Sharing my lawn chair with a handsome jumping spider.
Yes, very sad. However, “limp along with half measures while a lot of people die,” is what I have on my pandemic bingo card. So: Score!
“It’s almost impossible to make a list of all the things I didn’t have to worry about yesterday. We need to work overtime to make that true for more people.”
Source: Invisible insulation
I’ve been following a new workout plan by Anthony Arvanitakis (the latest iteration of his Superhero Workout), and one of the points that he makes is the importance of warming up. (“If you don’t have time to warm up, you don’t have time to work out.”)
Warming up is important, but as he’s made clear elsewhere, it’s actually the second step in the pre-workout process.
The first part is checking in.
You want to check in with your body, but even before that, you want to check in with the venue.
I don’t have a good history with this step, which is a big part of the reason I’m writing this post: I’m documenting what I think I ought to be doing as part of the “warming up, but first checking in” procedure, in the hope that it’ll help me remember to do it.
Check in with the venue
Look around to see who else is there. Is anybody doing anything that might interfere with your workout?
Yesterday the folks mowing the lawn arrived in the courtyard where I’d set up my rings just as I was just starting my workout, and I ended up needing to take my rings down and move elsewhere. That was okay—but if I’d done a better job of checking in with the venue in advance, maybe I’d have been able to find a spot where I could have finished my workout without having to move.
Is there anybody doing anything that you might interfere with as you do your workout? I would have been in the way of the lawn mowing people. Other times I’ve gone someplace where people were setting up to do a family reunion picnic or something similar, and I’d have been in the way.
Especially in these times, there are other things to think about in terms of other people. Is there any chance that police or security guards might take issue with what you’re doing? Any chance that the people you interact with might themselves be malefactors of some sort? Best to avoid them, if you can.
I tend to do my workouts fairly early in the morning, but long enough after dawn that I don’t tend to have to worry much about such things. That doesn’t mean they can be entirely ignored.
Besides other people, look at the space itself. This is especially important for parkour, where you need to look for all kinds of hazards.
If you’re going to do parkour vaults, but also plyometrics, make sure the thing you’re going to put weight on is strong enough. Make sure it won’t tip over, or collapse under your weight, and also make sure that your planned activity won’t damage it.
Make sure that the zone where you’re going to land is free of any slipping or tripping hazards (water, ice, grease, sand). Is there anything that might roll? Is there anything with a point or a sharp edge?
Is there enough room for you to safely execute whatever move you have planned?
Check in with yourself
This can be before your worm-up, or combined with it. The key is to pay attention.
Are your tendons, ligaments, and joints free of pain? Do you have access to your entire normal range of motion? Does anything catch or click or grind as you begin to move? Are your muscles sore from recent workouts?
Are you focused? Are you confident that you know whether you can go all-out, or need to limit yourself in some way to stay safe?
None of these things would necessarily make you abandon a workout, but (depending on the extent to which they ease up as you begin your warm up), they might prompt you to modify your planned workout.
Anthony has a warm-up video here:
As I say, I’m not especially good at this. I tend to arrive at the venue with a workout in mind, and immediately jump into it.
I’ve gotten a bit better at getting my warm-up in. I have too many body parts (wrists and feet especially, but also ankles, shoulders, hips, and knees) that act up if I try to stress them before they’re warmed up. I’ve learned not to skip this part.
My qi gong practice does a very good job of warming up most of these parts. I also go ahead and do Anthony’s warm up routine as well (very similar exercises), and then throw in specific activities that I know I need in particular due to my own movement and injury history. (I use some wrist warm-ups from my long-ago aikido practice, for example. I use a ball to mobilize the joints in my feet.)
As I say, I’ve about gotten the warm-up part under control. It’s the check-in process that I’m particularly prone to skimp on. Hopefully, writing this post will remind me not to forget this part of a workout.
Looking over Anthony’s older videos, I came upon this one, which talks about a procedure for doing a check-in procedure ahead of the warming up:
It’s pretty good.
I’m glad I ordered my gymnastic rings when I did. I wish I’d gotten a kettlebell at the same time.
“GQ Magazine has coined the current equipment epoch ‘The Great Kettlebell Shortage of 2020.'”
Latest from the craft brewing medical journal “Duh!”:
“a beneficial effect of beer on endothelial function should be supposed”
History makes clear that armies win every battle against unorganized militias. But before our army (and government) take much comfort in that truth, they should remember just how many U.S. citizens have been trained by the military in counterinsurgency (=insurgency) tactics, and just how many guns they have.
Exposing your skin to dawn/dusk sunlight (UV index near zero) for 30 minutes provides at least 24 hours of protection against sunburn.
Me: Having our last servings of gumbo.
Steve: Why? Was there some okra catastrophe?
Me: Not our last ever, just the last of this batch of soup. But now I’m worried about the okrapocalypse.