The Chexican

A blip on the blue marble

Permission for Ambition

So far, July hasn’t been a very good month in regard to physical activity and the ongoing weight loss project. Two weeks ago, I was incapacitated by prolonged TI band soreness. This week, it’s been the same with my calves. Pushing myself past the comfort of my running routines and embarking on muscle toning and growth exercises is shaping out to be just as physically painful and inconvenient as I expected it would be, but having started now there’s no choice but to see it through and keep pushing forward. With all this downtime, I’ve been using the time of my day normally reserved for exercise to do some reflection and introspection — it’s been a good while since I’ve taken a personal “snapshot” for myself. Yesterday, I took the day off from work as I couldn’t even make it down the steps of the apartment complex with all the pain firing through my leg muscles. When I told my roommate that I’d be staying home and handed off the keys to the car so he could drive himself to work, he asked off-handedly if I had PTO to use for the day. I reactively laughed at the notion, since my primary source of income is still my temporary contract position doing admin work for a major bank and as a temp, I (and the majority of my co-workers) don’t get most of the benefits that come with a permanent full-time job. As I spent the day at home putting […]

Good Old-Fashion Wrecked

Two days ago, I skipped my usual stretching routine in favor of a more physically engaging warm-up. I bookmarked An Oldtime Strongman’s 15-Minute Morning Routine over at Art of Manliness back when it was posted in May, and decided to finally give it a shot. Since they are indeed “odd” exercises that don’t feel particularly strenuous compared to other workouts, I gave myself the liberty to do more repetitions/time with each exercise than recommended in the article. It was Plate V, exercises “for strong ankles” that really did me in. When I went out on my 6.5 mile run, my legs started sending fatigue pains as soon as I was only 2 residential blocks out on the route. Yesterday, my calves felt sore and tender. I ended my night with a hot shower and a generous application of Bengay. Today, I woke up expecting them to feel better, only to find them deep in that agonizing “second-day-soreness”. Even in a resting position, my legs feel like they’re locked in a state of full extension. Actually standing up and moving around so uncomfortable that I couldn’t even bring myself to head down the steps to get to the car and head into the office today. With all the running I do regularly, I never would expected my calves (specifically, my soleus muscles) to end up as sore as they are from that routine. Yet, I’m now facing the literally painful reality that although I’ve trained my body well enough to run long distances, in all […]

The Slump

July so far has been a fairly poor month for me. The day after I wrote my last update, I started feeling a really strong jabbing pain along my right leg (or, in adherence to my little game of learning anatomy as I feel it in my training, my right iliotibial tract). I had a routine morning, but when I went to get up from my chair to take my morning break, I started feeling the sharp pain in my leg. I still went on my lunch-time run, but every other stride felt like I was literally being kicked in the ass, so much to the point I almost buckled at a couple points along the route. I expected it to wear off and heal by the end of two day’s time, but it persisted throughout the past couple weeks. I did test myself a few times and ran my normal long-distance routes, and found that I could push past the pain and discomfort with relative ease. However, all physical training advice comes heavily disclaimed to take it easy and not push your body beyond reasonable limits, so I’ve been avoiding pushing the envelope as I don’t know where the line really lies.     Over the past couple days, I haven’t been feeling the pain in the IT band so much. The left knee still bugs occasionally, and every now and then I’ll feel a tiny jolt in the ankle. For the most part, it feels like I’m ready to get back […]

Speaking of Failures

Art of Manliness – How to Fail and Live to Talk About It Here are a number of reasons why you should consider throwing conventional wisdom out the window and talk about your failures, setbacks, and liabilities: Talking about your failures can benefit others You weren’t the first to suffer a setback, and you won’t be the last. By talking about it openly, you will help others who come after you to adjust and cope. Rewards come to those who are different As Seth Godin would say, it’s the purple cow who gets all the recognition. No one is interested in plain old boring black and white cows. Talking openly about your own failures and setbacks is still novel enough that it may differentiate you from the pack. Talking about your failures can serve as good therapy A lot of people who do share their failures with others (rather than keeping them bottled up inside) say it lifts a burden off their shoulders. They feel more free to be themselves because they don’t have to live in fear of their “secret” getting out. And that, in turn, can help you thrive in your career in many ways. A fantastic read on AoM on an idea that I wholeheartedly support – we’re moving past the ideal false image demanded by “personal branding”.

Day 48

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve last posted a complete measurement log update. In the time since that last update, I’ve gotten really bad about even doing the offline logging. Since I use an internet connected smart scale that logs my weight automatically, I’ve been largely deferring to that statistic. Admittedly, it’s been as demotivating as it can be inspiring. Towards the end of June, I found myself back above the 195 lb threshold. I found myself really confused by that, since by my accounts I’d been doing a pretty good job regular physical activity and hadn’t been indulging with food. I considered the possibility that some of that weight gain could be attributed to a slight increase in muscle mass, but it felt too convenient an explanation to buy into. I told myself then that that was a prime example as to why taking measurements regularly was important, to fill in the gaps that body mass weigh-ins can’t fully capture.   This past weekend, I was a bad little piggy. With all the exercise I’d been doing over the past week and a half, going on runs during my lunch break at work and then running my usual route in the evening, I’d been dealing with a slight frequency increase in the random knee/ankle pains in my left leg I’ve become prone to over the recent weeks. With my selection of wearable pants at an absolute minimum because they all fit so big now and the financial inability to […]