Regular readers of this site don't need to be told that I love coffee. To be more precise, I believe in coffee. Loaded with antioxidants and natural goodness, coffee is one of those little pleasures in life. Sometimes when it's quiet in the house and everyone is asleep at night, I catch myself pining for the morning so I can get downstairs and pour that first batch of the day into a big, blue cup.
Some research indicates that coffee appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and gout. Better yet, because it's loaded with those glorious antioxidants, it stops free radicals from damaging cells.
Better yet, coffee can be a load of fun. Once, for no particular reason other than I was in college and had nothing better to do, I drank nothing but a Colombian hazelnut brew continuously and stared at my face in the mirror until I actually saw the hair on my face grow.
Then we went bowling.
I don't recall what my score was from that outing on the lanes, but I bet it was pretty good. That's because coffee can also be classified as a performance-enhancer. In fact, the glorious caffeine that is the main stimulant found in those roasted beans is classified as a banned substance by the I.O.C. in certain doses. Actually, because of the ban on greenies and other amphetamines in baseball, coffee urns are quite prevalent in big-league dugouts and clubhouses.
For folks that like to train for and run marathons, coffee is very much a part of the training regimen. Speaking for myself, I don't move very well in the morning without coffee chased by approximately 90-fluid ounces of water/electrolyte replacement.
It's a strict drug regimen that helps keep my mind limber.
However, if there is no time for the coffee to settle in before I have to get out the door extra early, a glucose gel fortified with about 100 calories and caffeine does the trick.
After all, the point is to pile up the work in order to make the lungs and legs stronger than Babe the Blue Ox. Because there is no limit to a human's aerobic capacity, strength over a long distances is a matter of piling on as much work as possible. Sometimes it's a balancing act between health and injury, which very well could be the issue with Shane Victorino and his seemingly chronic calf problems.
Victorino, the Phillies' center fielder, is on the 15-day disabled list with a calf injury. Worse, it's the second time the so-called "Flyin' Hawaiian" has landed on the disabled list since last August with an injured calf. The calf muscle, of course, is the engine of the leg. If a person has trouble with their knees, hamstrings or quads, chances are the problem began in the calf.
Meanwhile, calf injuries are largely preventable. Most times they are caused by tightness, tiredness, hydration issues, or weakness. Certainly all sorts of variables could lead to those problems, but usually it doesn't take anything more than a few strengthening and training adjustments to correct the problem.
Then again, maybe Victorino wasn't properly healed before he jumped back into the action last season. Healing, after all, takes time just like building strength does.
Speaking of coffee, I finally got a chance to try out the Pikes Place blend at Starbucks the other day. The much-heralded blend from the uber-coffee shop is an attempt for the company to go back to the old days when it was all about the coffee and simplicity and not all the other stuff it seems to focus on these days.
The hook with the Pikes Place coffee is that it isn't over-roasted like all of Starbucks' other blends. In fact, each shop posts when each particular batch was roasted in order to advertise some sort of bourgeoisie-ness in which the date a coffee is roasted is vital information.
People need to know this.
Anyway, according to a story in Time Magazine the Pikes Place blend is supposed to be lighter and crisper cup of coffee for "people who don't like Starbucks."
I don't know... I guess that's right. Then again it seems as if my palate is ruined from drinking Starbucks coffee too much.
Kind Coffee of Colorado... now that's a cup of coffee.
In other news, Chelsea Clinton dropped into my neighborhood today -- with Ted Danson, too...
Yeah, I didn't see it. I'm too busy watching Michael Bourn beat the Phillies.
Apparently her mom is in Philly doing something on the other end of town.