Get up and move

I remember sharing a hotel room with my ex-wife, and my training partner. It was a major tournament, and my partner was fighting terminal cancer. At this point, she had not shared her condition with anyone outside of her family, except for a small group of very close friends. She wanted to prove some thing about her fighting ability without any pity being a factor. The alarm went off, and we start to get up. And heard a quiet voice coming from the other bed. She couldn’t get up. To weak, too much pain. We helped her up.  Got her slowly moving. She managed to make it to the bathroom, and change into her fighting gear. She came back out and put her arms around my shoulders, and we walked up and down the hallway for a while until she had enough strength to walk on her own. Then we…

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Crosstraining

Short post today, because man, is it lovely and sunny out. Courtney and I hopped on the bikes, and spent five hours roaming around Granville Island and environs. Delicious double-butter croissants, peaberry coffee done by someone who really knows how to drive a Clover, and a few indulgent treats from Chocolate Arts. Swordplay is an absolute bear on the joints. Moving a chunk of metal at maximum speed and changing its path in less than an eyeblink? It’s a specialist sport. If you do nothing but swordplay, you will be in a world of hurt. You need to do other things to balance your body out. I sometimes say I’m not a fan of weights, but that’s not true. I love to move heavy iron. But I don’t think sitting down, moving things in a limited plane of motion, is a really ideal workout choice. I think exercise should be…

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Swordplay and Perception

We’d been on horseback since early morning. The day had started cool and beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. We plodded along next to the fenceline all morning, stopping once in a while for a quick repair. By noon we were on our way down into the valley, and the prairie sun was brutal. Coming out of the pines into the scorched yellow grass was like a slap in the face. It had been miserable hot before, but we’d been mostly sheltered. The other side of the valley was in shade, and there was a deeper patch of forest there. It took us about an hour in the heat to saunter down the slope and cross the valley floor. We pushed only a little up into the forest, and dismounted. We grabbed our panniers and the big jugs, and headed for the spring. It was over thirty years ago,…

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Kill em all: How to be a winner

I stabbed this one guy in the face maybe fourteen times. It was the same technique, over and over. He’d line up his shot on me, aiming at an opening he saw, and charge in. I’d twist my body just a little, roll my sword palm up as I extended it, and wham…Right into his face. In frustration he would speed up, trying to get his shot in before my counter attack. Because he kept going faster, my shot to his face just kept hitting harder and harder. Eventually I called the bout off because I was getting physically sick. At least one of my shots had caused a concussion on my opponent, and all he had done was angrily shake it off and try to come in even faster. I don’t have it in me to lay that kind of hurt on someone…not in what is supposed to be…

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Wednesday WTF: Strong is Beautiful

Anger. I have it. I love these Wednesday posts. The timing just seems to be right for me to vent and get some crap out of my system. Well, to get out some of the crap the system has put in my head. The system, BTW, is you…we all participate. Let’s get a little smarter together, shall we? A little good before the bad, Krista Scott-Dixon runs a great website you should have a read of. She has a good community on her Facebook page, and it was there I ran across this story about Sarah Robles, an Olympian. Inspiring woman. Lots of interesting little tidbits in her blog, but what really hits me is her lack of complaint. She shows up to do what she’s good at, things suck but she deals. Why does she raise a fuss about things? Because, as she says, if she doesn’t no one…

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Listening for performance

I made the big switch yesterday. I moved from regular pedals to clip-in pedals with proper cycling shoes. The transition was unpleasant. I’ve only been using the bike on the 12km commute to work for about three weeks, but apparently that was just long enough to build up some body habits. I’d already noticed that I was starting to monkey-clutch the pedals with my toes in order to secure my grip. Switching to the new pedals showed me I was doing a few other things. The first thing that threw me off was a maddening desire to turn my toes out. I felt like they were being squeezed in, and there was a very uncomfortable pressure on my knees. I looked down at my feet while pedalling to check my position, and everything looked fine. My feet were parallel, my knees tracked correctly in line with my toes, everything was…

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