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  1. THE PRESSURE IS ON! Respawn, because I have been a slack lately. More nerdy references (and some kind of story line and D&D references) to come in the next few days. There is a Pole Sport competition I will be going to in about seven months, where I will need to be able to move, climb, flip and be awesome like a ninja. In order to not be a disappointment at this competition, I need to do multiple things. Increasing flexibility is the main priority, and getting my ass back into some kind of workout routine is a close second. 1 - Increasing flexibility MUST ABSOLUTELY HAPPEN AND IS NOT NEGOTIABLE (daily except Sundays) 2 - Following the Gymnastics Bodies program on a regular basis (5x/week) 3 - Going for 20-30 min walks at lunch now that the weather is less shitty (5x/week, unless there's a staff event at lunch or something) 4 - Doing the pole workout given to me by Coach (daily: full workout if at pole gym, partial workout if at home) 5 - Drinking more water daily--at least 72oz/day (72oz, because I have a 24oz cup and 3x24 is 72 and I didn't feel like doing any more math than that) 6 - Tracking food intake and rough calorie total (daily, also requested by Coach) 7 - 10 min meditation & journal on a daily basis (I already do this, but want to keep going) 8 - Eat less cheese (this will probably be the hardest item of the challenge) Implied goals: 9 - I will lose some pounds (fat) as a result of all of the above 10 - I will drink less alcohol because I'll be too fucking busy to do so 11 - I will check in to this thread on a regular basis to brag/whine as necessary ;P BONUS task: Working on my cosplay(s). PRE-CHALLENGE LIST, to remove the emotional/mental load: 1 - Cancel the expensive gym membership that I no longer use It's a good place and I've been there for years, but the schedule is no longer working for me. 2 - Booking appointments that I keep procrastinating on booking 3 - Contacting people that I keep procrastinating on contacting (0 of 2) 4 - CLEAN MY FUCKING ROOM so I have space to work out, work on cosplay, etc. 5 - Change my user name on NF, because using my RL name on the Internet is probably not a good idea May will be particularly difficult, because I will have the usual work hours (8AM to 4PM) and then coaching hours from like 6PM to 10PM from Monday to Thursday. This will result in VERY LITTLE FREE TIME and probably a lot of complaining. I want to have all my ducks in a row as well as some momentum before May so that I'll be less likely to fall off the wagon.
  2. Kishi

    Kishi Says Relax

    Oh right these things start on Sunday now So! Hello again everyone. Hope things have been awesome. I spent the past couple weeks just chilling and not making a topic because I didn't really know what I wanted to do. Or, I knew, but I didn't know how to articulate it. Mostly, I've just been watching myself and seeing what works and what doesn't, what is right and what is wrong, and simply striving see things w/o any sense of judgment. I've made the terrible but necessary decision to suspend TGUs for a while because I can't find a way to do them that doesn't bugger up my elbow. Oh, to be clear, I've really refined the movement a lot in terms of how I load and unload the bell onto my body - the arm I pull with and how I let it fall off of me - but like I said. Anyway I do it causes the golfer's elbow to get upset. So, I have to let the loaded version go for a bit in favor of the shod version (read: doing it with a shoe to keep the mechanics I've learned integrated in the system). Because frankly there's value in that. Elements of the TGU show up in newaza, and there's no reason not to keep practicing how to get up off the ground. Interestingly, I've found that after refreshing myself on how to do inverted rows in the GB style that it made my elbow feel better. It's probably something to do with the fact that I'm only doing it once a week and allow for loads and loads of rest in the meantime. The only way I was able to learn all this was to relax my grip on what I thought I had to do and to be honest with what was helpful to me and what wasn't. So, the theme of this challenge is to simply relax into my life and let happen what will. GOAL 1: MODIFIED S&S I can still swing. That's good news. I've concluded that this ability to swing is what's really made me into a beast that can go from strength work to fighting work to running work to helping someone move without any real trouble. I'm still on track to go for the 88, because there's no reason not to unless I hurt myself. The only catch is, I can't do TGUs with any weight right now. So, modify it. Goal is to take steps toward 100 swings in a row w/ the 70. Once I can do that, then move on to the 88. In the meantime, keep practicing those good mechanics w/ TGUs - pull with the opposite arm, keep the loaded arm socketed in the shoulder, and let the bell shoe slide off when I unload. GOAL 2: SATURDAY I've been going to the dojo pretty consistently and I've got a feel for how things work there. Now I know that if I want to go to randori, I'm going to have to hit up Saturday classes. This is not so bad, but I've a tendency to squander that day. But there's more going on than just judo. Work has offered overtime as well, meaning I can hit time and a half. That's not insignificant and I can make a big dent in my caseload if the building is open. The only way I can take advantage of either of these is if I get the eff up on Saturday mornings and don't stay up late. And to be frank about it, there's no percentage in it anyway. Going to bed earlier just makes me more rested and happier with life in general. The goal is to get to bed at the normal bedtime - somewhere between 2300 and midnight if not earlier - and to be constructive with my time. GOAL 3: CLEAN I let my foot off the gas with this goal. Need to put it back on. Get that last corner cleaned up. There's no need for that stuff to be there. And then... gulp. The storage unit. Dad's been hinting at me that I need to get that cleaned up anyway, so. GOAL 4: WRITE AND LEARN Duolingo put in a Japanese mod. I'm so freaking stoked. Study on casual 5 minutes a day. Also, need to keep working on the story and writing scenes. One a day. No excuses. GOAL 5: PLAY THIS FREAKING GAEM Okay, so. I got into this game. It's called Cross Code. It's really, really good. Think Seiken Densetsu/Secret of Mana IN SPACE, with a physics engine to boot. Oh, and I don't know if you can tell from the trailer but it's Dark Souls-hard. I'm not kidding. Reviewers have noted the exact same thing. The combat revolves a lot around noticing enemy tells and countering them proper, but that's not easy when you're swarmed with enemies and they all have different tells. But it's a game, and I enjoy it. I want to find some time each week to keep playing it. Even if it's in beta and unfinished right now. It's that good. And... yeah. That about does it for me this time around. Let's go to work.
  3. Kishi

    Kishi Says Empty

    The struggle is real. The struggle is real, and it continues. But what is life without it? So the theme of this challenge is something @Kyellan said, about emptying the cup of oneself that one approaches an art with. During that time, I could feel a lot of ego trying to come up in me, and that's something that's come up in me before, to my detriment. I need to throw that away and be willing to learn, because I'm beginning to think that good movement is good movement and that really the arts are just ways to bridge the various places where one moves. From strike to clash. From clash to clinch. From clinch to throw, and all the permutations thereof. Here's why. Remember when I said last challenge that I was going to change up my lifts and such like that? Try to make more time for martial arts? Well, it worked! After a fashion. Last night I went and practiced my lifts and did the things that I wanted to do. I even added in some plyometrics at the start to warm up the CNS for this kind of work, and it turned out great. It feels perfect, actually. And I finished with so much time to spare that I actually decided to go off and do Kali last night. (turns out it actually is full blown Kali). And it was fun. No real randori to speak of, but as a movement and flow discipline it's a lot of fun. After discussing some theories of movement and such, he put me to work with a drill where I had a stick and a bolo knife (practice knife, of course, not the real thing) and flowing into cuts and control on a staff held to resemble sugar cane. The clack and shing of metal and wood clashing against each other... it was awesome. I was shit at it. BUT IT WAS AWESOME. But the best part about it, to me, was that he wanted to find ways in which Kali could work with kickboxing (which is basically what I do. Kenkojuku-lineage Shotokan, but it's basically kickboxing) and with judo. One of the judo brownbelts practices with this guy and it's apparently made his judo just... sick broken. I actually got to see them practice it. Essentially, it's a very hyper aggressive form of grip fighting. In judo, you fight for grip on the sleeve and lapel of the judogi. When you mix kali into that, your approach is such that you don't necessarily need the lapel anymore. You make a trade instead for an aggressive sleeve grip - wrist and elbow as opposed to elbow and shoulder. If you apply leverage and footwork in the right ways, the result is apparently a kuzushi - unbalancing - that is so radically different from what orthodox judo does that you can execute a throw before the other guy even knows what's going on. As far as kickboxing is concerned, I think it would ultimately work in terms of training the concept of getting off the opponent's center line and staying a step ahead in your timing. Also, in the clash - being ready to punch and kick and apply leverage as opposed to just trying to go and smother on a clinch. Mind, I don't know how well it would translate. He's about being quick and letting a knife do his cutting as opposed to generating lots of force, and we're kind of the polar opposite of that. But I think there's value in it and it's worth trying to find some bridges. Here is how I will attempt to put myself into positions necessitating an empty cup: GOAL 1: MANAGE MY WEEKEND BEDTIMES I thought that if I got more sleep during the week, this would translate into a need for less sleep during the weekend. This has proven wrong. I stayed up late again and slept through judo again. So, that confirms it. I need to get to bed early enough on Friday nights that I don't have the excuse of staying up late. Truthfully, in a lot of ways this could be challenge enough on its own. It's just one day a week, but making this work is going to require a lot. If I lift on Fridays and then do kali afterward, that's going to mean getting a lot of food in a very short period of time. I honestly don't know what approach is going to work here. Batch cooking won't work because the only day I have to do that is Sunday and all the food will basically have expired by the time I get to Friday. Chipotle could work, but it'd be pretty pricey too. Also, it's a lot of sodium, and I'm kind of growing suspicious of it. I could stick some chicken breasts in the microwave after thawing overnight, I guess, which might wind up being the solution to all this. I dunno. Gotta keep playing with this. GOAL 2: MANAGE MY PAIN I have pain in my left elbow, right shoulder, and my lower back. The good news is that they are responding to treatment. The left elbow is finally, finally starting to relax. My right shoulder stopped hurting this week. The lower back is new, but GB came to the rescue by forcing me to confront myself with the fact that I bit off more than I could chew with the SL progressions. Weighted Russian Twists are just too much for me right now, and the prescribed integrated mobility doesn't work for me. Fortunately, I'm not alone in this. I just tried out one of the forum solutions to the problem and my back pain almost completely resolved. I'm... really happy about this. I was afraid I'd have to indulge my ADD again, or worse, be stubborn and try to soldier through it. But yeah, mostly this goal is about emptying my cup of my training ego and to be mindful and listen to my body. To take my time and build well. If that makes any sense. GOAL 3: PLAN This is in reference to my writing. I'm at the point now where I'm writing scenes out, but I'm pretty arrogant about how this kind of thing works for me. I'm used to planning out chapters in fanfic style where you can build this episodic approach into things. It's not exactly how it's done in novels, though. There's a definite aspect of scene to scene to scene, each of them meant to build toward something. It's a different approach, and I need to be willing to try new ways to get there while at the same time acknowledging that it might take a while and that I might need some help. Beyond that, though, I want to plan out at least one scene a day. More is permissible. Less is inexcusable. GOAL 4: CLEAN Taking my time with the cleaning is making it happen, but that doesn't mean it's done. Keep going. ... And, that should do it. Cool. Let's empty our cups that they may be filled again.
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