Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Am I ready to go back on Monday?

The dojo reopens on Monday. Will I be ready?

Since mid September, I've had back troubles and been taking time off. By November, I stopped all exercise entirely. Yesterday, for the first time, I went to the gym and had a little workout, some upper body, abs, and ten minutes on the eliptical.

This morning, I did abs and fifteen minutes on the treadmill. I intend to go the gym daily alternating between weights and different cardio. But the big question is, what will happen when I show up for my first class back on Monday.

There are three big questions:
1. Is my back flare-up over? Was rest with massage and chiro all that was needed or do I have something requiring more?
2. Is my cardio adequate to make it through a class? Remember, at 50 plus, cardio disappears at an alarming rate. It's not like in my 20s when I could take three months off and then run a seven minute mile the first day back. And, it's not as if I was in top shape even in September. I had time off in the summer and foot problems in the spring.
3. What about strength and flexibility? We routinely do groups of 25 pushups and I'm supposed to be able to kick like a black belt. Even at my best, I kick like a.....50 year old who has worked out well for the last few years.

Good questions. Stay tuned for Monday. And Happy New Year. Since this is also my wife's birthday, it's a special day for us.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This year did not go according to plan....

The Plan for 2008 was ....not what happened...

Having earned my black belt at the end of 2007, my plan for karate for 2008 was to focus on my bugo (sparring) and flexibility for most of the year. I had been planningto find some people to run with in Sept-Dec and to speed up my running times for 5Ks & 10Ks back to the speed that I was hitting just three to four years ago. Then, I was going to enter 2009 with great cardio and bugo skills and spend the year working on all the details and gearing up for my second degree in the winter of 2009-2010. Well, that was the plan.

It started fine and my bugo and flexibility improved in Q1 of this year. But in Q2, my feet were a problem and I had to take a little more than a month off due to the soreness and swelling. And in the early summer, I travelled for five weeks so I was pretty out of shape when I started again in July. All seemed fine until September when a back problem started. It came and went and in early November, I had to stop all exercise through the end of the year.

No, it hasn't gone according to plan. I haven't exercised at all in about two months and only intermittently since sometime early in the year. Very frustrating. Often, without the exercise, I have trouble sleeping and relaxing. sigh.

But thats the way life can be. To be honest, sports injuries have a life-long problem for me, the bane of my sports career. I was an intense and promising soccer player entering college. I was recruited and expected to be a big time player. But injuries hobbled me in years 2-4 of college and so my career fizzled rather than peaked.

More frankly, I have a lot more to be thankful for than to be frustrated about. At age 50, if I'm able to work out hard for more than 50% of the time, I'm way ahead of par. I'm a lucky guy. I've had many friends who thru hips, feet, or knees; have had no chance to pursue sports past a certain point.

So I'm biding my time, trying to watch my diet, and hoping that with some good therapy, good luck, and good painkillers, I can be a successful kohai in 2009. My goal now is to aim at a peak in 2010 and a chance to earn my 2nd degree then. With real luck (and some cooperation from my sensai), I'm hoping to go through my next black belt cycle with one of my kids. Wouldn't that be something!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tis the season to miss out on karate

BBat50 hasn't been seen in class for awhile now. He won't be back in class until the new year. Back pains and paying the piper for coming back too soon and reinjuring my back. Here's my plan. Lots of ice packs for awhile. Plenty of bio freeze spray. Chiropractic adjustments weekly from Dr Kim. And massage two times per week from either Spatopia ($44 for 50 minutes!) or North Ridge Chiropractors.

No running or twisting or striking. I can swim, do the eliptical, and I'm supposed to start pilates. I can do situps and pushups and start stretching carefully.
keyboard try
Most importantly, I've ordered the King of Keyboard Trays to improve my ergonomic situation. I also considered another one keyboard tray that would attach to my chair. I did buy and install a keyboard tray from Office Dept which turned out to be too flimsy to use. But by the time that I had figured out that it was useless, the packaging had been thrown away. Poof, there goes $100.

How did I know that it was time to get serious about treatment? Well, one definite clue was the day after icepackThanksgiving when my hip and leg locked and I basically couldn't even walk without great pain.biofreeze

And so it goes. After a nice run of good health, I'm hobbled.
Everything has it's season.