Well, we're mere hours away from the tryout. I didn't think I'd be as nervous as I am, but boy was I wrong. I'm honestly not sure how much sleep I'm going to get tonight. Registration starts tomorrow at 9:00 AM at Scott County High School off U.S. 25, for those that have been under a rock for the past couple days. I'll be out at the tryouts early tomorrow to represent WLXG in full force, giving away T-shirts and some other extra prizes as well as doing my try out.
Alex hooked me up to a parachute on Thursday night. We did some basic sprints, and some directional changing sprints. The first few sprints I didn't even really notice the parachute was there, but we noticed what direction the slight breeze was going. Feeling up for a challenge, we tweaked the direction I was sprinting in. I still didn't notice the parachute too much, until about the third sprint. Suddenly the slight resistance the parachute provided wasn't all that slight. Once we wrapped up the sprints, Alex stuck around for a few minutes and held for me while I kicked a couple times. Unfortunately the field where we practiced didn't have any goal posts, so I had to guestimate distance. Aiming wasn't tough, since I could just pick a tree in the background and aim for that. Just for fun, I tried a couple punts. I can get zero air time on a punt, so that whole thing's right out.
Today was an upper body day, including standing shoulder press, roll outs, a couple exercises that work your core, and some absolutely brutal pushups. I learned two things tonight: 1, I can't keep my back straight when doing shoulder press and 2, the reason you do sets of exercises quickly. I'd probably botch the explanation, so I'll have Alex explain it on Sunday Sports this week. Roll outs were rough; my abs are absolutely killing me and will probably stay that way. The crazy sets of pushups Alex had me do ended up being the first time I didn't care much for him. They were BRUTAL. I'm never forgiving him for those.
After the workout tonight, I found some goalposts and kicked a few field goals. I'm not feeling as confident as I had a couple days ago. My accuracy, the thing I felt most confident about, is where I want it. It's my leg strength. I can't tell how much was the crappy field condition, bad tee, and my leg strength, but I was only really consistent from 30 to 35 yards. I kept coming up short on 40 yarders, but not by much. I guess we'll see how the tryout goes tomorrow. I'm very happy with my accuracy, and am looking forward to showing what I can do tomorrow. Wish me luck.
We'll be talking about the tryouts with Eric Taylor of the Bluegrass Warhorses on Sunday Sports this week, and we'll have Alex Laughry of Fit Kentucky call in as well. Obviously I'll share my experience with the tryouts a bit on Sunday, but I'll also be writing a full recap here for Monday. Tune in to Sunday Sports this week and make fun of me.
I decided to skip a holiday update and enjoy my Memorial Day, as I hope all of you did as well. Alex and I didn't do a whole lot in our Friday workout anyway. He timed me on 20, 30, and 40 yard sprints, and we worked on my acceleration by strapping me in to a bungee cord attached to a fence, then sprinting a short distance. This doesn't sound like much, but I was beat, and my legs and hips are still feeling the effects.
Tuesday, Alex had a workout regimen that included quick set weighted jump squats and mountain climbers, exercise ball pull-ins, a couple smaller exercises, and wrapped up with uphill sprints. The weighted jump squats and mountain climbers were rough. Basically, you do a set of jump squats and immediately follow it up with a set of mountain climbers. Then you repeat that four times. The wight wasn't intense, but how rapid the exercises came was pretty intense. Also, I've been doing mountain climbers wrong my entire life. Apparently you AREN'T supposed to tap your foot at the top of a mountain climber. Who knew. Now mountain climbers are even more incredibly hard.
The exercise ball pull-ins were similar to the ones I did last week, except instead of being in a pushup position, I was in a sit up position with my heels on the exercise ball. You lift your hips off the floor, then rapidly pull your knees in towards your chest. I never could quite get right the distance the exercise ball needed to be from me. Nevertheless, my abs and hips are feeling it today.
I have yet to say this directly, but I won't claim to have not thought it; I hate Alex for having me end with uphill sprints. We did a ton of them, and they were rough. We were working out in afternoon heat, running in the sun straight uphill in a full out sprint eight times minimum. I was ready to die right afterwards, and I didn't have the foresight to fill my water bottle before going outside to do them. I. Was. Miserable. I spent the next five minutes sitting in my car with the doors open trying to recover.
I've barely kicked and we're only a couple days away from the Bluegrass Warhorses tryout June 1st. There are going to be more tryouts, but I want this one to be as good as possible. It's impossible to find goalposts up anywhere! I guess I'm going to have to go sneak on a high school field or something. Alex and the rest of the guys at Fit Kentucky are definitely doing their best to get me in physical shape. It's up to me to get my kicking in line. I've mentioned my narcissism here before, and this is probably a flash of it, but my actual kicking ability is one of the least of my worries. My leg strength, stability, and my athletic fitness are the areas I'm most concerned with. Fit Kentucky has helped and is continuing to help me get those areas better. I tried the whole working out on my own, but simply bringing in someone who knows more about physical exercises, and someone who helps to motivate me to do my best each time has been incredible. I can't thank Fit Kentucky enough. We have two more workouts before the tryout on Saturday, and I'll keep working with them afterwards for the next tryout. I just hope I don't pull a Charlie Brown on Saturday.
Ok. I'm feeling a lot better after Thursdays workout than I was after Wednesdays. I'm feeling a bit more confident. I have a lot more to improve, but I'm sure Fit Kentucky can help me get there. This workout went a LOT better.
Alex had me do a workout consisting of lying one-armed presses, standing military shoulder presses, a resistance band ab extension, and weighted crunches to name a few. The military shoulder presses really proved just how right I am about my left side being ridiculously weak. I was able to do about ten pounds more on my right arm without much of a struggle at all, while my left arm couldn't even get to the press part. It's a good thing I'm not trying out for a position that has much to do with chest and upper body strength.
The resistance band workout was an interesting exercise in finding a way to get the right resistance so I felt challenged but still able to do the extensions. Man, I'm not sure I've ever done an exercise that I've really felt in the sides of my abs, especially not all the way down. Alex has me working out muscle groups I can't recall every hitting before, and has me doing exercises I've never done before. I think the main problem with the way I've worked out and the instructions and workouts I've followed before is that they've been for weight training and building muscle mass. Alex is building my fast twitch muscles, strengthening my core, and getting my muscles trained for quick, explosive action, not necessarily sustained strength. I'm pretty happy about this; how I've worked out before has left me feeling unimpressed and like I haven't done anything to really get myself in any more shape than how I had started out. It's barely two weeks in and I can't say that I 100% feel anything different, but I think I maybe kind of feel a little bit of a change, if that makes sense? Either way, it feels much more like these workouts are doing something for me athletically instead of aesthetically.
Weighted crunches were nothing too special, but I enjoyed the exercise. It was hitting another area of my abs I've rarely ever worked on. But the finish of the workout definitely left me feeling better than I did Wednesday. Alex wanted to do some rope battling, but we were unable to find the rope. Instead, Alex had me slam a medicine ball against the ground. What a great release exercise that is. It's a nice full body workout, I definitely felt it from my calves to my shoulders, but there's something primally satisfying about throwing something as hard as you can over and over again. It was a much better wrap up than the sprints we did Wednesday, at least emotionally. I left the workout feeling successful and fulfilled.
I'm still apprehensive about the Bluegrass Warhorses tryout, though. I have no idea what it's going to be like and how much of an embarrassment I'm going to be. But that feeling of, "Hey, maybe I'll shock myself," that disappeared yesterday is back. I'm having fun with the workouts again, and the idea of trying out for a professional football team has more appeal again. I think my dour mood yesterday had more to do with stress than with the actual workout or my actual physical fitness. Today was a lot more fun, and I'm looking forward to my next one tomorrow. Hopefully we'll actually get outside for some length of time, and maybe even practice a couple field goals.
Kick offs are still a foreign concept to me. I'm going to make it a point on memorial day to do some research about the form and maybe try out a couple, just to see how I feel about them. I still think adding that to my arsenal will definitely help me in the long run. It definitely won't hurt my chances of making the team.
Sorry for the delay on the update, because of weather and scheduling conflicts, Alex and I had to move my planned Tuesday workout to last night instead.
Last night's workout was by far the most trying of the workouts thus far. Of course, it's only the third one, but considering how strenuous the last workouts have been, it caught me off guard. We started with dynamic stretching(including Frankensteins, which are the most hilarious way to stretch. Also the B-movie horror buff in me absolutely loves mostly because of the name), timed me on some wind sprints, then moved to the real workout of jump lunges, pull-ins, one-legged jumps, and 30-second sprints.
Thus far the workouts have been mostly weight and muscle strengthening, building up fast twitch muscles and improving my core. The workouts have been tough and I've been exhausted after every single one. But yesterday was the first day I've really felt disappointed after the workout. It hit home with me just how out of shape and how far I have to go. I was rather ashamed of my performance, and I caught myself not trying my hardest more than once.
Jump lunges were pretty rough, but I didn't have too much of an issue completing the sets of them. The pull-ins however killed me. Pull-ins are bringing your knees in to your chest while your legs are resting on an exercise ball. You can see the resting position by clicking here. By the second set, I was failing at the exercise. Not because I couldn't physically do it, mind you. Just because I was having such a terrible time keeping my balance. I was getting extremely frustrated with myself, but this was just the beginning.
We switched to one-legged jumps, and it was a whole new feeling of embarrassment. One thing I have definitely learned since starting this workout is that the left side of my body (the ENTIRE left side) is much weaker than my right. I've been aware that I favor my right side in basic every way, so that's a bit to be expected. But the difference between my ability to jump on my left leg versus my right is absurd. I also caught myself not trying my hardest, which is very frustrating to note. I got so focused on trying to jump the correct way (I was "pushing off" with my right leg, when my right leg wasn't even on the ground, instead of driving up with my knee. This is something that's plagued me since the days of doing layup drills with my YMCA league under 10 basketball team. It's disappointing to know I haven't really over come that yet. I wonder if I ever will.
Afterwards, we went outside and did some 30 second sprints. My right calf tried to cramp up on my during the second sprint, but I know it wasn't because I hadn't hydrated like last time. I'm not sure why it happened, but something tells me it was my body trying to find a way out of doing more sprints. We did five, and by the fifth one, I could barely sprint for the first ten seconds. I've never felt more out of shape in my life. It was a really disappointing feeling to end the day with.
This day of exercising has been the first time I've really started to question whether or not I should even be out on the tryout field come June 1st. I haven't even practiced any field goals yet. I'm starting to second guess myself on all this. I feel like there's no way I'll be in shape by then to even be worth going out. I'm going, though, and I need to keep in mind that this isn't the only tryout I'll be going to. There will be more, and I'll be working with Alex and the rest of the crew at Fit Kentucky for a while before we get to them. I think it was just a rougher day than I expected, considering we weren't doing anything super strenuous or anything that felt like a massive workout. I'm sure the next one will be better. I'll definitely put my all in to it, if for no other reason than to get over this little hiccup.
Well, my legs were really killing me Friday. Luckily Alex had me do a core-centric upper body day. Exercises included: suspended pushups, body weight rows, an exercise Alex called Power to the People, upright weighted rows, an exercise we aren't sure the name of (it involves pivoting a bench press rod, and using your core to swing the bar from hip to hip in a wide arc), and finished with an ab-centric leg press.
I thought the leg day pushed me really far, but Friday was an entirely different beast. Right out of the gate with the suspended pushups, I was using muscles I'm not sure I've ever really focused on with any one exercise. We were supposed to do three sets of 12. I finished the first set, struggling mightily. The second set I did 4 reps, and the third set I only got through 2 and a half (I'm counting that almost full pushup as a half, I don't care what anyone says). My lats are killing me from the workout, but my CHEST. My chest feels like it's on fire. I think waiting a minimum of two days between the workout and my update is a better choice, it gives me plenty of time to really assess how the workout has affected me.
Body weight rows were an embarrassment icing on top of the self-shame cake from the suspended pushups. I couldn't even complete the full first set, let alone either of the other two. Power to the Peoples were more my style. Beside the fact that I dig the name, I'm a fan of the exercise. It pushed me just to the brink of what I could do, but allowed me to complete the exercise while hanging on to my dignity. The exercise itself is similar to a shoulder press with a kettle bell, but uses more your abs than your shoulders. I'm definitely feeling that exercise in my lats and the side of my abs.
While we were doing the weighted rows, my legs felt like they were going to give out and seize up. Alex asked me if I felt like I was going to cramp up, and I told him it did kind of feel like that. Alex then asked me how much water I'd had that day. That's about the time it hit me that I'd been sitting at my desk all day and maybe had three cups of water and a cup of coffee, and that's it. I knew that wasn't enough, but boy was I surprised when Alex told me I should be drinking AT LEAST a gallon a day with this workout program. I'm going to need to radically change the way I go about my day to day life just to get the right amount of water.
The last two exercises forced me to dig deep while my body tried to cramp up from dehydration, but I enjoyed them. After having not been on a true workout regimen for any serious amount of time in a year or more, I hadn't realized how much I missed working out and the feeling of completing a strenuous workout. There's really nothing like knowing you gave your all at a workout and having someone confirm that to you.
Alex and Matt from Fit Kentucky were on the show with us yesterday. We had a blast talking about my specific workout and what Fit Kentucky does as a business. Their in home training and capable trainers are perfect for anyone, whether they're just trying to get a little more in shape or trying out for a professional athletic team. I can't recommend them enough, and I've only done two workouts with them. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's workout; apparently Alex is bringing out the parachute and ladders and we're hitting a park for a while, weather permitting. Maybe we'll have some photos for you all. Check here, the Fit Kentucky Facebook and Twitter pages, or the Sunday Sports Twitter feed to make sure you see them.
We're under two weeks to the tryout. My friends and I played kickball yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to try kicking any field goals, so hopefully we'll have time to practice some tomorrow after the workout, again, weather permitting. I'm starting to get a little more nervous as the time counts down. I can't emphasize enough how much I really would love to be on this team. I'm looking forward to the experience, but I'm hoping to at the very least make the guys at the Bluegrass Warhorses seriously consider me as an option. I'm guessing they'll have some more intensive workouts after these open tryouts, so at the very least, I want to be invited to those. We'll see though. First I have two more weeks of workouts to go, starting with tomorrow.
I'll update you all again on Wednesday, and I think this week will start a regular rhythm for me; updating Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This blog will be live through all the tryouts I attend, so you can keep your attention here for any updates on my progress throughout the week. Some major events may warrant a special blog update, so be sure to check back regularly. Also, follow the Fit Kentucky guys on Facebook and Twitter, and my show Sunday Sports on Twitter. I think we'll have Alex and Matt back on Sunday Sports the day after the first Warhorses tryout, so you'll definitely want to listen on June 2nd for a wrap up of the first tryout and the reactions from Alex and Matt to how the tryouts went.
The good news is that I'm able to walk without any problems. Sitting down and standing up are an entirely different story.
Alex from Fit Kentucky had me start out in high gear yesterday with a leg day right out of the gate. If you haven't been seriously working out in a while, leg days are an interesting place to start. Jumping in with leg workouts is either a genius idea, or the worst idea ever. I'm still on the fence about which one. We had a workout set up that included squats, jump squats, leg curls, a hip flexor workout, calf raises, and jump rope. I'm fairly certain my body had forgotten about most of the muscle groups these workouts target. The hip flexor workout in particular definitely has me stinging today. Walking around and getting places today definitely isn't as much of an issue as I was expecting, but I had some difficulty getting home last night. I drive a manual car, so I constantly have to use both my legs just to drive. After the workout I had to push my left leg down with my arm just to operate the clutch. That isn't hyperbole. I literally had to do that twice on the way home. To close out the workout, we did some jump rope, jumping as fast as possible for 30 seconds. I had no problem doing the full 30 seconds the first set, but the next two, woof. I maybe kept hopping for 20 seconds of the second set and MAYBE 15 seconds of the third. If I'm being honest, it was more like 10.
The people at Fit Kentucky definitely know their stuff. Alex walked me through each exercise, told me what muscles we were working on with each one, why we were targeting that muscle group with my intention to be a kicker in mind, and constantly checked in with me to make sure I wasn't using too much weight and potentially hurting myself. He definitely didn't take it easy on me, though. He could tell if I was using too little weight just from how I was doing the exercise. Alex shared a story from the first time he ever did squats, how awful his form was because he didn't know any better, and how the squats made him incredibly sore while not even working the muscles squats are intended to target. I was constantly getting tips on how to make sure I'm keeping good form with each one of the workouts, and him checking in with me on weight was greatly appreciated. Because of my rampant narcissism, I usually assume I can do anything at any given time. Alex constantly being in contact with me about the workout made me feel a lot more secure about my well being. Alex gave me a few pointers on what to eat after the workout: a good amount of protein, and a small amount of gummy bears, surprisingly. The sugar helps with getting the protein to your body more quickly and gives you that immediate energy you need after working out, unlike starches, which will just sit with you for a while. I decided to switch out gummy bears for sour gummy worms, but I think that's ok. I'm sure Alex will correct me if I'm wrong. I'll probably still eat the sour gummy worms though. I'll use any excuse to eat those things.
The next step is to test my measurables, which we're doing on Friday. I told Alex I wasn't sure why he was deadening my legs just two days before getting a measurables baseline, but he made the point that we don't have a lot of time before the first tryout. He's right, we've only got a couple weeks, so starting out in high gear is definitely the right choice. Besides, it has the added benefit of slightly lessening my measurables, which will make the results towards the end of the training that much more impressive. Well, I keep telling myself that. It's probably not true, but it makes me feel better. We've talked about finding a park for one of the workouts next week if the weather cooperates, and I'll definitely be taking a football out there in hopes that they'll have some goalposts I can practice on.
My friends and I have a pickup kickball game we're going to play on Sunday, and I'll be taking my football out there to get some practice. I'm both really excited kind of nervous about kicking again after so long. I have no idea what to expect out of my kicking ability after such a long period of disuse, and lack of solid training. As much as I'm doing this tryout process just for the experience, I would really LOVE to make the team. I want to be consistent from a medium range, 35-45 yards. I highly doubt the coaches and staff will give me a second glance just because I could hit one out of ten 60-yarders, if I could even do that. Being consistent and accurate from midrange will be the key to making the team I think. I also need to work on learning about kickoffs. That's one thing I don't think I've ever attempted before, and for an indoor team with a limited roster, being able to place kick AND kickoff is probably vital to actually making the team. I guess I need to do some research. If anybody has any pointers, hit me up.
I think the people at Fit Kentucky will keep you up to date on my progress and any other special blurbs about my training on their Facebook and Twitter pages. You can check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FitKy, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FitKentucky. I believe there may be some special little posts on those feeds a little later down the road, so be sure to like and follow them. If not, keep your eyes peeled here and I'll post a link to any updates they have in a future entry.
We're closing in rapidly on the first tryout, but I've got some more people in my corner. I'm happy to welcome Fit Kentucky on as a sponsor for Sunday Sports! As part of that, they're going to be working with me as I try to make the Bluegrass Warhorses. Alex is going to be helping me train as my personl trainer as I make a big push towards earning a spot on the team. We've set up a schedule, and we're going to start my training tomorrow evening.
I'm looking forward to kicking again. I need to get a decent practice field goal tee and find a field with goal posts. Hopefully I haven't lost my accuracy, but I guarantee I've lost my leg strength. That's something I definitely need to work on if I have any hope of making the team. Sitting around in front of a computer all day, and vegging out on a coach playing video games definitely hasn't helped me keep my leg strength. The good news is, when I DID kick last time, I really hadn't been doing anything to keep my core or leg strength up, but I was still able to get some decent distance on it.
I'm very excited about this partnership with Fit Kentucky. Matt and Alex all ready have a game plan set up for me. The best part? Fit Kentucky are an in-home personal training company. If I haven't mentioned it in my previous posts, the biggest challenge for me is getting up off the couch and heading out the door to go to a gym, park, or anywhere to work out, and there's only so much I can do on my own to get myself in shape. I'll make another post tomorrow night after my first session with Alex.
Ok, so, I’m picking up my home workouts and it is not going well. I’m pretty sure I’m the person that is the least able to construct a workout regimen. I’m going to need some help on this.
I still haven’t gone out and practiced kicking again yet. See what I mean? I’m the worst workout motivator on the face of the planet. The recent work load hasn’t really left me with a lot of time OR energy to really get going on this, and it’s tough for me to do anything after I get done at the office other than to go home, sit on my couch, watch television and eat an entire bag of chips.
Still, I’m going through with this. I’ll probably embarrass myself and everyone else involved (sorry Yeremiah, at least you still have that pro bowl nomination!), but I’ve talked about it too much to back out now. This is going to happen, and I’m going to try my hardest to actually make this team, despite how out of shape or unprepared I may be. I’ll just blame Josh Toftness if I fail horrifically.
Workout goal for the end of the weekend: go home, sit on my couch, and only eat HALF a bag of chips.
Yesterday we had Yeremiah Bell on the Sunday Sports show with us. I got a chance to get more of an idea of what it’s like to try out for a team as a walk on, which I assume mirrors pretty closely what going to an open tryout for a professional team will be like. It was also very fascinating to get more information on what going from team to team is like in the NFL. Something tells me this isn’t anything I’ll have to worry about, though.
I’m putting Yeremiah down as my agent, mostly because we both think it’s a little humorous for a full-fledged NFL safety to represent skinny little kicker wannabe me as I try out for a brand new Continental Indoor Football League team. It will also take no effort for him to represent me, and I really want to be on this team, so any little bit of credibility I can get from having an actual agent with some amount of pull can only help me.
It’s just now dawning on me how quickly this first tryout truly is. We’re just under four weeks away. I need to get out on a field somewhere and practice some kicking again. Full disclosure: it’s probably been three years since I’ve kicked a football. The more I think about it, the less likely I think it is that I’ll be able to make the team. Even if I don’t, it will definitely be an experience, and I’m committed to going through with trying out for the team.
I’m really curious to see how the whole process of trying out for a professional athletic team goes. I received the player tryout paperwork yesterday from Eric Taylor, co-owner of the team. It’s pretty basic, but it has some fun little elements to it, at least for me. Nickname: Clutch, of course. Highest level of football played: LOLNONE. Should I write my soccer playing experience under playing experience? It looks kind of stark with it being entirely blank. They have a line for agent contact. I guess I should figure out an agent or something.
This turn around time to the first try out is a little daunting. I have no idea if I’ll be ready AT ALL for this. I should probably start doing something more than my poor man’s workouts, which consist of: put on gym shorts, T-shirt and shoes, go outside and stretch, run around the block, huff and puff back to my front door, do four pushups and call it a day. Something tells me this isn’t going to get me in shape by the time June 1st rolls around.
April Lancaster's night at the race: She was front row and center at the Quaker State 400 where Brad Keselowski got the win. ÂÂÂ Take a look at these up close and personal images she had just a few inches away from the track. ÂÂÂ