Tuesday, December 28, 2010

4 days!

I have used the pullup bar to do squats 4 days in a row now. Form better today, 2 sets of 20, and a couple times almost sitting and powering back up. It's amazing and cool the difference that I can see in just 4 days, it gives me hope. Tomorrow I will have to take a break since I won't be home. I'm excited though, taking a two hour drive, the longest since I started driving. Hope to continue back with the squats on Thursday.

I leave the house before 8:30 mornings and never get home before 6 evenings. I need some help putting together an effective workout schedule if anyone has any ideas. Saturday and Sunday I don't work so that's two days but I need more.

Thank you, bye for now,

Monday, December 27, 2010

3 days in a row

After work I asked my wife to help me use the pullup bar before it got any colder. Definatley not the best form on my squats but do feel good for doing them. 2 sets again, more than 10 each.

I haven't been feeling good for a few day, sinus or something. But still pushing through that to keep consistent.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2 sets of 10

For the second day in a row I used the pullup bar. 2 sets of 10 squats today. My pullup bar is outside and it's supposed to be very cold this week, I will try to keep at it despite the cold.

Thank you Katja, I was actually thinking yesterday before I even posted about getting some insight from a trainer to steer me in the right direction. But before I spend the money I want to be sure I can convey my purpose so my money and time with a trainer will be utilized effectively for a long time to come.

I forgot to say merry Christmas yesterday. One of my favorite Christmas sayings is: wise men still seek Him.

So close yet so far, though giving up is no option.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Still trying

I hadn't used the pullup bar in 2 weeks at least. I'm trying to get a program together that will effectively work and strengthen the most basic / important muscles to increase / improve my ability and stick to it faithfully for 12 weeks. I think if I can do this I will see improvements, wether big or small, but effective and worth while.

I felt good about taking the time to use the pullup bar today for the first day in a long time. My legs powered me up pretty good. I thing taking the time to do the leg presses from a chair has paid off.

I recently got a "flip" camcorder. What's everyone's opinion of my posting video on my progress rather than text?

Thanks to all. And thank you Katja, your response was very encouraging.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trying to break the funk

Lately I've been struggling with finding / making time for exercise / therapy. You might know that when you get out of that routine it's hard to get back in and it can be very discouraging. I was doing so well with my standing and I got away from it, it almost makes me feel like giving up because I know I was so close to a break through.

But it is never worth it to give up. For a long while my right leg (my stronger leg) has had issues, a ever tightening muscles fights against my strength and ability in this leg. It drives me crazy! :) Yesterday I tried doing squats and I couldn't get any weight to bear on it. Kinda hard to do squats like that. So after 6 I got frustrated and was done with that for the day.

Thankfully I tried again today and though still a struggle it was a little better. Did a set of 7 then a set of 10. Then I walked over 60 steps, the squats do seem to stretch my legs pretty good and improve my walking. My left foot that I consistently drag when walking stepped through better than it has in a long time. As far as bearing weight on my right leg, weirdly when walking (and thankfully) I can bear weight on it. It still feels very tight. Any ideas for stretching that tight group of muscles greatly appreciated.

Not keeping up with my squats has brought me down lately but I have taken the time to focus on my arms using the bar to do pull ups. Also focusing on my left obliques to hopefully improve my weak balance. And getting in a chair still sometimes to do leg presses and not neglect my legs totally.

Anyway, I'm working on and trying to break the funk. To you I say, never give up.

Monday, November 8, 2010


The last two weeks have been a little busy so I haven't been able to exercise as much, but it's still going good. Driving has gotten much easier and it's helping my arms get stronger so a very good thing all around.
The standing up with very little help was no fluke because I have repeated and even stood up better since then. It still needs much work but very exciting.
Whenever I do squats then walk later on my walking always seems like more of a struggle. I did no squats yesterday and my walking seemed better. I need to organize my exercise without cutting anything out.
Since being so busy I haven't been able to use the exercise bands very much but when I do I know tht they are very beneficial.
I started my Monday off right by transfering to a chair and doing my leg presses and abs (side ab muscle) exercises. 3 sets of 20 on everything.
Just wanted to give a little update. Thanks for all the encouragement.

Friday, October 29, 2010


It's been a busy tiering week. I hadn't got to exercise since Monday. One reason is because I just started driving for the first time ever and that was and will be for a while time and energy consuming. But me driving is an amazing thing.

But this evening around 7 when I was pretty tired Lisa helped me with the pullup bar. I got to the edge of my chair, put my feet on the ground, my right hand on the bar, she held my left arm to help me stand - and I had this feeling, I said wait. Try not to help me. I stood up! She asked mw when I decided I was going to do that, just now I said.

Just to be sure I asked her if or how much she helped. She said I did at least 85 or 90 % or more. That is awesome, even though I really think I did 100%. But either way it's amazing.

So I have to keep doing this, and if I can do it once it's more than a fluke and I can do it more and more and eventually stand up by myself every time. It is just blowing my mind right now. I really wanted to tell my mom but decided to try and wait until I got better and more consistent.

So a little break seems like it was good fo me, but breaks are dangerous, consistency is crucial I think.

But wow:)

My balance is still off and I need to work my core. If I can stand up I can do anything! Maybe a miracle, I don't know, but I know not a fluke and God is blessing me. He always does.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The most squats I'd done so far was 29, yesterday I did 34. I think Lisa usually holds onto my belt loop, I didn't even realize until I was almost done that she wasn't holding onto me at all. Very cool, a sign of some improvement.
Just a quick update before I go to work. Thank you guys for all your encouragment.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

3 days

Hi all,

I am doing good. I've been having some good days and some not the best days. But more important I have been consistently exercising with the pull up bar. 3 days in a row, last Saturday, Sunday and Monday when I stood up it felt very good, almost like I did it without assistance. That is one of my goals. But then after Monday I started not standing up so easily, but I still did squats. 29 is still my high number. One day I kept going lower and lower, almost in my chair and then standing back up. That's not so easy but I'm working on it.

I did something last week that I don't think I've done since my injury. When I was walking I fell like I do every blue moon or so, I didn't get hurt. But usually when I fall it frustrates me and I in no way feel like getting up and finishing my walk. But I did and that was a big step for me. And the next night when walking I fell again, I really had no desire to get up and finish then, but I did and felt better. If you are thinking if I fall sometimes then I shouldn't be walking, don't you fall sometimes too?:)

Something else that I've done is when I finish walking instead of sitting down is stay standing, let go of the walker, hold onto to Lisas arm and shift my weight around trying to hold my balance, not easy for me but if it were easy it wouldn't be of much help to me.

This morning my friend that made my pullup bar installed some eye bolts that I can hook resistance bands in to and do different exercises. I am very excited about this. The few photos above aren't very good but you can get an idea. I have handles that attach to the end of the bands. I will try to get some photos of me using them. I actually did several exercises from my chair already earlier, including, back, core and shoulders.

I haven't gotten on the floor yet to work on core and whatever else but I'm working on it.

Any ideas for floor exercises or the resistance bands or pullup bar or anything at all is greatly welcomed and appreciated.

I have realized that the difficult part about this isn't so much as doing the exercises, although that is difficult, but it's do be consistent, and not give up.

Bye for now,

Saturday, October 16, 2010

God is good......

I find it so interesting in my own life that I might be quicker to say God is good when everything's going good. But when things aren't going how I would like even though I know He is still good I might not say it.

With my exercise, even when it's discouraging, I need to remember that God is good (I know that He is.)

The reason I'm talking about this is I had a few discouraging days and didn't reflect on the fact that God is good, and today I had a good day and right away was thinking God is good. Anyway.

Here's how it's been going. I think I used the pull up bar every day this week except Wednesday. It's been going ok but I've been struggling. I sit in my wheelchair all day and when I go to stand up my legs do the opposite of what I want them to. So that kinda discouraged me a bit. Tw0 days I actually was able to do a set of 20. But my form hasn't been the best, but I think anything is better than nothing.

I've also been trying to do pullups from my chair, hopefully it will strengthen my arms.

Yesterday when my wife tried to help me stand my legs just were not helping, so I got discouraged. But today, I just stood right up, the best since I've had the pullup bar. I want it to and know that eventually it can always be like that, that's why I get discouraged when I struggle. But I'm working on it.

After I stood up I spread my feet farther apart than usual, better form, and I practiced shifting / leaning my weight from side to side for the first time since I've had the bar, a really good exercise I think. And I think it was working my core really well.

And, I did 29 squats! God is good, yes all the time, not just on my good days:)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

new exercise

Last night I tried a exercise for my legs that I have been thinking about for a while. While laying on my back I put a tall metal can under my leg, the back of my thigh so it elevated above my knee. So I could do leg extensitions (not sure of the proper term.) But it was a good exercise. I did 1 set of 25 for each leg.

Then I did a set of crunches. I need to learn more about ab / core exercises. But I will keep doing the basic crunches for now.

I have continued doing squats with the pull up bar and that is going well, though sometimes it's a struggle (which isn't bad.) Twice I've been able to do a set of 20.

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about my routine right now, but I still need to add more.


Monday, October 4, 2010


Not a very good video, my chair blocks my legs, next time I will try to set the camera at a side angle.

So.. this is hard. I guess if it was easy it would be no big deal. My balance / core is weak, I need to find a routine / exercise to improve that.

After that set of squats I did another set, this time leaning forward as I came down realizing this is what you do when you sit or stand.

Sigh. This is only the second day of this idea, I know everything takes time and effort, and you get out of something what you put into it. In all areas of life.

I am still excited.


Saturday, October 2, 2010


I thought a few photos would help. They show how I can grasp with my right hand, how I can't with my left, one is of me using the rope to stretch my left arm / shoulder.

My wife took the pictures, then she helped me stand! She helped me by pulling my left arm and I pulled with my right arm on the bar, it was great! Once I was standing and got my balance I held the bar with both hands and did a set of 10 squats, I can do it! :) I want to set up my camera to video next time so I can post it.

Anyway, I am excited:) Any feedback welcome.

Pull up bar :)

My friend brought by the pull up bar that he made this morning. I am so excited, I can't really put it in words. 

I tried it out and of course it's not so easy for me. But with practice and time I will make good use of this. 

From my chair I can grasp the bar with my right hand, but my left hand I can't. So I will try to use the rope for my left hand to pull on.

My thoughts right now are:  basic pull up's to strengthen my arms. But also I hope that if I can use the bar to pull myself forward a little that I can practice standing up and do squats to strengthen my legs. 

I am also thinking of attaching exercise bands for other exercises. Please let me know of any ideas / exercises that you think of for me.

Thank you

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kind of out of my routine, trying to get back

Hi everyone,

I was away for a week and kind of out of my routine for two weeks. I have kept up with my walking but hope to improve that as well. So I am trying to get back into the flow of a routine, more than just walking, to be able to do many simple yet amazing functions independently that I haven't done since my diving accident (a long time ago.)

What I am excited about right now is a friend is going to make for me a kind of mini standing / exercise base that I will be able to practice pulling up / standing and other exercises from that should strengthen muscle and help me increase my physical ability. It is a great start and I am excited.

Also a friend has lent me a very detailed book called the book of muscle and I hope to get some good ideas from there.

That is all for the moment, I greatly thank you for your interest and feed back.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just a quick update

I'm still working on getting a solid, effective routine / schedule together but I haven't figured it out yet. Right now my routine is kind of unorganized but I think right now anything is better than nothing.

Saturday I went to a little flea market and found a chair to exerscise from, just a regular chair (for $2 it was the right price for a start.) I decided that I'm in my wheelchair enough, I need to get out of it when I can. So a portion, as much as possible of my exerscise program will be from a regular chair, not my wheelchair. Sorry, no images / videos yet but hopefully soon.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post an exerscise I do from the chair is kinda like quad presses. (I think) But I've also started exerscising my upper back a little and my right shoulder and my weaker left abs by leaning to my right side and trying to pull myself back with my left lower ab muscles.

Anyway, any feedback / ideas are truly appreciated.
Thank you, Ian

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What should I add to my routine?

Right now I try to walk almost everyday to at least maintain that ability. I wear a afo on my left leg and noting on my right leg, I walk slowly with a walker.

I recently started sitting in a regular chair (just to get out of the wheelchair for a while) and with my feet on the floor push my legs down so it pushes the chair back (not too far to tip over) and I'm hopeing this is strengthening my quads. It remiinds me of the way you'd push yourself on a total gym with your legs.

Since I've been doing that for about a week I have seen improvement in my walking. Maybe if I possted a video it would help for those who want to help me.

I'm at the library and have to go but please leave me your thoughts / comments and ideas so far.

Thank you

My first post

Hi all,

I am starting this blog with the hopes to better myself physically and hopefully to help others. I broke my neck in a diving accident when I was 15, I'm now 33. I use a power wheelchair always.

At first I was completely paralyzed but slowly I started to get movement back. I can walk short distances theraputically with a walker.

I'm working on figuring out how and what exerscises that I can work on to strengthen my muscles and my ability. I have never come near my full potential and I suppose that is my main goal. I don't need to do cart wheels, I just need to do what I can do, which is a lot more than I'm doing now.

I'm thinking of posting videos of what I can and can't do and hope to get feedback / ideas / technices / routines etc etc from anyone interested in reading this and helping out.

Thank you and bye for now.
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