Break almost over for me.

Personal: I should work on Wednesday and Friday. Thursday: some basketball is on tap. Tasks: minor clean up, write up exams, start to review an article for a journal.

Workout notes: I spent too long today; but I was leisurely.

First: quick stretch, and a slow 2 mile walk to get blood to the back. And it went great for 1.8 miles; stiff late. Walk started at 9:20

Then slow: full PT with pull ups, push ups and chest taps.

Pull ups: 10 single lumbar crunch, then 2 sets of 10 singles. Then 10 (7 decent, 2 shaky, 1 UNSAT), 6, 6, 5 54 or 57 if you count the unsat ones.

Push ups: 3 sets of 20: extra rest here, then 2 sets of chest taps

Downstairs: this took some time.

Bench: 5 x 134, then 170: 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, then 4 x 165

Note: I really should have gone for 3 reps on the first set. I got them on the subsequent sets.

deadlift: 10 x 134, 10 x 134, 10 x 184 (really looking to improve form)

high incline: 10 x 44 to get “the touch) then 94: 8, 8, 9

curls: 3 sets of 10

Body check in: my calves are very, very tight. Need to work on that.

It was now 12:20 and I decided to get in the second walk at a better pace (12:47) The Garmin was all over the place, but ultimately, it agreed with an online pedometer to within 0.05 miles (online gave me 0.05 miles MORE) The second walk went great, in terms of glute/back pain.

Running races: part of the appeal wanes

Ok, one of the reasons those local running races appeal to me less and less is, well, simply, I cannot run anymore. The last time I ran, or attempted to, I could feel pain afterward right on the top of my shin; turns out that my right knee has next to zero cartilage left. It isn’t quite bone on bone but it is getting there. So, I’ve switched to walking full time.

But I can still walk fast enough to meet time cut offs, even on a bad day (at least for races in the 5K to half marathon range).

But there is something else going on. Of course, my times have slowed and I have no PRs to look forward to. But that is only part of the story.

In the days of old, well..there was a community of sorts in the groups I ran with in the races. No, I was nowhere near fast enough to run with those who had run for, say, a high school team (never mind college). But, in the days of my 40-42 minutes 10K runs ( 39:50 was my lifetime PR) or 19:xx 5K runs, the people around me were mostly younger and fit.
Now: those around me are a mix of reasonably fit old people, physically average middle age people and out of shape young people.

The ego pump that I used to get by hanging around the younger, fit crowd is long gone. Yes, I know; *I* have changed too; gone are the days were someone would see me and “know” I was there for the marathon or would see me for the first time and tell me where the weight room was, without my even asking.

That being said, I signed up for a 5K two weeks from now; it will be my first since October 2022 and my second “in person” race since the fall of 2019 (I did two “virtual” races in 2020).

Photos: 1982, 2000, 2012, 2014, 2019, and 2023.

Unpleasant people agreeing with you doesn’t make you wrong

One of the toughest things about our current political debates is that, from time to time, people that I don’t like are right about an issue or two.

Example: remember when George Floyd was murdered by police (and yes, he was). Well, we are now seeing him lionized among some. Yes, he was murdered, and the police were correctly brought to justice. But he was not one to emulate; he had a modest criminal record and no exemplary achievements. And yes, some unpleasant people agree with me.

“Hispanics don’t champion their criminals!” (Ann Coulter; see the above).

Sports: I believe sports are segregated by sex for fairness reasons. So, at least beyond a certain grade level, I do not condone biological males, no matter how they identify, competing against biological females in female divisions.
And, unfortunately, many antitrans bigots take the same view. I want nothing to do with them.

The same goes for things like “drag shows for kids”, especially when tied to school (what a parent takes their kid to outside of school is their own business)

But taking this stance puts me on the same side as morons like this:

Something similar is true with Joey Swoll calling out women for making false (or unlikely) “gym creep” claims on social media. Swoll is right even though some unpleasant people are backing his efforts.

The same was true during the immigration debates; I am a “play by the rules” sort of guy, but that put me on the same side as some genuine bigots.

Being resentful when I should be grateful

Sigh…my dream was to be a professional football player, or at least, an athlete. I ran the steps, did the off season conditioning, lifted weights, did sprints and…alas…my best 40 yard dash was a bit under…SIX seconds. (a decent lineman’s time in those days was 5.2-5.3)

The above photo: when I played for Yokota High School in the Fall of 1974; I started on the varsity as a sophomore and that was to be my peak (small school). JV in Texas the next year, and mostly rode the bench my senior year (played just enough to letter).

How rotten of an athlete was I?

  1. I failed the Air Force Academy’s physical fitness test (too slow on the shuttle run..not enough pull ups, etc. Barely passed West Point’s and Navy’s.
  2. In the Navy…1982, I could run a sub 40 10K, sub 19 5K. I aced the Navy Flight cross country run (“PT-ed it”), the swim test, did well on pull ups, aced sit ups, passed the broad jump…but…flunked the obstacle course the first time I tried it..even though I practiced. I got it the second time, but still…best shape of my life, and I struggled with a task that required me to show some body control and agility…though the strength and endurance speed was there.
  3. As a kid: I frequently failed PE tests…I got laughed at because I was one of two guys who could not climb the rope. The gym teachers berated me and ridiculed me.

    When it came to athletic ability and kinesthetic intelligence, I was basically “special needs.”

But all of my effort to become an athlete (or at least be a 40th-50’th percentile high school athlete) drew me to running and weightlifting and general fitness stuff.

Fast forward to now.

Yep, that is my back. And the only way I can stay active in lifting and walking is to do a LOT of physical therapy…a LOT of it.

So, every day, prior to working out, I do about 30-35 minutes of back/glute/core/rotator cuff exercises..and if I switch from a lifting session to a walk, I do at least 10-15 minutes more (mostly hamstring stretches and “open book” stretches. I need to. A year ago, even walking 0.5 miles was painful.

And so, today, PT/stretching added 45 minutes to my workout and there are times when I resent that I need to do it. But the other choice: don’t stay active, and that isn’t an option.

Yes, yes, I know, a cancer patient or a heart patient would gladly trade places. That is why I need to remember to be grateful that my chronic condition can be made tolerable with some extra effort (and time) on my part.

So today: again 8:45 to about 11:45, with lifting taking 70 minutes (with farmer’s walks) and walking taking 60; the rest was PT (before, and in the lifting to walking transition and after walking) and time to put equipment up, change shoes, top, etc.

Today: full PT

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 190, 10 x 225 low handle

10 x 265 4 inch handle.

5 x 300 8 inch handle

Farmer’s walk: 100 feet: 52, 68 lb and 2 sets of 70 feet (to the garage door and back) with 79 lb (44 plate, 2 13.2 plates, (6 kg), 8 lb handle, .5 lb collar).

Then my 4 mile walk; started off as a 5K but felt good enough to make it 4 and get 25 miles for the week. That is what the PT gets me.

Note: this was the final day (March 5) for my old walking shoes. I started to use them on May 29, 2022. I’ve walked 822 miles since then, but given my commuter walks and my “to the stadium and back” walks, I’d say I put about 700 miles on these old shoes.

Shared public spaces and the lack of nuance online

I used to go to gyms frequently; now I have my own stuff. I sometimes had issues (usually when a gym goer tried to tie up several pieces of equipment while doing “super sets”) but for the most part, it was fine.

There is a recent account that calls out toxic gym are a few examples:

And his videos have been welcomed by many, including me. guessed it…his work has been co-opted into the broader culture wars:

Example of some of the pushback can be found here. And this is frustrating.

On one hand, *some* of his stuff has been picked up by social conservatives.


And some liberals decry this..they claim that Swoll’s work gives some men permission to be misogynistic.

And this is why online discussion of sensitive topics is becoming increasingly worthless.

In a shared space, there will be looking at each other; there will be glances. And a glance is not the same as a prolonged stare.

But some liberals divide the world into “privileged” vs “not privileged” and if you are in the not-privileged category, your feelings rule; others must acquiesce to them. If a woman says she “feels uncomfortable” because of a quick glace, the man is in the wrong.

But any shared space has to have some sort of reasonableness standard to work.

You see these “reasonableness standards” debates all the time at any public place: how much standing is ok at a ball game, cell phone use in public areas, when is filming in a public place ok, behavior of kids in a public area (some just let their kids run amok), dogs (leashed vs unleashed), movie theater behavior, etc.

And I admit that, increasingly, my solution is to avoid public spaces more and more, though I still go to live sporting events. (note: I pay a premium to sit in first row worries about standing there).

Frito Bandito, activism and alienation

Seeing this reminded me ..

Yes, I had one of these; if I remember correctly, you could sent out for it.

This character was popular some time ago:

Clearly, tongue-in-cheek, right?

Well, activists complained and Frito-Lay did away with the Bandito.

Background: I am Mexican-American from both parents; I refer to myself as Latino. My mom learned to speak English in her teens; she grew up speaking Spanish. This is relevant.

When it came out that complaints from activists pressured Frito Lay into dropping the FB, my mom said something to the effect: “Idiots. Don’t they have better things to do? I thought the Bandito was funny!”

And so it goes: though you might think my mom was unique, she really wasn’t. There appears to be a gap between what the “activist” class thinks and what the rest of us think. Consider the issue of the word “Latinx”. Most Latinos haven’t heard of it, and most who have do not like it.

So, when people point out that there is a gap between what the loud, often academic “activists” think and what the rest of us think, the activists seem to think that the rest of us are “colonialized” or ignorant, or unaware, etc. Yes, activists, I’ve heard your arguments and I rejected many of them.

But that is not the main point of this post.

The main point of this post is that Democratic politicians who want Latino support but are unfamiliar with us tend to, you guessed it, turn to “activists” to learn and get advice.

At least as far as the “Latinx” issue, the tide appears to be turning.

But the larger point remains: if you want to court our vote, don’t go by what some woke recent college graduate activist has to say; try to connect with the larger community.

Trying to get it right

Workout: PT, deadlifts (134 x 10, 184 x 10, 204 x 10 low, 251 x 10 4 inch), 2 mile walk. PM: commuter walk from the game.

Both walks ended on “the verge of mild discomfort.”

Later, I took a flex shot; yep, not awful for my age (63) but the muscles are soft.

I did watch the Bradley women lose to Southern 83-59; SIU lead for most of the game, but it was 55-47 going into the 4’th; too much inside, and too much quickness at the guard spot.

Note: the game got chippy; BU had an intentional foul called, and on one common foul, the team’s players drew technical fouls (one on each team).

SIU had a 6′ 5″ center who was able to get a “wedged ball” by jump that required no run up.

The deadlift videos: improved but the low handle position: still having trouble getting the back angle correct.

Talking past each usual.

This cartoon is popular in liberal circles:

But this cartoon convinces no one at all, though it might help liberals feel better about themselves.

The liberal point of view: “well, you’ll force a woman to carry a baby to term, but then put her on her own once it is born.”

But this is unconvincing to conservatives. Here is why:

Suppose you truly believe that abortion is the murder of a baby (I don’t believe this, but many anti-abortion types do…literally)

So, the fetus really is equivalent to a newborn baby.

Now: does ANYONE think it is ok to kill a newborn? (and no, I am not talking about extreme circumstances where the lives of the older living are at stake).

Of course not.

Now, is it inconsistent to believe that:

  1. Babies must not be killed and
  2. PARENTS are responsible for supporting the babies that they make?

I don’t think that is inconsistent at all, and that is the conservative point of view.

You make it, then you have to support it (but cannot kill it). Yes, this includes both the male and female.

Now, we can debate on how much support a society should give to poorer kids and what kind of support, but that is a topic for another day..and frankly it is a difficult one. Ok, I’ll drop my thoughts below (*)

And yes, poor people in the US, on the average, have more kids than wealthier ones.

(*) my thoughts: this represents my thinking, to a degree. But no, I wouldn’t attempt to sell this with “let’s be compassionate.” I’d take a more spreadsheet approach: I’d note that putting money into the bottom of the economy means more small and basic businesses will have more demand which leads to more jobs. I’d argue that kids that are not in grinding poverty turn out better and have more of a chance to escape and break the cycle; society, on the whole, benefits.

Yes, I know, there are always some who make poor choices no matter what, and some of these will benefit from society’s generosity. They ARE infuriating, and no, Dear Sanctimonious Liberal, don’t tell me who to get angry with. I don’t like crony capitalism can dislike BOTH. That isn’t logically inconsistent. solution is perfect, and under “let’s make the bottom benefits more generous”, there are ALWAYS unpleasant, unrepentant morons that will benefit. But overall, I think society benefits.

Good riddance to January

Ok, on some level, January has not been THAT bad. I caught a Bears game, got a paper accepted for publication, completed an admin task (more to do in just a bit) and have hit a lull.

But..Jan 10-25 sucked; COVID. Yes, I did my duties online and even did my PT on most days; only one day was “please kill me” and about 4-5 were “normal flu” like days, others were annoying and testing positive. What set me back was the rebound infection.

But I am teaching in person again, easing back into it…and yeah, it was 3 F when I woke up, 5 F when I did outdoor pull ups and my walk (20 seconds slower than the day before)

Today’s workout: PT, push ups: 3 sets of 20, 2 sets of 5 chest tap push ups, 1 set of 11.

pull ups: 1 set of 6, 1 set of 6 singles, 3 sets of 6 single crunch pull ups

bench: 10 x 134, 6 x 145, 5 x 150 (didn’t want to strain)

deadlift (low handle) form check: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 (hips looked good..need to carry this with heavier weights)

high incline shoulder: 10 x 94 (two sets)

walk: some discomfort in the left leg (hamstring) need to roll a bit.

Hurt feelings online

A few days ago, B posted a meme that lampooned religious violence. One of her old boyfriends (probably in his 80’s) complained about the meme…and his complaints were less than well received.

That made me think:

  1. Why was he so confident about expressing his opinion and
  2. Why did he think it would be well received.

So..what was going on? My guess: he is probably well respected in his church, and when he speaks there, the others listen and appreciate his insights. But Facebook is not his church.

And I think about that about myself. In class: I know more math than my students and they KNOW that. So in class, I get listened to. At a conference, my credentials are respected. Now some in the audience may know more math, and often, they are better at it. But they know that I know the topic I am talking about.

But..on something like Twitter? Well, if I am not talking academic/math stuff, well, there is no reason for anyone to, a priori, take me seriously. Who in the heck am *I*? And on math topics, I hope my knowledge shows though, but you have to know some math to make a judgement.

Online, few have any prior knowledge of us and..if we are talking about something that someone feels passionately about, well, I, as a stranger, am not going to move them, at all.