Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice 2012

Yeah, it's been quiet around here--you needn't tell me that. There hasn't been a lot to report on the boxing front; I suppose it's time to start focusing on blawging--law-related blogging. I can do that.

In any event, today is the winter solstice. That's great news, as far as yours truly is concerned. The days will now start getting longer in the northern hemisphere. Awesome!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

“Mike Swick Talks About 909 Days of Depression Before Octagon Return”


Think MMA fighters are immune from depression? Think again. Matthew Roth has the story at Bleacher Report about Mike Swick’s return from the darkness. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1436142-mike-swick-talks-about-909-days-of-depression-before-octagon-return
My comments? Welcome back, Mike, and thanks for going public with your struggle. It inspires me and I am confident it will inspire a lot of men. Way to go, man!
Note: This is a very rare instance of blogging the same content in two places. Indeed, I think this is the first time I have ever done so; it's not my usual practice. I have also posted this at http://www.maledepression.com/personal-stories/mike-swick-talks-about-909-days-of-depression-before-octagon-return/ . I'm making this unusual deviation from my regular practice because I think the health issue is so important. Thanks for your support.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Starting a New Year

Since my birthday was November 28, I am starting a new year for myself. Training is still minimal, but I am getting some roadwork in:

November 28:     37 minutes
November 29:     36 minutes
December 1:        1 hour and 16 minutes

I am eager to get back to the gym and regular workouts. I am optimistic that the improving economy will allow me to realize more revenue so that I can do that in the fairly new future. I am hustling to get new work for my law firm!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my USA friends and supporters! May you and your loved ones have an awesome holiday, filled with family, friends, gratitude, joy, and peace.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Slow Going

I haven't posted much here lately. Training is at a minimum and really only includes roadwork. The legal business has been very slow, so the money just isn't there for gym membership fees. Oh well, things will get better. I have to stay positive.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Happy Anniversary

On a chilly day, September 20, 1975, a 9-week-old miniature schnauzer puppy came into the lives of my parents, my brother, and me. Her name was Mopsy and, although the events leading up to our getting her are numerous and complexly intertwined, that sweet little dog was anything but complicated. Hers was a genuine, unconditional love that blessed us all until September 3, 1989 when she passed away.

Mopsy's days with us were a (I'd like to think mutual) delight. She was always a happy, curious dog who loved riding in the car and traveling to new places. Her life was too short, when measured in years, but I think that's always the case. I believe God gives dogs shorter life spans so they can get to the Rainbow Bridge and heaven sooner.

So, this day, I remember Mopsy, and the "sister" and "brother" who followed her: Flopsy and Sebastian, mini schnauzers all. I am grateful for the joy that they have all brought to my family over the years. What a blessing are dogs!

Monday, September 17, 2012

One, If By Land; One-two, If By Sea?

Here's an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how the America's Cup-winning Oracle Team USA uses boxing workouts to prepare for sailing races.

Happy Birthday, United States Constitution!

Today is the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. Let freedom ring!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The lake is awesome!

Did 1 hour and 12 minutes of roadwork at the beach today. It was great. The waves breaking on the shore and rolling over my feet were pretty warm. (In early September, after a hot summer, the water in Lake Michigan is about as warm as it's going to get, ever.) I had fun with it.

Since I live near a dogs-friendly beach, it was neat to see all the dogs playing and having a great time. Ah, summer, how quickly it is passing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Old-time Boxing Manuals: *Boxing for Beginners*, by William J. Jacomb




Boxing for Beginners

Please note that most, if not all, of these old-time boxing manuals were written during a different time. That earlier time had somewhat different cultural, social, and political sensibilities and may use some words and expressions that are rarely used today. Please remember that I did not write these materials and I do not necessarily agree with or endorse everything they say about training techniques or other matters. Thanks.

New Law Firm Web Site and Blawg

I am happy to announce my new law firm Web site and blawg (or law-oriented blog, if you prefer). Here's the address:

http://illinoisbusinesslawyer.us

I an currently posting links (and occasional commentary) to online stories about business law. Starting today, I will also post updates about Internet law. Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mental Game: Practicing the Ol' One-two

I have been working on the mental game recently. For now, that consists of visualization. I have been mentally rehearsing the left jab-straight right (or right cross).

The mental training is interesting. To do it well, I think one has to imagine that all of the senses are participating in the practice. Specifically, it helps to imagine my feet and legs stepping forward with the jab and pivoting with the hips to really turn the body into the right.

Some of the rest of it is obvious: imagining balance, keeping hands up, looking for opportunities to throw more punches after I see how the one-two goes. One thing that isn't quite so obvious is remembering to breathe. That is essential, too, so that I can develop good habits that will carry over into physical training.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Update

Did 30 minutes of roadwork today in the much cooler weather. Also did some mental training.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Wednesday Roadwork

Did 1 hour yesterday. It was much cooler outdoors; we're getting a brief break from the grand heat wave that has characterized this summer.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Old-time Boxing Manuals: *Boxing*, by Richard Kyle Fox

This book is shorter than some of the others I have mentioned in this series, but its lengthy subtitle balances the brevity of its content:

Boxing: With Hints on the Art of Attack and Defense and How to Train for the Prize Ring.


Please note that most, if not all, of these old-time boxing manuals were written during a different time. That earlier time had somewhat different cultural, social, and political sensibilities and may use some words and expressions that are rarely used today. Please remember that I did not write these materials and I do not necessarily agree with or endorse everything they say about training techniques or other matters. Thanks.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Old-time Boxing Manuals: *The Complete Boxer*, by J. G. Bohun Lynch and J. H. W. Knight-Bruce

Here is another instruction manual I hope you will find interesting.

Please note that most, if not all, of these old-time boxing manuals were written during a different time. That earlier time had somewhat different cultural, social, and political sensibilities and may use some words and expressions that are rarely used today. Please remember that I did not write these materials and I do not necessarily agree with or endorse everything they say about training techniques or other matters. Thanks.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Old-time Boxing Manuals: *Boxing*, by R.G. Allanson-Winn

Probably as much as any other sport, boxing is one that has a rich history. Fans, as well as practitioners, of the sport are often nostalgic about how the sport was played "back in the day." Here is the first in a collection of "old-time boxing manuals" that I will post here.

I'm dedicating this blog entry to Frank, a very good friend of mine from high school, who has commented on the sentimental, old-time appeal of the sport. He and I have tentatively agreed to put the gloves on sometime for a friendly contest. I'm looking forward it; I think it will be a good time and, no doubt, a good, spirited match.

For now, enjoy the book. Also, please note that most, if not all, of these old-time boxing manuals were written during a different time. That earlier time had somewhat different cultural, social, and political sensibilities and may use some words and expressions that are rarely used today. Please remember that I did not write these materials and I do not necessarily endorse everything they say about training techniques or other matters. Thanks.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Roadwork

Did 1 hour and 8 minutes out there. It was much cooler outdoors today. At times, I even felt a cool breeze. Keep at it!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

We in the Northern Hemisphere are now in the dog days of summer, or diēs caniculārēs, for all of you Latin enthusiasts. Interestingly, the term "dog days" is not so directly about our millions of friends whose species is known as Canis lupus familiaris (again, for the Latin fans among my readers), but derive from astronomy. Yes, indeed, from astronomy. You can read about that here.

As for me, since funds are scarce, I haven't been doing my usual gym routine for a while. I am hoping to make that change very soon. In the meantime, I've been doing roadwork, shadowboxing, and some mental training. Here's a brief recap of the roadwork for the last few days. High temperatures have been hovering around 100 degrees here in the City of the Big Shoulders.

July 22:     33 minutes
July 23:     33 minutes
July 24:     23 minutes
July 25:     12 minutes (yes, just a brief one!)

I have also been working on some combinations in shadowboxing. Last, but definitely not least, I have been doing some mental training using the NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) tools of Michael J. Emery. Just like the physical aspect of the sport, my mental game always needs more work, so I am making that a priority in 2012.

More updates will follow soon. Until then, enjoy the picture I've shared below of Saint Roch, the patron  saint of dogs.



This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. See this page for further explanation.

United States

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Seeking Some Blog Sponsors

Dear Readers,

To allow me to add more high-quality blog content to Lawyer-boxer's Blog, I am seeking some additional sponsors. You can sponsor the blog easily by going to the top of the right-hand column of any page on this blog. Under the heading, "Tips Gratefully Accepted." You can then click on the "Donate" button to make a donation via PayPal. If you can spare $15 to $20 toward supporting this site, I would be very grateful.

All sponsors will be acknowledged on the blog. I am also asking for the donations to help me pay for some medical expenses I've had recently. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

International Olympic Committee Denies Public Honor to Israeli Athletes Murdered at 1972 Games

[Note: This entry also appeared on my Facebook wall on July 22, 2012.]


The 1972 Olympic Games, held in Munich, Germany, are the first Games that I remember watching closely as a boy.* I recall some of the track and field events, but what I remember most is the ominous video images of the "Black September" terrorists, holding guns and wearing masks over their heads, as they stood on the balconies of the building where the Israeli athletes were staying. I remember asking my dad, "What is a terrorist?" (I was 8 years old at the time.) My dad explained "terrorism" to me briefly, and although I fairly quickly forgot his explanation, one thought that has remained with me is that terrorism is evil.

I'm not a blind supporter of the state of Israel. Many people who know me know how strongly I feel about the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. At the same time, I sympathize with the Jewish people who, after the genocide in Europe before and during World War II, did not have many other places to go. I also sympathize with the Arab population living in the region of Palestine at the time, their forced deportation, and the difficult conditions under which many of them live today. Furthermore, I am very cautious about the term, "anti-Semitism," because I think it's a word that has been used excessively to the point where it has lost a lot of its impact and meaning.

Having said all that, the decision of the International Olympic Committee not to hold a brief public remembrance, at this summer's games in London, for the Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 games is appalling. Indeed, I believe it is rooted in anti-Semitism.

I don't hurl such charges lightly, but I believe it is justified in this case. Whether we like it or not, the Olympic Games exist in a broader context than that defined by sports. I am seriously disappointed that the IOC persists in its state of denial of the gravity of the murders at the 1972 games. A private commemoration of the athletes who lost their lives is appropriate, but a dignified and brief public honoring of the memory of those athletes is also appropriate. The IOC needs to come down from the clouds of idealism and ideology and show some respect to those innocent persons who died in Munich in 1972.

This article in the Jerusalem Post reports the news story:

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=278407


* I have only the foggiest of memories of watching a few events of the 1968 games. However, those memories are really quite limited, and they exist in the context of fragments of memory about the Dr. King assassination, riots in my hometown of Chicago, the Robert Kennedy assassination, and the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention. Even at the ages of 4-5, and though I lacked a vocabulary to express the thoughts, I sensed I was growing up in a very violent, crazy world.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Monday Roadwork

Like much of the United States, we're having a very hot and dry summer here in Chicago. I did manage to get in 29 minutes of roadwork today, so that's something. I'll be very glad when work stabilizes somewhat and I'm able to resume more regular training.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Men's Health Month: Detroit Lions QB Stafford Promotes Men's Health Week

Matthew Stafford, quarterback for the Detroit Lions, is promoting Men's Health Week in a big way. In addition to getting a lot of information about health topics, men who live in Michigan can sign up for a chance to win a football autographed by Stafford. If you're not in Michigan, you can still benefit from his site, videos, and health-oriented information. Have a look!

http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2012/06/11/matthew-stafford-mens-health-week-contest-autographed-detroit-lions-footbal/

Monday, June 11, 2012

Men's Health Month: Safeway Raises Funds for Prostate Cancer Research


Safeway's Prostate Cancer Fundraiser Yields New Hope in Cancer Research
PLEASANTON, Calif., June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeway Inc. (SWY), one of the largest corporate supporters of cancer research and outreach, and The Safeway Foundation are continuing their effort to fund ground-breaking research and the pursuit of a cure with a month-long Prostate Cancer Awareness campaign in June. 
The campaign, which is in its 12th year, is designed to raise funds and increase awareness for the fight against the disease, which currently affects more than two million American men and remains the second-leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States. 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
To date, Safeway and The Safeway Foundation have raised more than $68 million for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research. Those donations, provided by Safeway's generous customers, are accelerating game-changing research and discovery at some of the most prestigious cancer centers and research institutions in North America. The outcomes of the nearly 1,600 Safeway-funded research projects include the identification of more than 27 cancer-causing gene fusions, new biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment response assessment and the development of new drugs to deliver more effective treatments for patients with advanced stages of the disease. The death rate has dropped roughly 40 percent in the U.S. alone, meaning nearly 200,000 American men are alive today because of improved treatment.
"The commitment from Safeway, its customers and The Safeway Foundation is moving us closer to the ultimate goal of overtreating less and curing more," said Jonathan Simons, MD, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "When people donate at any of Safeway's nearly 1,700 stores, they can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their money is helping to save lives."
New for this year's campaign is a promotion in partnership with Stand Up 2 Cancer — a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation — and actress Angie Harmon, star of TNT's original drama series, Rizzoli & Isles, who is now appearing in public service ads supporting cancer research. The PSA's highlight a limited-edition, reusable shopping bag, embossed with the words, "It starts with a wish; it can end with a cure." The bag is available for purchase at all Safeway locations in the U.S., including Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick's and Carrs stores, as well as online at safewayfoundation.org.
The Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign launches just one month after Safeway completed another major fundraiser, the Support for People with Disabilities campaign, which benefits Easter Seals, Special Olympics and an array of other organizations that help those with physical or developmental disabilities live fuller lives. That campaign raised $9 million thanks to Safeway's customers, employees and a special partnership with singer Avril Lavigne, who provided a special song download and an online behind-the-scenes concert footage to those who contributed $5 or more.
Along with prostate cancer research and support for those with disabilities, Safeway is one of the largest corporate supporters of breast cancer research, having raised more than $108 million for the cause. In addition, Safeway is an industry leader in environmental sustainability, ethical business practices and effective community outreach. Safeway upholds an operating philosophy that is rooted in corporate social responsibility focused on four key fundamentals: People, Products, Community, and the Planet.  These fundamentals are "The Heart of Safeway," bringing together our passion for food and serving our customers with the rapidly developing needs of our communities and our planet. In 2011, the company raised and donated more than $180 million for hunger relief, education and the previously mentioned important causes.
ABOUT SAFEWAY www.Safeway.com
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,678 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $43.6 billion in 2011. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.
Contact: Teena Massingill, 925-467-3810, 
Teena.Massingill@Safeway.com

Link to release published online at Yahoo! Finance:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/safeways-prostate-cancer-fundraiser-yields-224500612.html


*Hat tip to my friend, Earl, for telling me about this campaign.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Men's Health Month: U.S. Army "Men's Health Expo offers MMA demonstration, info" (June 14, 2012)

Here's some men's health news that is more specific than some of the other items I have posted on that topic so far, and (somewhat) germane to this blog. Please note that this blog post is time-sensitive: as explained in the article below, it announces an event planned for June 14, 2012.

The text of the article (without its accompanying photo and caption) appears in the indented block of text below:
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 7, 2012) -- While many men may be reluctant to go to the doctor, many of those same men readily visit the gym. 
Because of this, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Lyster Army Health Clinic health promotions and wellness center are taking the medicine to the men by hosting a Men's Health and Fitness Expo, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 14 at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility.
The expo will feature more than 100 door prizes, a variety of health vendors from the Fort Rucker area and demonstrations by Dothan's Wolfpack MMA, a martial arts training center. The event will also include a Ride and Drive event that allows attendees to test drive vehicles from local Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Honda dealerships, said Leigh Ann Dukes, MWR sponsorship manager. 
"I think the Wolfpack demonstrations will be fun because MMA and the military just seem to fit together," she said, adding that the door prizes will include solid black sling backpacks. 
"We just try to give the patrons here on post -- civilian, military or retiree -- an opportunity to see some of the options that the Wiregrass offers when it comes to medical facilities," she explained. "A lot of us can't go off post to attend the health fairs that the surrounding communities have."
Lyster representatives will be present to offer information on smoking cessation, weight control, nutrition, self-exams and more, said Jeff Atkins, licensed practical nurse and health promotions tech. They will also offer body mass index screening and blood pressure checks. 
"We want to get awareness out about what men need to look for," he said. "The ladies are talked to constantly. From the time they hit puberty, the doctor is telling them they need this test and this test and this test, but the guys don't get that."
Atkins said he was hoping to help change that mindset so that men are better informed about their health and potential health problems.
"Physical fitness plays into all this," he said. "People today want to pop a pill, but they don't realize that exercise is free. It doesn't have to be that much. It can be a little bit, but that little bit can be the difference between being able to move around and breathe and not being able to." 
"We wanted it to be in a venue that is more conducive to people who are health-conscious or fitness-conscious," Dukes said. "If they're working out on their lunch break, maybe they can walk through the booths. If they see a car they want to test drive, it's there too."
Atkins recommended men of all ages attend the expo, and encouraged fathers to bring their sons along. 
"It's not just the older men. Young guys need to know, too," he said. 
For more information on the health fair, call 598-5311.

Article courtesy of the United States Army. Link to original:
http://www.army.mil/article/81311/Men_s_Health_Expo_offers_MMA_demonstration__info/

Men's Health Month: 5 Cancers to Watch For

A recently published article warns men to be on the lookout for the following types of cancer:

  • bladder,
  • colorectal,
  • lungs,
  • lymphoma, and
  • prostate.
Get the details in the article itself:

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Men's Health Month: News Headlines Roundup

There is a growing amount of information online about men's health topics. It's impossible to keep up with all of it. Nevertheless, the content is often very useful. I can't save you the trouble of doing your own searches for topics that interest you, but I can share links to some of the recent news articles that have looked interesting to me. Here's a brief list of those links.
















Summer is Here!

33 minutes roadwork today. It was hot out there--about 90 degrees--and sunny. Gotta love it.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Men's Health Month: NIH Men's Health Site

There are a lot of good, informative Web sites about men's health and wellness issues. Even in great health and physically fit, I wouldn't live long enough to list all of them. So instead, let me point you to the Men's Health site at the National Institutes of Health.

http://health.nih.gov/category/MensHealth

For each of the many health topics listed, that site provides numerous links to more detailed information.

Question: How are you focusing on health during Men's Health Month 2012?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Men's Health Month: Chill Out

If I had a dollar for every time a friend told me, "Dude, you really need to chill out," I would be a fairly wealthy man.

From time to time, we all need to slow down, relax, stop taking everything so seriously, and enjoy the simple pleasure of just being alive. Reducing stress is part of most of the health recommendations that I see.

To help you take a 2-minute break from the chaosphere, try this site that calls itself "a place to relax."

http://calm.com

Have at it and enjoy yourself; you deserve it!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Gearing Up for Men's Health Week (and Month)

Greetings, all you late-spring and early-summer fans! It's June and it's warm and sunny here in the Corn Belt. Did you know that June is Men's Health Month? Did you know that June 11-17, 2012 is Men's Health Week?

Don't worry if you didn't; a lot of guys are not aware of the annual custom we now have of looking carefully at the health of men and boys, learning more about it, and improving health and fitness.

Since this is a sports/fitness blog, I'll be posting a lot of health-related content during this month. Men's Health Month and Men's Health Week will get significant attention here, so be sure to visit this blog regularly to keep up with the latest content and news. I am confident that you will find the information useful.

To start, here are two logos courtesy of the Men's Health Network. Visit the sites below to get an overview of what is coming.

 


Friday, June 01, 2012

Help Save the New York City Parks Boxing Program!

For more than 50 years, the New York City Parks Department has operated a successful amateur boxing program that has served the public, especially low-income residents and youths. Sounds like a good thing, right? Yep, it sounds like a very good thing, if you ask me. But there's a problem. The NYC Parks Department is planning to close the program down at the end of June. This June, as in 29 days from now. 

Why is the Department closing the boxing program? Who knows? Who really understands the working of large city parks and recreation departments? This article quotes one of the program's coaches, Steve Maiorano, explaining the virtues of the boxing program and speculating about the reason for its scheduled closure:
 "It makes no sense to close the program. There was even some talk of Volleyball. What? Where? Half the time, the basement ceiling is too low for the ping pong players. And there are foundation pillars everywhere. Everybody here is respectful and gets along and there's never been a problem. We have a multicultural group of kids that train together, help each other out, make friends, it's been like this for over 50 years."
I haven't had the pleasure of vising the NYC's parks boxing program, but everything Coach Maiorano said resonates deeply with me. First, I know the type of low-ceiling gym he's talking about from my own boxing experiences in the Chicago Park District's (CPD) fine boxing program--a program that has benefited me at many levels. That's not the kind of room where one plays volleyball. Second, I've experienced that kind of respect in the CPD's gyms. When one enters and departs, one greets everyone with a friendly word or two, a fist bump, a handshake, or a thumb's-up; it's that kind of a friendly place. The place is multicultural in the sense that everyone seems to forget all about "multiculturalism" and "cultural differences." The boxers and the coaches are there simply to enjoy the sport, to work hard, to improve themselves, and to learn and practice good sportsmanship. Third, just from reading about the program, I think it would be an awful loss to the city of New York to lose such a successful and thriving sports program.

The article notes that the program costs about $5,000 per year to fund. That's it. You read it correctly: five thousand United States dollars per year. I'm certainly no expert on municipal parks management, but I've been a lawyer and a businessman long enough to know that $5,000 per year is really pocket change as far as major cities' budgets go. Yes, it's an expense that has to be paid, but it's certainly doable. The program has operated for more than half a century so far. If the program is anything like the CPD's program--and since it's in NYC, you know it's probably bigger and at least nominally better--then to shut it down will have a far greater negative impact than keeping it open, an impact that you just can't measure in dollars and cents.

Wherever you live, and especially if you're a New Yorker, I respectfully invite you to write to Councilman Daniel Dromm, who, according to the news article, will communicate with the commissioner of the Parks Department. Here is Mr. Dromm's contact information.

Council Member Daniel Dromm
37-32 75th Street, 1st floor
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Tel: (718) 803-6373
FAX: (718) 803-9832

Please take a few minutes to write to him and ask that he support the boxing program's continuation. With a combination of city funds, private donations, and membership fees, our nation's flagship metropolis can certainly keep the boxing program going. When I was training at Chicago's Hamlin Park, I helped the head coach, one of the assistant coaches (who also trained me), and local businesses to set up a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization to help support the boxing program there. If you want to support a solid youth sport's program, please write Mr. Dromm a short letter today. Many young athletes today and in future generations will benefit from your effort. I've already started on my letter. Thanks!

Hat tip for this news item to my buddy, Mark, an enthusiastic coach and a skillful boxer in his own right. Thanks, Mark!


A New Publication I Have Discovered

I found a new publication yesterday entitled, Martial Arts Journal. While its focus is martial arts generally, it does have content specific to boxing, too. I've embedded it in this blog post. Have a look; I think you'll like it!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Roadwork

48 minutes of roadwork and shadowboxing today. It was hot out there: about 90 degrees.

Recent Animal Stories

First, in honor of Memorial Day, "Amazing War Heroes Animals."

Also, "Recycled doggies: Saving Lives."

Enjoy.

The Gifts that Earlier Generations Have Given Us

Almost three years ago, I wrote about the "new" generation of people who one blogger called "Generation 'M'." Recently, motivated by an article that was pretty disparaging to the younger people known as "Millennials," I assembled some thoughts about everything that has been given to us by those who have gone before us: parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and other ancestors. Here are those thoughts.

People who know me well would recognize this observation that I often state among family and friends: In some significant ways, human life on this planet has always been a pain the ass, for just about everyone. There really is almost always something to complain about. About 2,600 years ago, Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as "the Buddha" after his enlightenment, called the situation by a Pali word: dukkha. I know next to nothing about the Pali language, but I have seen and heard that word translated as "suffering," "pain," "unsatisfactoriness," "unease," and "misery." More profanely, I translate dukkha to mean "a pain in the ass." Our knowing that life is a pain in the ass is, in itself, still another level of pain in the proverbial posterior. Life is far from perfect. The sooner we get over it, the sooner we have a chance at finding more grounded, enduring forms of happiness.

Alright, that's enough about the Buddha and Buddhism; I have some more specific points to make.

First, I don't agree with that article's dumping on Millennials. Here's the link again for your convenience:http://oncampus.macl...-generation-me/

I don't see the people called Millennials as any more selfish or "generation me" than any other group of people. I'm not all "Rah-rah, go Millennials!" either. For example, I don't care for the music that many of them listen to, but tastes vary. My tastes in music comprise an arcane mix, so I may just be hard to please. Nevertheless, I don't perceive the selfishness, materialism, and reduced civil engagement that the article bemoans.

To the extent that the Millennials may be somewhat more selfish, more materialistic, and less engaged in larger civic causes, we have to be realistic and give them a break. Look at the shitty economy that we have as they are coming of age. The uber-wealthy have ripped, if not the guts at least some vital internal organs, out of the USA and world economy. And there's another wave of that kind of crisis coming with student debt. How is someone graduating from high school supposed to find well-paying employment? Many, if not most, of them are going to need advanced education for that. But who can afford college tuition these days? I'm guessing it is the same with trade schools, too, but I don't know that for a fact.

The cost of higher education has spiraled out of control, many times the rate of inflation. Someone who is graduating with $50,000 to $100,000 in student debt is already at a disadvantage compared to people who graduated in the mid 1980s like I did. Add to that a dismal economy and job market, and I think anyone can see the dark clouds gathering.

On the other hand, it's also bullshit to bitch and moan and blame everything on the baby boomers and say that our (or the Millennials') lives are awful because of boomer greed and excess. I say it's bullshit because it looks at just one side of the equation, the negative side or the downside. Let me explain.

Each of us comes out of our mothers' bodies and into this world as a wet, crying, needy, and shriveled-faced infant. Any abilities or talents we have are going to do no one any good until many years after we are born. We are dependent on our parents for survival a lot longer than the offspring of any other animal species of which I'm aware.

A tiny percentage of us grow up in the lap of luxury, filled with "the best of everything," silver spoons, and so forth. Some of us endure horrific childhoods riddled with poverty, abuse, neglect, and addiction. As different as those extremes are, we all have much more in common in terms of what the world gives us.

Before I launch into my litany of good things, let me say it again: life is not perfect. Nevertheless, just think about all the stuff that is here for us, when we exit our mother's womb and enter the world--all things that we did nothing to create, paid no price to earn, and are really there for our taking.
  • agriculture and the means of growing and distributing food;
  • our system of government and laws and heritage of (albeit imperfect) protection of individual human rights;
  • our language--whichever language is our native tongue--that has been developed over the course of centuries and profoundly affects how we think, speak, and act;
  • sports and fitness activities (how many of us have ever invented a new sport?);
  • science and mathematics and the technologies they spawn, including the Internet that is allowing me to share these words that you can read almost anywhere on earth;
  • the humanities--art, music, and literature--that enrich our lives and that we can enjoy without ever ourselves putting a paintbrush to canvas, a pen to a music score sheet, or words to a sonnet or novel of our own invention;
  • family wisdom and folklore passed down through the ages;
  • domesticated animals like dogs, cats, and other pets that become our companions, offering us much enjoyment, companionship, and even health benefits;
  • religion and spirituality, or a level-headed agnostic or atheistic worldview;
  • the means of building to house us, provide workplaces and recreation areas, and create other structures for our use;
  • the means of making clothing to clothe us and protect us from the extremes of the elements;
  • advanced systems of medicine that allow us to live with conditions that would have been fatal less than a century ago;
  • organized charities that help make life a little easier for our fellow humans, and maybe for us;
  • a system of social insurance to provide retirement and disability benefits (yeah, I know this is controversial);
  • systems of education to help us learn about our world;
  • a military infrastructure that encompasses the most advanced weaponry and defense systems ever known to man (yeah, this is another controversial one); and
  • so many other things that I can't think of right now.
Each of us, part of each advancing generation, will use these artifacts of civilization although we did not build them. We will make other contributions--whether variations or advancements on the items I have listed above, or inventions and wonders that will be classified in different groups--and will leave them for those who follow us.

Human progress depends on building on the work and creations of those who have gone before us. Yes, those earlier people did some things wrong--some grievously wrong--but I don't think it's fair or honest to assess our position in human history by focusing only on the harms done by previous generations without acknowledging the many good things they have bequeathed to us. Despite all of the gloom and doom (that I know is truly part of the current reality), there is a great deal of good stuff that we have that was given to us as a gift, free of charge. I think it's worthwhile to count our blessings and appreciate the good things that connect us to our ancestors and forebears from time to time. 

Remembering Memorial Day 2012

United States of America
United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To all who gave their lives in service to our beloved country, the United States of America: thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice. Words are not enough to thank you, I know, but I appreciate your service. May you rest in peace.
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Friday, May 11, 2012

I Can Use Some Help for One of My Other Web Sites

For the last 10 years, I have operated MaleDepression.com, a site that provides information and connections to men who have mood conditions like depression and bipolar disorder, and the families and friends of those men. We have gotten a fair amount of media coverage (see "About" page on our site). Currently, the site needs some funds to keep operating. If you would like to help, please see the left-hand column of our home page where you will find the information. Thanks in advance for helping to keep the site online and free for visitors!

Monday, May 07, 2012

My Gym Has a New Web Site!

My gym, GoTime Chicago, has a new web site:

http://www.gotimechicago.com

Please visit the site and tell them I sent you!

Possible New Training Buddy in My Apartment Building

Foster Beach, Chicago, IL USA
Foster Beach, Chicago, IL USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don't know if I mentioned this earlier here, but I moved my home in the middle of March. I am still in Edgewater Beach, just a little closer to the park and beach. My apartment is a little larger than the last place I had, I am paying $75 month less in rent, and frankly, I trust the management company of my new apartment more than the one that managed the last building I lived in. My bicycle was stolen at my old building, my apartment was invaded by bedbugs that ruined about $2,000 in furniture, and the management company engaged in unlawful housing discrimination, and it was time for me to leave.

In my new building, I've met a nice mix of friendly people and dogs. Yes, the building is dog-friendly, too. I am hoping to adopt a dog or two from a dog rescue organization or animal shelter. Having some canine friends around regularly would likely do wonders for my disposition and mental and physical health.

Last, just a few days ago, I met one of my new neighbors. He's about my size and is interested in doing some boxing training with me. Since summer is approaching, we can probably do some outdoor training. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Best Punch/Photo of the Year?

Robert Ecksel at Boxing.com points us to Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports, who shares with us his assessment of a fine photo by Tim Shaffer at Reuters. Is that amazing, or what? Here's a direct link to Kevin's article. And here's the best news: Kevin Iole reports that, although the recipient of that punch, Tony Pietrantonio, lost the match, he was able to leave the ring under his own power and is doing fine. Winner Lavarn Harvell remained unbeaten, improving his record to 10-0.

This blog entry has a lot of links, but I want to make sure each of these guys gets proper credit and recognition with the search engines. If I had a link for Tim Shaffer, I'd post it, but I don't. Great work, gentlemen!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

30 minutes light roadwork today. I've got to shake off this ring rust, but my mom has been in the hospital so my time has been limited. I need to get back to my gym; hopefully, they'll still recognize me when I return! For now, doing some dogsitting and chilling out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring is Here

Did 42 minutes of roadwork today. It was warm and sunny outside. It was a great day to be outdoors. There were lots of people and lots of dogs! :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

"How Does The Financial Crisis Affect The Poker World?"

How Does The Financial Crisis Affect The Poker World?

by John Edmonds

Everyone knows that the financial crisis has been tough on everyone. A question important to participants in the gaming world is, how has the crisis affected poker? One would expect, with people having to cut back on recreational activities, poker would suffer as well. Again, the question is, has it?

How Has the Financial Crisis Affected Poker Pros?

It’s hard to say how the financial crisis has affected the lives of day-to-day rounders who grind it out online or at low to moderate stakes casino tables every day. One would imagine their jobs have gotten a little bit harder, as their tables are probably filled with more strong players and fewer tourists with money to burn. However, even in a struggling economy, there are always some people with money, and there often always seem to be people willing to risk that money gambling, hoping for a big score. There does not seem to be any danger of casinos or major online poker sites shutting down anytime soon, and poker pros seem to have managed to stay in action. 

How Has the Financial Crisis Affected Poker’s Future?

Poker has stayed strong enough that when the economy rebounds, poker probably will, too. In the meantime, the World Series Of Poker is still expected to attract thousands of players, with millions of dollars on the line. Hopefully whoever wins that money will pump it back into the global economy to help get things going again.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Cold Roadwork in Early April

Did one hour and 16 minutes today. It was cold out there. March was unusually warm, but so far, April feels kind of cold. No big deal. It keeps me moving.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday Roadwork

37 minutes on a nice, warmer-than-normal-for-this-time-of-year Saturday. Ah, sweet stuff, indeed!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reconnecting with a High School Buddy: A Lesson in Good Sportsmanship


Several years ago, over the Christmas holidays, I was talking with my brother, Paul (Gordon Tech High School class of 1983, whereas I was in the class of 1981), about something that happened during frosh year. While sitting one day in an Internet cafe, I had heard a song on the radio from that year and had been startled. I remember, saying to myself, “Holy shit, no way was that song from 30 years ago!” But it had been. Amazing. It’s weird–I can remember lots of details about high school but if you ask me what I had for lunch today, I’ll have to think about it.

Over the last few years, I’ve been reconnecting with a lot of my friends and classmates from the old GT Ram days. About two years ago, while surfing through the list of names of guys who had graduated in 1981 like I had, I remembered one of their names. The fellow’s name is Dean. Feeling kind of social and outgoing, I reached out and “friended” him. At first, he didn’t seem to remember me, which was no surprise. After all, we had a huge class–about 550 of us, I think–so I wouldn’t have been surprised if he hadn’t remembered me much, if at all. Further, Dean and I had not really been good friends at the time. He had seemed likable enough, and he and I had some classes together, but we didn’t know each other very well; we were more just classmates rather than friends.

There was one particular and important time that I do remember about Dean, when we were outside of classes. After I recounted the story to Dean, he started to remember me more than just as a “name that was kind of familiar.” It was in intramural boxing. At our then-all-boys high school, boxing was regularly our most popular intramural sport. Dean and I both had bouts on one day, against different opponents. It has been more than 30 years since that day, so I don’t remember now if Dean’s match was before or after mine, but he and I talked before my match and Dean was friendly and very encouraging. When the other kid and I were called up, Dean enthusiastically said something like “Go get him, Steve!”

After the bout–I won, but just barely!–Dean and I talked a little. He slapped me on the back and was going on and on about how well I had done. (For the record, I was exhausted at that point, so I’m glad he’d had enough enthusiasm for both of us! I was so tired that as Coach Clarence “Bronco” Telkes, who had refereed the match, raised my hand for the decision, I felt like I was going to collapse from fatigue; my opponent had done really well and I was kind of surprised that I had won.)

I’m smiling as I write this, but it was awesome that Dean seemed even more excited about my win than I was. Maybe that was because I had a headache! I thought, “Dean is a good guy. He seems really psyched and happy for me about my win and he doesn’t really even know me much.” (It’s also more than a little embarrassing that I don’t remember how Dean’s bout went, although I was cheering for him.)

This is a small memory, but a happy one. It’s great to reconnect with my high school friends. Communication seems a bit easier now. It’s great to find out what everyone’s been up to and to share my own stories with them. Dean now has a family, and he’s a CPA and successful businessman. I’m thrilled for him, just as he had been for me that afternoon in our gym, about 3 decades earlier.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back in the Gym Today

Today was finally the day I got back to the gym to resume workouts. I intended to go easy my first time back, although once I got moving, I'm not so sure how easy I kept things. I guess I'll be able to tell by any soreness I feel tomorrow.

It was great to be back. We're getting a lot of snow here today, so that made traveling to and from my gym a bit slower than usual, but it wasn't all that bad. Rob, Chad, and Ricky really made me feel welcomed on my first day back and I appreciate that very much. Thanks, gentlemen!

Here's the breakdown of today's work.

  • 30 minutes roadwork
  • 3 rounds shadowboxing
  • 4 rounds double-end bag
  • 4 rounds speed bag
  • 1 round heavy bag
  • 1 round sit-ups and crunches
  • 8 rounds stretching/flexibility
I spent a lot of time working on flexibility. I've learned multiple times that one doesn't take a fairly long break from exercise and then jump right back into it without being respectful to one's body. If I honor flexibility and give it the attention and respect it deserves, I will be fine. I don't care to have any injuries in general, and it certainly doesn't make any sense to have my return to training stopped by injuries resulting from being a bit too eager to resume the exercise routine.

Today's return was something of a homecoming for me. Now, the challenge will be to arrange my time skillfully so that I will be able to fit in a lot of workouts and use the one-hour trip each way as working time. I am blessed to have some projects now that ought to fit into that kind of arrangement. Ah, so good to be back!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good Training Resource: BoxingPerformance.com

Are you visiting Rob Pilger at his site, http://www.boxingperformance.com, and following him at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and at his syndicated news feed? I hope your answer is "yes," because if it isn't, you're missing a lot. He offers some serious training content.

Here's a recent example. You've already learned that punching power comes from the base of your body, all the way from a floor. Here is a video of Rob Pilger explaining that principle a lot more effectively than I can, complete with demonstration of proper footwork.

I have the "fast feet" device from Ringside that is shown in the video. It helps me keep my stance from going too wide and prevents me from some of the more awkward positions that clumsy footwork can place me in. If I am in awkward position, I am off balance. If I'm off balance, something as small as a good shove to my shoulder can push me over.

This video is just one sample of the content Rob Pilger produces. Of course, he doesn't need me to persuade you; just go to the site and look around: http://www.boxingperformance.com. Most likely, you'll be a regular visitor after spending just 5 minutes there. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Getting Back to the Gym

If all goes well, I'll be back at the gym tomorrow morning. I've spent a lot of time developing a plan for 2012 and have spent the last few days implementing some of the plan's first tasks for my law firm. It will be great to get back into a regular training routine.

As for the law practice, I have a renewed enthusiasm to generate new business this year and explore a variety of opportunities. I also watched some very good MCLE programs during the past week. (That June deadline is getting closer.) I think the recent spring-like weather is helping to boost the energy and focus, too!