Tuesday 7th April 2020
I’m not really feeling it today. I think, that after a couple of weeks of eating badly, I’m going through some sugar withdrawals. I have chocolate in the fridge for an emergency and currently my resolve is faltering.
I’ve tried to combat it with a healthier energy drink and hopefully that’ll give me a bit more focus and get-up-and-go this afternoon.
I’m not quite at the stage of having a healthy workout plan just yet (I have one, I’ve just not built up the motivation to follow it) but I did go for a walk yesterday and instead of just toddling along like I usually do, I put some effort to straighten my back and actually stride properly.
If HEMA has taught me anything, it’s about posture and body mechanics. You’d be surprised just how many students I’ve helped correct their cuts, by getting them to focus on their toes. Seriously, if you ever find your cuts and / or thrusts going wide… stop, and look at the placement of your feet. It’s amazing just how by focusing on ensuring that your front foot is pointing in the direction of your thrust can result in laser precision thrusts where they were all over the place before.
Spending long times sat down I’m aware that some lower back problems I’ve suffered have in part been caused by sitting. When I remember, I do try and stand. But when I do, I don’t slouch. Instead, I stand up tall, try and push my shoulders back a little to stretch the chest out and push my hips forward so that my bum starts to clench. I’m not trying to overdo it, I’m just trying to gently straighten myself out. It’s just a minor correction but that’s all it needs. I don’t want slouch to become my default.
Likewise, I noticed yesterday that I can be quite toe out when I walk. Part of this may be to do with weight gain, but I find myself settling into a subtle waddle rather than a walk. I’ve tried to correct this by ensuring that my toes point forward when I walk. That in turn is doing something to my hips and straightening my back to ensure I’m walking taller. Most importantly I feel better for it.
I keep saying that I want to start some yoga. Swordfighting – especially the way I fight – is very asymmetrical and it puts a lot of torque on my lower back and lats. I have an amazing physio who straightens me out between competitions, but I came to the conclusion earlier this year that I need to do more core work.
My core strength is pretty good (well, it was before lockdown) but the muscles do tighten up and knot over time as they get put under a lot of pressure during competition. And I can;t get any physio currently due to lockdown.
Again, it goes back to what I say about swordfighting and the foundations. Just like that, as part of my fitness programme, I need to take a lesson from HEMA, and consider posture, and core flexibility as part of my foundational work.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get up from my computer and stretch.
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