Friday, June 11, 2010

A Little Cramming on a Friday Afternoon

I promised all of you that I would keep up with my workouts even if I fell a little behind in my blogging. Like last week, I've been forced to try to cram as much into a short time as possible, and take my workouts whenever and wherever I could squeeze it in.

Even though I finished my novel, "Taming the Tiger" on Tuesday, I still had other obligations this week, including the search for work and/or paying freelance gigs. In addition, Vitaly's summer vacation began yesterday at noon.

With a paying job to complete, I also had to plan on keeping Vitaly busy this afternoon. Naturally, since he was off from school, he wanted to spend some time with his old man. I promised him that if he let me finish the story I worked on this morning, we could go to Al Lopez Park and ride bikes this afternoon.

As a man of my word, I loaded up the bikes into the van and we undertook a three-mile loop around the park. Vitaly has gotten much, much faster with his bike. I have 15 gears on my old mountain bike, but I still had a hard time keeping up with him.

For Vitaly, it's not a trip to Al Lopez without stopping at their playground. For me, looking at that mass-produced playground equipment is a sad sight after recalling the large, wood castle that once stood on that site, built by the Tampa Bay Woodworkers.*

To take my mind off my sorrow, I worked in a short session while Vitaly climbed on his impersonal, mass-produced jungle gyms. I did a mini-circuit consisting of forms, shadowboxing and 108 claw pushups.

It was harder doing the claw pushups than I expected. At home, I do them on the padded floor of the carport kwoon. I mix it up with sets varying from all five fingers, down to four, three, two and just the thumbs.

But the ground at Al Lopez was much harder than I'm used to. I managed to do all 108 pushups, but the sets consisted only of five and three-finger claw pushups. No two-finger or just thumbs.

In between sets of the pushups, I did runs of the Siu Lum Tao, Chum Kiu and Biu Jee from Wing Chun, the Sam Chien set (the Chinese originator of the Okinawan/Japanese Sanchin kata) and two runs each of the Gao Bo Toi and Sup Baht Mor Kiu from Yau Kung Mun. Also, I did some short combinations of jeet teks (intercepting kicks) with straight blasts, aka chain punches.

It may not sound like much, but in that 90-degree Florida sun, following a three-mile bike ride and doing it in less than 30 minutes, it's a killer.

ITEM: Just giving my faithful readers and friends a heads-up - I will be posting excerpts to "Taming the Tiger" here on this blog. Stay tuned.

*Though I didn't have a hand in building the castle, I was a member of the Tampa Bay Woodworkers in the late 1990's. Thanks to their help and instruction, I was able to make the arms for my wooden dummy.

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