Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Getting fit, campy sports flicks and being no-hit

I'm sort of an all-or-nothing exerciser. There have been periods in my life when I was in spectacular shape. I don't just mean that I was the proper weight for my height and exercised a few times a week. I mean that I was fit as a fricken fiddle. There have also been times when I was closer to fit as a Cello. This is one of those times. I competed in an Ironman Triathlon a few years ago. The few weeks leading up to that, I was a warrior. I was fast and strong and could go all day (that's right ladies, all day). I had been biking over 300 miles per week and running close to 70. I ran a solid enough race that I felt like I had accomplished something.

I haven't worked out since.

In spite of the complete 180-degree reversal, I'm really only about 20 lbs. fatter than I was. In the next two months, I am going to lose [most of] that 20 lbs. As of today, I've worked out 2 days in a row. Tonight at the gym, I weighed in at 189. So on August 13th, 2007, I pledge that I will weigh under 170 lbs.


As an inspiration for getting off my ass and accomplishing my dreams, I watched Invincible, starring former Funky Bunch front-man Marky Mark and the gay guy from As Good as it Gets. If there's one movie genre that I truly love it's the Disneyesque sorta-true underdog sports stories. This one centers on Vince Papale, a South Philly bartender that never played college football that overcame the odds and won a spot on the Eagles' roster after impressing new Coach Dick Vermiel at an open tryout. In real life, instead of being a bartender, Papale was a, um, well, professional football player in the now defunct World Football League. And there was no open tryout. But "Bartender becomes pro footballer after impressing upstart coach in open tryout" is a much better story than "pro footballer becomes more highly paid pro footballer after upstart coach's scouts notice that he's fast and good at football and arrange a tryout." [I have no idea why I just used the word "footballer" instead of football player. What a dorky word. "Dorky" is a pretty dorky word to, huh?] Anyway, Invincible is some good TV in my opinion.

Another movie in this genre that I love is Miracle, in which Kurt Russel gets a bad haircut in order to play Herb Brooks, and coaches a rag-tag bunch of college hockey players to an Olympic gold, on the way defeating the Soviet Union and winning the cold war or something. Perhaps my favorite film in this genre is The Greatest Game Ever Played. It's the sorta true story of Francis Ouimet, a young caddy who overcomes the odds to win the 1913 US Open against several top English professionals. This feel-good G-rated instant classic actually sticks very close to the real story. The DVD special features include a documentary from 1963 (50 years after the 1913 US Open for the mathematically impaired) that features the real Francis Ouimet telling the story. It's really cool. And man did those guys have some shitty golf clubs.


The Brewers dropped a brutal game last night, being no-hit by Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. Nice show Justin, seriously, nice show. But shame on Ned Yost. My crew has these two aging infielders that bat like 210 or something. Having one of them in is like having two pitchers batting. So here we are in an American League park, and he plays both of them? And makes them the first two batters to boot! Are you kidding me Ned? Here is a tip: you know that dominating rookie you have that is batting like 320 with 4 homers in like 10 games [or whatever], play him! I love you Neddy, I really do. You seem to be good at relating to your young team. But maybe you should pick up "Coaching Baseball for Dummies" (I thought I was making this book up, but it actually exists. Heh.) or something.

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