Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This Blog is Moving

After much internal debate, I'm moving my blog to Tumblr.

Here's the link: The New Sam's Roll 2 Walk Blog

I debating if I should write a comprehensive post for my Summer workouts. Either way, I'll keep y'all posted on my progress.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Start of another Year

This almost a month late and I kind of have no reason for it being late. I mean I started school and my internship the week after I was in Austin, and they haven't been taking up a lot of my time… ok, maybe a little. I just kept putting it off, until now. This month's workout was very similar to last month but with marked improvement, specifically with my kneeling.

Monday felt like a really slow day, especially when I was doing my rolling exercises. It felt like I had done 200 of them, but in reality I had only done 20 or so. It just kept dragging on and on, although, now that I think of it, the whole day was slow. Anyway, once I was done with that we went to the floor and did core and kneeling exercises. While I was doing the kneeling, at one point it was 75 percent me, which is better than in December when I hardly had myself. But after Chad told me that I had myself my blood pressure (Bp) started dipping and then my shoulder started bugging me. I remember getting frustrated with myself at one point. We ended the day with standing (I think).

Tuesday was a lot smoother and less slow-motion-like. If I remember right we got on the table and then did standing. My notes say I had issues with my Bp dropping but it eventually got better but I don't remember if it did or not. What I do remember was kneeling being really good! I didn't have any Bp or shoulder issues. We eventually switched boxes and did squats – when I go from sitting on my legs to kneeling (next time I'll get a video of those). We did about four set of five and each set had about two really good squats where my glutes really fired and pushing me up to the kneeling position. After that Chad and I did core exercises and my wrist started bothering me. Turned out Chad had put a death grip on the grip glove making it cut into my wrist. We finished with working out on the TG. Shock of all shocks, I didn't sweat! That's because we the exercises slowly and shallow knee bends.

Wednesday was downright weird. Kneeling didn't feel right because something in my butt just felt off, like the muscles were out of place or there was a knot in my right butt check. The weirdness in my butt was sort of messing with my head so every time I did a squat it just got worse and worse, until I was like "screw it, I give up." Actually, I didn't say that, I thought it though. We did some other things and then ended doing wall exercises. OMG, they were horribly hard! Chad had me do three different motions and then hold them in three different static positions. My shoulders were screaming, burning and giving out on me with every second it had to hold them. I'm sure the grimacing faces that I was making were interesting to say the least.

Well, I don't know when I'll be going back, and how rusty I'll be. Yesterday, I was at physical therapy do some of the stuff Chad and I do and I was having trouble. Granted, I missed last week because of the weather. Plus, I've had a head cold since yesterday so that probably didn't help, either. At least I'm doing what I can at physical therapy, that's what counts the most.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It’s Good to Be Back!

Three months – that's how long it's been since I was at Roll 2 Walk. Since August I have been sick, stressed beyond belief, and more thankful than ever that the semester is over. Surprisingly, for missing three months, my three days at R2W weren't bad at all. It was as if I hadn't missed a day between visits. Right off the bat, I figured I would tire out quickly and I would be sore afterwards, but I was far from it. I actually had a lot of energy afterwards and even while I was doing my exercises.

Mid-sit-up on day 2
The only little hiccup had been while I was kneeling on the first day; my blood pressure kept dropping after only a few minutes. Also, I needed spotting on my upper body, when in August I didn't need any spotting.
One cool thing that happened on day one, though, was when I was doing back extensions, an exercise I don't really like because they're kind of hard to do. Anyway while I was doing them I could feel the left side of my lower back working (and burning). Chad had said that it's hard to tap into the lower back and that I was doing the work because he was giving me resistance, whereas other clients all the resistance he provides is just to make sure they don't fall back.

Kneeling day 3 - 100% awesome
One "theme" to my workouts this week was that my glutes were firing. One indicator was on day one when we did bridges. Chad had me do five bridges and on the fifth on hold it and I did! Not for very long, maybe two or three seconds, but I held it nonetheless which is significant to my progress. So because my glutes were firing, Chad wanted to do more kneeling and while we were doing them he wanted me to focus on squeezing my glutes on the way up to the kneeling position. On day three, to tap into my glutes even more, Chad and I did squats (I wish I had a video showing y'all this because it's a little hard to explain the exercise, but I'll try). The squats are the part between the sitting part before kneeling and the part where I'm actually kneeling. Chad had me do five of those. The incredible thing that happened was that Chad said he hardly had to help me with them; all he had to do was guide my hips… with his thumbs!! I couldn't believe it at first but after I thought about what I just done and felt, I believed it.

Kneeling on day 2 - it was a little better than day 1

Other things that happened were: on day two Chad had noticed that my hip flexors were very tight but once they loosened up it my kneeling was better and on day three my physical therapist observed my workout so that she had a better understanding of what I was doing and how to do the exercises, we normally do at physical therapy, better. It doesn't seem like a lot happened this time around but in the grand scheme of things a lot did. Being able to tap into my glutes and lower back are (and will be) essential for standing and core strength. Also, tapping into those muscles will be helpful when I get to the point where I can dress myself and when I do pressure reliefs in my manual chair. This little bit of improvement means tons for the future and what I'll be able do if there should be a cure for paralysis in the near future.

Monday, October 25, 2010

How to Lose Weight - The SCI Way

I'm going to make this short and sweet –

School has been kicking my arse and I haven't had a moment to relax since…… I was sick. Even then, I couldn't really relax.

For two weeks, earlier this month, I was incredibly sick! It was not pretty, so I'm going to spare y'all the details. Let's just say my digestive system was revolting against me.

So, because I was sick for two weeks, I missed a lot of school. I have never (involuntarily) missed that much time from school, except when I got hurt, but that's a different bag of potatoes. Anyway, I'm finally caught up, for the most part. I'm afraid I'm going to fail my ensuing Media Planning exam because I wasn't in class to get the gist of my prof's lectures.

I was supposed to schedule workouts for October but because I got sick that was out of the question. I feel really bad because I haven't done any of my Roll 2 Walk stuff since August, so I'm afraid that all the progress I had made is going to be all for naught. We'll see what happens in December.

But the really good news is that after three-plus years of being a quad, I've lost about 30 pounds and two inches of my seated hip width, which I'm really proud of. It's awesome but it also puts a damper on things like clothes… now that I'm skinnier my jeans, even the smaller sized jeans, don't fit right in zipper/crotch area. It's a serious problem because the zipper rolls up and every now and then presses or rubs against the supra-pubic catheter in my bladder. I don't know what to do. Is there anyone (quad or para) in the Internet/blogosphere/world that has had this happen? I need a solution, ASAP. I'm not kidding when I say it kind of looks like I have a tiny penis. I don't have those parts… fortunately. The upside to the weight loss is that I can be justified for a new power chair! No more Darth Vader chair, I'm getting a slick, stylish and smaller one that I won't be embarrassed to be seen in. Especially since I'm going to be driving soon and I'll be stuck with using a power chair.

If there are any quads (or even paras) out there that thinks it's impossible to lose weight – it isn't! You have to watch what you eat – meaning listen to your body:
  • If you're full, stop eating.
  • If you're not hungry, don't eat.
  • Eat food that's good for you - McDonald's or Sonic and junk food don't count.
  • Dump the soft drinks - water is your best friend even if you don't like water (which is a crap excuse to not drink water - suck it up and drink it!)
  • You also have to exercise! Even if you're a higher level quad than I am, you need to exercise – anything that gets your heart pumping counts.
  • If you're a quad and your level is the same as mine, get your doctor or physical therapist (if you're not doing PT - DO IT!!) to justify getting you a manual chair – it is worth every penny and your body will thank you for it in the long run!
I'm serious. This is exactly what I've been doing for the past two and a half years and it works! Now, DO IT!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August: Hot as hell but great workouts!

This week's workouts at Roll 2 Walk were awesome! I rocked it this week and I have some proof. You'll see. You didn't think I was going to show y'all right away, did you?
Monday I get to the gym and almost right off the bat Gray said my posture looked better. All I can say is that I'm becoming more aware of the position of my shoulders in relation to my back and the little bit of massaging that I'm doing in my neck must be helping it. We started my workout on the floor. I did the the rolling exercises, the oblique reaches, and the hip flattening exercises. After that, we either got on the table or we went into kneeling, I can't quite remember. When we went into kneeling I did extremely well. It was the first time I didn't have to come down because of bp (blood pressure, not British Petroleum) issues and I had my upper body most of the time. It was phenomenal, I was very proud of myself. After that, it was the same ol', same ol', not that that's a bad thing, I'm just figuring y'all don't want to read about it.
Tuesday was rough. How rough? Well, I had bp issues while I was standing and kneeling, I was extremely tired out, and my muscles were sort of sore and worn out from the day before. At the time I didn't really have a clue as to why, I thought maybe I was getting sick, but now that I think about it I most definitely was dehydrated. At one point I was really frustrated with myself. It's crazy how I was dehydrated but at the same time freezing my ass off. But that's how it goes when you have a SCI (spinal cord injury).
After I was done with my workout I went to a community "physical therapy" facility to try out an FES bike. It's a recumbent bike but electrode pads are placed on my quads, hamstrings and my glutes and when the bike is turned on my muscles receive an electrical stimulation in the motion of riding a bike. The overall objective is to ride the bike myself without the help of the stimulation. I had five tries to get in an hour of riding. I only got to 30 minutes but apparently that was good for the first time.
My Wednesday workout was awesome. The only thing that really stands out is the kneeling that I did. It was near perfect. It was like Monday's kneeling but better. Well, you'll see in the video below. What's happening is I'm using my triceps (which I don't entirely have) to keep myself from falling over, my shoulders are down and away from my ears, and when you see Chad take his hand away from my hip I have control over my hips. Meaning, my glutes and core were keeping me stacked on top of my knees. It was BAD ASS! I couldn't believe it. I still can't wholly believe it and I've watched the video so many times I've lost count. Just watch. You can't really hear what Gray is saying and I don't have editing software (nor the money to buy some) to fix it.
I gotta say, I still got a booty. If my back wasn't over-arched I think I wouldn't look so flat chested. Oh well... I'm being a bit vain, sorry about that.
Should I post video or photos more often? Leave a comment and let me know.
So that was my three day week – a bunch of awesomeness! Since school starts Thursday I don't know when the next time I'll be down in Austin between now and December. Maybe I'll be down there for weekend or two, we shall see. 
As always, please, please, please donate. Funds are running low and I'd really like to continue with this progress. Please [Insert puppy dog face here]. Thanks.