Some 45 years after taking his first spin on a BSA Royal Star 850, Billy Joel decided that this is the time to purchase another BSA bike.

The only problem was, it needed some serious restoration. And rather than bring the motorcycle to his local garage, Joel decided he wanted a more high-profile fix up. So during a recent swing through Las Vegas, the 64-year-old rocker had his recently acquired 1967 BSA bike built up by none other than the crew of the popular History show "American Restoration."

Even for Rick Dale, the show's star and an experienced restorer, Joel's antique bike posed a huge challenge.

"If the bike is hard to find, you can imagine how hard it is to find parts," Dale told HuffPost. "It's a British bike, so we went overseas and found collectors of this brand. I had a lot of parts to buy."

But no matter, as Dale still managed to do an impressive job with Joel's treasure. Indeed, upon seeing the bike in its new condition, the Piano Man was blown away.

"Oh, wow!" Joel said. "When that thing first came out in the mid-60s, they were beautiful bikes. I don’t remember them looking that good. That looks great ... It's hard to believe it is the same bike."

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Barbell snatches, squats, bench presses.

These are just a few of the tools Shawn Windle has at his disposal. Head coaches have X's and O's, strength coaches have eccentric movements and Olympic lifts. One sees a powerful post move. The other sees the power cleans done to make that post move stronger.

As the head strength and conditioning coach for the Indiana Pacers, Windle is the man responsible for putting the mettle and the muscle behind coach Frank Vogel's smash-mouth brand of basketball.

"You have to have the right guys to embrace that style of play," Windle says. "It starts in the brains and the heart. Our workouts are designed so that the players have to fight to get through them. Being strong and being tough starts in the mind."

At this point, calling the Pacers a physical team is beyond redundant, like saying Killer Whales are killers. Yet, as the Pacers pummel their way through round after round of the NBA playoffs, members of the opposing teams they have just steamrolled or are about to encounter can't get away from that word.

"We know we're going to be in for a battle," New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler said before their series against Indiana. "We've got to be prepared physically to match their play ..."

"They'll try to put me on the floor, maybe,'' LeBron James said in an interview before Miami's series against Indiana. "They'll be physical with me ... The word is you've got to beat up the Heat to beat them. And every team has tried to do that."

That quote from James brings us right up to the present day, where the Pacers are in a dogfight of a series with the Miami Heat.

"You never know who you're going to face each round of the playoffs," Windle says. "Of course we might be eyeing a showdown with the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals early in the season, but it's never guaranteed. We don't train in the off-season to play against certain teams or certain guys. We try to get everyone as strong as we possibly can. We lift heavy weight throughout the season to maintain that strength."


Roy Hibbert likes to lift weights after regular-season games. Paul George likes to lift weights before games. David West, it seems, will lift weights anytime and anywhere.

"David is an animal in the weight room," Windle says. "He's our strongest guy for sure. Part of my job is to visit players after the season to check on their workouts, and when I went down to see David, I was amazed at what I saw. I had never seen a guy work that hard in the off-season. He was putting in maximum effort on everything."

While most guys leave the team after the season ends with a laundry list of exercise instructions, West is simply given one objective as he leaves his exit interview: "Keep being David West."

"He doesn't require a lot of external motivation," Windle says, chuckling at the understatement.

Tyler Hansbrough is another Pacer who has no problem with motivation.

"Tyler is just so strong," he says. "He's done so much strength work in the past. During the season we almost do a slight de-emphasis on lifting and add in more stretching and corrective exercises for him. He's very in tune with his body."

Windle runs through the roster, citing how impressed he is with the hard work his guys have put in throughout the season.

"Sam Young is one of our strongest guys. Gerald Green and Paul George, in terms of pure athleticism, are off the charts. DJ Augustine is in the weight room almost every single day," he says. "And what Roy [Hibbert] has done is fantastic. When he came into the league, he had some excess body fat that we had to work off of him.

"Our previous coach wanted to run up and down the floor more, so we got his weight down. Now, with Coach Vogel, we're doing a 180. The last few years we've put quality weight on his body and he is back up to a solid 270 pounds."

At 7-2, 270 pounds, Hibbert is the throwback big man that NBA opponents can't match up with. But his size would mean nothing if he didn't have the power to go along with it.

"We treat strength as a skill," Windle says. "We try to develop it every single day. I want our guys to get used to handling heavy weights. We don't do anything fancy. High pulls. Bench press. Pull-ups. Rows. What makes us successful is our guys' willingness to pour their heart and determination into both the basketball court and the weight room."


Windle won the 2012 NBA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award, and since body evolution and muscle development can often take years to be fully realized, the fruits of his labor may be paying off more this season than last.

"From my standpoint, I'm so excited to watch the transformation in so many of our guys," he says. "From nutrition to weight lifting to rehabilitating, every goal we set in front of these guys they do their best to reach."

The end result of that goal is the physicality the rest of the NBA can't stop talking about. And to think, there might be far fewer bumps and bruises and black-and-blues around the Eastern Conference if it hadn't been for a loose connection between Windle and Larry Bird's old physical therapist.

In fact, the ice vendor for the Miami Heat should be thanking Larry Bird, the Pacer president. So should the guy who sells the Knicks bandages and the Atlanta Hawks' massage therapist. And anyone else in the league who has seen business pick up as a result of the damage inflicted by the Pacers' powerful style of play.

"I was working as a strength coach at Rutgers University when the Pacers called to see if I'd be interested in the job," Windle says. "The connection was through a friend of mine who was Larry Bird's old physical therapist."

Eight years later, a small connection has given birth to one of the strongest teams in pro basketball.

"You can't help but sit here and realize that we have an advantage in the paint on most nights," Windle says. "When we see a guy make an athletic play or outhustle and outmuscle someone on the other team, for me, I just see all that hard work paying off. They know what's at stake. They know they're fighting for a trip to the NBA Finals."

The question then becomes, is any team strong enough to fight back and win?

-- Jon Finkel is the author of The Dadvantage: Stay In Shape On No Sleep With No Time And No Equipment. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Finkel.

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It turns out Kris Humphries isn't just in the record book for his basketball skills. The Nets big man has held a U.S. National Age Group record in the boys 10-and-under 100-meter freestyle event for the past 18 years -- until this week.

That record, Swimming World Magazine reported, was broken by 10-year-old Winn Aung at a meet in California.

Aung, according to the article, swam the event more than a second faster than Humphries' record of 1:02.39, which was set in 1995.

Luckily for him, Humphries is still in the record books for the 50-meter free record in the 10-and-under division -- though according to the report Aung came close to breaking that one as well.

Though he grew up to be an NBA player, Humphries showed an enormous amount of talent as a young swimmer. In 2010, he told People Magazine that he beat Michael Phelps to be the top swimmer in the nation when he was 10.

"I was so good at a young age that I got a little burnt out," Humphries said at the time. "I also grew up in the Michael Jordan era ... for me, I watched [basketball] and saw it as a challenge. It's hard to stay focused on something when you have a ton of success at a young age, so I picked up basketball a little later and rolled with that."

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This is not the first time Marc Gasol has dominated for a team in Memphis.

As a tall, chubby teenager, Gasol starred at Lausanne, a private school in east Memphis. He and his family moved to Memphis after his older brother, Pau, was drafted by the Grizzlies in 2001. Marc, who barely spoke English, dominated on the court. He was bigger than virtually everyone he faced, but he still loved squaring up from beyond the arc and draining three-pointers.

As a senior at Lausanne, Gasol averaged 26 points, 13 rebounds, six blocked shots and five assists.

"I was just having fun because everybody was so much shorter than me,” Gasol told the New York Times in a recent profile. “Honestly, my stats in high school were ridiculous. They made no sense.”

After graduating, Gasol moved back to Spain to work on his game. Over five years he transformed from a chubby, awkward big man into a legitimate NBA prospect. Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, an assistant during Pau Gasol's tenure in Memphis, remembers seeing Marc during the Grizzlies' preseason trip to Spain in 2003. He was blown away by how much the youngster had developed.

"I was like, 'Wow, that’s not the same kid,'" Hollins told the New York Times.

When Marc Gasol landed in Memphis, in a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers that included his older brother, the Grizzlies were beginning a rebuilding phase and many fans were upset to see the team trade away its star. But now, some six years later, the younger Gasol has come into his own. His Grizzlies are the surprise of the NBA playoffs thus far, upsetting both the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder en route to the franchise's first appearance in the Western Conference finals.

And the team's newfound success is in no small part due to the strong play of Gasol, the 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. In five games against the Thunder, Gasol averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 42 minutes. In Wednesday's series-sealing victory, Gasol hit a 19-footer to silence

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We have iPods, iPhones, iPads and now ... iBikes?

For the "One Motorcycle Show" in Portland, two guys from Instrument, a digital media company, created a motorcycle using parts of Apple products.

Justin Lewis, Instrument's director of strategy, and Tony Grubb, the associate creative director, began working on an old 1973 CB750 last fall. They took the bike apart and then built it up using different parts of a Mac computer.

For Lewis and Grubb, it was a nice change of pace from their day jobs.

"We're a digital agency," Lewis told Digital Trends, "we love to actually do things with our hands, we don’t always get to do that here with the work we do."

The gas tank on the bike is sculpted from Mac tower panels, while a Mac computer provided the parts for the power switch, USB port and stereo jack.

And the centerpiece of the bike is an iPhone on the front panel, with an app developed by Lewis and Grubb. The app allows the phone to serve as a speedometer, odometer and compass for the motorcycle. Down the road, it could even tell the rider how much gas is left in the tank.

Bill Roberson of Digital Trends writes that the app's potential is staggering:

"With a simple go-between module in the wiring harness similar to what is being used now to hack (or shall we say, “modify”) fuel-injection maps, the app could conceivably plug right in to the modern data path and show speed, RPMs and any number of other performance factoids floating around in today’s increasingly digitized motorcycles."

And, of course, in addition to all these features, the phone can also be used to listen to music.

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Apple, iPhone, Mac, Ride

I may not be facing off against the pros, but there are times when I step onto a tennis court, ready for battle, and upon meeting my opponent, the obvious becomes, well, obvious.

My opponent is bigger than me. He is stronger than me. He hits a much bigger ball than me.

The question is: What can I do to win?

I asked someone who does this for a living.

That's right. Someone puts food on his table by stepping onto a tennis court, playing guys bigger than him, guys stronger than him, guys who hit balls exponentially harder than him ... and beating them.

How big are these giants? Rafael Nadal is listed at 6-1 and 188 pounds. Tomas Berdych clocks in at 6-5 and 205 pounds. Juan Martin Del Potro is a cool 6-6 and 214 pounds. I think it's fair to say that these men hit the biggest balls in the history of the sport.

And then there is Gilles Simon.

After cracking the top ten in 2008, he's settled into a rankings position between ten and fifteen in the world.

And he does it at clocking in at barely six foot and 154 pounds.

This diminutive figure with a slight frame has wins over every single person in the top ten. Yes. I'm talking about Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Nadal. You know ... the top ten.

The French media frequently refer to Simon as "fantastique!" It's almost as if they're talking about a magic trick, a sleight of hand, an illusion. Because it should not be. It cannot be. And yet ... there he is. Season after season. Year after year. Gilles Simon is among the very best in the world.

So what is he doing out there?

Simon can hit the ball with pace. He can hit winners. He can finish points. But he readily admits he will never hit the ball as big as most of his opponents. This isn't an opinion; it's physics.

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Simon. These are his keys to victory -- and maybe yours too.


"If I try to hit like them, I will lose."

Simon's game plan begins with letting go of his ego. He admits to himself and his opponent that he will lose the slugfest. His opponent does this better than he does. So he does something else.

"I have to notice things on the court," he says. "I have to see where I have to be aggressive, where the guy's gonna miss. It's harder for me to find the good way to win the point."

Mark Knowles, a veteran who has competed against him, said Simon has one of the highest tennis IQs on tour. According to Knowles, Simon plays points to test his opponents, see what they like and, more importantly, to see what they don't. Sometimes it takes him a whole match to find out what makes you uncomfortable, but when he does, his opponents will start to feel like they're in "Groundhog's Day" because they're playing -- and mostly losing -- the same point. Over. And over. And over.

"Early in a match is harder for me," Simon said. "But when the match goes for one hour thirty, two hours, and he starts to feel like when he goes for the winners ... I'm there. And he has to work more and more ... it's harder for him."

Just what does Simon do that makes it harder for his opponents over the course of the match?

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Kayla Wheeler's parents always told her that she could do anything she wanted. They just might have to figure out a different way for her to do it.

So as Wheeler, who was born with only one arm and no legs, grew up, she stayed as active (if not moreso) than many of her peers. Now 16, Wheeler bowls, skis, plays baseball and is a champion swimmer.

When Wheeler was younger, a doctor recommended swimming lessons for her as a form of therapy. Wheeler's mother, Joyce, never thought her daughter would learn to swim, much less go on to become one of the best Paralympic swimmers in the world.

"As an infant she loved the water," Joyce Wheeler told ABC News. "I guess I never thought she would learn how to swim, but I just wanted her to be safe around the water."

Wheeler recently set the world record for the 50-meter butterfly, and last year she even qualified for the London Paralympics (she couldn't go because there weren't enough competitors).

"It's kind of indescribable," Kayla's mother, Joyce, told Fox 12 of the sensation of seeing her daughter represent her country. "When they announce her name and she's representing the United States I get goose bumps all over. I'm so amazed that's my child."

Wheeler is preparing for the International Paralympic World Championships in August in Montreal. But like many high school juniors, she's also getting ready to attend college. Wheeler is a stellar student at Edmonds Community College, and she's on the Rocketry and Robotics Team.

"I like being able to represent my country," Wheeler said. "That's amazing breaking records and getting medals, but I like being out there as a role model too."


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ThePostGame recently caught up with former softball star and Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch. In addition to her work as an ESPN broadcaster, Finch is currently touring on behalf of the Capital One Cup, an NCAA Division I athletic award given annually to the top men's and women's college athletics program.


ThePostGame: I know this is one of the busiest times of the year for you. Were you able to spend Mother’s Day with your kids?
JENNIE FINCH: I was, yes. I got back from commentating at the ACC Softball Championship. So I was able to get home pretty early [Sunday] morning, which was nice.

TPG: What a hectic weekend -- the ACC Championship, Mother’s Day and the release of the NCAA tournament brackets.
FINCH: Yeah, [Sunday] was an exciting day. Lots of fun. I traveled in from Florida State, and I came home and actually dedicated my kids at church. I enjoyed the day with family, and then got to tune in to the selection show. An exciting, long day which started at 4 a.m.

TPG: What was your initial reaction after seeing the NCAA tournament brackets?
FINCH: It's exciting, a lot of good softball from coast to coast. We saw the Big Ten and Big 12 making a push –- Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas. And then the SEC, a lot of teams there. I think they had nine schools from the SEC make it. And then the Pac 12 had eight of their teams make it.

This weekend’s going to be a lot of fun, and then on to Super Regionals, which I’ll be commentating on one of those. And then it all comes down to Oklahoma City.

TPG: There are a lot of of Capital One Cup points at stake here. Are there any teams which you think could shake up the standings?
FINCH: It's up for grabs, and that’s the great thing about the postseason. You never know what’s going to happen and who's going to win. Rankings mean nothing, it all comes down to that day and who comes out on top.

Whoever gets hot and whoever has that natural chemistry towards the end finishes it. There are a lot of teams in the push, there's actually 60 points given away for the Capital One Cup from winning the College World Series. So if you think about that, any school, even Michigan or LSU, Arizona, 60 points could put them up towards the top. Oklahoma, even. So, it'll be interesting.

Texas is making a run for it right now, Oregon is there, Stanford, Florida, a win can put them way at the top.

TPG: A few years after you graduated from Arizona you won a gold medal in Athens. Now, baseball and softball are fighting for a spot in the Olympics. Why do you think baseball and softball deserve a spot, and are you planning on helping out to advance their cause?
FINCH: Yes, I'm actually on the board of the World Baseball Softball Confederation. They just merged, it used to be the International Softball Federation.

We joined with baseball now to make one governing body. We’re going to push together, which I think will be the strongest push that we’ve made thus far. And I think, no doubt about it, baseball and softball should be in the Olympics.

There's over 140 countries that play the game, and we’re not sure why it was eliminated. There are a lot of factors that go into it. Now it’s a matter of keeping our campaign going and building awareness and helping to grow our sport all over the world.

We’ll know this fall if we get it back in.

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A 20-year-old's quest to become the youngest person to fly around the world solo ran into a bit of a snafu this week: He forgot his passport.

Jack Wiegand, a California native, was in his first international destination -- Canada -- when he realized he was missing the important document, the Fresno Bee reported.

After a bit of a panic, Wiegand remembered that just a few days earlier he had done the responsible thing most travelers do: Make copies of his passport.

Luckily for him, it was sitting right where he'd left it.

"I told (my mom) to check the copy machine...sure enough, it was there!" he wrote in his blog. Wow. What a bittersweet feeling that was. At least I knew it was not stolen."

With some help from UPS, Wiegand got his passport and according to the Bee was scheduled to fly out on Friday morning.

"It was a mistake that I hope to not make again," he added on his blog.

In addition to making history, Wiegand's journey is benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters and International Agri-Center Ag Warriors.

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Amazing World Record: Man Planks For More Than Three Hours

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Alyssa Wolfe made a name for herself this year with some stellar offensive contributions.

The junior outfielder at Ohio finished third on the team in runs scored, sixth in batting average and first in stolen bases. She was even named MAC East Player of the Week in February.

But when her team needed it the most, it was a defensive play for which Wolfe has become a viral sensation.

In the seventh and final inning of Ohio's MAC Tournament game against Miami (Ohio), Wolfe and the Bobcats held a 3-2 lead over the Redhawks. With a runner on base, Miami batter Brandi Hernandez represented the winning run.

Hernandez blasted a solid shot to deep center field. Wolfe raced toward the ball, caught it and tumbled over the center field fence. Because Wolfe's feet were in the outfield when she caught the ball, Hernandez was ruled out and Ohio won the game.

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