School_House_Rock_LiveI’m hitting my last week of my first semester as an online student in the UT Online Kinesiology Master’s Program.  It has been a packed summer and I’ve worked really hard so I’m pretty freaking stoked on how everything is ending up. I have one more statistics test to turn in, which I’m hoping to knock out tomorrow, and have to take my final for my kinesiology class.  The final starts on Wednesday and ends Friday so come this weekend, my birthday weekend, I’ll be celebrating that over the addition of another “1” to my age.

Last week I turned in my two physiology papers which I worked really hard on and I’m proud of what I produced.  I knew going in to it that I could probably bang out two average papers in a short time with little effort to just meet the guidelines but that is not my style.  I worked really hard on these and more importantly, I learned a lot about the subjects.  I did an intense exercise analysis on the standard pull-up because it was my marker exercise when I was coming back from my shoulder injury and I’m proud of my ability to do pullups- my end goal is 10 (which is how many Hilary Swank worked up to while training for “Million Dollar Baby”), I’m on 3-4 now and am about to start p90x again. The other paper was an analysis of a non-professional article for its physiological correctness.  It was hard to find an article because I no longer subscribe to Runner’s World, Fitness, Shape, or any of those other magazines because I feel they waste paper and braincells.

I’ve learned a hell of a lot this semester and cant wait to tackel Fall full on.  I’ll be taking a sports psychology with the wife of my stats prof.  I’m very excited because my stats prof is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.  I’m also hoping to get  in to a class called “Contemporaty Issues” that discusses various issues of kinesiology.  To top off all my hard work, I’m pretty freaking sure (99.9999%) that I’ll make a 4.0 this semester.

Here’s what I learned that I think is pretty cool:

1. When a portion of the body is injured, there is a cross-transfer effect of strength to the injured side when the non-injured side is worked.  Studies have shown that strength training with muscles on just one side causes strength gains in the same muscle on the other side.  The gains for the non-trained side are not a great as the trained side.  It is mediated by the CNS and has practical applications for rehab.

2.  Believe In Your Muscles- recent studies have shown improved strength of skeletal muscles by mental training.  The “training” consisted only of mentally imagining contraction of the muscle and no actual contractions took place.  The gains were not huge but they were real.

Those two things blow my mind!  After all this is said and done and I have another parchement to frame, I’d love to work with post injury athletes to get them back to performance strength and even stronger.  I cant wait to learn more about this all and incorporate it in to my coaching and training.

Its a beautiful day here in Austin, Texas- as many days are to someone who can appreciate the 105 degree heat.  I brought my road bike to work and will ride it home, meaning I’ll be rolling to work tomorrow morning on it as well.  I’m coaching a fun (and killer) run workout for the intermediat group tomorrow and am pretty excited to have them do Wilkie hill repeats.  They may hate me but they love me too!

I ask all of you to take a second and say a little prayer for someone you know.  There are so many amazing people in our lives that we see as being everstrong but there are times when they need our prayers, our hope, our love.  Let them know that your life is different and better because they are in it.

~Ride Blessed ya’ll