Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: Thanksgiving Review, Wedding Shenanigans, ACL Rehab, and More.
1. I’m back! Did you miss me? Even just a little bit?
All I have to say is that the past five days have been a whirlwind. Going back home to upstate New York for Thanksgiving was amazing, of course. Although we made the mistake of leaving Boston at around 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon (along with everyone else apparently) and it took us roughly 2.5 hours just to drive 50 miles to the Turnpike I-84 split. It was awful – and I was thiiiiiiiiis close to sniper rolling out of the driver seat and throwing myself in front of a Mack truck.
A ride that normally takes five and a half hours, took eight. Nevertheless we eventually made it home, and it was great to see family, friends, and to crush my mom’s apple pie.
To top everything off, Lisa shot her first gun, like ever. Both my brother and step father were gearing up to go hunting the next day and wanted to head out to the back yard to shoot their guns. Lisa was on that like white on rice!
2. It was a quick turnaround, however, because Lisa and I had to head back to Beantown for my good friend’s (and business partner) Pete Dupuis’ wedding, which was epic in its own right.
Leaving sooner than we wanted had its advantages though, since traffic wasn’t nearly as much of a clusterf*** on the way back. We made it in record time and both Friday (rehearsal dinner) and Saturday (the big event) were amazing.
Hell, I even wore a suit and tie for the occasion and might have given 007 a run for his money.
The pic below is the original four CP staff (Pete Dupuis, Eric Cressey, myself, and Brian St. Pierre).
3. I know the last thing people want to read given I haven’t posted anything in a while are details about my personal life (even though it does parallel Batman at times), but here’s the last nugget….promise.
As is customary each year during Thanksgiving, after my seventh serving of turkey and stuffing, and after my insulin induced power nap, I like to cap everything off by heading to the movie theater to catch a flick. This year’s pick was Life of Pi, director Ang Lee’s latest masterpiece based off the novel of the same name by Yann Martel.
Having read pieces of the book myself, I honestly had no idea how this was going to be made into a movie. From what I’ve read many directors have tried in the past to adapt it onto screen, but failed due to the complicated plot and storyline.
However, given Lee’s history of taking “unconventional” material (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, to name a few) and knocking it out of the ballpark, I wasn’t too worried. What’s more, Lee has a knack for making visually stunning movies, and Life of Pi certainly didn’t disappoint in this regard.
I’d rank it right up there as one of the more beautiful movies I have ever watched – right on par with films like Amelie – and the CGI/3D was spectacular. I consider Avatar the litmus test for any film made in 3D, and there really has been no other film that has impressed me in recent years – other than Hugo – where I felt it was justified to spend the extra dough or where the 3D enhanced the experience.
Life of Pi was STUNNING!!!!!!!!
And yes, I got a little teary eyed. Take that for what it’s worth.
4. Okay, I lied – I have another Thanksgiving related point to make. But it’s something that you’ll be able to use.
If I’m being honest, up until this past year, I had a very poor relationship with brussels sprouts. Back in the day, when I was a kid, my mom used to serve them to us for dinner on occasion, and it was just horrendous (sorry mom).
She used to buy the frozen variety and then just pop them in the microwave and serve them in a bowl. If I had to liken it to anything, it was like eating soggy balls of fart.
Yes, it was that bad.
Anyways, my girlfriend is literally obsessed with brussels spouts – and for good reason. They’re freakin ROCKSTARS in the nutritional world.
Funnily enough, brussels sprouts aren’t really sprouts at all, but members of the cabbage family, which makes since that’s exactly what they look like.
I’m not going to attempt to delve into all the nutritional reasons why you should include them in your diet because other peeps have done an awesome job in explaining it already.
In his phenomenal book, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth (required reading if you ask me), Dr. Jonny Bowden states:
Brussels sprouts contain a chemical called sinigrin which suppresses the development of precancerous cells. The breakdown of sinigrin (allyl isothiocyanate) is the active ingredient in brussel sprouts and is responsible for the characteristic smell of sprouts. It works by persuading the precancerous cells to commit suicide – a natural process called apoptosis – and so powerful is the effect that it’s entirely possible that the occasional meal of brussels sprouts could help reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
Including more sulfur-rich vegetables is actually kind of a big deal, and something that Mark Sisson has written on several times, including THIS gem.
But how to prepare and cook them is the key. As I noted above, Lisa is obsessed with brussels sprouts, and I was never a fan until I tried them the way that she makes them.
I’ve been converted for a while, but it took a little convincing for my family to try them. Here’s how she prepared them last week to rave reviews.
First off, do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy the frozen variety. They taste like frozen balls of cyanide, and you’re not doing yourself any favors by going that route.
Instead, try to buy them fresh, or better yet, still in the stalk!
We’re lucky in that the Trader Joe’s right down the street sells them on the stalk, and it makes all the difference in the world.
Regardless, whether you pluck them of the stalk, or pick them out of a bag – DO NOT buy them frozen.
– Wash them off, and then cut each sprout into halves.
– Throw into a bowl and then add seasoning. We like to keep it simple: salt, pepper, and oregano work wonders. Add olive oil (extra virgin preferably) and if you’d like some apple cider vinegar to give it a little kick.
– OPTIONAL (but it really isn’t): on the side, cook up like 3-4 strips of bacon. Once the bacon is done, crumble them up and add into the bowl. Then, spread the bacon fat onto the sheet where you’ll place the brussel sprouts.
– Place each sprout face down onto a shallow cooking sheet. Keep your paws off the bacon bits!!!! For now, anyways.
– Cook in oven at like 325-350 degrees for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes are up, stir the sprouts around, and cook for another 20.
– Chow down. Thank me later.
5. Driving home the other day, we happened to tune into some random classic rock station and Pearl Jam came on. Since when in the hell is Pearl Jam considered classic rock??????????
6. I received an interesting email last week from a college student detailing to me a conversation she was eavesdropping on between one of the head strength coaches at her school and a handful of his practicum students. To quote her:
They were talking about how he teaches the squat to his athletes. The coach said that because so many athletes are stronger in their posterior chain compared to their quads, he strongly discourages his athletes from “sitting back” or having any type of hip hinge movement while squatting to minimize glute and hamstring involvement and target the quads.
He said the box squat or squat to a box was a pointless exercise due to the hip hinge requirement and the nearly vertical tibia – he wants his athletes squatting by dropping straight down, staying relatively upright and getting the knees a fair ways beyond the toes. He emphasizes developing quad strength over posterior chain strength in all of his young athletes.
Also, he said that prevention of ACL injuries would be enhanced if there was less emphasis on hip hinging and more emphasis on quad strengthening, especially in female athletes.
I don’t think I have ever heard anything so asinine in my life – and this is including EVERYTHING that Tracy Anderson has ever said.
The last point – prevention of ACL injuries would be enhanced if there was less emphasis on hip hinging and more emphasis on quad strengthening , especially in female athletes – is what really dumbfounded me, and pretty much made me want to throw my face onto an ax.
If you look at the mechanism(s) which cause the bulk of (non-contact) ACL injuries in female athletes – pronation, adduction, and hip internal rotation – one would clearly see (at least if they know anything about functional anatomy) that training the posterior chain would be kind of important.
Sure, most anatomy texts will note that the glutes do nothing but abduct and extend the hip. Clap clap clap. You just passed anatomy 101.
Digging a little deeper, and what most anatomy texts don’t account for, is the eccentric component, or what the glutes PREVENT……
……Pronation, adduction, and hip internal rotation. Otherwise known as “the big 3” when it comes to ACL injuries.
How a coach would say that placing more emphasis on the quads is the best way to go about preventing these injuries from happening in the first place is beyond my comprehension. I guess every coach who’s ever lived is wrong, and that this guy has it all figured out.
Suffice it to say, I really feel sorry for his athletes.
I sent along the email I received to my good friend, Bret Contreras, to see what his reaction would be and he responded with:
“What the holy hell!?!?!?! That’s one of the most illogical things I’ve heard a strength coach say. Just wow.”
And then I’m pretty sure this is what happened:
Needless to say, Bret wasn’t too happy.
Apparently Bret is working on a detailed response – complete with charts, graphs, and I hope a massive middle finger – that I’m going to use as a guest post in a week or so. Stay tuned……..it’s going to be awesome.
And that’s it for today. I hope everyone else reading had a nice relaxing holiday. Be sure to check back during the week as I’ll be back to my normal blogging badassness.