Boot camp and beyond

Less aching this week
30 November 2006 (Thursday), 10:30 pm
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo

After another stability ball day this morning, this time focused on infinite and varied lower body muscles, I’m certainly feeling all those muscles and my core. I’m not really aching, though. It could be that the combination of skipping Wednesday’s boot camp and Monday and Tuesday sessions’ involving more cardio and less weight training account for this change.

My hypothesis, however, is that it’s the whey protein. Now that the Wild Rose Detox cleanse nonsense is done, I’m back to dumping 30 g of Isoflex powder into my water bottle each morning. Everything I’ve read about fitness nutrition advocates replenishing amino acids during and after a work out, and the glutamine complex in the Isoflex is supposed to be particularly helpful. It’s not a double-blind trial, but feeling less achy is good enough for me.


28 November 2006 (Tuesday), 10:04 pm
Filed under: Boot camp log, Links, NaBloPoMo

You know, like marginalia, except more random.  You may want to skip this, unless you are the type who needs sleep aids. Continue reading

I take it back.
23 November 2006 (Thursday), 11:00 pm
Filed under: Boot camp log, Dancing, NaBloPoMo

” it is not my butt that hurts, nor my arms or upper back. No, it is my calves.”  I retract that statement.  Parts of my body that were sorer than sore as soon as I woke up this morning, and even more so after the very upper body weight lifting-intensive hour of stability ball boot campery:   my butt, my arms, my upper back, my shoulders (raising my arms above my head = excruciating), my calves, my thighs.  My abs are not too bad, but I’m pretty sure by tomorrow morning they’ll be sore.

Tonight was the last session of the intermediate/advanced swing dance class.   My aching muscles are thankful that it was less strenuous and more feeling-the-musicy.  First we did some walking across the floor paying attention to stretching, then sinking into the hip of the leg that had just stepped (forward, backward, and then with a pivoting rock step triple step).  Then we did a lot of playing around in closed, followed by a pattern of three swing outs, one circle, four bars of 6-count stuff (like tuck turn, change of place, inside or outside turn, possibly with the lead turning), then 8 counts of just hanging out and playing with the music.

I need to work more on a) connecting with the floor, b) connecting more with the lead’s hand on my back by sinking back like I’m sitting on the edge of a barstool, and c) enjoying the dancing more instead of worrying about how well I’m following.  Not so shockingly, it’s easier to follow well when I stop worrying about it.  Leo emphasized that it’s about the journey, not the destination.  At least until the next class series in January, focussed on moves and repertory; that class will apparently be all about the destination.

22 November 2006 (Wednesday), 11:14 pm
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo, Photos

Futile was my search for poetry online about sore muscles and/or feeling the burn, and then I remembered this picture from my flickr stream.

When we saw this cactus on the edge of a cliff on Maui last year, I was compelled to pretend to sit on it. About 15 years ago my best friend composed the following masterpiece of a poem for an English assignment:

I sit upon a cactus.
My butt hurts.

And it did hurt when the wind blew and for a millisecond or seven I wasn’t actually pretending to sit on the cactus.

Despite the many squats and duck walks and push up tests (I “only” did 30) and horizontal arm rotations what went on for frickin ever and tripods (one-armed plank) that were part of Wild Card Wednesday, it is not my butt that hurts, nor my arms or upper back. No, it is my calves. I have no idea why.

Tomorrow it will surely be my abs that protest, for tomorrow is Stability Ball Thursday.

I’ll fight you.
21 November 2006 (Tuesday), 9:16 am
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo, Tracking progress

This morning’s boot camp consisted of a lot of boxing drills and a bit of one-on-one punching through the pads T’ai had on his hands.  So much fun, but so knackering too.  The muscles along the side of my back are sore, especially on the right side (because I punch with my right, jab with my left).  Watching boxing on TV (or even worse, live) has no appeal for me — I don’t like watching violence — but having a first-hand understanding of a little bit of the skills they need makes me admire boxers more, in the abstract.  Doing more boxing-specific training at some point appeals, as long as I never have to hit someone’s face.

I didn’t enjoy boxing as much the day we did it at the first boot camp I attended, this time last year.  Having a few more tries to synchronize all the movements makes it only a little easier, but it removes some of the frustration of just not being able to make my limbs do what I want them to.

Another thing that’s improved a lot in the last year is my ability to jump rope.  The first camp I kept tripping over the rope and was hard pressed to skip more than ten times without getting tangled in it.  The second boot camp, last February, I committed to not being afraid of it anymore, and once managed 55 jumps in a row (I was counting).   Today our warm up was jumping rope for about ten minutes, and I only stopped a couple of times due to badly timed jumps (and a few more times because of coughing and not being able to breathe).  I also managed to spin the rope and jump faster than ever before, though I’m still nowhere near able to skip as fast as boxers or skilled elementary schoolers.

Burning out the bug
20 November 2006 (Monday), 9:39 am
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo

This morning’s inaugural boot camp session was good fun. Things I’m particularly happy about:

1. I can run again! We ran around the new indoor location for two and a half songs to warm up, so not quite ten minutes, and my foot (and the rest of me) felt great. The weak part of my foot feels a tiny bit tender now, so I’ll contrast bath it tonight.

2. The intensity level was pretty high, and I mostly only coughed when I stopped moving. After the warmup we were alternating between agility courses (hoop-running, hurdles, agility ladder and running lines) and upper body weight-lifting at our mats (alternating incline rows, then an upright row-lateral raise-bicep curl-press up sequence, then tricep extensions lying down), and then did five or ten minutes of abdominals (plank, crunches, hip raises, bicycles) before stretching. I also worked up quite a sweat (which, in the two weeks of exercising on my own, really only happened with the Get RIPPED to the Core! DVD), so I’m hoping I burned and sweated out the rest of this cold.

3. After boot camp I went back to sleep for an hour. From 2:30am onwards it felt like I was waking up every ten minutes or so (from strange dreams of monster invasions and finding a wallet that was stolen years ago, and hanging out with people I haven’t seen since high school, and other people having affairs with Keira Knightley) — with that extra sleep I now feel ready to face the day.

4. This has nothing to do with boot camp, but did you know that London Drugs is one of the places you can get a marriage licence in Vancouver? It’s true.

Also, apparently it’s not against the law in British Columbia to marry your cousin. From the  Application for Marriage Licence pdf, “A man may not marry his Grandmother Mother Daughter Granddaughter Sister” and “A woman may not marry her Grandfather Father Son Grandson Brother” — you’d think now that same sex weddings are legal they’d add language preventing women from marrying their female relatives and men from marrying their male relatives.

Questioning my sanity
5 November 2006 (Sunday), 11:18 pm
Filed under: Boot camp log, NaBloPoMo

Flossing daily is working fine so far, as is working out daily.  I haven’t yet taken a day off of exercise, though since tomorrow’s my last day of personal training I probably will be sore and lazy Tuesday.  No, I’m questioning my sanity about this daily blog posting, and about having signed up for the two week boot camp at the end of the month.  Why do I do this to myself?
To remind myself that I’m not the only crazy one, I reread some emails from Amanda, my former flatmate who is now doing a boot camp as one of the courses for her (otherwise highly analytical) PhD in California.  I liked this bit, from a week or two ago:

I forgot to mention before — boot camp is kicking my ass!!! As my instructor was urging me on the other day (read: yelled at me to be faster/stronger), I responded, only half kidding, “Sorry, I’m the weakest link.” And he said, overly seriously, “No, the weakest links are the ones who dropped the class already.” Awwww…sweet motivational talk.

I replied:

Personal training is kicking my ass too, and T’ai occasionally lapses into overly serious motivational speak like your boot camp guy.  But then he also mocks me when I whine by saying stuff like “oh, it would be horrible to get into the best shape of your life.  Who would want to do that?”  Chrissy and I both agree that our sessions with him are getting harder, not easier.  Which I suppose is what we’re paying him for.  At least he doesn’t yell.

Getting into the best shape of my life — I suppose that’s the source of the boot camp insanity.  The daily blog posting is less explicable.  What can you do when you live in a shoe?