Otagenki Report 2: Fit Expo 2014

I really was not expecting to enjoy myself so much at Fit Expo 2014, because Fit Expo 2013 was such a lame experience. I don’t know if the people who run the show read my piece on this blog, but this time it was a big difference.

It seems like a new, and very welcome IMHO trend is REAL FOOD. Yes, you now can get a fair choice of nutrition bars and other fitness goodies that have ingredients you know and can pronounce. The only food like that you could find last year was at the Ralphs booth, and from a small company that sends a box of organic produce to your house every month. Yes, the frankenfood peddlers were still there, as were some very questionable supplements, (Ephedra? Oh really?) but there were a lot more items that were labeled organic, and a lot more with identifiable ingredients.

Another difference was a lot more experiential stuff…a lot more exercises to try, and mini-classes. The exhibitions were more interesting too, including some amazing feats of strength by professional athletes and very well trained amateurs.

So yeah, here’s another Otagenki Report. This doesn’t have any commentary…my goal with the Otagenki Reports is to tell the story with footage, not with words. I want to create something universal, that’s understandable in any language. I’ve always loved video essays and photo essays, they’re a real art form, and narration sort of breaks the mood.


2013 in shoe leather.

Here’s what MapMyWalk aggregated about my walking this year that just passed:

276 workouts
6 routes
1,027.2 miles
954.9 hours

And here’s the long view of my walking since April 2012:


Medians -- long view



So yeah, it’s not always linear progress. There are ups and downs, there is backsliding and recovery. But it’s always better than the point you started from. This year my walking will likely taper off as I bike more. But it’s still going to be a part of my fitness life.

Assessing things, two days after the ride

(click on the picture to see it full size)

Wow. I did NOT expect to see those kind of results. I knew that I got off to a flying start out of Chatsworth, considering that it’s a real grade and I had the wind at my back. But dang… (@_@) . I did that??? [keanu]Whoa.[/keanu]

How am I feeling? A lot less sore than I thought I’d be. Plantar fasciitis is not acting up. My first steps this morning were not painful at all. I have a bit of knee soreness, but it feels “exercised,” not injured. I got some laundry done…everything is out of the washers and there’s one last load in the dryer. It’s not even noon.

Goal for next year: the coastal trail. What better way to give a beach cruiser a workout than at the beach?


Ride across the San Fernando Valley, 12/26/2013

Apres-ride CBTL...Burbank and the Hollywood FreewayLA Valley CollegeWoodman and the BuswayOdessa and VictoryThe former Valley Teen Center
Halfway point: Oxnard and White OakDe Soto and VictoryCanoga Metro Orange Line StationSaticoy and CanogaNordhoff and CanogaFinal Map

I actually did it! 18.6 miles! I feel really good, although I imagine I’m going to feel sore tomorrow. No problem…it’s a rest day.

Keeping my promise, sort of…


Last year at this time, I mentioned my intent to walk across the San Fernando Valley in honor of my late husband and to raise funds for the International Myeloma Foundation. Richie was given his diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, on the day after Christmas, 2006. Then I got plantar fasciitis in one of my feet, and had to back off on walking long distances. I was told that cycling would be a good alternative to walking, and that it can sometimes serve to rehab the plantar fascia because pedaling stretches the very tendons in the bottom of the foot that get stressed walking.

Anyway, I’m really enjoying riding, and I realized that I could do the same route as a cycling route. The route is illustrated above. It’s 18 miles. I have done two 10 mile rides already, so I don’t think it’s so far fetched. And of course, there’s always the option to bail and catch a bus along the way…perhaps not along the Orange Line because of the scarcity of bike racks, but along Burbank Boulevard. I will also have my mobile phone with me, a first aid kit, and bike tools. I will have two liters of water on me in a “Camelback” type arrangement, and also some munchies. I intend to get lunch at the end of my route.

18 is a good number: in Jewish tradition, Hebrew letters also have numeric value, and Cheth-Yod, Chai, the Hebrew word for “Life” is valued at 18. I’m doing this to celebrate the lives of family and friends who have been taken from me by blood cancers, and to support a friend who is currently fighting blood cancer.

I intend to set out at 10am on December 26th, and if my figuring is right, I will likely be in North Hollywood at the end of my route around 12:30 or 1pm. If you want to join up on the ride you can meet me at Chatsworth Station at 10am, or if you want to donate to the International Myeloma Foundation feel free to visit them at http://www.myeloma.org/ . I also support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because they are involved with both research and patient support not only for the leukemias and lymphomas but multiple myeloma as well.

I will document my ride, of course.

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out

So many good fitness/health blogs living here at WordPress.Com. This is a great article about fitness priorities.


Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

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Fitness Training and Trash Talking

I am totally guilty of trash-talking myself when I work out…feeling like an uncoordinated klutz. Negative self-talk is actually quite bad for anyone’s fitness journey.

Did you know that it’s “Fat Talk Free” week?  I just found out yesterday and I’m super excited.  A whole week dedicated to not trash talking our bodies?!?  Sign me up!  The day was created by sorority Delta, Delta, Delta.  You can see their video here:

Today I’d like to talk about how to talk to your body while you are fitness training.  We’re all familiar with the notion of trash talking in sports.  That’s where you call out your opponent and do verbal intimidation to help you win (or at least get air time).  If you want to see some amazing examples of trash talking in sports, you can follow this link to the Top Ten Sports Trash Talkers.  Unfortunately many of us have also faced trash talkers, gawkers and mean people who have tried to derail our fitness attempts in various ways.  From having people belittle your…

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