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About EricMN

  • Rank
    OCR Jedi Master
  • Birthday 05/10/1967


  • Location
    Apple Valley, MN


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  1. Jackboots gonna jackboot. Good to see that functional fitness pay off, though.
  2. Random "I'm Still Around" Update What a sub-par last two weeks. Work sucks. On 6 October, we had a Global Tech meeting where the CIO announced that "Company-wide costs reduction plans" were being implemented. In real terms this means a 5% personnel reduction company-wide; for IT, it means that the hiring freeze that went into place at the end of last year has been modified and that all open positions are now permanently eliminated. This includes two positions in our department. However, we continue to be responsible for the duties of both open, full-time positions. One of those positions is responsible for our primary enterprise operations software solution as systems owner and analyst - a position that should really be an entire team. This is now one of my several job responsibilities. On top of that, in March, due to COVID, annual merit increases were "delayed until the fall" and in this meeting it was announced that they would not be given in calendar year 2020 at all "to ensure the continued financial strength of the company". Again, in real-world speak, this is to protect executive bonuses. Before this was announced, the company had posted record financial results for the fiscal period ending in September, despite the global economic slowdown. The only reason to do was to ensure executives made their multi-million-dollar bonuses. Just... ugh. FML. I'm disillusioned, disheartened, working 60-plus hours per week and the only thing keeping me from mailing it in every day is the belief that my co-workers, who are in the same boat, all deserve better. Oh, and on 4 October, I was pruning trees and fell six feet out of a tree, mostly onto my back, and messed up my shoulder and elbow. Nothing is broken (I had x-rays) but I spent five days in significant pain that required a muscle relaxant and some prescription pain-killers. I'm finally healed enough to let my chiropractor touch my neck and back. You can't fix stupid. Challenge-wise, this cycle is yet another whatever-burger. I've had so little time, I haven't been able to exercise with the kids. Fortunately, The Boy is hiking with his people at school at least once a week and The Pink Princess is going for long walks and hikes with her best friend who she swears is not her boyfriend, although I think he's a good kid and I would be okay with if he was. I need to start getting up much earlier - think Zero Dark Thirty - to find time to take care of myself. I haven't been tracking food but I've been paying attention. I eat the same breakfast literally every day: three scrambled eggs or egg whites, four small strips of bacon, and a slice of toasted pumpernickel bread.I batch-cooked a bunch of chicken tenderloins for lunches that I'm eating with veggies. I have fixed my snack issues by buying pre-packaged nuts and a large bag of apples and getting rid of the potato chips that I love so damned much (Okay, I ate them, but they're gone and I didn't get more). We did meal planning and dinners have included grilled kabobs, pulled pork with sauteed green beans, and baked chicken breast with baked sweet potato. Food isn't my biggest problem right now. It's lack of physical activity. Live look at me in my home office I've got almost three weeks of PTO I need to take between now and the end of the year. I spoke with my boss and I'm going to be taking a few three- and four-day weekends in October and December. I won't be able to take much in November because two of our team members are having surgery - one had cancer surgery on his tongue last week and the other is having knee replacement in a couple weeks - and we need to keep our department covered even though we'll be short by four people at the time. Three of us will be rotating all the support duties. Hopefully my friend who had the cancer surgery recovers quickly - he messaged me on Tuesday to report success - and without the need for extended speech therapy, and we can plug him back into our support rotation as well. School-wise, things are a mixed bag with a lot of good to report. The Boy really crashed and burned after the first week of school and he spent almost three weeks where he struggled to turn in anything at all. Last week he and I had a Come To Jesus meeting where he agreed to finally do things my way. He's significantly behind, but he's been putting in a lot of effort to catch up and this week churned out a 650-word "College Entrance Essay"-themed paper that was not only completed without massive drama, but met the requirements of the rubric and was turned in two hours before the deadline. The Pink Princess is on an A Honor Roll pace for this trimester. She's so organized an on top of her assignments that she frequently has nothing to do during her weekends and last week didn't have anything to do on Friday, either. It's like someone kidnapped my depressed, angry, awful teenager and put a really well-adjusted and motivated pod person in her place. No, I'm not complaining, it's just that I haven't been in this position as a parent before and I don't really know what to do about it. Finally, we started Youth Group last night for the first time since shutdown in March. We had seven kids show up. We're only meeting outdoors around our fire pit; we're requiring social distancing at all times; nobody can access the church building; and everyone is required to wear masks. We're offering the option for those with transportation or health concerns to attend virtually if they let us know in advance. The weather was a bit blustery but it was a good start. I probably missed these kids more than they missed me. This should be good for my mental health. So, overall: suck, with sprinkles of hope.
  3. Reintroduction I've been terribly scarce around these parts for a LONG time. Every challenge I've started over the last... what... year? has been an abandoned failure. So, for those who don't know or who have forgotten, this is who I am: I'm 53, I'm twice divorced and now engaged again. I have three grown children who are 30 or older. I have two children in high school (The Small Monsties). From 1992 to 2012, I was mostly sedentary, I ate a LOT of crap, and I got really fat, topping out at about 260lbs at about 5 feet 10 inches height. In 2013 I got my butt to a Boot Camp regularly, got a personal trainer, and lost a bunch of weight, dropping down to about 193. Over the next several years I added a bunch of functional muscle mass, added running to the strength and nutrition training, and got into Obstacle Course Racing. In 2017 I qualified for the OCR World Championships in the Grand Masters division. I finished in the bottom 10 in my age group in that competition, but I slogged up and down that wet, rainy, rutted mountain and finished. I was at the height of my powers. In 2018, everything began to fall apart: psoriatic arthritis had set in during the second half of 2017, and in 2018, when I had my sights set on returning to OCRWC, we bought a house instead. Then, in 2019, while training for 60 miles of Spartan Race on back-to-back weekends, my younger kids' mom passed away at the tender age of 48 and I've been basically been adrift since. I've tried to run a few challenges this year to kick-start myself, but between Covid-19 social distancing, single parenting, watching my childhood neighborhood in Minneapolis burn and then volunteering to ferry supplies in from the suburbs multiple times per week, and other general stress, frankly, I'm nearly back to Square One. But this is NOT a reboot. This is not a re-start from a save point. Everything that happened to me since 2012 happened. I was fat, I got healthy, I became an athlete again at 50, and I got fat again. I'm a man of Christian faith and I serve regularly with my church as a Youth Ministry leader and a community service volunteer and an elder. I'm also a Star Wars person. I identify strongly with the Jedi and the Rebellion and I see a strong correlation between this and my faith. I have made Star Wars a strong part of my family's lexicon, and now, with my youngest daughter (the Pink Princess) doing full Distance Learning as a high school Sophomore and her older brother starting his Senior Year in Hybrid learning, there's going to be quite a bit of my life consumed with re-earning my title of Jedi Master while training up my two Padawans. Main Goal Like I said, I've been down this road before. I know the way I need to go. This time, I'm bringing my two kids along, partly because I want to and partly because they need the PE credits. I used to be qualified for this, as I spent about a year and a half working as a personal trainer, and I'll lean on that, plus every other resource I have at my disposal, like online classes from my gym. Last spring during Shelter in Place, I built a few home gym items that have, frankly, been gathering sawdust out in my garage. We have some equipment: About 150lb of free weights Two 20lb kettlebells A pull-up bar A plyo box Four gymnastics rings A 12-lb sledgehammer A tire for beating with a hammer or pulling around the block with a harness They're not excited about it, but I am, and we're going to make it work. They won't have to do everything I do, just their part, but here's what it will look like for me: Goal: Nutrition This is the bottom line for me: every time I let this go, my middle expands like a blowfish. Right now I'm bloated and gross and a lot of my clothes don't fit right. Macro tracking works for me. When I'm on and keeping to a fitness regimen, I will start worrying more about targets. Right now I just want to track what I'm eating. Goal: Use my food tracker and track my intake. Goal: Strength Training I asked The Boy, who totally buys into the whole Jedi Padawan thing, what he wants to work on. Last spring he got winded mowing part of the front lawn. He's been voluntarily quarantined since last March, meaning he rarely leaves the couch except to come down to the office for gaming. He also was born with low muscle tone, so he's super skinny and he is self-conscious about his lack of upper-body strength. We'll work on strength training together while slowly building up his endurance. The Pink Princess just wants her gym credit. She will have to deal with whatever is on the agenda. I let them pick the days and we will be doing Wednesdays for sure, and I'm going to add 1-2 other days to get them to 2 hours per week. Goal: Body-weight or light equipment workouts 2x/week Goal: Cardio Training The Pink Princess enjoys long walks (seriously) with her friends. The Boy enjoys hiking with his classmates at the School of Environmental Studies, but he's in for a rude awakening. I cannot run a mile right now. The bonus to this is that the assigned PE credit for The Pink Princess is Cardio Fitness. She doesn't have to become a runner, but she does have to put in some cardio work. The Boy could easily be a runner with his build and long legs. I am a grinder at best. Between the three of us, it's not going to start fast, but hopefully it will get better over time. Goal: Run 2x/week It's kind of exciting for me to be doing this with my kids. My entire family is pretty unhealthy and when I was doing 12-plus mile OCR races regularly, I was the unicorn. I'd like to get back there, but this time, I'd like to be part of a herd instead, by dragging my kids with me, by whatever means necessary.