A Perfect Fall

A Perfect Fall

At CBF, falling is considered an important physical skill. Just like lifting, throwing or jumping, safe falling requires technique and practice.

Last week, we had the good luck to have the camera on, recording hockey drills, when Gretchen lost her balance and took an unplanned sideways fall. If falling were in the Rio Olympics, she would score a perfect 10. Watch the video, then we’ll discuss it. Note that there are some freeze frames so you can see what is happening – nothing is wrong with the video or your computer.

In step #1, notice as she starts down, her hand and arm extend in preparation for contact. She also starts to fold her right knee. Both of these will slightly slow the fall. Her arm is never braced straight in an attempt to stop it. She’s going with the flow.

In step #2, she’s touched down. Her wrist and elbow are slightly bent as she begins to transfer the momentum into a roll, which dissipates the force of the fall away from her shoulder and hip.

In step #3, she makes a beautiful roll. Hips and shoulders are aligned – no twisting of the spine. Her head is tucked up, away from the floor. This side roll will be familiar to every CBF regulars because we practice it at least once a month.

Gretchen really gave us a master lesson on what a side fall looks like when you put all the pieces together – perfectly.

Hildy – Fun, Fun, Fun

Hildy – Fun, Fun, Fun

Hildy, age 67, says she was “unathletic” all her life. Being from southern California, she did some swimming, but that was about it. The closest she came to sports in her youth was being a scorekeeper for the baseball team.

In adulthood, she has enjoyed walking and gardening, but she just didn’t find what she was looking for in exercise classes – too repetitive and regimented.

Hildy decided she needed to try an exercise program again because, in her words, she felt “old and creaky” and “didn’t want to lean down to fill the cat bowl.” She found what she was looking for at CBF.

Hildy is exceptional. Unlike most CBFer’s, she had little experience with formal exercise. But, as you’ll see in this video, she’s a natural. She knows how to move and make exercise fun.

Says Who?

Says Who?

Most of us un-youngs at CBF have one or more physical issues – medical, musculoskeletal, or both. All of these can be aggravated, especially when it comes to exercise, if they are accompanied by mental issues as well.

The June 2016 issue of the IDEA Fitness Journal, the trade publication for the American Council on Exercise certified personal trainers like us, had an article about negative mindsets that get in the way of people achieving their exercise goals. This picture lists ten negative mindsets. See if any are familiar to you.


We’re not big on psycho-babble and definitely not trained as shrinks, but when we hear hints of these ten mindsets, we encourage CBFer’s not to believe them because they make exercise efforts less fulfilling and fun. 

The list overlooks the most limiting mindset for older adult exercisers, which is:

I’m too old. 

Says who? For what?

You don’t find CBFer’s who believe this. In every Younger Games, they meet physical challenges that would test people half their age. They can still rock and roll.




The Kayak Circuit

The Kayak Circuit

CBF may have been closed for the holiday, but we still did a circuit – in our kayak on the Deschutes with our family. Everything we do in the Younger Games develops physical capabilities to meet challenges outside the gym. This outing is proof.


Here’s what the “kayak circuit” consisted of (with gym exercises in the parentheses):

First, we lifted (kettlebell dead lift) and carried (farmer’s carry with kettlebell) our 84 pound kayak out onto the grass by the Subaru at home. With a squat and lift onto the shoulder (biceps curl, sandbag squat), we moved the bow of the kayak (overhead press) onto the rear rack. Then, using both arms, we pulled up the back of the kayak (upright row) and pushed (plough horses) it all the way onto the front rack. The same movements were reversed to unload the kayak at Riverbend Park, where it was carried (farmer’s carry) to the water’s edge.

Amidst a mob of people, we stepped into the kayak (front lunge onto unstable Bosu) and sat down (squat, bench or parallettes triceps dip)). We paddled away (one arm rows with bands or TRX) from shore.

With our son and daughter-in-law in one kayak and daughter and son-in-law in another and four grandchildren on large inner tubes lashed together and armed with long-range water guns, we headed downriver. As soon as we cleared the crowd at the launch site, our grandchildren attacked with their water guns. Paddling close to them, we retaliated by using our paddles to splash them back with quick torso rotations and arm thrusts (heavy bag, wall ball, med ball throws with side rotations). Floating on rafts with no paddles, they could not move upstream, so we escaped them by paddling backwards (alternating one arm presses) out of range.

We landed just before the Colorado Bridge and exited onto shore (triceps dip, squat up, side lunge off Bosu), pulled the kayak (band tug of war) onto shore, then portaged it (a very long farmer’s carry, tennis ball grip), and the other two, north beyond the bridge for re-entry.  Before pushing off, we agreed to a water battle ceasefire because we had been getting innocent non-participants wet during the first leg.

A lunge, squat, triceps dip and a few paddles later, we were back on the river for a languid drift. We arrived back on shore in Drake Park, again repeating movements (squats, overhead presses, biceps curls, farmer’s carries) to get out of the kayak, get it out of the water, carry it to the street where (lucky to find a parking space) we loaded it on the Subaru.  We drove home, unloaded it and placed it alongside the garage, ready for the next time.

Just like after a gym workout, the kayak circuit caused some DOMs the next day and the next – a small price to pay for an adventure with family.

Next year our grandkids will be bigger and stronger. We better train harder.














The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Team games can spice up exercise by getting the competitive juices flowing, which helps you exert a little harder while forgetting the discomfort that comes with it. And they can be fun, as you’ll see in the video below of a small-sided game of CBF Doubles Handball.

There are two downsides of team competition CBFer’s (mostly) remain alert for. One is the tribal instincts that lead people to become aggressive instead of just competitive. The other is becoming too critical because she/he, or a teammate, is not performing at the level they might desire.

The games are always fun when you stay focused on the Big Picture – your own movements and teamwork. In the video, with each CBFer you see some great skills and athleticism that require hand eye coordination, squats, lunges, rotation, quick reactions, reaching, and jumping. These skills are there for when you want or need them outside the gym.

In the Big Picture, whether your team wins or loses, you still win.