Nothing Works

Gyakuto

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I’ll be as objective as I can; nothing makes me feel better.

1) I workout at the gym, but I don’t feel stronger or ‘better’….not energised or less fatigued…in fact, quite the opposite. I have bigger muscles, yes, but what’s the point of that?
2) I perform rehabilitation exercises for my shoulder pain and they don’t improve (in fact make them slightly worse).
3) I’ve meditated for many years and feel no different.
4) I take creatine and and myriad other supplements and feel no different (commencement or cessation produces no change)
5) I perform stretching exercises and my flexibility has hardly improved and any slight gains I’ve made haven’t made me feel any better.

What’s going on? Is this your experience?
 
Sounds like you need a nice beach vacation with plenty of margaritas 😉
 
I’ll be as objective as I can; nothing makes me feel better.

1) I workout at the gym, but I don’t feel stronger or ‘better’….not energised or less fatigued…in fact, quite the opposite. I have bigger muscles, yes, but what’s the point of that?
2) I perform rehabilitation exercises for my shoulder pain and they don’t improve (in fact make them slightly worse).
3) I’ve meditated for many years and feel no different.
4) I take creatine and and myriad other supplements and feel no different (commencement or cessation produces no change)
5) I perform stretching exercises and my flexibility has hardly improved and any slight gains I’ve made haven’t made me feel any better.

What’s going on? Is this your experience?
I just finished two months of physical therapy on my shoulders for tendonitis. It did not improve my flexibility to the point it was before I developed tendinitis, but the pain I felt when reaching for things is gone. That's the second time I've had to use PT, and both times helped me tremendously (first time was TMJ lockjaw).

I'm not taking supplements, but I stretch in the dojo. I do some rehab exercises in the gym on days I'm not in the dojo. I don't meditate. I've tried it and I just fall asleep.

I would like to get some flexibility back in my right arm, but it may not happen. Could be I'm just getting old.
 
I....... have so much I could say regarding this. I feel your curiosity very much and can relate deeply.

I don't know how to start so I may circle back.

I could very easily say greater musculature is very beneficial for the body. That you may need to address more the root of the shoulder issue which may be more comprehensive than just the shoulder. I could say regarding meditation that it's possible you do feel different if you were to compare a hypothetical alternate timeline where you meditate in one and don't in the other. That you may indeed be more at ease in life. I could say that creatine can take awhile to kick in, and that being on the multivitamins whilst not having visible tangible effects, is affecting your internal system in ways that happen more under the radar. That your stretching whilst not producing noticeable progress, is preventing any backslide and is allowing you to continue the physical activities that you are doing.

But honestly it feels like there's just another deep dissatisfaction occurring and underlying everything here... it may require your own sincere, authentic and honest inquiry and investigation. Often dissatisfaction can be the biggest driver to honestly inquire into your life and what the heck is going on.

Why don't I feel better... exactly. Perhaps we're all trying to "feel a certain way", and perhaps that's the crux of the issue. We can be very attached to experiences and wanting our experience to be different than it is. Life becomes very, very interesting when we stop trying to constantly manipulate experience. Still doing things which obviously requires changing and controlling things etc, but with a mindset of not being obsessed with outcome.

I do not know if you genuinely wanted this deeper angle or whether it was more a physical one. But I feel that our approach to and relationship with life has a more profound effect than the specific content of what occurs..

Okay so I didn't circle back and just went for it haha but it's a very good observation you ask, and I applaud you as I feel many, many people feel this sort of dissatisfaction but don't voice it due to fear of feeling inferior to others. To me it's a sign of great strength and pure honesty. I would say follow it and see where it leads..
 
Age can be a big factor in working out. I can’t do the routine i use to do and can’t do it as often. If i do i just end up fatigued. The older you get the more recovery time you need between workouts
 
It sounds like you need some time off. Also, any physical training will eventually not improve beyond a certain level. I see it as a blessing rather than a curse. It means that once what you do stops working you can shift everything into maintenance mode and maybe work on one small goal individually.
 
I could very easily say greater musculature is very beneficial for the body.
The thing is I can remember what it was like before the onset of musculature and other than looking great in the mirror when I brush my teeth, I question the efficacy and value of the sheer amount of time I spend in the gym and the post-workout soreness!
That you may need to address more the root of the shoulder issue which may be more comprehensive than just the shoulder.
I’m fairly convinced the various PTs don’t really understand what they’re doing and are simply applying a ‘standard protocol’ for anyone with ‘shoulder pain‘. Here’s how I reached this conclusion:
I have the symptoms of supraspinatus tendinopathy caused by the tendon repeatedly rubbing against the roof of the shoulder joint. So what does the PT suggest? Rehabilitation exercises that cause the supraspinatus tendon to repeatedly rub against the roof of the shoulder joint! My symptoms worsen, I return to the PT and what does the PT do? They give me one from the very same set of rehabilitation exercises, reduce the resistance and number of reps and sets that I should perform. The shoulders (yes it’s bilateral now) do not improve. Does that seem logical? (incidentally the right should was injured when I commenced exercises to prevent shoulder issues occurring in it as I’ve experienced in the left shoulder 😠).

_Simon_ said…I could say regarding meditation that it's possible you do feel different if you were to compare a hypothetical alternate timeline where you meditate in one and don't in the other.


Yes I’ve thought of that. If I didn’t meditate it seems I’d be a real cu*t rather than just a bit of one. Again I question the amount of effort (40-60mins a day of sitting on a cushion with my legs falling asleep trying hard not to become attached to my thoughts etc). Why do I continue? We often discuss this at the group meditation sessions I attend and the only thing i can suggest is there is some evidence it reduces/prevents/reverses cognitive decline experienced in later years. I may be fully cognisant when I’m in my nursing home bed, crippled by my shoulder pain and damage done by heavy lifting!

Ironically, I’m learning to become a mindfulness meditation teacher. I think i’ll be quite an irritated, shouty one.
I could say that creatine can take awhile to kick in,
I did the week long pre-loading thing (25g a day) which makes me feel very nauseated and I now take the 5g daily sustaining dose. Does it make my workouts any more productive? Meh…hard to tell. It’s not really noticeable.
and that being on the multivitamins whilst not having visible tangible effects, is affecting your internal system in ways that happen more under the radar.
Drat…hidden benefits…the worst kind!
That your stretching whilst not producing noticeable progress, is preventing any backslide and is allowing you to continue the physical activities that you are doing.
So at best I’m doing all these things to stand still?😳
But honestly it feels like there's just another deep dissatisfaction occurring and underlying everything here...
I am being slightly disingenuous for comic effect in my posts here, but it does underlie the possibility that it might ‘all be a con’.
it may require your own sincere, authentic and honest inquiry and investigation. Often dissatisfaction can be the biggest driver to honestly inquire into your life and what the heck is going on.
Yes, you might have noticed I’m prone to being deeply introspective and I think I’m honest with myself.
Why don't I feel better... exactly. Perhaps we're all trying to "feel a certain way", and perhaps that's the crux of the issue.
You mean devoid of pain, weakness and the possibility of future double incontinence?
We can be very attached to experiences and wanting our experience to be different than it is. Life becomes very, very interesting when we stop trying to constantly manipulate experience. Still doing things which obviously requires changing and controlling things etc, but with a mindset of not being obsessed with outcome.
But isn’t that what we’re all doing on here? We’re manipulating ourselves by working out devoting ourselves to our arts and all the ancillary activities associated with them, to what, nebulous aim?
I do not know if you genuinely wanted this deeper angle or whether it was more a physical one. But I feel that our approach to and relationship with life has a more profound effect than the specific content of what occurs..
I do think life has been quite disappointing overall, but I also know how much worse it could’ve been and others have. I’m grateful for what I have/had but I can’t help being a little disappointed by it all!
7897B693-3E31-4919-B752-33EDBD3D64C1.png

Okay so I didn't circle back and just went for it haha but it's a very good observation you ask, and I applaud you as I feel many, many people feel this sort of dissatisfaction but don't voice it due to fear of feeling inferior to others.
Inferior!😳 Oh goodness…I never thought of that 😭
To me it's a sign of great strength and pure honesty. I would say follow it and see where it leads..
Again I do think we are, to some degree, complicit to the lie that all the things we do to improve our physicality (and hence psychology…see embodied cognition) make us feel ‘better’…whatever that means.

Time to mow the lawn while the sun is out…🌞
 
I’ll be as objective as I can; nothing makes me feel better.

1) I workout at the gym, but I don’t feel stronger or ‘better’….not energised or less fatigued…in fact, quite the opposite. I have bigger muscles, yes, but what’s the point of that?
2) I perform rehabilitation exercises for my shoulder pain and they don’t improve (in fact make them slightly worse).
3) I’ve meditated for many years and feel no different.
4) I take creatine and and myriad other supplements and feel no different (commencement or cessation produces no change)
5) I perform stretching exercises and my flexibility has hardly improved and any slight gains I’ve made haven’t made me feel any better.

What’s going on? Is this your experience?
Welcome to getting old(er). It is certainly humbling, not for the faint of heart, and yes, what you describe has been my experience. For perspective, I will give you a snippet of another humbling time in my life that accelerated what you describe. A little long so, apologies.

I am in no way trying to pump up my reputation when telling this. Simply for reference I will say I was always a very high achiever especially when it came to athletics. Even though I do not consider myself some incredible physical specimen, I played scholarship football and wrestling in college. I was very fast, running a repeatable Nike clocked 4.43 40-yard time.
After college, my athletic drive carried on into my martial arts career, and I made it all the way to the '88 Olympic Trials (not Games). It was a 3-4 year process of training 4-5 hours/day, 5-6 days/week. Enough said about my athletic past.

After a while, I settled into a more normal but very busy life; owning/operating our legacy cattle operation, owning/operating our first TKD school (now two fully owned), finishing up my two Master degrees, doing a stint as a LEO, and starting my career in electrical engineering and control & automation. Oh yeah, and I was recently married with a son on the way soon after.
On the way to a project meeting for work, I was hit head-on by a dump truck (all of this part of the story I have to tell second hand because I remember none of it). I had/have a very long list of injuries, bled out at the scene, heart stopped twice, yada, yada, yada. It was/is a Long road to recovery, and I am somewhere north of 40-surgeries related to the accident. Lot's of structural damage. Had to relearn how to walk and talk.

Eventually, I got relatively close to a good (not full) recovery and resumed most of my previous routine, at a rather steep curtailment. I was in my late 30's when the accident happened.

Sometime in my 50's I started noticing the issues you listed. Try as I might, I would see little or no improvement in exercise. Especially with my athletic history, it was a real mind-game that played on me hard for some time. Reconciling what I was physically, athletically, and even mentally with what I am now was Hard. Really hard for me. Honestly, it put me in a funk for some time. Add to this some of the bitterness I felt from how much was taken away from me in the accident, and it was the closest to me ever saying I was 'depressed'. Yes, that is a very, very hard thing for me to say. It is straight up voodoo to acknowledge something like that in my family, and I am okay with that perspective. In retrospect, this gave me strength to help get over the deep, dark feelings.

Long story short, I feel that I can look back and rather accurately track that the reduction in physical improvement was concurrent with my bodies natural muscle loss, effectively canceling out any marked improvement. Add to this the vicious daily fight I have with the 'itis' brothers and it is a never-ending battle.

I do know I feel better as long as I am staying active. Nowadays for me, that mostly comes in the form of physical work (we are still cattlemen) and light exercise. I have had some long stints of recovery several times and the integral post recovery interval Sucked. It is just a fact of aging that getting over the physical 'hump' gets harder as we age. And staying past the 'hump' takes more thought, effort, and determination.

So, trying to answer your questions inline:

1) I workout at the gym, but I don’t feel stronger or ‘better’….not energised or less fatigued…in fact, quite the opposite. I have bigger muscles, yes, but what’s the point of that?
Rate of recovery is a longer time curve and steeper pain/fatigue curve as we age.

2) I perform rehabilitation exercises for my shoulder pain and they don’t improve (in fact make them slightly worse).
The 'itis' brother hard at work.

3) I’ve meditated for many years and feel no different.
I do not have a strong impression either way regarding meditation. I think the closest I can come to it is when I mentally organize my workload and priorities. Having things organized and prioritized is quite calming to me. I guess the closest thing to effective meditation is when I can look out across our land and watch the cattle graze.

4) I take creatine and and myriad other supplements and feel no different (commencement or cessation produces no change)
I also take a fair amount of supplements. Do they help? Maybe. I strongly believe maintaining a quality diet that adequately feeds your body relative to the amount of work being done is more important for me.
When I competed, amino acids (creatine) were a very important part of my recovery regimen. As we age, the muscular system simply does not use it as much, rendering supplemental dosing less effective. It does supposedly have positive cognitive values.


5) I perform stretching exercises and my flexibility has hardly improved and any slight gains I’ve made haven’t made me feel any better.
I always struggled with flexibility. It literally changes day to day. Why? I never fully figured it out, but I strongly believe it has a Lot to do with hydration and diet. Somehow, the signaling between brain and muscle was/is changed or blocked to lessen the pain response. I also fully believe things like adrenaline release are a big factor. In this context, I feel meditation, or at least the wrong kind of meditation can be counter-productive to flexibility. Learning to relax is, of course, imperative. But training your brain that it is okay to push the pain barrier when you muscles get a little sore is priceless. It is definitely a process.
 
All interesting comments and testimonies.
In my 69 years I’ve seen and heard many stories, accounts and testimonies. One conclusion I’ve discovered is that being thankful is good medicine and that cynicism robs us. Like Highkicks looking out over the cattle, taking a deep breath and soaking it all in, I sense his thankfulness and appreciation. Somebody mentioned a vacation on the beach and a margarita, meaning that it’s not a bad idea to take a break and maybe reset the “body, mind and spirit”.
Many decades ago, I took my mom to her first chemo session. When we walked into the infusion center, I anticipated seeing a bunch of old people. What I saw was folks of all ages, even in their 20’s, dealing with this nasty disease called cancer. I was truly humbled to the point of tears. Be thankful you’ve made it this far. Many don’t. My GM who was a Christian man use to say “be childlike in your approach to life, not childish, but child like, full of wonder and awe.”
I know this might not help with the immediate physical issues that you’re dealing with, but we are complicated and we move better when we move as a whole person rather than just a single aspect.
Thoughts with you.
 
Welcome to getting old(er).
I have entertained this idea. I still feel like a 20 something, but I’m undoubtedly not. We should be told all about what 6o expect with advancing age at high school. At least we have the option of opting out if we don’t like what we hear!
It is certainly humbling, not for the faint of heart, and yes, what you describe has been my experience. For perspective, I will give you a snippet of another humbling time in my life that accelerated what you describe. A little long so, apologies.
That’s a harrowing story, HighKick. Do you think it’s an even worse experience because of the heights you were once at? I used to hate being below average looking, but when I look at my once good looking friends, struggling with their loss of looks and in particular becoming invisible to their preferred sex, I realise that I was actually blessed as I had my early life to be relatively invisible to women and it provided the impetus to develop a charming personality (😌) whereas my good looking friends are all dull as ditchwater! Thank goodness for sapiosexual women!
Sometime in my 50's I started noticing the issues you listed.
Ah, the dreaded 50s…
Try as I might, I would see little or no improvement in exercise. Especially with my athletic history, it was a real mind-game that played on me hard for some time. Reconciling what I was physically, athletically, and even mentally with what I am now was Hard. Really hard for me. Honestly, it put me in a funk for some time. Add to this some of the bitterness I felt from how much was taken away from me in the accident, and it was the closest to me ever saying I was 'depressed'.
Awful…just awful
Yes, that is a very, very hard thing for me to say. It is straight up voodoo to acknowledge something like that in my family, and I am okay with that perspective. In retrospect, this gave me strength to help get over the deep, dark feelings.
It‘s an awful cliché, but the accident forced you develop effective coping mechanisms.
Long story short, I feel that I can look back and rather accurately track that the reduction in physical improvement was concurrent with my bodies natural muscle loss, effectively canceling out any marked improvement. Add to this the vicious daily fight I have with the 'itis' brothers and it is a never-ending battle.
Damn those itis brothers!😡 I feel good after taking ibuprofen as I am today.
I do know I feel better as long as I am staying active. Nowadays for me, that mostly comes in the form of physical work (we are still cattlemen) and light exercise. I have had some long stints of recovery several times and the integral post recovery interval Sucked. It is just a fact of aging that getting over the physical 'hump' gets harder as we age. And staying past the 'hump' takes more thought, effort, and determination.
I didn’t sign up for this 😭
So, trying to answer your questions inline:

1) I workout at the gym, but I don’t feel stronger or ‘better’….not energised or less fatigued…in fact, quite the opposite. I have bigger muscles, yes, but what’s the point of that?
Rate of recovery is a longer time curve and steeper pain/fatigue curve as we age.
Bast*rds!
2) I perform rehabilitation exercises for my shoulder pain and they don’t improve (in fact make them slightly worse).
The 'itis' brother hard at work.
Gimme Ibuprofen!
3) I’ve meditated for many years and feel no different.
I do not have a strong impression either way regarding meditation. I think the closest I can come to it is when I mentally organize my workload and priorities. Having things organized and prioritized is quite calming to me. I guess the closest thing to effective meditation is when I can look out across our land and watch the cattle graze.
That’d be referred to as ‘meditative absorption’…when your actions are all-absorbing of mental processin….you become lost in whatever you’re doing.
4) I take creatine and and myriad other supplements and feel no different (commencement or cessation produces no change)
I also take a fair amount of supplements. Do they help? Maybe. I strongly believe maintaining a quality diet that adequately feeds your body relative to the amount of work being done is more important for me.
When I competed, amino acids (creatine) were a very important part of my recovery regimen. As we age, the muscular system simply does not use it as much, rendering supplemental dosing less effective. It does supposedly have positive cognitive values.
Yes I read about creatine’s positive cognitive effects. It’s cheap so I’ll keep taking it.
5) I perform stretching exercises and my flexibility has hardly improved and any slight gains I’ve made haven’t made me feel any better.
I always struggled with flexibility. It literally changes day to day. Why? I never fully figured it out, but I strongly believe it has a Lot to do with hydration and diet.
I was very flexible having had to work at it, so my current lack thereof is saddening (see above about good looks). Having said that, I can sit in half lotus, just about grasp my ankles bending forward, relax indefinitely in the Asian squat and get about 30-40cm from the floor in box splits. It’s only when I witness others of my age or indeed younger attempting and failing to mimic me that I realise I’m not too inflexible.
Somehow, the signaling between brain and muscle was/is changed or blocked to lessen the pain response.
I think that’s exactly does happen with repeated stretching.
I also fully believe things like adrenaline release are a big factor. In this context, I feel meditation, or at least the wrong kind of meditation can be counter-productive to flexibility.
Slow breathing and easing into the stretch?
Learning to relax is, of course, imperative. But training your brain that it is okay to push the pain barrier when you muscles get a little sore is priceless. It is definitely a process.
A nice observation….
 
All interesting comments and testimonies.
In my 69 years I’ve seen and heard many stories, accounts and testimonies. One conclusion I’ve discovered is that being thankful is good medicine and that cynicism robs us. Like Highkicks looking out over the cattle, taking a deep breath and soaking it all in, I sense his thankfulness and appreciation. Somebody mentioned a vacation on the beach and a margarita, meaning that it’s not a bad idea to take a break and maybe reset the “body, mind and spirit”.
Many decades ago, I took my mom to her first chemo session. When we walked into the infusion center, I anticipated seeing a bunch of old people. What I saw was folks of all ages, even in their 20’s, dealing with this nasty disease called cancer. I was truly humbled to the point of tears. Be thankful you’ve made it this far. Many don’t. My GM who was a Christian man use to say “be childlike in your approach to life, not childish, but child like, full of wonder and awe.”
I know this might not help with the immediate physical issues that you’re dealing with, but we are complicated and we move better when we move as a whole person rather than just a single aspect.
Thoughts with you.
Oh I’m absolutely thankful for what I have (or don’t have) although not to any deity, especially when one in two of us will develop cancer in our lifetimes, and I suggested earlier, that things could be a lot worse. But is that it? I’m thankful I don’t have cancer or MND (yet). It’s a very low happiness bar! 😃

I’m really talking about the physical things (which of course have a mental knock-on effect). All the health gurus, Michael Mosely, Joe Wicks, Jane Fonda(😉), they give you the (false) promise of burgeoning health and well-being if you do x, y and z. Like green washing, I‘m beginning to think it’s a bit of a con! Marginal gains at best.
 
The thing is I can remember what it was like before the onset of musculature and other than looking great in the mirror when I brush my teeth, I question the efficacy and value of the sheer amount of time I spend in the gym and the post-workout soreness!

I’m fairly convinced the various PTs don’t really understand what they’re doing and are simply applying a ‘standard protocol’ for anyone with ‘shoulder pain‘. Here’s how I reached this conclusion:
I have the symptoms of supraspinatus tendinopathy caused by the tendon repeatedly rubbing against the roof of the shoulder joint. So what does the PT suggest? Rehabilitation exercises that cause the supraspinatus tendon to repeatedly rub against the roof of the shoulder joint! My symptoms worsen, I return to the PT and what does the PT do? They give me one from the very same set of rehabilitation exercises, reduce the resistance and number of reps and sets that I should perform. The shoulders (yes it’s bilateral now) do not improve. Does that seem logical? (incidentally the right should was injured when I commenced exercises to prevent shoulder issues occurring in it as I’ve experienced in the left shoulder 😠).

_Simon_ said…I could say regarding meditation that it's possible you do feel different if you were to compare a hypothetical alternate timeline where you meditate in one and don't in the other.


Yes I’ve thought of that. If I didn’t meditate it seems I’d be a real cu*t rather than just a bit of one. Again I question the amount of effort (40-60mins a day of sitting on a cushion with my legs falling asleep trying hard not to become attached to my thoughts etc). Why do I continue? We often discuss this at the group meditation sessions I attend and the only thing i can suggest is there is some evidence it reduces/prevents/reverses cognitive decline experienced in later years. I may be fully cognisant when I’m in my nursing home bed, crippled by my shoulder pain and damage done by heavy lifting!

Ironically, I’m learning to become a mindfulness meditation teacher. I think i’ll be quite an irritated, shouty one.

I did the week long pre-loading thing (25g a day) which makes me feel very nauseated and I now take the 5g daily sustaining dose. Does it make my workouts any more productive? Meh…hard to tell. It’s not really noticeable.

Drat…hidden benefits…the worst kind!

So at best I’m doing all these things to stand still?😳

I am being slightly disingenuous for comic effect in my posts here, but it does underlie the possibility that it might ‘all be a con’.

Yes, you might have noticed I’m prone to being deeply introspective and I think I’m honest with myself.

You mean devoid of pain, weakness and the possibility of future double incontinence?

But isn’t that what we’re all doing on here? We’re manipulating ourselves by working out devoting ourselves to our arts and all the ancillary activities associated with them, to what, nebulous aim?

I do think life has been quite disappointing overall, but I also know how much worse it could’ve been and others have. I’m grateful for what I have/had but I can’t help being a little disappointed by it all!
View attachment 31107

Inferior!😳 Oh goodness…I never thought of that 😭

Again I do think we are, to some degree, complicit to the lie that all the things we do to improve our physicality (and hence psychology…see embodied cognition) make us feel ‘better’…whatever that means.

Time to mow the lawn while the sun is out…🌞
I guess my point is that whilst having an outcome-based focus can be good and definitely has its place, to rely on it as a pervasive mindset to feel better just seems to fall short as a universal strategy. I still have little goals and outcomes I look for, but I'm trying not to let that dictate whether I'm happy. When my weight-training and bodybuilding endeavours consumed me and I was so focused on the "end product", I was miserable. And when I'd achieved what I thought I wanted, it wasn't enough, and I was just as if not more unsatisfied. Nowadays I still weight train and it's such a joy, as I'm less rigidly adhering to outcomes and enjoy the process and the actual minutiae of training so much.

I was the same with meditation too. I also had to examine not just how I was meditating, but look at the fundamental basis of my practice. Why am I meditating? Ask it sincerely of yourself. Is it to feel better? Relax more? To escape from a self-defined painful world? To experience some funky states? Am I meditating from a future-based orientation and in a leaning-forward expectation? Is it to know what I am in truth? What's at or what is the core of my being? Our real intention can often be buried.

Don't get me wrong. I am incredibly disappointed and unsatisfied, and I'm at a point where I need to be deeply honest with myself and question how I'm viewing life. I'm at a point where I'm aiming to live with authenticity, and letting all the old structures I clung to fall. It's become necessary for me. I feel like dissatisfaction is such a potent, almost sacred thing. It's something waking up in us to shake our shoulders and say "See? That wasn't worth your time, that wasn't worth putting value into. Find out what is!"
 
This is also a good way of seeing training as it relates to aging:

 
Is this your experience?
My experience is different. I may be the oldest person in this forum (Albert Einstein died at my age).

30 minutes ago, I just finished my 3 miles walking along with punched with my 5 lb hand weigh (jab, cross, hook, uppercut, overhand, back fist) 300 punches each and a total of 1,800 punches.

Even at my age, the more that I work out, the better that I'll feel. So don't give up if you have not reached to my age yet. You are still too young to worry about to be old.

My long fist teacher is 98 years old (1926 - ???). We all still have a long way to go. :)

 
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I tore my ACL from pushing too hard at the gym, working on my shoulders. I went to PT for 24 visits (3 mos.) with NO improvement. After another month I was able to use 15 Lb dumbbells with limited motion. Another 3 mos. and I was up to 20 Lb with limited motion. Another 3 mos. and I have almost full pain free motion. I'm wary of going back to 25 Lb. so just working on increasing reps.
I’m fairly convinced the various PTs don’t really understand what they’re doing and are simply applying a ‘standard protocol’ for anyone with ‘shoulder pain‘
My experience as well. I've been to 4 PT's over the past 10 years and only one did any good. I think rest and time works most of the time, working around the physical problem in the meantime.

I hate getting ready to go to the gym. I don't like working out much. But I do it because the alternative is something I'd dislike even more. The pleasure I get out of it is staying mobile and reasonably strong for an old man, and the satisfaction that I did something positive for my life that day. I also see it as my "professional" duty to myself as a martial artist. I'm currently in a transition process of going from building strength to just maintenance, a process that I hoped to put off till I'm 75, but now at 73 it seems like the right move.

I currently am without a sensei or dojo, so am a "ronin" once again. I spend 1 hr./wk. on weapons, 1 on empty hand kata and 1 on intellectual MA study. I feel the same way doing this as I described my weight training above. Unlike the gym, however, with karate I am still in the building mode, striving for improvement. Even after 50+ years as a black belt? Yes, there are still a few sublime subtleties in movement I feel I can better master, though they are elusive. The hunt may take another couple of years, perhaps more, but I'm getting ever closer.
 
I guess my point is that whilst having an outcome-based focus can be good and definitely has its place, to rely on it as a pervasive mindset to feel better just seems to fall short as a universal strategy.
I am very goal-orientated and it has led to success in my career and other aspects of my life. It works. It put men on the moon. If lots of people say that stretching increases flexibility or creatine makes your workouts more effective then I think it’s reasonable to expect that to be the case. When someone is given chemo or takes ibuprofen, it does what it says on the tin. So it’s natural to be disappointed when the other things I’ve talked about appear to have no or minimal effects.
I still have little goals and outcomes I look for, but I'm trying not to let that dictate whether I'm happy. When my weight-training and bodybuilding endeavours consumed me and I was so focused on the "end product", I was miserable. And when I'd achieved what I thought I wanted, it wasn't enough, and I was just as if not more unsatisfied. Nowadays I still weight train and it's such a joy, as I'm less rigidly adhering to outcomes and enjoy the process and the actual minutiae of training so much.
That’s really tough and fortunately that isn’t my situation. ‘Mild disappointment’ is my most extreme emotion. I have to say, the only thing that hasn’t been too much of a disappointment (in terms of aesthetics) is progressive weight training but it took a long time to see the effects. Like blowing up an air mattress with one of those little foot pumps, nothing seems to happen and you check for holes or that the pump is inserted correctly. Then, all of a sudden, the mattress billows a bit and firms up to full inflation! Luckily, I had time to fill due to early retirement, and my gym visits became habitual and I did it long enough (two years at least) to see a change which has spurred me on.
I was the same with meditation too.
Yes, meditation is a curious one…
I also had to examine not just how I was meditating, but look at the fundamental basis of my practice.
Luckily i followed a long and well-established tradition so I had little doubt in the techniques.
Why am I meditating? Ask it sincerely of yourself. Is it to feel better? Relax more? To escape from a self-defined painful world? To experience some funky states?
Our meditation group often asks this question and there’s no (clear) answer. I’ve even suggested that my lack of emotional pain (“ But you must be sad about something!”) is what’s inhibiting any perceived ‘progress’. But if you don’t have a hairy chest, what will waxing do for you? To be honest, I personally ‘just sit‘. In this case, I have no goal other than a very vague notion of brain health and the hope of mastering levitation.
Am I meditating from a future-based orientation and in a leaning-forward expectation? Is it to know what I am in truth? What's at or what is the core of my being? Our real intention can often be buried.
One of the things about me, is I feel I really know myself good and bad (mainly the latter) and I accept those trains They’re what make me, me and I’m quite a nice person. But that’s not what this thread was intended to discuss.
Don't get me wrong. I am incredibly disappointed and unsatisfied,
But you’ve circumvented what you suggest is the cause of that, severe goal-orientation!
and I'm at a point where I need to be deeply honest with myself and question how I'm viewing life.
Here’s a view: you’re clearly a nice person, you do a bit of koroddy in which you’ve made a substantial achievement, you‘re (probably) nice to your other half, we enjoy your posts. I think that’s a good start.
I'm at a point where I'm aiming to live with authenticity,
I’m not sure what you mean by ‘authenticity’, _Simon_
and letting all the old structures I clung to fall. It's become necessary for me. I feel like dissatisfaction is such a potent, almost sacred thing.
Because it’s a powerful motivator to produce change. Perhaps we shouldn’t knock it! 🤔
It's something waking up in us to shake our shoulders and say "See? That wasn't worth your time, that wasn't worth putting value into. Find out what is!"
I’m wondering if it’s just persistence. Just keep on stretching, keep on sitting on that cushion for an hour per day, keep on swinging that sword/punching and kicking. Maybe we eventually find value as a result of persistence 🤷🏽‍♂️
 
You monster! Seek psychiatric help immediately!
Oh it’s just boring, I don’t need to tan and ‘hell is other people’. As for sand up your crack….😭
 

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