January 7, 2011 posted by

Focused On Lifetime Goals

I think I’ve figured out how to pay homage to all of the birthday challenges done in my honor. Each segment of the year I’ll pick an element from some of the challenges and pursue it. Then I’ll blog about the inspiration. For the first 50 day period I’m inspired by Phil Requist hitting two lifetime goals over his 50 days and by Romney hitting one, even though she was injured.

Personally, however, while I’ve got some lifetime goals on my list for the year I’m in prep phase so I began with a few sillier thing just to get into the swing of a fifty-day commitment. For the last 50 days I’ve been doing Alice’s 500 crunches a day (silly but time consuming), Romney’s injured schedule of 50 squats a day (adding a stability twist to each day for my foundation phase), and Phil and Lena’s 50 straight days of martinis. This last challenge was, in fact, a lifetime achievement—though not something I’m really counting as one. Even though I love a good martini, drinking at least one EVERY day is a wee bit grim. I don’t hate them yet but will happily not indulge tonight.

Anyway, my circle of friends were all very inspired by Phil. He’s always been fit so his challenge—two lifetime performance marks in his 40s—was more impressive in that it was at something he’d been doing regularly during his “peak” physical years. It’s incredible, really, as aging athletes lose fast-twitch muscle fiber. I can explain it physiologically in that Phil is a slow-twitch athlete naturally. With consistent power training you can covert your body’s natural ratio of fast:slow twitch fiber. Phil has shown that with enough diligence you can do something the most professionals would tell you is impossible. But as we say at Birthday Challenge, Impossible is nothing. Oh, wait, that’s Nike. Anyway, it’s impressive.

As for me, I was a power athlete as a kid so at my challenge can include an endurance PR. And while this is much easier to accomplish I still have to do it and PRs are never easy, especially when you’ve been chasing them all your life. But in keeping the spirit of the birthday challenge, which for me has always been to try and combine contradictory physical stresses, I’m also going to shoot for something I’ve never done: a one-arm 2-finger pull-up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get training!

pics: alice showing off that crunches do still work, romney showing off after ticking a PR, lena showing off a double PR, celebrating the santa barbara marathon in style, and phil showing off in a way that makes my finger hurt.

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