Miscellaneous | True Fitness Blog

I just recently purchased the Nike GPS sports watch powered by Tom Tom, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I have traditionally used Garmin GPS watches but have found them difficult to use as regular time pieces, and I found myself carrying around two watches all the time. This was annoying and didn’t allow me to catch a quick run if I found a free moment during the day because it took me too long to set everything up. One caveat: I still use Garmin watches for my triathlons, I just needed something I could use on the fly.

The Nike GPS watch has all the features that a regular watch would have – clock, stop watch and alarm on top of it’s GPS feature. This watch also works with the Nike Plus foot pod that links in with multiple Apple products. The Nike Plus pod can be used simultaneously with the GPS feature.

The online suite that is accessed when the watch is plugged into your computer is ascetically pleasing yet not quite as functional as the Garmin software. However, it is more fun, which is not surprising when Nike and Apple decide to team up.

The GPS feature is easy to use. I have to tip my hat to Tom Tom; the satellite connection has been faster than my Garmin watches.

As far as the look and fit of the watch – it is top notch…all Nike stuff looks awesome!!.

I highly recommend this product and thank you Nike for making my running more fun!!.

Three weeks ago JETT trainer Sara completed her first tough murder. For those of you who don’t know about the tough murder series it is a military style obstacle course adventure and endurance race. Each race is different but they are between 11 and 13 miles with 25 plus obstacles.

In the days leading up to the race I was getting very nervous and wondering what I had gotten myself into. I mean why did I think paying to jump into an ice bath, climbing over walls, or crawling in the mud seemed like a good idea? I must say by the time I was half way through the race I was ready to sign up for my next one!

My favorite aspect of the race is the comaraderie and team work. Many of the obstacles can not be completed without the help of others and weather you had a team or not all of those around you were willing and able to help. Everyone cheered for everyone and there was no negativity to be found.

Additionally the race supports a charity that I hold very close to my heart; the Wounded Warrior Project. Not only are there many soldiers that compete in the event I was multiple wounded warriors competing as well. All of a sudden that little scrap of my knee seems insiginifcant when the guy running next to me has a prosthetic leg.

This is an amazing event and I can not wait for round two in September!

I just purchased the Motorola S10-HD Universal Bluetooth Stereo Headphones and I am loving them. The sound is crystal clear for both music and phone calls. I am not exactly sure what HD sound is but I know I like it!

Another great feature is that you don’t need to plug an extra piece into your smart phone to transfer the sound. I had an earlier version and it was almost useless, because any extra movement would dislodge the receiver piece.

I also like the fit, they are very comfortable and have multiple sizes available for the ear buds. I am very thankful that these headphones are sweat proof as well, I don’t know how many sets of earphones I have bought over the years that just stop working once there is too much moisture.

The music playtime is 8 hours, the talk time is 9 hours and up to 10 days standby time.

Thanks you Motorola, I look forward to many workouts with my new headphones!!

It pained me to see that a class action lawsuit (http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/class-action-suit-filed-against-vibram-fivefingers/article_161dadaa-7a8a-11e1-aed9-0019bb30f31a.html) has been filed against Vibram Five-Finger shoes, mainly because I love the shoe. However I do think that the suit has merit, and it is true that some runners may never transition fully to minimalist shoe that requires a forefoot strike as opposed to a heel strike.

The lawsuit did give me pause and I started to think back to all the minimalist shoes I have tried in the past few years and not all of them have worked for me. As a matter of fact the only ones that have are the Vibram Five Fingers. The Saucony Hattori hurt my feet as well as the both the New Balance MT 10 and the New Balance 00.

In the case of the New Balance shoes, I think my feet are too narrow, as for the Hattoris, I guess they just didn’t work with my feet.

I currently run in either Vibram Five Fingers or the Nike Free 5.0 and that seems to make my feet happy.

I guess the best thing I can say about my continued use and fascination of all types of running shoes is that you must test the waters and ease into any radical change in design and likewise any change in running style.

Let me first start by saying that I love Jawbone products and have been using them for years. I have had several ear pieces and the Jawbox, so of course I had to buy the Jawbone Up to track my fitness.

The first impression was great, it synced well with the iPhone app. It tracks your steps per day and exercise. You can track/upload meals, although you could only take a picture of the meal and I would sometimes forget and end up taking a picture of something else and calling it a turkey sandwich. The other limitation is that you could not determine calories for you meals. The sleep tracking was amazing and it would even differentiate between light and deep sleep.

The social media component worked well. You can set up team challenges, and the website resources are quite good, but you cannot view current stats online. The Up fit well, but sometimes it would dig into my wrist and the cap can easily fly off.

None these issues really bothered me. I was having great fun with it, but the main problem was that it died within the first two weeks. Jawbone happily replace my Up and shortly thereafter a letter came out from the CEO that their product was a failure. They still offered support and continued to replace the defective units. I finally gave up after having it replaced four times. As of now, Jawbone still has not re-released the Up, but the new launch should be soon. Check out their website for details http://www.jawbone.com/up .

After recovering from my loss of a fitness gadget that I really loved (the Jawbone Up), I needed a new fix. I had heard that there was another similar product available and began my research, which for me is buy and test. I decided to buy two FitBits – one for me and one for my wife (there are his and hers colors!). There is also a scale that I pre-ordered and a yearly pay service that allows for better tracking. I have not tried the pay service yet but will let you know when I do.

For all intents and purposes, the Fitbit covers the same bases that the Jawbone Up does. It tracks, steps per day, sleep and diet and exercise, plus a few more things – your weight (on the website), and your calories burned per day. It also has an iPhone app that works quite well. The only difference is that you need to sync the Fitbit with docking station instead of the phone itself.

The online functionality is definitely better with the Fitbit and allows for tracking of just about everything physical and has a journal. The social media aspect of the Fitbit is comparable to the Up – both have loads of potential.

The Fitbit is a clip as opposed to a wrist band (the Up), and also has a belt clip. It is very comfortable; I usually forget that I am wearing it. When tracking sleep, you have to clip the unit onto a wrist band, which is a little tedious, but I can deal with it. When tracking exercise and meals with the Fitbit, you just select the actual activity or food and it logs/tracks against your overall daily numbers. This can be done online or through the app. Check out the website for more details http://www.fitbit.com/product?jadid=21774415417&jk=fitbit&jkId=gc:a8a8ae4cd345883240134eafebdf71980:t1_e_:k_fitbit:pl_&jp=&js=1&jsid=27905&jt=1&gclid=CM2j8urP0K4CFcFw4AodCHg3AA

Overall I like the Fitbit better. It works, and it works well, and at the end of the day you have very good feedback about all aspects physical in your life. I am, however, hopeful for the rerelease of the Up.

Motivation…we all find it in different places and some of us have more natural motivation than others. I wish I could say I was super motivated everyday but that is hardly the case. I generally find an event of some sort is a great motivator for me. For example my record PT test was a huge motivator for me; I wanted to prove to myself that I could attain one of those truly exceptional scores. Though I feel short of my goal score by one point, I was still over the moon with my performance.  And now I am slightly ashamed to admit that since the test in mid April my motivation has been pitiful. My workout routine has fallen by the wayside and my diet has not been much better.

I have three weeks left in my course and I intend to use that time to refocus and re- motivate myself to get my back on the workout routine and healthy eating bandwagon. As an aspiring trainer I believe I need to be a role model to my clients; if I cannot keep myself motivated and on track why should my clients listen to me. None of us will be perfect all the time but as long as the effort and desire is there most of the time what more can you ask for. I also have two weddings coming up right after my class ends; as I said before for me it often takes a specific event to keep me motivated and I intend to use them as my short term motivators.

My first step in the process is following “The Look Better Naked Two Day Cleanse” from Women’s Health. I used this cleanse about 8 weeks ago and enjoyed it. It is by no means one of those crazy water and paprika diets, it is just clean eating. I’m still on the search for the workout that I want to follow but once I figure that out I will let you know!

As someone who has done a great deal of cycling over the years and the fact that last Friday was National Bike to Work Day, I thought I would go over the benefits of cycling and some tips for getting started.

One of the best benefits and the most obvious is increased cardiovascular health, riding at least 30 minutes a day meets the American Heart Association’s recommendation for a healthy heart.  Of course cycling is great overall exercise and can burn up to 500 calories an hour with no impact, while building muscle and raising your metabolic rate.

Being outdoors provides benefits from the sun itself in the form of vitamin D, which has been proven to help prevent prostate cancer, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.  But, of course, don’t forget your sunscreen to protect your skin.  Cycling is also a great stress reliever and helps build a stronger immune system while lowering cholesterol and helping to reduce blood pressure.  It causes you to sweat, which is a great way to the get the toxins out of your system.

Maybe the best part of cycling is that it is very easy to learn and get started.  Just go to your local bike store, get yourself a bike and start riding.

There are many types of bikes, and many types of cycling pursuits.  I personally like mountain biking and the cycling aspect of triathlons.  For most beginners who will be riding occasionally, a hybrid may be a good option.  Better bikes for more advanced riders can be quite expensive, but you can easily pick up a bike for a couple hundred bucks.  Do your research and see what the best match is for you.  Then discuss it further with a reputable bike shop so they can help you chose (some shops may sell used bikes) and get you properly fitted.  It is extremely important to have the bike shop fit you – your ride will be much more comfortable if your are positioned correctly.

You way also want to check out Cycling Magazine, Triathlete Magazine and Dirt Rag for helpful tips on getting started.  And, last but not least, remember the golden rules – Always wear gloves and a helmet, obey the traffic laws, drink at least one bottle of liquid an hour, and make sure to have fun.

So the story of the knee continues, I had the surgery and the meniscus repair went extremely well…now what.

A meniscus repair is a fairly simple operation for the most part but it can be quite painful – all surgeries and all knees are a little different.

Here is my two cents on how to best recover from a meniscus repair.

The first step in the process is to handle your pre-op work.  The stronger you go in the faster you come back and the only way you can reestablish integrity in a joint (other than surgery) is to increase the musculature around the joint. This can be tough because your knee as was the case with mine hurts almost all the time.

My personal approach was to get acupuncture, which helped with pain management and in-turn allowed me to continue working out to keep my knee strong – training at my martial arts school, lifting weights, and running.  My knee still hurt but the pain was manageable.

When I did finally decide to get my surgery (if you have been following my blog, you’ll know that I waited for 9 months) I was still very strong. It was two week ago as of last Tuesday the 19th and I am already working out again, I was able to skip more traditional rehab work such as hip planes with cuff weights, terminal knee extensions (TKEs), wall sits, and jump right into light leg pressing the first week and light squatting the second week.

I was lucky this time around, when I had my left knee repaired (also meniscus) I had much more pain and I did have to approach my rehab much more delicately and started with the hip planes and the other aforementioned exercises.

The only thing left for the knee is to work on my proprioception (your body knowing where it is in space).  This was about the same as the last surgery for me, and I will approach the rehab in the same manner – wobble board, 2 person ball tosses to the four quadrants and stepping ball tosses.

I realize that some of the rehab I have explained is a little technical and if anyone would like further explanation please feel free to contact me directly at eric@jettllc.biz and I can answer questions or get you connected with good physical therapy center.

Thanks for listening and I hope this helps anyone that has a meniscus tear.

For those of you that have been following the saga of my knee the next chapter has been written.  If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that the die had been cast and the decision was made to go through with the surgery.  The injury to the knee happened last August while I was sparring.  A very hard round house kick while I was tired without my leg turned over completely, and there ya go – instant medial meniscus tear.

I have been rehabbing it ever since and was going to have the surgery done in October, but after starting acupuncture treatments, I held of.  I really owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Kong at Mindful Healing Spa (www.mindfulhealingspa.com); he was able to keep me going with the acupuncture treatments.  I should be more specific when I say “keep me going”, I am referring to training intensely at my martial arts school (Tai Yim Kung Fu www.taiyimkingfu.com), which involves lots of low stances, twisting and turning for the knees, jump kicks, spin kicks…the list goes on.

Knowing that I always push myself physically and love training in the martial arts , I knew I’d eventually needed to get this meniscus repair.  I was also afraid of what further damage I might do to my knee if I didn’t have the surgery.  A colleague of mine waited for years to have his meniscus repaired and the damage that he had in the knee was quite advanced.  He needed to have a micro-fracture to help with the cartilage repair and this put him out of the game for almost six months with a knee that has significant wear and tear issues well beyond his years.  That being said it was time to get the surgery done; I had been working on a belt test for almost nine months and really wanted to pass the test before my surgery, but the date was already set for May 3, 2011 test or not.  About three weeks , surprised myself and passed the test (I say surprise because this sword form was very difficult and our school is very traditional…you need to be able to take that blade into battle).

So hear I am the day after the surgery to tell you how it went.  The surgery was yesterday at 8:30 in the morning.  I got up at 5:00 AM and showered up, and my lovely wife and I went to the Washington Hospital Center.  First I was admitted, and then taken to the pre-op area where I was given my gown etc.  Then one of my nurses (there were several) came to put in my IV.  I requested the arm, as the hand can be quite uncomfortable.  I have the luxury of having fire-hoses for veins but that was not quite enough it seemed, and the IV missed the vein and all of the subsequent fluids to hydrate the tissues in my body and the pain meds were actually going in my arms.  I was starting to wonder why arm was swelling so much.  The dead give away was me being too alert in the operating room after the heavy stuff that was supposed to put me out wasn’t working.  Finally on the fifth IV attempt they got it, and then it was show time. I do have to add though that the overall operation at the Washington Hospital Center is very well run, and I couldn’t have had nicer nurses and surgical team.  The entire process was quite pleasurable from beginning to end.  Enter my savior: Dr. David Johnson, who is truly a fantastic orthopedic surgeon and also did the repair on my other knee 3 years ago.  I made sure to get in my one corny doctor joke (what do doctors and 20,000 pound ducks have in common…they both have very large bills.)  Got a little chuckle; then it was down to business.  Once I was out, (it only seems for about sixty seconds), the surgery was performed and then the dressings and bandages etc. were applied.  It actually takes as long to bandage up the knee as the surgery itself.

So then it’s off to post-op, where I got to see the best nurse ever: my wife, Marianne.  Within an hour of the surgery, I was cleared to go home.  The whole process was very fast and efficient, and I was home by 11:30AM.

The surgery went extremely well, and in addition to the meniscus repair, Dr. Johnson scraped a few things that made for better knee mechanics that made the knee stronger and more resistant to future possible tears in the meniscus that may come from ongoing active lifestyle.

So I am already doing some walking and should be able to ride a bike by this weekend and running within two weeks.  Solid twisting and turning (martial arts) in a month.  This is faster than expected, and so the overall recovery will be faster than the last time.

I am enjoying the time off, and being able to spend it with my wife playing nurse with a sometimes-difficult patient (I always try to do more than I should).  I have also gotten a ton of work done as well and am reading and watching movies like a mad man.

Well there it is.  The saga of knee(s) continues.

Thanks for listening

It’s hard to believe that I’ve reached the halfway point in my course! Thus far I have really enjoyed the class and feel like I am learning information that will help me be a better officer when I return to my unit this summer.

I finally had my chance to lead my class in our morning workout sessions but sadly it was just days before our record PT test so I had to take it easy (lucky for them)! The workout consisted of our dynamic warm up, a thirty minute run and then two sets of push-ups. I felt that it was really important for everyone to get in one last run before the PT test and then for the push-ups I had everyone do 50% of what they would normally do on my test. For example I normally do somewhere around 40 push-ups so I did sets of 20.

Thursday morning we had our record PT test for the course. The conditions could not have been more perfect; we got out there about 0415 and it was already almost 60 degrees! I had my best performance ever on the test doing 43 push-ups, 88 sit-ups, and ran 16:15 for the two mile. That came out to a score of 289, additionally I scored over 90 points in each category I have now earned the Army Physical Fitness Badge.  As a class we had 12 people earn their PT badge and our class average for the test was a 265. In a class of 45 people this is a great result and from the first test to this one our average jumped over 70 points!

This week we started combatives. I’m really excited for this because for all the sports I have participated in I have never done any type of martial arts. Today was just a basic introduction; we learned the warm up moves we will be doing each session and got choked out by the instructors! They wanted to make sure we knew and were comfortable with tapping out before getting too far into the class. Over the next couple weeks I will keep everyone updated on the progress of the class!