Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest - Denis Diderot, 1751
I mounted it all in a nice wooden ammo box that I've had for about 23 years now.
Just to make it complete I put some nice flashing blue LED Xmas lights, just because. Here's what it sounds like on a good day.
And this is how it begins. I was lamenting the loss of my dear SH101 (which coincided with the arrival of my dear Virus so I can't complain too much) when I slipped and bought a monotribe for an analogue fix. One thing led to another and suddenly I was building a modular synth in my free time.
This is how it began to take form - thanks to a few essential bits shipped over from the UK by my good friend Paul. He's another one. Not me.
New things have happened, and are still happening...
AND I've fallen into the tunnel known as Modular Synthesisers...
Tinnitus/ˈtɪnɪtəs/ or /tɪˈnaɪtəs/; from the Latin word tinnītus meaning "ringing" is the perception of sound within the human ear (ringing of the ears) when no actual sound is present.
People get excited when an elbow touches down in MotoGP, but in street racing they get their shoulders scraping walls..!
IF this is your photograph get in touch, I'l credit you or take it down. Whichever you prefer. I can't find your details.
I've been away, got a new job, sorted some things out, and bought a bike.
Kawasaki GPZ500r, also known as a Ninja 5r.
So much fun...
Alice is back, and she's mad.
Don't you just love video games?
1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.
Concentrate on the positive, not the detractors, always.
2. 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it.
3. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” (Colin Powell)
4. “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” (Scott Boras)
5. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” (Epictetus)
6. “Living well is the best revenge.” (George Herbert)
“Attack hate by showing how you are doing fine.”
7. Keep calm and carry on.
Don't feed the trolls...
So, Day 25 was X Stretch. Nice and easy, bit of stretching, and I do enjoy this one. I did it last thing before hitting the sack.
Day 26 was the dreaded Core Synergistics once more. I tried harder this time, and managed to roll about on the floor like a pro. That doesn't sound right. What kind of pro rolls about on the floor? Anyway, I did the whole routine, upping my reps from two days before, adding weights where I'd skipped them the first time round, and pretty much forgot about the sand kicking debacle from day 24. I can't say I nailed it, but lets just say C.S. didn't snigger quite so loudly this time.
Now on Day 27 I actually kinda came off the wagon, whoops. It should have been Yoga X, but apathy, tiredness and plain old forgetting meant I suddenly realised it was 11:30 in the evening and I still hadn't done it. I was tempted to call it a night and go to bed, maybe swapping it for the X Stretch the day after, but no, I had an idea. Instead I went for Tony Horton's One on One Fountain of Youth lesson: 45 minutes of yoga. All in all it's still a bugger to get through, but half as long, so I only feel half as guilty.
On Day 28 I decided to take the rest option and do bugger all. I nailed the resting - no question.
So that was Phase 1 over, and now I was on to the next level: Phase 2... In reality only two out of the 3 weight routines are changed, everything else stays the same. Nevertheless, this small change is great for someone who did 60 days of P90 (most of which were the same 2 videos...).
In at the deep end, Day 29 was the new Chest, Shoulders & Triceps. followed by the not so new Ab Ripper X. No surprise that this new routine has loads of press ups, and it's no surprise to me that I stopped missing them three press ups into the routine. There are slow motion ones, sliding about ones, hand clap ones and my personal favourite (not) the one-handed variety. I tried to start each type on my hands and feet, and quickly ended each one on my knees. Most of the weight routines were done with my lighter 5 Kg dumbbells, and only a few felt too easy. This is a problem, because it means that this routine is crying out for another dumbbell set, so I'll be pausing the video to change weights on my adjustable pair. Anyway, I felt pretty pathetic after today, this is what that whole muscle confusion deal is all about, I guess. After getting into the first three-week series of videos I was getting confident, and now suddenly my muscles are guessing what to do, and mostly giving me the wrong answers. It's all good though. Ab Ripper X on the other hand was a breeze, kinda. 349 reps with only a small amount of grunting.
And finally to today: Day 30 and it's good old Plyometrics. Hmmm. My chest and shoulders are aching today, which means tomorrow will be hell on legs. I need to eat some bananas, they should help with the pain.
The only things that you need to do P90X (apart from will-power and sheer bloody mindedness) are dumbbells (which can be substituted by resistance bands), a mat and a Pull Up Bar. Yeah, you need a towel and water, and sure, Tony does tell you to have a little bucket ready, but so far I've made do with a mop for the sweat.
I had some weights and a pair of dumbbells, but I might get some bands soon too just to help when I need to switch weights for some exercises. The company that makes P90X do recommend you buy their own products at every opportunity, but that's fair enough, they have money to make. In the UK and the States pull up bars are easy to come by, but here in Italy it isn't the case, you're lucky to find the simple twist-in-place bar if you venture down to your local sports shop, and they need some fastening and don't offer multiple hand positions. A much better idea is the kind that hooks on a door frame. No screws or nails, and no big ugly bars on your walls, something my girl would never have allowed in the living room. So, faced with extortionate postal charges to ship one from the UK I made my own out of steel water pipes. The pipes and joints come in a wide range of sizes and are all threaded, so with €17 I bought the bits and screwed them together. As added security I welded the joints up, but I think that was overkill in reality.
Here you can see the form, no rocket science, it just exerts force on the wall in two directions (forwards and backwards) and locks into place when I need it. A couple of rubber feet help save the wall on the back (and I put some tape on the there to stop the feet marking the wall). The side legs are covered in fowm and gaffer tape. I might put some padding on the bars sooner or later, I was thinking bicycle handlebar tape, but for now I wear gloves when doing pull ups.
My P90X story so far.
Anyway, Day 23 was a new workout, namely Core Synergistics, and it was humbling as usual.
C.S. is all about your trunk, from and including your buttocks to your chest. There's a few push ups, somewhich see you running, jumping up, rolling on your back and then there's a load of banana moves... What's a banana move? Well, basically you lie on your back and point your arms above your head. Now get your legs and arms off the floor and imagine you're yellow. That's easy till you have to spin on to your side and then your stomach, each time with nice pauses for grunting. Whilst on the videos the gang make it look coordinated and athletic, I look like a fish out of water, literally. The grunts are only interrupted by shrill screams as I roll off the mat on to the icy tiled floor. In future I'll wear a T-shirt for this routine. I wish I could have celebrated this number 23 better, but C.S. kicked sand in my face and sniggered. I couldn't keep up with the gang for many exercises, and some I had to stop the video to try and understand what the hell they were doing. This routine is also the first that could really do with a bigger room to do it in.
Day 24 was Kenpo X and apart from sliding about during stretching it's not a bad routine. I still can't do the combined block routine, no matter how many times Tony say, "block, stab, stab, block" I end up doing block, grab, wave, scratch my knee... i did my own DNA removal as Tony puts it (sweating) so it's all good. Still, tomorrow is X Stretch, relatively painless.
Funnily enough I miss doing the weights some. I'm actually glad C.S. has some push ups, weird huh?
Saturday was Yoga, and as always it's a tough one. I did the routine in the afternoon, and it seemed harder than normal, but maybe it was just me. I held the Crane Position for a whopping 6 seconds (hands on floor, knees on elbows, lean forwards and balance on hands), though I doubt I'll ever try this one without a cushion in front of me for the inevitable faceplant. I usually do pretty well with the yoga for the first 25 minutes and then it gets hard. The Right-Angle Pose to Extended Right-Angle Pose & Grab is still a killer, and the Warrior Three to Standing Splits are a strain but then the Half Moon to Twisting Half Moon just leaves me crashing out and putting a foot down. Even my oms at the end don't seem as good as the guys on the TV. No real progress there...
Sunday was day 18 and that means Legs and Back followed by ARX. As far as legs are going I'm not too bad on that front. I've decided that the only shoes that don't slip during the Wall Squats are a pair of crocs (my walking in the garden shoes). This time I managed the 90 seconds two legged and even nailed the Single Leg Squats too. In total I did 116 chair assisted pull ups, compared with 97 from the week before. I think I might try and do some unassisted during Phase 2, wish me luck. ARX was fine, I kept up with the gang and even knocked out a couple of extra Mason Twists and did the harder version of the Leg Climbs. Next Phase I'll try the other harder versions too.
Monday was a bit more tricky: I didn't have time for Kenpo till after my dinner (around 10) and I still bugger up the block combination move every time. I'm going to have to practice that one during the day I think, otherwise I'll keep on punching myself and twisting my own arm. It's not so much self defence as self attack right now.
Tuesday and again I did the routine (this time X Stretch) after dinner. It's funny to discover myself reaching further and stretching more after such a short time.
And with this routine I've finished the first three weeks of P90X. Now I have a week for "Recovery". What this means is I have no weight training, and no pull ups. Don't get your hopes up too high though, because this week you get Yoga x 2, and a new routine called Core Synergistics x2 along with Stretch x 2 and one Kenpo.
So I wearily did Yoga X Wednesday, in the afternoon again. Not a good call, I have to do these routines in the morning when I can, I feel much better doing them earlier for some reason. So, what can I say about yoga that I already haven't? It hurts, it's hard. I can't do Half Moon to Twisting Half Moon at all, it's a bit better than before, but not by much. I managed 16 seconds for the Crane Position, but I did end it by falling on my head. sure glad I had cushions ready. I also managed to touch my heels for the One/Two-Legged Hamstring Stretches, a good improvement.
Now for other thoughts. Diet-wise I've not really gone to the lengths that the course reccommends. I have cut down the fat as much as possible, and tried to replace as much carbohydrates with protein as I can manage / afford. It should be 50% protien to 30% carbs, but I quickly realised I'd need to eat 6 egg whites for breakfast, fish for lunch and turkey for dinner to get close to that. I got some protein powder to up the protein intake and I have a scoop with my morning oats and then again after workouts in a milkshake with a banana. However, I got the cassein powder which is slower acting than whey, so next month I'll try some whey to see what difference it makes to me. I'm trying to get my extra snacks in the morning and afternoon to keep my metabolism going fast and I avoid eating 3 hours before going to bed. I cut down my 3 large bottles of beer a day (3 litres...) to 1 or two small cans a week (it's hard). I tend to finish any wine there is on the table so I'm only getting a couple of bottles a week. Self discipline is not one of my strengths, it would be better if someone rationed my wine intake to a glass every meal or less, but as long as there's no wine in the house (and my neighbours lock their doors) I'm ok.
Monday night I actually took the dog out for a (brief) run. Probably only a kilometre and a half, but it felt easy, so I might do it again and go further.
And how are the videos now I've seen them at least 3 times each? Well, Sometimes Tony still makes me smile, often unwittingly. Anyone else notice the frisson of sexual tension when Tony strokes Shawna's neck going into X Stretch? She can't resist a smile there, something's afoot methinks. It's hard to see if she smiles later in the video when he touches her arse, mainly because she's lying on her back with her knee by her nose. I know, weird things to notice, but when you watch a video several times you start paying attention to the little things.
Wednesday was Chest and Back, and I must have worked pretty hard because I can definitely feel them bits today. Even just doing the ballistic stretch Huggers is kinda painful today. As I've said before, this routine is basically push ups and pull ups, and I hate push ups. Rather than trying to just pace myself I went for max on the first run through, which meant for the second I was knackered. During the second set of incline push ups I'd set my target on 15, but as I got to 10 my arms buckled and I almost chewed the floor. Oh well. ARX was fine, but I took a 5 minute break before starting it. I only just missed out on maxing the reps, missing one rep on the dreaded Roll Up / V Up Combo.
Thursday was Plyometrics, and I'm almost keeping up now. The guitar leaping things are a bugger, and I can't throw left handed, but apart from that it's ok. Heart rate was up at 150 bpm the whole 55 minutes, with one peak out of my zone at 170 bpm... 2 or 3 calories were burned, probably.
Today was Shoulders and arms, and my chest and back are letting me know I worked them Wednesday. I've left the dumbbells at 5 kg and 10 kg, though I wish I could have some 6's, 7's, 11's, and 12's, but for now this is what I have. All reps were increased.
Today I nailed Ab Ripper X, maxing all the reps! That means 349 of the swine. After next weeks recovery week I'll be able to start adapting the moves to make them harder. The 6 pack is still only peeking though, that last level of fat is hanging on for dear life. I'm going to have to get stricter on the diet I think.
It was hard work with wobbly legs. I just can't do the Wall Squats, mainly because the tiled floor in my home means my feet slide away from me no matter what shoes I wear, or if I don't wear any. Not sure how to solve that one, apart from going outside in the garden to do them.
Monday I got back from work late but rushed about like a madman and got through Kenpo in time before eating at about 8:30 p.m.
Today was pretty much the same, home just before 7 p.m. and straight into the easy one: X Stretch, or Stretch X, I don't remember which. Surprisingly I'm already more flexible than last week, though I still get the odd twinge in my lower back.
The next two days will be rough: work and big work outs. SO it's "do your best, and forget the rest. Bring it", and all that motivation baloney like "decide, commit and succeed". Oh well, whatever, I have different ways to motivate myself, like getting a six pack for Christmas. It would be easier if Santa Clause brought me one though...