nail bending

Super Strong Nana is Bending Steel and Taking Names

This has been a super strong week for me, full of PRs (personal records) and surprise feats of strength. I also learned an important lesson about negative thinking and confidence. Both more important than PRs.

I have a lot of strong, super-fit friends that I follow on Facebook. At least once a day, I see pictures, videos or status updates on their workouts, incredible feats of strength, weight loss or another amazing accomplishment. My first thoughts are how awesome they are, my second thoughts however become self defeating.

I begin to tell myself that I can’t do that, I’m not strong enough, not good enough and just not enough. I’ve spent my entire life comparing myself to others instead of being the very best me I can be. What I am learning; slowly but surely is that my attitude about myself pretty much dictates whether I fail at a given task or not. It dictates whether I attempt something or not and it keeps me from following through on my dreams and ideas.

Last week I had the honor of having super strongman, Bud Jeffries stay with me and my family while he was passing through town. The biggest perk was spending two days at my gym training with him. Bud obviously sees something in me that I don’t see in myself and he encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. We spent a couple hours on Deadlifting. He dialed in my form and then started loading on the weight. With each increase, I kept telling him I can’t do that. He just smiled and told me to try. To my surprise, I lifted some weight that I thought would take months of training to lift. I also did partial Deadlifts with just over 300 pounds!

The next day was nail bending. Again, we worked on my form. He pointed out that I need to work on my wrist strength (which I knew). I bent a few 3/16 nails which are pretty easy for me. Then he brought in some 1/4 inch nails and a couple of 3/8th inch pieces of steel. Again, I thought he obviously had me confused with someone else.

I worked and worked on bending the 1/4 inch nail but my weak wrists prevented me from getting it. Bud put a very small bend in it and once it was started, I was able to bend it. Let me just add that nail bending is a hell of a cardiovascular and full body strength workout. I was sweating buckets and my heart rate was flying. So since I couldn’t bend the 1/4 inch without a start, I was wondering why the 3/8th. I thought maybe he was going to do something with it.

He did. He gave it to me and showed me how to use my entire body to bend it. You start by getting it started over your thigh, once you have a bend, you start placing it and using other body parts. So bending this piece, involved some crazy isometric full body moves. I bent it!!

Keep reading because that isn’t even the good part.

After some recovery, I was telling Bud that all of my friends were posting videos of themselves doing 2 finger pull ups. I told him that I felt a bit jealous and how I wished I could do that. He then asked me if I had ever tried. The answer was no. I just assumed I could never do anything like that. I had given up before I had ever started. Something I realize that I do a lot….a whole lot.

He told me to try it. We walked over to the rings. I put my first 2 fingers on the rings and all the while was thinking how I’m going to be embarrassed because I can’t do it.

Then, I just pulled myself up. Not only did I pull up, but I held myself up there for quite a while. Holy Crapola!! I couldn’t believe it. I did it again and again.

I did it for several days after to make sure it wasn’t a fluke..it wasn’t.

It was then I knew I had to do something about my negative thinking. I would never in a million years tell anyone that they can’t do something. With others I am encouraging and positive so why the heck am I so hold on myself? Finding the answer to that really doesn’t matter. Knowing why doesn’t elicit change. Changing elicits change. So where to start?

One of the things I will do first is to make friends with myself. I will treat myself as I treat others and how I would like to be treated by others. Secondly, I will act as if I am already a confident, positive person. The old, “Fake it Till You Make it”.

I have a list of affirmations next to my computer and I am redirecting negative thoughts into positive ones. Yesterday, I took things to a whole new level. Instead of putting my goal on paper, I did this.

The Iron Maiden is a major feat of strength with Kettlebells. A lady will perform a Pistol Squat, Press and Pull Up with a 24 kilo bell (53 pounds). I have a great training program and my goal is to complete this in the summer of 2013.

Me and this bell are going to become very close in the coming year.

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Super Strong Weekend

I’ve taken 4 naps today and still don’t think I’ve fully recovered from this past weekend. Not sure where Monday and Tuesday went either.

Me and my gym, Boot Camp Fitness and Training hosted the Super Human Workshop with Bud Jeffries and Logan Christopher. It was a weekend of learning techniques to improve strength and endurance using some very unorthodox methods. Lectures were followed by hands on learning and I am pretty sure everyone in attendance set strength PRs.

Friday afternoon was spent preparing for the workshop and also the Strongman performance that was held Friday evening. Watching the process was both fascinating and alarming. Bud and Logan live across the country from each other so Friday afternoon was spent learning and practicing some new stunts. Let’s just say that Juggling Kettlebells of Death was aptly named.

I don’t want to go into a whole recap of the weekend. I am editing a video that will give you more information than you could possibly handle.

So, let’s talk about me!!

I threw most caution to the wind as I just had to try out some feats of strength. I am happy to report that I did hold back in certain areas due to my healing, but not much.

First thing I just had to try was taking a bowling ball to my stomach. I’m not sure how many people would watch that being done to someone and then immediately want to try it. It wasn’t that bad. I have some strong abs and it’s all about maximum contraction and trusting the person dropping the ball on your stomach. We started low and went higher. I didn’t get it on video but later that weekend, Logan took a few steps up the ladder and dropped the ball on me.

One of the things that I really wanted to be able to do was to bend a nail. I have tried several times in the past year and wasn’t even able to put a kink in it. I tried again on Friday and couldn’t do it. On Monday and under the careful instruction of Bud’s son, Noah, who can bend thick steel rods, I bent my first 3/16th nail! It wasn’t easy.

One of the great things about hosting the workshop was having access to so many experts. Everyone hung out at my house each day after the workshop. I talked to Bud about some ideas for celebrating my upcoming 50th birthday with some crazy feats of strength and insanity. We came up with a plan and he wrote me a workout.

My goal is to flip our 400 pound tire 50 times! But first, I had to learn the proper technique. Thanks to Bud, the tire goal seems reachable.

This weekend really helped get me excited about working out. Having a really cool, unique goal to achieve is the icing on the cake. Traditional workouts just don’t excite me and this workshop was just what I needed both physically and mentally to light my fire.

On Tuesday, I got with Noah one last time for a bending lesson. I bent 3 nails with ease. Since we didn’t have a thicker nail, Noah duct taped a 3/16 and a 1/8 together for me to try. That was tough and I had to use some different leverage to bend it but I did it. As you can see in this video, the 3/16 nail bend was easy. It was bent before I actually used all my strength.

Even though I set quite a few PRs this weekend and got to hang out with some very cool people including my girls in strength, Adrienne Harvey and Melody Schoenfeld. I also got to meet and learn from, Ryan Pitts of Stronger Grip. He makes the coolest grip and strength tools I’ve ever seen. I already have an order ready.

It was a great weekend but I must say, the best part was seeing my best girl, Ava..oh and finally getting the FSU Kettlebell that Ryan has been working on for months.

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