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 🙂

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.  

Walk. A poem.

I walk for me
I walk the lonely way
Up and down, crisply dried and crunchy
Around I go, wearing tracks in the carpet
Circuits in the yard are circuits in my mind
Endless surges of high definition creativity
Fingers make words in motion on my cell
My babies gestated, now given birth
Sweat mixing with pollen and grass seed
Each victory lap whips me lean
Until I’m spent, punished, exhausted
No need for a safe word
Feels good

 

I didn’t walk after my workout today. But I thought I’d write a poem about it, anyway.

Armistice Day! Oops, I mean arms day.

I just finished an arms session and thought I’d talk about it.

My body part split workouts involve clustering exercises for Back/Chest/Shoulders/Arms, split over four days. The arms workout is split into triceps and biceps, and I change this every session, so the following information is only reflective of today’s session.

Why change? So the muscles don’t get used to the type of exercise I’m doing – it’s easier to shock the muscle into growth. I also like variety – if I get bored I lose motivation. And we can’t have that, can we? My exercise is part of my mental health routine, and I, like most people, prefer not to be depressed all the time. Although, sometimes I get depressed anyway…okay, moving on.

I’ve included links to the exercises below, so you can see what they are and how they work.

Warmup

Warm up includes leg, torso and arm stretches, yoga stretches, 3 x sets of bicycle crunches (80 reps each set) (20 minutes)

Note: I vary warm ups each session – sometimes I do weighted crunches instead, however these have less reps.  

Triceps

5 x supersets, which involve:

Tricep Cable Pull Downs/Push Downs (20 reps)

Tricep Dumb Bell Kickbacks (10 reps each side)

Tricep Overhead Extensions, with dumb bell instead of cable (10 reps)

Note: I do weighted parallel bar dips on my chest day. By inclining forward with chin against your chest, as you lift your body mass and extra weight via a belt, you hit your chest more. It also hits triceps as well (many people would normally include dips in their tricep routine, but that’s just me).  

Biceps

5 x supersets, which involve:

Standing One Arm Cable Curls (15 reps)

Concentration Curls (8 reps each side, with dumb bells)

Barbell Curls (10 reps)

Cardio Finisher

Tabata – Intense cardio – jump lunges, jump squats, push ups, burpies (4 minutes)

 

Normally I do laps for two kilometres, stopping to do push ups and lunges each lap, but it was raining today. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

You’ll notice I combine some high rep exercises with low reps. I like to go for a balance of size and strength building. In a superset you perform each exercise slowly, but move quickly to the next one, so that you push the muscles to failure rapidly.

Phew! The blog was harder to write than the workout!

 

Note: If you are unfit, overweight, have medical issues or are not used to exercise, please consult with your doctor prior to undertaking any training programs.

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