So it appears the fact I cannot produce a college transcript demonstrating I have attended either two semesters of Organic Chemistry or 1 semester of Biological Chemistry is going to dash my hope of getting either of the Master’s degrees I was hoping to pursue during this time in Korea. The reason that I cannot produce this transcript is because I have taken neither of these classes. I got all the under-graduate Anatomy and Physiology, the Nutrition, the General Chemistry, the math, the blah, and blah, blah. I was feeling a little sorry for myself…poor me, sniff. No, not really. In the grand scheme of things life rocks…hard! But as some of my family and friends know, I am never sooo happy as when I have 10 pounds of shit stuffed into a five-pound bag. NEVER. SO. HAPPY!
A couple of weeks ago somewhere after dinner, but before the Soju kicked in, I detailed the specifics of my roadblock to Mr. X…while at the same time expressing my frustration of a two-year educational delay. At which time he says, “Then why don’t you just get your Master’s in something that’s fun at AND you can still do from Korea. It’s still a Master’s degree,” He says. “It’s not like we are starving,” he says. “Why don’t you have a good time with it,” he says. I know right….what a dude!! So that pretty much freed up…a lot of stuff.
AND….I start classes in February for a Master of Science in Sports and Health Sciences. The program description is:
The Master of Science in Sports and Health Sciences focuses on the study of physical, physiological, psychological and functional adaptations to humans. Students develop an understanding of how to design effective movement programs for varied populations to reach athletics, fitness, and general health goals. Students will also learn to critically think and apply their knowledge as it relates to human bioenergetics, nutrition, movement and learning. These students will gain a greater understanding of the scientific principles needed to optimize sports performance and improve functionality and quality of life in humans.
Obviously this Master’s degree can easily lead to working as a coach or a personal trainer. I would like to mention this has not been a life-long dream or goal for me…to be a personal trainer. As of a couple of years ago I would have found the idea ridiculous, but today is sounds fun. Really, really, very fun.
Through a series of events…
Mr. X deploys…momma is preggers and feeling sorry for herself = eating brownies, a lot of brownies. Connor arrives and to my utter shock those extra inches on my ass were not amniotic fluid (who knew). I was very “jiggley” and very sad…Mr. X still deployed…more brownies. Finally, I started running. I ran three half marathons, all kinds of other little races and all of the training necessary for that (so literally a few hundred of miles) and I was still “jiggley” and sad. By this time Mr. X is home so I should be happy; I just felt jiggley.
The summer of 2010, I discovered the sport of Crossfit and Centurion Crossfit Fort Hood. In two years my butt tightened up and my mind opened up. I very much credit the training environment which I was exposed to. I found a group of women (most of us either soldiers or military wives) that like to have structure, standards, goals, challenges all while clucking like a bunch of hens. I have worked out with men…in the Army it was the only option. I didn’t like it. They either blow you out of the water with how fast they are and how much they can do OR (even worse) they try to help you so much they are doing your work for you. It’s annoying. I have attended different classes with women. I didn’t like it. They cluck too much, there is not a standard of work, they talk each other out of working out, they can enable the status quo. It’s annoying. Then…I found the 9am Female Class at Fort Hood. I found a bunch of women pushing each other to excel, to learn new things, to come to class early to work on a squat snatch (true story), encouraging each other to learn a rope climb, and jumping up and down like 13 year-old girls at a Justin Bieber concert because someone just nailed a new 1 rep maximum on that back squat. I liked this. A LOT! I was coached by a woman who yelled at me and bent over backwards for me and ALWAYS wanted me to do well. The moment I accomplished something, she set the bar higher. “You finally got a handstand – great! Now do that one handed.” (True story) I fell in love with it and her and them and I. WANTED. MORE. suddenly….I was enlightened.
I met a coach that was skinny, slim, short, cute, strong and passionate. She could do about 50 pull-up in a row while not being even winded – one handed even. (True Story) I told her I was jealous of her, she had such great shape, was in great shape. Then she said, “yeah, but you’re tall and strong and I’ll never be able to lift as much as you can.” I was STUNNED. This was a big revelation to me. I always felt that because I wasn’t a size six then I was an OX. But not to this girl – she was a size four (maybe…probably a two) and she thought I was strong. Revelation! That changed my perspective.
I saw women that looked like me: Tall, wide, big feet, big hands, actual curves. (Most of them had bigger boobs, but close enough.) Later on, I met a third female coach. She was tall like me, thick, strong, toned. She was the first woman I had met that looked like me, size wise. She could lift crazy weight and work over the pull-up bar like a dude. All I could think was “THERE” that is not a size 6 and she is beautiful and strong. She would wear these short little shorts to the gym. Oh my GOD! This girl wasn’t embarrassed by the fact that she had thick thighs. I didn’t know that was an option – to be unashamed. But she had to have thick thighs, how else was she going to be able to squat that much weight? Big doesn’t equal fat. Revelation! That shaped my perspective.
So I want to dig a little deeper into this experience. I think it would be “fun”. I also think that it may be useful for others. As America’s obesity rate continues to increase, I am continued to be shocked at what people think the causes are. Too many times the reason given is laziness. I do not agree with this opinion…and of course I have one of my own. I believe there are a few underlying reasons that contribute to/cause obesity. I believe most individuals fall somewhere into one or a few shades of those reasons.
Low socioeconomic status…there is actually A LOT of studies that back up this opinion. And keep in mind that those that don’t have a high paying job, may be working two or three. This factor also contributes to the kinds of foods they eat. The cheaper and faster the better – why because they are tired and broke. Compounding this problem their children learn, through observation, bad nutrition for themselves. They are not lazy, they are exhausted – different.
Technology has far outpaced education… I am not a technology hater..no, no, no. I realize advances are the reason we produce more food to feed more people than EVER. Good. However, it has also made bad calories cheaper and more convenient…a night out has turned from a “treat” to the standard…AND IT IS CHEAPER. (Not better – cheaper.) How the hell do I fill up my stomach and Connor’s for less than $10…The Chick-Fil-A drive thru…that’s how. You can’t do that shit in the grocery store unless you spend ALL your time clipping coupons and consult with people who purify their urine to drink (yikes). Also our idea of work has changed. When I went from manual labor to standing on an Army podium all day talking… I mean teaching…it was so easy. I could NOT believe people were paying me money to do that. I also gained 10 pounds. I was consuming the same amount of food, but burning fewer calories. The math just KILLED me…and gave birth to a third ass cheek. They are not lazy, they are uneducated – different.
Finally, in many I do not see “fat”, I see someone trying to build up a suit of armor for protection against things that only trained psychologist/psychiatrist should really delve into. They are not lazy, they are in pain – different.
So that is the plan… Master of Science in Sports and Health Sciences. A lot of the criticism with Crossfit is that, though the sport is good, there are a lot of bad trainers because it is relatively easy to get certified. This hasn’t been my personal experience, but I have read that comment A LOT! I guess I will find out a bit more about “Fitness” and make my own judgment. I loved, loved, loved helping Soldiers become medics. As sad as it is to admit this to myself, I will never do that again. Perhaps I will also love helping people become healthier once I finish with my Master’s. The degree has some amazing classes like Advanced Biomechanics, Advanced Methods of Strength and Conditioning, Motor Learning. But for now, I am focused on my first class in February….and the only one of the whole group that I am NOT looking forward to (so I might was well get it out-of-the-way first). Statistics. It always comes back to statistics. F-word!!