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CrossFit: Shaping Paul 4.0

We all go through various phases of our lives, childhood, adolescence and so on.  I believe I’m entering my fourth “version” or as I recently started to refer to it, “Paul 4.0.”  Granted my wife and friends might be referring to this as “Mid Life Crisis” but at least I haven’t bought a sports car or motorcycle, yet! 😉 I’m 3 months into the development of Paul 4.0, this “release” of Paul isn’t complete yet but I’m making great progress.  In the last several months I’ve progressed both physically and mentally, I’m still enjoying my CrossFit workouts as much as I did back in October.  Previous releases of Paul are as follows:

1.0: Childhood, we’re all pretty much the same when we’re 1.0.

2.0: Adolescence, I was skinny, really skinny and by the time I was 17 I was also really tall (6’3″ ~155lbs).  When I was 20 I was in great shape, I could swim 2km non stop, and I had put on about 10-15lbs.  I had ~11% body fat.  I still wasn’t very strong, but I was in good health.

3.0: Geek.  I’ve always been a computer person dating back to my days of my C=64.  However I consider “Paul 3.0” my real “Geek” phase.  When I was about 21 I started a BBS and got heavily into my computer, as this is where I saw my career.  It didn’t happen over night but I gained a ton of weight though the 90’s by about 2000 I had reached as much as 265lbs with a 43″ waist, I was BIG and I wasn’t healthy at all.  Drinking in excess of 3-5 cans of POP per day.  Ugh. During a physical in 2003 I was diagnosed with VERY high Cholesterol so high that I had to be put on Crestor, this is what led to Paul 3.5

3.5: Geek IMProved (aka GIM for those Linux Geeks): I consider v3.5 not a full new release of “Paul” but rather a little improvement.  I cut drinking sweetened POP, and got used to sweetner.  Started to watch what I eat, my weight started to fall getting to around 225lbs and a about a 38″ waist.  I barely drink POP any more, diet or otherwise, perhaps 3 can per week of diet Coke a far cry from the 20 or so cans of full sugar fructose laced pop per week I used to drink.  I maintained this pretty good for a couple years; however, watching what I ate was becoming difficult, I like food too much, I’m a foodie.  By  the summer of ’09 I was at 237lbs and 40″ waist.  It was at this time I decided to take up exercise so I could have some foodie fun and generally feel healthier.

Black Tux4.0: Fit Geek: I started to run in late July of 2009 with a training plan designed to work up to a 5k.  Called the “Couch to 5k” I followed this for a few months, highlighted by a 5k run over the Golden Gate Bridge during VMWorld in early September.  I was running ~3-4 times per week.  By October it was starting to get cold outside and I knew that the running wouldn’t extend through the winter, not to mention running wasn’t giving me the results I wanted.  It was at this time that I was introduced to CrossFit.  I won’t go on about that, I’ve posted about that previously.

Now that I’m 3 months into doing CrossFit where am I now?  I’m down to 219lbs and if my Omron Body Composition Monitor is to be believed I’ve put on around 5lbs-6lbs of muscle, my waist is now down to around 37″ and still shrinking.  My resting heart rate is now 62 beats per minute according to my Garmin heart rate monitor, that’s considered “Excellent” according to various sources I’ve Googled.  I’ve got FAR better definition in my chest and shoulders and my build is starting to show that classic “V” shape rather than my previous “b” shape. 😉  I can now see my traps poking up above my shoulders, my arms are more cut, my chest is hard.  My endurance has increased, my strength has increased, granted sore muscles have increased too, but that goes with the territory.  No pain no gain really does apply here, but it’s good pain, it’s discovering muscles you didn’t know you had, it’s looking in the mirror and being proud of what is looking back at you. Hard work pays off.

I credit CrossFit format with keeping me interested in staying in shape this long.  The difference between Square One CrossFit, or any CrossFit gym, and a regular “big box” gym is what has me coming back.  Constant encouragement, not just from Kristine, Chris and Scott, the trainers at Square One CrossFit, but from the other members too.  We all push each other and we all congratulate each other for a job well done, we actively want to see each other succeed.

I’ve completed some grueling workouts lately including the infamous “300 Workout” made famous by the movie.  I’m going to the gym now 4-5 times per week.  I’ll be working on Paul 4.0 for a good long while, but I’m still that geek, I just don’t fit the stereotype as closely as I used to.

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