Powerlifting Workouts Update

Focusing on rest and less is more -attitude seemed to be working for me – for a while, at least. Despite being constantly extremely tired from lowering my hydrocortisone dose, I managed to get in a couple good workouts last week. My program was initially meant to include 4 lifting sessions per week, but as I’m still recovering and am trying to take things easy for my body I’ve been aiming at lifting only 3 times a week.

But as always, things are not so easily anticipated and never go smoothly in AI-land… :/

I yet again rushed. And am now banging my head at the brick wall. After hitting it 100 km/h. I had lowered my hydrocortisone dose back into 35 mg – sooo close to my “normal” dose. But since last Friday, I started to experience symptoms of low cortisol again. I got extremely tired. No, tired isn’t the right word. Exhausted. So exhausted that my limbs weighted a ton. Even lifting an arm seemed like an impossible task. Sleeping 12 hours a day is a luxury I don’t have every day, and even when I did sleep that much last weekend, I was still as tired when I woke up. My muscles ached and cramped constantly. Have you ever seen your quads and delts flex themselves? Well, I have. Good for me. Yay. The constant dizziness and nausea were the last straw and I had to stress dose yesterday. Now I’m waiting for the effect to kick in as I’d really like to feel at least somewhat normal, thank you.

I still wanted to summarize a bit how I’ve been training, when I’ve been training. Partly as a reminder to myself that I’m not a complete loser 24/7.  I just need some more ooomph from my HC bottle to get back into the groove. Here’s what I did training-wise last week before another adrenal insufficiency meltdown:

Sunday 3.1.2016:

I did a quick back workout I was supposed to after deadlifts and squats, but I was feeling so beat down I divided the workout into two and did deads and squats on Monday…

Lat pulldown 4 x 10, Hammer 25+25 kg

Seated row 4 x 10, 45 kg

DB row 3 x 8, 18 kg

 

Monday 4.1.2016:

Deadlift 5 x 5, 70 kg

Felt quite nice n’ easy.

Box squat 3 x 8, high bar 45 kg

Damn this was hard! Any sets with over 5 reps are my cardio nowadays…

Ab roll-outs 3 x 10

 

Thursday 7.1.2016:

Chin up 5 x 2 -> 1+1

Damn I’m heavy..! It’s really shameful to be this “fat” and weak as in November I could do at least 4 chin ups with bodyweight, but now I managed a measly one at a time. I had to rest 10-15 seconds between every rep :/ but I’ll get stronger! (as I vowed not to diet now I just have to build up some muscle to pull up this useless chunk of flab I carry around…)

Back squat 6 x 6, low bar 55 kg

I was little worried how I’d pull off the squats as I haven’t done any even heavy-ish squatting since last November before I got sick. But every set went well! I could stabilize my core and felt I had a few more reps in the tank – which is good since next week I’ll be doing the 6 x 6 with 60 kilos…

Leg extension 5 x 10, 20 kg

SUPERSETTED with:

Hamstring curl 5 x 10, 35 kg

Left only 0-1 reps in the tank and got massive pump and burn… Boy, it was difficult to walk down the gym stairs after the workout… 🙂

I want to feel confident and enthusiastic about my powerlifting training. I guess I’m a little ambiguous because of my recent setbacks because of being ill so much and missing workouts. I truly hope that with more cortisone and still getting the rest I need to recover I’ll soon get back to training more frequently. I wish I had more spoons than these lousy few I appear to run out of before midday nowadays… Trying to stay positive. I really am.

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Image courtesy of 9comeback at FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Idea for text originally from Dear Fibromyalgia

Great workouts and (hopefully) energetic week for everyone,

xoxo,

Veera

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Workout Update & Motivational Speech

Workout update! Here’s a summary of my last few workouts:

14.9.2015

Front squats 4 x 4 with slow tempo (4040), 30 kg. Last set was as many reps as possible (AMRAP) and I got 9 reps 🙂

Bench 5 x 5, 37.5 kg. Last set AMRAP 10 (!)

Cable row 4 x 10, 45 kg

Chin ups 4 x 6 with band

16.9.2015

Front squat 4 x 8, 30 kg. Last set AMRAP 12 (failure)

Leg extensions 5 x 12, 32.5 kg

Standing side twists with bar (20 kg) 5 x 15

Ab wheel rollouts 4 x 10

17.9.2015

Bench press 5 x 8, 35 kg

Wide-grip pull-ups with band 4 x 6-8 (max)

T-bar row 5 x 8, 25 kg

Calves in leg press machine 3 x max (15-18 reps), 70 kg

I’ve been experimenting with going all out = AMRAP in my last set in the heavier lifts, at least when I have my boyfriend assisting or I’m using a safety bar. I’ve had no idea how much I could lift as I’ve had such a long break from heavy training after I started getting sick a couple of years ago. It’s been hard to gauge how tough my workout has been. I can’t seem estimate how many reps I would’ve gotten unless I actually try it… I’ll see if I continue with it or not, it’s up to my coach to decide.

As a bonus, here’s some mid-week motivation from Les Brown:

Stay strong and never quit,

xoxo,

Veera

Testing My Limits

Yesterday I was still having a mild temperature – but even shorter temper. So I decided I’d give lifting a shot before I’d completely lose my cool and drive my boyfriend insane by my nervous antics in the process. I downed extra HC and some NSAIDs to prevent fever and help with my headache, and went to the gym. I can’t say I excelled in my workout but I did push it. At least it was short and easy:

  1. Close-grip bench 4 x 10
    My coach had put 20 kg on my program and I did the first sets with it. It felt so damn light I decided to find out how many I could do, and ended up grinding 25 reps in the last set and actually ended the set out of boredom…
  2. French press with bar 5 x 8, 20 kg
  3. Triceps cable extension with rope 4 x 10, 25 kg
    Supersetted with:
  4. Bicep curls on cable with rope 4 x 10, 20 kg

I also did some vanity calves (don’t tell the coach, she doesn’t believe in training calves – won’t make me a better lifter, she says…).

After gym I showered at home and at least tried to make myself presentable as I then took a train to Helsinki center to dine with a friend who owned me a dinner. I had a mouthwatering post-workout meal – 250 gram steak with blue cheese and mashed potatoes at restaurant Morrison’s:

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I made this fit my macros!

This morning I woke up early to get my lash extensions done :). I love occasional pampering and looking feminine. My lashes and nails are something I’m not willing to give up. It was yet again so relaxing to just lie still with my eyes closed that even though I listened to a fitness podcast I managed to fall asleep in less than 10 minutes – something I almost always do…

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Love my “new” lashes – they look really natural

I usually don’t wear make-up at the gym but if I’ve had some more official-ish appointments during the day I don’t see the point in washing it off, either. I’m happy as long as running-down make-up won’t interfere with a sweaty training session. With powerlifting that’s not such a big problem but I couldn’t imagine having make-up on when training krav maga…

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No filter, no make-up

After my pampering session I took a trip to the local laboratory to get a jug for my “fun” weekend task – collection of 24 hour urine for lab analysis… I’ll also be donating vials and vials of blood next week, how great. It’s part of getting ready to see my new, yet unknown endocrinologist at the end of this month. Oh, how I dread the appointment already… Wish me luck!

Today I had decided to try and raise my cortisone dose for 1.5 x my normal to see if it would help with my mild fever and headache. And lo and behold, fever – gone. Headache – gone. So I guess at least some times when I’m feeling a little sick but not having any signs of upper respiratory infection it could also be a sign of low cortisol, not just my recurrent fever episodes acting up… It’s just so hard to understand my body and whether I should rest or just down some pills and go lifting. I’m glad I keep a detailed diary about my symptoms, cortisone doses and exercise as it helps at least a little bit in deciphering my body’s cues.

Last week I practiced snatch technique with coach Anni at Ruskeasuo weighlifting gym and got some homework on snatch partial drills I’m now starting to incorporate in my warm ups before lifting. They feel really difficult as I have no experience whatsoever in weightlifting, but it’s so much fun to try them and see how I’m getting better. I guess I’m hooked :). The immense technicality of Olympic lifting really excites me. I can’t wait for my next lifting session with coach to learn more. And yes, I’m still training for powerlifting. Among other interesting sports. After all, you never know… 😉

Tonight I had an “easy” squat session in my program (what the heck?? another easy session??). Or at least it was supposed to be easy:

  1. Back squat 4 x 8 35 kg
  2. Overhead squat 3 x 10 12,5 kg (now I’ve got this!)
  3. Seated hamstring curls 4 x 10 35 kg
  4. Hanging knees 4 x max (got approximately 10-13 reps)

Already in the first warm-up set in squats I started to feel a stabbing pain in my lower back. I have back problems – namely spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis in my lumbar spine and now the pain in my back was so intense my legs nearly gave out at one point. My back had already felt a little stiff during the day and my boyfriend had taped it before going to the gym. Luckily I managed to train around the back pain by switching from low bar to high bar squat and changing prone hamstring curls into the seated version and dismissing weighted abdominal work for a gentler exercise for my back.

Slowly getting better with my form :)
Slowly getting better with my form 🙂

Now back at home I feel like a rheumatic grandma with my inability to turn to any side, lean into any direction, or squat down – my back is starting to get more stiff – but hopefully with some rest, mild foam rolling and stretching I’ll be back in the gym in a couple of days. And tomorrow is finally a pilates day for me at Espoo Krav Maga :)!

This weekend I’ll be doing my first diet recap. Waiting to share my progress with you! ❤

xoxo,

Veera

“Honey, Don’t Go Outside, It’s Dangerous”

Arrrgh. Once again, the autumn has come. And alongside it, the long, dark evenings. And a curfew. For me.

“Honey, are you going somewhere? It’s dark outside.”

Yeah. For a walk. So. Fucking. What?

It could be kind of amusing that since I was something like, ten years old, no one has tried to dictate whether or not I’m allowed to go outside after 9 PM, other than…it’s not.

“It’s too dangerous. Can’t you just open the window and walk indoors?”

For crying out loud…

Yes, I’m a woman. A poor, defenceless, weak woman. How could I possibly be able to defend myself? I’m thinking no amount of krav maga will get me off this “macho alpha ugh ugh protecting my woman blah blah” bullshit. I guess my boyfriend is still deeply amazed how I ever managed to stay alive my first 29 years before meeting him…

As tonight’s special, here’s Veera’s three tips for staying safe while outside – in Finland’s latitude, soon anytime after 5 PM:

  • Avoid unlighted walkways and shortcuts through unpopulated areas like trails or alleys. Stay in sight of other people if possible.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Tweeting while crossing the road clad in full black may not be the best idea anyway.
  • If someone does attack you, use everyday items in your possession to defend yourself. Blind them with a flashlight. Poke at the eyes with your home keyes. Hit them with your purse. And remember to call for help. Sometimes all it takes is a one good and loud scream to startle the attacker, giving you time to flee.
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Look creepy enough and no one’s gonna jump you!
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A flashlight can be used to blind people or as an effective blunt weapon. Or – uh – as a flashlight.

Yeah, it’s nice to know someone cares. But try to patronize me, on oh boy, you’re in big trouble mister… At least I didn’t have to wrestle anyone to get outside. Tonight, at least. Had a nice walk, by the way :).

Stay safe, wear a reflector, scream like you mean it, and always remember – the groins, the throat and the eyes!

xoxo,

Veera

 

My Favorite Time-Saving & Fun Fitness Hacks

I’m a busy person. Actually, now with a chronic disease, more than ever. I need to schedule a lot more time to rest. I also need more sleep than before, at least 8-9 hours every night with preferably one nap each afternoon (yeah, like that’s gonna happen any time soon). I can’t plan too many events on a same day. Both physical and mental challenges, even everyday situations like going grocery shopping, tire me easily. That means my calendar gets filled up very fast. As I’m still trying to work part-time as much as my health allows, do volunteer work at a patient organisation, spend quality time with my fiance, friends and family, study sports science and nutrition, and train powerlifting, every second of every day is precious to me.

Besides all this busy-bee-bustling, I need so me-time as well. I want to finally read all Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars books. I want to watch The Raid 2 from Netflix. I want to finally finish Skyrim and Dragon Age 2 on Playstation so I can start playing Witcher 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. I want to listen to Cradle Of Filth‘s and Amorphis‘ new albums.

Where has all my nerd time disappeared??

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I already am serious about my athletic endeavors and use both passive and active recovery methods after hard lifting – sleeping and eating enough (my favorites ;)), stretching, foam rolling, sauna, light aerobics and yoga etc. My poor, overloaded brains need recovery strategies too. Reading, watching great movies and serieses, playing video and board games and listening to music are important to me, and help me to cope with everyday stress. I don’t have a physically demanding job, but the mental stress it places on me more than covers the lack. As a doctor I’m resposible for my patients’ health and I take it very seriously – sometimes too seriously. So I get stressed out. A lot. And to recover I need some positive energy from great hobbies and endorphins from exercise.

So how to gain enough time to do it all – work, lift and play? I have a few good fitness hacks I’d like to share with others pressed with time :).

Willy Wonka said it, not me
Willy Wonka said it, not me
  • Arrange training dates with friends. When time is of an essence, a great way to get moving and also enjoy good company is to exercise with a friend. I usually train alone at the gym – I want to focus on my lifts, not gossip. But I love going to long walks or water running with a friend. The exercise is gentle so we’re able to talk and I don’t usually need extra cortisone either. Sometimes I schedule a yoga or stretching class or even lift with a friend if they want to.
  • Watch TV while doing mobility work. I’m lazy to do stretching and foam rolling – aren’t we all? I always combine them with something pleasurable – this week I watched Strike Back and Narcos on Netflix as I stretched in the evening. Otherwise, the tv stays off. No mobility work, no fun!
  • Make dull steady state cardio -time fly by with a good book, music or podcast – or for the most adventurous and easily bored exercisers: play video games when indoor cycling! I really do forget I’m exercising when I cycle in our living room, playing a great RPG on Playstation. The only downside is that I get so immersed in the game I may very well wake up to the fact I’ve cycled for nearly two hours when I’d only planned a 45 minute workout. And my cycling rhythm gets sometimes mixed up when I hack and slash my way through hoards of cave trolls and darkspawn…
  • Try indoor walking when the weather’s not good. Hate going out when it’s pouring rain? Why drive to the gym to walk on the treadmill? I rarely do any cardio “workouts” at the moment, most of my time is devoted to lifting. But I do try to get my 10,000 steps in daily and if I don’t go walking with a pal, I walk indoors – really. It’s a bit Espoo’s Desperate Housewives -style, I know, but I love it! I used to pace between our living room and the hallway, but now I march in place. Getting a good hip extension and flexion with every step also activates the glutes efficiently. I watch more tv (ooh, the forbidden pleasures…) or listen to some great podcasts – try for example Physique Science Radio by Layne Norton and Sohee Lee:

What’s your best fitness / productivity / other great time saving tip?

Next week I’ll post an update about how my flexible diet is going and a peek view on my new four week powerlifting program plus some Oly lifting drills with my coach <3…

Great Sunday for all,

xoxo,

Veera

Suck It Up, Buttercup, And Lift

Tonight I’m feeling pretty much like my hamster Tara looked last morning, after being waken up apparently too early after a hard night redecorating her apartment:

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I’ve really busted it at the gym this week without major adrenal issues. I’m keeping thumbs up for good health to continue. Now I’m dead tired, though. Last night I got less than 5 hours of sleep. I’ve also lifted for three days in a row. Thankfully tomorrow will be all rest and recuperation.

I’ve been pondering whether I should post the weights I currently lift. I guess I’m kind of embarassed as lot of powerlifting women whose blogs I read are lightyears ahead of me. So I feel inadequate. Not “strong enough” to blog about powerlifting. Which is ridiculous, kind of, as I’m a novice, right? Everyone must start somewhere. My current weights are just that – my weights at this moment. And I can and will improve my lifts. So I thought maybe it would be good for other newbie lifters to see how much I lift and how I’m progressing. I don’t have a clue if this actually interests anyone, but here goes :).

This Monday I had a bench and back day. My upper body has always been more powerful and muscular than my lower body and I like to bench. First I did four sets of band-assisted wide grip pull ups at home as we have our own chin up bar. I was in for a treat, as my boyfriend seldom comes to train with me, but now he accompanied me to the gym and spotted me. After warming up I did four pretty easy sets of 8 reps with 40 kg. I’m still learning the bench technique so I’m satisfied with the weights I used. Then we did T-bar rows for 4 sets of 10 reps and seated rows 4 sets of 15. Workout done!

Yesterday I went alone and did a short workout – only deadlifts – 4 sets of 6 reps with 75 kg – followed by good mornings, 4 sets of 6 with 45 kg. The deads felt way heavier than normally, and my left hand grip actually failed at the last rep of the last set. My lower back started to ache during the workout and was stiff and sore at home. Thank goodness I’ve taught my boyfriend to tape my back! I’ve been interested in physical therapy for a long time now and taken courses in manual therapy, acupuncture and kinesic taping. I’ve gotten good practice treating for example my krav friends’ sports injuries :). With kinesic taping my back should be okay in a couple of days.

I have a problem back as already at twenty I was diagnosed with thoracic scoliosis and lumbar spondylolysis and olisthesis – I have old stress fractures in my lumbar 4th and 5th vertebrae’s back arch. My L5 vertebrae is also a bit displaced and the space between my lumbar spine and sacrum is narrow. Normally if I train with good technique and do pilates regularly my back doesn’t give me any trouble. Yesterday I was a bit tired and probably didn’t warm up adequately before deadlifting. My bad. Will learn and won’t repeat the same mistake. This isn’t summer anymore, my muscles won’t warm themselves up just walking to the gym…

Tonight was a real under the bar performance from me – pun intended. Whether it was the lack of sleep, my back problem or just tiredness from two previous workouts, I don’t know.

I did 5 sets of front squats for 5 reps each with – don’t laugh – 35 kilos. Yes, I bench more than I squat. I blame genetics, and last year of being sick, forced to rest and eating too high doses of Prednisolone to calm down my asthma. Too much corticosteroids simply ate away my even previously measly thigh muscles.

I was supposed to do overhead squats next and already in the first set my rear delts started cramping and I nearly dropped the bar on my head. I managed 3 sets at first with 15 kg but with second set already failed at 8th rep and had to swallow my disappointment and embarrassment and finished my last 10 reps with 12.5 kg. So, not very great. I just left for home after that.

Looking very, very hard to find some bright side after tonight’s fiasco, at least I’m happy my boyfriend came to the gym with me again today – so twice already this week! Hopefully I’ll get to train with him more often in the future. Exercising together as a couple is nice, and it’s really good to have a spotter from time to time. He has also helped video my lifts for my coach Anni as I don’t train together with her that often. That way she can assess my technique and give tips about what to improve. And boy, do I have a lot to improve!

I’m concentrating on finishing this week – and my four week training cycle. However crappy I might be at the moment, well, there’s no way but up. I’ll suck up my pride and keep grinding. Because I still love this shit <3.

Until next time,

xoxo,

Veera

Utti Summer Camp 2015 – Finally

Sorry that this long post is way overdue! I’ve finally had the time to sift through my photos and write about this year’s Utti experience.

The annual Krav Maga Utti Summer Camp, held at the end of July, is a Finnish classic as it has been organized every summer since 1998 by Utti’s local krav maga instructors with visiting instructors from Israel. I practice under Krav Maga Global (KMG) organization and their head instructor Eyal Yanilov has given us the privilege of enjoying his wonderful teachings nearly every year.

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Utti is a place where krav maga practitioners from all around Finland gather to meet, train – and party! – together.

2015 was now my third time in Utti. I’ve been practicing krav maga since 2012, and last two times went to the camp with my boyfriend. He’s been a great training partner at camps, otherwise we train at different places as he goes to Espoo and I train at Prime Fighters in Helsinki. I do visit Espoo regularly, though, as one of their instructors teaches a real killer pilates class especially fighters’ needs in mind. Usually my abs alone are so sore the next day it makes me cry when I laugh. So thanks Jonna! ❤

I made sure I arrived early enough to have time to register in, chat with fellow krav practitioners and get a good spot to dump my gear. At 10:00 AM we assembled – this year in record time – in the gymnasium of Utti Hall to start our day. I was anxious, eager and proud to be yet again one of over a hundred krav practitioners standing there in formation, waiting for our training day to begin.

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Saturday morning line up – picture from Krav Maga Utti’s facebook page

This year’s theme was “Ehjänä baarista kotiin”, extremely loosely translated “Getting home from the bar without getting your ass kicked, stabbed and / or robbed”. It’s a quite common – and fun – training subject. Nothing against hitting your mates with empty (plastic) bottles or choking them from behind in the dark as Metallica plays way too loudly in the background.

Most interesting part of this year’s program that really got me salivating in anticipation was the chance to train VIP / third person protection tactics and hostage situations under KMG’s head instructor Eayl Yanilov. Understandably we don’t train those kind of scenarios very often. They are way cool, but the chance of getting taken into hostage here in Finland is close to a zero, compared to regular threat of getting raped or mugged. Or getting stabbed because you cut in line at a hot dog stand at 4 PM on Saturday night.

We had a fine collection of Prime Fighters ladies at Utti and my dear friend and training partner Katja was kind enough to train with me on Saturday. As my asthma and adrenal issues affect my training I’m now quite picky about who I train with. If I have trouble with my breathing I simply can’t do intense sparring without suffocating. I need to know my partner won’t pound me to the ground if I ease down the pace and understands if I need to take a break to catch my breath. I also need to be careful not to get any serious injuries. Of course getting hurt is never fun or the purpose of any exercise, but the potential risk of going into adrenal crisis due to injury and the possible difficulties with healing are bigger dangers for me than to some other people. I’m very grateful to Katja for her support and as a thank you try not to aggravate her own “war injuries” when we practice together.

Me and Katja training knife threats from the front and behind with the victim sitting in the start:

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I had worried beforehand how I would cope with heat and possibly very intense training cortisone-wise and was really happy I got my dosing right :). The training was light enough to suit me perfectly as we did a lot of mobility drills as warm up and our subject of close knife threats was very technical. I took approximately 10 mg extra HC for every hour we trained and felt fine nearly the whole day. Half of the time was spent outside and weather was wonderful. We also got to see a lot of skydivers as Utti’s civilian airport nearby is a busy hub for the local skydiving club and the nearly cloudless Saturday was a perfect suit for all kinds of outdoor action.

Local skydiving action
Local skydiving action

We practiced multiple scenarios where the assailant had a choke hold on victim but also held a knife on the throat or neck area for extra threat and to control the victim, both standing still and also with assailant moving or trying to move with victim. The solutions were similar to choke hold releases but we had to learn to take the knife and it’s position into consideration and seek to control the knife at earliest stage possible during release and counterattack. No use to do a perfect choke hold release if you slash your carotid at the same time!

Pictures from practice – master Eyal and our lucky “volunteers” show us how it’s done:

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As always, Eyal told stories of real life events in between teaching and practice. I hope I won’t offend anyone by calling him by his first name :). He’s simply so overwhelmingly easygoing, warm and approachable person it would feel weird calling him Mr. Yanilov. And I hope I’ve earned the right as we’ve talked on several occasions both in training camps in Finland and last year when our Finnish entourage spent a week in Isreal training and touring with him. It was one of the most memorable weeks of my life so far <3.

Standing proud tith master Yanilov himself
Standing proud with master Yanilov himself

After getting our day’s first dose of the sun and vitamin D, we had a long lunch break I spent munching my packed lunch and gossiping with other Prime ladies. I hadn’t taken any cash with me as I’d paid the camp and camp T-shirt in advance, but our lovely and wily couple from Espoo Krav Maga, Jonna and Mika, managed to seduce me into buying a new light grey KMG T-shirt, shorts and a training handgun I’d been drooling over earlier. Damn they have to accept credit cards! I really like the gun. It’s as heavy as the real thing so it makes for a better practice. Have to start pestering my boyfriend to play with me some day in the near future… 🙂

Of course we just “had to” play just a little bit at the lunch break already – we’re such a mature bunch at Prime 😉

Girls just wanna have some fun...
Girls just wanna have some fun…

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In the afternoon we trained VIP protection – focus still on close knife threats. It was fun and we got to run around outside like crazed herd of…krav practitioners. Me and Katja got ourselves a Prime gentleman as our third wheel. So, what happened next?

The sun shone from clear, blue sky. Somewhere above us, weird adrenaline junkies were getting their fix by jumping out of flying abominations with wings of steel. Birds chirped. I was having a romantic afternoon walk with my beloved wife, Tom. Suddenly, a woman with crazy glint in her eyes attacked us from behind, taking poor Tom into a choke hold with a knife on his throat, demanding for our wallets and other valuables.

Since I’m such a niggardly person, obeying that kind of outrageous demand was completely out of the question. Instead I instantly spun around and attacked, taking control of her knife hand while guiding it down and away from Tom’s throat. I yelled at him to run. He was fleeing like a rabid rabbit the next second – but in totally wrong direction! I still repeatedly knee’ed poor Katja’s groin area. When I had disabled Katja, my laziness got hold of me. Instead of rushing after my beloved, I settled for blowing him a kiss and yelling “see you at home, honey!” while I sprinted in the opposite direction. Luckily I had the keys to the car… 😉

More fun action from our practices:

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The hours passed so fast it was soon time to say goodbye to my training buddies and drive back to Hamina. For others, it was time to head to Tykkimäki Camping area for annual Utti party evening consisting of consuming more or less copious amounts of alcoholic (some crazy folk even stay sober, I’m told) beverages and grilled sausage. The bravest of the brave would later venture out to experience the non-existent nightlife of nearby Kouvola city and to hone their skills in the beforementioned hotdog stand lines.

I was so dead tired afterwards I don’t even regret missing Sunday…too much. But next year I’ll be there – again :).

Utti made me realize yet again how much I miss regular krav practice and my absurd, weird-humored training partners <3… Here’s to hoping this autumn will see me in the dojo doing some actual krav training rather than just pilates and polishing my verbal sparring skills. Kida!

Image Source
Image Source

The next week is around the corner, be good and be safe! Until next time,

xoxo,

Veera

Am I Getting My Life Back?

Woopee! These past few days have been kind to me AI wise. I’ve been able to go down with my cortisone stress dosing and hopefully am back with my normal daily dose sometime next week. I’ve had some mild headache and tiredness but nothing dramatic so I’m pretty hopeful :).

Yesterday I had another tattoo session. We’re continuing with my left arm, the flower sleeve will be finished on September as my tattooist forgot to reserve enough time – apparently I’m not the only one suffering from brain fog from time to time… After I get my arm finished, I’ve promised my boyfriend I’ll take a break from getting new tattoos. Although I never mentioned how long the break is going to be ;). I wanted to upload a picture of my arm tattoo so far, but am having some technical difficulties with WordPress today so I’ll save it ’til I get the whole sleeve done.

My body punished me for being lazy with mobility work. Normally I’m the world’s most flexible person who can do a split at any direction cold turkey thanks to my overly mobile joints and teenage years of ballet and fitness routine training. Now my every joint creaks like door on rusty hinges and I feel like a gawky grandma. Where’s my walker, dammit!!?? My coach promised to show me some mobility drills I could do at home with my broomstick as I only fly on it on Saturdays :D.

I don’t usually need much static stretching to keep my flexibility. My AI is often accompanied with muscle cramps even when my electrolytes are in balance, and they tend to get worse if I stretch a lot. I do take magnesium daily year around as well as a handful of potassium pills as I suffer from hypokalemia (note: due to lack of hormone aldosterone, primary adrenal insufficiency patients normally have hyperkalemia. Both states are dangerous as changes on potassium balance can lead to cardiac arrythmias).

For the last two nights I’ve been a good girl and foam rolled my achy, stiff muscles like crazy. The pain is bearable if you find some distraction, so at the same time I’ve treated myself by watching Strike Back with my boyfriend. Love it!

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Training wise I’m ecstatic as I’ve been able to work out twice again after break – with my beloved squats on both Wednesday and today. Squats are definitely my weak spot, so with my current program I’m supposed to be doing either back squats or accessory exercises like front or overhead squats 2-3 times per week. If I only ever were healthy enough to get even a measly one whole week of training without complications… I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish my four week training plan I’ve been on for the last 7 weeks (!). Then onward to my next cycle (of more steroids 😉 and hopefully more lifting). I really want to make my coach Anni proud. A stable life with lots of rest, powerlifting, eating, watching more Strike Back and reading my new sci-fi books…where do I sign up?

Have a nice weekend, train hard and be grateful!

xoxo,

Veera