Getting back in the saddle

The blog is finally fully updated which took a couple of hours, not least because of SSL certification madness and trying to remember everything that goes into it. The internet has become a very complex place in the past years and self-hosting is its own mini-game. I am glad this site is finally considered ‘secure’ by today’s browser standards. Everything is easier with a little help from your friends.

A new year means different things for different people. I am not big on new year’s resolutions but after 2020, I have been anxious to fix not just the blog but myself. After the last six months especially, I feel like a wreck physically. All the homeoffice work has caught up with me in ways I clearly underestimated. I have all sorts of back issues and developed a mean BDS (thoracic spine syndrome) that can feel like a heart attack when it’s having a field day. Then over the Christmas holidays, the sciatic nerve on my lower back almost immobilized me for several days. I’ve always had bad posture problems but everything has gone bonkers with Covid restrictions. Being indoors a lot more clearly also doesn’t help my overall immune system. Also, I am getting 40 this year and fuck that aging thing.

New desk setup is great!

It’s my own fault really, there’s not much else to it. I have a great desk setup and working space at home but I neglected to account for the overall impact of homeofficing. It wasn’t so bad between March 2020 and July because I was gardening a lot during that time and also getting away to the lakeside during summer. But fall and winter have aged me inordinately and now I’m struggling to establish some sort of routine back to well-being. I’ve never been sporty but now I feel like I am 70 years old (although I have no idea how 70 year olds feel).

Anyway. I recently came across the YT channel by German fitness coach Gabi Fastner and she may be the first who doesn’t annoy me after 5 minutes with some overly enthusiastic antics and pep-talk. She’s got a huge library of great beginner exercises that are easy to do and fun. There’s trainings for all kinds of purposes including fascia-based stretching units which have already helped me quite a bit. Right now the goal is to do a 30min course per day and see how I feel in a few weeks time. There’s really no excuse not to do it as I am working from home full time and can easily do it over lunch break.

The New Year begins with baby steps. Every day where I’m not weighed down by aching nerves in my back, is a good one. I shall report back on this in a few weeks time to review the progress I am making (hopefully)!


  1. I wish I could say fuck 40, but I’m past 50 now, and sleeping “wrong” overnight means I have neck or shoulder or back problems for a couple of hours (or more) during the day.

    That being said, I love your home setup. And that I also ought to check out that YouTube channel. No, I don’t know any German (yeah, I took Spanish in high school), but I’m perfectly fine having a German woman tell me what to do in her native language. She could be cussing me out and I’d be “Okay, whatever, I just keep doing these exercises, right?”

    1. Haha, she is kinda the opposite of your German stereotype expectations though! 😀 Not a drill sergeant, just very relaxed. Overly peppy fitness animators rub me the wrong way!

  2. I’m closer to 40 than 50, but even so, the wrong pillow can destroy my neck and cause head/nerve issues severe enough to require NSAIDs the next day or be completely non-functional for the next 24 hours. So eff aging, and ergonomics is not to be fooled around with.

    I found picking up gentle, yin or restorative yoga to be quite helpful. Being supremely unsporty, appreciating the body was not something that ever naturally occurred to me. There’s something about being asked to sit with one’s body for 20-40 mins in different gentle stretches that is both meditative and empowers one to really listen to what one’s body is trying to say.

    That and learning it is quite okay to modify exercises to fit one’s body, as opposed to most other exercise messaging, which is more, “yo, everybody, follow what I’m doing and you, too, can look exactly like me! If it’s not working for you, it’s because you’re not yet there! Push! Compete! Moar challenge! Progression! Winnar!” (My body promptly folds up and dies.)

    I’ve only started re-appreciating what my body is and is not capable of in my 4th decade, and learning how to set my own pace and difficulty level to strengthen it, rather than assuming some athletic expert who has distinctly different muscles and flexibility than me knows magically how easy or hard it is to do something.

    1. Hey Jeromai! /wave 🙂
      That is exactly my experience and it makes me a little sad that we arent taught these more introspective skills earlier in life. I think western cultures are especially bad, there is no history of meditation and little in terms of spirituality (that isn’t religious).

      I am still struggling to feel and listen to myself, so I appreciate exercises that are calming and focus on breathing rather than jumping around like a crazy rabbit. Right now, consistency is key for me, I would really like to establish a routine that I can keep up daily if possible, also to clear my mind (healthy mind, healthy body etc.).

  3. The worst part is the complete lack of concept of time. It could be 10am, 2pm, or 8pm… I can’t seem to get my body to act differently.

    So I’ve got alarms going off to remind me to stop working and start moving. An exercise program that fits. And putting on boots to go out in the snow. Just feels like this is slowly scratching my sanity and I need to be double strong to move forward.

    Good on you for making changes. Aint easy, but needed.

    1. Thank you! I hear ya, I think alarms can be a good first measure to remind yourself to get up and move and clear your mind! Going out into nature and catching some fresh air should be a daily thing too, also because of sunlight which is a huge mood stabilizer.

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