Couples Who Sweat Together, Complain About The pain Together

One of the more pleasant aspects of working out is being able to enjoy a solid workout with your significant other. I don’t get to enjoy that pleasure often, as between work, the kids and other obligations, we never seem to sync up with the times when we individually work out. My wife has taken to using a program called T25. They’re fantastic circuit workouts that only last… you guessed it! 25 minutes! She usually does these workouts during the morning when I’m at work while the baby naps.

My habit is to slip in some quick 30-minute workouts of varying types during the evening, when I’ve gotten home from work. I either hit the bag, do some weights or get on the bike. I’ve started hammering out some 10k runs on the bike, which is nice. Considering I was hitting the 60 and 70 kilometre distances last summer, it’s about time I started building that endurance back up. Especially after the harsh winter I just endured.

We’ve been talking about having some workouts together for weeks, now. It just rarely works out. But as I always say, if it’s important, you make the time. So, on Sunday we decided to hammer out a workout. I wanted to try one of the circuit workouts she’s been doing and she agreed to find one that would include dumbbells so we could get some weight work in. Considering I’ve done Meta-Shred, which is one of those 30-minute circuit routines as well, I figured it would be reasonable.

It. Was. Brutal. There we were, each doing our own thing, but doing it in tandem. We were both struggling, but getting through it at our own pace. By the time the workout timer ended I was sprawled on the floor, covered in sweat. My wife was blasted as well. It was loads of fun and it was something we were able to do together. Spending time together can be such a simple thing and it can be made all the more special by working on each other’s health together. Even with the busy schedule of life, one should always make time to share interests with one’s significant other. After all, couples who sweat together, complain about the pain together. ☯

Your Body Needs Balance

Nothing quite beats those exciting first weeks of making a major change to your life. Especially when it’s for the overall improvement of oneself.  Maybe you’re deciding to take your fitness in hand and start a new workout regime. Maybe you’ve decided to try a new diet and alter your eating habits.  And maybe…  Just maybe, you’re smart enough to know that you likely need to do both in order to reap the rewards from either.  Maybe.

It’s safe to agree that every person is different.  Everyone’s bodily functions are basically the same, when you get right down to it.  But each and every one of us will respond to different things in different ways.  This is why certain fad diets will appear to have greater results for some people than others.  And those are usually the ones you see advertising the product or diet. But I digress.  The same can be said for fitness routines.  And I’m not talking about preference.  I’m talking about results.  Maybe you prefer to lift weights but you get more results from doing cardio.  That kind of thing.

I harp on diets quite a bit, because I subscribe to the fact that it isn’t so much what you eat. It’s how much of it.  The number of meals a day isn’t as important as total calories consumed.  This means that all the fad diets out there (and I’m hesitant to bash them by name or brand, for obvious reasons) really don’t do shit for you, unless your body’s system requires something specific that may be provided by the diet.  Granted, if the average adult consumes between 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day, I wouldn’t recommend eating 2,000 calories worth of cake. Or butter.  You’ll do damage to yourself in ways I can’t explain because I’ve never been stupid enough to try it.  Not least of which is to wonder how that would affect someone with Diabetes. But anyway, moving on!  I’m not a doctor, so take this in with grain of salt.

It’s pretty important that there be a balance between your eating habits and your fitness goals.  If you’re typically a non-active person, you may start to notice some negative side effects if you suddenly jump into a new and increased fitness routine.  This is especially true if you don’t alter your eating habits to keep up/accommodate whatever physical activity you undertake. If you start working out 3 to 5 times a week without increasing your caloric intake or altering your overall diet and eating habits, you could experience symptoms like fatigue, irritability, weakness, dizziness and crankiness.  Not to mention that if you don’t include proper hydration in there, that’s a whole other ball of wax.  The same can be said if you try to diet without any physical activity.  You may be eating better/healthier but you may not see any noticeable results because the HUMAN BODY NEEDS TO MOVE!

It can occasionally be rough waters to navigate; especially if your fitness goals involve weight loss.  The average person has this belief that eating less means fewer calories, which means loss of weight.  In truth, the human body is designed to do everything possible to keep you alive and functioning.  This can lead some people to actually gain weight.  The idea behind that statement, is if you’re running hungry through most of your day your body will recognize that it doesn’t know when you’ll feed it next and will double down on storing the extra calories for later.  Guess what?  All the extra calorie storage?  That’s called fat.

So what can a person do to ensure they’re doing it right?  Well, there are a number of things that one can do and a number of professionals that you can get involved, such as a nutritionist/dietitian, personal fitness trainer and especially your family doctor.  Any and/or all of those people can help get you on the right track for your goals.  Have you ever purchased a workout DVD (do people even buy DVD’s, anymore?) and noticed that it practically always says, “Don’t start any new fitness routine without first consulting your family physician?”  There’s a reason for that.  Maybe your specific medical history conflicts with what the workout would have you doing and cause injury or put you at risk.

A dietitian or nutritionist can help you by providing nutritional information, meal planning and eating habits that can help you make the most of your workout without making yourself sick.  Picture yourself doing Cross Fit after eating at a Chinese buffet.  Not the greatest idea, right?  Sometimes, we all need a bit of guidance to do things properly. Fitness trainers, especially if they’re certified, can help you find fitness routines that fit your lifestyle, body type and can accommodate medical conditions that could hinder you or put you at risk.

Lastly, you need to hydrate.  This is true whether you work out or not.  The human body needs water.  If you do a heavy workout in the summer heat, you need to be mindful of hyponatremia,which is a condition where you sweat out all your mineral salts.  It can cause headaches, nausea and loss of balance.  I’ve had it a couple of times, when I’ve gone cycling in the hotter weather. In those instances, you need electrolytes and mineral salts and you can drink water until you die, it won’t make a great deal of difference.  Wow, don’t I sound like the harbinger of death…  Bottom line is, stay hydrated.

The take away lesson here, despite how long-winded and wordy I tend to get, is that if you start a new workout routine, be prepared to alter your diet to accommodate.  Maybe there are vitamins and minerals you simply aren’t getting enough of.  Maybe you need to ACTUALLY eat three balanced meals a day.  Be prepared to adjust, and remember that any fitness or dietary changes you make may be slow in showing results.  Proper health and fitness is a marathon, not a race! ☯

There’s No Alternative To Zen

Modern life can be pretty hectic, and the requirements of daily life can get in the way of some of the things we do for our own benefit and well-being. Mostly, I’m referring to my study of Zen Buddhism and meditation. I have to admit that the past three years have derailed a lot of the self-discipline and routines I had in place for myself. once of the biggest gaps I have is the ability to sit in relative peace and quite and meditate, uninterrupted. Think about it… When was the last time you’ve found yourself able to find some total silence?

Even as I write this, I can hear vehicle traffic, engines revving and the sound of my own house’s air conditioning unit droning away. Silence? Yeah, right… I’m sitting in relative peace in my garage to write, but silence still eludes me. And finding time to meditate can be difficult, if you live a modern life. There’s work obligations, familial obligations and overall life obligations. It can make it difficult to find one’s inner Zen. And if you’re not careful, you can find yourself trying to find an alternative to the bliss of Zen.

Meditation can provide countless benefits to the body and mind. Not only is it relaxing but it can improve concentration, blood pressure and heart rate. It can aid in the healing of injuries, mitigate pain and provide benefits for a proper sleep cycle. So why WOULDN’T you meditate? Haven’t you been paying attention as you read??? BECAUSE LIFE GETS IN THE FREAKING WAY!!! When you get used to meditation, the lack of it can leave a pretty noticeable hole in your existence, and people will often try to substitute.

I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of this, myself. Indulging in a smooth cigar, having a couple of strong drinks or some other calming vice can often seem like a good idea. But the bad usually outweighs the good. And regret always sets in. And if you guys know anything about me, it’s that I don’t believe in regret. So, what’s a person to do?

The ideal solution would be to find an hour that you can allot for yourself. this can either be first thing in the morning before the family wakes up and your daily routine starts up, or lastly before bed. This also has the added benefit of sending you off to slumber with a relaxed body and mind, which can promote a better night’s sleep. The bottom line is, this is one of those situations where “there’s a will, there’s a way.”

There’s no alternative to Zen. So even when life gets in the way, it’s incumbent on you to find the time to make it a priority. There’s always an opportunity to make it happen. Meditation has been a staple of my life for over twenty years. When life gets harsh and difficult, it’s been one of the best coping methods imaginable. So maybe I need to put down the cigar and step back into meditative bliss. Food for thought… ☯

One Love, One Religion, One Style…

The title is a saying that Sensei always used to have. He’s always been a firm advocate of maintaining only one style and never branching out to anything else. Although I’ve always been prepared to agree that one needs to study consistently in one style in order to properly learn, I’ve always been of the opinion that one needs to allow oneself to at least TOUCH on other styles, other techniques and other training methods, in order to add some variety to one’s overall martial arts toolbox.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to train with a variety of schools and dojos, learning what i could from different styles. After all, if the techniques you’ve practiced for decades don’t work in a specific situation, what would do? Give up? Let yourself be injured or killed? Doesn’t sound too ideal, to me. With that thought in mind, I’ve always been quite open to studying and training with other styles.

With that in mind, one of the biggest sore points in my training, especially in the past ten years, is the fact that I moved out to the Prairies for my job, which took me away from Sensei and his dojo. Although I’ve had some opportunities to train in other schools since then, I’ve been sitting at my current level for a very long time. Rank has never meant all that much to me. I believe that some white belts can have wisdom and skill that some black belts never achieve. Especially if you’re in a style/dojo that graduates black belts in two or three years.

But my thirst for knowledge never ends, and my ambition to climb stems not from wanting another gold bar on my black belt, but from wanting to learn new techniques and methods and to know the answer to that ultimate question that all dedicated students ask, at some point in their martial arts career: What’s next? It was the driving curiosity behind that question that had me set out to try and find a solution to promoting to my next level.

In 2019, I had a comprehensive conversation with Sensei about my training and how the flow of my life and career had gone. We agreed that it was unfortunate that I had spent the last decade out west, as I might have climbed a couple of ranks within that time. But he agreed that if I was willing to put in the time, money and frequent trips to New Brunswick to train, I could see my next rank within the next year or two. Then, we had a second child. Alexander was the unexpected blessing to our lives that would require an increased presence within my home and wouldn’t make it appropriate for me to be running across the country four or five times a year for the next two years. I had to adjust my plans.

In 2020, I started calculating ways to stabilize things so that I could make my continued learning possible. Just when I felt there might be a glimpse of hope in my efforts, COVID-19 struck and locked the world down in a way that hadn’t been seen since before my lifetime. I was once again at a standstill. I wanted to continue my training, but only if I could do so without having it be at the cost of my familial obligations and finances.

I recently found a school of Uechi Ryu karate in Alberta. Although it would be several hours’ drive, that would be far better than a few thousand dollars for a flight to New Brunswick and being away from my family for extended periods of time. I reached out to this dojo and asked what the thought might be on helping someone promote to their next degree. I’ve been in open exchange with the dojo since last week, and it will be interesting to see if this is the path that allows me to continue my black belt path in this style.

I often say that life rarely cares about one’s plans. I don’t really need to prove that statement. A look at how my life has turned out in the past three years is a documented testament to that very fact. Although Sensei may likely disapprove and believe that stepping into another dojo in this fashion may dilute the teachings that were imparted on me, I need to be realistic of the facts. Sensei has closed his dojo. He no longer teaches. Continuing on my journey with him would be contingent on conditions I may not be able to meet. But you can’t keep a good karateka down. It’ll be interesting to see where life takes me, in this respect. ☯

Oops, Boards No Hit Back…

Last autumn, I decided to step up my at-home karate game by making and installing my own makiwara. You can read the post here, but I have to say that I was pretty proud of the accomplishment and I did get SOME use out of it before the winter hit and training outside was no longer optimal. My son Nathan was quite helpful with drilling the holes and installing the bolts that hold the 2×4 wooden planks together, as well as binding the cord and making it stable. Although many makiwaras are floor-mounted, I had no such place to appropriately install one. So Nathan and I dug a 3-foot deep hole at the corner of our backyard and placed the post into the hole, filling it with dirt and yellow clay.

In case you haven’t read the previous post (or any of the others where I’ve used the term makiwara), a makiwara is a hard, stable striking surface that’s usually made of wood. Depending on your style, background and training methods, they usually have a pad or designated striking area. In Okinawa, they usually scoff at the use of padding with preference for striking the bare, wooden surface. If you’ve ever seen photos of an Okinawan karate master’s knuckles, you know why this can be a problem. I built mine so that the top, striking area is wrapped in nylon cord. This allows for a harder striking surface than a punching bag, while preserving some of the bone structure in my hand.

The results of my punches!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was in the middle of a rather spirited boxing circuit in my garage. It involved a full minute on the punching bag followed by 45 seconds on the makiwara. That was one set. I did this for 30 minutes in total with no breaks in between. Somewhere around the 15-minute mark, I was striking the makiwara and the entire post shifted sideways and the dirt and founding around the bottom collapsed. The next couple of punches basically had the makiwara bouncing up and down as I struck. I had uprooted my homemade striking post. It was now useless.

Strength depends on the foundation.

Because I’m not a big of giving up, I put some thought into how I could repair it and ensure the same thing wouldn’t happen again. Just to be clear, I’m no Hercules. I have no illusions that my strikes are so powerful that nothing can withstand them. But even though water is the softest stuff in the world, single drops will eventually penetrate stone, if continued on a consistent basis. I had to recognize that prolonged use of the makiwara would always result in some level of damage, in the long term. The question was how to prolong its existence.

Nathan and I went to a home improvement store and purchased a bag of “Post Haste” concrete. Basically, this stuff is designed to harden and set within half an hour. Perfect. We followed up with a trip to our local dollar store and bought a plastic, 10-galloon bucket to mix the concrete in. $8 for the concrete and $4 for the bucket. Probably one of my cheapest repair projects. We were good to go. Nathan was excited and was itching to help me repair the makiwara and wanted to be involved in all the steps. Great.

The stuff!

I started by removing the makiwara, which unfortunately came out of the ground far too easily. This spoke to how unstable I had it, in the first place. I then used a shovel to scoop out the excess dirt and yellow clay and set it aside. I followed the instructions on the bag and placed two litres of clean water in my bucket, followed by emptying the contents of the concrete bag into the water. I was surprised that the water came to the surface, displaced by the density of the cement powder. I used an old wooden staff to start mixing the concrete.

Nathan measuring exactly 2 litres as per instructions. See, men CAN follow instructions!

It was tougher than I thought and it started getting too dense to move the stick. I had Nathan add a bit of water to help with consistency but when the stick came free and moved, I splashed myself with concrete. All over my left leg and all on and in my sneaker. Bloody marvellous. I would need to hose all of that off before going inside, as I really didn’t want to try running concrete through my washing machine. It gave Nathan a laugh though, who was quick to comment, “Haha, Daddy messed up…” He’s such a GREAT helper!

Nothing like cement all over oneself to add to the weight of the world…

Now that I had it mixed at least to some level of consistency I felt would work, I had Nathan hold the post wile I poured the cement mixture all around the post into the hole. It was rough going and didn’t pour nicely since it was so thick. I had to scoop it out with a small dowel and pat it down to ensure that it filled all the cracks and crevices within the hole. It also didn’t help that Nathan’s idea of holding the post steady included allowing it to slip at an angle every few moments. Kids…

Set in stone.

Once I managed to get the concrete poured properly, the hole was filled almost to the top, which would be topped off with yellow clay at a later time once the concrete cured completely. Within about five minutes, the concrete had set and hardened enough that the post could stand on its own without being held. Despite having made a mess with the water and splashing myself with concrete, I had managed to repair the makiwara and it would only require some quick finishing touches once the concrete finished setting the following day.

The finished repair!

As of yesterday, the makiwara seemed to be firmly in place, with the concrete doing its job and holding it strongly. I added the bracing to the rear and replaced the yellow clay over top the concrete. Although I have my eye injections today and didn’t have time to test it out, I can’t wait to reef on this bad boy and see how strong it’s become. At just $12, it was a much cheaper alternative than finding a different means of striking a stable surface. Only time will tell how long the repair, or the makiwara, will last. ☯

Clean Yourself Up…

Cleanliness is important, especially as it relates to physical fitness. This means cleaning yourself, as well as cleaning the equipment you use. When you work out, you sweat. That’s no big secret. So, what happens if you don’t clean up properly? Believe it or not, it can be quite important to your overall health. It sure as hell affects the people around you, when you don’t.

Sweat is your body’s main function to control overall body temperature. You get too hot from working out, you sweat. Pretty simple, right? There are a few problems with that. Your body has pores, and that’s usually where your sweat comes from. Over the course of the day, your pores fill up with dirt, dust and bacteria. Part of your body’s sweating function is to eliminate all of that. You know, along with the elimination of a bunch of other nasty stuff. But it’s the bacterial content that usually makes sweat smell bad.

There’s nothing worse than an unwashed body. I know a lot of guys who go to the gym, then sit in their own sweat for the remainder of the day. The thing is, sweat is composed of ammonia, salts and urea. In case you’re not familiar with that last one, it’s one of the main components of piss. That’s right… Sweating is basically pissing out of every pore in your body. If that doesn’t gross you out enough, think about laying on a piece of gym equipment that hasn’t been wiped down!

If you don’t shower or clean yourself up, your pores will tend to clog as the sweat dries. Not only does that lead to some pretty nasty “B.O.” but it can also lead to rashes, infections and illness. Even if you don’t work out regularly, you can potentially face these issues if you DON’T wash your body on a regular basis. When you don’t bathe regularly, it can lead to a build up of dirt, sweat and bacteria. That’s where you’ll start to notice increased acne and sores, rashes and skin issues.

This might seem like a pretty obvious post, and I don’t think I’m sharing any new information. But I’ve trained in enough gyms and dojos to know that a lot of people don’t take personal hygiene to heart. And the big clue is when someone has an extreme level of funk BEFORE working out. And there are those, and those are they, who make the gym all the more difficult for others. Don’t take wiping down gym equipment for granted. Not only for yourself, but for other users. Launder your damn karate gi or gym gear and for the love of all the light, shower or bathe daily! Ax Body Spray is not a substitute for soap! ☯

My Kids & Karate

I decided to put out a brief video clip of my two boys, imitating their daddy! The first part is Nathan, doing a horse stance with a double-handed downward strike. The second part is Alexander having a pretty fair go at the punching bag after watching me on it for about 30 minutes. What’s interesting is that both boys were just a bit older than 1-year old in their respective clips, and I never formally taught them any of what’s seen in the video. It just goes to show that some skills can be inherent. ☯

Didn’t Your Mother Teach You To Stand Up Straight???

It’s a classic scene. You’re at the kitchen table or in someone else’s home and your mother will quietly but firmly tell you to “Sit up straight,” or “Stand up straight…” Who’d have thought that you should have perhaps listened to that advice as it would serve you well, as it relates to your martial arts journey. I’ve witnessed and trained in a lot of different styles; sometimes for fun and sometimes to add a little something to my self-defence repertoire. And of all things that I’ve learned over the decades, one of the most important ones is to maintain a proper posture and a good centre of balance.

Standing up straight and keeping your weight centred are integral aspects of martial arts and self-defence. When you lean or all your weight is moved forward over a single leg, you put yourself at risk and expose areas that you should probably be thinking about protecting, instead. It often seems that so many arts are willing to allow practitioners to overreach, stand on one leg through extended techniques or have their heads bobbing and weaving every which way… Don’t even get me started on the concept of holding your hands in FRONT of your face.

Have you ever had that ONE friend who, when you were younger would suddenly push you for no good reason other than being a jackass? No? Just me? Alrighty, then… My point is, if you’ve ever experienced this you’ll notice that you can fall over quite easily once your centre of balance is no longer directly below you. And just to be clear, I’m not referring to issues surrounding forms or pre-arranged techniques; I’m referring specifically to issues surrounding a real-world combat scenario where you need to defend yourself.

I’ve always noticed that a strong tendency with some people who fight is to bob and weave their bodies back and forth to avoid strikes. I suppose that if you’re faced with an actual fight, you’ll do whatever is necessary in order to avoid being struck and to ultimately win. But if you bend at the waist in order to avoid a punch, your centre of gravity suddenly finds itself over open air, which will leave you vulnerable in a way that’s much much than what the above-mentioned jackass would cause.

I’m going to be a bit of a bully for a moment and pick on boxers because they’re the best example. They’re definitely not the ONLY ones, but they have a tendency to bend and sway in a variety of directions and what’s worse, they do it with the torso OR the head. I’ll remind all of you that I categorized this post under the “opinion” tab, so there’s no need to lose your cool. The worst is when I’ve seen people who do that frowny, lowered head posture that they believe makes them look so bad-ass. In reality, you’re obscuring your field of vision and exposing sides of your head that will get you smacked!

In traditional Okinawan karate, we’re taught that not only are extremely high kicks dangerous, as they expose the groin and various other areas, they throw off your centre of balance. A quick, prepared opponent can take advantage of this and send you spiralling to the ground. Once you’re down, the game’s pretty much over unless you have increased skill in defending against a standing opponent who’s dropping his boot down on your head. (Cue the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi… “Don’t do it, Anakin! I have the high ground…)

The same applies to hand techniques and you head, as well. If you overreach during a strike, you face the possibility that someone quick who may have training in grappling (or even someone who doesn’t) could grab your hand and drag you forward. Once you’re off balance, you’ll be too busy trying to regain your footing to avoid the plethora of strikes that may come at you, immediately following your stumble. And anyone I’ve ever sparred against who’s taken the chance of lowering their heads to give me a frowny look has usually been rewarded with a hook punch to the visual cortex.

Although getting into a real world fight scenario is a fluid and unpredictable situation, you should bear the following things in mind:

  • Stand up straight and keep your centre of gravity beneath you;
  • Keep your hands in front of you, but don’t block your face. You don’t want to obstruct your view of the opponent;
  • Keep your head up. Avoid burying your head in your fists as you’ll be unable to see and/or block, if your opponent decides to throw a kick or some other technique at you;
  • If you’re going to perform kicks, be reasonable and keep them at waist-height or lower. High kicks may result in a loss of balance; and
  • Don’t overreach! You should be able to know the distance of your reach. If your opponent is outside of your reach, the proper recourse is to step in BEFORE punching, not try to overreach.

You can get into the proper mindset on all of those with one simple method: drills! Drills, drills, drills! Keep practicing and build that muscle memory. If you develop safe habits and techniques in training, you’ll have a much better chance of doing the same in the streets if you find yourself in a fight situation. ☯

Don’t Let The Mud Drag You Down…

There’s an unfortunate side-effect that comes with having Type-1 Diabetes that people often ignore or fail to recognize. For the most part, it isn’t their fault. After all, Diabetes involves so many side effects and necessary treatments for various aspects that we often tend to ignore the symptoms that aren’t detrimental. What I mean is a significant and noticeable lack of personal energy. It’s a common side-effect of someone with Diabetes but in reality, it can affect absolutely anybody.

In my teens and through the majority of my twenties, I had significant difficulty finding my “get up and go.” A lot of that had to do with improperly balance blood sugars as a result of poor insulin dosing and a diet that DIDN’T involve the calculation of carbohydrates (my family basically thought that “no sugar” was all the diet I needed). But I would often have to melt out of my bed, stagger to the washroom and physically struggle to eat, get dressed and get out the door. To say that I was thankful to have no responsibilities beyond sitting in class and listening to teachers was an understatement.

I’ve had incidents where I’ve faltered or fallen asleep in class, often because my blood sugars were too high or too low. I would usually be okay by the time classes let out, which was definitely a good thing since Sensei wouldn’t have taken that grogginess with stoic silence. He’d have punched and kicked the grogginess right out of me. But there were nights where even karate class saw me feel as though lifting my limbs was like lifting blocks of concrete and I didn’t feel as though I had the energy to put forth my best effort.

This kind of effect isn’t simply limited to someone with Diabetes, and there’s a lot you can do to reduce/eliminate that “checked out” feeling one often gets on those days where the energy to get shit done just doesn’t seem to be there. One good example I like to use when it comes to this, is how a person starts their day. I usually make a point to wake up roughly two hours before my scheduled work time. If I use a specific morning last week as an example, I awoke about five minutes before my alarm went off. Annoying, but decent.

I started by putting away all the dried dishes I had done the night before, took my prescribed medications and began sucking back some caffeine and made Nathan’s lunch for school. This was followed by preparing a work lunch for myself, getting cleaned up and dressed and getting all the trash receptacles in house emptied as it was trash day. I got dressed, brushed my teeth and stepped out to put the trash bin to the curb. I finished with ten minutes of relaxation, sitting in the living room as my infant son Alex, climbed around my legs to get some much-needed attention before I left.

I walked out the door feeling pretty good. Blood sugars were normal and my day had begun. I know some folks who get up a couple of hours before work, but basically sit like a lump until they almost literally have to step out the door. What’s the point? May as well get some extra sleep, if that’s all you’re gonna do! But my point is how you start your day sets the standard for how the remainder will go. If you start your day on a negative kick with no “get up and go,” it’s almost a certainty that you’ll like feel stagnant throughout the day. If you hit the ground running, well… An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

What people need to understand is that the energy is already there. But it’s how you promote it and use it, that makes the difference. You don’t need to be an all-star athlete in top shape in order to feel energized throughout the day. You just need to be smart about it. Light knows, I have my days where I have to hammer through the sluggishness to make it back to the pillow at night. But it’s important to remember that even the most powerful 4×4 truck will still struggle and spin its wheels, when trying to get out of the mud.

Energy creates life. Life promotes movement. Movement promotes energy. And on, and on, and on… If you get you and get moving, your energy will be better allocated and you’ll feel better. You may have to struggle through that first little bit, but it’ll happen. If you settle in like a rock, you don’t get that promoting of one’s energy that’s so critical to a healthy and energized day. So when the alarm goes off, first thing in the morning, start by getting up immediately. Avoid the temptation to hit the snooze button and stay curled up. Hit the ground running. You always be tired at the end of the day but then again, that’s when you’re SUPPOSED to be tired. And as I always say, balanced blood sugars and regular exercise are always a great help. ☯

A Fistful Of Fun

Training in the martial can involve a number of different bags, pads and striking surfaces. It can be a bit confusing as to which one you should use. Should you have something firm and moveable? Should you have a punching bag, which allows some variety and movement? Maybe your best option is to have someone hold some striking mitts… Watch the video below that posted to my YouTube channel for my thoughts and opinions on what striking surfaces you can use. ☯