Wing's Daily News

Eddie would go

Dare to dream. If I can turn my life around…so can you.


 

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you are already familiar with my fitness journey. Two years ago I reached my bottom both physically and mentally. I was nearly 260 pounds (I’m 5′-11”) and was totally and completely out of shape. I won the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation World Championship in Brazil in 2006 and by 2011 because I let myself go I became an out of shape physical wreck. Since reaching my “bottom” in 2011 I’ve lost nearly 70 pounds and am in the best shape of my life. I have been able to achieve this through hard work, dedication, proper exercise and nutrition. The journey has not been easy. I’ve had some setbacks along the way but I continue to make forward progress.

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier

Since becoming fit I’ve been able to do things that I never thought possible such as mountain climbing. I wish I could describe to you the sheer visceral feeling you get when you stand atop a mountain summit and look out at the world below. On a mountain when the wind is above 80 mph it is as loud as a freight train and you have to scream to be heard even if the person is standing inches away from you. It is so cold that if you spit, your spit will freeze solid before it hits the ground. At times the wind blows so hard the snow hitting your face feels like bits of small glass or sand. The most alluring thing about mountain climbing (at least to me) is the sheer challenge of making it to the summit and back. One simply can not imagine the sheer size of a mountain unless you are climbing one! They are called mountains for a reason… As you climb higher the earth below shrinks in the distance and your realize that you are doing  something that few people will ever do. When I solo climbed Mt. Washington (the tallest mountain in the North East) two winters ago it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I remember when I broke treeline (around 4,500′) the wind was gusting at around 90 mph and the air temperature was -50. I looked off into the distance as I stood in that raw primal environment and thought to myself “my God few people ever get to see what I am seeing now.” It was an incredible experience that changed me as a person forever.

The problem with mountain climbing is it’s expensive because you have to go to where the mountains are…they don’t come to you! The farther away the mountain the greater the logistical expenses. For instance to climb Mt. Everest which is in the Himalayas can cost more than $50,000 dollars. Yes you read that correctly 50k! Since mountains tend to be very cold and windy you need to wear specialized gear. There are many things that you can “cheap out” on but mountain climbing is not one of them. I found this out the hard way when I climbed Mt. Washington wearing a snowmobile suit that I bought on the cheap online. Snowmobile suits are designed to keep you warm while you are sitting on a snowmobile not while mountain climbing. They do not wick your perspiration away from your body and you become drenched with sweat which is not a good thing when the air temperature is -50 degrees. The point is if you want to climb a mountain there are significant expenses involved.

I’m planning to climb Mt. Rainier in Washington State. Mt. Rainier is the 5’th tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. I’ve set up a climbing fund raising campaign to raise money to help offset the expenses of this climb. Please click here to go to my donation page. If you know me then you know how important this is to me and perhaps you can help me realize this dream. After all how many men of my age (52) do stuff like this? I’m not asking you to help me book a vacation to the Caribbean so I can lay on a beach drink Pina Coladas and soak in some rays. I’m asking you to help me fund this climb so that through my endeavours it may inspire other people to become healthy and fit. If you are reading this now and are overweight, frustrated and maybe even depressed because of your weight…do not despair! If I can turn my life around so can you. We all have our own dreams and mine is at the summit of a mountain. Do what I’m doing…go out and live your dream!

Thanks very much for your support. I’ll see you at the summit!

Jim

My climb banner will look like this. Every sponsor will have their name included on the banner.

Everyone that donates to the climb will have their name printed on a banner similar to this one. I’ll take the banner with me to the summit and be photographed with it. Please go to the fundraising campaign site for more info!

Fitness/Sport Zealot?


On Top Of the cliffYesterday a friend and I went on a 25 mile ride with our mountain bikes. We did a mixed urban (street) and trail ride. During the street sections of the ride I did several all out sprints to failure. The way home (about 2/3 of the time) was spent on single track trail. Riding trail is like powerlifting. It requires moments of flat out total powerful exertion  as you try to power your bike up extremely steep and rocky trails. We spent about six hours out riding. By the time I got home I was so fatigued and physically exhausted I wanted to hit myself in the face with a hammer. My arms and legs did not hurt. In fact I was experiencing no muscular pain. The pain I felt seemed to be at the cellular level. It was like my mitochondria had been kicked into overdrive trying to generate enough energy for the ride and now I was physiologically depleted…spent. I ached all over and everywhere.

I had a wholesome dinner, broiled chicken, 3 whole eggs all mixed with 2 cooked cups of pasta. After one good nights sleep (about 10 hours) I feel pretty F****** tip top today. In fact I want to do some type of training today (Sunday) but today is an off day. Taking off days has typically been my problem…I never take them. All athletes particularly athletes of my age (post 50) need time to rest and recover. I’ll follow the advice of my trainer Chris from Redline Athletics and Nutrition Compounds and take the day off. Chris has set me up on a nutritional program that fuels me through workouts that would break most men half my age. He’s also set me up with a training template that incorporates weight training and mountain biking. I originally started mountain biking to get cardio sessions in (I can’t run because of knee issues). What I’m finding however is that in addition to my cardio getting jacked up from riding…I’m getting stronger everywhere.

I’m not a fitness Zealot. I don’t do one activity to the exclusion of other activities. Have you ever seen someone wearing a T-shirt that says; “Eat-Live-Sleep–(insert activity here). I find that to be a bit odd and non balanced. I rock climb, mountain climb, lift weights, mountain bike and do martial arts. All of those activities act synergistically and make me an overall better athlete. I don’t just want to be good in one activity alone.  I want to be good in several activities…essentially a 52 year old decathlete. A guy that is fit enough to do most anything.

Are you a warrior athlete? Prove it.


The Spartan Races are the progenitor of  the “obstacle races”. Obstacle races are races where you run through, jump over and crawl under all kinds of nut busting  and bone jarring obstacles. They truly test the mettle of an athlete. In the last few years there has been an explosion of fitness/obstacle themed races. I believe however that the Spartan races personify the embodiment of the “warrior athlete” Are you an athlete or a warrior athlete? An athlete is an individual that excels or specializes in one sport. A warrior athlete is a person that is fit enough and mentally tough enough to tackle athletic events outside of their comfort zones. In the case of the Spartan Races, way way out of their comfort zones. 

spartan raceSince you are a reader of this blog you know that I engage in many fitness activities. I rock climb, mountaineer, mountain bike and do martial arts. I am never afraid to try a new physical activity. In fact I’m thinking about taking scuba diving lessons. How cool would it be to go to a stone quarry rappel down the quarry cliff then scuba dive the quarry. At the end of the dive I’d have to have the mental and physical strength to climb back up the rope to the quarry lip… That is what I mean by being a warrior athlete. You should always be eager to take on and attempt new physical challenges to prove to yourself that you are the best.

Click here to watch a really cool video about the Spartan Races. The folks at Spartan Race have given me a PROMO code for one of my readers to enter a Spartan race for free! The code will only work one time for any open heat in any 2013-2014 Spartan Race in the continental US. How cool is that! You guys should consider yourself lucky that I don’t keep this code for myself! Here’s what I’m going to do; email me at jwkempo@gmail.com and tell me why you want to prove that you are not just an athlete but a warrior athlete. Tell me your desire and motivation for wanting to do a Spartan Race. The person that has the most compelling reason/story will win the free promo code. This is not some cheap T shirt give away. It can cost as much as $130 to enter a Spartan race. Email me your essay and you might win the ability to prove yourself a warrior athlete!

For my Philadelphia readers there is a Spartan Race in Philadelphia on September 28’th.

My fake Facebook love interest.


Readers…here is a new one for you. Typically I blog about fitness, Sports, climbing etc…, but this post is an entirely different paint job. I just had my first Facebook sleaze stalker. I’ll give you the cliff note version. A while back I get a friend request from a guy named Joel G. He lives in Panama I believe. At first he seems like a nice guy but then I start getting Facebook messages from him that are…how should I put this…ehhh sexual in nature. O.K. so the guy is gay. I could care less. In fact I’m a bit flattered that at my age 52 anyone is hitting on me…male or female. Joel’s messages vary from “Hello Jim” or “How are you Jim” to “I love you Jim”. Sometimes Joel would get a tad aggressive in professing his love for me. When that would happen I would simply ignore him and in his subsequent messages his libido was normal and he’d be back to “Hi Jim!”

My Columbian love interest "Sandra Smitt".

My Columbian love interest “Sandra Smitt”.

This shenanigans with Joel goes on for about 6 months. Joel tells me how much he loves me and I ignore him. Oddly out of nowhere I get a friend request from a smooooooooooking hot chick named Sandra Smitt from Columbia. Sandra starts messaging me with stuff like “you are handsome”, “u have amazing face and body”, “I like, because you are very strong”, “what are u doing, my love”, “how are you, my love”. For the sake of civility I won’t write “her” other posts that were sexual in nature.

What I love about being 52 is I have a half century of life experiences under my belt. Perhaps a naive 20 something man like Manti Te’o would have fallen for this scam, but my Momma didn’t raise no fool-so to speak. I have been down the road of life. I can’t begin to tell you the scammers, pretenders, bullshitters, nutters and just plain asses I’ve met in 50 years. When Sandra began laying it on thick I became suspicious that Joel was in fact Sandra. Joel would message me I’d ignore him, then guess what? Sandra would start messaging me about 30 minutes later. Yeah baby, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck…it’s a damn duck! By this point I was sure that something was out of sorts with this entire Joel/Sandra chicanery.

I figure that I’m either the luckiest man on earth (why would a 23 year old smoking hot Columbian chick be interested in me?) or I’m getting scammed. I go to the depository of all knowledge known to man-Google, and search “how to reveal a fake Facebook user.” Through the mathematical genius of the nerds at Google I get this link. I follow the directions exactly and guess what? Sandra Smitt is in fact Angelina Castro a South American porn star! Ha, go figure. I suspect strongly that my cheeky little pal Joel set up a fake Facebook account using the name Sandra Smitt. He cut and pasted the pictures from Angelina Castro’s Facebook to use on Sandra’s page. The “I got ya” moment occurred when I asked Sandra for her phone number and get nothing back. I figure that Joel must be in a panic at this point. I mean what’s he gonna do have his mother call me? A day later I message “Sandra” my phone number and get nothing back. Yep the jig is up Joel! I wonder how many other men Joel is trying to get off using the pseudonym Sandra Smitt.

O Mi Amor! If only you had been real. I'd be happily living in Columbia.

O Mi Amor! If only you had been real. I’d be happily living in Columbia.

The following is directed to Joel since I’m sure you read this blog. I’m not angry at you Joel (hey look at me what’s not to like?), I’m not weirded out, I’m not even disappointed that my Colombian love interest is fake. I’m actually feeling pretty good about myself Joel that at the end of the day I was smarter than you. Play the player, pimp the pimp. Wooooooooooooo!

Mountain Biking

Look at me. 210 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal wearing skin tight biker stripper-wear. What not to like?

Mt. Shuksan training log entry IV


I’ve made some major changes to my training protocols. My weight training regimen is no longer a body part split. I used to do Chest/Shoulders/Triceps on one day, Back/Arms on another day, legs on a third day and the last workout of the week would be a total body workout. The weight training routine that I start today is a linear periodization protocol. I do a total body workout of 15 reps per set-three movements per body part. I do this protocol 3X weekly.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

I no longer do  “cardio” in the gym. I used to do HIIT and MHIIT on an elliptical walker twice weekly and one or two steady state sessions per week. I’ve replaced “gym cardio” with mountain biking for my cardio sessions. I’m riding 3-4X/week and get in about 100 miles per week. The mountain biking is harder than HIIT and helps build my quadricep strength and endurance. Additionally I’m burning as much as 2500 calories per biking session so my weight is beginning to drop again. I’m down to 212 from about 217. My macronutrient profile is: Carbohydrates 250 gms/day, Protein 220, Fat 90.

I’m getting out twice monthly for technical climbing sessions. I go to Ralph Stover Park and practice rappelling and climbing using Petzl ascenders.

It’s ironic because this training protocol has helped my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu performance as well. In fact I’ve become a better all around athlete training for this climb. I feel much faster. I have cardio for days and although I’m not as powerful as I was last year I feel much more functionally strong. I know many athletes that only train within their sport. For instance I know weightlifters that only lift or jiu jitsu guys that only do bjj. My integrated training protocol has improved my performance and has made me a much better all around athlete. Much thanks to Chris from Redline Athletics And Nutrition Compounds for setting me up on the new linear periodization protocol and Jersey Pump for sponsoring the lions share of the Mt. Shuksan Climb.

Are you a gladiator or a spectator?

Are you a gladiator or a spectator?

 

 

Overweight Boy Scouts excluded from Jamboree


Taken from US News:

By Miranda Leitsinger, Staff Writer, NBC News

Boy Scouts attending this year’s National Scout Jamboree will have a lot more physical challenges to endure there, but even before setting up camp in West Virginia they had to undergo fitness exams, including a screening tool for obesity.

The new site for the celebration of Scouting, the jamboree, which officially begins Tuesday, is located on more than 10,000 acres in the southern part of the Mountain State. More than 30,000 youth and leaders are expected to join the 10-day jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.

The jamboree will be held “on foot,” meaning there will be no bus circuits or personal vehicles on site. Participants will be hiking even more than in the past, with the site providing hilly inclines, and some activities – climbing, mountain biking, rappelling, rafting and skateboarding – will require more stamina and fitness, the Boy Scouts of America said on its website.

“It is essential that all participants and staff are prepared for their Summit jamboree experience,” the Boy Scouts said. “Our goal is to prevent any serious health-related event from occurring, and ensuring that all of our participants and staff are ‘physically strong.’”

Mountain biking at the Jamboree

Mountain biking at the Jamboree

My thoughts? I agree with the Boy Scouts on this one. If your child is overweight that’s fine. However there are consequence of being overweight and sometimes you just don’t get a pass. I don’t know if any of the parents of the overweight scouts are going to sue. Check this link on some cool legalese on weight discrimination. Instead of bitching how their child is being singled out for being overweight…perhaps the disgruntled parents should get their overweight kids on some kind of exercise and nutritional regimen to help them become healthier. If a scout was excluded because of his weight, perhaps that can be used as a motivator to help him become more physically fit. In paragraph 3 above I highlighted in red the physical requirements of this year’s Jamboree…seems like some pretty physical stuff to me that requires a modicum of physical fitness.

Life after 40 is not a death sentence


I believe in challenging myself. I always want to be better today than I was yesterday. I ask myself every morning when I look in the mirror “what can I do today to push myself harder than I did yesterday.” I did an interview with a 53 year old man that is about to do his first triathlon. If Greg can find the wherewithal, tenacity and motivation to do a triathlon at 53…exactly what is your excuse for not getting into shape? Click here to watch the interview with Greg.

If you are not moving forward then you are falling behind.

Bike-Swim-Run=Triathlon

Bike-Swim-Run=Triathlon

Asiana Airlines ready to sue over phony names…really?


O.K..O.K… Asiana Airlines is saying they are going to sue because a T.V. station fucked up and ran this. Please I implore you to click the link and watch the video. I’m half Chinese and can’t help but to laugh everytime I watch the video…“Captain Sum Ting Wong?” Now that is some funny shit. Memo to Asiana Airlines…perhaps you should be more concerned with the flying abilities of your pilots (three passengers did die after all) than some prankster making sport of Asian names…. Wi Tu Lo….really? (holds stomach while laughing.)

Bang Ding Ow!!!!

Bang Ding Ow!!!!

George Zimmerman gains 80 pounds in prison?


This is a re-edit of my original post that I wrote this morining of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman cluster fuck. The original post was three paragraphs of concise searing logic that articulated  my thoughts on the Zimmerman trial. At the end of it I figured what the hell…what does what I think matter? Trayvon Martin is dead and Zimmerman is free and nothing can change that. Rather I ask you this:

What the hell was Zimmerman eating in damn jail? He must have gained 80 pounds since his arrest. Obviously the stress of potentially spending the rest of his life in prison did not affect his appetite.

A thin in shape George Zimmerman when he was arrested.

A thin in shape George Zimmerman when he was arrested.

Holy cow...is this the same guy???

Holy cow…is this the same guy???

Surviving the Urban Bike Ride.


I’ve added mountain biking to my fitness routine. I injured both of my knees a couple of years ago from running. My chiropractor after nearly a year of adjustments has me to the point that I have full articulation in both knees. However after just one run last month they were jacked up again. I find that I can mountain bike for miles and have zero knee pain. So mountain biking it is instead of running.

Penns Landing...before the suffering began.

Penns Landing…before the suffering began.

Philadelphia has a great park system and I’ve already ridden Pennypack out and back (appx 20 miles). I decided to do something a little different yesterday. I did not ride “trail”, I rode from Northeast Philadelphia to Penns Landing/South Street and back (appx 15 miles each way). The ride out was fun because it was around noon and the weather was clear. Cars could see me and I could see them. I’ve realized that when riding street there is always the real possibility of getting hit by a vehicle especially in the city. It took me about 90 minutes to ride into the city and I immediately began to have problems because my cell phone was dying. No cell phone=no GPS. After I got to Penns Landing I plugged it into an electrical outlet in a public bathroom and proceeded to have an entertaining conversation with a street person that was charging his phone as well. After charging the phone for about 30 minutes I rode to South Street. The plan was to find a bar have a couple of beers and charge my phone some more. I had two Miller Lite’s and off it was for the ride home. I’m not sure what it is about my phone but running the GPS drains the battery fast..very fast. Within 15 minutes I knew that the phone would not last and at some point I’d have to dead reckon my way home. Another interesting thing about using your phone for a GPS is there are three route options, driving, walking, and bike riding there is no option for “safest route” . That mother F’ing GPS sent me straight through some very tough North Philadelphia neighborhoods. I could tell by the way people were staring at me that mountain bikers were not a common sight in their neighborhood. I began to entertain the thought of actually leaving one of these neighborhoods without my bike…or life.

The fun really started when it started raining…pouring actually. Things became  scary because visibility was restricted, it was rush hour and I genuinely feared getting hit by a car. Earlier in the ride I had fallen while going over a curb and my bike was not shifting correctly. I had enough gears to get home however assuming I did not get plastered by a truck. The ride home took about two hours and it was pouring the entire time. Once I got out of Philadelphia proper the streets became wider and safer. The challenge now was to simply hunker down and ride through the incredibly heavy rain. My glasses were fogged over, rain was running down my helmet like a running faucet. The sufferfest was on. After two hours of riding through the horrid weather I made it back to my front door alive, still in the possession of my bike and with no broken limbs. In one week I’ve ridden nearly 100 miles and am already planning a bigger and more challenging ride. More on that to follow…the “the trail ride and rappel!”

The urba ride

The urban ride

Post Navigation