DDP Yoga: Fitness Diary Review

For as long as I can remember I have always had some kind of injury or ailment to hold back my fitness. Eventually this turned into a vicious cycle of persistent exercise only to be chopped down by shin splints, a bad back or even worse, my bad knees. As much as gyms are good for exercise I still believe they are designed in a way to minimalize progress. Nothing beats real exercise as opposed to ‘simulated’ gym stuff.

Getting outside for a long brisk walk or a park sprint session really makes you feel a million dollars. But around that corner for me was and still is an injury that has kept me from doing anything physically demanding for over two months.

I am talking about sciatica, a debilitating injury which begins in the lower back and soon takes over your leg muscles and nerves causing a hell of a lot of pain. It hurts to sit, walk, stand and pretty much exist. Like a pulled muscle but on steroids which doesn’t go away after a decent night’s sleep, sciatica is here for the long term and it is the worst injury I have ever had.

What caused it? A combination of things, but this blog post isn’t about causes, it’s about healing and prevention.

Having taken over a month to walk without much more than a dull aching pain, whatever I set out to do was going to take time. In fact, I had never been so consistent with exercise by doing all this walking, something which early on, eased the excruciating pain.

With sciatica, movement is king, where ever possible just move, stand up and walk around. And so with that in mind my healing journey began. Every so often the pain would come back and sometimes stronger. I am now at a point where it is getting no worse or better. Something more than what I was doing had to be done, and so here begins my journey of a pain free, sciatica free life.

My vessel on this journey, hard work and DDP yoga! Here is my first week’s progress…

yogy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

08/08/2016

Weigh in – 11St 8 / 74.9 KG

Started the program on the beginner schedule. The first session; Diamond Dozen is a semi workout tutorial that quickly gets the blood pumping. It’s a series of different movements targeting lower body and upper body muscles. Dynamic resistance is the key word here and Dally insists that you must get a heart rate monitor to track exactly how much the moves are making you use your heart. Many of the moves are easily modified to suit all abilities and levels of mobility. He shows us with the use of other demonstrators how to pull off many of these simple but really effective workout moves. An easy to follow session for all levels. My sciatic pain only bothered me a few times but overall I was fine.

After work out meal – Two scrambled Eggs, spaghetti shapes and two rashers of unsmoked bacon (grilled)

Verdict: So far so good. Must get a heart rate monitor.

 09/08/2016 – Rest day

Began the morning with fruit and small glass of milk (phase 3 of the yoga fitness regime does say to remove all dairy). Took some time to read the DDP yoga guide. Its a great motivational and factual tool complete with schedule, success stories and even some awesome recipes.

‘There is no try, there is only DO!’ I read from the guide.

Already feeling better today with my sciatic pain easing throughout the day. Some muscles are a little tight from the initial workout yesterday but all good today.

Enchiladas and rice for dinner! Fitness is life!

10/08/2016 – Diamond Dozen and Energy

OK two workouts today. Well the diamond dozen is a much slower paced tutorial but moving on to the roughly 25-minute energy workout, for a newbie to yoga it was a challenge. Constant movement and holding poses, many of them can be modified as to which I did a few times. Throughout my sciatic pain reminded me it was there especially with the floor based stuff. Good energetic workout, any one unfit will struggle unless you modify, I did it just about with only a few mods. We shall have to await how the leg and back feels throughout the day and tomorrow.

Must get a heart monitor.

11/08/2016 – Rest day but went to the gym

The leg pain came in and out today but was mostly lesser than previous days. No particular aches or pains from the yoga so I decided to hit the gym. I did 12 minutes of cardio via the cross trainer and some dumbbell stuff. The cross trainer is a wonderful piece of kit and the movement alleviated any sciatic pain I had today. Good times.

Fruit for breakfast, pasta for lunch and steak for dinner.

12/08/2016

Energy work out today and only just about did it because my stupid dam laptop decided to run updates. The workout was awesome, I got my heart beat jacked up and broke a sweat. Struggling a little with the lower body based moves as my legs aren’t that strong. Felt great after the workout, sciatic pain came and went with no real improvement today. Guess it’s going to take a while.

Ate out for dinner and treated myself to Calzone. Watched Suicide Squad, review here.

Weekend 1 – Rested, well I was at work so I did some walking. Tried my best not to sit all the time as that flairs up my sciatica. Ate moderately clean.

Meals included Leek and pea risotto with garlic bread. Chicken breast with salad. Roast dinner on Sunday with a can of stout.

15/08/2016 – End of week 1

Monday morning, early start for work. Feeling some sciatic pain but nothing more serious than the past few days. Did a lot of upper leg and hamstring stretches in the morning. Applied heat to back and leg a couple of times. Lunch meal included a cheese and roast vegetable panini and a large salad.

Energy yoga workout today, managed to grasp many of Dally’s moves better and held them for longer, especially the runner’s lunge parts. I could really feel my heartbeat during the workout today, and that’s even from staying still. I guess that’s the dynamic resistance working. Back and leg felt so much better afterwards and there was no pain afterwards for my 25 minute walk! It feels like the sciatic pain is retreating finally!

Conclusion

As you can see within only a week progress towards curing my sciatica was made. There are still several steps to follow and it is only the first week, but already I feel stronger, I feel more energetic and even happier. Nothing beats breaking a sweat and getting the most important muscle in the body pumping.

I included a rough account of my diet as exercise alone isn’t a fair indication of how much progress I am making. Diet is everything when it comes to fitness.

My next objective is to get as many people to join me on my journey, then we can have DDP yoga workout parties!

Stay tuned for my next update soon!

the gram

 

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Suicide Squad: Bad guys Rule

This year seems to be the arrival of DC and the summer blockbuster belongs to the rag tag ‘bad guys’ known as Suicide Squad.

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First a brief moan: All I have heard about this film in social media is bad things or criticisms, Marvel sympathisers, grow up, this is DC’s time now, the avengers was so last year (or before). Just enjoy the film and stop looking for problems.
Here we have an adult film that kids can also enjoy, not a kid’s film that adults fan boy over, that there is the core difference between the comic giants (but no hate towards either).
Earlier this year the scene was officially set for the newly formed universe (Batman vs Superman) which just seems to impress me. David Ayer played things safe from the offset by introducing his film with a stellar sound track and familiar tunes in a criminal underworld we aren’t too familiar with.
In a world where someone like Superman has the potential to be a bad guy, who are we going to call if things do go Pete tong? (Wrong, do try to keep up).
This becomes the film’s main premise in an already bustling universe, we as an audience are quickly and stylishly introduced to a group of meta-humans and so called super villains, all them currently incarcerated. And so Suicide Squad is born.
What I appreciated the most about these characters was the detailed but brief enough back stories they all had. Some even had an emotional history or connection which in turn unites them as a team, yeah they are bad guys, but what they stand for is something much greater.
A mysterious and powerful thing (yeah I said thing, we are avoiding spoilers here) causes havoc and its up to the squad led by Joel Kinnaman (Robocop) who is given the task to chaperone these ‘bad guys’. As you can guess the group don’t take to the situation straight away or to each other, this is all part of the process of what this film intends to deliver.
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is the full package of crazy, fun, endearing and of course scantily clad throughout most of her scenes. She provides a humour in which Marvel could really take a lesson from, natural laughs and even gags which don’t feel pushed or desperate for laughs. You will laugh at points in this film and that’s a good thing.
Will Smith as Dead Shot delivers well and along with Harley Quinn they steal the show and run with it throughout. But this film is an ensemble performance with a solid cast that includes; Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis, Karen Fukuhara and of course nobody could forget Jared Leto as the famously dastardly Joker. I will also give full marks to Diablo, a well layered character who develops with the story.
There are essences of an origin story between the Joker and Harley which isn’t pushed or forced upon us. Many of the film’s best back story moments were delivered in way of flash backs, this just added to already colourful set up this film had.
The street setting was tight and enclosed much like the narrows of Gotham and the whole film had a great atmospheric somewhat colourful feel, again something which DC does incredibly well.
I didn’t even notice the time pass in what is over two hours of quality entertainment. Even though Suicide Squad is billed as a comic book film, its far more than that and doesn’t even feel like the typical run of the mill hero film. They are bad guys after all.
The story that began earlier this year continues forward and looks towards introducing Justice League heroes, but first we stop off to check out their competition because down the line I think all this is going to come together in one explosive culmination.
Overall I enjoyed Suicide Squad and would happily recommend seeing it. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we see these extended DC universe characters.

Book Update

Blog number 80!

My debut novel Open Evening is under two months away from publication. Things are beginning to move in my #YearOfWriting and they are moving towards this project being finalized. And so loyal follower or new reader I thought I would grace you with my presence by informing you of the news.

Here are the facts: On September the 29th this year, Open Evening will be available as an e-book via amazon.

Sometime later in the month of October (in time for Halloween ooooh) the paperback version will be available for you to buy via a print on demand service. I would recommend you buy this if you really like the e-book version as it will probably be pricey (close friends and family, if you think you qualify will get one as a gift from me).

Open Evening is completely new stand-alone young adult horror story. It is not about robots in the future which my previous unpublished works were (they will come later).

It will be brought to you by the wonderful services of satin publishing, an e-pub house who have successfully published many books previously. Nicky Fitzmaurice of satin will be editing my manuscript and providing the publishing services.

Design for writers will be producing the cover (which I am already very very excited about). They have produced some excellent work which you can see on their FB page. I am currently putting together every ounce of information they need to give me the best possible eye catching cover.

Very soon there will be an official cover reveal, then things will get really really exciting.

I’m currently very busy editing the book myslef at the moment so if you see me in person your very lucky, oh and I am going to be 27 this week so buy me card in the form of a beverage.

This is all well and good but what is Open Evening about? I shall present you with some quotations from the narrative.

“Sometimes you don’t get to choose where you are placed in the collective ecosystem of a high school. Survival for me has always been objective number one.” 

“Just remember what you expect and what actually happens are two separate things.”

“The unexpected is a wonderful thing; anything can come from such a place including the horrors of mystery surrounding it. Sometimes it isn’t what is there but what could be there.”

“If I can see you, they can see you.”

Who are they you ask? Well they may or may not be human (but they are not robots). You shall have to find out. I hope I have given you enough to at least wet your appetite for what’s to come.

To be published is a dream come true for me and I very much want this to be a success. I can only do that with your help!

editing begins