My DNA analysis from Athletigen

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A few months ago, I was talking to a coach at my gym about the wonders of science in relation to fitness. We started talking about how we’ll eventually be able to test our DNA to figure out which diet/nutrition we should follow and the effect that’ll have on sports and general physical activities. So a few weeks later, I read an article in a fitness magazine (I think it was Runner’s World) about some companies offering DNA analysis relating to physical fitness and nutrition.

I purchased a kit from Athletigen and it arrived in about 2-3 days. I even got a call from customs as the package got delayed a day crossing over the US/Canada border. It seemed to be a standard DNA kit, spit into a tube, break the seal to release some more liquid, shake, reseal, box it, and mail it back. I haven’t done a DNA kit before – I have a very good idea of ancestry and my past, so I’m not (as) concerned or interested in those details. I’m more interested in learning how to live/work/play better in the present and if I can gain some genetics insights paired/confirmed along with what I feel/think works best for me, then maybe I can do more or maybe just do/follow/avoid specific things.

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One Year of CrossFit

One Year of CrossFit
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Just over a year ago, I came to the realization that I needed a change. I needed something to release stress, provide both mental and physical challenges, and most importantly something to help me feel better and happier.

My first instinct was to try running… again. So I began sporadically running (aka jogging). It didn’t take long until, I realized that I really, really dislike running. In that first month, I ran up to 3 miles at a time about 4-5 times. Then I started losing the motivation to run.

So I started looking into local gyms, thinking that maybe I’d have better luck there (but I wasn’t hopeful). And to be honest, I disliked “lifting weights” even more than running. Other than chest/bench presses and using the Universal Gym Equipment (that machine with pulleys and dozens of things), I had no experience on how to properly lift weights. So after a fleeting thought about signing up for a gym membership, I remembered CrossFit and looked to see if there was a CrossFit gym nearby. (Back in 2009, I looked into CrossFit when I lived in San Diego, so I was somewhat familiar with the overall concept.)
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Midland Clubtail dragonfly – rare dragonfly discovery

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A few days ago, I took a photograph of a dragonfly while walking my dog, Raven. Like most of the photographs, I didn’t think much about it until a few days later when I uploaded it to iNaturalist. A day or so later, I was contacted by a couple of biologists and dragonfly experts who thought the dragonfly might be a rare/newly introduced species. You can read about the discovery on the Vermont Center for Ecostudies blog.

As a novice photographer, James Welch enjoys documenting the biodiversity he sees around his home turf. With his camera in hand while walking his dog last week, Welch stumbled upon a rare find in Vermont near the Winooski River, a Midland Clubtail.

Read more at http://vtecostudies.org/blog/vermont-inaturalist-discovers-a-new-population-of-a-rare-dragonfly/

List of Vermont birding resources

Bald Eagle over Shelburne Bay

Over the last several months, I’ve been taking some wildlife photography of mostly birds. While winter isn’t the best birding season, I’ve been able to photograph quite a few species that’s visiting from the north during the colder weather. I’ve also spotted eight bald eagles in the last month near the Lake Champlain’s coast (three of those were within a couple blocks of my house while walking my dog).

Here’s a few resources for those starting out with birding/bird photography in Vermont that’s been super useful to me:
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