Feruzi Mwero
 
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Archive for 'Exercise'

On a sunny, hot Sunday morning, through the gruesome hills of the country-side-like town called Redlands, a 233-pound web designer ran an average 11 minutes, 34 seconds per mile to finish the 2012 Run-Through-Redlands Half Marathon at 2:31:40. It was one of my proudest physical achievements, especially considering it is the first time I have ever ran a half marathon, and the first time I have ever covered 13.1 miles in a single run. I did not know I was capable of such a feat. If you would have asked me two years if this was possible, I would have said no. I probably would have said no if you would have asked me 6-months before the race, when I first considered running a half marathon. In any case, no matter what my reservations were, in less than 6 months I prepared and ran a half marathon in a pretty impressive time considering the race-day conditions; and here’s how I did it:
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P90X, The 4th Attempt: I Am a P90X Grad!

I am happy to announce that I, Feruzi Mwero, officially became a P90X Graduate on October 28, 2011.

Despite all my fears from my 3 previous failed attempts, I conquered the P90X mountain. My simple goal was to lose 18 pounds. My journey, however, included a 4-pound weight gain right off the bat, a 3-week plateau, and a 4-week avoidance from the scale as a finale. In the end I lost a measly 14 pounds. Wait. Let me restate that properly. I LOST AND INCREDIBLE 14 POUNDS!! I may have missed my goal by 4 pounds, but I feel amazing, muscles are popping up every where, and I look healthier. How did I do it?

  1. I brought everything I had into the program. I convinced myself and my body to keep pushing through no matter what.
  2. If I missed a day, I made a plan of action to catch up, by working out twice on one of the days during that week, or by shifting my schedule over by one day to cover my rest day. But in no way would I allow one missed day to turn into two.
  3. If I felt really good at the end of the week, I did X-Stretch. If I felt tired and sore, I rested.
  4. I researched into my nutrition, what I like to eat, what I can cook or prepare that works with my schedule, and what supplements a growing man like me needs.
  5. I researched other ways to burn calories through my day, and practiced those techniques (not perfected, mind you).
  6. I motivated myself by reading other people’s success stories (and not just from P90X).
  7. I also motivated myself by meditating everyonce in a while. In my meditations I would imagine myself at my physical goal, then visually imagine myself getting there (working out, eating right, etc.), and end my meditations imagining how happy I would be at my physical goal (either trying on clothes, going to the beach, running a marathon, etc). It sounds crazy, but if the mind is on board with your physcial fitness plan, your decisions and your body have no choice but to follow.
  8. I didn’t follow my meal plan to a ‘T’, but I kept track of my caloric and nutrional intake. I wasn’t a typical calorie counter. I would pick random days to track my calories and then base the rest of the days following around that day. If my diet was forced to change (like we forgot to buy pasta), I tracked my calories on those days and based the following days on that diet.
  9. I used common sense where applicable.
  10. I remebered to have fun with my family and friends.

My Challenge

The challenege going into my rest week will surely be taking up running again. I’ve decided that by next year this time (Fall 2012) I want to run a half marathon, and by Spring 2013, I want to run a full marathon. Oh, Lord!

My new running regimen will start out just as any other amatuer should start out — slow. I’ll start with quick walks and an occasional jog, and work myself up to a non-stop 3-mile run by the end of this year. Hopefully.

My other challenege is deciding exactly what to do after my rest week. I want to take up P90X again at some point, but I’m not sure if I should focus on building my running stamina without P90X, and instead going to my apartment complex gym on non-running days, or doing a combination of the doubles schedule but exchanging certain Cardio X routines with running. Oh, there are so many options once you’re a P90X Grad. Hahahahahahahha!

The Reward

I get to relish in the fact that I have not been in my 230′s since December of 2008. I get to celebrate my renewed mobility and flexibility after fracturing my L1, and damaging my L5, sacrum, and coccyx in December of 2009. Finally, I get bragging rights that I finished a full round of P90X after my first attempt in May of 2010. I did it and I’m proud of myself!

Onward, to new and daring adventures! See you there!

Originally posted on TeamBeachbody.com

P90X, The 4th Attempt: One Week To Go!

The 12th week, this past week, flew by so fast. It didn’t help that my wife and I had a ton of things to do that included a small trip to Phoenix from SoCal. Nevertheless, I managed to hit play even when I had to do it a couple hours before driving 4 hours on Thursday night. On Friday I capped off the week with Kenpo X in Phoenix and took the rest option for the 7th day on Saturday. How was week 12?

I brought it on every workout. On every move, every set, every rep I made it as intence as possible. I dipped lower than ever, I lifted more than ever, I jumped higher than ever, and kept it up longer than ever. Why? Because I have a goal to fulfill. and I’m going to get as close as I can to my goal.

The Challenge

Because I am still in Phoenix, and I forgot to bring my yoga mat, and I am here to help my wife’s cousin, and her husband, prepare and bring home their new baby from the hospital, I will not be able to start week 13 on time (today). Instead, I’ll have to start it tomorrow and hope to catch up. Can I do it? Yes. Will it be hard? Yes.

There’s also a second facet to this week’s challenge. Because of my previous personal challenge to myself, I have not weighed myself in about 3 weeks. I don’t know how well my weight loss goal is really going except for the fact that I can wear clothes I have not put on since late 2008. That’s great, but the last time I checked my weight I still has roughly 12 pounds to lose to reach my goal. I intend to finish strong, but because it is a recovery week, I am going to have supplement a couple extra workouts to add a little more calorie burn for the week. *Sigh*.

The Reward

I can’t wait to finally claim I have finished a full round of P90X. Even if I don’t reach my weight goal, the accomplishment of finishing an intense 90-day workout program is in itself amazing. I have done a great job. There’s no denying it. And because so, I will take the perverbial victory lap next week. I will speak of myself with pride. I will congratulate myself, and after all is said and done seven days later, I will start it all over again.

Originally posted on TeamBeachbody.com

P90X, The 4th Attempt: Whew!

Freakin eh! Last week was one heck of a challenge. I did my best to bring it and let me tell you, my body is lettin’ me know I brought it. It was the last week for Shoulder & Arms, and Chest & Back. Now, I only have one more week for Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, and Back & Biceps. After this next week (week 12) is week 13. My last week. I’m almost there folks.

The Challenge

Food! I have gotten the eating part down. I know how to do that. It’s now the eating the right stuff. Here’s why it will be a challenge this week. My wife’s cousin is having her first baby. We are helping my wife’s cousin and her husband collect all the proper baby stuff they need and than delivering it to them all the way in Phoenix from Redlands, CA (SoCal). Their schedules are blocking them from doing it themselves, and the expectant mother just needs to get her rest. So, because my wife and I’s schedules are so packed usually, an attempt to add this much work and a small trip throws a wrench into our gears. Furthermore, this week is particularly busy for me do to work and appointments. For my wife, she’s tryign to prepare for tests next week. Triple the workload we’re used to. We didn’t have time this weekend to make food for the week, and while I was hanging out with friends, my wife bought pizza that should nto go to waste and spoil in the fridge. Long story short: I’m eating a slice of pizza a day (excpet for tomorrow when I will be eating two), and fighting the urge to grab something quick and unhealthy to eat. I’ll have to aim for healthy fast foods (there are some if you comb the menu properly, and leave out unecessary dressings). I’m also, since I’ll be eating higher caloric foods than I am used to, going to have to reduce my portion size. Whew! Pray for me this week.

The Reward

I finally sat down, did some research, and picked out a good mutli-vitamin for men. I stopped by my local Vitamin Shoppe, bought the mutli-vitamin and a melatonin supplement. Why are these in the reward section? The melatonin should help me sleep better through the night. It’s been a tiny bit of a struggle for me. The multi-vitamin should help with the slight nutritional gaps that I know I have in my diet. One thing I know for a fact, I don’t get enough sun. Yes, I live in sunny SoCal and in hot-desert Vegas. How can i not get enough sun? I spend most of my time in a car, in an office, or in an appointment. Believe me, I don’t get enough sun. I know of at least two substances I’m missing because of that. Proper Vitamin D and Melatonin synthesis, in your body, occurs when you eat right and get some sun. According to a study I read (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vitamin-d/) black men, like myself, need 90 minutes of sun exposure a day on either exposed shoulders, arms, and legs, to properly generate the amount of Vitamin D a man should have. Melatonin is produced as a result of Seratonin that occurs in the body when it is exposed to daylight. The sooner in the morning you’re exposed to daylight, the better. Melatonin is even more important for men because studies have shown that men with prostate cancer tend to have lower levels of melatonin (the study’s are quoted here: http://www.alternative-cancer-care.com/Melatonin_Cancer.html, and there’s a lof helpful information here: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action;jsessionid=57F4050671F4D6800F4BD27452503907?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.116-a160). Okay… now you know why a multi-vitamin and a melatonin supplement are a reward for me, and should probably be a reward for you too.

Originally posted on TeamBeachbody.com

How I Helped Heal My Fractured L1 Vertebrae

As some of you know, on December 27, 2009, I fractured my L1 vertebrae while sledding at Mt. Charleston (40 miles or so outside Las Vegas). I, later, also discovered I fractured my L5, fractured my coccyx, and rotated my sacrum. Oh happy days!

As of today I can say I am probably 97% fully recovered. I continue to have mild pain around my tailbone if I stay in one position for too long — sitting, standing, or laying down. Occasionally if I push myself a little too hard in a workout, or do it wrong I may have some pain around L1 and tailbone for a little while, but it never lasts too long. Nevertheless, I am fully active, playing sports whenever I can — basketball, soccer, etc. — and working out with P90X. Since I’ve lost weight, nearly 50 pounds, I have decided to start a running regimen. My goal is to run my first half-marathon next year around this time.

None of what I am doing, or plan to do, was possible in the days, weeks, and months following my accident. So, here are the methods* I used to get where I am today.
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