• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Daryl of Barbaria

Daryl of Barbaria - The Barbarian Returns to the Monastery

Recommended Posts

After four long years (which have actually gone by very fast), I am returning to his chosen art of Shotokan karate, in earnest. I feel I finally have all the tools I need to keep the only back injury at bay, to keep my priorities straight, to overall keep a balanced approach to my training and my life. To goal of my practice is simply that, to practice.

 

Part I - Daily Meditation: As in previous challenges, I will continue my daily, early-morning meditation. I wake up at approximately 5:45 AM and immediately meditate for 12 minutes. +4 Wis

 

Part II - Morning Workout: During the work-week (Monday - Friday), immediately after my meditation, I exercise. The workouts will alternate between rucking (going for a walk with weight in a backpack) and indoor bodyweight/yoga/parkour training. The parkour piece of the training isn't so much to actually learn and practice parkour, but to simply use the conditioning exercises to compliment the rest of my training. Quadrupedal movement (QM) is especially good for training strength, endurance, and flexibility. The Tapp Brothers consider it to be the ultimate bodyweight exercise. +4 Sta

 

Part III - Karate Training: I will be returning to the dojo where I last trained in earnest, four years ago. I will start by attending once per week, at least until my body adapts to the intensity of training. Then I may step up to twice per week, but for the purpose of this challenge the minimum will remain one session per week. I will also have at least one dedicated self-training day per week. Due to an old karate-related back injury from years ago, I must approach this cautiously. Too much, too soon, could be my undoing. +4 Dex

 

Part IV - Rest: I am constantly learning and re-learning how important it is to get regular sleep to augment any kind of training. The goal here is to be in bed by 10:30 PM at the latest, every evening. The only exception will be Saturday evening, where I may stay up until midnight, but no later. However, I must try to keep even this to a minimum. Good rest is key to recovery after workouts, and key to maintaining my ability to do my early morning routine. +3 Con

 

Placeholder: I will allow myself up to two placeholder exercises per week, should conditions on any particular day prove unsuitable for the planned workout. I'm not going to designate a particular exercise as the placeholder. I've leaving it open so that I can adapt it to the current situation.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This challenge has started off a bit rough. Monday I subbed my planned bodyweight workout with a placeholder (15 minute walk and a few kata). It was, however, a most appropriate situation for a placeholder workout. The night before, my wife and I had to take our little one to the ER due to a cut that we both assumed would need stitches. The cut turned out to be far less severe than we thought (we were afraid it had gone clean through her chin to the inside of her mouth, luckily this was not the case). No stitches were needed, just a little of that fancy glue. But as you can expect with any ER visit, it ends up being an hours long process. So it made for a very late Sunday night with very little and very poor sleep. Come Monday morning, a planned fitness routine just wasn't going to happen. But that's what I have the placeholders for, isn't it? And I still got my meditation in, even if it was much later in the day.

 

Tuesday has started off as planned, with my morning meditation followed by a 25 minute ruck. I've taken the day off to celebrate my wife's birthday. Plus it's nice to have another day to recoup ourselves after Sunday night's excitement.

 

Tomorrow will be the usual morning routine, but with a bodyweight/yoga workout. Also, tomorrow will mark my first time returning to the dojo for formal karate training. First time in four years! My gi is ready, and my body is strong!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woke up early and got my meditation and bodyweight/yoga workout in. Despite getting to bed at the proper time last night, I still didn't sleep very well. I may have to resort to my old vice today...Mountain Dew. While it was nice having a long weekend, I do not look forward to the mess of phone messages I almost certainly have waiting for me at the office.

 

In other news, tonight is my first karate night! Yeah, I'm a little nervous, but only a little. It's been four years, much of that time thinking I would never return, for one reason or another. I suppose getting over that hurdle is a small victory in itself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My return to karate class went as planned. A few familiar faces there, many more unfamiliar ones. While I may not have been training in the dojo for the past four years, all the training I have done is definitely paying off. Deep, low stances came pretty easy. Nothing hurt, pulled, or overly fatigued. Just the minor soreness that comes with a good workout. Accuracy of strikes seemed, well, not great, but not bad considering it's been four years! A great start overall.  :orange:

 

We'll see how next week goes. Maybe after a month or two of attending once per week, I'll step it up to two.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you and I have a lot in common and our goals are very similar.  

 

Welcome back to Karate.  I am always excited to see someone who comes back to the art.  I often see too many people who train hard to reach a certain rank or leave after an injury and then never come back.  You are certainly part of a small group of Karateka that other students can learn from and I wish you the best in your training endeavors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you and I have a lot in common and our goals are very similar.  

 

Welcome back to Karate.  I am always excited to see someone who comes back to the art.  I often see too many people who train hard to reach a certain rank or leave after an injury and then never come back.  You are certainly part of a small group of Karateka that other students can learn from and I wish you the best in your training endeavors.

 

Thank you for the support. I certainly hadn't looked at my earlier karate path as an example for other students to learn from, but maybe that is something I can change with my present training. Up until very recently, I was quite certain I would never return to karate following the back injury. Then I realized the injury isn't so much a deal breaker as it is a minor limitation, one that can be overcome simply by being mindful of it and doing my karate, rather than someone else's karate, in a way that benefits me. While do have one very specific rank-related goal (earning shodan), I am not letting it drive my training. My approach shall simply be "it will happen when it happens."

 

 

Today my morning routine completely fell by the wayside. I woke up feeling rather ill and sore, so I opted for an extra hour of sleep rather than my usual routine. But I plan to make up for it after work. I'll set down to do some meditation, and then think of something to do as a placeholder exercise (I have one left to use this week). 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you've been pushing through a lot this week! Between the little one getting taken to the ER and everything else that happened, I could see it being rough. But you adapted to your circumstances, you improvised your training, and you overcame your obstacles!

 

Which, I dunno if you know, is what we freaking do around here, man. That's awesome. Way to make it happen.

 

I guess the first week rocked out for you then! All right, then. Osu. On to week 2!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I've been quiet right now. This week also started with some setbacks, which again let to me getting crap for sleep on Sunday night. I hate starting the week like that. But it was unavoidable. Sleep deprivation tends to put me in a very negative state of mind, so I've found it's for the better that take a momentary leave of absence from NF when this occurs. Otherwise I tend to make snap decisions along the lines of "well I've f#%&-ed this challenge...all is lost...blah blah blah."

 

Anyway, I've spent to last few days focused on getting good sleep and recovering my state of mind. In the process I've let the morning routine go, big time, in exchange for an extra hour of sleep. I stand by the decision, even though it has meant falling short on goals this week.

 

It won't keep me away from karate practice this evening. And tomorrow I will be making a deliberate effort to get the morning routine back on track. I just might be toning it down a bit. Walking and gentle yoga practice versus rucking and more strenuous body weight exercises. At least for a while, until I know I'm back up to par again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sleep trumps the morning routine. I mean, morning routines are excellent for the power they have to set the day on a good track, but at the end of the day, the body cares less for that than it does for the hormonal benefits it gets from a good night's rest. I would make that call too.

 

One possible thing that I think might be worth experimenting with is the idea of executing consequences that help you do better. If you sleep in, try skimping on the luxuries of the morning - games you may play, pleasure reading, that sort of thing - as a way to reinforce that you should get down on time to get the sleep you want in the hours that benefit you most.

 

And, importantly, as you say, it is not keeping you from karate. Brilliant. Okay, then.

 

Keep going!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The situation has been improving somewhat later in the week. I still made it to karate practice. Bedtime routine is working out. It's just been difficult to get back on top of that morning routine. One of the benefits of getting up early is that I'm the only one awake, so I can focus on my stuff without distraction. However, the little one has recently taken to waking early in the morning as well, making it difficult, or impossible, depending upon her mood. I've also had a few mornings, like today, where I had to go into work early, leaving no time for the morning exercise. Regardless, at least I got 10,000 steps in yesterday on my Fitbit, so that's worth something. Perhaps the key will just be to relax the daily requirements for a while. 10,000 steps on the Fitbit is a reasonable daily goal. I can get a good chunk of that done if I do my walk or ruck in the mornings, but if that doesn't work, for whatever reason, I still have the rest of the day. I'm just feeling like relaxing all my goals a bit right now. I guess the last two weeks of high stress and crap sleep have taken it out of me. Strict plans feel like a burden. All I really want to do is "just move" each day, doesn't really matter how, just keep active, and practice my karate a couple of times per week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One possible thing that I think might be worth experimenting with is the idea of executing consequences that help you do better. If you sleep in, try skimping on the luxuries of the morning - games you may play, pleasure reading, that sort of thing - as a way to reinforce that you should get down on time to get the sleep you want in the hours that benefit you most.

 

Good idea. Unfortunately, I really don't have any "luxuries" as part of my morning routine. The extra time I gain from waking at 5:45 AM goes toward my meditation and exercise, or getting to the office an hour early on rare occasion. I'm more likely to curb the luxuries in the evening, so as to get to bed at a decent time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just having further thoughts throughout the work day about making 10,000 steps on the Fitbit a daily goal, and how that might tie in with my karate. One thing I have learned in recent years is that pursuing karate as my soul means of physical activity and fitness is not good for me. Having other means to stay fit in combination with karate is essential.

 

Then I remember when I first took up karate, as a 24 year old university freshman, karate was really all I did to keep active. Sure, I had youth on my side, and a modest degree of physical fitness, having just completed five years in the military. The running routine I tried to keep up with was short lived. So really, karate was all I did for activity.

 

Or was it?

 

The apartment I lived in from my second year on was at the bottom of a big hill, in a pretty deep river valley. The university campus was at the top. So I walked. A lot. Back and forth, up and down, several times per day. When I held a part-time job, it too was on campus. And it was a job that required a lot of walking in its own right (basically an overnight watchman). Needless to say, I put in a lot of time on my feet, every day. If Fitbit was around back then, I'm sure I would have been getting well over my recommended daily dose of 10,000 steps. Probably double that.

 

So yeah, I was definitely pursuing an additional means of fitness, without even realizing it. And during my university karate years, my overall health and fitness held up just fine. Sure, there were the occasional bumps, bruises, and pulled muscles from karate. Nothing debilitating, and nothing that would take me out of action for more than two weeks.

 

It's little wonder I screwed my back up four years ago when I was training obsessively in the evening, while sitting at a desk all day and doing little else.

 

Perhaps a whole lot of walking, with a little yoga, is all I need to compliment my karate. There is simplicity to the idea. I like simplicity.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simplicity does not mean ease. Not by a long shot. :) And what you find you do ultimately trumps that which you do not do.

 

And you can go sparse on luxuries at any time of day. Don't let some voice on the internet like me tell you what to do. :'D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to do some kata practice today. So at least I'm nailing my karate goals consistently, as well as my daily meditation. Didn't make the walking goal, but overall not a bad effort. Especially considering the weekend did involve four hours on the road, hauling a washer and dryer out of one basement, and placing them in another. Not a bad effort at all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll tell if you tell.  :playful:

 

I'm at 1st kyu, but that was awarded way back in 2010. I don't think my current skills would make the grade.

 

I'm only at 4th Kyu. I was hoping to grate up today but a car accident in January screwed that up for me. Nevermind, I'll get it next time :) 

 

You might not be technically there still but I bet you're not as bad as you think you are. The body has a way of remembering :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moving and helping people is the kind constructively going crazy that most training needs every now and again. Cool. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got another 10,000 steps in yesterday. I think I'm liking this better as a daily goal. It's something I can accomplish throughout the day in manageable chunks. It's not so dependent on my morning routine occurring every day without fail.

 

For example, yesterday I was very rough and very late work day. So I gave myself an extra hour of sleep this morning, instead of the morning routine. But I know I can still make up those steps throughout the day.

 

So the revised plan basically looks like this:

 

1. Daily meditation

2. Daily walking (10,000 steps according to Fitbit)

3. Bedtime at 10:30 PM, except for Saturday night

4. Karate 2x/ week (1x at dojo, 1x at home)

 

It's not overly impressive, compared to some of my previous plans. But it works. Some is better than none.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a lot to be said for slipping activity into the general fabric of your day, like the 10k steps goal does.  It may not be "impressive", but that's a pretty solid life plan, IMO.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a lot to be said for slipping activity into the general fabric of your day, like the 10k steps goal does.  It may not be "impressive", but that's a pretty solid life plan, IMO.

 

Agreed. My fitness goals are modest these days. More about maintaining respectable mental and physical health, rather than impressive performance.

 

Unfortunately it seems I will fall short of 10k steps today. I'll probably get there tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.