In A Slump

As my birthday is two weeks away, I realize that I’ll be alone again. Three years of lonely birthdays. As I see Facebook pics of friends at the bar living it up, I realize that no one will be there for me. My closest friends have moved away or have schedules that conflict with mine, and all I’ll receive are a flood of Facebook posts that are only there because the app advised it. Is this the cost of adulthood, or am I the only one going through this? I miss the days of being able to see my friends on a Saturday, watching kung fu movies or listening to Frank Zappa together. And meeting new friends in this city isn’t as easy as you’d think. At least in the Bronx. I have people telling me to go to Harlem or Manhattan, but where? It’s not exactly a bargain to go around Manhattan, and most people in midtown probably wouldn’t feel comfortable hanging out with a 6’2″, 285lbs Black man from the South Bronx. It’s a frustrating thing to think about. I miss my friends.

Life’s Curve Balls

The past few weeks have taught me that even if you expect the unexpected, you can still be blindsided.  When I started this blog, I thought I’d be doing updates, essays and articles every week. As it turns out, my life is pretty time consuming at the moment for a blog. With my direct care job being as consuming as it is, and other external factors coming at me, I have rarely had the chance to live up to the “pop culture” and “politics” parts in my blog’s motto, only having rare moments to share personal  insight.

Lately, my blog has turned into a photography outlet for me, sharing my snapshots with the world. For all of you who enjoyed my snapshots throughout the winter, I thank you for the support. It’s a hobby, but one I absolutely love and take seriously.

As I type this entry, it amazes me how much is going on in the world, but how little time I’ve had for myself to share it. Hopefully, that will change soon. For those who stuck around, thank you greatly. I hope that  these next few weeks, I’ll be able to bring something new and read-worthy to your attention. Stay tuned.

2 Weeks of Pushups = Breaking A Plateau

2 weeks ago, I went on an outing with my younger brother in hopes of buying a new wallet. The T.J. Maxx that we went to had no wallets in stock, but something else had caught my eye: a P90x Pull Up Bar for $25. Now, I’m not the most keen on using a pull up bar at home, but the fact that it could also be used as a pushup bar and a dip station also caught my eye. So, for the mere price of $25 ($27.11 after tax), the bar was mine.

It took about 10-15 minutes to assemble, but once I had put it together, I immediately dropped down, gripping the padded grips of the bar, and churned out 15 wide-grip pushups. After 60 seconds of rest, I pumped out another 15 pushups, and after another minute of rest, I pumped out 15 more. 3 sets of 15 pushups. I kept it up for the week, with a rest day in between, keeping up with my other exercises, and by the time Friday came around, I felt awesome. My chest muscles were in great shape, my biceps and triceps had gotten some solid symmetry, and my lats had gotten huge and thick. The bar was making pushups fun for me, a smooth combination of a wide-spread pushup and a bench press, and I ALWAYS made sure my chest touched the bar with every rep.

As I started my second week, I kept up my regimen, eventually mixing 15-rep and 10-rep sets, which resulted in my muscles not only getting bigger and harder, but earning a nice soreness between workout days that only a good workout could be the cause of. Every other day, I’d notice more shape and development every time I took off my shirt. Then today, I managed to break one of my biggest plateaus: doing diamond pushups.

As long as I could remember, I always had trouble doing diamond pushups. I was always a strong man, but perhaps the specific muscle fibers or what not weren’t capable of sustaining a diamond pushup, no matter how many regular pushups I could churn out. That all changed today. After doing 2 sets of 10 wide grip pushups on the P90x bar, I switched to a narrow grip. Expecting my arms to give way, I started to perform the narrow grip pushups. First one, then two, and before I knew it, I had churned out five narrow grip pushups. Five! To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I pushed the bar aside, putting my hands in the diamond position, and churned out five diamond pushups until my inner chest muscles were as sore as can be. Mind you, I’m a hefty 285 lbs of muscle and some fat, and I managed to do a form of pushups that people half my size have an easier time trying to do. I felt like Captain America.

I’m going to keep up this regimen and enjoy the benefits, slowly crossing one plateau after another. Maybe one day, I’ll find myself doing some of those crazy pull up exercises you see those calisthenics experts do on YouTube. If there’s anything I learned from this experience, it’s that patience and consistency pays off if you keep at it.