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.

Assessing things, two days after the ride

RideAcrossValleyFullMap
(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?

CruiseMissileF-111

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.

Exercise Discovery–Finding Your Fun

Yes, exercise can be fun. Getting my bike back in working order and riding around has been a learning experience. Why did I wait so long? I missed this.

fatchickchirps.001-002

Naturally a lot of people ask me what I do.  And very often when I tell them, they say, “Oh I hate to exercise.”  And if they seem happy with the idea that they hate exercise, I leave it at that.  People are allowed to love exercise or hate exercise or do exercise despite the fact they hate it or start a small hat shop.  It’s not my job to tell them what to do.  But sometimes people ask me how they can stop hating exercise, and that’s what this blog post is about.

Because as the graphic says above, exercise is like sex, if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.  And if you flipped that slide over, you would come to the second part of that statement which is, “sometimes you’ve got to kiss a few exercise toads before you find your exercise prince or princess.”

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Announcement: Disabled List.

I have come to an uneasy realization. My entire fitness regime is going to have to be reconsidered, because of my continuing problems with my plantar fascitis in my left foot.

Yesterday and now today I have been having intense pain there, centering on and radiating from the left side of my heel. According to my Fitbit, I walked a total of almost 9 miles yesterday through all the things I did.

The idea of walking twice that at a constant pace is looking like something I can’t do under the current circumstances. Yes, I have put all the stuff I have needed to do in action: massage, myofascial self-release, stretching, taping etc.

So unfortunately, unless there is a breakthrough, I will not be able to do the Friends of Richie Walk or any other long-distance walk anytime soon. This means missing walking the LA Marathon too. It is sufficiently close to these events to make this determination. Not thrilled with this, but this is my reality.

Baby Bear WOD (really tiny baby, unfortunately)

Fell short of the mark
But I hung in there anyway
Better than nothing.

Warmup (2 sets, goal was 3)
20 air squats
20 pushups
20 situps

WOD
Bear Complex
(power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press, down to deadlift position, repeat)
2 sets 7 reps 15# (bar alone)
1 set 7 reps 30# (bar plus 2 2.5# plus 2 5#)
(Goal was 1 set each at 15#, 30#, 40#, 50# and 60#)

Monster WOD…a little too much for me today.

AliWODSetupGeeklair

I only got through one set before realizing that I was totally wiped out by this WOD. Will have to work up to this…deceptively difficult.

“Ali” WOD
Based on Ali Vincent’s motto, “I can do anything for a minute.”
5 rounds in honor of having been formulated 5 years after Ms. Vincent won The Biggest Loser, the first woman to win the competition.

Warmup
1 minute alternating lunges
1 minute butt kicks
1 minute sprint, as fast as you can, 0:30 out, 0:30 back (I rowed at max intensity instead)
Samson stretch

WOD
All exercises are in minute increments, with a minute to change over to the next
All exercises are either AMRAP (As many reps as possible) or at max intensity over the minute they are performed.
5 rounds

(only completed one round this first time)
1 minute medicine ball slams (6# medicine ball, the only one I have)
1 minute rowing at max intensity (or a minute sprint like in the warmup)
1 minute front squats at 80% of PR weight 45# in my case
1 minute stepping or box jumps
1 minute kettlebell swings at 80% of PR weight 14.4# in my case

Home WOD: Planks and deadlifts and steps oh my!

I can do anything
Just give me a minute, please
Ali is right on target.

Home WOD 11:15 to 12:00, Thursday August 29th
Plank, held 1 minute
Speed Skaters, AMRAP 4 rounds 0:30 on 0:30 off
Deadlift 60# (80% of PR) 15 reps, 3 rounds
“California” Apple Box (12″) Stepping AMRAP 1:00 on 1:00 off, 3 rounds
Dumbbell Goblet Squats 22.2# 15 reps, 2 rounds (Intended 3, hit the wall at 2)

Notes: an Apple Box is a standard part of a Hollywood Grip‘s kit of stuff. It is an 8″x12″x20″ wooden box that is designed to bear a metric crap-ton of weight. Since I don’t have a Plyo box (yet) and I live here in the Thirty Mile Zone, I got one for my very own. It also doubles as a night stand next to my bed!

Emphasis and de-emphasis

image

OK, I have been thinking about a whole new way of looking at food. Instead of saying “I can’t eat this,” or that I’ve given up a food or a category of foods, I am going to say “I have de-emphasized this food and I will emphasize other foods in what I eat on a day-to-day basis.”

For example, instead of saying “I have given up dairy,” it would be more like, “I have de-emphasized dairy in favor of non-dairy sources of calcium.” Yes it’s a semantic game. But semantics are important: that’s how we program ourselves mentally.

It means complete liberation from the idea of “forbidden foods.” The legends of Adam and Eve, and of Pandora, all have to do with “the one forbidden thing” that creates an uncontrollable urge to indulge in that same “one forbidden thing.” In terms of healthy eating, forbidden foods set us up for binging on those forbidden foods.

Some people can do the diet game. Some people do it very well, Ali Vincent is a good example. However, there are a lot of people who cannot. I will venture to say that most people do not have the mental makeup to diet healthily. For most people, it becomes a cycle of going on a diet, falling off the wagon, and then getting back on after a period of self-recrimination. For some, it means adopting unhealthy behaviors, my mom being one of those.

So yeah, instead of being on that particular merry go round, I will simply say that there are no forbidden foods for me, that I will be emphasizing certain foods in my daily intake, and de-emphasizing others. I will also be paying closer attention to hunger and fullness signals from my body, eating only when hungry and no more than is necessary.

I already know from experience that there are foods that make me feel less than healthy after eating them. Those are foods from which I will stay away,  not because they are “forbidden” but because I know they have negative effects on my wellness. I know how I feel after eating pizza from most places. I know how I feel after eating one of those greasy, butter-drenched pretzels from the mall.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at regarding food philosophy. But how does that fit in with that picture of my wrist with my Fitbit Flex? OK, second subject. I have pretty much figured out that my activity measurement device of choice is the Flex.

I have tried standard and motion- sensing pedometers in the past. I have tried GPS units, both on my mobile phone and a wristwatch unit. But nothing compares to the simplicity and relative accuracy of Fitbit in general and Flex in particular.

Simplicity: it’s on your non-dominant wrist all the time. I only take it off when showering, but that’s unnecessary caution. Theoretically you can swim with it on.

Relative accuracy: it’s accurate enough, although not as accurate as my Garmin. It is also accurate in far more places than any GPS that you can get. GPS requires being out of doors. Fitbit keeps measuring activity indoors and out. It doesn’t pick up everything you do, which is a double-edged sword. This means that it’s good at rejecting things like typing on a computer, but it’s not good at measuring walking in place or on a rebounder.

So yeah, Fitbit Flex is a bit more expensive than a pedometer or the GPS that comes with your phone, but it’s worth it. And it is certainly less expensive than most wrist GPS units. The little Garmin I have is about the same price. However, it’s worth it.