Sunday, May 22, 2016


A key component of my training philosophy is that the coach (who might the athlete as well) must actively seek out opportunities in whatever circumstances the athlete is enmeshed. This can be easy; the powerlifter, a couple weeks ago, completed a training block that culminated in going 9/9 at an important meet, and setting new PRs in all three movements. Moreover, the athlete was not injured; now, after a couple weeks rest, the athlete is ready to start a new training cycle.

In this case, the difficulty may well be that the athlete is faced with too many opportunities. The watchful mind of the coach can quickly hone in on the true opportunities, and eliminate the fool's gold at the end of the rainbows.

But at some point in the athlete's career, the training cycle will end; and the athlete will, for whatever reason(s), be faced with a dearth of opportunity. I'm currently finding myself in that place - no matter how I slice it, no matter how I envision possibilities, there is just a paucity of opportunity.

Going back a couple months, to mid-March, I had really just found my way back to training after dealing with an absolute boatload of shit surrounding my cancer diagnosis. I was just at the point where it was, I thought, feasible to put a program together and start getting back under weight. Even though my prognosis was not great, I thought I could still train.

Then I bled out, ended up being intubated and put in a coma for a few days while surgeons tried to fix me, and upon coming back to the world of the living was told that any fix for the bleeding was temporary; that I was guaranteed to bleed out again, and if it was not caught quickly I would die; and I should "go home and lay low" until a more permanent fix was found.

How does one find any opportunity in this situation? How can there be any opportunity - found or otherwise - in such a life? Knowing that my prognosis is poor; having a top hematologist tell me that there is no reason for optimism about any aspect of my case; well, that doesn't scream "opportunity" very loudly.

And maybe, just maybe, this is stretching it: but here's an interesting set of circumstances. I'm losing weight, rapidly. It's easy on the cancer diet: rarely do I have any appetite, when I have an appetite, I'm so nauseated I can't force food down.

Maybe, just maybe, this is an opportunity to compete as a lightweight. Maybe I can continue to drop weight so that I can hit the 230lb cutoff. Maybe I'll have this opportunity soon.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The shakiness

Well, I'm not sure what to do.  I currently have so many health issues, that the odds are high I will drop dead any day now. Completely putting aside the issues related to DISH - which slowed me down so much - I have enough problems from the cancer that I'm afraid strenuous training will kill me.

First up:  the portal vein hypertension (PVH) & bleeding varices.  I'm rather just waiting for the varices to start bleeding again.  I can only hope that we have decided and implemented a course of action prior to this episode which we know is guaranteed to come.

Up next:  my liver has cirrhosis.  This is, we think, from the load placed on it by one or two different things from the cancer. Either the body is relying upon the liver (and spleen) to manufacture red blood cells, or the PVH has directly caused the cirrhosis.

In third place: because of the cirrhosis and PVH and varices, my venous network is compromised.  Essentially, this just means that my veins are not working properly, somewhere - and we know that's in my gut.  However, the body is composed of systems: veins are no different, in that they belong to a network of veins, and this entire system attempts to balance itself into homeostasis.  In my case, that means that the venous system is not doing a great job at returning fluid from the legs and feet.

My feet are so swollen that I can't fit into my normal shoes.  I can unlace a pair of hiking boots, wedge them on, and then lace 'em up tight.  This squeezes the fluid out of my feet, and into my calves.  The compression socks I wear help to push the fluid up past my calves.  Normally, things would drain fine from that point up.

However, the venous system is so compromised that my knees become swollen.

So, I'm slightly worried about this edema.  My feet and legs from just a couple inches above the knee down are in constant pain; the severity comes and goes.

Clearly, I can't do any full body work that generates any intensity.

I'm not sure that I can even train arms.

I think that I'm going to have to put aside training until such time as some of these issues are resolved.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A shaky return

First session back after my induced coma, bleeding out, and receiving 12L of blood.

Didn't go all that well.

But, considering that I had immense difficulty with using stairs on Thursday, and now I don't, I guess I see some progress.  It's depressing as fuck, but, it's something.

I did some upper body today.  Started with seated chest supported rows.  Did light weight, 15 reps, then 10 reps, then moved with no weight, and my muscles kept cramping / locking terribly.  I had to have Sharon hit my lats and other pulling muscles with the thumper.

Then I did some band crossovers.

That was it.

Didn't want to push things too hard / far.

Yes, I am the biggest pussy in the world.