Does this solve them? Or it just adds up to them? You are feeling overwhelmed and you rеаch for that pizza or the cookies...you feel a moment of pleasure and then go back to reality where you feel twice more depressed than you were before... now you have one more problem-your addicion to food... your expectation that food will be your best buddy...that it will carry you through the hardships... but that is not what happens! Friends give you comfort, without leading to slavory. And food brings a momentum of comfort,just to spin you in an enchanted circle of regret and self-pitty.

Next time when you feel sad...when something offends you...instead of going to the supermarket and grabbing all the food you can carry, just to end up eating it...hoping that you will feel better...STOP burying your hopes and dreams under layers of fat! Just face the problems. Ask yourself what makes you happy. Leave your doubts and just dash at your dreams...fulfill your aspirations...and you won't need food for comfort on the path! All you'll need is your heart, motivation and the vision of what you truely want to become.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The front squat

My all time favorite move in weightlifting is THE SQUAT! I love loading my legs. I love all the squat variations there is out there, but I give the most credit to the front squat, the bulgarian squat and the back squat. Most people include in their workout programs only the back squat and add up to it all kinds of isolation movements. You can rarely see somebody in the gym doing the front squat. There are a lot of reasons for it, like the one that doing the front squat you should use lighter weights and it seems like most people forget to leave their ego on the front door and let it stop them from getting real results doing some real work!

I like the front squat a lot more than the back squat(BS), and if I had to pick between one of the movements I'd pick the front squat(FS). First when you do the FS you can squat a lot lower than when doing the BS. That puts a lot more pressure on your glutes. Next, you should stay a lot straighter and that automatically puts more pressure on your abs(lower ones and obliques). Besides that FS requires more balance and stability which helps to train your body fully-provides core strength. It is a lot harder to balance doing the FS than the back squat.

Though it is such a good exercise you should make sure that you learn the right technique. First of all you should be able to squat really good withought any weight. Then you can move on to the bar. Second you should . Lots of people doing the FS use the california grip which is particualrly a grip that requires to cross your hands. To me that is wrong. I've never done it that way. First of all the front squat is a movement included in other movements like the squat clean thruster. Imagine how are you gonna do it if you are use to crossing your arms when doing the front squat?  Besides when one arm is above the other that creates an imbalance in your structure and when the bar is loaded it can be pretty bad on your body.
The California grip-which i DO NOT reccomend

After you've picked the right grip, you should concentrate on keeping your elbows high! That is really important. make sure that when you squat doqn, your upper arms make a paralell line with the floor, and that your elbows are not pointing down. That will help you lift yourself up-when you squat and you are lifting up, the rising of the elbows helps you stand up. It also helps you stay straight and not leaning forward. If your bar is loaded and your elbows are pointing the floor, you will most likely fall forward with the bar.
The proper technique of the front squat

And last but not least-make sure that your lower back has a nice arch, and that you are not letting your butt move inside. Remember-always push your butt back-like you have a wall behind yourself that you are trying totouch with your butt! Sounds funny, I know. But helps a lot.

Now you can go in the gym, leave your ego on the door, and get working!