PAN AM Triathlon Footwork

pan am triathlon          Triathletes are overcomers!  Of the three sports – swimming, biking and running – most triathletes are stronger in two. Bikers and runners, for example, may have poor ankle flexibility and find it difficult to do the straight-footed swimming kick. With one finish line, the clock is a tyrant for triathletes. Training becomes a lifestyle. Many do interval workouts based on the comparative energy required in each sport. Using the rule of thumb that 100 yards of swimming = ¼ mile of running = 1 mile of biking, they build up training blocks to beat the clock. (1)

The big time wasters are the transitions from swimming to biking and from biking to running.  Triathletes move from wet to dry, from no shoes to shoes, from horizontal to semi-vertical to vertical, from using one set of muscles to another, to another. Frustration can plague transitions: getting a foot stuck in a wet suit, lacing up shoes quickly, and managing blistered, swollen feet. Their woes compel wise preparation for every ‘next race’.  Triathletes are organized!  They enter transitions with physical and mental preparedness.

Swim –Balanced Footwork

The triathlete runs into shallow water before she begins to ‘dolphin’ – a shallow dive or leap forward. First, gliding under water, she stands up and leaps further into the water until it is deep enough to swim. She minimizes her freestyle swim kicks to stay balanced and to conserve energy.  Toes pointed, of course. Near the end, she ‘changes gear’, increasing her swim kick to get her blood flowing in preparation for moving on land.

Transition 1

On terra firma, she sprints to the bike racks.  Carrying her bike upright, she heads to the mount line. Alternatively, her bike is ready with shoes attached by rubber bands to the pedals; she hops on and coasts with her feet on top. As she starts to cruise, she puts her feet into her shoes.

Bike – Rhythmic Footwork

Eyes on the road and not her feet, the triathlete concentrates on her pedaling stroke. Initially, she works at a rhythm to let her heart rate calm down and to get ‘her legs back’.  Soon enough, she increases her tempo, pushing straight down on the pedal at the three o’clock position. With several minutes remaining she starts thinking “RUN”. She changes into a slightly bigger gear and pedals standing up. While still on the bike, she stretches her running muscles (hamstrings and calves). She dismounts ‘on the fly’.

Transition 2

T2 is fast but tough.

Run – Paced Footwork

The run begins on legs that feel wobbly and heavy. The athlete’s body must redirect blood to her running muscles. Her brain needs time to override the “pedal in circles” message. She pushes through until she finds her pace. Soon enough, her cadence of 90 rpms on the bike, matches her previous stride rate of 90/min.  In various segments of the race, she may pace herself differently. Ideally, it is a continuous build. She focuses on good leg turnover.  Her lower limbs feel ‘normal’ again.  She sprints for a good distance to the finish line.

Go to –

Resources:  (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)



PAN AM Softball Footwork

pan am softball       Softball bears a striking resemblance its first cousin baseball but for a few distinguishing features. Its ball is bigger, its field is smaller and its game is shorter.  Softball has a wild card trait.  The pitch is thrown underhanded. As it moves through the air, the ball can loop up, curve or drop down. Pity the waiting, watchful batter. The catcher is well aware of what the pitcher is delivering.  Having weighed the innings and outs of the game, the catcher selected the right pitch for the moment and covertly instructed the pitcher. This is the same trusting rapport that their cousin pitchers and catchers enjoy; they collaborate in besting the batter before she knows what hit will come of it.

Softball’s groundwork begins with the players preparing their routine footwork before the ball is even thrown.

Catcher Sets Up

She crouches: feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent with weight distributed through the inside balls of her feet. She doesn’t sit back on her heels nor do her knees go beyond her toes. Her back is straight and she is balanced in this low squat.

Catcher Signals

Before moving into the receiving stance, the catcher has a slightly different set up while signaling. She is slightly forward on her toes, dropping her glove to block the signal from the wrong eyes but ensuring it is visible to the pitcher.  She moves into receiving stance.

Pitcher Sets Up

Ball in hand, before stepping onto the 24-inch rubber on top of the pitcher’s mound; she stands square to home plate with hands apart.  Within ten seconds, she brings her hands together then separates them, takes a backward step with her non-pivot foot, still on the rubber, as she begins the one arm wind up for the pitch.

Go to –


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)


PAN AM Shooting Footwork

pan am shooting          Competitive shooters name stances for their innovators or for their appearance. There’s the ‘Weaver’ and the ‘Chapman’; there’s also the ‘Natural Stance’ and the ‘Isosceles’, which may refer to a triangular set up.  Hobby shooters, however, who follow doves or waterfowl have the catchiest monikers for their shooting footwork: the ‘British Churchill’, the ‘American Step’, and the ‘Foxtrot’. The ready position for the Foxtrot begins with the heels 6 to 8 inches apart and the toes pointing at 12 and 2 o’clock. The bird in flight orchestrates the next move. (1)

Skill-testing target shooting with pistols or rifles begins in three stationary stances – standing, kneeling or prone.  Shooting at a moving object with a shotgun, on the other hand, requires dynamic but practised moves.  The goals are the same: control of the firearm and accuracy in aim. While individual shooters may vary their foot positions within a stance (of whatever name), every marksmen tries to duplicate his grip and footwork on every shot. 

Pistol and Rifle


The shooter finds his comfortable stance. He may stand square to the target, with feet shoulder width apart, and toes pointed at target. Or, he may stagger his feet with a supporting foot six inches ahead, in a ‘nose over toes’ style. The shooter’s weight is on the balls of his feet, leaning forward to balance and absorb recoil.


The shooter is permitted to touch the ground with the toes of one foot, one knee and the opposite foot.  Kneeling lowers the shooter’s centre of gravity, increasing his stability.


Lying face down and directly behind the firearm, the shooter draws his dominant leg up, bends that knee and points his feet in the same direction, the toes of that foot pointed outward. His other leg is stretched out and relaxed, with the toes of that foot turned inward.


Standing, the shooter’s eyes are set to focus on the high-flying skeet or clay pigeon, released on his instruction.  Prepared for anything, he is balanced on feet shoulder width apart, weight on his front foot, leaning into the shot. This is the natural predator position.

Go to –

Resources:  (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)


PAN AM Mountain Biking Footwork

pan am cycling mountain bike       Mountain bikers cycle off-road trails. They face steep ascents and descents, switchbacks and surprises en route. Adrenaline pumps as feet pump pedals up and over rocks, mud and drop-offs.  The experience is as technically challenging as the lingo is colourful: “riding switch-foot, involuntary dismount, bomb holes and gonzo hills, aquaplaning over camel bumps, carving corners, and riding stumps and roots like they are eggshells.”

Footwork Tips:

Pedaling – Plant foot on pedal platform; line up pedal axle just behind ball of foot.  Push downward on pedal in a circular stroke as though ‘trying to wipe mud off the bottom of your shoe’.

Cornering – Stop pedaling in a corner, let heel of outer foot drop to increase traction in the turn. Swing inside knee into the corner. Keep weight on outer pedal, while taking inside foot off pedal. Shift hips laterally over bike seat.

Uphill –   Lean into handle bars, sit forward on the seat to keep front wheel down and give back wheel traction. Pedal powerfully and smoothly.  No standing or stomping on pedals which only increases heart rate and decreases balance.

Downhill – Point knees down track and then stand on pedals.  Place dominant foot forward and tilted slightly up. Roll with heels down when standing up. Weight is on both pedals and a little further back on the bike.

Go to –


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)


Poem: Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the snow poem

I had a dream one wintry night as the moon was full and bright.

Before me was an evergreen tree, standing alone, just like me.

Then a man came walking by whose caring look caught my eye.

It was Jesus walking there, calmly in the cold night air.

In my heart at once I knew, all I’d learned of Him was true.

He’s the light in children’s eyes and shining stars in clear night skies.

Life’s answer to each hurt and wrong, the peace we’ve needed for so long.

It was the holy Christmas season, and He had come by for a reason.

He put a bow on top of the tree, as a symbol of His gift for me.

I woke up thinking of what I’d dreamed, amazed at how real it all had seemed.

Beyond my window, I heard not a sound; falling snow was covering the ground.

On the tree I saw a beautiful bow, crimson red on the pure white snow.

Streamers were flowing down the tree, like the blood He shed for me.

I was in awe of the bright red bow – then I saw His footprints in the snow.

Copyright Jerry & Sandi Knode 2002 — Abbey Press

Photo Source:

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un: Limping Gait

Gait famous peeps Kim N Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was suffering from “discomfort,” state media reported in the first official acknowledgement of ill health. Kim, 31, the centerpiece of the isolated country’s propaganda, had earlier been seen walking with a limp. Then he disappeared from the public eye for six weeks.

“The wealth and prosperity of our socialism is thanks to the painstaking efforts of our marshal, who keeps lighting the path for the people, like the flicker of a flame, despite suffering discomfort,” a voice-over for the hour-long documentary said. Kim has rapidly gained weight since coming to power after his father died of a heart attack in 2011, photos released by state media show. “Based on his gait, it appears he has gout,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership.

Then, another explanation came to light. CNN reported that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had had a cyst removed from his right ankle. “European experts” handled the surgery for tarsal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome is caused by compression at the ankle — known to cause pain during standing and walking.

Photo Source:

‘The Standing Man’ Protest


Turkey’s nationwide protests last year grabbed headlines with images of police violence and protesters’ creativity.  Taksim Square, a much-loved green space in Istanbul, was the epicenter of this anti-government action. The icon that put all the other protest antics to rest was the appearance one evening of ‘The Standing Man’.

A 34-year-old performance artist named Erdem Gunduz walked to the middle of the square, stuck his hands in the pockets of his gray pants, and assumed a stoic stance that lasted about eight hours.

Still shell-shocked from two days of fierce clashes with the police, protestors were looking for a peaceful way to extend their effort into its third week. Those arriving at Taksim Square joined Mr. Gunduz.  By the end of the evening, several hundred people were standing quietly, some of them holding hands as they faced the Ataturk Cultural Center. In a time-out face-off, security forces lounged in front of the center underneath big umbrellas. Behind them teargas canisters lay in wait.

A phenomenon was born. Within a short period of time, The Standing Man was the hottest thing on Twitter–not only in Turkey, but for a brief period, worldwide.

Then, ‘The Standing Woman’ appeared at the Kizilay Square in Ankara, where a protester was fatally shot. The passive resistance spread like wildfire, even to Paris and London.

Mr. Gunduz, the artist, was quoted as saying in a message posted on social media sites. “Standing Man is not just one person!”


Excerpts and photo from:


A London Marathoner’s Stellar Effort





 Thirty-six thousand runners completed the 26.2 mile marathon course in London in 2012. So did Claire Lomas. 

The paralyzed 32-year-old conquered the course of uneven sidewalks using a bionic suit to control her legs. Her effort took around 40 hours, averaging between a mile and 2.5 miles spread over 17 days. Claire is a former chiropractor and competitive cross-country horse rider.  She broke her spine after being thrown from her horse five years earlier.

Claire’s is an overcomer. From strenuous athleticism to immobility; from a wheelchair to a pioneering bionic suit called ReWalk which gives her mobility through motion sensors, battery operated motors and an onboard computer system. She can stand, walk and climb stairs. When her daughter was learning to walk, Claire joined her – one for the first time, the other for the second time around.

She completed the race with her husband in tow.  Tourists, supporters and family clapped her along to a marathon success.

See also:

Will I dance for You, Jesus?


 “I Can Only Imagine”             From the MercyMe album “Almost There”

This song fills me with anticipation about the end of my earthly life.  I hope that “Will I dance for you, Jesus?” will be the only pressing question on my heart at that time…


(partial) lyrics: 

“I can only imagine what it will be like

When I walk by Your side

I can only imagine what my eyes will see

When Your face is before me

I can only imagine



Surrounded by Your glory

What will my heart feel?

Will I dance for You Jesus?

Or in awe of You be still?


Will I stand in Your presence

Or to my knees will I fall?

Will I sing, Hallelujah?

Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine

I can only imagine”


MercyMe is an American contemporary Christian band, originally formed in Greenville, Texas in the mid-1990s.


Published by: Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.