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Everything posted by Kishi

  1. Hmm. Seems more like a parable rather than a prescription to me. If we take doing zen as the task, then it makes sense to do it whenever without thought of reward, but if we take the example literally, then it breaks along the lines you say. I think.
  2. Yeah, man. The theory is that we're always going to have to struggle for more budget to pay for us, so if we pay our newbies so much, then we have justification to bump the paygrades for more experienced analysts because, as you say, it's just whack. In theory, it works. In theory. Of course, assuming that they raise me up, they can apparently only raise me by 10% at most, which would be great if the rolling average for inflation wasn't 8.5% from a year ago. I sound ungrateful and crabby, so to be clear, I welcome anything they can do. The raise might not happen, and even getting bumped to parity with the newbies would be welcome. But I can't help knowing what I know. * Monday, I heard back from my boss' boss about the work from home situation. Basically, I wasn't denied so much as they aren't processing clearances until the employee review process is complete for the entire agency. I don't understand that justification. My review is fine and all the dude has to do is sign a piece of paper, but he's not willing to do it until everyone else is done. Today, we got to go over our new goals for the coming fiscal year and something about it has my dander up. The non-corporate spun version is that the agency wants us to focus on two very different kinds of cases such that to work on one type actively interferes with the other type. It results in a new way for us to fail to meet expectations, and if you fail in even one category, you lose the 'privilege' of working from home. My dander's up about this because my suspicion is that the agency wants us all back in the office, but they know that we're all miserable and we hate working here, so they can't just out and say it. But they can adjust our working goals, and if we all fail to meet our expectations and just happen to wind up back in the office, well. That's our fault, isn't it? My boss says she and the other supervisors went round and round with upper management about it; maybe they did and maybe they didn't. Who could tell for all the good it did? 🙄 At least I got to go hang with friends afterward. After forcing our host through a few eps of Spy x Family, we are being punished with season 2 of Superman and Lois. I say 'punished,' but it's no punishment. It's actually been really good, although I don't think it's quite as good as season 1. Some of the conflict feels too forced for my liking, and it leads to some relative low points, but when it clicks, it's really good. Anyway, went to bed with the beginnings of a dry cough and woke up this morning with a productive cough. I'm off the mats tonight. Damn. Fortunately, I have a video library to study now, and that's proving to be effective for me.
  3. Well, it's been a long week, and I'm not even tracking any of the stuff I was supposed to be doing. The past 5 days have been pretty eventful. Lot of highs, lot of lows. Didn't really stabilize 'til today. So, Wednesday, things went well. I got out in time and was able to make it out to the mats, and a lot of things went right. I've been playing with a new way to throw a lead hook and I was sure it wasn't going to work, but it did, and arguably better than the way that I was taught to throw a hook. Always good to find new things to learn. BJJ afterward was no-gi, and I had good rolls afterward with everyone I rolled with. It helped that I was at least 20 lbs heavier than everyone. Thursday, I got the word at the job that my request to work from home was denied. No reason given for it at the time, just a "We're not having this conversation right now, check back in a month or two" kind of thing. Which, no lie, was pretty damn demoralizing, after everything I'd done to get here. But at least I got to go out that night and write with friends afterward. Friday I got word that our pay grades have been adjusted starting with the newest analysts first, who are now making more than me. It's not supposed to stop with them, of course, but there doesn't appear to be a timetable for when they'll get around to analysts at my level. And I mean, you know, it's great that the newbies are making more money. It really is. But these 'grade adjustments' tend to be applied pretty unevenly and it's very possible to get screwed out of a raise just because things go wrong. I'm quietly working to figure out how to get myself demoted if that's what it takes, because honestly, why not? More money for less and easier work? Sign me up. Saturday I got to go out to lunch with my folks. Brother got to come along and hang as well. It was really nice to be able to get everyone together, and the restaurant was a good one too. Sunday, I went out to open mat. I'm apparently rolling very well, and I got to pick up some more scarf hold trickery, which I'm always fond of doing. All of this is tinged by me having picked up some kind of head cold on Friday. I decided to push my luck a bit and train through some, on account of the tournament being up soon and I don't really have the time for the normal protocol. Things held off okay until Sunday and through to today, which feels like it got worse but then got around the bend. I'll probably have to rest this off, which I hate to do, but it's necessary. Anyway, life has been eventful enough that I've felt lucky when I can get a chance to just sit, so I really can't say that I've been diligent in tracking my goals or anything like that. I'm in a state of emotionally positive apathy - I feel good about life, but I don't really care about much. Which I guess means that my goals weren't properly aligned this time. I don't know. I don't care. I'm writing and enjoying what I write, I practice breathing when I can, and my meditation's been a daily habit for a while now. So with all that, I think I'm just gonna focus on taking things a day at a time. Try to get some rest and feel better. Keep studying. Roll with what's going on when and how I can. That kind of thing.
  4. Goal 1: 18/23 Goal 2: 12/23 Goal 3: 17/23 Just a quick catch-up. Things played out Friday as I knew they would, almost like clockwork. It was a relatively easy Friday as a result, but I still hate missing time. Saturday, I made drill time. Moved well, but they wanted to do strength work - get in someone's guard, lift them up, and then carry them a few steps. My partner could carry me. I wasn't strong enough to carry my partner, though. I mean, in my defense, he was allegedly 220 lbs, but I have a sneaking suspicion he was bigger than that. Good news was, all the other movement drills we did, I did well, so that was cool. Rolling afterward, I rolled with a kid who was getting coached through by a black belt. I didn't realize until afterward that the kid was the black belt's son, which, I mean. It's something to consider. I was a good partner for him, though; I apparently gave him just enough work without being too much. Felt good to walk off the mats having done that. Sunday, I made the open mat. Rolled really well. I'm able to remember a thing or two thanks to all the extra homework I'm doing and I was able to hit a couple moves consciously. Picked up some stuff from the purple belt who's been visiting us lately, which is good. Off-mat training has continued. Goal stuff was pretty smooth until Sunday, when I just ran out of time to both be social and do the stuff I wanted to do. Was able to meditate and write yesterday but didn't really get time to breathe until after I was full of food, and that just... nah, no good. But today's a new day! Had the final meeting I need to have to get cleared for work from home. Just have some paperwork to get signed off so I can input the formal request so that I can get more paperwork signed off. It will definitely not happen in time for me to play hooky and get extra mat time, but at least it's happening.
  5. Well, she doesn't know that my work is done early, and even if she did it wouldn't matter. The job is more concerned with a butt being in the seat for 8 hours and isn't necessarily lenient about it if you get done early. Mostly because most of us don't think in terms of how much work we have to do to meet our quotas. We think in terms of time. And if she saw me leave early, she wouldn't see someone who finished fast, she'd see someone trying to sneak out, and she'd think it'd be terribly unfair. Management would take her side in that fight. "Oh, you're getting a lot done now, but just imagine how much better you could do if you were here at all hours. Not to mention, we're not paying you to finish early, so sit down for a while. " * Goal 1: 15/19 Goal 2: 10/19 Goal 3: 14/19 And done is done. Haven't been here because, again, it's always busy. At least all the challenge stuff has gone well the past few days. Tuesday, I missed mat time. Wednesday, I didn't. Did some no-gi work and picked up some extra points to study. I've been building a video playlist on YouTube of the techniques I pick up so that I can actually, you know, retain something. It seems to be helping; I feel like I put up a good fight during the rolls rather than just getting smashed all the time. Thursday I went out and wrote. Figured out some story problems and solved them, made more problems in the initial solution, and solved those as well, and wound up leaning out the draft a bit, at least on plan. My overall idea at this point is that it's easier to bulk up a lean draft than it is to cut a bulky one, so it feels good to have stripped and reconfigured some non-essential bits. Today, I'm hoping to finish early, but the work is shaping up hairy and Friday I usually wind up with a visitor and also long chat with my boss. If I can, I'll get to the mats. If not, well, it's not planned mat time, so no loss but for the fact that I want to go.
  6. Goal 1: 12/16 Goal 2: 7/16 Goal 3: 12/16 Man oh man. Saturday was fine, I got done what I wanted done. Sunday and Monday were busy all day, basically from the jump. Sunday I got up and got out to open mat, came back and hung out with friends, did some stretching, and then went home to visit my folks before coming back in time to finish laundry and go to bed. Monday, I had to go to the office, but got lucky enough to be the last one in, so I was cleared to leave and I was able to get out in order to get home, train, and then go off to hang with friends again. Today, I got to the office late, and I'm not in trouble, but I can't sneak out because a coworker who's here later than me will be available to tell on me if I try. So I'll be at work late enough to miss mat time tonight. Despite the fact that I've done all the work I need to do and I'm way ahead of everyone else. As usual. Eff this job. 🙄 At least they're trying to get me back to work from home, but it's not been cleared yet. Can't happen too soon.
  7. Hey! Just dropping a line to say that I hope the plan's carried off well and you're getting done what you wanted to. Let us know if there's anything we can do!
  8. Goal 1: 11/13 Goal 2: 6/13 Goal 3: 11/13 Eeeh. I just didn't feel like it. Okay, sorry, I should qualify that a little bit. I got up yesterday morning and I got a call from my boss. We've had a lot of rain this week and we had a real big storm come through the night before and knock out the power in the office. We were told to telework, and I'd brought my computer home already so it worked just fine. And I got caught up in the work and didn't really keep my focus on the stuff I wanted to do. Toward the end of the day, my Writer Friend had a full meltdown in shared social media space when she found out the chickens she was keeping might have Gapeworm. Nobody else offered to help, so I did, and keeping my eye on her until she ultimately cooled down and decided she didn't need my help was... a lot, and a while. By the time that was done, I really didn't have a desire to go and do anything else, and I had to make some time up for my Monday tardiness, so I stayed back and worked. I guess that at the end of all that, I just felt like I'd earned some rest, so I just meditated a little before bed and that was it. Got up early enough to train and get out to the mats today. Had a bit of a burnout session today; ended up having to sequence a bunch of drills for reps and I was toasted by the time that was done. Was told by people that I'd improved a lot, which was good to hear, because everyone I got to spar with after was either higher rank, higher weight, or both, and I got squished like a bug. One blue belt in particular kept getting me with the same move over and over again - Americana from side control - and he was heavy enough and dominant enough in side control that nothing he told me helped at all. I'm kind of mad about it, which is just an emotional response. Guy was bigger, heavier, and more skilled; there's really not a world where I could have beat him at all, but I'm frustrated that I couldn't follow instructions and progress. It's scary. Especially since I'm not applying the stuff I learned before to get around side control. But all it means is that I need more practice. I knew that already. Nothing important has changed. Anyway, spent most of today working more overtime, and then just kind of chilling out. I've got time this evening to get after what I want to do, and I want to do it. So. Might as well get after it.
  9. Goal 1: 10/12 Goal 2: 6/12 Goal 3: 11/12 Huzzah, another good day. Balanced my job with my work, so to speak. No particular notes for yesterday beyond dietary/weight observations. Since my body fat percentage is in a bad place right now, I've been trying to figure out what recomp/maintenance numbers look like, since I 1) have a responsibility to my body to take care of myself, but also 2) benefit from being relatively heavy with a tournament coming up. I've noticed that with my body, it's very, very sensitive to carb intake; over the course of this week, I've swung from the middle of the "Light Heavyweight" category down into the "Lightweight" category today. (So, like ~185 lbs to 167 lbs this morning). Which is a big swing. The only thing I can account for with it is that on some days, I'm eating carbs, and other days I'm not; the reason for the cycling is because when I've eaten more high carb, it's gone to storage. Meaning that the stuff I'm doing right now just doesn't tap those reserves in the way I need to to burn excess fat off. The key determinant right now seems to be whether or not I've got mat time or not. Handstands are more skill vs strain, and as for the other stuff I'm doing in terms of core/upper body stuff, it's just not there yet. It might change that way in time, and I'm going to have to be mindful and watch myself and adjust. Same with leg stuff; that's just too brief right now, and most of what I'm doing there is concerned with mobility and flexibility versus actual strength. Weighted carries and skipping rope will also affect this, but they aren't being programmed as calorie sinks so much as rehab/conditioning, and their effects are going to build over time versus having acute effects. Which, again, that's just another thing to watch and adjust. It'd be fun to figure out if I can influence my weight such that I can stealth my way into a lower weight class and then gain 20 lbs on my opponents. It'd be a troll move, and also I'm not sure if that'd have negative consequences or not, but still. Of course, I'd probably get stuck with some ex-college wrestler and get twisted into a pretzel 20 seconds in, so. :D :D :D
  10. Goal 1: 9/11 Goal 2: 5/11 Goal 3: 10/11 Yesterday carried off like I needed it to! Got chores done while working and managed to get out to the mats, where we worked on takedowns. Didn't do as well rolling as I wanted to, but I learned a thing or two, and if I can apply it then it's not a big deal. The notable problem yesterday was that while I got chores done alongside the work, I didn't get my goals out of the way alongside the work, which is my fault. I wound up getting them done late, but I had some leftovers I was able to reheat to get food down and then get to bed at a reasonable time. Today, I was able to get my goals done at the office, which is what I was wanting to see happen. It's good, because I'm going off to visit a purple belt in Hillsborough tonight, which is gonna be a long way there and back. I get the feeling that a good bedtime will be a struggle tonight, but it's always a struggle these days, so it's not like that's a change.
  11. Goal 1: 7/9 Goal 2: 3/9 Goal 3: 8/9 Okay. So, writing and meditation are good. WHM is going good but not going often, and that's a problem in terms of numbers? But not in terms of effects, so. It's not bad. Anyway, most of yesterday's report was done yesterday. Today I'm working from home, which means training and chores and other things can get done alongside the job so that I can get out to the mats. Good times.
  12. Awesome, good to see you! * Goal 1: 6/8 Goal 2: 3/8 Goal 3: 7/8 Welp! Sunday didn't go great goalswise. No excuses. I got up early enough to get stuff done but all I really did was faff about during the morning. Open mat was canceled on account of everyone being injured or wanting to rest, and then one of 'em texted that he wanted some help with getting some mats moved, and so I went to help with that. These mats were at a blue belt's house, so after we got them moved, we did some rolling together. I got showed the side mount escape they were talking about - basically, you fight for an underhook toward your legs and then use that to explode out and do a back take, which is a process I've seen a couple videos of and usually gets stopped by the overhook. But there's a counter to the counter which I've got some practice with, so the real trick is to think of that as the way out and to go fight for it, which if I do that consistently will be very good. I don't do that very consistently now. That whole thing went long enough for me to have to skedaddle over to my parents' place for dinner. And after that, it was back home; I was full enough of food that breathing didn't feel good, but meditation did, so it happened. No writing, though. Bummer. :( Did handstand work this morning and risked going to work late. Was really late and while I didn't get in trouble - no lectures, no stink eyes, nothing - I still feel like I burned a bunch of social capital. Time-intensive training like that is probably off limits until I can get myself down early enough to be up early enough for it to not be a problem. We're not there yet, and it's anybody's guess as to when we will be. Anyway, nerd night got moved to tonight going forward, so I gotta get home and get done what I can before heading out again. I earned a "work from home" day for tomorrow that I'm going to take. Boss says she's hoping to have that conversation with her boss this week. We'll see what happens.
  13. Yeah, it does! I'd like for it to happen soon, and I'm hopeful about it. But I have work to do between here and whenever that happens, and as hard as it might be now, it'll only be harder if I don't keep up. * Goal 1: 5/7 Goal 2: 3/7 Goal 3: 7/7 So Friday didn't carry off like I wanted it to. I did get to sneak out early, but when I got home I thought I'd be able to do my home training and make time to get to the mats, and that didn't happen. So I missed out again. So, I confronted myself about that and I realized that this was just the latest iteration of that ongoing problem where I carry on late and later and later. And, I dunno, man. Something about it hit different and I just found this new dedication to being up early...er than I was before. I got to bed relatively early last night and got up in time this morning to train before going out to hit the mats. It was a good time, although I made a mistake and failed to ask the teaching blackbelt about the name of what we did, which complicated research some. But afterward I told my Writer Friend to give me time for meditation and breathing, and I did those things, and it turned out well. Then I went and wrote, and while I'm still in the planning stages, the pieces came together and the character conflicts I wanted to happen kind of rolled off effortlessly. Also, Writer Friend made pickled watermelon rinds. They are delicious. Pickled, sweet, black pepper spicy. Really unique in a good way. I don't think I've ever had anything like it. So today was a damn good day, and I'm confident I can do it again. The work week is going to be a challenge with that, but I think I may have some more latitude to act than I originally thought. My boss really, really doesn't care how late I am coming in to work. As long as I'm producing and continuing to meet and exceed my goals, I don't think she cares at all. It's risky, but I think I can take the mornings to train and then roll in to work late and get everything done at the office that needs to be done. Mat time and the evening wind down would be a lot easier afterward, I think. But none of that can happen if I don't cement this newfound desire to get to bed relatively early. So, past week was pretty rough. But I think I learned something from it. Time will have to tell.
  14. Goal 1: 3/5 Goal 2: 2/5 Goal 3: 5/5 Not a bad day yesterday, but not great from a goals/challenge perspective. Writer Friend had a bad mental health day so she cancelled on me at the last second, and I didn't have enough work done at the office to leave, so I didn't make it out to the mats either. Feels like I'm living out the words of Frederick the Great: "He who defends everything, defends nothing.” There's wisdom in that. I need to prepare better for these vagaries in my fortune. Especially since it sounds like I'm not going to get to return to work from home in time for that to save me. (We had that meeting and my stats are official, but it looks like it has to be cleared by someone further up the chain of command, and knowing who it is, it's really anybody's guess as to whether I'll get cleared and when. My boss says she's doing the best she can, and I believe her, but it's a situation that's pretty far outside of my control, so). In the end, I did my drills and did my core work. Decided to go ahead and do my challenge stuff at home anyway, even though it was Late O'Clock, because I was just sick of not having done them, and it felt really good to do so. Of course, it fed back into the vicious cycle and so I'm stuck on that again today, but, well, I don't regret it. Today, we'll see what happens. Might sneak home early. Might not, depending on what everyone else in the office does. If the secretary's gone, I'm bouncing, and we'll see how it all shakes out.
  15. Goal 1: 2/4 Goal 2: 1/4 Goal 3: 4/4 Hm. Think I need to adjust a bit. I've got some vicious cycles in my time management showing up pretty strongly ATM: I get stuff done late, and that lateness carries forward to other things, and so I'm late and late and late, and it's knocking me out of the rhythms I need to keep in order to get what I want done. Fortunately, this is a simple problem, and the fix is easy enough: get stuff done during the day and on government time. The only hard part about it is being mindful and knowing when to tear myself away from one job to go do the other job. Completely doable. So. Best get it done. I didn't make it out to the mats last night - I did get the opportunity to sneak out but I hadn't completed the job to the extent that I need to in order to keep in everyone's good graces, so I missed out. Fortunately, I did reach out to my open mat friends for stupidly simple side control escapes, and they helped me out a ton. I picked up some video references and our newly acquired purple belt apparently has a high percentage escape he's gonna teach me on Sunday. So it wasn't a complete loss. Otherwise, I did my shadowboxing and drills and bridge work and did farmer's carries. Productive. Weighed myself this morning and I'm at the top of the weight limit for my class. Need to be careful with my nutrition here; I'm only eating ~1700-2000 calories a day or so as I work to figure out what maintenance is, but my weight swings so hard and so far that it's really hard to say on any given day if I've gone too far. I've been weighing myself over the week and using the weekly average to determine what needs to be done. It'd be nice to be able to eat more; I'm never terribly hungry or anything, but it just feels weird to have such a slow metabolism that I can eat at most people's cut numbers and maintain. Of course, if I wanted to, I could fix that problem by making more mat time, but I'd have to cut a bunch of my social ties to do that and I don't find that desirable, so. Just is what it is. Speaking of, tonight should be a writing date with my Writer Friend. We'll see if she can or not; if she can't, I'll try to make mat time but you gotta reserve space ahead of time at my academy and it might be too late.
  16. Nah, I think you're on the right track with non-consecutive meals. I can think of situations around holidays and things like that where you would be expected to partake in desserts and non-optimal foods, which would interfere with social cohesion. Versus dinner with dessert, then a full day of better breakfast and lunch choices along with whatever activity, and then dinner it happens again. If it turns out that this is not sustainable, you can adjust for harder, but I would suggest sticking to the easier path for now and assessing later.
  17. Ooh, nicely done, nicely done.
  18. Goal 1: 2/3 Goal 2: 1/3 Goal 3: 3/3 Hmm. Relatively uneven challenge these first few days. I've been trying to get stuff done earlier in the day, but when I was landing both meditation and WHM consistently, it was when I was doing both together, meaning that I'd carved out time for them. The past few days have been busy enough that I've only got to one or the other. Meditation's easier; it's a lot more flexible, whereas there's a definite time component w/ WHM, and even though it's shorter when done properly, it's still tricky to fit in. I'm genuinely surprised that the writing is going so well. Presently, I'm mapping the story out before writing; the goal is to identify failures from 36,000 feet as opposed to being stuck in the mud and having to bang my head against the work. Hopefully, failing faster will lead to actual writing going well, which it has before. Tuesday night was just leg work and skipping rope. Really couldn't make time properly for shadowboxing and drills given my office time and my social obligations which kept me off the mats. Today's up in the air. I got to work late; nobody cares, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to get stuff done quick enough and sneak out in time to make it to the mats. It's also a relatively low-priority thing since the upcoming tournament is gi-only and Wednesday is the sole no-gi class; there's utility in it but it's not quite as relevant to my immediate problems, I don't think.
  19. A genuinely good excuse. That being said, if you can audiobook it, that might be a way to get after the more mindless parts of the challenge while making progress. Depending of course on how well your reading goes with audio as opposed to text.
  20. Yeah, so, I pop a handstand before doing a long bridge out over my shoulders to pick up a bell on my foot. Then I pop back to vertical and take some steps. Super easy! Barely an inconvenience! * Goal 1: 1/2 Goal 2: 1/2 Goal 3: 2/2 Phew! Monday was long, man. I managed my writing and my breathing, but once the office let out I was basically doing mat-related things all night. Got out to do both striking and grappling, which hasn't happened in a while. Good times. Rolling was hard, but I thought it'd be worth it to do what with the tournament coming up. First roll was with this big, strong purple belt who I couldn't do anything to and seemed surprised when I mentioned that I was going into tournament with some of the holes I apparently have in my game. The shock on his face stung a little, but that didn't last, and the more I think about it the more grateful I am. I went and looked some stuff up, and I'll be consulting with the folks that I open mat with on Sundays now; we've picked up a hyperactive purple belt who used to run a school down in FL and he's introduced drilling as a thing to do to warm us up prior, so I'll be asking about that too and we should be good. The other big thing I've been doing that's been helping a lot is that I find the coaches after class and I ask if what we did has a name. It doesn't always, but I've got enough in asking to be able to find what they were talking about, and it's made a huge difference. Anyway, I got home, and I was too wiped out to do any kind of real training. I think that I'm probably going to cut my Monday homework and move some stuff around, at least until I'm cleared to work from home; speaking of, there's no timeframe on when that's going to happen beyond "this month." We'll see. Tonight will be an off night beyond some leg work. I can be productive in other ways, though.
  21. I find this thought frightening, but I'm also afraid to look away.
  22. Wow, looks like this one's gonna be wild. Can't wait to see how it goes!
  23. Goal 1: 1/1 Goal 2: 0/1 Goal 3: 1/1 Don't like missing that breathing goal to start with, but weekends are always tough for me in terms of goals, so it's neither surprising nor discouraging. Did my strength training on Saturday. Went out to open mat on Sunday. Drilled well. Was able to apply drills from Saturday to my rolls on Sunday, which is always good. Did some study of my mindset/confidence materials. I'm working off of stuff by Tony Blauer, who impressed me when he showed up on some martial arts channels I follow. Probably the biggest thing I've got so far is the reframe of fear as something to be understood and managed, which has actually already helped some. I let slip to my folks that I was going for tournament and they said they want to come watch, and there's fear in that for me. I don't mind losing - it's part of how you learn, after all - but losing with an audience hits different, and if family's in that audience then it hits different again. I've been working to confront that in myself, to remind myself that I'm trying to get worked up over something that hasn't happened yet and may not happen at all, and that being afraid is okay because I wouldn't get to show courage otherwise. That's actually helped a lot in the past couple days. Anyway, did get some writing done. Working in the office is going to present some challenges to that although that's really more a matter of time management in the office than it is anything else. Meditated before sleep. Today is a new day. Plan is for mat time, then get home and stretch. We'll see how it all goes.
  24. Probably! If nothing else, it's helping me be aware of self-sabotaging talk and to check it. In BJJ? This'll be my second. I've done a couple of different kinds of tournaments before - judo, bareknuckle karate - but I've always talked myself out of it before. Thing is, I think that I've been wanting a medal when the real prize is the way in which it changes your training. * T-minus a day. Meditation happened, breathing didn't. Writing didn't either. My writer friend noped out of Thursday, so I went out on the mats instead, which was good. Friday, the job got in the way again, because I have a work friend who likes to come and talk and talk and talk and take my time. It won't last; I'll be getting back to work from home before long, but it's something to deal with in the short term and I think if I buckle down and work hard throughout the morning, I can get to a place where the dude can come and hold me up for a while and it not be a problem. Training has been good. Did handstand stuff last night with suitcase carries, made it to the mats today for drill-and-spar. Will do more training this afternoon after OT is done. Will need caffeine.
  25. Well, howdy there, folks! I'm Kishi, an inconveniently itinerant monk. Good to see you again or for the first time, as it applies. I was scrolling through Facebook one night and I came across a piece about Felipe Costa, who's a BJJ black belt of some renown. I read something that struck me: apparently, he was a competitor who never won a "major" tournament up until he hit his black belt. I was struck by that - black belt takes a long time to get in this art, and to go that long and fight that hard without getting anywhere... well, maybe that sounds crazy, but I found some inspiration in that. Like a release from pressure. So when the word came down that there was a tournament up in September, I took 20 seconds of courage and applied for it. (and then thought about how, just because he didn't win a "major" tournament didn't mean he didn't win a "minor" tournament, or didn't medal or otherwise outperform a lot of people that I might not necessarily do, but we're past that point now). Now, you might think that I was getting ready to do a lot of crazy shit for training to get ready for this thing. I will be doing no such thing. For one thing, the new demands on the body would detract from training for the tournament. And for another, the last time I went out for tournament, I didn't even make it past the first fights in my divisions. I have no reason to believe that any particularly exotic training will get me where I need to go. Instead, I want to focus on my mind. Because I know that's where I tend to fail the most. The tournament's going to present a twofold problem - one, the weight of public performance, and two, my lack of intelligent aggression. The second of these is actually going to be easier to deal with than the first. Knowing that it's something to work on, I've gone out and rolled and started fighting better, at least with folk around my weight class who are similarly skilled. That can fly out the window at any time for a bunch of reasons, but the general trend is better and I believe it will only improve with practice. That means dealing more with the first. Which is more of a mindset confidence thing than anything else. I've picked up some resources about that which I'll be studying over the course of the next five weeks leading up, but it doesn't track neatly onto the challenge, and I'd rather it have room/time to work and be effective. But there is a challengeable way to approach this too: Goal 1: Meditation Keep that up. My blood pressure's gone way down thanks to this and I want to keep that going. Anything goes; regular practice is 10 minutes, but if I can only manage a few deep breaths before sleep, that's okay too. Ideally, I'd carve out another minute, just because I want to. Goal 2: WHM Breathing helps. Keep doing that. Goal 3: Writing Writing also helps. I'm not going to journal or anything so much as just keep showing up to write. Participation in any part of that process sets my mind at ease, and I want that. Beyond that, my training isn't going to change much. I've added a third day of skipping rope, but that's only for a minute. Not a lot of conditioning yet; this is going to be about building my connective tissues instead. I've also added suitcase and farmer's carries specifically to help with my lower back. This is a method that is apparently endorsed by Dr. John Rusin, who I'm inclined to trust given @Shotokan's past endorsement. I've also adjusted my stretching regimen to be a bit more challenging, which is helping me feel better. I'll also be going for the bamboo brush after all, but even then, I'm not going to be doing that much in terms of qigong this time. I'll be working on the first movement of that routine, but that shouldn't really constitute a strenuous load on top of the other stuff. I guess if I wanted to, I could make a fourth goal of sticking to my training and not changing anything, because that would be the hard part, but this mix honestly feels dialed in enough that I'm not going to have a compliance issue. Anyway. T-minus a few days until the challenge. Let's go to work.
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