Getting my leg over

I like to think that I am in pretty good physical shape (I’d make no similar claims about my mental state) for a man of my age, after all I am shortly to reach the milestone age of 30 (and I’m doing it in hex which is definitely tougher than decimal.  Pleasingly, given my name, I am currently 2F!).  However, my day job is essentially sedentary requiring many hours to be spent hunched over a laptop.  This does have a deleterious effect on my posture and especially on my flexibility in some modes of movement.  I’m not even single-jointed, let alone double-jointed.

This inflexibility manifests in a number of ways as I go about my soi-disant life.  I find it quite tricky to look behind me when driving especially when reversing (luckily something I do very rarely) and I also find it hard to get my leg over my bike when I come to mount my metal steed – I normally try and use a kerb (or similar raised area) to gain a few inches.

Having somewhat successfully tackled my fear of heights, I decided this lack should also be tackled and so since the end of last year have been taking regular personal training to try and make myself more lithe.  This has meant the folk at Brightside PT have been making me do things while out-of-balance and often on one leg in an attempt to make me a tad more mobile.  This has been a slightly disturbing process, at least partly because the left and right sides of my body seem to belong to entirely different people: my body does seem to have been built from two previously written-off bodies in a surgical cut-and-shut operation (which does explain quite a lot, if I’m honest).  However, it is having results and I can now mount my velocipede without any difficulty (even when the rear panniers are full!).  Still, there is some way to go before I can consider myself as lissom as I would like.

As a some-time project manager, I know the importance of setting objectives – which should be SMART (readers will have to check for themselves what the mnemonic means as I have forgotten: suggesting it is rather a poor tribute to Mnemosyne).  Most folk when training set objectives based on increasing the weight lifted, the number of ‘reps” performed or the speed or distance one can cover in a particular sporting activity (or poor simulation thereof).  But, I am not “most folk” and this approach struck me as boring and so I decided to set some more interesting targets to achieve.  So after a little work with a search engine, I came across a number of objectives which I thought it would be amusing to achieve (not to mention, providing me with some unexpected and impressive capabilities for a man in his very early thirties to be able to showcase).  I produced a fairly decent shortlist in the hope that at least one of them might be achievable.  All the exercises would be considered functional, good for flexibility and my core – so meet my general requirements – though even I had my doubts about the achievability of the “human flag”.  My teachers, however, seem confident that I should be able to achieve three of my targets in time for the summer (subject to its availability) which should, in turn, act as a good basis to move on to more difficult manoeuvers.

So, by Wimbledon you can look forward to me performing one armed press-ups, one-armed pull-ups and pistol squats at any and every opportunity.  Just try and stop me!

This will all be great preparation for my future career as a rather tall and elderly gymnast and, in conjunction with my climbing, opens the door to a life in parkour.  I will also be in a strong position should I misplace any single limb – despite my avoidance of quasi-military organisations as a child, I always feel that it as well to “be prepared!”.


2 thoughts on “Getting my leg over

  1. matathew says:

    On this occasion I’d prefer not to “continue the lunacy”! You seem to have identified the main cause of the probem, namely “my day job is essentially sedentary requiring many hours to be spent hunched over a laptop“, but you are treating the symptoms instead of the cause. I seem to remember that when I worked in an office there were the Display Screen Equipment regs, which (at the time) pretty much outlawed laptops except for occasional use, because of the many hazards to posture and eyesight. Non-adjustable chairs were likewise verboten. Anyway, I feel sure that in 2014, as then, the difficulties you are experiencing would be greatly reduced by using a large screen at the correct height, correctly positioned separate keyboard, correctly adjusted chair, etc, etc. See here for some good home-spun advice from the NHS (and someone called Levent Caglar). Good luck with this approach should you choose to adopt it. Otherwise I wonder whether “the man” could be heading for a hefty bill from the fraternity of damages lawyers for failing to take proper care of crucial parts of his workforce?

  2. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    I may not have been entirely honest as to the extent to which hunching over my laptop for “the man” is the cause of my poor posture. My work laptop is particularly awful, but I could easily do more to improve the ergonomics of my working position (dropping it in a deep puddle would be an obvious start – and easily achieved at the moment). In the past I have used a much more ergonomic working environment, but it seemed to do nothing at all for my posture (and, frankly, was quite uncomfortable). My chair is an excellent, ergonomic one – sadly the body slumped in it is not. If I’m honest, I’ve had dreadful posture since long before the laptop was invented (and it is currently probably in its Best. State. Ever). I think I must face the fact that I am an inveterate huncher – in the old days, I would have been given a bell-tower and just left to get on with it. Where’s that Esmerelda when you need her?

    Still, some grounds to sue “the man” may come in handy if the balloon ever goes up! Perhaps I better check my homeworking agreement first or I may find it is all my fault in some way (which of course it clearly is).

    Also, I think life is far better with me hunching and then using it as an excuse to do have some unlikely “fun” with my ageing body than it would be were to take the (no doubt worthy but dull) advice of the triumphantly named Levent Caglar. I don’t know about you, but I want to meet this person (and possibly his or her parents). If I ever have a child (unlikely), I think it might be named Levent – regardless of gender!

Feel free to continue the lunacy...

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