Another Otagenki report: Northridge ride!

This was a bike ride that CICLE, Valley Bikery and CSUN Bike Collective put together a few months ago, and I’m just now putting it up. This was a total blast…a group ride is something you have to experience. Lots of fun, lots of support, and this ride was designed for noobs. You should try this in your neighborhood.


Otagenki Report 2: Fit Expo 2014

I really was not expecting to enjoy myself so much at Fit Expo 2014, because Fit Expo 2013 was such a lame experience. I don’t know if the people who run the show read my piece on my personal fitness blog LessFatChick, but this time it was a big difference.

It seems like a new, and very welcome IMHO trend is REAL FOOD. Yes, you now can get a fair choice of nutrition bars and other fitness goodies that have ingredients you know and can pronounce. The only food like that you could find last year was at the Ralphs booth, and from a small company that sends a box of organic produce to your house every month. Yes, the frankenfood peddlers were still there, as were some very questionable supplements, (Ephedra? Oh really?) but there were a lot more items that were labeled organic, and a lot more with identifiable ingredients.

Another difference was a lot more experiential stuff…a lot more exercises to try, and mini-classes. The exhibitions were more interesting too, including some amazing feats of strength by professional athletes and very well trained amateurs.

So yeah, here’s another Otagenki Report. This doesn’t have any commentary…my goal with the Otagenki Reports is to tell the story with footage, not with words. I want to create something universal, that’s understandable in any language. I’ve always loved video essays and photo essays, they’re a real art form, and narration sort of breaks the mood.

The first Otagenki Report is up! A fun bike ride in Santa Barbara!

Yesterday I was out and about in Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Open Streets…a lower-key version of CicLAvia, the huge event that happened 3 times this year in LA. This is the first time I’ve gone to one of these events and ridden my bike. This was incredibly fun, and I think the video I brought back says it all. Cycling is great exercise, almost everyone learned to ride a bike as a kid, and it really is true that you never entirely forget how to ride a bike. Bikes are easy to find at garage sales, and most big cities have bike collectives that sell refurbished bikes cheap and teach you how to fix or even build a bike for yourself. The bike I was on when I shot this was a garage sale find, bought 10 years ago, sitting stored for years and years and only recently fixed up and made roadworthy again. With my plantar fasciitis issues, cycling is a less stressful activity on that vulnerable part of my left foot. I actually did one of my miles yesterday in 5:16 which is a personal record!

Feel the love, share the joy, and GET OFF THAT COUCH! Otagenki!

Announcement: Disabled List

I have come to an uneasy realization. My entire fitness regime is going to have to be reconsidered, because of my continuing problems with my plantar fascitis in my left foot.

Yesterday and now today I have been having intense pain there, centering on and radiating from the left side of my heel. According to my Fitbit, I walked a total of almost 9 miles yesterday through all the things I did.

The idea of walking twice that at a constant pace is looking like something I can’t do under the current circumstances. Yes, I have put all the stuff I have needed to do in action: massage, myofascial self-release, stretching, taping etc.

So unfortunately, unless there is a breakthrough, I will not be able to do the Friends of Richie Walk or any other long-distance walk anytime soon. This means missing walking the LA Marathon too. It is sufficiently close to these events to make this determination. Not thrilled with this, but this is my reality.

Super 102!!! It’s never too late.

Here’s an inspiring story about a senior, Hidekichi Miyazaki, (I don’t think he’s related to the great Anime director…) who started running at 92, and now holds world records for sprinting speed. His training regimen is worth taking a really good look at, BTW…he’s not just doing Cardio here.

More from my friend Stu: Why Super 40?

OK, for all of you who are working on your Japanese comprehension, and also working on yourself as well, you might want to check out this video.

Stu says this is a summary of his philosophy on fitness, and his story about why he got into it in the first place. I think I know what he’s talking about here, since we’ve had conversations about this on other occasions.

Kicking science about weight training

The science is in about weight training. Low weight, high reps and heavy weight, low reps are just as good, provided you can tire out the muscles being worked out in 90 seconds. That’s just a minute and a half. Really low weight and lots of reps over a long period of time is just spinning your wheels. Check out this video, it’s excellent, and ACEFitness.Org is a great resource you should have in your Otagenki arsenal.

This is a really good idea…


I don’t always agree with everything I see on NerdFitness.Com, but this challenge is something I want to invite everyone following this blog to do.

This month is a short month. 30 days hath November, April, June and September. And there have already been two and a half days that have ticked away on September, so really, this is only a 27-day commitment.

Put on your hard hat, and do one healthy thing per day for the rest of the month. It is your JOB to do this now. The payoff isn’t a paycheck, it’s a new good habit. By the time you finish this less-than-a-month challenge, you will establish a good habit that will stick with you. I guarantee it.

I have done this before. On January 1st of this year, without making a big deal out of it and making a New Year’s Resolution, I stopped drinking diet sodas. The only stuff I drink with bubbles now is Club Soda, Perrier, 2 Cents Plain, or some other sparkling water. I guess Emergen-C also has bubbles, so that is another thing I will drink with bubbles. It’s not the bubbles I’m rebelling against, it’s chemical artificial sweeteners. I gave up Aspartame, Splenda, Saccharine and other Frankensweeteners. It was a big deal, because I stopped drinking regular sodas back when I was teenage. I get my caffeine now from unsweetened iced tea, iced green tea mostly. I brew it mega strong. It gets me through my day. I suppose if I can readily find a diet cola sweetened with Stevia Extract or Monkfruit Extract or Xylitol or some other plant-origin non-nutritive sweetener I might drink diet cola again. But then again the “caramel color” crap they put in cola to make it brown is also suspect. No biggie: I like my unsweetened iced tea. It’s one of those things I have on my training table all the time.

So yeah…either mention here on the blog or on the FB group (if you don’t belong I will let you in as soon as I see the request) what you are going to do as part of this Hard Hat Challenge. And then post it on Nerd Fitness too, to get in the running for that hard hat. Did I mention it was a contest? Whoops! Silly me! Yeah, you can win something! Go to the link, read the rules, and get in the running!

Stu’s returned with more about stretching

Another Super 40 video has come out, and this is another one about the very important task of stretching before exercise. I neglect this sort of thing at my peril, you shouldn’t. And of course, since this is in Japanese, it’s another helpful lesson in comprehending spoken Japanese for those who are interested in learning that. However, the video is pretty much self-explanatory even without knowing Japanese. This one shows a way of doing a hamstring stretch without endangering your knees.