Translate This Page:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A True Story About A Cyclist

Take a look at the video below.  Its shows a cyclist on a stationary trainer.

The cyclist's name is Damian.  He is competitive cyclist who has finished first at the Coppa 8 de Marzo Time Trial. He also won the silver medal at the Tour of Havana de Este, and the bronze medal at the Criterium de Havana against some of the best athletes in his region. This is what he looks like.

Damian Lopex Alphonso
A native of Cuba, Damian was electrocuted at age 13 with 13,000 volts of electricity when he tried to retrieve his kite which had landed on some power lines.  He spent 52 days on life support and has had to endure many surgeries which enabled him to survive.  Now aged 34, he has taught himself to become a competitive cyclist racing against non-disabled competitors by resting the stumps of his arms against the handlebars.

It was at the 2002 Pan American championships in Cuba when he was noticed by Tracy Lea a fellow cyclist and Team Fuji Ambassador.  You can read the rest of the story here.  If you wish, you can donate to cover some of Damian's expenses by emailing

*  *  *

It would be so easy to grumble that life has not dealt us a fair hand.  It is easy to make excuses why we can't workout regularly or get into shape, change our diet or improve our commitment to fitness.  When we read a story like Damian's -- someone who overcomes their disability to compete with "normal" people it kind of puts everything in perspective doesn't it?  Stories like Damian's shame us by revealing that it is our minds which are weak, not our bodies.

*  *  *

Life doesn't owe us anything. Life isn't fair.

We get out of life, what we put into life. No one has ever become great by making excuses.

We are only "disabled" as much as we think we are.

True greatness is not visible to the naked eye.

Inside each of us is a power of great beauty and triumph if we only learn to set it free.

Dare to be great.

Dare to be.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ride the Bike

Click for larger picture
The weather is warmer this week than last week.  Seeing a dry morning, I rode one of my bicycles to work this morning hoping that it would not rain before I reached the office. My morning bicycle commute is 20 kilometers (about 12. 5 miles) each way.  The picture above shows the entrance to the bicycle\pedestrian bridge that connects Richmond to Vancouver along River Road just east of the River Rock Casino.

The bicycle (center of the picture) is a Dahon Helios P8 aluminum folding bike that has been converted to a singlespeed freewheel gear system with 66 gear inches.

It normally takes me about 50 minutes (plus or minus) to reach the door of my office building from the door of my home.  This is the same amount of time it takes for me to take the train and bus door-to-door.  So there is no loss of time in the modality of the commute. Cycling however has health benefits and I enjoy the solitude of riding.

Click for larger picture
This is the view looking north on Cambie from the intersection of Cambie Street and Marine Drive in Vancouver.  From here to 41st, its one long uphill and a great test of one's will.

This morning I rode to work in a fasted state no having eaten anything since dinner the previous night and prolonged the fast until 1 p.m. when I finally ate lunch.

After work tonight, I will ride back into Richmond to my martial arts gym where I meet up with my wife and daughter.  The Dahon will be folded and placed in the trunk of the car and voila - on we go.

You are welcome to post your choices in staying active in the comments section.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

If you were put in a room without clocks and just told to sleep however much you needed at the end of a day, how many hours do you think you sleep?

a. 6 hours or less
b. Between 6 and 7 hours
c. Between 7 and 8 hours
d. Between 8 and 9 hours
e. More than 9 hours?

In one study, 95% slept between 7 and 8 hours a day.   Another 2.5% slept more than 8 hours.  That leaves just 2.5% who need less than 7 hours a day to feel rested when not tied to an alarm clock.  2 people out of 100.  Let that sink in for a second.  What are the chances you are on of those two?

How about creative people?  The famous study of violinists by Anders Ericsson in 1993 showed top performers slept an average of 8.6 hours a day and included a habit of napping during the day which accumulated to an additional 3 hours of siesta per week.  It appears that high performers incorporate habits of working and playing hard.  Sounds primal to me.

I believe that an adequate sleep cycle maximizes the body's healing and regenerative pathways and is critical for maintaining optimal health.  I fitted thick, black curtains in my bedroom to create a dark ambiance.  It aids in facilitating a deep sleep.


For further reading:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Partial Blog Roll

These are some of the blogs I read on a regular basis:

The Daily Lipid by Chris MasterJohn
Whole Health Source by Stephan Guyenet
Primal Wisdom by Don Matesz
HyperLipid by  Petro Dobromylskyj
Heart Scan Blog by William Davis
PaNu by Kurt G. Harris
Health Correlator by Ned Kock
MarksDailyApple by Mark Sissons
Conditioning Research
FreeTheAnimal by Richard Nikoley