My name is Dan Coleman. Re-Train is a blog dedicated to recording my re-delving into the YMAA (Yang's Martial Arts Association) training program.

Here, I will document my day-to-day training activities, improvements, failures, and general thoughts.

And don't worry, this blog has been certified safe by the Surgeon General.

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Missing the mountains already!

Missing the mountains already!

Trip Report — Mt. Willey, Mt. Field, and Mt. Tom

Numbers 15, 16, and 17 of the 48 NH 4000 footers.

It was hot today.  Quite hot.  And not in the figurative, Parish Hilton kind of way; it was straight up mercury rising.  On the agenda were Mts. Willey, Field, and Tom.

Because it was so hot, the trip up to Mt. Willey was possibly the hardest 3 miles I’ve hiked in the Whites.  It was steep, had a lot of slick rock, and required some big steps that were tough for me at 6’1”.  Although, if you are a lady, you can easily remedy that last problem with a set of fashionable hiking heels.  On a related note, hiking heels seem like the worst idea ever.  Once I got to the Willey summit, I was thinking about throwing in the towel (and then getting a new towel to mop up all the sweat), but then a couple, summitting from the other direction, told me that the trip to Field and Tom was easy.  The woman then said, “It shouldn’t be a problem for a young guy like you, should it?”  Apparently, it was time to throw down.  I packed my Swedish Fish (because that’s what cool guys take on hiking trips), and practically ran my way to Mt. Field, which had some excellent views of Mt. Washington.

The trail was very gradual, and according to the AMC guidebook, only 300 feet of elevation are lost between Willey and Field.  I quickly made my way to Mt. Tom through a beautiful mossy forest and was halfway home.

There was a couple on the Mt. Tom summit who were trying to get some birds to eat out of their hand using Goldfish as bait.  I mentioned that mountain birds probably don’t eat fish and took their uncomfortable laughter as my cue to move on.  As usual, the slog down is 4.5 to 7.3 times harder than coming up, exacerbated by the fact that the only thing I had eaten since starting the hike was a bag of Swedish Fish.  Prepared hiker fail.  My lack of proper nutrition combined with the temperature forced me to take many, many breaks on the way down, but at least it was without incident.

It was a partly cloudy sky, which made for some very interesting forest lighting; it sort of cast a pallid glow on everything and made for some spectacular shadows on the neighboring mountains, captured terribly in the following pictures:

Upon arriving at home, it was decided that the best way to celebrate this 11.5 mile jaunt was to partake in some ice cream from Benson’s.  I highly, highly recommend the cookies and cream — mine had two whole Oreos.

That is that for now.  Please don’t forget to donate if you can.  A few cents are better than nonsense!

Peaks For Parkinson’s

Five million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease — a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder. In the United States, 60,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. There is no known cure.

Peaks for Parkinson’s is my small effort to aid Parkinson’s research and spread awareness about the disease.  It might not be much, but my goal of $2000 could fund the experiment that identifies the cure for Parkinson’s.  Every little bit helps.  Please donate if you agree.

New Hampshire has 48 4000-foot peaks in the White Mountains.  To climb all of them is a challenge.  To climb all of them between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a better challenge.  I will be updating this page with photos, videos, and tales of my adventures in the White Mountains, so stay tuned.

I’ve set the suggested donation at $0.25 per peak, for a grand total of $12.00.  That’s it.  You’ll probably spend more on a lunch at Quizno’s.  Plus, I’m the one doing all the work!  Just sit back and relax.

All proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation.


So pretty much all I’ve been doing lately is CrossFitting my ass off.  I’m stronger, sleeping better, and oddly enough, more flexible than I have been in a long time.  The only area that hasn’t shown significant improvement is my body fat, but really I just need to start eating better.

In this post, I want to highlight one of the most fantastic resources ever for anyone looking to get in shape, though I think it is especially relevant for martial artists (as a lot of us tend to focus on muscle flexibility instead of joint mobility).  That resource is Mobility WOD (www.mobilitywod.com).  For the uninitiated, “WOD” stands for “Workout of the Day.”

The star of Mobility WOD is certified PT and CrossFit celebrity Kelly Starret.  He has all your fixes for shoulder impingement, lower back pain, shin splints, and pretty much everything else.  I tore my rotator cuff in college, but thanks to the MobWOD, I am again crushing volleyballs like it was 1999.

Get to it.  MobWOD is awesome.

Aaaaaaand we’re back.

For the zero people out there following this blog, I haven’t been slacking off for the past three months, but rather have been building up my strength via the intensity known as CrossFit (www.crossfit.com).  While I’ve made some big gains in overall strength and work capacity (stamina), my flexibility and overall endurance have suffered.  I dare say that a 20 minute session of Lien Bu Chuan would wipe me out (not that it wasn’t before).

My goal now is to find the balance between CrossFit and Wushu.  Figure out the exercises that benefit martially and focus on those in as many different combinations as possible.  This means longer (20+) minute met-cons with dynamic movements, such as double-unders, kettlebell training, rowing, etc.  This is not to say I will completely shirk the recommended workout of the day (WOD) on the mainsite, but will most likely substitute movements with those that will pay the most dividends for Wushu training.  We’ll see how this goes!

Last note: my knee is still sore, despite heavily icing that sucker, but hopefully with some intense R&R this weekend, I’ll be good to go for next week.  Stupid knees.  I’ve always had knee issues.  Stupid knees.

October 25, 2010 — Morning

Legs felt tired from running, cleans, weighted stances, and rowing.

1. Loosen-Up

Joint circling and light stretching.

2. Plyometrics

Jumping Rope — 5 rounds, 130 reps

Toe Jumps — 4 rounds, 10 reps

Squat Jumps — 4 rounds, 6 reps

3. Speed Training

Open/Close Hand — Mid 150s for both hands

Punching — Mid 50s for both arms

Body Turning — 60 for both sides! (I think this is the requirement)

Forearms were sore from cleans and rowing, which probably accounts for the low open/close numbers.  Didn’t do hopping as I’d just done plyos.

4. Stretching

Felt okay.  Definitely more flexible than last week.  Can’t get splits though.  Tonight, I’ll try to add a dedicated stretching session after qigong.

5. Kicks

Felt pretty good.  Legs still heavy.  Just gotta keep practicing these bad boys.  For the next workout, I’m just going to focus on multiple kicks/kicking combos.  The reason — for most of my kungfu life, I drilled basics to no end; however, the result was that I forewent putting those moves into context (i.e. forms).  This will add some variety and train the muscles in a different way.  No jumping kicks.

6. Forms

Again, felt tired.  Performed 4 LBCs and 4 QX.  Really need to start upping endurance if I’m going to get to 1000 sometime in the next decade!

LBC: 12/1000

QX: 7/1000

Also, old rotator cuff injury acted up on second Qi Xing.  Will have to do some PT on it when I get out of work tonight.

October 24, 2010 — Evening

No qigong tonight since I had alcohol last night.  I could have given it a shot, but the last time I had a beer and did qigong the next day, it was a very bland experience.

October 24, 2010 — Morning

1. Loosen-Up

Joint circling and light stretching.

2. Stationary Stances

Holding 30lbs:

Ma Bu — 1 minute

Deng Shan Bu — 10 times switching

4/6 — 10 times switching

Fu Hu Bu — 10 times switching

False (no weight) — 10 times switching

Squat — 30 seconds

3. Stretch

4. Heavy Bag

Basic Longfist strikes.  These felt okay, but I can’t go all out because my wrists aren’t strong enough to deliver the full force to a 150+lb heavy back.  For now, I’ll probabl start taping until I can work up the strength.

4. Conditioning

3 rounds:

Row — 500m

Dips — 20reps

These dips were ridiculously easy.  My shoulder — even the bad one felt fine.  Definitely due (at least in part) to the White Crane Hard Qigong.

October 23, 2010 — Evening

No qigong tonight.