Thursday, May 29, 2008

Out Rocky Mountain Way

(GIS for "Denver." From the Onion.

I am in Big Sky Country until Saturday evening to interview Roger Huerta for FIGHT! My body clock is all screwed up but I am a little more relaxed than I have been the last couple of days. The wedding is eight days away, Amanda and I might be putting an offer in on a house, and I am under the gun with 9-to-5 and freelance work.

Diet Crap, morning, noon, and night. Short term derailment.

Strength & Conditioning 400 meter run, 50 push ups, 400 meter run, 50 sit ups, 400 meter run, 50 squats, 400 meter run. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 minutes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Walk, walk, walk

I rode my bike to work at 10 a.m. on Saturday, got home around 2:30 p.m., then went back to work at a quarter to 7 a.m. Sunday to work the race. Since I'd be done at 3 p.m., I was told I could carpool home early. Problem was, the early carpool left without calling me. My options were to wait until 8 p.m. and leave with the other photographers or walk home from the track. I started walking around 4 p.m. Five and a half miles with thirty pounds of gear after working all day. Sucked.

Be the hammer

"That's how you do it," Jeff Chapman said. "That's how you do it every time."

I was bent over gasping for air after the day's CrossFit workout when Jeff contragulated me on a good effort. Before I started he told me he wanted me to finish in less than 18 minutes so I started strong and managed to keep a pretty good pace throughout. When I headed out for the last run Jeff told me I had just over two minutes to make time so I decided to push it and finish sub-17. I ran as hard as I could manage and came in at 16:44, my best CrossFit performance to date.

That good news is tempered by bad news, or at least bad news in my little world. With just a couple weeks to go until the wedding and the Indianapolis 500 and a freelance work trip to Denver between now and then, I decided that it is in my best interest to take a couple weeks off of MMA workouts. It's not a ton of time each week but it's a huge energy expenditure and one more thing to accomodate in my schedule. It sucks, but life will be much less complicated the second week of June.

Diet Honestly I can't remember.

Strength & Conditionin 50 squats, 200 meter run, 50 push ups, 200 meter run, 50 sit ups, 200 meter run, 50 box jumps, 200 meter run, 50 double unders, 200 meter run.

Skills Nada.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dull Ache

Days are peeling off the calendar quicker and quicker and the wedding that seemed so far away is hurtling toward us. Juggling work and last minute wedding details gave me a dull, achey headache that made me want to lie down after work and not get up until tomorrow. In a moment of will power, self abuse, or stupidity, I figured that CrossFit would either eleviate my headache or make something else hurt bad enough that my head wouldn't be foremost on my mind. Sure enough, after the workout my headache was gone. I chilled out for an hour after I got home and then went to Self Defense Systems for a class Jerry Smith is calling "secrets of the temple." It's an invite-only class for his longtime students so that he can teach techniques and strategies he learned from Joe Lewis while competing. Fifteen-year old Neal would have attended the class and gone home. Twenty-nine-year old Neal took notes and did drills on the bag afterwards.

And Amanda just told me that she spent $280 dollars on books at Teacher Appreciation Week at the Scholastic Book warehouse. Jesus fucking christ. I think the headache is coming back.

Diet 9 a.m. Soda and mini-donuts. Fuck me. Noon Pizza and water. Feeling worse. 6:30 p.m. PB&J, water. 9 p.m. Wendy's. Why not finish the day on a high note?

Strength & Conditioning 21 15 9 Hanging clean, pullups, 600/400/200 meter run. Finished in 16:30. Felt faster but pull ups kill me. At least I am doing workouts to prescription now.

Skills Worked on slip kicks, squeeze steps, switch steps and entry kicks off angles. Jerry gives me a hard time about throwing my lead hand down when I kick now but when done quickly and correctly you're shielding your chin with the shoulder. You can't be 100% protected 100% of the time. I am accepting the fact that learning Muay Thai is changing how I approach American Kickboxing but my AKB colors my Muay Thai, too. I started working on karate-style kicks again just to have them in my arsenal, adding mechanical elements from Muay Thai to add a little oomph to them. I would explain more but these are secrets of the temple, man.

Does this guy look like a good secret-keeper?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Couldn't get to the gym today because Amanda needed my help cleaning out her classroom. Moving crap from the second story of the school into our basement got my blood flowing. I chopped wood when we got home to blow off steam. I am training someone to take over the more tedious aspects of my job which I am happy about but spending a day discussing something you hate in fine detail is maddening.

I am starting to get wound up about wedding details. Between now and my wedding day, I have to finish a feature story for FIGHT!, work through race weekend, fly to Denver to work on a cover story for FIGHT!, and finish 100 little things before my bachelor party and the rehearsal. In lighter news, Amanda is watching NCIS and tonights episode features Oleg Taktarov in a bit role as well as a scene shot in what appears to be the same desert diner as this Bleeding Through video.

Diet 9 a.m. Sausage sandwich and fruit salad. Noon Chicken burrito, cookie, water. 8 p.m. Leftover pizza, water.

Strength & Conditioning Nope.

Skills Jack and shit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Exhausted from the upheaval of the weekend, overslept CrossFit. Rode my bike to work again. It's getting easier and easier. Riding home in the cold (November) rain? Not so much. Had to work late, missed my makeup CrossFit workout.

Diet 8 a.m. Smoothie (milk, EAS protein powder, blackberries, banana), tuna sandwich. 1 p.m. Thai chicken wrap, chips, soda. Had to get out marriage license during lunch. 8 p.m. Pizza, breadsticks. Out of groceries, too broke and exhausted for shopping.

Strength & Conditioning Does the commute count?

Skills Nothin'.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bike to Work Day

It was Bike to Work Day so I rode into work, shot and edited two videos, and rode home. That and some discssions with Amanda about finances wore me out before I made it to CrossFit. Not much to tell, just a busy day.

Diet 7 a.m. Smoothie - milk, protein power, banana, blackberries. Noon Two slices of pizza, two breadsticks, water. 7 p.m. Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, soda. 9 p.m. Pitcher of Budweiser, haha.

Strength & Conditioning 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Sumo deadlift high pull, ring push ups, double unders. 18:56. I feel like my cardio conditioning is the only thing holding me back at CrossFit now.

Skills Nada.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Pat is encouraging about my jiu jitsu but it gets frustrating when the only measure of progress is how long it takes to get tapped out. "At least you rolled," Pat said after one round. "I mean, I still had your arm but you bought yourself another 20 seconds." I am learning to fight through chokes and joint locks, to keep being explosive when I feel spent, to do that whole cliche "never say die" thing.

Diet 8 a.m. PB&J, chips, chicken noodle soup. Weird breakfast? Surely. Noon French fries. Busy day. 7:30 p.m. Steamed vegetables, spaghetti, garlic bread.

Strength & Conditioning About an hour of grappling, off and on.

Skills Worked on submission defense and positioning, how to break body triangles and chokes, how not to be weak and afraid.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just 'cos the egg's broke don't mean it's cookin'.

My schedule has been bumper to bumper the last couple of days. On Monday I put on thermals and a sauna suit and hit the treadmill at the Y for 45 minutes. Then it was the 7:15 a.m. workout at CrossFit, home for a protein/fruit smoothie, walk the dog, shower, and ride my bicycle to work. I rode home in the afternoon, chilled out for a bit, wrapped up a freelance story and then worked late on my nightlife article.

I was able to sleep in a tiny bit on Tuesday but I rode my bike to work again (approx. 10 miles round trip) so my legs were shot by the time I got to the gym for Tuesday afternoon's MMA workout. To hear other people tell it I am getting skinnier and my ground game (while still shitty) is improving. I was trying to pass Pat McPherson's guard and I was combining two movements rather than take one and wait for the other. "Knee up is knee up, passing is passing," McPherson said. "Just 'cos the egg's broke don't mean it's cookin'." He told me my breathing is getting better and that I'm not "spazzin' out" when I don't need to. I'll take his word for it. I grabbed dinner when I got home and cleaned up before going out to shoot a video and didn't get home until midnight.

Today was a wash. I need to rest.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I cried during CrossFit.

I cried during CrossFit. I admit it. We were doing the Bear - deadlift, hanging clean, push press, full squat equals one rep. Seven reps per round, seven rounds for time. The Bear is on par with man-makers in terms of sheer sadistic abuse. About four rounds in my back is screaming - I turned my toes outward a bit to open my hips during the squat. Everything's good. Except when I bring the bar up and over after the squat I dropped the bar, thus setting myself to turn the 95# deadlift into a Good Morning, lifting the weight with my back. I had trouble standing after round five. I was sweating so much no one could tell that I was crying. I stretched it out, knocked out two more rounds in total agony, and collapsed in a heap. I laid on the mat, swatting at what I thought was a hair in my eye, but it was actually steam rising from my head.

Cloudy days, chasing the sun away

It's been cloudy and raining for days which really screws with my mood. If that weren't enough I was on deadline for two freelance stories, Amanda was all wound up about the fact that the principal of her school is a total beast and oh yeah, someone tried to kick our door in when we were at work. Super. No MMA workouts so far this week but I am going to the gym tomorrow, and I've gotten good work in at Indy CrossFit. Wednesday was brutal - 265 meter run, 20 55# kettlebell swings, 20 wallballs, seven muscle ups (see video below), five rounds for time. It took me just over 33 minutes. My back locked up so bad it felt like someone "loopied" a muscle, pulling me over to the left as I ran or walked. I gotta warm up and stretch more. We're short on groceries, eating too much crap, need to be more goal-oriented.

(We did jumping muscle ups on gymnast rings, but Mango here will give you an idea of what the exercise is.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm checking out.

I got up at the ass crack of (pre-) dawn to shoot and edit videos about the election today. Presidential primaries, Congressional seats up for grabs, and Indiana is in the global spotlight. I ran into people from Al Jazeera America. I bet they never get hassled. I am beat - no workout tonight, just rest.

Diet 5:30 a.m. 24 ounce coffee, mini-donuts. 7 a.m. 32 ounces of water. 11 a.m. 12-inch veggie sub, chips, cookies, soda. Thanks, Jared!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...

I am beat. CrossFit, ride to work, have a shitty day at work, ride home. I have to wake up at 5 a.m. to shoot and edit video of the Democratic primary election tomorrow, so I am knocking this off and heading to bed.

Diet 8 a.m. Turkey and swiss on an English muffin, water. 10 a.m. Tuna sandwich. Noon Pizza, breadsticks, soda. 8 p.m. Turkey melt, carrots, soup, water.

Strength & Conditioning Cinco De Mayothon. Five pull ups, five box jumps, five situps, max rounds in five minutes. One minute rest, then five burpees, five thrusters, five double unders, max rounds in five minutes. One minute rest, then five push-ups, five wallballs, five sumo deadlift high pulls, max rounds in five minutes.

Skills Nada.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


("Who's got the pad thai hookup?")

I showed up at CrossFit this morning and no one was there. Don't know what's up with that. Dan Christison showed up at the gym today to work out with Jake O'Brien. Word was that Evan Tanner was going to workout, too, but as far as I could tell he showed up, got directions to a Thai restaurant and bailed. Felt like shit when I was grappling today. Need more mat time.

Diet 9:30 a.m. Smoothie - milk, protein powder, strawberries, blackberries. 11:30 a.m. Tuna sandwich, lots of water. 1:45 p.m. Tuna sandwich, fries, soda.

Strength & Conditioning See below.

Skills Muay Thai shadowboxing/takedown drills, walk knees, clinch work, three rounds of kicks seperated by push ups, several rounds of live takedowns and grappling seperated by jogging.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New gym, old feeling

I showed up at Throwbacks today and the parking lot was empty. A sign on the door read, "We've moved. Call Pat." I peered in the window and the warehouse was empty. I called Pat and got directions to the new gym on the east side. It's another warehouse, but this one has running water. It's the home of the Red Cobra Wrestling club, more on that on Saturday.

We worked on Thai clinch and knees, running laps around the large mat and doing pull ups between rounds. "I saw you ripping off those pull ups man, I was surprised," said Keith Palmer. Backhanded compliment or not, I'll take it. After several rounds of that we moved to the cage where I rolled with another heavyweight named Jamie and a Thai boxer named Nick Hyde. Nick has been a nomad for the last decade, training with just about every legit fighter in Indianapolis at one point or another.

I don't know if it was stress or back pain flaring up, but my ground game was shittier than usual. I wasn't doing what I know how to do and I was putting myself in bad spot after bad spot. It was extremely frustrating.