Tuesday, August 23, 2016



Literally. In an effort to pool together the tough and the strong, the Greeks required their athletes to compete during the month of August. Considered the hottest month of the year, Mediterranean summers can be dry and exceedingly hot. These suffocating conditions were thought to help weed out the weak.  After all, athletes were held next to the gods and this was the ultimate competition of the ancient world. 

I think it also important to note that there were no teams, only individuals. An athlete came with his father and his brothers. 


Because cheating was so rampant, one road into Olympia was lined with statues of those who were caught. Shamed for all to see. And not just the athletes name, but the city of which they were from. Everything was designed to be tough. Should a runner give a false start to the race, he was caned in front of the 30,000 spectators, and then sent back to race. 

Do it again and, well, just don't.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Center of the World

We are back in Delphi, a city state in Greece & home to the Pythian Games. These games were an early model to our modern day Olympics. Delphi played an important role as it was the spot marked to honor Apollo defeating the Python. As in today, sports here are at the center of culture. The Greeks held athletes in such high regard they would stop at nothing to advance their careers.

Before the invention of performance enhancing drugs, cheating was widespread, particularly and most commonly bribery. Past winners where often made teachers and coaches. These individuals were accustomed to feeling the "fire" and avoiding the public humiliation of losing. The Greeks were not ones to deal with losing well at all. There were no second and third place medals.


With no machines or high tech equipment, athletes appeared to still have impressive phyisques. How? Training was very structured and athletes were highly disciplined. Entire days spent marching, running, wrestling, stone lifting, and stone throwing. Body weight exercises were used extensively. Competitors had to commit 10 months prior to the games. 

And a commitment it was.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

Clare Booth Luce

Why, oh why must things seemingly become so complicated? I ask myself this all the time. Keep it simple has, and is my motto.

Having said that, I firmly believe that exercise and fitness can and should remain a simple concept.

At home, the office, yes, the gym. Just do it. With so much in the world to figure out keep strength a priority. Wake up in the morning and #buildyourself

Friday, June 24, 2016



Always one to keep up on the latest, I was long over the kale-kick way back when I first saw a kale donut. Enough already. When it comes time to cheating I would never desecrate krispy creme perfection like that.

Turnip Greens

When it comes to "superfoods" however, turnip greens are a bonafide, card-carrying member of the club. Exetremely high in vitamins and minerals, they have it all. If you don't want to take my word for it just google.


Lately, my go-to method of preparation has been simple. I cook them for a few minutes in a cup or two of boiling water, drain and then sauteing in olive oil and some red onion. Easy, peasy, 1-2-3.

Wait till the table to season with salt/pepper.

Economical AND  healthy, right now I'm on the turnip green truck.

For more simple recipes that do not include donuts email:  jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

For more on Turnip Greens:


Tuesday, June 14, 2016


"A heart is a muscle....and what do muscles do when they are torn? They grow back stronger"