One Thing Leads To Another

Deeper and deeper. Kind of a Fixx sort of morning. It’s coming up on nine months since we started up Valkyrie. I think the biggest change can be seen in my morning coffee. I’ve somehow become the kind of person who adds creatine to his coffee. I also enjoy taking a sixteen hour fast three days a week, and I break that fast with a berry and protein smoothie. My body is changing slowly…glacially slowly, but also changing with glacial power. I took a vacation last week, both from work and from working out. My six day a week, sometimes twice a day workout schedule was starting to show up in pain in my partially-regrown (I can hope, can’t I?) knee, so I’d stopped running the previous week. And I started to relax my eating. Chips and cookies, restaurant food, beer and wine. Expensive chocolates. We walked a fair bit,…

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The Fencers Body

No one really cares about an old sprinter, but old fencers? That’s not a bad thing to be. An aged fencing master is a pretty revered thing. We expect them to be brilliant, cranky, capable of the occasional brilliant bout that puts the current champion in his place, and constantly spouting Yoda-like mysterious wisdom. If Yoda swore a lot. It’s not a bad goal for every fencer to aim for that lofty goal at the end of their performance arc. If you’ve got the talent, the knack, why not? The only real bump in that plan is that competitive sword work and longevity are two things that do not go hand in hand. Competitive sword work and repetitive strain injuries go hand in hand…or reconstructive surgery. Or rehabilitative physical therapy. Rapier and longsword training for performance can trash the body…unless we take the right approach to training. Fitness isn’t just…

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Strong Body

Strength is everything. It’s the key to real mobility. It’s the key to a balanced and happy body. Real flexibility comes from strength, as does speed. Athletic ability in general can be seen as nothing more than a quest for idealized strength. To me, the difference between a fat person and an overweight person is mobility. I talked about that in my last post. Mobility is key to being healthy. And just like fat people, skinny people suffer from lack of mobility, too. I might refer to “overweight” as being the bad side of fat, but underweight doesn’t quite have the same meaning for skinny people. The more accurate term is “understrong.” It’s a sort of running joke that people who do historical re-enaction are overweight. I suppose this applies to geeks in general. Those of us who fall outside of the normal spectrum of interests are supposed to fall…

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Healthy Body

Rough week for a number of friends of mine. A person who spanned a few communities and was friends with my friends passed away suddenly in his sleep. I remotely watched an online outpouring of grief happen, followed by a celebration of life, and it got me thinking. This person, who I don’t ever recall meeting, was my age. He apparently was one of those people who are able to really grasp the oddity of life, not just embracing it but actively sharing it’s joy with others. Forty five seems a young age to die, but I suppose it isn’t. It should be a young age to die. It really should. If your grew up awkward and not fitting in because you were different, your late thirties and forties is often the time when you really start to blossom. You find a courage and confidence that was unknown to you…

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Less Crunchy Than I Thought

The odyssey of getting older continues. It continues to be not at all what I expected. Forty five in a few days, that’s supposed to be old. Not adult, but old. Past adult. At least that’s what I grew up believing. And yet, here I am at the cusp of aged, and I feel like maybe I’ve just started to grow up a little. I’ve only just figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Most of the advice and commentary I got when I was a child was that growing old meant gradually getting worse at everything, and that everything would be harder and harder to do. I’ve gotta call bullshit on that. I think that as people get older they tend to just move less. You do get more efficient at things, and things are easy and don’t require so much effort anymore. If you…

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Iron and Speed

The Valkyrie workout took a long time to develop, with a lot of stumbles on the way. Until I had a recent discussion with someone online about the relative value of bodyweight training vs weight training for martial arts, I’d sort of forgotten how I got to where I am in my fitness thinking. Thinking back on it, it all kind of flooded back to me. The books, the notes, the endless plotting and charting, trying to wrap my head around sport science concepts that were far deeper than I ever expected. Bodybuilding was the only form of weight training when I was in my teens. As martial artists, we tried to avoid weigh training, because, as everyone knew, weights just made you stiff and slow. And yet…I discovered I had an affinity for them. There was something atavistic in the appeal. Nothing complex, just move a heavy weight up…

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