Check ins

Thanks to WordPress’ Support Team, I’m back!

As some of you may have noticed, I stopped posting abruptly on May 14th: the day I went home to San Diego. This is because for some reason, WordPress hasn’t been working on my macbook OR my PC desktop, even when I try with my laptop in cafes! It wouldn’t let me load anything, not even my own site. This also happened last December and January when I was home for winter break.

My problem was especially mysterious and had both me and the WordPress support team completely stumped since January, but this morning we finally solved it: I use a Berkeley library proxy server in order to access scientific papers (which I talk about in my science videos), and it seems that the proxy server address somehow got messed up so the only time WordPress would work was when it was on UC Berkeley wifi… which is the only network that doesn’t turn on the proxy server.

Moral of the story: 1) if you’re mysteriously unable to load WordPress, your proxy settings might be the culprit and 2) I’m back and so excited to be able to blog again at long last!

 

Progress Photos

Discovering Quads

I’m over a month into my hip injury… and I still have quads?!

Unflexed vs flexed!
Unflexed vs flexed!

(Kindly excuse the crappy phone photo. And the hilarious pose that’s necessary to photograph them.)

I didn’t even know I had much quad at all until I casually investigated yesterday and witnessed the above. It was like finding an entirely new body part. I was so mystified–especially because the only difference between these two photos is flexing! And I couldn’t even fully unflex in the unflexed photo because my quads just were not having it.

But anyways, thanks to my hip injury (see the fun details in my last post), I was afraid that having to forego leg day would mean no more legs. Well, leg muscle, that is. I just recently acquired all of it, so I’ve been afraid that my body will revert to it’s natural, gelatinous form.

7-03-14 038
Exhibit A from just one year ago. (Also, featuring the lovely, non-gelatinous G of P&P holding the flag)

Gotta love having legs that flatten out like pancakes. Seriously, my former body type is best described as “gelatinous.”

And now, I’d say “jello with a surprising amount of muscle underneath.” I’m getting there one step at a time, regardless of how much my hip wants to sabotage me. 😛

Check ins

Hip injuries: The killer of leg day (and dreams)

At the beginning of April, I got too ambitious. Something about my spring break filled me with renewed motivation and a desire to not only be a lifter, but… a runner!

I’ve been doing some occasional HIIT on the treadmill for months, but decided that in April, I wanted to get some endurance. So I started C25K, wrote an enthusiastic blog post about it, and was having a grand old time. I was lifting 2-3x a week and running 2-3x a week, and loving every minute of it.

That is, until my hip decided that it was having none of it.

Ironically, the day I got injured is the day I wrote that post about: the first day I’ve tried running outside since December. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I suppose running downhill for awhile messed me up in a way that didn’t present until the next day. I was still in pain but tried running again 2 days later, this time on a treadmill, thinking I just had a tight muscle and it would go away.

Nope! Massively intensified pain.

Since then, I’ve been limping pretty badly, and haven’t been able to run at all. It’s hard to get dressed in the morning or even stand up. But apparently I’m stubborn, because I’ve still been walking ~5 miles a day (although still lower than my usual 6-7), and doing my lifting: including squats and romanian deadlifts and whatnot. I finally went to the doctor after 3 weeks, upon realizing it hadn’t improved in the least bit. She didn’t say anything conclusive at all except that I need to wear my running shoes everywhere instead of my usual converse, stop doing leg work (goodbye, squats and deadlifts), and see a physical therapist.

It’s a good thing my running shoes are neutral colored and match with everything. (Not.)

I had my physical therapy appointment last Thursday, and he seemed a bit mystified by my injury. He wasn’t sure what it was either, but his best guess was some kind of hip flexor strain… even though those usually clear up in 1-3 weeks. (?!) I can’t see him again any time soon because I’m leaving town, but he said that he’d like to see me in the fall if it’s still bothering me. If it’s still bothering me in 3 months I’ll probably have a meltdown.

The best/most hilarious part is that I learned that I’ve been standing and walking wrong all these years. Apparently my core and glute muscles HATE activating so I walk and stand in the laziest way possible, putting all my strain on my hip flexors. I’m quite sure this is from years of having literally no muscle beyond what was absolutely necessary to survive. My body is apparently incredibly adept at avoiding using or building muscle whenever possible 😛

So it’s been exactly a month, and now every lifting day is arm day. I’ve been doing the core work that he assigned me and standing/walking with better posture, but things haven’t improved since physical therapy. I’ve had to give up my goal of being able to run a mile without stopping by summer. (Since my summer starts in a few days…)

And boy do I miss leg day. 😦 But I’m holding out hope that I’ll be better soon!