James Martini archive

Category : Fitness (5)

The Itis

Categories: Fitness
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Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: August 19, 2011

My knees hurt a little the other day. It’s not entirely unexpected, I’ve had issues with my knees since I fenced too much in college with too little warmup and I’ve been loading about ten pounds a week onto my squats. I took some ubuprofin, glucosamine and chondroiton and took an extra recovery day.

Yesterday: same deal. Not as bad but I figured I’m over 40 so being conservative with the joints was a good idea.

Now not only do my knees still hurt and feel “full” but the second knuckle joints on my right middle and ring fingers feel the same. WTF? I don’t even work those. My left shoulder, however, is just fine even though it’s always been a little stiff.

About the only change in my diet is that I added milk because I was worried about making sure I got enough calcium and protein to support the extra stress I was putting on my body. I guess GOMAD is not in my future (not that I was GOingMAD to begin with). Back to salads, veges, water and meat.

So, in conclusion, don’t grow up kids. Stop aging once you hit about 26 because it’s all downhill from there. If that isn’t an option, get fit as hell in your mid twenties and hang onto it. Trying to reverse a decade of bad food and no exercise in your 40s is not an easy road.

Achievement Unlocked!

Categories: Family, Fitness, Gaming
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: August 14, 2011

I’ve tried a number of ways of staying motivated when it comes to exercise and other long term goals. I’ve written the goals out, stuck them to my wall, put reminders in my phone, just about everything recommended to self motivate but in the long run it’s usually failed. I even tried recasting the activities in my mind as ‘leveling up’ various stats i.e. the gamer’s fitness program.

Looking back, everything I always achieved at had some sort of cert, diploma or other badge of completion at the end. When playing MMOs I always set my eye on the high end achievements and every session attempted to make some progress towards that goal. The more difficult the achievement the more I wanted it. The Loremaster? No problem. Hand of A’dal? Now we’re talking.

A few weeks ago I really didn’t feel like going to the gym. I wasn’t sick or anything, just being generally lazy but I went anyway. When I got back I posted the following on Facebook: “Achievement Unlocked: I Lift Things Up And Put Them Down.” It got a few odd responses from friends who either didn’t play video games or hadn’t seen the Planet Fitness ad. I didn’t realize it at the time but I may have finally hit on the perfect motivational tool for hardcore gamers.

I like gaming for the relaxing pass time that it is and don’t get overly wound up by pvp losses or wiping in raids. I enjoy pvp and raiding for themselves and while motivated to win I can accept losses as part of the ebb and flow of the game. Achievements, however, are another matter. A list of achievements does something deep down in a part of my brain that is obsessively neat and ordered. I will choose an achievement and work towards it with each gaming session. I won’t make myself unhappy with grinding but each achievement comes with a set of goals and each play session allows me to take a step towards those goals. In short, it focuses and guides what would otherwise be unstructured game play.

Yesterday, while working on this website, I thought it might be funny to include an Achievements page like those found in most MMOs and on XBox. I jotted a few down and found that as I went more and more came to mind. Joke achievement lists I’d seen on the internet were looked up and merged in and I started looking at expanding the list beyond just fitness. The list currently stands at 24 achievements and is growing.

That doesn’t sound like a big deal but I’ve spent thousands of hours playing games and pursuing achievements over the past few years. That’s thousands of hours of training my mind to hold on to a goal and to shape my actions towards achieving it.

I put the list up yesterday. As I went about my day today I realized that the list was in the back of my mind and that I was sorting out what could be done in the short term and what needed a long term siege approach, which achievements could be worked on simultaneously and which ones it wasn’t feasible to do at the same time. By plugging my goals into the same achievement/reward model I’ve been trained to pursue by MMOs it looks like I can leverage years of conditioning to accomplish real life goals.

I’m pretty sure that after reading this my wife is going to hack my wordpress account so she can add housework achievements to the list.

Project July

Categories: Buddhism, Fitness, Life
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Published on: June 30, 2010

For the month of July I’m going to be making a concerted effort to post daily, exercise, improve my diet and again become established in meditation. The daily posting will be of primary importance as it is intended to keep me honest regarding the other aspects of the project.

Goals

  • Post daily
  • Exercise at least 5 days a week
  • Track my diet on a daily basis
  • Meditate at least 15 minutes every day

Exercise is primarily going to be strength training with light cardio on the off days. Diet is primarily tracking what I eat and develop a more long term plan over the course of the month. Meditation is to establish myself in daily practice again.

Square 1

Categories: Fitness
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Published on: September 22, 2009

First day back at the gym after the pneumonia. Started back at square one with the program in accordance with the doc saying that I needed to take it easy at first. What could be easier than just the bar, right?

Day 1 – A

Squats: 45 5×5
Bench Press: 45 5×5
Inverted Row: 12,10,5
Pushups: 16,8,1 (held the last as a plank for 30s)
Reverse Crunchs: 12,12,10

I believe in taking care of myself

Categories: Fitness
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Published on: January 15, 2008

I believe in taking care of myself, in a balanced diet, in a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I’ll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the icepack, I use a deep pore-cleanser lotion. In the shower, I use a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb mint facial masque which I leave on for ten minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after-shave lotion with little or no alcohol because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm, followed by a final moisturizing “protective” lotion…There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping you and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.

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