Monday, April 7, 2014

In Honor Of Autism Awareness Month....

I haven't had any autism/asperger related blog posts lately so I decided to post this in honor of April Autism Awareness month. So many children and families are having to deal with autism and it's only getting worse.

My son was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was in eighth grade. He went so many years when we didn't know what was wrong with him, but we knew something was very wrong. It was such a relief when we finally had an answer, but it was also just the beginning.

I'm happy to say my son is doing very well now and is a finishing his junior year of college and, also doing an internship with a computer company near his college. He only calls if he has problems and I have to say, those calls have gotten fewer and fewer as he has learned to handle the problems on his own.

It hasn't always been so easy!

Friday, April 4, 2014

10,000 Hours

My husband and I usually do double workouts at least twice a week, usually Wednesdays and Saturdays. Wednesday I met him at the gym at noon and did a warm up on the spin bike and then hit the weights - upper body.

Later that day, I decided that instead of driving from our house to our other gym (we are members of two different gyms - sad, but true. We are fanatics) for the second workout, I would run the 5 to 6 miles and then do core and squats. It was an awesome workout day. I need more of them! It's the way I use to always train.

The good thing about living in the St. Petersburg area is there are sidewalks, bike lanes and trails everywhere. I didn't have to run directly on busy roads although I did have to cross several which can get dicey with all the 80 year old drivers around here. I made it to the gym in 55 minutes, which gave me over an hour of cardio for the day. This use to be my standard, but the past six months it's been more like 20 - 30 minutes/day of cardio.

I did squats when I got to the gym, just to finish my legs off and make sure I wouldn't be able to walk for a few days and then core and stretched. My husband was nice enough to drive me home so I didn't have to run the 6 miles back.
My legs were not sore at all the next day and that surprised me. I did some pretty intense squats. I think that doing more weights all winter and increasing the reps and the amount of weight has paid off. I hope it shows during triathlon season. My first triathlon is at the end of this month and I haven't been on my tri bike or in the pool yet. 

Last year, all the strength training I did got me through the short sprint races without too much pain despite my lack of time on the bike or in the pool. All the work I did in the gym everyday seemed sufficient. I realize I wouldn't be able to do that in a longer race that requires more endurance. I would have to put in the training time to make it through one of those longer races fairly pain free. As if that's even possible!

But what's a little pain. After all "Pain is just weakness leaving the body, " right?

I admit that I am a little nervous because my first official race of the season is coming up at the end of this month and I've spent way more time reading and working on my writing than swimming and biking. I believe in the 10,000 hour rule that was introduced in the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell that says it takes at least 10,000 of doing something before you get proficient at it. Over the past 17 years I've put the 10,000 hours into swimming, biking, running and racing and now it's time to put the 10,000 hour rule to work in my writing.

The 10,000 hour rule not only means putting in the time, but it takes more than that as you can read about in this article HERE   that states not only do you have to put in the time, but you have to put in quality time as well.

Many years ago when I started biking I joined a local bike club. This got me not only riding longer, building up to Century rides, but also riding faster because I didn't want to get dropped out in no man's land and have to find my way home all alone.

When I started running, I ran with people who were a little faster than me so it forced me to go faster. Then when it came time to train for marathons, I had a small group to run and socialize with which made the time go by faster.

After learning the basics of the freestyle on my own and building up a small base, I started swimming with a masters group to help get my technique better and also get faster, since I think some of the people I was swimming with were part fish.

Recently, I started taking online writing classes to help me write better. I've also been reading a lot about writing and reading authors who write in the genres I'm interested in writing. I'm no where near the required 10.000 hours, I estimate that will take me about 7 years, but I've made the commitment and I'm on my way.

 I consider my blog writing as part of the 10,000 hours and I've been blogging for almost 3 years.

Have you used the 10,000 hour rule in your life and if so, what have you become more proficient in because of your commitment and time?