The Wedge Got Huge This Weekend - Surfing

This past week Southern California had a large swell which caused the famous spot in Newport Beach, CA called “The Wedge” to get pretty big. The media circus showed up on May 19th which hyped up the swell even more.

Why Not Just Use Your Foot?! - Land Paddling

Land Paddling is relatively new but seems to be catching on pretty fast. The basic idea behind it is using a long stick with a rubber knob on the end to push you along while riding a longboard skateboard.

The Weather Outside Sucks Today - Running

Since the weather outside is not ideal for surfing today I decided to go for a run instead. Running has got to be my least favorite activity. I have had two knee surgeries in the past which can make running a bit painful so I absolutely despise it.

I Stood Up! - Surfing

Yesterday I went surfing right after work again. When we first got there the wave conditions were not that great… But I am a beginner so I really didn’t care. The waves were about 2 to 3 foot and it was blown out.

You Don't Have To Be Lance Armstrong - Road Biking

My first day back from my long trip back East and I was highly unmotivated but determined to get outside and try something… anything. So, I grabbed my road bike and headed down to my favorite riding spot.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Getting It Down - Skateboarding, Land Paddling

I have been skateboarding with my longboard skateboard for about a year now.  I had never tried to skateboard before, except for occasionally hoping on my little brothers board when I was younger and pushing a few times.  That being said, I feel I am the poster child for 'it's never too late'.  I am currently in my mid 30's and have bad knees but I have still managed to get relatively comfortable on my Loaded Tan Tien longboard.  My roommate and I will occasionally go for a ride down at our local park.  At first I was very unsteady on the board.  I started off by using the Kahuna Big Stick to push because I didn't think my knees would hold up pumping with my foot.

After a few months of using the Kahuna Big Stick, I was still not very comfortable on the board.  I would basically plant my feet on the deck and hope I didn't have to move them around too much.  One day, I decided to give pumping a try.  My knees were definitely sore after every session but I could feel my legs getting stronger.  In addition to gained leg strength, I was getting much more comfortable with shifting my feet around on the board.  This gave me more confidence with skating in crowded areas, a scenario I would have avoided in the past.  Once I got better at foot breaking, I was able to slow myself down without needing something like the Big Stick.

Yesterday I hit another milestone with skating.  My roommate is better than I am at the moment.  He skated when he was younger so his progress, comfort, and flow are beyond my level.  He is able to carve and take sharp corners.  I was still having trouble with these concepts, until yesterday.  I have always kept my trucks very tight because I did not want a lot of wobble.  I wanted the deck to be as stable as possible.  This was great for learning but has hindered me from carving and taking sharp corners up until now.  I loosened up my trucks and took it for a spin.  It was like a completely different board!  The fact that I was able to skate on a board with trucks that loose and still feel comfortable definitely told me that I have reached another level with my skating.  I look forward to going out again soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Getting Back At It - General

Winter is finally winding down here in San Diego and I find myself wanting to wander outside more to experience this amazing weather.  Unfortunately, I spent most of my winter indoors which left me with little content to add here other then my boring gym routine.  I stayed in shape by going to the gym, for some "scheduled movement", instead of getting outside to take part in Surfing, Skating, Land Paddling, etc...

 I definitely feel like I hit a wall when it comes to motivation due to the lack of variety with my physical activity choices.  My choices at the gym are limited to the basic cardio equipment you would find at your local gym.  I used the stair master mostly because I find that machine leaves me drained after a 20 to 40 minute session.  While these machines do get the job done, they leave something to be desired when it comes to the fun aspect of staying in shape.  For me, spending 30 minutes on a stair master is not fun!

I am using this winter as a learning experience.  I need to look at more options for outdoor activities that can be performed during the winter without freezing my butt off.  I purchased a mountain bike a few months ago that will probably fill that gap nicely.  There are quite a few trails I can ride around here.  Either way, it's good to be back!  I started off the summer by skating around a park yesterday and then played a little basketball at the court located at the same park.  I probably spent about an hour and a half moving around instead of sitting inside just watching TV or playing video games and it didn't even feel like workout, it was fun.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What Is Suspension Training? - Suspension Training

Suspension training has been gaining in its popularity in the past few years. This style of workout utilizes a set of straps that are anchored to a solid mounting point as well as your bodyweight to create an intense training session. Advocates of suspension training state that it is a great full body workout because, not only does it train the specific muscle group you are targeting, it also engages your core during every workout session. The basic concept is that you mount a pair of specifically designed straps and then perform various exercises that use only your own bodyweight as resistance.

 If done properly it is a very intense workout. I decided to mix up my workout routine a few weeks ago to use these straps that were just added to my gym. I had hit a bit of a rut in my workout routine and thought this might help me throw some variety into the mix. I asked a trainer for a few exercises to target the chest and he demonstrated three exercises. I was quickly humbled after my first set of pushups with my feet suspended by the straps. The exercise seemed simple enough. You placed your feet in the handles of the straps and then perform a pushup that is immediately followed by a type of inverted crunch that requires you to pull your knees into your chest then back to the position. This motion completes one rep. After 12 reps my arms were shaking and I could feel my abs and lower back muscles burning. Needless to say, the next day my abs and chest were pretty sore. This is a sign that I definitely went out of my comfort zone and my body had to adapt.

The system of training was made popular by a Navy Seal back in 2002.  The Seals had become very crafty at creating makeshift gyms out of their environment and whatever materials they had nearby.  I guess necessity really is the mother of all invention.  One thing to note is that critics of suspension training state that it can cause injury in people who have poor core strength or joint issues, so be careful.  If you are interested in giving it a try you might want to check out your local gym because they may have included a section for suspension training or plan to in the near future.  You can also purchase a set from the TRX website.

I have no plans to do this workout exclusively, but I will definitely be using it to mix things up a bit when I am at the gym.  I will either do a whole workout routine or just throw in a few sets from time to time. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Surfing The Silver Dragon - Surfing

The Qiantang River that flows through Hangzhou City in China has a famous tidal bore that generates some impressive ways from time to time.  This past year it has been really going off.  Here is an awesome video catching a rare glimpse of a few surfers getting to ride the waves.


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