I have always had horrid posture. As a teenager I used to slouch so badly that I probably looked a bit like Cave Man with knuckles dragging along the ground. It was only after school that I started straightening up and forcing my shoulders back and stomach in. Now I do have what is often called a hollow back. So standing side on, my back curves in from bottom to neck and leads on to curved shoulders. Now mine really isn’t too bad, not even really noticeable but apparently can get worse without posture correction. To this day, I still make a conscious effort to walk with my shoulders straight but I am starting to wonder if this is having some other detrimental effect on my overall posture.
I know I have always walked quite heavily on my feet but in recent years, it seems to have got a lot worse – actually I could most probably do a walking race (you know: heel-toe-heel-toe, etc, etc) because that’s my normal walk – and no, I don’t wriggle like I see them do on the tv To make my point, below is a pair of shoes that I wore every day. I only bought them a few months ago. Check out that wear!
A few days ago, I decided to buy a Wii fit. I know, I am always looking for some way to get into shape. If you have read some of my previous posts, you would know that I have tried Xbox (although that was more for fun than fitness)and more recently Zumba, which I have to say I really enjoyed but doing something like fitness exercise all on your own is hard. It is far easier for me to say that I will do it tomorrow because I have no one telling me that I need to keep at it! I was looking for something more. So far, the Wii fit has that something more. Your own ‘personal trainer‘ who talks to you and encourages you. And I think I really do need something like that. But the most important thing that the Wii fit has helped me to discover so far is just how bad my posture really is. I know I walk more heavily on my left foot than the right. As you can see in the above picture the top shoe, the more worn one, is also the left one. And, as said previously, I walk heavily on my heels. What the Wii has taught me is that my balance is so bad, that it’s a wonder I don’t spend a lot more time on the floor on my face!! My center of gravity is to the back and off to the left. Now, in order for me to correct that, I have to put more weight on the balls of my feet to distribute the weight in my feet evenly. And that DOES make me feel like I am going to fall over. Further more, my ‘personal trainer’ keeps telling me not to stick my bum out – and the only way to stop myself doing that is to stand up straight.
But it’s hard to stand up straight, pull your butt in, push your shoulder blades together and walk on the entirety of both feet, whilst remaining relaxed and trying not to look like a duck doing a catwalk march! I know I absolutely have to correct my posture as the older I get, the more inflexible I will become, the more rounded my shoulders will be and the more I will start to look like that Neanderthal of my youth! Which is where the Wii is its most helpful. It has wonderful yoga exercises to stretch the spine, straighten the back and balance one out. But my ‘personal trainer’ feels I need more than that. I need to strengthen my lower body (legs and abs in particular) because without the lower body strength I cannot do half the yoga exercises that require balance because I am not strong enough to keep myself up. So I have been doing some strengthening exercises. I have also done a few other exercises like hula hooping (good for balance) and jogging and stepping (good for strengthening and getting into shape). Lastly the Wii fit also offers some fun stuff to help with restoring one’s balance.
Now I know I am still rubbish and it is going to take a while to get myself right but I do know that I don’t want to look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in ten years’ time and so now I am doing something about it – it’s a far greater incentive than just trying to get fit, which is probably why my other attempts have failed. The reason I am doing this is to improve my posture – and if it happens to have the added benefit of getting me back into shape then that’s fantastic! Hold thumbs for me that this one does the trick
Copyright © 150513 by Karen Payze
PS Don’t forget to check out my other blog, if you havent done so already: 1000 words
Thank you so much RLB Hartmann for nominating me for the SUNSHINE AWARD. This is the second time I have been nominated for this award and I feel very proud to have received it again
The rules for the Sunshine Award are:
1) Post the Sunshine Award logo (above).
2) Accept the nomination and link back to the nominator (me).
3) Answer the questions.
4) Nominate ten other blogs (or sites) and inform them of the award.
And here is my Q & A:
- What is my favourite colour: I have two favourite colours: Royal blue and yellow-green/Kelly green (or something in between the two!)
- What is my favourite animal: Has to be cats although I do love all animals!
- What is my favourite number: Well, if you’re into astrology-type stuff (and I am not really) my lucky number would be 2 and my compound number is 9. But my favourite number is 7 – which is probably why I am not that lucky hahaha!
- What is my favourite non-alcoholic beverage: tea or cappuccino
- What is my favourite alcoholic beverage: I don’t really drink alcohol (allergies) but occasionally will enjoy a tall glass of Southern comfort and lemonade (very refreshing, and no allergy-induced swollen face to follow it!).
- Do I prefer Facebook or Twitter: I prefer Facebook but twitter is okay – nice to chat on twitter
- What are my passions: Reading, writing, drawing, cooking, going for long walks, being with my family (not necessarily in that order).
- Do I prefer giving or receiving gifts: both
- What is my favorite city: I like country villages rather than cities, especially oldy-worldy ones!
- What are my favorite TV shows: Vampire Diaries, cooking shows, home shows.
Now for my 10 Nominees:
- Sandbag Heart Newly followed and I love your poetry!
- Seasons of Insanity Very interesting posts
- River Song Beautiful poetry
- Flashlight City Blues Great poetry and enjoyable posts
- Thomas Rydder All-round nice guy
- The Parasite Guy Good variety of blog posts and re-blogs – introduces once to a whole variety of bloggers!
- Curnblog Very interesting posts about the world of movies
- Of Mind or Matter Really varied, interesting posts
- Shane’s Book Blog I know you already have a load of these so here is another to add to the collection
- RLB Hartmann Now I know I am not supposed to do this but I’ve never really been good at following the rules And I have enjoyed reading about you but more than that I love your comments and support for me and my writing – truly a ray of sunshine! (Don’t worry you don’t have to redo the questions )
Thanks again, RLB Hartmann for the award, I really appreciate it! And I hope you all enjoyed the Q & A.
I have had this image in my head for some time, and a poem to go with it. There are certain things in life that can stay with you even though you are so busy doing other things and for me, this is one of them. So I finally got to sit down, draw the picture and write the poem. If you are really keen to read the poem that goes with this story, you can read it on my other blog, 1000 words. Here is the link: http://1000wordessays.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/lost-love-returned/
Copyright © 300413 by Karen Payze
I have started a new blog. Below is the first post and about page. Please do visit and follow !
Sometimes I really struggle to sit down and write something that is worthy of being read. As I really want to write, I have decided to get serious about writing, which is why I have created this blog. I have another blog, Drawing Room Days which is used to write posts about me, myself and I but I have decided that I need a blog to focus on my writing.
Why 1,000 words? Well, I remember writing hundreds of essays in school, college and university. I also remember many of the essays in school had the requirements of 1,000 words (write a one thousand word essay on…sounds familiar, right!). I was thinking about this recently. If your average small novel or novella is 80,000 words then, in reality, I have most probably written the equivalent of several novels or novella’s. After all, an 80,000 word novel consists of 80 one thousand word essays. Okay, I know it is not as straightforward as that. It is easy to write 1,000 words on a topic, a lot harder to write 80,000 words on a topic.
I do think, however, that writing loads of 1,000 word essays will not only get me right into writing but will broaden my writing as well as hone my skills so that when I do finally finish my second novel,hopefully it will be a brilliant one!
Now I am not delusional. I know I cannot write continuously. My life and my family do not allow for that. But I would like to write on a more regular basis. Wednesdays are my novel-writing days so it is highly unlikely that you would see a post from me on a Wednesday. School holidays and weekends mean less writing for me. But as I am determined to make a real go of this, I am going to try to write at least once a week. So look out for new, regular posts. Of course I will still be writing on my original blog, but it won’t include story writing as that will all be here. All my poetry will also be posted on this blog from now on
Of course you would need the link to get there. Here it is: http://1000wordessays.wordpress.com/
I sometimes think my daughter is so lucky with the music opportunities available to her. When I was young, we had some opportunities in school, like class music lessons. In primary school it mostly consisted of us sitting in a big circle taking turns to whack out a tune on the xylophone or ping the triangle or, the best instrument of the time – the beating of the tambourine. We thought it was great!
High school music was a little different. Finding myself in a large class of boys with only 8 girls, which went down to 3 by the time I was nearing the end of my school days, music was not really something we got to do. Our music lessons consisted mostly of the girls chatting in a huddle at the back of class and the boys making paste out of the music sheets, not unalike the class at the start of the movie sister act 2 (yes, I am sorry to say I watched the whole movie, both movies in fact ). We went through about five music teachers – horrible boys! It was a bit of a waste because I do think I could have easily learned an instrument. I enjoyed singing, was in the choir in primary and many school plays (no major roles, I wasn’t that brave).
Don’t ask me to sing now though. I only do that in church, where it doesn’t really matter if you sing off-key because everyone else does too – after all, how many people can really hit those high notes in some of those hymns!
Now my daughter has an ear for music and, shy as she is, when it comes to singing, she will do it because she can’t help herself. They do music in school too and its pretty much the same thing we did – only better. They actually get to learn what the different notes are and learn how to read music and when they whacked out their tunes on the xylophone for sharing assembly, it actually sounded like a tune – well it was Robbie Williams‘ Candy, so not exactly a hard one but still, I thought they all did really well. Or maybe I’m just being a parent ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶
They’re still lucky though. My daughter has a lot more opportunities to learn an instrument than I ever did. She has a chance to learn the recorder from next year, so I will definitely try to get her into that And then there’s choir and later on, band. So plenty out there for her, should she choose to do it!
She was given a child-size guitar for Christmas but of course has no idea how to play it. So I had this great idea of teaching myself to play (after all, how hard could it be ha ha ha) and then teaching her. But after some very good advice, I decided it would be better to send her to a few lessons, just to get her started then I could help her after that. So I looked around and, on discovering that the cheapest music lessons were an eye watering £20 PER BLOODY HOUR, I reverted to my original idea. Still, the guitar sat gathering dust for some time before I was able to get my hands on a series of teach yourself guitar books and CD’s. It’s a really good series and I actually picked it up quite quickly, as I knew I would of course haha, but I found it a bit difficult to get some finger placements right and decided that it was because I was using my daughters’ small guitar and not because my fingers resemble chunky chips. So I bought a cheap second-hand guitar, which has seen better days (I hope) but it works and it’s a Yamaha, which I heard is a good make of guitars (what do I know, right). One of the strings had gone so I bought a whole new set, only because old the ones were steel strings and seem to have a very different sound to the nylon ones (BTW stringing a guitar is bloody hard!). And seeing as the CD’s I am using make use of guitars with nylon strings, I thought it best to stick with those. It’s tricky enough tuning the thing by ear without it having something that sounds completely different. I’m sure all the fundi’s (it’s a South African word – look it up!) will be gasping in horror at me right now but I don’t really care
Anyway, I think I am doing okay. I can play a short tune using D and E (And I think I’m quite smart) and I do E minor, D minor and A minor (I know I’m so cool) and I might even do a video one day…and then I might actually get to teach my daughter after all, although by that time she probably would have taught herself anyway.
Seeing as I am on the topic of music, I thought I would share one of my favourite local bands with you. Virgin Soldiers. They are a band of 6 members and two of them play guitars – sorry one guitar one bass (AHA, you see there is a link after all!). They are a mix of rock and classical instruments which they call strock (Strings and rock I think) and the combination makes for some great melodies. Talk about musicality – they have it in spades! And I am lucky enough to be seeing them at a show at the end of the month. I have added a video you can check out below (yes I have permission from the band) and you can also find out what they’re up to on Twitter: https://twitter.com/virginsoldiers and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/virginsoldiers. Okay, that’s enough plugging for one day
Enjoy the video x
PS. Did you see the finger movements on that guitar!! No, I can’t do that…
Copyright © 150413 by Karen Payze (obviously excluding the Virgin soldiers stuff – that belongs to them )
I Look into the acrylic world
A universe full of colour
A painted promenade stroll
leads me to wondrous things
Take me to that place
I want to go
where the stream
Copyright © 120413 by Karen Payze
This poem was written in response to Poet’s corner poetry challenge of the week: to write a nonet. I have never written one before. And, as always the poem is also published on Poet’s Corner! Enjoy
Remember that generalised new years resolution list that I made in January? No? I’m not surprised. I have just about forgotten it myself. Anyway, I have finally decided to start doing something about that list. Okay, I have been doing a fair amount of writing and cooking and baking but not much else. Not that I haven’t been doing nothing, I have actually been very busy
Anyway I decided that I need to start doing the exercise thing. It’s not that I don’t exercise. I walk my daughter to school every day and walk home, then go back to fetch her and walk home again (well almost everyday: not when its raining really hard and not on weekends when I’m usually collapsed from the exertion of walking so much during the week!) but I have decided that it’s not nearly enough. There are two main reasons why I figured that I need to do more.
The first being that my daughter will soon be in juniors and from juniors they start expecting the children to become more independent (ridiculous I know) until by the time they reach year 6 and are the street wise (haha) age of ten or eleven, they can walk themselves to and from school – it’s called high school readiness or some such nonsense. Anyway what that means for me is that one day, in the very distant future, I am no longer going to have my daily school walks and will need something else to fill that space. Now as appealing as sitting on the sofa eating an entire box of chocolates every day is to me, I don’t think that would be an appropriate way to occupy myself. I need something else, something more energetic.
The second reason I need to do more (and this one most probably makes a lot more sense to most) is summer, which will be happening sometime this year (maybe, hopefully) and with summer comes – the swimming costume! If you’re not so brave it’s a full costume, sometimes accompanied by a skirt or wrap or a tankini if you’re a little braver but not really that brave and just want to BS yourself into thinking you’re brave or the bikini if you are very brave or know that you have a killer body. And actually I think this goes for men too – which makes for interesting beach times (ie. men wearing teeny tiny Speedo’s which could be good but might not always be ) At the moment I am in the tankini category and most probably wouldn’t change over to bikini’s anyway but would like to know I have the option available!
Now, I have seen so much advertising regarding Zumba fitness that I thought it would be a great way to get into shape. After all, it’s dancing and I love dancing. So my options were to join a Zumba fitness class or get the DVD and do it myself. I opted for the latter as I figured that if I am going to look like a blithering idiot I may as well do it in the comfort of my own home. It’s a great DVD. It starts with the basics so you can learn the steps before you start actually doing the dance routine. Now it really would help if you were Latin American – then this would be dead easy for you, and the two woman who do the routine have elastic bodies such as I have NEVER seen before, but I do have to say that if you are not, don’t fret, as long as you have some sense of rhythm or can at least keep to a beat you will probably look funny but be fine. I do think I have rhythm. I don‘t think I have a rubber body which certainly makes for some awkward movements but there is plenty of hip action and a load of booty shaking which makes it enjoyable nevertheless.
So at the end of the day, even though my calf muscles now feel like they are made of stone and walking is somewhat laborious, I know that I will have shaken my booty enough, especially seeing as my best routine was the belly dancing one, to be comfortable in a bikini come summer (even if I only do so in my own back yard, or inside the back door at least And hopefully I will carry on with it as I rather enjoyed it – must be all those endorphins, wonder if they’ll wear off before my next exercise time…
Copyright © 210313 by Karen Payze