Saturday, January 21, 2006

Of weight-lifting, cabbages and kings

Since I've described my blog in a couple of places as posting on linguistics, physics, life as a roving academic, PhD thesis-writing frustrations, weight-lifting, computer programming and random Australian wildlife, I should probably try and live up to my promises.

I've managed the random Australian wildlife bit quite nicely so far (here and here), and I guess the post on health insurance hassles is a start on the life-as-a-roving-academic topic. As for PhD thesis frustrations, I guess you could count this as a reference, at least. Academia in general is covered a little in the posts I've written so far on tutoring (parts one, two and three). No doubt there will be plenty more to come once semester begins in February. (Which reminds me that I've been planning a post on pseudonymanomynity and whether or not it justifies posting rude comments about your students, but I'll come back to that in a longer post tomorrow.)

The topics that I haven't covered at all yet are linguistics, physics, weight-lifting and computer-programming. So let's make this a weight-lifting post, and you can tune in for the other exciting topics as they arise, which they no doubt will.

So, weight-lifting. Yes, chicks do do it. And some of us don't use fluffy pink weights and wear cutesy lycra outfits. Some of us actually want to be big and strong. But stumptuous does a much better rant along these lines than I ever could, so I'll refer you to her for that.

In short, I gymed more thoroughly today than I have in weeks (blame Christmas), and while no personal bests were achieved, I made a few cheering discoveries:

  • I can still do two pull-ups (without the leg-flailing cheating method I used to use);
  • I can manage 35 kg on the incline bench (I don't usually incline bench anything at all, so that was quite exciting);
  • If I cycle my heart out for 10 minutes beforehand, my legs are warm and flexible enough to manage three sets of ten on my current squat weight (50kg -- sadly down from 70 due to a knee injury), instead of 10, 9, 8 as I've been doing for the last few weeks.
  • 36 degrees and no air-conditioning is not conducive to keeping a pretty hairstyle during an intense gym workout. But lifting heavy weights is more fun than looking pretty.
So yay for me!