Eight Square Feet of Endorphins

hard-style-training-conditioning
http://www.strongfirst.com

A complete gym in one tidy corner:

  • Kettlebells. One is enough, but in a happy home they multiply.
  • Somebody to swing them. Note the bare feet–that’s how you should do it too.
  • Rucksack and boots. Insert kettlebells and start walking.
  • Pavel Tsatouline’s classic Russian Kettlebell Challenge (1999), still the best book there is on this stuff.
  •  Sledgehammer (optional). Style points for the awesome camo pattern on his pants, too. (Anyone recognize it? British MTP?)
  • An AK (optional), to protect the kettlebells.

If you just add companionship, kombucha, and a dog, you have most of the elements of earthly happiness right here.

Torpid Taper

By the week before a competition, you’ve accumulated fatigue and it’s time to refill your tank with a week’s layoff. That means going easy and limiting yourself to foam rolling and active recovery (spelled “yoga”).

Everyone I know tries to screw this up. You’re resting and supercompensating from training stress and your body is gathering a huge charge of energy like a battery. You’re crackling with electricity and dying to discharge it, and even though your job is to restrain yourself and save your spunk for game day, you start to rationalize one more “moderate” workout … which itself is probably a bad idea and often morphs into a near-max effort. Or you get bored and monkey with your diet or embark on some other dumb eleventh-hour self-experimentation. Because you’re so restless and keyed up.

Molly - Jan 31 2017
Even the irrepressible Molly is infected by my lassitude.

But this week I feel none of that. I feel tired, sore, dinged up, and LAZY. Yesterday I napped for two hours and today I’d still like to camp on the couch. I’m worried I won’t get my mojo back and that Friday after dark, when it’s time to ruck til dawn, I’m going to want chamomile tea and a bedtime story.

Happy Birthday to Snoot

36455439_10105057373220321_4399425753951764480_oA lion-dog in winter. My supremely beloved little Snoot was born 14 years ago today outside Cambridge, Mass., and I became his babysitter the very next day. Even after years of callous parenting mistakes–like the dinner party where I ignored his meek “Help me!” looks all night as mere attention-seeking when in fact he had a wine cork lodged in his teeth–he holds no grudges and wants little more than to be wherever I am.
Happy birthday, my darling. I do not deserve you.

 

南无大悲观世音菩萨!

My first “waterborne rescue” of a non-insect! I was kayaking near my house and chanced upon upon a little white terrier standing stoically on a log. He had his face caught a foot from the surface by his leash, which was lashed to a nub at the waterline.

He’d gotten away from his owner, an older woman in a wheelchair, and then gone swimming in the creek just as any red-blooded terrier would, but he ended up in trouble with his leash fouled on the log. He was a little love-bug and let me carry him up the embankment, which was awesome because I love little wet puppy bodies.