29 June 2009

stormy eyes

m o. m o p. m o p p. Post!

PT this week: Tuesday was rolling and prone stuff on the mat, then rows and chest presses on the Uppertone, closing up with about an hour zap biking.

Wednesday saw a few new tricks, working with a sub trainer and such... First (last, actually), I ended the session with the usual FES bike party. The rest of the time was mat work - my blood pressure was behaving nicely, so we were able to do both long and short sitting exercises without issue. Legs straight long-style, I kicked off with a completely new task. We wrapped my hands together; then, like a prayer ninja, I held my arms forward with elbows bent and pushed downward against resistance. Indeed, it's not the easiest exercise to describe! Imagine you're on your knees, hands clasped, begging for mercy - from there, push your elbows downward against something. That's approximately what I was doing, except that I was seated on the mat with my legs out straight, rather than on my knees. Wow, this exercise works a slew of muscles. The actual push-down part enlists rear deltoids, mid/lower traps, paraspinals, rhomboids and lats (among others): that is, the back of the upper arm (higher than the triceps) and just about every muscle in the mid to upper back. Even better, as a side effect, this exercise works the "good posture" muscles, including abdominals, obliques, lower back and more (the "core"), as well as the upper traps and other neck-related, hold-your-head-up stuff. Hmm, how can we illustrate this? Try sitting at the kitchen table with a ridiculous slouch. Then put your elbows on the table (let's break as many etiquette rules as possible) and push down hard. See how your slouch goes away? Magic! As it were, the kitchen table description demonstrates the task rather well.

While you're still at the table, we can do the next exercise, and you can even help clean up. Do whatever is necessary to get the table at a bit lower than chest level and put an arm out on the surface, palm down (insert washcloth here for cleaning benefits). Now, wax on, wax off! The outward/arm-straightening motion (left hand to the left or right --> right) works some good shoulder and upper back muscles; the opposite move is good for pecs and anterior deltoids, not to mention cross-body range of motion. Instead of cleaning the table, I did this in long sit on the mat with a propped skater's sliding board, pillowcases, and wrist weights, but you can pretend I was doing busboy therapy if you want.

I next did some random short sit stuff for a bit since my blood pressure was remotely close to normal human levels, but by then my shoulders were rather crackly and in and out of socket, so there wasn't anything too intense. As previously noted, I wrapped up with the bike post-matting. End Wednesday session.

Friday was back to fairly normal stuff - typical Wave maneuvers, weights on the first floor, e-stim bike. Woohoo. Sorry, I blew all my words on Wednesdescriptions.

Elsewhere, I'm doing my best to wheel around and attract stares (I appear to have become a bit famous already) for an hour or two every day, with the exception of Thursday's rain and Monday's überwind. I'm traveling much faster and more dangerously than when I started bombing around a bit over a week ago, for sure. Still no accurate speed/daily distance numbers - phone GPS cuts in and out as I go between buildings (and isn't really to be trusted anyway), and though they have some distances around campus premeasured, I don't understand their crazy routes. Too bad the sidewalks aren't functionally defined, or I could just integrate! Pues, my best day was 3h, for I'm guessing 4+ miles. My posture is getting better, too, and I'm taking fewer breaks; improvements all around. I can even roll and play wheel bass simultaneously. Hyah.

Wrapping up, I'm headed to cville over the 4july weekend to meet with my Illinois "help me with managing paid personal assistants" case worker, who will hopefully [surprise] help me with acquisition of assistance up here. I should be starting OT when I come back, so prepare for tales of beans, marbles, PVC trees and mini-basketballs...

aaaaand that's a wrap! Stay tuned next time for more monotony and clean tables. Rocket!


  1. PLEASE spend a post describing what i'm sure is the awesomeness of wheel bass.

    thanks for the update, john!


  2. Wow sure sounds as if you are staying super busy John!

    I apologize for my absence lately. I went to a weekend car show with my husband. He wanted to show off his 1929 Model T Roadster that he built from the ground up. Those shows are always fun, with lots of people taking photos of the cars and asking questions about the cars. We found a nice shady place to park our car and there was a lovely breeze all day to make it more pleasant. I got to just be lazy and sit next to the car, answering questions and snacking out of the cooler we brought along.

    This week I've been attempting to keep up with our 4 year old granddaughter. Oh my gosh her energy level is HIGH! She leaves me exhausted but she is such a pleasure to have around. She is also at the age where she is full of questions about everything. So I get lots of laughs as additional exercise when she's around.

    Okay, I too have to ask....what is wheel bass? Please do expand a bit on that topic.

    Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July with lots of family and love.

    Pam in Washington state

  3. Three votes for the intricate descriptions of the workings and awesomeness of the wheel bass.

    Hope you and your Family are well,
    Monika :)