Category Archives: Progress

Let’s start over…

Doubtful anyone noticed that over an entire year has passed without posting on my website / blog. Let’s start over. During this hiatus from my blog I have made progress on some of my goals, but have had other set-backs.

My balance has improved with much practice standing on one leg waiting in line to check out at grocery stores and while filling up my horse water holding a hose. There are always times standing around where it is possible to quietly practice without anyone noticing.

My flexibility in some muscles is better, but other muscles have tightened. I am nearly able to sit in a full Hero’s Pose, but even after nearly 2 years am still unable to completely place my bottom on the floor. When I started working on Hero’s Pose my butt was 5 inches off my heels. I am now only 2 inches from the floor.

My stamina is reasonable. I am able to do the New Year Challenge from 2012 that Eckhart Yoga challenged, though must do it more slowly.

Twistur is growing out his hooves, but still shows evidence that there is some ongoing rings developing. We have made a lot of diet changes, but may need to do more. I rode them with halters on the local trails recently for short rides on each. Twistur wore his Cavallo hoof boots. Afterwards I noted several of my muscles that need strengthening, as well as areas that became stiff. Wish the horses could tell me which body parts were aching, as am sure their middle aged bodies also felt the ride after carrying me around. I didn’t feel as unstable riding, so my balance work has helped. I really want this to be the year where am getting out regularly riding on the trails again.

My web programming skills continue to improve, but want to make a lot more progress in my skill level. A new project is working to learn Spanish to a level so I can read newspapers and listen to the news with good comprehension, as well as carry on a basic conversation. I have found many helpful free resources for learning a language that wish had available years ago. The internet is a valuable resource, but need to search and find useful tools.

We’ll see how the blog develops, but want it to be a useful resource holder for information on topics of interest to me that maybe of interest to others as well.

Anyone stumbling across this blog, then I welcome you to join me on reaching your own goals.

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Spring / summer update 2012

Fall has arrived

Missed a 2nd quarter summer update and we are into the 3rd quarter of 2012. Using my Spring update as a template, then how am I doing now?

A major goal in my health progress was improving my balance. I haven’t been practicing everyday anymore, though I should. Balancing on one leg could still use better shin and foot strength, but am able to do all the exercises with eyes open from my prior blog entries. I can balance with my eyes closed standing on both legs or if just lightly touch my second foot on the floor.

One thing I need to improve is sitting up straight, as I realize that I slump a bunch of the time when at my desk. I blame it on my chair, though that is a thin excuse.

Bitterweed flowers (yellow daisy weed)

Bitterweed flowers by jayjay.quail on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I continue to work on my yoga  “Hero Pose“, which began working on in early January. When I had kneeled and sat back into the pose my right knee, shin and ankle were so stiff that my right buttock was 4 inches above my heels.  Working on this pose has definitely helped stretch and strengthen my weak right knee. In the Spring was able to kneel and sit back to rest both my left and right buttocks onto my heels. Now my buttocks can go below my heel, but are about 2 inches off the floor. This position is called “Thunderbolt Pose” or  Vajrasana (Vajra = thunderbolt, Asana = pose). Will be another few months until I will be able to do a proper Virasana pose (Hero Pose) with my buttocks on the floor between my legs.

It is hard to judge progress on my stamina and aerobic fitness. I have tried doing a “Sun Salutation” from the New Year Challenge tonight. I am able to do the various poses, so will begin adding this to my exercise regimen. Maybe by  January 1, 2013 will manage to finally do the 2012 challenge.

In order to build up my strength to mount will begin adding in step-ups onto a step-ladder, plus some additional stretches. My strength still varies sometimes hourly, but at my best would like to be able to hoist myself up without using a mounting block.

Twistur had sore feet from Spring grass, which we battled off and on through the summer trying to figure out how to manage him better. Exercise is a recommended component to improving his health. Just recently with Twistur wearing his hoof boots we have again been going on horse hikes. My hope is to continue to do more hikes, plus then transition to horse hike / ride combo outings. I had planned to do hikes / ride combo outings this summer, but we had too many problems crop up with human and horse issues.

Heat was again a factor for me this summer, but did my best to do as much as possible. I try to find ways to add in exercise every day, even if just some stretches. I am very much looking forward to cooler temperatures, but they are still a month away.

My weight hasn’t increased, but hasn’t really decreased either. I do get sore sometimes from various activities and maybe that is putting on some muscle, but perhaps that is just my age showing.

We are coming up to the Fall / Winter holidays again. This year I will not allow myself to dump on weight from over indulging, as I did last year. I thought there was no way my body could process all those cookies, but it did and I’m still carrying them around. Sigh! This holiday will hopefully be doing more horse outings and less eating as a way to cope with life stress. Losing my Mom last Fall was tough, so I didn’t worry too much about if I ate too many cookies.

Halloween cookies

Michael’s Cookie Jar on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

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Health progress: First quarter 2012

Spring has arrived

Bluebonnet with Honeybee hovering by Texas Eagle on Flickr

by Texas Eagle on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

We are into the 2nd quarter of 2012. How have I done so far this year?

A major goal in my health progress was improving my balance. I practice some everyday. I can even practice when standing in line at the grocery store. Overall my balance is much improved. This adds to my confidence for riding again.

I have been working nearly daily on my yoga  “Hero Pose” since early January. When I had kneeled and sat back into the pose my right knee, shin and ankle were so stiff that my right buttock was 4 inches above my heels.  Working on this pose has definitely helped stretch and strengthen my weak right knee. I can now kneel and sit back to rest both my left and right buttocks onto my heels. This position is called “Thunderbolt Pose” or  Vajrasana (Vajra = thunderbolt, Asana = pose). Maybe in another few months I will be able to do a proper Virasana pose (Hero Pose) with my buttocks on the floor between my legs.

My stamina and aerobic fitness is improving in the last month. This is mostly thanks to needing to mow our yard with a push mower. The self-propel aspect of the mower only mocks me by spinning one front wheel if the wheel is held up in the air. Starting and then pushing the non-self-propel mower works all sorts of muscles and makes for excellent interval training. When my heart beats too hard, I just stop the mower and walk off leaving the mower standing in the yard. This has prompted a couple of neighbors to come over to visit probably wondering about this somewhat odd behavior, if they can catch me before I head inside to sit in front of a fan.

Easter Eggs in grass by Mr. Juicebox on Flickr

by Mr. Juicebox on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Twistur has had sore feet from Spring grass. Exercise is a recommended component to improving his health. I came up with a game to get in some jogging around the backyard for me and the horses. During an after Easter sale I bought a bunch of colored plastic eggs that were a penny apiece. I put them in the yard and then jog / walk from one to the other. Jogging between them as a minor goal makes the effort seem easier. I know that I just need to jog from Egg A to Egg B, then can rest. This is also a good game for the horses because they get a treat when we arrive at a goal egg. I can also jog around the eggs in circles or lay out a serpentine pattern. This makes things a bit more interesting and 10 minutes of trotting around the backyard goes fairly quickly. Twistur thinks it is great fun and enjoys trotting back and forth to get some treats. He shakes his head and has even been somewhat rambunctious. Haven’t tried it with Bangsi yet. Bangsi is more lazy, so might need a bit of encouragement to trot up with me.

Friday late afternoon we took a short trailer ride to a local trail parking at an area that unloads onto sand. We picked a trail path with few rocks. Twistur was eager to walk out fast on the sandy trail, but was ouchy over sandstone rocks. We met two curious Miniature donkeys through a fence. We enjoyed relaxing  watching the sun head down while the donkeys and horses grazed. Once I get new hoof boots, then can start taking Twistur out with me again for hike / ride combos.

I’m eating a lot more fruit after read that the new Weight Watchers doesn’t count them towards the Points. I haven’t joined any program and not really doing any “counting”. The mowing exercise is probably the main reason for any weight loss. I’d gained 5 pounds past my former max weight, but have lost that extra bonus and down to just my former maximum. Now… if I can avoid temptations and keep doing what is working.

I’m not all good. 😉 My sweet tooth encouraged me to buy a 6 inch solid chocolate Easter rabbit on that 75% off post-Easter sale. I got one for my hubby too, so we could be naughty together.

Delicious chocolate bunny ears. 

Chocolate rabbits

by SinoSplice on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

 

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