Thursday, June 16, 2011

Days 5 & 6: On the Grind

June 16, 2011

54 days - Blue Band Officer Week
61 days - Blue Band Marching Auditions/Band Camp Begins
79 days - Penn State vs. Indiana State

I'll start this by saying that I miss State College more and more every day that I'm at home.  Excuse me while I ramble on/vent frustration about something completely unrelated to the point of my blog (I guess you can tie this in to "I'd like to improve at home, but, my surroundings prevent me from doing so").  Feel free to skip past the following paragraph to get to the "how am I busting my you-know-what for this fall" portion of the blog. 

Here goes.  Part of my original plan for the summer was to teach private music lessons, mostly because the pay per hour was four times more than anything I made before, and that's kind of what I'm going to college to do...  Unfortunately, as I said the other day, that fell through because the economy in rural northeastern Pennsylvania is atrocious - so, I had no choice but to go back to my old job at a local amusement park to make enough money to keep myself off the ground, afford to go to the Red Sox/Phillies game in two weeks, pay for workout supplements, arts fest weekend, and gas, since everything relevant around here is 20+ miles away.  This job is mindless - long days in the sun, not much thought required to anything, lots of "BS" work.  It was great when I was 15 and was getting used to working, but I've outgrown it.  I tried working in a deli last summer because it was closer to home (11 miles closer), but it just wasn't for me. I'm not really a "food person".  I've been on a personal fitness diet for as long as I can remember, lots of plain food, nothing really complex.  I had no idea what went on what sandwich, what goes in what salad, thus I couldn't keep pace with business.  Unlike the other employees, who had been there for awhile, I couldn't take a verbal order and throw it all together. The owners moved me to a snack shack on a beach in my community that they also own. This was even worse.  It was a cramped 7'x7' box in the sweltering heat, with realistically nothing to do at all for 7 hours... and sitting outside to take in the sun was rather frowned upon, even though business was dreadfully slow.  Not worth it for 75 cents/hr more.  I'm an active person, I need to keep moving otherwise I stagnate and mentally shut down.  I'm a creative person, a person that loves to lead, a musician; I need to be in a changing environment where I can approach things with my own angle, not have something uncomfortable and unnatural put in front of me.  I need to be able to take complete charge of something.  Unfortunately no jobs in northeastern Pennsylvania allow me to do that, which is why I loathe living here...  But of course, the only way to improve is to be pushed outside of your comfort zone. After some time, when you realize that the current course of action isn't working, it's time to figure out a course of action that does work.  So, to wrap this long (and needless, yet personally long overdue) rant up, over the last two days I've spent at one point 14 out of 24 hours at my old job.  Just mind-numbing to be back doing the same old thing every single day.  It's kind of demeaning, I don't feel like I'm a 20-year-old doing a 20-year-old's work.  My friends all have internships or respectable jobs, and I'm fixing broken pitching machines.  My respectable job just doesn't start until August 9, when I can take charge and try to be a great leader and motivator for 320 of the greatest marchers in one of the greatest bands in the countryI can't wait to be back in my element again.  I can't wait. 

I got a great workout in today.  I walked half a mile on the treadmill with 10lbs on each ankle at maximum incline, and then ran half a mile on a flat surface with the weights still on.  After that, I did extensive bicep and tricep work after that, using various curls (seated front/side curls, preacher curls, hammer curls, machine/plate curls), diamond push-ups, and tricep extensions with a machine and dumbbells.  I'm really starting to feel ready for the season, and I'm really starting to see huge results with my body as well.  I'll be taking my weight later tonight for the first time in two weeks, I'm hoping for at least 2 more pounds, otherwise I'm bumping my protein intake 20 more grams and 500 more calories per day.  The life of a hardgainer.  I'm hoping to start a different supplement stack in late July.  I've been researching different products out there that might do something to speed up and optimize my recovery, as well as create a more potent environment for building muscle, and I think I've locked onto two products that I want to try.  It's great having a fast metabolism at times because it's literally impossible for me to put any fat on, but when it comes to building muscle, a lot of the calories from my protein intake goes to my body for fuel, rather than to my muscles to build, which is why I have always had a naturally small frame.  Maybe I should have stuck with cycling, I'm built for that, but, I committed to building my body and I'm staying the course.  To me, improvement is 5% effort and 95% commitment.

I got my confirmation email for the Joe Paterno/Coach Krzyzewski ESPN taping in Eisenhower on Monday, so I'll be returning to State College on Saturday night to try to catch up with as many friends as possible that night and Sunday, and play some music with Pat, one of my potential future  band-mates if the band decides to take me on-board this fall.  Tomorrow I'll be back at work again from 10 to 4, and then my cousin is graduating from Delaware Valley High School in Milford, PA, so I'll be at his ceremony if the weather holds up.  I finally plan on getting the first few sets of drill put onto the computer that night for the show I'm writing, once I get some final details from the band director who asked me to put the show together.

Lots to say tonight, lots on my mind - but still always trying to improve.  This reminds me that even though all the frustrations of daily life, I'm still moving forward.

That's all for now.
Thanks for reading.

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