Attention in shape athletes: COVID can still kill you

Yes, the death rate to COVID is about 0.5 to 1 percent, and about 1-5 percent of cases require being hospitalized and about 20 percent of cases require medial attention.

And about 80 percent can have lingering symptoms even after recovery.

Now it is true that those with comorbidities have a greater risk, but even superbly conditioned athletes can end up in the hospital and in the ICU…and yes, that includes those who have run 100 mile footraces while in their 60’s.

You might be rightfully pride of your Cross Fit workouts, your big bench press or your blazing 5K…or even your Boston Qualifying Marathon.
But that is not immunity and, though COVID “probably” won’t kill you, it can mess you up for a long time and severely degrade your future athletic performance.

Take it seriously; mask up, and get that shot when you can!

Accepting your limitations and delusions

I won’t deny that, as a teenager, I just KNEW that I was going to be an NFL player someday.

Yes, that was me in 1974 after the Yokota High (my school) vs. Yo Hi game ..we won 34-14. But… I still remember their first touchdown. It was punt return and the returner was running toward me and a blocker got me with a body block. I got up just as the returner was running past me; I was off balance and basically awkwardly waved my arms at him as he ran past; I didn’t even slow him down.

No. Athletic. Ability.

A day or so ago, I saw this (note: the Vanderbilt coach is now the Penn State coach)

In this video they show…vertical jump (LOL), 40 yard dash (my best: 5.8..no kidding…and yes, first number is a 5). And they show the shuttle run.

I remember practicing the shuttle run for the service academy physical education test. You had to run back and forth between cones, and no matter how much I practiced and how hard I tried, I really, really, really sucked.

I made West Point and Annapolis (though West Point told me to get in shape before the summer) but flunked the Air Force Academy test. Mind you, I ran a 5:54 mile at the time.

But bursts of speed, quickness…no dice. And I was worst at changing directions quickly, which, if you think about it, is exactly what a football player needs to be able to do. If I flunked a service academy test…what in the world was I thinking in that I was going to be an athlete?

And it didn’t get better later; at Annapolis I flunked the obstacle course twice as a freshman..wait..3 times (passed it later..but only with a lot of practice). Flunked the obstacle course again in Pensacola …after practicing for it. (got it the second time). Mind you, I was running a sub 40 minute 10K at the time. I aced the pull ups, the XC run and the swim. But obstacles…agility while on the move…nope.

It literally frustrated me to tears.

So.. ..when I see it now..both when not-so-great NCAA players think they are going to the NFL..or when a student who can’t do math wants to be an engineer…I can sympathize…lend a kind word…and gently direct them toward their strengths.

I’ve become what I used to ridicule…

50’s and clear; just great, great weather.

Warmed up, went outside for broken pull ups: 10 singes, 3-2-3-2, 5, 5, singles/doubles, penalty set of 5 for 55 total (went ok)
bench: 10 x 134, 5 x 174, 5 x 174, 3 x 184, 3 x 184 (last set was hard)
rows: trap bar, 3 sets of 10 x 134
seated shoulder: 3 sets of 10: 79, 83, 88
push ups: 3 sets of 20..finished me off.

Topic of the post

From 1982-2004 or so …I’d finish a race. No, my time wasn’t a real “runner’s time” but 6:24-7:00 was a typical 10K pace for me then.
I’d see people finishing well over 10 minutes after me in shiny swank gear..Garmin watches, newest shoes, etc.
Secretly, to myself, I’d think “they’d be better off training more and focusing less on the gear..”; I was especially bad when I was in my 20’s. I did keep such thoughts to myself though.

I am now glad that I did.

My current equipment: big spotter bench with steel supports and spotter pins..trap bar, bumper plates and custom cut steel plates…VERY shiny!!! I have enough equipment for an NFL lineman to keep his strength (ok, I’d need a new bar and perhaps 6-8 more 45 lb plates..).

The bank account can afford it…but the body cannot lift it. The best I can hope for is to limit how far I slide into suckdom.

Serves me right.

Bloodletting

Ok, that title was way too dramatic: this was a mere platelet donation. That is what I do instead of go to ball games.

The workout: 78 F, 74 percent at 8 am (too late) and my right knee was somewhat sore. So I decided to run 3 miles (5K) and try to put some effort into the final mile, then walk 3 more after stretching the glute. Yeah, the glute started to hurt 2 miles into it but I focused on posture and that got me through without much pain.

I wore my old 4’th of July shirt to remind myself that eventually, the races will come back.

As you can see, I gave more effort in mile 2 and even more in mile 3. And, well, a 10:17 mile was WORK in this heat. Good Lord. My body needs more practice at putting forth effort.

The walk started down Moss and then I wandered all over the place.

Yeah, I wore my Chiefs shirt.

Ah…

When I stop too soon

It was sticky. 75 F, 79 percent at the start, (7 am), 81 F, 62 percent at the end. Yes, my Garmen cheated me of some distance in lower Bradley Park (to be expected: tree cover, lots of tight turns; I was “cheated” about .02 miles per lower loop..I know, not that much. But still I was doing ok with the jog (3 lower loops..5 miles) and then I walked.. then it was like a needle to my left glute 1 mile later. I paused to stretch it out.

I was able to finish; first 5 miles of jogging were fine, last 3 miles of walking hurt. Interestingly enough, Saturday’s longer walk was fine, but that was after deadlifts.
I need to stay with my glute exercises..do them daily. And I might need to spread it out a bit and focus on my posture; leaning forward does it no favors. Right knee was ok.

I am watching our tree come down; long gone are the days of just chopping it down and yelling “TIMBER.”

Heartbreaking: probably no Chiefs baseball this year

I got “the call” as to “what to do with the vouchers that I purchased.” Yes, I could insist on a refund. But I’ll do a mix of “donation/2021 tickets”
Yeah, I miss the baseball. But the bigger hole in my heart comes from the
1. Loss of community
2. Hardship for staff, employees, umpires, etc.
3. Delay to death of the dreams of the young players; an athlete’s clock is ticking.

I am NOT being critical of the Chiefs; I do not see how they could play. And I wouldn’t go anyway; I live with a high risk individual and, well, I am 60…a couple of months away from 61. I’d love to pretend that “age is just a number” but that is pure nonsense. The degradation of my abilities is stark.

Workout notes:

Well, I left just as B got home from her walk, and was relaxing on the porch when she got back from her second. It was stuffy when I started, but got cooler (rain); sort of an inverted day, if you will.

As for mine: I jogged 5 miles in 58:30 (not sure about the 12:24 mile; I didn’t slow that much) but the overall pace seems about right. Then I walked 3.1 more in just a bit less time (17:30 ish pace)