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

(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.

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.


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.”

View original post 1,004 more words

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

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.


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.

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

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

“What you should fear is being old and weak.”

Grandma sets a World Record

This, in a nutshell, is why I’ve gone whole-hog for weight training. I’m almost 50. I have observed my grandmothers and my great aunts as they aged and died. Most had osteoporosis to some extent or another…grateful for the fact that my bones are pretty damn dense for my age. Fat chicks tend to preserve more bone mass than skinny chicks. And I want to keep my bones that way.

Right now, as I write this, I’m still sore from the WOD I programmed and followed through on last Thursday. I am sore in places I’ve never been sore in my entire life. However, it doesn’t feel like injury sore, unlike that one time when I worked with a trainer who really didn’t do his job and I injured myself during the session. Gotta hand it to Golden State Crossfit in Sherman Oaks: every trainer there is really good about preventing injury and teaching the right way to do things. I still have tons to learn, but at least what I know, I know the correct way to do it. I can’t afford continuing there but they are a top-notch box and I wish them the best.

I am sure that I have been beat up more by distance walking than by weight training. You don’t get plantar fasciitis from lifting weights. Yes, I have to be more careful than a teen or a twenty-something when working out with weights. And if I do injure myself, it takes a longer time to heal up. But the more I learn, the more I realize a balanced approach to fitness that comprises both cardio and strength training is the way to go.

BTW, the quote referenced at the top is from this excellent article. If you need more info about why strength training is important for women, read it and internalize it. The pictures are pretty unrealistic, and send the wrong message, (Lift weights and be HAWT!) but I cannot disagree with the text.

Vera Cosa The Barbarian!

And no, you won’t wind up looking like “her” when you do this.

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!