LGN 96: Courage is a Muscle

Inside: I’m a creative genius when…; Memorial Day Weekend cooking tips; KB workouts squeeze your juices

Hey, errybody. Hope you’re having a good, long weekend.

CHEF G$ SAYS

Here’s a cooking tip for you. If the chicken smells like spoiled ass don’t cook it, despite the fact that it’s too expensive to throw out and it would be, like, the third time that happened and it’s ridiculous to just keep tossing money into the trash can plus taking the lives of so many slaughtered barnyard fowl in vain so no. No, I’m not throwing it out. I’m eatin’ this shiz.

If you choose to cook the chicken anyway more power to you. I mean, if it doesn’t stink like a landfill in the deep South in August after it’s cooked it’s probably okay. Right? Maybe? Probably. However, if some parts — in the inner folds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs — taste like grilled, spoiled ass that may be an indication of poor judgement.

If you are not cross-eyed with gastrointestinal cramping or convulsing with fever within three to five hours, you win. Go get that sun-brewed mayonnaise off the window shelf and go to town.

You’re welcome.

KB SQUEEZES YOUR JUICES

It’s like yoga. You know in yoga you get in those positions that are uncomfortable. You’re folded over and it just doesn’t feel right but it’s good for you somehow. You’re actually kind of massaging your fibers and organs as you bend, stretch, and fold. They’re being squeezed and released and there’s probably something to that. Palpating your innards.

Kettlebell exercises are kind of like that. Others, too, but you get those high reps in KB workouts. Swing jerk snatch clean squat double single around around around around over under through. (And I’m cute, too.)

Which is to say, that class on Thursday night has me all kinds of sore. Like, deep tissue sore. Parts I forgot I had. I’m not going to mention any names — I’ll just call Thursday night’s instructor Fleronica so we can maintain anonymity. I knew I was in trouble when he or she killed a bug with impunity and then looked at us with kettlebell blood lust in his or her eyes and said, “You’re next! Do you want to live forever! Pick up those bells, soldier!”

I think it was a bug. My memory is a little unreliable due to the lack of oxygen reaching my brain during the class. It may have been a bunny or llama or baby harp seal. Take your pick. The message was the same. Complete the ladder or suffer the consequences.

True story.

Haha! I have entertained myself. Seriously, though. It was a good class. I went with the 16kg (35 lb.) bells. Double jerks, double swings, double the pleasure, double the fun. That was intense but I was fresh as opposed to doing back to back training and then KB class. I am currently paying for this decision but you know what? It was worth it, especially after doing some aggressive work-related sitting for hours on end to meet an already past deadline over the past two or three weeks. I’ve been designing for so long that my coding got rusty. I do this awkward lean to the left thing when I’ve been sitting for a long time. By the time I realize it I’ve been sitting for hours.

I really dig the fact that each KB coach has a different style — different flavors of butt-kicking. Do you like epic workouts, competition-like mini-sets, body work/resistance, teams and partner work? Do you want to “suffer” during or do you prefer to feel it days later? Perhaps a little from column A and a little from column B.

COURAGE IS A MUSCLE

I went for the first MTB ride of the year last Sunday. Reston Woods and Lake Fairfax. I got very lost. Never did find the Colvin Mill over to the CC Trail to come back via the W&OD. So it was 8 miles instead of 12. I’m okay with that. My butt was so saddle sore. Swollen even. You’re welcome for that mental image.

My legs weren’t as bulletproof as I hoped but that’s to be expected. You’re good at what you do and it’s been a while. That brings me to the title of this blog.

Every year the first few rides of the season are a-scurry. You forget what you and the bike are capable of. You lose your flow and you question whether or not that drop will toss you over the handlebars on to your head. Can you really cross that stream? Your confidence gets shaken.

It comes back, though. That got me thinking about all of those things in life that are intangible. Those qualities that we neglect because we can’t see them.

Courage, patience, perseverance, creativity, attention span, stoicism, tolerance for pain and discomfort, discipline, confidence, etc.

What would life be like if we worked on those qualities the way we work our legs or back. Suppose I did exercises for, say, charisma or positivity the same way I roll out my calves and shins. Or the same way I do research every once in a while to figure out how to avoid/minimize/eliminate muscle cramps.

What a world that would be. Just pick something and work it out. Work that creativity, compassion, open-mindedness, intrepidness.

Speaking of creativity:

I AM A CREATIVE GENIUS WHEN…

But enough about other people and things. Let’s talk about me. What’s that? No, that’s not about me and is therefore irrelevant. Let’s try to stay focused here.

I am a creative genius … when I have other things that I need to do. Work, work stress, deadlines, taxes, whatever. You give me something practical that needs to be done and I turn into freakin’ Da Vinci over here.

The fact that I’ve been holding up a software build all week has supercharged my brain cells.

I’ve been learning songs left and right. Music playing in the background, I’ll pick up a guitar and learn the chords and words. My memory for chords and lyrics and singing and playing at the same time are iffy at best. But not when I’ve got other stuff to do? It all just goes right in the ol’ brainium into the memory and fingers.

Photo and editing inspiration strikes like lightning in the middle of the work day. It’s ridiculous. Oh! If I use two remote flashes and position them here and here but use the ambient light as a…

It’s like “Flowers for Algernon” over here. I suppose I’ll revert back to creative blocks and dullard-ness — that’s not even a word. Oh no, its happening already!

“I’m losing my perspicacity!”

Remember me, world.

Okay. I need food and rest.

Have an amazing weekend, people.

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