LGN 41: Have you peaked?

Inside:  These trees are straight up tryin’ to kill me; Eating to live —  I need advice; there’s a whole kettlebell world; photographing a kettlebell competition; have you peaked?

Eating in the Face of Death

You may know by now that I have relatives who have had serious, life threatening illnesses and procedures.  I could use some advice or insight.


I see them eat or being fed things that I don’t think anyone should be eating.  My family has old school sensibilities about food.  I’ve heard multiple people in the last week say things like, “Oh, I can not give up [insert food here].”  Inevitably, it’s almost always the thing that’s probably preventing progress.

“I can not give up soda.”

I see a lot of sweets and it makes me cringe because I’m thinking… I’m screaming inside when I see it.  I’m thinking that what they need right now is nutrient dense, anti-oxidant rich foods, but I see them eating empty calories.  Granted, in two of the cases, lack of appetite is a serious issue so getting them to eat anything is a win.  And pure calories and quick energy are essential.

Obviously I’m not a doctor or nutritionist but … I want to help and be constructive, but I don’t know if I should say anything.  Or how to say it.

If I were in a similar situation I would be on the smoothie train.  Not the store bought sugar bomb smoothies.  But the homemade fresh fruits and vegetables.  The powerhouses, the superfoods: spinach, kale, cabbage, beets, apples, mangos, red foods, etc.  The good oils.  Of course, the problem is that I don’t know of any restrictions or if that would be too much.  I mean, even if you’re very healthy you have to ease into fresh smoothies with a lot of vegetables.  I could ask their doctor, but doctors aren’t trained in nutrition.

I don’t know what to do.


FU, Juniper, Maple and Alder.  I went mountain biking on Monday night after work.  On a day when the pollen level was a 10 out of 12.  I was fine.  Until the next morning.  I don’t know when it happened but the back of my throat was shredded raw.  Very little sleep was had for the next two nights.  I took antihistamines.  Nyquil.  Other things for the throat.  A Zyrtec.

Tuesday night I went to a concert.  Had to leave before the main act because I was barely conscious.  And there was a “black dolphin” sitting behind me who could not shut the hell up the entire time.  Who thought it was a good idea to have a bar + concert in a theater?

I called in sick to work on Wednesday.  I drove part of the way there and realized I had no business driving or attempting to function in public.  I thought, hey, I can take it easy and do something constructive, but I was too out of it.  I just slept and fell asleep to episodes of Psych all day.

Anyone have allergy strategies?

2012 New York Open Kettlebell Sport Championships

I did a last minute road trip this past weekend.  I went up to Long Island City, NY to take photos and support the Underground Athlete kettlebell team.  That was a lot of fun.

You’ve got to love all of these sub-cultures.  Not only is kettlebell lifting a sport but there are multiple federations.  This one was sponsored by IKSFA.  What a great environment.

They had a photographer there at Crossfit LIC and damn it, his photos are a lot better than mine in a lot of ways.  So crisp.  Amazing depth of field.  I think he must have been using an 85mm/1.4 lens.  He had more run of the place, too, but still.  Excellent photos.  Beautiful.

I, since I always have to make at least one mistake when taking photos, was using a zoom lens indoors with no tripod.  Well, I used the Gorillapod, bracing the camera against my body in various ways.  My photos were darker, grainier, not crisp really.  Also, I posted them to Facebook before I edited and adjusted them.  Amateur hour.

BUT since I didn’t have to cover the entire event, I had the opportunity to focus on and capture the experience of the UA team.  So what I lacked in technical achievement, I made up for with heart.  Some day — and soon — I’ll be adept at both.  I want me one of those lenses, though.  (Of course, I also want a $500 blender so something’s gotta give.)

It was truly an honor and a privilege to be there for that.  And a lot of fun.  Good times.  Great job, ladies.

Have you peaked?

It’s been a while since I’ve written a LGN post.  So an update.  Let’s see.

I haven’t been mountain biking as much as I want to for various reasons: wet trails, logistics, busy weekends.  Only twice since I got the new bike.  But each time has been a blast.  I went for a ride on Monday night and my average speed was 1 mph faster than any ride in recent history.

I’m so much stronger in the training sessions.  It’s nuts.  My endurance is vastly improving, too.  I still get the burn way too quickly for my tastes, but what can you do.  You always push yourself so it can be hard to gauge progress.

I clean and jerked the 63 lb. kettlebells on Tuesday.  The orange ones.  The pumpkins.  Next time it’s the tomatoes (or cherries).  They’re 70 lbs.?  I think that’s right.  I’m ready.  Come at me, tomatoes!

My younger sister started personal training.  I’m so proud of her.  It’s great and very entertaining to hear her talk about it.  I feel like I’ve got company (in the context of our family).  She’s already made great progress.  My parents are getting an elliptical and are serious about being more active.  I’m still trying to be a good example.

I showed the photos from the kettlebell competition.  My mom and sisters were surprised (and encouraged) that women can lift weights, be strong as hell, fit like crazy, and not get bulky or un-feminine.  Way to represent, UA!  I thank you.

I saw some wiry Russian men, one of whom looked to be my age or a little older, do amazing things with 35 lb. kettlebells.  Juggling, throwing, catching, one-hand pressing (or jerking) 3 of them at once.  That’s 105 lbs.  Handstands on the kettlebells.  One handed balancing.

It was a wake up call.  What we’re capable of if we work at it.

There have been times in the past few weeks when I did NOT feel like training.  That never stops me, though, and I’m always glad I’m there.  No matter how I feel about it each day (3 times a week) — whether I’m pumped up or drowsy/groggy or feeling lazy — each time is a deposit into the bank of health, fitness and (statistically speaking) longevity.

I’ve been doing this for about a year.  What will I be capable of in 2 years?  5 years?

I don’t know about you, but I have not peaked, my friends.  Not even close.  You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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