22nd October 2015: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Two weeks ago, I briefly talked about a form of exercise called Tabata. My opinion on the type of exercise has not changed, and it was proving to be extremely beneficial till deciding to modify the routine. The decision to make changes stemmed from a desire to further intensify the range of exercises, however, it appeared my body was not prepared for the additional load. Consequently, I had to have a week of rest, and was sent for an ultrasound to see whether I had damaged my abdomen. Fortunately, the results were positive, meaning there was no serious damage. Instead, I had placed a significant amount of stress on the abdominal region of my body without it being in a position to take such a load. At a very basic level, I can easily look back on the situation with regret, feeling the decision to intensify the exercise was premature. Some may agree with this explanation, however, I believe my body would have been ready for the changes if I followed my rehabilitation plan from last surgery. On reflection, it seems I was naively under the impression of seeing myself as progressing much faster than last time. Admittedly, many areas may superficially support this position, however, the key point being overlooked was a misdirection in my focus. The best way to articulate my point is to make comparisons at varying stages throughout my two recoveries.
So, after the second surgery I started swimming at six weeks before adding yoga, tabata and surfing into the schedule. I gradually starting swimming faster and a greater distance, and mentally felt better than last time. Now, at 14 weeks, a disparity exists between where was I was last time compared to my current position, and it results entirely from being totally blinded by my objectives. Last time, each step was concentrated on based on what was required at that time. This time, I wanted to pass all the steps in favour of recommencing the belief held about the goals of rebuilding my body still being incomplete. Consequently, I am now needing to work backwards, and it reinforces the imperativeness of thoroughly adhering to a rehabilitation plan.
18th October 2015: Sydney, Australia
I understand the message yesterday was a little militant, and the style may have polarise some of you, however, regardless of whether it is something you enjoy or not, there are benefits just waiting if you would accept the challenge. Admittedly, the thought of swimming laps, wading through the water or completing other exercises does not always evoke an eagerness or joy, however, the intended target of this experiment is to both psychologically challenge the mind whilst hopefully encouraging whoever is reading this to reap the health benefits associated with completing some form of movement in the water. Similar to running, or other exercise pending the interests of people, the thought of swimming can be too mundane or not something previously deemed a valuable inclusion in your weekly plan of movement. In all honesty, it is not easy, but either are the challenges in life. So, accept the challenge by jumping in the water, push through the doubt, and finally reap in the awaiting benefits.
17th October 2015: Sydney, Australia
The content about to be delivered is entirety captured in the title. Simply, I believe swimming or some form of activity in the water should form part of your exercise routine. Just to note, I am writing this knowing some people will already click away, and maybe there is something greater occurring in the thinking behind the actions of those seconds away from deleting this post from their minds. Most notably, whether a correlation exists between the reason for clicking away and the reluctance to follow the advice provided. To state it as simply as possible, for some, I believe the thought of swimming is too hard or not something you enjoy. I must acknowledge, the only group of people excluded from the post are those with no accessibility to a pool or place to swim. To everyone else, I challenge you to commit to swimming within the next week. Obviously, if modifications need to be made, due to varying capacities, then modify as required. To the rest of you. Swim!
16th October 2015: Sydney, Australia
Firstly, I should note, I am writing this post without a specific population in mind, however, feel the content may resonate to those in process of achieving a particular goal. Also, prior to continuing, I must acknowledge that many similar messages are widely available on the Internet. So, obviously I am by no means claiming to be writing anything revolutionary. In contrast, the message is extremely basic, and in the most simple format, it can be introduced by sharing a comment recently directed towards me. The comment has repetitively been heard over the past 20 months, and it is typically structured in such a way that suggests I should be resting more and not over-exerting my body. Therefore, in an attempt to understand the reasoning behind the comments, I pose a number of points. Do people think comments such as the one mentioned or other similar messages directed towards you stem from:
a. Concern for your welfare?
b. Fear for the success you can achieve?
c. Jealousy of the drive and commitment had to achieving in your goal?
d. Other (please comment).
11th October 2015: Sydney Australia
The plan for improving with my physical strength was to concentrate solely in the first instance on a reintroduction of yoga and swimming. The combination of the two activities were implemented, and a degree of success was obtained, however, a question surfaced revolving around the thought of what results would be obtained by simply repeating the planning from last year? Obviously, progression was the primary focus, namely, having the capacity to once again undertake a range of calisthenic exercises. But, really, do I just want to reach a similar level to last time, or do I wish to push beyond any point achieved in the past?
The answer is simple. Obviously, I want to most definitely want to surpass any past levels of strength and fitness, and therein lies the reasoning for adding a routine of tabata into my weekly regime. Basically, tabata is a range of explosive exercises completed in a short period of time with limited breaks. It is extremely useful for anyone who considers themselves time poor. A category I do not associate with, however, being able to complete a fairly strenuous routine in 15 minutes only works in collaborating with yoga and swimming to hopefully place me in a position whereby I can achieve some of the outstanding exercise goals established last year.
5th October 2015: Sydney, Australia
It is extremely difficult to compare the progression of my physical capacity from my first surgery to how I am after three months since my second surgery. The point was not previously registering, and only came to my attention today when a pain was felt during the completion of a fairly basic movement. Prior to this moment, I was under the false impression of believing the period of recovery was much faster.
Upon looking back at my calendar, it is evident that a period of almost four months passed till I was in the position of having the ability to properly exercise again. At present, I have been slowly adding further degrees of movement into my life, however, obstacles continue to be faced on each attempt. The surprising point about the incident today was the fact of knowing I could have completed the movement at the same amount of weeks last year. Just to note, I am not overly stressed, and know my body will heal. It is more a curiosity surrounding why my body is not making better progression, especially when other tasks have been easy to reimplement into my life. In summary, a positive can be drawn from the waiting process, namely, the motivation to start implementing my full planned routine. A routine designed to land me in a position of reaching a level of optimal health.
30th September 2015: Sydney, Australia
Road rage is surely not going to come across as a new term, however, what if I was to say I experience a slight degree of pool rage? Obviously, anger is not the most attractive characteristic, and the motivation to change is possibly symbolised in the decision to write, particularly with my rage possibly effecting the enjoyment of others when in the local pool.
I see swimming in a fresh outdoor saltwater pool as a privilege, and the act of bringing a degree of angst into this environment is simply not acceptable. To avoid any confusion, I do not actually show any rage towards others. Instead, at certain times I feel angry when seeing someone swimming across all the lanes. I try to control my feelings, however, always seem to be unable to just accept the fact some people will swim like they are running away from a wild rhino in the jungle. Seriously, I need to chill out and relax a little more right!
8th September 2015: Sydney, Australia
The reintroduction of yoga could not have come at a better time. Honestly, it feels like my body was sending messages to my brain, alerting it to an increased capacity to do more than just rest and recover each day. Admittedly, yoga only lasts an hour, however, it provides a sense of purpose, focus and stimulation in my life. In addition, it reinforces the reality of the restrictions in my current movement. An overall awareness is also associated with yoga, namely, the need to focus on where your body is willing to allow you to move, a seemingly pivotal point during the the early stages of rehabilitation. Failure to be attuned with your body could easily result in temporary or permanent damage, and it is only through total awareness whereby you will instinctively know when and how much you can push yourself through each pose.
7th September 2015: Sydney, Australia
The yoga class to be undertaken in approximately an hour will signal the progression to a new stage of my recovery. The latest addition of movement form part of a longterm plan to once again have a week consisting of activities including: surfing, swimming, yoga and calisthenic training. A point to be explored is how the use of Cannabis Oil will impact my future plans, particularly how I will be able to function when completing the nominated activities. It seems very probable for a crossover to exist between the time of finishing the course of oil and adding further movement into my life. Interestingly, the use of Cannabis Oil has taken away all fatigue previously experienced from my chemotherapy. A point never thought possible, especially bearing in mind the typical correlation Cannabis has with lethargy. Admittedly, I am not fatigued or feeling nauseous, yet, a haze exists in my thinking whilst my body becomes utterly relaxed. Therefore, questions loom in regards to whether the temporary elimination of fatigue will result in further movement or alternatively the relaxed state will negatively influence the capacity to push myself. Of course, this is all speculation, so will only time will tell in how well I adapt to the circumstances.
21st August 2015: Sydney, Australia
Today, I once again had the feeling of my bare feet walking upon the heated gravel whilst the sun spread its warmth and glory upon my wet hair. It was a familiar walk, one completed for over twenty years, however, one aspect separating the walk from many other occasions was the pure joy experienced in knowing I had just completed my first swim in the saltwater since my operation. Honestly, on reflection, I believe the smile beaming from my face could have competed with anyone in the world.
The walk appears to have reinforced the reality of the circumstances unfolding around me, especially the progress made in six weeks. Limited restrictions were felt throughout the entirety of the swim, with a close only resulting from an intention of not wanting to push myself. In conclusion, I feel extremely fortunate to be back utilising the natural environment in the hot sun, and am filled with excitement of what awaits over the summer months.