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Maj. Bloodnok

Major Bloodnok vs. The Creeping Decrepitude!

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All right, second time around here.  No witty introductions this time; I don’t have the heart for it.

 

Last time I put a little too much on my plate.  I also got some new data which completely threw off my routines.  I’ve learned much that I can put to use, and I’ve come to a few realizations.

 

The first big realization is that I’m probably not going to regain the functionality I used to have.  I can keep things from getting worse, but barring a minor miracle and a HUGE amount of money, I don’t see myself doing parkour any time soon.  And that’s okay.  My mother did not take care of herself for many years and put enormous amounts of stress on her body as she got older.  Now she can barely move.  I want to avoid that fate for myself if possible.

 

The second realization is that I can’t do this alone.  I’ve learned a lot from my own investigations, but it’s not enough.  I need to consult with people who know more about this than I do, who can figure out exactly what’s wrong and what I can do to fix it.

 

The third realization is that I need a new job.  I’ve been in my current position for ten years.  I’ve gotten very good reviews, a bonus every year, yadda yadda yadda.  However, the job has some very stressful aspects, and they’re about to get more stressful.   I had been holding out for a promotion to a vacant position, but it looks like that position isn’t going to be filled any time soon.  So, time to move on, in the interests of my own mental health if nothing else.

 

So, the next six weeks will revolve around these three realizations.

 

Fitness:  Exercise regularly, making sure I don’t overwork something or skip a session because it’s inconvenient.  Alternate cardio and weight days at the gym, making sure I warm up thoroughly and incorporate the mobilization techniques I’ve already learned.  Consistency and tracking is the key.

 

Rehab: keep up on the supplemental exercises, especially the daily flossing of the elbows and Achilles.  Make an appointment with a personal trainer, and see if I can fine-tune my routine to fix my imbalances.  Talk to my regular doctor and see about a possible referral for better diagnostics and physiotherapy.

 

Diet/ Well-Being: Stop turning to food for stress relief.  Make sure I get enough sleep and don’t kill myself trying to get everything done.  Remember that sucrose is NOT my friend: one cookie is too many, unless I made it myself with fruit puree and chopped dates.  Keep the white stuff out of the diet: white sugar, white flour, and white starch.

 

Career: I’m planning a move from customer service manager to financial specialist.  My employer provides free online courses in accounting, finance, Excel voodoo, etc.

 

Goals: 

  1. track weight and waist measurements daily, post weekly averages.
  2. Personal trainer appointment.
  3. Doctor appointment.
  4. Take at least one on-line course each week.

I’ll figure out point spreads later when I’m not getting pulled in five different directions.

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Diet/ Well-Being: Stop turning to food for stress relief.  Make sure I get enough sleep and don’t kill myself trying to get everything done.  Remember that sucrose is NOT my friend: one cookie is too many, unless I made it myself with fruit puree and chopped dates.

I hear you so much on this!  Someone at work the other week kept putting donuts in my face saying, "Aw, come on!  Just one isn't going to hurt you!"  And I said, "Would you say the same thing to an alchoholic?!  I can't stop at just one, so get em out of my face!" 

 

That seemed to get him to back off.  :D

 

Good luck to you!  I'm happy to see your still plugging along even though you feel like you have too much on your plate.  Sometimes, keeping it simple (as long as you're being proactive) is just what we need to help keep our heads above water when everything else feels insane!  (In my humble opinion)  :)

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As if I didn't have enough to do...

 

Ho cominciato studiare l'Italiano!

 

Last year my employer started handing out Rosetta Stone language course licenses.  I put my name on the list, figuring it would be a good opportunity.  Guess who just got picked for a three-month license?

 

I chose Italian because I already speak Spanish, and the languages are relatively similar.  Also, there's a guy at work who speaks Italian fluently, and has agreed to practice with me. 

 

Hooboy this is gonna be fun...

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I hear you so much on this!  Someone at work the other week kept putting donuts in my face saying, "Aw, come on!  Just one isn't going to hurt you!"  And I said, "Would you say the same thing to an alchoholic?!  I can't stop at just one, so get em out of my face!" 

 

That seemed to get him to back off.  :D

 

Good luck to you!  I'm happy to see your still plugging along even though you feel like you have too much on your plate.  Sometimes, keeping it simple (as long as you're being proactive) is just what we need to help keep our heads above water when everything else feels insane!  (In my humble opinion)  :)

 

In my case, it's not anyone but me shoving the chocolate in my face.  I know I shouldn't start, but once I do, stand back or run the risk of losing a body part.

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As if I didn't have enough to do...

 

Ho cominciato studiare l'Italiano!

 

Last year my employer started handing out Rosetta Stone language course licenses.  I put my name on the list, figuring it would be a good opportunity.  Guess who just got picked for a three-month license?

 

I chose Italian because I already speak Spanish, and the languages are relatively similar.  Also, there's a guy at work who speaks Italian fluently, and has agreed to practice with me. 

 

Hooboy this is gonna be fun...

Ooooh!  Rosette Stone!!  How do you like it?  I purchased a 5 Level set for German awhile back and I have fun, but it's really hard!  Is it just me?  That is so cool that you are multilingual! 

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Rosetta Stone's pretty good stuff; I like that there's audio feedback.  I find it really easy because I'm good at imitating sounds generally, and I have a pretty good background in Romance languages in particular. (The relics of a couple years of Catholic school.)  I'm sure I'd have a rougher time if I tried doing Mandarin or Arabic. Ultimately, it helps to have someone to practice with.

 

As far as being multilingual goes, I like to joke that I can speak two languages fluently, and get slapped in half a dozen more. :pride:

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Greetings Major!

Very straightforward challenge you got there, it looks good I think.

 

Realizing facts is not always fun or pleasant but nevertheless vital for keeping everything real. It seems you made some pretty big insights and are adjusting your life. Impressive!

 

The online course in voodoo sounds exciting!

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Well, it's Excel voodoo.  I'm shooting for a financial specialist position, and the ability to make a spreadsheet rise up from the screen and wander off moaning 'integerrrsss' is immensely desirable.

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Whoa, what happened?

 

Been a rough couple of weeks here, consistency wise.  Easter kind of sank my diet, but I’ve mostly recovered from that.  Getting consistent exercise time has been more difficult.  My children have developed an uncanny ability to get out of bed right as I’m leaving for the gym.  If I leave them to their own devices in the morning, they’re likely to overdose on TV and Easter candy.  Not a good start to the day. 

 

Also, I haven’t been doing as well at balancing things as I might.  I still tend to run around in circles late in the evening, packing my gym bag, washing dishes, etc., and I end up shorting myself on sleep.  When I do get to the gym, I make it count; I’ve been working on strengthening my back and core, and I feel better overall. 

 

The Excel and Italian classes are going well, though.  I’ve completed two Italian modules already, and three Excel courses.  There’s a set curriculum for a Microsoft user certification, so I’m following that.  If I can complete the cert requirements by the end of the challenge, so much the better.  It’ll be a nice addition to my resume.

 

Switching from Spanish to Italian is weird; I keep expecting cases and verb declensions to be similar, but they’re not.  It’s also frustrating to not have the same command of vocabulary.  Having someone to practice with does help, but I need to study more.  I must schedule some time to watch Roberto Benigni and Marcello Mastrantonio movies.

 

I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for next Wednesday, and we’ll talk about possibly getting my knee and shoulder imaged to see exactly what’s wrong.  If he thinks it’s not necessary, I’ll get a referral to a physiotherapist.

I’ve also requested an ergonomic assessment at work; I’ve noticed my elbow and shoulders hurting more after a day at the office than after a day at home, regardless of my physical activity.  Anything I can do to take the strain off my body is a positive.

 

My oldest has started taking gymnastics lessons.  Last night she said she wanted to make her legs and arms stronger.  :victorious:

 

C'mere, kid, lemme show you something called bodyweight squats...

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Doctor's appointment booked, Italian being learned, children doing squats  :nightmare: . Sounds like it's going extremely well!

 

What can you do to create a better balance in the evenings?

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Oh, you would ask the hard questions, wouldn't you?

 

This is where the family dynamics come into play, and they're tricky.  My two older kids have ADHD, among other things.  They usually do their homework between the end of school and dinnertime, while their meds are still in effect and they can concentrate.  Of course they don't want to do their homework, so my wife has her hands full keeping them focused.  This means dinner is usually up to me. I get dinner on the table by 7 or so, then the evening rodeo starts.  By this time, my own ADHD meds have worn off, and I'm trying to get three kids ready for bed while my brain is going "SQUIRREL!" every three seconds. 

 

Since my kids have not seen me all day, each one wants a piece of my attention.  I usually get the younger two down together, then the oldest wants me.  It might be 10 PM before I'm done getting everyone settled in.  Then it's time for me to do whatever prep I need to do for the following day, as well as clean up from dinner.  I don't mind doing dishes, etc, because it gives me a chance to listen to podcasts or audiobooks while I work.  However, it might be 11 PM before I've got everything done, which doesn't leave me much time to unwind before I go to sleep.

 

My wife is a stay-at-home mom.  Our two oldest have an array of special needs that require a lot of services from the school, as well as supplemental activities.  My wife spends a lot of time during the day fighting with the insurance company, advocating with the teachers and the school administration, lining up appointments, etc.  All this means that the house is not in apple-pie order.  I can live with this, though it does complicate things when the kids' clothes are all sorted into baskets rather than folded up and put away.

 

All that being said, my wife also has very poor sleep habits, as well as a history of depression and anxiety.  (It wouldn't surprise me if she also has ADHD, but hey, I'm no expert.) It's not unusual for her to stay up until 3 AM watching TV, oversleep, then go back to sleep once the kids are in school.  On weekends, she can easily sleep all morning.  We've had long discussions on the subject, and they're not productive.  She refuses to try antidepressants, because she doesn't like the side effects.  She also insists that she can handle her anxiety and other problems without help, and that all she needs is better habits.  (She has other issues that tie into our living situation and the fact that we're kind of crammed in with limited storage space, but that's another discussion entirely.)

 

I'm very much a peacekeeper, and in the interests of keeping a peaceful house, I do a lot of the housework and don't complain when it looks like someone's not holding up their end.  A lot goes on that I don't know about and don't understand fully, so I don't offer criticism unless I have all the facts.  We have a sort of equilibrium in the house; a lot balances on me, but until some things that I have no control over get resolved, it's not going to change. 

 

I now understand what Sartre meant by "Hell is other people!"

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Ok.

I'm not sorry I asked because you rewarded me with a polaroid from your reality - in all its' beauty and intensity. Sometimes one has to realize that things will be this way, at least for a while.

Thank you for sharing what's yours!

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And I should be sorry for the infodump.  I had meant that post to be a bit lighter in tone than it came out.  Amazing what a few smilies in the right places can do. 

 

This of course points out something else I can do for myself: find a way to vent safely! :orange:

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I had an appointment with a personal trainer this morning.  It was mostly a lot of talking and a couple of hard-sell tactics, but I did get some useful information.  My squat form is way off, which is overloading my knee.  I need to watch my core and glute activation, and emphasize eccentric loading when doing weights for my back. The key is to build strength in my posterior muscle chain and ingrain proper mechanics so I don't hurt myself any worse. Time to rejigger the routine again it seems...

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According to the doctor, all I need for my shoulder is some physiotherapy.  Now I need to come up with the money to cover the copays. :uncomfortableness:

 

I've also made an interesting discovery: if I raise my right heel when squatting, my knee doesn't crackle.  No crepitus at all. I do feel some tension in the area just below the kneecap; must do some research into knee mechanics lest I buy myself more trouble. 

 

Weight day today: I went back to an old training program I adapted from T-Nation: heavy weights, 10 sets of 3 reps each. A little grumbling from my shoulder; have to be careful with overhead pressing movements. Pulling motions are still no problem.  If I do supersets with jackknife crunches, hip extensions, and one-legged Romanian deadlifts, it turns into a sweet posterior chain workout.

 

My balance is getting better too.  I can actually hold Eagle Pose without falling over, at least for a few seconds.  Diet's cleaner, weight's coming off v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y (means it's sustainable, right?), and life is still good, even amid all the personal drama. 

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OK, ixnay on the raised-heel squats.  It puts a lot of stress on the subpatellar tendon.  My big targets are my adductors, glutes, and hamstrings. Gotta correct that outward turn of my right foot!

 

Did yoga outside today, about 6 AM.  It was great, although a bit slippery.  I need to mow my lawn...

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Ah yes, mowing the lawn. I am trying to convince my partner to buy a robot mower - not so much luck yet...He is stuck with all the mowing though since I am down south most of the time.

Thank you for reminding me of Eagles pose, I really like it!

 

How was the last week? 

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Meh.

 

The lawn mower broke, so I'm trying to fix it in my copious spare time (HA!).  Diet and exercise went a little haywire as school wound down and I took a mini-vacation.  My oldest is having some serious academic problems, so we're springing for additional tutoring over the summer and testing for learning disabilities.

 

I've managed to meet my goal of taking an Excel class every week, and I've kept up on the Italian as much as I could.  I've consulted with a trainer, and I have an appointment with a physiotherapist scheduled for next week.  The first phase of the ergonomic assessment happened this morning; a lot will depend on how much money is available to correct the issues I have. Now that school is over, I can get more and better sleep.

 

All in all, not too shabby on the challenge.  I'll give myself a B overall.  Not too sure how I'll distribute the points; I'll figure it out later.

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