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Archive for March, 2009

Getting around to post some of last Sunday’s PTs. Relatively low key but nice.

First off, both Saturday and Sunday were IF days for me, in the sense that I underfed during the daytime. Saturday saw us going to The Melting Pot up in Arlington, and since it was to be a “brunch” at 1400, I didn’t bother to eat anything for brekkies. But on the way there, Shawn called me and said that it actually didn’t open until 1600, so I was stuck until then. When I finally got up to Arlington and the general area (I took Metro from Springfield to Ballston-MU station), I grabbed a cappucino and a piece of coffee cake. That may not have been the most paleo (or “warrior”) thing in the world… but it did tide me over until dinner, which finally started getting presented at 1630 or so.

And it was good, let me tell you! Afterward, everybody was talking about how stuffed they were, but I was simply… pleasantly full.

Sunday saw me only drinking a couple of cups of kefir throughout the day, and having a handful of chopped fruit, until 1930 or so. At the end of fencing, one of the fencers let me know that they were going over to a friend’s house for food. The friend was coming back from an SCA event (“Defending the Gate,” I think it’s called), and let the fencer’s know ahead of time that he was bringing back a large quantity of food from the feasting. And he did–lamb stew, meat pies, pork, a bit of bread, etc. And so we munched on that. And I went home. It’s good to be the coach šŸ˜€ .

Of course, that was after a pretty good fencing session. Several members of the club were going to participate in an ƩpƩe scrimmage with Dark Horse the next day, so I worked several of them in that. I also worked some sabre with a fellow. It was all, good, hard fun.

Fencing, by it’s nature, requires ballistic, explosive energy and movement, and endurance, to last through a bout or several. It is also extremely mentally challenging, like playing chess at the same time.

Earlier in the day, I started the “martial” theme with a good session of aiki tai sabaki, or “body movement.” That consisted of a lot of aiki footwork, both fast and slow (done in an almost tai chi manner), some sword-like arm movements endemic to aiki practice, and a lot of level changes. Such as rolls, but in particular standing to one-leg kneeling, turning from that position, and raising to standing. Good leg training.

Kept it fairly vigorous but not exhausting. Got a decent sweat going, but not buckets, and not to a panting stage. More about feeling movement through space. It was a nice session, and a good warm up for the body for fencing a few hours later.

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Recovering from a good one, today. Basically a variation on the CFT Variation 3 (Combined w/UAW). This time, for the Pre- and Post-Fatigue sections, I did several of the exercises for 15 counts instead of a steady 10. And for the Core, I did quick-time snatches, starting off with the 32 kg.

Start left arm, when form degenerates, switch to right arm, stop when form degenerates again. Pick up 24 kg, repeat. Pick up 16 kg, repeat. I didn’t count reps, or time it, just did it until I was worried about flinging the bell out of my hand, or not being able to breathe. Took time in-between arms to catch breath or spit as necessary.

All to the soothing strains of White Zombie (Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds), until the cooldown/stretch, then it was some more Ultima Thule podcast.

Hafta admit, I was surprised how well I managed to keep up. After being sick for a month, and a hard Tabata workout Sunday, I expected to be dragging and wheezing a lot more. Ah well, there are other days to crank up the heat… šŸ˜€

Now it’s time for that steak!

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Today’s workout was all about the Tabata Protocol as applied to kettlebells.

Started off warming up with a few LCCJ with the 24 kg bells, then went right into the Tabata interval sets with the 16 kg. Very simple: 20 seconds snatch as quick as you can, left hand, 10 seconds break, 20 seconds snatch right hand, 10 second break, 20 seconds snatch left hand, and so on.

Eight rounds total snatches, which meant four rounds each arm and four minutes total. After a little break, I did the same thing for eight rounds with the jerk (which sort of morphed into an explosive push press because of timing). Then cool down and stretching.

Felt pretty good, and I definitely felt I earned my dinner of steak and veggies, with kefir as dessert.

Earlier today, my neighbor James and I headed off to parts known and unkown on the bikes–beautiful day for a ride, though the air seemed a bit chilly. Introduced him to “saltfish” for brekkies.

Friday night was an interesting experimental night with the longswords. I’ve been coaching the roommate a little in Systema practices, including some knife work. So for longsword practice we used some of the same training techniques involving putting the point on the body and using it to push the body. Good stuff.

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Here’s a new one from titanium soul:

Just a short little piece that I was working with. It was actually inspired by a piece by Philip Sheppard from the Science Channel program “Moon Machines.”

In other (but maybe related news, now that I think about it…), my mom’s latest PET scan (no, not for the cat šŸ™‚ ) came back negative for any sort of cancer or growths. Cancer free, baby!! Woo hoo! Obviously, that’s great news. The week before her scan, the doctor felt around her neck, which had been so swollen before, and couldn’t feel anything abnormal.

He said it was remarkable, given that her treatment had been so… oddball. Just to refresh, before she had discovered she had cancerous growths, she had been super dehydrated and unable to eat, so when they took her in they put a feeding tube in her just in order to get water and food into her. She already was very weak and had lost like, 60 lbs.

Then they found out that she had cancerous growths, one on her epiglottis and one in the side of here neck–which is why she couldn’t eat or drink without choking.

So the treatment program was several weeks of radiation, and three sessions of chemo. However, after getting home right right after her second chemo treatment, on the day before Thanksgiving, she had a heart attack.

Back in the hospital… her rads and chemo were suspended while she recovered from that, but then she had an episode of ventricular defibrillation. We had the defibrillator put in, but her heart was irritable, and she kept getting the **** shocked out of her, until they were able to get back in there and tune the defib to less sensitivity.

Once that was all stabilized, she got to continue the radiation, but the chemo was indefinitely suspended. She ended up not going back for that, as it was deemed too stressful.

Apparently, once you start radiation therapy, you only have so many weeks you can do it before the course has to stop, for safety reasons. So in order to get as much treatment in during the open window, they doubled up her daily sessions, so that she had two a day.

All this while, she was living in the hospital. Thanksgiving… Christmas… New Year’s… finally, the radiation course was over. They had been moving her from Acute Cardiac Care, to lesser and lesser intensive care rooms, ’til she was what was in basically a nursing home wing of the hospital, which amounted to a hotel where nurses would come in periodically to giver her medicine. At the same time, she was going through a light version of physical therapy in order to rehab her from the heart attack… and so much bed rest.

Finally, she got to go home in late January, and it was already noted how much her neck size had returned to normal, and she was back to eating some solid food and drinking fluids, though she still needed the tube in to get most of her calories.

So, a great big thank you to all friends and family who dropped by to see her, and for the doctors and nurses who treated her, and all the kind thoughts and prayers of all you who did so. And of course, to God and the Universe for her healing.

In that light, I think I’ll dedicate the above song to my mom, Sharon. May sunlight always break through for you!

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I loooove a good review, usually of the ripping the movie apart variety, but done in a funny way. Here’s one I found that was pretty hysterical, similar to two of my all-time favorite reviews, the one of The Perils of Gwendoline, and the one for John Ringo’s Paladin of Shadows series.

Now, understand, even though this review had me guffawing, I LOVE this movie. For a lot of reasons that don’t make sense to anyone, really, but it’s one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one, so I can’t enjoy it with anyone. Ah, more’s the pity…

But for your viewing pleasure, here’s the trailer:

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Today’s little workout wasn’t super strenuous, but it did provide a good morning warm-up for the rest of the day.

I simply did several hundred cuts with my bokken and side sword waster. Started off with the “morning warm-up,” which amounts to several reps of alternating the yoga asana “cobra” with “down dog.” Then a couple hundred bokken strikes, then added the side sword waster for a while as two-sword practice combining cuts and thrusts.

Simple, and a nice active recovery from the night before.

Hyah!

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Finally, a chance to do my full workout. I knew it was time–I’ve had neck crick for the last couple of days, and getting worse. High time to loosen up with some good PT.

So, I went for the full CFT Variation 1. To wit:

CFT Variation 1

Pre-Fatigue
30 sec defensive position, high intensity
30 sec arms overhead, high intensity
30 sec def pos, low intensity
30 sec arms overhead, low intensity
30 sec def pos, high intensity
30 sec arms overhead, high intensity
30 sec def pos, low intensity
30 sec arms overhead, low intensity
30 sec def pos, high intensity
30 sec arms overhead, high intensity

Core
1 minute each arm, LCCJ (32 kg)
1 minute each arm, LCCJ (24 kg)
1 minute each arm, LCCJ (16 kg)

Post-Fatigue
5 frog jumps forward
5 frog jumps backward
5 frog jumps left
5 frog jumps right

4 frog jumps forward
4 frog jumps backward
4 frog jumps left
4 frog jumps right

3 frog jumps forward
3 frog jumps backward
3 frog jumps left
3 frog jumps right

2 frog jumps forward
2 frog jumps backward
2 frog jumps left
2 frog jumps right

1 frog jump forward, then springing up as high as I can
1 frog jump backward, then springing up as high as I can
1 frog jump left, then springing up as high as I can
1 frog jump right, then springing up as high as I can

Stretch, loosen up, breathing meditation

And, because I can never leave well enough alone, before starting the frog jumps I did an ab set:

20 reverse crunches
15 each side, half Turkish Get Ups (24 kg)
10 crunches

I still have a bit of this “crud” I’ve had for the last few weeks, but doing much better. Ears were clear, so naturally they popped when breathing heavy and cleared even more. That was during the Pre-Fatigue portion. Had a little wheezing, but no liquid burbling in the lungs.

Now if I can just finally keep my nose and sinus clear, and not have to wake up in the night trying to breathe. Blech.

Almost there. Woo hoo.

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