It hasn't been a good couple of days for outdoor activity (cold and windy, with icy sidewalks). So I spent a bunch of time this afternoon walking round and round in the apartment building hallway. This isn't remotely interesting, but it's a dry, flat surface with good traction, at a comfortable temperature. I walked fast enough to get my heart rate up a little, which I haven't been doing much in the last several months, because I want to spare my hips. It feels less risky when, if I need to stop, I won't be more than a couple of dozen steps from my front door.

This is in addition to an assortment of exercises, most of them at least related to physical therapy (ongoing maintenance, at this point), almost all of which I do in my apartment, and track on a spreadsheet (to avoid both overdoing accidentally skipping things).
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Oct. 8th, 2018 08:31 pm)
[personal profile] cattitude and I got back from Montreal a couple of hours ago; we were there for Scintillation, a small science fiction convention organized by Jo Walton.

I mostly had a good time, despite some bits where I was having trouble connecting/finding people to hang out with, and some down moods that I suspect were due either to physiological stuff (I bruised my left thumb badly, and pain interferes with sleep) or the state of the world outside the convention. I did a lot of walking, at least by my recent standards; if this doesn't leave me miserable in the next day or two, I'm going to treat it as hip strengthening PT and increase my goal for that. health/exercise details )

I went to a few program item and enjoyed all of them: Friday evening Jon Singer and Teresa Nielsen Hayden talke about medieval recipes, and Sunday morning Jon and Emmet O'Brien talked about lasers, odd corners of biology (endosymbiosis is more complex than I'd realized), and the possibility of using Bose-Einstein condensates to explore how event horizons work. (They told us that it's possible to slow light down to a few meters per second in a BEC; the suggestion is to see what happens if you move said concentrate at several meters per second, i.e. faster than the speed of light inside the BEC. As far as either of them knew, this hasn't yet been tried.)

As a tribute to Ursula Le Guin, Jo decided to have an hour of people reading Le Guin's work aloud. The pre-con description had said that it would be good if other people read, but Jo was prepared to read Le Guin aloud for an hour. I emailed her last week to say I wanted to read, and mentioning a couple of specific things I was thinking of. Yesterday morning, when I walked into the Jon Singer/Emmet O'Brien mutual interview, Emmet asked if I'd be willing to be organizer for the Le Guin panel an hour later, because Jo might be dealing with other things. I said yes, of course. I decided to read "Coming of Age in Karhide," which worked well: if I'd practiced and known how long it was, I might have picked something shorter, but people enjoyed it, and I got comments afterwards from people who were pleased because they hadn't already read that story. Someone else then read "The First Report of the Shipwrecked Foreigner to the Kadahn of Derb," a delightful piece that is partly about Venice. We then got a couple of excerpts from Malafrena about what it means to work for freedom, and a few poems. (The person who read the poems wanted to read from Le Guin's version of the Tao te ching; I don't think Jo owns that.)
I went in for PT today, to see whether the therapist would have any more exercises for me, since at the last session she'd told me "try it for two weeks and then let me know if it seems to be helping." And then I got pneumonia, and a month went past, and I'm not sure whether/how much the PT is helping my hip.

So, we did some of the exercises I normally do at home, plus a couple I haven't been, and I think I have a way to add one of them at home. The PT office version is stepping sideways onto and then over a wide step; the home version will be step sideways onto the bottom stair of a staircase, back down, then turn around and do the same with the other leg.

I asked if there's any PT that I'm not already doing that might help my hips, and the therapist went away for a few minutes and said no. So: patience, and hope time and continuing with the exercises helps; the cortisone didn't really help, and I don't want surgery.

There's also nothing to add to the knee exercises, and no need/reason to go back unless something else comes up. Just keep doing them at home, four days a week for the time being.

(ETA: my knee, which felt mostly okay during and shortly after the PT session, is now--six hours after PT--hurting significantly. Proceed with care on the step thing, I think.)
Yesterday, [personal profile] cattitude and I went to the Harvard Arboretum to look at and sniff lilacs. We were a bit late: a lot of the bushes had few flowers left, and some of the rest had almost no scent. Unfortunately, the lilacs that bloom latest are a variety whose scent I don't like. Also, Cattitude had some problems with the pollen even though he had taken an antihistamine, and I will probably have to make this trip without him next year. ([personal profile] adrian_turtle has expressed interest.)

On our way out, we passed a fine patch of lily of the valley, and enjoyed that scent (which neither of us are allergic to. This past weekend, Cattitude found an allegedly lily of the valley flavored macaron at the patisserie in Davis Square. I thought it just tasted sweet, he said there was a floral note that reminded him of soap, and we didn't eat the last bit. It's an artificial flavor, of course—all parts of the plant are considered poisonous—and I was partly just curious as to what the creator thought lily of the valley should taste like.

I have an appointment at Mount Auburn Hospital on Friday. There is a very fine patch of lily of the valley in a small parklike area between Mount Auburn Street and Memorial Drive, which I plan to visit before, after, or possibly both, depending how the timing goes.

physical therapy stuff )
I decided I wanted one more PT session for the hip, partly so we could discuss what my long-term maintenance/homework is in terms of stretching and exercise at home.

Quick summary: I can reduce the exercise and stretch frequency to three times a week (instead of almost every day), but should do the stretches more often if I'm having trouble. Also, I should start walking more quickly, at least for short stretches. I've been walking much more slowly than had been normal for me, because moving quickly has been the most likely trigger for significant hip pain.

Details cut for discussion of exercise )
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Feb. 3rd, 2018 07:17 pm)
I am a bit stiff but don't think there's anything seriously wrong. As I tweeted when I got home, "Good gloves and solid pants warm pants are an important part of winter safety, especially when the sidewalks aren't cleared properly. I'm fine, the clothes are intact. #ice thank you @LLBean for still making jeans out of good denim."

description of the circumstances of a minor injury, how I'm doing, and its effect on my exercises )
2017 was the year when I've actually thought "I haven't called my senators this week, it's time." Like a lot of us, I've felt both that I wanted to be doing more to resist Trump and fascism, and that I didn't have the energy for as much as I was doing (occasionally on the same day).

In part to reassure myself that I have been doing stuff, I kept records in a spreadsheet. So:

In person, I went to ten rallies, protest marches, and vigils (these overlap, obviously) and attended one legislative committee hearing. I've also been volunteering to help new citizens register to vote (three times so far). I think I posted about all of these at the time.

I made sixty-one calls to government officials (probably at least ten times as many as I’d made in my entire previous life). That includes both Massachusetts senators, two members of Congress (plural because we moved from Katherine Clark's district to Mike Capuano's, three members of the state legislature, the governor of Massachusetts, the state attorney general and the Middlesex County district attorney, plus the Department of Homeland Security, House Judiciary Committee, and Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Some of these I was fairly sure were a waste of effort at the time, but it was effort I could spare; what seems most likely to have made a difference were the calls to the attorney general and DA, calling for them to reverse tainted convictions for drug possession.

I also sent a bunch of emails, faxes (before resistbot overloaded Congress’s fax machines), post cards, and online comments, and donated to a few organizations that are doing relevant good work.

The rest of this semi-quantitative review of my year is more personal:

Exercise continues to be mostly either body weight stuff or exercises using resistance bands, and I’ve either increased the weight, resistance, or number of repetitions, or kept them steady, in the course of the year, which pleases me. (Most of the increases in resistance or number of reps have been in the past few months.) I haven’t done as much walking as I’d like since late summer because of hip pain. I’m going to follow up with my doctor about that in two weeks, and probably schedule PT. I'd like to be walking more, but am otherwise pleased with how this is going.

numbers and some discussion )

I read (or had read to me) seventy-two books, of varying lengths, including some rereads. Quite a lot of that was either while traveling or during the part of the summer while I was healing a case of tendonitis and using the keyboard little, and pens barely at all. I also bounced off several books, ran out of time on a couple, and am in some sense in the middle of a few more.

I slept in four cities this year: Arlington and Somerville, Mass., New York, and Montreal. One of these years I may take another vacation that isn't primarily to visit people I care about, and maybe even go somewhere new.

I tried two new foods: pineberry, which is apparently a variety of strawberry, and nutmeg jam, which is made from a different part of the nutmeg plant than either of the spices that are made from it (nutmeg and mace).
I've been pleased with my exercise patterns lately, because there have been more weeks when I've done more than what I think of as the minimum.

cut for anyone who would rather not read this. Includes some numbers, and a digression about subways. )
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( Oct. 8th, 2017 10:32 am)
I used to post these regularly, mainly to have the information saved somewhere other than my own computer, just in case. I'm now starting by putting the information in Evernote (instead of on scraps of newspaper) and then copying it to my computer, so that gives me the backup. This post is a snapshot of what I'm doing now, taken on a day when I was pleased by how much exercise I had done.

I've been keeping up with the exercises I most care about; yesterday I also did the shoulder stretches, which I had been neglecting for a while. (I have been doing leg stretches, because those are to prevent recurrence of a more recent injury/problem.)

so, yesterday's exercises, behind a cut as usual )
I have done some of my exercises:

The first box I unpacked today was labeled "[personal profile] redbird desk files." It also had the other stuff from the shelves under my desk, including my exercise elastics, so I have done those exercises. (The serratus pushups I did yesterday, because all I need for those is a bit of bare wall to lean on.)

Then I made us lunch. Just matzo meal latkes, and I'm still figuring out this stove, but now I have cooked here. We have made tea, assembled sandwiches, had a couple of hot meals delivered, and eaten yogurt, fresh fruit, and random snacks, but we hadn't cooked in the last few days, unsurprisingly. I also made coffee (for [personal profile] cattitude) this morning, the first time we've done that since the move. He can drink tea, and grabbing a Lapsang souchong teabag is easier than getting out the coffee beans, Melitta cone, and filter, grinding the beans, and then pouring them into the filter cone. But this is also part of making this feel like home.
I was looking at the ice cream selection at the supermarket and noticed chocolate cherry Garcia (labeled as a "limited batch," which I suspect means "if it's popular enough we'll keep making it"). According to the label, it's chocolate ice cream with cherries and chocolate chunks. I like chocolate ice cream, and I like cherry Garcia ice cream, so I bought this.

I tried it shortly after getting home, and while it's okay, it's not as good as either plain chocolate ice cream or the regular cherry Garcia. I expect to finish this pint, but am unlikely to buy another.

There's not much else going on here right now: I was going to go to a Planned Parenthood rally yesterday, but it was much too cold, the sort of weather where I can walk to the bus stop to go somewhere, but don't want to walk more than a few blocks, let alone stand around outdoors for a couple of hours. I continue to make phone calls to various elected officials, some of which are more satisfying than others, but I am told persistence is a virtue.

[personal profile] adrian_turtle, who had things to do indoors during the day, stopped by briefly to return a visit, and to glove I had that fell out of my coat pocket the last time I was at her place.

I used some of the energy that I wasn't using on walking or protesting to exercise (weights, resistance, and body weight stuff). This is my current definition of a thorough workout: Read more... )
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Feb. 5th, 2017 05:36 pm)
I know some people are skipping political posts (which I understand: I have a "lower-stress" filter for days I need to do that), so a couple of notes on the rest of my life:

I'm keeping up with the exercise routine, sometimes by doing one exercise and coming back an hour later to do the next one. "Keeping up" at this point means doing the half-dozen PT-related ones at least twice a week, and adding other things on no particular schedule. My cell phone has an exaggerated idea of how much walking I'm doing, because its steps-to-miles (or kilometers) conversion is for someone who takes longer steps than I do, but I look at the numbers anyhow, on the theory that the actual conversion is consistent enough that if it says I walked twice as much Sunday as Saturday I probably did.

I now have a printed MBTA map in my daypack, which I picked up earlier this afternoon, several months after someone told me that they're available at Park Street. This isn't the first time I've walked past the information booth on the Green Line platform, but it's the first time I noticed and remembered that they might have a map. (In New York City, the printed maps are very easy to come by; in Montreal they are easiest to find at the airport; and in Seattle they don't seem to exist.)

Having realized that I don't own enough non-cotton socks, I just used a $10 promotional gift card from LL Bean to order a pair of fleece socks; I'm willing to spend $6.95 to find out whether these are a good idea, and if they are I'll get a few more. (I recently bought a pair of smartwool socks, which fit okay but are relatively thin, so I'm not sure about buying more.)
I counted how many times I exercised this month (where a "time" is a collection of exercises logged over 1-3 days, not each time I got up and did one or more exercises), and am reasonably pleased by the answer, 13. I aim to get in three complete collections of at least my shoulder-PT-related exercises each week, and would be satisfied with two. (If I aim for doing this twice a week, I'm more likely to wind up only doing it once than if I aim for three times a week.)

some numbers )
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( Jun. 17th, 2016 08:33 pm)
A pair of cardinals built a nest in a tree near our backyard, and for the last couple of weeks, we've been enjoying watching and listening to both the parents and the fledglings. [ profile] cattitude has seen more than I have, because I was in Montreal for some of their early flights.

Today, I stood on the porch watching the cardinals while doing one of my exercises. A lot of what I'm doing involves using a doorframe to hold the exercise elastics, but a few of my exercises can be done standing anywhere, and one just requires a step. (I did some of those while waiting for the last person on my bus to clear U.S. Customs on Tuesday.)

some exercise numbers from yesterday and today )
I'm happy with how I'm doing right now, in terms of persistence as well as the details of what/how much I've been doing.

numbers, and sets of numbers )
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( Jan. 25th, 2016 08:08 pm)
After not doing a lot on the weekend, I have had a diligent and productive day.

The weekend thing was partly because one of my freelance clients emailed me with an assignment I wasn't sure of: the cover note said it was 9 pages, the downloaded file is 33. I queried on Friday, rather than spend a lot of time on the wrong file (which I might not have been paid for), and didn't get the "yes, it's that one" until this morning. They sent a PDF, to be edited by using the comment feature, so I have to do it in relatively chunks, with breaks, for the sake of my hand and shoulder.

I have also done All the Exercises, even the psoas stretch I only get around to rarely.

Yesterday, we went for a walk to get some exercise (I deliberately picked some steep blocks to walk along), and I made matzo balls to go in the homemade soup [ profile] cattitude made. There was enough left for lunch today, with some raw carrots and then a bit of leftover pickled herring. The foods of my people.

gym numbers, still not very interesting )
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( Jan. 14th, 2016 09:58 pm)
I didn't do much exercise while I was in Arlington last week: I took my resistance bands, but didn't do much with them. But I did a lot yesterday (and today).
numbers )
The freelance work for the client in India continues, and mostly they're sending me the amount of work I want. Right now, I am making turkey soup (letting the stock cool a little while I write this), and have frozen enough of the carcass from the Thanksgiving turkey to make another pot of soup after this. I had a good workout today, and enjoyed combined light rain and sunshine on my way to the exercise room.

gym numbers )

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