Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Big Change

After twenty-five years of smoking 1.5 packs of cigarettes per day, nearly every single day, I've managed to quit smoking, thanks to Chantix. (Champix, for those of you outside of the United States.) I've been free for two whole weeks, and what's more, I feel like a major shift has taken place inside of me, with regards to smoking and how I view it in my mind. I took the Chantix for a total of 18 days, and I quit taking it, three days ago.

First things first, though:
I've been free of that horrible addiction for 13 days, 15 hours.
I've NOT smoked 409 cigarettes. (That just blows my mind!)
I've saved $110.00.

My lungs are clearing up and cleaning themselves out. My breath, clothes, and hands don't stink like cigarettes, and I can smell foods, rain, soap, and a myriad of other things. Food and coffee taste better, and I don't get nearly so winded so quickly. My pulse rate is lower, and I'm not constantly feeling the urge to go out and have a cigarette.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that cigarettes are just nothing but poison. I was watching a video on YouTube, where the host put a glass of water in front of a smoker and said, "This is a glass of bleach. How deep is your urge to pick it up and take a sip?" The smoker replied that he no urge to do such a thing, and said, "It'll kill me!" And then the metaphorical light bulb kind of lit up over his head. ;-)

I really don't intend this to become a smoking cessation blog, but it really is a major component of my overall training, and getting in better shape is what has really driven this quit. The Chantix has made me develop acne, so I've taken myself off of it, but I suspect that there's no longer any need for it. I'm free!! :-))

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wansu and Chinto Kata, and other stuff

Got the Wansu kata memorized, and have started work on the Chinto kata. Workouts are still going well. Last night was my back workout: Lat pulldowns, seated row, shrugs, deadlifts, and triceps pushdowns, each exercise done for three sets to muscle failure in each set, around 6-10 reps, without sacrificing attention to form. Today, my traps are pleasantly sore.

I am now in Week 7 of my workout regimen. I'm still growing like crazy, and at the same time, getting RIPPED!! My clothes are all fitting differently and I feel GREAT!!
Monday night, in karate, we pulled out all of the Bobs and punching bags/stations, and went freestyle for one minute at each station. I went to throw a right front snap-kick and jammed my big toe. A few minutes later, on a different bag, I did it again... Holy crap, that hurt!! It's been tender and swollen, but I don't think it's broken. I still have good range of motion with it, and it doesn't hurt to bear weight, so I think it'll heal up on its own.

On Saturdays, before our freestyle class, we've been going through Hock Hoccheim's Close Combat drills, and he's going to be holding a seminar at our dojo on the last weekend of this month. I'm looking forward to that. Those of us who are in this first group/class, will be the instructors for future classes, so we're being worked hard and we're training hard. The classes cover hand, knife, stick, and gun tactics, and borrow tactics from martial arts, law enforcement, and elite military combat training. (SF and SEALs, mainly)

All in all, I'm very satisfied with my progress in all three areas. I'm doing a lot of training at home in addition to my weight training, and it's starting to pay off in my balance, flexibility, and speed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What an amazing book....

I'm currently reading this book, and absolutely loving it. This man didn't lift weights seriously, until he was in his mid-thirties. He's 61-years old, and looks downright amazing.... Below, I've included a YouTube video of him talking about different things.. It's definitely worth a look.

Monday, August 16, 2010

If you...

If you are going to show up and give your usual lackluster, halfhearted performance;

If you are not going to be worthy of the belt that you wear around your waist;

If you are going to just slop your way through every technique and kata, the way you've done, day after week, after month, after year;

If you really just don't want to be in class, and you're soooo bored that you can't even bother to act like you give a damn;

STAY HOME!!! QUIT!!! Don't let the door hit ya' where the good Lord split ya'! GET OUT!!!

You drag the entire class down, provide a crap example of what a higher belt-holder is supposed to be, and you make our whole class look bad.

GO. AWAY. No one wants to look at your face and read how very very bored you are. No one wants to look at your sloppy, half-assed techniques. No one wants to talk to you, since you never speak above a mumble, anyway.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Last night's class! FUN!

Last night's class was great! After our 30-40 minutes of calisthenics and stretching, we pulled out the dummies and went through one minute practice rounds, where we just threw punches and kicks, chops, elbows, and knees... After that, Sensei pulled out a staff with thick, soft padding on the end. One at a time, we would lie down, and he swing the staff down, trying to swat us with it. We were to roll over and over, keeping our hands up, and then get to our feet while protecting ourselves.

The first time, I did okay... I got thumped in the head, at the very end. The second time, though! The second time, I was fast! Rolling over and over, avoiding every swat of the staff, and then I found myself pinned by the base of one of the dummies, so I flipped my legs over in a backwards somersault, since I couldn't roll my body as a unit anymore. When I flipped my legs over, I used the momentum to carry me to my feet and came up with my arms raised and crossed overhead in a block, just as Sensei brought the staff down for another strike. It was perfect. The staff ended up between my crossed wrists.

It was fast, fluid, and it just worked out perfectly. I love it when that happens! :-))) It's also nice to know that my speed and reflexes haven't degenerated that much, compared to when I was in my twenties.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Miscellaneous Updates

I ordered a Shureido gi, a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it. The jacket is actually long enough, and the crotch-to-waist measurement of the pants is short enough that I don't have to constantly pull up on the legs of the gi, whenever I raise a foot, or go to squat down. Very very nice, and well worth the money. I'd like to actually have one more, and may buy another, in a few months.

The Wansu kata is coming along nicely, but I still have a lot of work left to do. Of course, after the Wansu, it's time to begin working on the Chinto kata, which is another long and complex kata, but I'm less daunted, now that I've got the Naihanchin kata down, and I've got approximately one-third of the Wansu memorized.

Workouts are still going strong, with unflagging intensity. I took the weekend off, but this morning, walked and jogged a mile. This afternoon is my day to work my back. Lat pulldowns, seated row, shrugs, deadlifts, and triceps pushdowns. I'm loving the way I'm starting to look and feel!

Funny thing about working out, though: There are about 50 different kinds of protein powders and tons of different supplements out there. Each supplement makes grandiose claims to be the latest, greatest thing, and promises to do everything except balance your checkbook and make you a millionaire. (I think I just pulled a muscle, rolling my eyes...) The only thing most of them are good for, is ensuring that the user has the most expensive urine in town. Hahaha...

I've narrowed it down to three supplements: A basic protein powder, a multivitamin, and fish oil capsules. That's it. That's all. The fish oil capsules supply the much-needed Omega-3s that most people don't get through their diets. (Unless they are real fish aficionados, which I am definitely not!)

80% of how you look and feel, is based on two things: Your fork and knife. The remaining 20% comes from what you do in the gym.

Check this guy out:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Found a good video of the Wansu kata

The same uploader has good videos of the Chinto kata, as well. What a relief! I've searched and searched for a good instructional video on both of these kata. It's a little less daunting...The sound quality for this video really stinks, and the narration is out of sync with the movements, but this video coupled with this PDF, really makes it more accessible.