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Mike Wazowski

Millennial Mike's Meritorious Melange

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I was jotting out my challenge ideas in a notebook, and most of my goals lend themselves to phrases starting with the letter M, so there's gonna be lots of alliteration in the goals. I'm coming up on the start of the school year, which means both the end of my current (and final) grad school course and the start of teaching twice as many hours per week in dance, so I'm going to center my goals around setting up good habits for the coming busy season of the school year (and wrapping up grad school with a bang, not a whimper like my last course).

 

Scoring is still TBD, I'll probably just track success rates with some goal to hit above a certain %age. I went kinda nuts with life upgrades for Prime day, so probably zero swag for the rest of the year's challenges, but I'll think of some creative rewards that don't involve spending much money.

 

Current Draft Goals:

  • Mindful, Mostly Mediterranean Munching: I'm noticing a bit more tightness than I'd like in my dress shirts, and also noticing that a lot of processed "treats" have started to turn into habitual, mindless consumption (and the scale agrees, I've gotten a wee bit heavier over the past few weeks). So we're gonna be attempting to reverse course there by going mindful in all my consumption (no screens on while eating, just noticing the texture and flavor of the food) and trying to roughly follow a Mediterranean "diet" (lots of plant-based fats, whole grains, legumes, nuts, lean protein, plenty of fruits and veggies), and especially focusing on saving treats for special occasions (or occasional consumption where they still feel special)
  • Morning Mastery: Inspired by some reflecting, there were common threads between periods where I felt focused and happy and periods where I didn't - and two of the big ones were morning exercise and morning prayer
    • Break a sweat every morning shortly after waking up, whether it's a strength session, pilates, or mobility / prehab work; it doesn't need to be long, Pilates this morning only took 15 minutes and got me plenty alert and focused
    • Take time for a few mindful breaths or a short prayer
  • Midday Mainenance:
    • Foot conditioning during the work day, most work days (and ideally some weekends)
    • Mental toughness workout (a la "10 Minute Toughness") at some point during each day - I really found a good head space as an athlete when I was doing this consistently, but just sort of fell off the wagon; time to get that back
  • Mobility Midnight: (hopefully not actually taking place at midnight) I want to get back in the habit of stretching to wind down, nearly every night - especially to help recover from some brutally long dance days. Especially want to focus on massaging / stretching my feet, hip flexors, piriformis, and upper back since they're the most (ab)used in my dance practices
  • Miscellany: Catch all spot for keeping up with grad school and doing some miscellaneous errands, though I won't try to push it too hard on errands and stuff beyond basic life maintenance.

 

Also, I'll be reading through "The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD" and may start experimenting with some of the recommended exercises (or may wait until next challenge).

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22 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

themes? where you're going, you don't need themes!

 

;) 

:D LOVE the back to the future reference!

 

22 hours ago, miss_marissa said:

Themes are the most difficult yet unnecessary part of challenges so no worries ;) 

:D agreed!

 

22 hours ago, SheriffWolfpool said:

I guess maybe cuz I'm a spoiled little brat, I like themes. But that's just me ;). Here to follow, my friend!

 

Wolf

Ehh, might just be that I'm a little boring :P
 

16 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Congrats on almost finishing grad school!

Thanks - I'll save most celebrating until I pass the comprehensive exam at the end - it's got me more than a little nervous, but I'll hopefully be able to study up effectively.

 

4 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Just make sure to still take some time to CHILL, as you say. It sounds like that time is now, compared to once the dancers start up.

Haha thanks! I think I used up all my chilling last challenge, but I'll do my best to carve out time to relax / not push hard (I already took a baby step by making my weekend list of activities and deciding that all errands beyond doing laundry, cleaning, and prepping meals would be purely optional - cause it's got a lot of hours of dance built in!).

 

 

Day 1 of the challenge was pretty solid - did some thinking and came up with some goals (and alliterative ways of stating them). I'll still be taking zero week pretty chill and just experimenting here and there (though I am trying to get back into the habit of daily morning exercise, since it seems to have good effects on my mood and alertness the rest of the day).

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On 7/29/2019 at 2:43 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

Mindful, Mostly Mediterranean Munching

 

While I enjoy all alliteration, this is by far the best one you have in your challenge so far.  A+, I literally loled over it XD

 

On a more serious note I love all your goals! You're going to be so mobile with daily PM and sometimes AM mobility sessions! I definitely need to get back into the foot mobility stuff.

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On 7/29/2019 at 11:43 AM, Mike Wazowski said:

 

  • Mental toughness workout (a la "10 Minute Toughness") at some point during each day - I really found a good head space as an athlete when I was doing this consistently, but just sort of fell off the wagon; time to get that back


What is this? I must know.

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18 hours ago, Raxie said:

While I enjoy all alliteration, this is by far the best one you have in your challenge so far.  A+, I literally loled over it XD

Hahaha thanks! 

 

Quote

On a more serious note I love all your goals! You're going to be so mobile with daily PM and sometimes AM mobility sessions! I definitely need to get back into the foot mobility stuff.

Hehe I think to be honest, my aim is just to maintain mobility and maybe increase it sliiiiightly in my feet. Though I do have some hope that flexibility / mobility start to increase a bit with consistent work.

 

17 hours ago, raptron said:

:D

 

Love it.

:D thanks! 

 

17 hours ago, Harriet said:

What is this? I must know.

Comes from this book - I dunno if it's the best out there, but a friend recommended it to me and I liked that it had some real practical, concrete steps to take with regards to mental preparation as an athlete.

 

2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Most magnificent motif

<3

 

Updates from Week 0, Day 2: 

  • Mindful, Mostly Mediterranean Munching: Success here - I had an extra spoonful of peanut butter at dinner and noticed that I didn't feel good after - useful data point to file away to eat perhaps a bit slower still even when I come home ravenous from dance at like...10:15 pm
  • Morning Mastery: 
    • Pray: Yep - nothing formal, but had a mindful moment or two
    • Sweat: Yep!
  • Midday Mainenance: 
    • Feet: Yep!
    • Mental toughness: Nope, need to experiment with the right timing still
  • Mobility Midnight: Yep - I'm really enjoying the routine of putting on a daily economics podcast and stretching / massaging it all out
  • Miscellany: Did some grad school work, and didn't get the right answer but found out that they dropped the point value for the one question I was missing - so now I had a 96% on the project and decided to call that GOOD. ENOUGH. Also, I signed up for credit freezes / locks, in part based on a public data breach at Capital One (though their official statement claims very few SSN's were compromised)
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3 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:
20 hours ago, Harriet said:

What is this? I must know.

Comes from this book - I dunno if it's the best out there, but a friend recommended it to me and I liked that it had some real practical, concrete steps to take with regards to mental preparation as an athlete.

 

Intriguing!

 

On 7/29/2019 at 8:43 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

Mobility Midnight: (hopefully not actually taking place at midnight) I want to get back in the habit of stretching to wind down, nearly every night - especially to help recover from some brutally long dance days. Especially want to focus on massaging / stretching my feet, hip flexors, piriformis, and upper back since they're the most (ab)used in my dance practices

 

Not easy, especially after a long day. Or you need to find an obliging partner :P

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21 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Hehe I think to be honest, my aim is just to maintain mobility and maybe increase it sliiiiightly in my feet. Though I do have some hope that flexibility / mobility start to increase a bit with consistent work.

 

Fair enough.  My feet have been cramping up a lot lately which is why I'm thinking I need to work on it more.

 

21 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

eat perhaps a bit slower still even when I come home ravenous from dance at like...10:15 pm

 

I feel this in my soul XD Do you mean to tell me I shouldn't be inhaling entire meals in 3 minutes flat around 1030 at night????

 

21 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

so now I had a 96% on the project and decided to call that GOOD. ENOUGH.

 

Uhmmm this is better than good enough! Great job :D

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21 hours ago, @mu said:

Intriguing!

Indeed! Let me know if you end up checking it out - I'm especially curious how the examples in the book land with a non-American reader, since IIRC they were very USA-sports-centric.

 

21 hours ago, @mu said:

Not easy, especially after a long day. Or you need to find an obliging partner :P

:P well, I'm still working on that one!

 

3 hours ago, Raxie said:

Fair enough.  My feet have been cramping up a lot lately which is why I'm thinking I need to work on it more.

Totes - I think I'm near the limit of my feet's flexibility, at least without loooots of dedicated work to get them just a teensy bit more flexible. But that's fine, they're solidly markable for my level when I articulate properly so it's all good.

 

3 hours ago, Raxie said:

I feel this in my soul XD Do you mean to tell me I shouldn't be inhaling entire meals in 3 minutes flat around 1030 at night????

Hahaha glad to know I'm not alone, at least!

 

3 hours ago, Raxie said:

Uhmmm this is better than good enough! Great job :D

:D thanks! It got dropped back down to an 87%, looks like they updated their grading scale. But the lowest project grade gets dropped, so if an 87% stays my lowest, I'm doing way better than just alright for a pass/fail class!

 

Week 0, Day 3: Bit of a rough day, mostly due to self-inflicted issues. I've been home-brewing cold brew coffee, and I think this most recent batch was waaaay stronger than I realized (or caffeine's hitting me after a weekend of catching up on sleep / generally getting adequate amounts each night). I spent most of the work day feeling WIRED in a bad way rather than being able to settle down and just work. I've got two twin mitigation steps planned: 1) brew all future batches for only 24 hours to keep similar flavor but hopefully lower brew strength 2) experiment with even less cold brew in my morning tumbler - 6 oz today was still extra, so maybe as little as 4 oz is enough given sufficient sleep. In the future, I'm also going to experiment with cold-brewing from decaf beans to see if I can get a result I like (currently using cold brew bags from Trader Joe's so sadly can't control the caffeine content directly - but I might have some muslin sachets kicking around that I could load grounds into for cold brewing). Dance teaching after work was still really good - I've had another teacher's class rolled into mine all week for ballroom and it's been fun having a different, larger mix of kiddos to work with. And dance practice afterwards was really good, and dance partner and I had a nice catch up chat afterwards about lots of life stuff. I was exhausted when I got home, I had more sweets than I really intended to over the course of yesterday (though I was relatively mindful while consuming all of them) and as a result I did NOT do my evening mobility yesterday. I also let myself sleep in and not do any morning exercise today, which felt like the wholesome, gentle thing to do for a body that was sore ALL OVER from an intense couple of practices already this week. I did my mental toughness and foot conditioning stuff during the workday and I think both were helpful. Don't think I did any miscellany yesterday either.

 

OH, and I think I've decided on "scoring" for this challenge - it's purely about data collection, I'll collect how many times I did each thing (by week) and how helpful I found it to be as a habit (which is subjective and prone to error, I'll admit - who's to say whether praying in the morning affected my mindset

 

ALSO, I'm adding a goal - to keep my coffee (and total caffeinated beverage) consumption to 4-6 oz of homemade cold brew OR ~10-12 oz of brewed hot coffee (can consume more, but only if it's made with decaf coffee). I've definitely been overconsuming the stimulants and want to cut back. WAY back.

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Week 0, Day 4: Yesterday was definitely a struggle bus all around. Like I mentioned above, even a reduced dose of cold brew felt like toooooo much caffeine - gonna experiment with making some decaf this weekend, because I love the flavor of coffee, but the caffeine is apparently affecting me weirdly - so decaf is gonna be an experiment. I know quitting cold turkey was not successful around Lent 2018, so we're gonna experiment with a gradual decrease in caffeinated consumption (in part because I've felt totally alert every day when I wake up - which is a weird feeling). In addition to work, I had a grad school midterm to take, which was the big thing for the day - it went OK-ish, but felt like a struggle and I'm not suuuper confident in most of my answers. Also had a tough but rewarding phone conversation, which was another bit of nagging, buzzing anxiety in my brain all day that felt good to release. I'm still kinda struggle-busing on motivation to work though, I think a recalibration of sorts may be in order there.

  • Mindful, Mostly Mediterranean Munching: Not super successful here - I definitely succumbed to eating to cope with stress, unfortunately
  • Morning Mastery: 
    • Pray: Kinda sorta, but not really
    • Sweat: Nope! Super wiped and decided to skip
  • Midday Mainenance: 
    • Feet: Nope
    • Mental toughness: Nope
  • Midnight Mobility: Yep - really felt like a good wind down for bed - definitely want to keep this bad boy around as a habit
  • Moderate Molecules: Only had the 6 oz of cold brew, but it still felt like excess caffeine - trying just a half travel mug (~8 oz drip coffee) from Einstein Bros. today
  • Miscellany: Took my grad school midterm - and probably did a lot of procrastinating within that time too
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ha ha feel you on the coffee bit. It's a tough battle. Have you tried chicory? it's an alternative to coffee and it's actually good for your guts. It's not exactly the same taste. But it has worked for me when I had mindless desire for coffee and not necessarily decaff available.

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On 8/2/2019 at 9:52 PM, WhiteGhost said:

Mindfully monitoring, Master Mike :)

:D I have nothing to add to this beautiful alliteration.

 

On 8/4/2019 at 4:24 AM, @mu said:

ha ha feel you on the coffee bit. It's a tough battle. Have you tried chicory? it's an alternative to coffee and it's actually good for your guts. It's not exactly the same taste. But it has worked for me when I had mindless desire for coffee and not necessarily decaff available.

Ooh, I have not - I do have an ample supply of decaf beans at home which have done the trick so far (not necessarily any better on the acidity front, but oh well).

 

On 8/5/2019 at 6:11 AM, Gemma said:

I - don't think that is it. :D 

:D thanks!

 

Weekend wrap up: It happened. I'm kinda wiped - I think upping the intensity of dance stuff plus some of my workouts in the mornings plus a monthly allergy shot plus plus plus a buncha other stuff all caught up to me and left me feeling wrecked by the time Saturday rolled around. So I basically did my pre-committed dance stuff and hermited. I watched Endgame, finally - I cried at many moments, definitely a sign of 1) my low crying threshold and 2) just how emotionally drained I was / am. Also started bingeing "Tales of the City" on Netflix - it's DRAMATIC but SO GOOD (and very heavy on LGBT+ storylines that feel believable to me - apparently their writers' room was either entirely or majority LGBT+ so not surprising). Also, some pizza, lots of ice cream, and some frozen indian food were demolished over the course of two nights. I *clearly* needed a rebound, and food is one of the ways I hit the reset button (it's also entirely possible my body was waaaaay low on calories because both days involved 4+ hours of dancing). I'm concerned about a lightly tweaked ankle, so I'm taking foot conditioning off the table til that gets better, but otherwise it's full speed ahead this week after a brief rebound. And I'll need to monitor my energy / burnout levels closely, since repeat incidents can and do happen for me. On the plus side, I have an amazing dance family - both my partner and the broader group of people at the studio - who really do lift me up when they see I'm not doing so hot. My partner, especially, is a saint.

 

Gonna be an intense work week this week, may not be checking in too much - but I'll be trying to track how I'm doing in my BuJo even if I don't post here daily. Time to buckle up and enjoy the ride! (or something like that)

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Sounds like you needed a good restful weekend, and no shade for crying during Endgame! It was intense and essentially 10 years of living in one film. I mean, think about the stuff that went on in your life during that time span. (Of course, I also cried during the Lion King so.. yeah..I might be a bit more sentimental than I used to be.)

 

Anyways. I hope the ankle feels better soon and that you have a great week! :)

 

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Your weekend sounds really restorative both mentally and physically - glad you were able to get that in and avoid a full blown burn out! I am definitely going to have to check Tales of the City out, I love a good dramatic show.  Also I totally feel you on the potential under eating situation.  I felt like I ate SO MUCH last week like I was just constantly hungry, and then I realized I had upped my dancing to up to 3 hours a day to prep for the comp and then was also still lifting (and added an extra lifting session in too) - food is really hard and confusing sometimes. Hope your ankle heals up quick! Your dance family talk makes me want to go hug all my dance friends now haha.  They really are the best.

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