News & Notes
These past few weeks I have been feeling a little discomfort surrounding my left elbow. For much of this time I have been trying to figure out what is going on but then it hit me: Tendinitis! For me, the discomfort lies on the outside, or lateral side of the arm. The more I think about it, the more it appears to be something like Tennis Elbow which is inflammation of the tendon where the forearm meets the elbow. These tendons become damaged due to overuse like say, gripping a tennis racket. As I began to take inventory at what I have been up to, it has been shoveling snow, a bunch of kettlebell swings and chinups on the gymnastic rings. All these things involve the grip muscles and as a result, my elbow has been pretty achy!
The good news is that Monday marked the end of the program as I moved on to some different exercises which I hope gives that tendon some time to relax and recover but only time will tell and hopefully Mother Nature gives us a snow break as well!
Fitness Tip of the Week
The more I think about it, the more I realize that what you do for a workout is greatly overrated. We put too much stock into the fat loss program, the powerlifting program, the crossfit program, or whatever else it may be hoping that it will save us from poor diet, poor sleep, inactivity, etc. I heard an estimate last week that the workout you embark on is only about 5% of the equation. I tend to agree. If you aren't sleeping well, your fitness will be effected. If you are constantly stressed, your body composition will be effected. If you workout for an hour and then sit idle for the rest of the day, all that work you put in the gym will most likely be negated. In order for us to reach optimal health, the whole picture matters!
Now, more than ever, it is important for us to take an inventory of how we are living our lives. Are we eating well? Are we sleeping enough? Are we taking the time to manage the stressors in our lives and deal with issues accordingly? Are we raising our activity level throughout the entirety of the day? These are all things that don't happen in the gym that can greatly improve our ability to reach our fitness goals.
What I've Been Thinking About...
I listened to an interview with UFC Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. This man has one heck of a story! Growing up in Cameroon, he realized he needed a way out. As he made his way through life he always had it in his mind that he is going to escape the poverty in his country and make it somewhere. One day he decided it was time to make his move and enter France as an illegal immigrant. After 7 failed attempts, navigating through the Sahara desert, and 14 months of time, and a few scars from barbed wire, he finally made it!
Now, rather than being a poor man in poverty stricken Cameroon he was a homeless man in France trying to find a meal and a change of clothes. Luckily for him he found a gym, volunteered at a homeless shelter, began training, and after meeting a few people who helped him get on the path, he will be fighting for the UFC Heavyweight championship in a few weeks.
This story reminded of something I heard a few years ago that was referred to as the "immigrant mentality" in the sport of boxing. If you look at the history of boxing champs, there were eras where certain ethnic groups dominated the sport. There were Irish champs, Italian champs, African American champs, and now present day where a lot of contenders come from impoverished former Soviet Union countries. Most of these first generation immigrant groups had a decision to make: stay where they are (poor, tired and hungry) or enter the ring and fight their way out. These champions wanted better for themselves, their families, and bring pride to their community or countrymen. This type of mentality cannot be replicated. It is built through the hardship that one encounters in life. Like the quote says, “Hard times create strong men"... and women!
What I've Been Up To...
I have been working on my dance moves, you might know it as cutting a rug, thanks to this online dance program I purchased for Valentines Day. The program is called "Show Her Off" and after spending some time practicing, it is kind of cool!
The program is simple in the sense that it teaches you a few concepts and then gives you different sequences using those concepts. By doing so it makes it appear that you actually know how to dance which works for me. It is a fun program that allows you to spend some time with your significant other, have a few laughs, learn a new skill and move that body!
Quote of the Week
"Put the things you can control in order. Repair what is in disorder, and make what is already good better. It is possible that you can manage, if you are careful. People are very tough. People can survive through much pain and loss. But to persevere they must see the good in Being. If they lost that, they are truly lost" -- Jordan Peterson
I hope you all have an awesome week!