Happy Birthday to Me


Today is my 44th birthday, but I dare say that you might be hard-pressed to know it. I certainly do not feel like I am in my mid-forties. If I didn’t have two children in their early twenties, I would have no problem saying that I feel like I am half my age. Physically, I do feel much younger than my years. Age is just a number, and I realize that with each passing birthday.

The photo above is actually a screen shot I took from the video feature that Shaw TV did on me last August. I am posting it here today, because it is my birthday and I absolutely love this picture! It is easily one of my favourites from 2015. I always find photos of a deadlift at lockout appear so effortless, at least the ones that I am in, but maybe that is because I have yet to really test my limits. As I watch the entire video, I can see the effort and focus on my face as I begin the deadlift, but in this frozen moment there is the illusion of ease.

1a. squats, high bar with knee sleeves

without belt: 45 x 10, 95 x 8, 135 x 6, 155 x 6

with belt: 175 x 8, 195 x 8, 175 x 8

It’s been 2 weeks since I last did squats and most of these felt good. I did encounter a bit of a struggle midway through the set at 195 pounds. The fifth rep was particularly challenging. I’m not sure if I went too deep on that rep or the rep before it, but there was one that was a bit too deep and threw me off just a little. As is usually the case, I finished the set much better than that middle rep looked.

My new belt hasn’t arrived yet, so I had to use my old one and couldn’t quite get it on my usual notch for squatting. No big deal…I am no longer stressed out about day-to-day fluctuations with the belt. However, I am looking forward to a new belt with no preconceived ideas of which notch should be my standard…at least until it gets broken in!

1b. bench press with Swiss bar, widest grip

33 x 10, 63 x 8, 73 x 8, 83 x 8, 98 x 7

This was only my second time using the Swiss bar. Apparently I had some shoulder issues on my second set, so I had to work at making sure my I got my shoulders into the proper position and kept them there.

1c. pull aparts with orange band

Y’s and W’s x 8 x 5 sets

2a. braced single-leg kettle bell deadlifts

16 kg x 10 each, 24 kg x 10 each, 28 kg x 10 each

I definitely noticed that I had an easier time of these with the left leg planted and, when the right leg was planted, I noticed more twisting in the hip. Something to work on!

2b. GHR

x 10, x 7, x 6 followed by holding a plank position for I’m not sure how long but long enough!

Normally I really love glute-ham raises, but these were tough today. It’s been a while since I’ve done them. I was wearing knee sleeves still…maybe that is why it was tougher. Or it could be that Michael changed the position of the device. I don’t know…they were just hard.

2c. laying leg raise x 13

I didn’t think I would particularly enjoy my time away from the gym, but it wasn’t too bad; however, I am glad to be back at it again. I might not feel quite so enthusiastic about that when the DOMS settle in over the next couple of days!


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