Friday, November 30, 2012

Fine and Fresh

The problem with complaining is, well, unless something constructive is done immediately after, it is mostly destructive. Done, okay on to constructive.

First I would like to introduce a new idea, feedback on fencing form. It is done all over all the time by coaches for their students, but how do people that are far away or only get visits, or can't afford direct feedback able to improve? I think that there should be a forum, in the old sense of the word too, where people can post videos of themselves doing specific drills/actions that the community can constructively criticize. There might be a future option of paying for a professional opinion, but that is just a subset of ideas for the bigger idea.

The beginning of the forum is here: Please feel free to sign-up and start discussions and maybe post a video.

The second idea is to branch off on my own to set up a fencing class or two. I think that this would remove me from my apathy that I mentioned and get me away from complaining. My biggest concern probably is beginner set upkeep as I really cannot afford ten sets right off the bat, and to have Hawai'i do terrible things to the gear would be a shame.

I want a much more structured class that gets people learning and applying, but not just bouting. I see an informal bout and I am thinking about how they could improve, but when I am in the midst of a bout I hardly think of how I could improve. I do think afterwards but then the next week when i actually get to fence the person again I have probably forgotten. I know I should write down my observations... As I start to see I just need a better framework on which to operate, and that's what I want to offer is a structured class.

What if I offered two? One that was super analytical, moving people to look and study. The other being mostly repetition and working on form in class? I think I might have to have an established base of students before I get too far in that set of ideas.

So if you were in a class, just beginning, what would you like to learn before moving into drills that you need gear for? What games could be done in between intense sessions of drills/learning to get people moving but not completely distract from the main object of teaching fencing?

There is much more this direction, but really that is why I am trying to start a forum.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

On Running...

And running on.

I think I can pretty much wrap up this year's running, even though we are still 32 days out according to my overly optimistic goal of running 300 miles this year. I am at 91 miles and will probably make it to 100, maybe 120 but not 150, and definitely not 300.

Last year I managed to make it to 150 and felt pretty good about myself. At the beginning of the year I set a goal of 300, rationalizing that it is only around 6 miles a week. I've run 6 miles this week so far, but it is an outlying point and I might add 5 miles to it. Most other weeks have been rainy, voggy, or busy.

First I hate running in the rain. Get water in the eyes, soggy shoes, an extra 20 pounds. Not fun. I do have more clothing and I really just need a new pair of shoes so that I will have two pairs to even that out, or at least not putting on wet clothes/shoes for a run during a nice day. I have less and less excuses, now I just need some glasses that are clear so I can run early mornings.

Second the Vog can be killer. Vog is SO2 which is a normal city type pollutant, but Hilo is pretty far from being a city. It comes from the volcano just up the road from us. It mostly blows over to Kona or Oahu, but somedays it just settles in to Hilo. I think I have described how SO2 turns into H2SO4 when it contacts water, and so breathing hard feels like the lungs and throat are on fire. Not fun to run in at all. Now the funny part, . To sum it up, EPA wants the hawaii power plant to cut emissions, even when acknowledging that the volcano out puts 500-600 tons a day and they want the power plant to cut 1400 tons in a year. Hopefully all the solar panels going up recently and potential geothermal plants will eliminate the need for a really expensive coal powered plant long before the volcano stops spewing SO2.

Third, why does busyness stop me from running? I usually run in the mornings, but yesterday I ran after work. This is an effort to run when I can and not just rely on my motivation in the mornings. If I stay up too late the night before then I have much less motivation to run. And if it is raining, well mornings are no fun in the rain as the road down to the flat stuff gets slick, oh yeah, slick as snot, forgot that one in my rain complaint.

But really, why did I miss my goal by such a large margin? I think a bit of laziness might be part of it, okay lots of it. In my defense we did go on a big conference/vacation in Europe for three weeks, where even if I had brought my running stuff I would have been sick for 2 weeks. Maybe only sick-ish. And what about these last few months? Pure laziness, dang.

Okay, 11 miles this week, totally doable. Next week maybe only 8, but I will try to kep above six as we go into the new year. There always has to be some hour during the week in which there is no vog, rain, or distractions, right? So a summary this might be, a list of excuses. But it doesn't mean I am finished for the year, rather it is motivation to finish the year strong.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finding Apathy

Does taking on responsibility in something you enjoy cause apathy? Very possibly. It doesn't help that when I arrive at the usual time there might be someone around, but usually no one. That makes it a bit harder. I don't think taking on responsibility would cause so much apathy without that thrown into the mix. Also just the assumption that I am a bank... Not very fun.

Enough complaining. I will go to fencing this evening after going home for a light dinner and a few minutes of downtime. Then I will go, and if no one is there I will either run outside or around the gym, hopefully it isn't raining because it will be much more fun to run outside. Unlikely as that is.

My brother came into town last week. We went snorkeling at Kapoho on Wednesday. Thursday we went to prayer just as normal except we managed to bring my brother and our housemate because of the turkey trot down at bay front. That was a decent 5k, one of the flattest courses here on the island. I managed a 26:30ish 5k, which is well away from my best but not too bad considering how little I have been running. Then, of course, we stuffed ourselves silly.

Friday morning we met with my boss and went hiking on the observatory side of Mauna Loa. The hike starts at 11,100 feet. This is my fourth attempt with the third being successful. I did not feel great going up, and the first part of the hike was nearly agonizing. Unfortunately one of the guys with us was not doing so well and I was staying with him to make sure he was doing okay. When he stopped I went up to catch up with my brother and my boss to tell them we might need to turn around. I think I covered nearly a quarter mile in just over 5 minutes, I felt light-headed after that but much better than I had felt before.

We all turned around due to weather, as it was getting misty and looked like it could snow. A good thing I think too, a couple we met on the way down were going up. I did warn them about how easy it might be to lose the trail in the mist. They were later rescued off the mountain after wandering off the trail...

Saturday we went to Ke'ei and snorkeled, didn't know that there could be so much coral around Hawai'i.

My brother went back on Monday, but it was good to see him, hike and snorkel with him.

I am going to try an experiment soon with basically a fencing forum, but with a twist. I want people to post videos of themselves for constructive commentary/criticism. That could be quite tough to do, but we will see, as it is an experiment.

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