2/1 through2/14/10- Decisions, decisions!
Yes, I am once again behind in posting. My schedule seems to be getting fuller and fuller every day, but in a good way. Unfortunately, that means some tings fall by the wayside (like laundry, housecleaning, blog entries, etc :-) ). A lot has happened these last two weeks; probably the biggest things as far as contest prep goes, is my decision to NOT compete in the NC State Championships on April 10th, I had been struggling with the decision for awhile, but it became crystal-clear a couple weeks ago when Jill and I were training shoulders. I was feeling really good and could really see good things happening with my delts-yay! Then it hit me.... If I start cutting in preparation for the April 10th show, then really.... how much more muscle am I going to be able to put on in the time I have? Not only that, but how will I also maintain the muscle I already have in order to do well in the June show I want to do? And when I REALLY thought about the reasons I wanted to do the April show, it was mainly because several of my good friends are doing it, and I wanted to be a part of it with them. It wasn't really about me, it was about them. So, a light bulb went off and I thought "hey, I can spend those extra weeks when I would be dieting down to continue the forward progress I'm making" Thus, the decision was made.
Now, I will be doing a FAME competition in Greensboro, NC at the end of May- this one will be kind of a "warm-up" to get back into stage-mode, and it should be tons of fun. My trainer, Kill Coleman, is helping to promote it... it will be a blast! On June 26th, I'll travel to Hickory, NC to compete in a new NPC competition- this is the one that I really want to do well in! I fell good about the decision not to do the April show, but I will be there, as a spectator, rooting for all my girls competing!!
Before I get to training details, I want to talk a little about a personal issue. I typically keep things close to the vest, but I need to reach as many people as I can in the hopes of finding a solution.
In 1995, my Dad was diagnosed with a very rare blood disease called Primary Amyloidosis. This disease acts like a cancer in the way that it spreads and attacks the vital organs, mainly kidneys, heart, and brain. To make a really long story short, when he was diagnosed, he was given only two years to live. He basically shut down and gave up on life; he had resigned himself to the fact that he was going to die. I, on the other hand, refused to believe that, so I set out to learn everything I could about the disease. One night, while searching the Internet (on my super-slow dial-up AOL connection- this was before Google, super-fast connections and the ability to find any kind of information in less than a minute) to see what I could find out. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but, by some miracle, I found a site detailing a clinical trial that was being conducted at Boston University Medical Center for Dad's disease. I bombarded the trial coordinator with faxes, emails, and voice mails. After a few phone conversations, Dad was accepted into the trial.
The trial itself was hell. There were several times we though we were going to lose him. In very general terms, the treatment involved extracting his diseased stem cells, cleaning them, dosing him with mega-doses of chemo to kill off EVERYTHING (good and bad), and then putting the clean stem cells back into his system. The "clean" stem cells then regenerate and counteract the effects of the disease. After 8 weeks of treatment in Boston, he was sent home to recuperate. The disease went into remission, but his kidneys were pretty much destroyed from the disease. In 1999, he underwent a kidney transplant (his sister was the donor). After that, he did great for several years. Then, in 2004, the disease went out of remission. The good news was that there had been more research done on the disease by this point in time, so he was started on a treatment involving high-dose steroids and interferon injections. This treatment kept his symptoms totally under control, and he has been able to lead a normal, active life.... up until now.
NOW, his insurance company has told him that they will no longer cover this medication because they say it is "experimental" in the treatment of his disease. This, after having covered the medication for several years! The medicine is $1,100 per month without insurance, and much too expensive for him to buy on his own. We have appealed to the insurance company to no avail, and are now pursuing legal action against them. He has been without the medication since October, and he is not doing well at all. His kidney function is the worst it has been since before his kidney transplant. It angers me that the insurance company is basically playing God by messing with people's lives.
I guess what I hope to accomplish by putting this out there is to hear from anyone who has any ideas or advice on how to deal with this. I am looking into patient assistance programs through the pharmaceutical company, in addition to getting the legal ball rolling. I welcome any and all advice-- I want to hit this from every angle possible. I KNOW there has to be something we can do to get coverage reinstated; I just want to be sure I leave no stone unturned. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any ideas. Thank you in advance!!!
I know this doesn't have anything to do at all with contest prep, but in a way it does, as it is an issue I'm dealing with as I prepare for my competition. It adds a level of stress and worry, which can definitely affect training, sleep, diet, etc. My #1 priority is to make sure I do everything I can to help my dad- everything else comes second, including contest prep. My dad is my hero; I love him more than I could ever express in words. He also just retired, and I want to see him be able to enjoy his retirement, which he hasn't been able to do yet.
On to training!
The past couple weeks flew by, but were good in the way of training. The diet is going well; I struggle on some days to get everything in, but I'm doing pretty well. The cool thing is seeing progress and knowing the diet and training are working!!! Some of my training tops are actually getting snug around the back area- a good thing!!
Here is how training went down these past two weeks:
45 minute Advnaced 15% incline walk/Abs
Back/Biceps with Jill
30 minute incline treadmill HIIT/Abs
30 minute Stepmill HIIT/Sprints
Legs with Jill
30 minute incline treadmill sprints
Shoulders/Chest/Triceps with Jill
2/8/10 through 2/14/10
45 minute 15% incline walking
Back/Biceps with Jill
30 minutes 15% incline sprints
40 minute stepmill HIIT
Legs with Jill
30 minutes stepmill HIIT
Shoulders/Chest/Triceps with Jill
Tried some EDT (escalating density training) for legs- it was awesome!!
Untill next time- train hard, and find happiness in every day!