Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Get Back Up!

Picture  It is not whether you get knocked down, it is whether you get back up.   -Vince Lombardi

Here is a simple idea:  How hard is it for you get up off the floor from a sitting position?  It is a test of balance, flexibility and strength.  Combined, they provide a virtuous cycle of mobility and exercise.

Never content to leave things "unimproved", I am going to introduce you to the ERJ method.

  1. Dress in flexible clothing.  I researched this while wearing my jammies. (Ahhh!  The joys of retirement.)
  2. Stack some large books to a level you are confident you can successfully stand up from.  I used volumes from our 1966 set of Encyclopedia Britanica.
  3. Perform enough repetitions at that height so that you have a game-plan and have an inkling of the form required.  Cautionary note:  Throwing arms forward to gain momentum will cause books to slide aft if the covers are slippery.  If you pull up some videos you will see that all off the successful standers launch off of a sticky surface like a tumbling or yoga mat.
  4. Remove books until you find the height from which you can stand using no hands...but it requires significant effort.  That is where you will practice until you become proficient.



One of the keys to improving is to have enough graduations to document progress.  That is Variable vs. Attribute Data for the math and science weenies.  A common threshold is to have a minimum of seven bins or graduations for the magic of Variable Data to happen. 

One of the reasons for the success of weightlifting is that little, magnetic, stick-on weights are available to create a near continuum of steps or bins.  Given a reasonable number of books, one can achieve the ability to create a stack that is closely dialed in to "the growing edge" where maximum progress occurs. 

The advantages of the ERJ method is that the subject can harness the power of variable data plus, they are developing the muscle groups that are required for the end goal.

So, How Did I Do?

Just for the record, the height of my stack was from Garrison-to-Jinotega, volumes 10-through-12 (5.5 inches)

Final note:  Having a gut also comes into play.  My organic, solar energy storage vault limits my ability to lean forward and get my weight over where my feet contact the ground.  That issue will take longer to address than the strength, balance and muscular flexibility.

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