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mpguardian first challenge


mpguardian

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Introduction:  My name is Matt and this is my first challenge.  I have been living with mid and low back pain for several years.  I loved martial arts, but this has eliminated my ability to practice.  I really want to practice martial arts again. 

 

Main quest:  I want to get my back into better shape than it is now to reduce the pain (and associated pain medication).

 

Quest 1:  I will walk 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

 

Quest 2:  I will perform my upper back foam roll exercises 4 days per week

 

Quest 3:  I will perform the cat/cow exercise 4 days per week.

 

Motivation:  I want to do more than survive my word days and rest on the weekends so I can make it through the following week.  I want to start living again.  I also want to start playing my bass again. 

Matt P


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I want to SMARTen up my challenge a little (mini challenge 1). 

 

Quest 1:  I am starting with 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week.  I want to be walking 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week at the end of the 6 weeks.

Quest 2:  It's tough to describe my foam roll exercise in words (I know what I'm doing, but I don't know exactly how to describe it).  I'm starting with 1 set of 10 reps, 4 days per week.  My goal at the end of 6 weeks is to be doing 2 sets of 10 reps (one in the morning and one in the evening).

Quest 3:  I am starting with 10 cat/cow stretches 4 days per week.  I want to work up to 2 sets of 10, 4 days per week, by the end of the challenge.

 

 

 

  1. My overall goal is reasonable and acheivable, but probably not in 6 weeks.  The three quests are reasonable and acheivable in six weeks.

  2. My three quests work well together and build toward the overall goal.  I don't think I'm taking on too much.

  3. The three quests break down nicely and fit the main goal well. 

  4. The goals are very measurable and easy to track. 

  5. I am going to use an "A, B, C, D" scale for each quest.  If I complete the exact number of days I get get full credit.  Since I'm more focused on establishing the habits I will be more critical about the number of days instead of the number of reps. 

  6. Injury is a big hurdle that may occur during the 6 week challenge.  It should not impact walking or the foam roll exercises.  I have had problems with cat/cow when I have a low back flair up.  When that occurs, I will replace it with the yoga cobra position until the flair up is back under control.

  7. Holidays and such should not impact my schedule.  I can do my workouts anywhere.

  8. My goals work well together.

  9. I have the time built in as soon as I arrive home from work. 

  10. I am focused on the habits related to this quest. 

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Matt P


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Week 1 went well considering I started on Tuesday.  I completed 4 days of back exercises and 3 days of walking.  This week is starting out nicely as well.  2 days of walking (Sunday and today) and 2 days of back exercises (Sunday and Monday) so far.  I'm considering a day off from back exercises due to soreness, but I'm playing it by ear.  I may give cat/cow a try and if it causes any pain quit for the day. 

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Matt P


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Hi Matt, back rehab is well worth a challenge of it's own.  Hope this helps you.  Do you see a PT regularly?

 

What do you like to play on bass?

 

I'm one of the ambassadors for the Monk's guild.  We keep an eye out for people who may wish to join our guilds and help out with the Recruits.  Many of the martial artists and fighters hang out with us.  Many of us also cross-train with other fitness types (running, weight lifting, bodyweight strength training).  If you'd like, please feel welcome to drop by the Monk's Courtyard.  I'll be keeping an eye on your thread.  Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything!

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

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Judo - Shodan

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When the daily pain started in 2011 I had 6 weeks of PT.  It helped a little, but it was more along the lines of building pain tolerance than reducing pain if that makes sense.  For years, my work with my chiropractor has been more about pain management than getting healthier.  After another big flair up on easter though my spine seems to be responding to exercises that have never worked before.  Now I'm more motivated than ever.

 

I'm mostly a rock bass player, but I have played some jazz and reggae.  I really want to dig into some R&B as I get healthier.

 

I studied Nihon Goshin Aikido.

Matt P


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This week has been a little rough on me. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday went exactly as I wanted.  I had my 15 minute walks on Sunday and Tuesday.  I did my back exercises on Sunday and Monday.  I worked with my foam roll on Tuesday as well, even though I intended a day off.  My thorasic felt a little tight and I wanted to loosen it up.  It was still a lighter work out than normal.  Then Wednesday happened.  I woke up on the higher end of what I consider a normal pain level.  Traffic was aweful driving to work, which pushed me well outside the normal zone.  Throbbing pain started around lunch and spasms a couple of hours later.  Traffic driving home was lighter, but with the spasms it was still excrutiating.  The pain level was too high for a walk, but since I intended a day off anyway that wasn't a concern.  It wasn't a day off for the back exercises.  I tried both.  One rep of cat/cow made me realize it would be a very bad idea to continue.  I was able to accomplish about 4 reps with the foam roll before a spasm stopped that. 

 

I had recovered considerably Thursday, but I decided I needed a day just let my back rest after Wednesday.  Friday I did my back exercises but I forgot to walk.  I timed my walk around the hardware store today and I had 15 minutes of active walking.  I haven't decided if I am going to count that.  I like to do my back exercises right before bed because when I am done with those I really am done for the day.

 

I'm really happy to be typing this out.  Going through the week and knowing I wasn't going to hit the numbers I wanted this week was really discouraging.  As I type and read though, I'm starting to feel better about the fact that a new week starts tomorrow and I have a new opportunity to hit my starting point. 

Matt P


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It has been crazy at work the last couple of weeks, so I haven't had a chance to post.

 

I have seen a significant increase in the frequency and pain level of my flair ups in direct correlation to my exercise plan.  On the positive side, I have also noticed an improved recovery time from these flare ups. 

 

I have modified my plan in order to control pain flare ups and ensure better long term success.  In order to control flare ups, I have changed my back exercise routine to every other day.  In order to maintain focus on the back exercises, I have dropped the walking goal for the time being.  I haven't stopped walking completely, I'm just not concentrating on it at the expense of forgetting back exercises.  I should have a settle routine by the end of the challenge and I may consider adding walking as part of the next challenge.  Getting through this one is the focus now though.  I will worry about the next challenge when this one is over.  :)

Matt P


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