Fitness Journal 9.12.17

Workout Area? Not today...More Like Library

Our little workout area, doused in the chaos of my second-to-last trip of this recent move.

 

My happy little place has been turned upside down yet again, this time by the second-to-last trip (pictured above) of this move.

Still remaining is my coat-rack, my couch and my shoe-stand, but this…this is the bunk of it. My primary collection of books is back in my immediate possession, though I’ll need to buy new ones, and am still deciding what to buy exactly. Pictured just beyond the boxes in the foreground is my group of my favorites, the rest are off-stage (obviously). Couple of collections of Jack Gilbert, a few study Bibles, a regular Bible, the Alexander Hamilton bio by Ron Chernow, Etc.

But all that, dear Reader, is not why you opened this writing. Nor do you perhaps particularly care about how I took the weekend off from fitness, but got in 35 pushups and 40 sit-ups yesterday.

Alas, here’s what I did today:

Fitness Journal 9.12.2017

– 35 pushups
– 40 sit-ups
– 50 bicep curls with 5lb weight with right hand
– 60 bicep curls with 5lb weight with left hand
— (*Sidenote: Did each set with the other arm holding its allocated weight in Ballet 1st position arms. See this link but imagine that instead of out front with empty hands, you’re holding a 5lb weight between thumb and index finger. Trust me, you feel it).

– 30 Overhead presses with 5lb weights

Stretched my achilles’ in the shower, but felt soreness afterward (as I have a lot lately). So I’m going to start back up on a steady, rigorous ice regimen like when I first injured myself: ice applied via ice-cup to each, 10 minutes at a time, three times a day. That felt great this morning. We’ll see if I can use that to heal up a bit more and build back into stretching. In the meantime, we’ll start finding some core and butt workouts to start sliming down that way and building muscle to support running again once I’m ready.

Have a great day everyone.

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Fitness Journal 9.7.2017

Personal note: left out yoga today and the last few days due to Achilles soreness. We’ll see  if my traditional stretching routine helps prevent that the next time I practice. I’m indescribably frustrated that I can’t even do a few days of downward-dog without issue, but that’s where we are I guess.

9.6.2017

– 35 pushups
– 50 situps
– 50 bicep curls (right arm) with 5-pound dumbbell
– 60 bicep curls (Left arm) with 5-pound dumbbell
– 50 grips (right hand)
– 60 grips (left hand)

Fitness Journal 9.1.2017, With Notes, Explanation

I’ll make two disclaimers here.

First: My GOSH, it’s been a hot minute since I published under the “fitness” category! January 2015? Wow. Well, we’ll do what we can to keep that particular period from happening again.

Second: These workout-diary entries I’ll be posting will be indicative of fairly-weak workouts at first. I’ve let myself slip a bit this summer, largely out of fear of re-aggravating my own self-inflicted (accidentally) injuries. Rest, I’ve found, only provides so much of a remedy. If there’s one fitness lesson I’ve been perplexed by, it’s been the idea that rest is great and in today’s fitness community, a bit underrated, but movement is also vital.

Thus, here we are; having freshly moved to Dodge City, Kansas this week to assume the sports editor position at the city newspaper. Here we are; currently living in an apartment with yoga equipment, about six dishes, a cot and an internet connection.

That, friends, is all I need at the moment, as I wait both for finances to give me a bit more breathing room and for my upcoming trip out to Topeka later this month, at which point I’ll bring back many of my other household items.

In the meantime however, I’m not sitting idle. Sports reporting is wonderful in the sense that it’s mostly an evening task, and during fall sports season specifically, most full-time sports reporters report to work later in the day because they often work until 10:30 or 11 at night covering games.

That leaves my mornings open. And, being a morning person, gives me all the time I want to wake up, have coffee while watching Sportscenter, and then get in a good workout before a preparing my notes for whatever reporting the day will bring.

That reporting today includes my first high-school football game. I’ll be on assignment to Wichita to cover the season-opener of the local high school team, the Dodge City Red Demons.

For now, here’s my workout log. Feel free to shoot me questions or comments either here or via twitter, (or Facebook, if we’re friends). The extra repetitions on left hand with the wrist-grip thing (those spring things that resist when you close your hand around them) come because I am right-handed. Last time someone measured, my right bicep was actually a whole inch bigger than my left one. Hence, the 10 extra reps on that side, intended on developing equality. Yoga, and future fitness goals (which I’ll post tomorrow, but include handstands) will necessitate sincerely increased strength, and not just in one side.

Thoughts or suggestions? Hit me up. Here’s my log:

Workout Journal: 9.1.2017.

– Erin Motz video two, “Detox” video two, “Detox” 

– 5, 10, 15 workout series, full five cycles (From Pinterest)

– 10 minute stretch sequence (memorized from a book I have in Abilene right now)

– 10 calf-raises (Intended 30, halted due to Achilles soreness/sensation)

– Grip repetitions:
– – Right wrist: 50 (slow)
– – Left wrist: 60 (slow)

– Focused foam-rolling
– – Targeted left thigh due to tension of intense nature experienced during yoga.
– – – No to little effect noticed, indicating (to me anyways) thigh is probably tight due to tension elsewhere, likely in calves.
– – Targeted right calf, also due to tension noticed during simple yoga.
– – – Targed whole calf, found one really tight spot. Held on it for 15-20 second.

——————————————————–Nothing Follows——————————————————–

An Ode To My Yoga Mat

Earlier, I posted a Facebook status that I must now amend.

Today, I wrote that there was only one thing that could salvage my Sunday, and that was an impromptu Tap dance session in my apartment on the mobile floors I’ve been issued to me.

It turns out I was just kidding; there were actually two things that were able to help savage today. I wrote this about my first yoga session since June, which happened tonight.

Allow me to become a bit melodramatic for a moment 😛

Dear Beloved Cadillac of a Yoga Mat,

It’s been months since we saw each other. You’ve stayed single while I saw other mats, often working out my core on their more cushioned but less grippy surfaces because I was afraid to try and hold you with my hands. I’ve hated the time away from you, I’ve felt…lost and tight without you!

But tonight, dearest friend and playful platform of insanity, we reunited! We held strong, you held me, and I held you, and for just one hour there, including ten minutes of blissful Savasana, we again were one! We were friends again, teammates again, colleagues and compadres again!

Oh dear and beloved Maduka mat, I have missed our friendship, but I am ecstatically overjoyed for us to have renewed our vows this evening!

Sincerely,

The boy with tight hamstrings

Fitness! (Category Description!)

Welcome to my Fitness Page. This is a post devoted specifically to explaining what you’ll find here. 🙂

Under this page, you’ll find my adventures relating to running, and anything not specifically dance or yoga related. Here you’ll find my adventures as I try to learn to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle just in general. That’ll include descriptions of my cross training as it happens. 🙂

About :)

Welcome to Through The Eyes Of The Beholder. 🙂

You’ll find two things on this website:

  • Great, expressive, passionate writing
  • And lots of great Tap Dance-related content, aimed at building new communities and connections within the Tap Dance genre :).

Here at Through The Eyes Of The Beholder, we’ll share with you the beauty in life.

It’s everywhere: from the people who stop to help the random stranger with lit hazards on the highway, to the secret way the ballerinas practice through pain so they can smile through it on the stage, to the way the young, college couple kisses quickly in public; bashful but totally unaware of how they have inspired those around them.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not unaware of the evil in the world, or of the sadness, or of the chaos, or of the hatred. But such things are easily found, and are reported, elsewhere.

You are in a sanctuary from such things.

This shall be a place where you can come when the world depresses you, or when you need to hear something good, something different, or maybe just something thought provoking and interesting to take your mind off whatever you’re going through or wherever you are.

That’s one of the overwhelming goals of this website: to serve as a sanctuary from the bad, and remind you, or teach you, of the good.

The other goal is to be a place where Dancers, especially Tap Dancers, can relax and connect.

Every month, we’ll have a “Beholder’s Tap Challenge,” where we’ll post a 30-second or so clip of some choreography done somewhere, share the link to it, then video ourselves doing it with an added step or modification, before we challenge our readers to modify it in some way and share the video with us!

And that’s just one of our many ideas.

There will also be links to fun Tap Dance clips, dance videos, health articles relating to dance, and hopefully even posts submitted from other dancers or interviews with choreographers all around the world. :).

Welcome to our website. We think you’ll like it here :).

About Our Creative Team

Me after the 2015 Austin Half Marathon  Shelton M. Burch, “The Beholder”

My name is Shelton Matthew Burch and I’m an aspiring sports writer and Tap Dancer. :).

At heart, I am a hopeless romantic and an idealist (to steal a description from one of my English professors). I’m a senior in English-Creative Writing at Kansas State University with a minor in journalism and who loves taking dance classes. After I graduate in May, I hope to become a professional sports journalist and teach adult Tap classes. I also run half-marathons and practice yoga.

My journey to dance began when I was 24 years old. In January 2014, I took a level one Jazz dance class here at K-State that got me in the shape of my life in only about four months.

After that, I took my first Tap Dance class in August 2014, and I’ve been addicted to the style ever since. I have even worked my way into a spot on the Kansas State University Tap Dance Ensemble.

I love Tap for so many reasons. For its rhythms, for its musicality, and for the way it’s still dance, meaning it retains technique connections to beautiful things like Classical Ballet.

Most of all though, I love the way Tap Dance is still being shaped and growing as a genre within Dance. Compared to something like Ballet, Tap is such a young form, a lot like the United States compared to the old European countries.

It’s in this that I get really excited, because so much of the book on Tap remains to be written. So many directions haven’t been explored, and because of its youth there are very few long-standing traditions to discourage total exploration.

I hope to help Tap Dance become the most popular form of Tap Dance in America, and to convey my love of it to anyone bold enough to join me and give it a try.

But until then, I’m just focused on creating something beautiful for you here. So enjoy :).

Starting My Health Journal

ImageThis is my health Journal.

As I take Jazz Dance 1 this semester, I’m told that for part of our grade we have what’s called a “professionalism” rubric. It has cool stuff on it, such as being punctual and that kind of thing. There’s lots on there, and this is just one component.

So when I found out that I would have to do this, I had the idea to write it on here. Thus, a new header up on the top hopefully.

So here is my first post, for my kind teacher and for all of you who might ever be curious. This is how I’m starting the semester :). Enjoy

Feb 6th, 2014. Entry 1

These are my newest objects of….meh, semi-obsession. As a distance runner, I’ve been constantly trying to step up my game. At age 24, I feel like I’m getting to a point physically where I’m able to do more and push myself harder with less chance for injury than ever before. Runner’s World magazine, as well as a host of other sources that I’ve scoured over the topic, point me to that. But here’s the problem. Take a look around you, just pause and look around, and see if you can see a wall. Now if you’ve eventually looked back at this post and are reading this, well then good, I haven’t lost you. Now consider this. That wall you just looked at…meh, it’s probably more flexible then me at the current moment. If each of us had to touch the floor while standing straight up, it’d probably be easier for that wall do it than it currently is for me. I hope that’s an exaggeration, but it might not be.

So here’s the point; I need to work on my flexibility. I knew that starting 2014. Now, I’m doing something about it. This semester, I’ve begun to practice Yoga. Just a basic, generic yoga while I look up and research different types and figure out if I actually like this stuff. I formally began my practice on January 27th when I signed up for the the 30-Day Challenge at DoYouYoga.com with Erin Motz. She’s a beast, a completely awesome teacher who bases her practice on the idea that Yoga can be for everyone; not just those who want to take it as a religion and not just for those who have hours a day to practice. Her videos are all under 30 minutes so far, (though I’m only on day 11 yet). She’s great though. As I go into Jazz Dance 1 with my beloved teacher every Tuesday and Thursday, I am reminded of how far I have to go as an athlete, and it’s something I love. I see these girls, and even some of the other guys, demonstrate flexibility in a way it will take me some time to achieve. And I love it. As a runner I’m not world class, but I have it down more or less, and now it’s just a matter of fine tuning it for me. Improving my diet, doing core work and other things to strengthen muscles that support my running, and that kind of thing.

Yoga though, now THAT is a process. And that’s what I like about it. And as I start my ‘practice’ and find myself loving the peace and solidarity of it, as well as the link that a student can have with one particular teacher’s style, I find more than anything that I love the process of it all together. That’s what has me hooked on dancing as well. Three weeks into class, and two weeks into my Yoga practice, I’m finding, by reading all that I can online, that Yoga isn’t a “can” or “can’t” thing, and I believe dance is the same way. It’s all what your body is ready for, and just because your body isn’t ready for it yet, that doesn’t mean it WON’T ever be if you continue to work at it. I guess this topic probably merits it’s own blog post, so I’ll step back off of it for now. But in the meantime, just know that I’ve started to work hard to improve myself physically this semester, harder than I’ve ever worked before, and starting to do Yoga is just one way.

Another way I’ve begun to live a healthier lifestyle this semester is in the workouts I’ve been going to in my evenings. The K-State Recreation Center has a number of different group fitness classes throughout the week. Typically they run heaviest in the evenings, which is good because my schedule is wide open most evenings. So what I’ve begun doing this semester is that I’ve been going to multiple ones most nights. For instance, Monday night I’ve been going to Zumba, which is then followed up by “Ab Attack” which is then followed up by “Butz & Gutz.” Essentially this means that at least on that night I’m working out more or less nonstop for 2 and a half hours, the later hour and a half of which is core and/or glute work. So far, in the two weeks since courses started up at the place, I’ve done this twice out of three days a week that the offer a set of three courses back to back to back.

And yes, I said Zumba.

Perfect segue into this one. Way number like 3(ish) that I’m working on living a healthier lifestyle this semester is that I’ve begun going to Zumba classes even more regularly than the other classes at the rec. Zumba is a challenge for me, much in the same way that Jazz Dance is, because I didn’t grow up doing it and so I have no ability (yet) to watch someone conduct a movement or series of movements and simply replicate them, which is something dancing requires, be it Jazz dance or Zumba. But although I probably stink at it, I do find myself having fun. The other people are more than receptive to me being there, even though I’m a dude and most other participants in that class are women. They don’t seem bothered, except maybe by my excessive apologizing for bugging them. Other than that, the experience has been great, and I really feel like I’m starting to get the hang of moving with the music and being lighter on my feet now that I’ve gone to about six or seven of these classes. And already it’s helping in my Jazz Dance class actually. Today, as we did our movements, I felt like I was having more fun and was following the music better with my movements even when I wasn’t performing the movements perfectly themselves. I’m excited for this, because not only am I getting a great workout in it, but I’m starting to learn skills I’ve never learned. Like with Yoga, I’m enjoying getting to explore the capabilities of my body with movements I never thought I’d try. I’m getting to learn what it can do, what it isn’t ready for yet, and I’m starting to coax it into new directions of ability that I’ve never known about before Zumba, Dance, or Yoga; let alone actually tried. It’s exciting, and very fun.

Also offered at the K-State Rec complex is the option to get a personal trainer. Depending on how many one hour sessions you want with one, you can pay a predetermined amount per session and get one-on-one training with a personal trainer there. These are all certified folks, and are all students at varying levels (or recent graduates in at least one case). In my case I’m actually lucky enough to train with one of the Zumba instructors! Part of why I made the $200 investment (in my specific case) was the idea that besides pulling out all the stops physically this semester in trying to improve myself physically, I wanted the one-on-one help to ensure I didn’t hurt myself. With running, I know more or less what type of pain is “tired/fatigue” pain, and what is “Stop that this second or you’ll be out for months” type pain. Not true at all with my core, back, or any other set of muscles not directly associated with, running and/or my legs. So it’s helpful to have someone there that is certified and has the anatomy knowledge which I lack to look over my shoulder. Plus, she has been introducing new exercises to me I’ve never tried or thought to try from fear of doing them wrong and risking injury. All workouts take place in the rec itself too, so the environment is great for focusing on just going for it!

Lastly, the fact is that I’m taking Jazz Dance. Believe it or not, I took that class because I wanted to start preparing to audition for the K-State Singers (my school’s show choir) later on in my college years. Now, as I get more into it and see how classes work, I see how amazing a core workout (compared to what I expected, which was just “good”) it is. Every day we do some pushups, some sit-ups and lots of ab stuff, in addition to lots of stretches. I love it, and I may very well become a dance minor at the end of this semester because of all the things I’ve mentioned above. This class, with everything I’m doing this semester, is showing me that there’s something wonderful and beautiful to the idea of being okay with yourself and just exploring who you are physically. The more I do all if it, the more excited I get to do more of it.

Maybe I’ll take Ballet next semester….Naw….let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Lol. 😉

Thanks for reading… 🙂