Heading to Providence, RI June 7th- 8thto hear the best in the industry talk about the latest methods being used in the fitness indistry

 To improve my skills and keep the my training at the highest level that it can be, I am going to learn from the best in the industry this weekend in Providence, RI.

Click here to see the line -up of world class strength and conditioning experts speaking this weekend June 06- June 8th 2013 in Providence, RI

Competitive spirit overflow kept in check.

You see it often as it has been part of sports and humanity for as long as we have known.  What causes one athlete to physically attack or go after another athlete on the field.  Where is the breaking point for each individual?  Who started it? Could it have been prevented?  Everybody wants to be a champion and we play the game to win.  Any edge (legal) that we can attain we will take it.  We are taught to not take anything (sh*t ) from anybody as an athlete as it would display a mental weakness and therefore open our window to be viewed as individual who is weak.  A day in and day out strive to be the best.  Are you working hard enough?  What is hard enough?  Everyday there is the possibility to lose if we engage in competition and if we don’t we avoid the agony of defeat but, also never experience the experience of winning.

The picture of the athlete who had failed and experiences the agony of defeat.

He sits wondering why do I feel so bad, what happened I was supposed to win.  There is no doubt that we see the winners in their delight and we want it.   When we are on our path, we must respect our path and listen to those around us.  Respect the coaches, respect the referee, respect the opposing players, respect the game.

I witnessed a small brawl between basketball teams this weekend.  The scene was a invitational tournament for talented youth to display their skills for college coaches and prove their skill was good or better that the other players.  Before the first half a timeout is called by one team and some players from the other team hover around their huddle.  One coach asks the other to corral his players, the ref does the same the coach does not responds until a few minutes pass.  The seeds of disrespect have been planted.. The coach did not respect the referee and the opposing coach’s wishes for him to corral his players.  The players talked their share of trash.  The game resumed and there was a bit more of trash talking from the same individuals.. the seeds are growing.  The game is close and comes down to the wire.  The game has been won by the team that had started the trash talking.  When the teams go through their customary congratulatory line after the game the players erupt a chair is thrown there is pushing and water is thrown.  It gets diffused by the coaches and referees.  Not much harm had been done.  When the initial trash talk had started it should have been nipped in the bud by the refs and the coaches.  The players could have also corralled their teammates but, you would expect it first from the adults on the court. 

When the seeds of disrespect start it is always best to nip them at the bud which is an art in itself.  When done so gracefully ongoing we can all enjoy the game in it’s true competition.  What makes it so exciting is that one group wins and the other loses. 

Lessons from Coach Wooden ” The Wizard of Westwood”

In his documentary “Values, Victory, and Peace of mind, “John Wooden comments on the 7 point creed that he was handed from his father.

1. Be true to yourself
2. Help others
3. Make friendship a fine art

4. Drink deeply from good books; especially the Bible.
5. Make each day your masterpiece
6. Build shelter for a rainy day by the way you live your life.
7. Give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance everyday.

Exercise means nothing if we don’t have sound spirituality and peace of mind at the end of each day.  Building of Character in the sense of how we communicate with other and with ourselves in essential for our health on a day to day basis.  The 7 point creed is a great reminder of how we can be our best.  Test out each point as often as you can to see how you feel about yourself and the world around you.

I have seen and experienced how a poor view of other and your own self can only snowball and make things worse.  The world outside of us will always be changing and the control of how we view life from our perspective as individuals is so important.  These 7 steps will help you live each day and handle life as it occurs day to day for you not for somebody else.  The incredible thing about these rules that if anyone follows them they will maintain your personal peace from knowing you tried your best that day.

What have you done for your ankle lately?

The first part of the body that should be looked at when there is pain or dysfunction is the ankle.  The function of the ankle is to absorb and transfer accumulated forces through the body into muscle for proper absorption.  Many times if the ankle is not functioning properly, the forces will be transferred into the joint above, the knee.  Not recommended but, you can test this theory by going for a mile run with one of your ankles totally immobilized. What can you do for your ankle..  joint mobility exercises, muscular stretches, muscular health .. massage/ foam rolling. 

The management of our joint health is highly underrated in the prevention of injuries.

The Nutribullet

Ok guys,  we’ve heard about how we are what we eat.  We ‘ve to consume 4-6 servings of fruit and 3-4 serving of vegetables a day.  A handful of nuts per day will give you energy.  Good nutrition will help you stay healthy and happy. 

Ok we all get the message, well at least most of us.  And even those who don’t get it and eat Shazz all day would not really argue with you that they are not eating healthy.  I believe at a very core level we know what is good for us but, the actions of participating in what is good for us, is not always the case.

The nurtibullet, I believe is a great invention that can help us all eat better.  Reasons why .. 1) you can mix portions of fruit, nuts, vegetables all into one smoothie.  2) you can pick and choose proportions and ingredients to create a taste you like. 3)  The smoothie can be made in 1 minute once in the blender.  4)  You can drink the smoothie right out of the blending pitcher as it doubles as a cup.  5) the clean up is done in 3 minutes as you can simply run water over it and it is ready for the next smoothie.  6)  The total cost is about $130 and it comes with a recipe book.

This is the definition of quick, easy, tasty, and good for you. 

Mallet Finger continued

Well this is the end off the regular 48 hour inflammatory phase and my finger still lacks active full range of motion.  The swelling is there but, not too bad.  Not very painful.  Over the next 72 hours my body should go into a fibroblastic repair phase in which the debris of the tendon rupture and other cellular breakdown will be cleaned up.  Normally this process can be sped up with heat but, I will hold off for another day or two. 

This injury has taught me a lesson in that I am in very much sense a state of my body.  This injury has caused social interactions it has caused my to shift my normal workout schedule.  Other than that, life goes on and it is my responsibility to focus on my work which is the foundation of my life.

I can remember my father fighting cancer when I was 18years old.  He never complained.  I see his strength much more clearly  at 34 years old.  At the time it was my Dad and it wasn’t much different .. my father never complained .  Although I know things were tough he always moved forward and did what had to be done.  I wish he did talk about his pain or at least his experience with what he was going through.  I feel it is important to talk about your life out loud so that you may hear yourself and that other may hear you and this I feel will help coping. 

My father did go on to beat Lung cancer for 15 years.  In that time he battled skin cancer, prostate cancer, collapsed lung, emphyseama,  cancer came back in 2010 and spread too quickly for him to overcome.  Again he had acceptance of himself with his fate.  This balance between what we can control and what cannot be controlled ..I end with the prayer of balance in life and that is… God grant me the serenity to accept the thing in life that I cannot change  and the  courage to change the things that I can and the knowledge to know the difference. 

I believe my father had found this balance in the end and will Rest in Peace. Respect and Love.

Mallet finger

This is a picture of a ruptured extensor tendon of the 2nd phalangeal distal interphalangeal joint.  Just this past Sunday I was playing in a two-hand touch football league and sustained this injury called a mallet finger.  Interesting enough the season prior one of my teamates had sustained the same injury during the last game of the season … by the way we won this game and were League Champs for the season.  About a week ago, I was covering a game as an Athletic Trainer at the school that I work at and the referee comes up to me and shows me his hand and asks me what the heck is this and what do I do for it.  So in the span of about 1 month I had seen 3 mallet finger injuries and one being mine all in pick- up football. 

Right before the game I had thought to myself that I should get gloves for the game to help me ctach better since the temperature was around 40 deg F.  But,  then I said to myself  well I can make it through the season there are only 4 games left.  The actual last play of the 1st half on a hail mary I reach up to catch the ball in what would not have resulted in a score and lightly tipped the ball with my finger.  I did not hurt much but, looking at my finger, I knew right away this is going to take a week or maybe more to get better.  The long term is sometimes up to six weeks in a splint.

I am blown away with the coincidence of these injuries in the last month within my view.  My decision to forgo gloves which would have kept my fingers much warmer and my more flexible and less likely to injure.  And last the hail mary that had no chance of  helping our team to win. 

1.  Listen to your life speak.  2 mallet finger injuries in football and I decide to not buy $30 dollar gloves.

2. This is a small injury, could it have been prevented ?  Yes, absolutely by a certain thing called preparation.  It is around us everywhere and we can apply it to our actions and have it directly effect our lives. 

3.  What is making sounds in your life?

Don’t let group training fool you!!

Don’t get me wrong off the bat, group training is awesome and in many ways the best way that exercise can be done. You are around other like minded people who are motivating each other to keep going when the pain says to stop or if you flat out don’t feel like training.  The number one road block to fitness is showing up.  With others supporting you, there is a much higher likelihood that you will continue the program!!

I just saw a trainer today who had been training four people.  2 people had been training for a period of time with the trainer and the other two had not trained in months.  However, the major hitch in what transpired is that they all did the same workout with minor variations.  Flat out there was no fitness level assessment or major volume adjustments to the workout for the individual who has been working out for the past few weeks to the individuals who have not worked out in months. 

So these two people were involved in a circuit with a station that involved 40 body weight squats.  They went through this station 5 times, thats 200 BW squats!!!  So basically these two people although young and fairly fit went from not doing any squats for the last months to 200 in one day.  I refer back to my MT. Everest quote.  You can’t climb the mountain in one day.  A well organized plan leads to success.

Tis the season for training

Yes, that’s right, it is the season for training.  Or is it?  We have to understand the ebb and flow of training.  We as humans have limited energy.  There are tons of things that can effect these energy levels.  For one, the season that we are in.  Can’t you see the that first nice day of the spring..  when people flock to the outdoor areas or even get their jog on.   Now as we enter Winter here in the New York City area , you see less and less people outdoors exercising.  The cold does not provide the most welcoming of elements to work out in.  Certainly you will find your crazies, myself included, who will get out there and despite the conditions.  It’s almost as if the worst the conditions the more fun we have.  Now with our goals being to stay in shape and maintain health we have to weather these seasonal changes and be able to maintain.  The most important aspect of training is periodization and this is how we control the volume of training for a period of time.  
To maintain the body at a certain level, it is important  to understand you own energy shifts and arrange your workouts accordingly.   For example, if you know your energy/ motivation drops in the winter,   it would be wise to increase the intensity of your workouts moving into the winter month of November.  You can then “ride out ” a higher level of fitness for December, and create more of an exercise maintenance program.  Perhaps drop to a twice a week regimen.
The understanding of the ebb and flow of energy can help us avoid burn out and break down.  

What can make you happier than a steak??

Well I suppose many things but, I can’t think of any right now specially while I am staring at that steak!!  What I do want to talk about here is how foods can effect our energy levels.  When training elite athletes it would be a very important aspect to watch their diet and nutrition in relation to their body’s demand for energy.  We need to eat every day to maintain health.  Yes , we can go days without eating and “survive”  but for a day to day life we don’t want to just survive we want to live in “peace and happiness”  In an ever changing world this can sometimes be difficult. 

So back to steak… I had a steak for dinner last night and found that waking up in the morning was particularly difficult.  Now after a long period of time seeking  personal optimal functioning.. and now at the age of 34,  I can notice the little things that make a difference in how I feel.  I wonder in amazement sometimes at how the body just ” feels” sometimes and we can follow this to a place of happiness and content.  For instance I think the major lesson I will try to move forward with, is to eat steak on a Friday or weekend date in which I do not have high energy demands the next day.   

I encourage you to note how you feel after certain foods are consumed in your diet.   Are these foods working for you or against you?  It is your choice to put whatever you want in your body.  Make the right choice to optimize your being!!