Dinner With Friends

Excellent dinner last night. Got to meet the new woman in my friend’s life. Food…I love food. Food means company and talk and wonderful smells and sounds. My happy childhood memories all seem to center around Sunday dinners at my grandparents. Which really meant hanging out in the kitchen with my aunts, listening to them cook, chatter and laugh, while the menfolk gathered in the basement to roar at sports. It was fun to head down there to the land of the old-school home bar and pool table, and play with the seltzer bottles. But the kitchen was always the best part. The best part of being an adult is the freedom to recreate such moments at a whim. When I want to feel that happy buzz and roar again, all I need to do is turn on the oven, open a bottle of wine, and try to tease some…

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Leg pain from cycling…figured it out!

My weekend was shot due to muscle pain and serious joint swelling after five days of cycling. It was unusual for me because the overall workload and intensity was low…compared to what I usually call a workout. So a little research shows that IL-6 production (interluekin-6) increases with the intensity and number of muscles involved in exercise. Sprinting gives you a huge boost of IL-6, jogging only a little bit. Since cycling involves only the legs, that’s less muscle. It has been observed that in low intensity exercise like jogging, IL-6 production doesn’t even start until later in the workout. And jogging involves more muscles than cycling, so produces more IL-6. So I’m thinking that my cycling sessions, at an average of 35 minutes each, are probably ending right about the time my body is starting to ramp up IL-6 production. Bummer. Since IL-6 serves to decrease inflammation (It also…

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The Ideal Martial Art

This morning I’m going through my collected notes on martial arts training. My earliest notes start around 1990, when I started to really teach. Over the years I’ve experimented a lot, tried a lot of things, learned a lot of things. It all started to click about two years ago, when I had the opportunity to work with a group of new students with no prior martial arts training. I started some new things, and it all fell into place. Sadly, I didn’t have the chance to really build on the that work with the students. Towards the end of that time, I wrote down a grand plan for an ideal way of training students. I’ve briefly shown an outline of that plan to two people, but I haven’t shared the complete method with anyone. Part of the method based on some comparatively new approaches to mental and physical training,…

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A little bit about calories.

  What, exactly, is a calorie? You eat a chocolate bar, it has 325Kcal. You bike for half and hour, you burn 325kcal. Great! So if we chop up a chocolate bar in smaller and smaller pieces, at some point will we find tiny little pellets of calorie? No. Well, yes. Sort of. What we will find, eventually, are little crystals. Molecules of sugar. Calories are sugar. A whole lot of sugar crammed together is fat. Or protein. Obviously, I’m greatly simplifying the process. Let’s look at what actually happens when you “burn” a calorie, and what happens to the “calories” you eat. Our muscles are loaded with a thing called ATP. Adenosine Triphosphate. If you follow the common advice and don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce, you could avoid eating this. You won’t live very long though. ATP is the molecule in our muscles that allows them to move.…

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