Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Breathing and Working Out

The heightened activity of working out requires specific breathing practices. When faced with resistance, either with weight (lifting weights) or gravity (calisthenics), one should exhale. Conversely, inhaling during the expansion of the muscle group would be the natural time to expand the lungs. Your breathing should be natural, just with a little bit of force, as needed, during the resistance part of one's workout. The last thing you want to do when you're working out is talk. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/rethinking-the-exercise-talk-test/, this link discusses the "talk test." The ability to talk as criteria for conducting a proper workout has long been conventional wisdom. This study from researchers at the University of New Hampshire tells a different story. The idea that if you are able to talk, you aren't pushing yourself hard enough.

Your lactate threshold, it turns out, plays a critical role if you wish to become more fit. Multiple studies and practical experience have shown, persuasively, that to increase your endurance and speed, you need to work out occasionally at a strenuous intensity that hovers just below your lactate threshold. But if you can talk easily while exercising, you are not at that point, says Timothy J. Quinn, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and lead author of the new study.

Reciting Pine Street Passerby whilst doing pull-ups demanded focus. Towards the end it did become harder to speak, however I was still able to speak clearly. This research of mine, like all good research, has raised some questions. Is there a difference between catching your breath and it being difficult to talk? Is the talk test applicable to anabolic activities such as pull-ups i.e. maybe I am working really hard and the ability to talk in a non-factor in the difficulty of the workout? Perhaps, I did not reach my lactate threshold? Could I have willed it?

Friday, April 26, 2013

JP Auclair Street Segment
I appreciate how this video does not ram the fact that it is a skiing video down your throat at the outset. The video starts off with the camera canvassing a city street, a street that is soon to become a cement ski slope. Early in the video, the skier, JP Auclair, teases the viewer on a few occasions as he enters the field of view for only a moment. The video is in total sync with the music and is a joy to watch.

Pine Street Passerby

The unmatched beauty of a passerby
brings clarity to this hour.
Fateful few seconds bring one's thoughts into focus.
Conveying feelings incurred from fleeting moments on Pine Street
is the only things that matters.
Having to pull over in this park and write this letter is evident. 
Whether it ends up in your hands remains to be seen.
As the street lamps partake in the changing of night and day,
wrestling twilight to its certain end.
I realize I must go, and I haven't even said what I wanted to say.
Just like when I passed you by.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

John Muir

Some polite small talk with a fellow bar guest at Barbuzzo has lead to probable research on the topic of walking. Tom, the man whom I made acquaintance with, told me to check out John Muir, co-founder of The Sierra Club. No doubt Muir was touched by the beauty that resides within The United States when he walked from Indiana to Florida (1000 miles) or from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park (318 miles). John Muir saw the beauty in nature and was able to convey those feelings in the written word. Muir's writings, famous for striking passion into readers hearts, were, and still are, a beacon of light in a world so ready to cut it down. Tom mentioned Muir's relationship with former President Theodore Roosevelt and at this point in the conversation I chimed in and told Tom about Wave Hill. Wave Hill is a garden located in my hometown, Bronx, New York, and it is documented that Theodore Roosevelt spent two summers there during his childhood. It is said that his time at Wave Hill helped shape his conservationist mindset. This early childhood experience coupled Muir's friendship gave President Roosevelt the conviction and justification to do something about it, like signing a bill passed by Congress that officially created Yellowstone National Park in 1890.

California celebrates John Muir Day on April 21 each year. Muir was the first person honored with a California commemorative day when legislation signed in 1988 created John Muir Day, effective from 1989 onward. Muir is one of three people so honored in California, along with Harvey Milk Day and Ronald Reagan Day.[52][53]

So, some complete stranger (Tom) whom I met by happenstance at a restaurant I have never been to tells me about a person (John Muir) who might be FUNDAMENTAL to my current work as an artist and it just so happens that the day I meet this stranger (Tom) is the day where this person (John Muir) is officially recognized in the state of California (John Muir Day)


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Contemporary Art of Walking


In accordance with my last post, this website continues to shape my opinion that "walking" is viewed in a different light across the Atlantic.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wanderlust: Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau, who walked more vigorously than me on the other side of the continent, wrote of the local, "An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon. Two or three hours' walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farmhouse which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the King of Dahomey. There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles' radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you."
(excerpt from Rebecca Solnit's Wanderlust)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Caroline, a subletter who will be dearly missed, imparted this quote from Louis Nizer on to me, "A man who works with his hands in a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsmen; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Marina Abramovic, The Lovers (with Ulay), 1988.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay (Frank Uwe Laysiepen) decided in 1994 they were going to walk the Great Wall of China. Eight years later, their 90 day journey was underway. (Carr 25) 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

5x25 push-ups
4x25 sit-ups
5x12 pull-ups
1x16 pull-ups
Ran from Fishtown to Rittenhouse Square and back.

My father pulled his back, lifting something heavy. They were suppose to come down from NYC to celebrate my birthday, this Thursday. I just hope he is okay.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Was recommended 3 books: Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit, Time Passing (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism), and But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art As Activism by Nina Felshin. Thank you, Rebecca.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

No Longer About The Mileage

I got the idea to walk from house (Philadelphia) to home (New York). "Home" will always be where my parents reside, until I start a family of my own. So, as cliche as it sounds, it became more about my journey and less about the mileage (99.2 miles) to NYC. Particularly, the self dialogue concentrated around the lack of pedestrian pathways connecting town to town, and even within neighborhoods. Once you leave the city it becomes a real problem if you have to walk to your destination. Whilst sitting in a Starbucks outside of Princeton I had a telephone conversation with a like-minded friend from New York, Ryan Bourne. Ryan and I discussed how we are slaves to our cars. Starting in the early 20th century, and followed in subsequent generations, cars have been viewed as agents of personal freedom; that life is a highway and begins when rubber meets the road. Sadly, this walking journey has me believing the exact opposite. We are slaves to these personalized vessels that cover vast distances with little to no effort on behalf of the occupant. The driver and passengers fail to experience the environment as they pass through life. There is correlation between experiencing this world with sweat on your brow and one's overall state. Mind you my "outdoor" sentiment refers to the concrete jungle I inhabit. With that said, Vitamin D, from the sun, and air, however tainted by the metropolis's pollution, remain, to name a few, key components to human well being.

The next step for this project:

I purchased 50 corrugated plastic signs (think political campaign lawn signs, 12x18 inches) with a yellow background and larger black font that says, "Sidewalk?" I plan to have a videographer film me driving these signs intro the ground, stake first, as I retrace my 47 mile walk from Philadelphia, PA to Princeton, NJ. I plan to put a sign wherever the sidewalk ends and the shoulder begins.