Sunday, April 15, 2012

When is MORE more? - exploring the value of more reps and more time in physical practice.

A few weeks ago, i wrote about exploring change by committing to change one thing - by doing one thing more; one thing less.

Over the past month i've been exploring a change in my physical practice in the MORE category - something i haven't really done before across the board. VOLUME - getting in the reps.

For the past 6 -9 months i've been mainly doing workouts of the Easy Strength variety (written about here over three posts). In easy strength there's 3-5 movements with max of ten reps per movement, usually 5 sets of two reps. Surprisingly effective.  So i kept up with that.

So why change to volume work? And by volume, for me we're only talking about 100 reps per movement in sets of ten reps (where 12 would be failure). The following explores the benefits of MORE'ing up

More reps with intent - that's what quality is all about.

Form Practice; Balance; Hypertrophy/Endurance; Time

To learn a move, we must practice the move. That practice takes reps. I've had good experience swapping high reps with a movement for practice one day a week, and then few, heavy reps in that movement another day of the week. I've also seen folks like Asha Wagner do very well on a consistent diet of high reps at middle loads.

Rehab takes Reps. My right shoulder has been giving me a hard time since december. Right after a significant bout of easy strength, i went back to RTK (for example) and heck if i didn't push it and not listen and well, thar ya go. My rehab progress was feeling very slow and limited. I had an interesting chat with shiatsu instructor and z-health coach Noel Norwick. He spoke of his own rehab being around doing lots of reps - not adding real load to his particular rehab issue until he had 10k of perfect pain free reps. He spoke about the body rebuilding trust, and that taking reps. He also cautioned to balance all the pressing work with similar pulling work - something i had not consciously done before.

So, as part of my MORE change, i have two rehab sessions a week where i'm just pressing 1000 reps with a very light load using bands on one day, and then pulling for 1000 reps with bands on another. It takes about 90 mins to get through in sets of 1000. I now have 3k of pulls and presses. And my shoulder seems to be really liking this work. It is quieter at other times. It's very much a form focus. It's also an interesting discipline to focus that long on that practice.

Noel cautioned about not jumping into that amount of volume without building up to it.  The idea here is to reduce a threat response from the body - to help it relax and love the movement pattern rather than flinch with it. Very interesting.

Reps and Hypertrophy and Endurance - A core part of strength training is to build up some mass. While how to build muscle is still a bit of a mystery, one thing seems consistent: it takes reps with meaningful load and without full recovery between sets. Many folks will recognise 100 reps in sets of ten with limited recovery as German Volume Training (here's one version). I'm not doing this at a gym with typical kit. I'm doing this work with bodyweight and kettlebells. Why? because that's what i have.  And actually, it's what i like.

My focus is rehab and strength building with balance, and a question mark around mass.
I am likely one of the least muscular looking people you will come across, so i am always dubious about any focus on hypertrophy for me. But strength is strength, and practice is practice, and if some kind of mass comes out of this, well, i'm ok with that. 

Also, as has been noted by anyone looking at their load/recovery ratios, there's a very fine line between hypertrophy training and endurance training. Both kinds of strength contribute to stamina. In most sports programs, hypertrophy and endurance are the base platforms for more focussed strength work or more focused athletic pursuits.

Right now, where i'm at with rehab, and my own bodyweight practice, MORE reps seems quite alright. As i am keen as weel just to build More.

Time. Many of us often see getting a work out in as quickly as possible as a plus. Over the past few months i've been refocusing on spending more time working out - a minimum of five hours a week.

There are a bunch of reasons for the five minimum, and keeping daily count of minutes spend focused on physical practice, but one of these is fundamentally that i have an otherwise pretty sedentary life. Being an academic is not about heavy lifting; using a standing desk is about as physically demanding as it gets - with lighter laptops even carrying a computer to work isn't the workout it used to be. So getting in as much movement as i can seems a good thing. Plugging away for 30 - 90 mins of effort per day seems a good commitment to myself. Tracking that, seems worthwhile. This focus right now on MORE reps certainly lends itself to getting in the time.

If i find that i'm finished a main workout before an hour is up, well, there's alway ab work - one can always get another ten sets of ten of something and at that point in a workout lying on my back feels pretty good.  In the MORE focus, everything counts that can be counted. It's easy to find something to do that is still work, and appropriate for the energy i have remaining.

Conversation with Kenneth Jay

It's funny how things cycle.

My first exploration of more was focusing on a variant of Kenneth Jay's beast protocol to develop my kettlebell press in particular. That effort became part of a series called "the perfect rep quest".

This most recent exploration of MORE in terms of overall reps, was also inspired by Kenneth Jay, this time from a conversation talking about hypertrophy as a foundation for strength, and looking at what he'd been doing as part of his workouts - and it came around to this version of german volume training.

Kenneth has some interesting ways to get into load for the press in particular (a personal bete noir) - his Perfecting the Press is well worth exploring. 

Take Aways

The two big take aways here for improvement are
  • - reps reps reps - the inescapable value of reps to learn more about the shape and form of a movement.
  • - time spend with mid-challenging load does good things for what ails ya. 


One of the supposed biggies of 10 by 10 for 100 GVT is hypertrophy, but i have so little to go by, i'm really not a fair sample.  I've only been doing this a month and a bit and it does seem that my arms are a wee bit larger, and my butt is a wee bit smaller.

The main things i'm looking for, tho, is strength/rehab changes.

As said, my shoulder is liking the mega reps of rehab day and seemingly the one arm push up work. In terms of strength my main adaptations so far are going from my pursuit of a one arm push up from knees-based one arm with the other arm/hand at my hip, to this same position for my 100 push ups from the full plank. Now that is fricking work to do ten sets of ten of those. Other stuff, like squats and rows it's speed and recovery. soon it will be moving up on load. so progress.

In terms of stamina, my 16kg snatch is feeling more relaxed. There, i'm doing ten / ten a side, then a pause. My goal there is to get to 100 going ten ten as effortlessly as 10/10 with the pause feels. Funny thing, the snatch feels really good on the shoulder. That's a surprise. 

I'm also easily getting my time in for the workouts. For recovery between sets, for the past week and a bit, i'm doing eye work: reading charts at ten feet away as per this previous post. Speed is picking up there, too, it seems.

Weight One thing that is a bit of a surprise and that may mean i am putting on a bit of mass is that my weight has kinda stabilised up a bit, despite not really changing my diet. I'm not sure what to think about that. I've only been using the scale and a tape measure of late. Perhaps i'll pull out the callipers anon and really see what's what there.

Will that be sarcoplasmic or myofibrillar hypertrophy? You'll note i haven't spoken at all about hypertophy is mainly sarcroplasmic muscle and therefore useless because it's not increasing myofibrillar muscle tissue? Because a big part of me just wants to say "oh please - what a problem to have!" For one thing, we really can't get one type of muscle building without the other. Really - it seems the sarcoplasm will also increase even with "strength" focused work. Please consider the interview with Triple double beast presser Ken Froese. Trees. They are the circumference of mature hardwoods. A cross section of Ken's biceps would show good ratios of sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar tissue.

Dan John will talk in easy strength about hypertrophy as the Elephant in the Room when talking about strength, and yet how important it is as part of "building armour". Indeed, Dan has an interesting take on German Volume Training himself - by playing with set/rep schemes. Why? because getting some of the goodness of hypertrophy is a good thing.  One might also find his "high rep squat" program for mass interesting

Tendon Time And just to make a key note about GVT, German Volume Training focuses on compound (multi-joint) lifts. *I* focus on multi-joint lifts. Whether i'm getting bigger or not, I am getting stronger. I am getting well-er in my shoulder (again), and so whatever may also be happening with my connective tissues could be a good thing.

Indeed, one of the things we need to note about connective tissue is that it SEEMS to grow slower than muscle. Perhaps that's why injury can happen - it's easy to muscle the reps; less easy to build the supporting tissue. Perhaps GVT type approaches let us have the side effect of tendon time. And that's a good thing, too.

Summary: Explore More; more can be good

For my latest one MORE thing, i've committed to exploring volume - if that means lesser loads but more of them, that's cool. If that means getting up a bit earlier for a longer workout, that seems to be cool, too. the best part right now is my shoulder seems to be liking this, and my very SLOW progress towards my one arm push up seems to be proceeding.

Volume is OK
I seem to recall reading somewhere at some point that it's not good to spend more than 45 mins in the weight room. Have you ever seen that? I used to believe that. Right, light three groups of EDT for instance, for 45 and you're fried. check.  And yup when i've done protocols like RTK, that are 45 mins long, yup, i feel cooked at that point too. RTK can be quite volume-ish, as well, with five ladders being 15 reps - for five sets - but i digress

The thing is - at leaset it seems to be - that it is also quite possible and reasonable to put time into working out for an hour; that one can workout for an hour every day, and still recover, and still gain changes we seek by picking the right stuff to do for that hour that challenges for adaptation and allows for recovery.

This alls sounds so basic, doesn't it? Perhaps some of you are going there is nothing new here; this is how i train all the time. That's cool. Good for you. I suppose i'm coming from a place of oooo intervals are more beneficial than steady; heavier loads for fewer reps for strength etc. Yes sure, but maybe not always. Some times exploring the more endurance side of adaptation is rewarding. I'm finding it so right now. Can i do those last couple of sets? Do i have the *mental* game to bring to thirty more reps (my wall seems to be set 7). Every time i do, it's like, well, that was cool.

I'm not sure if there'll be a greater lessen than this, but just that MORE is possible; we won't break, done sanely, and it can take us in new ways to new places - like improving vision while improving strength.

Please let me know if you explore this one thing more of volume.

While this post has looked at change one thing to MORE, the next episode of this series will look at doing one thing LESS in the change one thing approach to performance and behaviour change, in particular the experience with eating less - less food, less frequently - and not breaking. 

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Improving Vision? Sharper Eyes? Is seeing really believing?

Near sighted? Far away text seems blurry? Sucks, eh? Been told you're broken? Eyes is eyes and what ya got ya got and better just lens up? That sucks too, ya? But this tale of static vision impaired ill may not be true. May not.

If i said - well i've got a recipe here to fix your eyes. Really. What would you pay? if it really worked? If you're tensing up at the thought of me selling something, it's ok to breath now - not gonna sell anything. Just curious. Worth something? How about time? Would you give yourself an hour? a morning? a few mornings? if that would give you back your visual acuity?
Snellen myopia diopters of blur

Oh wow, folks, here's the proposition.


Yes, that's about it. Relax.

That's the recipe i've been exploring with increasing intent for the past week, and for the past few days of this holiday weekend in particular for hours at a time The biggest part of this exercise for me - this experiment filed under "what do i have to lose?" - is being patient with myself, and just looking.

Of course your mileage may differ, but let me put it out there. And remember: patience means time. Patience at not efforting; at letting things emerge. Not what i expected "vision training" to be. But "vision, it's not an art, "w. Maccracken, inspired by W.Bates. " it's an endowment" - This process is about letting that endowment come back on line.

I say back - but my vision apparently hasn't changed since i first got it checked. It started shite; it's remained the same level of shite. I'm just very good at navigating the world without spectacles apparently. Sufficiently good to drive without specs. I remember of being terrified of the driving test at 16 - not the road test - the written one before that, where one's vision is checked. And the kind person saying "why not try that last one again...that's better...." Sweet soul. Apparently i have an astigmatism too. Whoopee. Just so you know where i'm at in this experiment of one.

Anyway, here we go.
There are a few bits to this article:
- the Recipe for Better Vision (if you just want to get the how to )
- Looking vs Staring (a bit about the experience)
- Whose Ideas Are These Anyway (on seeing better)
- Thoughts on Progress to Date

Better Vision Recipe 

Gear Needed 

Snellen Eye Chart
Snellen or Related charts. 
Here's links to a bunch over at
 - ones you can use at the full on twenty feet. If you have an ipad, there's some free charts you can use at 8, but i'm not sure i'd want to use them solely. There's something to be said for having rays shining on paper and bouncing off. Could be wrong, just saying.

Tape measure
it's very good to know exactly where one's head is at that ten mark point.

Blutac or similar to stick up printed charts - and be able to move them around - up or down.

Wall or similar 
Want to be able to stick up the charts nice and flat.

depending on which chart used, you'll need to get to 8, 10 or 20 feet back to check yourself out.  Me, i've started with a standard 20foot away chart but as the flat doesn't have a 20foot room, i'm sitting at 10feet away and just halfing the values. So if i get a line that says i'm at 20/20, i know it's really 20/40. But improvement is improvement. Alternately, and once i build up confidence, i can print the 20/20 chart at 50%. That's just mentally a hurdle cuz that's just SO SMALL right now for THAT FAR.

Bright Daylight or Simulacrum
Sunny days are better in my humble and limited experience than overcast. In the UK the former is rare: seize the opportunity. Morning light is grand. This may mean heading outside. As an alternative i've also used an LED ikea lamp, and a daylight type light on a chart bluetac'd up on the wall, but for me the best is a nice bright sunny morning.

Notebook/Pen - some kind of recording instrument
Have a log to take notes about the changes that will take place.
For those of us who work out and love to make ourselves go through all sorts of changes, we believe in logs, don't we? If we've been doing the change thing for awhile, we pull out a log because we believe that of course we'll change, and we want to know how to correlate what we do with what happens; the little science statisticians that we care and feed inside of us are all set to go. Same here: get out that log: believe that change is about to happen. If you're a geek (like me) you don't really take it seriously until the paper is out. There's going to be lots to measure here.

Set Up

Pretty simple set up: put up the chart at about eye level for the middle to start and back up so your eyes are X feet away from the chart (whatever your chart prescribes). Best: have lots of sun coming into the room.


Sit or stand - i started standing - and look at the chart.

Base Line: Look at the Chart. What can you see? Even if you can't see any letters clearly, what's the shape? can you distinguish lines? how many distinctly? You may want to write this down or you may not believe what happens shortly. This is your personal base line.

For me i saw lines and could make out that there were letters, at least in the first couple, and could see a few if i squinted REALLY HARD. F! is it really that bad?? Even letters i could make out had a fuzzy aura. Like looking at the moon. Always a moon. And then some.  You know? And if you have superior distance vision - well good for you. The rest of us are having a moment here.

Relax: Palming. Here's a big technique in the natural vision community to help relax between looking moments. Effectively, cup your hands, put them over your eyes such that no part of the hand is touching or squishing the eyes, but it's black in there when you open your eyes - now just stare into the blackness and wait for it to go black. Indeed, think about and remember what deep black is like. Count backwards from five if that helps. Just let your eyes relax in there. If the rest of you relaxes well that's really good too. Seeing is not efforting. It's un-efforting.

Relook at the chart. Move your hands away and staying super relaxed just let your eyes go to the chart - do not try to see anything and just notice what's different this time. Stay relaxed - no squinting; no straining. What's different? Sometimes, apparently it's common for folks to have a flash of something really clear and that's so surprising the view goes right back to fuzzy. Did that happen? If something like that happens, palm again; relax again; look again; rinse and repeat.
Notice what changes each time. And just BE with the chart. Seriously - the oddest thing to say is just rest your eyes on that chart. And let whatever happens happens.

But look; don't stare; don't squint; don't effort. Just look.
Rinse and repeat.

That's about it. A few notes on "it"ness below.

Waving not Drowning; Looking not Staring

A biggie for me in this process has been to get the difference between staring - trying to unsquint with my eyes wide open - wrong - and just looking. Letting the light come in, relaxing. Apparently the eye has to move to see things, so a fixed stare is not a good thing. It's efforting. Seeing is UnEfforting.

The amazing thing: the first morning i tried this, mid workout (yes i keep the charts up where i work out so during recovery i can look at them as part of recovery. Very cool effect), i did freak out because after just kinda standing letters did seem to swim into view for a moment and then fuzz out again.

What a breakthrough position for me has been: eyes almost semi-closed it seems they're so frickin' relaxed, and then letting my head tilt back while staying looking at the chart, and opening my mouth. I don't know why about the head tilting back.

This breakthrough likely would not have happened without time to look and wait and see what happens. The other day i spent more or less the whole day engaged in this practicing looking (somewhat to my partner's chagrin "it's a little weird seeing you standing all day looking at the wall with your head back and your mouth hanging open").

Maybe so but in a day and a half, i got from the second line on the chart to the sixth.  In this past day i'm on the 7th heading into the 8th. That's just bloody weird.

Time.  The first four lines i can now consistently see pretty much right away. The next few lines, i need to wait, look and see. but i can do this sitting down, and without the head tilting as much now. I'm lucky with this: it's a long weekend and i'm caught up on work so rather than read a book (and get caught up on my reading) i reckon giving fixing up my vision a go would be time well spent. But that's the big deal, at least for me. If i'd only had ten or fifteen minutes a go, i don't know if i'd have made this kind of progress. Or even seen anything of note in that period.

It's been like a workshop where we spend a solid half day or day on a focused activity to get some real work done.  And on that perspective, changes seem to be happening rapidly.

Slow Speed. It's still a slow process right now (still, ha! it's been three days - not even). I have to wait for the letters on the smaller lines to come into focus. I can't force them. And this is something i could kick optometrists about. Unlike that kind person at motor vehicles who suggested i just take it easy and try to get that letter again, optometrists will see me squirm and squint in a chair - the very opposite apparently of what is useful for our vision - and not say it's ok, breath, take your time. Let's see what emerges. Relax.

Have you ever had an eye doctor say Relax? Wait for It?I guess they don't have time: they have to get to that next appointment. Dang.

Whose Ideas are These, Anyway.

One name that comes up a lot in what i think may be called the Natural Vision area is  William H. Bates who wrote Perfect Sight without Glasses.

I didn't come to Bates directly, but rather via several other sources. I'm just going to list a couple that have made sense to me - and i don' t mean the science per se - just the approaches.

I started with something called  Rebuild Your Vision without Glasses Contacts or Surgery by Orlin G. Sorensen (website for approach) that had a lot of vision drills in it that i had already learned from Z-Health that are themselves taken from behavioural optometry and sports vision work. These drills are most often used and taught for things like target acquisition, convergence, coordination and speed thereof, and being able to process visual information quickly enough in a cognitively demanding situation to perform better.

This is cool stuff, and very effective for a host of sensory-motor issues, but they are not about getting better distance vision, per se. And there were a lot of drills. The only new one was what turned out to be Bates's palming. But there was no applied context for the palming. So what. But i thought ok, when i get around to it, i'll give some of these exercises a more diligent go.

I'd seen other things on line that talked about exercises and i thought ya, when i get around to it.

Then i read a print out from Paul Anderson's site - Paul's Pathway to Normal Vision. The only exercise here was to relax one's eyes. That's it. Many many many suggestions for how to accomplish this feat of relaxation. Palming came back into the frame.

Just relax? that's all i have to do to see better? One of the things i really liked about Anderson's document was that he identified two things: coping strategies and common effects of eyes relaxing.
The main coping type? squinting (that's me). Side effects of relaxing vision - sometimes pain within the eyes; most often, tearing.  Interesting. Made me think of trying to do a new skill and the muscles are all shakey. there are muscles in the eye, getting into a new pattern. That could smart.  Ok. Interesting. Likewise that after relaxing one might have a flash of clear seeing. Wow, really? and then that's what happened.

And there was Bates again. So i got a copy of Bate's actual Perfect Vision Without Glasses and started reading it. What struck me there is how much of a deal he made of using a Snellen eye chart in classrooms, and what a big difference this made to students who not only started using it, but in  a few cases, started using it on each other to help each other see better. That's the one that did it for me. Suffer the children?

I found a full 20 foot away Snellen chart with the big E on top going right down to the stuff that makes folks like me happy, a tiny print chart too, and started putting the Paul's relaxing stuff together with Bates's chart work.  I also got a copy of an early Bates inspired person, W. Maccracken who wrote Normal Sight without Glasses in 1945, and got into more detail about the workings of the eye. Interesting again.

Now, Bates and his acolytes have other approaches than what i did, like sitting as close as ya need to to get a couple lines nicely in focus and then moving back a line at a time to build up focus. There are other eye exercises for imagination and recall that make much sense. I'm just telling you how i'm doing it:
I am standing or sitting 10 feet away (effectively half the standard distance away) from a full chart (explained) - something called the ETDRS which is supposed to be a better measure of acuity than Snellen (so what? it's less blurry standing here at this line than yesterday).  It gets used in research a lot; i like it cuz it fits on a sheet.
ETDRS visual acuity chart
When i get better than the 10ft line on that one (equivalent to the 20ft line if i were 20 feet away), i'll go to the 50% chart and keep my ten foot distance. I'm just about there but i'd like a more consistent lock on those letters in that line. 

Thoughts on Progress to Date

Ok i admit a horrible disappointment when i learned a sheet i thought must be for 10 feet away turned out to be one for 20 feet away. Oh no! what does that mean? Fail fail fail. Fail? Well, let's put that in perspective, shall we?

If someone had said Wednesday that i'd be seeing a better than 20/20 line of text by Saturday i think i may have given them the Look of Dubiosity. I'm still absolutely skeptical and keep thinking this can't be real; after all i've read a LOT of posts by "professionals" saying that all this natural vision stuff is snake oil , and that astigmatisms and whatever else are fixed things, and vision is a fixed thing because of the shape of the eyeball etc etc eg this quotation:
Contrary to scientific fact, Bates taught that errors of refraction are due, not to the basic shape of the eyeball or the structure of the lens, but to a functional and therefore curable derangement in the action of the muscles on the outside of the eyeball. All defects in vision, he said, were caused by eyestrain and nervous tension; and perfect vision could be achieved by relaxing the eyes completely. Bates warned that eyeglasses cause the vision to deteriorate; he also deplored the use of sunglasses. Bates claimed his exercises could correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (the inability of older people to focus their eyes on nearby objects). They could also cure such diseases as cataracts, eye infections, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. His exercises included palming (covering the eyes and attempting to see blackness) and shifting or swinging the gaze from object to object.
It should be obvious that these exercises cannot influence eyesight disorders as Bates claimed. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia result from inborn and acquired characteristics of the lens and the eyeball—which no exercise can change. [sic, and emphasis mine -mc] As for eye diseases, the only thing the exercises can do is delay proper medical or surgical treatment and result in permanent impairment of vision. 
Really? Like, really?  I am for sure a vision can be improved skeptic - just because it's likely best protection against failure "see - i knew it wouldn't work; not cuz i didn't do it right but because, well, it's just because." But work in neurology amply teaches us we're plastic people and so adapt all the time, and that vision is cognitive.  There's a lot happening and being coordinated between the moment light hits the lens and that light is perceived as something in the mind. A lot of opportunities to improve clarity.

When i look at these charts and just see a line get almost frighteningly black for a moment and then go grey - well something is happening. When over a couple hours or a night/day transition i am readily able to see lines i could not see before, what can i say? That's evidence of a sort is it not? I keep telling myself, well, those were just the easy lines, this next one, that's the killer; that's really gonna show you your limitations; you can't cross that one. Uh huh.

We are constantly reshaping ourselves and our bodies to adapt to what we do and how we do it. In z-health the SAID principle is revised from Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand to the body is always adapting to exactly what we're doing. And so maybe the abnormal vision i've had is just the vision i've been practicing, and expecting.

For whatever reason i didn't see well at a distance, and no one was around to coach me on how to get that visual/cognitive connection to inform the muscular operations on the eye that let the muscles get light properly onto the retina that if i just slowed down, waited, and let the light in, vision could happen. I have never stopped to try to see if i could see better. Well that's not exactly true. I have squinted to beat the band to try to see something further away than i could get myself close enough to see better. And as anyone who's tried it knows, squinting is difficult to maintain full on for long.

Now i dunno about everybody's eyes out there, and anyone reading saying "ya but i have this kinda vision and that kinda affliction so this will never work for me" - Maybe - i don't know. But what do we have to lose? If one has seen the doctor and is preparing for either getting lenses or contacts or surgery, what does one have to lose in the interim by spending a few hours looking at a chart on a sunny day?

I would only encourage you to t a k e  y o u r  t i m e.
Let an hour pass. or more. Take a leap of faith. Relax

Application: Visually Doing Scales

Right now, this work of unEfforting Vision using these charts reminds me of practicing scales. Scales are exercises; they're not performances.  They're used to help get the hands used to reaching for notes accurately if unmusically at various speeds and styles. That kind of technique work is then combined with practicing pieces - so applied technique to more real scenarios - until one is performing.

Sadly this analogy sounds like work - like rather joyless efforting - rather than what practice at its best is: intent (discussion of intent on b2d here).

So far i've been doing scales: looking not staring with intent to experience visual accuity at different letter sizes at the same distance away. My closest real world practice has been to look out the window to a street sign that has been fuzzy only to find that on waiting for it - and head cocking and jaw slackening - that that sign has bloody numbers on the bottom of it, and i could at first make them out and then just see them, clearly. Each time i have to reacquire that clarity, but it's happening. That sounds pretty cognitive.

A more real world test: walking in real time  towards parked cars to read license plates to see when the plate comes into focus - compared with someone walking with me who sees distances well - is still a bit too fast. Well, way too fast. But it's only been 2 and a half days. Will it last? will it get better? will it stick? Will it get faster? These are the questions i'm asking at the minute. Exciting, scary, weird, wonderful. ANd so frickin' easy. Compared to pressing a heavy kettlebell, this is just showing up and staying up.
uk plates are in code
i just looked across the street to see i can make out individual bricks and tiles. That's cool. There's a sign i cannot see yet, though.  Maybe tomorrow. Heck, maybe later today.

I plan on staying this course for awhile longer. I haven't gotten to the bottom of the ETDRS chart (pdf) yet :) at either 10 feet or 20 feet, though i may be hitting S L O W L Y 20/20. And that has to be a measured first.

If you decide to give it a go, i'd be delighted to hear how you get on. is a great site for charts, articles (like Bates in a nutshell) and related resources.

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