Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Do as I say, not as I do...did

I stopped mid run yesterday to shoot a little trail safety video clip. When I watched it I was reminded of the title phrase. How often do we suggest to people what they should be doing, or perhaps worse yet, say things like, "well, if I were you, I would...."?
I find that I do that a bit more than I probably should. Especially lately. Maybe I am just being to tough on myself in this area, but I doubt it. I'm very good at self criticism...
Lately I have been in quite a fitness slump, but seem to be consistent with trying to motivate other people to get up and DO rather than just BE. That's changing. Thank you.
Here is that video, and be sure to check out the other ones that I've been posting. I call them "Morning Drive Time with Gene". OH! why does this video fall into this category? when i shot it, i had become a bit disoriented on the trails, as there are many more trails in the woods than the crappy map would suggest. my planned 10k run along next weekend's race route turned into around 7.5 miles, and at one point I popped out onto a road nowhere near where I was supposed to enjoy!
Have a great day, do good things, and remember: Relentless Forward Motion!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Smoke and mirrors

Our oldest is experimenting with the idea that he may be lactose intolerant. Of course the 43 year old in me would like to say that this is an easy fix; just don’t consume products with lactose. Seems simple. I can’t recall the last time I actually had a class of milk, and I can ‘tolerate’ ice cream in small doses. When I do get an upset gut after eating ice cream, I’m ok with it, because that is the price that I am willing to pay. Two years ago I shared my thoughts on milk here.

But he loves him some milk, and isn’t ready to give it up. Fair enough. So now he’s gotta find some alternatives, or some sort of product that will allow him to continue to enjoy his milk.

He’s just started to drink coffee (he’s 19), and at first was very distraught about not being able to have coffee anymore. (I find this funny, because a year or so ago, life was perfectly fine without it. Now, though, he was actually upset about ‘not being able to have it’. Umm…black? oh, right. I’m 43….). So Tracey and I reminded him that Coffee-Mate is a NON-dairy creamer (read: chemical sh!t storm), and he was ok with that. Whew…

Next he tried some Lactaid (milk?) product. I hesitate to call it milk. Being the curious person that I am, I decided to look up the product on the web ( I poked around, trying to find out HOW they removed the lactose from milk to end up with their final products.

I couldn’t find it anywhere. All I could find were testimonials about how great the products are, etc. Nothing saying HOW IT IS MADE. Is it a chemical process? Dunno. Is it enzymatic? Dunno. But I DID find a place where I could write to customer service.

I did. I asked them to please explain their lactose liberating process. Here is the reply that I received:

“Dear Gene:
Thank you for contacting McNeil Nutritionals, LLC.  We appreciate your interest in our company.
We are very sorry, but our company policy prohibits disclosing this type of information. Most of our research, marketing and sales information is proprietary, as is information regarding our ingredient percentages and formulations of individual products.”

I call BS. If you are a company that ALTERS FOOD, the public SHOULD KNOW HOW YOU DO IT. I don’t need to know the exact ingredients in your chemical soup, but I would like to know if it is a chemical process, heat process, enzyme process, or simply smoke and mirrors. Hiding behind a corporate ‘policy’ of non disclosure should no longer be sufficient.

What say you?

Be Well, Do Great Things

Saturday, August 25, 2012


From Wikipedia…
In Bushido (1899), Inazō wrote:
...Bushidō, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe.... More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten.... It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career.
From the time I spent living in Japan, I have often revered the Samurai. I lived in an area (now devastated by the tsunami) that is rich in feudal history.
I am also a runner. I enjoy reading about running clubs from around the world, and when I came across the SoCalCoyotes, I was intrigued. Imagine my happy surprise when I saw that they have a video in which they describe the “Coyote Bushido, the way of the trail runner”. It is pretty short, but well worth watching. Here is the link for those of you not watching videos on your phone, etc. I’m embedding it here as well.
I really like how it starts at 0. Head over to their web site and give them some blogger love. Jimmy Dean Freeman is a pretty cool guy. Very personable. I wish I lived in SoCal so I might be able to run with these people…

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Tough to open the newspaper (remember those?) these days without finding some story about ‘illegal performance enhancement drugs’ or ‘doping’ or some other such….chemical.

While I am not in favor of illegal activity, I am not yet convinced that drugs should be disallowed.

“WHAT????”, I hear you cry out. “Gene, how can this BE???”

Hear me out.

There are MANY, MANY LEGAL performance enhancers being used every single day, in nearly every sport, at any given time. You likely either know someone who is doing it, or are doing it yourself.

“WHAT????”, I hear you cry out. “Gene, how can this BE???”

Let’s take a look at ‘performance enhancers’. I’m not referring to see-Alice or that blue pill. those are performance pro-longers, not necessarily enhancers. BAHAHAHA… Can we agree that an enhancer is something that you take or use to enhance your performance beyond what it would be if you didn’t take or use them?

Given this definition, INSULIN is an enhancer. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is an enhancer. GLASSES and CONTACTS are enhancers. See what I mean? If I step up to bat without my glasses, my performance will be LESS than it would be if I were wearing my glasses. Therefore, the glasses have ENHANCED my performance. If I were an insulin diabetic, my in-game performance would be ENHANCED if I took my shots, versus if I didn’t take my shots.

My point is this: so what if athletes dope? I understand that it is wrong if the doping is against the rules. Is it as simple as just changing the rules? Are there more far reaching implications? Is there an over-arching concern for YOUTH who might be inclined to use the drugs if their favourite athlete does? I’m not so sure it is that clear a line.

As I stated in the beginning, I am not in favour of the illegal activity. I’m just not so sure why it is still considered illegal.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fit it in where you can…


Exercise. Sheesh.

In line at the store, I like to do calf raises. When taking clothes out of the dryer, sometimes I’ll do squats. If I am lying on the floor, I’ll often do a pushup then the bottom part of a burpee before I stand. Rising from a chair? I don’t use my arms.

At work, I stand. I’ve converted my regular desk to a standing desk by flopping a book case over, shelves down, and using the back of the book case as my work surface. It has been 2 years this week.

When I can, I like to do some sort of exercise while I am on a conference call. Lately, during the #attune twitter chats (Wednesdays at NOON ET), I have been doing a dip challenge. The first week, every time someone tweeted “GF” (for Gluten Free), I did 5 dips on the radiator in my office. By the end of the half hour, I’d done 150 dips. This week I used “snack” as my keyword, and to the thanks of some enthusiastic tweeters, I knocked out 220 dips during the half hour chat. It was great! Those last 10 came fast, and I was having a bit of trouble maintaining good form, but I managed to squeeze them out.

Point here is that you CAN find creative ways to get some good exercise in, without the big machines or weights at the gym. Opportunities to get healthy are all around us.

Where do you find yours?

Monday, August 20, 2012

I’m a little tied up right now…

18 months ago (or so), I read an article about how to tie your laces to prevent them from coming undone. No double knot needed. I was intrigued, so I decided to tie my LEFT shoe with the new method, and the right one the same old way that I’ve been tying them since I was about 30 days old.

I gotta tell you, the LEFT shoe never came untied. I was amazed. I have finally converted to tying BOTH shoes (yes, I am a bit slow…) the same way, and now they both stay tied.

What is this secret method? Does it involve special incantations and rituals? Yes. I always have to plan an extra half hour to get ready so that I can be certain to tie my shoe the correct way. Lemme tell you, though, that extra half an hour saves MINUTES of retying my sneakers during a run. I mean, let’s say that I’m out for a 5 miler. I might have to tie my shoes 3 times, for a total stopped time of around 45 seconds. SEE? Half an hour well spent!!!!

Are there any arcane rituals that you use to save you time that don’t really save you time? C’mon. You can tell me. Not all that many people read my blog anyway….

Confession: the knot tying didn’t take any extra time. At first I did have to retie my LEFT shoe once I realized that I did it the ‘old’ way. That quickly ended though, and I was right on track. What is the secret?  Ummm…hang on, I gotta tie my shoes to figure out how to ‘splain it….

Ok. got it. (are you still with me? anyone, anyone?) simple knot (beginning) is unchanged. Make the first loop…NOW…here’s where it might get different for you. it did for me….

If you bring the other lace UNDER the loop, bring it OVER instead. If you already bring it OVER….do that, and then go have some chips and salsa. YUM! Yea, it is that simple. I used to go under. My laces would loosen up, and eventually come untied. Not any more. I was pleasantly amazed.

Thanks for sticking around….



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Background Check

For those who have only known me for the past 3 years or so, this might come as a bit of a surprise. I used to be about 25 pounds heavier than I am now. Yep. I think that my max weight was around 185 pounds, back around 1999 or so. Heck, it was 1999, so I really had NO choice but to party, right?

I didn’t really party much, but I did EAT. I loved to eat, and I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and as much as I wanted. For example, you know those logs of frozen ‘beef’ patties? I always had one on hand, and would fire up the grill when I got home from work. Then I would go inside, change my clothes, and get burger fixins. By then, the grill was hot, and I’d toss on 3-4 patties. YUM!

Then, when my (then) wife would get home in an hour or so, we’d have dinner. And of course some sort of dessert. The cafeteria where I worked cooked some really good food. I made friends with one of the chefs, andIMAG0353 always got a larger than normal serving when I went through the line. And snacks? OH, YEA, BABY! I loved snacks…

Every once in a while I would ride my mountain bike on the trails near our house, but there weren’t any real hills, and I would just cruise along, looking around, not really working hard. Just being outside…

Then some bad choices that I made turned my life on its head. During one part of this process, I stopped eating. I think the longest I went was a week. Nearly passing out during a class was the thing that made me realized that perhaps I should eat again. I started with some Ensure, and then 4 days later was able to tolerate real food. Some days, when I feel that things are getting out of control, I’ll ‘crave’ a can of Ensure…

In the past three years, though, I have been more diligent and attentive about what I shove into my pie hole. I still eat as much as I want, when I want, etc. Now, however, these things are more along the lines of apples, yogurt, granola, etc. Calorically, I don’t think that my consumption is much higher than it used to be, but the QUALITY of my current calories is far greater. It makes a big difference.

I’ve also changed what I use for energy when I need a pick me up that will get me through the day or through a workout. Let’s face it: at 43, I’m no spring chicken. By mid afternoon, I am so ready for a siesta that some days I actually take a 10 minute nap on the tile floor in my office. On days when I can’t, or especially when I know that I’ll need some sustained energy, IMAG0381I turn to GenerationUCAN. Honestly. Shown here is my favourite flavour, Lemon. Although it mixes very well in water (or soy milk, as I prefer), I do also mix it with yogurt, and sometimes in a blender with some other things. Chocolate goes well with some Peanut Butter mixed in!

One of the best things about GENUCAN is that it doesn’t upset my stomach. No cramping, no crash. Check out their website for more information. Great people over there, too. In the mean time, click this link right here to watch one of their videos.

I get nothing if you try them and like them. I like GenerationUCAN for many reasons, and just want to share.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Button, button, who’s got YOUR button?

I’m not talking the Staples “Easy” button here. Nope. I’m talking about your buttons that other people push. You know, the ones that set you off. All could be unicorns and rainbows in your world then BAM! Someone pushes a button and the unicorns run away and the little elves come out and take away the rainbow.
I hate that.
There are days when I feel like I am COVERED in buttons. No need to look around for them; they’re out there in all their glory. And quite sensitive, unlike those elevator buttons that people push over and over (as if that makes the elevator arrive quicker. really, people. do you think that the elevator is sitting around, waiting for the 12th press of the button before it actually starts moving???).
Today I was discussing this with my therapist (moving on….), and she suggested that when I feel like my buttons are getting pushed that I try imagine that I am wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt.
Why? No buttons.
My suggestion to you is that the next time you feel that your ‘warning’ buttons are being pushed, stop yourself for a minute and imagine that you are wearing sweats and a t-shirt. If you are already wearing these clothes, try saying to the other person, “do you see any buttons on my clothes?”, then disengage from the conversation.
This will allow them (and you) some time to reflect. They’ll be left trying to figure out what the heck you were talking about, and you can go back to tweeting or playing Angry Birds use that pause to reset your buttons.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Relentless Forward Motion

I’ve used #relentlessforwardmotion on twitter several times lately, and have been pleasantly surprised by positive responses. Today, I’m taking it to a higher level.

You’ll notice that my blog is no longer called “accountability”. Instead, I’ve gotten all artsy and translated my new mantra into Latin. BOOM! Is that all it takes to reinvent oneself? A new blog banner and new background photo (which, btw, was a TOTAL pia to do. I ended up opting for some stock photo that I didn’t really want. I want one of my own!) ?

No. It takes effort. It takes determination. It takes…relentless forward motion.

Join me?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Carry a Happy Tune in Your Heart

This one doesn’t apply….

music has always been a huge part of my life, and a big part of the
way that i express myself. not so much in the making of music, but in
the music that i choose to listen to.
my tastes range as widely as my moods, and often swing as quickly.
lately, however, there isn't much swing to the pendulum. (metronome?)
in my musical world, lately, all things are black.
here are the lyrics to the song that most recently defines me...

Monster, by Skillet.

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can't control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can't hold it
It's scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can't control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
I keep it caged but I can't control it
'Cause if I let him out he'll tear me up, break me down
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It's hiding in the dark, it's teeth are razor sharp
There's no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart
No one can hear me scream, maybe it's just a dream
Maybe it's inside of me, stop this monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I've gotta lose control, he something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

Click here to see the video…

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fan Plan

Do you have one? I don’t mean a plan to escape the paparazzi, but I mean a plan for when the excrement hits the air circulating device.

This past week, when I was home alone, I ate a TON of ice cream. And by ton, I mean that I ate it at least 3 times per day. Yep. I did. And it was FANTASTIC. I didn’t run at all, except a little during class. I rode my bike once, and did manage to still do the #SSUC from DesignerWhey. But basically I was a slug. Smothered in caramel sauce. YUM!

Now I have to come up with a fan plan. I have put running on the back burner for a long time now, and I can feel it. Mentally as well as physically. Thankfully I’ve been doing the #SSUC, and don’t feel like I’ve lost much of my base fitness. Now, though, I need to start focusing more on my running.

I will stick with #SSUC during transition, but I will be adding more running back into my daily life. My plan, starting tomorrow, is to actually get my lazy butt out of bed and run in the morning. Sometimes on the track, sometimes in the woods. I’ll be juicing up my headlamp, and likely looking for another one. I’ll be using it more and more as the days get shorter and shorter, so I am very open to suggestions! (and items to review??? hint hint, BlackDiamond).

So what is your Fan Plan? And yes, I just made that up today. Fo shizzle.