Light at the End of the tunnel

Jan 18, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I am nearing the end of the story of my feet. I just had had my second surgery last Friday and and will be convalescing for about ten days. The surgery was a success and both neuromas were removed. If you have following my tale of woe then you know that I have been dealing with Morton’s neuromas (two in each foot). Only being able to remove one at a time from each foot, I needed two surgeries.

I am hoping to be back to 100% by June, but will start this coming Tuesday with the upper body cycle, then the recumbent elliptical and then swimming. I will also try some light calisthenics as well. That regimen should hold for about two and half months and then I will try the regular elliptical and the zero runner with an eventual transition to running.

The ultimate goal is to get back to my kung fu training with an additional focus on intense cardio, stretching and less focus on weightlifting only as cross-training.

I am excited for a pain free future and my new focus; before my surgery I was to focused on weightlifting, and my martial arts training was left wanting. I am also going to stick to my New Years resolution of learning some ground fighting.

If you too are struggling with and injury I hope this provides some inspiration. Keep your chin up and focus on the can, not the can’t and you will rise above.

The New Year

Jan 1, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What will you be thinking about when Auld Lang Syne is playing? I should frame this a little more particularly, I am referring to your health and fitness in the past year…this is not me trying to be Tony Robbins.

I myself have had ups and downs in 2016. I was able to focus for better or worse on a lot of weight lifting à la bodybuilding. To the point that I was contemplating entering a contest/show. This style of lifting however does come with a cost. It is all consuming, very painstaking and the rewards comes slowly. You cardio suffers, your flexibility and speed as well. But boy do you love looking in the mirror, it becomes very narcissistic.

That being said my martial arts training very much fell by the wayside, but not only due to bodybuilding. I have been having foot issues, more specifically – Morton’s Neuromas. This led to surgeries in each of my feet. The second round of surgeries will be January the 13, 2017 (yes I need two surgeries in each foot). This for all intents and purposes has brought me to a complete halt. I have only recently gone from using the upper body cycle (UBC) to recumbent elliptical and I swim when I can.

The last time I lifted was Thursday November the 17, 2016. For those that bodybuild you know thats enough to put you into absolute freakout mode. Fortunately I have vacillated from aerobic to anaerobic training so many times over the years it doesn’t really bother me and it actually sets me up for the New Year.

My plan for the New Year, although due to my next surgery really won’t go fully into effect until Spring will be focused on cardio, flexibility, speed and martial arts. I will also try my hand at grappling as well to compliment my Kung Fu training. My strength training will be greatly reduced most likely two days a week.

I am looking forward to this change of pace and programming, and pushing the limit with my new focus for 2017.

Diet Time Now!!!

Dec 31, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

The New Year is here and the time for diet draws nigh!! I must admit with my greatly reduced mobility (thank you foot surgeries) mixed with holiday vacations and all the food and good cheer that come with I have been struggling to maintain my schoolboy physique.

I am up about ten pounds and since I have not lifted weights in six weeks (again thank you foot surgeries) I am losing muscle mass rapidly. I don’t mind the ego hit that comes with the muscle loss but muscle mass burns calories (one pound of muscle burns about 40 calories a day).

I have had some success with the upper body cycle and the recumbent elliptical. I have struggled with getting to the pool for lap swimming; I just need to buckle down and make it happen.

That being said, it’s time to address diet. I have been sucked into holiday mode and have quite frankly been eating horribly. I think partially due to the fact that with my reduced level of activity I’m not mentally as focused on diet and exercise as much. This morning I upgraded to a premium membership on my LoseIt app and will be using it everyday until I reach my goal weight.

I am still trying to figure out what my goal weight should be, I have been as heavy as 200 hundred pounds when really lifting heavy and as light as 164 pounds when really pushing the mountain biking and triathlete pursuits. My focus in the New Year will be martial arts and general endurance. This course of action of course is best helped by staying lean and mean, most likely I’ll shoot for 165 pounds.

My time will be split between lots of cardio with an emphasis on interval training, some weight lifting (most likely only two days a week) and martial arts training.

The main thing to remember for myself and anyone else reading this is simple…there is no exercise regimen that can outperform a bad diet. So even though my exercise regimen will change, my real focus will be on using the LoseIt app and really watching what I eat. Otherwise I will not hit my goal weight. I hope to hit my goal by March at the latest. My starting weight is 179 pounds.

I’ll keep you posted…

Staying Focused On Your Physical Fitness While Injured

Dec 20, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

How do you keep your focus on physical fitness while you are injured? It is an issue I am wrestling with currently. I am preparing for my second round of surgeries on my feet (yes both feet) in January.

I have been literally trying to keep my steps to a minimum to heal as fast as possible and avoid possible scar tissue and nerve damage (a possibility if I don’t ease back into my everyday routine). I keep a fold up tripod stool with me that I sit on whenever possible while at work and recently got a temporary handicap placard for my car. The handicap placard is somewhat helpful; but his humbling experience has also led me to the sad conclusion that the Bethesda area is really not very accommodating for those with disabilities, especially for longterm parking.

Some much energy is spent trying to not move and taking extra time for every task because of my naturally slower approach to everything that it’s hard to get motivated to workout. I started with using an upper body cycle and in just the past ten days or so I have started using a recumbent elliptical. It feels pretty good but of course it is harder to burn calories in a recumbent position.

I have been trying to eat less to not gain weight, my muscle mass due to not lifting weights is being affected, which is a little bit of vanity hit but there is a upside. I will be going back into martial arts full force once this is all over (hopefully April, 2017) and being lighter is a good thing for speed and agility. I will also be focusing on a lot of stretching and I have promised my self to try my hand at some grappling training.

All that being said, as mention it is a struggle to stay motivated and it is a little depressing to be so immobilized. However I am enjoying reading more and catching up on some Netflix viewing. I am doing my best to stay upbeat and have also been doing research for how I want to structure my eventual return to the physical.

Keep me in your thoughts and if you can move do it…you may not alway be able to one day!!

Training With Injuries

Dec 5, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

If you have been in the game as long as I have you are invariably going to sustain some type of injury, be it from life, training, age, wear and tear or all of the above.

So what to do when injured, the last thing would be to do nothing. There is always a way to exercise and stay in shape. Figure out your do’s and don’ts and plan accordingly.

Recently I had surgery on my feet and my exercise regimen has been pretty severely curtailed. However as I said there is always a way; I have been using the upper body cycle (UBC), swimming and of course abdominal/midsection work.

You would be amazed at what just the UBC, swimming and ab work can do. I am getting great workouts while being completely off my feet.

Generally for the UBC I’ll go for forty-five minutes to and hour alternating between going forwards and backward. At the pool I alternate between distance and sprint work. As to my ab work, any type of crunch or sit up you can think of in positions that keep all weight off my feet.

My mission is to lose ten pounds with these work outs and push hard to up my cardiovascular fitness. I want to be as lean and mean as possible when I return to my martial arts training.

Thats the current plan, I’ll let you know how it works out

Oh That Trick Knee!!

Jul 5, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So if any of you follow my ramblings you will know that I have had a meniscus repair on each of my knees. The left knee was insidious onset about 8 years ago and I still don’t know what caused the damage to the meniscus. My right knee I hurt while sparring about 5 years ago, and in both cases I had a popliteal cyst form. This is caused by extra synovial fluid that is produced in the knee due the “irritation” that the injury is causing and eventually a coating comes off of the tendons as the synovial fluid is being pushed to the back of knee and it is encapsulated and voila you have yourself a genuine popliteal cyst.

When my doctor operated on my left knee he removed the cyst, but chose not to with the right knee. The popliteal area of the knee is very vascular and full of nerves so if the cyst isn’t in a “safe” spot the Docs will leave it alone. That being said the cyst can fill again if there is more “irritation”. Again if you follow my blog, you know of my aggro lifestyle…I push the limit with my knees. For the past few weeks I have noticed that the cyst behind the right knee is nice and full along with some pain in the area of the medial meniscus (3-4 out 10). So I made an appointment with my pal Dr. David Johnson.

He gave me a cortisone shot and told me take it easy for five days. The cortisone is supposed to calm the irritation and allow for the production of synovial fluid to slow enough that the cyst will drain/shrink. We are at day five and the cyst is winning the battle, it doesn’t cause pain but can make my knee feel tight.

I have also been taking Aleve and just started experimenting with Blu Emu Cream (http://bit.ly/29edaac). The combination of the two has helped the pain greatly and I have been able to exercise regularly, while hitting some personal best with my back squat and front squat (315lb. and 255lb. respectively).

Tomorrow I will train legs and call back Dr. Johnson to get his thoughts and Wednesday I’ll be back at the Kung Fu school.

I’ll keep you posted…

What are your Summer Goals?

Jun 15, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, you’ll have hopefully picked your Summer Plan by now, if not quickly read the last post – http://jettllc.biz/summer-plan/

So now that you have picked your Summer Plan; what are your summer goals? What do I mean by this exactly? Let’s say you picked rock climbing, do you have a spot picked out to practice be it indoors or outdoors? Do you have a schedule and routine to keep you on track? Is there any equipment that you need to purchase? Is there a book or magazine that may help hone your skills? Are there lessons or coaching that you can take?

I’m a fan of immersing myself in my activities and learning as much about them as possible, and to practice them as much as possible to get results and achieve success. If you take this approach you certainly will move forward in your pursuits. You will also find that you have built in “mandatory” leisure time, which we all need in our desperately busy world while becoming more healthy all at the same time.

I have two goals for this Summer:

1. Bench – 225lb.
Squat – 3151b.

2. Pass another belt test at my martial arts school – www.taiyimkungfu.com

Please let me know what your goals are and if I can help you to achieve them.

eric@jettllc.biz

Summer Plan

Jun 9, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Do you have your summer exercise plan together?!

Here are some outdoor and indoor activities for you to consider and links to further your potential pursuits (it’s always a good idea to have indoor options available with the heat, humidity and air quality of the Washington Metropolitan Area).

Outdoors:

Tennis – No Limits Tennis email – henryhollowell@yahoo.com

Horseback Riding – http://candylaneacres.com

Running – https://www.mcrrc.org

Cycling – http://www.freshbikescycling.com

Swimming – http://www.ancientmariners.org

Hiking – http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/

Kayaking – http://www.boatingindc.com

Rock Climbing – http://bit.ly/28l2cFr

Indoors:

Spinning – http://www.pureryde.com/#!bethesda-md/cfbd

Yoga – http://balancestudio.com/page/

Pilates – http://balancestudio.com/page/

Rock Climbing – https://www.earthtreksclimbing.com/md-va/

Martial Arts – www.taiyimkungfu.com

Crossfit – http://toughtemplecrossfit.com

Please feel free to let me know what you’re up to…

eric@jettllc.biz

Running

Jun 2, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It hurts, but it always hurts so I push on

My body warms and it is less

I am running and it is good

The poison departs and the goodness enters

There are trees, grass and earth

I am running fast and it is good

Their is freedom in my mind

Their is peace in my soul and being

I am running faster and it is good

I think I will always run

-Eric Toussaint

My New Shoes – Hoka Vanquish Two

Apr 29, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I just had to take a moment and talk about how much I love this shoe. I have have arthritis in my right big toe from an old martial arts injury that I incurred thirty years ago. It has significantly effected my running. I chose not to run the Cherry Blossom ten-miler this year because last year my toe hurt for months after the race.

I had all but given up running, when I decided to try out my first pair of Hokas. I recently purchased the Hoka Vanquish Two. Maximum cushioning to say the least and a rocker sole. I decided to give running one more try. My distance has only been up to five kilometers but I have had no pain at all!!

I can only guess that it is due to the maximum cushioning and the rocker sole that causes me to bend my big toe less than I would normally. Whatever it is, I am elated to be able to run pain free again. I hoping to up my mileage soon and will keep you posted.

Overall this is a super comfortable, stylish shoe and I think I have become a fan for life.

Thanks Hoka!!