Friday, September 24, 2010

Knee Update: Fitness Update : Music Update

Hello friends, I know a promised an update to the SF Marathon, suffice to say that it didn't do me any favors and though I had a blast it came at a price! After a visit to my doctor and my PT I was advised to not continue my daily mile walks, and to simply take it easy and do strength training exercises. So since then I've been returning to the gym to swim, ride the stationary bike (or fake bike as I like to call it) and do leg curls etc to strengthen up my leg muscles. My knee still aches, and it's infuriating and depressing and I'm about to call my doctor to get an MRI because I'm sick of people (experts) saying "sometimes these injuries takes months" it's just been too long!  The gym doesn't give the same rush that running does, even if I work out long enough to burn off the equivalent amount of calories. I feel captive, enclosed, shut in...there's nothing like being out there at 4:30 in the morning heading into the dark with water sloshing in my bottle and a headlamp lighting the way.
I miss running like a prisoner misses freedom.

The gym does offer some entertainment though, for a while those of you who follow me on Twitter have heard me talk about The Grunter and his noises. The Grunter is an middle aged, bald, white guy who lifts weights and when he really goes for it, makes a sound like he's giving birth. For a while there his groaning, moaning, and heaving was so loud that it overpowered the tunes in my earbuds. That's loud!


(This is not The Grunter, most likely his cousin back east)

That being said, there have been some good things to come from me going to the gym again, for starters I can listen to music. I don't run with music, and don't understand people who do this risky thing. I like hearing cars, dogs, muggers, etc when I'm out and about. I have a theory that people who listen to music while running come from very safe, clean, suburban neighborhoods. I don't live in south central LA, but I grew up in the hood and it's fostered a healthy skepticism and sense of my surroundings into me.  My blog is named after a Sick Of It All song, and as such I'm powered by a lot of punk/metal and hardcore. Lately I've been listening to the following bands and cannot get enough of them!
The first band is Trapped Under Ice - this tune is not an uplifting tune, it's despondent and bleak but the anger overpowers the feeling of dread. Listen to this before you attack that curling machine and you'll bend it like you would an aluminum can! (Well you'll at least think you can)


This next band is called Terror and as their name implies, they are another aggressive and angry band.
Hailing from the east coast by way of LA, Singer Scott Vogel and a rotating cast of characters round out a band who's lyrical content focuses on overcoming adversity, anger, betrayal, smashing the opposition, and the camaraderie between friends.
This song is called "Stick Tight" off of their just released album "Keepers Of The Faith" and has kept my heart rate up at many a gym outing lately.


I have friends that ask me, how can angry music make you smile? Runners should grasp this, it's a rush of adrenaline, and a feeling of being alive when you feel your blood run faster through your veins.
There's a similar endorphin rush, a high as it were from both live music and from running.
I suppose there are other parallels too, I've gotten injuries stagediving and training, there's sweat involved in both activities etc.
I share this music with you to show you part of what fuels me. In the big pie chart that is my motivation, this is still a part of the pie even at 40 years of age. More motivation comes from family, from the fact that life is short and I want to live it the best I can, and of course at the end of the day, from my faith. I don't touch on this much, we Catholics tend to try and not proselytize, but it's there!

Hope some of you enjoyed the music or at least got a taste of it to see what powers some of us out there!
Northern Californians, a PS: I will be volunteering at the Cowtown "Urban Cow 1/2 Marathon" So if you are there, say hello! Run if you can! Enjoy the weekend, and stick tight to your friends and family.