31 December 2013

In this issue...

  • What's New at StrongFast?
  • Feature Article: Things Happen
  • Fitness Found Online
  • Recipe: Slow Cooker No-Bean Chile

What's New at StrongFast?

2014-fireworksHappy New Year!

Back to the videos in the next issue.


I owe my athletic physique to my spouse and clean living.
"Clean the garage...Clean the basement...Clean the car..."

Feature Article: Things Happen

brain_scanAstute (or maybe just conscious) readers of The Planet no doubt noticed we missed a few issues. Well, turns out there was a reason for that:

I had a stroke.

Don't worry, it was a "small" one, mostly problematic because it was in a bad spot (near the brain stem). Wound up spending five days in the hospital, but am cleared to do most anything: I've worked out several times (though not yet at full intensity) and flew to New York. Still not 100% but doing well enough.

Pessimistic (or maybe just bitter) readers might ask: "So why should we listen to you talk about fitness when you had a stroke?"

shittensFirst of all, there's no established cause for it yet. I had no risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or family history. (Nor high cholesterol, although its riskiness is very open to debate.) The most honest analysis I've heard so far is "bad luck." (I still think the cats are somehow to blame.)

Second, things happen. Famed running proponent Jim Fixx died of heart disease at age 52. Insanely-fit Bruce Lee died of cerebral edema at 32. His son Brandon Lee was killed by an accidental gunshot at 28. Tim Horton died in a car crash at 44.

And third, maybe (probably?) being fit made the stroke--or at least its effects--less severe, and helped me recover more quickly. (I was working the day after getting out of the hospital.) Who knows? But I'd sure hate to have a stroke while already being in poor health.

In any case, things happen.

deadlift-gAnd that's OK. Regular readers know that I don't promote fitness because it helps people live longer (although statistically it does). Fitness is about living better. The ability to run, jump, lift, and carry isn't just useful, it adds to quality of life. Many (most?) people are satisfied living an ordinary life, managing to get around, no matter how slowly or breathlessly. But I suspect these people don't remember what it was like to feel good (which they almost certainly did when they were younger) and are resigned to thinking the way they feel now is "normal." That's kind of sad.

I still don't feel as good as I did pre-stroke. But I certainly don't accept this as the "new normal." I miss feeling better and plan to get back to it soon, and then keep going to feel even better than before. And if something else bad occurs…oh well. Things happen. But in between, let's make the most of life by being healthy and fit.

Be seeing you.


Fitness Found Online

sleeping-dogSleep is underrated as a key to good health (including being strong and maintaining a healthy weight). Some tips on how to manufacture the best night of sleep of your life.
heart_ornamentJust because it's relevant to this issue of The Planet, an article in the NY Times about A-Fib and stroke. (Stay tuned to see if this applies to me. I'm betting no.)

Recipe: Slow Cooker No-Bean  Chile

A crockpot recipe that's easy and tasty! I prefer to go sans beans because they tend to do bad things to the digestive tract. (I think you know what I'm talking about.) This recipe is quite tomato-heavy. When I make it again (and I will), I'll add another quarter- or even half-pound of beef. Go meat! It also helps that this was local, grass-fed beef. Enjoy!




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