Wednesday, 29 February 2012

February 18th - March 1st, 2010 pt.5

Today we’re going to get my haircut.  Since it’s such a nice day, we’re going to try walking for a change.

Nothing too fancy please; I'm wearing a helmet the majority of the time anyway.
Mmmm quality eats at Dollar Tree
Later on in the afternoon we met up with Tom for lunch at Tully's and had a delicious sub sandwich.  We went for a run and swim afterwards. 
For dinner, Tom took us to El Pinto; a very popular New Mexican restaurant in Albuquerque.
World famous margaritas to start the night off. 

These gentlemen were travelling around the country marketing their tequila.  Can you guess where they came from?  If you guessed Texas, you're right.  Did the hat give him away?
Dinner is served!
Enjoying the ambience
Did we mention this place was popular?
After a few more drinks, the three of us made it back to the house unscathed.  Tom had a breathalyzer lying around and we were excited to see how we'd score.
Amanda blew way over the legal limit of 0.08, but with a little magic and sleight of hand...

Please blow into the tube ma’am.
What?  I had one drink. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

February 18th - March 1st, 2010 pt.4

The great thing about doing all this physical activity is that we didn’t have to worry about what we ate or how much we ate.  We knew we were going to burn it off anyway.

Enchilada Ranchera!  New Mexican food here is second to none.
Time to get to work
This time Amanda gets to participate.  Brad led a phenomenal class.
Later on in the afternoon we met up with Tom at the office before heading out to a yoga class.  It was here that we came across a very interesting piece of artwork.

Anyone who says Yoga is easy schmeezy might want to reconsider.  We dropped in on an advanced class and the instructor had our bodies twisted and stretched in ways we had no clue we were able to do. 
Words of encouragement written by members of the Sports & Wellness Center
We contributed our 2 cents as well
For dinner we met up with Tom and his girlfriend at P.F. Chang's China Bistro
Franchised Chinese Food
Not too shabby actually

Eat, sweat, ride, repeat.
Upward dog to downward dog.
Herniated disc.

Monday, 27 February 2012

February 18th - March 1st, 2010 pt.3

Last night the four of us sat back and shot the breeze; our conversation went anywhere from motorcycles, upcoming UFC fights, to different training regimes.  Tom ran his own business and for the most part of the weekday (and some weekends as well) he was running around town taking names and kicking ass.  His stressful line of work requires that he devotes a chunk of time to working out in order for him to keep his sanity so he says.  Personally I think he’s got too much energy and for him not to be physically active at some point in the day would mean he’d be up all night working on something.  So during our stay in Albuquerque we became Tom’s training buddies and would tag along to his workouts and train together.  It worked out real nice because the three of us would motivate each other and bring out the best in each of us.  By far this was the most physical activity we had done since the beginning of our journey.  It felt very refreshing. 
The four of us kicking back over a few bottles of vino

Casa Tom

When we're not working out, we were out exploring the town
I think that might be a little too much heat my dear
On our way to see some petroglyphs
They're a little hard to see, but they're there.
Later on in the evening we met up with Brad and his girlfriend to eat one of our our all-time favorites for dinner: Sushi!

3’s better than 1.
Time to burn some calories.
Replace with raw fish.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

February 18th - March 1st, 2010 pt.2

After the grueling workout, I still had a bit of energy left to pose for a few pics…
The unforgiving octagon
Uh oh, I knew I shouldn't have given up my back.  Rear-naked choke hold; I'm bound to tap.
Still in good spirits after being tortured by this man right here; trainer/mma fighter John "The Magician" Dodson.

We were invited back later that afternoon to watch the pros come in and train for their evening workout.  That gave us some time to grab a bite and figure out where we’re going to sleep tonight. 

Back for some more action
A few momentos fighters left behind
There's our champ!  GSP!
We pull into the gym later that afternoon and a few minutes later a guy on a BMW RT1200 pulls in behind us.  The guy was a beast.  Must’ve been 6’3” at least 230 lbs.  He introduces himself as Brad and we get to talking about our trip.  He then asks us the million dollar question:  “Where are you guys staying tonight?”  Our response:  “We’re thinking about stealth camping somewhere close by.  Do you know any good spots where we won’t be bothered?”  He takes a moment to think.  “Don’t worry.  I’ll hook you guys up.”  Brad is one of Greg Jackson’s first students and drops in from time to time to help fighters prepare for their upcoming matches.  He also does one-on-one fitness sessions at the gym as well.  Brad introduces us to one of his clients Tom.  “You guys are going to be staying with Tom tonight.  He has the best view of the city, you’ll love it.” 
A photo with Clay "The Carpenter" Guida and Brad
He wasn't kidding about having the best view

Oh look!  A Beemer.
Do you need a place to crash?
Best seats in the house. 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

February 18th - March 1st, 2010 pt.1

Managed to grab a few minutes of shut eye here and there; not easy trying to sleep sitting upright with a videogame screen flickering in front of you.  Glad we made it through the night despite the lack of proper sleep.  I’m proud that neither of us gave in and took the easy road and check into a motel.  We stuck to our guns and made it work.  I’ve often wondered if Amanda would break and demand that we check into a motel when we encounter situations like these.  I’ve also wondered how I would respond if confronted by Amanda’s demand.  Do I try to talk her into toughing it out and risk a full-blown argument?  Or do I give in to her demands if she breaks?  If she breaks…that is the question.  Not once had I heard a peep, a whimper, an inkling about giving up when most women, if not all, would cringe at the thought of sleeping in a truck stop of all places just for the sheer joy of whether we could do it or not.  Now that’s one tough cookie; not your average run-of-the-mill chick.   I’ll never forget how grateful it is to have Amanda by my side and just having a ball of a good time when most couples who go out on an adventure of this magnitude would have ripped each other’s face off by now. 
Night is done; day has begun.  There was a layer of frost on our bike covers when we took it off.

We arrived at the gym with no trouble thanks to the handy gps which makes finding our way extremely convenient in urban areas.  We walked through the front door not sure whether or not they had an open door policy.  We were greeted by a receptionist and told her our spiel and that we’re big mma fans.  It was during our conversation that something caught my eye on her desk—open classes.   I immediately inquired about the pricing and when the next class is going to start.  “$20 a class, next one starts in half an hour.”  Where do we sign?
Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Home of Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA gym and a stable of first class mma fighters.
We were given a tour of the facility and as we entered the training area, we noticed a few familiar faces.  “Look!  There’s Clay “The Carpenter” Guida!  Is that Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit?  Yep.  Woah!  Jon “Bones” Jones!”  But where’s our Canadian fighter Georges St. Pierre?  Turns out he was in Sydney, Australia promoting UFC 110.  Maybe we’ll drop by at his hometown gym in Montreal during the last leg of our journey.  The tour concluded with a liability waiver to be signed if I wanted to participate in the class.  Oh well, adventure’s all about taking risks right? 
Amanda decided not to take part because she wanted to take pictures while I took the class.  While I was getting changed, Amanda went out to the bikes to get the camera and ended up striking a conversation with Jon Jones.  He told her that he’s never been on a bike before and Amanda’s response was “Hop on the back!”  Can you believe that?  6’4” Jon Jones riding pillion on Amanda’s KLR!  Priceless.  They went out for cheeseburgers while I on the other hand was getting my ass kicked. 
Jonny "Bones" Jones on his first motorcycle ride.
Ok so you want me to do what with this?
Pick it up and body slam it?  No problem.
Medicine ball push-ups
Inverted row
This one was a real ass kicker.  You have to alternate tapping your hips with your hand while doing a handstand.
Knee tucks
Barely getting through the workout.  There was a brief moment where I almost vomited.
Grappling portion of the workout.  Working in guard position. 
Going for a rear-naked choke

125 km

One in a million.
The future champ riding bitch.
Ugh! Ok! I tap!