Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Cheese Head Gets a Cheesy Delivery

My little sister sent this Giordano's pizza to my husband. We lived next door to the Giordano's in Hyde Park. We ate so many of these back in the day....

Yes, that is the cheese oozing over the crust. There are about 8 small slices of veggies on this "veggie" pizza. I sneaked two tiny little bites for old time sake, and that was enough. The diminuative Coach Mr. Fober had two pieces and loved every minute of it.

Will somebody please come over and help him finish this behemoth?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Where am I?

I'm here. Sorry to be AWOL for a bit.

Nothing earth-shattering right now--a few things on my mind that will hopefully resolve by next week.

Started making my own almond milk this week. It's pretty easy; you just need a hearty blender and some cheesecloth. I'm trying to get out of consuming the soy/rice milk containers. And by making my own "milk" for coffee, smoothies and my oatmeal, I'll know exactly what is in it and benefit from the nutrition of the almost-sprouted nuts.

Went to see a roller derby "bout" last night. I had mixed impressions. The skating was not at the highest level. You see, I used to be a card-carrying competitive figure skater from 3rd through 5th grade; I guess you could call me a skating snob. My career was sidetracked by a torn meniscus in 5th grade and I moved on to basketball, volleyball and flag football. Skating was great fun and I loved doing figures, pairs dancing and the like; but I was also pretty kick-ass in the races during the open skating sessions. Let it be known that those years were the only time I have ever done any athletic competition in a skirt.

Racing is one thing, but having to maneuver around a group of people who cannot skate very well and who can and will knock the snot out of you is not really my idea of fun. I'll keep my intact ACLs and clavicles. I guess I'd rather take my chances on the bike, where contact is generally not the goal and there is more room to avoid people with spotty skills.

However, I might just see if I can join them for a practice or two and maybe skate for some fun and fitness, and possibly help a few of the women learn to skate better. Who knows, maybe they'd like a strength coach??

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Emmy Vargas: A Great Performance!

Emmy Vargas put on a most inspirational performance this weekend. She recently moved to the OTC in Colorado Springs to train and has been hitting PRs left and right. She went 6/6 in March at the secondary world team qualifier with a 105/133.

Only the top 4 women get to go to the Pan Am games this summer and Emmy needed a 249 total to get that spot. She hit 107 and 142 for big-time PRs--even after being knocked on her rear with her first attempt at 142 (313 lbs)! This woman is tough as nails!

With the 142 kg clean and jerk, I think Emmy now holds the second best clean and jerk for a woman in the US--EVER--behind Cheryl Hayworth, who has many lifts above 140 kg. Emmy trains with and has the challenge of trying to catch Cheryl, the most decorated female weightlifting in the US (10 National Championships, 2000 Olympic Bronze medalist, Junior World Champioin).

I guess she hasn't let that daunting challenge, nor a previous elbow injury, slow her down. At 30 years old, she's making the most of her opportunity to train with the best. She and Cheryl will give the US a big one-two punch at the Pan Am games.

Here is a brief summary of Emmy's performance. You might want to turn the volume down a bit. I got kind of carried away! Right-click on the video to zoom to full screen.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Just a Dame off to the Windy City

I will be in Chicago the next 6 days visiting some friends at the U of C and then working at the USA Weightlifting National Championships doing this. It could be a very interesting weekend for me. Hopefully I will post occasionally and have some highlights on one of my Dartfishnet site. In the meantime, I found this really cool quote:

She had been a dame, a founding member of that trim, yakkety-yak sisterhood which saw no reason that men should rule the roost and no contretemps so sticky that a woman could not oil her way out of it through dialogue alone.
From Anthony Lane's profile of Barbara Stanwyck in last week's New Yorker.
via Bitch Ph.D

Monday, May 07, 2007

You've Got to Be Kidding Me?

Getting breast implants makes you "look smarter?" WTF? Yep, from the Allergan Medical website. But Lauren from Faux Real Tho says it best:

This ad from the Allergan Medical Silicone-Filled Breast Implants (note trademark symbol) is most ironical, since breasts are neither smart, nor do they make the wearer (implantee?) more intelligent. Even more mystifying is that her breast implants, the entire point of the ad, assuming the model has them, aren’t even a prominent point of the photograph. Boobs, smile, smart, boobs, phallic hoodie head, wha?

What’s real smart is going outside of the industry selling you your fake boobs for research into your health, but with my natural funbags what do I know. Silicone implants are most empowerful, and they look so real! Is that a Nobel prize in her pocket?

Looks, health, fake boobs, health, intelligence, health? What is wrong with this picture? Let's hear it for natural funbags, the uniboob sports bra, and carbon-based (vs. silicone-based) intelligence.

The Perfect Storm of Collaboration

Imagine, if you will, a place where insurance companies don't control your health care.....

Racer X decides to go for it and pursue dreams of elite track racing. But she knows she needs to do some remedial work and get rid of the nagging back issues that have been around for many years, or they will limit her chances to succeed.

Racer X seeks out advice from Racer C, who refers her to an extremely talented massage therapist and two physical therapists who know a little about cycling. Racer X begins seeing Massage Therapist C, who evaluates her in supine and standing--watches Racer X move--and then begins to literally, unwind and deconstruct the compensatory muscular tension and fascial issues that have contributed to Racer X's pain.

Physical Therapist S carefully evaluates Racer X on and off the trainer, noting significant core stability issues. A plan, starting from square one, is given to Racer X. Physical therapist S and massage therapist C communicate findings. Racer X sees them periodically over 8 weeks or so and reports training and racing improvement.

Racer X then receives a weight training plan from her track coach. Physical therapist T, who has experience with advanced weight training planning, is then contacted to help translate and modify the desired training program to meld with Racer X's current abilities and needs--and with "ok" of Physical Therapist S.

Physical Therapists T and S both meet with Racer X to evaluate Racer X's progress and formulate a short and long term plan of how Racer X can effectively build upon the progress she is making off/on the bike, first adding bodyweight resistance exercises only to her torso stability work. Racer X must first master these prior to adding external resistance.

Evaluation sessions go as long as necessary. Bikes, trainers and rollers are used to evaluate progress. There is no insurance to worry about; no limitations in what can be done or how the evaluation sessions go. Professionals communicate with each other. Racer X is honest about how she is doing (how consistent she is with her plan, whether or not she has a setback) and really works on teaching her body new movement/stability patterns. Racer X sees progress in her function; Physical Therapists S and T see progress in Racer X's ability to move under control, and thoughtfully work together to modify and evolve the plan of attack.

Pretty "twilight zone" stuff if you are at all familiar with how the current health care system works. Funny how things can change when the almighty dollar isn't in charge and people have the time to actually work with each other.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Measure of a Coach: Mike Sennett, 1969-2007

What is the measure of a good coach? Wins? State championships?

Just got home from the funeral for Mike Sennett (obituary), the DeSmet Jesuit High School varsity lacrosse coach. Coach Sennett passed away unexpectedly this past Saturday, while at a tournament in Indiana with the DeSmet team. He was only 38--just a few months younger than I am. He had just become engaged last Wednesday.

Coach Sennett played lacrosse and captained his high school (Brother Rice) and his college team (Notre Dame). Upon graduation in 1991, he came to St. Louis to work and immediately started the lacrosse program at DeSmet. In his 16 years as coach, Mike won 6 state championships and was an integral part of the development of lacrosse, at all levels, in the state of Missouri. And even though he wasn't faculty at DeSmet, he eagerly participated in school retreats. Coach Sennett was as interested in his kids' personal development as he was their athletic development.

There were well over 1,000 people at the funeral. One of his assistants estimated there are at least 50 young people coaching lacrosse now--giving back to the sport--just like their coach did. As a tribute to Coach Sennett, all lacrosse teams in the state will wear a "Count on Me" decal on their helmets the rest of the season.

I did not know Coach Sennett personally, but he obviously cared deeply for the young men he mentored and had a tremendous impact on everyone he touched. We should all be so lucky to have a coach like Mike Sennett. By any measure, he was a good coach and a good human being.