Writing whilst drun…high on life.

Not written for 5 months or so, not felt the need to. Still lifting weights, not as often as I’d like due to being an idiot and sacrificing myself for my day job, but enough to maintain a decent body and strength level compared to others my size and being honest after a day out at big old London Town, a much better body than a lot of other people too.

Perhaps 20 years of focusing on my health first is paying off?

Something has flipped inside of me recently as normal, after a while of ignoring what I need, something tends to pull me back from the abyss and makes me want to focus on myself more than my job, so we’ll see where that goes for a few months.

Probably just end up hitting a pr on chin ups or something like that and then injure myself pmsl.

Financially I’m in a good place right now. Not that much less total debt than at the beginning of the year, but its much more manageable than it has ever been. My partner has settled into a good job and is now earning much more money than she has ever done, which means we can really see an end to the debt probably within a few years, which is awesome.

But it also raises a question of what do we do from there. We’ve not made any long term plans financially as we’ve always been in debt and never seen an end to it. And seeing as though at the moment everything is so fucking expensive, I don’t know where we go once we’re debt free.

I suppose seeing a point where we are going to be debt free is a massive bonus seeing the times we’re in right now and so many people struggling financially.

Meh, I can’t be arsed to write anymore, I’ve had too many rums and beer and I keep having to delete sentences as they make no fucking sense pmsl.

Ah well, I’m still alive, still stronger and healthier than most and I’ve got my wildflower and insects to watch in my back garden.

Life is awesome.

Until next time…

WeeMike

Things go smoothly and when you least expect it, they go to shit.

Well, it’s been a while, yet another long gap between posting on the blog. Over 4 months this time, ha.

So, as usual when things are going nice and smooth and I think I’m getting into a good exercise/work routine something happens at work to throw me off and I have to take a step back from my physical activity outside of work to make sure I can cope with the demands of the work.

Literally within a month of me writing my last blog entry I had hurt my back, handed my notice in and then within a week withdrawn my resignation.

It was an interesting week or so to say the least.

And out of it all I came to the realisation that I’d been hurting myself long term without even knowing it.

So. I’d spent the month of September ramping up my workouts. I’d been adding a little weight almost across all exercises and despite feeling a little tired towards the end of September, my body was recovering well and I was managing it whilst at work when it didn’t, allowing it to recover and then going again.

But then one Friday came around and I was put onto a heavy high volume delivery area and then also told I was going to have to do the collection later in the day too. So just with that one delivery and collection I was about to handle over 400 parcels and the weight was going to be anything up to 3 ton.

Which is fine, I can handle the heavy work load. I know my body, how to pace myself, when to take a breather etc.

But that week I’d gone up some weight on my overhead presses. Nothing massive but I’d squeezed out a few extra sets of 6 reps at 47.5kg on top of my normal few sets. I’d also done some barbell squats the day after them and my back muscles had felt a little tired when I got up on the Friday.

I thought to myself I’d make sure to take it easy and I did, mostly.

I’d got to the heavy collection in the afternoon and I was on for an early finish. There were a few really heavy boxes, but nothing I couldn’t handle I thought.

Chuck em on the van and off I go back to the depot and finish early on a Friday, happy days.

For whatever reason I left the really heavy parcels to last. Normally I put the heaviest shit on the van first and then finish with the lightest. Just not today.

I was nice and warmed up I thought and lifted a few of the heavy parcels, on to the van, yeah no problem. The literal 2nd to last one I picked up, I thought to myself oooof this feels really heavy, braced myself when lifting it, awesome, went to turn and bam, not so awesome. Something popped in my lower back and I had a shooting pain down my leg.

Fuck did it hurt.

I dropped the box, tried to walk and sit down on the back of the van, but my leg with the shooting pain in it had gone numb and I couldn’t feel it.

Oh fuck, now I’ve done it I thought. Why the fuck did you twist with the heavy parcel in your arms you idiot!!

Anyway. I managed to lean up against the van and thankfully within a few minutes the shooting pain had gone and the feeling in my leg came back. Where the pop had happened in my lower back was still aching like fuck but I could at least stand up straight.

I walked around for a few more minutes and decided that I needed to finish loading the van quickly and get back to the depot incase my leg went again.

So I very careful, rocked, levered and angled the last 2 remaining bastard boxes onto the van, got in and very carefully drove back to the depot.

It actually felt ok driving. I guess as there was no weight on it and I wasn’t twisting or putting load on it, it was doing ok for now.

Anyway, I got back to the depot, told my supervisor what I did, got called an idiot, logged it in the workout accidents and then I managed to unload the van very slowly and with some help with the heavy parcels, generally with just a dull ache.

I left work and got home feeling a lot better. It was still aching but I’ve had worse and thought that I just needed to be careful for a few days.

Yeah right. I woke up the next day and fuck did it hurt again. It was aching so much that it woke me up a few hours before I normally get up on a weekend and I just thought, fuck I’ve done it bad this time. I spoke with my manager and said I’d need to go see a doctor and physio and that I’d probably be off the next week so I could recover properly.

Rest of the day came and went and I’d had a good think about the job and just put it all down to it being too physical for what I want to do outside of it and that I needed to move to another driving job with less handballing of boxes.

So I wrote my resignation and sent it off via email. I thought fuck it, I’ll take a few weeks to recover and then whilst off I’ll find another job and all will be well.

A few days later I’d been able to see a doctor (I don’t have a permanent one and this was the first time I’ve seen one in nearly 10yrs!) and then been advised to see a physio who basically said I’d moved the heavy object incorrectly and caught a nerve in my back and that I was lucky to have done nothing permanent and just rest and a few stretching exercises should see it right.

So I spent the next few days doing the stretching exercises the physio showed me and had tried to stay as active as possible at home, which meant several hours just randomly walking around the house and garden.

The physio had said to not doing any weight lifting etc for a few weeks, but by the Thursday of that week it had started to feel a lot better. A combination of anti inflammatories and the stretches had done wonders for it.

So I did some basic bodyweight exercises. Pull ups, back felt ok. Push ups, back felt ok. Squats, back felt ok.

Awesome.

That night it felt a little tired and when I was due to take some more anti inflammatories I decided not to so I could see how it felt in the morning.

I woke up the next day and all was well, I’d managed to sleep through the night without being woken up by the dull ache and I didn’t feel anything from the bit of exercise I’d done. So I decided to stop take the pills and do 2 lots of bodyweight exercises and see how I felt that night.

Night came round and I felt great. The dull ache was nearly gone and I had no reaction to the basic exercises.

Even more awesome.

That weekend I had a look at my exercises for the last few weeks and also had a think about the work I’d been doing. I couldn’t figure out work wise what could’ve caused my back to give up like that, it’s pretty strong imo I do a varied amount of movements to keep it that way, mainly for my job but also because I like back exercises.

Then I looked over my exercises again and specifically my overhead presses. I already knew what I’d been doing, but then it kind of stood out when I looked again and looked at the progressive heavier weights I’d been putting overhead, specifically that last week when my back gave up.

I remember really having to push the last set and normally if I feel any sign of tiredness in my body I stop. I remembered feeling more strain than normal in my back and specifically feeling in my lower back like I had arched too much to get the weight overhead.

I’ve always done my overhead presses with some arch in my lower back, but this time I remember over doing it and then it felt tired when I had finished. I just put it down to doing a few extra sets and thought nothing of it.

But then thinking about it again on that weekend and I put it altogether and realised I’d obviously weakened it and then moving the heavy boxes at work had stressed it even more and then with bad form lifting the heavy parcel had just tweaked it and it gave out.

Having realised this I had a rethink about my resignation and decided that as there wasn’t a job I really wanted to go to, I was better off staying where I am now and just rethinking my exercise routine instead.

So I went back to work the following week, took it easy throughout the week and it felt pretty good most days. One of two days it ached a lot by the end of the day, but after another few weeks it was pretty much back to normal.

Every now and then though, if I rush too much moving heavy boxes it starts to ache, so I just keep aware of that all the time now and just take it a bit slower than I used to. Hopefully once I’m back exercise full on again it will get stronger and be ok long term.

For now though I don’t know as I’ve not go back into the routine again since this happened. Just as I thought about putting some heavy weights onto some movements again, I got moved back on to the heavy ass route and stayed on it during the mad as fuck Christmas peak. So I’ve just stuck to doing basic body weight stuff with some weighted movements here and there.

So far my back has been good, I still get the few days where it aches by the end of the day or when I first get up in the morning, but it’s getting better I feel. Only time will tell during the next few months now that I’ve redone my workout routine and will be starting it again this week.

I have left out the barbell overhead presses altogether and replaced them with dumbbells instead, which I won’t be going too heavy on until at least the end of the month, plus I can support my lower back anyway if needs be.

I’ve also taken out the barbell squats, just in case and replaced them with heavy lunges instead, again at least for a month anyway. Then I’ll try them again and see how it feels and then I’ll think about maybe reintroducing barbell overheads again if I’m getting no reaction at all.

But unfortunately knowing how my body feels when I am physically active, that doesn’t seem likely for the short term. I only need to do a few heavy lifts of boxes, carry one a distance or move in a twisting motion without realising and I can feel pressure in the same area where I hurt it. So it’s possible I might never do barbell overheads again, so for now I’ll hope that I can, and just take my time building my back up again with other movements.

Jeez, man that’s a lot of words after not writing any for months haha!

Anyway, despite the lack of proper weight lifting over the last few months, my body shape is actually pretty good, I’ve not gone overboard this Christmas like some years gone and I’ve been pretty good in at least doing some basic bodyweight movements regularly so I think I’ve only lost overall strength rather than much shape.

Ah well, the strength won’t take more than a month or two to come back/

Hmmm, I think it’s time for a bit of movement right now, a quick round of bodyweight exercises I think then out into the garden to tidy those damn tree leaves again.

Until next time…

WeeMike

Finally found a good balance with delivering parcels and weightlifting.

After a few years of trying and failing at finding a weightlifting routine that suited my body alongside my delivery driving day job, I think I might have finally found a routine that is working, and that I can stick to long term.

In the past when I thought I had found a routine that would work alongside the physical demands of delivering parcels, a day or two after a heavy barbell squat routine or deadlift routine I would not only be whacked physically, but I’d get a heavy day or two at work where I’d shift 300+ parcels weighing over 2,000kg and I’d be fucking wiped out for the week!

I tried changing the reps, changing the weight I used and changing the days I worked out, but nothing seemed to work. I could cope with being physically tired after a heavy workout, but then after an even heavier day delivering parcels I just couldn’t recover quick enough, or sufficient enough to not be wiped out for days after.

I’d only change things up after four to six weeks of trying a new weight, reps or day of the week etc. In an attempt to try and give my body the chance to adapt, but because I wasn’t willing to give up various home comforts of a beer or two, or a bit of junk food etc, I was just expecting too much from my body.

I wanted my cake and I wanted to eat it pmsl.

Anyway, here we are two months into this new routine I’ve set up, and so far it seems to be working.

At the weekend when I’m not working I’m doing my heaviest main lifts like squats and overhead presses, and during the week I’m doing mainly accessory movements and one main lift, but not too heavy.

So for instance Saturdays I do barbell overhead presses and Sundays I do barbell squats. Two main movements that I go heavier on. Then Monday through to Wednesday I do medium weight accessory movements like side raises, rear raises, flyes, lunges and bent over rows amongst a few others, and the only lift I go heavier on is decline weighted push ups.

I tried to get into bench pressing again, but it just doesn’t feel right and I don’t feel comfortable doing them, so I’m sticking with weighted push ups.

I’m also feeling the need to move away from heavy barbell squats too, as I’m finding my back is feeling a bit whacked on days that I do a heavy delivery day. It is fine doing the barbell squats and the days after if I don’t have a heavy day on parcels, but as I literally never know what’s going to be the score with parcels, until the day arrives, I’ve not been able to find a good day to do heavier barbell squats.

I’m leaning towards doing heavy lunges instead for my main leg exercise. I generally do them with 10/12.5kg dumbbells so I might start working them up a few more kg’s each week and see how I feel with leaving barbell squats at the weight I’m on now.

So, for the two months I’ve been doing this routine on the whole I’ve not felt too whacked on heavy parcel days, or the days after and last week I had two back to back heavy parcels days, and still managed to do the weightlifting I wanted which was awesome.

I’ve also got into the habit on the weekends of doing my weightlifting in the mornings, and sometimes first thing when I get up. Which has helped my motivation for the day too, as sometimes I got on with household stuff or met up with friends etc, and by the time the evening came around I didn’t feel like working out, especially on the heavy lifts.

But again, the last two months I’ve made the effort to do them in the mornings at the weekends, and it’s been going well so far. Also having the lighter, accessory movements during week days means I don’t feel demotivated after a heavy day of parcel delivery knowing that I’ve got a heavy weights session in the evening.

I did a measure of my waist and chest this morning and in two months I’ve managed to lose 1.5 inches off my stomach and add 1 inch to my chest, which is pretty sweet. I didn’t set out with a specific measurement I wanted either to be at after a specified amount of time, but knew that if I was consistent my waist would shrink and it goes that I’d build more muscle too.

My chest has grown along with my upper back simply because of being consistent. Shrinking my stomach or losing belly fat to be specific, I think is easier as I burn so many calories during the day delivering parcels, that I only need to eat slightly less food eat day and my belly fat starts to disappear.

I’ve always been able to lose belly fat pretty easily, but in the past I’ve also lost muscle mass, as missing certain meals to lose the fat meant I was sacrificing muscle building too.

But again, so far this routine is going well eating wise too, so I’m pretty chuffed with the last two months all in.

Long may it continue.

Until next time…

WeeMike

Despite meeting a lot of people in my day job, I enjoy being a recluse outside of it.

I finished work on Friday and after a physically demanding week I was glad it was over. Multi drop parcel delivery is physically and mentally demanding and pretty relentless. As more and more people are shopping online, there never seems to be a quiet day anymore.

My route isn’t particularly heavy on parcels, being a half rural and urban route with not many businesses in, but it’s tiring enough.

I enjoy meeting people everyday, there are always unique interactions, challenging interactions and plenty of mundane interactions, but always interactions with a few hundred people a day. Which means you have got to be good with people and in a variety of situations, so not at all a shy person or an introvert, in my opinion anyway.

So if you said 6 years ago I’d be doing this job, I’d have laughed in your face, then walked away from you to go do a job on the farm on my own, or go home to be on my own pmsl.

I loved the farming job I had, I worked on the land and I didn’t need to interact with many people, I got things delivered to my house when I could and rarely went out to where lots of people were. My ideal lifestyle.

But something was niggling inside of me saying that I need more human interaction, I needed it to build myself in something better.

And so today, I find myself meeting more people in a day than I did in a month on the farm. But I’ve found a balance in that in the evenings and on my days off work, I don’t meet many people if possible.

I’ve never been a family person, I see family once a month or less than that (other than my partner who I live with) and I’m happy with that. If I can get things delivered, I do. If I can order things ahead of going to collect them, I do that to. All to avoid being around too many people.

Do I get nervous or anxious around crowds? Strangely not. I’ve been to large music, sport or food festivals with thousands of people around me and felt fine, but I’m glad to get home and get away from the crowds.

Fridays have always been my favourite working day of the week, as it generally means I have 2 days off work to do what I want, which is generally being at home and alone or just with my partner in the house.

Ideally I’d prefer to do what I wanted every day of the week, but I’ve yet to find something I enjoy to pay my day to day bills that I can do long term.

Anyway, Friday nights are usually movie, gaming or music night, sometimes all of them.

And being a bit of a recluse I prefer to stay at home most weekends and do my own thing.

I enjoy spending time in the garden. Spending a fair amount of time planting lots of different flowers to encourage the bee’s and butterflies over the last few years has paid off as we get lots of different visitors during the warmer months.

I deliberately leave my grass to grow long as its field grass so it slowly turns into a meadow during the warmer months with some wild flowers coming through. I leave what others call weeds, I like to see the insects they bring in with their flowers, rarely seen in most people’s gardens these days.

Much to the disdain of my neighbours who are your stereo typical mown grass, weed killing, none pollen producing flower type people.

Or as I call them, boring garden people.

I prefer a messy, wild garden. One filled with wild flowers and weeds. I enjoy seeing the insects it brings in and can sit for hours watching the bee’s and butterflies and every other crawling or flying thing.

I enjoy seeing my garden come to life with the different wild flowers and the grasses that grow in the meadow lawn and then the insects this brings in too, especially the less seen insects like moths and grasshoppers.

I’ve no idea how they all find our garden amongst the sterile non pollen filled gardens of our neighbours, but I welcome them and it makes me happy to see them.

I put in a small sink pond a few years ago and it’s now established and a few frogs have made it there home, again, how’d they find it. Build it and they will come seems to work with nature.

Being in debt I guess also helps my love of being at home, because it means I can’t go out and spend money I don’t have. I’ve got a few luxuries I pay for at home, like movie, sport and music apps etc. But I need to keep my outgoings down until my debt is gone, so it does help enjoying being a recluse and being at home.

Anyway, time for a quick bit of weight lifting which is going alright. Not moved on from the weights I’d got to a few weeks back but I’ve found a level which is working to keep my healthy and fit to continue my job which is what it’s all about I guess. Then it’s time to watch some sport with a nice cold cider I think.

Until next time…

WeeMike

Life goes on but not much changes.

Not sure what’s happened to the last 6 months, whizzed by delivering parcels and not a lot else due to Covid-19.

I’ve been able to keep a basic weight lifting routine going and have just the last few weeks started to get towards something heavy again on the main lifts.

I’ve moved my heaviest main lifts like squats and shoulder press to the weekends and try and do the easier (for me) other lifts during the week so that my body is less whacked after a hard day’s parcel delivering.

It’s working so far which is good, but it’s taken longer than I wanted as I’ve fallen off the routine a few times over the months but at least I’m still going with it this time, which shows to me that it’s doable with my job at least.

I’ve settled down in my new route, having had half of it changed to a more urban area and to be honest its not that bad really. Closer to home so I get to go home for lunch sometimes, which is awesome on baking hot days so I can cool down rather than sit in a hot van.

The last few weeks though I’ve been pining for a proper outdoor job again though. It’s probably due to the nicer weather and I’m missing working on the land once again.

But due to our financial situation with the debt, I’ve got to stay where I am for now as its the highest paying job I want to do at the moment. And as it is one of the highest paying jobs in the industry I’d be silly to leave it when our debt needs paying off.

I didn’t realise how well paid it was until I started looking at other delivery driving jobs that are around, no idea how companies think they can offer the low wage that they do and expect to get good drivers.

Which might be the point when I see some of the delivery drivers around, they shite pmsl.

Anyway, got my blog on an app on my phone now so might write something down a bit more regularly again.

Time for some euro 2020 footy and a beer I think.

Until next time…

WeeMike