A stiff thing on a stiff day in a stiff breeze…….and so on.
One day messing about with the boat and my back is telling me that its still not happy with me so that’s about 10 days of pain and reduced function now. I think it was the right thing, although exhausting, to go back to work because everything that i know about back recovery says that some degree of pain control and early mobilisation is the fastest way to get full recovery. I’m not going to moan about it, actually i am but only a little bit ! once i am the point where i can walk without feeling that i am walking sideways then i reckon i can work. Yesterday at the yard caught me out in that it wasn’t pushing the yard dinghy down the slip that was difficult but all the small bendy/stretchy moves that i had to then make on the boat : like the awkward move to get my head under the hatch and the even worse one to get legs up and head down to step over the centreboard case and my head under the entrance to the heads compartment.
I said i would add a new section to the blog ie a fitness blog as i reckon the only way i will actually address my own fitness or lack of it by writing about it regularly : by making myself write about it i will have to think about it and ultimately actually do something practical about it. Its not a great starting point to be in such a state that even everyday stuff is problematical but a starting point is exactly that and there is no point in wishing for anything different or waiting for a better moment to make a start.
So lets call this day 1 and now i need a plan.
I know enough that it isn’t sufficient to say that the plan is to get fit, that has no real meaning as in : how fit ?, fit for what ? fit to what level etc etc. Before when i approached this i gave it an open ended goal which just aimed at the maximum possible fitness i could achieve with no limits on time spent, budget needed and disturbance to everyday life actually caused. It did in a way work in that i lost a whole load of body fat, put on some muscle, made all the beginner-gains of weights training and yes i got to somewhere that i was happy with but the disturbance to everyday life was just too great and so now with the combination of work, travel to work, boat, garden etc etc i can’t take that approach again. What has to happen is that i set smaller and smarter goals, be a lot more organised and get much more ‘bang for buck’ in the actual training time that i chose to invest in.
My first goal then can’t be ‘get fit’ (meaningless) nor can i set a previous level of fitness as a current goal : and just to add that a 300lb deadlift is somewhat over the horizon and a 10 minute mile may never be feasible again and that’s a bit of a shock. So i need smart goals, actual plans and it has to work with the life i actually live rather than existing somewhere in fantasy land……has to be do-able.
What works ?, well i know that running doesn’t work for me just as it doesn’t work for many that do it as a main exercise : just look at the hundreds if not thousands of women that jog/run (often badly) and end up with a worse body composition than they started with (skinny and fat). Running won’t work for me at all at the moment because the impacts on my back will be just too painful. What has worked in the past for me is 3 things : weights and notably free weights, physical work such as the hard yaka i did at base here and thirdly ‘rucking’ which i will explain later. Right now and as of this moment it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to walk into a gym and start loading the plates onto the oly-bar and crank away : but then i didn’t do that when i started out so i shouldn’t think that way now. I guess then that takes me tentatively towards a first smart goal….being fit enough to do free weights again and what that needs is a basic level of stability and mobility and then i can start ‘light’. So there is the first goal : get my back stable and mobile, do some basic work that will get the moves happening again.
Here we go then : smart goal 1, stabilise and mobilise back, and with the associated goal of doing enough physical work to be able to return to free weights training. For those not familiar with ‘SMART’ goals i will try and put this in the SMART framework :
S = Specific M= Measureable A= Achieveable R= Realistic T= Timely.
So in this case i am going to say that my specific goal is the mobilise and stabilise my back, the measurement will be based on pain ie lack of it, mobility which will be full rotation and in a time frame of the next 2 weeks at which time i intend to do a first free weights session.
Assets. Some people that use ‘SMART’ and usually the business/management dweebs alway like to complexify things and often add a whole load of unnecasary BS to simple things like this, one such complication i saw had a whole algorythym attached to it most of which i don’t remember but where A= a whole load of other stuff for example Attitude and Assets , well i am not going to be stalking into the gym with the hardcore warm-up track playing and with an ‘attack’ attitude but i do need to consider what assets i have available. I have some useful gear here such as a proper olympic bar and some plates, a couple of KB’s a deck to work on and a useful bench for some bodyweight work. I do have enough in the budget to consider joining the gym again and i can see a way of getting a timely session there twice a week before a shift….is just about do-able. There is plenty that i can do here in terms of basic phys to get the workload up and at the end will describe what i did today just as an example.
Part 2 of this is that i really really have to address my actual diet and actual weight again, on monday i will weigh for the first time again to set a baseline and start a graph. Diet is the hard one for me as i know that i am a carb addict and its a tough change to alter that but its not going to work (any of this) unless i also do the diet side so :
Smart goal 2 has to be a radical dietary change for at least a short period so along with the 2 week goal of preparing for the weights/gym i am also going to go ‘paleo’ again (or a similar high protein and low carb) induction which will be rough but i know works for me just as it works for most men.
Todays ‘workout’ :
1.Lifted the potato containers out of the greenhouse and moved them each about 25 feet.
2.Shifted 200 litres of water in bucket loads from one stack of butts to another so thats a workload of 200 litres (440 lbs) through about 5 feet in height and 30 feet in distance, that gives us a work metric of 440 x 5 vertical foot-pounds workload and that gives me about 2200 foot-pounds workload which is pretty small by work standards but as a start its a start.
3.Planning and experimenting with back-specific exercises.
Nina writes ” Nina here. Good luck with the fitness program. Yeah it is hard to find the time. I have a on and off program. I like to do a short workout with a intense period toward the end. Diet? The pelio diet may be a marketing myth as many of the foods in the pelio diet did not exist during peliolithic times. Humans have digestive enzymes for carbs and a long gut with stomach acid around Ph2. Carnivores have a short gut and stomach acid around Ph1. People do how ever need B12. We also need quality Biome for good health. This means insoluble fibre etc. The debate as to what is good or bad for health through nutrition is even more complex than that which is needed to sail to windward. As the years pile on there seems to be similarities between the two.
Thanks Nina, Nina i know has good reason to know her stuff with diet and i am aware of the marketing bs with things like ‘paleo’. Its just that if i say ‘paleo’ to people then they at least think they know what i am talking about. What i am actually doing is closer to the Atkins induction phase with high protein, moderate/high fat and reduced carbohydrate…last night for example i had a thin piece of fried steak with just an onion and some mushrooms so the carbs are still there. What i intended to do was induce ketosis on day 1 while i was at home and not on day 4 when i will be back at work and getting dehydrated. I have definitely achieved that , got the ketotic breath and a slight headache otherwise fine and zero cravings.
Anyway….must get the longbow out and go and hunt down some prime vension for dinnner !