Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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Motion Starved is 1 year old today!

One year ago today I launched Motion Starved. It started with my friend Skinny Scott giving me a blog for my birthday in November of 2010. See, I’d been talking about using a blog format rather than the standard website to promote my business and share my knowledge, but I never expected to have one handed to me all set up and ready to go. “Yikes” I thought, “now I really have to get my shit together!”

So then it began, I started coughing up words of wisdom in a massive effort to feed and inspire the motion starved soul in all of us.

If you’ve been reading this past year you’ll be familiar with the people who have contributed to the success of Motion Starved. Bear with me as I take a moment to thank them now.

To Scott, words cannot express how thankful I am for all that you do for me, every day. I’m touched and deeply honored to be your friend. When I’m rich I’ll build you a special town just for Vegans.

To Michelle (aka GP-2011). Thank you for letting me practice on you, for all your creative genius, your support and mostly for all the times you’ve enthusiastically followed me into the depths of potential imprisonment.

To Dawn for being the best friend I never actually met, for your daily challenges, encouragement, advise and your infectious positive spirit. I so look forward to drinking wine with you on the moon.

To Pen & Mo for keeping me in check and for always pushing me, for your support, and mostly for appreciating that life is all about the stories. Without you I’d have far fewer really good ones! Long live the AB’s.

To Dora, your comments keep me on my toes and your support is appreciated more than you can know. Mostly, thank you for being brave enough to call me out when I make a really bad spelling error. The world thanks you for that!

To the rest of you, I say THANK YOU for following and friending, for reading and for working out with me! I am incredibly thankful and greatly appreciate your spending time with me. Without you I would have no purpose and God forbid might have to get another dreadful advertising job.

So there you have it. I’ll stop here and invite you to review “The Annual Report” that WordPress put together for me. It details how Motion Starved did and what it did during 2011. It’s actually very interesting and kind of funny, although I learned that the post most viewed was the one about having a crooked butt crack. Not sure how I feel about that.

Happy New Year my friends!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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The coolest thing to hit two wheels

Stop!

If you know me, you know that I’m an absolute snob when it comes to bicycle handling skills and simple road etiquette. Having been somewhat of a damn good cyclist in a former life, I’ve seen the good and the bad side of folks on bikes. In fact, my nickname used to be The Bike Nazi. Why? Because I have zero patience or respect for folks exhibiting poor, or unsafe bike handling skills or simple etiquette.

While bicycle handling and etiquette are each very large issues, one of the most concerning is the lack of respect for the common stop sign. Declining to stop when required is not only a safety issue but an unfortunate missed opportunity to practice ones handling skills (trackstand, getting in and out of pedals…) and the building of fast twitch muscle fibers (they help you sprint & move quickly).

Rather than going any further, I suggest that you read the article below. I’ve lifted it from Katie Kelly at MillValleyPatch.com. Katie has captured my personal thoughts re: the stop sign issue perfectly. We ask that you read it and spread the word.

Stop! Braking news!
How the coolest thing to hit two wheels is likely already at your fingertips.

It’s a growing cycling fashion statement, a training tool, and an indicator of riding prowess. No, it’s not the latest GPS device or power meter. It’s stopping for red lights and stop signs.

It’s all the rage, and all the cool kids are doing it, from national championship winning bike racers to downhillers to commuters. What may have started as a countywide crackdown against red light runners is evolving into a habit that quickly differentiates between Marin locals and those passing through, the experienced and those trying to show off. The difference? The experienced, skilled crowd stops for stop signs.

And it’s not just cops sending the message.

“I confess, I used to do it,” says Sean Fekete, of San Rafael, of yesterday’s trend of rolling through stop signs. “I’m cruising along, don’t want to stop and then start again.”

Today, whether riding after work on a fixed gear or blazing down a mountain on his downhill bike, stopping for stop signs has become part of Fekete’s regular riding style.

Why the change?

“I was riding a lot with a bike racer, and she was stopping at all the signs, so I just did it because she was,” says Fekete. “Later, I was working with a local coach, and his rule was that if you ran stop signs or red lights, he wouldn’t work with you.”

Fekete is just one of a growing number of Marin locals who feel intense annoyance at those who don’t stop.

“It’s lazy and disrespectful,” he says. “If you want to ride without having to stop, enter a race. Why give pedestrians and motorists even more reason to hate us?”

“I see people blowing stops signs so often now,” says multi-masters track national champion Pete Billington, also of San Rafael. “It is really frustrating when the same people complain about cars not respecting bicyclists.”

What sign running cyclists don’t realize is that not only do they stand out to the crowd as either inexperienced or dangerous, they’re missing out on a valuable muscle defining training tool.

“Stopping at stop signs really is a good opportunity to develop strong core muscles and even sprinting technique,” says Billington. “The tendency to swing the bike from side to side during a sprint is just wasted energy and practicing hip drive and forward acceleration is critical to developing top speed.”

Throw that at the next newbie who screams “On your left!” at the next stop sign.

How to Stop for Stop Signs

We asked Officer Paul Stromoski of the Ross Police Department what exactly cops are looking for when it comes to stopping for stop signs. You may find yourself surprised at how easy it is.

1. You don’t have to put a foot down. Come to a complete stop, yes, but it’s okay to stop for a split second, and then continue on. “Nowhere in the California Vehicle Code does it say cyclists have to put a foot down,” says Stromoski. But if you’re unable to maintain a track stand (balancing your bike at a complete stop), then obviously, you should, especially in a situation as described in Tip #2.

2. Give motorists and pedestrians who were at the intersection before you the right of way. This is Driver’s Ed 101, and yes, it applies to cyclists. Yield the right of way to those who rightfully have it and you may suddenly find your self within an intersection of allies. Who wouldn’t want that?

3. Cops want to see you physically turning your head to look in all directions. “You might think a peripheral look from the corner of an eye is enough,” says Officer Stromoski. “But we’re looking to see your helmet actually moving. It’s the only way we know you’re really looking.”

These are three tips that can spare you from expensive traffic fines or from drawing attention to yourself as an absolute novice. They could even save your life. And who knows? They may even help you get to the podium.

P.s. Thanks Mo, for bringing this article to my attention.
P.s.s. Thanks Katie, for sharing your words.


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Hey there Mr. Bus, we kicked your butt and your friends’ butt too!

Where you been bus? Get a flat?

6:10 pm Wednesday, July 20th 2011. I arrived at the corner of Fillmore and Bay to find a group of 5 or 6 people stretching their legs. Yikes…I thought…it’s starting!

As I chitchatted with the first-comers, and suggested they warm up their legs, others showed up. Every time I turned around there were more people. My head was spinning as I tried to go over the “rules,” route and basic game plan. In my mind there was a lot to do. The initial plan was to get everyone to participate in a warm up sequence but alas all we did was swing our arms around.

As we warmed up (swung our arms around) I sent Mo over to make friends with the bus driver. Armed with a goodwill offering of a box of cherries (why cherries? Because they’re healthy and were on sale) Mo bravely went over to politely let our victim know what was about to transpire. I figured if he knew what we were up to, he might make an effort to travel at a respectable pace and play along.

After the cherries were delivered it took the bus about 10 minutes before it slugged over to the starting line at the corner of Bay and Fillmore. According to the official MUNI schedule the bus was scheduled to depart that out location at 6:32, it was 6:40 when it pulled up to the line (no surprise there). As the bus arrived it lined up at the light, loaded a few passengers and when the light turned green, bus and runners were off.

The pace down Fillmore to Chestnut was reasonable; the runners kept perfect stride with the bus all the way to the light at Chestnut. At the light everyone including the bus (obviously) stopped. When the light turned Green the runners went, immediately leaving the bus behind. That was the last any of us saw of the bus until the finish line, 1.5 miles up the road. Not only did the runners drop the bus they were racing in the first block, they caught up to, and passed the coach that had taken off some 5 plus minutes previous to the one we were racing.

It was amazing watching everyone run up the hill! 4 blocks of hard climbing! Every single person (and lady Jane, our K9 Mascot) dug incredibly deep, they even beat me to the top and I was on a bike! Geez!

In the end everyone seemed to have a great time, thanks to generous donations we had some fine top finisher prizes as well as a couple honorable mentions, all going to very impressive competitors.

Special thanks go to Brock at The SFist for helping me get the word out, Team P for their photos, support and bell ringing. I’d like to thank racer Ross for documenting the event and sharing his video and photos, to Mo for being Mo and to my two other fav Ab’s (that’s code) you made this event happen!

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came and raced, brought their friends and had a good chuckle. This is the way life should be, a little nutty, a little challenging, and a little hot and sweaty!

Until next time…

P.s. Thank you for playing Mr. Bus! See you again next month. You might want to work on your hill climbing between now and then… Just sayin’

P.s.s. Wanna see more pix and a video of this event? Check out our Facebook page!


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Small bites

Maybe it’s this fine weather or the onset of dementia but I can’t seem to focus on anything substantial to write about so I am gonna give you a few small tidbits to chew on.

Artichokes — They’re spiky green orbs of goodness. Artichokes are high in both fiber and protein. It’s currently artichoke season. Most people cook the whole artichoke, and slip each leaf petal, one by one, through their teeth until they reach the delectable heart.

You can steam, grill, bake or stuff an artichoke but the basic system is to place a trimmed artichoke on a rack above an inch or two of boiling water. Cover and steam 25 to 45 minutes, depending on size, or until a petal near the center pulls out easily.

One large artichoke contains, 60 calories, 6 grams of fiber, 4 grams protein.

Mothers Day is Sunday — Get your card in the mail, flowers ordered or whatever you need to do. Don’t forget.

Do you have your Bike to Work Day outfit ready?Bike to Work Day is next Thursday.  Get your bike dusted off, tuned up and ready to roll. Remember just cuz you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you can dress like a sloth. Represent in style and get a sexy outfit in order. Use this day an excuse to buy something new and bike friendly to wear. If you’re gonna do it, do it with style! Here are Mo’s suggestions for outfit inspiration. Bespoke Taylor, Swerve, Cycle & Style. Check ‘em out. Also remember that Mo will be controlling the snacks and swag down at the Ferry Building Energizer Station from 7:30 – 9:30 am. Swing by and give her a holla!

It’s nice out — Get out, drink your water and eat your fiber. Look at people when they walk past you and smile for the sake of Pete! Do it, even if for no other reason than to freak ‘em out.

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend…

P.s. Watch where you drop your drawers, it’s poison oak season!


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It’s time to roll!

May is a damn good month! In California, it’s official bike to Work Month and my favorite; The Tour of California professional bike race visits our beautiful state during May (There’s also Mothers Day and my moms birthday, I’d be screwed if I forgot that.). What more could a month aspire to be? May is full of fitness, inspiration, green living and motherly love.  Happy, happy May to us all!

Lets talk about Bike to Work stuff; It’s pretty cool how these things happen, one day somebody, and it doesn’t matter who, decided that May would be Bike to Work Month.  It’s a fantastic idea. The hope is to get folks out of their cars and on the road to living healthier lives through bicycling. Pretty keen! Here in San Francisco there’s even a designated Bike to Work Day on May 12th. The paramount and bestest day of Bike to Work month. On Bike to Work Day there are “energizer stations” set up all over the city that hand out free goodies and lend support to bike commuters. It’s really nice and very festive! I’ve even been known to go way out of my way in route to work just to stock up on the goodies and chitchat with folks along the way. Why would you pass that up?

Yea, I know, riding your bike to work all clean and dressed to impress can be a bit daunting but why not use Bike to Work Day as an excuse to give it a try. God forbid you may actually have some fun.

Since I’m buggin’ you to ride your bikes to work it’s only fair that I offer a few words of wisdom.

First — Before you go jumping on your bike have a look at it to be sure it’s in proper working order. If you ride all the time than I trust that you keep your bike in good repair. If you don’t than I’ll get on you another time. For now, dust the poor thing off, pump up the tires to the pressure on the sidewall and if you dare clean and lube you chain. Better yet, call NOW and make an appointment at your favorite bike shop.  Don’t wait until the last-minute bike shops get busy this time of year and changing a flat in your work cloths seriously sucks. Give your bike some love, right now!

Second — What to wear? For this I have enlisted Mo, you know Mo if you’ve been following my posts. Not only has Mo been seen riding her bike up and down the cost of Chile recently but she’s an avid bicycle commuter. Here are Mo’s words of wisdom concerning proper peddling attire.

“No one wants to look like a slob when they get to the Financial District and they don’t have to.  Many work clothes and the bike go great together. For example, a tight skirt with some stretch doesn’t show anything private.

When I am going to and from work or to school I actually look nice, wear makeup, etc. on the bike, in part to make a point, and in part to not look like a dirt bag cyclist when I’m going to my classes or whatever.

My clothing choice recommendation – a medium black skirt with stretch, gives enough to let you swing your leg over, but doesn’t creep up or blow up with wind.  Also, high heels are more comfortable on the bike as most of your weight is on your butt and not on your feet!

You can spend money to buy specially made bike clothes but probably is not necessary.” You can roll with what you got.

All I’m asking is that you think about it. Start with cleaning up your bike, you never know when the urge to ride might hit.  Then, take a second to have a look at your cycle friendly wear, to work or otherwise.  Just in case…

See you on the road…

P.s. For more info on Bike to Work Day check out The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

P.s.s. Mo will be “The Captain” of the Energizer Station at The Ferry Building on Bike to Work morning. Stop by and say “Hi” if you’re in the hood!

P.s.s.s I read that 7 out of 10 San Franciscans have bikes. By my calculations everyone under the age of about 65 has a bike. Get on it!


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“Do not crawl on the stairs”

Because I can

I was almost defeated by the six little words, “do not crawl on the stairs.”

I lay in bed Saturday morning thinking, I don’t have to go, I could just say I went. The rain was pounding, not even my cat was bugging me for her breakfast. It was 5:30 am, I didn’t need to be up for an hour but I couldn’t sleep. I lay there trying to convince myself that it wouldn’t be that bad. I had been fine all week, until I read the “race information packet.” I skimmed the pages looking for something that I didn’t already know and then I saw it, “ you may run, you may walk but do not crawl on the stairs.” What? Crawl? Why would anyone crawl on the stairs? Was this event so tough that it brought people to their knees, requiring them to drag their half dead bodies up the steps? Holy shit! What had I gotten myself into?

All night I thought about those six words, “do not crawl on the stairs,” over and over they swam in my head. Finally I pulled myself out of bed and found the coffee-making gear. Two massive cups of Peet’s later and I was feeling better, although my legs had begun to shake. I texted Penny to asked her, “Why do we do this again?” Immediately Pen responded with “because we can.” It was seeing those words in the window of my phone that calmed me down. She was right. Because we can. I could do it, the feeling of relief almost made me cry.

As my oatmeal brewed Mo offered last-minute words of advise and support. My support crew had come through once again. I was calm and ready start the insanity!

Entering the underground parking garage at 555 California was not as smooth as I had imagined. Between the pouring rain and the fact that every car entering the structure had to be searched, there was a bit of a delay. However, once cleared by the Bomb Sniffer Dude I was free to enter the concourse and stand in the rain along with thousands of other nervous people waiting to retrieve our race numbers, timing chips and the coveted, event t-shirt.

The start was smooth. Racers went off at 7 second intervals, you walk up to the line, they snap your photo, you hear, beep, beep, beep and when you hear the loud BUZZZZ, that’s your cue to go like hell.

Off I went, trotting up the cement steps, gray, gray, gray all I could see was gray. I refused to look at the floor markers on the wall, they would mess with my head. It wasn’t until my ears popped that I looked at the marker, I was on the 24th floor. Wow, almost 50% done. I then realized that I was someplace high up in the sky. It seemed strange for some reason. I looked at my watch, 8 minutes.

I picked up the pace and passed a Fire Fighter in full gear having a hard time. Yikes, I thought, good thing there’s no fire.

At some point a dude in baggy drawers entered the stairwell from a water station, for some reason he was under the impression that I might like to chat as we climbed. I decided this was a good time to get a sip of water so I ditched into the hall hoping to lose Baggy D.

A quick sip of water and I was off again, up, up, up and then, damn, there was Baggy D. I put the hammer down to get away and began to notice a steady stream of raspy, gasping sounds rapidly approaching from down the stairwell. As the racket bared down on me I kept my eyes straight ahead looking only at the grey steps. Then, a huge foot wearing one of those shoes that look like a foot appeared to my left. Fat treaded toes attached to a leg that took two steps at a time. The next thing I saw was a muscular rear-end, then, as rapidly as it appeared, the foot the rear-end and the gasping vanished, never to be seen or heard again.

It was after being passed by Big Foot that I really picked up the pace. I came upon a Fire Lady wearing shorts and her big Fire Lady jacket looking like she’d seen better days; again I wondered what goes on when there’s a fire. I looked at the floor marker, it read 50th floor. Holy shit, only two more floors? It must be a trick (I really did think that!). But alas it was no trick. I arrived at the 52nd floor, somebody immediately said, “smile” I looked up, they snapped my photo and I trotted down the hall into the Carnelian Banquet Room to a throng of clapping, cheering, photo snapping people. It was over. Time on my watch said 14:20, unofficial time (official time, 14:00!). Not bad, I thought.

I’m glad I did it. It was fun and for a good cause. I’ll do it again but next time I’ll go a little faster knowing that I won’t need to crawl. That’s my only regret, I finished the race with gas left in the tank, or money left in my pocket as Laurel used to say (but that’s a story for another day).

When I got home I looked at the event t-shirt for the first time. It was bright cherry red; the usual sponsor logos covered the back. The copy on the front read “I climb because I can.” Words to live by…


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If they worked for Granny…

Recipe for recovery

Remember your Granny’s support hose? Ever get a look at a pair of those uncomfortable contortions? They looked like a full-length girdle, sort of. The good news is they’re back in fashion, although now they’re called Compression Socks.

Anyway — Compression Socks or sometimes-called Recovery Sox are currently all the rage. Essentially they’re a knee-high version of Granny’s support hose. Their soul-purpose is to create an upward flow of blood through the lower legs helping to get unoxygenated blood out and replace it with fresh oxygenated blood. A desired effect for anyone who wishes to increase circulation in the legs. I.E. athletes, diabetics, folks that work on their feet or sit for long periods of time.

Fresh oxygenated blood is what athletic recovery is all about, which is why athletes are willing to drop $30 plus dollars for these magic socks.  I have a pair thanks to my friend Mo.  At first I thought “gee, thanks Mo…what do I do with these? They’re ugly.” Now I am addicted to them. I can’t say for certain if they help my legs recover but I know they don’t hinder recovery and the squeezy feeling is oddly nice.  Kind of a tingly massageie feeling. I even sleep in ‘em sometimes.

Get your Google on if you want more info, or take a risk and pick some up.  They’re socks. Everyone needs socks and these are magic socks!

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