Last night my daughter shared a TED talk with me called Embrace the Shake (see below). In the video artist Phil Hansen discusses how he overcame nerve damage by absorbing the injury, by making it a part of his art.
This is somewhat akin to saying “Think inside the box.” But in Phil’s case, he went so deeply inside the box that he ultimately found another dimension.
I found Phil’s talk extremely relevant because lately I’ve been a little frustrated by the aches, pains and physical weaknesses that age is continually throwing into my martial arts and fitness practice. But if I’m going to be a true artist — a master of pen, brush, fist, and spirit — I’m going to have to not only embrace my shortcomings but absorb and use them to my advantage.
Believe me when I say that I’m going to be sincerely meditating on this idea in the days and weeks to come.
One of the problems I’m dealing with (have been for a couple of years) is Achilles tendon tightness and Plantar fasciitis. I’m not supposed to do any ballistic movements below the waist — no jumping rope, no running, no Jump Squats, etc. Lunges are as close to ballistic as I can get. It’s been driving me batty. But after listening to Phil, I got up to work out this morning and I let it go.
I decided to roll a couple of my custom-made dice and blend them together into a single workout routine within the limitations my body presents. I got WEIGHTS and CANE, and I created one heck of a martial arts fitness workout. Give it a try.
Weapon-Dumbbell Command and Conditioning Workout
All dumbbell exercises are done one-handed with weapon in opposite hand. Keep weapon hand “alive,” up and ready, never hanging limp at your side.
Run through this 3 times for a grand total of 6 sets. Start light and increase weight of dumbbell with each set until you reach approx. 75% max weight. Take as few 12-second rest breaks as you need to finish.
- With weapon in right hand, pick up dumbbell in left hand and complete (10) of each of the following: Curl & Presses, Squat Presses, Side Lunges, and Sit-ups (hug dumbbell to chest). Do not put weight down or rest between sets.
- Put dumbbell down and complete (100) full power strikes with your chosen weapon.
- Switch hands and repeat with weapon in left hand and dumbbell in right.
If you don’t muck around this should take just under 30 minutes.