Course Correction

Despite an impending deadline for The Pack: Lie with the Dead (sequel to Winter Kill — shill, shill), I’ve spent most of the week obsessing about health and fitness.

I started by thinking about diet again, both what I eat and the quantity I put in. It’s a lot better than it used to be, but it’s still not what it should be. I’ve stalled out on weight loss since my first couple of years in karate, and my doc would like to see my cholesterol figures improve. Make no mistake, my karate training keeps me fit for my size. If I lost a few extra pounds, though, it would help prevent future problems.

I also need to put running off for a bit. While I did get a run in the other night, I woke up the next morning and discovered my plantar fasciitis had gone into overdrive. I’m working on some stretches out of a Men’s Health sports injuries book to correct it, but I see no sense aggravating it in the meantime, especially because it will interfere with my karate training. I’m going to wait until late Spring or early Summer to reevaluate. (In the meantime, I did pick up another Nike+ sensor and it’s ready to go when my damn foot is.)

That’s when I started thinking about my body type. I’m short and stumpy, not built for speed at all. I can fool myself into running when my foot’s up to it, but I can accept it’s not something I’ll ever be good at. I am, however, built for power. I’ve been doing well with the One Hundred Push-ups plan again, and in karate I can pick up a 220-pound classmate, spin him on my shoulders, and set him down to mimic a throw without dropping him. My karate instructor and I have been talking about supplementing our karate workouts with strength training, and this week it occurred to me strength training may get the best benefits for me for the time being.

Unfortunately my karate instructor and I couldn’t make our schedules jive, so he joined a gym near his home. I checked out two local gyms, but they were all about machines. To get a full range of traditional weight gear, I’d have to drive a half hour or so and I wouldn’t have 24-hour access. I have a bad habit of waiting until late to get my home workouts done. It’s not uncommon for me to be doing karate in the living room at 10:30 or 11:00pm, and I’ve even been out for runs at midnight the last two summers.

So, it’s time to look at getting my own bench. I found a folding bench set on Amazon, and the Wife and I measured my office and it will just fit.

Bench Set

If I turn it into a coat rack or book shelf, she'll shoot me.

We’ll be ordering it soon. I don’t need to get huge or buff, but if I can tone things up and trim off some more fat like I did when I worked out with a pulley machine in my old garage, I’ll be happy. It’s also right here in the house, putting off excuses like having to travel, going out in the rain, etc. I just have to fit it into my existing home workout schedule.

Of course, it reminds me of the Joe Piscopo reference in Family Guy. I’ll just work out when I’m not writing. D’oh.

I guess that’s my long, rambling way of saying it’s time to change things up. If I can’t run without threatening the primary exercise, it’s time to find another way to supplement it. I can always use more strength for both karate and judo, and as artist and gym rat Mike Henderson tells me, I can still get a good cardio workout if I do it right.

I’m not giving up on anything, just making a course correction. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some more push-ups to bust out before I get back to the keyboard to write.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.


  1. Noah L says:

    Yeah, I’m unfortunately not built for power or for running, so I have to rely on speed :P

  2. Weston Ochse says:

    Yo Mike. Looking good, man. I recently read the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. It has a low carb diet with a huge cheat day, but that’s too hard. But there was a lot of other good advice about how cold showers, lemon juice, certain exercises right after you eat, and what to eat within 60 minutes of waking up to keep your metabolism going. I’m with you. I don’t want a turn around, just course corrections. That’s a good term for it. What’s helped me tremendously is what’s often referred to as the Sacred Heart Diet. It’s a fad diet, but it’s healthy and lets me eat as much as I want. I do it one week on, two weeks off. I’ve lost 30 pounds so far. Just thought I’d share. If you’re interested at all in the latter, I have a modification that works awesome.

    And I say order the coat rack. It looks like it can hold a bunch of them.


    • Mike says:

      Yeah, there doesn’t need to be craziness. Just don’t eat like an idiot and get some exercise. I wish we could do all our shopping at places at organic markets, as it would be even easier, but it’s not a big deal, we just have to be a little more careful. That’s why I like the Abs Diet; despite the fad-sounding name, it’s just eat better and work out.

      I’ve not heard of the Sacred Heart Diet. You’ve got me curious.