Follow by Email

Friday, February 26, 2016


This is the bar I have at home.  The two 25-pound plates arrived this past Monday. So now the max I can lift at home is 175 pounds which should be good for working on form but....

Quick update...after the work out on Monday, I used kettlebells to work out during the week.  I did a regular work out this morning and decided to work on deadlift form later in the day.  I warmed up with 125 pounds and then moved right into 175 pounds.  (Someone needs a couple 10 pound plates.)  175 felt difficult today.  I guess that just happens sometimes.

I didn't make the barbell class at SOS last night because I had a prior commitment.  Now I am all in every week!

In case you were wondering, the pumpkin is from my garden this past summer.  It decided to hang out by the pellet stove during the winter.  It still looks beautiful!

Monday, February 22, 2016


Me...on my journey!  At times, in this blog, I am going to invite you on my journey.  I hope you enjoy the process as much as I will.

The barbell class is an hour long and we only (at least so far) do two moves plus an awesome hip warm up.  (My hips thanked me.) 

Last Thursday we did the deadlift...

On my last set, I was able to pull 185 pounds and it felt easy and it was after 5:30 PM.  Since the certification, I've been unable to get past 175.  Why the improvement?  There is nothing like good coaching.  Mike Perry, co-owner of SOS, is a great coach.  He notices the big and, more importantly, the small imperfections in your technique. 

Steve, shown in the video below, is a coach at SOS and he was one of my coaches at the SFG.

and the barbell squat...

I made the decisions to start very light (unlike the chica above).  I haven't done much barbell squatting recently and I had some concerns.  I really wanted to work on technique.  One tweak by Mike made the concern I had disappear.  With my arms in the correct position and my concern disappeared. 

The hour flew by and I felt pumped, motivated and invigorated after the class.  I am hooked...

So today, I took it to the YMCA to practice deadlifts, squats and bench press.  For my last set of deadlifts, I hit 190 pounds.  I did 70 squats and 70 pounds on the bench.  It all felt really good.

I love the process of working toward a goal.  This will not be any different.  In a couple weeks, Mike will write my own private program for working toward the Strong First Barbell Certification. 

Searching for SOS videos, I came across that I want to share with you and save for me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


My goal is present the young woman who inspired my strength training journey.  It began with Tony Gentilcore's blog as I previously stated.  His blog led me to the first Girl's Gone Strong. 

I'm a movement by myself, but I'm a force when we're together..." - Fabolous

One official release... 

Their blogs and videos showed women lifting heavy shit and doing real chin up and pull ups.  They pushed sleds and they snatched.  I watched some of the following videos over and over trying to figure out how to get to where they were.  I was amazed and inspired by what these women were doing.  Notice the hardwork, fun and camaraderie shared in this video.

They was Maryann Kane, Nia Shanks, Neghar Fan, ooni, Molly Galbraith, Julia Ladewski, Jen Comas and Allie McKee.  (Sorry if I forgot anyone.  I tried to do this by memory.

Not only did these women promote strength, they talked about nutrition, loving your self as your are and supporting other woman.  The following picture is from their facebook page in 2012.

I never wore much jewelry.  I bought the necklace below in 2011 or 2012.  I wore it always.  It was a constant reminder of who I wanted to be.  Sadly, I was doing sprints on the treadmill and went flying off my neck never to be seen again.  However, it did its job motivating work on becoming a stronger female.  As Julia Ladewski wrote on the blog..."I'll wear this one loud and proud."

It seems this photo was the first on GGS facebook page.

The group has changed and mature since the beginning but what hasn't changed is their ability to inspire.

You might say but Patti, I am over 50 how does any of this pertain to me.  Oh but it does.  They should inspire you to want to get as strong as you can be.  It should inspire you to try new activities.  What they do should inspire you to get fit.  Now we all have limitations so strength, activities and getting fit will reflect who you are!

Monday, February 15, 2016


"Fitness does not have to look like a 23 year old oiled up fitness model. Fitness does not have to parade around in poses that are only designed for sex appeal. Fitness does not have to fit into a box that is designed by professional athletes and comes with a kit for six-pack abs." - Beverly Childress
(Taken from Girls Gone Strong.)

Beverly Childress also took the photo....via Girls Gone Strong.

When I grew up I wanted to be a Juke. I still want to be a Juke - Jon Bon Jovi

One Bon Jovi quote and it becomes a SSJ love fest. One of my most favorite live moments and a favorite song:

Saturday, February 13, 2016


It really is a cool sign.  I just take crappy pictures in addition to not having my glasses on.

One class in and I am psyched to be taking the bar technique class at Skill of Strength.  Some of the things I was worried about did not materialize or maybe they did and I was able to deal with them.
I am always uncomfortable when I first do something.  I don't know the people or the procedure.  Heading to Skill of Strength was no exception.  I sat in my car looking in the windows.  Damn there were a lot of people working out in there.  Long story short, I met up with Mike Perry, co-owner with his wife and got settled.  There were some awkward moments for me about the procedure for the class  but I think I got it down.
Good of the trainers was my trainer at the SFG certification and my training partner at SFG trainers at SOS.  So psyched to see her again.  She's also taking the Barbell cert. 
It is an hour long class.  We worked two moves.  The deadlift and the bench.  Mike said I am going to critique the shit out of you (okay maybe I am paraphrasing) and I said that is what I am here for.  Learned a lot.  My deadlift technique improved after one class and I got back to benching.  I haven't benched much since the Arnold. 
My second worry was that I would be able to lift any thing heavy and be motivated after a long day at work...on Thursdays I start at 6:00 am.  Ya know what?  It was easy.  The drive worked out.  I was excited to learn and at the end of the class I felt pumped.  I was invigorated and not ready to fall asleep.
I hope to be able to outline my journey to the SFG barbell certification.  Going through the certification is incredible and draining.  Me...I love, love, love the process of getting to the weekend.  And so it begins.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Tomorrow night I start my training for the StrongFirst Barbell Instructor course which I will participate in in June 2016.  I am taking the course at Skill of Strength in Chelmsford and I plan to train there also.

I took the StrongFirst Barbll Course there also...can you find me?

Everything is mostly a pro about the training except I will be training at 5:30 after work.  I will be lifting heavy weights after work.  Gotta say....I am a morning work out person so this will be a challenge.  Here's the thing.  I always feel the need to push my self.  This is another such case.  I always say it.  I want to be as strong as I possible can be.  

Strength...where does the motivation and desire originate.

Thinking about the blog post on Dave Mirra and what an inspiration he was.  I started thinking about Extreme Sports and how male dominated they are.  I vaguely remember two  or three women skateboarders at the Gravity Games in Providence, RI...doesn't mean there weren't others.  The Skateboarding Women's Event is what I remember.  Where are the women?  Who are the women that are pioneers and who inspire? 

Today you can find those women in the health and fitness field.  They are young woman pushing the boundaries of strength.  They are promoting body acceptance.  They are role models for our teens and pre-teens.  They have inspired me to live outside my comfort zone and to pick up some dang heavy weights.  

I plan to spend the next several day a week...introducing you to those women who inspire me.  But wait, the very first blog I started reading was by Tony Gentilcore in the Boston Herald.  He is a strength loving, deadlift loving, cat loving and movie loving kind of guy.  He is also one of the first I was exposed to and who promoted women's strength training. 

It was his blog that started my journey.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Dave Mirra wrote on his FB page in September 2015:  Kinda funny when I look back at some of the non sense that came along with winning gold medals.

Dave Mirra in his younger BMX days!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Today Dave Mirra, BMX legend, killed himself.  He was 41 years old.  He left a wife and two children.  The details have not been reported but apparently he suffered from depression.  Today, after posting a picture on his website of his wife and himself calling her his rock, he shot himself in his truck.  I keep searching for stories that will make sense of his actions.  There are none.

The boy was into BMX biking and skateboarding.  As a result, for 2 or 3 years in a row, we went to the Gravity Games in Providence, RI.  Dave Mirra was at the top of his biking game at that time.  I saw Dave Mirra up close and personal at the Gravity Games in Providence, RI on several occasions.  The venue was outdoors and lent itself for interaction with the athletes.   Not only was he the best BMX biker but he was humble and knew the importance of interacting with young kids...young kids who looked up to him. 

The following video shows some of who the public Dave Mirra as a BMX biker.  It also shows his transition to Ironman...something I did not know that he was doing until I saw this video.

I have great memories of watching him ride and of spending such great time with my son.  Dave Mirra inspired me enough to BMX with my son.  Not all of it was positive and I have a scar on my nose to prove it!!!

Rest in peace Dave Mirra.  I will always remember your spirit.  I am very sad that you could not find peace in this life. 

Monday, February 1, 2016


I lift heavy weights.  I swing, I press and I snatch kettlebells.  I will be the first to do a Turkish Get Up.  I run.  I do high intensity workouts.  I've done triathlons.  I trained for and passed the Strong First Kettlebell Certification this past year.  This year I plan to train for and pass the Strong First Barbell Certification.  I have Rheumatoid Disease.  I am one of the lucky ones who have been able to control the disease with minimal medication and diet.  Why do I bring this up today?  Because not every one is as lucky as I am and because I MAY not always be so lucky. 

Today, February 2, 2016, marks the 4th annual Rheumatoid Disease (RD) Awareness Day.  Reason for a day of awareness?  Most people do not understand what RD is.  It is not simple a type  of arthritis.  Arthritis is just some symptom of RD.  What I have found interesting is that medical providers, outside of Rheumatologist and those who work with them, don't understand what Rheumatoid Disease is.  Dr. Lloyd, my first rheumy, would say to me that socially people including medical professionals would ask him how to treat their arthritis.  His response was always, "I need to know what type of arthritis you have."  Lupus, scleroderma and Sjorgen's Disease are forms of arthritis.       

Rheumatoid disease is a chronic systemic disease.    RD is a serious autoimmune disease that attacks the joints and other body parts.  Simple put, your body attacks itself.  It affects your lungs, your heart, your liver, your kidneys.  Surprisingly, which always takes me by surprise, sometimes you may feel a shortness of breath.  What I also always forget and continually surprises me is the level of fatigue you can feel.  Sometimes I wonder why I feel so tired and exhausted.  I forget this symptom.

I am lucky.  I have been able to control my RD with diet and, at times, medication.  I have not had to revert to the injectables to treat my symptoms but have been successful with Methotrexate.  It is not a great medication to have to take but it worked.  When I do take it, I need to go for blood work every 2 months.  One of the side effects is liver disease. 

There are many, many people who are not as fortunate as I have been.  Some sufferers try pills, some try injectables and others a combination of both.  Some people try everything without any relief.  Combine that with the fact that not enough research has been done on the long term effects of injectables.  If you have moderate to severe RD, life can be difficult, challenging and life threatening.  I do not feel I am overstating this.

This is true about rheumatoid disease as it is about many others.  Even during my worst days, most people did not know what I was experiencing even when I was using a cane.  I did not share the struggles then and I rarely do now. 

It can be a deadly disease.

For more information check out this site!