As weeks go we’ve seen a few bits and pieces flying around. With no need and wanting to go anywhere the ever blossoming global embarrassment of Brexit I want to talk about things a little more at ground level. So firstly it gives me great pleasure to announce the expansion of the Manpedia Group with the imminent launch of Womanpedia. As the name suggests this will be the wing dedicated to the ladies out there and will feature guides, tips and advice on beauty, wellness, fitness, food & drink and developing and growing a healthy lifestyle. So naturally I now need to get your to steer your respective better halves over to @womanpediauk for a like and follow. On that note, thank you and welcome to all our new followers. I hope you’re enjoying the content and we are close to a slight change in how and what we present to you as I look at options in overhauling to website so each arm of the group can be accessed from one place. Which is of course the whole point of Manpedia and its counterparts.
There will be a podcast heading Manpedia’s way called Shack of Geeks where we discuss all things movie, comic, superhero and well, you catch the drift. A second podcast called The Evolution of Me is going to be introduced into your content feed that will cover general wellness and wellbeing, self-care and be host to a series of interviews. Both feeds will be able to be subscribed to independently on pretty much all major podcast platforms.
On Thursday I attended a wonderful evening at the hands of the incredibly talented and innovative Gingerline in London’s Hoxton. As with all things Gingerline my lips have to remain relatively sealed but I can say the ‘Chambers’ evening was incredible and I advise anyone that can go to try and obtain some tickets. Gingerline combine eclectic dining with theatre to create such a unique dining experience but the key to their ongoing success is how it is kept under wraps so not to spoil the experience for new diners.
I have been reacquainting myself with the guitar again it attempt to convince myself that there could be another gig or two in me and using that as an excuse to try and get my daughter a drum kit! Lets see how that goes down…
Then I have dusted off the tools, rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in to a huge project indoors to repair the bank of the brook that passes through my garden. Now I’m walking like a 180 year old man. Don’t be surprised to see a post or two about recovery and getting a team of builders in to do a job instead of going at it single handed!
To round off, with the Joker movie edging ever closer there is something very good to be looking forward to just around the corner. A DC movie with the apparent decency to maybe take us into a new dawn of movies from the comic powerhouse as Marvel’s phase 4 edges closer..
Enjoy your weeks and look after each other,
As I have been composing this I have had a 90’s rock playlist running, I need to share this absolute gem with you from Temple of the Dog. A project that fused together members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Hear Chris Cornel in his staggering glory. For those of you who know, enjoy. For those of you that don’t… you soon will.
If the last time you touched a jump rope was in grade school, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. A trusted training method for boxers like Muhammed Ali, jumping rope improves stamina and conditioning while building speed and agility. But even if you’re coordinated and fit, there’s a learning curve to mastering any new movement. Plenty of CrossFit devotees and jump rope lovers struggle with double unders (two rotations of the jump rope per jump), a skill featured in several WODS. And since messing up means literally whipping oneself with the rope, practicing can become frustrating fast.
“There’s kind of that freak-out moment with the double unders,” says Shane Winsor, a jump coach at CrossFit Cadence and head coach of the RPM Fitness competitive jump rope team. “People are comfortable with single bounces [one revolution per jump] but then something spazzes out with the feet and their body goes crazy when they attempt double unders!” We asked Winsor, World Record holder for the most double unders in 60 seconds (164!), to share some of his tips for correcting common newbie mistakes. Let’s hop to it, and start jumping like this:
5 Double Under Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)
Mistake #1: Using your whole arm to move the rope.
If you’re swinging your arms like two windmills, there’s no way you’ll be able to get the rope around twice per jump. The key is learning to move the rope more efficiently.
The fix: It’s all in the wrist, says Winsor. He recommends starting off with the single bounce (one jump per revolution of the rope) to get comfortable. A quick flick of the wrist should be all you need to keep things moving for single jumps. Once you’ve got that down, try flicking faster and developing consistent swing timing. “If you watch the pros, the only thing that changes when they do double or triple unders is how high they jump,” Winsor explains. But trying to overcompensate for a slow wrist movement by jumping high won’t work for beginners, so be sure to get a fast flick down before experimenting with your jump height.
Mistake #2: Jumping with your feet too close together.
If you’ve got a habit of bringing your feet together when attempting your double unders, you’ll be thrown off balance very easily. It will cause you to jolt right and left or forward and back too much, wasting the energy you should be using to bounce up and down.
The fix: According to Winsor, your feet should be hip-distance apart. This stable base will give you control to perform a more coordinated jump. “A lot of people hang out on the ground too long,” he adds, explaining that your heels should make very little contact with the floor so you can rebound as quickly as possible.
Mistake #3: Launching into a pike or dolphin kick position in the air.
Shooting your legs out into a pike position or “dolphin kick” may seem as though it will earn you some extra time to swing the rope around. In reality though, you’ll land heavier and take more time to recover and rebound into your next jump.
The fix: Winsor recommends keeping your legs right under you in the air so they’re prepared to rebound as quickly as possible after landing on the balls of your feet. And keep in mind: Upon landing, your knees should bend a tad to absorb shock.
Mistake #4: Letting your arms float away from your body.
You’re in the zone when — BAM! — you get smacked in the shins or in the head by the rope. What went wrong? You might have subconsciously moved your arms away from your torso, which will make the rope’s arc around your body shorter.
The fix: “You want your elbows close to your rib cage,” says Winsor. Your arms should remain relatively motionless while naturally extending from the elbows, since your wrists should be doing all the work of turning the rope. Though it might be hard to think about when you’re first starting out, try and pay attention to your arms until the proper position becomes habit.
Mistake #5: Changing your rope every time you work out.
Picking up any old rope you find at the gym might be convenient, but different lengths and thicknesses will require you to adapt your tempo. As a beginner, it’s going to be hard to adjust on the fly.
The fix: Size up your strand before you start jumping. According to Winsor, the handles of the rope should hit between the breastbone and the armpits if you’re stepping on the rope with one foot. “So much of the double under is about rhythm and timing, and that will change if and when you switch ropes,” he says. Winsor recommends learning on the rope you want to end up with, be that a heavier or mid-weight rope or a lighter speed rope. Using the same rope every time can only help you.
Learn the Ropes
Ready to jump in? This ladder workout designed by Winsor will help you get on track with your double unders. Do one to three single bounces for every double under until you have enough control to complete continuous double under rotations.
MANPEDIA loves the look of this simplistic casual outfit.
From the bottom up: the sand coloured Chelsea boots, black distressed slim fit jeans and a wide neck slim fit black tee.
Shoulder Workout Routine To Add Serious Size To Your Shoulders.
Stick to a strict tempo
So, we do things. We plan and calculate paths we want to take but more often than not life will send us a few revisions of these plans and will generally fail to inform us that change is a-coming. My life was, as I saw it; sorted. I had a house that I could never see myself moving from, I had a daughter that was and of course still is a joy to watch grow up, I had a very well paid job albeit one I hated but i was able to work it around my life and I had a partner that quite honestly…I lost myself in. For me, change was all done with.
But no, life had other plans, big plans and not so nice plans. It put me through the mill, then the blender, then the press, then the dryer and then anything else it could think of and I began to lose various pieces of my life. I was, in not quite so hot shape. Broken, lost. It’s only now, now time has passed I can see that every scrap of pain, every tear, every scream and every single apparent dead end was deliberate. It was necessary and needed. As people it takes us trauma and heartache to see what we have and what life and love can be, and more importantly what it should be.
Something has changed again for me. It was scheduled or planned but it just ‘happened’ and that was I felt I didn’t want to talk over and over again about this chapter of my life. To me now it is stale, it is regurgitation and The Evolution of Me wasn’t ever meant to flog dead horses. It was to help me heal, it was to be an outlet for my pain and it was to be a channel for others to connect with and to help. A place to relate and listen. A place that said you are not alone, regardless of what you are going through and however dark these days may seem and feel you will emerge on the other side into brighter days. I am as I always will be, a regular guy. My story is not different nor special. It is just my story. I am neither a victim nor a villain. I just wanted the pain to end and find out if I could be happy again.
So I have found myself at another crossroads but this time it is up to me to investigate the change. It’s to make what I do here have real meaning beyond my story. The people I speak to when we interact about this channel are mind blowing. Their journeys are so relatable and even though they are individual to them each and every subject matter is something any of us have, can, will or may go through. It is time to leave port and set a new course. I know that elements of the origins of my tale will more than likely show interest in what I am doing. The podcast analytics have made that very clear but that is just a fragment, an insignificance. Just as closing those doors on all of my social channels from histories prying eyes was a measure I thought I needed to take to protect myself, in this modern age it seems if people want to keep track of you they will find a way. There was a switch that flipped though, one of those mind switches that changes how you see and think about things and it has happened for me. I see it now as to take this in a new direction, the body of The Evolution of Me is and always will be about a voice, an expression, an outlet. I created a platform that enabled me to heal and it is time to open the doors on it.
Although this is I guess what you could call my ‘safe place’ and it is a vocal diary that no doubt I will use for the rest of my life I want it to be primarily a place of inspiration, of motivation. Journeys and how people on this planet cope, how they motivate and push themselves forward day in day out. Not purely through hardship but in the quest to achieve goals, to break down barriers and never quit. That is maybe something I think we fail to understand. If you quit all you are doing is at best hitting the pause button but more than likely hitting rewind. Quitting is the easy option, it’s a get out that we drape a flimsy excuse over to attempt to justify our decision. It’s hard. Life is hard and as amazing as those good things are they are short lived if you do not challenge yourself. Life is a mugging, it is someone taking your wedding ring, it is a kick when you are down time and time again until you decide it is enough. Until you decide to make change happen. Life wont care if it’s hit you so many times that every bone in your body is broken, it wont care that you can’t breath, it will just keep coming like it or not.
You have to change what is happening to you, you have to decide that you don’t care how much it is going to hurt, you don’t care how long it’s going to take because you now know that nothing will ever be as painful as knowing you didn’t try, that you let life dictate to you how your life was going to be.
Not on my watch, not with a single working cell in our bodies will we stop pushing. It’s the ultimate boxing match with infinite rounds with an apparently unbeatable opponent. But this opponent has it’s own weakness, it’s own flaws. It underestimates you, it doesn’t know you, it thinks you are weak, broken. It doesn’t understand how powerful you are or how strong you have become. That is your key to victory because life can never be you, it can never take what you are away. You tell life what you are going to be. You might get there today, you might get there tomorrow or the day after but life underestimated you and you are taking the fight to life and you will not stop until you achieve what you have set out to. Your life, your happiness is yours to decide. It always must be. Don’t settle for anything short of exactly what you want and when you get it, don’t stop. Raise the bar and go again.
This is my lesson. Pain, tears, being broken into a billion pieces aren’t the constant to life they are guides, the tools to prepare us to see what life can be. I am not there but I will be because I see what is possible. Life can be a roll of the dice but there is nothing stopping you from picking up those dice again and again until you roll what you want.
Don’t settle, life is going to make you suffer regardless so suffer on your terms. Suffer for you and your own goals and dreams. Just don’t quit, even when there isn’t a scrap of evidence around you that what you are doing is right or working or even worth while. Then, look inside yourself and see it, feel it, know it.
It will happen, don’t quit. Ever.
Time, experience, life lessons, all things that seem to serve us best once we’ve travelled through them. With my mind running 24/7 and with the nature of the work I do I am quite frequently chopping in and out of the past, present and future. Examining what I have learnt, where I am heading and my general state of well being and how I can steadily improve it. Although we are constantly told the past is the past and there is no point looking back. Which I agree with completely because our focus should be absolutely straight ahead, living in the here and now and working on the future but some of our greatest achievements are in the past, some of our most colossal mistakes are back there too and both of these played a huge part in moulding us into who we are today and where we are today. So I see no harm in leaning back into a pool of experience and drawing from those lessons.
For me, it can be grounding and I believe it very healthy in practice. Not to over analyse but I see nothing wrong in a few reflections.
Naturally for me I have to draw a lot from my own ‘source material’ as it is after all what this is about. My evolution, but it is what we are all doing or hopefully what we are all doing. Evolution isn’t ginormous, bold changes and advancements. It’s small changes, daily patterns and rhythms built through consistency. That is our evolution, that is our prerogative. To be better people for ourselves and the by product of that is a better, happier positive energy projected outing this world that we all share. So the biggest thing for me is learning from my mistakes and hopefully never repeating them. This is something that I think I have got buttoned up now but I’m sure life will have no issue in pulling the rug out from under me to give me a little reminder. On the other hand though if I do balls it all up I won’t punish myself into eternity like I used to and I certainly won’t tolerate someone else thinking they have the right to do so either. This household now runs on a ‘I want to say this, have you said everything you wanted to say, ok lets move on’ policy. There is no time, no place for resentment or grudges around here. Say it, move on. Done. Life resumes.
Would I have done anything different? Not a question I really ask myself but probably a valid one all things considered. I get asked it a lot by people and I do have an answer for it; no. Of course I am only human and I have regrets, as much as we all preach to live life with no regrets but my regrets..aren’t really the ones you’d think they’d be. I regret not going to have a few more random beers with my dad, those little ad-hoc moments that I know would have meant so much to him too. This only really came home when going for a beer with my Movie Squad co-host and his old man. I’ve never really been an after work go get a pint merchant but I did sit there a little sombre on the inside thinking about those missed occasions. It’s those little things that lean towards regret. Passing up on an offer at university, shying away from something I really wanted to do. My biggest historical pattern of regret is not saying what I wanted to say, not speaking up and just rolling with it and letting the disappointment fester inside. Not the big cock ups, I kinda like those as I now know they moulded me the most. just maybe a sprinkling of wishing I should have acted on my gut instead of cowering away for the easy life. Which isn’t east by the way, it’s a bloody horrible nightmare.
I truly can not stress enough, which is a strange terminology if you think about it. Don’t stress full stop! But don’t let things haunt you, don’t let past decisions or those decisions that were made out of your hands affect you in the here and now. Certainly not after you’ve been through it, taken and learned the lesson. Drop that into the experience folder and move on. Naturally the scale of what you do go through bears direct relevence to how long it may take you to work through it and it may be something that requires indefinite monitoring and refinement but that’s ok, you’re doing it. Even with me and my very common experience it is still something that needs work. None of us are bulletproof and we all have stumbles and weak times. I’m certainly not excluded from that and now I tend to question peoples motives a lot more than I used to. I’ll look for their angle until I remind myself that their motives have no influence on me or what I am doing anyway. They can only do that if I allow that to happen.
So what would reaching 42 be like if I hadn’t made mistakes? What would it be like if I hadn’t been through everything I have? All those highs and lows. Well I’d still have all my guitars I know that much! But its an interesting and quite open question. My life could be absolutely identical or it could be quite literally any other version. If the old man had got his way we’d have moved to Portugal when I was a kid and things would have been mightily different, and at least I’d have that second language I have always craved. I must do that. Then I step back and think I wouldn’t have the daughter I have now. yes, I may have had a different wife, different children and a beach fronted mansion but I wouldn’t have her. That simple fact is worth going through my life a thousand times over. That is probably my greatest and most powerful yardstick of perspective I have. It doesn’t matter what I have been through and what I will go through during the rest of my life. She is why I couldn’t change a thing because she is quite simply irreplaceable. You can fall in and out of love, people come and go from your life, mistakes, opportunities. Bundle any measure up and it isn’t even fragment of her value.
As an individuals s a man I know my mind is incredibly active. I don’t really have an off switch. I’m actually writing this on a day I had set aside as a down day for me to just kick back and relax. Bearing in mind I’ve already done my food prep for the week and will be recording another episode of the geek podcast this afternoon, oh yeah and those photo shoot shots I need to edit… Down days don’t exist and I like it like that. As they say, you’re a long time dead and with that as a stark reminder that we are, so make the most of every second and don’t waste your time delving too much into your own last and history. you don’t need a pat on the back for past glories and you don’t need to administer additional punishment for those mistakes that are long over.
If you need a reference point then have a look back. I see how something made me feel, what caused it and most importantly how I dealt with it and if I could have improved that response. As I said at the start, it’s evolution. Not landing on the moon (didn’t happen). Draw from strengths and weaknesses. I have learned that it is having and recognising those flaws that it grounds us in a way to better deal with the tombola of life.
Be imperfect. I am, very much so but I am aware that although I will forever remain imperfect that it doesn’t mean I can’t improve myself, it doesn’t mean I am all bent up, twisted or broken. I’m just human, a human that wants to evolve into the best I can be and for me in order to do that I dip back into my past lessons and experiences. I allow myself to be open and I allow myself to draw from them.
It is all you, and me. Look in the mirror and you will see your past, present and future looking back at you in your reflection.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton