Big D in Dallas

December 8, 2009

As I strained my neck to see the ball soar through the air at Cowboys Stadium, I couldn’t help but mutter a prayer, and a curse for Jerry Jones, under my breath. It was all on the line: an undefeated season, a national championship game, an agonizing post game interview where we try to find out why Colt McCoy decided to have a stroll out of the pocket as time expired. And I pretty much missed it, thanks to the aforementioned JJ.

While practically every stadium in the country allows us vaunted members of the media on the field for the final 5 minutes, the Cowboys do not, meaning I was watching the biggest moment of Texas’ season over a crowd of supremely pissed reporters under the bowels of Jerry’s new stadium. I thought the kick was wide, the Texas-friendly crowd cheered wildly, the TV, on a 7 second tape delay, showed it was good by thismuch and I was able to take a breath before suffocating. Close one. As a sidenote, I would have linked to my story, but thanks for having a server problem. You’re about as reliable as Texas’ interior O-line.

Now for something fun:

See Vince run into a crowd of people? The guy in the white shirt that he is closest to is The Daily Texan reporter who came down from the press box for the final five minutes. That should have been me Saturday! Anyway, latent bitterness aside, what a game. Texas, and myself, are going to the Rose Bowl on January 7th for the national title after the most ridiculous of 13-12 wins over Nebraska.

If the NC game is anything like Saturday night, or January 4, 2006, for that matter, I recommend a steady diet of low cholesterol foods, no caffeine or anything that could clog your arteries, because you’re going to have your heart in your mouth for a good 4 hours. You’ve been warned.

Back to the game. What a display by Ndamukong Suh, who might be the most athletic person to grace college football in, well, ever. At 300 pounds, Suh looked like the strongest, fastest and smartest person on the field.  I think we can  assume he ate his vegetable growing up. He also had this icy, assasin’s cool to him in the post-game while his head coach was blowing up over the clock controversy. He’s just cold blooded, let’s move on before I get flashbacks to him throwing McCoy like a sack of potatoes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our detours into Texas football. It’s not exactly fitness and outdoors, but it’s close enough, and who wants to read another gym review anyway? See you in Pasadena.


Sokker, Fußball, Fútbol, Soka

November 23, 2009

By The Vancouver Sun

It has the greatest number and size of stadiums around the world, the number of people who wear football merchandise, number of people who are aware of football, and the number of leagues/tournaments worldwide. This makes soccer the most popular sport worldwide, more specifically in the UK, Europe, Asia and South America (America is still lagging behind in their interest with soccer). As we speak, countries are battling it out to gain a spot in FIFA’s 2010 World Cup-a championship tournament that takes place once every four years- hosted by South Africa (did you hear about the scandal between Ireland and France? Sucks for Ireland).

I was lucky enough to attend a World Cup pre-qualifier match between Jordan and S.Korea. Take a look as Korea scores their second goal.

For those not really interested in the spectator aspect of soccer, it’s also a major calorie burner for the casual player. One can burn up to 475 per hour (on a 150lb person). And if you’re looking for some cardio, look to run up 3 miles every time you wanna play a pick-up game; the average professional player runs up to 7 miles per game.

Not only do you not have to be a pro to play this game, but while you’re burning up those (holiday) calories learning to play you can also make new friends.

While it can be slim pickings in finding team to play with outside of UT, why even look? Part of UT’s IM sports includes, none other than… soccer! While it’s a bit late in the game to be signing up to play-my team is playing for championships tonight-check back at the Intramural site before Sept. 27 next year.

Since we’re on the topic of soccer, you all have probably heard about the uber aggressive female soccer player, Elizabeth Lambert. If you haven’t already seen the clip be sure to do so.

Some people believe that her actions were taken out of context while others believe that she deserves to be suspended. What do you think? Leave your comments!

Cycling for Your Life

November 23, 2009

Spending as much time as I do at the Rec Center, I have observed all activities and I have to say the most challenging and sweatiest workout is group cycling.

Its also the most popular. 

The Rec Center has the only cycling studio on campus and any student or member can participate if they purchase the group cycling pass.


The pass is only $40 a semester and if you purchase the combo pass that includes TexerCise classes it is only $100. 

“Cycling is just part of my weekly workouts,” JV Vong said. “Its worth the money.” 

There are 13 different cycling classes you can choose:

Group Cycling:  For all participant levels. (beginner – advanced)

Group Cycling Express:
A 45-mintute group cycling class for those on the go.

Power 40:  designed for those who are short on time but high on motivation over their lunch hour (beginner – advanced)

Endurance Ride: A 60-minute class that involves cardio challenges, hills, varying speeds and resistance, and endurance segments. (beginner – advanced)

Endurance Ride PLUS: A 90-minute class for the weekend warriors out there. 75 minutes on the bike plus a 10-minute stretching segment. This class ends with 5 minutes of pure relaxation.

Cycle 40/20/20: Great for those who are looking for a complete workout! Cycle for 40-minutes, do 20-minutes of upper body exercises, and finish with 20-minutes of core and flexibility work. (beginner – advanced)

Cycle + Abs: A 40-45-minute cycling workout followed by 15-minutes of great abdominal exercises. (beginner – advanced)

Cycle + Pilates: A great cycling workout on the bike – followed by a Pilates segment to lengthen and strengthen your entire body. No previous Pilates experience necessary. (beginner – advanced)

Cycle + Sculpt: Combine the best of both worlds and reap the benefits of a cycling class infused with sculpting and group strength exercises.

Cycle + Upper Cuts: Complete a great cycling workout and finish up with some amazing upper body exercises to tone, strengthen, and define.

Cycle + Yoga: Get a great cardio workout and follow it up with a yoga segment. The perfect combination for a complete mind/body workout! (beginner – advanced)

Hill Ride: This class will focus on hill specific movements and will challenge and improve your lower body strength and cardiovascular system. Shake up your cycling routine and try this class! (beginner – advanced)

Speed & Interval Ride: Consists of fast flats, standing and seated runs, and intervals galore! (intermediate – advanced) 

And be prepared to sweat because the classes are challenging and although it is a group class, you can set your own personal speed and rate that fits how you feel. Just remember to bring a towel and water bottle to every class and arrive at least five minutes early because they fill up fast. 

“It is the most intense workouts I have,” senior Myrna Rombado said. “Looking in the room it seems easy and basic but its not like an ordinary bike ride. The instructors are intense too.”

Football Fever

November 23, 2009

So the following post has little to do with calories, carbs or Frisbee, but it does involve fitness and it did take place outdoors, and is thus germane.

Saturday night was a historic one in college football as Texas quarterback Colt McCoy won his 43 game, more than any quarterback ever before him. Now fear not dear reader(s), this is not a fanboy post dripping with burnt orange pride.

As an accredited member of the media, I’ve been covering Texas football all season for  The Daily Texan, a mostly legitimate student newspaper. As such, I’ve had the task and the privilege of traveling across the span of the country, and Oklahoma, to report on games in Wyoming, Missouri and the aforementioned “state”.

While waking up at 6 a.m. for a flight to Denver and drive to Laramie (right, where?) with an impromptu fog attack in between, and driving 26 hours in a weekend to Columbia and back were previously the highlights of this endevour, last night now probably takes the cake.

Hearing a whole stadium chant McCoy’s name in appreciation of the last four years was pretty special. Standing right next to him, and Bevo, and the UT cheerleaders,  as he completed his victory lap was even better.

Thanks to aaronisnotcool from flick

As members of the media, we get to go down on the field for the last few minutes of the game. In this case, we witnessed a whole bunch of celebration, including a dog pile of very, very big men at midfield, and McCoy firing Smokey the cannon and banging Big Bertha. You can read about the game here.

Thanks to aaronisnotcool on flickr

For those who need filling in, Texas is now 11-0 and two wins (against A&M Thursday and Nebraska on December 5th) from a potential national championship game in California. See you there?

Back to the fitness aspect, in a desperate attempt to establish some sort of relevance for this post, these players represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement. And most of it comes through hard work. Mack Brown (here I am name dropping) wastes no chances to tell us about the 6 a.m. workouts he puts his players through on a weekly basis, the hours in the weight room, the meals missed and calories counted.

But they’re not perfect. Sometime-starter at running back Cody Johnson has a well-chronicled battle with weight, which cost him his starting spot at the beginning of the year. But after dropping 20 pounds, mostly by avoiding his mom’s cooking and a rigorous work out schedule, Johnson has run his way into 12 touchdowns this year, most on the team.

So if you need a little inspiration to keep going, just think of Cody Johnson. Pretend he’s behind you and wants to eat you, that’ll keep you going.



Inevitable Intramurals

November 16, 2009

With over 90 percent of the student body at UT participating in the Division of Recreational Sports, most have played or have known a friend that has played on an intramural sport team. Whether it is flag football, soccer, basketball or softball, they are all great ways to stay active, fit and meet some new friends along the way. 


The program at UT started in 1916 and is one of the oldest in the nation. And forget about the IM fields, Gregory or Clark field existing. The original sports of baseball, basketball, track, handball and tennis took place in the basement of the main building and were of course strictly male. 

Of course women are now welcome to play all sports thanks to our good friend Anna Hiss , who we learned about earlier, with more than 100 team and individual events every year. 

“I started playing intramurals as a freshman and it really is resposible for some of my best memories as a student,” senior Turner Thornton said.” “I made great friends and got to keep playing sports past high school even though I’m not a student athlete.” 


The Mecca and prize for all athletes participating in is of course an intramural championship and the iconic T-shirt that is handed out to the winners of every league. 

“We won co-ed basketball my sophomore year and it was so much fun,” senior Megan Clark said. “I still wear the shirt every-time its clean.” 

Intramural sports are also an opportunity for freshman to get involved and create memories in their first year, even if they don’t really know everyone on the team. 


“I’m 6-foot-8 so I’ve gotten recruited by a bunch of basketball teams already,” freshman Roy Zwenermann said. “I played football earlier in the year because I knew one person on the team and they needed an extra guy, but it was great.” 

The flag football championships are finishing up right now with basketball right around the corner in the spring semester. So grab a group of friends and sign up for a team. Even if you don’t win, its a great experience at a university like UT.