Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: physical health

Bigger faster stronger

Yesterday, I was talking about my daily routine. How it’s gone from five minutes of stretches a day to over an hour of stretches, Taiji (solo form and weapons), and now Bagua. I was feeling a bit bored with my routine, so adding Bagua has really spiced it up. Oh, also the weight-bearing set. It’s only three lifts on each side, ten reps each, I started with an 8-pound weight and now have upped it to 10 pounds for two of the three lifts. My teacher has told me that 8 pounds is fine, but I like doing a bit more. I used to lift 20 pounds for certain exercises. I think I even made it up to 25 pounds. THis was more than a decade ago, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to jump to it immediately.

My teacher said that Master Choi, the man who invented this weight set, used to do it with 50 pound weights. Back in the day, he felt the need to be pumped up because there were always young guns who had something to prove. That’s one thing about being a dude–there were always other men who wanted to challenge you to a duel, so to speak.

I will say that adding the weight-bearing set and the Bagua has pumped up my energy. It really is like having another cup of coffee. I have to be careful to do the Bagua early in the routine because if I do it too late, then it can affect my sleep. It’s funny because caffeine doesn’t affect my sleep at all. I can drink coffee all night without a care in the world. But Bagua can really mess with me so I’ve been pushing it earlier and earlier.

It’s funny. My teacher taught me to walk the circle with the DeerHorn Knives the third or fourth year I was studying with her. It was to replace meditation, which I could not do without having terrible flashbacks. Walking the circle centered me and gave me energy. And I adored the deerhorn knives with all my heart.

They are probably my favorite weapon overall. If I had to do a quick ranking, it would be those and the double sabers. The sword is a sentimental favorite because it’s the one that ignited my love for all things bladed (er, and poke-y). It’s my first love, which means it’ll always have a special place in my heart. And, I appreciate the saber more than I did when I first learned it. It will never be my favorite, but it’s a powerful weapon. I like the fan a lot, and I hate the cane. I am also fond of the karambit, which is not Taiji. I like the staff/spear, but I haven’t done much with it yet. Oh, and it’s fun to do the Wu-Li (dancing) Sword Form, especially when I just put on a song and dance.

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The disappearing thin line

In the time of this pandemic, there is one thing that has become clear to me–more information is not always better. Or rather, the constant influx of information from everyone and their mother is not helping. There is so much confusion as to what are the best practices and more to the point, why they are the best practices. Like, I knew I should wash my hands a ton, but wasn’t sure why exactly. I mean, getting Covid-19 by contact exposure is rather low on the list of how to get it. So why all the hand-washing? It’s mostly because of touching your hand to your face and protecting from it. Speaking of which….

My BFF sent me an article boiling down some of these conflicting ideas. It’s really the best thing I’ve read on the topic, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just because it confirms much of what I already thought. It addressed something that I had been confused about, but could not find a satisfactory answer in all my Googling. My question was if I self-isolated and did not leave the house for, say, three weeks (and let’s pretend I haven’t gotten any deliveries in that time). If I did not get sick in that time, would it be fine to assume that I was not going to get it? And the answer is yes.

Basically, my home would be a safe place because no new exposure was happening. The author of the article wants people to consider their home their safe places and to do whatever they need to do in order to keep it safe. Wearing masks and gloving up when outside (but also understanding that they aren’t 100% solutions), then disposing of them (or washing them) properly before entering the safe place. Once you’re in the safe place, however, you don’t have to follow the stringent practices you do in exposure zones. In other words, you can touch your face in your safe place. You don’t have to wash your hands any more than you normally would. It confirmed my hunch that I couldn’t get it without new exposure, which makes inherent sense.

In addition, the mask is mostly for the person wearing it if they are sick in order to keep their germs to themselves. It’s helpful to other people, but to a much lesser degree. It’s more important to stay at least six feet away from others (preferably ten) at all times, and if you are wearing a mask/gloves, to wash your hands once you get home. For twenty seconds. The most important thing about the touching your face advice is to not do it when you’re in exposure zones (the author calls them danger zones). Which includes not touching your mask if you’re wearing one. If you’re wearing gloves, touch as little as possible with them and then make sure they’re off before you go into your house.

Another thing I’ve seen a lot of back and forth about is deliveries. Takeout and grocery mostly, but also just packages in general. I’ve had the habit of putting what needs to be refrigerated in the fridge straight in, but the bags are living in the garage, and if I don’t have to bring the item inside, it stays in the garage as well for several days. It’s overkill, but if I don’t need it, then it might as well live in the garage. In the article above, it says that leaving the package out in the sun for two minutes will kill off most of virus particles (grossly simplified). Also, if a package is not damp, it should be fine in general. If you store it in a cold and damp environment like the basement, it’ll be fine in 2 1/2 hours. And wash your damn hands afterwards.

But really, stay six feet away from other people.  Better yet, stay at home. That really is the best thing you can do in these trying times. If you can’t stay at home, then stay six feet away from others and don’t touch your face. If you can wear a mask and gloves, that’s good. If not, use hand sanitizer liberally. And don’t touch your face!

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