exercise Archives

August 7, 2007

Returning to the Gym After 6-Month Layoff

ArnoldReturned to the gym yesterday .. first time in 6 months. You might recall, 6 months ago, when I tweaked my back, how bad that suk'ed. (See entry titled » Falling Apart at the Seams.)

Felt good to throw around some iron. I went straight to the BACK exercises, beginning with deadlifts.

Felt surprisingly strong, considering. Used moderate weights (not light, not heavy). Resisted the urge to push it. I did tucker out pretty quickly, tho. I'll see how I feel in the morning. (Hope I can climb out of bed.)

Until recently I had no desire to workout (only bike-rides). But this week, it felt like my body was asking to get back in the gym.

Another factor » my eyes been bothering me lately. Been reading the Head First book on XHTML/CSS, which I've been enjoying .. more so as I get into the more advanced chapters.

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August 11, 2007

Exercise, Bizarre Dreams & Advanced Web Construction

ArnoldRemarkable how much better I feel whenever I work-out. I even feel better about myself (psychologically).

Shirts fit more snugly (in chest & shoulders). Arms hang a bit heavier. Each step flows more easily, propelled by stronger legs ("wheels").

Been adding weight, too (muscle-weight, hopefully). Lost ~15 lbs following the back injury. Each time I've visited the gym, my weight has climbed (on their digital scale) » 188 » 189 » 190 » 191 » 192, & today » 193.

I like how, once I get in shape, and develop a routine, I develop a desire to work-out (instead of a dread). Getting to the gym is half the battle. Once you're there .. the hardest part is over.

The routine that works best for me » legs+abs on day-1, shoulders+arms on days 2, rest day-3, back+abs day-4, chest day-5, rest day-6, repeat cycle (2-on, 1-off). Each session begins with 10-min aerobic warm-up. (For which I prefer the recumbent bike.)

Sleeping better, too (zzzz). Still having bizarre dreams, tho .. such as the one where I was » flying around Laguna Beach on New Year's eve with the bug in a slow-moving, over-crowded commuter-jet piloted by Tom Hanks...

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September 3, 2007

First-ever Mountain Bike Ride during Heat Wave Impairs Cognitive Function

Mountain BikingAt the coffee shop yesterday, I let my rock-climbing buddy (Tom) talk me into a mountain bike ride (my first ever). Unfortunately, yesterday brought a record-breaking heat wave.

It was sooo freakin' hot. Tom estimated 105 degrees on the trails where no breeze blew. We didn't get started until after noon, finishing 3 hours later » smack dab in the heat of the day. (We stopped twice » once to fix his broken chain, and again later to repair my flat tire.)

This was the most physically stressed I've ever been. I actually noticed myself suffering impaired cognitive function. For example, while Tom fixed my flat, he told me to drink more water. So I walked over to *his* bike and picked it up, thinking it was my own.

Wasn't until I pulled out his water bottle from the holder that I realized I had the wrong bike. (Our bikes look nothing alike.) I mean, this was obvious .. to anybody with an IQ above 60.

I also had trouble recalling simple bits of info, that would normally be second-nature. So my memory was affected. But at least I was aware of my impaired condition. In a way, it was cool .. cuz I learned something about myself (and my limits).

The *hills* are what killed me. Seemed like they'd never end. We climbed one after another. Relentless. Punishing. Brutal.

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September 30, 2007

New Mountain Bike » A Gift Passed On

Rad's new mountain bike » GT Avalanche 2.0My rock-climbing buddy, Tom, called yesterday afternoon. "I'm coming over to pick you up," he said. "I'm taking you shopping for a new mountain bike."

"I can't afford a new mountain bike right now," I said.

"I know," he replied. "Don't worry. My treat." I thought we were gonna look at some used (cheap) bikes. Not so. He took me to a store.

Tom is not rich. On the way over, he told me a story, how many years ago, while in his early 20's, his landlord informed him waterbeds were not allowed, and that he'd have to get rid of his waterbed.

"I don't have the money to buy a new bed," he complained. "You should have told me before I moved in."

One of Tom's neighbors overheard the conversation. The next day Tom found $350 cash in his mailbox. (Back when $350 was a lot of money.) Tom confronted the man (a Muslim, working 3 jobs) and asked if the money was from him. "It's from whoever you *want* it to be from," the man replied.

"I'll repay you," Tom said, "with interest." The Muslim explained how it was against his religion to make money off money. He told Tom he should simply "pass it on," and that he'd know when the time was right.

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October 7, 2007

Over the Handlebars (Ouch) » Mountain Biking Mishap

Mountain biking this weekend. Too much fun. Nasty spill. Crashed & burned. Ouch. Sore neck.

Red CrossMy buddy Tom said, "Don't try to move." Asked me, "How many fingers am I holding up?" and what state we were in. I knew that stuff. (Three, California.) He's taken numerous first-aid classes.

Maybe mild concussion. Was wearing a helmet. Nasty (bloody) scrapes left arm & leg. (Looks cool, tho.) I rode out. (Walked the gnarlier parts.)

We'll see how I feel in the morning. Probably will be stiff. Tom has a chiropractor he wants me to see tomorrow, to take some x-rays, just in case.

Met others on the trail who had the same thing happen. (Airborne. Launched.) They said first couple of days are worst. Been icing neck. (First 24-48 hours.)

If you're naseous and/or dizzy, that indicates concussion. I was neither. Turning head side-to-side not fun. Took a Motrin. (Might need another.)

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October 10, 2007

Sore Neck Following Mountain Biking Crash

SingletrackRegarding Sunday's mountain biking mishap (see previous entry), I should be over the worst of it .. tho not yet out of the woods.

Starting to feel human again. Neck still sore/stiff, especially left side. Got a headache, too, which I didn't have before. Weird. Otherwise, it's steady as she goes .. with Advil & Tigerbalm. (I'm done with icing phase.)

My new mountain bike has disc break, which provides more stopping power (way more) than old bike. Two fingers is all it takes. Makes it easy to lock front tire .. which can send you sailing over the handlebars, especially on a steep decline.

Tom's wife told me she is more afraid of mountain biking than rock climbing, cuz there's a greater chance of hitting the ground while mountain biking. (No safety ropes to break your fall.)

On the trails, she always let me go first (after Tom), saying she was super cautious, going extra slowly. I thought she was just being nice, sandwiching me (least experienced rider) between her and her husband. She certainly made it look easy.

But maybe she really was leery. I can see now why that might be. =/ She also told me she never used her front brake .. to prevent going over the handlebars. I thought "never" was extreme. Doesn't seem so extreme now.

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October 14, 2007

One Week Since Nasty Mountain Biking Accident (Neck Tweaked)

Been a week since I went flying over the handlebars and landed on my head. Wish I were further down the road to recovery, but .. I knew it would take a while.

Frankenstein(.. from the nasty, crunching sound my neck made upon impact .. similar to what you hear when you break in half a fistful of dry spaghetti.)

The good news is .. I didn't miss any time with the Bug. Unless a doctor, or a judge, tells me I can't (or shouldn't) see him, I'm there .. bright and early.

We did low-key stuff .. like lay on the bed together and watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang .. on my laptop (propped on my legs) while I held him. (Feels good to lay horizontal.) He seemed to enjoy that, saying, "This is cool, dada."

His favorite part is Me Ol' Bamboo, which makes him get up and jump around like the dancers. But caring for him in my condition is (as you might imagine) taxing. Hard for injured muscles to heal if they can't rest.

Today I'm trying to rest, and not move very much .. which is more difficult than I anticipated. Pain (my ol' friend) I can handle; I merely don't want to re-injure anything. I have a DVD on learning Dreamweaver CS3 that seems well-suited to my present condition.

People say I look like I'm in pain. Must be more difficult to hide than I thought. My head is crooked (like the Leaning Tower), tilted to the left. My left shoulder is raised. I walk like Frankenstein. Difficult to open my mouth to eat. (Corn-on-the-cob impossible.)

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December 18, 2007

First Trip to the Gym Since Hurting Neck in Mountain-Biking Accident

Returned to the gym yesterday. First time since I went sailing over the handlebars and landed on my head. It's been 10 weeks.

ArnoldFelt good to throw around some iron. Everybody came up, asking, "Dude, where you been?"

Felt stronger than I expected. No major problems. Neck is still stiff, but no longer painful. My left hip however, felt a little weird on some exercises. Same with my right shoulder.

Fortunately I was in decent shape before wiping out, having mountain-biked regularly prior. But after a month or so of inactivity, the body begins to lose tone. Endurance wanes. You start to feel yucky.

A trainer there, who used to be a physical therapist, said I "need to get increased blood flow" to my neck .. to promote healing. "You can do that," she added, "by applying heat or massage. Both techniques dilate."

So afterwards, I hit the sauna—first the steam, then the dry (dry is hotter). The neck definitely feels better today. I also been getting regular massages, twice weekly.

Ran into my physical therapist at the coffee shop last weekend. "Call me this week," she said, "and we'll schedule an appointment. It's fine if you need to bring the bug."

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