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Everything posted by kwesadilo

  1. This is my first time hearing about that. I immediately thought of the scp Unix command, which I have not had much occasion to use since college, now that I think about it. It might be too late for that. I got bogged down in the math problems that comprise most of chapter 2, and I've been grinding my way through those for I think the better part of a year. I could just skip ahead, but I'm a completist at heart. I've never used Clojure (or any Lisp besides Scheme). I think I erred significantly in starting the project using MIT Scheme. I don't know how debugging is really supposed to work for a program with no mutable state, but to my GDB-accustomed eye, the MIT Scheme debugger sucks balls, and I've thrown too many hours at it. I've read since then that Racket (with DrRacket) provides a much easier development experience, including an SICP compatibility mode with modules for the stuff that the SICP problems just assume that you have. Now that I'm a few thousand lines of code in, I'm reticent to switch. It's possible that I could backport my previous solutions without many code changes, but I would also need to change the line numbers for the code snippets in all of my LaTeX writeups. (As you've probably gathered, I am also somewhat of a masochist at heart.) I've noticed something kind of interesting while I've been doing this. I might have thought that, having approximately a decade of programming experience under my belt, that I would be able to get through a freshman programming problem set fairly quickly, but I actually seem to be working much more slowly than I did in school. I won't discount the idea that I have actually gotten stupider, but it occurred to me that, in college, homework had deadlines, and if I didn't finish it by the deadline, I just turned in whatever I had. With this project, I just bang my head on the same problem for days until I get it. Yeah. I usually enjoy doing outdoor activities, but they require a certain amount of preparation and know-how. I'd like to get to the point where I can do them spontaneously or at least frequently.
  2. Week 1 update * Squat: I took a few days off squatting to troubleshoot some weird knee pain. I didn't really think squats were causing it, and the break didn't help. Today, to stop the bleeding, I squatted 225x5x3, which I knew I could do with good form. * Mobility: Did this every day, a couple times at the expense of some sleep. I did not work on SICP this week, but I did select and order a bit of camping gear. Apparently, not all of the formatting tools are available on mobile, and I have temporarily rendered my computer unusable.
  3. And, once upon a time, squats were my most reliable lift, too. I find it especially frustrating when I do a set that I already did last week, and it's easy, and my form feels fine, and then I look at the video, and it's wrong. I have definitely done squats sets where I absolutely could not have done one more, but that was before I was taking form videos. If I did a genuinely hard squat now, it would look terrible.
  4. A (computer) programming book that I've been working my way through for longer than I care to admit.
  5. This challenge will be pretty bare-bones, because there's a chance that logistical challenges will take up a good chunk of my free time. Goals Keep progressing on my squat while maintaining good form. Today, I attempted 235x5x3 after struggling to nail my form on 240 for over a week, and I still blew it. Do mobility work every day. I'm still going to try to work on SICP and do new stuff, but I won't make those things formal goals.
  6. Glad to see that you're getting back into lifting. I've been rebuilding my squat after an injury, so I know the feeling. It's going pretty quickly, though. I've been doing Starting Strength, as far as squats go, with the added complication that I only advance when my bar path looks good on all of my reps.
  7. Week 4 update and summary Squats: Yesterday, my warmups came pretty easily, and I squatted 195x5x3 with good form. My third set with 185 last Monday was less solid, so this time, I wore my belt for my work sets, and it didn't feel like my form degraded as much over time. Maybe it was just a cooincidence. If not, it's somewhat disturbing that I've laid off for long enough that I need a belt for 195. Technically, I made progress with good form, but by like a couple reps. I'm sufficiently cynical at this point not to get my hopes up that I've got the hang of it now. I suspect this will continue to be a goal for some time. Mobility: Did this every day but Friday and Saturday. On Friday night, the fire alarm went off right as I was walking into the gym, so I missed that workout, and I didn't really recover my evening. Saturday, I just got up late and lay around. 26/28 days. Pretty decent. SICP: Didn't work on this at all. I made my goal approximately 3 out of 4 weeks. To do list: Zilch. I did this for 3 weeks and did approximately 3 things that I've been meaning to do for awhile. This goal could have gone better. I think it will be making another appearance. I didn't really finish strong here. It's apparent to me how much getting outside of my regular routine depends on grabbing my weekends by the horns. Lazing around for hours after I get up on a Saturday can totally blow my week in terms of personal growth. I try to get things done on the weekdays, but I find that most nights, I finish dinner and chores just a little bit before bed.
  8. Week 3 update Squats: I've been alternating days where I get up to a work weight and do 3 decent sets and days where I can't get the warmup right and eventually give up and leave. I dropped down to 175 on Wednesday, and it went well. Friday was a loss, but yesterday, I had 2 good sets and 1 iffy set at 185. Mobility: Did this every day. SICP: Worked for an hour on Thursday and 30 minutes on Saturday. To do list: I continued to measure my productivity at work and read Supply Leopard for 2 hours on Sunday.
  9. Seriously? There are over 200 of them. It seems like having to watch them in order somewhat distorts the WOD concept.
  10. Week 2 update Squat: It seems like they are getting worse. I've had a few workouts where I don't even make it up to my work weight, because I can't get my warmups together. This weekend, I did a full yoga routine on Saturday and Sunday, which I haven't done in awhile. I feel looser in general, and I thought that might help. But I also did sprints for the first time in about 6 months on Saturday, and my legs are pretty stiff today. I think that was messing me up, at least. Mobility: Did this every day. SICP: I'm pretty sure I worked on this for over an hour on Saturday and 20 minutes on Sunday. I might not have made it this week. To do list: I've continued to measure how I spend time at work, and I spent about 10 minutes reading Supple Leopard. I went for a hike outside the city this weekend, which took about 3 hours, not counting driving. Still no financial planning.
  11. I've watched some of his videos, but I find them very difficult to follow. His style of delivery is almost stream-of-consciousness. The book is kind of the same way, but less so, and there's some attempt to organize the information in a way that I hope will allow me to form a mental model about this kind of thing, ideally one that is testable. I'd like to understand what it means to be flexible, what would be useful mobility goals, how to evaluate myself in relation to those goals, steps to take towards them, and how to know whether it's working. Unfortunately, everything that I've seen discussing mobility does so in very nebulous terms. Kelly Starrett seems like he comes the closest to making a falsifiable statement. I will probably end up watching some more videos when I get to the part of the book that lists the actual exercises. I suspect that all I would really need to do, at least for squat mobility, is to hang out for awhile in the bottom of the squat position, if I could relax into it. I can support myself using my hands and spread my knees out with my elbows, but I'm not balanced, which means I'm not really in the position I want to be in. One of my goals is to be stable in a squatting position.
  12. Week 1 update Squat: No progress here. I am beginning to think that getting a coach, at least temporarily, would be a good use of my time compared to struggling with the same weight for weeks, but I'm not sure what the best way is to find a good one. Mobility: Did this every day. I did some things from Supple Leopard that I hadn't done before on Sunday and skipped some things that I have been doing regularly. I'm not sure if that was a good idea. SICP: Worked for 2 hours on Saturday and 15 minutes on Sunday. Cutting it close. To do list: I have been making note of how long I spend on various activities at work. It seems like this has very quickly reduced the amount of time that I spend on completely non-work-related activities. It doesn't feel like I am actually getting much more work done. I hope that reducing distraction is good for more than just demonstrating Parkinson's Law. I'm not sure how much time I've been spending actually making these records. I would guess 5-10 minutes a day. I spent about 2 hours reading Supple Leopard over Saturday and Sunday. I am most of the way through the only part of the book that is meant to be read straight through. I was planning on working on financial planning, but I really hate doing that. I'd like to accomplish the most important of my long-time to-dos during this challenge, not just the ones I hate the least. Maybe I should have split up my goals into things that I feel like doing and things that I don't. That way, I wouldn't have given myself carte blanche to do things that I might have done anyway while feeling less guilty about continuing to slack off on things that I dislike. I'm not too worried, though. My broader goal is to inject some novelty into my very routinized way of living. Reading Supple Leopard was the only thing that I was literally already doing before this challenge started, although I was doing it very slowly. My other tasks require more initiative on my part, even if they vary in how pleasant they are. I can't have finishing Supple Leopard be the only thing I get done during this challenge, though.
  13. I'm getting started a bit late here. I'm going to do things a little bit differently this time. I've been doing basically the same thing for awhile, both in these challenges and in general. There are a number of different things that I've wanted or needed to start doing for awhile but haven't, related to personal finance, spending more time outdoors, and expanding my social circle, among other things. Instead of picking one as a goal, not doing it until the last week, and ignoring the others entirely, I want to try to spend time on them in aggregate each week. Goals Keep progressing on my squat without my form deteriorating. Since the last challenge ended, I've been struggling to progress past 195. Wednesday was a lot better than the last few workouts, but I still didn't have 3 sets with good form. I still don't know what causes me to have good days or bad days in terms of squat form. Do mobility work every day. Work on SICP 1.5 hours per week over the course of at least 2 days. Spend at least 2 hours per week working on various things that I've been meaning to do for awhile, including but not limited to Measuring and improving my productivity at work Come up with a plan for investing my retirement accounts Finish reading Supple Leopard; come up with a satisfactory mobility program. Hopefully, this will flesh out my mobility goal above and eventually solve my squat inconsistency. Spend more time in the outdoors Find Meetup events that I want to go to; I've done this before, but I didn't go to anything consistently enough to make friends, and I only went to Meetups for activities that I'm already into, so I didn't really try anything new. I'm not exactly sure how to measure the time in some cases. If I work for 8 hours and write down when I change activities, does that count as 8 hours or 2 minutes?
  14. Week 4 update Squat: The last week has seen significant change. Hopefully, it's the turning of the tide. I've continued to do squats last and do my mobility work between sets, and my squats have continued to feel and look better than they have before. Today, I did 190x5x3, and all of my reps looked good. I'm a bit tempted to go from 5-pound jumps to 10-pound jumps, because I'm still lifting so light. But I don't want to disturb what I've got going, so I'll try to just build momentum for another week or so. In addition to the types of warmup activities that I had previously done, I've been foam rolling my legs before I squat. I suspect that foam rolling my inner thighs might have been the key, and perhaps not everything that I'm currently doing is necessary. Once I feel like I'm in the groove in terms of form, I will try to eliminate some steps, because my workouts are still taking quite awhile. I think I accomplished this. I would have liked to see more progress, but it seems like I'm headed in the right direction. Mobility: Did this every day. Only missed one day. This went pretty well. Sleep: Got to bed on time on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. The other days, I only missed my bedtime by 2 minutes. I've noticed that I've been waking up earlier. I'm not sure if this is due to the warmer weather, the small amount of light that makes it into my room, or me actually getting enough sleep. Actually over-achieved on this. SICP: Didn't work on this at all. I had more social engagements than usual this week, and it slipped. 3 out of 4 weeks. I think I'm getting a bit better at fitting this in, overall.
  15. Week 3 update Squat: Another hit-or-miss week. I dropped back down to 175 on Friday to try to stabilize things. Today was kind of unusual. I did squats last so that I could do all of my elaborate warmup exercises between sets of my other lifts. I didn't take any videos until my last warmup set due to space constraints, and then I wasn't leaning forward for my last warmup set or any of my work sets. In fact, the bar was a bit too far back on several reps, which almost never happens. The weirdest thing was that I didn't feel like I was straining to get my knees and hips in the right position. It felt like a pretty neutral position, and I was afraid that my form was collapsing, but video showed otherwise. I'm assuming that this was due to being extra warmed up from doing bench and deadlift first. On one hand, it's comforting to know that it's possible for me to get into a correct squat comfortably. On the other hand, it's disconcerting that my sense of being in the right position that has taken so long to hone can be so easily disturbed. Mobility: Did this every day. Sleep: Got to bed on time every day but Saturday. SICP: Worked for 30 minutes on Thursday and an hour on Sunday.
  16. I'm hoping it's smart. I think it would probably also be smart for me to get a coach, if only because they could cue me while I was doing whatever wrong thing I was doing. With the videos, I can only see how it went when it's too late to fix it.
  17. Week 2 update Squat: I've been attempting work sets of 180 for the last week, but it's still been hit-or-miss. I've been doing more than the usual number of warmup sets (at low reps), because I want to get my form consistent before I get up to my work weight. That may be causing too much fatigue. It seems like there is only a narrow window during each workout when I feel used to the movement enough that my form gets good. Then, after a set or two, it will start to degrade, probably because I'm too tired. Mobility: Did this every day. Sleep: Got to bed on time every day but Saturday. SICP: Worked for 20 minutes on Thursday and about 1.5 hours on Sunday.
  18. Week 1 update Squat: Last week, I squatted 175 form for sets across with mostly decent form, then 185 two days later with only sort of decent form, then 175 two days after that with good form on all 3 work sets (and one additional set that I won't speak of). Today, I tried 185 again and had one good set and two hit-or-miss sets. I think I'm still well below my absolute squat strength right now, but this weight is enough that I can't just do one work set right after the previous one, especially if I want to do them right. That means my workouts are still pretty time consuming. Hopefully, I'll get to the point where good form feels natural, and I won't need to spend multiple workouts messing around each time I increase the weight. Mobility: Did this on every day but Monday, although some of my non-workout days were pretty perfunctory. Sleep: Got to bed on time every night but Wednesday. SICP: Worked for about 1:15 on Friday and 30 minutes on Sunday.
  19. At long, long last, my squat form looks decent, so my primary goal for this challenge will be to build it back up. Technically, I started that last week, but I had friends in town last weekend, and I knew that would have gotten in the way of getting my goals done, had I set them. I'll leave my other goals the same, but I might swap out bedtime or mobility for something more interesting if I can get my thoughts together. Goals Retain good squat form while working through a linear progression. I'll be doing this pretty aggressively, but I don't want to get sloppy. I got up to 175 lbs. last week but didn't do it for sets across. I don't have a starting number from tonight, because I was super tired from staying up late this weekend and decided to make this a rare Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday week. Do mobility work every day. This will still be the squat-focused exercises I got from PT in most cases. Get to bed by 11:30 pm 5 days each week. Work on SICP for at least an hour and a half each week. One day has to be a weekday. I've been thinking that I should try to inject a little more novelty into my life, and I'd kind of like to make one of these related to that, but I haven't formulated a useful goal yet.
  20. Week 4 update Squat: This one was a nail biter. Wednesday was another day when it seemed like nothing was working. On Friday, I had 2 perfect sets of 5 at 95 lbs., starting at my 7th(!) set. The closest I got after that was 4 perfect reps in set 11. I did one more set after that, but things were going downhill, and it was super late. But during my few good sets, it seemed like the key was shoving my knees out absolutely as hard as I can, and then remembering to stop at parallel. I also spent 10 or 15 minutes stretching my calves and adductors and air squatting before getting under the bar, which I think helped me push my knees out more. Today, again spent a long time air squatting and stretching. Then, after warming up with the bar for 2 sets, I did 95x5x3 with perfect form. It felt like I knew what I was looking for more than during some recent workouts, and it felt easier to get into the right position on the first rep. There is a slight caveat: I actually did 1 set of 7 and 2 sets of 6. As I've been trying to get a good set of 5, I've been suspicious of some of my reps, but I can't tell whether they were good or not without watching the video, so I'll do more until it feels like I had 5 good ones. My set of 7 had 5 over my mid-foot and 2 that were maybe an inch in front. My sets of 6 were all over my mid-foot. However, I think I have achieved the consistency that I was looking for. Done, finally! My gym sessions have been taking forever lately, and I'm hoping that will change now that I'm not trying as hard to grease the groove with squats. I haven't really had any back pain during this challenge, although I have felt a little tightness on occasion. I hope I can attribute that to doing a bunch of sets of not-that-great squats and that it will stop happening now that I've got the form down, and I'm not doing so much volume. Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Wednesday through Friday, and Sunday. 18 out of 20 days is pretty good. I've definitely got more in the habit of putting my stuff down and getting ready for bed at 11:00 pm (he typed at 11:04). Mobility: Did it every day. 27/28 days. I'm still hoping to find a more efficient way to do this, but it hasn't been a huge burden (at least outside of warming up for squats). SICP: Worked for 15 minutes on Friday, which was kind of a cop-out, and an hour and a half on Sunday. This week counts. I did actually spend the amount of time that I said during this challenge, but I didn't do a great job of finding time for it on weeknights.
  21. Week 3 update Squat: Not a great week. Since before the beginning of this challenge, my squat has been inconsistent from day to day. It seems like I've been having 1 good workout (typically Monday) followed by 2 bad ones. Today was my third bad workout in a row. It feels like I'm trying the same things, and sometimes they just don't work. I didn't do any sets on non-lifting days last week, but I think I will try this week. Sleep: Got to bed on time Monday through Thursday. I got very close on Saturday and Sunday, but I stayed up very late for no reason on Friday, so I felt tired after the weekend anyway. Mobility: Did it every day but Saturday. I slept in due to staying up late, but not enough to be well rested. I did do a full-length yoga routine and foam-rolling on Sunday, which I haven't done in awhile. It has occurred to me that, during the last couple weeks of PT, I stopped doing a few stretches. Maybe those were important for squatting correctly, and I am just now feeling the effects. I will try to inject a little more variety this week. SICP: I again didn't work on this until the weekend, but I did work for an hour and a half on Sunday. Double asterisk for this week.
  22. Week 2 update Squat: So close! Tonight, I did 95x5x2 with good form and another set of 5 where 4 reps were over my mid-foot, and 1 was over my toes. I also did several other sets that were less remarkable, but my worst sets still seem better than they were a few weeks ago. It seems like even at what I perceive to be a very light weight, my form is fairly susceptible to fatigue. I may try to sneak in some sets on non-lifting days to help grease the groove. Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Mobility: Did it every day. As of last Tuesday, I am done with PT, but I am still doing basically the same routine that I was doing for the time being. SICP: Worked for an hour on Tuesday and 30 minutes on Sunday.
  23. Week 1 update Squat: I got surprisingly close tonight. Some of my reps with just the bar were over my mid-foot, even. I then did 95x6 by mistake, but the last 5 looked really good. Then I did another set of 5, and they all looked good. Then I did another set of 5. Reps 1-3 looked good, but then I lost my footing slightly, and I was leaning too far forward on the reps after that. But this is encouraging. It didn't seem as hard to reproduce good form as it was last week. Since I've started back squatting again, it seems like I'm in the habit of going noticeably below parallel, which wasn't the case before. It might be that I'm getting used to my increased ankle mobility, in combination with spending a fair amount of time front squatting. It seems like my bar path and low back bracing get better when I focus on stopping at parallel. When I keep going, it feels like my lower back flexes a little bit, and that causes me to lean forward, and that messes up my bar path. Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Maybe Tuesday too. I can't remember. Mobility: Did it every day. SICP: I worked for half an hour on Saturday and an hour on Sunday, so this week gets an asterisk.
  24. I'm still trying to do the same stuff as last time, because I still have the same problems as last time. Goals Squat some weight for 3 sets of 5 with perfect form. I said just the bar last time, but my bar path does seem to get better when I put some weight on. Ideally, I would be able to get in a balanced position without any weight on my back at all, but if my form starts to look good while I'm still warming up and stays that way, that seems like something I could work with. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to keep this as a goal. On Friday, I did back squats with more than 135 for the first time in like 2 months. In general, they looked a lot better than they had before, and when I got up to 185, they actually looked really good. I probably should have stopped there, because 205 was a little worse but still as good as I can remember. Then, today, even though it seemed like I was doing the exact same stuff, they looked a lot worse. So this is what I'm doing again. Get to bed by 11:30 pm 5 nights each week. I've been doing a pretty good job with this, but I probably still need some more time to solidify the habit. Do mobility work every day. My PT has now entered a phase where this really doesn't take much time. It's just a matter of remembering to do it. Work on SICP for 1.5 hours over the course of at least 2 days each week. At least one of the days has to be a weekday, because leaving the whole thing until the weekend doesn't seem to work well for me.
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