Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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that shoulder i’ve written so much about

When I looked forward to 2016 one of the three things I planned to focus on during the year was to continue to rehab my shoulder mindfully with appropriate increases in difficulty. The immediate action I was going to take was to print out my rehab schedule (up until now I’ve used a version on my phone). With previous success in mind, after I completed each session I planned to cross off the workout.

This past July Evelina and I started up my shoulder-rehab workout routine together, which was awesome. I strongly recommend having a workout buddy, it’s a huge motivator for me. Something fun we can do together. Plus, when I crossed off the workout it was like getting my own version of a gold star. Everybody likes getting a gold star, that’s just known fact.

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It’s not my personal workout routine, so you only get to see a snippet – but check out that BIG OL’ X!

Instead of following only this workout/rehab routine we added some yoga and running, and not just as recovery. Every other day we did a lift and every other day we ran/did yoga. This was a great balance, especially considering we had missed the past 26 weeks of workouts.

What’s so great about all of these workouts is they can be done outside. Yoga under a tree or a run around the neighborhood, what could be better? Also, with the help of our local outdoor gym, we can even lift outside.

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My shoulder is feeling good these days, and I’m excited to say that after a year and a half of recovery and rehab it’s finally feeling like my shoulder again.

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focus

My wife recently suggested that I cut down on my activities. It was really good advice. What she was getting at is that I do a lot of things, activities we’ll call them, though many of these activities are self-imposed “things to do”. I agree, I have a lot on my plate. Many of these “things to do” do not need to get done, or certainly not right now, today.

I’ve decided to prioritize just a few things, and be sure to rock these things.

The title of this post is FOCUS. Both because I am narrowing my FOCUS to just three things: work, play & PN. But also because the name of the PN team I’m in is called team FOCUS. It all fits in nicely.

focus

Thus far I’ve posted three PN posts under that PN tab up top, (one, two and three – if you’re interested). I’m really enjoying the program. If you’ve read the posts you’ll recal that we focus on three things in PN (that’s where I got the magic number three from – no historical mythological connections here). The three PN things we FOCUS on are: lesson, habit & workout.

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I’m extrapolating this tactic to the other areas of my life. Hopefully to find some personal balance and success in my endeavors. What this means for the blog: in the coming months I will be posting less. I post about 7 posts per month, but for at least the next three months I’ll be posting fewer than that. I certainly enjoy writing and posting, so occasionally writing a blog post will fall under the category of “fun”. But I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to post a particular post at a particular time.

See you in the fall! When I’ll be sure to tell you all about how much I’ve rocked my work, play & PN over the summer.

HAGS!

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an ode to elizabeth

Otherwise entitled: Ode on Intimations of Running Immortality from Recollections of a Time When I Ran a Lot

There was a time when pavement, field and track,
Came up to meet my stomping feet.
Now looking back,
I’d not have survived without this treat.
Rip-stick thy name, carried via knapsack.
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Received one summer’s eve, I believeth,
Amazing healing powers,
Disencumbers.
A true friend helping me to run, Elizabeth.

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Inspired by Elizabeth, her amazing gift of the rip-stick, and William Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. You know, the important things: friends, presents and William Wordsworth.

Seriously though, Elizabeth, that rip-stick you bestowed upon me but three years ago has been put to some seriously good use. Not only did it help me with my recovery when I did all that running that one time, but it’s also been used for the past three hockey seasons. This past season in particular it not only aided Evelina and I in our recovery, but also the rest of the team. So, thank you Elizabeth. SSK/Linden dam also thanks you. You’re so generous.

If you don’t already know what a rip-stick is, it’s this:

rip stick

You roll it along your aching muscles and it’s like giving yourself a massage. Also helpful in these efforts is a foam roller. This thing:

Foam roller

Both of these items aid in recovery. Or that’s what they’re said to do. And I tend to believe it. Another recovery/injury aid I use often, which Elizabeth also introduced to me, is KT tape. Or kinesiology tape.

Now’s as good a time as any to inform you all that I injured my shoulder in the last hockey game of the season. Without going too much into the dirty details, things are healing, but could also be better. The up side: I get to be professionally KT taped! Up until now I’ve been applying the tape myself, or relying on my kind teammates to tape me up. I’ve been pretty successful in these endeavors actually, but it doesn’t quite compare to a professional taping. My physio taped me up on Tuesday, alleviating a good amount of pain, and the tape is still sitting right where it should be! That’s quality care.

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

I know, I make this look good. Think good thoughts for my shoulder recovery!

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#iworkout

Do you know how tired my legs are? Probably not, because I haven’t told you yet. They’re super tired.

As I mentioned (in 2012) I’ve been working out of late. Alright, to be honest, I haven’t been working out straight from 2012 up to now. But it has been a pretty good run! Sometimes even literally! (Oh, wow, I’m so funny.)

Anywho! On my 25 before 25 list I wanted to get fit! And on June 6th I deemed this goal complete. However, the road was long, and continues on.

Up until this point I’ve pretty much exclusively written about the nutrition side of getting fit (discounting the running posts here and here). The nutrition posts can be viewed here, here, and my post from the other day. But now I’d like to turn to the working out side of things.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, and if you’re not that’s okay too, I play ice hockey. I have played for 13 seasons, plus this past one, which makes 14. (For all you math lovers out there). As part of playing hockey at varying levels over the years I have gained some experience in the weight room. At university I got my first real taste of personally modified, consistent, scheduled training in the weight room. I really liked it. Since leaving I have continued with these workouts, especially during the summer months.

The summer workouts were a bit of a thing to dread when I was in school, especially when they required up to 5 hours of gym time. That summer you could not say what I was doing was efficient training. But, that was what it took for me to complete the scheduled workouts. Since that particular summer an absolutely amazing Strength & Conditioning coach was hired, and started fine tuning our workouts. Since moving to Sweden, every summer, like clock work, Evelina and i have followed this workout regime. I love these work outs — but it does bring us to why my legs hurt so much.

We’re well into Phase III of the workout, and this is where things start getting exciting. By exciting I mean heavy. There are four phases to the summer work out. Starting in May and ending in August, the phases are three and four weeks long, odd numbered phases are three weeks, even are four. Phase III is kicking my butt. Literally. Not only are my legs sore my butt is sore. To the point where it’s uncomfortable to sit down. It’s actually just pretty uncomfortable all the time.

However, it’s a whole different kind of pain than the soreness of my running legs. Funny how that is.

I love lifting, and doing hockey specific workouts. I do also love running, which I think is a great form of exercise. This spring injured myself running, but before that I had kept pretty good track of my runs and workouts. Unfortunately I didn’t keep perfect track of them, but I did open up that old spread sheet yesterday and update it to include my summer workouts.

lifting should alwasy be in pink. lifting is for girls.

lifting should always be in pink. lifting is for girls.

This isn’t something I’ve ever done, keep track of my workouts in this way. I have my workouts scheduled on my iCal and the lift program is printed out, so I can look back and see the days I’ve completed, but I’ve never had everything in one place like this. It’s pretty fun! I’m even more excited about the possibility of continuing to keep track and seeing what I can change and improve upon to make even better strides in the future. Imagine!

Like I said though, I haven’t been working out straight since 2012, every day all day. Sometimes the motivation wanes. That’s when I turn to technology to provide me with inspiring quotes matched with motivating pictures. (Although that was said sarcastically in my mind, it really is the reality of things).

workitout

pictures from google, instagram, etc. found with search words such as #fit #fitness #workout #run #lift you get the idea

Ever in need of a little extra motivation? Save that picture and read some of the quotes. It just might help. If you’re game, you can also keep track of your workouts. I know I will.

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season’s ending

Not only does it feel like Spring in Sweden, but they hockey season is ending as well. As of my latest hockey update, around half way through our season, I discussed our team’s goals and expectations that we discussed last summer about what our expectations for the upcoming season were.

Looking back, I think we have had a successful season. Concerning the wordclouds I made, I would gladly say that we have found success in all categories…but one. Unfortunately this year we did not make it to AllEttan (take another look at the previous post for an explanation of AllEttan).
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Last year we were one win away from AllEttan. This year we were three wins away from AllEttan. But all was not a disappointment. We play in a tight league, and all the games this season were close competitions. So, really, when you look at the season over all it was certainly a good one.
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Not making it to AllEttan was a let down, but the continuance series was a success this year, as it was last year. As in the regular series we continued to play close games. The continuance series is six games, where the four teams who did not move on to AllEttan play each other twice. Of our six games four of them were taken to shoot outs, where we were able to take an extra point in two of them. Our team fought hard, and lead the continuance play in points throughout the series, unfortunately only up until the last game. The loss of the extra point gave us equal points with AIK, who had one extra point in goal differential and therefore won the series. Still an over all success for the team though.
photo 1 (3)
I’m proud of the work we have accomplished as a team, and look forward to start off ice training. (Accompanied by my marathon training of course.) I’m a little less proud of my personal statistics in the continuance series. photo 3 (3)I’m certainly glad I was able to score 2 shoot out goals, as well as another two goals and an assist in regular play, to land 4th over all in points. (First in decisive goals.) Decisive GoalsHowever, my penalty minutes are embarrassing. Before the game today I had 14 minutes in the box.
Penalty Minutes
Luckily I managed to get my act together for the final match up of the season, but as the most penalized player in the continuance series I can’t really count that as a win. In the off-season, as well as focusing on forward strides in my fitness, I’ll have to focus on clean play. I’ve yet to figure out how to work out for that, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
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See you in the gym!
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the new year’s tradition

Did you guys know that Ryan was here over New Years? Again. The first time he came for New Year’s he ended up belly dancing in a restaurant.

There's picture proof, so you know it happened

There’s picture proof, so you know it happened.

While that will be hard to beat, I’m glad he took my invitation seriously, and showed up this year as well.

#nye13

It was great having him. On #nye we enjoyed a home cooked meal at Evelina’s parents house, and then walked/ran down to the city in order not to miss the fireworks. We did not.

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I took some time off work, so we took it easy and ate a lot of fika. It was excellent.

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FIKA!

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Besides all the fika-ing we also spent a lot of time at the rink. Ryan got to try out his goalie skills in one of our practices, and I was thoroughly impressed. He also helped out the coaches as well as got some lifting time in the gym. We even ran together, seeing as I went a little crazy and signed up for a marathon. Ryan, consider this your official invitation to run the marathon with me.

Look who's in net

movies 3D style

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Movies were also watched, with HFR, hence the wicked cool shades.

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Having Ryan to visit is always a blast, and I hope we keep the New Year’s tradition going strong. In reminiscing about Ryan’s most recent visit, a summertime visit comes to mind. Both Ryan and Tyler came to Sweden the summer of 2012.

They had both just gone on a tour of Great Britain and Wales, and had had a great time.

lazing about

(Clearly not more fun than Sweden though)

Lucky for me they decided to stop by Sweden before making the trip back across the Atlantic. We spend the time riding bikes around Eskilstuna, and having fika. I hope you sense the theme. A day trip to the Natural History Museum was also in order.

The National History Museum

Where we posed creepily with the animals. Obviously.

There were serious moments as well:

the siblings

Ryan, Tyler, consider THIS your open invitation to visit Sweden the summer of 2014!

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what have i done?!

Do you ever ask yourself, in a panicked squeak, what have I done?

I keep asking myself this. In a panicked squeak in my mind. Why am I repetitively asking myself this? Because I have done something. Something I am not so sure about.

Yes, I question my motives. I question my decision making skills. My sanity.

I have signed up for a marathon. A long marathon. I’ve heard they’re 26.2 miles. That’s 42.2 kilometers. That’s far.

In preparation for my training I have turned to the internet. The internet can solve all your problems. I have learned this. I am here to pass on the knowledge. Surprisingly enough I have not found the perfectly tailored marathon training program to fit all my personal and individual needs. As previously mentioned on this blog I am an active hockey player. This means a schedule of three ice practices and two games per week, starting this week and continuing until the end of February. However, the fact of the matter is, today marks 140 days until the ASICS Stockholm Marathon. So it is training time. Time to go. It was time to go yesterday.

pre-marathon training

I got this t-shirt for marathon training activities. Hopefully I’ll look fitter once the training commences. (Yes, I was paid less for this photo since my face is cropped out.)

I just don’t know how to swing it.

Balancing hockey training and marathon training is going to be quite the act.

Tune in to see how I handle it.

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