Category Archives: Hackysack

Blog Reboot v3 Complete!

The Blog Has Been Restored. I repeat, the Blog has been Restored.

Yeah don’t expect a lot of peeps to care much but here it is back in action a place for me to publish my own stuff about my footbag adventures, bicycling, etc. Rebooted, with almost all archives and everything restored, so it’s all here except maybe some links to some pictures or video, and one lonely post that really got lost. Still working on old blog link QC.

Next up, another great class project article about the Hack Man!

Thanks for tuning in!

Hack Man’s Finals

The video is long, but it’s the culmination of 6 months of work:

Yes, it’s been 6 months since I began the Homie Hole Series Project: To use footbag to recover from chronic left ankle injury and general left-side neuromuscular problems. Here’s a graph of the last 6 months of recovery work:

After making this kind of progress over the winter and into spring, I though it would be fitting to share a “Finals” test with the rest of Mizzou students. I arbitrarily made up a scoring system for the format I’ve used to motivate myself and keep track of recovery progress:

Hack Man’s Finals consist of 4 test sections, worth a total of 400 points. Tests and scoring shall be as follows:

*** 2 hour time limit to complete all sections ***

Section 1: Complete a rally of 1,000 consecutive kicks, FIRST TRY. Official competition rules. One attempt only, finals must start with this test. 5 points is scored for each 100 kicks, plus 50 points for successful completion of rally. 5 point bonus for completing rally in under 9 minutes, 10 point bonus for sub 8:30 time.

Section 2: Longest string of 3-add or higher tricks. Unlimited attempts within total time limit. Each consecutive trick above 20 scores 5 points. 110 point total limit (i.e. 42 tricks would max score, allowance for 10 bonus points).

Section 3: Longest string of 2-add or higher tricks. Unlimited attempts within total time limit. Each consecutive trick above 25 scores 4 points, 110 point total limit (i.e. 53 tricks would max score, allowance for 10 bonus points).

Section 4: Consecutive alternating toe kicks. Limit 3 attempts. 1/2 point for each kick below 100, one point for each kick above 100. 110 point limit (rally of 160 maxes score, allowance for 10 bonus points).

NOTE: This is a very stringent test, even for the Hack Man. I have aced each section of this test at least twice in previous sessions, but have never aced all four sections in a single session. Over the last 10 sessions, I have averaged a score of about 335, barely a B+.


Then, I went and put myself to the test. I did well! I Both Aced and Bonused 3 of 4 sections, with an 8:23 1,000 first rally, an Ace+Bonus rally of 42 3-adders, and a new Personal Best of 56 2-adders. But, I kinda blew the toes, only getting 110 on that section, scoring just 60 points. Still, an overall test score of 390/400. A solid A!

However, now that the test is over, I need to move on. I believe I’ve pushed the “contact count” concept as far as it’s reasonable to. It’s time to turn my attention to variety. My current 3-add game is Butterfly, Osis, Refraction, Paradox Mirage, Whirl, and Drifter, and drifter is only halfway there. I’d like to get back to doing blenders, torques, and more, and add those ducks & dives & a few other things too.

Problem is, I’m not sure how to get there, except to keep going at it.

Now that summer is here, I find myself falling back into my old kicking habits: Fewer sessions, for longer periods of time. I can tell it hurts my ankle more to do it like this. I can tell it hurts my knees more to do it like this. I can tell the more frequent shorter sessions are better for me from a physical therapy standpoint.

But I go outside, in public, when it’s good weather. When I’m out in public, I just can’t quit! I go until I wear myself out. Public sessions mean significant setup and strike time, too; I want to maximize kicking to prep/strike time. Then there’s the clothing issue; in weather like this, even a 30 minute session completely saturates a set of clothes.

Lots of reasons it’s a PITA to kick more shorter sessions in the summer. But, I think I’m going to have to find a way. I think it’s what I need to optimize my my health. It’s just… I love to go out and kick in public!

Oh well, thanks for tuning in!

Spring is Finally Here!

One of the surest signs that Spring is finally here: Hack Man Blooms on Speakers Circle!

Also since the last blog post:

…and, after just a couple more sessions in the Homie Hole, a great First Saturday of Spring Break Session:

I’m calling this my “apparent recovery” – from what, I’m not exactly sure. But for the last 3 years now, I’ve been going through one or another musculoskeletal problems. My knees. My shoulder. One broken ankle. The other just going wonky, finally getting twisted. My whole left side feeling like I’ve got some kind neuropathic degeneration.

But check this, I’M FIGHTING BACK.

Since last post, I’ve blown past the range of what I thought was a plateau. It seems impossible I could keep up the rate of change I’ve accomplished so far, I’ve got to level out somewhere.

But for now, the apparent recovery continues. My left ankle still hurts, still has problems, but the whole left side of my body seems almost back to normal. Joints on that side don’t constantly pop anymore, only a little bit more than the other side, sometimes.

A while back when I first started the Homie Hole series, I said I felt like my proprioception had mostly been destroyed, and I felt like I was having to re-learn freestyle moves all over again. That appears to be exactly what’s happening. Recovery and Regrowth.

I stopped seeing the doctors. I stopped going to the chiropractor. I gave up on the medical industrial complex. I decided to try what has always been my personal medicine. I’ve made one change: Started playing more footbag, way more times a week, for usually shorter amounts of time. Here’s where I’m at:

  • 34 hours for 2015 so far, nearly 150 annual pace
  • 46/47 on 20×2 every session
  • 46/47 on 15×3 every session
  • 31/40 1,000 first rally attempts
  • 24/40 100+ alternating toe rallies

I’m pleased with the results so far.

Thanks for tuning in!