The Positivity of a Thrash Metal Show | The Cloudfoot Diaries #82

For some strange reason, the last two big metal shows I’ve had tickets for have resulted in me hurting myself just days before the gig.
June 2016 I took a friend to Download festival to see Black Sabbath, managing to get my left elbow hyper-extended and dislocating my radial head just days prior.
Fast forward to Jan 2017 and I’m booked for a double bill of Municipal Waste and Suicidal Tendencies, and I separate my shoulder 3 days before!

The one plus; I had become accustomed to the limbless protocol needed to go to one of these shows and come out intact. Thrash gigs are known for being full of people who don’t give a fuck, socially, outward appearance or otherwise. As soon as I’d entered I felt slightly intimidated at how packed the fucking place was. Numerous people to my left and right, barging their way past one another. My arm was in a sling but it was so dark in there no one could see a dark blue arm-hammock on black attire. Body positioning became key, as did standing location.
I explained explicitly to my compadres that they would have to mosh twice as hard at this show, partly to make up for my absence and partly to stay alive. It was one of the biggest pits I have ever seen, taking up three quarters of the standing space of the venue. And there were some giant carnivorous sapiens in there!

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How I have been training around my shoulder injury | The Cloudfoot Diaries #81

Training around my shoulder injury

Last episode I harped on about the importance of embodying the principles of adaptation and awareness. So what kind of training have I been doing around my shoulder injury?

Week 1 of Injury – Just surviving and resting where possible. Survival was a workout, in and of itself and it’s not too sensible to start training when you’re in serious pain.
I had tickets to a thrash metal concert just 3 days post-injury and it was terrifying for the first 30 minutes. People everywhere, none of them giving a fuck who they bumped in to. An admirable quality if you’re in full health and ready to headbang but it was a real lesson in intra-personal navigation and space occupancy for me! I did well. Only one person gripped my injured shoulder as to gesture ‘Let me by,’ and he pretty much dropped me to floor. Closely followed by a half-pissed apology when he caught a glimpse of my sling under the flash of a spotlight.

Learning how to use the legs to change my level was important. Man, I’m so grateful I have been putting in time learning how to squat. For example, I had to adapt various sexy lunge and squat patterns in order to get in and out of my car, without aggrovating my shoulder. This would not have been a favourable time to discover my legs were weak as piss. Fortunately, they’re quite strong.

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2 key principles for training around an injury | The Cloudfoot Diaries #80

I’ve been injured numerous occassions with various grades of severity and as time goes on, I’m discovering more and more what are the useful mindsets to employ whilst recovering and what thoughts and practices should be discarded.
All too often, people let injuries snowball into excuses for stopping. Stopping their training, stopping their goal-hunting, stopping their positive attitudes etc. And I’ve realised that thinking this way is not useful because it’s the “I’m a victim of circumstance” attitude instead of “I am going to seize this opportunity!”.

It might not be obvious but if you’re injured and it’s not life threatening, you actually have a set of real opportunities you must capitalise on.

I’d like to share with you some of the useful mindsets and principles I have discovered. Perhaps they will assist you in overcoming whatever injuries you currently have.

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People are nicer to you when you’re injured | The Cloudfoot Diaries #79

11 days ago I landed badly on my right shoulder during a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. It was part accident, part poor technique and the result was a grade 2 seperation of my right AC joint; a predicted 8 week recovery time.

Every facet of my life was going quite swimmingly until the injury, and since slinging my right arm up and out of action, I’ve had to narrow down my focus to what is critical right now; Sleeping (the most important factor out of ‘Home Living’; eating, washing etc.), Earning Money and Training around the injury.

Sleeping

Althought the first night was so brutal that I didn’t sleep at all, since then I’ve been sleeping with my torso elevated to 45 degrees, lying on my left side only. I don’t adapt to new sleeping positions easily, unless I’m so exhausted that I have no other choice. This case was the latter, and it seems to be working. Thankfully a friend put me up for the week so I didn’t have to endure the pain of the first night that I spent in the van.

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Slovenia Snowboard Trip – The REAL Middle Earth | The Cloudfoot Diaries #78

4 years ago I made a pact with myself that I would snowboard at least once a year, after how much fun I had first time round. Trip one was all about learning to snowboard in 4 hours instead of the forever mentioned ‘3 days’; I didn’t have time for the norm.
Trip 2 was the first time I hit a kicker on my heel edge, crashing and smashing my head into the unmerciless ice beneath. There was more soil than snow and I discovered an invention known to most as ‘The Helmet’.
Trip 3 was with my girlfriend to Verbier, coming off the back of a popped-patellar tendon just 3 months prior, and battling chronic patellar tendonitis in both knees. I made it to the end of each day, but only just.

Recently, the time came for trip number 4; Slovenia. You may be wondering where on the continent that is but I don’t want to show you. It’s currently a well kept secret and I don’t want to be responsible for opening the flood gates.

I was in great health for this one; good knees, good leg strength, better than before mobility and a probably tighter than ever budget. A set of cheap flights plus a too-good-to-be-true rental car deal, and two hours later from London we’ve landed with our lives. In -16 celcius.
The landing was one of the spiciest I’ve ever experienced. Every time I board a plane, I always prime my conscience with the possibility that this could be my last few moments alive. But for the Slovenia flight, there was a moment when I thought we were really going down. The captain had warned us about high winds and turbulence. Normally, I can’t wait to take my seatbelt off but for this trip, all I wanted to do was sleep, so I left it on. Just as well. The whole capsule had their belts on, too, apart from one woman.
WHACK!
We suddenly dropped what felt like to be 100ft in the air, falling so fast that this woman in question left her seat and smashed her head into her air conditioning and lighting control panel above her! Quickly followed by her hands holding her now newly battered brain as she fell back to seatsville and assumed a position of pain. Hopefully thereafter, putting her belt on.
I’d never seen that before in over twenty years of flying. Belts, kids. Belts.

Lock, stock, and 2 smokin' gunz. #snowboarding #snow #nosnow #guns #chairlift #mountains #italia #threemusketeers

A photo posted by Harry Cloudfoot (@harrycloudfoot) on

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Talking Funny – Top comedians reveal practice and strategy | The Cloudfoot Diaries #76

Louis CK, Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock and the veteran, Jerry Seinfeld sit down and have a good ol’ raucous chat about how they do what they do best – splitting sides.

A fascinating look into each of their four minds and how they differ in their definitions, understandings and methods.

Who the fuck is Bear Grylls? Meet UCLES | The Cloudfoot Diaries #74

I grew up watching Ray Mears on television and thought he was always a bit of a legend. Calm, methodical and tubby, like a real outdoorsman should be.

Then Bear Grylls came along and to be honest, annoyed the shit out of me. Something just wasn’t right about him; an Etonian education, over-zealous cadence and staying in Hilton hotels whilst filming ‘survival’ content.

Well, Edward Michael Grylls can fuck right off because there’s a new badman on the scene who appears to be as legit as they come. Andrew Ucles. A cross between Steve Irwin and the Grizzly Man.

A friend of mine showed me some of his videos very recently and to be honest, it blew my mind. This guy is literally a superstar and has a pair the size of two nebulae.

Ladies and Cavemen, I present to you, UCLES.

Settle.

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Queuing with good-looking cattle; when Fury met Patience | The Cloudfoot Diaries #69

Models Queue

Hey, sorry for the short notice but you know how these things are…,” started the message. It was an honest introduction, more so than usual and it had caught my ego’s attention.

[Big UK Brand] are casting for their AW16 / SS17 lookbook today and have asked to see you.” Me!? Little old moi!? My ego began to dilate, rapidly, salivating like Golem at what this could mean.
I’ve been selected.
I’ve been noticed.

Funny how the ego feeds off of recognition and the illusion of being unique, isn’t it? Needless to say, I had already fallen for these traps and instead of taking a step back, re-assessing the message, its contents and subliminal meanings, I was already on my motorcycle smashing it to central London before my balls were too swollen to ride.

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The Gymnastic Bodies Coach Sommer Interview | The Cloudfoot Diaries #67

Christopher Sommer Gymnastic Bodies

Coach Sommer
doesn’t really need an introduction from me. If you’ve never heard of him, it’s worth your time checking him out. In a nutshell, he’s coached a load of gymnasts to championship level over a few decades and knows what it takes to build a real gymnastic body – one that can function and perform to a high level but can also adapt and manage day-to-day realities and challenges. Sans bullshit.

Tim Ferriss did a wicked interview with Sommer, questioning him lots on the training process and various important points surrounding it.

A personal favourite takeaway from the interview was that it takes 211(+/-) days for soft tissue to adapt to a stimulus, apparently. I didn’t know it took that long for a change to be made but it makes sense when you realise muscle adapts nearly twice as fast compared to other softer tissues.

In terms of your own experience, what’s easier to build in less time, guns or range of motion?
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How Weightlifting Gave Me Patellar Tendonitis | The Cloudfoot Diaries #65

Now that I have your attention, this post should have been called ‘How I Gave Myself Patellar Tendonitis’.
Why?
Because it doesn’t really matter what the sport or activity is, if you’re body has a weak link, it has a weak link. The straw that breaks the camel’s back can represent any discipline. Shit, it can even be bending down to pick up the mail off of the floor. Where there are weaknesses, there are heightened probabilities of those weaknesses being exposed whenever you move the body around. Especially, if like me, you are a moving human who enjoys moving through new planes and axes and exploring just what is possible.

Patellar Tendonitis Diagram

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