What will you be thinking about when Auld Lang Syne is playing? I should frame this a little more particularly, I am referring to your health and fitness in the past year…this is not me trying to be Tony Robbins.
I myself have had ups and downs in 2016. I was able to focus for better or worse on a lot of weight lifting à la bodybuilding. To the point that I was contemplating entering a contest/show. This style of lifting however does come with a cost. It is all consuming, very painstaking and the rewards comes slowly. You cardio suffers, your flexibility and speed as well. But boy do you love looking in the mirror, it becomes very narcissistic.
That being said my martial arts training very much fell by the wayside, but not only due to bodybuilding. I have been having foot issues, more specifically – Morton’s Neuromas. This led to surgeries in each of my feet. The second round of surgeries will be January the 13, 2017 (yes I need two surgeries in each foot). This for all intents and purposes has brought me to a complete halt. I have only recently gone from using the upper body cycle (UBC) to recumbent elliptical and I swim when I can.
The last time I lifted was Thursday November the 17, 2016. For those that bodybuild you know thats enough to put you into absolute freakout mode. Fortunately I have vacillated from aerobic to anaerobic training so many times over the years it doesn’t really bother me and it actually sets me up for the New Year.
My plan for the New Year, although due to my next surgery really won’t go fully into effect until Spring will be focused on cardio, flexibility, speed and martial arts. I will also try my hand at grappling as well to compliment my Kung Fu training. My strength training will be greatly reduced most likely two days a week.
I am looking forward to this change of pace and programming, and pushing the limit with my new focus for 2017.
How do you keep your focus on physical fitness while you are injured? It is an issue I am wrestling with currently. I am preparing for my second round of surgeries on my feet (yes both feet) in January.
I have been literally trying to keep my steps to a minimum to heal as fast as possible and avoid possible scar tissue and nerve damage (a possibility if I don’t ease back into my everyday routine). I keep a fold up tripod stool with me that I sit on whenever possible while at work and recently got a temporary handicap placard for my car. The handicap placard is somewhat helpful; but his humbling experience has also led me to the sad conclusion that the Bethesda area is really not very accommodating for those with disabilities, especially for longterm parking.
Some much energy is spent trying to not move and taking extra time for every task because of my naturally slower approach to everything that it’s hard to get motivated to workout. I started with using an upper body cycle and in just the past ten days or so I have started using a recumbent elliptical. It feels pretty good but of course it is harder to burn calories in a recumbent position.
I have been trying to eat less to not gain weight, my muscle mass due to not lifting weights is being affected, which is a little bit of vanity hit but there is a upside. I will be going back into martial arts full force once this is all over (hopefully April, 2017) and being lighter is a good thing for speed and agility. I will also be focusing on a lot of stretching and I have promised my self to try my hand at some grappling training.
All that being said, as mention it is a struggle to stay motivated and it is a little depressing to be so immobilized. However I am enjoying reading more and catching up on some Netflix viewing. I am doing my best to stay upbeat and have also been doing research for how I want to structure my eventual return to the physical.
Keep me in your thoughts and if you can move do it…you may not alway be able to one day!!
If you have been in the game as long as I have you are invariably going to sustain some type of injury, be it from life, training, age, wear and tear or all of the above.
So what to do when injured, the last thing would be to do nothing. There is always a way to exercise and stay in shape. Figure out your do’s and don’ts and plan accordingly.
Recently I had surgery on my feet and my exercise regimen has been pretty severely curtailed. However as I said there is always a way; I have been using the upper body cycle (UBC), swimming and of course abdominal/midsection work.
You would be amazed at what just the UBC, swimming and ab work can do. I am getting great workouts while being completely off my feet.
Generally for the UBC I’ll go for forty-five minutes to and hour alternating between going forwards and backward. At the pool I alternate between distance and sprint work. As to my ab work, any type of crunch or sit up you can think of in positions that keep all weight off my feet.
My mission is to lose ten pounds with these work outs and push hard to up my cardiovascular fitness. I want to be as lean and mean as possible when I return to my martial arts training.
Thats the current plan, I’ll let you know how it works out
Well I finally got two of the four neuromas removed (one in each foot)!! Next surgery will be January the 13th. I am recovering quickly with minimal swelling. The key apparently is to really not move at all for the first three days and to ice and elevate.
Once past the extremely crucial three day no movement period (can’t stress no movement enough), it’s just a matter of pain management and minimal movement. I got off pain killers after twenty four hours and am just taking Tylenol on a PRN basis.
I can get around OK but am still really staying pretty sedentary. I will have my stitches taken out on Monday the 28th and return to work Tuesday the 29th.
I will most likely where Crocs and keep a portable stool with me so I can sit down when needed. I will also make sure to elevate my feet a few times a day.
So was it a success you might ask…still don’t know have to wait for all the pain of the surgery to die down first.
I’ll keep you posted!!
The neuroma saga continues…
I am in the process of scheduling my second surgery to have the other two neuromas excised. I will have one removed from the left foot and one from right foot on November the 18th and am hoping to have the next surgery to remove the other two in each foot respectively on December the 21st.
I previously thought that I had to wait three months before my next surgery, but it turns out that I can move forward in as little as three weeks.
For folks like myself that literally need to get back on their feet as soon as possible (if I don’t work I don’t get paid) this is great news. My recovery time will be less in the long run and I have timed the surgeries to coincide with the holidays when I would be taking time off anyway.
I really hope some of these blog posts have helped anyone out there with neuroma issues, I have been dealing with these for about three years, I am at the breaking point and can’t wait it over and one with.
I’ll let you know how my recovery goes and would be happy to answer questions for anyone with similar issues.
Wish me luck!!
I feel sadly that as of late all of my blog posts have been dealing with injuries. So the question is how do you deal with your injuries?
Well here is how I do it:
First and foremost I try to figure out what is causing the injury.
Is it overuse?
Is a pull or a strain? If so can I pinpoint when it happened (during a movement or exercise)
What bothers the injury?
How can I effectively treat and recover from the injury?
When can I get back to training at 100% without fear of further injury/re-injury?
So lets use the issue I am having with my feet. I have been suffering from neuromas (see link for definition (http://www.apma.org/Learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=987) in both of my feet for almost three years and have come to the end of my road and will have surgery November the 18th to have them removed.
Here is how I answered my five questions:
Overuse is potentially part of my situation, I have high mileage on these feet – martial arts, running, thousands of calf-raises, mountain biking and road cycling (the cleats put pressure on that area of the foot), and I am also on my feet most of the day with clients.
Can I pinpoint what caused the injury – not really but overuse, genetics (my Mother had the same issue), and age (I am now 45) are contributing factors.
What bothers the injury – at this point I feel it all day everyday. The more I move the more it hurts. So basically any continuous movement really feel uncomfortable. I can last about an hour doing marital arts and thats it.
Recovering from the injury – I have tried alcohol injections, taking trace minerals, epsom salt baths and modifying my activities and activity levels (none of which have worked). So hence the need for surgery (which is always the last option!!)
How will I recover from the surgery and get back to full speed? I will probably be back up to speed within 3 months. Hopefully I won’t need physical therapy and will just need to keep off my feet for a few weeks, then ease back into work on light duty. Unfortunately I will have to repeat the process as soon as I am able. I have two neuromas in each foot and it is recommended to only take out one at a time. So in total I may be out for six months, kind of a bummer but I will work around it find ways to maintain my physical fitness.
I’ll keep you posted…
Today I finally got my Synvisc One injections!! I love my new Othopedic surgeon, Dr. James Gilbert (http://mostsportsmedicine.com/therapist/dr-james-gilbert/). I went to see Dr. Gilbert a few months back to get my aging knees checked out and found out thankfully that I had no new meniscus tears and no arthritis (I have had meniscus repairs on both knees). All good news, but my mileage is high and there is no sign of me slowing down anytime soon.
So it was time to take a preemptive strike…enter Synvisc One (http://www.synviscone.com/what-is-synvisc-one.aspx) . Synvisc One is like adding some lubrication to your knees to help lessen the wear and tear. Especially fitting considering my aggro lifestyle.
After wrangling with my insurance company for two months, I finally had my Synvisc One delivered to Dr. Gilbert’s office (they really went the extra mile to help me in dealing with the ineptitudes of my insurance company) and today I got the injections (one in each knee).
I need to lay low for 48 hours and then can resume normal activity and could notice “relief” within a month. My knees don’t hurt daily, but when I really push hard they ache. I hope this extends my martial arts career, skiing, lifting etc.
I’ll check back with you in a month…
As we engage in intense training and proper nutrition there are time where certain supplements and vitamins do come in to play. The question then is simply – “What to take and how much?”
I by no means can give you a definitive answer or recommendation other than sharing my own own anecdotal experiences.
Here are what supplements and vitamins I currently take and why:
Creatine twice a day – to help put on muscle
Branched Amino Acids (before and after workouts) – for better recovery
Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate – for my joints
Multivitamin – to cover what I may miss from meals
Turmeric and Curcumin – for inflammation
Omega 3-6-9 – General Body Functions
Trace Minerals – General Body Functions
To be honest who really knows how much these supplements and vitamins help and any ergogenic aid will give you a 2% boost at best.
I still train hard sometimes up to ten workouts a week so I just try and cover all the bases that I may be missing nutritionally and get a little help with recovery. I seem to be able to still keep pace so I’ll continue with this supplement regimen for the time being and let you know if I change it up.
Let me know what you take…
With the Olympics in full swing, it begs the question am I/we (all my super fans out there) pushing ourselves hard enough?!
Personally I have been been hitting my goals. I have been pushing hard to get back to a 225lb. bench and a 315lb. squat. I achieved both of those goal weights for the second time in as many months this past Monday and Tuesday respectively. I will now try to push beyond and am setting new goals for both my bench and squat and will keep you posted.
I am also hoping to pass a forms test at my martial arts school that I have been working on for almost a year. As soon as I pass this next test, there is much, much more for me to learn. I have upped my martial arts practice time and will continue to try and keep that pace…I will try to push beyond.
Now the question is what are you doing to push yourself beyond, please let me know what your personal Olympics are?!
So here we are a few weeks later with new reports on my ailing knees…
Thankfully all the news is good!! No arthritis and no new tears to the meniscus in the right knee.
Furthermore my new doctor has recommended a preventative treatment for both of my knees (they have both have meniscus repairs). Its called Synvisc-One (http://www.synviscone.com/what-is-synvisc-one.aspx) and its kind of like putting a coat of wax onto your hardwood floors but for your knees; it basically helps to lubricate and cushion the joint(s).
Since I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, I am thrilled at the prospect of taking a preventative measure.
I should get the injection in two or three weeks…I’ll keep you posted!!