Learning from my miscues

No, I don’t regret watching Illinois lose to Houston; I wanted to give them a look. Better team won, period.

But in my comeback I think that I’ve tried too much “one leg chair” on my bad leg, too soon. So one leg tree and some lunges for now..keep the ego in check.

Still, not much pain for my stretch free walk (1.1 miles) 30 minute on the bike, lots of pt, head stand, 3 minute plank; really..I would have been happy with this workout 2 weeks ago.

We’ll see how Tuesday goes.

And yes, I’ve progressed a great deal on my “bad leg” tree.

Keeping humble

No, I don’t have anything to brag about. But I WAS feeling pretty good and today’s walk: a bit risky and I felt pain at 1.2 miles; I did two super quick (as in 15-20 second) stretch ‘er out breaks which helped.

Agenda: stretch:

Deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 234 (all good)

Main set (on the 3 mintues) 3, 3, 3, 3, 4 x 290. All were ok; declined a 5’th rep attempt on the last set as rep 4 I could feel the lumbar start to get recruited into the lift.

Stretch;activate..(felt the left IT side/thigh on the first McKenzie)

walk: 1.5 miles at 14:55; kind of damp.

More PT and finish with a yoga series. One leg chair and one leg tree: MUCH better on the weak leg; undeniable progress.

Personal: 2 years ago, I set up my outdoor pull up bar and introduced my spotter bench press bench a few days later….I already had rubber 45 lb plates and a trap bar.

1 year ago: found out I was eligible for the vaccine…got it 2 days later. Oh happy day!

Social media and “pick a side” discourse

Normally, I see sports as a low-stakes subject to be passionate about. Example: I completely enjoyed the less than perfect Illinois vs. Chattanooga basketball game (54-53 Illini win, won in the last few seconds). But had the Moccs won (and I was expecting them to when they got the ball with 12 seconds to go) my life would be none the poorer.

But now we have the “transgenders in women’s sports” debate and, well, those who often vote the same way I do are making nonsensical arguments. So we see a former “top 500” male take chemicals and then become “no. 1” female this year. And then we see arguments like this one..made by “Doctors”:

Good Lord. All one has to do is to look at women’s track and field world records then look a the results of a men’s D1 track meet.

(never mind the other “Dr.” who are perplexed that they’ve made N payments on loan and yet the principal has not decreased..it is as if these self proclaimed geniuses have never heard of “interest.” )

And THIS is one of many reasons professors are disrespected. Yes, every one of us has broad gaps in our knowledge. But that does not mean that we have to go around proudly displaying our ignorance while thinking that WE are the ones who know.

As much as I love to laugh at MAGA ignorance, we have plenty of it in our own house. And it embarrasses me to no end.

Now back to my own mundane workout;

2 hours…yes, 2 hours. It was broken down by 1 hour outside, 16 minutes PT, 44 minutes indoor weights.

Start: McKenzie, spinal balance, one leg bridges, open book indoor, dead bug (8 minutes)

pull ups: 10, 5-5, 10, 10, 10, 5, 5 with the following inbetween:

rotator cuff: 2 sets of 3 different exercises

single leg chair (2 sets each leg)

knee raises (3 sets each leg)

sit to stand single leg (3 sets each leg)

banded walks (2 sets)

And of course push ups: 30 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 30 sissy, 15 deficit (a few extra for depth)

That took 1 hour.

Inside: more single leg bridge (1 set), dead bug (2 sets) side leg lifts (2 sets) spinal balance (1 set) fire hydrants (2 sets) prone knee lifts (2 sets) 16 minutes

Basement: bench press: 10 x 134, 3 sets of 5 x 174 (every 5 minutes); hips down but kind of rough.

one arm rows: 3 sets of 10 each arm (60)

curls: 3 sets of 10 with 50

high incline presses: 2 sets of 10 with 110; have to work on body position; want to avoid pressure on the lumbar.

Other notes: last time, I had 3 sets of 5: 171, 171, 176. Don’t know if today was a regression or not. But I do know that pull ups felt easy and that one legged chair is getting easier. Need to keep with the back stretches.

On my way back, finally?

Ok, today’s workout took about 2.5 hours; I don’t think I have time for that on most days (at least not in one chunk).


stretch, some glue activation (dead bug, spinal balance, one leg bridges),

1.5 mile walk (14:22 pace); almost pain free; pain free for the first mile (downright enjoyable, almost tingle free for the next 0.3-0.4 then a few tingles.

It appears that my abs got tired and I started to slump just a bit.

Then stretching and a leisurely series of PT exercises including: one leg stands from sitting, knee raises, one leg chairs, banded walks, shoulder PT too
Then inside for more dead bug, spinal balance, side leg lifts, fire hydrants, prone knee lifts

Then 30 minutes on the bike to finish it off.

No, I am NOT 100 percent healthy; not really close to that, but it has been a very long time since I’ve had a pain free walk of this duration.

I don’t know if I’ll backslide or not, but the difference, at least so far, is the open book type stretches for the lower lumbar. (0r here)


2 hour main workout: not that much but I tried out a few things:

  1. Full PT prior to deadlifts; most exercises prior to even going outside.
  2. Outside: 50 singles every 10 seconds for pull ups; set of 5 wide, set of 5 chins.
  3. Push ups: 30, 30 sissy (fell off the bar once), 30 feet elevated, 10 deficit
  4. PT outside: knee raises, banded walks, 1 leg stands.

Outside stuff took about 35-40 minutes. PT prior took about 20.

Then inside: deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 low (no belt)

4 inch: 10 x 256

8 inch: 10 x 290. All this took 40 minutes or so. One set every 5 minutes or thereabouts.

Then the experimentation: I used the adjustable bench to try something that was not quite a shoulder press but more than an incline: 10 x 88, 10 x 110 went reasonably smoothly. Decent ROM, but not a shoulder press but less stress on the lumbar.

Day one of break

Ok..did some grading and had a leisurely 1:50 workout; this one I can do on my M, F schedule:

pull ups/push ups and pt outside:

pt: 3 different shoulder exercises, 2 sets banded walks, 3 sets of knee raises, 3 sets of one legged sit to stands, and 1 set of one leg “chair”;

pull ups: 5 decent sets of 10, 5 wide, 5 chins, 3 singles as a penalty set.

push ups: 30 sissy, 2 sets of 30 elevated, 20 deficit.

Inside for 15 minutes of the rest of PT:

superset side leg and spinal balance

superset dead bug and prone knee lift

super set of fire hydrant and single leg bridge

then 35 minutes downstairs of:

Bench press: 10 x 134, 5 x 171, 5 x 171, 5 x 176

curls: 3 sets of 10

rows: 3 sets of 10 each arm.

Note: I did try tree again; there is a difference in legs but my left leg is MUCH better; I am improving.

striding into mid March

I looked at Facebook “Memories”: it was 2 years ago that we had an extended break to prepare for online teaching..and a year ago I was singing my “end of the line blues” about being unable to get a vaccine.

Do things ever change. Yes, BA2 is a real possibility and it is my feeling that the attitude will be “let ‘er rip”..so I’ll protect myself with masks and social distancing, and cut back on activities if cases get too high for my comfort level.

Now as far as my immediate future: progress continues slowly on the piriformis/back, but it does appear to be different this time around. There is less day to day pain, night tingles are way down and I am walking easier, it appears.


stretch, 2 miles bike (fake…just over 6 minutes), some PT (one leg bridge, side leg lifts, spinal balance)

Walk. *almost* pain free; it seems as if symptoms come on about .2 miles later.

Then a lot of PT: one leg stands from sits, knee raises with cords, banded walks, one leg chair, 3 minute plank and yes, the full shoulder session. I need to do the shoulder stuff 4-5 times a a week; not just 3.

Inside: dead bug, fire hydrants, prone knee raises, head stand

30 minutes (10 fake miles) on the bike. Then yoga flows.

Whole thing took 2:30; I did a LOT of PT and felt it, at times.

I am thinking about adding a lunch time 17-18 minute walk on M, W, F (AFTER a good stretch, of course)

I do not that I feel a LOT stronger in the squat position than I used to. A LOT stronger.

11 F on 12 March

Nevertheless, the back felt ok and I was able to walk outside a bit.

2:10 worth of working out from 8:30 to 10:40.

Warm up, back work. Included spinal balance, 1 leg bridges

Dead lifts: warm up: 10 x 134, 10 x 184

Transition: 10 x 234

Main set: 5 sets of 3 x 290 with a new one every 3 minutes I suppose these were not “easy”, but they were not hard. I did cinch up that belt though.

PT session 1: standing knee raises, sit to stand on one leg then upstairs

Walk: 16 minutes for 1.1 miles. Felt GREAT for 10 minutes, ok for 3, and last 3, felt minor symptoms but, still, my best yet. I think the dead lifts engage the glutes.

PT again: this time, fire hydrants, banded walks (outside with a new blue band), dead bug, prone knee lfits

Yoga: the old Warrior 2, triangle, pyramid, revolved triangle, reverse warrior, twice on each side.

Then tree: still a struggle on the left, but not as bad as it once was.

Those knees!

Doing ok; maybe time to add just a little?

Note: the best back stretches for me:

McKenzie, Open Book, and the hang from the pull-up bar.

Onward to Spring break

Yes, I’ll probably do tasks during the day…along with basketball. I do have some grading, some search, and probably an exam to write up. But..so many days..plenty of relaxation and time wasting will take place.

Today: snow..but the light, fluffy stuff; 2.9 inches, but most of it evaporated.

Back/glute: actually, a pretty good day, all in all. I was surprised that yesterday didn’t tear me up that much. The back IS improving; hopefully the piriformis will follow suit.

I switched my workout up a bit.

First: stretch (press up and “open book”) and the following indoors, upstairs:

side leg raises, spinal balance (moving), “fire hydrants”, “dead bugs”, prone knees to torso, single leg bridges, banded walks mixed in with 5 sets of 20 floor push ups (touch the ground); this took 30 minutes

Outdoor: 5 x 10 pull ups, 2 x 5 wide pull up/chins with breaks to shovel snow. This took me about 30 minutes.

Indoor: bench press: 10 x 134, 5 x 171, 5 x 171, 5 x 174

rows: 3 sets of 10 x 60

curls: 3 sets of 10 x 50.

leg stands (extra pillow) 3 sets

standing knee raises with band: 3 sets

Also 2 sets of 3 different rotator cuff exercise (shoulder squeezes) and chest stretches. This all took 40 minutes.