Kicking at the Mizzou Rec Center

It seems amazing that my winter membership at Mizzou Rec is already almost halfway over. It took me awhile to get a media pass to start filming myself there. Since then, I’ve had camera problems, and other distractions that have kept me from posting. But finally, here’s a 2-month roundup of Rec Center Footbag videos for you!

The Rec center has approached me to ask if they can do a blog post on me. Not sure if that will still happen, but stay tuned I will let you know for sure if do!

Thanks for tuning in!

The Health Report, 2016 edition

Good news is, it’s mostly good! It’s been more than a year since I gave up on the Medical Industrial Complex for solutions to my chronic health problems, and implemented my own program of footbag as physical therapy. It’s been working. It’s been working infinitely better than anything the M.I.C. has done. I can walk again.

I still have problems with my ankle, for sure. If I step wrong, it still hurts. There are lots of activities that I’m still afraid to do because I think it would hurt my ankle again. I still have some fluid retention in my left foot. But still, it’s better. It rarely hurts while I’m kicking anymore, and again, I can walk mostly without pain too. That’s a big difference from a year ago.

Since getting a membership at Mizzou Rec Center, I’ve been doing a lot more solo kicking than usual. Lance runs off to go ski with his buddies in Colorado; I sweat over torques and drifters in the racquetball courts, squash court, or if I’m lucky during break when not many students are around, in one of the main gymnasiums (LOVE the space!). But, the solo shred sessions are testing my limits. It seems like 3 sessions a week is about all I can do without over-stressing my body. I feel like I’m getting stronger; I’m hitting more, more difficult moves again. Yet somehow, I’m still really struggling to put it all together.  There’s some component of balance, or power, or a little of both, that still eludes me.

While my ankle continues to improve, my knees seem to be getting worse again. That’s probably to be expected given the sudden surge of solo shredding I’ve been doing. I’m considering the platelet injection therapy, it’s still just way too expensive for me, and insurance still won’t cover it. I’ve been having more difficulty with my “weak” side moves because my right knee just doesn’t bend very far before it starts hurting.

The rest of me is mostly better too. I’ve still got serous work-stress issues to deal with, but I’ve been very diligent about leaving work behind when I leave. I ride my bike a lot more. I play Hacky Sack lot more. I care about work a lot less, I never look at work emails when I’m off. Doing this makes me feel better, both mentally and physically.

My back, which I still believe is a crux of all my other physical issues, is marginally better. I’m having some really strange issues with muscle cramps in my legs, especially at night, that feel associated with my back problems, but I’ve been able to manage that with careful sleeping habits.

Not much else to blog on the health front, just the life of a slowly aging, lifelong athlete. Rest assured, I’m not going down without a fight.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

As a white male, I got to celebrate MLK Day by getting a day off work. A day off work where I could sit at my computer at home, and read stories about black men getting gunned down by cops, then being put on trial for their own execution; and stories of black women committing suicide in jail cells.

Watch whiteness work.

Welcome to the New Year: 2015 Reconciliation, and 2016 Goals

Yeah, a new year. So… what did I set out to accomplish a year ago, and how did I do?

  1. where do you buy your finasteride Be nicer, kinder, and more engaging with black people. I tried, but I don’t really know how I did. I think I did better, but I have no real feedback mechanism. A black Twitter correspondent told me that wasn’t enough, that I had to be courageous and provide real pushback against my white racist compadres.
  2. buy propecia generic online 72 hours footbag. I completely lost count, but I know I’m way up over 100 hours. http://crscolumbus.com/ulcerative-colitis-crohns/ SUCCESS! I had a good year. I used footbag as my therapy to recover from chronic ankle problems. That therapy has worked infinitely better than anything the Medical Industrial Complex had to offer me.
  3. 5,000 Km on the bike. Final tally: 8,285 Km. Like footbag, I had a really good year on my bike. SUCCESS! This is farther than I’ve ridden in a single year for at least 12 years, possibly 15.
  4. Bring Reflectingyou.com online. 2nd year in a row FAIL. Still a faceless pipe dream. Dream on…
  5. Get another new job. Again, a major FAIL. I’ve applied for everything I can find that I’m even remotely qualified for. But, I’ve only landed a couple interviews, and only one that to final candidate. That one, I go so close. But, in the end, nothing.  Too old, too specialized a skill set at this point. This has been by far the biggest disappointment for me in 2015.
  6. Complete my blog analysis project. Yeah, just another pipe dream FAIL, thinking I’d do this, or thinking anyone might care if I did.

Realistically, these are the exact results I should expect: The things I love, the things I can do by myself without any significant interaction or reliance on other human beings – i.e. footbag and bicycling – I did really well at. Excellent, in fact. Two of the three great conflicts – Man vs. Self, and Man vs. Nature – I’ve got those, and I know it. The other things I can mostly do on my own, but take a lot of time and work and don’t give me the immediate joy and satisfaction that the bike and the bag do, I just… didn’t get to.

Then, anything that requires significant interaction, cooperation, or any kind of any reliance on another human being – Man vs. Man – almost always ends in dismal, miserable failure for me. The evidence is obvious, I’m just not a team player. Instead, I’m an exceptional individual. I have a lot of “near spectrum disorder” social behaviors, which tend to manifest around food, and dealing with other people. Don’t expect me to apologize or try to conform; I’ve long since come to the conclusion that I’m perfectly fine. It’s the rest of society that has the problem.

This is one of the reasons I like being out in nature so much more than being around other human beings. Other human beings always have some bias, some hidden agenda; that ever-present back-stab somewhere, to someone. In contrast, nature is completely open and honest. It can be brutal, and sometimes even very selective, but… it’s not personal. It’s never personal. Nature never consciously decides to treat one person better or worse than another. Humans do.

So, what do I want to achieve for 2016?

  1. 8,000 Km on the bike. I did it last year. I want to do it again this year. Ironically, it’s a somewhat hollow “victory” to have ended up riding that much last year. Many times, the only reason I’ve ridden my bike is because when I get angry about all the bullshit in my life (almost all job-related), it’s often the only activity I can do that takes enough use of my body to keep me from committing some kinds of destructive or violent act. But, if I have to ride because it’s my anger therapy, I will ride. I will ride a lot. I will ride more than ever. I LOVE TO RIDE MY BIKE! 
  2. 120+ hours of footbag. I’m almost certain I did that much or more last year, and want to be way over 120 again this year. Hacky Sack is my personal well of emotional and spiritual refreshment. Barring injury, I will kick a LOT this year. I bought a winter membership to the Rec center, and I’ve been kicking 3-4 hours a week this winter so far. Prognosis looks good. I LOVE TO PLAY HACKY SACK!
  3. Get a new job. Failure at this last year was by far the biggest disappointment in my life, and continues to be the source of virtually all my unhappiness, anger, sorrow, and likely a lot of the chronic health problems I’m experiencing. I used to love my job, but… I don’t any more. The atmosphere has become poisonous: all negativity, reproach, poor communications, misunderstandings, persistent conflicts and turf wars both internally and externally, way too much chaos and last-minute crises, willful disregard of company policy, and a host of oppressive, unevenly applied, seemingly psychotic reactions and policy implementations, almost all of them either punishment-oriented towards employees, or turf-war conflicts with other business units. I fully admit to being an integral part of the poison at this point; you can’t spend your life swimming in the shit without absorbing it and becoming poisonous yourself. I Just. Want. Out. I’ve gotten lost, and I need help finding my way out. Please? I’ve come to the realization that my current skill set – everything AudioVisual – is a dead-end. There’s exactly one job in this town that needs that skill set, I’ve got that job, and… I don’t want it anymore. Not that I don’t like the work, but having such a unique skill set makes me way too vulnerable to changes in the workplace I have no control over. I’m planning to get as many other more commonly sought networking, database, and server admin tech skill certifications as possible this year, and bring those to the table the next time I can land an interview.
  4. Continue to believe, and state, that Black Lives Matter. Do my best to live up to the challenge laid down by my Twitter correspondent. There’s no set goal here, and little ability to measure effect of effort, but this is important to me.
  5. All the other same crap as last year, but… realize they aren’t really that important, comparatively. Priorities are footbag, bicycling, and job. If I get to anything else, I’ll call it a bonus.

Sorry I can’t be more positive and upbeat. My cycling and footbag are such incredibly joyful, happy, fulfilling things in my life. I plan to focus my time in 2016 doing those things that bring my joy, happiness, and a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. My job, in stark contrast, has become such a disappointing, depressing, demoralizing nightmare. I will continue to work towards, and hope to find, a new, better job.

I’ve got a lot more stuff to blog about soon. In the meantime, thanks for tuning in!