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.

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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.

Wow, I’ve been remiss…

Here’s what’s been going on in the past months since I last updated…

1.) I attempted to organize an Otagenki walk at Anime Expo. Epic fail, the only person who walked the 2 mile course was me. Part of what I want to do with Otagenki is organize meetups, walks and hikes in my area (Los Angeles) and I totally went about it the wrong way.

2.) To that end, I have given up on using the forum service I was using for discussions here, and instead I’m going to go ahead and leverage Facebook for all the interactive parts of the site. Facebook group is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/292922240852289/ Yeah, it’s a closed group, but I am pretty good about honoring requests rapidly. Facebook is simply too good for me to ignore. Sure, there’s tons about FB that sucks, but what it does well balances out.

3.) We have also had a Fitbit group for a while now, but I haven’t promoted it at all. That will change. If you have a Fitbit, please join here! http://www.fitbit.com/group/22CYDR

4.) I’m really getting into Crossfit. If you follow my other fitness blog, Less Fat Chick, I have documented my adventures with this very demanding and very cool way of working out.

5.) My friend Stu Levy has launched something that should be of interest to folks following this blog. He’s got fitness videos on YouTube. I’ll do another post about this…if you are working on your body and also working on your Nihongo you are going to find this an awesome tool.

Anyway, going to give this site a lot more love in the future. Let’s go Otagenki!