Round 8: Tai Cheng, Days 36 – 42: I’m Showing

belly_fatNow that I’m in my 6th week, my belly is finally starting to show. I was worried that it would take longer, having become so svelte after completing 7 rounds of P90x, Insanity and P90X2. The body wants to revert to its natural state, which is a glob of goo.

Even with all the Tai Cheng and hiking, the belly is beginning to reassert itself. This is not to say that Tai Cheng isn’t beneficial. I find it very much so. It’s just that prior to the tennis elbow–which has sidelined me from the world of tennis, push ups, pull ups, curls and so on–I burned through a LOT more calories each week. And my excess intake has to go somewhere, doesn’t it?

You might say: “Hey Albert! Why not try eating less?” And you might have a point. That’s just a tough pill to swallow when also unable to do many of the things I enjoy.

Anyway, today I had my annual physical. It’s something the Boy Scouts requires of us old people to cover themselves when we drop dead on a hike. The lawyers have really added value to the process. The new annual physical paperwork now totals 14 pages. I was embarrassed to give it to my doctor, because it was so involved. I did my best to highlight the few places that actually required his attention.

Anyway, I used the exam as an opportunity to bend his ear about my tennis elbow. I gave him all the details. Hey, he’s paid to listen. I asked him what was a reasonable expectation for recovery, given my age and overall health, now that I’m three months in to doing essentially no upper body stuff. “Reasonable? Reasonable would be that you’d be cured by now” he said flatly. He told me to find an ortho guy who will give me the cortisone shot and be done with it, he advised me.  So that’s what I’ll do. I need to accelerate the process of getting back in the game. I am healing, yes. But the current pace of my recovery is being outpaced by my slipping into a state of decrepitude from lack of exercise.

The foam rolling is great, though. In addition to the Tai Cheng Reboot rolling, I’ve also been rolling my upper back and rotator cuff. Here’s an excellent video detailing the process:

Week 6 of Tai Cheng involves sequencing together all six moves previously introduced. As I progress through the week and the repetition of the sequence, I find that sometimes I’m actually able to do it correctly. And then the next iteration ends with me ending facing the wrong way, in the wrong position. My incompetence helps keep me grounded.

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