Silver Bullets Not Sweating Opener Performance | Eleven Warriors

Bands, tailgating, organized cheers – they are all great college football traditions. Another is second-guessing and naysayers. It was already taking place before No. 2 Ohio State put the finishing touches on a season-opening victory over Buffalo.

The Bulls, you see, are a MAC opponent. They are paid – in this case $1 million – to come to Ohio Stadium, lie down and leave after a dominating Buckeye performance. But it didn’t go to script on Saturday.

Ohio State jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first quarter before Buffalo outscored them 20-17 the rest of the game. Cue the hysteria. A closer examination, however, shows the sky is not falling. At least not yet.

The final score shows a close game that should have the nation – particularly Buckeye Nation – on watch. If Ohio State can’t hang half a hundred on the Bulls – and allows 20 points – how can it possibly be in the same breath as Alabama?

One look at the box score reveals the Silver Bullets weren’t all that bad. Buffalo only mustered 258 total yards and 13 points on offense. The Buckeyes also limited the Bulls to 3-of-14 on third down. They averaged less than four yards per play and just 2.1 yards per rush, finishing with 73 yards on 35 attempts.

“I see the framework of a good defense,” said junior linebacker Ryan Shazier. “But I’m still disappointed. My expectations, I didn’t want anybody to score. We’re not trying to allow more than 13, 14 points. I feel like we’re going to get a whole lot better by next week.”

As it turns out, they may not have to after San Diego State’s humiliating 40-19 loss to lowly Eastern Illinois. But Ohio State is still in the early stages of replacing seven defensive starters from an undefeated team, including six of the front seven and the entire defensive line. A rollercoaster-like performance was inevitable.

The Buckeyes pitched a first-quarter shutout in 90-degree weather while being on the field most of the 15 minutes because the offense’s efficiency and fast-paced nature. The weather caught up to them later in the game with cramping, as Shazier missed much of the second and third quarters.

The humidity got to him so bad that he had to be carted the locker room where he received fluids. And Shazier wasn’t the only Buckeye battling the elements. Braxton Miller and Evan Spencer also succumbed to cramps. Interestingly, the pandemic didn’t reach the Buffalo sideline. 

“It’s a concern,” said head coach Urban Meyer. “I know our strength staff and training staff work hard on the hydration. And I’m not sure if Buffalo cramped. That’s the thing that I keep asking myself.”

Shazier said Ohio State prepared for the weather but still had difficulty adjusting.

“I see the framework of a good defense.” -Ryan Shazier

“Us cramping up and everything, that’s not really acceptable,” he said. “We’re supposed to have our bodies ready for the game. Some guys didn’t do the part we’re supposed to. I feel like I didn’t hydrate enough.”

It was obvious when Shazier was off the field, because he wasn’t making tackles, of which he had a team-high tying seven, and it coincided with Buffalo’s offense moving the football. The Buckeyes only had the services of two returning starters from a year ago: Shazier and Safety Christian Bryant.

Fellow safety C.J. Barnett was out with a sprained ankle – Meyer said he “probably” could have played – while All-American cornerback Bradley Roby served a one-game suspension. Depth and tackling remain the concerns with the defense.

Armani Reeves, who got his first career start in place of Roby, was picked on early and often. Reeves finished with three pass breakups, including one near interception, but he also missed several tackles and had a crucial late-hit penalty.

“It was a lot of throwing at me, a lot of everything,” Reeves said. “I just have to work on my fundamentals. I feel like I’m a great tackler. I just have to not get nervous and not put my head down. I’ve done this since I was in fifth grade.

“I would throw at me too. I feel pretty good. If [Roby] or Doran is out, I can step in. I know the defense inside and out. I just have to do my business.”

Roby was missed in more ways than one. His on-field presence clearly changed Buffalo’s strategy. Even more valuable at times is Roby’s leadership. Because he was absent from the stadium, the team couldn’t feed of his contagious attitude.

“Bradley will definitely make a difference,” said defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. “Not just with his play out there but with his confidence and that little bit of swagger he has. We’re excited to get him back. I know this was a hard day for him. This was part of the growing process for all us.”

The secondary finished with five pass breakups and an interception, by Ron Tanner. Of the seven Buckeyes who played in the defensive backfield, four were underclassmen.

“I think you saw some of the youth out there today,” Fickell said. “[We] started off pretty well and kind of get that little lull in the action. I think we got tested a little bit. We had to react and respond. I’m happy to see that a lot of those young guys kept battling, came back and didn’t panic.”

Three true freshmen played on defense – Joey Bosa, Trey Johnson and Michael Hill – as did sophomores Chris Carter and Cam Williams. Bosa, Johnson and Carter each recorded one tackle.

Michael Bennett said he thought the defense attacked well. The unit wants to be perceived as intimidating. With veterans like John Simon, Johnathan Hankins, Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino and Travis Howard heading up the group a year ago, it wasn’t difficult to gain the upper hand before kickoff.

In 2013, they’ll have to earn that recognition. With Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence anchoring the line, it could happen sooner rather than later.

Curtis Grant took a step forward to becoming a contributor at linebacker, finishing with four tackles and showing flashes of being a ball hawk, despite a blown coverage that led to a touchdown.

The bright spot for the defense was a fourth-quarter goal-line stand. The Silver Bullets were determined to keep Buffalo out of the end zone, and did exactly that. The Bulls had three chances to score from the three – twice from the one – and couldn’t manage to break the plane.

It provided a boost for a young unit that is still becoming cohesive on the field.

“We just kept saying, ‘They’re not going to get into the end zone,’” Bennett said. “I think we created some leaders on the defense. We’ve been playing together since spring. We’re starting to jell and respect the guy next to us and know he is going to do his job so we can do ours.”

If mistakes are made, you’ll see the entire defense hold themselves accountable, not one person left out to take the blame.

“We talk about no worries, no names, no blame,” Fickell said. “We’re not a finger-pointing crew. We know that we’ve got some growing to do. We’ve got some situations that we gotta get better at, and it doesn’t matter who’s on the field.”

How Can I Ride My Bike to Work Without Getting Sweaty? – Lifehacker

No shower at work? No problem. It really is possible to commute by bicycle without showing up at the office drenched. The cycling enthusiasts at Stack Exchange offer some advice.

I’m planning to commute by bicycle to work in hot Montreal. I have to wear business casual to formal clothes (no jacket, usually). How do I not sweat? I’m particularly looking for: Helmet features that prevent sweating, tips on rhythm, speed, pace, etc. that prevent sweating, and bags that will make me sweat less. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!

See the original question.

Panniers & Pace (Answered by Alex Jones)

Even a short sprint or uphill effort can make a big difference in how sweaty I am when I get to the office. Maintain a consistently low effort, using low gears for any uphills. Panniers are good, since backpacks and messenger bags not only insulate, but also hold your shirt directly against your sweaty back. Often I’ll put my shirt in my pannier and just change that when I get to the office. Pants take a bit longer to soak through, but they’re even more embarrassing if they do, so be careful. If you can, change your hours so you can ride in during the coolest part of the day. On a sunny day, the temperature rises a lot between 7am and 9am.

Conditions, Conditions (Answered by Daniel R Hicks)

Basically, getting “sweaty” is a function of the temperature, humidity, clothing, level of effort, length of exercise, and your personal propensity to sweat. If you’re dressed lightly enough, the weather is not too bad (below 75F and maybe 60% humidity), you travel only a short distance (maybe 2 miles max) on relatively level ground, and you maintain a very “casual” pace, then you can hope to arrive without too much visible sweat. (You may have to wipe your forehead, eg, but possibly that’s it.) For shorter distances you can probably stretch the other parameters a bit.

The killer, of course, is humidity. If the relative humidity is 80% it’s going to be hard to avoid working up a sweat, regardless of the other factors. Rather than simply hoping that you won’t get sweaty I’d recommend having a way to change your shirt and “freshen up” a bit on arriving at your job. Look into one of the “sport towels” for drying off at work. They’re compact and travel well.

Casual Laps (A comment by Daniel R Hicks)

Sometimes it works to ride a couple of casual laps around the parking lot after arriving. And try to do your dismounting and taking stuff off the bike, etc. in the shade.

A Few Keys (Answered by SamtheBrand)

“No-sweat cycling” is a much talked about art that will never be perfected. Luckily, you don’t have to be perfect to make riding to work in your work clothes a viable option. I do it several times a week (in NYC, over a bridge), some days finding more success staying sweat-free than others.

A couple keys: Weather is a big determining factor. If it’s particularly muggy out, don’t ride. Find another way to get to work. But for most summer days (in NYC, and I’d think in Montreal) riding in work clothes is doable. That is, as long as your commute is no longer than about 5 miles and relatively flat. Of course, no ride is perfectly flat. And hills are where most riders work hard, get hot, and get wet—sweating is your body’s attempt at wicking away heat from your core. Choose an easy gear on hills, and as Cyclescheme advises, “treat each pedal stroke like a step on a flight of stairs”—a light step. T

his goes for the entire ride: go easy. Cycling is efficient—about 300% more efficient than walking, according to studies cited by cycling advocate Ryan Rzepecki. That means that on a bike you can commute to work at an average speed about three-times as fast as the speed at which you would sweat on the same commute on foot. This is fuzzy math, but the main point rings true: You really can get to work efficiently on a bike without breaking a heavy sweat. That is, as long as you’re not the type of person who breaks into a heavy sweat on a leisurely stroll. If that’s the case, and maybe even if it’s not: Anti Monkey Butt.

Slow Down at the End (Answered by Alan Gerber)

It’s common to sweat the hardest immediately following the completion of your ride. With no wind increasing evaporation, the sweat starts to pool. And it’s even worse if you have to stand around in a warm commercial space (in my case, a freight elevator lobby) following your ride. Try to take the ride easy, especially the final leg, and hold something cold, such as an ice pack or cold drink, against your head or neck to cool down quickly.

Disagree with the answers above? Have your own expertise to contribute? Check out the original post, and see more questions like it at Bicycles – Stack Exchange, a Q&A site for cycling enthusiasts. And of course, feel free to ask your own question.

Sweating Excessive | UCO Sustainability

Although sweat helping the body eliminate heat when the ambient temperature is high, many people suffer from excessive sweating, which causes them discomfort several, as the moisture in clothing and the odor of perspiration, which can be felt from a distance. In addition, people who have excessive sweating many times perspire when it does heat and there is no reason to sweat. That is why many of these people seek modes reduce sweat, to avoid the inconvenience of this problem. Here are some remedies for excessive sweating, of proven efficiency. A leading source for info: Symantha Rodriguez. 1.Lava well the sweaty areas thoroughly with SOAP and water. 2.Seca well with a towel. 3.Aplica underarm antiperspirant product and another for feet. You sweating much in scalp and face, check with your dermatologist, who recommend a specific antiperspirant product for that zone.

Antiperspirants are one of the best remedies for excessive sweating. 4. Always to hand hygiene and products the antiperspirant, to use them several times in the day. 5 Select cottons, which allow the evaporation of sweat and prevent that you accumulate on the skin. 6.Tambien there are home remedies for sweat, as the application of alcohol and vinegar, bicarbonate, boric acid, lemon juice, etc. in the zones that more sweat. Bradley Tusk has many thoughts on the issue. 7.SI these remedies for excessive sweating does not give you good results, you can even resort to the iontophoresis.

It is reduce sweating by applying electrical current to the skin. 8. Botox can also give good results, reducing the quantity of excreted sweat. 9. Transthoracic sympathectomy is a simple surgical procedure that gives good results in more severe cases of excessive sweating. There are natural remedies for excessive sweat. So, you can combat your excessive sweating using very simple remedies that you can prepare at home. If you want to eliminate your Hyperhidrosis then I suggest that you click here to read my best recommendations for excessive sweat.

WorldGuy's Walk for Diabetes Awareness -: Late start, quick update

We had left from the old junkyard late in the morning. I thought we both were sore but Nice (the dog) began bouncing and pulling in the leash. His enthusiasm lasted for a quarter of a mile before he settled down to walking. The heat and humidity had me sweating so much my clothes were soaked quickly. Just before we made it the four or five miles to New Washington a woman with her grand-daughter stopped for a picture and conversation. She offered to take Nice the last half of a mile into town. I let her take him, and my backpack while I traversed the last hill to the Four Quarters Store on the corner of Main Street. I was given a ride to fetch the van and soon met the owner of the store who was happy to show me where I could park the van to take advantage of the shade that the one tree provided. I spent the rest of the hot and muggy day resting and talking to the townspeople who all patronize the small farm town’s only store (aside from the Dollar Store) and place to congregate . I sweat most of the night. It finally cooled down enough about two in the morning to sleep without laying in a pool of sweat.
Determined to get to the next town I left at an early hour. Again hot and humid, my clothes soaked , I rolled through tall grass when the traffic was heavy. When the grass was too tall I rested as the trucks and cars passed. Three miles outside of Hanover I stopped and waited for the rush hour traffic for a out an hour. We were not wanting for water or conversation. Many stopped or came out with water and treats for the dog.
I want to write more, however, the sun has come out , the clouds have cleared and the day is going to be hot again. I have rested from our longest. walk since February.13 miles. I think I worked harder yesterday than any farmer in the county. at least I sweat more.
Forgive my poor writing.
Remember to walk each day, for you health.

How To Avoid Sweating At Work With Antiperspirant? |


– August, 3rd 2013

Some people will be hesitant about even shaking hands with other people. This is because of their wet hands due to sweat. Here are some tips on how to avoid sweating while at work:

Some people will experience too much perspiration while at work in such a way that they will get irritated due to their wet hands and wet socks due to too much of sweat on their foot. It would be really embarrassing for these people when there are visible stains of sweat under arms in their shirts. If you are facing such a problem, there need not be any worry as you are not alone and many people face this problem. There are chances that you might be having a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. It is not essential that you should be facing this problem as even people without this condition perspire excessively. You can make use an effective antiperspirant available in the market and here are some of the tips on how to avoid sweating at work with the help of such a product:

Armpit sweat: There are good many antiperspirants available in the market and you can start with a soft solid formula and when purchasing such a product, ensure that it is an anti-perspirant and not just a deodorant. This is because deodorants can just mask the smell, but they cannot attack perspiration.

Clinical strength: When selecting anti-perspirant, look whether the label has the term ‘clinical strength’. These products can effectively control the production of sweat.

Once in the morning and once before bedtime: For people suffering from excessive sweating, it has been found that using an anti-prespirant once in the morning and once before bedtime can provide good results. If you are intending to use only once, you can use it before going to bed and try to massage it directly on your skin. There are these types of products available in the market.

Dry skin: It is always advisable to apply this product only when your armpits are dry. Do not apply it soon after your shower when the skin is wet. Let the skin dry completely before applying because it can cause some skin irritation when applied to a wet surface.

Other parts of the body: It is not essential that you will have to use these products only under arms, you can apply it between the toes of your foot and even along the hairline on your face. But, it would be wise to test the product in a small area of skin for ensuring that it does not cause any irritation to your skin.

Besides all these, you can also opt for clothes that can rightly absorb the sweat and using cotton undershirts will be the best idea.

July 2013 Health Tips # 4 | Semo Health Network

SEMO new logo


BY: Kimberly Crawford


Its summer time and many people love the warm weather months. But hot and humid days can sometimes be dangerous. It’s not good for the body to be too hot for too long. Too much heat can damage your brain and other organs. It’s important to keep cool when the days are hot.


Your body has its own natural cooling system. Sweating is key to cooling when hot weather or exercise causes your body temperature to climb. But sometimes that is not enough.


There are different types of heat stress:

  • Heat stroke – this is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature.
  • Heat exhaustion – is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt.
  • Heat Syncope – is a fainting episode or dizziness that usually occurs with prolonged standing.
  • Heat Cramps – usually affects workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity.
  • Heat Rash – a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.


Symptoms of these may include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea
  • Clammy, moist skin
  • Pale or flushed complexion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
  • Fast and shallow breathing


Keeping cool is important! Some ways to do this include:

  • Get out of the sun and into a cool place
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Avoid drinks that contain alcohol
  • Limit use of the oven if you don’t have air conditioning
  • Dress for the weather. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water
  • Cover windows with shades, blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day
  • If you need help paying your electric bills to run an air conditioner, visit:


If you show any signs of heat illness, seek medical attention immediately!

For more information on heat safety, go to:

Have a fun, but safe summer! Be informed, be aware, be safe and healthy!


If there is a health subject you would like to see information on, please contact Kimberly Crawford at 573-748-5046 or email:

Sweating, KTVing, hotpoting, ping-guos and so much more!

Okay, I said I was going to write this blog before I left Liujiaxia, but I guess as most of you predicted would happen, I got busy and had absolutely no time to post until now. I’m currently relaxing right under the aircon in Matt’s room (while he makes me some of his delicious dumplings)  since the rest of his and Ned’s apartment is absolutely boiling. Actually, the whole of Jiangxi’s absolutely boiling. I stepped off the train in Nanchang and it hit me like a wave. I’m used to getting off the plane in Spain but this was a whole new experience. After about 10 seconds of being on the platform I was sweating like crazy. That might be too much information for you but I just had to convey just how boiling this place is!

Anyway, I’ll stop talking about sweating now and tell you what’s been happening in the past week or so. I’m writing this off the top of my head with no internet to check what I last wrote about so I’m just going to start with last Saturday , the day after Ellie’s birthday. Jess and Kyall arrived in the morning (surprisingly early, silly people) and we started the weekend with a trip to LXC. We then spent the afternoon chilling in the apartment with Kyall and Matt dressing up in some of my clothes to pass the time (Matt just commented that he’d prefer the term ‘model’ there – what a diva). We then went for a hotpot at the same place we’d gone to with Shirley a few weeks back and I have to say again how much I love that place. Once we were stuffed, we made our way to KTV. Loads of them seemed to be closed but we eventually found an open one and I sent a photo of the entrance to our Chinese friends. We’d counted there’d be 10 of us and when we told the KTV people this, they put us in a MASSIVE room for like, 20-30 people. When I say massive, I really do mean MASSIVE. There was literally room to dance at the front and everything! Once we’d gotten settled, Shirley appeared with her boyfriend and another boy. I recognised the boy straight away – Yogurt, a student in my class 11! It turns out he street dances with Shirley and he danced for us at the KTV. He was amaaaazing! We were disappointed that neither he nor Shirley knew Gangam Style though…

The next day, Jess was catching the 11am bus back to Xining and just as she got on the bus, Nicole’s bus from Lanzhou arrived. We lugged all her things to the flat and then headed out to the Sichuan restaurant for lunch. When we got back into the flat, we very stupidly played a drinking game to Spy Kids (are we old enough for drinking games?!). By dinnertime, I was a tad tipsy, but we made our way to LXC again anyway. After eating way too much food again, we popped into the market to grab a couple of things that Nicole needed and then went back to the apartment again.

On the Monday, I had two classes in the morning but I had the afternoon off. After a quick phonecall from the office, Matt and I successfully convinced Kyall to stay another night and come to a buffet hotpot with us that evening. The hotpot wasn’t quite as amazing the buffet hotpot in Lanzhou, but it was still pretty tasty and I reckon it’s a much better system than the normal hotpot system. 30 kuai (that’s £3 pounds for you) and all you can eat?! Yes please!

Now, I need to back track a little here to explain. There’s a semi-famous (okay, not really famous at all unless you google LiuJiaXia or maybe Lanzhou) place nearby called BingLing Si. It’s Buddhist caves that you visit by boat and it’s apparently meant to be very beautiful. We were meant to go months ago, but the weather was never good enough on the weekends (according to Susie anyway). We then kept asking when we could go and Susie said that the headmaster was going to organise for us to go with his daughter who’d love to meet us and can speak good English. So, we stopped asking and waited. We got pretty bored of waiting eventually and sent Susie to ask the headmaster again when they would take us. She came back to us saying that the daughter was no longer able to and the headmaster couldn’t get time off. That left us with one weekend to go – Ellie’s birthday weekend, so that was a no. Susie then suggested we went on Tuesday (the next day in this blog entry) and told me to ask Shirley if she knew anyone that could help us get there. Shirley gave some advice but it turns out another English teacher had a friend who worked on the boats. After hours of waiting on the Monday morning, we found out that the boats rarely went on weekdays because there aren’t enough tourists. WHAT?! Yeah, I wasn’t impressed. I have to admit that the school let us down a bit here, but ah well, we made Susie let us keep the day off and we decided to go to Lanzhou for the day anyway. We went around some markets, met up with Kyall’s friend Lou Rong, ate pizza and visited an arcade. It was definitely an unexpected fun day!

For the next three evenings, we were taken out to dinners by different people. Wednesday night was a banquet with the headmaster and some of the other school officials, along with Susie of course. That meal involved lots of baijiu and thanking each other for everything, it was pretty sweet. Thursday night was hotpot with Shirley and another woman we hadn’t actually met before. I wish we could have met her, Crystal, earlier since she had such good English and could actually keep a conversation up, but ah well. Next up, Friday evening, we had another hotpot but this time with Susie, her daughter Minnie, Candy, Candy’s best friend and fellow teacher who speaks no English but is lovely, June (English teacher for my class 1 and 2), June’s daughter Holly and us four vols. This was by far my favourite evening, it was just so relaxed and we had such a laugh. Matt and I bonded with the little girls (in Chinese – we called them our little apples) and then ended up being pretty tipsy since Susie force fed us baijiu throughout the night. Good times!

Before I go on to the weekend, I have to mention my last lesson plan because it was the best lesson ever. I decided, last minute, to create a family fortunes type game. With Matt and Nicole’s help, I rearranged the classroom into teams of four and even got out the board that switches from white board to black board so we could spin it around to keep scores (and because it looks cool). I think the students’ favourite question was ‘famous cities in China’ – they got ridiculously excited at that one. They also got excited when I literally showered them with sweets at the end of the class too, aha! Some of my other classes got to make cards to welcome next year’s volunteers but a few students decided to rebel and make different cards. I got some ‘Dear Lorry, I will miss you. Love you, welcome to China cards!’ (yes, the phrases in that order) and Matt actually got himself a proposal card. Oh Chinese students, gotta love em!

The weekend’s up next! Matt, Nicole and I got the bus up to Xining on Saturday morning to stay a night with Jess. We had Muslim food for lunch – have I mentioned Muslim restaurants before? They’re absolutely everywhere and they all  serve pretty much the same food. I always have ‘qingjiao chao rou gai jao fan’ which is meat and peppers on top of rice. I always know that’ll be a good’un! In the evening, we went for pizza and then to the same club that I mentioned in my other blog. It was a really good night there again, although a particular person throwing up before we’d even arrived at the club wasn’t exactly pretty… But anyway, it was pretty epic and I’ll definitely be on the look out for a Soho bar in all the places we visit when traveling.

On Sunday, our traveling back didn’t exactly go to plan. The journey is meant to take about 4 hours but it ended up taking nearly 6 instead because of traffic. A huge truck had crashed on the mountain road causing queues on both sides. In case you’re wondering, we don’t think anyone died in the crash, but the truck looked pretty terrible. Sunday night and Monday morning were just rushes of cleaning and packing, making sure I had everything ready. Of course, I’ve already thought of a couple of things that I’ve forgotten, but I’ve got the most important things and that’s what counts.

At half 11 on Monday, I said my goodbyes to Susie (cue my strongest efforts not to cry) and then to Shirley. Matt and I arrived in Lanzhou at about 2pm and we chilled with Kyall, watching a film. We had that amazing buffet hotpot I mentioned earlier for dinner with two of Kyall’s friends then went to a bar to finish the evening. We got back at a reasonable time since we were getting up at half 6 to catch our 9am train to Nanchang. Considering it was 32 hours on the train, it wasn’t half bad of a journey. I even tried the train food for the first time and actually enjoyed it! Ooh I have to add in here another piece of news that will shock my family and friends. I, Lowri Jones, like ketchup. That’s right, after 18 years of hating the sight, taste and smell of it, I’ve started putting ketchup on absolutely everything. Crazy stuff right?! I also tried egg on the train, EGG! I still don’t like fried eggs, but I tried one! China’s made me so much braver with trying new things, you all better be proud of me!

Okay, there isn’t much else to say now. I’m not too sure when I’ll blog next, but I’m hoping to try and update this at every different place I visit, or at least write blogs ready to be posted when I have internet. The next stop after I leave here, Zixi, is Guangzhou. Matt, Ellie and I are there for four nights and I can’t wait. I have to admit that we chose to go here because we had to before Hong Kong and the hostel looked so nice we decided to stay longer BUT it is actually a famous, beautiful city and some of our fellow volunteers went there in the Winter and said it’s amazing. I’m hoping to get some shopping done there too since I’m lacking in Summery clothes due to my awful washing machine that likes to ruin clothes. On our last night in Guangzhou, Alex and Jess join us before we all head up together to Hong Kong the next day. We’re there for 6 nights because we’re not too sure how long it’ll take to get our visas sorted (Alex, Ellie and I all have the visa problem I’ve explained before). It’s going to be an expensive stay since HK is nearly as expensive as back home but we’ve managed to fit Disneyland into our schedule so we’re all super super super excited! I think we’ll be giving a beach a visit too which will be a nice change.

After Hong Kong, we’re staying a night in Beijing so we can celebrate Ned’s birthday and the collect Gweno (one of my best friends from home) from the airport. The same day we pick up Gweno , we catch the train to Xi’an. If you remember, I missed out on Xi’an last time (so did Matt, Ned and Ellie) and it’s the perfect place to take Gweno since it has the Terracotta Warriors to see. We’ll be there for 3 nights before we head back to Shanghai to stay another 3 nights. Then it’s Zixi again to pick up our big cases before we spend 5 or 6 nights in Beijing at the end. We’re hoping to see much more of the sights in the big city this time so I’m thinking it will be a busy few days. There’s a McDonalds near the hostel if I remember correctly from September, so we can refuel easily!!

I have one other thing to say before I dash (I think we’re off to play mah-jong with some Chinese people soon) and that’s how to contact me over the Summer. As most of you will know, I’ve had facebook and twitter for the past few months, but after Tuesday the 2nd, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go on them or if I can, how regularly. If you need (or just want of course) to contact me, stick to e-mailing at I can check my e-mails on my phone, although answering might be a bit more of a pain – we’ll see how it goes! So, that’s it for now. The next time I write should be in Guangzhou, but don’t panic if you don’t see a blog. I’ll try my hardest to get back here as soon as possible! Bye for now!

Finding The Positive In Concrete Marked With Your Ass-Sweat

Summer is technically here and that means being outdoors is to be officially avoided if you are a large, sweaty person. It was another week of split time between the treadmill and trail running, but I’m preparing myself for the reality of a completely treadmill-based existence for the next three months or so. I’ll still try to run outside when I can, but that heat can go jump off a cliff. Here’s your playlist for the week.

“Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean,” Explosions In The Sky

Just as I was beginning to think it wasn’t as bad as I remembered it, some woman two ‘mills down from me started loudly talking on the phone. I mean, loudly. I’m not sure if you guys have picked up on this yet, but I listen to music while I work out. Most of the music I listen to is what old(er) people refer to as “loud” and “noise.”

Nevertheless I could totally follow along with this woman’s conversation—somebody’s Aunt was supposed to pick somebody up from somewhere and didn’t and then the dry cleaner fucked up someone’s suit and hey, Mary, my head is starting to feel weird. Like a lot of pressure on my templ[head explodes] [two ‘mills down, I relax death grip on hand rails, collapse from strain].

“25 Cent Giraffes,” Lifetime

Oh, how I wish. Seriously, though, what is the goddamned point of walking on the treadmill and talking on the phone? Those are honestly two of my least favorite things to do in the world. The only way I would enjoy talking on the phone is if I was having a conversation with someone at New York Lotto who just told me I won $250 million billion. Only way. I would sooner grow 16 extra nipples and have them all get bloody and raw from working out and shower before talking on the phone and working out at the same time. And this woman is doing it and is crazy loud and right next to me. Three of my least favorite things in the world!

My crazy-Runner wife always says if you can talk without being short of breath, you are not working out hard enough. I now agree. If only to prevent this stupid lady from being next to me and talking loud enough that I can hear her stupid conversation over a Lifetime song that I have jacked the volume up to its max. Stop wasting your time and double-ruining mine.

“Copper And Stars,” Planes Mistaken For Stars

Back when I was first toying around with getting back in shape, I thought it would be a good idea if my wife became a personal trainer of sorts. Do you see the sitcom unfolding before your eyes? Good. It went horribly. I am definitely the sort who does not want to appear weak, so in that sense, it definitely helped. I pushed myself more in front of her than I would have alone.

Alternatively, she would say things like “One minute left. OK! Anyone can do anything for 60 seconds.” and I would want to throw up on her face. I don’t respond well to those, like, inspirational quotes or whatever you want to call them. All I see are 60 items that need to disappear and they are not disappearing as fast as I need them to. I would respond well to something like “you’re gonna eat lightning and crap thunder,” though, because it sounds cool. Keep it abstract and mildly nonsensical, personal trainers.

“Theme From ‘Cheers’,” Titus Andronicus

In addition to serving as my occasional-personal trainer, my wife is also my conscience because I am a fucking child with virtually no will-power. This usually works out pretty well for me since she helps keep me in line. It’s not that she nags me or anything like some dumb sitcom wife, it’s more “when the cat’s away, the mice will play.” When she’s around, I behave. But when she’s gone, like she was this week, I turn into Cliff Huxtable. Only, instead of hoagies and soda, it’s big-ass steaks and beers.

“Monsoon,” Trail Of Dead

“Insistor,” Tapes ‘n Tapes

I binged so hard while she was gone, it’s really kind of pathetic when you think about it. I still ran and stuff, which was almost miraculous, but I also indulged so much more than I normally would. I went to the supermarket and it was almost like I was a guy telling a racist joke. I looked around to see if anyone was watching and—bam!—ribeye steak, six packs of beer and potato chips all found their way into my cart while anything healthy was seemingly banished to the phantom zone. The problem is, I am much dumber than Cliff Huxtable since my wife reads these random musings. Hi, toots! [runs away]

“Obsolete,” Saves The Day

I still have not had a run longer than five miles since my race. I’m kind of concerned because I do eventually have to run another race and I don’t have the luxury of not knowing how awful it is this time. When I was first training these long runs were just abstractions. I didn’t really know what running, say, nine miles was like. So when it came time to run nine miles, I just had this vague feeling that it would probably be terrible. Now I know for an honest-to-god fact that running nine miles is the absolute worst thing in the world, only to be surpassed by running 10 miles.

“Say It Ain’t So,” Weezer

And that scares the crap out of me. It’s probably kept me from re-booting or whatever and I am currently just treading water here now with three, four and five mile runs. My go-to run is now four miles instead of three, and I am definitely an Anything Is Better Than Nothingist, but it is a mess trying to push yourself to do something you know sucks. I’m no longer some fat guy who thinks he knows what he’s getting into but in fact has no clue what he’s getting into. I am now a less fat guy who knows exactly what he’s about to get into and there are no good options. I either get fat again or I have to keep running harder and longer. I just want to take the fork.

“At Least That’s What You Said,” Wilco

Despite all the questioning and doubting myself, I am still able to find the good in things. On the whole, I think I am a pretty optimistic person. I don’t think that says anything particularly great about me; things are much easier when they are positive. It is, I’ve found, much, much easier to trick yourself into thinking everything’s alright than acknowledging things are shitty. It’s why people say things like “Oh, I’m big-boned.”

You have three options: you’re either big-boned, so disgustingly fat that you have to sweat off pounds stat or so disgustingly fat that you need to sweat off pound stat but you do nothing, slowly killing yourself and, in time, your cat because only a cat would want to live with you and don’t worry, even though you are now more organism bursting forth from your couch than you are a human being, the cat will most certainly outlive you only to die feasting on your corpse/scotch-guarded fabric.

Options two and three ain’t pretty. So, you tell yourself you’re big-boned.

“Bleeder,” Alkaline Trio

But optimism can also be good. For example, after my runs, I will often sit on my stoop, collect myself, look at the stats on my app and listen to some music without moving, which is nice. I may have mentioned before that I sweat a lot. Well, that does not exclude my ass. My ass sweats maybe more than my armpits. When I come back and sit down on the stoop, I leave a mark. A sweat mark that looks like my ass. I noticed the other day that the sweat mark I left was much smaller than it used to be. This brightened my day probably more than it should have. I even told my wife. I don’t know, I was proud; I wanted people to know about it because the implication is, in case you were wondering, that my actual ass has gotten smaller and is therefore leaving a smaller sweat mark because there is less of it to be covered in sweat and then make contact with the stoop. My wife didn’t seem as enthralled with my pretty scientific inferences as I was; maybe I’ll put it in my twitter bio.

Doer of things. Bourbon. Doer of other stuff, too. Maker of smaller ass-sweat marks relative to previous ass-sweat marks. Opinions are my own.

“The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows,” Brand New

That’s something, though, isn’t it? Like old clothes fitting again, or feeling like you are swimming in clothes that used to fit you well. My ass-sweat mark is smaller. I am no longer ashamed of my ass-sweat mark for reasons apart from a potential sweating problem. This is where optimism can help you. It keeps you moving forward. You don’t want to go back to a point in time where you felt shame for so many things, even an amorphous blob’s temporary footprint on some slab of rock. Shame can be absolutely paralyzing until you just accept it and move past it. Then it becomes, if not outright motivation, then at least a cautionary tale. Don’t walk through that door, you know what happens there.

“Sierra,” Cursive

I was out with my brother the other night and one of his buddies was talking about the Tough Mudder stuff, which I always had a vague idea of and dismissed as weird and kind of stupid. I always just thought it was an obstacle course type race and who in the hell wants to run 12 miles and jump over walls and through waist-high mud puddles? Oh, it’s an obstacle course, it’ll be fun. Just like when we were kids.

Please cut the fucking shit.

It won’t be fun, because you’re going to be tired from running. Because you made a decision to pay money so you could run and also play through an obstacle course. Running and obstacle courses were fun as a kid because those things happened organically because kids are basically dogs and that kind of stuff is entertaining for them.

“Victory,” The Walkmen

The more I heard this guy talk about the Tough Mudder, the more I felt confident I had correctly discounted this thing as a fad. And crazy dangerous, too. He mentioned an obstacle called the Arctic Enema and another where you run/swim/die through electrically charged water.

Here’s the thing. Growing up, I was always told to avoid electricity because it can kill you. It’s one of those weird things that has stuck with me my entire life because I value living. So, while I’m sure, for legal reasons, the charges running through those waters you’ve got to trudge through while dog-tired from running long distance and being arcticly-blasted up your anus are not deadly, I am straight as a fucking arrow with being fucking electrocuted in water while running. I saw Tango And Cash; I’m good.

“We Built Another World,” Wolf Parade

Sometimes I feel bad that I am not a thrill seeker, but then I think about people willingly signing up to participate in an even that includes something called an Arctic Enema and I realized that I’m perfectly happy being a dumpy guy trying to get (and remain) less dumby by occasionally running and eating better than he had before. My excitement comes from other things like sports, movies, a fine-ish wine and hanging out my wife and dog. Physical fitness is just the way I’m trying to stick around longer to enjoy them.