Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: fitness goals

Fitness Stuff

I think I mentioned previously that I’m now going to the gym. Well, I’m still going.

Today I saw the new fitness person for an update of my regimen. I’ve been told that weight-bearing exercise is good for the bones, so I wanted to add the treadmill to my regimen. Also, my left shoulder’s been acting up and I haven’t been able to do the arm exercises I was introduced to because of stiffness and pain, and I wanted to see if there were some other things I could do to exercise my arms while keeping from further injuring my arm.

Short answer, is that I was able to do both of these things.

Skylar, the new fitness person, took me around to some weight machines which aren’t like those I was working on before. Instead of levers and arms, these ones have pulleys and bars and handles for raising the weights. He showed me how to set them up so that I could use them (it’s going to be a bit of a challenge, to be honest), but the exercises he showed me enable me to immobilize my shoulder while still being able to exercise the target muscles. I figure I shouldn’t have too much trouble adjusting things for my use, especially if I make the effort to get assistance from the taller people around me because one of those pulleys can be adjusted and pretty far above my head, where I may not be able to reach, to accommodate taller people.

After showing me these new exercises, we reviewed my leg exercises. All we did with these was change the weights on a few of them “officially,” because I’d already been working at those new weights for a couple weeks. I told him I was looking for a little bit of burn, a feeling of resistance, but not so much that I felt pain, and he said that was good. He also went over my abdominal and lower back exercises and approved them.

Following that, we discussed me adding walking on the treadmill to my fitness regimen. Skylar was concerned because of my current level-1 knee pain, but I told him it’s pretty much constant and walking on cement, when I had to do a lot of it, doesn’t seem to hurt much more. So he took me to a treadmill and got me started on it, going at about 2.5mph, and had me walk it for about five minutes to determine whether I could handle it. I didn’t have any issues, so he assigned me ten minutes of that each day I go in, then 15 minutes on the recumbent bike to finish off my cardio exercise.

He didn’t change anything else. I’m still on a three-day cycle where I go in two days and don’t go in one. Skylar didn’t want to change too much at once and wanted to keep it so I wouldn’t lose track of things. He wants me to get some decent-length resistance bands and bring them in so he can show me some exercises I can do with my left arm and shoulder in addition to the physical therapy exercises to hopefully help improve its condition.

Molasses is Faster

I’m a slow thinker. Though I can be witty, it takes a little time to happen. Frequently, I’ll come up with witty and clever comebacks to comments days after the conversations which inspired them. It takes me time to adjust enough to habitually include new things in my daily habits, even if I’m at a job. If there’s a typical pattern to things, it takes me a while to adjust to changes regardless of what that change might be.

This slowness of thought is evident in my learning process. It takes me seeing a movie several times before I catch the whole thing, even if I’m focused on it throughout the first viewing. Same goes for videos. For this reason, I prefer not to learn by video, especially if I’m in a class situation where I’m unable to stop it or watch it multiple times to make sure I’m picking up on things as I should.

Part of the reason I haven’t been opening GIMP is because most of the tutorials I’ve been referred to for things are video tutorials. The two or three I’ve actually tried to use have had instructions like “Click on this, then enter this number in this field here . . .” which are not helpful to me at all. Unfortunately, GIMP is not a very intuitive program; I need the tutorials. I’m not quick enough to follow the mouse around the screen and see what all is happening.

I work best with written instructions, and friends have been pointing me toward more of them. My experience with the video tutorials has turned me off of GIMP for the time being, however, though I do intend to open it up and try to learn. Just need to print out the instruction booklet that I found online and do the same with the tutorials my friends have pointed me to.

And, once I’m comfortable with it, I have the insane desire to go through whatever video tutorials I find I must use and transcribe them with better instructions than “click this here and enter this number in this field.” It’s a goal. LOL

In other real-life things, I put a lot of forethought into them. For instance, my fitness goals. Up until the first part of last month, I was in the process of contemplating how I could become more active in my lifestyle. But this was only in a general sense. I was working myself up for taking walks, not realizing part of my aversion to it was due to a mood swing which had made me incredibly antisocial (to the point of not even checking my snailmail daily—I was that afraid of encountering someone I’d be hooked into having a chat with).

I was discussing contemplation of fitness goals in Forward Motion for Writers chat with a friend who happens to be a Beachbody coach. I mentioned part of what was holding me back on anything besides walking was my knees, and she did a search of the Beachbody site and came up with a fitness program based on tai chi, which had been developed by a fitness expert who also is an expert in tai chi—it’s called Tai Cheng. I watched the little video she pointed me to, and I heard some things from people who’d used it which I liked, and ordered it the day I got paid in May.

Ever since then, I’ve been contemplating adding this fitness regimen to my daily habits, and I’m getting there. Buying the program was just what I needed to galvanize me into thinking of fitness more seriously, and I’ve already done the best I can with my current budget to change my diet according to the program’s suggestion.

On occasion, I make quick decisions like with the Tai Cheng fitness program, then put the thought necessary behind them. But, there’s always that thinking process I go through, whether it’s before or after the decision. It’s just the way I think.

Still, when compared to me, molasses is often faster. LOL

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