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Jigme

Jigme Walks Away From Zombies

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(tl:dr for those of just joining: I shoot really big bows and have a newly diagnosed connective tissue disorder)

 

The last challenge had me exploring my CON stat, which is at least at -1, and boy, was it a challenge! It turned out that I blew my knees out weightlifting in my previous STR-focused challenged, and I've had to quit my gym and go into PT. Gym offered to rehab me, but after showing my PT the workouts they had planned, they recommended that I ... don't do them. B/c they're way too hard.  After quitting and 10 days of PT, my knees have been feeling a ton better.

 

So! I decided to go with the most convenient thing possible for my cardio and walk. The plan for this challenge is to walk for at least 30 minutes/day. To make it fun, I'll use the Zombies, Run! app on a timed, no chases setting (the missions are around 30 minutes long), my Fitbit, and the Charity Miles app.

 

What I would like to work up to is what the author of Blue Zones recommends: an hour of walking, with 30-40 mins of cycling or swimming every other day & two hours on the weekends. My knees aren't cleared for biking at the moment, but I think I will find something else that can work. For example, the PT recommended pilates as a way to work on strength without injuring myself -- I've never done it before, but I'm willing to try.  Regardless, I'm going through a bout of extreme fatigue at the moment, and the half hour of walking + PT exercises should be a good starting point.

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Week 1

Spoiler

Day 1 (11/26)

Walking: ~2hrs at a slow pace (2.5 mph or so)

 

My side gig is dog walking, and I picked up two walks today.  It's not quite cardio, because the dogs tend to want to stop and hang out and sniff, but it's not nothing!  I rolled an ankle, though, so now my dumb foot is in pain -- and on the first day!  I think I may have subluxed something in there. Good thing PT follow-up is tomorrow.

 

Day 2 (11/27)

Had PT today! Good news: no torn ligaments from rolled ankle. Got some new exercise to work my balance!

 

I didn’t really have time to walk today, and my foot still hurts, so I subbed the walking session out for a cleaning session. Honestly, I was just going to put dishes away for half an hour, but it turned into an hour-long scrubfest. Hey, gotta ride the wave while it lasts, right?

 

Day 3 (11/28)

Walked 1hr, 3 miles. I didn’t dress for walking, had my boots on, so got blisters on both heels.

 

Day 4 (11/29)

Picked up two dog walks today, so 2hrs of walking. They were both big, strong girls, so I think I may have gotten a strength workout in, too! lol

 

Day 5 (11/30)

It was cold and humid and I had a bunch of meetings today, so I took today off. I went to bed at 8.30 pm last night, and woke up at 7 am. It was the best. I bet sleeping 10 hrs a night *would* improve my performance.

 

Day 6 (12/1)

No walking, but I spent about three hours on my feet in the kitchen, batch cooking veggies for the next week. I roasted up a bunch of winter squash + beets and made broccoli salad. Squash will he used as a side and mixed into oatmeal.

 

Day 7 (12/2)

I think I’m going to make an exception for the walking challenge for Sundays, because I spend two hours shooting, and it’s pretty tiring.

 

My significant other is leaving town for five days, and I am just curling up on the couch being sad. In our ten-year relationship, both of us have had to travel a lot, but somehow saying bye is never any easier.

 

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Week 2

 

Spoiler

Day 1

30 min walk

 

Day 2

20 min walk in between meetings. It’s 6.30 pm and honestly, I could go to bed now; I am super tired.

 

Day 3

Decided to prioritize health over work productivity and went for two walks (30 mins). Actually think I got just as much done as when I sit at a desk all day. Additionally, there are like six people who do some circuit exercises at 3 pm, so I joined in & did my PT instead. Still super tired!

 

Day 4

So cold...felt terrible at work, so I went home and napped over lunch (I’m lucky to live 10 mins away from work). Eventually, managed to force myself to walk around the block for half an hour. It’s kind of silly, I mean, it’s not Alaska, but we’re still in below freezing temperatures.

 

Day 5

Two thirty-minute walks! It warmed up. My shoulder is not feeling better, unfortunately; I’m having trouble with not only PT, but normal daily tasks, brushing my hair and taking off a sweater. Basically, anything that requires me lifting my arm. So, I just did knee stuff today.

 

Day 6

No walks, but spent the whole day on my feet, cooking. It doesn’t really rack up the steps, but it’s enough exertion for me to contemplate going to bed at 6.30 pm.

 

Day 7

As expected, shooting was pretty difficult. Eventually, I gave up and just spent some time maintaining the class bow I was shooting, which is a good thing to do anyway, tbh.

 

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Week 3

Spoiler

Day 1 (Mon)

20 min walk

 

Day 2 (Tues)

30 min walk

 

Day 3 (Wed)

0 mins! Day off. We had an all-company meeting and sat on the ground for an hour and a half, so now my back hurts a ton and I'm going to skip the walk.

 

Day 4 (Thurs)

I am traveling to my parents' house tomorrow, so I counted the two miles that I spent walking around & shopping as exercise. Not a lot of time on my hands for a proper walk!

 

Day 5  (Fri)

~travel day~

 

Day 6 (Sat)

Spent the whole day doing holiday things, which unfortunately involved a lot of sitting and not a lot of moving around. I should focus on making more of an effort! It wasn't this much of an issue last year, because my parents would go for walks with their dog, but the dog passed away since then.  Poor little guy. All the walks in the world didn't save him from lung cancer. We all thought he was fake coughing to avoid exercise.

 

Day 7 (Sun)

Walking problem solved! My brother has arrived with his dog, and we spent an hour and a half walking in a park. It sure is humid here, but it's a lot better than summer hiking in 90 degree weather. It's a balmy 50. Mom was having a bit of trouble walking four miles in one sitting, which makes me a bit concerned that she isn't getting enough exercise on a daily basis.

 

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Week 4

Spoiler

Day 1 (Mon)

~30 min walk in the morning and an hour in the evening with brother and dog. Additionally, I went to that barre class, which wasn't great, but it gave me insight into what not to do.

 

Day 2 (Tues)

30 minute walk this morning and another hour this afternoon. Heck, maybe I should get a dog. Walking is so much easier with a puppy!  On the other hand, the dog pooped on a fire hydrant* while looking me dead in the eye, so maybe not.

 

*(no, not next to one. Right...onto...it.  He's tall.)

 

Day 3 (Wed) + Day 4 (Thurs)

Oops! It has been raining, so neither my brother nor I are out walking, and because the holidays are upon us, I can’t just sneak off and exercise in the privacy of my old bedroom. PT has been shot, too. Hopefully, I can manage to get back on track.

 

Day 5 (Fri)

Walked for about an hour and a half with my brother and dusted off the ol' Habitica app to stay up to date on my PT. Created timers in the Seconds app for PT. I know checking off checkboxes is always a good time for me!

 

Day 6 (Sat)

Went hiking with my friends, but we really didn't get far, because one of them had a child who wasn't even a year old.

 

Day 7 (Sun)

Hanging out with friends again; circled the block a couple of times, but it really wasn't a lot of movement.

 

 

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Stats breakdown:

 

CON - walking! This is still a CON challenge

STR - I'm looking into the Convict Conditioning stuff that @Kishi recommended. Some of the things I will never be able to do safely (ex: full bridge -- I might literally slip something), but I should be able to do stuff on the lighter side of the progressions. 

DEX - PT exercises

WIS - ol' daily meditation is still going; still shamatha, nothing fancy. I'm using the Calm app for a timer and the occasional talk.

INT - I slipped on Duolingo back in September and haven't been able to get into the groove. However, I did just purchase a bunch of coding courses as a Cyber Monday deal, so I would like to dedicate some time daily to doing them.

CHA - oy. It is hard to keep this up on low energy. The best I can do at the moment is get presentable for work and keep my kyudo uniform dry-cleaned and pressed, and more than that I don't think anyone can ask.

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Aaah, I'd totally forgot about the bridge work. Darn. Oh well. You do the best you can and if you find something that'll work that you enjoy, you do that thing. Convict Conditioning tends to work as a starting point for a lot of people in terms of springing off into their own directions.

 

And hey, I've heard good things about pilates too. It's supposed to be a good low-to-no impact form of strength training, and maybe that's the way forward for you. I've never got the chance to try it. If you decide to do it, tell us how it goes!

 

Anyway, here with you to the end of the year - walking forward into the next. :)

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22 hours ago, Kishi said:

Aaah, I'd totally forgot about the bridge work. Darn. Oh well.

 

That’s all right, I can do the easiest version of that exercise! Handstands are the ones that I shouldn’t be doing, period, so I might just skip them altogether.

 

(I asked my PT why putting weight on my wrists hurts & what I can do to strengthen them, and she explained that while it’s all well and good to strengthen wrists, the reason it hurts is because putting weight on them causes my hands to bend too far back. Too much flexibility!)

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It is pretty amazing, the condition our kitchen gets into. We thoroughly clean it on a regular basis, but after three meals a day, it inevitably looks like an explosion of mangled food bits, cutlery, and dirty dishes. I don’t know if I see all these websites that espouse healthy eating mentioning the hidden costs of delicious home cooked meals: the amount you have to spend cleaning up after them!

 

However, regarding it as a workout helps. I actually faced the leaning tower of crusty cookware in the sink and thought ‘oh, good, this is gonna bring the heart rate up!’ And it did. It sure did.

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I’d also like you all to know that I didn’t even get slapped once at kyudo practice last week! That’s a great improvement over big purple welts. I guess the bow was in a better mood that day.

 

Also, probably because of the holiday weekend, we only had instructors in class last Sunday, and I was the only student, which meant that three people watched me and offered feedback for two hours. It is a humbling experience, I tell you. I found out that my bow grip has been incorrect for the last five years, but apparently it takes ten years to start getting it right, so, you know, halfway there. I am still overgripping, but to correct for overgripping, I was splaying my middle and ring finger out. Hey, the pinkie is doing all the work, so who cares what the rest of them are doing, right? Wrong. Ya gotta stack your fingers so it looks pretty. Gotta love ceremonial martial arts.

 

Gosh, I just realized you can actually see it in my avatar photo. What’s that middle finger up to? Partying it up, apparently. 

 

At the end of the class, the head of the dojo told me ‘gripping is hard.’ She does the same thing I do on occasion, even after a lifetime of practice. So, I felt better.

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20 minutes ago, Jigme said:

Gosh, I just realized you can actually see it in my avatar photo. What’s that middle finger up to? Partying it up, apparently. 

I got a raised eyebrow and a bit of a friendly grief from my teacher recently because I let my forefinger stretch in one of the kamae (naginata ryu- one of the kamae is overhead with the front arm extended, the wrist tends to flex).

 

26 minutes ago, Jigme said:

we only had instructors in class last Sunday, and I was the only student

While I empathize with the humbling portion...that's still pretty cool.  It's the one-offs and chance practices where we sometimes have the most useful "Ohhh..." or "Ah hah!" type moments.  I've been practicing for 12 years now, and I still cherish and appreciate when I have the chance to just train with my teacher, rare as those occasions may be.

 

I totally empathize with the kitchen cleaning... well... house cleaning in general. 

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11 hours ago, Jigme said:

It is pretty amazing, the condition our kitchen gets into. We thoroughly clean it on a regular basis, but after three meals a day, it inevitably looks like an explosion of mangled food bits, cutlery, and dirty dishes. I don’t know if I see all these websites that espouse healthy eating mentioning the hidden costs of delicious home cooked meals: the amount you have to spend cleaning up after them!

 

Yup. I can totally see how the time cost would prohibit some folks from healthy eating. It's a price worth paying if you can afford it, though.

 

11 hours ago, Jigme said:

Also, probably because of the holiday weekend, we only had instructors in class last Sunday, and I was the only student, which meant that three people watched me and offered feedback for two hours. It is a humbling experience, I tell you. I found out that my bow grip has been incorrect for the last five years, but apparently it takes ten years to start getting it right, so, you know, halfway there. I am still overgripping, but to correct for overgripping, I was splaying my middle and ring finger out. Hey, the pinkie is doing all the work, so who cares what the rest of them are doing, right? Wrong. Ya gotta stack your fingers so it looks pretty. Gotta love ceremonial martial arts.

 

You see a lot of that kind of thing in local judo as well. Lots of blackbelts and instructors, not a lot of new students. So you get a ton of input from a lot of people who know a lot of things, although it's of questionable use when you just need the basics. :D

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21 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

I got a raised eyebrow and a bit of a friendly grief from my teacher recently because I let my forefinger stretch in one of the kamae (naginata ryu- one of the kamae is overhead with the front arm extended, the wrist tends to flex).

 

See, we extend our forefinger towards the target. Some people have it more relaxed than others, but me, I’m a pointer. I point. Vigorously.

 

It’s kinda funny, how martial arts and weapons work expose our habitual patterns. I, for one, have learned that I can’t ever do a thing without overdoing it. If I hold a bow, I grip the life out of it (that’s bad for the bow, it twists the bamboo). If I try to relax my hand, I splay all the fingers out. If I point at the target, then I am going to fricken point.

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11 hours ago, Kishi said:

You see a lot of that kind of thing in local judo as well. Lots of blackbelts and instructors, not a lot of new students. So you get a ton of input from a lot of people who know a lot of things, although it's of questionable use when you just need the basics. :D

 

Like @ChrisWithaStick said, how wonderfully fortunate. :D

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On 11/28/2018 at 6:42 PM, Jigme said:

See, we extend our forefinger towards the target. Some people have it more relaxed than others, but me, I’m a pointer. I point. Vigorously.

Our most recent student had a bad pattern from tango when she first started. We have a slightly extended back leg in our stances - she had a beautiful, long, perfectly posed extension...  And then we told her to take a step forward.  :)

 

 

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On 11/26/2018 at 11:31 PM, Jigme said:

For example, the PT recommended pilates as a way to work on strength without injuring myself -- I've never done it before, but I'm willing to try. 

I swear by pilates for everything.  If you are not familiar with it, I can rant about how good it is and why it's a great idea for people who maybe have musculoskeletal issues.  It was how I started my fitness journey, and it made a huge difference in my body awareness, alignment, and efficiency of motion.  I imagine a strong core could be helpful for archery as it is helpful for many beat-em-up arts (I defer to you on this front), so it is a great way to develop those critical muscles.

A good teacher will be able to help you find modifications if there things that are not safe for you to do.  Pilates doesn't do a lot of overextension or have the same "pressure to be flexible" that can sometimes accompany yoga classes.

 

I love your archery posts!!!  Thank you for sharing them.  

On 11/27/2018 at 11:25 PM, Jigme said:

Also, probably because of the holiday weekend, we only had instructors in class last Sunday, and I was the only student, which meant that three people watched me and offered feedback for two hours. It is a humbling experience, I tell you. I found out that my bow grip has been incorrect for the last five years, but apparently it takes ten years to start getting it right, so, you know, halfway there. I am still overgripping, but to correct for overgripping, I was splaying my middle and ring finger out. Hey, the pinkie is doing all the work, so who cares what the rest of them are doing, right? Wrong. Ya gotta stack your fingers so it looks pretty. Gotta love ceremonial martial arts.

oh man the worst.  That's a master class on steroids.  That's humbling for sure.  Yup make those fingers look pretty.  Glitter em up.  All the way.  

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On 12/1/2018 at 11:21 AM, Treva said:

I swear by pilates for everything.  If you are not familiar with it, I can rant about how good it is and why it's a great idea for people who maybe have musculoskeletal issues.  It was how I started my fitness journey, and it made a huge difference in my body awareness, alignment, and efficiency of motion.  I imagine a strong core could be helpful for archery as it is helpful for many beat-em-up arts (I defer to you on this front), so it is a great way to develop those critical muscles.

 

Oh, I was just going to ask you about how you got into Pilates after I saw you mention them on your thread! Yep, core is super duper important for archery, too, bc we don’t really do as much with the arms as with the back. And according to the traditional instruction, we are supposed to be tightening our glutes enough to ‘pinch a quarter between your buttcheeks,’ so you know...that’s a thing to be sure.

 

Would you recommend splurging for one-on-one instruction, or is going to a class enough?

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Today was a very chilly archery practice, just on the verge of snowing. I tried out the new class arrows and after the very first round of shooting, my classmate comes in, right, with an armful of arrows and a guilty look on his face. He informs me that he can’t find my arrows on the range. He got everyone else’s, but not mine, nope.

 

Well, this is a mystery to me, because I do remember seeing them go off in the general direction of the target, as arrows do when you shoot them. I go up to the range, and sure enough, there’s no sign of my arrows.

 

So, I’m standing there staring at the range and the head of the dojo comes up to see if she can see where they’ve gone. Now, there’s three people standing there staring at the targets — and still, no arrows. We’re starting to speculate whether there is a portal that opened up and swallowed them.

 

Then, the head of the dojo jumps and points: there, buried deep in the thick layer of leaves, is the bright red tape that we put around the ends of the class arrows. I shot them right into the leaf bedding on the range and the brown of the bamboo + dark duck feathers of the fletching blended in perfectly. If it wasn’t for the red tape, we would have never found them.

 

This is still better than shooting arrows into snow and then trying to dig them out, by the way. At least the leaves don’t hurt the glue that keeps the fletching on the arrow shaft. Also, much better than shooting them into the roof. The moral of the story is, I need to shoot twice as high as I think I am.

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I had a dream about going on a retreat with my old sangha, which I left over a seedy scandal six months ago. In my dream, they were trying to get me to come back, and I was screaming and crying at them. It was extraordinarily painful. I rarely get that upset about my departure in the daytime, but it looks like there are plenty of unresolved subconscious issues to work out.

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7 hours ago, Jigme said:

 I rarely get that upset about my departure in the daytime, but it looks like there are plenty of unresolved subconscious issues to work out.

That's rough.  Cutting ties with a person, let alone a group, you have invested that kind of energy and time in is so hard, especially when one has to do so for moral and ethical reasons. 

 

On 12/2/2018 at 6:25 PM, Jigme said:

Well, this is a mystery to me, because I do remember seeing them go off in the general direction of the target, as arrows do when you shoot them. I go up to the range, and sure enough, there’s no sign of my arrows.

Reason number 7 I practice with swords and polearms - they are relatively hard to lose, and if one flies out of your hand, you generally know where it's landing (just watch your toes). 

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21 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

That's rough.  Cutting ties with a person, let alone a group, you have invested that kind of energy and time in is so hard, especially when one has to do so for moral and ethical reasons. 

 

Reason number 7 I practice with swords and polearms - they are relatively hard to lose, and if one flies out of your hand, you generally know where it's landing (just watch your toes). 

 

Right- I spent 10 years with that group, so it’s hard. I notice, though, that I don’t have as much anxiety now that I’m not involved in all the community activities. By the end of it, I volunteered so much that I couldn’t really practice. So, aside from the ethics, there is some good that came out of it.

 

Re: losing weapons; I always thought the jodo folks had it going on. You got a stick? It’s your jo now! Did you lose it? Find another stick! Of course, I’m sure it’s more complicated than that and there are the Special Sticks made by the Official Stick Maker to the Emperor of Japan, but you certainly don’t have to carry as much stuff as, say, a giant bow and an arrow quiver and a glove and a spare string, etc...

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PT takes me half an hour right now, with some bizarre findings. For example, standing on one leg for 30 seconds makes my back hurt. Especially if I’m standing on the right leg. Kneeling is weirdly hard, but not just because of my knee, but because I have a hard time keeping balanced. I mean, I can totally see why I was bound to hurt myself with lifting and why I need a bunch of PT to stabilize. I miss how strong lifting a barbell made me feel, though.

 

My right rotator cuff is feeling wacky today, too. I need that one to shoot, so I hope it settles down by Sunday.

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3 hours ago, Jigme said:

Right- I spent 10 years with that group, so it’s hard. I notice, though, that I don’t have as much anxiety now that I’m not involved in all the community activities. By the end of it, I volunteered so much that I couldn’t really practice. So, aside from the ethics, there is some good that came out of it.

Oof... still, good you seem to have gotten back to a personal practice.

 

3 hours ago, Jigme said:

Re: losing weapons; I always thought the jodo folks had it going on. You got a stick? It’s your jo now! Did you lose it? Find another stick! Of course, I’m sure it’s more complicated than that and there are the Special Sticks made by the Official Stick Maker to the Emperor of Japan, but you certainly don’t have to carry as much stuff as, say, a giant bow and an arrow quiver and a glove and a spare string, etc...

It's actually a special biwa wood from the original groves, as I understand it... ;p

 

I will admit to some jealousy about jo - one of the considerations in choosing my car was if my weapons would fit.  A 9' spear takes up some room (you may or may not be surprised what you can fit in a Mazda3). 

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Foods prepared today:

 

Breakfast: pan-fried butternut squash patties with walnuts, strawberries, and grapes. Used leftover roasted squash.

 

Lunch: grilled salmon (leftovers) with wild rice & beans and a radish salad.

 

Dinner: beef chili!

 

Probably going to roast the rest of the radishes tomorrow. I didn’t realize they were a roastable vegetable until looking up recipes today.

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Weirdly enough, Zombies, Run!, an app that I love, is not really catching on for my daily walks. I’ve been using the walking time to escape from the constant input into the ole brain pan at work, so silence feels like a relief. Makes me think of meditation, even. Despite what that Blue Zones guy says about optimal amounts of socializing a day being upwards of 6 hours, I just need everyone to stop talking to me periodically, zombies or no.

 

I don’t know how much stock to put into the whole idea of introversion, or if one can train oneself to enjoy a crowded room. Simply decide that you’re an extrovert, and act accordingly, self-help blogs say! If they’d also let me know how to decide not to have migraines afterwards, I’d really appreciate it.

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