Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fragile Father

Physically, I'm feeling fragile today. I'm on antibiotics for sinusitis--very high white blood count indicated a bacterial infection. (My doctor doesn't hand out antibiotics like candy, she needs a reason to prescribe.) I was really sick early in the week, left work half way through Monday, and didn't do any work until Friday--and then from home.

I've also got a very stiff neck, and I'm starting to wonder if there's a pinched nerve or something. We were working for two weeks in grappling on D'Arce chokes, and I think they weren't good for my neck.

I haven't worked out in a week and a half. Times like this it's hard to picture getting back on the mat, though I know I will.

Interesting boxing match Saturday night. There's a very interesting tournament being hosted on Showtime (not PPV, either) where six excellent 168-pound boxers compete. Last night, the tournament leader, skilled boxer Andre Ward, out-hustled and out-thought Al Green, a dangerous knockout puncher. Green had a long reach advantage, but Ward would duck in and begin infighting, and he won every round.

While I train at a MMA school, and find the ground element (grappling) to be complex and interesting, I prefer watching standup, whether it's boxing or Muay Thai or what have you. Call me old fashioned.

It's been a nice Father's Day so far....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

When I'm 54

I turned 54 yesterday. I was 44 when I first joined my school; at the time it was called a karate school, but was transitioning to the mixed martial arts school it is today. In January, it will be 10 years since I first joined.

I had a nice birthday. I took the day off from work, and when my wife got off at noon, we went to a local beach town, had a sinfully good burger lunch (Five Guys Burgers--I'm not a burger person but it's great). My wife's joke was that I was very Buddhist in ordering my hamburger: "Make me one with everything." Then we spent time poking around the town and hanging out on the beach. In the evening, I went to my usual two-hour Friday classes, first a kind of cardio class and then kickboxing, which I enjoy a lot. My college-bound daughter made me delicious lava cupcakes.

Since my last post, I have been training pretty consistent lately--an hour of grappling on Monday and Wednesday evening, and the two hours on Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, I get to work a little early and go to the nice, inexpensive gym there--I usually do lunges, pushups, crunches, planks and 25 minutes on a bike. The theory is to take Saturday off and, on Sunday, do some type of workout (that hasn't been so consistent).

Part of the idea for this schedule is that at my age it's best to be very steady in terms of working out--not take breaks of multiple days between working out. I think its working. I feel like I'm in better cardio condition than a couple of months ago. I've lost a little weight--for the first time in years, I've dropped below 190 pounds this week (I know that sounds like a lot, but I'm 6'2" and I'm happy with my weight).

I do feel a bit frustrated this week about the skill level I am reaching in grappling and kickboxing. I am getting better at grappling doing it two times a week, but it isn't an art that comes naturally to me. When presented with new situations, I have trouble finding a solution. In kickboxing, it's easy to forget about the need to focus on moving (feet and head). I need to look at how I'm improving more than how I fare against classmates.

Later this month I will get my annual checkup; I'm wondering how my cholesterol is. There was an interesting article in the (subscription) Wall Street Journal about how to calculate your arteries' age; I would like to see what mine are.