Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Push, pull and grin

After nearly a six year hiatus I hit the weights. And I found myself as my own client. "Slow, and with purpose."  "Concentrate on every millimeter of movement." "Push/pull equally; don't get sloppy."

As a personal trainer with a background in physiology and kinesiology, most of my clients were older or with 'special needs' (post-physical therapy, athletes, etc). I provided instruction, demonstration, supervision, education, and discipline. Although I was a powerlifter, I did not train my clients as one, except for one client that was also a competitive powerlifter. Each person is different and requires their own tailored program. Now I am my own client; older and with special needs.

With an accumulation of broken bones (both ankles and pelvis), permanently dislocated collar bone, herniated disks, arthritis, old sprains, and muscle loss, my younger trainer self stands in front of me reminding me how to move with purpose and concentration, with focus, and with cues. "Place finger on your left abdominal muscles to feel recruitment." ( a form of biofeedback) "Push evenly with both legs, slower on the descent, concentrate on that left quad." (Old nerve impingement) "Arms and hands level with shoulders and keep those shoulders back against that pad!" (Avoid pronation of shoulders) "Yes, ma'am'" I found myself saying. 

I can feel the stress and stimulation in my muscles and joints. 'Remember this, you tissues?' I can also feel increased circulation in my low back joints. The chronic pain has been subdued. But I know what is coming tomorrow: DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). And I'll do a light whole body set, stretch to reduce the soreness (repeated bout effect). And repeat in days to come. I'm on a roll, one I should never have stopped.

It feels good to be home inside me again.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Bears in wolf clothing

Reported in May 23' 2013' issue of Nature journal:
Hot topic, scalding hot, is the observed decrease in elk population in Yellowstone Nation Park. "It's those damned wolves!!!" Wolves, the ancient scapegoat for everything. Let's look underneath the wolf clothing.

In an attempt to 'reclaim' the trout population in the park lakes, 'humans' (clarification of which humans are not mentioned in the report) restocked the lakes with lake trout. Instead of the native trout. A detail missing from the original ecological assessment was that the lake trout spawn on the bottom of the lakes, unlike the natives, which do not. The introduced non-native fish are unable to be harvested by grizzly bears. Since fish are a major dietary source for grizzlies, the bears look for alternative food sources. Elk calves.

A research team in Wyoming estimated that this dietary shift accounts for as much as 11 percent reduction in the elk population, even elk that winter outside the park. "The decline of these elk is often blamed, perhaps erroneously, on the reintroduction of wolves."

But we do so love our scapegoats, don't we?