Body Shop

by Jinryu

Nowadays, I’ve got class 3 times per week, but nothing else going on. That leaves me with 4 days off per week (at least until I start volunteering part time next week). For someone who is accustomed to having only 1 or 2 days off per week at most, I’ve effecively doubled or quadrupled the amount of free time I have during non-vacation time. I guess I don’t really consider this vacation because the summer class that I’m doing is thrice per week, with each of those schooldays lasting about 7 hours (rather brutal, to be honest).

With [CM] out of town, and without any roomies, and without the full swing of clubs and extra cirriculars at school yet to start, I’m pretty much a one man band. The question is, what should I do with my free time?

Well, I had a pretty productive day, to be honest. It’s 20:45 at the time of this sentence, and I’m pretty exhausted. I woke up at around 7am, and decided to head down to the bay. I purchased a punching bag the day before as part of the “get back in shape” program. It’s only about 50lbs (a small one), but anything bigger than that would be rather inconvenient. I intend to carry this bag down to the bay, and rope it around some of the steel I-beams in the area. Then, I can do like in a Rocky movie, and do some training by the waterfront to the sound of seaguls and laughing children.

It’s actually not that obvious how to hang up a 50 pound bag… our apartment lease says that we can’t drill any holes in the walls, so a wall mount was out of the question. I considered (and honestly, am still considering) building an indoor frame myself, but considering that the whole apartment has permanent carpets, I’m a bit worried about there being too much of a stink after a really good workout… which pretty much ruled out the freestanding punching bags (which I’m not a huge fan of anyway).

Anyways, I went down to the bay this morning, not to hook the bag up, but to throw some rope over the I-beams and measure just how much I’d need to hang the bag up. I’m trying to do this all on a budget, I might add. I’m going to end up using about 10$ worth of nylon chords which I found in the camping section of a local store. I’ve braided it so that it’s three times as thick as it used to be, and ought to be a few factors stronger. I’ve got a couple of biners from back home, so those will make the hooking a bit more quick release. I think I’m pretty much set! The total cost: 50 for the bag, 10 for the rope. I was cheap about the whole project that I didn’t even take a taxi with the bag, I lugged it a couple of blocks on my shoulders like a lumberjack and took public transportation instead.

The bag doubles as a weight lifting aid. I’m basically doing something like deadlifts of the bag itself. Technically, I could probably lift a lot heavier, but a lot of the benefit of the bag is that it’s odd shape forces me to use a lot more muscles and work very ‘inefficiently.’ Inefficient lifting, so long as it’s safe for your back, is a great way to develop a more rounded and practical physique I find.

After figuring out the rope stuff, I went back to the apartment, had a quick nap. Woke up, watched some Prince of Tennis. Yes, I know I’m behind– I just notice that Prince of Tennis II came out, and I figured that since I hadn’t seen the original, all the free time was as good a time as any to catch up on the classics.

While I was lying in bed, I decided to hit the beach. I’m not much of a suntanning person, and I don’t really do beach games (what would you play if you were alone anyhow?) but I like the look of the ocean, and the sound of it. It’s sublime, the way you look out there, and there’s just nothingness. More on the beach later.