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Everything posted by Kishi

  1. Hey, you're preaching to the choir on this one. My life was measurably worse when I had to go to the office every day for a week - no space for life at all. My understanding is that the majority of office jobs have returned to fulltime office work, both on the grounds of "improved productivity" and the need to justify the expense of the office. To the former, I say, that's nuts. I imagine people are plenty productive, but the WFH arrangement probably allows people to reclaim some of their labor power for themselves, and the private sector can't stand to lose even a little of it. That's a remarkably greedy and unkind thing to ask of us in the abstract, but of course we're used to it, so there's no real movement to fight for us staying where we are and maybe having a bit of degrowth for once. Because the line, you see. It has to go up. As to the latter, well, we all have landlords, and they all suck. Get good, businesses. I have no time or sympathy for you. * Goal 1: 5/9 Goal 2: 7/9 Goal 3: 7/9 Right on, so let's get the past couple days caught up. So, Sunday I did not get my steps in. I have no real excuse for that beyond just getting caught up in my own head and letting the time go. I didn't make the open mat either on account of sleeping in super late on Sunday, past the point that the open mat was available. I think I needed the rest. Had one of those days where I got to bed relatively on time for me and then slept way past the point where I normally would. That's usually a sign that I need to recuperate and recover a bit, and it's my habit to honor that kind of thing. Did take good notes on Sunday, though. Monday, I returned to working from home, and so I was able to hit up noontime classes, so that happened. Took detailed notes again too. Couldn't get my steps, though, because I had an appointment with my orthodontist to see how the invisalign is working, and man, traffic was just a nightmare. Seems every road is being worked on at the same time, and they're all around my place, so it took forever to get places and I lost enough time that I had to focus on the job when I got back. Anyway, that brings us to today. I will be at the office. I'll have some time to get steps and that'll be good to get back to, and there's nothing tonight to interfere with mat time, which will be good. So. Cool.
  2. Your music got me through a writing stint, and I appreciate it. In the spirit of taking one and leaving one:
  3. Slow, maybe, but slow walking feeds a lot of benefits back into the system and I'm sure it'll help for when you're with others who want to go to Zone 4.
  4. Goal 1: 5/7 Goal 2: 6/7 Goal 3: 5/7 Past couple days have been relatively packed, but good. Friday, I was in the office and training my trainee, so I couldn't make mat time happen. I got some steps in at the office, but not the full 30 minutes, and ultimately I was feeling kind of lazy, so instead of a longer walk at home, I just made up the last 10 minutes walking to the grocery store and back. Fun fact, I never actually bothered to quantify the distance there and back beyond it being a couple of blocks, so it's nice to have that data point. I couldn't make any mat time because of my work responsibilities, and I didn't really do anything in terms of note-taking. Boo on me. Saturday was pretty busy. It was determined that we would celebrate Mother's Day a day early, but I knew I could do my training and such if I just got moving and stayed that way. And so that's what I did. I got up early, did the swing portion of S&S, went to the mats for an hour and a half, came back and refueled, then did the get up portion of S&S, and finished with just enough time to clean up and get over to my parents' place. Went out for dinner and it was good times. It's probably the last time we'll be together as a family for a while, and there's a certain gravity to that. I'm really glad I was able to get out there for it and make it happen, and I was really surprised at how much I was able to get done. Splitting up the kettlebell work like that has always been an option, but it hasn't been one that I used so much. Might be something to consider going forward. Didn't have time to walk yesterday, though. Which, no wonder. Didn't exactly take detailed notes but went down a bit of a rabbit hole on side control stuff looking for easy guard resets before concluding that they all applied to very select situations that don't really apply to where I am. That particular issue continues to be, well, an issue. But so be it. Took my measurements yesterday and I'm more obese, which means that something isn't working. It is probably my nutrition, and that is probably something I'm going to need to re-examine. I have a really good idea of what kinds of macronutrient spreads my body and blood respond well to, so now it's a matter of dialing in the numbers and my habits. I don't really consider this a challenge because, believe it or not, I actually have a pretty good mental relationship with food. It's just a matter of figuring out what my body needs re: energy responses since a strict calories-in-calories-out model is muddied on account of my thyroid and the accompanying metabolic issues. I've been thoughtful about that a lot lately. Also, I forgot to mention! I have a prize that I'm pursuing: in the spirit of prizes that make me better, I'm looking at a simple plate carrier for rucking. Because I feel like that's the next and easiest step in terms of getting steps and them being challenging. I feel like that'll actually help my body and all my connective tissues get ready for the rigors of running and may in fact do a better job in the long run if the claims about the benefits are true (I'm skeptical). I don't really have any other prizes that I want at the moment, so if I get a passing grade - 80% total - I'll consider myself as having won. But that's for a month down the road. Today, there is training and walking and study and The Dread Laundry to be about. So best be about it.
  5. 😬 Reckon there's a lot of mixed feelings about that. It's nice that they think you're good enough that you don't need another interview. It would have been nicer if they gave you the job. I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out. Still, it's clear you're good enough. Now it's just a matter of holding on until you find something else.
  6. Goal 1: 4/5 Goal 2: 4/5 Goal 3: 4/5 So it turned out that my writing friend is off and away on travel, so no writing. Wound up training instead. Which was dope. We got to work on a position that I'm bad at and our situationals afterward were about dealing with it. I had mixed results, which is better than consistently bad results as before. Progress. Needless to say, my detailed notes were about that. Worked at home yesterday, so wound up doing my steps after everything else. It was kind of refreshing to go to walk after work and training were done. Today, wound up at the office. Steps will be easy. And today's a rest day in the program, so I'm taking it completely off, beyond some stretching and wellness-type movement. Should be a good opportunity in here somewhere for notetaking and study.
  7. We don't have the concept of musubi per se in BJJ but it definitely exists here. So I definitely get where this challenge is coming from. And I imagine that figuring out what's top priority is something that you learn and relearn over time, so no need to worry about not having figured it out yet. I suspect that's probably normal. Can't wait to see what the challenge looks like!
  8. Goal 1: 3/4 Goal 2: 3/4 Goal 3: 3/4 So far, so good. I've been back and forth between apartment and office, and one of the striking things is how easy it is to get steps at the office versus working at home. My office is basically set up as this long loop, with cubicle farms lined up along the sides. So whenever I want, I can just get up, step out of the farm, and walk a couple laps, and bingo-bango, boom: 10 minutes of walking. The apartment isn't so easy, because I have to go outside. It's better walking, of course - sunlight, fresh air, varied terrain - but basically I have to do the entire half hour, and it's harder to get the job stuff done with a timesink like that. It's a fascinating contrast, which I don't think I've really appreciated before now. Since, now, I'm trying to do something about it. I made BJJ on Tuesday night and did detailed study. I made kickboxing last night and did no study. The kickboxing-only was purposeful as I'm still working on my shoulder and I'm trying to be tentative and cautious in going back to activity, just to see how the shoulder reacts. I had an appt with my PCP yesterday and she's of the opinion that we can do more to fix my shoulder than the ortho did; I'm looking into some additional treatments there. Should be good times. The lack of study was an accident, though. Totally slipped my mind. I have no excuse. Today, I would have gone to lunch training, but I forgot that the job has a regular meeting around lunch time that I can't get out of. So there's possible training tonight, and there's possible writing with friends tonight. Given my recent successes with mat time, I think I'm more amenable to it if friends want to get together tonight. Which tracks. That whole thing works out to a kind of balance back and forth, and a lot of my feelings in the matter are a result of me trying to balance and correct as I feel I have to. I still think this is a good goal, but I have to admit that it's hairier than I thought it'd be. I will continue with it, though. I think there's enough benefit for it to be worth it.
  9. Thanks! I feel like it's the right thing to do, you know? "Eat-Move-Improve" and all that. Maybe? I'm generally catching them after they've done their workouts for the day, and they generally have enough going on that physically active meetups don't work out (heh). In my perfect world, we'd all go do jiu-jitsu and then wander back to healthy meals and sci fi after, but it's a pipe dream. * Goal 1: 1/2 Goal 2: 1/2 Goal 3: 2/2 All right, that's better. Took my steps yesterday, which felt good. No BJJ since the noontime work would have happened at a time when I was training my mentee. Did take detailed notes. No D&D last night either despite claims that the contrary would happen, since the friends that we needed had some family drama that they needed to talk through. Which, I mean, it's not the way I figured this would happen, but the outcome was as I predicted. Also got word from my brother that he wants my company with him for the move to Colorado, so it looks like I'm taking a road trip in the next couple weeks. Fun times. It cuts me off from doing some social stuff I wanted to do that weekend, but so be it. I gave my word. I'll keep it, and it's probably the last time I'm going to see my brother for a while, so I should probably do that anyway. Today, I'm in the middle of a rest cycle for my strength and conditioning work, so I'm going to do a single set of each of my chosen movements today - jumping parallel bar dips and planks. BJJ tonight; I was originally going to do a lunch class but I realized I was just not interested in tonight's social activities and so I noped out.
  10. Goal 1: 0/1 Goal 2: 0/1 Goal 3: 1/1 Not my strongest start, but it's not about how you start. It's about how you finish. I spent most of yesterday sleeping too late and getting in my head about the challenge (hence my statement that I've got a bunch of interconnected problems). Took a lot of time to think before realizing that the solutions are relatively simple and that they can be introduced in a relatively easy way. Or at least, I think so. We'll see in the next 5 weeks. Anyway, I didn't do my movement or make the open mat yesterday, so no credits there. Did, however, take in-depth notes. Which I was surprised to find that I kind of need a little bit, since roundhouse is actually one of the ones I do pretty ok. Today would normally be a chance for me to get to the mats, but I'm in the office again thanks to my trainee, so I'm not going to get to go out and do that tonight. I'll take credit for it; no particular reason for to let the job hurt the challenge. Still need to go walk a while and take my notes, though. As for Nerd Night tonight, we are apparently going to finish the D&D game we started weeks ago. I'm skeptical, but I'm sure I'll have fun either way.
  11. Hi. I'm going to vague post a bit for now, and I apologize, but having thought about what I want I basically have to conclude that I don't really have the time to explain everything in detail. The very short version is that I've spent the past week thinking about what I want for this challenge and concluding that I've got a lot of interconnected problems that may require some relatively drastic solutions. I'm tempted toward drastic changes now for the first time in a long time, not because my life is particularly bad right now but because I feel a pretty profound sense of disconnect between where I am now and where I want to be in terms of my health and personal development. The good news is, moving on from my situation doesn't really require any sudden dramatic shifts. Slow and steady and consistent change suits my temperament better, and I can get after it. Having got the heavy movement (my strength and conditioning) dialed in for the most part, it's time for me to turn to two other kinds of movement: daily movement, or Mobility, and martial arts, or Play. These will be my goals for this challenge. Goal 1: Mobility I don't like how sedentary I've become. It's bad for my waistline and for my mind, and I need to set a boundary for myself here to get up and move. The standard of 7,500 steps is a little too drastic right now for me to take, not because that much walking is hard but because that much walking is long. There is one way to get that many steps a day though in a relatively short amount of time: the Dreaded Running. Which I'm not convinced is a good short term idea to just jump into, but I think in the long run would actually be very beneficial for me. That's probably more Epic Goal than anything, but the first step (hah!) toward that is carving time out of my day to get away from the job and move. So, goal is to get a half hour every day of walking. That's it. Goal 2: Play You ever have friends who were your enemies? I'm kind of there now. I have a lot of wonderful friends whom I love very much and whose lives I want very much to be a part of, but they're getting in the way of my mat time and so I'm becoming less and less the person I want to be in order to be more and more the person I think they want. There is a solution to this, and it's one I've been holding off on because I don't think I'm worthy of it, but avoiding it isn't making me more worthy of it, so I'm just going to have to do it, and that's this: I need to make a point of doing noontime classes for martial arts whenever I can. The one day I've been doing it consistently, it's been good for me because I get to honor both my obligations to myself and to others. I need to do that more. Along with that, Goal 3: Study Dedicated study of what I learn. Detailed notes on the things I'm taught so that I can keep engaging with what I'm learning and internalize it better. And... yeah. That's that for now.
  12. Sounds like food from the Old Country. This will definitely make you Strong Like Bull, so as to get you through the bull.
  13. Hey, awesome for showing up despite not being thrilled. That kind of discipline isn't as fun as delight, but it's better and you'll get more out of your training in the long run if you do that, so, awesome. As far as core engagement, I'm not sure what you're doing to engage but I know that for me that means to brace my stomach like I'm gonna take a punch, and then to "breathe behind the shield," which means deep lung breaths as opposed to belly breathing. Assuming you're doing that, if you want to make the plank harder, there are 4 options: Work on full body tension. Basically, when you're down in plank, clench your everything from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. You should only be able to hold this for about 10 seconds. Lengthen your lever arms. Which means that instead of having your arms under your shoulders, you start to place your arms out in front of your body. A good method, but can be hard on the lower back if you're not strong enough for it yet. Add time. The most obvious and least complicated difficulty modifier, but also the most inconvenient and the least fun. Change your elevation. You can have your knees placed off the ground, which will change the challenge some. This especially gets hard when you're on your feet and you plant your feet on the wall, and you have to keep tension throughout your body to keep the feet from slipping down. You can also practice "Up-Downs," where you transfer from elbows to hands and back down again. It's not quite a push-up, but it's kind of in the same neighborhood? Whatever you decide to do, if you want to do any of these or something else entirely, make sure to be cautious and take your time. You should walk away from these workouts feeling about as good or better than when you started.
  14. Shouldn't be less. I've generally seen elbow planks used as a progression up from hand planks; I don't really know for sure anymore which is harder, but that's probably as good a sign as any that you're not doing less work lower to the ground.
  15. Here for walking and calisthenics, because I think that's where I'm bound. Can't wait to see how this goes for you! Also, holy cow, just a year? I thought you were just one of those folks I hadn't kept up with for a while. Very cool! Congrats on the year!
  16. Nice! I notice that the exercise goal has a 1 mana/minute reward. Have you considered maybe taking extra mana from exercise if that should come up?
  17. I mean, I don't think there's much chance. My impression is that the low quality of our training department is an open secret, and it's been so ever since I got here. I think it's just something we tolerate/accept on account of institutional inertia, and if I tried to point it out, it'd backfire: the department would point to a bunch of external factors to explain why we lose trainees, and then I'd be under scrutiny because I was the one who spoke up. Of course, I have nothing to hide, and I kind of relish the opportunity to speak my mind to these people, but it won't change anything and it's just as likely to get me suspended without pay as it is anything else. Thank you. Yeah, like I told my folks last night: it's a chance for me to be the kind of person I needed all those years ago.
  18. And so the challenge is over. So now that it's over, what do I think of it? Overall, I think this was a good challenge to me. I changed my training and customized it more for me and my situation, and I'm feeling a lot better as a result. My writing is going well. My meditation isn't as good as it could be, but that's not to say it was bad. I definitely benefited from what practice I have. And that's all I think about last challenge. Sometimes, it's just that simple, and a challenge is what it is. I think if there's one insight or thing I learned, it's that I don't need someone outside of myself to make a program for me that causes me to flourish. I just need resources and research, and I've got those in spades. At this point, I'm down to minor tweaks going forward, but I feel really accomplished and optimistic about what this training is going to look like going forward. There are a couple things I need to address, though: I haven't been keeping up with my mat studies as much as I could be. I keep telling myself that I'm going to go back and find and research and review things later, and that keeps not happening, and compared to prior practices I think I'm "allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good." I think next challenge needs a research-based goal of some sort. I know I've done well before when I made a point of doing some kind of research and review every day and didn't try to keep up with specifics, and that was more benefit than what I'm getting now. Need to ruminate on this but I think I got an idea about what to do next time. My bodyfat percentage is not good. I've been hovering around 29% for a while now, and I don't like how that makes me feel. It's a combination of social conditioning, personal insecurity, and paranoia with regard to my health, and I don't like it. I'm convinced that my hypothyroidism plays into that some, but I don't really know what that means; like, do I have to starve myself before I can get the body fat to burn? Do I have to walk more? Or is it just stress-related inflammation and retention, meaning I need to meditate more? I don't really know. I think I want to go back to taking long walks and eventually to even make a return to rucking, but there's some short-term stuff I gotta deal with in the meantime that's going to make that hard, so I really want to sit and think about this before I commit to something that won't work for me. I've made progress in terms of my bedtime. I want to make more progress. That is all. The short term complication that I reference in point 2 is that I was voluntold for a mentorship position at the job. Both the boss and I thought it would be helping troubled employees, and it made sense to me since 1) I've benefited from that in the past, and 2) I managed to work my caseload from about 277 cases down to ~110 all on my own and even as I was being assigned new cases. So we both thought I had something worth teaching. Thing is, it's turned out that the mentorship is for new employees, and our training dept is basically asking us to take over their training for the next 3 weeks. That is not what I signed up for, and I'm kind of resentful of the bait and switch. It doesn't help any that our training dept is basically a bunch of glorified babysitters who teach the worst possible way to do this job. They've given us a bunch of practices that they want us to demonstrate to the trainees. Sadly for the training department, they have framed their desires as "suggestions," so I have every intention of acknowledging those suggestions and then showing my mentee how to actually do this job. This is an opportunity for me to be the person I would have needed way back at the beginning and to save someone a lot of headaches and stress in the long run. I'm kind of looking forward to it. Only downside is, I've basically got to be at the office every day for the next three weeks. Boooooooo. The training department claims that we can keep up remote working and successful mentor these people. To which I say, go fuck yourself, Training Department. A trainee can't shadow a mentor that isn't there and there's all kinds of learning this job that can only happen in-person. If this is indicative of the attitude they take toward training, then it's no wonder our turnover for new trainees is 70%. I will be better to my trainee than they were to me. But I resent the effort. Oh well. My thanks to all and everyone who has stopped by and reacted or commented on my shenanigans here. Special thanks to @Sovalis, @Scaly Freak, @Tanktimus the Encourager, @The Most Loathed, @TimovieMan, @Everstorm, @Mistr, @KB Girl, @Machete, @Jupiter, @juliebarkley, and anyone I missed on the way. I know it didn't seem like it this time, but I do care about this community and y'all being around really made a positive difference for me. I'm sorry that I have been a stranger to most of you this time. I know this happens from time to time, but I'm never happy with myself when I let that happen. I will work to be a better support to you going forward. At least in the short term. I thank you all, and I will see you next round.
  19. Ninja! Yes, you all thought that I'd vanished, when, in reality, I... no, actually, I totally just peaced out for a bit. Didn't mean to at first. 2 weeks ago marked the start of a jump in my workload, and after I calculated how much more I'd have to do to keep up with it, that became my focus, even to the point of working tons of overtime. And whatever time I wasn't spending on work I was spending on the mats or writing or meditating. I tried to keep track of everything, but it eventually hit a point where it was just easier for me to focus on myself instead of my responsibilities here, and so that's what I did. Fortunately, I trust y'all to be awesome without me, and you don't need me here to henpeck you with positivity. I trust you have been well in my absence. Anyway, the challenge still happened even without my tracking it. Training has changed some; these days I'm following a 5-day microcycle routine where on days 1 and 3, I do my kettlebell work, and on days 2 and 4, I do the bodyweight stuff I picked up in Overcoming Gravity, which works out to a day for dips and a day for inverted rows. Day 5 of these is a rest day, which I take just about completely off from everything for the sake of my joints. Speaking of those, I'm pleased to report that my elbow's doing a lot better. I've recently got into rice bucket work - sticking my fist down into a bucket of rice and rolling my wrist against the resistance. It feels good, man. Also, the inverted rows are being done as pure eccentric work, meaning I just lower down from the start position instead of going down and up. My elbow loves this kind of work. As to my shoulder, well, it's intermittently angry at me and I don't know why. I think I probably jumped back onto the mats too soon and I haven't set my boundaries properly as far as asking people to roll nicely with me. Fortunately, I've started up on prehab exercises again and that seems to make a pretty significant difference. I've also started doing qigong consistently in the mornings, usually on kettlebell days and my days off. My body thanks me for this too. I'm also pleased to report that my writing has made significant progress on the Snowflake Method. Right now I'm at the synopsis phase of development. I've had to go back and forth in terms of doing some re-writes, but identifying that stuff now versus later when I'm in the trenches of the prose is incredibly useful to the development of the story. Meditation's been happening too, but it's not as much as I'd like, and while I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head, I do know it's not as good as I'd like it to be. That's regrettable, although my 10 Breaths to Sleep has continued, and I feel some benefit from it, so that whole thing isn't as bad as it could be. I've got some thoughts about where I want to go from here, but I think that's for a wrap-up, and this is the last day of the challenge, so I'm going to hold off on that. Instead, I'm off to write, go for a walk, and lift heavy things, because I basically outpaced my job in a lot of ways and I can't work overtime until they catch up. (of course, they have other ways of giving me OT work, but after 2 weeks of pedal to the metal, man, I need some space and time, so don't nobody go telling my bosses that I'm further ahead than they can handle, mmmkay?) I'll be around to you all as I can. I hope you've been well. ❤️
  20. So out of curiosity, I went looking for photos of Latvian food and now I'm hungry. Dunno if it's my inner Polish talking or what, but I reckon you're gonna be okay on food, once the culture shock wears off.
  21. Goal 1: 18/19 Goal 2: 16/19 Goal 3: 9/19 Well, this week has been a write off for mat time. Wednesday I didn't hit the work quotas I needed to make mat time a good idea. I had to work OT instead to make up. Thursday, my writing friend decided that she wanted to get together, so that happened instead of martial arts. I have a feeling that I may have miscalculated in terms of whether or not my Thursday nights are free, given that my writing friend's life is starting to settle down and she's really dedicated to making this friendship work. Which is really cool of her. But it also means no training last night. And I can't really bank on that time for training going forward. I thought I'd try to make it out today but traffic was absolutely a nightmare and I didn't leave the apartment in time. Which I didn't know I was doing at that time, so I was in traffic when it became clear I wouldn't be able to make it. That was deeply frustrating. And I'm not going to make it out tomorrow either, since friends want to get together and I got outvoted on what time works best. I guess my social life and my martial arts life at least have this much in common: there's no off season. It's frustrating. But it's been a frustrating week. Change has happened at a time that I really didn't want it to, but it's down to things I had no say in, and that's just how life is sometimes. I don't control my feelings, so they're going to rage and run as they do, but that fuel will be spent in time and when I'm on the other side of it, I'm going to have to recalculate how I get after my mat time. One major possibility going forward is a return to open mats. I've been avoiding them until I got clearance from my ortho, and now that I have that, it's about time to go back. The only hold up is that I'm waiting for my teeth to finish resetting, at which point I can remold my mouthguard in a more permanent way and go roll in a freer way without having to worry about amateur orthodontistry. So, that'll be in about 3 weeks. I owe it to myself in the meantime to make the most of my time such as it is. That should mean note-taking and study, but the OT, good as it is for my paycheck, has really interfered with that. The fact that I've been staying up later as a result to get some personal time for myself afterward isn't helping that any either. Things aren't going the way I want them to right now. But that doesn't mean they always will. There's a better way to comport myself now, and I know it. So best to be about it. Lifting, writing, and meditation on the docket. Let's get it done.
  22. Nice! I drive a 2012 Kia myself; even with ~6.5 times the mileage, it still drives well. Good stuff, glad to hear. I believe it! I've also gotten into Ben and Jerry's non-dairy options; their Bananas Foster pints are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
  23. Mm. More time is good. I would advise, though, that if you can't make that time initially that you don't stop doing what you can do. I say this as someone who's done just that.
  24. So, knowing now that that room is just a room for various musicians to be in (if the last music from there was anything to go on)... I think I wanna be in that room. Just get a good vibe off of it, you know?
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