There is no cure for being short.

I’m not in the habit of bagging blogs. But I came across one the other day which purported to provide remedies for various ailments. The post that first drew my attention was about five ways to increase your height.

Yes, you read that correctly: your height. And, yes, it was serious.

The post listed the five things you could do to get taller. Like exercise. Drinking more milk. Eating eggs. I won’t go on. Not only was the advice laughable, it was misleading. Your height is determined by your genes, people. No amount of milk and eggs is going to make you taller. Wider, maybe. But not taller.

This was not the only lamebrained remedy on that blog. There were also posts about numerous mental health and medical condition ‘cures’, all of them irresponsible and potentially harmful.

I’m a physically healthy, mentally unhealthy, short person (5 foot 7 inches). And I’m not going to get any taller in a hurry. I’d like to think that people in the world have more common sense than to follow potentially dangerous health blogs.

Please take care out there. The blogosphere can be a wonderful place of discovery. But sometimes it can be very misleading.

Oh, and one last thing–there is actually a cure for being short. It’s the same as the cure for baldness:

Develop a sense of humour.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Pain. A poem.

Pain is my best friend.
He lurks in fibre and ligament,
playing hide and seek
amongst time-worn bones
and weary blood.

He enters my thoughts
and hopscotches through my brain,
tugging on discontent
and dreams better left alone.

He wanders through
my cells, arteries, and veins,
grasping at the walls of my heart
in a gentle bear hug of regret.

He is the one friend
who will never leave.
Eventually, he will set the table
and dine upon the last of me.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Marathon Walk!

Today I walked 24 kilometres. Why?

I dropped off my father’s car at a smash repair place, and rather than catch a combination of trains and buses home, I decided I’d walk. Five hours and just under 24 kms later, blisters and sore legs, but not too worse for wear otherwise. Hungry, though!

Had to tell someone, as I’m a wee bit proud of the achievement. Yeah, it was dumb, but I’m not renowned for my smart decision making.

Happy walking!

Steve 🙂

Training Without Calves (or, Cows With Guns)

See what I did there? Okay, well it sounded funny at the time*.

I have been lying in bed recovering from my torn calf for the last week and a half (grrrrr…). Being the fitness-addicted idiot that I am, I decided that it was time to get back to exercising before I went stir crazy. Here is the routine I worked out to ease myself back into the big stuff:

  • 3 sets of sit ups (40 reps per set) – core/abs
  • 3 sets of push ups (15 reps per set) – chest/arms
  • 3 sets of bicep curls (10 reps per set) – upper arms
  • 3 sets of tricep extensions (10 reps per set) – triceps
  • 3 sets of dips (10 reps per set) – chest/triceps
  • 3 sets of bent over rows (10 reps per set) – back (make sure you are supported so there’s no weight on the offending leg)
  • 3 sets of pull ups (10 reps per set) – back

I do warm ups/stretching before starting. You will note this is all upper body (I’m a fitness idiot, but I’m not stupid). Avoid leg work for a few weeks (if you regularly work out you will know it is an in-joke that most gym heads avoid leg work like the plague, so it shouldn’t be too hard…). Remember: If you have a torn calf, do NOT stretch your calf unnecessarily while exercising – you risk tearing it again. If you feel any strain on said calf (it will ‘moo’ at you – just kidding), cease and desist immediately.

This work out is pretty easy considering what I did prior to my injury (you can check out some of my workouts here), but I’m taking it slow to start with.

Ahhhhhhh…I’m feeling better already (the calf’s not, but you know what I mean).

Health Warning: I’m not a doctor (despite past girlfriends assuming I was a gynecologist), so if you aren’t used to training, or if you have torn your calf, make sure you consult with a real doctor (no, not your workout buddy at the gym) before attempting any new training routine.

 

* Didn’t get the reference? Do yourself a favour and check out ‘Cows with Guns’ below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMbXvn2RNI

The Lesson. A poem.

Fitter than I’ve ever been
Big, tanned and super lean
All it took was one little tear
And suddenly I’m geriatric
Limping like an old man
Bent over and wizened
Amazing how an injury
Can make the years catch up
A vision of my future?
Perhaps, perhaps not
I guess I’ll warm up more next time
Before I walk the dog

Not Without My Calf! A true story of cows, muscle fibres and underinflated ego.

Today, I tore my calf muscle.

For those of you not familiar with the calf muscles, they are not part of a cow, but located on the back of your lower leg. They are important for balance, walking, running and generally being human. When you tear your calf muscle it normally happens high up on the back of the leg. It’s similar to an Achilles tendon rupture – you could be walking or running and then you hear a pop and feel intense pain. In my case it felt like the muscle had left the bone. The muscle has major tears in the fibres (muscles are made up of fibres. These present as striations under the skin in very thin people or lean weightlifters – Dr Steve. Note: not a real doctor).

I was running with my friend’s dog (whom I used to walk when I was house sitting recently, and so I’ve kept up the visitation rights) up a steep, slippery, grassy knoll. Nothing could go wrong in that situation, right? Doh.

So, now I’m down and out for several weeks (more if I don’t let it heal properly, but hey, why would I want to use it earlier than recommended?). This is NOT a good thing. As some of you may know (or none of you, based on the number of views on my blog – just kidding), I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic. I work out four days a week, ride and walk regularly. With this injury I can hardly walk at all.

I am going to go cray-cray.

My fitness routine is part of my mental health regime. It’s a vital part. I’m not a fan of depression, and I don’t like the prospect of slipping backwards as a result of my injury.

It also means I can’t drive anywhere (despite the fact that I drove home VERY painfully). I have a manual car (‘stick’ for Americans), and using the clutch is agony. And doesn’t help my recovery time any. So Kung Fu is cancelled. Psych appointments are cancelled. Dinner with friends is cancelled. D&D is cancelled (NOOOOO!!! Notice how the nerdiest activity is missed the most).

At least I can still do my uni work, blog and write my novel. Maybe it won’t be so bad.

Hmmm, I guess I’ll keep telling myself that.

Chest Day!

Today was chest day in my 4-day body split workout (Back/Chest/Shoulders/Arms). My workout for each body part changes each time to dupe muscle memory (so the muscles don’t get used to the range of motion and stress), but here’s the routine I did for chest, today.

I’ve included links to the main exercises, so you can see how they’re done.

Warm Up

  • 20 minutes – multiple arm and leg stretches, oblique twists, strong man overhead raises, 3 sets x weighted sit ups (30 reps each), yoga stretches

Push ups

5 x supersets – each superset includes:

  • Kettle Bell Push Ups x 10 – this time around, one kettlebell resting on floor, two hands in diamond over bell. Works chest and triceps. Haven’t got a kettle bell? Balance on a basket ball (harder), medicine ball, or books. The image above shows what I mean, except using a medicine ball. 
  • Incline Push Ups x 10
  • Decline Push Ups x 10
  • Dips (unweighted) x 10

Slow movements for the exercise, then move quickly to the next.

Flyes

5 x sets – includes:

Tabata Finisher

  • Tabata – 4 minutes – intense and fast – jump lunges, jump squats, push ups, burpies

That was today’s workout. Very enjoyable, in a painful sort of way.

 

Warning: I’m not your doctor. If you haven’t exercised before, or are out of condition (read: unfit, overweight, etc.), talk to one before attempting strenuous exercise. You have been warned.  

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