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Jigme Keeps Her Arms and Legs Inside the Vehicle At All Times


Jigme

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Hi, Monks!  I have missed this place.  Here's the deal: since we've last spoken, I got diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder, and have been instructed to avoid hitting, running, jumping, or anything that involves joint manipulation. I have had to regroup and figure out what I CAN do these days.

 

So far: 

1. My primary practice of kyudo is fine! Yay! 

2. Aikido is out, so are pretty much all contact sports and arts. Taiji is fine.

3. Weights are the best thing that I can do and I should do them a lot.

4. Cardio has been super confusing. Now that I'm listening to my body, I have noticed that practically everything messes with my joints, even the low-impact activities. Cycling? My knees click and then are sore. Swimming? Shoulders and knees.  Walking?  Hips and knees and back.  (Sleeping? My shoulder subluxes. Turning the steering wheel? My wrist pops.) So, I'm still exploring here. 

 

Additionally, I left the meditation community that I have been a part of for the last 10 years due to revelations of senior teacher misconduct. Like, bad, you guys.  The departure has been tremendously painful. I am still committed to the Dharma path, but at the moment, I am practicing solo.

 

For this four-week challenge, I'd like to focus on STR and attend at least two lift classes per week, with a max of four.

 

Here's the stat breakdown:

STR  - two one-hour lift classes per week under adult (trainer) supervision. No olympic lifts.

CON - as a side quest, look into all possible cardio options.

DEX - no stretching. Yoga is dead to me now.  I mean, for the last 7 years, I thought I was really good at yoga. Turns out my ligaments just don't hold my joints together and that's why I can contort myself into any weird-ass shape. Also, turns out that having poor-ass proprioception is a side effect of loose joints, and in fact, my dexterity is a lot lower than I thought. That's right, I'm an archer with shitty Dex. Let's hope I can use my WIS or INT modifier.

WIS - still keeping up my daily meditation practice; śamatha-style, nothing fancy. I've been considering learning more about Zen, which I have always been drawn to, but have followed a different lineage.

INT - I'm doing some Spanish lessons on Duolingo and keeping up on French.

CHA - ~dump stat~ ~~ duuuuump stat ~~ 

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Today's workout (I'm crossing out the original workout where we had to substitute something else for joint reasons. As you can see, all stretches get substituted for strengthening exercises):

 

Warm-up

KB OH Carry (it's like trying to balance a kettlebell on jello)

Banded stretch pulldown

Box handstand shoulder taps

 

Handstand pushup  Pike pushups

3 X as many times as you can, which is 2 for me, because this sucks

Shoulders and elbows are pretty much doing whatever. 

 

SA Dumbbell bench press

1X8 10 lb

2X8 15 lb

Elbows are tweaking, but you know what, we're doing it

 

Trap Raise

2X12 2.5lb

1X12 5 lb

 

SA DB Push Strict Press

3X8 

no push presses!!

 

Weighted Plank

1 X 45 seconds 15 lbs

2 X 45 seconds 25 lbs

 

Deltoid stretch Dumbbell Straight Arm Front Delt Raise

3 X 10 - 5 lbs, that's right, 5 lbs, friends, fmllllll 

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Hey, you gotta start somewhere, yeah? And besides, with numbers like this, you'll be seeing gainz for daaaaaaays.

 

I hope those elbows don't turn out troublesome. Of course, there are lots of ways to press, and if that one doesn't work, well, others will surely present themselves. Worst case, you might get into some isometric stuff, which is old-school strongwoman type exercise and super interesting. Or at least I think so.

 

I'm glad you get to keep kyudo! Sorry to hear that the sangha had a major problem; I hope you find someplace else eventually.

 

And, uh. Yeah. Glad to see you back with us! And glad to see that you've found a new way forward. We'll be cheering you on!

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The cardio problem might be deciding what sort of screwed you are, and maybe choosing to mix it up to spread the strain around, unfortunately. The sad truth is that living involves joint manipulation, because that's kind of how the skeleton is functionally designed. ;)

 

Rowing is pretty low impact and has some strength elements in its motion, so might fall under strength training enough to mitigate things, but I'm betting you'd feel it in the knees and shoulders, possibly hips if you get the right body swing in there. But it's got possibilities, since it's basically a squat and a row with resistance, at speed.

 

Sorry about the Sangha. It's unfortunately endemic in, well, most spiritual communities, but no one expects it to hit close to home. I'm sure disappointing is the least of what it is. Fortunately, Buddhism is good for practicing on your own, and it sounds like there are ways to make some lemonade out of the lemons. Maybe it's Zen time. No harm in exploring while you're between meditation gigs.

 

And, well, hey, the kyudo's good news! :)

 

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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On 9/19/2018 at 9:19 AM, Kishi said:

Sorry to hear that the sangha had a major problem; I hope you find someplace else eventually.

 

19 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Sorry about the Sangha. It's unfortunately endemic in, well, most spiritual communities, but no one expects it to hit close to home. I'm sure disappointing is the least of what it is. Fortunately, Buddhism is good for practicing on your own, and it sounds like there are ways to make some lemonade out of the lemons. Maybe it's Zen time. No harm in exploring while you're between meditation gigs.

 

Thanks, guys. : / I really do hate how common this sort of thing is in spiritual communities, and yep, I never thought it would happen to mine. There is surely some kind of a dharma lesson in this, but it's too sore at the moment to contemplate.

 

On 9/19/2018 at 9:19 AM, Kishi said:

And besides, with numbers like this, you'll be seeing gainz for daaaaaaays.

 

That sounds like a good thing and I'm surprised to see someone say that! I'm fully committed to embracing the suck at the moment.

 

19 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

The cardio problem might be deciding what sort of screwed you are, and maybe choosing to mix it up to spread the strain around, unfortunately. The sad truth is that living involves joint manipulation, because that's kind of how the skeleton is functionally designed. ;)

 

Rowing is pretty low impact and has some strength elements in its motion, so might fall under strength training enough to mitigate things, but I'm betting you'd feel it in the knees and shoulders, possibly hips if you get the right body swing in there. But it's got possibilities, since it's basically a squat and a row with resistance, at speed.

 

Stupid skeletons...

 

Yeah, I'll check out rowing! We have a machine at our gym; though I'd have to get proper form tips.

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Yesterday, two things happened:

1. I invested in a mattress. Sure, it was a mattress I got off Craigslist, but the king-sized custom-made bed is definitely a step up from the free full-sized mattress with wine stains that I inherited from a classmate two years ago.

 

Unfortunately, it has failed to fix my sleep problems in the one night I had it, and I spent three hours in the middle of the night dead awake, reading The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, which was really good, but I was basically a wreck all day today. Like, I tried to go for a hike, right?  Well, I missed a turn, drove around a bunch, decided to go on a different trail, walked for about 5 minutes, realized I was about to fall over, drove home, couldn't keep my eyes open at traffic lights, made it home, proceeded to sleep for two hours, until my significant other woke me up b/c it was dinnertime. 

 

2.  Our neighbor was giving away a juicer for free. Perfectly good juicer, like one of those Breville ones that goes for $150 new, just missing the pulp catcher - so I used a bowl in the sink and gleefully juiced all the produce we had.  Apple!  Cucumber!  Carrots!  An entire head of lettuce!  It was...kind of gross, to be honest, but I drank the whole thing. Today, I made a beet-orange-apple concoction, and used the beet pulp in my scrambled eggs. It all feels like a science experiment, which I always enjoy.

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Today's Workout

Warm-up

Banded lat distraction Whatever this thing is:

Shoulder-Mobility-Wall-Assisted-Shoulder-Flexion-Shoulders-Thoracic-Spine-Stretching-Mobility-Alignment-Evaluation-225x300.jpg.52360724386d25578fc0ec14c41b92e1.jpg

 

I don't usually break my no-stretching rule, but my thoracic spine has a curve in it and needs warming up. So, I try to keep my shoulders as stabilized as possible and try to not overdo it.

 

Goblet Squat

SA DB OH Squat

 

Actual workout

Heaving Snatch Balance hahaha no, this is a Strict OH Squat for me

-anything overhead is a real fricken doozy for me, so...

1X 5 - 15 lb

1X 5 - 25 lb

1X5  - 35 lb

 

Weighted Chinese Plank

3 X 45-50 secs  25 lb

 

Banded Angle Distraction Calf raises

3 X 10

 

Front Squat

1 X 5 - 35 lb

1 X 5 - 45 lb

1 X 5 - 55 lb

- uh-oh, this was supposed to be a 3 X 8, but I couldn't see the board, so I thought it was 5

 

Single Leg DB RDL

1 X 8 - 10 lb

2 X 8 - 15 lb

 

Ring Pull-up

-oh boy!  This sucked! So, ok, I can't do a ring pull-up, so we did negatives.  The first negative I did, my shoulders popped with a wet sort of a crunch, so GREAT, no negatives yet. Instructor recommended a hold: elbows bent, shoulderblades down, for at least 10 seconds. Cool, right?  Nope. I'm hanging there starting at my arms trying to get them to hold me up. I know they can do it. I have all the muscles. 

 

Eventually I worked up to a 10-second-ish hold, but wow, it was rough.

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12 hours ago, Jigme said:

Ring Pull-up

-oh boy!  This sucked! So, ok, I can't do a ring pull-up, so we did negatives.  The first negative I did, my shoulders popped with a wet sort of a crunch, so GREAT, no negatives yet. Instructor recommended a hold: elbows bent, shoulderblades down, for at least 10 seconds. Cool, right?  Nope. I'm hanging there starting at my arms trying to get them to hold me up. I know they can do it. I have all the muscles.

 

Yikes, that sounds rough. :( So was it a bent-arm hang (like bent at 90 degrees), or was it an active hang (arms long but with a slight bend in them)?

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Did a bunch of deadlifts yesterday. The real kicker, though, was the side-plank-to-stars, which made my legs basically fall off.

 

I feel exhausted. Like, all the time. I wake up tired, I hide in the closet at work and lie down for half an hour, I come home and plop down on the couch. After a two-hour kyudo class, what I want to do most is take a nap in the dojo parking lot, but it’s also sensei’s house, so that would be weird. 

 

I still drag myself to lift class, though, and I’m going to keep doing it. But the other day, I was out of breath taking a shower and ran a few minutes late to work because getting dressed was a challenge. I don’t really understand how this condition works. Am I doing too little? Too much? It seems like an entirely subjective measure. My PT and doctor say ‘listen to your body,’ right, but what it’s saying is ‘hey, you should lie down and not do anything, ever’ — which causes exactly the sort of deconditioning that lands people like me in wheelchairs.

 

Btw, PT says running might be OK, just ‘no marathons, keep it under 3 miles.’ She has the same condition and is a climber, runner, taekwondo practitioner, so it’s good to hear about the possibilities. She also said that some days she can do a 10K with no problems, and other times she can’t get out of bed. I’m more on the latter side of it at the moment, and I honestly can’t figure out how to nudge it to the former. I had a ‘good week’ three weeks ago - I rode the bike to work twice (with knee pain), went to lift class, cleaned the house. Then it swung again, and here I am, procrastinating going to bed because changing into PJs is a lot of effort.

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How many rest/recovery days do you have per week, and how many hours of light/moderate/intense exercise?

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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8 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

How many rest/recovery days do you have per week, and how many hours of light/moderate/intense exercise?

 

During the weeks that I’m tired:

-2 hrs of lift (two-three days of rest in between) - moderate/intense

-1.5 -2 hrs of kyudo (once a week) - light

-4 rest days

 

Regular weeks:

Same as above, but with an additional two hours of light to intense cardio

-1-2 rest days

 

Really great weeks:

An hour of biking 3 days a week! 3 lift days a week!  5-hour hike on the weekend!  9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night! So yeah basically I have like a couple of those a year.

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I'll assume that regular weeks are not a problem ordinarily, and don't habitually lead to tired weeks, so they're not a problem to be solved. (If they do tend to trigger tired weeks, they are.)

 

Number of rest days looks good on tired weeks. The thing I'd experiment with is two one-hour lifting sessions versus four half-hour ones, splitting up muscle groups. Or three half hours. It might be that an hour is just overwhelming to your body on those weeks, and you'd recover better from doing less but more often.

 

If that doesn't do it, I think you just need data. Take a tired week completely off. Log how it feels and how you recover. Then add back two ten minute sessions the next time. Log data. Try three or four ten minute sessions. Log. Then fifteen minutes. Then twenty. (Interspersed with your regular weeks, if you're concerned about taking too many off in a row. A week or two won't do much harm.)

 

It'll take several bad weeks to get it done, but it'll be good to know how it works for you on those weeks so you can strategize. If nothing helps, well, do it anyway. If you find a medium between symptoms and activity you can live with or actually helps, great. If you don't, the variables get weirder. Maybe try to build up your tolerance to activity during those weeks over the course of a few months. Or try starting strong and stepping down for the duration of a bad period. Or making one weekend day a legit total rest day in bed on the bad weeks.

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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@sarakingdom Thank you, that is excellent advice. I am going to start with some really basic data collection: amount of ‘tired’ vs ‘normal’ days. I’ve been trying to gauge that for a while now, but I kind of overcomplicated it and got bogged down.

 

Ex: I was trying to rate the fatigue on the scale of 1-10 on each day.  It wasn’t meaningful and took up too much brain power.  I’m just going to go with a true/false now.

 

So: last week, I had a fatigue spiral that culminated with me coming home from work mid-day and laying face down on the couch on Thursday. Attempts to get up were met with a throbbing headache. After taking a couple of Tylenols, I was able to turn my head sideways and play Pillars of Eternity for the rest of the night.

 

Then, get this, next day? Everything was fine. Perfectly normal energy levels throughout the day, finishing off with a lift class. Today, same thing - I was on call this morning, then cleaned house for five hours straight, coz holy shit, grime builds up if you don’t touch it for a month. I was tired by 5 o’clock, but that’s, like, something that normal people do after a marathon scrubbing session.

 

I started taking a new supplement on Thursday, so that’s some new input, but it seems weird to think that it just miraculously kicked in and fixed stuff.

 

But here we go! Another week complete with weights, despite challenging odds. Now I’m just writing ‘tired’ and ‘not tired?’ in my calendar.

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Went hiking with friends today and saw a moose! It was a slender lady moose, only about the size of an elk, but A Moose nonetheless. I was thrilled (and apprehensive) to see it cross the trail right in front of us.  I feel like my summer is complete now - well, fall as well, as it appears it will be snowing in a week, and that will put a damper on these mountain outings.

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On 9/29/2018 at 10:18 PM, Jigme said:

Ex: I was trying to rate the fatigue on the scale of 1-10 on each day.  It wasn’t meaningful and took up too much brain power.  I’m just going to go with a true/false now. 

 

Yeah, it'd be great to get a 1-10, but it's so subjective that it's unreliable. True/false is meaningful enough. Because if the day goes fine, that's want counts, not whether it's a 7 or an 8.

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Still keeping up the ‘not tired’ streak! I think these supplements are helping. Also (don’t try this at home, kids), I ran out of my anti anxiety medication and was too tired to refill it. However, after three days, there was a marked positive difference in my energy and general mood. It’s possible that on this particular occasion, I was experiencing some depressive side effects.

 

The insidious part of it was that the terrible mood was hard to see as a mere side effect; it truly did present itself as the authentic insight into the world, which was ‘this world sucks, and you, specifically, suck most of all.’ Of course, this medication was described to me by my old primary as having no side effects, which...never happens with pharmaceuticals in real life, let’s be honest.

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2 hours ago, Jigme said:

Still keeping up the ‘not tired’ streak! I think these supplements are helping. Also (don’t try this at home, kids), I ran out of my anti anxiety medication and was too tired to refill it. However, after three days, there was a marked positive difference in my energy and general mood. It’s possible that on this particular occasion, I was experiencing some depressive side effects.

 

The insidious part of it was that the terrible mood was hard to see as a mere side effect; it truly did present itself as the authentic insight into the world, which was ‘this world sucks, and you, specifically, suck most of all.’ Of course, this medication was described to me by my old primary as having no side effects, which...never happens with pharmaceuticals in real life, let’s be honest.

 

I mean, I'm happy that you caught it, but I'm sad that it has that effect on you.

 

I'm sorry to hear that the meds had that kind of effect! Maybe it's reasonable to switch to something else?

 

Quote

Handstands may not be a good idea yet. I can do the, sure, but today my wrists feel wonky. Yesterday was just a wrist-heavy day in general.

 

Well, take it easy with handstands. You need a strong set of wrists for support. Are you doing any kind of specific strengthening work for them to see if that might help?

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5 hours ago, Kishi said:

I'm sorry to hear that the meds had that kind of effect! Maybe it's reasonable to switch to something else?

 

Yep, I'll ask my new primary!

 

5 hours ago, Kishi said:

Are you doing any kind of specific strengthening work for them to see if that might help?

 

Here's what didn't work: https://gmb.io/wrists/

-these series of exercises just stretched my wrists out without building up strength, and I don't want to stretch anything any more than it's already stretched

 

Here's what I'm going to try: https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/7-exercises-to-maximize-hand-wrist-and-forearm-strength?page=0,1

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Wrists are recovering! Knees are still not loving the bike, though. I suppose I could drop 200 bucks on a proper bike fitting, better pedals, maybe a whole new bicycle...but there is no guarantee that it will be any better for my knees.

 

I downloaded a C25K app just to make sure that my back pain while running was not because I went too far too fast - but after day one, which I thought was quite easy, the back still acted up afterwards. 

 

Walking is fine, though! On Wednesday, I filled my cardio time with house cleaning, which, according to my Fitbit, was vigorous enough to count.

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So, today, there we were in our kyudo class, shooting outside on a gray, chilly day, maples around the dojo ablaze. There is five of us in a lineup, an instructor in front, and the head instructor in the back. We go through the coordinations uneventfully, until the last shot, which resounds across the dojo grounds with a great clatter. The instructor who was in the front not only dropped his bow, but shot his arrow right into the roof of the structure protecting the target.

 

I’ll tell you, in five years, I’ve never seen an arrow go that high. It sat there, mysteriously horizontal and sideways, as we all carefully screwed our features up into the inscrutable ‘dojo face.’ We bow out like nothing happened and start walking inside as per usual, when from the back, we hear this quite distinct snickering. It was the head instructor.

 

At that point, of course, we all lose it. The class ended with everyone watching the poor guy try to get his arrow down with an apple picker from the dojo shed.

 

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