What tha... it's Monday already?!?

It literally just registered on my drive in this morning that Steve is officially out-of-town and I am officially in charge of all but the Thursday post. Yikes! Okay, here's what I've got for today and I promise I'll get myself together for the rest of the week: 1. We were out finishing our Christmas shopping yesterday and ventured into the American Girl store in Tysons. Our neices are into these dolls. Ummmm, so I'd heard about the long lines, the in-house cafe, the crazy expensive outfits, etc. What I had NOT heard about is this:

I feel like this could potentially be the picture that accompanies the definition of opulence. Well, I will not be surprised when Arabella requests an American Girl doll in the future, but I'll be damned if I pay a grown woman to style that doll's hair. I wasn't into dolls growing up (I know, shocker), but isn't learning how to dress and style your doll supposed to be part of the whole idea?

2. Teens, Sugary Drinks, and Exercise: Scare Tactic Works - This is an interesting post from Fooducate citing the behavorial changes that occur in teenagers while they considered which beverage to purchase.

3. An Ode to Training Partners - from Ryan Wood

I began powerlifting about a year ago and have been completely addicted ever since.  People enjoy many things as hobbies; some knit, some read novels, some collect stamps, and some play in adult sports leagues.  Me on the other hand; what do I do for fun?  I pick up heavy things off the floor, I press heavy things off my chest, and I put heavy things on my back and squat them; all on a platform in front of people.  Am I crazy? Most certainly.  Luckily I have found people equally as crazy (maybe more so).  These insane young men are my training partners and I wouldn’t have made near the gains that I have without them.

As far as I’m concerned training partners are almost a necessity unless you have a coach.  I don’t care if you’re just training for the sake of training, training to be a strongman, for athletics, or for powerlifting; training partners and coaches should be with you.  There’s no way you will make the same gains solo as you would with people training right alongside you.  They will provide you with an array of ways to make improvements that you otherwise wouldn’t know.  They will give you feedback and cues at every step of the way, they will be there as a support system on your good days and bad, and lastly they will be there to motivate you; inspiring and encouraging feats you didn’t think were possible.

If any of you have trained, and I mean seriously trained you know that you will have good days, bad days, and downright depressing days; it’s just the way it is.  I’ll tell you one thing though, if I didn’t have my training partners as a support system my good days wouldn’t be nearly as good, my bad days would be worse, and my depressing days would probably have made me quit powerlifting by now.  Finally, my training partners are my motivators.  I have tried things because of them that have led me to succeed where I thought I would have failed; and I am very grateful and a lot stronger for that.  On the other side of the coin, I have tried things because of them that have led me to fail BUT at least they encouraged me to do something I wouldn’t normally have had the guts to do and I am grateful for that as well.

To end this sappy rant about how awesome training partners are (hopefully my training partner’s heads’ aren’t too swelled after this), I’ll end with my boy Sean’s epic 500lbs rack pull that he wouldn’t even have tried by that point in his training without myself and John.  NICE PULL HEALY!!!