More photos at the bottom.

Two solid training sessions with Jessica in the gym last week. At first I was feeling like I had improved so well, because I wasn't drenched in sweat like usual! But sure enough, we cranked up the intensity and the sweat started flowing almost immediately. Haha - so much for that! To say Jessica is observant of your body while you are working out is an understatement – she is damn well in tune with it. She says she listens to the body over the person's voice, and she is not going to let you get away with half-assing it. Works great for me! You can't fault this system - my shoulder continues to feel stronger along with my chest, back, legs, arms, and even my cardio. (Jessica says: Ryan, your core has SIGNIFICANTLY improved!) Haha - So basically all the parts of me feels stronger, and I haven’t had any set backs or re-injuries. Last week’s workouts in the gym followed our typical routine, major muscle groups, followed by core, then finally minor muscle groups. This past weekend I hit the island (yes, during the rainstorm). I played about an hour of soccer, two hours of football, and then some of the guys and I swam in the massive waves crashing around due to the stormy weather. It was great fun and also a great workout. Sunday my whole body was sore, so I spent the day lounging around – watching my new obsession on Netlix - Breaking Bad - and painting (Jessica says: Ryan, is this a singles ad?). By Monday my body was back to feeling great so I went to football for another dose of cardio!

The Tough Mudder race is this weekend. I am very excited. Jessica decided we should train on Wednesday, followed by a light run on Thursday so I will have maximum power on Saturday. For those of you who don’t know what the Tough Mudder is – check out this video: Tough Mudder 2012 Needless to say, this race is going to be pretty intense. I am nervous for it because A) my older, more mentally strong and physically-inclined sister is gonna whoop me; and B) my shoulder still isn’t 100%. Either way – training with Jess over the past month has really brought my strength and stamina up and has really helped with my confidence going into this. Truth be told, I probably would have backed out of this if it weren’t for prepping with Jessica. It is a massive endeavor – but I haven’t felt this strong since my bike crash, and I think that even with a bum shoulder I can probably survive this. I am under strict instruction to “man up and bow out” of any obstacles if my shoulder starts to feel wonky. It is going to be hard to do that – but I really don’t want to further injure my shoulder – and there is always next year. However, I feel confident I can get through this. I cant wait to tell you all about it in my next post!

This week, Jessica and I decided to do an outdoor training session. Aside from witnessing a car-crash (haha!) and getting a few mosquito bites, it was a lot of fun. The focus was on core, BIGTIME: Mountain climbers, bench jumps, side plank crunches (and more planks), lower ab crunches, upper ab crunches, ab scrunches, ab hell, etc. The focus was on building power for those challenging obstacles during the race. I finished up the workout a sweat monster as usual. Working out outside presents its own set of challenges. People are very interested in what you are doing, and there are a lot of distractions. I wouldn’t recommend it if you are self-conscious as there are a lot of eyes on you while you train (depending on where you go - we were right in St. Andrew's Park at Adelaide and Brant!). Once you get over that, it is really nice to be outside while pushing through a tough workout. I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to break out of their usual gym routine!