I have been trying to desperately to meet all my workouts during the week, but I have missed a couple this week. When it comes down to keeping my job or training, my job seems to wins out for some strange reason. Something about ensuring I can provide for my family seems to be more of a priority. I have been really burning it at both ends—of course, it seems like all my friends are right along there with me. If it were not for wifey, I don't know how we would ever survive. She has been maintaing status quo for the better part of the year as I have been commuting an hour to work each way every day. Ugh.
The good news? I am eating everything in sight just to keep on weight. Ice cream, cake, fudge. Ah, training does have its advantages.
The Friday Top Five: After much consideration, and after speaking with many of my colleagues who are guitar instructors at colleges and universities around the country, I have compiled the definitive list of the top five greatest rock guitarists of all time.
The criteria for this list are: originality, facility, and innovation. These guitarists not only played amazingly, but they completely changed the way in which players approach the instrument. Without further adieu, they are:
#5 Chuck Berry—Berry was unquestionably the first giant of rock and roll guitar. There would be no rock and roll guitar if it were not for Chuck Berry. Some rock and roll scholars say that he and Little Richard single-handedly invented the genre (even though the term rock and roll was coined by New York DJ Alan Freed who use to play black R&B after hours on the radio). Sure, Elvis might have been anointed the "King of Rock and Roll," but if it were not for Chuck, Elvis might not ever have happened. The cool thing about Chuck is that his guitar was always out of tune and he played with a sincerity. He also wrote some of the best anthems to the playing of rock and roll in Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, and Rock and Roll Music.
#3 Jeff Beck—This former Yardbirds frontman went on to influence thousands of guitarists with his blending of Indian music with jazz and rock. He lists Ravi Shankar as one of his greatest influences. You probably don't know Beck's solo work unless you are a true rock guitarist aficionado, but you ought to go and discover it if you don't know it yet.
Okay, I know what you're thinking—there are some noticeable exceptions here. Where is Jimmy Page? Yeah, well, here's the deal with Jimmy: I think the band Led Zeppelin was incredibly innovative, and Page was an amazing song writer (quite possibly the best guitarist-songwriter in rock and roll history), but he essentially played tasty rhythm and blues licks with a whole lot of distortion. So did Hendrix, but Hendrix use of distortion and sound producing techniques (like playing Little Wing through a Leslie speaker normally used for a Hammond organ), inspired scours of heavy metal bands to experiment with sound in an outside of the studio during the late 1970's and early 1980's. So, my list of honorable mentions include: JimmyPage, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Ramone, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison and Kirk Hammett.
Training: Like I said at the beginning of my post, I have gotten most of my workouts in this week. Sorry Coach Mary, but I only managed to get in one swim this week—yikes! I had one of the worst runs of my training on Thursday.
Coach Mary does indeed know what she's talking about. Go figure! The good news was I came home that day to a package from SBR—one of the Trakkers team sponsors this season. Yeah, let me just talk to you a second about this stuff. Do you dislike smelling like chlorine? This is the real deal. I am not embarrassed to admit that I broke out with a tube of the TRISWIM Lotion at the campus gym the other day after my swim and then subsequently offered it to the guys in the locker room. The TRISLIDE is the true bomb-diggity, no lie. I only recently discovered it when a couple of my soon-to-be teammates were
I have to say a big thank you to First Endurance nutrition for coming on board and being part of the Trakkers team. Of course, as you can see, I did not need to be sold on First Endurance. I have been using it since last season when Kelly C. turned me onto it. I have to say, I have been very pleased with the results. I can not do a swim workout without my EFS Grape drink. It's just how I roll. First Endurance will also be the official drink of my Ragnerite team this May as me and eleven other insane people attempt to run a relay race from Woodstock to Manhattan (approximately 184.1 miles), but who's counting?