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Harriet

Harriets Year of Energy: Act II

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I'm doing a Saturday report, since I started tracking on Saturday. 

 

This week I:
Kept the Fortress Tidy: Cleaned 6 out of 7 times
Increased my resistance to Morale Failure: Meditated every day

Increased my Consitution: Did cardio 3 out of 3 times

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bd4c32e4b495a5632

 

Bonus: cycled plenty and felt a little more confident on the bike

Increased my Lore: Read every day

Super Bonus: signed up for and attended terrifying writing class, took first step into dual-classing as warrior-scribe.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bd4c3c8504e75492e
 

Scribed my Adventures: tracked every day, and it's helping!

Continued increasing my constitution with alchemy and rest: I kept pretty well on track with the diet and sleep habits from last challenge. 
I also had a secret quest to stop the embarrassing bad habit of picking at my damned skin in the mirror in the evenings, and I did it. My face is looking pretty good this week as a result.

I stayed off the scales and only took some measurements (waist, stomach, high and low hip) with a tape measure last Saturday and this Saturday. They seem to have gone down 3 cm each, which is hard to believe as I don't have that much to lose. I look the same and it’s probably within the measuring method’s margin of error. I probably just held the tape too tight. My hill walks are going fine. My lifting is going okay. I increased my bench from 65 to 70, my squat from 95 to 100, deadlift from 140 to 145, and my static hangs are going well (longest so far is 40 seconds). My overhead press suffered a bit after I decided to put it after the deadlift. I was just feeling so much nervous anticipation about the deadlifts I thought it would be good to get them out of the way first. Does anyone else feel intimidated by the deadlift, and find it really mentally hard almost every time? It doesn’t help that the plates are sodding octagons and they roll when I put them down. I decided I have to set up from scratch every rep. That way, I get to practice the hard bit—choosing to start—again and again. Maybe I should take an occasional lighter day where it’s just physically hard, not freakout hard, like my other lifts.

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Also, in a gigantic F*** YOU to my inner editor I finished and submitted my first EVAH short story to a website that publishes them (all within four days of starting my class). I know it's unlikely to be very good given that it's my first attempt. But I'm pleased with it anyway. Maybe they'll publish it and I'll get the ultimate prize - $3 (this is literally what they pay per story). Or maybe they won't but it won't matter because I will have written ten more stories by then and I will have reached a glorious level 5 in scribing. 

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In anticipation of tomorrow's quest to foreign lands I have packed my laptop, and the thought of typing up a really long post on my phone is not inspiring. When I have my laptop again tomorrow, I will return and share my stories about the long years I spent terrified of the deadlift. Now it's my favorite lift, and I look forward to deadlift day. :)

 

Meanwhile, I will envy you your defiance of your inner editor. :)

 

 

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54 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

In anticipation of tomorrow's quest to foreign lands I have packed my laptop, and the thought of typing up a really long post on my phone is not inspiring. When I have my laptop again tomorrow, I will return and share my stories about the long years I spent terrified of the deadlift. Now it's my favorite lift, and I look forward to deadlift day. :)

 

Meanwhile, I will envy you your defiance of your inner editor. :)

 

 

 

Yes please, I want to hear all deadlift stories. Happy questing abroad! 

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YAY!! Huge victory!!

160992-Sabrina-Salem-cat-gimme-five-g-7D

 

Also, I was thinking about our conversation last challenge about accepting our bodies and I remembered that there's a super cute character to represent us ;)

WickedWarmErmine-size_restricted.gif

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So, things have been going well in terms of me doing all the stuff. Cleaning, reading, cardio, meditation. I only wish my lifts would go better. Last time I couldn't complete my OHP, this time I couldn't get all my bench presses even though I was only doing 3 x 8 this week instead of 3 x 7 which hard but okay last time. I have slowed down rapidly from when I first started lifting, which I understand is normal, but most people seem to slow down at a much higher level. I've greatly improved my sleep and protein. So it sucks that progress is so slow even at rather low weights. 

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On 10/25/2018 at 2:47 PM, Harriet said:

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

I want to read these sentences.

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

I want to read these sentences.

I don't think that you do. But in case I'm wrong, here is a link to the longest sentence one blogger could find in Immanuel Kant's work. It's 438 words long and I gave up halfway through. Of course, Kant is notorious. But I thought you deserved the best/worst example. Bitteschoen:

http://www.matthiasbrinkmann.de/wordpress/2016/07/what-is-the-longest-sentence-in-kant/

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13 hours ago, Harriet said:

I don't think that you do. But in case I'm wrong, here is a link to the longest sentence one blogger could find in Immanuel Kant's work. It's 438 words long and I gave up halfway through. Of course, Kant is notorious. But I thought you deserved the best/worst example. Bitteschoen:

http://www.matthiasbrinkmann.de/wordpress/2016/07/what-is-the-longest-sentence-in-kant/

Who Am I Where Am I GIF - WhoAmI WhereAmI Drunk GIFs
 
I deserved that.
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15 hours ago, Harriet said:

I don't think that you do. But in case I'm wrong, here is a link to the longest sentence one blogger could find in Immanuel Kant's work. It's 438 words long and I gave up halfway through. Of course, Kant is notorious. But I thought you deserved the best/worst example. Bitteschoen:

http://www.matthiasbrinkmann.de/wordpress/2016/07/what-is-the-longest-sentence-in-kant/

 

For me as a german this sounds like a pretty normal sentence :D

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Ugh. I have a cold, I think. Maybe that explains my sad bench press yesterday. Anyway, I probably won't do a hill walk today as I don't think level 9 cardio (on my subjective exertion scale of 0=lying down to 10=death) is correct cold recovery protocol. And I guess going to the gym would be bad for me and everyone else so I'll stay away for a few days or until I feel better.  I did, however, do a 30 minute walk with a weighted backpack (groceries). And I am writing my second ever short story. It's based on a weird dream I had, and I'm struggling to decide whether it needs a real plot based on narrative logic, or if it needs to be a freaky exploration with dream logic. I'm going to explore both options. 

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 I am sorry that you are under the weather, but your ideas sound like fun! :) The latter reminds me of Neil Gaiman, an author who often makes me laugh in delight at the wtf angle of some of his details. 

 

Hope you feel better soon <3

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On 10/27/2018 at 11:08 PM, Harriet said:

 

Yes please, I want to hear all deadlift stories. Happy questing abroad! 

 

It's not a very unusual one, and can be told in a couple of short and simple sentences, but that's probably all the more reason to share it. So I will embellish it and make it sound really awesome, while I wait for my stress levels to go down to the point I can relax and enjoy the exotic food they serve in the restaurants here in the foreign land of Oregon. :tongue: 

 

Our story starts about fifteen years ago, when Scalyfreak was young and insecure about exercise in general, and weight lifting in particular. So young Scalyfreak sought out gyms where there were personal trainers who could help her learn about exercising to lose weight, because the world had somehow managed to convince her that losing weight was the only valid excuse for a woman to go to the gym.

 

These personal trainers taught Scalyfreak that lifting heavy weights was not the way a female should exercise, since the goal is to slim down and tone up, and lifting light weights for a large number of reps was the proper way to do that. They also taught Scalyfreak a lot about how easy it is to injure yourself if you lift too heavy, and they really emphasized the dangers of barbell squats and dead lifts on an untrained back. And Scalyfreak never questioned any of this, because she had no reason to doubt professionals and experts on weight lifting. 

 

Fast forward the story a couple of years and Scalyfreak has learned to loathe exercise of all kinds, since it never, ever, gives her any results other than sweat and hunger (because we all know it's impossible to lose weight without a severely restrictive diet that puts you at 1500 calories per day), and has decided that this isn't worth it anymore. Screw gyms and weights and diets.

 

And fast forward yet another couple of years and a combination of excessive weight and high blood pressure is forcing Scayfreak to seriously reconsider going back to the gym. This time, the personal trainer is a petite and cheerful young woman, who never uses words like "tone" or "bulk". She talks about how leverage works differently in different types of joints, about how muscle fibers burn fuel and grow back after lifting. And she explains how squats and dead lifts are some of the best compound lifts out there, and begins to teach Scalyfreak how to do them properly. And then she introduced this thing called "barbell" into the workouts.

 

I worked with that trainer for six months because she was awesome. Looking back, the most important thing she taught me was a healthy mentality about exercise and workouts, that eventually led me giving myself full permission to consider the gain or loss of weight as a side-effect of working out, and not the main goal.

 

The second most important, she taught me how to do squats and Romanian dead lifts. The latter gave me enough confidence to teach myself a regular dead lift, with a little help from a few good YouTube channels. :) 

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2 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Our story starts about fifteen years ago


It's a beautiful love story about a girl and a piece of iron <3

Did you ever get to a weight where the deadlift felt really hard and awful nearly every workout? That's where I've been at recently, at close to bodyweight. I'm working on my grip, but there seems to be a psychological element to it as well. 

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31 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Did you ever get to a weight where the deadlift felt really hard and awful nearly every workout?

 

Not yet. I've been at that point with squats almost half a dozen times since February though.

 

For context, February is when I injured one of my knees while in mid-squat. This has caused some serious mental blocks for me when it comes to squats, because the injury freaked me the hell out. I try to tackle them by wearing knee braces to the gym, and by progressing slowly with increases in weights. When it becomes too much, mentally or physically, I lower the weight by 10-15% and increase the number of reps instead. I try to remember that progressing in a way that works for me is far more important than progressing swiftly or steadily.

 

For grip improvement, have you tried farmer walks? They really challenge grip strength.

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10 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Not yet. I've been at that point with squats almost half a dozen times since February though.

 

For context, February is when I injured one of my knees while in mid-squat. This has caused some serious mental blocks for me when it comes to squats, because the injury freaked me the hell out. I try to tackle them by wearing knee braces to the gym, and by progressing slowly with increases in weights. When it becomes too much, mentally or physically, I lower the weight by 10-15% and increase the number of reps instead. I try to remember that progressing in a way that works for me is far more important than progressing swiftly or steadily.

 

For grip improvement, have you tried farmer walks? They really challenge grip strength.

 

I've been doing dead hangs for grip. I understand the inverted rows and dumbbell rows could help a little, too. Will farmer walks make my obliques big, or is that google nonsense? 


Hmmm. I've been trying to figure out why my lifts are apparently so much smaller than other women who have been training for the same length of time (9 months). I hit a 67.5kg (149 pounds) deadlift in June after 5 months, but when I moved to the USA, the weights just felt about ten pounds heavier in my new gym. It's taken me a couple of months just to work up from 135 pounds to 145 pounds. I'm wondering if I'm increasing the weight too slowly (once every three or four deadlift workouts) because I was scared by some bad workouts and failed lifts. Or if my programme is bad and I need more accessories. Or more food. Or if I'm just extremely weak from 20 years of sedentariness and depression. Sigh. I don't really know what strategy to take. I might post something in the programming section because I need some path forward. 

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11 hours ago, Harriet said:

I've been doing dead hangs for grip. I understand the inverted rows and dumbbell rows could help a little, too. Will farmer walks make my obliques big, or is that google nonsense? 

 

Farmers walks are excellent for grip, and no, you won't get enormous obliques from them, just good engagement that will help your core strength and stability :) 

 

11 hours ago, Harriet said:

I'm wondering if I'm increasing the weight too slowly (once every three or four deadlift workouts) because I was scared by some bad workouts and failed lifts.Or if my programme is bad and I need more accessories. Or more food. Or if I'm just extremely weak from 20 years of sedentariness and depression. Sigh. I don't really know what strategy to take. I might post something in the programming section because I need some path forward. 

 

Tanking a lift because of a mental block usually amounts to not being confident in form, resulting in fear of injury. If you haven't had a form check recently, I would give that a go to start - you can get feedback on your position, and what may or may not be firing off properly - giving you a better road map towards the best and most efficient accessories for your needs. We have a thread here for form checks, and of course having a look at your program would be helpful as well! We all go through these periods for sure, it's not all cake. But it's getting through those tough barriers, mental and physical, that make us strong. May the gains be with you!

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6 minutes ago, RedStone said:

 

Farmers walks are excellent for grip, and no, you won't get enormous obliques from them, just good engagement that will help your core strength and stability :) 

 

 

Tanking a lift because of a mental block usually amounts to not being confident in form, resulting in fear of injury. If you haven't had a form check recently, I would give that a go to start - you can get feedback on your position, and what may or may not be firing off properly - giving you a better road map towards the best and most efficient accessories for your needs. We have a thread here for form checks, and of course having a look at your program would be helpful as well! We all go through these periods for sure, it's not all cake. But it's getting through those tough barriers, mental and physical, that make us strong. May the gains be with you!


Thank you <3 


It's against the rules to film anything in the gym, but what I might do instead is pay for a few sessions with a coach who has powerlifting experience. I've been wanting to do that at some point. 

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Just now, Harriet said:


Thank you <3 


It's against the rules to film anything in the gym, but what I might do instead is pay for a few sessions with a coach who has powerlifting experience. I've been wanting to do that at some point. 

 

That is 100% ideal! If that is something you have access to, 12/10 would recommend!!

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Ugh, I have a bad cold, so I missed some cardio, some cleaning, and one lifting session this week. But I have been reading or writing every day, and haven't missed out on any meditation. I also asked for suggestions in the programming forum as to why my lifts are still so weak after 9 months. I think It's possible that I have been too conservative about adding weights because failed lifts freak me out a lot. So as soon as I get rid of this cold I will try increasing the weights more often instead of just increasing reps three or four times. It is going to be mentally hard because I tend to think a failed lift means that something has gone wrong. I also find it hard to believe myself capable of lifting more. Maybe that's something I can add to the meditations, which sometimes have a theme. I just hope that this way will be quicker, even including the failed lifts, than increasing less often. Also, I'm trusting that it won't wear me down and cause even more plateaus and set-backs.

Here is a munchkin cat mage casting a steam spell. Burn your enemies with water, cat mage. 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bddd22f4b73694b49

And here is a munchkin catsassin beating a retreat from a window ledge with a trap it doesn't have the skill to disarm. Discretion is the better part of valour, catsassin. 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bddd2495862523641

 

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22 hours ago, RedStone said:

 

Farmers walks are excellent for grip, and no, you won't get enormous obliques from them, just good engagement that will help your core strength and stability :) 

 

This is more or less exactly what I was going to say. :) 

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5 hours ago, RedStone said:

I've been watching a bazillion videos of red pandas and it's all your fault :P

 

giphy.gif

 

(I like when they roll)


Yes, I will take the blame. I like it when they put their hands up :)

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