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Project Graduation

I have not set foot inside a classroom since December; however, I am officially on the road to graduation. On March 8th, I received an e-mail from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). After two years I completed my masters program – and upon submitting my portfolio and subsequently receiving approval from my advisor, I will graduate with my class on May 20th.

Even though I am not shocked by this news, 2012 is off to a rocking start to the year. For the record I did not mean for the last statement to sound conceited. Fact is I worked hard for this masters degree. For two years I dedicated myself to my career, my education and my health. All three will play an important role this year.

As I continue to recover from arthroscopic hip surgery (three+ months since the surgery), I have received clearance from Dr. Kelly and my physical therapist, Jeremy, to return to the gym. Of course that piece of information is nothing new. What is new, I intend to use my graduation as the motivation I need to get back into shape. Last year, I dedicated my workouts to the NYC Marathon. But around this time last year, my life changed. I was diagnosed with Femoroacetabular Impingement. The diagnosis stalled any aspirations of running the marathon, albeit temporarily.

Three months after surgery, and two weeks after receiving approval for graduation, I am back at the gym and dedicating myself to look good come May 20th. Yes, graduation has become the motivating factor in wanting to be healthy. Do I really need the motivation? Not necessarily. But having this as motivation helps. To add to that I recently re-enlisted the help of a good friend and old personal trainer.

I have known Mitchel Heard for two years. He was instrumental in my good health prior to my FAI diagnosis. And now that I am over with the first phase of my procedure, I am working on getting fit and healthy for graduation. On top of that I will also use this motivation to be as healthy going into my second surgery this December.

Mitch was a trainer at the New York Sports Club (NYSC) for a number of years. I worked with him after my original trainer left the company – and on his recommendation Mitch ultimately became my personal trainer. Over the months we became friends and after a few months of his training methods I noticed improvements. I owed a lot of my initial success to his guidance, advice and methods.

Here we are two years later, and while he no longer works for NYSC, I once again asked Mitch if he still did personal training. He still does personal training. And after a brief discussion we both agreed to collaborate again. Personally, while I am happy with my current gym membership, I feel the personal training staff will not meet my expectations. To re-sign with Mitch was a no brainer. He knows what I am about and I know his methods.

After some back and forth dialogue with Mitch, we agreed to start training today.Project Graduationhas become my rallying cry. Focused on regaining the fitness level I had prior to my surgery is my goal. I know between now and May 2oth I will succeed – and with my friend guiding me on the path to healthy living I will meet my goals.

My day started out at the NYSC doing some light cardio. But once the clocked hit 12:30 I began my first training session. I learned I have a lot to overcome. I do not see that as a hindrance but instead I see that as motivation.

Project Graduation Session 1Yes we started out with light weights but in due time the number of plates will increase. I felt great after this first set – and while I used this machine for the first time in months my arms felt like jello. Oh by the way our sessions did not take place at the NYSC, but instead at the Hudson Athletic Club in Hoboken.

I loved the facility. In my opinion the gym is not your typical gym. While they do offer the traditional “gym” membership, they do allow independent trainers to use the facility for a fee. In essence he charges a package which is comparable to other personal training packages but instead of being committed to that particular gym, Mitch and his customers can train at a variety of gyms including the Hudson Athletic Club. I hope that made sense.

Unlike the NYSC, I had the whole gym to myself. Typically I usually have to find an alternate machine to use due to the initial machine I waned to use in use by other members. Mitch and I did not get that at this place. What a great session.

I did not realize how fast the session went. We did a lot and while I am not comfortable working on my lower body, I am content with today’s session. On Tuesday I will ask my physical therapist on my limitations for lower body training. When I am not lifting I am focused on my therapy by doing cardio and therapeutic hip exercises. But come Tuesday I will ask Jeremy and Amanda on what restrictions I have for my hips.

I am back and I am ready for the challenge. This will be a great ride. I’ll keep you posted folks. Project Graduation has commenced.

Arms and Core TrainingUntil next time folks. Comments are greatly appreciated.

  1. March 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Jorge, I love that you are always up for a challenge! I want to let you know that I nominated you for a very inspiring blogger award and hope you continue to be an inspiration to many people!

    • April 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      David – my apologies on the delay. Thank you for the kind words and for the nomination. The last month I have been busy with work and with my workouts. But now that things are slowing down I can devote some time to the blog. I just read some of your entries – I am so proud of you. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  2. Mitchel Heard
    March 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Amazing work, young man!!! You look great, super-athletic 🙂

    Your trainer,


    • April 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Mitch – thank you for the comment. I apologize for the delay. But you already know why. You are an awesome trainer and a great friend. I am honored. 🙂

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