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tracking health progress

Last July's motorcycle accident and resultant AC joint dislocation not only put the kabosh on my goal to look like Robert Downey Jr. from Iron Man (which I'd set just two weeks prior to the accident), but also put the kibosh on exercise in particular and even moving vigorously in specific. Let's face it, I got soft and weak and gained at least 15 pounds. When moving one's arm more than a little fires bolts of pain through one's body, one resists doing things that move one's arm. I don't blame the injury for all of the going-soft-ness, of course; much of what went wrong was about the psychological fallout of feeling broken and the comfort eating and stuff that followed.

Last fall, I started doing physical therapy, and when that phase of therapy ended, continued doing my (simple resistance) exercises at home. Earlier this spring, I cut out the comfort eating, and that stopped the weight-gain. Then, with my doctor's go-ahead, I resumed some of my previous workout schedule, slowly upping the weight I lifted and number of sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and so forth. A couple of months ago, I got really sore doing this, but with further doctor's encouragement and his prescription of using tons of ibuprofen, I worked through the pain and got to a point where the shoulder just kinds of feels sore during exercise. It's like they say: Strengthen the muscles that surround an injured joint enough, and they'll support it.

Seems to be working! Maybe it's just the change from winter weather, maybe just time away from the original injury, but I've not only gotten up to the number of reps I was doing before but finally surpassed them this week. Last summer, I could do 7 full-length pull-ups in a row and 15 nose-to-the-floor (using dumbbells to add a few inches of stroke) push-ups; today I managed 12 pull-ups and 18 push-ups, despite the injury. Over the past month, I've also lost about 10 pounds through eating better and exercising regularly. Woohoo! That pretty effectively eliminates my broken feeling. Not that I don't feel a little sore, but I'm not letting that crush my spirit anymore. And if the doctor says I shouldn't worry about a little pain, I won't!

So, without further ado, a baseline photo a la adammaker. I wanted to do this before, but just wasn't brave enough to post a pic with my injury-gut still showing. I've never posted such a pic before, so I'm feeling shy; this plus to protect your eyes, I'm putting it behind the cut:

I took this photo today (using a handy tripod on a box on a foot-stool...), June 23, to serve as a tool for tracking my physical progress. And to shame myself into getting into better shape *g* By next time I post a photo, my goal is to gain actual abdominal definition (let's be specific: a 6-pack!) and be a few pounds lighter, plus to continue to improve my muscle tone - and hopefully get my left (injured) side more balanced in strength with my right side. I expect doing this will serve two purposes: 1) Encouraging me to meet my physical-improvement goals, because now they're public; and 2) Shaming me into getting into better shape so I can post a photo I'm less shy to show y'all.

Okay, then! I'm back to reading stories for the CSSF Science Fiction Writers Workshop.



( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Nothing to be ashamed of, Chris. You look great. Go you!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Maybe posting the photo provides a third benefit: support!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
I thought about it, but just couldn't. I figure this shot shows the out-of-shape-ness plenty well. Thanks for the kind words!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Robert Downey watch out!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Heee! That goal might be a bit far-fetched, but what's life without mountains to climb?
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
Congrats and good luck!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
Lookin' good, my man! I think the most important question is this: Do you still fit into The Pants?
Jun. 23rd, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Good question...

*toddles off to check*

Hooray! Now that's the real test: Not only do they fit, but for the first time in... well, sorta forever, I can wiggle 'em around all loose-like! Woohoo!
Jun. 24th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
W00t!! Go you!
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Jun. 24th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
The pic is great, and it's even better that you're doing better after the accident!
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
Thanks, I know! For a long time, I felt like I would never be able to get strong and stuff again. Phooey on that.
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Looks like you are doing well... :)

I, personally, like doing push-ups and have been doing so for many, many years. In fact, in the late 1990's I got to contemplating what the number 1,000,000 actually meant and how one could perceive it in a manner that was not just abstract--but was more physical.

Thus began the process of me working up to and then beginning my quest to do 1,000,000 push ups.

I began counting in January of 1998 and generally do about 250 push ups (in 5 sets of 50) 5-6 times a week when I can.

This morning, I finished number 778,250.

Now, I'm not advocating you start doing this.. but your quest made me think of my own quest..and I thought you might find it interesting.. :)
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Re: Congrats...
Wow, a million? That seems like a really neat goal. When I was doing martial arts training, I would do probably 100 in row, but 250? Holy moly! At that rate, you're doing 1-1/2 thousand a week. At that rate... wow, that's still a long time.

Perhaps I shall join you in this quest. It's sort of the Everest of push-up-dom....
yes... - tricstmr - Jun. 24th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: yes... - mckitterick - Jun. 24th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Good going! The nice thing about doing that in front of the telly is that you can compare the lines of the telly in constructing the "weaker" side v. the stronger.

Have you got it figured out to set the pic up the same each time? because once it's far enough along, it will make an awesome animated gif!

and.. oh how I empathize with having a weaker side from an accident. I can't pick up a saucepan full of stuff and hold it to drain off the liquid into a container, because it takes both hands to hold it up. Sure wish I could demo *that* for the judge/mediator.
Jun. 24th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
Thanks! Good idea, but I should have stood straighter for the photo in order to get a clear balance line. It'll be easy to set up again, just using the same height from the ground. Not as if my hair will change a la Adam's ;-)

Yikes - I had no idea you were still suffering so massively. It'll get better, I promise.
(no title) - silverfae - Jun. 24th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Jun. 24th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 24th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
Looks like you are doing well.
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks - it's nice to see progress!
Jun. 24th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
hmmmm i see a new idea Mr Sci-fi Universe. You look good
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! That would be entertaining.
Jun. 24th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
Yay for feeling better and yay for being healthy!
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Yay indeed! I never thought I'd say this, but thanks for not making lemon bars lately....
Jun. 24th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
When you are ready to pose for this photo, let me know. My camera and I will be ready. I mean it.

Jun. 24th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
If I look like this, I'll be completely there, I promise
(no title) - clevermanka - Jun. 24th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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