Where white men are forced to jump in captivity...
An inch! I gained an inch! I know what you're thinking, but the answer is: No. This post is not an endorsement for the Swedish-made penis enlarger pump, nor for the book "Swedish-made Penis Enlarger Pumps And Me: (This Sort Of Thing Is My Bag, Baby!)."
I am now exactly one month into the White Man Jump Challenge -- which officially concludes the Beginner Phase -- and my vertical leap has increased by a full inch. Or 2.54 centimetres. Or about 0.08333 feet. Or approximately 0.02778 yards. And sure, an inch might not sound like a big honking deal to you, but don't tell that to this guy.
The point is, it's progress, and "minor, almost imperceptible progress" is certainly better than "no progress at all." It's proof that the Strength Shoe training system can do something. I'm still not a believer; not by a long shot. I probably could have made the same modest gain by doing the same exercises without wearing paddleboards on my feet. But I wore them, and I'm now jumping higher than I did before. There's no denying that.
I actually discovered this while measuring my vertical on Wednesday night before heading to my pickup league. Silly as this may sound, I actually felt a little more confident going into the games. I mean, rationally speaking, I know that a one-inch improvement doesn't make that much of a difference, but I was jumping harder and with more determination. I was crashing the boards with greater resolve. At one point, the ball got stuck between the rim and the backboard, and I was the first to jump for it. FAIL. Instead, some 18-year-old jumping jack had to bring the ball down. No matter. Give me another month. I begin the Intermediate Phase on Saturday.
A quick note on recovery: Chris, the issuer of this challenge, e-mailed to warn me of the painful aftereffects of using the Strength Shoes. He explained that his legs were almost useless the day after his first training session, and that he briefly considered amputating them and fitting the stumps wtih bionic implants. (Okay, I made up the second half of that sentence. As far as you know.) Fortunately, I had read about the Strength Shoe hangover, and I was ready. So in addition to the proscribed stretches, my post-Strength Shoe workout recovery period also includes icing my calves, 15-20 minutes in a Whirlpool tub, and 10-20 minutes of vigorous therapy from an electric handheld massager. I skipped recovery once and my legs felt like they were trying to contract to 1/5th their normal size the next morning. I didn't skip again.
Videotastic extra: Did you know that the Strength Shoes were featured on an episode of Seinfeld? Well, now you do.