Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slimming Down

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently began working out at 24 Hour Fitness. The company I work for closed down our office in League City, Texas and moved operations about 50 miles north to The Woodlands, Texas on Feb. 15. For me that meant an additional 50 miles of commuting per day and the hassle of having to deal with Houston traffic. Therefore, I decided to do something about it.

Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday, I wake up at 4:45 A.M. and head to the gym. Instead of waking up, getting ready at home and then heading out to the parking lot also known as I-45, I get ahead of the traffic and use the time that I could be sitting on the freeway, to work out. I started my workouts and my quote-unquote "diet" on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and have continued every Monday, Wednesday & Friday since. As hard as it is for some of you who know me to believe that I actually wake up at 4:45 A.M., I really do. I have not missed one work out yet and even come back to the gym on Wednesday evenings for a little full-court basketball.

In the mornings, I walk/run for a total of 2.0 miles. It's been a combination of walking and running but this past week, I have been walking 0.35 miles as a warm-up, jogging 0.65, walking 0.25 miles, running 0.65 miles, and walking out the final 0.10 of a mile.

After hitting the treadmill, I make my way down to the weights where I work my pectorals, biceps, triceps, calves and abs. I can do this entire workout in about 45 minutes before heading to the locker room to get ready for work. After I get ready, I make the short 2-minute drive to my office building.

On my first weigh in after the first week of workouts, I had only lost 1.5 pounds. It was kind of disappointing but a sign to me to keep working hard & the results would come. The next week at weigh in, I was shocked to find I had lost 6 pounds in one week. These are not typical results but I will take them. Finally on Wednesday, I weighed in again and to my surprise I had lost another 1.5 pounds. That is a total of 9 pounds in only 3 weeks!! Look out "Subway" Jared.

My goal is to trim off a total of 35 pounds but also to tone my body into a lean-mean-fighting-machine. So far ... so good!

Let the Madness Begin

Technically it starts next week, but today is the day that I have always considered the beginning of the madness. It's the time of the year when I, along with hundreds of thousands of other fans, suddenly become ill, are unable to go to work and find that the only cure is to stretch out on the sofa in front of the HD Plasma.

Today is the day that all of the major conferences tipped off their conference tournament. Unfortunately for me, today is also the day the season ended for my LSU Tigers. Outside of four straight wins in four days, the Tigers season had ended long before today. However, there is always the hope that your team can find that magical formula and play their way into the Big Dance. The Tigers never found that formula.

I had hoped to give my SEC Basketball Tournament predictions last night before the tournament began today but my workouts at 24 Hour Fitness have left me very tired in the evenings. Fortunately, I didn't post any of these predictions to my blog as I have already missed on two of the first three games however, we won't count that against me as I didn't "officially" make my picks.

As soon as the brackets come out on Sunday, I am going to fill out my brackets and post my predictions to the world. Perhaps I should go against my gut feeling next time and pick all opposites. It usually works out better that way.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Rank Your Fanhood

I saw a commercial on ESPN today that made me chuckle a little and also made me evaluate my sports fanhood. The commercial begins in a guy’s locker room at a local gym with one man bragging to another about how much sports he watched the weekend before.

Another man in the locker room who has overheard the conversation questions whether or not the guy really watched that much sports the previous weekend. The man that had been bragging about how much sports he watched asks the man if he is questioning his "fanhood."

While watching the commercial, I told myself that these men are obviously single. While my wife Tiffany would argue that sports has never taken a back seat in my life, it truly has. Before I got married if I wasn't playing or watching sports then I was working day and night, 7 days a week, covering them for my job.

So if I were to rate my own fanhood on a scale of 1-10, how would I rank? Basically, I look at sports fans in three categories.

1) Joe "Super" Fan - This used to be me. On a scale of 1-10, this type of fan definitely ranks as a 10. You eat, drink and breathe sports. You know the batting average of the Detroit Tigers' short stop, the assist-to-turnover ratio of the New York Knicks' point guard & which hot, "sleeper" team is going to make a run in this year's NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament. You do not have a television series such as Grey's Anatomy or The Office that you follow because that would interfere with a live sporting event. Going out for dinner involves finding a sports bar with the NFL Sunday Ticket and $0.25 wings and a typical evening (more than likely alone) consists of you sitting in front of the computer watching a live gamecast of a game not televised, checking all of three of your fantasy teams, while flipping back-and-forth on the television between the two games on ESPN and ESPN 2. Again, this used to be me.

2) Joe “Casual” Fan - Most people reading this website fall into this category. On a scale of 1-10, depending on how passionate you are, you rate between 5-7. As a casual fan, you can name all 32 NFL football teams, you know all 5 of the major BCS Bowl Games (Sugar, Orange, Rose, Fiesta, BCS National Championship Game) and you always watch those "can’t-miss-games" while sacrificing the Tuesday night TNT NBA game between the Sacramento Kings & Memphis Grizzlies to spend some quality time with the wife.

3) Joe “Super Bowl” Fan – Depending on how hard he tries, Joe “Super Bowl” Fan rates between a 1 & 3 on a scale from 1-10. You usually only hear from Joe “Super Bowl” at certain times of the year, the Super Bowl being one of those. This type of fan hears an obscure stat on the radio two days before the big game and then goes around repeating it to the casual and super fan for two straight days leading up to the game. He pretends to have watched the entire NFL season and out of nowhere mysteriously has some incite to the game. Joe “Super Bowl” Fan also applies to the office secretary who wins the office pool by picking the teams that she “knows” and “likes.”

After evaluating all three types of fans, I have to say that I fall somewhere in between Joe “Super” Fan and Joe “Casual” Sports Fan. On a scale of 1-10, I probably come in at about a 7. I no longer have the time or energy to memorize the RPI of this year’s “bubble” teams but you can bet I’ll be one of the 37% of sports fans that call in sick to work on the first day of March Madness.

P.S. – 76% of all stats are made up on the spot.