Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review: Scorecasting

I was sent a review copy of the book "Scorecasting" which is actually incredibly exciting for me. Why? I am a total numbers dork. Yep, your favorite surfer/golfer and all-around laid back chick is actually a major number cruncher. In fact, my day job is in advertising doing just that. I'll spare you the gory details there. Just know that I love to analyze everything.

Here's the description I was given:

“SCORECASTING: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won”, by Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim digs into the behavioral dynamics and then delivers readers from the sports clich├ęs and misstatements that have dominated for decades. Leave your anecdotal evidence at the door. Emotion means little here. With a combination of first-rate analysis and first-rate storytelling, Moskowitz (a University of Chicago Booth School of Business finance professor) and Wertheim (a writer at Sports Illustrated), assess the most deeply-rooted “truisms” that haunt the games we love.

Does defense truly win championships? Is there really such a thing as momentum in sports? Does icing the kicker work? Are the Chicago Cubs cursed? Can you really quantify the subjective aspects of sports, like officiating?

SCORECASTING confirms what has long been assumed. Consider:
* Officials are biased…but not for the reasons you think.
* The key to long-term focus and creative play: job security.
* Luck doesn’t make us smarter or dumber, only lucky or unlucky.
* There’s no I in team, but there is one in elite player. You better have one or more if you want a title.
* Using all four downs in football is still considered sports heresy. Wrongly, but everyone punts, right?
* Tiger Woods is, in fact, mortal—and for reasons having nothing to do with Thanksgiving of 2009."

I've just got going in this beauty and can't wait to get going in it. This book is the reason that I want to have an extra 4 hours a day to read. You can get your copy on Amazon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Much Better Session

On Saturday I lamented about getting snaked out in the water and I am happy to report that Sunday's session was much better. In fact, it was so much better that my shoulders were too sore to give it a go for dawn patrol this morning. I was out in the water with a group of friends for just over 2 hours. We've had a great weekend at this particular spot. There were some really great sets that came roaring through.

I'm taking the day off tomorrow to do some surfing early in the day and then heading over to a very cool golf-related event that I'll give you the link to at a later time.

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Getting Snaked

Yeah, it happens. I'll be out in the lineup and there will be a great set coming in. I'll be right there, rightfully going for it and it happens. Some guy will totally snake me and nearly take my head off or come close to inflicting some other injury to me or my board.

If it happens once I usually just let it go. There are plenty more waves and this is not the last time I'll be surfing. However, when it happens repeatedly in the same session and from the same darn person it really bums me out.

The forecast was for some really big sets today. I met up with a group of people that I like to surf with, all of which are incredibly cool. There were about six fellas and four ladies in the group. In addition, there were some other folks I knew just from surfing around the area.

The spot I went to is mostly always friendly. It's one of those more gentle point breaks that beginners and more advanced surfers can enjoy. There were supposed to be consistent 4-5 footers today with some 8 foot sets coming through. I was so looking forward to it.

I got my first ride and a shortboarder came behind me and did a nutty move and just barely missed my head. I complemented him on the move afterward, trying to set up a friendly atmosphere. That didn't work. For the rest of the session this guy decided that he would try to ruin every wave I caught. It wasn't just me though. This guy cut EVERYONE off and made sure that nobody could share a wave with him. Eventually, a couple of other guys cut him off to let him know he was being a jerk but it didn't stop him.

Comments like, "save some for the fish" and "sorry about your small d*ck" started flying around at Sir Snakesalot. I kept a positive vibe and had some nice rides in spite of his attitude. In fact, my last wave was really great since I managed a few cutbacks with someone right behind me. After that ride was over I thanked the guy that was sharing with me for not being an @$$. He was super cool and told me that he only dropped in behind to make sure that Sir Snakesalot couldn't come try to ruin my ride. Nice! There are others that surf with aloha!

Anyways, I hate whining about being run over but it happens. It happens to other ladies in the water as well.

If you see me out in the water just realize a few things: I will never intentionally try to run you over, snake you, or try to inflict harm in some other way. It's not worth hurting someone just so I can grab a wave. If you wipe out and it looks bad, I'll ask you if you're okay. If you need help, I'll totally help you out. If you want to sit by me and take turns with the sets, I'm totally good with that too.

I'm just incredibly stoked to be out in the water and I'll catch my rides regardless of the situation. I'm a firm believer of always surfing with aloha and that we are all connected by one ocean. There's enough stoke to go around.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Morning Routine: On The Go

I realized this morning that I have one other possibility for my morning routine. As diligent as I am about my eating habits I still get lazy about going to the store just as anyone else would. On these mornings I have to get something to eat on the go before I hit my surf spot.

I hit the same 24 hour restaurant whenever I don't have food at home. It's a great little authentic Mexican cafe. Some people might think it's a "greasy spoon" type hole in the wall but it really isn't. There are a lot of smaller Mexican joints around here that are really quite health-conscious in many ways.

For example, at my little spot they make fresh juice that isn't squeezed/juiced until you order it. They also make everything to order and make things fresh every day. Many people don't realize how many authentic Mexican eateries serve fresh juices.

At any rate, my breakfast on the go is:

32 ounces of freshly squeezed OJ with carrot and celery juice
1 grilled fish taco with avocado

I only drink about 25% of the juice and have the rest after I am done with my surf session. One taco might seem small until you see it, it is rather large and is made with 2 corn tortillas with the fish and avocado inside. In addition, the place I go to gives you a small bag of corn tortilla chips with every order. I'll go ahead and allow myself to have 3 or 4 after my surf if it was especially strenuous. Otherwise I give them to someone at the surf spot or the office.

Some weeks I am really, really lazy and will have this breakfast as many as 3 times. Some weeks I am really good about going to the store or hubby has gone for me (I love that).

That concludes my morning routines - all three of them. Yep, unless I am on vacation in another city I will be doing one of the three scenarios that I have described this month.

Next, I'll post about lunch and dinner. I really don't snack very much at all. I know you're just dying to hear about it.

How many morning routines do you have?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Morning Routine: Just Add Water

My morning routine includes water more often than not. Yep, I'm talking about dawn patrol. You know, surfing as the sun comes up. It's better than coffee to wake you up. I also love the added bonus of the diminished sunlight to save the skin on my face a bit.

For the most part, my breakfast is the same as when I get my morning workout at home. However, I space out my breakfast before and after the surf session so I have energy to go and then refuel a bit after.

Pre-surf I'll eat my two homemade shrimp or fish tacos with avocado and hot sauce. I still make my juice but only take a few sips and bring the rest with me to drink after my surf session. In addition, I'll have a couple of oranges and whatever other produce is in season. Lately that has been blueberries or cherries (yum).

Surf sessions in the morning last between 45 - 90 minutes, depending on a number of factors. Lately it has been really, really cold in the morning so I've been able to hang for about an hour. It's been quite a workout the last week or two as the currents have been pretty strong. In addition, the much colder air and water temperature have made it a bit unfriendly in the morning. It's a good thing the local crowd is awesome.

Weekend surfing is usually different. I'll either travel to a break in another county of go to one of the gentler breaks than the one I go to on weekday mornings. It's more of a shortboard spot but I still ride my 8'. Yesterday I went to one of these easier, longboard breaks and couldn't believe how "lazy" I've become when charging a wave. The spot I hit during the week has quite a bit more power to it so I really have to just barely get in the right spot and I've got it. Yesterday's gentler waves meant that I really had to paddle like crazy to catch a ride. I'm used to paddling like crazy to get out of the way of a big wall or a set that's breaking out farther than the lineup. At any rate, I could use a nice, long session at a place that is more in-between the two.

I'm quite happy with morning routine, water or not although I prefer to be in the water. It's all really paid off and I get some pretty awesome compliments lately.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Morning Routine: Sans Water

Yes, I'm stoked on how fit I am now and wanted to share with you some of my morning routines as far as food and exercise. This is one morning's routine when I didn't go surfing. I'll post a surf morning routine at a later post.

Okay, so the alarm goes off at 5:00 am but I'm usually already awake and watching the news. I get up and put my workout gear on and (fortunately) don't have to leave the house because I have plenty of exercise gear at home.

Exercise routine
65 minutes on treadmill - brisk walking speed with first 30 minutes having elevation set to 8 and and first 10 minutes as gradual warn up then final 5 minutes in gradual cool down.

30 minutes on elliptical trainer - resistance set to 10 and random program

15 minutes of stretching - core, arms, legs, neck

Okay, you should know that I am not a fan of "traditional" breakfast foods so my breakfast may look more like lunch or dinner to you.

In the juicer (I don't do caffeine either):
1 large beet
5-6 large carrots
1 large red delicious apple
1 very small piece of ginger

In the pan with olive oil:
4 gigantic freshwater shrimp or 12 jumbo sea shrimp
2 corn tortillas (cooked after the shrimp - do each side of tortilla until desired bronzing has occurred)
1/2 avocado
Sriracha, Tapatio, or homemade salsa to taste.

Put half of the shrimp inside one tortilla with half of the avocado. Top with sauce to taste. Yum!

Sweet part: 2 small "Cuties" (California Mandarins), 10 red cherries, small handful of blueberries

Plenty of water

...and no, I don't add sugar, salt, or other seasonings to anything.

*So yeah, I'm not a physician and don't claim to be an expert an anything except being a dork so follow my advice at your own risk. This is what works for me and it might not work for you. I would encourage you to find the fitness routine that is best for you.

What's your morning routine?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year - Same Commitment To Health & Fitness

I have to say that 2010 was a very successful year for me in terms of health and fitness. Sure, I had some setbacks but it all came out for the absolute best. As a result, I'm close to being in the best shape of my life. Seriously.

It didn't come easy though. In addition, a few of the setbacks were pretty hard to deal with. At the beginning of the year I spent a lot of time in physical therapy, acupuncture, and with sports medicine doctors. There are some discs in my neck that are degenerative and something about that is irritating the nerves that go down my right arm. My right shoulder also gets aggravated rather easily.

At the beginning of the summer I was hospitalized for a few days. Somehow I was incredibly anemic and was having non-stop excruciating indigestion-type pain. This was really the turning point for me and I'm so glad that it all came out the way it did.

Several years ago I was told that I had IBS and that the type that I had meant that I had to stay away from certain foods. I was already what most people considered to be a "healthy eater" and have been either vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian since I was very young. At this point, I was told that I needed to stay away from corn products and beans. I love beans and really love corn tortillas so this was quite upsetting to me.

After the hospitalization, it turned out that the prior IBS diagnosis wasn't exactly correct and was causing me even more health issues. I even had the diagnosis from a so-called prominent researcher in the field. Yeah, it was more like he was trying to shoehorn me into the diagnosis for his own benefit. The pills he had me on put some extra weight on me and I would run out of steam every day in the afternoon. It was incredibly difficult to keep motivated to be fit, but I was diligent and really made the effort regardless.

Now I am so much better. Like "back to normal" better. All of the extra weight that I put on was gone and I am back to my normal size, which is about a size 6. Yes, I'm 5'10" but I have smaller bones and am very active. I have to clarify that though - I wear a size 6 pant but tops have to be closer to a 10 because my shoulders are too big to fit into smaller sizes. This is not a bad thing though and I am certainly not complaining.

My diet is close to being vegan - the only exception being some seafood. I mostly like shellfish and the lighter fillets (nothing heavier than tilapia or trout). I stay away from processed soy and tofu products, however. In fact, I really only eat what I can see the ingredients to. To me, although some folks think that "organic", "vegan", and "natural" foods that you can get in those fancy stores are better for you I am not convinced. I stick to a produce-heavy diet with fresh seafood, beans, and corn tortillas. Avocados are my main staple, I have them at least once every day. Additives are totally out as well - no salt, sugar, or any other spices. I will add Tapatio or Sriracha to foods or my own fresh salsa. Therefore, those two sauces, corn tortillas, and beer are the only things in my diet that have any processing to them.

In 2010 I also gave up caffeine. This was a product of the hospitalization episode. The physician told me that the four things that should be avoided for being healthy are cigarettes, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. I already didn't smoke or do chocolate (I've never liked it). On the other hand, I love me some Belgian beer so I decided to give up caffeine. Since I didn't have any in the hospital it was easy to give up because I didn't really have to go through the usual withdrawals that you experience when quitting.

I'm committed to keep my new, healthier self through 2011. In fact, my Twitter bud kokgirl is talking about starting up the Twitter Trim Up Challenge (TTUC) again. I'm ready!

Last year I met many of my goals, one in particular was to compete in a surf competition without feeling so winded I thought I would die. I accomplished this and came in 2nd place at said contest. My golf goals need some working on but I spend most of my weather-permitting days surfing so that's to be expected.

Yes, this was a big and long-winded post but there it is. Stay tuned for my 2011 goals and how I'm going to get there. I'll post more of my food recipes and workout routines throughout the year as well.

What are your 2011 fitness goals?