Mixed Tape Monday: Push ups, Habits, T-Shirts

If you like defense, last night's Super Bowl was one for the ages. If you like offense, you probably switched to the Kitten Bowl. 

Though I'm a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan I found myself cheering hard for Peyton Manning, who had one of the worse seasons of his career at the age of 39. I felt like he was playing for aging athletes everywhere. We were all puffing our collective chests out. See that kids?? We're not that old.

Yet. 

Score one for the aging athletes. Not sure about his preference for Budweiser though. C'mon Peyton. 

Speaking of aging athletes, I was invited to play a casual game of walleyball last week. Walleyball = volleyball on a racquetball court. 

Last Wednesday one of the regular groups was down players and invited my co-worker and me to join.  

We looked at each other. Sure, we could do that. I mean I hadn't set foot on a volleyball-related court since I was 22, but hey, why not?

 Old habits die hard. Those are current bruises on my knees; not old scars or old marks. Bruises. The science of habit tells me that my reaction to a volleyball (or walleyball) falling to the floor is so ingrained, that I can't stop myself from throwing myself after it. Thanks to my high school coach Cathy Gilkey for coaching us so well. I think...

Old habits die hard. Those are current bruises on my knees; not old scars or old marks. Bruises. The science of habit tells me that my reaction to a volleyball (or walleyball) falling to the floor is so ingrained, that I can't stop myself from throwing myself after it. Thanks to my high school coach Cathy Gilkey for coaching us so well. I think...

If you’ve never played walleyball, it’s volleyball in a racquetball court, which has a dizzying effect on the players since the walls and ceiling are in play. I played volleyball in high school, and our coach, who was an All-American at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, taught us how to dive for the ball.

And because my vertical jump even then was under two inches, I specialized in playing the back line. That meant I threw my body on the ground for everything. 

We all did. Coach Gilkey didn't just teach us. She drilled us with exercises designed to get us over the hesitation of throwing our bodies on hard wooden floors. 

I would like to say to you now Cathy Gilkey, that you taught us too well. Because over 20 years later, I couldn't shut it off.

The first time the ball was slightly out of reach, I went skidding across the floor, nearly taking out two of my startled teammates. 

I came up looking for a high five, but got only a sideways glance from the guy whose feet I ended up at.

Within the first five minutes, I’d thrown myself on the floor no less than ten times. I was waiting for the applause at my intensity, but mostly, each time I got back up, the feedback from the group involved raised eyebrows and crooked stares. 

No one said so, but the implication was clear. We’re playing for fun. You, honey, are crazy. Not badass crazy. Just weird crazy.

I spent the night icing my knees. 

Old Habit 1, Aging Athlete  -5 (that's right. not even a zero)

The top three female push-up mistakes (click me)

When I played lacrosse in college, our coach was famous for the conditioning he put us through. It was not uncommon to follow a round of suicide sprints with 25 push ups and 50 crunches.

I remember struggling through the push ups, working hard to do them from my knees with my elbows flared out and my chest no where near the ground. And many of my teammates did the same. In this post, Nancy Newell makes the point that many coaches everywhere are telling female clients; if you do push ups from your knees, you'll get better at doing push ups from your knees. Using your knees takes your core out of the equation and gets you no closer to doing a push up from the floor. 

In this article, Nancy addresses mistakes and technique fixes along with a ton of other knowledge bombs. 

Nancy was one of my fellow interns at Cressey Sports Performance last summer. Aside from her innate enthusiasm that come strictly from loving what she does, Nancy is also one of the most knowledgable coaches I had the pleasure to be around. And Cressey hired her last December as the first female coach at CSP. 

 
 Aside from push ups with chains, Nancy does one handed chin ups with weights. And deadlifts twice her weight. Photo by yours truly. 

Aside from push ups with chains, Nancy does one handed chin ups with weights. And deadlifts twice her weight. Photo by yours truly. 

 

If you haven't heard yet, I'm selling t-shirts

It's been an interesting process, but I finally found a company to make some t-shirts for me and I started selling them last week. These are a digital print as opposed to screen and Rooney was so excited he fell asleep the minute they arrived. 

I'm accepting pre-orders until this Friday, so if you'd like to have your very own Rooney "Get Off Your Tail" t-shirt, and my undying gratitude :-), you can head on over to the shopping page and place your order. 

 
 I expect Ellen to call any day once she sees this modeling pose. I mean, really...

I expect Ellen to call any day once she sees this modeling pose. I mean, really...