I am not in rehab..

Commentary: I’ve had injuries in the past: rotator cuff impingements, knee surgery, (5 of them, 4 on the right knee), achilles tendonitis, etc. I’ve “recovered to full strength” (sort of) from these.

This back issue is different: it is chronic. (vertebrae slipped forward: neurogenic claudication caused by foraminal stenosis caused by isthmic spondylolisthesis. ) That is, chronic stress fractures in my pars (back of the spine) has caused my L5 vertebrae to slip forward, narrowing the canal (stenosis) impinging my L5 nerve root (foraminal: below the spinal cord) causing pain while walking.

In February of this year, things had gotten so bad that a .2 mile walk home caused a great deal of stabbing back pain; when I tried to walk in the fall, I managed 1, .5, .4 mile segments.

What turned it around was going to the doctor, finding out it was my back, and then doing back therapy and modifying my behavior (more later); I deleted some exercises, modified many others, etc.

And so, I am doing daily walks (sometimes 2 times a day) of 1-5 miles, sometimes fast, (10:40 mpm), most of the time medium (13-14:30 mpm), some slow (hiking, 16 minute miles for commuter walks).

I am about 22-25 miles a week; I would have found this unimaginable this February.

BUT…yeah, I have a long distance walking history (marathons and beyond).

I was referred to a surgeon and surgery was discussed; what I was eventually told was “no need for it right now; you’ll know when you need me” and:

This isn’t my doctor, but this was the message I got.
I have a chronic condition that may get better, but pain-free just is not my destiny. Not 100 percent pain free, 100 percent of the time. I need to aim for “low enough pain to be pleasant.” I have a condition to be managed, not something to be healed from.

And yes, I can tell when I need to bail from a walk; I did so last week. Basically, it is pain at the start that is uncomfortable and does not go away.

Today’s workout PT, pull ups (sets of 5 singles, couple of sets of 5, enough to get to 50 plus one negative), push ups (4 sets of 25 flat! That is good for me; focused on no radiating pain)

Deadlifts: low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 228, 8 inch: 10 x 260 (felt good..all of them)

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss bar, getting lower each time

bench: 2 sets of 10 x 134 legs up

Then a morning walk (2 miles), commuter walk (1 mile) Both walks were outstanding, though I was sore by 6 pm

Note: I attempted to cut from 2 naproxen two times a day, to 1, two times a day.

Taking stock

One of the things I do during the summer is I get ready for the fall..physically. Seriously. I try to see what works, what doesn’t work and what workout scheme is sustainable.

I will have to make modifications.

Today I was sort of efficient for the first part of the workout:

31:25 PT and pre walk stretching

28:58 for the 2 mile walk

4:41 to get a drink and transition to my porch work.

52:28 for my pull up/push up, shoulder rehab and wobble board (had to rest a bit here)

51:46 to go downstairs and finish my bench presses, deadlifts, high inclines, curls and belt squats (some inefficiencies here)

Total time: 2:49:20 which is too long for most of the academic year.

The effects: I felt fine right afterward, but when I laid down in bed and got back up..some troubling left glute tightness (back related, I am sure). The walk caused the most strain.

The actual workout

The walk wasn’t the worst but I did feel some stress ..that went away reasonably quickly.

Pull ups: 10, 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 wide, 5 chin, 5 mixed, 5 mixed. These went ok

push ups: 30 incline, 30 decline, 30 incline, 10 flat (some resting here)

bench press: 150 lb: 7, 7, 7, 10 (best in a while)

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 low, 10 x 270 high (8 inch) wondered about these..not residual pain right after, nor pain during.

curls: 3 sets of 10 x 50

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss bar

belt squats: 3 sets of 12 x 94 (kind of shallow)

I did notice a slight shoulder niggle.

Bringing it back

I’ll have to work out the timing of this workout, but I stretched, walked, stretched, cycled, stretched.

The rehab was all back stuff..plus headstand and 3 minute plank.

walk: 15 minutes (reached 1 mile in 14:20) on the home treadmill…slight ache..very slight.

cycle: 30 minutes (10 fake miles) alternating easy-medium.

Did much of the McKenzie, Williams things, clam shell, flossing, and of course, the plank and headstand and some tree..also my “warrior series” and some down dog.

As far as the forward bend: it is a different movement than the hip hinge one does on a deadlift.

I am waaaaay too far back…after seeing this:

THIS is not in the cards for me:

from here

Out of kilter

I was just “off” or “out of sorts” all day today..not enough sleep?

Weights: pull ups: struggled with singles (and different grips) until getting 10 reps from 31-40 (shown) and then finished ok.

bench: 4 x 114 was off..retreated and got “full touching of the chest)

10 x 94, 10 x 114, 10 x 134 (some pain..mild)

rows: 3 sets of 10 x 134
shoulder: solved the unracking/racking issue?
3 sets of 10 x 94, 7 x 105 (really felt it in the muscle): 4 sets total

curls: 3 sets of 10 x 54

incline bench: off base; 10 x 114 couldn’t really touch..felt it was time to end the workout.

Afterward: sort of a “squeeze” in the right deltoid..then not much the rest of the way.

2 January

Well, the start was unimpressive, at least with respect to sports and working out.

I do have more to say; will do so later.

Today: treadmill workout after deadlifting.5k in 42;40 though, to be honest, the treadmill had me with close to 4 miles as I was grinding.

This came after a very lame deadlift workout:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 1 x 224 (neutral)

1 x 274 high handle

4 misses at 319 high handle (got 314 last week)

5 x 279 high, 4 x 259 low, 5 x 234 deficit

Not the worst and I got a workout (after lunch) but..well, I have to remember where I was a year ago.

“dead lifts (need to get shoes…did without shoes): 6 x 135, 3 x 185, 1 x 225 (missed 2 x), miss 240, 6 x 185, 6 x 205 “

My progression

Note: not much glute pain…piriformis didn’t bother me. Longer on the treadmill tomorrow..dare I aim for 5-6 miles?

Vintage Obama

First: the weight workout:
usual warm up, then pull ups: sets of singles, doubles, 3’s and 5’s..enough got get to 55 reps.
shoulder presses: dumbbell: 10 x 36, then 2 sets of 10 x 40 seated, unsupported.
shoulder presses: barbell, with support: 8, 7, 7 with 90 (seated)
trap bar rows: 5 sets of 10 x 134
bench press: 10 x 143, pause.
trap bar deadlift (deficit) 10 x 184, 10 x 204 (felt really good)

Election: Trump’s head is going to explode. This took 37 minutes..inspired me to give money. I missed the letter writing deadline.

You can see the 37 minutes of the Obama speech here.


And I “get” much of the conflict…

First of all, I have not been that productive since online teaching has ended. Yes, I have stuff to grade that will trickle in, but I have to kick myself into writing up some ideas that I have.

About the workout, I do have a note about my right knee.

first, I walked a bit more than 3 miles…enough so I can count yesterday’s 6.9 at 7. So: 5, 4, 5, 7, 3 = 24 so far this week.
Then to the weights: rotator cuff, warm up squats, pull ups: 10, 5, 5, 10, 10, 5, 5,
Bench: 10 x 132, 5 x 176 (hard), 5 x 171, 5 x 171
shoulder presses with 44: 3 sets of 10 (seated, supported)
goblet squats to the chair: 3 sets of 6
trap bar dead: 6 x 184, 6 x 206, 5 x 217 (taking care of the knees)
note: I took my shoes off for the 6 x 184 and felt it in my right knee..again. So I put them back on and had no difficulty. The foot angle makes a difference


The painting above is called “same storm, different boat” (or “different ship”).

And I understand some of the complexity.

Yes, COVID-19 isn’t as lethal as some others, but imagine 10,000 infected people spreading it to 20,000 (r = 2). That 20,000: you’d expect perhaps 100 deaths (at 0.5 percent mortality) and perhaps again as many to suffer long term to permanent complications. Now imagine a sniper killing 100 and wounding 100: do we say “meh, most are ok?”

And so, governors give orders and, well, they really didn’t have the time to be super careful and to craft a careful bill that the state congress can vet and improve.

So, some areas might be locked down more than necessary.

Some essential businesses might take advantage (e. g. a big box store that sells groceries might sell other things that smaller, non-grocery stores cannot sell.

And among the non-essential businesses: some might have great floor plans and safety procedures whereas others might be infection hot spots waiting to happen, and both are treated the same way.

By nature, there will be unfairness and resentment…and yes, the government might be quick to impose restrictions but slow to provide help, if it helps at all.

It sucks. And good people can disagree.

Now I am NOT saying that some aren’t total idiots.

And complaining about mask/customer respect policies …really?

So yeah, some are acting terribly and I have little patience with them; I’ve blocked and muted a lot of people on social media.

Life goes on, with me or without me

Here, some stores have curbside service but even these might have to close. I do use takeout for meals. But with those exceptions, I am basically following the “stay at home” guidelines shown here.

Wednesday: I diligently assembled my pull up bar…incorrectly, but then fixed it. There is a slight rock (they recommend bolt-down) but using loaded dumbbells as counter weights really helps.

I also am doing dumbbell presses outside; our porch ceiling is high enough to allow for that, even during rain.

And I do bench presses, power cleans, curls, dead lifts, hex bar rows in the basement.

So, here is what I did, workout wise, over the past couple of days:

Wednesday: 6.4 mile run…very slowly…Cornstalk hill plus lower loop; 1:28 ish. I’ve really gotten slow…then assemble equipment (racks, pull up bars)

Thursday: yes, I got a great deal on this bench (150 dollars!)

But I did my own workout first:

rotator cuff and back exercises. (I forgot to plank…better work on that)

pull ups: 10-(5-5)-10-(5-5)-5-5 (the 5-5 sets were when I changed grip)

dips: 4 sets of 5 (getting used to it)

shoulder press with dumbbells: 3 sets of 10: 40, 44, 44, 1 of 5 (44) for photos

goblet squats: 3 sets of 6 with 58 (decent depth)

bench press: experiment: 10 x 134, 5 x 156, 5 x 167 (had the spotter)

rows: 3 sets of 6 x 134 (hex bar)

power clean: new 25 lb bumper plates: 3 sets of 5 x 94

curls: 3 sets of 5 with 55? (22/4.4 on each side)

I am still working things out.

Navy 20, Kansas State 17, Liberty Bowl

This was quite the game. We got there early to walk around, and there was a great deal of energy and an announced crowd of 50,000 which LOOKED like an honest number.

The prelude: we got to see both teams leave their buses. Navy had fans waiting for them; Kansas State didn’t. But both teams had some big guys…and the spirit in the stadium was great. Fans were in a good mood.

I love bowl games for that..especially when both fan bases are well represented.

The game: on the first possession, Kansas State moved it a bit but blew two potential touchdown passes; one ball was under-thrown and one potential td pass was dropped.
Navy got it and drove it for a field goal.

The teams then exchanged punts in which case Kansas State returned its punt for a touchdown; a spectacular run.
Navy got it back with a long drive. Kansas state answered with a field goal drive and it was 10-10 going in.

Navy got a nice drive to go up 17-10 but then K State got a big return. But on a 4’th and 1, they made it but got a dead ball unsportsmanlike. That was key because a sack and a fumble drove them way back.

Navy appeared to take control but missed a field goal after a long drive from its 10.

Kansas State tied it with a drive based on a long pass and it was tied with just over 5 minutes to go.
No problem for Navy; a drive burned clock and got it to about midfield. But with 30 seconds to go, Navy ran an halfback option pass off of a sweep on 4’th down that got the ball down to the 5 with 20 seconds to go. Navy clocked the ball and kicked a field goal with 2 seconds left in the game; K State’s desperation pass failed.

What a game! The stats were lopsided for Navy, but K State got a lot of return yards to even it up.
Total yards were 420 to 170 (deceptive due to the return yards) Navy had 323 yards on the ground with the quarterback getting 213.

Before the game

Game action: