Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Update

I've had two themes this month: "get up again" and "fitness".

Get Up Again
No matter how many sessions get skipped, how low my mileage is, today can be the start of a better week, this week can be the start of a better month, I just have to get up again, and get my workout done today.

"Fitness" has many more meanings than the most common usage.  The common meaning is "acceptable" or sometimes "healthy" but what' I'm after is "capable" , "ready", "adapted".  Fitness should enable me to be useful things that I could not do before.

Tuesday was a big deal for the community garden, we did the final harvest to bring in decorations for the church's harvest festival.  I rushed over after work and had an hour before sunset to clear the stand of corn and play find-the-surviving-gourds.  My billhook, freshly sharpened, sailed through the cornstalks.  A double twist and the corn stalk landed neatly stacked with the others in a pile just ahead or behind me.  At the end of the row three to four bundles lay waiting, and I hefted a bundle at a time to my shoulder and trotted off to the pavilion humming the refrain of an old hymn.

One Row down, three to go

Swinging away at the corn.  Note I'm wearing my homemade huaraches, which are great minimal shoes for warm wet conditions.

Bringing in the Sheaves

The cavalry (my dear hubby) arrived as I was working on the last row, and helped finish up.

My workouts to date have made my feet and lower legs stronger, making it pretty easy to stay on my feet and moving around for the full hour, but my core is still a bit lacking and all the twisting and lifting took a toll.  The next day I was incredibly stiff in the back, and when I tried to do Somatics Lesson One to loosen it, I was downright incapable of doing one of the moves.  The dear hubby came through again, and massaged out the problematic muscle so I could at least finish the exercise at a reduced amplitude.  I took a few days off of my exercise routine to recover.

It's been kinda rainy since, I really need to get in the habit of doing shovelglove on the days it's too miserable to enjoy outdoor walks, and get more of that core strengthening.

Today I get up again, and work to become more fit for service.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another reason not to buy a breadmaker

The incredible shrinking hippocampus (and how to stop it)

It appears that using a GPS shrinks the hippocampus, which then can lead to poorer memory.  It's not a huge logical leap to think that this may apply to other convenience items that make it easier to get things done, but allow us to shut down and not mentally engage with them.

I occasionally get these fliers in the mail:

This is supposed to be an ad, something that attracts me to their establishment, but the large array of identical machines is rather scary to me.  It's an assembly line of fitness.  You walk into your place in the assembly line, with a bunch of strangers, staring at the back of another stranger, trying to artificially manufacture fitness.

What is fitness anyway?
Definition of FIT1
(1) : adapted to an end or design : suitable by nature or by art (2) : adapted to the environment so as to be capable of survivingb : acceptable from a particular viewpoint (as of competence or morality) : proper <a movie fit for the whole family>2
a : put into a suitable state : made ready <get the house fitfor company>b : being in such a state as to be or seem ready to do or suffer something <fair fit to cry I was — Bryan MacMahon><laughing fit to burst>3
: sound physically and mentally : healthy

Going to the gym may help you become acceptable from a particular viewpoint, but it has little to do with adapting you to your environment, or make you ready to do something practical.

Meanwhile, Cuisinart is trying to sell me this image:

Happy, carefree, easy cooking, so I have more time to go to the gym and get a sterile workout in a stall next to a bunch of strangers.

Here's one tip for saving yourself money, eating healthier, and getting some light exercise all in one shot: learn how to cook like your grandma did.  Get out the cutting board, and a potato, and learn how to make nice thin slices, and make up nice potato casserole from scratch, with real ingredients, not that weird chemistry set industrial food uses.  Want a bigger workout?  Learn how to can.  You can easily go to a U-pick farm in the morning, come home with a bushel or two of apples/peaches/pears by lunch, and spend the afternoon peeling, chopping, stewing, and canning, and you'll have those home canned preserves/applesauce/fruit pieces to enjoy all winter long.  No, you won't get the intensity that the sterile gym can provide, but you're going to be off your butt for most of the day, which may be healthier than exercise in the long run.

Further reading: