Friday, July 10, 2009

Today marks 4 weeks I've been doing taekwondo. Instructor Su got me up to 60 sit-ups in class!

It's Basics & Forms week, and almost every class has partly involved practicing with eyes closed, which is a whole special new challenge.

My stamina has been increasing, weight has going down, muscle mass has increased, and I generally feel better in a variety of ways.

I've been attending class about 5 times a week so far, as much as I'm able. The dojang is always closed on Sundays, and last Saturday was a holiday so I just went to the gym, but I'm really bringing my best to every class.

I biked to the office a few days this week and am working toward becoming more physically active just in general. I've got a doctor's appointment and then a general physical exam coming up over the next few months, and a personal goal is to be in the best condition I can by the time I get checked out. They've got records of my weight & other basic readings from visits earlier in the year, and I wanna see a comparison.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It seems that at least a good part of what's been ailing me lately is the need to do a lot more stretching in order to compensate for the additional leg work. I'm taking the time for stretch breaks during the day and trying to enforce an additional rest day during the week for muscle recovery.

This seems to be helping with "discomfort" around the knees, ankles, and toes.

Of course, other anti-inflammatory measures are also being employed on an as-needed basis.

Yesterday I read that:

For the fifth year in a row, Mississippi had the highest rate of adult obesity at 32.5%.... Mississippi also had the highest rate of obese and overweight children (ages 10 to 17) at 44.4%.

What can I say, other than WE'RE NUMBER ONE! WE'RE NUMBER ONE!

Monday, June 29, 2009

When I first started taekwondo (less than a month ago), I was immediately *more* able to sit in traditional zazen postures.

But within days, I found that I was less able to do so than before.

I've taken a couple of yoga classes now, and am learning a few things that should help balance things out a bit, but it's slow going so far.

I've noticed that taekwondo seems to be reconfiguring my basic structure (muscles, connective tissue, posture...), and I'm going to have to re-learn some things that I could do with relative ease just recently.

But in a general sense, I feel stronger, lighter, and in vaguely better than before.

I wonder where all this is going.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I put in 5 days at the Martial Arts Academy this week, going just a little too long between rest days. It's a learning process, and I've resolved to take rest days a little more frequently.

I seem to be making progress in a variety of areas, from skill to weight loss. I've made it up to 30 sit-ups now, which is easily twice what I was able to manage a few weeks ago. And I'm making similar progress with push-ups, stretching, and other routine exercise elements.

My buddy Jay, who just got his kung fu green belt, wants me to get my taekwondo black belt so he can "kick my ass". We'll just see about that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Randomly, I note that I fit comfortably into pants I couldn't wear just a few weeks ago. That's nice.

Now, about yesterday's class...

I was introduced to board breaking, but it seemed I had more power than accuracy. I kicked a few instructors in the fingers.

It is difficult to even express how bad that felt, but the instructors insist that I'm getting much better. Well, if you can't motivate yourself to get it right after realizing that your screw-ups are causing immediate, intense pain to people who are trying to help you, you're broken.

I learned more about kicking from not wanting to kick people by accident than from any two given days of practice prior to this point, I bet.

I've been trying to balance my diet more. But one thing I've tried a couple of times now is just going for a brisk walk around the block a little while before class to help with the warm-up period.

Man alive, my ass is in need of some conditioning.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Knowledge and Power Training

I was warned that Knowledge and Power Training Week is tough stuff. It started today, and my pudgy white belt arse got a work-out.

The hour passed in a blur of sprints, jumping jacks, kicks, knuckle push-ups, sit-ups, and more.

As I'm shiny new to all this, I wasn't involved in any board breaking & such. But I was introduced to some basics of holding a board for someone else to break.

Had someone told me a month ago that I'd be doing this stuff....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

blog change

As only so much of my life is devoted to actual trekking, I've decided to open the format up a bit to include general fitness.

I'd let myself get up to a staggering 260 lbs according to the scales at my doctor's office (several of which I've lost back in the last few months). Now, weight isn't everything, but that's just too much.

I was mowing the lawn several weeks back when a Korean fellow working the neighborhood offered me free Tae Kwon-Do lessons. As he approached, he saw me sweating profusely in the heat and actually asked if I was okay. heh (Really, I must've looked like hell.)

We scheduled a time, which I had to reschedule after falling while tree climbing. (People I know say I'm too old, too big, etc. to be climbing trees. I don't really argue with them, but I basically disagree. Falling wasn't cool, but I'm 38, not 98.)

When I finally made it to the Martial Arts Academy, I was really impressed by the staff and atmosphere. I accepted a month of free lessons, but applied for membership on my second visit and moved up from "no belt" to "white belt" (accepted as a student, basically) after several days.

Each session is different from the others in detail, and the main topics vary from week to week. But there's plenty of stretching, punching, kicking, sprinting, sparring, breathing exercises, etc. in a given class session.

I've even taken an interest in the Korean language, but that's another blog.

They say I have a decent roundhouse kick for a beginner.

This is me sweaty and proud with my new white belt after class the other day.

From TKD