Jump to content

Thom Returns from the Land of Fire and Smoke.


Thom Stépan

Recommended Posts

Right first up, yes I got through the Black Summer fires okay, so far. Wagga Wagga where I live was one of the main evacuation points for the Riverina region of NSW. The nearest fire was 47 km away and headed south east from me. It did start within 10 km from the farm I used to live on. We did cop a lot of smoke over Christmas and New Year's, one of my son's co-workers ended up in hospital due to the smoke messing up her asthma. My kids struggled to breathe, and we had P2 breathing masks available for the asthmatics. 

 

Secondly, I disappeared as Tapatalk for some reason stopped connecting to NF, and still won't let me in. My PC crashed and with a bit of depression creeping in from unemployment, forced inactivity, and a year of failed goals that I just didn't get things sorted. PC is working again. 

 

Now onto the good news. I do not need surgery on my knee. I do need to build the strength up in my muscles surrounding my knee. I am meant to attend physio, can't afford it, so that isn't happening. This challenge is about getting out and walking again. I will also research exercises that will strengthen my knee, so to speak. 

 

My weight ballooned out over the past few months and I am now 135.1 kilograms or 297.8 pounds. 

 

Food is hard, minimal money, sucks. Bluntly I am living so far below the poverty line here in Australia that I would have to hijack a QANTAS plane to even reach it. Odds of getting a job are slim with 200 applications for every job that is available. Employers here are using keyword searches to test resumes against. If you don't have the right keyword, your application doesn't even get looked at.  

 

This challenge's goals:

 

1, Walking Everyday

 

2. Start strengthening my leg muscles to support my knee and ankle better. 

 

3. Try to move forward from this position of poverty. 

  • Like 4

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post

Hi Thom, it's great to see you, and I'm really sorry the financial situation continues to be appalling.

 

I'm really glad you don't need surgery!

 

The one part of this that does seem very manageable though is the physio. You've been to see a doctor, and it sounds like you have a diagnosis as to what the problem is. That means, you can be your own therapist. One of the best things about going to actual physical therapy sessions is that it forces you to set aside time to do the work. You can do that for yourself. Did your doctor give you a list of exercises to do? There's so much information on the internet these days. You can figure this out, and there are tons of people on this forum who have done physio for similar problems. People here can totally support you in this journey and provide advice along the way.

 

Did your doctor give you any specific advice about walking? I think you have braces that you wear (right?). Anything else you can do to make it less stressful?

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

Link to post

Following along.

  • Like 1

Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

Link to post

Welcome back. Glad you were clear of the fires. Pulling for you!

  • Like 1

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

Thank you everyone. 

@Xena, no specific exercises were mentioned, the surgeon just told me to go to physio and build up the strength in my knees. On the plus side he didn't mention the weight issue. Apparently all I did was aggravate the old injury I had in that knee. I was hit by a ute [truck] back in 1992 which did some damage. I had an arthroscopy and scrape back then. 

 

I have been walking the last 17 days, and tracking it on my Garmin. Love that toy. Basically the routine is take my Theo to work, then go for my walk when I get back. Theo works in the Bakery Dept at the local Coles Supermarket, so he starts work at 5 am. I am usually out and walking by 5.10 am. I even get up and walk on his days off. Needing to be consistent in my routine. Getting out walking again helped me resolve the looming depression issues. I really missed the walking, so I am glad to be back out there and hoofing it everyday. At stupid o'clock in the morning. :eek-new:

 

But now I really need to look at building strength. So research time again. 

  • Like 6

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post

I am so glad to see you again, everything going on in your part of the globe had me concerned.

Following along of course, I wish I had a solution to the job situation for you :( I have faith in you my friend!

  • Thanks 1

RES...and I want to live days worth dying for...

Current: RES: CUTE 2021 - is consistent

Spoiler

Growth happens when you care more about the well being of your future self than the comfort of your present self!

"Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is." -Yoda

 

Link to post

Research time. 

 

So it would seem common knee strengthening exercises, or leg strengthening exercises include most of what I was already aware of; various squats, leg raises, and stretches that most runners are familiar with. 

 

So I will start incorporating a routine that includes 3 lots of leg raises [laid on back, side and stomach], a wall squat sit for time, chair squats [to prevent me from going to low for now], calf raises [good for the ankles as well], standing hamstring curls, standing quad stretches, and lying down hamstring stretches. I will most likely do them either before or after my morning walk, as this will help develop a strong fitness morning routine. 

  • Like 4

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post
3 minutes ago, RES said:

I am so glad to see you again, everything going on in your part of the globe had me concerned.

Following along of course, I wish I had a solution to the job situation for you :( I have faith in you my friend!

 

My dear friend, I am glad you found me. I am always glad to have you along for the ride. 

  • Like 1

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post
1 hour ago, Thom Stépan said:

Research time. 

 

So it would seem common knee strengthening exercises, or leg strengthening exercises include most of what I was already aware of; various squats, leg raises, and stretches that most runners are familiar with. 

 

So I will start incorporating a routine that includes 3 lots of leg raises [laid on back, side and stomach], a wall squat sit for time, chair squats [to prevent me from going to low for now], calf raises [good for the ankles as well], standing hamstring curls, standing quad stretches, and lying down hamstring stretches. I will most likely do them either before or after my morning walk, as this will help develop a strong fitness morning routine. 


This sounds like such an excellent plan. And give yourself credit for the morning routine you already have! Walking every day for near three weeks straight is more than a lot of folks can say. This will be a great addition to that routine. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

Welcome back!!!! (Following ..... natch)

  • Like 1

Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Return of the Persistent Priestess

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

Link to post

Damn I missed the open support that we give each other here. Thank you everyone. 

 

So for two days I have done the knee strengthening workout. Yesterday I added the bear complexes and dead bugs for the mini. I like the dead bugs, and will keep them in my morning routine. I prefer walking first as I am already dressed for it when I get back. I just drink a cup of water, grab my headphones and away I go. Oh that is something else, I now drink at least two litres of water per day. 

 

I was really happy with today's walk [day 20]. For each of kilometre I was under a 13 minute pace.  I am currently walking about 2.4 km. Although I will do light days if I am not feeling the best in the mornings. 

 

 

 

Screenshot_2020-02-27-05-47-36-30.png

Screenshot_2020-02-27-05-48-38-24.png

  • Like 6

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post
41 minutes ago, Thom Stépan said:

Damn I missed the open support that we give each other here.

 

Yeap.  It really is unique.  

 

Good job on the hydration, and hopefully, that will help with the knee mobility too.  

  • Like 1

Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Return of the Persistent Priestess

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

Link to post

Woohoo, 21 days of walking done. Over the last three weeks my pace has improves from 14.27 min/km to 12.33 min/km. I have also increased my distance from 1 km to 2.4 km. I don't feel like I am pushing things at all. I ease off when I need to and there have been a few times when I have walked a shorter distance rather than push too hard. 

 

With my distance I just add an extra block to my walk at the start of each week, whatever that adds to my total is what I get. My pace is just walking comfortably, not really pushing myself, so long as I am a bit short of breath I know I am moving well. I listen to my highland pipes playlist on Spotify, let my mind wander and head on down the road. Sometimes I will check my watch and see what my heart rate is doing or check my distance, but not often. 

 

Today I tested doing my leg exercises in my bedroom. My youngest three kids are coming to stay for the weekend [today is Friday for me], and they sleep in the lounge room of my flat. Which means no room to work out. I was able to do my routine in my bedroom okay. I used the bed for the sitting squats. I added Wall push ups to the mix to help the upper body a bit more. I can no longer do push ups, so need to start at the beginning again. But I have done it before and I will do it again. 

  • Like 5
  • That's Metal 2

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post
On 2/27/2020 at 7:17 PM, Thom Stépan said:

I can no longer do push ups, so need to start at the beginning again. But I have done it before and I will do it again. 

 

Good luck!!  I'm in a similar boat.  It's embarrassing to have the coach watch me struggle to do 5 elevated pushups in a row, but 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqy9ZltAr1tvuMvE826OF

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Return of the Persistent Priestess

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

Link to post

So my kids have been with me for the weekend. They are still with me now. So I haven't stopped in. 

 

Still walking everyday. Only did a short walk this morning as my knee was hurting. Not too fussed about that as it is as much about keeping the habit as it is improving my distance and pace. 

 

I have the kids, because their mum is in the process of securing a house here in Wagga. Which is a good thing, no more two hour round trips to pick up and drop of the kids every weekend. Bad as I am struggling to feed them. My Theo is helping by spending his money on feeding us. But he is also trying to save money for his first car. He is already paying our agreed amount for board and lodgings. I feel guilty about him spending the extra to cover costs that are really my responsibility. But conversely I am proud that he is being such a kind and generous lad towards his family. Bec hasn't got money to spare as she is trying to cover rental bond, the cost of moving and clean up as well as her normal bills. 

 

Tonight is not a good night for me mentally. I am struggling to sleep, worried about so much. Just struggling to survive. 

 

Look for something good Thom, something to be grateful for. Something that makes life worth while. Remember when you believed in that? When you thought you could help people live a better life? Help yourself mate, you have the knowledge in that fat head of yours. 

 

Ignore the spoiler, it is a digression into personal and semi-political self pity. Something I needed to write to get out of my head. 

 

 
 
 
 
Spoiler

 

I got pissed off reading something earlier. A guy in a Dad support group that I am a part of, put out a post basically blaming people for being poor. They don't work hard enough, they didn't do the work to get a better education, they choose to be poor. Blame, blame, blame. My Dad worked his butt off, a sixty-hour week was a short week for him. Now he is on a pension. Worse if the Indue Card that the Australian Government plans to roll out to every person on a welfare payment goes ahead, he will have 80% of his pension taken off him and put into the control of a private company. He loses all right to most of his pension. He won't be able to spend it as he wants or where he wants. Nor will my mum, nor my brother who is their full-time carer.

 

Indue the company who will be in charge of their income [and mine] will be paid more than $10,000 per year to oversee our money. In the trial sites so far it has shown that Indue doesn't pay rent/mortgages on time, nor any of the bills; power, water, phone. Online shopping is unavailable. I won't be able to buy a copy of my own book FFS, because I will not be able to purchase anything from Amazon. Half the time it doesn't work at Supermarket checkouts. Forget buying clothes, or going to garage sales. Kids miss out on school excursions and other school activities. But hey Indue gets its money and several former members of the Australian Liberal Party own or hold senior positions within the company so it's all good. 

 

But I digress. This guy who promotes men being better than they are, a Life Coach and advocate of Positive Mental Attitude thinks that it is my Dad's fault this will happen to him. Because he didn't work hard enough or didn't get a degree. A man who worked from the age of seven to feed his family. But what about others? People with disabilities who can't work? Is it their fault they were born with a disability? Or maybe they became disabled due to a tragic accident. Either way, their ability to earn is limited. There are homeless people with Degrees, that went to prestigious universities. Are they uneducated enough?

 

This is my issue with the PMA industry as a whole, they blame people for things that are beyond a person's control. They ignore the systemic and cultural barriers that can limit a person's success in life. In a real way, they reinforce the capitalist mantra, work hard, no harder than that, get a good education, get a good job and buy our stuff. If you don't you will be punished, ridiculed and destroyed mentally, physically and spiritually.

 

So much for finding something to be grateful for. 

 

Looking at my kids as they sleep, I am grateful they are in my life.

 

Oh and I am trying the study thing again. Going to university. Yay more debt. Maybe I will be able to complete a degree this time. I didn't the last time I tried ten years ago. Charles Sturt University has a campus here in Wagga. Looking at studying English and Writing, with a bit of philosophy thrown in. If nothing else it will get me out of the house and meeting people. 

 

I need a job, so I can dream again, so I can afford to work towards goals, so I can have hope. 

  • Like 3
  • Sad 1

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post

Going back to school sounds like a good idea, maybe you can make some connections there and move forward again.  Sorry you are having a hard time feeding everyone, that really just sucks.  

 

Love that you have gotten faster and are walking farther each day.  Keep that up my friend!  

  • Like 1

Ranger-Monk Hybrid

I am a strong little powerhouse 

Current Challenge: Keeping it Simple

 

Link to post

Enjoy your children, they will not be young nearly as long as they should be

Love to you my friend, other peoples opinions are just that, and they are entitled to them, as are you

  • Like 1

RES...and I want to live days worth dying for...

Current: RES: CUTE 2021 - is consistent

Spoiler

Growth happens when you care more about the well being of your future self than the comfort of your present self!

"Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is." -Yoda

 

Link to post
On 3/2/2020 at 7:28 AM, Thom Stépan said:

 

This is my issue with the PMA industry as a whole, they blame people for things that are beyond a person's control.

 

My two cents is that they blame people because the really scary thing is that so much comes down to chance rather than effort, skill, or intelligence.  Hubby and I have always gotten lucky and managed to recover from situations that were beyond our control ... usually employers making sudden changes in their work force.  But we look back and realize that things could have gone differently and very, very bad.  

 

More education, in the long run, has been a good strategy for us, but it's by no means a guarantee.  

 

*hugs*

  • Like 3

Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Return of the Persistent Priestess

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

Link to post
11 hours ago, Chris-Tien Jinn said:

My two cents is that they blame people because the really scary thing is that so much comes down to chance rather than effort, skill, or intelligence.

 

My two cents is that a lot does indeed come down to chance. And a lot comes down to privileges that people might not even realize that benefit from. That's also a sort of chance...being born into a particular family etc etc. One very small suggestion regarding the political situation is to be sure to vote. Consider thinking about whether there might be other ways you could work toward change (campaigning for a candidate you support, getting involved with a local charity or town committee etc).

 

I'm sorry that you are struggling so much.

 

Taking some classes sounds like a good option. Would you be able to work toward a teaching certificate along the way? Is that something you might want to do?

 

Your thoughts about walking seem spot on. Totally fine to shorten the walk, much more important to keep that habit. Keep doing the wall push-ups too...those shouldn't bother your knee!

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

Link to post

Thank you for your support everyone. It has been a rough week. Both Nina and myself developed head colds. My Nina also came down sick with some vomiting. I ran out of her medication, and with the whole house move and crap, Bec forgot to put in the scripts for me to collect. which became my fault. Situation normal there. I spent yesterday afternoon at the hospital with Nina dealing with Doctors and emergency staff. Got her medication back on track and she fell asleep by 8 pm. 

 

On the walking, I only got three walks in this past week. Eh, better than none I guess. Hopefully back to it when the kids go home. I also missed the first week's tutorials for my subjects. So now I feel like I am behind the eight ball before I have even started. Sigh. 

 

@Xena voting is compulsory in Australia, with a $150 fine if your fail to vote. Turning up getting your name crossed off the role and then not actually voting properly [called a donkey vote in Aus] is legal. I am trying to be more politically active. My personal FB page has a fair bit of political crap in it. I have considered the teaching option, basically here in Australia, what would happen is after I have finished my three year Bachelor's degree I can then do a 12-18 month post-grad course in teaching. I just need to make sure I have a major to be able to teach in. Not sure if I will go down that route at this stage. Teaching involves dealing with students, and marking. All the marking. I have a couple of friends teaching at a uni level. The marking is worse than the idiot red tape. High school means teenagers and who wants to deal with them? 

 

I do know that a degree means more options than I currently have. So I will plod along and see what happens. 

 

  • Like 3

Where to find me: Current Challenge : Battle Log Facebook : Instagram :

"Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you're trying to improve. That's it. Just 1%." ArtofManliness Article.

"That which is wise and holy helps the health and wholeness of the chain of generations." D. R. Miller. 

"We do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of training." Archilochus

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines