Monday, March 23 – Thursday, March 24

Multitasking, sort of

No one can ever accuse me of having been lazy on Monday. It was basically a nonstop flurry of activity for over 12 hours. It started out with a surprisingly busy shift at my main job. Surprising because the same work cycle that was quite tolerable last week proved a lot more challenging.  My guess is the different work site is the main factor.

After a too-short break it was off to the Major Home Improvement Retailer for a 4:30 to 8:30 shift. It was much more tolerable than the endless weekend shifts. Four-hour shifts seem way shorter than 8-hour shifts, way shorter than just half the length. And even beyond that I just didn’t mind the shift as much. Clearly, my weekend fears of becoming disillusioned with the.job were exaggerated. After getting out at 8:30 I actually made a fast gym trip, doing Life Fitness plate loaded dips, 5 × 8 × 270.

Tuesday was an easier workday at my main job even though I was at the same work site. In fact, I was done so quickly I had to poke around trying to look busy for over an hour, leaving early not being an option because a big boss was on site.

I had been planning on going to yoga in the evening but we got sushi instead. Hey, I like yoga, but sometimes there is no substitute for sushi!

Published in: on March 25, 2015 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday, March 20 – Sunday, March 22

Eight hours of exhaustion

This wasn’t one of my better weekends. Okay, Friday was my day off, and wasn’t bad.We made an early afternoon trip to the Whole Foods in Jericho, right off Exit 41 on the Expressway, to get some dry-aged beef for the.evening’s dinner. There wasn’t any available in the more local store.  It was a somewhat slow drive on the way back due to some late-season snow. But that evening, the aforesaid beef was excellent, so much better than the non-aged variety. And some of the cats *may* have gotten little.bits of it.

Also on Friday I made a trip to the gym, a somewhat limited trip as I was a bit achy from the prior e evening’s yoga. Still, I did some back and shoulder.work. T-bar rows: 5 × 8 × 115. Hammer.Strength shoulder presses: 4 × 8 × 100/100.

Saturday and Sunday were not particularly good days. I worked full 8-hour shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer each day, and while they weren’t particularly difficult shifts they seemed absolutely interminable. Time just dragged. I don’t things were this way, however I do not believe I’m becoming frustrated with the job or anything. It probably was just something with my mindset or things of that nature.

Published in: on March 25, 2015 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, March 17 – Thursday, March 19

How far can you stretch?

Tuesday was a rather non-festive St. Patrick’s day, as it was a two-jobs day for me. I was at my regular job from 7 until 2:30, and then after what seemed like a very short break (three hours that felt more like three minutes), it was off to the Major Home Improvement Retailer for a 5:30 to 11 shift. Fortunately it was the only day this week that I was scheduled for both jobs. Another thing that helped was that my regular job wasn’t too bad. This is a remarkably easy cycle, with really only one day having been necessary to get adjusted to it. The MHIR shift, in contrast, was pretty tough. Its hard to adjust to a 5 1/2 hour shift. It seems much, much longer than a 4 hour shift, somehow that extra 90 minutes makes a big difference. And it’s not that much easier than an 8 hour shift, most likely because there’s no lunch break to separate it into halves.

Wednesday was mostly a lost day. I was absolutely exhausted from the previous long day. Getting through my regular job was a real ordeal. My pace was well below average, which made me all the more thankful that it was an easy cycle. I don’t know how I could have coped otherwise.  Needless to say, going to the gym simply wasn’t an option.

Thursday was much better. I had something approaching a normal energy level, and work was so easy I had to find various tasks to occupy myself for an hour or so until I could leave. That evening I went to the 7:30 session at the hot yoga center and am pleased to report that it went well. While tracking one’s progress in yoga is not as straightforward as in sports with measurable objectives, such as running or weight lifting, I was able to tell that I could stretch further in some positions than ever before. No one’s ever going to mistake me for Gumby, but at least my flexibility is somewhat greater than that of concrete.  Somewhat.

Published in: on March 22, 2015 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, March 14 – Monday, March 16

Atoning for my laziness

Saturday was a day when I *should* have been more active. I didn’t work a full shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, just 11 to 3:45. And as shifts go it was a pretty easy one. Mostly just helping customers in the department, no heavy physical stuff. That left me with ample time and energy to go to the gym afterwards. I’ve certainly been bad about going. But no, I got involved with other stuff, not important stuff by any means, and whatever enthusiasm I may have had was completely gone. Going to the gym wasn’t an option on Sunday as I worked a full shift. It was quite busy, with the garden department being a bit short-staffed, and the customers came almost nonstop.

Monday was my day of atonement for my laziness. It was the start of a.new cycle at my main job, and while it’s a bit more challenging than I had expected all in all it doesn’t seem too bad.  I finished up at my usual time, and after resting a bit I went to the 6:30 session at the yoga center. It went very well, on several of the positions I was able to stretch myself slightly more than had ever been the case. There’s still a long way to go, but there’s also progress.

Published in: on March 19, 2015 at 4:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, March 12 – Friday, March 13

Staying active

Thursday was the end of the current 2-week cycle at my regular job. As I’ve noted, it was an easy cycle, and in fact on Thursday I had to scuffle around to find things to keep myself busy until I could leave. I got some more details on the next cycle, and while it looks as if it will be harder than I initially thought it shouldn’t be too bad. Of course there can always be last minute changes, though when they happen they usually end up making the cycles easier rather than harder.

On Thursday evening, not being scheduled at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, I went to the 7:30 hot yoga session. I’m really getting to like this new studio. Being a Bikram studio the sessions follow a more formalized pattern, which seems to be more suited to me even though many people would think otherwise. It’s also friendlier than the other studio, which I much appreciate. As for my session, it went generally well, though I wished my flexibility had been a shade better.

I didn’t do a whole lot on Friday,  my day off. Just the typical errands and stuff, though I went to.the gym in the evening. I was going to do dips but opted for bench presses instead: 8 × 135, 6 × 165, 6 × 185, 4 × 205, 2 × 4 × 225.  I also did Hammer Strength shoulder presses: 4 × 8 × 100/100.

Published in: on March 17, 2015 at 3:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, March 9 – Wednesday, March 11

Long hours, less toil

I really, really, really would have appreciated a day off to recover from the weekend’s brutal work at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. It’s only fair.  Of course, nothing of the sort happened. Monday was a day as usual at my main job. I still can’t imagine where I found enough energy to drag myself into work in the morning. The time change has made the process even harder, as it’s barely light when I leave.

What helped is that the worksite was only a short distance away and the day was a reasonably easy one. I left at the usual time, and later that evening we went to a local steakhouse.  It runs a promotion under which you get an award (and a free meal) if you eat a 76-ounce steak in under an hour. It would be fun, but there’s just no way I could ever do that. Besides, eating is supposed to be a form of pleasure, not an ordeal.  I actually had some ideas of making a quick trip to the gym later on, but there was just no way I could.  Still in recovery mode.

And it’s not as if Tuesday and Wednesday were nice easy days. My main job was easy enough, the contrast between this work cycle and the past one is truly amazing, but I had long MHIR shifts both evenings – 5:45 to 10 on Tuesday,  5:30 to 10 on Wednesday.  The only reason I was able to get through those shifts intact was because I had a couple of hours between jobs, and especially because the work wasn’t too taxing.

It goes without saying that going to the gym or hot yoga wasn’t possible. I will have to change that state of affairs starting with yoga on Thursday evening. After all the backbreaking work on the weekend hot yoga should be tolerable by comparison.  I hope.

Published in: on March 12, 2015 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, March 7 – Sunday, March 8

There’s not much I can say about this weekend other than that it was no weekend at all. Not even remotely close. It wasn’t just that I worked eight hours each day at the Major Home Improvement Retailer.  It’s that they were eight utterly draining hours each day, spent removing snow and ice – lots and lots of ice – from the outside garden area. All backbreaking and exhausting work. Yet I survived, somehow.  Don’t ask me how.

Published in: on March 12, 2015 at 4:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, March 4 – Friday, March 6

Oh, what an unlovely shift

Wednesday and Thursday at my main job both fell in the “tough but tolerable” category. I spent the days at a worksite that was generally more challenging than the one for Monday and Tuesday. What made the days tough is that I had to work at a fast yet efficient pace to get everything done. Had I been new on the job this wouldn’t have been possible, but one advantage of experience is that it boosts one’s speed and efficiency. Still, I finished up by the normal quitting time and was able to take my allotted breaks, hence the tolerable part.

Thursday evening’s shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer was another story entirely. I worked from 4:30 to 10, and figured at first that it wouldn’t be too bad. Wrong! The assistant manager who looks out for the garden  department had just returned from vacation. Before leaving two weeks prior he had complied a list of things that had to be done, and now that he was back he found that many of the.tasks hadn’t been completed. While I wasn’t in any way responsible for their lack of completion, naturally enough the job of getting them done fell on me. Mostly I had to pack out freight,  shrink wrap several bulky items, clean the grass seed aisle, and too much more to recount. By the time 10 rolled around – and time moved VERY slowly – I was exhausted and filthy.

I was eternally grateful that Friday was my day off. After a midday trip to Roosevelt Field Mall, with its impressive new food court – sorry, “Dining District” – it was off to the gym in the early evening. Being too beat out from Thursday’s MHIR shift to do pull-ups or dips, I had to improvise with other stuff. T-bar rows: 4 × 8 × 115. Plate-loaded dips: 4 × 8 × 270. Hammer Strength shoulder presses : 4 × 8 × 100 / 100.

Published in: on March 9, 2015 at 3:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, March 2 – Tuesday, March 3

I was right

My prediction concerning the 2-week work cycle that began Monday was completely right: it is much, much easier than the last one had been. No comparison whatsoever. I was able to take my normal breaks without worrying about being able to finish on time. In fact I was done early enough that I had to find various chores to occupy myself until 2, which is the earliest I can leave. I’m grateful for this break, and to make matters even better the next cycle should be reasonably decent too.

I went to the gym on Monday somewhat reluctantly. After all of the weekend ice removal at the Major Home Improvement Retailer too many of my muscles were too sore for me to do much. Pull-ups and dips were definitely out of the equation. Still, I wanted to do something,  so I ended up doing leg presses and leg curls on a couple machines. Nothing too taxing, but at least it was something rather than nothing.

Tuesday was much better in exercise terms. Most of the muscle aches were gone, so I went to the 7:30 session at the new hot yoga studio. What with the bad weather there were only nine people in attendance, and it was an “express” session that ran 75 minutes rather than the usual 90.  Fine by me. The instructor was very good, and like the one the other day she gave detailed instructions for each movement. I did quite well, with both my balance and my flexibility being better than in the past.

Published in: on March 5, 2015 at 3:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, February 28 – Sunday, March 1

Two utterly draining and exhausting shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Thanks to Mother Nature,  to put blame where blame is due. Because of some impending tree and shrub deliveries, the outdoor display area in front of the garden department had to be cleared of snow and ice. The area is around 100 feet long by about 20 feet wide, with several display racks spread throughout. Now, it would normally be a simple job to clear the snow, just use the store’s big snowblower and everything’s done.

Except this wasn’t a normal situation. There has been a thick snow cover on the ground for over a month, and when one of the managers used the snowblower it became apparent that there was a layer of ice on the bottom that was at least three inches thick. It was rock-hard and needless to say far beyond the snowblower’s ability to remove. Rock salt, hundreds of pounds of it, pitted the surface but didn’t do much else.

Only one thing would work: repeatedly lifting a heavy (50+ pounds) breaker bar and slamming it into the ice (normal ice choppers were far too light to work, painstakingly breaking it into pieces, and then shoveling away the broken pieces. I spent a good part of each shift with another couple of workers, alternating between wielding the bar and doing the shoveling. It was extremely slow work, given the hardness of the ice, and physically draining. The fact that both shifts were eight hour ones made me even more worn out. Thankfully we had a nice dinner on Saturday evening, a celebration of sorts,  and I had dry aged beef for the first time ever. Suffice to say that it’s very, very tasty.

Published in: on March 5, 2015 at 2:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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