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Harriet

Harriets Year of Energy: Act II

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When I moved country about two months ago, my lifts all stalled and some even dropped. I don't know if there is just variation between plates in different gyms, or if I was suffering from the stress of moving, or a nasty virus thing I picked up. Or if I was just sabotaging myself by swapping around the set and rep schemes too often. 

Regardless, I seem to be making slow but steady progress once again. I have decided on a programme I can live with. I go three times per week and do squats, bench and inverted rows on one day, and OHP, deadlift and DB rows the next. Static hangs on both days for the sake of my grip. I plan to build up from 5 to 8 reps for bench and OHP, 5 to 7 for squats, and 3 to 5 for deadlifts, before increasing the weight. I'm also doing 2 sets of 10 reps at half weight after my three main sets. Hopefully since I'm getting sleep and protein under control I'll start to see the numbers go up regularly again. 

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I'm so late to your challenge!

You're on fire! The Warrior Guild is totally the perfect fit for you :D

 

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Your goals are great! Can't wait to see all your progress this challenge!

 

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On 10/21/2018 at 11:49 AM, Harriet said:

When I run out of reading material, I think I might borrow your theme of women & power in history. It sounds thrilling. Any favourite titles

 

Well, I have read a bio on Elizabeth I of England (don't recall the author -- years ago but loved it--), one of Mary, Queen of Scots (a manual on stupidity in power written by Alison Weir or Antonia Fraser , I think), a historical fiction on Cleopatra (Margaret George, I think), and Robert Massie's Catherine the Great (major favorite). I have also read Catherine's memoirs. Her choice of lovers and the impact that choice had on her attaining and maintaining power--fascinating! 

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I'll be joining on Week 2, I have family over and basically no downtime to do the whole creating a challenge thread, coming up with goals, etc.

A few more days and you should be able to see me over at the Druids  :)

 

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In the meantime...

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16 hours ago, Katerina said:

 

Well, I have read a bio on Elizabeth I of England (don't recall the author -- years ago but loved it--), one of Mary, Queen of Scots (a manual on stupidity in power written by Alison Weir or Antonia Fraser , I think), a historical fiction on Cleopatra (Margaret George, I think), and Robert Massie's Catherine the Great (major favorite). I have also read Catherine's memoirs. Her choice of lovers and the impact that choice had on her attaining and maintaining power--fascinating! 


Groovy, I'll look into all of these characters (in time... after reading my current 9 or so books :D)

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4 hours ago, Nol said:

I'll be joining on Week 2, I have family over and basically no downtime to do the whole creating a challenge thread, coming up with goals, etc.

A few more days and you should be able to see me over at the Druids  :)

 

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In the meantime...

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Awesome, a shorter challenge is still a good challenge. Druids sounds very intriguing and worthwhile. And yes, having family over can be very time and energy consuming. 

PS...I like the cute hat cat and the costumed hammer hottie :D

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On 10/22/2018 at 7:51 PM, scalyfreak said:

 

And leaps.

 

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I think you broke the invisible bounds, all I can see is a jumping cat and four boxes. But maybe the boxes are there for the cat? Cats love boxes, I learned this in science class. 

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Re: hammers. You can always try and check with a junk yard for an old tire. I asked my wife to do that while I'm travelling ask she was able to get a truck tire for free. Get a sledgehammer and start whacking. Also, strongman gyms, CrossFit boxes, and pl gyms will oftentimes have tires.

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:


Awesome, a shorter challenge is still a good challenge. Druids sounds very intriguing and worthwhile. And yes, having family over can be very time and energy consuming. 

PS...I like the cute hat cat and the costumed hammer hottie :D

 

I'm not too worried about the shorter challenge, my in-laws are crazy active so this week is probably more intense than my challenge will be xD

 

And, I thought you would. I do too, hehe!

Isn't hammer hottie a great motivation? :)

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I did the thing! The thing I was scared of! It was terrifying! But now it's over and I'm fine. Wheeee! 

So I've been avoiding doing difficult, scary things for so long... but weightlifting has pried open the gate a fraction so I could get a finger hold on my own life. Sometimes I feel totally freaked out by the deadlift. I stand there waiting for my heart to stop racing so I can start the lift. But sometimes my heart doesn't stop, so I just have to lean over and grasp the bar without feeling ready, or brave. Well, today I did something similar for the non-lifting part of my life. People keep saying to me "Why don't you write a story, you're so good at writing?" And I'm like "Just because I wrote a thesis and edited your article doesn't mean I'm creative, Janet. I don't have a story to tell." But lifting has given me a different way of thinking about achievements; that they come from time and effort and practice rather than being released from divinely inspired geniuses. So I signed up for a short story class even though I was terrified that I would have no ideas, that I would humiliate myself. It wouldn't be humiliating if I missed a lift in the gym; it would just mean I should keep working. If someone rightly criticised my squat technique I wouldn't take it personally, I would correct my technique. So I'm treating writing like lifting. I'm deciding to act like I can get better if I show up and work. So today, I went to the terrifying writing class. I was asked to write a story. I was asked to read it in front of the class. I was not humiliated. I practiced exercising my writing muscle for the first time.  That is all. 

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Big, fat congratulations! That's awesome! :)

 

If I am not pushing too far, what is your story about?

 

Fwiw, while I do not have any real desire at this time to write creatively (At the moment, just having time to watch TV on occasion would be nice--nothing else that requires output, please!), I hear you about the divide between analytical and creative writing. I would love to hear how you progress.

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6 hours ago, Harriet said:

So today, I went to the terrifying writing class. I was asked to write a story. I was asked to read it in front of the class. I was not humiliated. I practiced exercising my writing muscle for the first time.  That is all. 

 

That is huge! Congratulations on facing the Big Scary. :) 

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6 hours ago, Katerina said:

If I am not pushing too far, what is your story about?

 

 

The thing is, the teacher gave us a topic. He told us to write a ghost story. His method is to time us for 5 minutes and we have to write as fast as we can. We're supposed to be able to "outrun our internal editor" that way.  So I had about 10 seconds to think of a mini plot, and 4:50 to write it up. I have no delusions about the quality of my little half-page scribble. I figure it's like my first wobbly bodyweight squat, lol, it doesn't matter if it's crap, it matters that I started.

 

But if you're still interested, I decided that a woman performs a necromantic ritual to raise the spirit of her mother, to ask her why she committed suicide. But the shade doesn't talk, it's just an echo of the real person, so she can't get closure. But she also can't send it back, because it's a comfort to see her mother's face again, and to feel happy remembrance instead of grief and anger. My homework this week is to write up the rest. Obviously, there will be conflict with the husband who has to live in a house with his mother-in-law's shade, and who wants his wife to focus on the future, not the past. And clearly, since magic always takes as much as it gives, I think the woman's real memories of her mother will fade and deform more and more as she lets the shade stay too long in the land of the living. 

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Sounds fantastic! :) And thank you, I was very much interested!

 

The questioning of the spirit reminds me of the game Mysterium which I highly recommend. . . .

 

Good luck on finishing :)

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

But if you're still interested, I decided that a woman performs a necromantic ritual to raise the spirit of her mother, to ask her why she committed suicide. But the shade doesn't talk, it's just an echo of the real person, so she can't get closure. But she also can't send it back, because it's a comfort to see her mother's face again, and to feel happy remembrance instead of grief and anger. My homework this week is to write up the rest. Obviously, there will be conflict with the husband who has to live in a house with his mother-in-law's shade, and who wants his wife to focus on the future, not the past. And clearly, since magic always takes as much as it gives, I think the woman's real memories of her mother will fade and deform more and more as she lets the shade stay too long in the land of the living.

 

Or, to summarize, be careful what you wish for...?

 

That sounds very interesting! Good luck with the writing and all the rewriting. :)

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On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 8:00 PM, Harriet said:


Oh my, hitting things with a hammer sounds so brutal.

...How can I get to try it out? 

 

On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 3:08 PM, Grumble said:

Re: hammers. You can always try and check with a junk yard for an old tire. I asked my wife to do that while I'm travelling ask she was able to get a truck tire for free. Get a sledgehammer and start whacking. Also, strongman gyms, CrossFit boxes, and pl gyms will oftentimes have tires.


Exactly this ^ is what I did. If you have property with a yard, a junkyard tire is cheap to free, and sledge from the hardware store generally isn't over $20. I got a tractor tire from a recycling center and an 8# sledge from Lowe's.

 

No programming or instruction really required, only "cue" is try to work both sides equally (it takes a while to learn how to swing a hammer on your non-dominant side, but it doesn't take a coach or anything, just willingness to have a go)

If you're an apartment dweller or otherwise space restricted, check out the gym options @Grumble mentioned above.
 

13 hours ago, Harriet said:

I did the thing! The thing I was scared of! It was terrifying! But now it's over and I'm fine. Wheeee! 
Well, today I did something similar for the non-lifting part of my life. People keep saying to me "Why don't you write a story, you're so good at writing?" And I'm like "Just because I wrote a thesis and edited your article doesn't mean I'm creative, Janet. I don't have a story to tell." But lifting has given me a different way of thinking about achievements; that they come from time and effort and practice rather than being released from divinely inspired geniuses. So I signed up for a short story class even though I was terrified that I would have no ideas, that I would humiliate myself. It wouldn't be humiliating if I missed a lift in the gym; it would just mean I should keep working. If someone rightly criticised my squat technique I wouldn't take it personally, I would correct my technique. So I'm treating writing like lifting. I'm deciding to act like I can get better if I show up and work. So today, I went to the terrifying writing class. I was asked to write a story. I was asked to read it in front of the class. I was not humiliated. I practiced exercising my writing muscle for the first time.  That is all. 

 

4 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

The thing is, the teacher gave us a topic. He told us to write a ghost story. His method is to time us for 5 minutes and we have to write as fast as we can. We're supposed to be able to "outrun our internal editor" that way.  So I had about 10 seconds to think of a mini plot, and 4:50 to write it up. I have no delusions about the quality of my little half-page scribble. I figure it's like my first wobbly bodyweight squat, lol, it doesn't matter if it's crap, it matters that I started.

 

 

There is so much here, and I am going to try to show a bit of restraint so as not to overwhelm you because you are totally speaking my language now and I tend to get overexcited and type long sentences with no commas (down, Gemma! down!)

 

I am above all (before warrior, before educator, before anything) a writer. I get super super excited whenever I see anyone moving into those beginning phases of "maybe I have stories to tell too" - and your story premise sounds beautifully developed and fascinating. So excited to hear how your short story class experience develops!

And I am in full agreement with your instructor's premise about speed-writing to "outrun the inner editor" - that is more than half of the premise of National Novel Writing Month, which happens on a much larger scale than 5 minutes, but works exactly the same way. The founding principle is "most people who want to write a book someday don't need an idea, or skill, or instruction - they need a deadline." So much great stuff can happen in what we call a "word sprint" - it's a great way to get the ideas out of the brainpan and onto a page! Yay for your instructor! (somebody needs to come disable my exclamation point key!)

(TL:DR summary of my overlong response: )
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4 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Or, to summarize, be careful what you wish for...?

 

That sounds very interesting! Good luck with the writing and all the rewriting. :)

 

Well, yeah :)  I love fables and myths and stuff, where the promise of magic solutions doesn't usually pan out because of human nature. It's like technology. There's the shining promise, which is based on ideal usage, then there's the mixed bag it in fact delivers, based on how we actually use it. 

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5 hours ago, Katerina said:

Sounds fantastic! :) And thank you, I was very much interested!

 

The questioning of the spirit reminds me of the game Mysterium which I highly recommend. . . .

 

Good luck on finishing :)

 

Oooh, a game :D Soon, soon... 

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1 hour ago, Gemma said:

 

There is so much here, and I am going to try to show a bit of restraint so as not to overwhelm you because you are totally speaking my language now and I tend to get overexcited and type long sentences with no commas (down, Gemma! down!)

 

 

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Ha, no, I love talking about this stuff with my online nerds. And I live with, and edit for, a German philosopher. Germans will write thirteen clauses in a sentence, all nested inside each other, then shove a verb half a page later at the end. By this time, you have forgotten how the sentence started. Philosophers have a bad habit of writing verbose but incomprehensible paragraphs--this results from writing about abstract ideas that might not already have simple names--and claim it's the reader's fault if they lost the plot. So long sentence and few commas don't bother me. (Disclaimer, these are affectionate exaggerations for narrative purposes only).

Yeah, nobody wants a deadline, but I can see why many of us need one. Maybe I didn't need instruction, either, but going to a class gives me more than that, it gives me permission to start trying with the resources currently at my disposal. I asked the instructor if I can write a story even if I have no ideas and limited life experience, and he was like YES YOU CAN. 

Love the poppin bunny <3

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This is wonderful!! So happy to read this :)

I hope this class helps you gain confidence and this oh so important feeling of legitimacy. It's your prerogative as a human being to freely express your creativity!

Cat hug!

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On 10/25/2018 at 4:47 PM, Harriet said:

And I live with, and edit for, a German philosopher

 And now you're writing stories?  Aw, you just became my favorite literary character: Jo March :)

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4 hours ago, Katerina said:

 And now you're writing stories?  Aw, you just became my favorite literary character: Jo March :)

 

I quickly googled her, since I never got all the way through Little Women. What struck me is that she apparently feared becoming a woman, which the wiki page interprets as a fear of losing her freedoms and identity. That's a pretty modern theme.

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2 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

I quickly googled her, since I never got all the way through Little Women

Oh, do try again at some point :) Little Women was one of the formative books of my youth precisely because of Jo. Rereading it as an adult, I also tremendously respect Marmee. She's a bit in the background, but she had to be something else to bring up those girls the way she did at that time.

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