One foot in front of the other

My dad died last month.

I was sitting with him in the hospital for the second night in a row, hoping that he’d defy the odds yet again and hold out for another sunrise. We’d all made it back that day, though, and had a chance to say good-bye. Now we were just trying to make him comfortable.

As I sat stroking his arm, his breathing slowed, first down to 10, then 8, then 4 breaths per minute.

I knew it wouldn’t be long but it’s still amazing how suddenly it happens, that last breath.

I looked away as he inhaled one last time, stealing a quick glance over at my nephew and my sisters, all of us waiting for the next exhale, the extension of his life.

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Hands Up!

Soft and Smooth

I used to have nice hands. Soft and smooth, free from nicks and rough spots and callouses. Except for summers playing baseball, I didn’t do much physical activity with them unless my dad asked me to help work on a car or build a garage or shed.

I eventually worked as a dishwasher for a year in my first two jobs at 16. Dish soap was not their friend. Neither was chopping onions. The stench from that lingered for days.

I was also into bicycling but always wore gloves to keep my hands from going numb, and padded the crap out of the handlebars.

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Back into the groove with Fire Nation

I must apologize for the lack of posts recently. I’ve been busy writing my first Kindle book this month. After pounding out 29,000 words over the course of a week the real work of editing came into play.

Plus, I got sick just in time for the New Year and was down with a hacking cough for two weeks. There must be something in the Florida air that mixes into a noxious brew once I get back to Chicago as the same thing happened after our Labor Day trip.

Not fun.

I have some great posts lined up and will be getting them online this weekend.

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Happy Thanksgiving from Home Gym Strong!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a great day to get together with family and eat, drink, and sleep and then eat, drink, and sleep some more. We’re up early this year to head back to Iowa for a couple days and trying to miss the traffic getting out of Chicago.

Just a few previews of upcoming posts. I’ve been slacking a bit on the info outside of my workouts so I’m going to make it up to you in the next few weeks.

Here’s a preview of what I’m going to be covering:

Tyler Bramlett’s CT-50 Workout

Tyler runs a site called and was cool enough to get me a review copy of his CT-50 plan. If you’re looking to drop fat and want to stick with bodyweight workouts with minimal equipment, check this out. 50 workouts of increasing difficulty so you can spread them over 10 – 16 weeks and it includes some cool videos on how to do some of the moves. I’ve just started looking through it – tons of material – so I’ll have a full review coming soon.

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How to Wake Up Earlier – Fall Back 2014

How to wake up earlier and get more done

Chicago-Birthday-SunriseI’ve always been a morning person. I was never one to sleep until Noon and would be lucky to still be in bed by 8:00 during the summer. Even now I still rarely sleep past 9:00 even with being out DJing until 3:00 in the morning.

An advantage of waking up earlier is that it’s easier to get more done and pack more into my day. Do I really need to stay up late and watch TV when I can just spend Sunday afternoons to catch my favorite shows On Demand?

And with the fall back time change this weekend, it’s a great time to reset your body clock and get in the habit of waking up earlier.

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No Time For a Workout

We’re all busy

Today has been a crazy day, not that it was any different than any other day. Finding time to get everything done in what little time I have outside of work is usually a challenge.

Yes, my wife and I don’t have kids so that makes our lives a bit easier than most 40-somethings, but living in the semi-suburban purgatory of northwest Chicago means a one-hour-plus commute, each way.

It’s my life

Up at 5:45 to do some writing and then get my lunch ready followed by getting myself ready and dressed and out the door by 7:15 to catch the bus and be surrounded by hoodie rats with their giant backpacks taking up all the aisle space when you try to get off the bus to catch the L.

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Do You Need to Do Cardio? Hmm…Maybe Not?

Treadmill-screenWake me up when September ends

Fall is a weird limbo time of the year for workout programs. The beauty of summer is a fading memory – the beaches, the barbecues, the suntans. The ugliness of winter is within sight – the slush, the colds, the parkas.

I’ve always had a hard time finding the motivation to workout once September hits and fades into Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There are no tropical vacations to get in shape for and the gluttonous memory of the holidays hasn’t been created yet. Waking up to walk on the treadmill is the last thing I want to do.

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