Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last day of January 2010

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Once again, today is Sunday and Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit. Visit tomorrow for another blogflection about a topic not yet determined but guaranteed to be original.

Enjoy your Sunday on this last day of January 2010.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, January 30, 2010

To earn my trust

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I enjoy when clients or friends trust me and wear their trust like a badge of honor. I’m fortunate to have as my profession one that is generally held in high regard by the general public and clients. I realize that the trust my clients have of me is the result of doing the hard work to earn it. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it should be.

I also enjoy extending trust to others. Naturally, someone has got to earn my trust but – in general – I tend to be “trigger happy” in extending trust to others. It’s served me well with the gains received far exceeding the failures incurred.

Several years ago at my former gym, I purchased a three dollar sport recovery drink after a hard early morning workout. I handed a twenty dollar bill to the gym owner who was at the counter. I’d been a member of this gym for a couple years and knew the owner well enough to trust him. After taking my money, he apologized that he would have to give me change in one dollar bills as that was all he had in the cash register. He carefully and quickly counted the one dollar bills to make sure there were seventeen and handed them to me along with a warning that I better check that he had given me the correct amount.

“That’s not necessary because I trust you” was my reply, an answer that was not acceptable to him. So he proceeded to count the one dollar bills again, this time making sure that I was watching him while he uttered “one, two, three . . . fifteen, sixteen and seventeen”. He had just proven what I was comfortable with in the trust I had extended to him – that he had given me the correct change.

The lesson I learned that morning was that for him – like many others - being on the receiving end of the trust I had extended to him was more difficult than what he had to do to earn my trust.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, January 29, 2010

The day before I die

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On Wednesday I read a touching news article about a retired schoolteacher who had a lifelong dream of completing her bachelor’s degree in education. Harriet Richardson Ames finally reached that milestone nearly three weeks after her 100th birthday earlier this month and died the following day.

“Ain’t no man wants to live to be 100 except the 99 year old man” was a prior Pierini Fitness blogflection and I believe it to be a true statement. It makes me think about my unfinished accomplishments and, like Mrs. Harriet Richardson Ames – it's fair to say that some of them may not be achieved until the day before I die.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who was once young

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While I don’t personally own a television set like those rich people do, I’m well aware of the popularity of the Biggest Loser television program that chronicles the bodyweight loss journey of overweight people. Reality televison programs are popular, I suppose, because they allow viewers to vicariously live through the individuals being showcased.

The weight loss that some of those Biggest Loser participants accomplish is remarkable. Equally as remarkable is the eventual weight gained back for many of them. What’s that all about? Why would anyone intentionally sabotage their dietary and fitness success and go back to the fatso they were to begin with? I’ll tell you why.

The reason is that they didn't take their physical transformation to the mental level. By this I mean that they still saw themselves at a fat person who lost weight rather than a fit person who was once fat. That's a huge difference.

The same is true for others who make amazing and healthy changes in their lives only to eventually relapse to the old behavior or condition. I once talked to a person who identified himself as a former cigarette smoker. He told me of his repeated failures trying to permanently kick the habit, and that he didn’t achieve permanent success until he crossed the mental paradigm of identifying himself as a non-smoker who once smoked rather than someone who quit smoking.

I practice this mental imagery daily in my morning date with the bathroom mirror. Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Every man who looks in the mirror sees a 16-year old kid. Therefore, what I see is a 16-year old kid who has gotten a little older and wiser, not an older and wiser man who was once young.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Knock off this economic nonsense!

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An Associated Press news article reported yesterday that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts a sluggish economic recovery and continued high deficits for our country. According to a recent CBO report, the economy will rebound slowly with unemployment averaging 10.1 percent for 2010 and 9.5 percent for 2011.

Proving that there’s nothing new under the sun, President Obama’s solution to this economic plight is to spend beyond the means of our national income to the tune of – according to the latest estimate – $1.35 trillion for the current budget year.

How much is that? How about this visual:

$1,350,000,000,000.00 of spending beyond expected tax revenues.

What does the chief executive blogger of Pierini Fitness think about this? My thoughts are no different than what was expressed here when I said that this approach is flawed and that it just doesn't pass the smell test.

Indefinite spending beyond our means is a recipe for economic disaster. That’s true for you, me, a business, nonprofit organization and our government. It’s time for our elected leaders to take a remedial course in old school economics 101.

My message is loud and clear - it’s time to knock off this economic nonsense!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Withdrawal symptoms

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This is the time of year that my work takes over leaving me with less time for those other things in life that I enjoy. I don’t quit doing those other things, but do spend less time at them using a “something is better than nothing” mindset. Like fitness training, joking around and – most importantly - managing the blogflection factory at Pierini Fitness.

So please bear with me the next couple months, particularly as you notice that my blogflections may be a little shorter, not quite as clever and, when I’m under the gun, possibly reruns – classic blasts from the past.

Therefore, your daily dose of Pierini Fitness blogflections may be served to you in a smaller cup serving size. If you one morning find yourself with sweaty palms and a nagging headache along with shivers and quivers, it may not mean that you have fallen ill but merely suffering from Pierini Fitness blogflection withdrawal symptoms.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 25, 2010

Soul Man

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Enjoy the following video below as much as I did making it:

Deep down in the bottom of my heart, I always knew I was a Soul Man.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wipe the sleep off my face

Normally I'm clockwork in posting blogflections at Pierini Fitness by 1:00 a.m. my time zone. How do I do that? Do I stay up until 1:00 a.m. in the morning to do so? Nope! I normally compose the late afternoon or evening before and, use a feature that allows me to select the exact time my blogflection is released into cyberspace.

Last night I forgot so today - early in the morning my time - I'm delivering to you my standard Sunday blogflection; that once again, Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit, and that he'll be back tomorrow for another blogflection about a topic not yet determined (it's true) but guranteed to be creative and original.

Have a great Sunday. I'm off to make a cup of coffee and to wipe the sleep off my face.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Saturday morning omnibus thoughts

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Yesterday as I was thinking about what my next blogflection topic would be after my five-part “pardon my rust” series, it dawned on me that I’m not limited to a single thought or topic as has been the case with all that I’ve written in the past. What’s to keep me from saying a little bit of this and a little bit of that and display my dormant gadfly character that I keep under lock and key? That’s what I’ll do today.

Intermittent fasting (IF) – I’ve written quite a bit about this lifestyle and my experience with IF for most of last year but have been quieter about it recently. I jumped back on the IF saddle on Monday and practiced it each day of the week – Monday through Friday. Until further notice, I’ll be a Monday through Friday IF practitioner with a five-hour eating window – give or take – from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Retired runner status – In fitness discussion circles, I describe myself as a retired runner and that is generally true but lately I’ve been jumping on the treadmill for a once a week one-mile time trial. I did it again on Thursday and clocked a semi-decent 7:11 mile. Until further notice, I’ll continue this weekly date with the treadmill and use the one-mile time trial to see where I am at in the cardio department.

Work, work, and work – My busy work season has begun and I am mentally slow in responding to the challenge. I have no doubt that, once backed against the wall with nowhere to go that I’ll respond with a productive work flurry like past years. Why am I fighting it is a thought that floats through my mind. I do look forward to seeing those clients who I only normally see once a year and, like last, year, I’m sure my meeting with them will inspire several client-related blogflections.

And I can’t get up – An internet news article I read on Thursday reminded me of a television commercial from years ago in which an elderly woman uses a medical alert pendant after having fallen in the bathroom. After falling, she speaks the phrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” after which a dispatcher for the medical alert service company informs her that he is sending help.

The news article headline read that sitting too much could be deadly. Experts warned that sitting for prolonged periods – even if you also exercise regularly – could be bad for your health. And it doesn’t matter where the sitting takes place – at the office, at school, in the car or before a computer or television – just the overall number of hours in occurs. While research is preliminary, several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.

“GASP!” utters this middle-age man fitness dude who sits for a living in his real world, wondering if one day he might yell "and I can't get up".

There you have it and that’s all folks – my Saturday morning omnibus thoughts.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pardon my rust #5

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Thank God it’s Friday and the fifth and final segment of my five part video series “pardon my rust”. Today’s kata video is Kanku Dai, an advanced-level Shotokan karate kata that one typically learns during their third year of diligent training. Like the Bassai Dai kata demonstrated on Wednesday, there are two variations of the Shotokan Kanku – Kanku Dai (major) and Kanku Sho (minor).

Kanku Dai is one of the longest kata in karate, and its present name comes from the first and second movements, “looking at the sky”. It’s earlier name and how it is still known in the Okinawan family of karate styles is Kushanku.

The kata’s sixty-five movements should take about ninety seconds to complete and the practitioner should exhibit a fast and slow tempo, the dynamics of strength and the expansion and contraction of the body. From it must also be mastered changes of direction, jumping and going to the ground.

Here’s a video of my effort from last Saturday:

Thanks for viewing pardon my rust #5.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pardon my rust #4

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Today’s kata video is Jion, an intermediate to advanced-level Shotokan karate kata that one typically learns during their second to third year of diligent training.

I’ve read that Jion is thought to be of Chinese origin and that it’s a word from Buddhist scripts. Another idea suggests that it was named after the temple Jion where monks had practiced martial arts and later it was passed from China to Japan.

Although the kata is composed of primarily basic stances and techniques, it’s quite difficult to perform properly and there is little room for error or variation. It contains big, bold techniques in the basic core stances with prominent use of northeast and southwest directions.

My trained eye reveals many performance deficiencies in my exhibition, particularly when viewing the video frame by frame in slow motion. I’ll be working to polish things up in the weeks ahead. Here’s the video (that's a toothpick falling off my ear at 0:29 into the video in case you're wondering):

Thanks for viewing pardon my rust #4.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pardon my rust #3

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The week marches forward with another short kata video during my Monday through Friday “pardon my rust” series. If this is your first visit this week, scroll down and read Monday and Tuesday’s blogflections to know what this pardon the rust is all about.

Today’s kata video is Bassai Dai, originally named Passai in the Okinawan family of karate styles. There are two variations of the Shotokan Bassai – Bassai Dai (major) and Bassai Sho (minor). Bassai Dai is considered an intermediate-level kata that one typically learns during their second year of diligent training.

According to deceased Shotokan karate master Mastatoshi Nakayama in his classic "Best Karate" series of books, “from Bassai Dai can be learned composure and agility, strength and change, fast and slow techniques, the dynamics of strength turning advantage into disadvantage and changing blocks.”

Again – thanks to performance rust and nagging and persistent sore shoulders – a trained eye will conclude that my exhibition falls short in demonstrating all of these performance attributes. Here it is:

Thanks for viewing pardon my rust #3.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pardon my rust #2

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Yesterday I began a Monday through Friday “pardon my rust” series of five short videos recorded from my workout last Saturday. A friend and I – both sporting some kata performance rust – have started a Saturday karate kata workout together at our gym. How long this lasts in the short term is dependent on my workload during my busy work season. Right now, we have met twice in the past two weeks.

Today’s kata video is Tekki Shodan, the first of three kata from the Shotokan Tekki series, originally named Naihanchi in the Okinawan family of karate styles. All three of the Tekki kata are performed on a horizontal “embusen” – a Japanese term used in karate to refer to the spot where a kata begins, as well as its line of movement. Nearly all kata start and end on the exact same embusen point.

A trained eye will see obvious performance glitches in my exhibition. I profess no perfection and share this video with you solely for your viewing pleasure – or displeasure as the case may be - while you drink your morning cup of coffee or tea.

Thanks for viewing pardon my rust #2.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pardon my rust #1

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Last Saturday was the second Saturday that a gym friend and I got together for an hour-long plus workout of traditional Shotokan karate kata. Besides belonging to the same gym, we both have something else in common in that we have trained at different dojo practicing these traditional kata for years. Anothing thing we have in common is that we have not regularly trained in the past year and both sport some obvious performance rust.

During this workout, I was able to capture five short videos of me performing kata and this week I’ll share one of them per day for a Monday through Friday “pardon my rust” theme.

Today’s kata is Heian Godan, the fifth kata of the Shotokan Heian series. It’s the most advanced of what is basically a beginner series of kata that one learns during their first year of training. Heian Godan is a very visually exciting kata. Being the most athletic of the Heian series, this kata employs movements, techniques and concepts that stretch the skills of the beginning student.

Please be kind in your comments and remember that my shoulders still bother me and this limits my ability to perform certain techniques such as inside outward blocking techniques. Also, no comments, please that my feet need a suntan or that I'm not wearing my white pajamas.

Thanks for viewing pardon my rust #1.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Way to start your day

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Today is a very winter-like Sunday – California style – in my part of the world and, as usual, Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit.

Visit tomorrow for a new blogflection about a topic that has been determined and guaranteed to be creative and original. It will start a weeklong series of blogflections that will include a short daily video with a “pardon the rust” theme. Along with a great hot cup of coffee or tea, it’ll be a great (about) 45 to 90 seconds way to start your day.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Setting aside time for a good laugh

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Life is a barrel of laughs - or so the saying goes - but sometimes in the thick of things of our lives we fail to be inside this barrel. Too much reading of news about the happenings around the world, in our country and closer to home can lead us to moments of despair and being done in the dumps. While the good stuff does get some news coverage – that gives a glimmer of hope, a tear in our eye or a roar of laughter in our bellies – not enough of it is reported in my opinion.

So today, after taking time for good thoughts and prayers for the people of Haiti recently devastated by a horrific earthquake, join me in taking a lesson from a character known as "Cool Ray" and setting aside time for a good laugh.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, January 15, 2010

My mental weakness hiccup

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Last year I wrote - more than once - about my intermittent fasting (IF) experiences, a lifestyle I began during Lent 2009 and continued for most of the year thereafter because I enjoyed its lifestyle benefits. I haven’t had much to say about IF lately because I’m not currently practicing it despite recent hints that I intend to do so.

It seems like I’m experiencing an episode of mental weakness.

“GASP!” you exclaim in response to my revelation.

Rest assured my cyberspace fitness brothers and sisters that all is well inside my stoic mental fortress. I’m merely enjoying an IF time out and will be back on the IF saddle shortly. Lent 2010 is right around the corner and it will probably jump start my return to IF-land. Additionally, next Friday I’ll be fasting for the day for a special reason.

But until then, I’m enjoying my mental weakness hiccup.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our home is still television free

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One year ago yesterday was a humorous day at Pierini Fitness with a blogflection that was fun to compose and funnier to respond to the numerous comments from readers it generated. Even if you read it then, it’s deserving of a second read and, perhaps, chuckle again. Here it is:

The day we went our separate way

In case you are interested, our home is still television free.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Greater than my own personal glory

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There’s been some advice I’ve given younger people I’ve crossed paths with in the gym over the years – the state of mind they cultivate before attempting a challenging fitness effort. It is advice I have followed in my own training pursuits over the years and believe it has served me well.

I personally discovered this many moons ago when my son ran cross country in high school. At a meet one day, I suggested that he offer up his race effort for Jason’s father, one of my former karate buddies who had recently died too early in life from a heart attack. We both had fond memories of the time Jason's father invited us to accompany him and his son to a WWF wrestling show during the glory years of Hulk Hogan who was on the card that night.

My son ran a good race that day. By offering up his race effort for Jason’s father, he gave it meaning and purpose. His good race day performance was for something greater than his own personal glory.

Recently I’ve given similar advice to a young man I know who trains in the Olympic lifts at my former gym, telling him to not only work on his platform presence skill set – the way in which an Olympic lifter approaches the platform and mentally prepares for an attempt – but to also offer up his attempt for something greater than his own personal glory. I told him that this mental preparation and “offering” should not be limited to competition day but to each and every lift he attempts.

Yesterday I posted a similar comment on another cyberspace fitness brother’s blog where he chronicles his Olympic lifting training journey. He’s in the final stages of preparing for an upcoming meet. This is the I posted:

"I'm cheering for you in cyberspace. Offer your attempts for something greater than your own personal glory such as a deceased family member or a sick friend. It'll give meaning to your performance and a PR will be like frosting on the cake.”
My experience in following this advice is that it gives me comfort and support that I’m not alone in those dark and lonely moments of maximum mental and physical exertion.

Give it a try the next time you are making a pedal to the metal attempt to set a new PR in your training - be it a single set of pulllups for maximum reps or tackling a one-rep maximum barbell squat. You may find, as I have, the true joy of offering my effort for something greater than my own personal glory.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

For the rest of my life

A cyberspace fitness sister from a different mister recently asked this question on an internet fitness forum: “How do you judge that you’ve had a good workout?” Her question elicited good responses from several people and made me think about my answer.

After much deliberation, I decided that someone else’s answer best reflected mine. It was from one of my bricks and mortar fitness brothers from a different mother named FiddlerTom who replied with “If it's one I figure I'll still be doing in my eighties and nineties.”

In our perpetual youth, we middle-age men fitness warriors go through periods of diet and exercise intensity that produce great results. Being one who has been there and done that, I agree with my friend FiddlerTom. 

So my answer is: "As the clock of Father Nature continues to tick tock each day, a more reflective me concedes that the value of my diet and training plan today is only as good as its shelf life of being one that I can follow for the rest of my life. "

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 11, 2010

Earlier is not always best

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Question: While later is better than never, earlier is always best – true or false? Anwer: It depends.

Last week I received an early birthday greeting proving that “earlier is always best” is not a universal truth. It was from my health insurance company informing me that my monthly health insurance premium will increase on March 1st because I’ll enter a new age bracket (ages 55-59 years) and, therefore, a greater risk. My monthly health insurance premium is jumping to $443 per month even though I didn’t cost my health insurance company one peso in 2009.

It was an early birthday greeting proving that earlier is not always best.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Closed again on Sunday

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Today is Sunday and Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit.

Rest assured, however, that tomorrow, in the wee hours of a new morning, there will be another creative blogflection waiting for you as you rise from your nighttime slumber that – I guarantee – will be original.

Pierini Fitness is closed again on Sunday.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mr. 500

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How time flies when you are having fun and I have had, and continue to have, fun since starting Pierini Fitness in August 2008.

Originally intended to be my personal cyberspace training journal, Pierini Fitness has become much more than that. My daily blogflections vary depending with what’s on my mind with topics ranging from middle-age man fitness, reflective ramblings and occasional economic and political thoughts.

Question: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Answer: Whether anyone stops by to read, it’s a daily blogflection at Pierini Fitness that’s guaranteed to be creative, on time and original.

It’s been a daily ritual since Pierini Fitness began with not a single day missed. I consider it my ministry as the self-appointed ambassador of middle-age men around the world. I’m especially proud with today’s 500th consecutive blogflection.

Sure I've had some help along the way with outstanding blogflections from seven middle-age men guest bloggers. And it's true that Pierini Fitness is always closed on Sunday so the blogflection on that day is a mere announcement of that constant fact.

Having said that, 500 is 500 so today please call me Mr. 500.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, January 8, 2010

6:00 a.m. is sure early

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Earlier this week on Monday I did something I haven’t done in a long time – I went to the gym at 6:00 a.m. in the morning for a workout before attending a downtown continuing education seminar.

In years’ past, I regularly began my fitness training at 6:00 a.m. when I belonged to a gym that was near my office. I was on automatic pilot back then on most workdays; I’d get to the gym and start training at 6:00 a.m. and then take a shower afterwards before going to my office a quarter-mile away. Now I belong to a different gym and generally train in the late afternoon.

Let’s just say that Monday’s workout was very tough as my body wasn’t accustomed to the early morning demands of barbell front squats, pullups and chinups, and a one-mile timed run on the treadmill.

It was a fun, yet tough, 60-minute Monday morning workout. As I was huffing and puffing to get it done so I wouldn’t be late to my seminar, all I could think about was that 6:00 a.m. is sure early.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A great 18 minute workout!

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Yesterday, my mind and body kept telling me that I shouldn’t go to the gym despite it being a scheduled fitness training day. I’ve got an early-in-the-year head cold and the sniffling and sneezing has been a nuisance. I just lacked motivation, plain and simple.

But being a middle-age man fitness warrior that I am, I still made it to the gym in the evening. I decided to do something different than what I normally do and that is what I did.

It sure felt good just doing a different kind of “circuit workout” last night. I did three rounds of three minutes in the whirlpool followed by three minutes in the steam room. It was a great 18 minute workout!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feeling brain dead

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In most people’s world there are four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. In my world, there’s a fifth season called “tax season” and it’s about to begin. It slowly begins at the start of a new year and lasts, during its most brutal period, until April 15th.

If you can imagine a blistering heat wave, it’s tax season for someone who does what I do, but if you can imagine the most pleasant year-round weather, for me, it’s the rest of the year.

Monday and Tuesday I prepared for tax season by attending daylong continuing professional education seminars that focused on tax law changes that will have an impact on the individual, partnership, corporation, trust and tax-exempt organization tax returns I’ll prepare this year. Each seminar was a brain drain session of trying to absorb everything new under the sun. It’s like that every year.

Despite frequent attempts by Congress to simplify the federal tax law, it’s the most complicated it has ever been in my three-decade career. In my opinion, this complexity growth began with President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 at the infancy of my career.

The prospects for simplification, in my opinion, are about as great as eliminating federal government deficit spending. It ain’t going to happen thanks to lobbyists that take care of you, me and every other “special interest” under the sun.

So tax season is all about me working like a mad man while trying to squeeze in “something is better than nothing” workouts, and doing the best I can to keep everyone happy who demands that I do so. I poke along each day doing the best I can while some days looking like a zombie and feeling brain dead.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Big boy here

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In my wife’s ongoing attempt to school me in middle-age man courtesies and manners, she recently purchased a book that we’ve been reading together each night titled “Courtesy Calls Again”. I’m enjoying our evening reads together. While written from a Catholic perspective, it’s a great book for anyone sporting some rust in traditional courtesies and manners.

The book examines and debunks myths that have shaped our modern culture. Some of the myth characters include, what the author describes as, the cowboy, pioneer woman, the spontaneous man, the natural man, and that myth character that I most closely identify with – the “big boy”.

“Big boy” is none other than that young rascal for his mother/wife/sister to chide and put in order. I’m a middle-age man and a “big boy”. This is what the author has to say about “big boy”:

“In their desires to glorify youth, Hollywood and the media have accentuated this inclination for men to be big boys. More and more men have avoided seriousness and maturity. Abandoning their topcoats and the discreet colors and serious style of clothes typical of the mature age, grown men of every profession . . . have begun to dress, talk and adopt the mannerisms of their sons and nephews. Instead of representing the authority of the family, the father has begun to look and act like a big boy – joking, nonchalant, superficial, unreflective, and given to a certain brash spontaneity.”

My wife has a tall task and I wish her well in her ministry to tame this big boy here.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 4, 2010

Being still

Today’s guest blogger is Bob Burns, a 56 year old middle age man fitness dude from a small rural town in Pennsylvania whose workouts can best be described as eclectic style. I’ve known Bob in cyberspace for over five years. His workouts consist of bodyweight exercises, dumbbells or kettlebells, power wheel, peg board, jump rope and anything else that make him feel like he is still a kid.

Bob enjoys backpacking, kayaking and mountain biking. He's been married for 32 years to his wonderful wife and has 3 adult daughters. What follows is Bob Burns’ guest blogflection.

A couple of months ago our church started a health and wellness ministry. I felt a passion to get involve with this ministry. Some of the different areas this ministry will have are: physical exercise, nutrition, spiritual-mental-emotional-social health and knowledge of personal health indicators and tests. One conclusion is that health and wellness will not look the same for each person. It will have to be defined based on the individual’s unique characteristics.

One of the topics under spiritual-mental-emotional-social health is meditation or being still. This topic has a different interpretation for each person. For me, this means simply being still and taking time for a few minutes to quiet my mind and body without distractions. This might be a good time to say that I am lousy at doing this. I am one of those people that comes into my house and either turns on the TV, computer (surf the internet) or radio and look for some type of distraction. This is an area that I plan to begin practicing again not something that I have any expertise.

These are two books that I have and I found helpful: "Flip the Switch" by Eric Harrison, the cover says 40 anytime, anywhere meditations in 5 minutes or less, and "8 Minute Meditation" by Victor Davich. His cover says 8 minutes to greater peace, lower stress, improved focus and a happier life. Both books are easy reads and written in a how to style. Both have lots of examples of ways to meditate and simple to follow instructions.

My reason for starting up this practice again is to quiet my mind and bring stillness to my body. There is a verse in the bible ‘Be still and know that I am God’. The act of being still in both body and mind and being able to listen to the still small voice of God is another benefit of this practice. But regardless of your belief system, being still has benefits just by allowing the mind and body to be relaxed and still. Here is a quick set of instructions to get started.

How to get started

Grab a digital timer (a GYMBOSS will work) and set it for 4 – 8 minutes (start low).

Find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted, take a few breaths, sit down and start the timer.

Close your eyes and breathe in and out. Your nose is preferred.

Continue to focus on your breath.

When you notice your focus has gone to your thoughts, smile internally and allow your focus to go back to your breath.

Continue until the timer says you are done.

I am going to try and start the practice of being still daily. The practice is simple and it requires almost no time commitment. If this is a practice that grabs your interest, I encourage you to join me for daily practice of being still.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Sunday of 2010

The Pierini DIET - click here to learn more

Today is Sunday and, as usual, Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit. Visit tomorrow for another creative blogflection guaranteed to be original.

The author of tomorrow’s blogflection will be a be a guest middle-age man blogger. He’s my fitness brother from a different mother whom I’ve known in cyberspace for over five years.

Until then, I hope you have a great and relaxing day on this first Sunday of 2010.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We can do it!

The Pierini DIET - click here to learn more

Today, the day after New Year’s Day, many middle-age men and women will begin tackling their 2010 New Year diet and exercise resolutions.

Diet and exercise resolutions are often the first to be broken due to lack of encouragement, mentoring and personal willpower. Last month, I wrote Diet and fitness affirmations from A to Z that can be read during moments of discouragement and weakness.

Here’s a PDF that you can download and keep within your eye’s view to be there when you need it: Pierini Fitness Diet & Exercise Affirmations from A to Z

Stand tall and be strong with me in chasing your 2010 New Year diet and exercise resolutions. I know we can do it!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, January 1, 2010

To cultivate peace, protect creation

The Pierini DIET - click here to learn more

Happy New Year 2010 to all my cyberspace fitness brothers from different mothers and cyberspace fitness sisters from different misters along with my greetings that 2010 brings good faith, fitness, fortune and health to you and your family.

Let’s, however, look beyond close to home and pray for something greater such as peace throughout the world. Today, on the XLIII World Day of Peace, let us take a lesson from Pope Benedict XVI about the way to peace. In the words of the Holy Father, “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation”.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum