Skip to content

Sweet Kicks

May 15, 2010
So I recently picked up a pair of the new fad shoe, Vibram Five Fingers. They definitely lived up to the hype. From the minute I slipped my toes inside, I knew I had found my new favorite toy. They are just as comfortable as slippers, without the limiting factor of functionality.
The color I got is ridiculously flashy…I call them “Avatar” feet. I walked around the inner harbor with these bad boys on and had a bunch of different people ask me about them. Everyone just seemed curious, and surprisingly not one person made any comment about the shoes being silly or anything.
I’ve copied the website’s tagline intro here for a detailed description:

So I recently picked up a pair of the new fad shoe, Vibram Five Fingers. They definitely lived up to the hype. From the minute I slipped my toes inside, I knew I had found my new favorite toy. They are just as comfortable as slippers, without the limiting factor of functionality.
The color I got is ridiculously flashy…I call them “Avatar” feet. I walked around the inner harbor with these bad boys on and had a bunch of different people ask me about them. Everyone just seemed curious, and surprisingly not one person made any comment about the shoes being silly or anything.
I’ve copied the website’s tagline intro here for a detailed description:

The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.

That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception.

Benefits:

Walk more anatomically correct

  • Most sneakers tend to encourage heal-to-toe walking/running. These shoes encourage better posture and strengthen your feet.
  • For my martial arts (Jiu Jitsu, boxing, JKD), we are barefoot most of the time. I always look forward to getting to the gym and taking off my shoes to roll around…wearing these shoes all the time will help me develop more foot/ankle strength.

Comfort

  • The fabric on the upper part of your foot keeps it cool and dry (no more blisters due to wet socks mid-run). This thin fabric runs in between your toes, so you can feel your toes touching each other (for a barefoot feel).
  • The sole is designed to simulate barefoot walking/running, so small rocks/glass/sticks on the road go unnoticed.

Style

  • At first, I assumed that I would look ridiculous wearing these things around. But the truth is…I kind of like the attention they bring. It’s a fun lead-in to a conversation with anybody.
  • There are definitely circumstances where I might get annoyed with giving the same speech though.

First Post…

March 29, 2010

So I decided to start a blog for a few reasons:

  1. Have a digital collection of my personal thoughts (it will be good to look back on when i’m old and probably lost my mind).
  2. Reach out to people that actually want to listen to my ideas (as opposed to me blabbering on to someone who’s disinterested and doesnt wanna be rude and tell me to shut up). haha
  3. Eliminate the inefficiency of discussing the same topic with different people (or not being succint enough).

That being said, I don’t have a particular vision in mind for how this blog will develop. For now, I supposed I will simply “blog” (Websters: to author an online diary or chronology of thoughts).

You don’t have to read this….keep that in mind going in. I’m really just thinking out loud. There are some cool topics discussed below if you’re interested in such things:

————————————————————————————–

Joe Rogan, NYC, and Isolation Tank

Joe Rogan:

This past weekend I took a trip up to NYC, inspired by Joe Rogan (my new favorite comedian and overall public figure – most famous for hosting Fear Factor and the UFC). I’ve been training and competing in Jiu Jitsu tournaments pretty actively for about 9 months now…turns out Joe is a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Tae Kwan Do.

Aside – My Mixed Martial Arts training: I’ve been training pretty actively in many forms of combat martial arts the past 9 months (Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do (Bruce Lee’s style), Muay Thai, and Brazillian Jiu Jitsu). I’m training for a Brazillian Jiu Jitsu competition in Newark in 2 weeks, and I’m pretty pumped about that (submission-based wrestling – no punching or strikes). I got 3rd place in my last tournament after just a few months training. I’m feeling confident for the upcoming NAGA tournament. I’ll post some stuff on that (i’m going to be linking my competition videos and such to my blog soon – they’re on my facebook site for now).

Me executing an armbar on on of my coaches with a nice neck hook for effect.

Anyway…I went to see Joe Rogan perform live at the Gotham Comedy club on Friday night and it was a fantastic show. I was a bit concerned that a majority of his material would be duplicated from his recent performances (YouTube and new CD), but I was definitely surprised to witness his performance of almost exclusively fresh ideas and jokes. The guy’s an interesting character with unconventional opinions that he voices in a extremely intelligent ways. His arguements are well-developed and he rarely appears to stretch the truth for personal gain (a quality that is quite rare these days). I believe I think on a similar wavelength as Joe, which [for me] ultimately boils down to a strong resitance to conforming to conventional views.

As we waited on line for the 10:30pm show, we were fortunate enough to witness the bouncers of the club LITERALLY THROWING a drunk guy out onto the street. From the patter around the club we found out that this guy didn’t pay his bill for whatever reason. My buddy Scott got smashed with the door as the drunkard barrel rolled out onto the sidewalk. It was pretty awesome to witness up close…it’s also crazy how fast it happens. Alcohol is one hell of a drug huh? This guy was so drunk he couldn’t form a normal sentence. On a similar note, Rogan is notorious for completely “owning” hecklers, and this night was no exception. While it is obvious that the party with the spotlight, microphone, and crowd support has the upper hand in such confrontations, Joe did not dissappoint as he absolutely belittled mutiple heckers with sophisitcated and well-spoken arguments.

– – – – –

Check his stuff out:

CLICK HERE – YouTube Video – Joe Rogan talks about Noah’s Ark *

CLICK HERE – YouTube Video – Joe Rogan on Tiger attack

CLICK HERE – YouTube Video – Joe Rogan speaks his mind on evolution

CLICK HERE – YouTube Video – T-Rex

CLICK HERE – YouTube Video – Joe Rogan on Suicide Bombers, babies, and fighter jets.


Or visit www.JoeRogan.net

————————————————————————————–

Isolation Tank:

(top) Isolation tank almost identical to the one I went in. This is a very comfortable environment with tall ceilings and lots of room to spread out. Like the dead sea on steriods (in a good way).

(bottom) The older tanks back in the 80’s and 90’s were egg shaped tanks or tanning bed style (more claustrophobic than modern tanks and were limiting because you would often drift to the more closely-spaced walls – less roomy).

– – – – –

A second reason for visiting the city was to experience an Isolation Tank (another Joe Rogan suggestion). I’ve been interested in meditation and the importance of sleep for proper balance of neurochemical lately (spurred from my studies of martial arts). The isolation tank is supposed to be fantastic for this kind of thing.

I’ve been explaining it as “assisted meditation” because it just makes it easy for a normal person to get into a deep meditative state by relaxing every inch of their body because you just float effortlessly!

I was blown away….it was incredible! Mind blowing. In a brief summary, an isolation tank is a “Sensory Deprived Environment” where you strive to completely detach your mind from your body. Similar to meditation, an isolation tank allows one to remove all sensory input to your brain (meditation is limited in many respects because your subconcious  mind is still “fighting” gravity or attempting to “block” other sensory inputs such as smell, touch, or audible noises). The float tank is simply a big bath loaded with over 1000 pounds of epson salt (similar to the dead sea) which allows you to float effortlessly. Eventually, the lights are shut off (100% darkness) and your ears lay below the surface of the water so the only sounds you hear are internal (breathing/hearbeat). I must emphasize the extent of this “effortless-ness.” The buoyant force is so strong that it is legitimately like walking into an anti-gravity chamber. What makes the isolation tank different than just a salt water bath is the interesting part: the water AND air temperature aim to be approximately 95 degrees (temperature of human skin). This allows for an interesting phemonomen to occur: the nerves on your skin can hardly tell the difference between water, skin, and air! As you lay in this bath, you feel like you are floating in a silky membrane with no sensation whatsoever. As you stabilize in the tank, you can begin the “unwinding” process of letting yourself go. Ultimately you strive to release your body of all tensions and pressures, and when the lights go out you are left with just your thoughts.

WHY DO ALL THIS?!?

 At deep levels of meditative thought in the tank your mind regulates certain chemicals that are released when in deep REM sleep. I actually saw bright colors and crazy looking shapes moving around for extended periods. Wierddd but cool experience…your brain is simply playing tricks on you because it is without any input from any of your 5 senses for the first time EVER!

I think everyone should check it out at least once to see for themselves. It’s too hard to explain what this really feels like. No worries about claustrophobia or anything like that, the ceilings are 6 feet high and you can just stand up in the HIGHLY unlikely chance you feel uncomfortable. If you can get into a deep enough mental state in the tank, you will be blown away with the internal reflection you are cabable of having. Even without getting to a deep mental state, it’s very relaxing at the very least. The isolation tank is a very personal experience that allows one to familiarize themselves with their own body. (many people tend to be complete strangers to themselves and as such often live their lives with a lot of confusing internal conflict…

***Being in the tank is like a very very DEEP daydream that lasts for a longgg time – and you get a chance to self-evaluate about a lot of things. Just trust me and check it out. It’s not just hype!***

– – – – – –

CLICK HERE for some more specific information on benefits of floating

 CLICK HERE to see where there are places that let you experience “float therapy”

My first experience was great and I highly recommend this place (http://www.bluelightfloatation.com/). It is a small one-tank facility run by one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Mention my name if you decide to call up.

————————————————————————————–

NYC:

Overall I had a great weekend in city…except for the fact that it’s ridiculously overpriced…$17.25 for a 6-pack at this one store (usually $13 which is still insane). It’s an awesome place to live if you can afford it, but at this point in my life I’d rather just visit once in a while.

Saturday night we went out to Canal Room (downtown club with live music – there was this awesome 80’s cover band playing. They played every hit from the 80’s wearing costumes and all. The place was packed too.

This soloist dominated the Val Halen – Eruption solo!

(I took a class at school called “History of Rock Music.”  Van Halen was a ridiculously skilled guitarist that inspired bands like Nirvana and exploded the electric guitiar age into the 90’s).

My ears are still ringing but they were very talented.

I got a chance to walk around Union Square Park on Saturday afternoon for the farmers market. It was pretty awesome to see this kind of stuff in the middle of a city trumped by skyscrapers, taxis, rushing pedestrian traffic, and general air/noise pollution….guess I never stopped to notice it much before…


I really enjoyed writing this first blog post and I hope I have the motivation to frequently update it as time goes on. It’ll be a cool thing to check out years from now and remember the stuff I did.

————————————————————————————–

Jason Krueger, 3-29-2010

————————————————————————————–