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.


– 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——————————————————–

The Newbie Chronicles (Part 4): “That’s As Relaxed As My Hamstring Gets.”….”Oh My God, That’s Scary.”

As the spring semester rolled on, and Springdance results were posted, I continued my quest of bodily exploration. Ballet 1 was my central class of choice since our Tap teacher was on sabbatical for the next five or six months.

The quote in the title was one of many fascinating exchanges I had with my Ballet teacher that semester.

At one point, the lovely and kind teacher came over to me during warmups at the barre and looked at my hamstrings, then gently grabbed the back of my leg and told me to relax. I told her I was, which she initially seemed not to believe until we worked on it a little more.

Apparently I’m tighter than a broke man’s beer budget.

Flash forward six to nine months, all the way to two weeks ago, and the adventures have continued. A couple of weeks prior, I went into the local doctor’s office here on campus and asked to get my knees checked out. I was worried I had accidentally damaged myself the Tuesday prior before Tap class. I was warming up to a song I’d recently found (“Run Boy Run” by Woodkid) and I wasn’t nice to my knees.

Well that initial doctor had told me “no tap until you can see the physical therapist.”

It was, however, her opening line about 10 minutes prior that won my trust as she ordered me to sprawl out on the table in exam room four.

“…well, I won’t be able to help you much, but physical therapy will.”

Bill Snyder couldn’t have given me a more inspirational pep talk, or one that would have inspired such confidence in what he was about to say.

Just kidding. Thanks lady.

Still, I went to Tap class after that day and took it easy. The truth of the matter was that in 13 years of running I had experienced pain of almost all varieties. This, though, was something new. This was a burning type thing around the knee caps, and slightly more tension in the IT Bands. As athletes, I’ve always believed it was our obligation to our bodies to know when we were just being sissies and whining because we were sore, and to know how to differentiate between when we might actually be hurt. That’s why I went in at all; I thought I might have pinched a meniscus or something.

About a week later, I sat again on the table sprawled out, but this time not in exam room four. This time, I was in the physical therapists office, and Alissa, the therapist who I’d seen for my wrist injury in March, was directing one of the other physical therapists as the newer therapist examined my leg.

She led me through some tests measuring strength and flexibility. Before long, the lady came to my knee caps, where most of my pain had been centralized, and tried to move them.

Remember that first exchange I told you about between my ballet teacher in spring and I? You know, the one in the title bar above? Well, that basically happened again.

The therapist told me, and I’m paraphrasing here: “You know those are supposed to be able to move right?”


Apparently the muscles and such that flow over the knee cap are supposed to be relaxed enough that a person should be able to move their kneecap up and down and left and right without too much difficulty.


I guess running and dancing and athletic stuff in general causes your muscles to tighten up. Since I’ve added dancing to my regular fitness activities in the last year, it appears I’ve pushed my activity beyond what my body could tolerate without regular stretching.

Again: surprise!!!

Still, I was happy to have learned all of this, especially after the two therapists consulted and decided just to humor me and check out my meniscuses (which were totally fine). Here’s what I learned:


-Yes, I’ll be in pain now and then, particularly in the knees.

-I’ll always be prone to such soreness without preventative measures.


-Those preventative measures consist simply of 30 minutes to an hour per day of stretching. Once I get into a routine of that, I’ll be fine as long as I maintain that parallel to my level of activity.

-Since stretching is a way of preventing injuries, stuff like Yoga is great. Meaning I have to keep doing it not just because I love Yoga, but because if I don’t, I could be forced to deal with injuries from running and tap dancing as well.

I’ve always been determined to resist aging as much as possible, both in my body and in mind, but apparently I’ll have to go old-school here, and just start stretching before my day begins.

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!


The boy with tight hamstrings

A Hiatus From Yoga…Reluctantly

I subscribe to a number of Yoga related websites and services, via Facebook, Twitter, the whole shebang. I love my Manduka mat and my towel and my blocks, and in the single year I’ve been doing Yoga I’ve seen such an improvement in how I felt and in my flexibility.

So words can’t describe my frustration that my wrist hasn’t healed completely.

For some background, here’s wassup. On the morning of March 4th, I woke up with soreness in my right wrist. It was bad. Stiff and sore at the same time. I wasn’t able to put weight on it at all. Pushups were impossible. Figuring I had simply slept on it awkwardly, I decided to lay off it for a couple of weeks.

Two weeks later, I tried putting weight on it again. It hadn’t improved. The initial soreness from the night of the 3rd was gone by the end of the 4th, but two weeks later I still wasn’t able to put weight on it at all. This is when I sought medical attention.

The local doctor said I had sprained it. I was put in a wrap and told to lay off of it for a few weeks. Four weeks later I went back. It had been improving, and I was able to put weight on it finally, holding full pushup poses without pain. So the doctor cleared me to gradually start working on strengthening it again.

Still, I would have random stints of pain in the wrist and arm, and I wasn’t sure what it was. Also, I was experiencing tingling occasionally in my ring and pinkie fingers in that same hand. This was troubling because I’m right hand dominant. I’m a writer, I’ve played Ultimate Frisbee intermittently, these are just a couple of the things I do a lot. So I emailed him and told him about these symptoms after thanking him for all his help (he had done well in my opinion). He said these symptoms seemed related to the Ulnar Nerve. He referred me to the in-house physical therapist. This was back around the end of May that this happened.

Six weeks of 1-2 sessions of physical therapy per week, various exploratory sessions and some slight improvement before regression later, I have now been referred to a local hand specialist. The one thing that seems to have been totally crossed off the list is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because the nerve giving me trouble doesn’t run through the Carpal area, according to my therapist. Otherwise though, after consulting my initial doctor, they have decided this goes above their level with regards to hand knowledge.

So I’ve been referred within the city to a place a couple of blocks from where I live. It took me a week to get an appointment due to availability, so it’s impossible to know yet if that’s a great thing or a horrible one. Either way, I’m eager to hopefully learn what’s up.

In the meantime, as you might have guessed, there’s to be no pushups and thus no Yoga (Downward dog, plank poses, and a number of other yoga poses have similar configurations as to where your weight is put).

I’m grateful to God for my running and dancing, and that my legs are holding steady through the initial week of training for my first full marathon. Without Tap dancing or running, I’d be in pretty bad shape right now psychologically. I’m not in great shape as it is, but those two things have kept my moral steady and kept me from getting too particularly down on myself because I have to write less. Even typing often brings on tingling in that same hand and area, so as I write this you should know I do it without my normal level of comfort.

For someone who has never been able to see himself as able to do anything besides writing well enough to make a living off of it, this is scary friggin stuff. But again, praise God for running and Tap dancing.

Personal Journal Entry 3.3.2015

Anatomy Class Section

For those who don’t know, we’ve been told to practice doing nothing every day, starting for 5 minutes, working our way up to 15, and to keep a journal of some sort about this. We’re to let ourselves think, but only to the degree that we let the thoughts go peacefully as they come. We’re not to read (which makes it hard for me :P). This is today’s journal about this, and I figured it might make an okay blog post. If y’all are interested in seeing this every day, please don’t hesitate to let me know via comment or email me at Otherwise, I’ll probably just post every other day’s work on here. Either way I’ll have to post in this later in the class web forum. In the meantime though, here it is for all of you.  🙂


Today, I tried just doing nothing as I drank coffee upon waking up. It was early, 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday when I initially woke up. 12 minutes, 6 “cups” worth of coffee beans freshly ground, and a trip to bed later, there I was. But instead of sleeping I sat up, with a notebook and pen to my left and my bedroom window blinds now open. It occurred to me then that this would be a good time to test this meditation sans Savasana concept. I was awake, had ample time to rest without fear of delaying my to-do list, and could use the variety of what I tasted (Sumatra roast by Starbucks, hear (the heater working to keep my place at 75 degrees, yes I’m THAT guy) and saw (the American flag flying on top of the engineering complex construction project which is just visible above the apartments to my northeast) to keep me entertained but thoughtless. Side note: I’ll take “run on sentences” for a thousand Alec. Oh well, it’s pre 2 a.m. 😉

Anyways, I’d say this go at this meditation stuff went well. I focused on letting thoughts drift off my mind like imaginary water drops off my fingers as I rose them to high first. They came but I made sure they never held for too long. By the time I tapped out and gave in to my desire to write, the clock on my iPad had changed from 1:27 a.m. to 1:41. Not bad. Maybe we’ll try this again tomorrow, but about four hours later. 🙂

Have a good day everyone :).

“Be Inspired By Someone Else”- A Blogging U Assignment Inspired By A Woman Named Vanessa

I’m in this “Blogging U” class via WordPress. A couple of days ago, I got the following assignment:

“Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!”

Initially I wasn’t sure I was mentally “inspired” by any of the blogs I’d read, at least not in the way that’d warrant a specific post dedicated just to that. But then I read an amazing post called “Reasons You Should Date A Yoga Girl” on a site I followed called “GlamourGuilty.” Click HERE for the link 🙂

Now before y’all go judging the sites I follow, I want to justify this one with two things. 1) The writer talks about fitness and dieting a lot. Fitness is something I’m getting better at, while eating healthy is something I’m completely lost at. Girls/Women tend to be more concerned about their body image than guys, and moms tend to be more concerned about healthy diets than about anyone else (which she is), so why not go to them for advice on how to maintain a healthy body if you can. And 2) The author is just a good writer. 🙂

So with that said here’s what jumped out and inspired me in this post. There were a couple of them actually. First:

She cares about you, and she is excited to hear about your day, but she isn’t thinking about you all the time. Girl’s got her own thoughts to worry about!”

and second:

“The girl who is addicted to yoga knows that nothing is perfect, and she has learned to hold people, and herself, to a realistic standard. She values her life and what she has rather than worrying about things she does not have.”

What makes me smile about this and inspires me about it is actually the truth that there’s so much to this. Girls who practice yoga, in this world where body image seems to be all that matters for them sometimes, really do have a certain swagger to them. In the year I’ve now been practicing, I’ve been amazed at just how confident yogi’s tend to be. It’s encouraging and sometimes slightly intimidating to be around people who are just so…grounded. At the same time though, it makes you as a guy, or at least me, eager to come back and chat more with them. They don’t mind random conversations, and they’re incredibly friendly, but not so much as to seem dependent on you as the person starting the conversation. Girl Yogi’s (I capitalize both words out of respect for the nature of both) are friendly but seem completely in control when you talk to them. Sure, they may have enough energy to outplay a room full of elementary kids, but there’s just an aura of pure calm to the way they speak, especially the veteran ones who I know that teach. You can strike a conversation with them and never feel like you’re forcing, but never feel like you’re dragging it along either.

In other words, you can tell that just like this wonderful writer said, they like you, they enjoy you, but they’ve got their own stuff to deal with too, so they won’t be mad if you only have time for a few words. While I’ve never dated a Yogi, at least in my casual interactions with them I realize this doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but to new friendships as well. And, it kind of inspires me to see it stated so plainly by the previous writer, because that approach that Yoga Girls possess is something we all could benefit from learning to use in our own lives as well. I know I could :).

As for the second quote above, I love how truly it talks about Yoga Girls setting realistic expectations on herself and others, to include her relationships. This is something that really resonates with me because I believe before this year I was in the habit of placing too much pressure on relationships with higher expectations than those relationships were ready for. My amazing girlfriend Caitlyn said something a few weeks ago that brought that to my attention, and it blew my mind. I’ve gone through so much anguish at friendships that didn’t work out because I was so excited for them to “become more” that I just didn’t celebrate them as they were happening. A major theme this year for me, in fact my whole primary goal this year, is to focus on not doing that anymore.

The idea that Yoga Girls tend to value what they have, rather than what maybe could be, is so vital a lesson for us as adults to learn. I love how the writer addressed that.

It’s also one more reason Yoga Girls are completely out of my “league” 😉 lol 😀

Check out Vanessa’s website for more great stuff like this:

In the meantime. Hats off to all you Girl Yogi’s out there. 🙂

The Newbie Chronicles! (Category Description)

Welcome to this blog’s flagship page! If you enjoy anything on this blog, I believe it’s the stories here that will hook you :). This is, proverbially, “my baby” as a writer. This is my favorite page, and I’m sure it’ll be yours as well. 🙂

This is where you’ll find the more humorous of adventures in my life as a newly realized yogi and dancer. If I make some kind of mistake, or go through something that on explanation to my friends makes them laugh with any regularity, it’ll go here. If it’s ridiculous or so out of my comfort zone that I just have to pause and laugh it off, it’ll go here lol. The posts may not happen on an specific schedule, they’ll just be published as they happen. If I reference someone in particular in a way that may seem critical of them or offensive, I’ll usually get their permission first. So know that if it’s here, you can enjoy it and laugh at it guiltlessly.  🙂

Yoga! :) (Category Description)

Hi! Welcome to my Yoga page. This post is specifically dedicated to telling you, dear reader, what you can find here.  🙂

Posts here will consists of writing, photos or videos pertaining to my growing Yoga practice. Usually, these will be posts that aren’t humorous enough to fall under “The Newbie Chronicles.” That doesn’t mean theses posts won’t “ever” be humorous, it just means I won’t worry about that as much. That means I’ll likely post more frequently than on other pages. If you like Yoga, this is a great page to keep up with. 🙂

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 :).