Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SOF Week 3, Day 3 – This would be day 13… not a lucky number…

I got there a few minutes before we started the workout session, today it’s a special day, Instructor Quian asked me and one of my class mates to grab “Pain” since we where going to use it that day, gabbing wasn’t a problem, it was when we had to put it down when I had a little issue… I kinda dropped it on my toe… yeah, not one of my brightest moments. But I learned my lesson, I’m not gonna let that happen again that for sure.

It was buddy day… a day to bring a guest to SOF, either someone you like or someone you don’t like, depending on the friend I guess… for people that thought that going to SOF means a bunch of people was just hanging around a park listening to a getto blaster pretending to be working out… HAHAHA, Corporal Pearson made this comment, I can’t really take credit for it… but it was funny, at least for us that are doing SOF…

We had a class of 30 or so… and it was a rough class. Instructor Quian made a good observation, “we are not slowing down just because we have new elements, this is Week 3, Day 3, and we are all working out according to your guy’s level, make sure they understand the rules of SOF, because if they don’t you are all paying for it now run 2 laps and line up at the end for stretching” aaaaand it was there when I was like… oh, no…

One of the biggest things I’ve learned at SOF is listen, listen and listen, and if you do have questions, for the love of God, just ask. They are not going to bite your head off… When we where done stretching Instructor Quian said: “at the word command Let’s Go I want 3 ranks lined up in front of me. “Go”. [Don’t move!!! The word command is Let’s Go, not Go]” he giggled and we all had to do push-ups. It wasn’t that bad. We only had to do 10 the pain full part of them are how slow we do them, but it’s for our own good, we have to think about what happen so that we don’t make the same mistake over again.

Running as usual, we used tires, poles, one misery, the benches and the pull up bars. It was really muddy that day since it rain earlier, but that doesn’t matter, we still had to do what we had to do… and I do have to accept and clap on for our guests since they managed to keep up with the exercises of that day. I was really surprised. But I can assure you that this ain’t no ordinary “lets get together and listen to some tunes” camp. This is Soldiers of Fitness, the authentic military fitness camp. Oorah!

SOF Day 12 – Look guys… A TV Crew…

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote on blog… but my picture like memory is going to help me type all that has been happening… Man was Tuesday a hot day… I mean HOT… I know, it’s probably funny for you to read that me being from where I am I’m complaining about the hot Calgarian weather, but I’ve never felt the heat so bad.

While we started with daily attendance we where introduced to a new one day working partner. He was filming a news story for CBC. So I knew I had to look my even better while working out, everyone in Calgary was going to look at us while we where all sweaty, covered in dirt and out of breath… Man is that a sexy camera shot or what?!

I remember that half way thru running and jumping up and down the park benches that I fell and it was at that same precise moment that I was in a camera shot… I regain my composure and kept at it, one of my work out partners asked me if I was ok… to which I replied Yes… and I might have shed a tear inside of me… but still look really tough for the camera…

At the end of the workout session 1 of each 3 teams had to recite our SOF Creed… this might explain why do we accept to do the things we do, things that to some of you might seem a little too much or over the top, this all has a reason, and I’ve seen the improvement, I’m more happy (so I’ve been told at the office) and I feel like doing more and more every single day… this is Soldiers of Fitness:

“There are things in my life that are out of my control. The only thing that I control is my ability to choose. Every day, I make the choice to come to this class, and do every exercise to the best of my ability. That is my choice, and right or wrong, that is what I choose to do. I will always take the path less traveled, I will always challenge my self, I will always be true to my self and my friends. For those who challenge themselves, life has a sweet flavor that the unwilling will never know.”

This is S. O. F. and trust me; it’s worth every single second. Oorah!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SOF Week 3, Day 1 - Let's Check How We're Doing

We’ve some how successfully (I say successfully because we are all still alive and kicking) completed 2 weeks. Now its time to check how much have we improved or if we’ve improved at all.

We start again by stretching, we did no warm-up laps, and that was an odd start to begin with. I ask out Instructors, why aren’t we doing warm-up laps and I got my answer, “You are going to run enough as it is” oh-ohh… I didn’t really like the sound of that…

We got tested one by one; we had to run 1 mile, twice as much as we did on day one. And this we where going to be timed on this. On day one I ran (barely) half a mile in 12 minutes, on day 11, I ran 1 mile in 13:36 minutes!!! There you Go!!!! I think this is really working out!!!

Then we went to upper body strength. How many Push-ups can you do in 1 minute!? No Knees, no arching your chest or back, not bum up in the air… Perfectly parallel to the ground?! On day 1 I couldn’t do one!!! Day 11, I did 4, when I started trying to push up for the 5th one, My arms wouldn’t let me push my self up, but I didn’t want to hit the pave… Pushed a little harder I wanted to hit 5… but I’m just not ready yet.

Now it’s time to see how many crunches can we do in 1 minute. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do 10… I did 25!!! And we moved on to military pres with a 45 lbs weight over our heads. By then I was so tired, I was having serious doubts about being able to list the weight it self. I started, focused on a point across from me, focused on controlling my breathing, and on not dropping the weight on my head… 45 seconds later I couldn’t do one more, my arms started to feel like jello, and my number was 25… I was pretty impressed so far. Now for the final test, chin-ups, HAHAHAHA… OH LORD! Ok we might as well give it a try… You never know what really is going to happen… I got in position, with support of 2 of my team mates I had my chin over the bar and they where going to let go as soon as I said I was ready… READY!!! And I couldn’t do it… let’s give it one more try… READY!!! I went down and held my self… but couldn’t pull my self up… I guess that’s an improvement… Overall I’m really excited, I can tell that I’ve improved a lot, but I still have a longs way to go… Oorah!

Soldiers of Fitness - The End of Week 2...

I'm not sure if its because its a Friday, or just because everything is starting to pile up (Work, House, and Exercise) but I feel like my body is shutting down, like I don't have enough strength to do a lot or to perform as if it where a Monday.

It was raining, cloudy, and a light breeze could be felt as were stretching like we do every single day. We got our assignment. We had to run all around the river at the park with Misery on our shoulders and every 500 mts we would have to perform different exercises and in different amounts of repetitions. The exercise and the amount were all left to our groups luck. Needless to say, probably 800 mts after we started running my group had a better pace, and I could see them separating from me. I didn't stop running but I just felt like I didn't had enough energy to keep up, but I wasn't going to quit.

I felt bad, My team had to perform my repetitions for me since I wasn’t even close to catching up and they couldn’t keep on running until every single one of us in the team did their share, I was struggling enough as it was just to catch up.

As I was running still on one side of the river I saw the other team already on the other side and they where still going hard and fast!!! I had a lot of running still to do to catch up with my team and help them out as much as I could… when I finally made it to the river over pass I saw my team at the other end just finishing the exercise at that point, I could hear them cheering saying “Come on!, You can do it!, Harder Cuevas!” I couldn’t let them down; I couldn’t let my self down. By the time I catch up with my team I was exhausted, I couldn’t feel my legs, my heart was pounding so hard I thought it was going to burst out of my chest!!! But you can’t stop, keep on running slowly if you have to but keep the double pace… My team was no where to be seen again, and then one of our instructors came back and stayed with me the rest of the run, we where talking while running (jogging) and then we saw a sign that says "Caution Coyotes"… So I tried to be a little bit more aware of what was going on around me… and it was then when I saw the most beautiful thing ever… Mother Nature sent us 2 deer’s… I had to stop and enjoy that moment even if it was only for a few seconds… They where just there, looking at us as we ran right by them, enjoying their supper, minding their own business… the Male deer looked at me straight in to my eyes, it was hard to look away, everything felt so peaceful, quiet, calm…

Our Instructor said “come on Cuevas, where almost there, you can do this bud, Push as hard as you can, the numbness on your legs is just the pain leaving your body” I ran as fast as I could and then I saw my team, and the other team, they came back to cheer me on, to help me push a little harder for a little longer. I saw the finish mark and I sprinted as hard as I could, a big finish for the end of week two. 7.5 kilometers in 90 minutes, not bad at all for a couch potato. Oorah!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Soldiers of Fitness - Day 9 (Thursday)

You would've thought by now that I should be just fine physically with all the stuff we get to do in 90 minutes. I would've thought so my self. But I do have a lot more to work on.

Yeah, I know is an on going process, all this weight that I've manage to gain over the past several years is not going to go away over the 9 days!!!, but as my instructors and work-out friends say "At least you already started doing something!"

It's hard to believe that just 9 days ago I was still a couch potato and I that on day 1 I wasn't even able to run for 200 mts without having to stop gasping for air! Today we worked on upper body strength and I thought that because my arms hurt so much I wasn't going to be able to do one single thing. I was giving up on my self before I even tried.

I started off on a slow (some how lazy pace) but as soon as we really got into the exercise part of it I really felt like I wanted to do more. And realized that I've gotten to a point where I can actually do push-ups, crunches, sit-ups and the list goes on... I even did Pull-ups and Chin-ups (of course I had to relay on my team to help me lift my own weight, 'cus there is no way in hell I could've done it by my self).

I'm thankful of the team that I have to support me (literally) it's because of the support that I've been getting from them, my friends, my facebook contacts, my self and last but certainly not least My girl that I'm not willing to quit. Let’s see what day 10 brings on... Oorah!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 7 & 8 @ SOF - Knowing When to Stop...

On Tuesday I had the "pleasure" of meeting "Pain". Imagine a Telephone pole cut in half. That really is Pain!... We got divided in 2 teams of 8 and 9... Working on a circuit of 5 elements. Crunches & Side Crunches, Pull-Ups, Misery Curls, 50 Push-ups on Pain while the rest of your team performs another exercise, and as soon as everyone is done with their 50 push-ups (combining help from your teammates if you can't finish your own 50) and finally you and 2 of your teammates get to push in push-up position Pain and once it's made a full 360º turn you do a push-up... that was Tuesday only.. I think I pushed my self to hard since my started feeling a little discomfort in my arms...

On Wednesday we ran 3 laps rather than the usual 2, that made me realize that I can do 3 laps without having to stop, we did another circuit, sit-ups, lifting and throwing a 35 lb sand bag, and running up "The Hill from Hell" (a 60º angle hill)... as we where running down the hill, I wanted to make-up for the lost time during the up-hill run so I decided to run a little faster than I should've and I learned that running fast, down hill, where you can't really see where you are placing your feet is not a Smart Idea... Instead of taking the fall I put all my weight in one leg to maintain my composure and that was the end of my day. I did all the upper body workout that I could do, and was trying to push a little harder using my legs, even when the instructors told me not to do so...

Today Thursday I'm paying the Bill for not doing what I was told and for not stopping when I was told to do so, I'm limping and my I feel like the T-Rex on Toy Story because I can't move my arms further down than my waist and further up than my hair... I cant really hold the steering wheel.. God it hurts!!!... That will teach me to listen to the people that are used to work out and know what they're doing... but you know what?!?! I’m not stopping!!! Oorah!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Week 2, Day 1 @ SOF - I'm still pushing my limits

The weekend came and WE GOT PAID!!! With Money in my pockets I went out on Friday right after SOF and decided to get the proper gear to work out.

I went straight to Market Mall and walked in to a Store I never thought I was going to walk in to get something for my self. Lush. I bought a couple of Bath Bombs and Bubble Bath thingy to have a nice relaxing weekend. I also bought (as recommended by the instructors) a proper pair of running shoes (took me approximately an hour to decide on color), as my Pumas where killing me as I have wide feet, and also bought a type of fanny pack to carry around my water bottle as we need our hands to exercise and to carry around tools with the names of Miserable, Pain, Poles and Tires (those are the only 4 I've met 'till today).

After the end of today's workout, I do have to agree that it was money well spent. My feet are not sore, and since my feet weren't hurting during the runs I managed to run for a longer time, and since I had my water bottle at reach at all times I managed to keep hydrated when I needed it. And keeping a few spare bottles of water at the car was a great idea!!!

Running, Moving the Miserable as a Team, pushing each other to reach our Limits as a Team. Learning when to ask for help (as asking for help is not a sign of weakness, is a sign of trust in your team). Those are just a few of the things we've learned so far at SOF. I'm sure that there is plenty more I can learn from everyone at SOF. Can't wit for Week 2, Day 2. Oorah!

PS - I also bought a new pair of jeans over the weekend, I'm already down 2 sizes. Oorah!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Soldiers of Fitness Day 4 & 5 - I think I blacked out...

So as I was bragging about SOF and me being ready for Thursday... It turns out I wasn't as ready as I thought I was...

I was talkign to My roommate, and my buddy Dave on Thursday during the day right before I went to SOF... it was raining, we had some crazy Hail, Thunder, Lightning... CRAZY... and I thought (actually was kind of hoping) that SOF was going to cancel the workout sesion since we work outdoors and, well, it was still raining and we still had Ice of the size of marbles on the grass. and they told me "It's military Boot Camp Baby, they don't care. The session will still happen". So I packed my gear and headed down to our secret location.

I got there and realized that Yeah, it's the real deal, Military boot camp baby, it doesn't matter if it rains, hail, snows. It will still happen.

We where focusing on strenght that day. I had no issues, I actually felt good about that workout...

And then came Friday. We where doing Cardio that day... Man was that a rough day. I remember talkign to Zack right before I went to SOF and he asked me how did I felt that day. I said fine I was actually really excited, I'm not going to lie and say that I was actually looking forward to SOF I was more excited about the weekend, stampede being done, and a nice 2 days in a row of nothing to do but sleep and rest at home. And he said something I didn't belive at that point in the day. that because it was Friday my body was going to shut down because it was exhausted from the last 4 days of workout. I didn't felt like that, but man was he ever right.

During warm-up I started feeling extreamly tired, half way thru our first out of 4 laps I couldn't even hold my breath while runing, that pushed me out of the track several times to catch my breath and keep on pushing. I honestly felt like I couldn't run even if my live depended on it. but then we started doing out strenght exercises, and that's when I started helping out my team in a more favourable way. I wanted to close the week with a nice push.

Cardio days make me realize how much work I still need to do, I think I actually need to learn how to run and mantain a steady breathing patern. and after talking to the Instructors, they made me feel a little better, they said that as the month goes on I will only get better and better if, and only IF i keep pushing my self each day. Oorah!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 3 @ SOF - Still, No Cake Walk...

This was an awesome day, the sun was shining there was a little breeze in the air that made the that day just feel gorgeous. I had my water bottles with me, Yes, Bottles.

After our instructor said, you should have your water with you at all times, especially on a day like today... That's when I got scared... OMG!!!

Our day started as usual, line-up, attendance, and then came the instructions. 6 K Run/Jog/Double Time Walk thru 4 Hills... I thought I misunderstood the instructions, or that maybe something got lost in translation.

We started running up to the top of one of the hills, approximately 1.2 K. and we just kept going up... and up... my team started to move further ahead of me, but I wasn't going to let that bring me down, I wasn't going to quit on my team, They had to wait 'till we all get to the top of the hill and completed our exercises for us to move on towards the next hill, We Left as a Team, We Move as a Team.

Half way up to the 3rd Hill (that by the way, had an inclination of probably 60 degrees) I couldn't feel my legs, I was running out of breath so fast, it was getting harder for me to even move... but, my team was waiting for me at the top, I could hear them cheering "come on Cuevas, You can do it, You are almost there, One last push!!!" I had to keep on moving, I couldn't let them down, I couldn't let me down.

This is something really important that I've learned while at SOF. You have to learn to trust others, as they are trusting you, and a task is easier to perform as a group than by your self. I'm ready for day 4. Bring it on!!! Oorah!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

SOF - Day 2

I remember that Khazma asked me if I puked on day 1... I thought it was a funny comment, since I've only (since that day) seen it happen in movies... Never seen it happen to any of my friends or to my self... but... then there was day 2...

I remember rushing thru traffic to make it there on time, because if you are not there on time they'll make the rest of your SOF team make Burpies (I'm not sure how to spell it) They sound Funny.... but there is nothing to laugh about once to start doing them...

I drank probably 2 litters of water just on the drive there since I was thirsty... and the drive was only about 10- 15 minutes long. I made it there on time, but.. as soon as I started warming up I felt... How can I say this... sick?!?!

It was probably half way thru the 500 sit-ups and the 500 push-ups that we had to do for that day (don't ask me how many did I actually manage to finish) 'till I knew what Khaz was talking about... So came out the water...

My instructor told me to walk it off... But I decided to push my self a little harder for a little longer... My Mom didn't raise no quitter!!!... and so came out more water... I was asked again to walk it off if I felt like it... but I pushed longer and harder 'till we got the drill done.

During warm-up I noticed that I actually ran longer that I did on day 1... That's why I think that slowly I'm becoming an actual Soldier Of Fitness.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The End of Day 1... OH LORD!!!

I'm thankful to the Instructors for not quitting on me, they would never quit on anyone, but I still had the idea on the back of my head that they would quit on me as soon as they realized how I’m in such poor shape. Thank you Instructors and Corporal!

I can't explain how much pain I am in at this time in the morning, but I’m not in as much pain as I was last night. As soon as I got home after the workout I had supper, decided to sit and watch TV and within 5 minutes I was already sleeping on my couch.

Day 2 is on it's way, and I'm in pain. Working out with sore muscles doesn't sound like any fun at all. But I DO want to get better and show everyone that I'm capable to do this and so much more.

Talk to you tomorrow! Ps – here’s my FIRST email from “the bosses”…UGH…OOPS, I MEAN OORAH!

"Hi Carlos

Welcome to your 1st night as a ‘NEW’ candidate with SOF Calgary PM class. Your 1st day is over, you completed it, and lived to talk about it. You were put through the paces tonight, given an overview of what the month has in store. You showed up, ready to work, and give us good effort. In your 12 minute run, you let yourself stop, when you could have kept going. It was tough for you, but you didn’t need to walk when you did. You have speed and strength in those legs, you need to tap into that. Don’t allow yourself to shut down and let your brain sabotage you. You need to show up able to give us YOUR 100% effort. As was stated in class, quitting is NOT an option, stopping when injured definitely is. We aren’t comparing you to anyone else, and neither should you. Asking for help to finish your exercises doesn’t show weakness, it shows your commitment to the mission and the team you belong to. You will see improvements throughout the month, with a positive attitude, and giving us your all. When it gets tough, you need to dig deep and believe in yourself. Everyone around you has had a first day and a first month, so we ALL know how you feel. Your form for strength exercises needs to be consistent and watch your back and butt when doing pushups.

Way to go. Show up, work hard, and you will enjoy the ride!!

See you Tuesday evening.

Instructor Schotanus"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Soldiers of Fitness - The Day Before The Beginning...

Today I just got official confirmation that tomorrow I start the Soldiers Of Fitness (SOF) regime...

I have a bunch of mixed feelings, I'm happy because I know that this is for my own health, and that at the end of it all this is going to help me built a lot of character and meet a bunch of new people. But I do have to agree that I'm a little scared, I don't want to let anyone down, I know that this will require a lot of hard work and effort, that's why I wish that I'm both physically and mentally strong enough to complete the SOF Basic Training monthly session...

I guess that there is only one more thing for me to say at this moment... Oorah!

To find out more about SOF check out their website:


Hoy me confirmaron oficialmente que apartir de mañana inicio el programa de Soldiers Of Fitness (SOF).

Tengo muchos sentimeintos encontrados en este momento por que se que es por mi propia salud, y que al fin de cuentas esto me ayudará a construir mas mi carcter y a conocer a muchas mas personas. Pero, tengo que aceptar que estoy un poco asustado, no quiero defraudar a nadie, se que esto requerir mucha energia y esfuerzo, por eso espero poder contar con la fuerza mental y fisica suficiente para poder completar el programa mensual de SOF Basic Training.

Creo que solamente puedo decir una cosa mas por el momento... Oorah!

Para mayor informacion sobre SOF fvor de consultar su pagina de internet: