Hope your Father’s Day was fun and relaxing…
Many years ago when my brain was still developing its common sense side, a few good mates and myself attended a wedding in a sleepy little village just outside of the town of Gloucester (pronounced ‘Gloster’). The following morning after breakfast (with a hangover capable of killing ten French sailors) I asked what the schedule was for the remainder of the day “this morning, its cheese tasting” came the reply from Marine Stupid, who was also born locally? As I quite like cheese I was OK with the mornings visit; to what I thought was going to be a trip to a local dairy produce farm-shop… ‘Oh Dear Me’, how wrong was I to think that such a gentle ‘taste and buy’ evolution would turn into a thirty second spin cycle in an industrial washing machine, or the equivalent there of!
We soon arrived to a spot in the middle of no-where, the parked ambulances and an abundance of medics made me think twice as to what we were about to do. Marine Stupid grinned and pointed up to a high, very steep, grassed hill; an official 1:2 gradient.
Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth, Gloucestershire. The annual cheese rolling race, where from the top of the hill, a round piece of Double Gloucester cheese-weighing 8Ib is hurled underarm for ‘
idiots’ contestants to chase after. The winner is the first to capture the cheese. A Gloucester tradition going back years, which involves young teenagers, and men and woman alike from around the globe, why? I hear you ask! Why indeed?
If you are lucky you simply suffer from slight whiplash injuries, not so lucky results in badly broken limbs. I was lucky this day, Marine Stupid not so, as he twisted his knee that required an eight week brace in place. My other mates suffered in the same way as I did. At the end of the spin cycle, one multi coloured yawn acted as a trigger for the remainder, we ended our roll in style.
Very Well Done American Kenny Rackers, 27, from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Who won the first downhill run ‘May 2013’, and grabbed the cheese and first prize. Bucket list box ticked off, now you just have to find that position on your pillow that allows you sleep without moving your head, which will feel like a bucket in the morning. I really hope you like the taste of Double Gloucester cheese mate; 8Ib requires a load of crackers and plenty of red wine. Enjoy.
In my bike travels, I’ve added two more bikes to the list of the ridden. I went to the Bike Warehouse, my LBS (what bike snobs call local bike shop.) And I rode two Giants. Both were disappointing. One was a mountain bike in the $800 range and the other was a road bike with Shimano 105 at $1200. Neither felt as sturdy as the Marin I had ridden at REI that was several hundred dollars less. The local bike store kid did tell me that Giant is the largest maker of bike frames in the world. It apparently constructs them for Specialized and Trek and some of the other big names.
I have couple of links for you if you are interested in bikes and cycle gear. Chain Love is a great site for good, odd deals. And Giantnerd displays utter beauties like this Tommaso Augusta track bike:
I am in love. . . $349.95 and it could be yours. They don’t have my size.
Exercise is a big part of my life, I notice every missed work-out. It keeps me grounded and exorcises any excess stress I have. Whenever I hear that someone is depressed, I wonder why they are not out running or biking. There is something therapeutic when your heart is pounding in your ears at 170 beats a minute. You simply cannot be depressed if you are giving your heart – body and soul – to your action.
I like variety so I run, bike, lift weights, do cross-fit, krav maga, spin, and swim. I also work the elliptical trainer as a warm-up before most every gym exercise I do. I’ve also (confession alert) found Pilates quite challenging and rewarding. It has become fashionable to talk of the core (not your beloved Corps, you leathernecks out there) and its benefits to the body. But it cannot be denied, a strong core is critical.
That said, I try not to work out two days in a row. I go every other day, like clockwork. And it may be that this is an effective way to go about business:
The Exercise Equivalent of a Cheeseburger?
New Research Says Endurance Running May Damage Health
Over the last few months, during the endurance-athletics off-season, something extraordinary happened: The line began to blur between the health effects of running marathons and eating cheeseburgers.
“I’m not worried,” says veteran running coach Mark Sullivan, who has run more than 150 marathons, joking that “there are guys who live to be 100 smoking cigarettes and eating cheeseburgers.”
Endurance athletes have long enjoyed a made-of-iron image. But amid mounting evidence that extraordinary doses of exercise may diminish the benefits of modest amounts, that image is being smudged. That extra six years of longevity running has been shown to confer? That benefit may disappear beyond 30 miles of running a week, suggest recent research.
The improved blood pressure, cholesterol levels and robust cardiac health that exercise has been proven to bestow? Among extreme exercisers, those blessings may be offset partially by an increased vulnerability to atrial fibrillation and coronary-artery plaque, suggest other recent studies.
In a funny exercise related story, one of the Pilates teachers told us how she used to teach aerobics and had to remind her students not to scratch their noses when she scratched hers. Now that is a good buncha students. Monkey see, monkey do. . .
Before you go around bad-mouthing certain members of the Navy, please read (preferably at attention) the below caption:
I’m walking a little taller this morning. (BANG, ooowwwww! Nevermind on walking taller, I’m back to walking at the same height.)
The only time I bet, as in wager, is when I drive on the I-15 to-and-from work. That said, I would gladly put some bucks on Normandy Invasion at the Kentucky Derby this weekend.
The Associated Press reported that American Jennifer Figge had just completed a 2,100-mile swim across the Atlantic…The story reported that Figge had begun at Cape Verde, in western Africa—on January 12…That would have been 80 miles daily—three miles per hour nonstop for a month—to complete the journey…
Running is a repetitive exercise, it has a rhythm all its own. If you are not a runner, it is also addictive. My biggest challenge running, not to sound cliche’d, is the first step. Once I start, I am fine and happy. Alex Mesa, a runner from South Beach, has other issues.
Claiming both New York blood and Yankee fandom means that I watch for any stray pieces of intel from the Big Apple. And Alex Rodriguez has joined the news cycle again:
Is Alex Rodriguez in love? A newspaper in the Dominican Republics reports that A-Rod has found a new love with a young girl from the Dominican Republic.
The Diario Libre reports that the Yankes third baseman has fallen for Rebeca Yunen Finke, a 24-year-old girl from Santiago. Not much is known about Finke but the newspaper reports that A-Rod’s new love recently graduated with honors from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra with a Business Administration degree.
C’mon guys, Rebeca Yunen Finke sounds like some East Side girl who walks across The Park© to attend Columbia U. Not some native born Dominican. Oy.
There is also something wonderful about the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and the way Rex Burkhead and Jack Hoffman worked together. Jack is a seven year-old boy, and a survivor of brain cancer. And this link shows him running for a touchdown next to Rex. Go Huskers!
Chat with any Ohio State fan and bring up Maurice Clarett. His name alone stirs up great emotion, mostly due to the way he handled going pro. Next, give them this tidbit: he is making a comeback. But not in football. In rugby. Which apparently is also a sport and not just one of those striped jerseys you find at Old Navy. . .
Sometimes I forget that I am a runner. I run several times a week, but on a treadmill. And the gym is no substitute for the real thing. Yesterday, at around 0700, I headed up into the hills behind my house. The whole jog was around five miles and it took me about an hour to run it. Before you say slow slow slow, know that the elevation rise is 1200 ft. And what comes up, must go down.
The first mile was all uphill and then the trail rolled along. It was foggy, the sweat beaded on my hair like snow. And the (cover your eyes) phlegm ran right beside me, if you get my drift. Also, it was dusty; as I kicked up the dirt, it stuck to me. So I must have looked like a wildman as I descended the trail after tooling around in the hills. Several women recoiled at the sight of me. (Am I a bad person if I say I sort of liked the reaction?) One of their husbands gave me a hearty good morning. Kind of a get some greeting. I got some! I just couldn’t control that I looked a mess (but felt like a million bucks.)
This Easter morning, I went to the dump (called a transfer facility) to drop off some yard dirt and rocks. My friend had a pickup and we filled the whole thing up. And all during the transfer, I was sore. We put about 1000 pounds into that place. At $37.50, it seemed expensive. But I got a hell of a two hour workout. If you don’t have hills to run or dirt to haul, you can try the Reebok Spartan Race:
Reebok Spartan Race is scheduled to invade the Entertainment Capital of the World in just ten short days. And what’s more entertaining than a former WEC lightweight champion currently fighting in the UFC taking on the Reebok Spartan Race course? Jamie Varner will be there April 6 to take on the first ever Reebok Spartan Race in Las Vegas. The 28-year-old is recovering from a hand injury that has kept him out of action since his UFC 155 victory over Melvin Guillard and will be facing his first, but not last Spartan Race course.
And he’s taking this race very seriously. “I’m a competitive person. I fight people for a living!” He goes on to say, “I was medically cleared two weeks ago and this gives me motivation to train. It’s a different kind of motivation and that’s exciting.”
The MMA fighter is no stranger to intense competition and has few worries about race day. “I don’t have to worry about someone punching me in the face, but it is a bit more mileage than I’m used to running. That might be the only thing in the back of my mind.”
I’ll just stick to my way of running in the hills. The above Spartan Race will cost you 145 dollars to register. No thanks!
Hillsdale College is one of the preeminent conservative colleges in the country. Rarely do they make the news except for Larry P. Arnn, Gary L. Wolfram, or any one of the well-known visiting professors. You can add Jared Veldheer of the Oakland Raiders to the list of Hillsdale alums. He is the incredible hulk on the left, in blue:
It is 7:26 PM, 1926 for you military types. And guess what is about to kick off? USA Soccer versus Mexico at the Azteca, in Mexico City. Due to growing up in SoCal, I played soccer for years and (despite the faked injuries that annoy me to no end) I still catch USA Soccer now and then. The USA team just marched onto the field. I especially liked how the 100K Mexican fans booed during our national anthem. I don’t recall us doing that to them.
It may be the greatest home-field advantage in sports history.
Seventy-five times Mexico’s national soccer team has played a World Cup qualifier at home and only once has it lost — 12 years ago to Costa Rica. Six other times Mexico was held to a draw, giving it a winning percentage at home of 91%.
Juergen Klinsmann, who will lead the U.S. into a World Cup qualifier at the sprawling Estadio Azteca on the southern edge of Mexico City on Tuesday, said his team won’t be intimidated. “Playing Mexico in a sold-out stadium in Mexico City, it’s awesome,” he said Monday. “[But] we’re here to get not only a result, we want to win here.”
Klinsmann, after all, is riding an impressive streak of his own. In six games as a player and coach, the former German star and national team manager has never lost to Mexico, the most recent victory coming last August when the U.S. beat Mexico for the first time in Mexico City in a friendly.
The U.S. may have still momentum on its side because although Mexico blew a 2-0 lead and had to settle for a tie in its qualifying match Friday in Honduras, the Americans were beating Costa Rica, 1-0, in the snow outside Denver. (FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, announced Monday it will consider Costa Rican claims the weather compromised the “physical integrity” of the match.)
However the U.S. will be without midfielder Jermaine Jones, who did not travel to Mexico after spraining his left ankle against Costa Rica. Mexico will be without defender Francisco Rodríguez because of yellow card accumulation, but it will have Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who scored twice in the tie with Honduras.
Update: Scoreless after one half. The Mexican National team has great finesse. And the Americans are hustling more. We also look like we are slowing the game down prior to passing the ball long. I’ll take a tie if we can get it. (To all the Mexican fans flashing green lasers in the eyes of our guys, thanks. This further proves to me, after all the boos during our anthem, that you lack class.)
Update: Wow, USA held on for a tie! Only the second time we’ve won points on the road versus Mexico. Good job, guys!