I began this P90X journey two weeks ago day.  There are about 9 weeks left to go at this point.  Already I'm beginning to see results.  Some are exactly what I had hoped for, and others, not so much.  

My first run through the Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X workouts, I could hardly make half way through.  Today, I set personal records (for this phase of my life) in each exercise!  I also made it through Ab Ripper X, the complete work out, every one of the 349 sit ups.  I'm not gonna lie, I was crushing the Pause button on my remote, but I really wanted to get through the entire routine.  (Pausing and taking breaks are officially sanctioned!)  

During Kenpo on Saturday, I also noticed that muscle around my knees were starting to get defined.  Whoohoo!

The bad part, is really like a good news-bad news exercise.  I haven't lost any weight.  In fact, I've gained almost 7 lbs.  It's not like I'm eating much more than usual, but that there is substantial muscle gain in the last few weeks.  Fat seems to be burning off my arms, legs, and face, though my spare tire still remains!  So, I'm really considering doing the meal plan like my brother warned me before I began the program!  Tim, you are right!

Overall, I'm really happy with the results. P90X works!

‘You heard how she said that, right? Joga’

I'm not gonna lie.  One of my favorite shows on TV right now is Modern Family.  It's about a father, his daughter, and son and all their families.  In this scene, daughter Claire and Phil (her husband) are sitting (left side of the screen) with the father Jay and his wife Gloria (who is younger than Claire) in the Principal's office.  Claire and Phil's kid, Luke, was getting teased by Jay and Gloria's kid, Manny (who is the same age as Luke). Manny was calling Luke his nephew, which is technically correct.  Luke started to beat up on Manny.  Parents got called.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  This scene.

This has nothing to do with P90X, but I thought I'd put it up and call today's workout Joga.  This isn't the normal vinyasa flow.  We were throwing in random plank poses, push ups to get into downward dog, standing on your head with your legs bent around the other way in crazy contortionist poses (no photo available).

The random thing about this workout was, in all it's 95 minute glory, the last 30 minutes was just stretching.  Oh it felt good. Soo good.

BTW, sorry for the late posting, it took me a while to figure out how to post video.

Help! I’m sore and I can’t get up!

Day 3. Even before the workout, I knew I was in trouble.  You see, my grandfather has had a terrible hip problem for years and has refused every suggestion that he go to a doctor and get it checked out.  He walks with an astonishing limp.  Compared to how I felt at work, getting into and out of my car, he may as well have been a New York Ballet dancer.  My legs were shaking and my abs weak.  A few uncontrolled muscle spasms here and there.  But all's good, right?  

Today was shoulders and arms.  Nothing too killer.  Then the Ab Ripper X.  Oh man.  I had to pause the workout almost every other exercise.  Still haven't recovered from the last Ab Ripper on Monday.  The rumor on the street is that things get easier after the first month.  Tomorrow's Yoga X.  Maybe I can get all this soreness stretched out.  Maybe.

I’m hungry. Plyo ate my lunch!

Day 2.  I got W-O-R-K-E-D!  Today was plyometrics, which is a bunch of jumping (e.g., Kriss Kross will make ya jump jump.  Thanks, Matt.) and squats.  The hope is to get your fast twitch muscles up to par so you can do fast, powerful movements.  Note, that's the hope.  Haha.  I'm a swimmer, a mid-distance swimmer, that is.  Translation:  I don't think I have any fast twitch muscles, anywhere.  I've found a video of someone doing the P90X plyo workout.  You should not expect me to do the same!

My trouble all started about 4 seconds into the workout, when Tony Horton says that "This is the mother of all P90X workouts."  I felt like Sam Beckett in a Quantum Leap episode, when the words "Oh Boy!" escaped my lips.  I'm not gonna lie.  I think I said that at intervals or 30 seconds and 1 minute throughout the entire 58 minute workout.

The exercises came in all variety of names: Double Airborne Heisman, Run-stance Squat Switch Pick-up (not recommended for humans), Mary Katherine (Gallagher?) Lunges, Squat Jacks, Rockstar Jumps, Run Squat 180 Jump Switch, and Pitch & Catch.  Pitch & Catch (fast forward to 50:30. this guy isn't any good either, but, well, I swam!) wasn't my favorite.  I guess never learning how to throw a baseball will do that to ya.

All and all it was great. I'm beat and that's what I paid for…

P90X Days 0 and 1

Stick a fork in me. I'm done! A few minutes ago, I just finished my first P90X workout, which happened to be a double header: Back & Chest and the supplemental Ab Ripper X.

I've found myself getting more and more sedentary my day-to-day life. Some of it was work, and some of it was my own personal laziness. There were a few times that I'd try to go for the occasional run, swim, or yoga session, but nothing was consistent enough to draw real results.

One morning, obscenely early one morning, I saw a commercial for P90X and was about to change the channel. The thing that caught my attention was that each of the before and after photos seemed 1. to be clearly the before and after of the same individual (e.g., not using a different model for the after picture), and 2. the results were impressive, but also believable.

That got me to watch a little more.  I mean things like the Ab Circle Pro and the Bender Ball seemed a little cheesy to me.  After all, aren't all these workout programs supposed to be the same?

Tony Horton, the designer or P90X explained in 30 seconds the problems I had in getting fit: the plateau effect.  Simply put: when you do the same thing to your muscles all the time, your body learns to adapt and your progress diminishes.  Ok, so I listened some more.

Then I noticed that the people on the DVDs were using a log during the workout to record reps and weight.  Hmmm. That sounded a lot like Division I weight training to me.  That way you knew what you did before and how far you'd progressed over the 90 days.  Genius, right?  Maybe the signs of a well-thought out program.

After much hemming and hawing, and the slow down in the pace of work, I took the plunge and ordered the system. The DVDs arrived last week, and I committed to start this week.  Today was both Day 0 and Day 1.

Before you can begin the program, you're supposed to take (and pass) a fitness test, with things like, pull ups, push ups, wall sit, flexibility, and heart rate.  On Day 0, you also do things like take your measurements and save them for comparison later.  The BMI put me at 25% body fat, though I believe that's a slight over estimation, but probably not too much.  Thank goodness that's one number that'll drop like a Russian hand grenade in this program.

One of the things they encourage you to do is to post before/after pictures to prove to yourself that you've changed.  I'm embarrassed to do this, but I'm doing it as my own little bit of encouragement to keep going.  I'll post these pictures online every 10 days or so.  Hopefully I won't need to do as much retouching in the future :) .  Though I'm usually very jovial by nature, I couldn't find a way to make myself look serious enough for the before and after picture.  Maybe, like the ones on P90X ad, I'll wait to the end to put the bronzer and smile on…

You can keep me encouraged to move through this work-out jungle by posting comments on the blog, though it has been over a year since my last posting and not many people read it before.  I'll be extra encouraged to see your comments!  Of course I'll also let you in on my progress (in relative terms) with postings of graphs and statistical analysis charts.  Maybe a few differential equations…

89 days left…. Almost done!


Correct Procedure?

[Kevin goes to the laundry room. It has two washers and two dryers. He sees washing machine done, but full. Returns in 30 mins. Washing machine is still full. Kevin carefully puts the contents on top of the dryer. He then puts his laundry in the washing machine and starts the cycle. At the end of the wash cycle, he puts his laundry in the dryer.]

[Kevin returns half-way through the cycle to see his laundry on top of the dryer and the other guy's laundry in his dryer while his paid cycle is still going on. He swaps out the other guy's stuff and puts his stuff in. Enter the other guy.]

The Other Guy: [Screaming] What the ^*&*# do you think you’re doing?

Kevin: [Raised voice] Your laundry was sitting there for half an hour. I just moved it to the dryer.

The Other Guy: You don’t #%@%! touch my stuff.

Kevin: Then you take care of your laundry on time.

The Other Guy: Yeah my wife…

Kevin: You took my stuff out of the dryer put your stuff in on my dime. You gotta practice what you preach.

The Other Guy: You don’t #$@! touch my stuff.

[Kevin leaves. Says something to his roommate. The Other Guy over hears and yells through the door something inaudible.]

[Kevin returns to see the dryer doors open. He closes the doors, restarts the machines, and leaves.]

[A few minutes later, Kevin returns to see that the doors are open again and some of his stuff is on the ground. He cleans up the mess, restarts the machines, and leaves. The laundry eventually dries, but it takes a second cycle for each machine.]

[Kevin notices that his laundry basket is no where to be found. He thinks The Other Guy stole it. High class, huh?]

roads here

Google MapsI’m used to the California roads, which are a little crazy. I mean where else do so many north-south freeways intersect? The roads here are even worse. Frontage roads. Crazy signs saying to veer slightly left after the 4-way intersection followed by an immediate slight right then a left turn. Made up? not quite. That actually happened to me and, well, it took me a few tries to get it right! Anyway, pictured is Dupont Circle, a famous roundabout in the District. I do not recommend noobies take trips in the District at night without a map or GPS! While most people complain about traffic here, there is a lot of space for them to build more roads to ease congestion! BTW, did you know that Route 66 is carpool only during rush hours? What’s up with that?

There is a new box at the bottom right of the page. It’s, which allows you to chat with me when I’m online. I know there’s a huge time difference between you and me, but hey, if I’m on, hit me up and try it out!

“New York City,

center of the universe.” That’s a quote from the musical Rent. I had to travel to DC and stop off there before heading to NYC, so I could still get reimbursed for the travel to DC. The flight to NY was a stand-by buddy pass. Don’t fly stand-by if you can help it. TSA is not very quick to respond. I waited in this glass room while the guard was calling “Need male assist, no alarm, stat” for over 15 minutes before someone could check me out. My laptop sat on the conveyor belt like a ripe plumb to a thief.

It was a lot of fun. Since it was my second time in Manhattan, I had the hang of jaywalking and riding the sub. I was able to visit Central Park, Coney Island, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square.

The decade of my life in California makes me drawn to the beach like a moth to flame. The Atlantic by New York isn’t quite the same. It may be that Coney Island is on the north side of the bay. Anyway, it’s still beautiful and there were tons of people on the beach. You can see a few of my pictures on the shore and in front of the world-famous Cyclone. It was really fun and got super fast. There were lots of tummy-losing drops and quick turns.


Trago and family were in town my last week and he took me skim boarding. It’s kind of like surfing on the shore, if that makes any sense. There’s a video of some people who are way better at it than me.

It was my first time, and after learning to keep my self low, stepping on the board with my back foot first, getting the right orientation, testing my speed,… I actually got the hang of it! Too bad they don’t skim board in Virginia.