morsla: (Default)
I'm back-dating this post using the magic of LJ timestamps - mostly because I go looking for oldening-related posts around Sep 12, and it's an easier place to find them. Also, because the world has been consumed by Interesting Times since last week, so I'm still catching up. Its actually Wednesday 17th when I'm writing this.

This year's birthday turned out to be something of a non-event. Ariadne and Louise have been sick, so by the time sunlight dawned on this bit of the world we had all been awake for many hours. That set the tone for the rest of the day: fighting against low energy levels to try and get through a busy day (of teaching, report-writing or daycare, depending on which family member you asked). By mid afternoon I was feeling particularly off colour, and as the evening closed I realised that I was probably coming down with something more than lack of sleep. It felt like food poisoning.

Stocking up on supplies, I settled in for a fairly painful weekend: trying to stay topped up on fluid and electrolytes despite violent objection from my stomach. From earlier cases, I figured it would take about three days to burn out. Then things started deteriorating further on Sunday night, with some excruciating abdominal pains and the discovery that my sleepless writhing had exhausted my core and back muscles, making it impossible to hold a posture that kept the pains at bay. Home remedies stopped working during the afternoon (hot bath, painkillers, etc), and I ended up paying a visit to the Royal Melbourne's Emergency Department at 10pm.

I figured it would be a late night when I went in: I wasn't bleeding or suffering anything broken, so I would be triaged right down the bottom of the list. Maybe two hours from that point, and another hour to see the triage nurse on admission. That guess was fairly accurate, but the doctor then wanted blood tests taken. Tests meant returning to the waiting room for a callback, and watching as the night suddenly got a lot busier with some serious emergency patients rushed through the doors. I didn't mind too much: by that stage I was medicated on painkillers that actually worked, and L & A had both gone home to bed. That long wait got longer, and longer still. I finally went over the test results at 5am, once the crises had been dealt with. Inconclusive results, no suggestion what was actually causing the pain. They sent me on my way with a handful of prescriptions, and told me to bunker down and wait it out at home. That's where I've been for the last three days.

I think I'm finally starting to mend now, though night time (and sleeping) are stil problematic. It's hard finding a non-painful way of lying for more than about 30min, which makes for a very restless night. The afternoon has been better than previous days though, so I'm hopeful that maybe I'll get a bit more rest tonight. Rest is healing, so they say. I could use a bit of that at the moment.

I've decided to postpone my birthday celebrations though, as last week was a write off. Maybe it's a sign that I should combine birthdays with [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and just have one proper celebration later in the month...
morsla: (lookin)
I went to a Kung Fu class last night, for the first time in about ten years. It's strangely familiar. The warmups and drills are the same as when I left. The forms taught now are the same forms I saw a decade ago.

My hands remember, even if my brain is fuzzy. During circle training, I kept finding myself ending up with a hand or fist at someone's throat, after they tried throwing a different technique at me to see if I was paying attention. I don't think that I was consciously aware of how to counter them, but my hands managed to find their way.

My legs will take a bit longer. My feet know where to go, and I'm lighter on them than I used to be. There's no strength in my stance, though, and I really noticed the difference even compared to junior members who have been training recently. That will come with time - it's the most important element, and one I can practice at home.

Not many people recognised me, but those that did asked what I've been up to. It's a hard question to answer succinctly... I've had three completely different jobs, lived in three different houses, travelled, studied and got married in that time. Mostly, I think people wanted to know why I had come back after so long.

So, why am I back there now? I think it's because that there are things I want to learn and practice, and that particular club is the best place I know of to learn them. Other styles have taught me more about things like forms, but they haven't had the routine that I needed. If I need to learn how to sidestep properly, I don't want to be learning a new form every second class: I just want to train with a group that can motivate me to do the thousands of repetitions that it will take to make that movement instinctive.

There is no separation between training stances (impractical, low, stretching or conditioning ones) and fighting stances. Every exercise is a building block, and is directly useful for applying all the other techniques. I think that's what I want from my training, at the moment. I'm planning to train twice a week in future - one class next to the Queen Vic market, and one up at Melbourne Uni. I'll see how it goes from there.

Today, things are a little painful. Usually the Gym gives me a day's grace - it's the morning after the morning after, when my muscles seize up. No such respite today: I woke up at 7am feeling like I got hit by a truck. Here's hoping that more regular training will mean things get better from here.
morsla: (mantis04)
I can now do 100 sit ups :)

I've been trying to remember to exercise a bit before going to bed each night, though I've been a bit slack in the last week. In order to make up for it, I decided against setting a target before starting last night - I just kept going until I got bored, and decided to stop after reaching 100. Not entirely sure how many I could do if I had the time and motivation to push further.

I don't know that this will be a regular bit of exercise - it takes too long to do every night! I've also been trying to do some push-ups, as they help with my creaky shoulders. I can comfortably do about 30-35, but seem to have reached a plateau a few weeks ago and haven't improved much since then.

I'm going to try a training session with the Kung Fu club, and hopefully re-join the club for regular training through the year. They started back from holidays last week, though I've been too busy with Arcanacon preparations to visit so far. Next week is looking like a good time to drop in, though: if I leave things much later, the university semester will start up and the club will be flooded with newcomers.

It's been a busy few weeks. The main tournament that [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and I are running at Arcanacon has doubled in size since 2010, and I need to make sure that we're ready to handle the 60+ players who have pre-registered, plus extras who sign up on the day - including at least one person coming down from Brisbane. Apparently, registering ahead of time is a strange quirk found only in Melbourne tournaments...
morsla: (Dawn)
I'm back at work again, after a week on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. It's the first proper holiday that I've taken in quite some time, and my first trip outside Australia since 2007. I'll write a bit more about it later in the week, when the trip has had time to sink in properly. This time last week, [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and I had spent the day seeking out waterfalls in Arthur's Pass. A few days later, we climbed up onto Franz Joseph glacier and walked through temperate rainforest. It took me a world away from the towering backlog of work on my desk.

Right at the moment, I'm looking a bit further back into the past - browsing through old journal entries that have been tagged and left for a future rainy day. I love reading through through old entries sometimes... I often feel like I'm becoming less eloquent with age; language skills deteriorating from a shortening attention span and an over-reliance on Twitter.

This entry describes exactly how I'm feeling at the moment: extremely painful neck and shoulders, leaving me unable to turn my head, and making it difficult to sleep. It also has a handy recommendation from [livejournal.com profile] kitling for an Osteopath.

It's dated April 2005. I guess it's probably about time I went and did something about it...

I've also checked to make sure they're still in business, and was pleasantly surprised to find that Andrew's details come up in the first few hits from Google.

Ow

May. 26th, 2010 02:15 pm
morsla: (mantis04)
I started a new program at the gym last night, after missing a couple of weeks with a half-formed head cold. It's fairly different from what I've been doing over the last few months. The verdict today is "everything hurts" so it seems reasonably comprehensive :) I'll be working off this plan for the next two months, increasing weights and times as needed.

From memory, it looks something like this:

Warm up (cross trainer, 10min)
Assisted chin-ups and dips (supersets: 10-12 chin / 10-12 dips, three repeats)
Free weights (combined bicep curl into shoulder press; two sets of 15)
Treadmill (fast walk, steep incline, 5min)
Core superset: 15 push-ups / 30 second prone hold on a swiss ball (three repeats)
Abdominals: V-sits (2 sets of 15)
Rowing machine: 1000m
Cool down, stretch

Things I've noticed:

Dips are surprisingly painful. I guess I've never really used those muscles for anything. Chin ups are much easier, but doing supersets means that the last few in each set are still quite hard.

Push-ups are a bit easier than expected. I've never been very good at them, and haven't tried them for at least ten years... but the last few months must have helped. Form needs work: mostly let down by poor abdominal muscles.

V-sits are bloody hard work! My stomach muscles are weak... I could do a hundred sit ups when I started uni, and now I have trouble doing 25. I'm meant to be doing V-ups, but don't have the strength for them yet.

I have much better cardio fitness than I did in January, but I don't seem to have enough endurance for the rowing yet: probably as it's a new bit of equipment that I haven't used before. I found that I hit a wall about halfway through, where I couldn't find any more strength in my limbs.

Walking home from the YMCA gym is a bit weird when your legs don't seem to work properly.
morsla: (Dawn)
I've been going to the Kensington YMCA gym for about four months now. I'd never been to one before this year, and hadn't done any kind of weights or cardio exercise... well, ever. Tonight was my first program review, to see whether it's made any impact so far.

Weight-wise, I'm exactly the same as when I started (61.5kg). That's not surprising: I'm almost always exactly the same weight. I have more muscle than when I started, which should make me a bit denser... but I also have more fat, which seems to balance it out. I sit at a desk (be that an office desk, painting desk, or at home on the computer) for probably 14+ hours a day, so I need to find ways of moving around a bit more often.

I'm stronger than when I started. Not much change for my legs, as I've always used them the most. Years of Tai Chi, Kung Fu and walking everywhere mean there's not much room for improvement there. My arms are stronger than they were at the start of the year - probably because it's the first time they've ever had to do any real work. I know virtually nothing about weights, so I just follow what the gym people set out for me to do... two sets of 15 reps on each exercise, working through different muscle groups. When things feel too easy, I increase the weight until it's hard reaching the end of each set. I'm currently using a bit over half my body weight on each of the machines.

Core body strength is still terrible. In high school I could do 100+ sit ups, but now I struggle to do 25. It doesn't help that the gym tends to get horribly crowded when I should be doing that part of the routine, but I should really be doing this stuff at home anyway.

I have most of my old flexibility back, after stretching as much as possible at the end of each session. I like stretching. I suspect that I'm using it to procrastinate in the gym, though, as it means I don't spend as long doing core strength exercises.

Cardio endurance is the most surprising change. I've never done anything with a sustained cardio component - it's always been short bursts of movement, or holding stances for a long time. The first time I tried using the rowing machine and cross trainer, they damn near killed me... but now I can happily run up the hill to catch my tram, and rarely get out of breath. It's a nice feeling, having some kind of control over my lungs.

I started going because I wanted to improve my general level of fitness. I think I'm doing that, but I still have lots I'd like to change. I'm less weedy than I was four months ago. My next goal is to track down bad habits I've developed at home and work, and kick them in the head.
morsla: (Default)
So. I joined a gym, despite previously considering them to be strange and alien places. I still have no idea what all their shiny equipment does, but apparently I find out on Friday...

Today involved a chat about food (I should eat more of it), water (I should drink more of it), and exercise (I should do a lot more of it). Lately, my daily routine has involved something like this:

Wake up, sit in front of the computer, start work, finish layout on a chapter, and then realise it's 1pm. Eat a late breakfast (probably at my desk), and work until lunch (4-ish). Then work until dinner (9ish or later). No wonder I'm becoming some kind of amoeba.

Sitting at a desk (computer or painting) for 10+ hours a day is not healthy, especially when I forget to take breaks, and work from home. Changing from one desk to the other, while productive, doesn't really count as a break. I'm getting lots of work done, but it is time for a change.

On a more amusing note, after the fitness/weight/age/height measurements were done, I was told that I have a metabolic age of 14...
morsla: (Dawn)
If 2007 was a year for expanding borders, 2008 is one for working on things much closer to home. It's already getting off to a good start. I've been spending much more time with friends, and generally getting out a bit more often... making up for lost time, as I feel like I've been living under a rock since getting back to Melbourne in October.

There are about six weeks left, until I haul my creaking carcass back to wushu again. I don't think that my sore joints (mainly knees, ankles and shoulders) have appreciated taking six months off - with less muscle mass to keep them in place, I can accidentally hyperextend pretty much all my joints at angles they weren't designed to reach. If rest won't re-wind all my errant ligaments, I think the best option is to reinforce them and train the surrounding muscles to do their best impression of a "normal" range of movement.

I'm also getting some more use out of my bike, now that I can talk [livejournal.com profile] aeliel into coming out for rides - good company is a good incentive. Hopefully, I'll also start doing some indoor rockclimbing now that HardRock has opened up in the CBD. I'd love to get some sort of regular climbing in, but the admission fee + gear hire are likely to dictate what kind of routine I can get into. Wushu and Tai Chi will already be chewing up a bit of cash, so climbing looks like it'll have to be an occasional luxury. More incentive to work on making the business more profitable, though. Any incentive helps :)

Over it

Mar. 27th, 2006 02:11 pm
morsla: (Default)
Sleep didn't answer the call last night. I think I've overdrawn my account.

Fortunately, I'm managing to get plenty of work done despite the erratic health. One advantage of spending hours unable to sleep is that you get plenty of time to plan the things you should do the next day - it's not especially relaxing, but it's better than staring blankly at the ceiling.

My immune system is still on edge. Something triggered a major allergic response while I walked into the city on Friday night... when the first spots appeared, I assumed I'd been bitten by something. They swelled and spread across my arms and back, itching like mad. I'd never seen anything like it, so I tried to isolate every possible trigger, mentally retracing the past 24 hours. It was a good distraction, concentrating on something other than the need to grow claws and tear off my skin.

I reached a pharmacy just before closing time - the front door was shut, but a glance at my arms convinced them to let me in. It took two hours for the antihistamines to have any noticeable effect, first numbing the itches, then diminishing the rash, and then knocking me unconscious with the sort of sleep that only comes attached to chemicals - black, dreamless and bruising. Before I fell asleep, I took photos of each arm in case I saw a doctor. In the morning, as I'd suspected, the marks on my skin had faded without trace.

I think I've had enough. Whoever I antagonised, whatever strings have been tied to me, I'm over it. You have a problem, world, you damn well come here and say it to my face.
morsla: (Default)
I can keep food down, and walk for short distances.

The alphabet noodles in my soup are spelling out cryptic messages.

MediaPlayer visualisations and Brian Eno are calming my headache.

I think it's Tuesday. I should go to my classes tomorrow, and get some work done in the morning - Thursday's workload is due from 10am, so I really need to start it before late night on Wednesday. I'm still exhausted, but I can sit up for longer than a few minutes at a time. I'm too impatient to stay sick for long - I need to go through all my symptoms in fast forward, trying to get them over with.

I haven't achieved much today, but I'm about to call it quits... collapsing into a hot bath, and then crawling into bed. Here's hoping that tomorrow will be a better day.
morsla: (Default)
It feels like food poisoning. However, [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and [livejournal.com profile] jilavre ate exactly the same food that I did yesterday, and neither of them is sick (thank gods... I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemies). Whatever hit me last night, I feel like I was run over by a busload of Commonwealth Games weightlifters.

I walked home without any problems, but my body started an earnest attempt to rip itself in half soon after I got inside. I've been more violently ill than I have in years... my sense of balance fled and I didn't have enough co-ordination to hold onto a glass of water. Every muscle in my back knotted up, shaking hard enough to make it impossible to stand up. At about 5am, [livejournal.com profile] aeliel found me on the floor downstairs having trouble figuring out which way was up.

Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. Assuming that it was brought on by food, I was paranoid that other people would be in the same shape I was, but without people looking after them. When I was lucid enough, I checked that [livejournal.com profile] aeliel was sleeping soundly, and called [livejournal.com profile] jilavre to make sure she was okay. All evidence is pointing to something else right now, so I have no idea what hit me.

I got a couple of hours' sleep after 9am, waking up when the painkillers stopped pacifying my back. Today I'm nesting on the couch with a glass of juice and a laptop, wondering what the hell happened. I'm vastly better than I was, but I don't feel in any shape to leave the house. I'm concentrating on keeping down some electrolytes (thankyou Hannah... you give good advice to irrational sick people), fluids and a bit of sugar. Fortunately, the next class I have to be on campus for runs on Wednesday afternoon. If I haven't recovered by then, I might as well be dead.
morsla: (lookin)
The bags are mostly packed. I've taken a bit of extra gear, as my pack seems to be a lot larger than [livejournal.com profile] aeliel's.

We have new scales in the house :) I'm now about 61kg, which means that I've finally gained a bit of weight. With the amount of food that I'll be eating over the next week, even after all the walking I might gain a bit more... I don't really have any body fat to replace with muscle, so muscle mass will add to the total. Mind you, I'll be burning energy at a good rate of knots.

Unfortunately, with the gear that didn't fit in the other pack I'm now carrying about 25kg + water + fuel. Adding in boots and a jacket, it'll end up being uncomfortably close to 50% of my body weight when fully loaded for the trail, which seems a bit imposing.

Fortunately, about a third of that is food. I think I'll be doing my best to eat most of the food before we cross the Pelion Gap, but I'll still have to take the full load up to the top of Cradle Mountain on Monday. This should be interesting...
morsla: (Default)
Wanted: One functioning spine, to suit 170cm tall human. Will pay well for quality parts. Required for immediate skeletal replacement.

I can't look to the right, today - my neck is locked in an awkward position, and most of my upper back is sitting at a strange angle. It's been getting worse over the last week, and I think it's time to get the thing replaced. I'm not sleeping very comfortably - this morning I was so tired I made a double-sided sandwich to take to work, and couldn't figure out how to invert it so the bread was on the outside...

I'm heading back to see the family for some of the weekend, and plan to use small-talk conversations to disguise the fact that I'll be sizing them up as possible musculo-skeletal donors at some point. "How's work going? Mind if we stand next to this measuring stick? Nice spine!"

Surgery, stretching, or sore neck notwithstanding, [livejournal.com profile] mistresscarlett has twisted my arm (okay, so I'd already twisted it most of the way before she got involved) and talked me into going to Golgotha on Sunday night. It's at the MegaBar; I haven't been to any of the other Golgotha nights to date, and I feel like going out. Anyone else feel like joining us? You can find more info here.

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