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Anno

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Everything posted by Anno

  1. I stumbled across this and I feel I should say something that others have said before: regardless of where you go, sit in on a class and make sure it seems above board. I'd also suggest poking your head into local community centres if you haven't already. You may be surprised what you'll find. As to the karate, may I suggest that you go in eyes open on that one. I did a quick check, and I'm going to assume you're looking at Steel City. I also did a quick search for their style and found it listed on a yellow pages-like site as "Tai Jutsu-gen Karate" and "Tai-Jitsu Karate" on their site. "Tai Jutsu-gen" seems to pretty much only exist related to Steel City. "Tai-jitsu karate" isn't much better and mostly referenced French sites, which makes sense, and a German one. Point being, everything points to this being very much 'their' style. Not necessarily bad, but enough to raise an eyebrow or two. The mismatch of style name raises another. That and my very bad former-otaku-if-you-can-even-call-it-that Japanese (read: do NOT take my word on this, seriously) is translating 'Tai Jutsu-gen Karate' as 'Serious Martial Art Karate,' so that didn't help.
  2. Sunday's walk took its toll on me. Still wiped and my feet are bruised and some blisters, so I invested in some better socks. My current are fine for most things; exercise, not so much. A hike this weekend may not be in the cards, but I'm already doing pretty well there. Had it pointed out to me that my form for squats was wrong. Keeping at level 3, but relearning how to do it right. Think I pulled something, so I'll need to be careful about that. Today was also my first day at level 2 of the back exercises, which means inverted rows. I'm surprised by how much those kicked my butt. Regardless: Monday: Squats - Level 2 - 70: 1 star. Planks - Level 2 - 120 seconds: 1 star Tuesday: Back - Level 2 - 20 inverted rows: 0 star Leg lifts - Level 1 - 20: 3 star Pushups - Level 1 - 40 incline: 2 star.
  3. Another week's gone by and I'm happy to say I've kept to the goals. Friday turned out to be a no-go, but I've already put in four workouts this week, so I'm still good. Went out on the trail again, or tried to anyway, yesterday. During the week I'd picked up a backpack with a Camelback in it so I could go on longer hikes. I've decided I really like the thing. Unfortunately, I got talked into taking my parents' dog. He's a good pup, but couldn't keep up. He's both out of shape and yesterday was a little bit brutal for heat and humidity. A few klicks in and he was tired, but too excited to calm down and rest. Had to stop for ten minutes every fifteen to let him rest up and calm down enough that he'd drink. By the first break in the trail back onto the road he was exhausted, but also got a call then that something had hit the fan and another set of hands was needed, so a pick up was on the way. It worked out. Made it 6875 paces, or about 5 km. Was going to head out again today, but the skies opened and we got about half an hour of solid downpour. Trails were off the menu no matter what I did and with a humidity of 87%, I didn't want to head into the woods. Decided to head out on the road after the humidity dipped some (about 80%) with the new backpack. Since it's road, I know I went 14.5km. My pedometer reads 18857, which calculates out to 1300 paces per km, so I was pretty close. Took a shot of the entry to the trail since I passed by. That's the view from the road. The entrance is behind the very bright green electrical box. At a total of about 19.5km, I'm definitely counting this week as successful for getting out on the trail.
  4. I missed Wednesday due to being under the weather, but hit another level up today. Thursday: Back - level 1: 3 star (going up to level 2) Leg lifts - level 1: 2 star Pushups - level 1: 2 star I'll likely miss tomorrow's workout due to prior engagements, but in the overall, that's week 2 completed successfully. I'm pretty proud of that.
  5. Hit another milestone and one of my overall goals, which is more than a little surprising. Hit level 3 for squats last night. Monday: Level 1 - Back: 3 star Level 1 - Pushups: 2 star Level 1 - Leg lifts: 2 star Tuesday: Level 2 - Squats: 3 star. Second in a row, up to level 3. Level 2 - Planks: 1 star. Also, I was right. The two-minutes of planks hurt.
  6. This is a very down-the-road answer, but go in and ask the question about weapon training from any Karate places you have in your area. I've found that many do offer it as an option, granted you probably won't get your hands on a weapon until green belt.
  7. I recommend Desitin. It's a diaper rash ointment that I've found to be the best stuff to use both as a pretreatment and as a treatment for chafing you already have. It'll feel pretty gross going on and gives the impression that it'll bind you, but once it's worked its way into the skin, you won't even notice it.
  8. First day of week 2 and surprised that I'm actually not-dead after the hike yesterday. I expected to be cramped up something fierce. My feet are sore, but I can handle that. I spent most of the afternoon wandering around town for places I could go to learn and practice parkour. Sadly, that came up with no dice. A local skate park was the best candidate and that's always packed. I'll shelve that one for now, it was a distant goal to begin with and the training doesn't change, and maybe look into distance sports instead. Still planning on the karate. For today: Level 1 planks - 60 second 3 star. Second in a row, moving to level 2 next time. Level 2 squats - 50 3 star. The plank nearly killed me, so I have to admit that I'm not looking forward to that next time it comes around.
  9. In my experience, the best thing to do is to get some Desitin (diaper rash ointment) and pretreat any areas you know are going to get chafed. It's also the best thing I know to get rid of chafing once it's started. Putting it on isn't the most pleasant thing in the world, but once it's into the skin, you won't even notice it.
  10. First and foremost, Thanks Talvi. TL;DR: Took my first trip out on the trail today. Ran around 11.5km and took a little more than 3 hours. Seeing as how this is meant to be something of a game and I don't think what I'm about to do is a faux pas, I thought it'd be fun to go through the trip. I took some photos with my phone and while I don't know who's likely to see this, I'm hoping none of it comes across as too much or obnoxious. I'm sure I'll be told if it is. It was warm today, around 29C (84F), but the humidity was only around 30%. From experience, it's the humidity that'll get you, especially in the woods. Around here, we're lucky if the humidity's less than 60% in the summer, so it seemed as good a time as any to get my first hike in, I found an old pedometer and stuck it on my fanny pack. The whole trip came in at 15494 paces. It's going back a ways, but when I was with the reserves, I was paced at 67 left footfalls per 100 meters. I don't want to split hairs, so assuming 135 paces per 100 meters, that's an overall total of a little under 11.5km, so I guess the trail's a little shorter than I'd thought. From my door to the entrance, I had around 2500 paces. I wish I'd taken a picture of the entrance because, if you didn't know it was there, you'd never see it. It's an electrical box with a blaze on the side. This trail's part of the Bruce Trail, which runs clear across Ontario and it's something of a shame that it's hard to find because it really is a nice place to go. It runs more or less along the side of a mountain here, so there's a lot of vertical to it. You can see a staircase in there where it starts up the side of a little stream valley. It goes up a ways farther here, and this is near the beginning. To give it a number, I'd say the trail is overall 3-4x harder than road walking, though the concrete and asphalt are much harder on the soles of the feet. I also like the trail because you find some surprising vistas, and where do you get a chance to use that word, really? I also had a nice visit from this little guy. Landed on a thistle right beside me and was nice enough to pose. Sadly, I almost never use my phone for pictures, so I forgot how to use the zoom function, but still a nice surprise. The picture didn't come out in any way that someone could see it, but at the 6050 pace mark, the trail was closed. Wound up having to climb a staircase made of local stone up the not-quite-hill-not-quite-cliff I was walking along and came out onto a road. A nice life lesson about the dangers of adding things after the fact rather than as part of the original plan. Other long ascents are slow and meandering, this one was cut right up the side. Got to the top and decided that now would be a good time for a break and to drink my water. After my calves stopped complaining, I hit the road, which is actually relaxing after the trail, as I said, and continued on about 800 paces (0.6 km) until the trail markers started again and popped me back down into the woods. Not many pictures from this part as no sooner did I get back onto the trail than a deer fly decided I looked tasty. I took the next 300-400 meters at a dead run. Little buggers are persistent and really hard to catch or bat away. It did, on the other hand, remind me of the other danger on this trail. The stagnant pond. I really shouldn't have stopped for this picture, but I remembered and so took this picture before the bugs really started in on me. Luckily, the first fly and this are far enough apart that I was rested. There were also some pictures between the one and the other, but they didn't come out well. Because of the pond, another stretch was taken at a run. This one uphill. That was fun... At around the 9000 (~6.5km) pace mark, I popped back out onto the road and started home. Another nice view came on the road, and it's always surprising to see what a difference a few klicks will make to the scenery. And I started on home, stopping along the way for an ice cream cone and a soda (yeah, I know.) As I said above, the road's much harder on my feet and I'm really not used to it any more. Round about the 10km mark, and about when I was starting to flag, I noticed this guy circling overhead. It's a turkey vulture. Nice confidence boost, that one. Heh...
  11. I've come to the end of my first work week on the challenge and I'm happy to say that I've done something every day so far. I've also been surprised by a few things. Namely that incline pushups seem to stress higher in the chest than normal ones for me. Progress so far: Back exercise: Level 1 - one arm rows using a 20lb kettlebell, 30 each arm Monday: 2 star Wednesday: 2 star Friday: 2 star Pushups: Level 1 - Incline using waist-high bar, 40 Monday: 2 star Wednesday: 1 star Friday: 2 star Leg lifts: Level 1 - 20 (personal add in) Monday: 2 star Wednesday: 2 star Friday: 2 star Squats: Level 1 - 30 Tuesday: 3 star Thursday: 3 star Level 2 next time I do this Planks: Level 1 - 60 seconds Tuesday: 2 star Thursday: 3 star Haven't hit the trail yet. It's a weekend thing and, looking at the weather, tomorrow may be the only chance this week. I'll see how that goes. All told, though, pretty happy with how this is going so far.
  12. Thanks for the welcome and the link. I'd been looking at that one already and it helped me set up my challenge by getting all the prep exercises into it. It's been helpful. A lot of things on this site have been, really.
  13. A friend of mine mentioned this site a little while back so I decided to take a look. It's a little over a week later now and here I am, and looking to get started. To that end: Hello all, I go by Anno and I'm happy to be here. As to background, going by the racials for the RP, I'd say that I'm a half-orc, or maybe a werebear. Depending on which card I take it from, 5'10 and about 230lbs. I'm a big guy and always have been, but I'm okay with that. I was the same way at my best, a time I spent in the reserves and often served as a packmule, which I'm actually proud of as much as I complained back then. Unfortunately, that's about ten years back now and more of that weight's in the belly than before. I've been lazy since and I let a relatively minor injury slow me down more than it should. I've noticed in the last year or so that I'm not as strong as I was and also find myself thinking back to a karate class I took in my teens. I quit because, to my mind then and now, the instructor got tired of the class and largely stopped teaching. Still, I remember starting to learn more how to use my body beyond the march and haul that I have now and have decided that I want to get more into that as well as rebuilding it. I'm in a spot where I can get into a karate class easily, which is hard to find where I am. I've recently started Tai Chi and found that they offer a karate class right after, which I didn't know at the start. There's a delay before it begins and I don't want to quit Tai Chi, but I know that while I could manage the classes, it'd kill me right now to do both. I'm looking to get the strength and stamina to do it back before it starts. I'm also looking into the guides for Parkour and I have to admit I've always liked the idea of that kind of mobility and freedom of movement. I want to try that as well, but I know that I'm further from that than the karate, but something I'd like to explore somewhere down the road.
  14. Hello all, I'm Anno and I am very late to the party this round. This is the first challenge I'm setting for myself and my goal here is to learn to move better, use my body better and push myself more. By the racial standards, I'm a half-orc or a werebear, maybe; always have been and will always be, and I'm good with that. Even at my best I was a big guy and it served me well. During that time I in the reserves; one of the pack mules and proud of it, as much as I complained at the time. That best is about a decade back now. A relatively minor injury slowed me down more than it should have and I've been lazy. As a teen, I was in Karate for a year and left when the teacher, to my mind then and now, effectively abandoned the class, but it showed me that I could learn to move better. Still, it was a lesson I left behind at the time. I recently joined a Tai Chi class after years of trying to find a martial arts class of any kind in my area and was surprised to learn that they also offer Karate right after the Tai Chi. I promised myself I'd take up both when I'd gotten in shape enough to do so and the Karate classes resumed after a summer break. I've also been looking into Parkour very recently and want to try that as well, though I have an even longer way to go for that. Which brings me to why I'm here. Main Quest: To gain the strength and endurance to start Karate and/or begin training to do Parkour. Goal 1: I've taken the Angry Birds workout and added leg lifts as they were suggested in the Beginner's Parkour page, then split the set into two halves to avoid taking the day off between and to allow a more flexible schedule. Apologies for the awkward language, but I intend to do a half-set a minimum of four times per week. A - Flawless, less a grade for every two missed. Goal 2: Going up a level being taken as 3-starring two times in a row on that exercise, reach a level 3 on all parts. A - All five, less a grade for each not yet at level 3. Goal 3: There is a 12km blazed-only/earthen trail through the woods near where I live. Walk it a minimum of once every two weeks. A - three or more, B - twice, C - once, F - none. Motivation: I've always been a packmule, but I've noticed my strength slipping in the last few years and I want at least that much back. Beyond that, I've recently learned to see machines and parts in terms of form, fit and function, as well as possibility, well past what I used to think was possible, and I've learned how ignorant I still am through it. I want to learn to see the world and my own body that way, and to learn how to use both properly. Regardless of final method, this is step one.
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