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ZachPSU

ZachPSU Leaves the Bench in the 4th Quarter

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(Can you tell by the title I'm ready for some semblance of football this year?)

 

Hello,

I joined many years ago, over 4 years ago, and a lot has changed for me since then.  Almost all of it positive, but I'm in a spot now where I think it's time to nail down some fly-aways, and sand off some rough edges.  I've been thinking about goal-setting and journaling to get at some of these points and the public accountability will be helpful here.  For the next week I will track here as this challenge ends, and then I'll settle on a guild to join to move forward with my progress.  I lean toward warriors and rangers, which both seem very popular anyway.

 

I'm going to include a small blurb I wrote in the post I had in Daily Training Logs that I necro'd a few days ago, just as a high-level picture of what I'm doing now, before I post my streamlined goals below.

 

  

On 6/1/2020 at 9:42 AM, ZachPSU said:

Necromancy +1

 

Nothing like necro'ing an over 4 year old thread.  I'm at a new impasse in life, and this seemed like a good place to go.  Main changes from the last post: Got married, have two babies, accepted to and graduated from Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and now studying for boards.  Rather, trying to study for boards.  I was originally to take the boards early in April, just before my baby girl was due in May, but then COVID had other plans and now I am waiting to see if I will make the July wave of boards or if I will have to wait for November.  The lack of a plan and 'aimless' wandering that I'm sure many feel during this uncertain time has left me a little unmotivated, and gaming has crept back into my life.  I fired up EQ2 and while just enjoying it as a free-to-play member, have felt it sucking back into my life and time and being more present on my thoughts.  I haven't played now for about 4 days and just wanted to come somewhere public that has a population that might understand the addictive nature of MMORPGs and be generally accountable.

 

Aside from that, my fitness has continued to improve and my nutrition is up and down.  My basement gym has grown and I'm now pretty much set to do anything I want workout-wise.  My coursework in PT has helped me understand more about stages of recovery and prehab, and I'm taking very good care of my body.  Skipping todays workout because yesterday I dug out about a cubic yard of soil from around some roots in this annoying strip of my yard where I keep tracking mud into my car and house.  Today, I am shoveling 6 cubic yards of topsoil into a wheelbarrow and spreading it at my dads house to level his property and prevent swamp-genesis.  Then tomorrow, a cubic yard of chipped white marble will arrive and I'll shovel that into my new stone pit and other nooks and crannies in my garden.  I really really want to go lift but I know its safest to give my body the rest.  I'll add a picture of the final project sometime.

 

 

For anyone still here, my streamlined goals are below:

My Main Quest: Enhance my mental focus.

Subquests:

1. No MMORPGs! (Day 6 and going strong though occasionally tempted for that little dopamine hit)

2. Limit smartphone time to under 2 hours per day (struggling here)

3. Not get distracted during workouts (Sometimes my rest periods go on excessively between sets if I get distracted by twitter, music, games, shiny things, etc.)  Would like to keep rest periods at a max of 3 minutes.

 

That's it for now, I will struggle most with subgoal number 2, but after reading "Digital Minimalism" by Cal Newport, I am convinced I am a tech junkie in need of some vanquishing of devices.

 

Also, would like to add that this particular main quest for this challenge feels very druid-y, according to the classifications I saw, but my heart lies with rangers or warriors with the physical direction of energy, but I'm a bit more jack of all trades than dedicated strongman or oly lifter, so I lean ranger -- though -- as a physical therapist, I see the light and dark side of Crossfit so there's that.

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Day 2 (officially)

Wins:

  • Yesterday used my phone limited while having chill time with the wife on the couch at the end of the day with the 2 demon-spawns children sleeping.  Still getting caught in phone way too much.  Will see how I do during tomorrows lift with keeping the phone further at bay.
  • Full week with no MMORPG's.  I get the itch, believe me.  "Maybe I'll just load it up and harvest for an hour, or do the daily craft quests for 30 minutes, or get some discovery AA points, etc."  I didn't want to come back here and report logging in under the losses column, so chalk up one for public accountability!

 

Losses:

  • Screentime still ended up "officially" at 5 hours and 20 minutes.  Note: I think Apple's screentime thing is way off in both over estimating and underestimating, so I'm not sure they are a reliable measurement.  Anecdotally I was using my phone pretty often throughout the day to check twitter trends for no apparent reason at all.  
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Very busy day, but lots of small projects done around the homestead.  Workout used a bunch of screentime because it was my only 'me' time so I indulged.  Found some rest breaks exceeding 5 minutes before getting back on track.  Could feel a difference in the mind/body connection when I was doing resisted pullups with 5+ mins of rest between sets vs. doing spider curls for 3 sets withojt leaving thr bench. 

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Saturday was a very lazy day and I was on the phone quite a bit.  Found myself reaching for it and doing a 'pick up' even mid-conversation with the wife.  

 

I did spend some time looking at apps that work to monitor your screen-time more accurately, etc. however, most required location sharing to monitor your screen-usage, which doesn't make sense to me and I generally don't trust 'the man', so I passed on those two leading apps on the app store.  If anyone has an ideas I'd be all ears!

 

Today (Sunday) is the wife's birthday, and I will be doing a bunch of yard work in addition to a visit from the mom-in-law this morning and a short trek to my parents this evening for a grill-out.  I have hopes today will be a low-screen time day just for the sake that I'm busy doing lots of things, and being outside.  I'm always better when I'm outside, maybe I have some adventurer or druid in me afterall.

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Awesome goals! Cutting MMORPGs cold-turkey is impressive. 

I hope your wife's birthday goes well!

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23 hours ago, Mudd said:

Awesome goals! Cutting MMORPGs cold-turkey is impressive. 

I hope your wife's birthday goes well!

 

Thanks!  Her birthday was a good day, and the MMO's still call me pretty strong.  Really felt like giving in today but I'm not. 

 

Just got some good news today that I am finally approved to take my national boards so I can practice (this was supposed to happen in April, then in May, and now finally July, so my studying has been on/off and a very frustrating pace that leads me to wanting to give in and play some games).  I got my official degree in the mail last week which was nice too but its really just an expensive piece of paper that doesn't let me work at all yet.  

 

Mapped out a study plan for the future to the exam day (July 29th) down to the content areas and dates for practice tests.  Only issue is I'm still at home with a very busy 3 year old toddler and newborn (6 weeks old) until the toddler returns to his daycare finally June 22nd.  So, I don't get much study time until June 22nd so it's really going to be a crash course for a month before the exam.  Definitely sounds like a Druid challenge for that period!

 

Other news with current goals, did pretty good with limited screentime yesterday but it's easy when I'm outside working and then have a family function.  My hope is that I won't have time to be bored the next few weeks as I try to grab the spare minutes I have here and there to study old flashcards or small content posters and charts, and I don't reach for the phone.

 

Forgot to add: Day 11 no MMORPG's.  Caught myself thinking about it last night playing with my toddler.  In most games I'm a chronic alt-creator, where I get a fun idea for a new character, play it for a bit, and then get distracted by the next type of character.  They say most MMORPG addictions (not sure if I'm full addicted but if I'm actively trying to stop playing I probably am, lol) are connected directly to some aspect of yourself.  I think I might be a chronic changer, always wanting to learn something new (on my third career and third degree now in my 30s).  I have lots of interests I want to explore outside of working (writing a workout program, blacksmithing replica historical/fantasy weapons).  I need to 'level up my life' and focus on this quest of filling my head with all the wisdom needed to pass my boards, to cap off this long 3 year journey (arduous for myself but also my loving family for limping along with one income)

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Today has been good, a bit of a rest day just shuttling the wife around to some appointments with baby in tow.  Toddler stayed with his grandparents which means he will be all jacked up on little debbie cakes and ice cream here in an hour when I go get him.  Limited screen time today, no itch for MMORPG's, though I did get up obnoxiously early this morning so after watering the garden I played a game of Madden on my PS4.  I'm okay with games that have definitive ends (in theory I could play Madden for 999 seasons I suppose), I'm able to play for 30 minutes, say that was fun, then shut it off and go about life.  They don't stick with me like the MMO's.

 

Really looking forward to the big study plan I mapped out mentioned in previous post, will take some real focus to get through hence the little breaks now.

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Another good day.  Next challenge I think I will do a tracker of sorts like I've seen others do here.  I like spreadsheets and the order they can create.

 

Had a good workout today, didn't get too distracted.  I usually use Youtube for a playlist and sometimes I can get down a rabbit-hole and take an entire song for a rest period.  Today I played a full album link instead -- Offspring "Americana" - I'd forgotten how good that album was!  I remember it was one of my first CD's as a kid and while then I pretty much just burnt a hole into the "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" track, the other sounds were good and fast to keep me moving during and between sets without picking up the phone to see or select a next video/song.

MMO's called to me today again, like "maybe you could just play for 30 minutes", which I reckon is the same thoughts any other addict might have "I'll just go down for one drink, or I'll just smoke one cigg..."  Shut it down and spent some time with the wife and kids outside instead.  It was hot here, unseasonably so, but the extra walk was nice.  

 

I'm already thinking about what types of goals I want to make for my next challenge -- I really like snooping on some of your challenge threads and even if I'm not commenting, I am inspired and encouraged to keep going and join the movement!

 

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Did okay with the phone today, we got out for another walk, and I play this super nerdy text/math browser-based game called "Utopia" with some people and our 'war' just ended so theres a few days of no action with that either.  If I really want to make a stab at erradicating my screentime from the phone, I need to probably stop playing that.  I've been with the group of guys/girls for about 3-4 years now though so it'd be tough, but when that game picks up, it sometimes requires 5-15 minutes per hour of activity (I did have to stop when I was in clinicals depending on the schedule.  When I was inpatient and in acute rotations it worked out okay but an outpatient setting its harder to juggle, and its probably not anything I should be juggling at all).

 

Grilled burgers and dogs tonight, delicious dinner, had one of my dads homebrew beers too -- I don't drink often but it felt like a good time for one.

 

Toddler was super challenging today.  I'm sure all parents go through this but some days I can't tell if I'm helping him become more indepedent and doing things good for his confidence, or if I'm causing irreversible damage that he will talk about in therapy for years to come.  This is confounded by daughter being in the midst of a 6-week growth spurt and cluster feeding at night and nobody sleeping.

 

Still no MMORPG's, the 2 week mark was today so that's a win I can think about while I head off to watch Ironman with the wife on the couch.

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Good goals for the last couple weeks of the challenge! Back when I played a bunch of MMOs I could never have quit them cold turkey, so hats off to you. And I understand the pull too... since quarantine started, I’ve also begun to feel like it would be super comforting to just sit at my desk, enjoy some pretty lights and watch numbers slowly go up.
 

3 hours ago, ZachPSU said:

Grilled burgers and dogs tonight, delicious dinner, had one of my dads homebrew beers too -- I don't drink often but it felt like a good time for one.


I suddenly want to meet your dad, home brewing has been something on the edge of my radar for a long time, though it seems hard to get into.

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My dads been at it for years, has a massive spreadsheet of what he changes with each batch, etc. my advice if you go down that path is to be ready to dump your first batch into your compost, it will probably suck and don't take it personally. 

 

Oh man, the pretty swirling lights, and little dopamine hits with each skill up and level up are so addicting. Unfortunately, a paper doll character on my screen getting better at mining, carpentry, or swordplay, all means I am getting worse at endurance and posture lol

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Today was a good day, outside almost all day with my 3 year old teaching him how to wash the van (aka me getting soaked and lifting him up so he can spray the roof and my head and his own face with the hose). A walk with the whole fam, and a ton of housework. Checking things off as heavily as I can on the household front for the next week before I dive in to the grind of boards studyprep for the final month. 

 

I decided to stop using Twitter today, it is usually an impulsive scroll when I pick up my phone and it is just sad and depressing 75% of the time. I also decided if i am good about not using twitter, and I pass my boards, I might pick up a year subscription to the local paper for a different approach to getting my headlines. 

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13 hours ago, ZachPSU said:

My dads been at it for years, has a massive spreadsheet of what he changes with each batch, etc. my advice if you go down that path is to be ready to dump your first batch into your compost, it will probably suck and don't take it personally. 


Hey, don’t underestimate my willingness to drink poorly-made hooch. :D I’m for sure used to the experiment-gone-awry hazards. I’ve thought rice wine might actually be a better bet for my first alcohol fermentation. There’s no malting or screwing around with wort or extract vs whole grain; you just dump some koji and yeast into a big bag of rice, and let ‘er rip.

 

Still, if your dad is willing to part with that spreadsheet... :D

 

Good to hear your day wasn’t full of minuses on the endurance and posture front. Do you know what you’ll be gunning for next challenge?

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59 minutes ago, PaulG said:

Do you know what you’ll be gunning for next challenge?

 

Someone had set up a challenge for each traditional “character stat”, I plan to do that with my heaviest focus on intelligence — I take my national boards on July 29th after ramping up studying twice for April and again May, both dates being pushed back thanks to the big Rona.   The other goals will be less important, maintenance for strength, maybe a small dietary goal for constitution, try to reduce some left sided crepitus in my knee and shoulder for dexterity, and Im not sure on wisdom and charisma yet but they will come to me.   What about you? Heading to a guild?  I believe I will quest with the Rebels next round. 

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19 minutes ago, ZachPSU said:

 

Someone had set up a challenge for each traditional “character stat”, I plan to do that with my heaviest focus on intelligence — I take my national boards on July 29th after ramping up studying twice for April and again May, both dates being pushed back thanks to the big Rona.   The other goals will be less important, maintenance for strength, maybe a small dietary goal for constitution, try to reduce some left sided crepitus in my knee and shoulder for dexterity, and Im not sure on wisdom and charisma yet but they will come to me.   What about you? Heading to a guild?  I believe I will quest with the Rebels next round. 

 

Good goals. I've been working my way up to pistol squats to deal with my own (light) knee crepitus, I hear you on that.

 

I'm pretty sure I'll be going to the Assassins. My first and main love is parkour. And my goals right now are basically to get back to my base level of strength from 6 years ago, when I was gunning for a slow muscle-up on a bar. Most of my knowledge base up to now is really just diet stuff, bulking, and bodyweight strength training, so the Assassins is probably the place for me.

 

Are you doing anything special for the boards, or is it down to brushing up on what you've been studying since quarantine started?

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