Sunday, July 4, 2021

Beach-Based Gloom Buster, European Fitness, When Games Disappoint

It’s a bit of a convoluted story, but for a few months now I have been back at the hospital campus I that transferred out of six years ago, in addition to my regular campus and one other campus forty-five minutes away. The one forty-five minutes away has since been passed on to someone else, so now I “only” have the two campuses, which feels like sweet relief after what I’ve been through these last few months. Now that I will be able to physically spend more time at the new-old campus, I have to do something about my office again. It’s in what I’ve always deemed a “bat cave”--a dark, windowless room in the back of a kitchenette, where no light shines and where gloom ever-hovers at the doorstep. You have to actively fight against the looming oppression of the space. My solution the first time around was a fountain. I was convinced the office needed “water energy” and spent an entire day driving all over town trying to find the perfect fountain to brighten it up. I finally did find a fountain, and it did help a little. People liked it. But it turns out fountains need a lot of upkeep. They get slimy and calcium-deposity if you don’t take care of them properly, and I spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning it and replenishing the water. Again with the water energy, this time around I’ve decided it will have an oceanic theme. I put up some beachy prints last week (on loan from my computer room), and my next goal is to go spend that Jo-Anne's gift card I’ve had forever on some beach glass, sea shells, glass bottles and other beach-related crafty items. I’ve earmarked tomorrow as a craft day and I’m looking forward to an excuse to play with shiny things.

I had my first official session with my new trainer last week, and it went great. In line with my goal of being able to do a pull-up, she wants me to acclimate to “pulling movements” so we did a lot of that, as well as something she called a “Romanian dead lift.” When I told Mr. Typist about that one, he was immediately skeptical and wanted to know why it was specifically called a “Romanian” dead lift and could its origins actually be traced to Romania. That led me to reflect upon how many exercises are named after European-block countries. For example, there is the Russian Kettle Bell Swing, the Bulgarian Split Squat, and the Turkish Get-Up (a nightmare, and yes, I know Turkey is more in Asia than Europe but you get my point.) Yet there no exercises that I know of named after Swedes, Norwegians or Fins, nothing from Iceland, and on the warmer side of things, nothing named after Belize, Costa Rica or Saint Luca. So it doesn’t appear to be climate-related. I don’t know what’s going on here. Maybe the general vibe of those countries is just more chill and laid-back. Whatever the reason, I like doing the European-named exercises. They make me feel strong and intense and geared up for battle.

Speaking of gearing up for battle, Steam had another sale ahead of the 4th of July holiday and I was in the mood for little monster-beating, so I downloaded a game that was as much as titled that, and I was really excited about it, only to find that it immediately enraged me and gave me a stress headache. The monsters are well-rendered and immensely creative, I’ll give them that, but they are infuriating. There is this one sneaky bastard who grabs a giant boulder from the ground and uses it like a shield, then bashes you with it and runs away, not to mention vomits gross stuff on you, and every monster battle is an epic 25-minute fight during which you have to chase them all over the map. It’s too bad, because it’s a very well-designed game in terms of story and visuals, but I play games to relax my brain on the weekends, not to get drenched in adrenaline and cortisol. Forget it. I’m back to my calming, no-stakes jigsaw puzzles.

In the spirit of strength, enjoy this video from my strong, strong friend Meg Squats on the Turkish Get-Up, which I will not be attempting any time soon.

 --Kristen McHenry


Dale said...

Heh. Ultimately, the East European domination of weightlifting has to do with the genetics of the human pelvis: they have, of all human beings, the shallowest hip sockets. So at least says Daniel Lieberman in Exercised. I suspect that the mid 20th Century early adoption of steroids by the Warsaw Pact nations also had something to do with it :-)

The Good Typist said...

That's really interesting, Dale! Thank you for the info. I am going to check out that book. :) said...

Great post. I'm almost inspired to go out and take on the Romanian Deadlift and Turkish Getup. Almost! lol