No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success

Dog days

Posted by Ben on Friday, September 12, 2008

I have three dogs. Each one is an asshole in his own unique way. I leave the doors open on occasion in hopes that they’ll run away: one never goes outside without literally being kicked out the door, one neurotically goes and comes back several times in quick succession but ultimately stays, and one takes off maybe once every five or ten times out the door, disappearing for about ten minutes, only to end up sitting the middle of the back yard looking up at the door until someone calls him in. Assholes, all of them, despite the purported mental health benefits of ownership. I took them out to play yesterday afternoon around 3pm and got a CHILL! No kidding. This is Charlotte, mid-September, and it was 75F and breezy. Of course, this was just a tease—90s are expected tomorrow, and the humidity goes without saying.

While I’m on the subject of dogs, I happened upon a blog (via a Brad Pilon post) that combines human fitness and canine fitness. I haven’t had a chance to read much more than the bio info, but it looks worth a good look, so go look.

The point of this writing comes from a post by Tony today talking about high-heeled shoes for babies.

Let that sink in for a second…

High heels…

On babies…

I saw this mentioned on a forum the other day and quickly passed by the topic, hoping I really didn’t see what I’d just seen. In fact, I tried so hard to ignore that I honestly can’t say whether I actually saw it or not, but even so, there it is. You’ll find a link Tony’s commentary on the pitfalls of high heels on full-grown adults in that same post linked above. You’ll find to your left (and here) a link to one of my all-time favorite articles, one that I can’t count how many times I’ve sent out or suggested during face-to-face conversation, the latest being during a trip, appropriately enough, to a nearby dog park a couple weeks ago. I was wearing my Vibrams, which I’ll again admit look patently ridiculous yet are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn (after a very short break-in period, of course, which is really the feet getting used to working rather than the shoes getting “used”). A girl who’d been glancing at my feet from time to time finally walked over and somewhat sheepishly smiled, pointed at my shoes, and simply said, “I have to ask.” That started a nearly half-hour conversation that ranged from everyday footwear to running mechanics to my hamstring rehab to this and that and what not (no, not one of those “one thing led to another” stories—this ain’t Penthouse forum), ending with that New York Magazine article for some quick, easy reading.

I wear my Vibrams for a lot of my conditioning work (a little less lately due to some iffy but improving foot biomechanics that I can say with some confidence are the result of having worn typical shoes for, you know, my whole life until recently). I wear a pair of Adidas Goodyear street shoes for my everyday, walk-around stuff. In the gym, I currently wear a pair of Asics split-sole wrestling shoes that otherwise wouldn’t be used; when those wear out, I’ll be getting a pair of Puma Speed Cats. The only place I wear somewhat “normal” exercise shoes is for my sprint work, but that’s mainly because I haven’t found a pair of track-and-field shoes that are as thin and pliable as I’d like. The reason for wearing these particular shoes when I’m not barefooted is because of their relatively very thin and flexible soles, which allows my feet to work more, get stronger, and return to a more natural state. This also pulls a lot of other things into balance that, as a LOT of people experience, if left unchecked cause pain in everything from the feet to the head. Seriously. Poor foot and/or ankle muscle development and maintenance can and does lead to headaches in some people, not to mention pains in a lot of other places (lower back, hips, knees, etc).

One more thing before the links, something I’ve been asked more and more recently: is [insert food/drink/dietary supplement here] bad? No. No food/drink/dietary supplement by itself is bad (see Leigh’s commentary here). This even includes high-fructose corn syrup. There, I said it. HFCS is not bad for you. It’s not holding a gun to your head and screaming, “EAT ME, YOU SONUVABITCH! EAT ME IN MASS QUANTITIES OR ELSE!”

Now, eating HFCS or most anything else in excess and/or in combination with certain other “anything elses” isn’t going to help. Much like morality itself, the idea of “bad” is relative. It’s all about context, so when you ask me if something is bad, I’m going to say no, that donut doesn’t have poor moral character. Use your head (if it’s not hurting from those barking dogs). Keep in mind that context includes source, not just quantity or combination.

General health-type stuff:
—Turns out there’s 46 million—not 41 million—affected by pharmaceuticals contaminating drinking water. Why pay for prescriptions when a lot of us just have to turn on the faucet? At least the FDA is staffing up (again).
—Men of all ages are increasingly dealing with poor physical self-image.
—Diet and exercise are not mutually exclusive on the path to reaching your goals (goes back to that whole “context” thing).
—Seems there’s a tiny bit of progress in getting excess calories out of schools.

General geek-type stuff:
—Nature: deep ocean life, nature for audiophiles, humans and animals can co-exist, dealing with your earthbound leftovers, it’s (almost) alive.
—Transportation: Mini crosses over, Toyota’s plug-in hybrid in testing, so much for the tranquility of the ride, DARPA getting into “clean” coal-based fuel, good luck with this JetBlue voucher.
—Tech: YouTube will never (legally) download, iPhones play Big Brother, Google adds facial recognition, Firefox friendly to pr0n, frog-inspired light bulbs, file sharing is a hard habit to break, MIT for the right-brain.

General good-type stuff:
—The power of hello.
—Some workout humor from Brian Regan.
—And just because :)


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