Birthdays and other musings

Hello ALL

I apologize for the longer hiatus between posts recently – life is busy and gets in the way. Lots of new things going on that I will go into today as well as the joy/anxiety of another birthday for me.

So – where to begin? I guess it would have to be with the ending of Summer 2021 and beginning Fall ‘21. Got to spend a few days at the beach this summer, not as many as the past but my son seems to enjoy it. The beach naps aren’t as good and though he still requires 2 naps a day, it did put a certain limit on beach and “relaxing” time.

PSU football is back, and crowds are in full swing making this feel like we are getting back to normal. I am not a fan of people thinking “new normal” and want the real normal back.
We have also switched out our inflatable pool for a SoloStove Firepit and though it is still warm at night, nothing better then relaxing with a beer by the fire – after kids are in bed of course!

Stress and anxiety are still running a bit high as we adjust to having a walking, babbling toddler. We have yet to fully “ baby-proof” the house but we are getting there. We had storm damage to our home and the process of getting a new roof and, new fence, and vehicle damage repaired is anything but smooth, relaxing or carefree.
Compound daily struggles, stress, work obligations and potentially trying to move within the next year – puts a ton of pressure on your marriage, relationships and mind.

I have been looking to try to calm my mind. To look inside instead of out and ground myself. I have had a questioning of what I believe, spiritually, since the passing of my cousin in late 2020. I have returned to meditating more. Stretching more to focus that mind/body connection. Breathing deeply while trying not to think.
I have returned to using Reiki and other energy healing techniques, as well as Shinto philosophies from East Asia to bring me back to, well, me. It’s the only way I can think to be the best version of me I can.

I have reinvested in my fitness and martial training. This is all in attempts to continue to refine myself and have a sound body and sound mind. We are our biggest critics and enemies. I need to fix that in me, so I can be the best husband and father I can. I need to not be quick to anger or judge. To listen to my gut and intuition when I have spent so long ignoring it.

Due to all of the above, my upcoming birthday this year feels heavy. Another year gone and like everything else, some regrets with it. Who knows how many birthdays we will have? Who knows what comes after? Who knows what the future holds. I just hope to give myself the best hand I can to live the best life I can.

Also – I want to travel again. This lockdown and then movement restrictions is going to break the world – we are not meant to be slaves to fascists declaring they know better then I, on how to help me. We are a social animal, who needs discovery and adventure. The time is rapidly approaching for an adventure to help with my mental space as well.

New things will be coming to this page – assuming anyone actually reads this. More fitness, Spirituality, life skills and martial thoughts incoming!
I also will revisit brewing and other fun things. Till then.

1*


AFD

How to have a happy(er) life.

With that lofty title I present to you 4 things to make you happier
1. Workout
2. Eat good food (not crap from a box or pre-made)
3. Try to meditate/clear your mind/ brain dump
4. Get some intimacy from your partner.

There you go. Simple right?

Now of course that isn’t as simple as it sounds – but why? I am going to suggest a rather Spartan approach you can take and try for a week to see how it makes you feel.

1. Start a workout program – anything is better then nothing, do it 3 times a week. A kettlebell will give you more then enough exercises for you to get the blood going and the muscles pumping.

2. Try to eat better food – meats, eggs fruits veggies. Avoid dairy if you can and “white” carbs – any carb that is or could be made white.

3. Meditate – use box breathing from a previous post or the calm app with its *free* meditations or google Mokuso Meditation and perform any for at least 5 minutes daily. You will think of other things, that’s ok, just acknowledge that and move on.

4. Talk to your partner, start “dating” them again. Make the effort and increase your intimacy.

Now that’s 4 easy things that take just a little effort that will reap rewards.
Physically performing and feeling better – adding muscle and losing weight will increase your testosterone.
Meditation reduces cortisol which increases/preserves testosterone.
Eating good food will cure most hormonal issues and – you guessed it- helps with testosterone levels.
Sex is Sex and will help you keep your hormone levels in check.

Testosterone is the foundation of men being healthy, looking younger, staying fitter and living longer.
Also – reduce how much you are drinking. It will help as booze converts testosterone into estrogen and you don’t wanna lose your gains, bro.

Keep frosty, structure this stuff in for a few weeks and you will see you feel better, sleep better, and are thinking more clearly with less stress and ALL of this will help you feel better and happier.

-AFD 1*

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.

Brew Day 2: Peach Session Mead

Today I am writing about a recent brew I did that I bottled today. It tastes AWESOME. If you like Peach with just a touch of honey flavor on the back end, then you will love this mead.

Now I know its cinco de mayo and I will be enjoying a taco salad and cerveza later, but right now I need to express how great this mead is and would go well with some flan or Churros! Now to get on with how I brewed it –

I used a flavorful Peach Tea blend (2 bags) and 3 pounds of clover honey to create this spring/summer sipper in just 5 days. That’s right, just 5 days. Some people will say that is sacrilege, but anyone who has tried this mead will protest! I steeped the tea in 4 cups of water and let it sit till it was room temperature. I then added 3 pounds of honey and .5 oz of Wyeast nutrient into my (clean and sterilized) fermentor and mixed the hell out of the solution. I then added more water to get my final volume to 2.5 gallons. a final stir to make sure everything is all mixed together and a good amount of oxygen taken in, I pitch my D47 yeast (2 packs).

I let the wort ( un-fermented beer or mead/wine) ferment for 3 days at 68 degrees. On the 3rd day I sampled the mead and it was semi-dry, flavorful of peach and some vanilla and petulant ( slightly fizzy). It had a good aroma on it and hazy very hazy ( think Wheat Beer). I did a gravity reading and the mead was sitting at 6% AVB on the nose.

I decided I liked the ABV and flavor so much that I cold crashed the mead by placing in my fridge for 48 hours. Now some will argue that technically the mead was still fermenting and I could have gotten the ABV higher and had the mead clear more if I just has waited. Well screw that. I liked how it tastes, its at the alcohol level I want and it frees up a fermentor for another brew!

I bottled the mead this morning and have enjoyed it chilled with a splash of seltzer as well as straight in a highball glass over some ice. Its very reminiscent of peach tea and can be served similarly.

Pregnant wife and new baby coming during a pandemic…

I am going to be a new father. Its my first child. I am currently under isolation because the world is fighting against a virus that is ravaging populations. What a time to try to plan to bring new life into this world.

I have fears: Will my wife remain healthy till our child’s birth? If she does get sick, and it is COVID-19, can it pass to the baby? Will I be able to be in the hospital and see my child when they are born? Will I have to wait in isolation before I can see and hold my child?

I have hope: We see the curve flattening, we see communities coming together and communicating, we see medical staff, first responder’s ( where my LEO and fire brothers at?) going above and beyond to treat those who are sick. I am hopeful that the economy will recover and my retirement isn’t lost and those facing hardships will be back to work soon. I have hope that I will be a good father and be able to provide for my family.

What does this mean for the rest of you? Keep going strong, take it a day at a time, keep your powder dry, work out, meditate, care for your kin, and keep moving forward!

For meditation without the woowoo – Calm app

For Workout that gives you biggest bang for buck with minimal barbell/kettlebell – Tactical Barbell or Simple and Sinister books

For advice on Dad life: theversatiledad.com

1*


AFD

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