Posted in Health

Lift Heavy #1: Getting Back

Last summer I managed to lift 100kg for a deadlift. I only started properly trying to improve the weight I could lift around the start of April 2018 so I was really quite chuffed. Not long after that I went on holiday and somewhere in there I hurt my chest and set off a killer bout of Costochondritis. I have had this before, once, a few years ago and it took months to get rid of. Most average people can heal up from it within a few weeks, usually 4 – 6, however I suspect because of my combo of Fibromyalgia and ME it takes me much longer.

This was confirmed at the start of August last year and I was told to avoid all lifting. So I did.

This week I got back into the gym for the first time since that – having been appropriately OK’d by a GP to go back – and it gave me an opportunity to think about my strength goals this year. I did a similar activity early last year and, unsurprisingly, didn’t hit those targets.

Trying to think sensibly I’ve broken them down into two main sections. Goal one is to get back to where I was last summer:

  • Deadlift: 100kg
  • Squat: 50kg
  • Bench: 30kg

Goal two will come into effect once goal one is achieved and I feel confident in myself. That will be to increase those numbers by 20kg each. The only one I’m unsure of here is benching 50kg. There is no time limit on goal two, so if it takes me til mid-way through 2020 that’s fine.

Ideally, I’d like to be hitting goal one levels by April as I signed up, last summer before injuring myself, for a beginner’s strong-woman competition that is to take place on Easter Saturday. The competition includes five events:

  • Log press – floor to overhead – reps for 60 seconds – 35kg
  • Deadlift – reps for 60 seconds – 90kg
  • Plate front hold – as long as possible – 10kg
  • Yoke & Farmers walk – 20m dash – 100kg
  • Atlas stone over yoke – reps for 60 seconds – 50kg

In preparation for this, this week’s first PT session back was farmer’s walks, log presses and a medicine ball over yoke. Handily, my new trainer is also going to this event so is plenty familiar with the lifts involved.

I did better than I had expected myself to do for the first day back and while I still have to get back into the habit of multiple sessions a week, I am quietly confident for the year ahead.

Posted in Health, Literature, Travel

2019: Time to Begin

The start of a new year seems like the ideal time to finally kick this blog into action and what better way to begin than with some plans for what’s to come over the next 12 months? Below are three key areas that I’ll be talking about here on the site over the coming year (& beyond). I’ve picked these three to start with as I’ve been thinking about them heavily over the last few days and it seemed fitting that we get started together with these plans.

Walking the Arts

My other half and I are formulating a plan to go on a themed walk once a month and one of our ideas for these themes was to walk somewhere that features in a piece of art. That could be written or visual art forms. There are a lot of places nearby that feature in poetry and, while doing some research around the idea, I came across Poetry Atlas, which is a handy little tool that shows pins in a map and refers you to the poem mentioning the location or area in question. We’re within easy daytrip distance of Shropshire and there’s a lot of A.E. Housman references over that way (not surprising, really). As we go on walks, I’ll write up little posts on our adventures and future plans if I’m organised enough.

Reading Challenge

As with every new year for the past few, I have set up my Goodreads 2019 Challenge; a target of a set numbers of books I want to read by the end of the calendar year. Last year I made it to 12, which was a huge improvement on 2017’s paltry total of 6, so I am upping the ante for 2019 with a 50% increase up to 18. While the Goodreads community frequently puts me to shame, with many of my contacts over there aiming for and reading in excess of 50 books a year, I’m happy for my steady progress.

On the site, there’ll be a little widget in the sidebar to tell you what I’m currently reading that’ll be feeding over from GR and I’ll pop a link to my profile into the About page too. Once I finish a book I’ll add a little post or review on here and link to my GR review each time.

I’m also looking to document all our books in the house using Libib, which I’ve already used to catalog our DVDs, and to form an unread list for all the books I own and (still) haven’t read. So watch this space for a monster backlog list.

Lift Heavy

Last year I found a passion for powerlifting and at peak enthusiasm signed up for a strength competition this April. Shortly after signing up, I injured my chest and had to take a 4 month hiatus from training. That was a bit of a downer and a major setback for my strength goals. So in 2019 I will be heading back to the gym to lift and train and hopefully make it to the competition that’ll be on Easter weekend.

I’ll keep the site updated with progress, pictures and videos to document how things are going and to have something to look back on in a few months’ time and review my improvements. My first training session back will be next Wednesday (9th Jan) and I am both excited and anxious to get going.

More to Come

These won’t be the only three things I plan to talk about on the site, of course, so there will definitely be more to come – keep an eye out for new aspects cropping up and if there’s anything in particular you want me to cover, please feel free to drop me a message via the Contact page.