Monday, January 6 – Tuesday, January 7

It wasn’t so hard getting back

After the three-week Christmas break I headed back to my main job on Monday morning.  Now that I have the second job at the Major Home Improvement Retailer I have to be more specific.  Although there had been some discussion before the break about changing the daily start time to 7am from 8am, nothing was done.  As the worksite was near Exit 57 on the Expressway, I ran into some rush hour traffic along the way. Not that it really mattered, as the slowdown was for only a couple miles and didn’t delay me too much, and in any event there would have been just as much traffic had I been heading in an hour earlier.

Being off for three weeks didn’t affect my performance in any way.  I jumped right back into the swing of things, so to speak, and handled what was a heavy volume of work with no trouble.  As to comparing this work to what I do at the second job, about all I can say is that neither one is easier or harder than the other, they’re just different.  Probably a good thing on balance.  I didn’t finish up until almost 4, about a half-hour later than usual, but that was more of a one-time thing.

I stopped off briefly at home after work and decided to go to hot yoga.  Normally I go on Wednesdays, but I decided to try something different.  In any event, I knew full well that the gym would be a madhouse given that it was the first Monday after New Year’s.  What I didn’t know was that yoga would be packed too.  There were about 35 people in the session, filling the room to capacity with mats almost on top of one another.  I’ve no doubt that all the bodies made the room even hotter than it normally would have been.  I had a decent session, my flexibility and stamina have declined only a little in the last couple of yoga-less weeks.  The studio’s owner taught the session, and she’s always very encouraging.

Tuesday’s worksite was off the Sunrise Highway.  To my pleasant surprise there wasn’t as much traffic as usual getting to the location.  Work itself went fairly easy, even though I had more stuff to do than on Monday I finished almost an hour earlier … maybe I still was a bit rusty on Monday after all.  Later on, I went to the gym, and even though it was packed one of the bench press stations was free.  My left arm is still a bit achy, so I kept the benching light: 6 x 135, 6 x 185, 6 x 205, 4 x 4 x 225.

Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 3:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, January 4 – Sunday, January 5

Not a bad gym day on Saturday, if I may say so.  As my left arm was still a bit on the sore side, I decided to stick with machine-based leg work.  Leg presses came first, on the Hoist movable-seat machine I had been using for a while a few months ago: 8 x 350, 8 x 370, 8 x 390, 8 x 410, 2 x 8 x 430.  Then came seated leg curls, on a Life Fitness machine: 4 x 8 x 175.  I finished up with seated leg extensions, once again courtesy of Life Fitness: 4 x 8 x 160.  By the time all was said and done I was more than a bit achy, not having done serious leg work in too long, but it was a good ache.

No gym on Sunday, but it was a busy day nonetheless.  I worked from 10 to 6 at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, and as tough as Friday had been this day was tougher.  Most of my shift was spent dealing with a huge order that was scheduled for delivery the next day.  Some of the items had been pulled, but I still had to get many of them, and then everything had to be packed and staged for pickup. Given that there were many oddly-shaped and/or heavy items, the packing aspect was complicated.  Fortunately, I’ll be getting some assistance with the next big orders on the schedule.  Once I finished work, I headed off for my weekly meditation session.

Published in: on January 8, 2014 at 3:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, January 1 – Friday, January 3

It wasn’t *really* a resolution

One thing that every regular gym-goer knows about (and not in a good way) is the New Year’s resolution crowd.  They’re the people who flock into gyms right after New Year’s Day because they’ve resolved that this year for sure they’re going to get into shape and stop being so lazy.  Of course most are gone by March at the latest, but they do make for crowded gyms at the start of the year.
I guess you could say that to some extent I was a representative of this unloved group, because in the late afternoon of New Year’s Day I made it to the gym after weeks of poor attendance and actually had a good session.  To start with, I knocked off 36 neutral grip pull-ups, as follows: 1 x 6, 1 x 5, 3 x 4, 3 x 3, 2 x 2.  Next came machine flies, 5 x 6 at resistance level 11 of 18, and I finished with Hammer Strength shoulder presses, 4 x 8 at 110/110.  By the way, the gym wasn’t unusually crowded, but since it was New Year’s Day that might be expecting too much of the resolution crowd.

Thursday was a much lazier day.  Not entirely out of choice, as during the previous day’s long gym session I had wrenched a muscle in my left arm and it was way too painful for me to even think about the gym.  Even doing leg exercises seemed very unappealing.  Fortunately my arm was better on Friday, as after the night’s snowstorm I had quite a bit of shoveling to do.

The shoveling done, I went into the Major Home Improvement Retailer on Friday afternoon for a 4-hour shift. My plan was to hit the gym for a short session after work, concentrating on legs because I wanted to give my left arm some healing time.  You can guess what happened to those plans.  I had a huge order to assemble and package, most of it consisting of very heavy items, and my four-hour shift ended up being five hours and change.  By the time I was done I was way too exhausted for any sort of exercise.  Hey, there’s always another day.



Published in: on January 6, 2014 at 3:57 am  Comments (2)  

Monday, December 30 – Tuesday, December 31

An unorthodox celebration

Monday was another workday at the Major Home Improvement Center, and as it turned out it was a good thing that I’ve been going through “product knowledge” training.  For most of the afternoon and evening I was the sole employee working the lumber and building materials departments.  From time to time another person would help me, and there always was someone I could call upon for assistance if needed, but for the most part it was just me. Fortunately, the departments weren’t too busy, and most of the customers seemed to be contractors who knew what they wanted and didn’t need any help.  That would be different on weekends.
It also turned out that my training in operating the power saw came in very handy.  About a half-hour before closing time a couple of people came in with a big cutting order.  Several 4×4 timbers had to be cut into precise 18-inch pieces, with the cut ends perfectly level.  It all required careful measuring in addition to cutting.  Another worker helped me, we traded off measuring and cutting tasks, though we didn’t get finished until ten minutes after normal closing time.

I worked for just a few hours on Tuesday afternoon, as the store was closing early for New Year’s Eve.  It wasn’t crowded, as you might expect, and I was able to take advantage of the lull to do online training.  There’s still quite a ways to go.  As for celebrating New Year’s Eve, I did something rather unusual – I went to the headquarters of the Buddhist meditation center in Huntington and participated in a 90-minute group meditation and learning session.  There had to be at least 50 people present, a full house in the relatively small meditation room, and I am very glad I went.

Published in: on January 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, December 28 – Sunday, December 29

Saturday was my first eight-hour day at the Major Home Improvement Center, and what a day it was.  Having already done some order-fulfillment work under supervision, I now had the chance to do some all by my lonesome.  The hardest part of the work is not pulling the orders themselves, but entering the tasks into the computer system.  It’s done via a handheld device using a proprietary interface and therefore was pretty much unfamiliar. Still, I started getting the hang of it.

The hardest part of the workday, in a physical sense, was when along with three other people I moved all the unsold Christmas trees from the corrals where they had been stocked into a pile for later pickup and mulching.  It seemed as if the largest and heaviest trees were the ones that had remained unsold.  Once that was done, we had to break down the corrals (made of pallets stood on end and connected by long boards) and pile up the wood.  It was dirty and somewhat risky work, nails sticking up everywhere, but it had to be done.  Later in the day, I got trained in operating the saws in the lumber department, as I’ll be assigned to that department from time to time.

I wasn’t working on Sunday.  Yes, I know, I should have taken advantage of the opportunity to go to the gym, but I was too lazy.  In the evening I went to the Buddhist meditation session at the yoga center, it was a different session than usual because there was more back-and-forth during the teaching section.

Published in: on January 2, 2014 at 2:33 am  Leave a Comment