Staying In Shape, Paddleboards, E-Mail problems, The Blues

Staying In Shape

About six months ago I joined a gym. Running was fine for cardiovascular training and lower body strength, but I was surfing less and had lost upper body muscle. The gym was great. In 3 weeks I was putting on muscle. As Bill Pearl says, people are thrilled when they start weight training because results come quickly. Then I took a month-long trip and wasn’t able to lift weights. I came back to the gym and went right back into my routine, and injured my shoulder doing bench presses. It was terrible. I’ve never had a debilitating upper body injury (although plenty of lower body running ones). My brother and a bunch of my friends have had rotator cuff surgery, and I really didn’t want that. Went to a good doc, had MRI’s; after several discussions I decided to treat it myself. Short happy ending: applications of arnica oil, vitamin supplements, a handheld accupressure vibrator, mild exercises, and finally paddling a surfboard in Canada, and after 4 months the shoulder is regaining strength. I decided to give up on the gym, because it takes me an hour to get there, so a 2-3 hour round trip doesn’t make sense. I decided to work out at home. I have a multi-purpose weight machine, a Vasa trainer (elegant machine for swimmers and surfers), dumbbells, chin-up bars and elastic straps in the office.

Paddling at Sunset

You never miss the water ’til the shoulder gives out: last night I went for a paddle and was it fun! I have a racing paddle board (it’s a big sport in Southern California). It’s sleek in design, and a bit funky in finish — painted grey with dilute Bondo; it looks like a shark. I’d forgotten what a pleasure it is to paddle — totally different from a surfboard. As i headed out to sea it skimmed across the water with each double stroke. (I paddle butterfly-like, not crawl style.) It was grey and cloudy and starting to get dark and the water was glassy. Rain started to fall. I was in heaven, gliding like a water skeeter. I headed out to the reef, about a mile and by the time I turned around and came back it was dark. Good smells, upper body pumping. Great things can be so simple. Came home and had a healthy slug of brandy and hot shower. Oh yes.

Never Check Email In The Morning

(Above is title of new book by Julia Morgenstern.) An article in the NY Times yesterday

was titled Got Two Extra Hours For Your E-mail? Boy, did it “resonate.” as they say. In spite of swearing off the practice, I keep getting sucked back into checking e-mail the first thing every morning. It really fucks up my day. or more precisely, it shoves a whole bunch of stuff in my face that I have to deal with then and there. Might as well dump the junk while I’m at it. Might as well answer the various inquiries and miscellany while they’re open. And it’s true, there goes 2 hours. This morning, I wanted to do some writing and some layout, so I’m letting my e-mail in-box sit there, simmering with messages whose perpetrators expect replies. My latest thinking is to try to back away from such frequent checking, and to start out the day working on stuff I’m generating. And you know, maybe I don’t have to answer every e-mail. Shocking concept, eh? I mean, just who’s in control here anyway? Check out that article, it’s really good.

Music of the last 24 Hours

Buddy Guy: Buddy’s Blues — The Best of the JSP Sessions 1979-82. Extraordinary live blues album. Amazing that such a master gunslinger guitar player can sing so beautifully. Then this morning I heard Howlin’ Wolf doing the song 300 Pounds of Joy. “Hoy! Hoy! ah’m de boy, 300 pounds of muscle and joy…” What a powerhouse! On the strength of that I just ordered The Chess Box Set of Howlin’ Wolf, a 3-disc collection.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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