the_vulture: (tvhead)
So, I'll start off with the scary news I got last month. My doctor really didn't like my blood sugar level from the last set of tests. She's scheduled me to do another test in November to see if I have diabetes. That's... not happy. Granted, I know my father tends to have a high blood sugar level and I've probably inherited that from him, but, after all the exercising and such I do, I feel like my body has betrayed me. Not fun. The doctor told me not to beat myself up about it, but she did suggest I do what I can lose more weight, specifically to exercise even more than I do already.

Okay.

So, I finally bought a new pair of badly needed running shoes and I've redoubled my efforts in running, literally. Over the last couple of weeks, I've taken to doing two of the running workouts that the miCoach app spits at me for the 5k race plan I'm doing. This week, I've run over 25k. That's my new weekly goal: 25km. In this week alone, I've seen some really good progress: I've dropped around 4lbs and my blood pressure has improved a lot. I'm also feeling a lot better. 

Another thing that will help is finally switching back to a day schedule, with Sundays and Mondays off, even. Aside from just being easier on my system and giving me my evenings back to socialize and such, I'll also go back to two nights a week of Kung Fu. (Yay!) The (re-)added workout is going to really help. 

So, yeah, between all of that, I'm going to be putting in a lot of work on my physical health between now and November. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about it all, but, yeah, still scary.


the_vulture: (Kung Fu Panda)
I recently won one a free icon contest held by [livejournal.com profile] meeksp (also found at www.mikaspace.net). My habit of practicing a Kung Fu form or two at work when things are really slow (as well as my build) has earned me the nickname "Kung fu Panda" by some of my co-workers. (Hee!) Based on the prompt of an anthropomorphic panda version of myself in a Hung Gar (Southern style Kung Fu) pose, Mika created the TOTALLY EPIC ICON you see before you now!


THANK YOU, MIKA! You ROCK!!!

the_vulture: (Default)
I was really pleased to see this article, 98-year-old woman earns judo's highest degree black belt, which describes Sensei Keiko Fukuda life long journey as Judoka (student of Judo), including her sacrifices and her struggles against sexism, to finally achieve the highest rank in Judo. What dedication!
the_vulture: (Default)
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My favourite cult film and why? I'll let ol' Jack Burton explain:




What? You actually expected me to pass up an opportunity to play "Light Coming Out Of His Mouth" again?

Qi whiz!

Nov. 21st, 2010 11:18 pm
the_vulture: (Default)
As some of you already know, I've been working a lot with cultivating the use of Qi (Chi) for both peaceful and martial purposes. My study of Qi (or Ki in Japanese systems) began many years ago with my introduction to Aikido. Between that and Tai Qi, I've developed a fair amount of sensitivity and I've often, whilst practicing grappling maneuvers with partners, caught myself closing my eyes as I find the visual input distracting from the sense of my training partner's position I obtain purely through touch. I've also practiced moving Qi through the body for health benefits.

However, it's only in recent months that I've begun developing Qigong techniques for other purposes, including direct healing and for protection, among others. And, in the last few weeks, all that practice has begun to show itself in a myriad of ways, such as:

1) Feeling a force of repulsion between my palms, as if bringing the like poles of two magnets together, after spending several minutes focusing and compressing Qi between them during a Qigong exercise.

2) Preventing a bruise from forming on my forearm after accidentally falling on to the metal edge of a stair, striking hard enough to take skin off. I charged the hand of my other arm with Qi and applied it to the would be bruise, then visualized the Qi flowing through the injury and through my body in a circular motion. (Incidentally, less than a week after this occurred, I tried showing my HPS where the injury was, but had some difficulty as the skin had already healed enough that I could only find in brighter light.)

3) Doing forceful blocking practice with a training partner, whilst ignoring the pain of impact and suffering no bruising afterward.

Needless to say, I'm pretty amazed by all of this. 
the_vulture: (awesome)
It used to be that certain types of plastic vacuum-sealed packages (like my favourite brand of beef jerky) would require me putting a tear near the edge with my teeth before I could rip it open with my hands. Not so any longer. It appears all that work on my finger strength appears to be paying off; I can now tear 'em open without having to use my teeth at any point.

f34r my l33t tYgr cL4w skilz!
the_vulture: (Default)
I just went back through my posts tagged 'running' and not only did all that Kung Fu jump start me back into 10K race ready, but I just blew past my previous recorded personal bests for longest distance ran and longest continual running time by approximately 0.45 miles and 28 minutes, respectively. I just did the best run of my life!

Holy crap!  O.O
the_vulture: (Default)
... they have been fully and utterly dispelled. Tonight, despite being the heaviest I've been in about five years and not having done any serious run training for several months, I just completed a 2 hour run that covered over 7.4 miles, nonstop.

Yes, that's right boys and girls, for the first time in over three years,
I am once again, 10K Race-fracking-READY!!! 


AAAAWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Inspired by... )

PS: There were fireflies all along the marsh trail. Hee!
the_vulture: (Default)
... by Jackie Chan, a master of Kung Fu; who directly refers to the art as Kung Fu; in a film that takes place in China, the home of Kung Fu; that is a remake of film that was about thinly disguised Kung Fu; so why do they insist on keeping the name 'Karate Kid'?!?
the_vulture: (Default)
I hurt, but it's a good hurt...

Included was a lot of hard anaerobic work (at least hard for me). The question I have to ask is this: why hasn't the damn scale budged?!? ARGH!
the_vulture: (Default)
Yeah, the damn thing doesn't want to budge from 280 lbs. This is in spite of all the Kung Fu and Tai Chi I've been doing the last few weeks. I console myself with the fact that when I was last this weight, I was tight fitting into a size 46. A couple of days ago, I purchased a couple of size 44 jean shorts that fit very comfy and will do me until my size 42s are not so snug.

The big pain in the arse though (about six inches away from being literal), is that I hurt my lower back during today's workout. I was good jogging in spot, I was fine running with knees high in one spot, I was also fine lightly bouncing one leg a number of times and then the other, as if skipping. But the once I try putting an extra high bounce on every fifth 'skip'? BANG! I get seizing in the muscles just off the spine and right above the hip bone.

Dammit.

I finished off the rest of the class just fine, but opted against a walk to the grocery store later on. Currently, I'm dosed up on ibuprofen and reeking of Tiger Balm. It's not a bad injury, as far as my history of putting out my back goes, but I've definately added yet another activity to the list of 'Things that will make my back hate me if I do them.'

On a positive note, I did a lot of work on scissor blocks, rolling up from prone, and how to utilize a couple key pressure points in the neck to do some really, really nasty take downs. :D
the_vulture: (Default)
Yesterday, I did another run, which is good. It's been a while since I've been running. I had to push to finish a half hour run, though; I've gotten soft. I also discovered that I need ice cleats. I took a fall, but landed with a damn near textbook breakfall. I was actually surprised by how pain and injury free that fall was, despite landing on ice and pave. Seriously! I've taken harder falls on rubber training mats. I simply just got up and kept on running. I might not be so luck next time, though, so I'd better invest in some traction.

In other news, my holidays finally got sorted out. I'll actually have 9 days off, allowing me to spend Christmas with my relatives. This is a good thing for me. :) My only stress now is waiting for my next paycheque so I can afford to mail stuff overseas. I've got most of my shopping done, but sending it off is a wee problematic at the mo'. *sheepish grin*

Other'n that, nothing really new or exciting going on.
the_vulture: (Default)

I will sleep well tonight... *tired chuckle*

the_vulture: (Default)
Yep, I just got back from another very lovely Aikido class and I'm feeling very mellow and relaxed. 'Course, the strawberry banana smoothies liberally dosed with peach schnapps is probably helping some.  ; )  Adding to my contentment is a belly full of sushi; I discovered myself to be absolutely ravenous after class and sushi just... worked.

Healthwise, much weight has come off since starting again with Aikido. My back is also quite happy, too. It appears that getting slammed to the mats via a good breakfall or two acts as DIY chiropracty.

I'm even slowly moving back into art production; I've picked up some oven-bake modelling material to work with so I can get my sculpting groove back on.

For now, life is good. I suppose at some point I'll have to toddle off to the shower and then to bed. Thankfully, I was able to purchase and install an airconditioner for my bedroom. Elsewise, the last few nights would have been absolutely brutal with this heat.


I feel...

Aug. 4th, 2009 11:19 pm
the_vulture: (Default)

...FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!

I just recently finished my first Aikido class in many years and it was GREAT!!! After several weeks of being on my ass because of my back, it was so great to hit the mats. I feel like a GOD!

 The instructor is fabulous, my classmates were very welcoming, and the dojo is air conditioned! (If you've ever had to do a martial arts class in a heavy Judo gi in the middle of the summer head, you'll KNOW just how bonus that is!)  Best of all, it seems that my old Aikido skills, as rusty as they may have been, came back pretty damn quickly, impressing Sensei to the point that, at one point, when some advanced holds and throws using a jo (short staff) were being demonstrated to the senior students, I was asked to join in. Furthermore, Sensei even invited me to meet a guest sensei that will be coming in for a seminar tomorrow, waiving the $25 fee that would have normally been asked. (I'll be paying it anyhow, though. If my classmates have to pay to attend that seminar, I will, too. That's just the way I am.)

 After class was finished, I felt physically incredible! It's like the 'me' that used to do 10k runs finally broke free of all the crap that's been going on in my life for so long.

 I am so PUMPED!!! 


the_vulture: (Default)
In the interest of building relationships with my new spiritual community, I held a didgeridoo workshop on Tuesday last night. I gave instructions how to create a drone, how to practice circular breathing for non-stop didge playing, how to create various sound effects, and various cultural aspects and history of the instrument. Attendance wasn't quite what I was hoping for, but those who showed up seemed to have had a great time and got a lot of out of it. So, in all, for my first workshop outside of a school environment, I'll call it a success.

In other news, I seem to be getting my sorry butt back into shape. I've done two weapons workouts and a three mile run this week, so it seems like I'm getting back on track. I desperately need to be, too, as I've been getting a little rounder than I'm comfortable with, as of late. *sheepish grin*

Finally, I managed to get in to a tax kiosk to get my return done, pretty much on the last day I could have. *chuckle* I expect to get a pretty hefty return of over $2000. Yay me!
the_vulture: (Default)

Okay, so yesterday I said I was off to Tai Ch'i today. *shakes head* That's actually supposed to happen on Tuesday. Don't ask me why I thought Tuesday was today. Obviously, I'm in dire need of the B complex I tossed back this morning...

In other news, I've gotten in another 20 minute sword workout. I need to do more, though. Once I can start getting up after a normal amount of sleep, I'll have time to get in 30 minutes per day. That'll actually be plenty aerobic workout until the roads clear up enough for running.

the_vulture: (Default)
So, not only have I actually started filling out the actual substitute teaching application (I've had plenty o' time to work on it on the job, with the average of about TWO calls per evening between the hours of 12 and 2 AM!), I've also started back into the swordwork with a twenty minute workout yesterday. Tomorrow, D. and I will be off to check out some Tai Ch'i at the Y. No, it's probably not going to be Chen style, but any Tai Ch'i is better than no Tai Ch'i, so off we go.  :)
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Well, I've resumed running and sword training this week, though my muscles seem to be unhappy about all that. Methinks I may not be getting enough calcium, as my legs, calves in particular, have been crampy since Wednesday (Haidong Gumdo class). I picked some calcium supplements, as well as a glucosamine sulphate cocktail to help my joints hold up under the abuse, so I'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I'm getting odds and sods done around the flat, including picking up a pine board shelving kit from which I created a small table for my lap top and my new altar (finally!). I'm not so happy with the furniture additions, as the pine turned out to be really crappy wood that I paid far too much for, but one makes do with one has. I can always replace 'em later when the opportunity presents itself.

I've also replanted the tomato plant that my mother gave me. It sits in the window sill in a planter designed to fit nicely into a corner. Between that and the two plants I'm looking after for my mother (a small aloe vera plant and the tall whatever-the-heck-it-is that
[personal profile] 1grl_revolution gave her), my flat is actually looking rather green.

I've also begun rearranging my meager bits of furniture so now my flat looks a bit less 'bachelor'. *grin*

Saturday was fairly productive in that I managed to get up early enough to go to the market, chat with a new friend, pick up a substantial amount of cider (some of which, if it was just a bit more sparkly, would be a damn good match for my beloved Scrumpy Jack), did another Haidong Gumdo lesson, and then went off to work.

Finally, this week I've also repaired my didgebox, after it got a hole knocked into it during the move. I'm actually considering hosting an introductory didjeridoo workshop for the group of pagan contacts I've recently made, though, if it happens, it'll be a little later in the future. I'd have to acquire some decent bits of pvc from which to contstruct some cheap didges from. It would certainly be a fun excuse for a party! *grin*

My current conundrum involves the upcoming shift bid, where I'm thinking of trying for some regular day-like hours. It would be nice to actually have my evenings free to pursue my budding social life, as well as get in more martial arts, but that would also knock off about $160 per month that I normally earn in shift premiums for working late nights. Yep, it again comes down to money versus quality of life. 'Course, recent experience suggests that going with QoL may be a good idea.

And my shift has just ended! Later, gators!

the_vulture: (Default)
For the last several days, I've been finding that my muscles have been a lot more sore for a lot longer than they should've been, especially the legs, which have done a LOT more work in the past than they're doing currently. It occurred to me that I've haven't been eating anywhere as much protein than I have in the past, especially when I was doing more rigorous training.

I began remedying that by eating an entire tin of flaked ham with a can of tomato, bean and pasta soup I had last night (it was very yummm!) and continued by picking up a large container of whey isolate protein powder shake mix. Yes, I did talk to the clerk about which would best suit my needs and I'm satisfied with her explanation of why this stuff is going for me.

On her advice, I drank a shake about twenty minutes before I head out for Haidong Gumdo class (well, was supposed to be half an hour, but oh well...). I ran to class, as I was running late (err... bad pun, sorry), enjoyed a reasonable workout there, and then, 'cause I was feeling good, ran back home (about a mile, methinks). So far, no muscle ache! (Yay!) Granted, my limbs were beat ass tired by the end of it, but they weren't sore. Furthermore, I didn't have any trace of the ache in my right knee that's been plaguing me the last week or so (silly Runner's Knee).

Yes, I must be certain to give my protein intake a LOT more consideration.

PS: I saw a couple class members testing for yellow belt; I reckon it won't take very long for me to achieve the same. Some of the upper level stuff, though? That looks just plain WICKED!!! Can't wait to learn it!

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