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It's been a long while since I've had a gif-laden challenge. Or a themed challenge. And everyone can always use more Avatar in their life. And the new year seems a good time to do that. In a way, the limited challenges have been my vague attempts at keeping myself moving forward in some way, while dealing with a whole lot of other crap. There's been a lot of upheaval, a lot of change, a lot of drama, and a whole bunch of RP sitting in the corner rocking back and forth with anxiety. I think a majority of these things are ultimately one-off things (shodan exams, company reorgs, house buying, dojo moves and fundraisers), but also they were a slew of things that I feel prevented me from actually focusing on myself and what I want, rather than being pulled along and put into a form of survival mode (Okay yes, the house thing is all on me, but damned if I underestimated how that process works). And so far in 2020, there are definitely things I'm looking at that aren't my most favorite thing to deal with that I'll have to do, but for the most part I want to take 2020 to refocus on my needs a bit. Within reason. 1) Teaching to Learn - Teach once a week, and train at least four hours After all of the drama that happened a few months ago, I am now covering a Friday night class at my dojo for the foreseeable future. (Cliffnotes version of previous drama: Asked to start covering morning classes and teaching. Then asked to cover a class and told I couldn't teach. When I asked why, got told 3 different reasons for why I couldn't teach and in every case was excluded from any form of communication. Then ignored. Now this.) So the large issue here is.... technically the Friday night class is a weapons class. I have been given permission to *not* have it be a weapons class if I so wish, but my dojo does so few weapons things that I would rather not. Honestly, it's a good chance for me to work on the relation our weapon work has to our unarmed techniques, and is a good study in physiology, using ones center, and extension. But it also means that I need to work on all of those things. So on top of trying to figure out the best ways to relay those things to other people, I really need to solidify things myself on that front. Entertainingly, I taught this same class last week as a last-minute favor. The only 'negative' comment I got from the yukyusha was that he "Did totally stab me" when I was trying to teach something. Hey, I'm learning, was my response. But I should work on not getting stabbed during class. 2) Count All the Calories - Track everything eaten, every day, even if it's a hassle My weight/body fat has spiked pretty high since the car accident/depression/forced shodan exam anxiety that defined Late 2018/Early 2019. I tried to do some things, but nothing really worked that great. I kept kind of waffling on what I allowed and what I didn't. Work has a million snacks, which made stress eating happen a lot more than I would allow over all. And for a while I was pretty much dependent on the food that was ordered on company dime to save money. But that meant I let myself get lax about my eating habits. Stress made me less likely to batch cook anything. And since moving I haven't exactly restocked my kitchen and freezer to have good, quick meals. So I need to start logging things again, and hopefully in a couple months I'll at least comfortably fit in the majority of my clothing again. I'm angling for about 2000 calories a day. No idea where my weight is at, and honestly if I step on a scale I'll get depressed. So I'm avoiding all forms of "pre" measurement here. Yea, not great for trending, but better for my mental health. 3) The Morning is Good - Wake up MWF at 0530. See how plausible it would be to leave the house at 0600 for a workout. So the holiday challenge I got somewhat comfortable with the pre-0600 wake up. I didn't make it to the 0530 time regularly because a lot happened and I needed to prioritize sleep and recovery and sanity over an arbitrary wake up time I set for myself that did not impact when I got to work. But trying to get to that point this time is the goal. I've got a tentative plan that I'll join the gym literally across the street from me early next year, but I want to make sure I'm up and somewhat human before I go drop that cash. I would love if it were a slightly fancier gym, but I can't complain since it's like $15 a month. But anyway, we can see how I fair doing early mornings. At least now I have a coffee pot that will start brewing coffee when I set it, so that's great. 4) All Reading is Good Reading - Read something every morning over coffee I have a goal in 2020 to read 30.... things. I tried to keep some tabs on what I read in 2019, but I lost count, and 30 seems like a good number. I'm leaving it as "things" because I'm totally going to count novellas and graphic novels in this count. Probably not run-of-the-mill comics though, unless its a compilation that covers an entire story arc. But I do want to tone down my morning reddit browsing that's jumped up in the last few months. For the most part I'm not exactly learning anything, and I rarely feel strong enough about my opinion that I consider it worth it to comment on things I do read. So at least I should try and at least read things I feel stronger about and will help me. First book I'll finish in 2020 is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. I'm about halfway through it right now. Nothing particularly earth shattering other than realizing a lot of my reactions make perfect sense, and why I've been feeling so drained at work lately (read: Having to extrovert for things a lot more because a lot is annoying me and not recovering well enough after the fact because crazy 2019). Morning reading should help with the pre-work charging, though. And thus begins my 2020 challenge. We'll see how good I am at maintaining it.
2020 Hindsight Challenge The start of a new decade is just the impetus I need to look back and see how well I’ve been meeting my goals. I’m going back to my first NF challenge and each new year since then. I feel like I’m in much better shape, but let’s see what the evidence really shows. Then: (cut for length) Now: I’ve been doing mostly the same range of things for the last seven years with gradual improvements in my approach and implementation. The major big new thing was becoming the parent of a young adult (Elf). I also started doing zen about the same time, which probably helped me deal with things. Over the last couple years I have spent more time doing knitting and spinning. I completely stopped playing the piano – mostly just due to lack of time. I keep saying that I want to weave, but I have not gotten my loom out in a couple of years. I have a pretty good set of habits for doing aikido, exercise and zen. Most of the time I eat well. I could cut back on desserts, but I’d rather just eat less of other things. The things I struggle to get done haven’t changed. My goals for this year are more for fine tuning and continuous improvement rather than major changes. I want to improve in aikido and zen. I’m always going to want to keep moving up along those paths. I want to include more strength training and cardio in my exercise program because I’m at the age where decline is a real concern. My biggest challenges are dealing with the tedious and unpleasant tasks at home and at work. For this challenge I’m going to keep it simple: Attend the Barbells class at lunchtime T/Th. This hits two goals, maybe three. I get to meet more people at work while doing strength training. Once I get the moves down, there can be a cardio component too. Deal with paperwork at home. I am hosting a big party on January 25th. This time I want to have everything dealt with and filed, not just shoved in a closet for the party. Get through my backlog at work by the end of week one. I have no excuses, I’ve just been avoiding it. Tasks from the task list. Points for getting things done.
Hello and welcome to my battle log, est. 2016! I've been doing challenges for over a year straight and I decided to experiment with an alternative style that gets away from the feeling of being perpetually "on" and one step away from the pointy end of the spear that is the 4WC format while not losing the structure that said 4WC format provides. Kinda strike a balance, like? This will be an ongoing experiment, with some room to adjust. This will be accomplished by a month-to-month formal re-evaluation of goals, without grading per say, and the freedom to change things up at any point with no regrets. All in one place! No need to wonder when my new thread will be up, just stay tuned for the next day's post! Below I will update links to each month's first post so you can see change over time. To round off 2016's activity, I'm posting links to prior challenge activity for the sake of completeness. ...And we're off! Index 2016 Challenges: January, February, March, April 2016: May, June, July, August, Intra-Month Madness, September, October, November, December 2017: January, February, March, April, May, Intra-Month Madness v.2, June, July, August, September, October, November, December 2018: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December 2019: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December 2020: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December Lessons Compendium *~* 5/6/2016 *~* Magnesium deficient is something you don't want to be--supplement You might also be deficient in other vitamins and minerals--supplement with a multivitamin Magnesium is a diuretic Squat foot position should be maintained at hip width, no farther: a wide stance is Trouble for your inner legs *~* 5/21/2016 *~* Ukemi must be executed with one's head tucked There is in fact such thing as too much ukemi, especially when biased to one side of the body TM Fact: If you get to a place on Intensity Day where you struggle to PR, add volume to volume day *~* 8/1/2016 *~* Daily neck stretches keep even small tension headaches away Too much of the wrong kind of foot rolling can lead to TIGHTER feet *~* 8/27/2016 *~* Stress is real and it will harm training momentum. Knee sleeves are good tools in the gym for preventing quad tension. *~* 11/7/2016 *~* 1/wk DL Intensity Day is too intense. 2/month is good. *~* 1/29/2017 *~* When stressed, a massive deload is not necessary. Just hold fast to the same weights and...wait it out. Too much magnesium = diarrhea *~* 7/10/2017 *~* A reminder: sleeping on one's back reduces the risk of headaches and muscle knots. *~* 12/09/2017 *~* Do not stop taking Slo-Mag. Just. Don't. *~* 1/19/2018 *~* Drinking a minimum of 44oz of water helps regulate headaches, even migraines to some extent. *~* 7/18/2018 *~* Hormonal birth control does cause migraines. So does looking down at phone with bad posture all day. *~* 7/30/2018 *~* Dairy and yogurt disagree with my stomach. Vegetables + fermented food are keys to BM balance. *~* 10/1/2018 *~* Fruit disagrees with my stomach. Bananas are fruit. Lacrosse ball rolling helps manage bad posture headaches. *~* circa 4/2019 *~* I need the lunch hour away from my desk to keep headaches down *~* 10/4/2019 *~* Remember how fruit disagrees with my stomach? That goes for ingredients found in preworkout. Gas and bloating.