Mixed Tape Monday; Memorial Day, Mobility, and the New Hobbies

Remember that one time I had an entire weekend off?

 Enjoying the view from New Harbor, Maine.

Enjoying the view from New Harbor, Maine.

Up until the past two days, me neither. Cheers to stringing together, not two, but three full days off that included a lobster BLT and BBQ with besties, time on the back deck, and some quality time on the Maine coast. It's brutal in the winter, but when summer rolls around, one look at the beautiful coast can make you forget about the potholes you drove through to get there.

Not really, but a little. 

Remembering those who served

As the story goes, when my grandfather was 15, he had to quit school and go to work in the coal mines. His dad was incapacitated, and in order for the family to stay in the company house, someone had to work in the mines. So off he went. He continued to work in the mines, and to support his parents and eventually his own wife and kids in that same company house. By the time World War II broke out, though he wanted to serve alongside friends and family, he was forced to stay behind. 

Though I never met him, I understand it bothered him greatly that he wasn’t able to serve.

As such, he was very proud that all three of his sons served in the Navy, and so am I. To my dad, my Godfather, all of my uncles, friends, and everyone who has served, and in remembrance of those who never came home, thank you.

 This guy...yeah that's my Dad aboard the mine sweeper on which he served during his four years in the Navy.

This guy...yeah that's my Dad aboard the mine sweeper on which he served during his four years in the Navy.

The point of stretching

In middle school, when I first joined a formal sport, I discovered the concept of “stretching.” 

We’d all run three laps around the gym, wind ourselves into a circle, and the captains would lead us through a series of stretches, or what is now called “static stretching.” Static because we stood still while we stretched our muscles. (Post on dynamic stretching to come). For me, the concept of stretching was somewhat laughable.

My teammates would reach down to touch their toes, or the ground in front of them, while my hands hovered painfully above my ankles, trying to get into the same solar system as my toes. The stretch where we you sit on the ground and reach forward to your toes was a cruel joke in the same vein that panty hose are cruel. And thigh highs are torture. I barely got to my knees.

I wasn't alone. Depending on the group of athletes, there was a mix of flexibility. Some folks were very flexible (Jaime and Jackie, you know who you are), and some folks were like me. Running all of the laps in the world wasn't going to help me touch my toes. I will always have tight hamstrings. In the end, static stretching does little for me (though that's not necessarily the case for everyone); but warming up...yeah there is most definitely a reason to warm up AND stretch. Static or dynamic. 

We stretched when we were kids, and moved a lot more then than we move as adults. And yet, some adults still feel that doing a few cursory quad stretches is enough to prepare them for a full workout, a 10 mile run, or worse...a pick up softball game.

And then these same folks wonder why, after four innings of a pick up softball game, or a few miles on the treadmill, or...or...or....they pulled something. I know, because I was just at a rec league softball game where I witnessed a few groin, hamstring, and quad pulls. 

We lose mobility as we age because for the most part, we do a lot of sitting. So warming up AND stretching become even more important as we age. It's more than just getting your heart rate up. It's also preparing your muscles for the impending workload, which may also reduce soreness afterwards. It also increases blood flow to the muscles that you're about to work out. And how about getting your central nervous system ready for a workout? Yeah, it does that too.

For more information, and for a pretty awesome sample warm up, as written by the fine folks over at Cressey Sports Performance, click here. You're welcome.

New hobbies

I discovered the app dubsmash last week. To say that I've made 50 videos would be a slight understatement....You are really, really, welcome. And happy belated birthday Cher...