Go, Appa, Go!
My family (wife + nearly 2y.o. daughter) and I took an overseas trip to Thailand and Korea this past summer. It was a fatastic trip (is there anything better than beef noodle soup for $0.50/bowl or street food?)! We had a lot of fun and my daughter did much better than we had expected – which is easy since we were expecting the worst. But a peculiar thing began to happen.
Four days into the trip, I went up an escalator and once at the top, I felt lightheaded and my heart began to pound. I took a seat and tried to control my breathing, but to no avail. I began to sweat profusely and felt like I was going to faint. Several minutes had probably passed and I was beginning to get scared. Suddenly, my heart rate returned to normal. What the heck was that?!
It happened a few more times on the trip, with no rhyme or reason to the cause. I decided to see a cardiologist when I got back to the States.
To make a long story short, the cardiologist couldn’t figure out what was wrong and since I’m in my late 20s, the Dr. was hesitant to use some of the procedures typically used on people twice my age.
My wife was understandably concerned; my daughter, obviously had no clue. Since being alive is a requirement of a good husband and father that people from all walks of life and backgrounds can agree on, I knew something had to be done. I had steadily gained weight over the past 2 years from 180lbs in late ’07 to 203 when I returned from my trip in late July ’09.
Cue a friend of mine who started looking for workout partners for a new lifting program he had researched called StrongLifts. I’d tried so many programs to get in shape before, but could rarely sustain them for more than a month, so I definitely had my doubts about this program. But I decided to give it a shot.
Maybe it was the motivation from wanting to stay alive and grow old w/ my wife and see my daughter grow up. Maybe it was the encouragement and accountability of workout buddies. Maybe it was the fact that the program doesn’t require me to be a human hamster for 45 minutes only to burn 3 to 400 calories. Whatever the reason, the program has produced great results.
I’m now 185lbs (even after the holidays) and a lot stronger than I ever thought I’d be. I could never bench press 135lbs in college – that’s my warmup weight now. I hated deadlifting – I now deadlift 225. And I certainly never thought I could keep up a fitness program for well over 4 months!
So one of the things I’ll be tracking in this blog are my workouts – when I lift, where I lift, what I lift, how I lift, who I lift with. But the purpose of this entry is to inform you of why I lift.
Whenever I’m doing any kinds of sports, my wife encourages my daughter to say, “Go, Appa, go!” (Appa is Korean for dad). So when I tell my daughter I”m going to the gym to exercise, she exclaims, “Go, Appa, go!” This is where the name of this blog comes from and is also similar to one of my daughter’s favorite books, “Go, Dog, Go!”
There are definitely days I don’t feel like working out, and certainly days when I’m tempted to cut a rep or my workout short. When I feel this way, I just hear my daughter shouting, “Go, Appa, go!”