If You Know Recovery Will Suck, Ease Off to Start

I remember back about a million years ago, I first dipped my toe into the martial arts taking Tae Kwon Do. Some time into this adventure, a couple of my erstwhile high school classmates signed up.

Now, I hadn’t seen these guys in a while, maybe a year, but I do remember they were (for the day) pretty serious headbangers. They both played guitar, and started up a garage band covering the metal acts of the day. As I recall, in grade 12 French class they played the guitar parts of one of Judas Priest’s songs, and did a pretty good job of it.

Anyway, I asked them why they were giving take my dough a turn, and they told me it was because they thought it would help them put on the kind of show they really wanted to do.

For context, this was back in the David Lee Roth van Halen days. He was some sort of 57th degree black belt in something or other, and pretty jacked, to boot, and if you want to see what they meant by the kind of show they wanted to put on, watch this. Link should be fine, it’s the band’s official video.

So, they had their first class (Tuesday). They missed the next class (Thursday), but did make their second attempt the following Tuesday. Never to be seen again.

Literally, I’ve never seen either of them in the 35+ years since.

You see, starting a new exercise program is hard. And back in the eighties, martial arts classes were brutal. It was as if there was a conscious part on the old guard to see how fast they could drive away new students. “Only the strong survive.” They didn’t get smacked around (hell, that might have helped them tough it out, they were hockey players), but they had never stretched or done calisthenics as hard or long as we did in those classes (45 minutes before the actual class began).

These two guys learned, the hard way, that going too hard, too fast into a new exercise hurts even when you’re a teenager. It hurts many times more when you’re in your mid fifties.

Of late I’ve been lamenting the disappearance of what I call “the Real StandUpRight.ca.” That would be the website I want to write, rather than the website that events of the last year have compelled me to write. Earlier I wrote a little something on how I was recommitting to my daily yoga, and how I’m taking that as inspiration to bring back the Real StandUpRight.ca.

Well, to that end, today, for the first day in, umm, I genuinely don’t know how long, I did my back maintenance and shoulder mobility yoga.

Okay, that’s a lie, I only did the back maintenance part.

Okay, that’s also a lie, I only did about 1/3 of the back maintenance part.

You see, I’ve learned the lesson taught to those classmates of mine, way back when. Delayed onset muscle soreness is a thing. Since I genuinely need to fix my back and posture, I can’t just leap back in and go like I’ve had no time off.


  • 2 minutes breathing (in corpse pose)
  • neutralize the spine
  • 30 seconds core brace
  • articulate the spine
  • neutralize the spine
  • 30 seconds core brace
  • gentle twist, both sides
  • neutralize the spine
  • 30 seconds core brace
  • 10 reps baby cobra
  • 30 seconds puppy pose
  • 10 seconds bear
  • 3 reps of the above
  • neutralize the spine
  • 2 minutes breathing (in corpse pose)

That’s it.

For today.