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Kettlebell Swinger

Day 32 – Thursday June 30
Workout – 75kb swings at 53lb (in 2 sets! 46 and 29)
Breakfast – salmon filet, spinach, coconut butter
Lunch – 6 eggs, salad
Dinner – green chicken curry with cauliflower

Day 33 – Thursday July 1
Breakfast – 6 eggs, spinach, coconut butter
Lunch – Moe’s chicken fajita
Dinner – green chicken curry with cauliflower
Afters – lots of wine

The Novelist, as you may know, is back in town, and she texted me 2 nights ago to check in with me, see how I was doing, and so on. To recap, I met her at a party after staring at her tight red dress all night and finally going up to talk to her. She was a theology grad student who turned her life around to spend a year in Tunisia studying archeaology, and was inspired to write a novel. We went out to a bar two weeks ago, and this is Date #2 coming up later tonight. I called her last night, filled with “live every day like it’s your last” urge, and made plans for a different, slightly more romantic/intimate bar date, the kind of place with a patio, cheap drink specials, and plenty of good people-watching. I like the advice that someone gave me to forget all hope about anything happening, which will help me be “in the moment” the entire night, instead of thinking ahead to, “How many drinks before we head to another venue? Should I drive, or should we take separate cars? Which Pandora station would be appropriate for a car ride?” Yes, I think about these things on dates when I should actually be *listening* to the girl, hence the continuous sabotage of many a potentially good evening out.

The other thing I should trust in is the fact that she had every right to never contact me again, but she *did*, and she did so for a reason. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be sleeping together at the end of the date, but the possibility is out there, and at the every least she is interested in getting to know me better. I don’t want to dwell too too long on how to “frame” this date in order to maximize my probability of this being a casual sexual relationship, because the more I actively try to do on a date, the less I just let things happen. And that is *always* bad for me. Either way, Saturday is going to be EPIC CHEAT DAY, Indian style. I’m staring down a 2lb can of high-quality gulab jamun (fried ricotta-ish cheese balls in sugar syrup), my remaining 1.5 pints of Ben and Jerry’s, and I’m planning to destroy the Saturday lunch buffet at Sitar after my bench presses and weighted pullups.

As you know, my main source of exercise this week has been a paltry 5-minute session of kettlebell swings twice a week, based on Tim Ferriss’ experiment that leaned him out considerably. I despised kettlebells when I did CrossFit (mainly because of my inability to do them well, and the sore back/shoulder they inevitably caused two days later), but now they’re growing on me. And the Y has them, and they’re lonely, since nobody at the Y does any lifting aside from bench press and bicep curls. So I decided to read up on them as much as I could, learn about their history, and figure out this whole American swing vs Russian swing thing.

So this is a kettlebell. It’s heavy. You can do a lot of exercises with it. You can clean it, press it, snatch it, Turkish get-it-up, or squat with it. But the basic exercise is the two-handed swing.

(P.S.) GREAT unintentional humor website, somewhat about kettlebells, but mostly about how the Russians are planning to take over the world, yet again, but this time through IRON and STEEL.

 

 

The original Russian way was to pick it up, rock it back between your legs, and extend your hips up forcefully to get it up to eye level (above horizontal with your arms.) PS this guy’s squatting WAAAAY too low, you should squat back about 1/4 of the way, like you’re backing into a chair without looking.

The American/Crossfit way, popularized by guys like Greg Glassman, is to extend that motion upward so you swing the bell overhead with every rep. This is supposed to yield more work in a shorter amount of time, presuming you can use the same weight and use it SAFELY. But is one *better* than the other? We, as Americans, love to reinvent the wheel or make something bigger/better/faster by putting a clock radio or rear spoilers on it. Which, of course, spits in the face of 300 years of Cossack farmer strongman tradition.

Or, insert Vladimir Putin here.

If you’re trying to generate repetitive super hip force so you can do kipping pullups (GRRRRR), maybe the American style is better. If you’re just trying to get a bit of metabolic conditioning without competing in the Crossfit Games, and you *really* don’t want to be a hero and throw out your shoulder or your back, I’d suggest the Russian style. But that’s just me. I’ll have more of an opinion when I see results, but I’m already up from doing 28 in my first set to doing 46 in my first set, in about a week. So there.

OK, the car. I drive (don’t laugh) a cherry-red VW Bug. I like The Bug, but I don’t *love* The Bug. It’s *cute*. But nobody’s excited about climbing into the back seat of The Bug to make out. So I’m saying farewell to The Bug, sometime in the next month or two, perhaps. I’ve received car advice from dozens of folks, and I’m narrowing my choices down. I want a Man Car, but not an SUV (I’m happy with the size of my penis, thank you very much.) Sleek, luxury-ish, but not too too pricey. The names that keep coming up are Acura, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac (which is currently #1 in the running, but could change.) Call this a microcosm of my goal to change from being cute and nice and harmless to being bold and powerful and confident.

It’s a sea change. The blog, to be more introspective and to share an important side of me with the friends I trust. Quitting CrossFit, while difficult, is forcing me to be more pro-active in my social endeavors and not just rely on “oh, I’ll see them at the gym”. Things are changing for the better, and boy would I love to complete the cycle and date some hot intelligent women. And now, I’m off to Moe’s to see if my conversation with The Drug Rep on Wednesday made any impression. I’ll be ranting about the date with The Novelist, positive or negative, tomorrow sometime. I’ll try to keep it a surprise till the end.

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