Well, it appears the MT Blog area is inoperative so I guess I will post here, unless the Blogs come back, then it will switch to there Bringing this back for a bit….. rather annoying but also rather minor (in the overall scheme of things) knee surgery I am going to have more knee surgery (right) the end of March to fix the meniscus and a compound fracture of the tibia. Interesting thing though, the left knee that has surgery last June currently hurts much more than the right that is the reason for surgery at the end of the month. Had acupuncture in the knee this morning and it is doing a bit better. There is a word I learned all about after knee surgery last June; sarcopenia. Basically, anyone who has surgery or an injury that stops them from exercising loses muscle mass. Under 40 it is not really a big deal, it comes back quick, but over 40 it can be problems and the older you get the bigger an issue sarcopenia becomes. That is if you are not taking supplements like steroids they you can artificially boost your muscle recovery, which is something I will not do nor would I recommend. To many other possible nasty side effects from that. I lost a lot of strength, especially in my legs, because I could not work out like I once did due arthritis in the hips and knees. But I have worked to try and maintain what I had. But after surgery it became very obvious very fast. Physical therapy, after surgery, is important and helps, but the goal of physical therapy is to get you to an average functional level so you can get back to your normal life. However, most people do not include martial arts in their normal life and that is where the problem of muscle loss, and loss of flexibility, come into play bigtime. When your younger, recovery time is quicker, been there a few times, but the older you get the longer it takes. And when the MD told me it would be 6 to 8 weeks to recover, I did not realize he was talking mobility, not full recovery. After 6 weeks I asked him how long “recovery would take? Answer, 6 to 8 months. I was convinced that was not true, I’d broken my ankle in my 30s and was back to training Shaolin long fist, xingyi and taijiquan in about 3 months. However this time it took 8 months, almost to the day, before I could walk up and down stairs normally…most of the time. At about the same time, the right knee started causing me issues. I tried to work through it, but after a month of using the stationary bike to try and get it back I realized the bike was causing me a lot of pain. Taijiquan was becoming difficult, Xingyquan was out of the question and the Bike was not happening so I started losing, the little gains I had made, rather quickly. And the prospect of more surgery and more down time was weighing rather heavy on me and got me wondering of would ever get back to taijiquan again, since walking normally was not going to be possible for several more months afterwards. I thought I would be returning to push hands and training in January 2020 and now it looked like not before November 2020, and I was wondering what my leg strength, or any strength would be by then. And don’t get me started on flexibility. Weight was up (257lbs @ 6’1”), mood was down, strength was going away, all in all I was not having a great time. That is when I started looking at the exercises I had been doing over the last, almost, 30 years. I then remembered there was a period of time in my early 30 that I pretty much only did 3 weight training exercises; Bench press, dead lift, military press. All were heavy and all two or three sets at low rep, no more than three to five. That was probably the time I had the biggest gain in strength. And I attribute much of the whole body and leg strength to the dead lift. But there was no way I could do a proper deadlift with my hips and knees so now what. I found a Roman Deadlift with a kettlebell, that is what I have been doing and it is working rather well. It is not heavy, it is only 30 pounds, but it is strengthening the knees rather well, even though you do not bend the knees as much. But after the end of the month that is not going to be possible for several weeks, what about the rest of the muscles of the body? Well I have got a dumbbell routine now that I can do seated and I even have been working on chair yoga for flexibility. After surgery I will discover what my limitations are, but unlike last time I plan on doing a lot more exercise while I recover. Also have it in my head that I will return to Taijiquan, have a goal of trying to meet with a student of Cheng Manching the end of summer, who is about 3 hours south of me, and I have even thought I might try and get back to Xingyiquan. Found 2 guys now that are 2.5 hours east of me, one who is reported by all as being very good and trained in Taiwan, and the other is a student of Tom Bisio. And I am most definitely planning on getting back to the push hands group. I cannot be certain if I will get back to any or all of these, but I have a goal I am shooting for and I plan on exercising as much as is medically advisable while I recover. Well that pretty much gets me to today, I plan on posting more about this as time goes on, there may be long gaps, there may be some day by day. I am coming out of retirement for this, but I do not have plans to be as prolific a poster on MT as I once was. More to come Note: For those without kettlebells, like me, I found something much cheaper than buying kettlebells that allows me to you my existing dumbbells. It works great for me and saved me some money too. I have dumbbells up to 40lbs and this will take up to a 50 pound weight.