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Everything posted by Kishi

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I find this thought frightening, but I'm also afraid to look away.
  5. Wow, looks like this one's gonna be wild. Can't wait to see how it goes!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. So, non-Trekkie here, but as someone who's studied his own rationality for a while, it may be reasonable to conclude that we're expecting too much of them. Even the most rational person has places and times where they aren't rational. And to my knowledge, the weapon in question is used in situations where Vulcans are experiencing a breakdown in their rationality. In which case, perhaps the irrationality of the weapon is actually intentional, a kind of symbolic representation of a break from logic. Of course, I don't know the canon, and if this is something like a bat'leth or something that sees more than ceremonial use, then this is not a useful hypothesis. Still.
  10. Sounds like efficiency in action to me. A good challenge theme! I like it.
  11. Aaaah, missed it. Goal 1: 33/35 Goal 2: 26/35 Goal 3: 21/35 Friday night I wasn't able to make the mats. I did make it through handstand practice and went out to see Thor: Love and Thunder, which is technically as good as Waititi's last outing in the MCU but I think is missing the character arc that made Ragnarok so good. Not a bad film, but feels like it was phoned in. A pleasant diversion. Going to the Alamo meant getting filled with good food and drink, so the breathing goals didn't happen. And so I didn't get after them again on Saturday either, because I didn't see the point from a goal perspective. I did go back to the mats, though, and hit up a drill-and-spar session, which got the heart moving. That was pretty good. And so, we come to the end. Training was as good as ever; meditation and breathing were done to the point of benefit but not to the point of challenge compliance. I'm of two minds as far as the proposed reward goes. On the one hand, I did miss my numbers, and so it doesn't seem like I deserve to reward myself. OTOH, the reward is a training aid, and training is the one goal that went as well as it needed to. I think, if anyone drops by here at the end of things, that I'd appreciate some input on the matter. Anyway, another challenge in the books! Something about this ride feels different than most of my recent outings, like I've wound up in a better place than I was previously. It's something I feel in my body as opposed to my mind, which is always fun. My thanks as always to everyone who stopped by! Special thanks in no particular order to @Tanktimus the Encourager, @Scaly Freak, @Mistr, @sarakingdom, @Jupiter, @Lag a'mhuilin, @KB Girl, @juliebarkley, and anyone else I missed along the way. See you next round!
  12. Goal 1: 31/33 Goal 2: 26/33 Goal 3: 21/33 Training plans derailed by the job. Even with reduced work, I still didn't hit my numbers until late in the day, too late to get out and do what I wanted to do. Bugger. It wouldn't have been like this if they'd just let me return to work from home already, but the job's taking its time with letting out stats and probably won't get to me until sometime next month. In any event, it didn't stop me from hitting my goals, which is fortunate because having just run the numbers, I'm going to have to hit it perfectly today and tomorrow to get to my 80% pass rate, and I've got obstacles. Joyous, fun obstacles - going to say the new Marvel film at the Alamo tonight - but obstacles nonetheless. But I trained, meditated, and breathed last night, and everything went off without a hitch, except for the fact that I got to bed late, got up late, go to work late, and lived out that ongoing vicious cycle. Which I don't really care about, but for all the ways it's stopping me from doing what I want to do. Anyway. If I balance everything out proper and get out on time, my hope is to make the mats and get some sparring done before going home, showering, and getting back out to make it to the theater. It'll be close, if everything works, and I honestly wouldn't mind if it doesn't, but it'd be good for me to get back out there and get rocked some. You know. Shock me out of stasis and all that.
  13. Can vouch for the fruit fly trap. It's not perfect, but if you've got a ton of them, it will kill a ton of them. Glad to hear that you're through a down time. Hope it doesn't come back soon.
  14. FWIW, I get it. I've been getting things done, but it's coming at the cost of sleep, so I sleep later and get to work later and the cycle's got more and more vicious. Sorry to hear that everything's going off the rails as of a few days ago. I hope things are better now. And if they aren't, well, you do what you gotta do to take care of yourself. Sigma grindset be damned.
  15. Nice! Congratulations, that's great to see. Not just the weight loss but that you're wanting to do it on your own terms. That's how you know it's gonna last. And hey, if it goes sideways, then you can assess and adjust as needed.
  16. Goal 1: 30/32 Goal 2: 25/32 Goal 3: 20/32 Plan went off the rails a bit! My Writer Friend wanted to get together to write, and I'd told her prior that I had time, so I decided to make the time and cancelled out of my plans. But the time was productive, and it was good to see my friend again. Felt right. Otherwise, I was able to get my meditation and WHM done. Did some thoracic mobility stuff for training and that was that. I'm having to make some stuff up since I don't have access to the equipment I need; at this point, I'm mishmashing the opening thoracic bridge routine and Convict Conditioning's bridge series because the routine that GST puts out basically leads to the same place, so I figure I can do this while I clear out space. Anyway. Tonight's plan is mat time unless something else comes up. Which it might. No reason to fail to train or hit my goals, though.
  17. Goal 1: 29/31 Goal 2: 24/31 Goal 3: 19/31 Damn, didn't take much to slip out of 80% on that one. I think I can get back, but it'll be close. Saturday wound up good. Everyone seemed to have their shit together to a remarkable degree, and it was good to find a boardgame bar that close to home. It'd be fun to go back at some point. Sunday, I went out to write at a coffee place with the Writer Friend. That turned out to be good, constructive time; I finally managed to put together a lot of what I'd been building into a coherent overarching plot. Next steps are to refine my characters a little bit - I had to change enough that some of their roles don't make sense anymore - and plot out the scenes and sequels; once that's done, it'll be down to writing the thing. Writing's come back to me lately as something I value a lot. When I don't write, the day feels empty and wasted. When I do, it feels like something good happened, even if it doesn't turn out to be very much. Anyway, when that was done, I went back to her place to help her out with some construction stuff, which just kind of seems to be a thing that happens whenever we get together. Which, whatever. Monday was day 10 of my precautionary period, so I stayed home. Office wanted me to come in, which I didn't know they'd want me to do given that I'd been allowed to return home, but it worked out; I was able to work from home for one more day and that was that. Tuesday was an office day, but relatively easy as it goes for all that I didn't want to be there. As far as goals go, I missed another training day on Sunday, although I did get up and move and that's something. Meditation was a miss on Saturday and Sunday but got it back on Monday and Tuesday. WHM was the trickiest, because I'm trying to get my bedtime sorted and WHM late at night is a timesink that's hard to balance. I did get it done yesterday in the car, when it was hot in the shade and I lost time again, even following the proper cues. But showing up is the more important part. Consistency, even in these conditions, will grant adaptations. I've altered the training again a little bit to include loaded carries to help my lower back. I've been feeling a sense of guilt at having all this iron lying around like I do and not using it, but I don't think that I need swings or get ups anymore. Or perhaps not yet. Not for a while. But I wanted to bring them back in, and I found that carries do, in fact, have therapeutic properties when programmed right, and I'm wanting to strengthen my lower back for later gymnastic work. I don't think I'm falling for my normal junk volume trap, and after doing them yesterday, I felt good. More walking in general would be good for me ATM. Plan tonight is to return to the mats. I haven't been as diligent in my drilling/video watching as I'd like to have been, so I suspect I'm gonna be flattened. It'll be glorious. After that will be some mobility work when I get home and... yeah. Should be good.
  18. Hey! How'd it go with the red tape? I'm honestly asking for a friend.
  19. I'd pick a spear myself, because I'm still a Wheel of Time fan at heart.
  20. Yeah. And to add further speculation, as detailed below, I skipped a day and my symptoms got worse. I did WHM the next day and the symptoms receded. They haven't gone all the way away, but they're much more manageable on this regimen, and I wonder if the reason it hasn't gone into further remission has anything to do with the limited amount of rounds I've been practicing? Might be something to play with more later. * Goal 1: 26/27 Goal 2: 22/27 Goal 3: 18/27 Clawed my way into that 80% range. Nice. Quick update because I want to despite it being a busy social (!) day. Before y'all ask, I tested again this morning and came back negative again, so I'm operating on the assumption that I'm good to go and I just picked up something from someone else. Challenge-wise, week has been good. The only miss in the past few days is one day missed on WHM, and when my symptoms picked up, it worked out to good incentive to keep going. I'm also flabbergasted to report that my times have picked up into the 3:00 range with 3:07 at most last night. I guess my body remembers a thing or two. Job-wise, things have been interesting. They're dropping our receipts the next couple of weeks, meaning I'm not going to be assigned as many cases as I usually am. I'm under the impression it's a temporary thing, and I think it's got something to do with our examining doctors not keeping up with the work load. Less work for the same pay? That's a raise right there. Although since I suspect it's temporary, it's probably closer to a bonus than anything else. Today, my folks came into town to visit me, so we went to an Italian place downtown which I'd always heard about but never got the chance to visit. They knocked it out of the park. After getting home, I've got my training done, and now it's time to clean up, shower, get dressed, and head out to visit my Dramatic Friends at a boardgame bar that's popped up downtown and is apparently just a few blocks from the academy I go to. Which, you know, that's fun to see happen. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to work meditation in, but I don't know how it'll go with WHM tonight, just because I'll be full of good food and drink, and breathing/diaphragmatic work isn't fun then. So we'll see what shakes out of tonight. Should be interesting to see if my symptoms pick up again.
  21. Goal 1: 22/23 Goal 2: 18/23 Goal 3: 15/23 The work continues. Also whatever the hell this bug is. Like I said, I tested negative, and I don't feel worse today than I did yesterday, but the test results could again be a false negative, and it hasn't been the full five days since exposure that CDC says I'd need to test. I was told on Monday by my boss that the latest variants lead off with a sore throat that turns to fire; I've got the sore throat, but it's not turned to fire. I'm honestly wondering if my regular practice of the WHM is what's keeping whatever this is at bay. It's apparently been shown in laboratory settings to influence and control inflammation in the body, which can render some diseases inert if not outright cure them. Which sounds really overblown to me, like the kind of nonsense I would dismiss if I was debating a vaccine skeptic or something. And yet, well, here I am. (FWIW, although Hof himself is a certified mad lad, he's big on trying to get hard scientific evidence for what he does. So... I guess, take it as it you will). Training was done yesterday. I haven't actually logged my training in a while; all I did amounted to a little shadowboxing and 3x6 parallel squats. My warm-up stretches took longer than the work itself did. Qigong practice was not done, but it only has to be done 3-4 times per week and can also be done on the same days as when I've skipped rope, so there's no reason to take a half credit. Meditation and breathing was done as well. Today would normally be a rest day, so a rest day it will be. The only thing I've got on the docket is to do some upper body mobility stuff - I can't do the full thoracic routine yet due to lack of equipment and lack of ability to achieve some of those positions, but I do benefit from what I can do at the moment since it counteracts the postural problems I have related to sitting.
  22. Yeah, challenges be like that. Once the habits are in place, the scorekeeping component kind of starts to feel weird, in my experience. It's a good sign.
  23. So, just tested, but it came back negative. Still have symptoms, though. So, I guess that means run another test on Thursday since that'll be Day 5. 😬 I've heard about that kind of thing happening before. That sucks and sounds hard. I don't envy parents these days. Ooh, thanks! Which experts where? When I went to go look and see for myself, my search engine returned a bunch of results which didn't say anything about crazy rest. Thanks, me too! Like I said, I'm going to give it another couple days and test again since I could have a false negative.
  24. So far, I feel okay, but given that I've picked up sore throat, muscle aches, and a bit of fatigue, I do suspect I'm positive. * Goal 1: 21/22 Goal 2: 17/22 Goal 3: 14/22 So, they made me go into the office yesterday. Mmm. Gotta love it when the office procedures of your public sector job don't line up with the effing public CD-goddamn-C. I was, as the children say, in my feelings about it. Since the CDC says I have to wear a mask at all times when indoors in my situation, I basically went to the office and fasted all day while getting my work done. Fortunately, my boss was cool enough to ask, and when I mentioned that my throat was kind of scratchy, she said she'd count that as a symptom and told me to work from home, which I'm doing today. Symptoms are way more mild now than they were before, if I'm indeed positive. Since I'm experiencing symptoms, I think I'm cleared to go test, so that's what I'm going to do tonight. But to give you an idea of how mild things are, I've actually continued my training while at home - tumbling on Sunday, handstands Monday, squats today. Even did some skipping rope last night without any trouble. Symptoms have not progressed, which is good. Work volume is relatively low and low stress at this point, and I have a stretch/mobility day tomorrow, which should mean a lot of good recovery, provided I get enough sleep, which I'm confident I will.
  25. Glad to see you back! Sorry to hear you got sick, but it sounds like you're feeling better. Just ease on in and you should be fine.
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