Using Travel to Reconnect

So as many of you know, and for those who do not, my wife and I love to travel. I lived abroad for almost 10 years in the UK and experienced many countries and cultures growing up. Since meeting my spouse I have tried to share that with her, and she has become addicted to it.

For us, its not just saying we went somewhere and saw something. We do it for the experiences. Bavaria, Germany and Austria are where my soul feels at home sometimes and I long to go back. Ireland and Northern Europe, my ancestral routes. Italy, where a quarter of my heritage originated, Iceland – where I experienced a spiritual awakening and connection with the earth that I must return to.

With everything opening back up due to COVID ending as WW3 begins, my wife and I thought against Europe, but are instead going on another adventure trip, this time to Alaska. MG and his wife will be joining us as we head into the great white north to experience arctic terrain again with unprecedented beauty.

What I find when we travel though, is my wife and I reconnect and enjoy being together again. Our normal issues from day to day life seem to fall away and we have that spark and excitement again. It lets us experience new things together that we can think back on in the future. To identify more and more different things we like to do, and experience all our lives have to offer us.

Now am I saying this is a panacea to all of marriages/relationship woes? No. But if you and your partner can connect and reestablish healthy activities together, experience new things together, work and forge that commitment again, together – you are going to find you are probably happier together as well.

Now I am not saying book a trip to Europe and all will be fine. A lot of people can’t afford that or Alaska, but you can afford camping, maybe staying with friends in other states, or hitting up motels along classic Route 66. Either way, you can find ways to affordably see things you never have before, even in your own country. Do not let life slip you by, the world is too big and beautiful with great peoples and cultures to only stay one place.

Go live life, reconnect with your honey, and enjoy what time you have!

Heck one day … maybe you even take the kids!

AFD 1 *

New Writer Incoming

Hey all

Happy 2022 – or you know 2020 part 3.
We have a new father coming on board to contribute to the site and bring in a fresh set of eyes as BPD and I have been up to ours in diapers!

MG is the new contributor and is also a new father. We share a love off Brewing, Sports and Fishing. We are friends and alumni of the same University ( WE ARE.. PENN STATE) as myself and BPD.

New stuff coming down the pike at you fast and hard for 2022.

Till then Keep Frosty

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AFD

Full Body fitness to support you while you carry your kids..or their stuff for them. Dad Life!

Hey All

It has been a hot second since we have had a chance to talk about the necessity for over all strength when dealing with your kids.

I know myself, I have let an injury and being a new Dad be an excuse to let my diet and exercise go out the window. Especially with a pandemic and no need to see other people.

That is not an excuse for the Dad Bod I was letting myself get. Too much beer/mead and sitting on my ass all day working or taking care of GAD (my son). I found that even with a herniated disk in my neck I could walk, I just chose not to. I had an excuse every time – Oh I am tired, my arm hurts, I didn’t sleep well, I’m so busy – What that was is me not owning the day, owning self, or my mental and physical well being.

I started getting weaker and not being able to hold my son as long before needing to transition him or sit him down on my lap. He was only 13 lbs and I couldn’t carry him more than 5 minutes. My back would hurt or my neck. It was because I was letting muscle atrophy by not using them. The same goes when I would carry him in his car carrier, or transport any of the crap you need when you go somewhere with a baby. I was getting weak and fat.

What did I do you ask to motivate myself and get back into shape? I had my wife tell me and be honest about how I looked. I wanted to be attractive to her and I wasn’t. I wanted to feel strong and confident, but I didn’t. I owned that I was being a lazy bitch and decided I needed to start working out again, and also get medical help with my neck injury.

8 weeks of not working out due to a herniated C5-6 in my neck led to nerve damage down my right arm. Physical Therapy twice weekly as well as Gabapentin helped me get back into the gym (my basement). I went back to 3 days a week, 3-5×5 reps of compound lifts, 3 times a week. I also did at home PT exercises. I limited myself to only 2-3 glasses of mead or wine a day and reduced all carbohydrate and sugar consumption to a minimum.

In 3 weeks I dropped 7 pounds. In the mirror you could see my gut getting smaller and my love handles going away. I was starting to feel stronger again even though all my weights had gone down.

Slowly but surely, I am almost back to my original weights. I do no cardio but I do stretch and meditate more. The big lifts – Squat, Bench, Deadlift, OHP and Weighted Pull Ups – have helped me rebuild functional strength carrying my son or his shit. It has helped and is continuing to help me bulletproof my body from the ravages that other poor lift choices and injuries try to impose upon you.

That all said here are the resources I used to change myself in a brief 2 month period that you too can implement and begin to see change.

Diet:
The Slow Carb Diet & The Drink Your Carbs Diet – Both the 4 hour body book and The Drink your Carbs Book are worth the read and will give you more insight into simple dieting that works.

Training:
Tactical Barbell & The Ageless Athlete. Simple & Sinister.
These 3 books will help you develop a daily routine (M-F) that will give you functional strength ( and size if you want it) while also giving you a condition program to keep your cardiovascular system operating well.

You can get Slow Carb Diet info here – 1 page cheat sheet
Everything else you can get on Amazon or somewhere else online.

Invest in yourself for you, and a longer healthier life with your family. Be the role model you want to be for your kids. Everyone knows Daddy is the strongest- now do what it takes to back that up.

AFD 1*

2021, vaccines, getting back to normal?

So we are almost 3 months into 2021 and the world is still a pretty screwy place. A new regime leading a puppet and now finally vaccines being distributed to get the world to a place of “herd immunity”.

Between older parents with co-morbidities and a new son with heart defects, this pandemic has led to the need for more isolation then my wife or I would have otherwise allowed. Feeling like prisoners in our home due to relatives and media hyped risks.

That all said – my wife and I are now vaccinated as are our parents. We are returning to going out to eat, visiting places and in time – a week or 2 – I will be returning to training martial arts in the dojo. Ninpo, Aikido and Krav Maga will be back and getting this last 5 lbs of lock-down fat off.

It is time for the world to return to normal. Fuck all this “new normal” shit. If we don’t go back out to be the social animals we are and experience the interactions and exchanges with others in our country and countries we won’t get as much joy and pleasure out of this life as we should.

More posts to come in 2021 – more brewing – more martial arts and more DAD life tips.

It’s time gentlemen to carpe drum and become the best partners and fathers we can be.

Training Martial Arts during a Pandemic

One of the biggest parts of my life since I saw Karate Kid in 1986 and discovering Bruce Lee shortly after has been Martial Arts.

I started my formal training in the mid 90s doing a mix of Shito Ryu and Goju Ryu karate. After a short layoff after graduation I began training in a style based in American Kenpo with a bit of street mixed in. I’ve had the opportunity to train with some amazing people and was looking to spread my wings into BJJ and then, the world stopped.

So what do you do when you suddenly have to stay six feet away from everyone not in your immediate household? Here’s some things I’ve been doing.

Physical Development

This is a perfect time to develop your physical attributes. Find an area or two that you want to improve on and focus on those things. It can be general things like strength, weight loss, and flexibility or specific techniques (kicks, punches or movements) that you want to improve on. Take your overall goal, divide it into smaller, less daunting chunks and attack that goal every day. If you have a weight loss goal like I do (another blog series upcoming…), don’t look at the final number. Take it in 5 or 10 lbs increments and focus on that. Same with flexibility, don’t go all out Van Damme on your first day. Focus on small, gradual improvements to avoid injury and discouragement.

Forms and Techniques

A lot of styles have forms. This is the time to learn the next one or perfect the ones you do know. Wing Chun has the Wooden Dummy Sets along with three empty hand forms, Kali has a number of patterns and flows, Karate has Kata, Tae Kwon Do has Poomsae. You get the idea. Once you’ve got the patterns down, break them down. Look at what the movements are trying to teach you.

Expand Your Knowledge

Many martial arts schools are holding classes online now using video conferencing platforms like Zoom. There is also tons of content online for learning new ideas and techniques. YouTube has great videos if you know what you’re looking for, but also some downright awful ones. I’ll post some of my favorite channels in another update this week.

Budo Brothers has some online seminars that are relatively inexpensive in areas like JKD, Kali and BJJ.

Ron Balicki’s MARS curriculum is available online with a free month trial. Ron is a world renowned martial artist and the son in law of Dan Inosanto. Seemingly a walking encyclopedia of the arts, I can’t recommend he and his wife Diana’s courses enough.

This is a perfect time to leave your comfort zone and explore new ideas and styles.

Bruce Lee injured his back doing a weightlifting exercise called ‘good mornings’ and was immobilized for more than 6 months. Out of that time he developed his art of JKD by researching and exercising his mind, jotting down notes that would later be compiled into the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Turn this into your own oppertunity to grow.

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