Getting Back at It

Activity Post #1 – DP1 Continued Ventures

At the start of this year, one of my main activity related goals was to continue the work I did last year with hiking, football, home workouts and diving. While this year began with quite a bit of uncertainty thanks to the prevailing lockdown conditions in the country which which limited my access to sports facilities and leaving the premises of my house in general, I adapted to the best of my ability to complete my goals in whichever capacity COVID would let me.

Hiking

In my goal blog post at the start of DP2, I mentioned that I would like to go hiking at least once again in the upcoming semester and what do you know, I was actually able to go once again. We were able to revisit Hanthana where my previous hike had been but due to improved weather conditions they actually allowed us to climb up the rock where Indiana Jones the Temple of Doom was filmed!! The exact name of the mountain is unknown but its is somewhere downriver from Victoria Dam in Kandy (which Hanthana is in very close proximity to) and was relatively close to the villa that we stayed at. As for the hike itself I would say that it was rather uneventful as this time around only a smaller handful of us went because the hike is more dangerous and is also at a much higher altitude and as expected not having a five year old with us on the trip eased so much of the pressure on the remaining hikers. That being said, although the terrain got a little bit slippery on the way up we managed to get up without much of a hitch and climb down safely and I felt that this time around I felt safer and more sure because  I knew what to and what not to do i.e.. step on loose rocks on the way down…😂 OH AND THIS TIME GUESS WHO ACTUALLY PACKED THEIR LEECH SOCKS?! Yes, that’s right,  yours truly finally remembered how much she did not want to get eaten by the little bloodsuckers and made sure to bring a pair along. Moving on, now naturally the iconic bridge from the movie was sadly no longer there but it still felt insane and surreal to be standing where this legendary series was filmed in 1984  almost 40 years ago!! And last but not least even though it got a bit too foggy up top to see the entire vista it’s easy to say that this was one of the most physically strenuous yet absolutely rewarding hikes I had done :))

^ Hike #3 since the start of my CAS journey

^ A still from the actual movie featuring the bridge (Den of Geek, 2014)

Diving

Yet another thing that I have been wanting to accomplish recently is to go diving which I had been meaning to do since around 3 months ago but couldn’t do so initially because of island wide travel restrictions and other COVID related concerns. However this time, I did get to actually go do a couple dives albeit they were merely recreational because it was a rather spontaneous decision to go visit the dive centers on our holiday. Unfortunately for me I couldn’t go on more than 1 dive because I couldn’t equalize and any diver would know that the last thing someone should do is continue when they can’t equalize because it could potentially puncture your eardrum so for while my brother went on his dives, I decided to head back to the shore with my friend Nehla (who came on the trip but wasn’t a certified diver) and her family to do some snorkeling closer to the beach. Weirdly enough my equalizing problem didn’t last very long but by that time I discovered that I could. the others were long gone on their dives so I had to sit the second one out which was a bit of a bummer since I was really looking forward to my second dive but snorkeling was fun nonetheless! There were less fish than we expected though most likely because of the state of the corals in the reef which weren’t looking too healthy :/

^ Myself (left) and my friend Nehela (right) snorkeling in Pasikudah

Working Out + Football

The third set of endeavors in the activity section of my blog I am continuing in DP2 is my commitment to football and completing home workouts to remain fit. While football was limited to mostly doing challenging drills at home, taking note from videos such as which guided me through getting back in form every day after school for 30 minutes to maintain my skillset, I also used another 30 minutes every other day (depending on the intensity of the workout) and my IB Wellness Days to complete certain Cirque du Soleil workouts.  Initially, I felt as though I had just signed myself up to a year of torture because the Cirque du Soleil workouts are extremely rigorous and are mostly used by professionally trained athletes and in the first week I had to take many breaks to complete my session and it left me sore for days but after a few sessions of just building up stamina I was able to circulate through about 3 workout videos and taking less breaks. This goes without saying that the workout sessions are still a work in progress and that it’s a matter of getting back in shape before actually straining myself, so looking forward I have decided to maybe alternate my workouts from non Cirque du Soleil ones and the harder ones. In the upcoming months I aim to focus more specifically on cardio, abs, arms and legs and maybe also do some yoga every odd week to relieve some tension that gets built up following my workouts.

Practicing shots on a mini goal for improved accuracy

Here are the videos that I used:

Home Workouts –

Football-

CAS Activity Session!

CAS Workout Day

During the first CAS lesson of the week this week, we were encouraged to dedicate the lesson to completing a CAS event surrounding the theme of activity; our options were left open ended giving us the opportunity to take part in exercise as versatile as boxing or biking among many other things; however, thinking back on my CAS activity experience over the course of the DLP, I came to a realization that a heavy majority of my workouts had been cardio based and dynamic and while I had put my muscles to use each time, I hadn’t spent much time individually engaging specific muscle groups. Thus, I decided to carry out a stationary workout focusing on  my abdominals, biceps and triceps in an upper arm strength and ab workout which may not sound all that extravagant but is to the point and effective nonetheless.

The first workout consisted of 7 exercises, each of which had 12 reps. I did the workout with the intention of successfully engaging my core muscles for brief periods of time in order to get more defined abdominals; ideally over the course of a few weeks. As the website says, if the circuit is continued for up to 3-4 times a week, with the correct diet and good form, results will show in about 6 weeks. Moreover at this point I intend to keep in shape during quarantine rather than aim for a full six pack or something of the sort at the moment.

The workouts went as follow, feel free to attempt them if you have the time and adjust the intensity and reps. to your liking :))

Workout 1 – Ab Definition Circuit

A series of crunch variations –

  • Basic Crunches
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Overhead Crunches

Followed by 3 plank variations –

  • Planks
  • Side Planks
  • Extended Planks

The second workout focused on building and strengthening my arms, specifically, my biceps and triceps. This was a longer workout with multiple repetitions and it primarily focused of the intensity of repetitions as opposed to the difficulty of the exercises.

Workout 2 – Arm Toning Workout

Source: Women’s Health Magazine

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a20702885/arm-toning-exercises/

  • Bicep Curls
  • Upright Row
  • Triceps Kickback
  • Rear Delt Fly
  • Overhead Triceps Extension
  • The Dumbbell Floorpress
  • Kettlebell Swing

These each consisted of 12 reps of each exercise and 3 repetitions of the circuit for the completion of 4 full rounds.

Personally my favorite ab exercise was either the Overhead Crunch as it held the least strain on my neck and it engaged all of my upper body while on the contrary, I struggled slightly with the maintenance of good form during the Side and Extended planks as they were in the final stages of my workout meaning that I had already consumed up most of my energy by the time I had to do the final two drills.

Likewise, for the arm workouts I enjoyed the Upright Row and the Bicep Curl because I felt the two were most convenient and effective for me. Two exercises that I struggled towards the end with were the Overhead Triceps Extension and the Dumbbell Floorpress as I did a few more repetitions than what was asked of me and the Dumbbell Floorpress was my final exercise in the routine so I was rather drained by the 3rd round of the circuit.

Towards the end of my session I felt rather spent and my muscles ached but it also felt like a refreshing job well done. Naturally, I will continue to do the workouts as regularly as recommended in order to reap the best results, while perhaps extending my workouts to leg day and maybe even a session or two of yoga to even things out. I look foreword to my next workout and to seeing the final results in a few weeks time! :))

^ My workout equipment + music to keep me motivated!

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