This fascinating read compiles the latest scientific understanding of what makes different athletes great with some very surprising finds! Our Red Sox fans will be particularly interested in the section on baseball. :)
NPR interview with the author: http://www.npr.org/2013/08/05/209160709/talent-or-skill-honing-in-on-the-elusive-sports-gene
Many people who are new to exercise set out with the goal to lose weight. This can be a great initial motivator for some, but the reality is that the number on the scale does not give the whole story. In fact, it is quite common to actually gain weight as muscle mass increases while fat mass decreases. Check out this blog post that tackles this concept and particularly how philosophies of strict calorie counting can be potentially harmful. http://sophieologie.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/1200-calories/
Casey and I have a New Year’s Eve ritual. Every December 31st we cozy up by the Christmas tree with a holiday-themed cocktail and brainstorm our goals for the coming year. We then write those goals down and post them somewhere we will see them every day. One of my goals for 2013 was to run 100 miles. I set this goal knowing that it was quite modest compared to a full-time runner’s training regimen (working out to approximately 2 miles per week), but I wanted to be realistic knowing that we would be playing roller derby full time for 8 months of that year.
I hit my 100-mile goal the 3rd week of September, shortly after we came home from derby playoffs. Playoffs marked the end of our 6-year journey with our derby league, the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls (BHRG, http://www.bleedingheartlandrollergirls.com/). The conclusion of this big life event left me reflecting on the whole process of becoming a competitive skater and, dauntingly, left a big gap in my sense of “fitness purpose”. For years, every sprint, push-up, trail run, kettle-bell swing, prowler push, and leg matrix has been important because it was all a part of making me the best skater I could be for BHRG. Yesterday I went to a new gym and the trainer asked me about my goals for working out. I had none. I had no grand meaning for why I wanted to pick up heavy things and put them down over and over. Eventually I told the trainer I wanted to be able to do a chin-up, but it rang a bit hollow.
So what now?
I’ve started this 100 miles blog to be a short self-assessment of where I am in my training and where I’m going. During my first 100 miles, I’ve gone running in Indiana, Georgia, New York, and Ontario. I played in approximately 20 derby bouts and scrimmages and skated in a WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs tournament for the first time (http://wftda.com/tournaments/2013). On the side, I finished my doctorate, and we sold our house in Bloomington. I haven’t had many injuries to deal with, thankfully. The only ongoing issue I’m struggling with is tightness in my left IT band close to the knee.
Going forward, my primary goal for my next 100 miles is to find a new goal! Beyond that, I hope to improve my flexibility and attempt to address the lingering tightness in my knee. I plan to take advantage of moving to a new place to try out new things and find inspiration. Hopefully that next big-picture purpose is just around the corner!