In the news yesterday, the world learned of the passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch of Beastie Boys fame. Sadly taken before his time, Yauch was just 47. I have been a fan of rap music since I was about 14, but unfortunately for most of that time I lacked the ability to recognize the varying degrees of quality within the genre. Much of this time found me listening to trashy stuff, with a focus on fast paced spitting style rap. I also focussed my listening time on the present, generally listening to albums that were current in a pop music fan type of way. The Beastie Boys album "Hello Nasty" was released in 1998 when I was 15, and I was totally digging the video for "Intergalactic" at the time. Being ignorant to all of the colorful history, and admittedly I still am ignorant, I appreciated the album for what it was in singularity, and not as a part of a greater body of work. The Beastie Boys were a great group for a few reasons. They didn't fit into the stereotypical mold of what a early hip hop artists was. They started as a punk group, and through a maturing process and an incredible abundance of talent they were able to succeed in an entirely different genre. They released 8 full length albums over a career spanning 25 years, both benchmarks of longevity in a genre that is devoid of such feats. They number of rap or hip hop artists that can boast of 8 successful releases is remarkable short, and the others on the list are legends in their own right. I felt sadness yesterday when I heard the news of Yauch's passing because despite my ignorance I am aware of the important role he played in moving hip hop into the media, and helping the genre gain legitimacy in the music industry. Even the most ignorant rap fan can appreciate that, and for that MCA I thank you.
This brings me to my fitness update. I haven't felt better pounding the pavement then I did yesterday morning. Asher was all bundled up and ready to go in the stroller while I did my stretching. I found my Beastie Boys collection on the ipod and away I went. My running route that I have gone on at least 50 times in the last 2 years is a leisurely 3 km route on flat terrain. I was feeling motivated last week and devised a route that would still take me in a circular route back to our house, but it would be closer to 5 km total. As I near the location where the routes split I have to exert significant will power to propel myself towards the longer route. I nailed the 5 km on Wednesday while pushing Asher, and with little hesitation I hit it again on Friday. With the only Beastie Boys album that i've ever given proper respect to playing in my ears I easily plowed through the approximately 5 km route in about 24 minutes. It felt great. Asher and I made it home, showered up, got dressed and went to daycare and on to work. As I had stated some pretty lofty physical activity goals in this very space last Sunday, I am proud to say that I pretty much nailed it.
The week started off a little slow, on Sunday Jasmine and I went for a short bike ride in the evening, and afterwards I chose to catch up on sleep after watching the Amazing Race with Sheila. Monday was also quiet as I was busy chasing the kids in the afternoon and working in the morning. Tuesday things began to pick up. Jasmine had the day off from school and after puttering around in the morning we went to pick up an air filter for my car and grab some fresh tennis balls. I splurged on a new $15 racket as well, and tennis was urgently added to the agenda. Unfortunately the high school kids were busy using the court so we headed home. Jasmine helped nicely as we spent an hour raking the yard. We went in and Jasmine baked cookie with little help from me. Asher took a nap, so I was able to get in my hamstring and glute workout. Admittedly, the week's efforts really took off on Wednesday. I was up at 715 to see Sheila off, and spent time with Jasmine and Asher before walking Jasmine to school. Asher and I took the long way home, the brisk walk really wakes me up and provides great motivation for the rest of the day. I completed my ab workout while Asher played around me, then took care of a few chores while he had his nap. When he woke up we got ready and went for our 5 km jog in the sunshine. After picking Jasmine up, we headed straight to the tennis courts. Jasmine was playing for only the third time, and she just loves playing. She often misses, and we struggle to get any kind of rally going. We don't worry about making sure the ball is in the lines, or that it only bounces once. Though she is just starting, I got a great workout as I was busy chasing wayward balls and of course Asher who was busy running around the court. Most of the time he was occupied by the extra racket I brought for him that he dragged behind him as he ran around the court. As tennis fell right during his normal nap time, I wasn't surprised when he actually laid down on the court at one point with eyes nearly shut. As we were enjoying ourselves, we actually ran out of time to go to the swimming pool as we had planned. To finish the day Jasmine and I headed down to pick up the soccer jerseys for the coming season. As we headed out we were going to bring our soccer ball and play a little but it was flat, then the basketball couldn't be found, so we headed out the door without either. After picking up the stuff, we found ourselves back at the tennis court for another game. Exhausted from the day, I fell asleep easily and awoke well rested. Thursday included a chest and tricep workout and a family swim at the pool. Friday as mentioned above consisted of a morning back and trap workout and a 5 km run. This morning I finished the week with soccer coaching and a 3 km run without my son which felt odd as I have gotten used to pushing the stroller and seeing his wispy hair flapping in the wind as I go. The greatest success of the week has to be my discipline with my diet. I have been eating relatively clean for the last 3 or 4 months, but this week may have been my best week yet. Jasmine made a batch of cookies, and I did have 3 of those. Sheila made another batch, and I got away from that after eating only one. The only other cheat was a handful of chips today. Most of my snacks have been bowls of cereal, or a banana, and I had a few protein bars as well. I have been solid with my portion sizes as well, eating until I am satisfied, not stuffed and bloated. Perhaps I will post my plan for next week ahead of time so I can gauge my success once again. Here's to another great week!