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The Book of Five Rings - Book 3 - Ka


Kishi

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(sidebar: asked Google for the kanji for "ka" and it lead off with the hiragana and katakana readings of "ka" instead, which is totally not the same thing).

 

A couple days late, but mostly because I've been thinking about the challenge a lot and trying to figure out how to get what I want out of it.

 

This is also why you want to read source documents instead of summaries if/when you can. The summary of the Fire book as presented on Wikipedia plays up the squad-based tactics of Musashi and also was clearly written by people who've never actually had to fight anyone in their lives.

 

If Earth is about your basics and Water is about specific technique and flexibility in getting after a goal, Fire's about position and movement. Specifically, how to move in such a way as to advantage oneself and to disadvantage the opponent. Musashi's whole thing in this chapter is about the different ways you have to put yourself in the right spot to put a hurting on someone and to make sure that you're in the right spot and they aren't.

 

So, really, this challenge is about movement. Not just movement but also movement as in progression. If you're fighting in a space, and you start with an even share to your opponent's, then all things being equal you want to control that space. You want to press your opponent so that they constantly have less room and without a means of escape, because less room means less options means more control.

 

I have some movement stuff to get back on. For those of you who are just tuning in, I hurt my shoulder a while ago and I've been engaged in PT to get it fixed. It's doing a lot better, between the pain killers and the exercises I've been given, but in being preoccupied with it, I've let some habits slide that I wish I hadn't. Also, it's been pressing on me lately just how little space I have. I need to get some shit cleaned up and out, and this is as good a way to do it as any.

 

So let's break this down into something concrete:

 

1) Training - GMB and S&S have kind of merged one into the other for me. Like I said last go round, realistically this is what my training will look like going forward once things have calmed down and the gyms open back up again. This can be done daily, so daily it will be.

 

2) Cleaning - I've got in the habit of keeping my kitchen sink as empty as I can. It's been a good habit, so far as I can tell. It feels good to step into that little space and have little to do. I want to spread that out some. I want this to take two parts - one will be to vacuum a few days a week, and the other will be actually clean my kitchen somewhat - not just emptying the sink, but also scrubbing down the counters and the oven top where the ranges are too. Because my floors and my kitchen are where I spend most of my time. :)

 

3) Shadowboxing - I let this lapse some. I want to take it back, and I want to get more out of it than last time. I've heard that in the best case, one should strive to shadowbox 30 minutes a day. It doesn't have to be all at once, so knowing me it won't be. Probably just 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there over the course of the day. And not just boxing, of course, but also tandoku renshu, solo drilling for my judo/BJJ. This might wind up with all of them bleeding together, and if that happens, that's really ok.

 

4) Writing - bump it to 2 pages a day. I've stumbled on this before but if I'm frank about it and I don't really have any other way to go. TBH, though, it's not that hard with a plan in place.

 

You might notice I don't have a Chess goal in place. Chess is still happening very much, but basically I don't know how to grade my progress because the standard I'm being graded against is kind of arbitrary and subject to change. That being the case, I figure it's better to just show up for a few games a day. Right now I'm playing the computer at the 500 level and I've been able to beat it consistently. Now it's teaching me that it's not always bad to lose pieces, and I'm pleased to note that the mistakes and training it recommends are typically based in things I haven't seen yet in terms of my lessons. So that's cool.

 

Um, let's see. I'm thinking about getting into qigong, and specifically Iron Shirt, because I miss the body conditioning. There's a fighting monk who expatriated to the UK and he looks pretty legit (his fighting isn't special, but he's a tough old guy and if I'm gonna larp at being a badass, he's probably not a bad one to follow). I'm probably gonna get into this stuff at some point down the road, but I still need to get some logistical stuff figured out first, especially seeing as it's a shit-ton of time devoted to practice. OTOH, what else have I these days?

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6 minutes ago, Kishi said:

sidebar: asked Google for the kanji for "ka"

Danger, Will Robinson!

 

鹿

等々.....  

 

Following for all the Ka (and Hi) :)

 

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Once again I'm reminded I really need to reread Book of the Five Rings....

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Man, I need to get my books out of storage.  I've been reading on kindle, and it's just not the same.  Now I'm wanting to re-read the Book of Five Rings, too...

 

In the interim, I'm enjoying "Through Dragonfly Eyes" a new and heavily annotated translation of Yagu, Munenori's "Death Dealing Sword" by a current student of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Jack Hathway.  I just have recently started to think I need it on paper. 

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Ka is a wheel.

 

No, wait, wrong book. Sorry. :D 

 

Cleaning is a good goal. Something I've been working on myself... trying to unfuck my space. I keep running into things that I genuinely don't know what to do with... like, what do I do with the 3rd place trophy and car from the 1995 Pinewood Derby, one of the last good memories of my deceased father? And that stops me in my tracks, and then nothing happens, and...

 

Bleh. I don't know how to let things go, and it's definitely a problem.

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On 6/23/2020 at 4:06 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Danger, Will Robinson!

 

鹿

等々.....  

 

Following for all the Ka (and Hi) :)

 

 

Oh Lord and you probably read them all in different tones too. :D

 

(also, hi! Thanks for stopping by! I really need to make a habit of getting around to you and @Sloth the Enduring's challenges, because y'all are awesome).

 

On 6/23/2020 at 10:59 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Following!

 

Thank you!

 

On 6/23/2020 at 3:17 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

Once again I'm reminded I really need to reread Book of the Five Rings....

 

On 6/24/2020 at 1:22 AM, ChrisWithaStick said:

Man, I need to get my books out of storage.  I've been reading on kindle, and it's just not the same.  Now I'm wanting to re-read the Book of Five Rings, too...

 

It's a short read! Especially if you're not getting one of those bastardized business school copies. Musashi really doesn't waste any time.

 

On 6/24/2020 at 1:22 AM, ChrisWithaStick said:

In the interim, I'm enjoying "Through Dragonfly Eyes" a new and heavily annotated translation of Yagu, Munenori's "Death Dealing Sword" by a current student of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Jack Hathway.  I just have recently started to think I need it on paper.

 

Ooh, that sounds heavy. But what references I can find make it sound interesting, lots of psychology and such. I hope you like it.

 

On 6/24/2020 at 8:59 AM, Kyellan said:

Ka is a wheel.

 

No, wait, wrong book. Sorry. :D 

 

YOU

 

WHEN ARE WE GETTING OUR NEXT BOOK, MISTER?

 

On 6/24/2020 at 8:59 AM, Kyellan said:

Cleaning is a good goal. Something I've been working on myself... trying to unfuck my space. I keep running into things that I genuinely don't know what to do with... like, what do I do with the 3rd place trophy and car from the 1995 Pinewood Derby, one of the last good memories of my deceased father? And that stops me in my tracks, and then nothing happens, and...

 

Bleh. I don't know how to let things go, and it's definitely a problem.

 

Man, I can relate to that. I've got some things like that too. There's an old teddy bear that I carry with me everywhere I go. I don't sleep with him - haven't in a long time - but I've carried him with me because some part of me always thought I was gonna get married and make a family of my own, and I wanted to have him to pass down. He was my dear friend when I was a kid because when I was growing up I was a sickling, and it took a long time to figure out what was wrong with me and get it fixed.

 

Anyway, I don't really think that's in the cards for me anymore, and I know he'd do good if I gave him to charity but... I just can't bring myself to let him go. It causes my eyes to prick when I think about it. Not just because I'd be giving up my friend but because it feels like I'd be giving up on something that I kind of secretly hope will happen somehow. Something I want though I should really know better.

 

*

 

Yee, two days. Um. Okay. So, Tuesday, Wednesday, today was Thursday, so...

 

1.) 3/3

 

2.) 2/3

 

3.) 2/3

 

4.) 1/3

 

Blasted writing goal is always the tricky one to catch up. Bleagh.

 

Past few days have actually been relatively chaotic. Tuesday was smooth, Wednesday was social. For those of you who haven't been keeping up at home, I have a friend who is a traveling nurse. I've taken to calling her based on the initials of the state she's last been in. So she was the ME friend, and most recently she's been the CA friend. She wound up at a San Jose hospital and also at one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak here in the States. She wound up working way over her pay grade and she's just got back to NC in the past few days after a stopover in CO to destress. She wanted to see me, and I wanted to see her, so we got together at what I figure is the best coffeehouse in her town and just shot the breeze for a while. Wednesday was also a night for getting together with my sci-fi friends; we're almost done w/ S2 of Westworld. It's not as strong as S1 because it's not as tightly plotted, but it's well-acted, the characters are interesting, the musical retreads are awesome. Still enjoying it.

 

So Wednesday being so crunched for time, I didn't really work, so I've been spending today working extra to make up for it, and that means working really late because I do my PT on Thursdays and that takes time. OTOH, like @Tanktimus the Encourager predicted, they love me there. We speak each other's language, and we get along really well. Like not just my PT but then also everyone else apparently knows me by name there too.

 

I could have done better on some of this as well, I think, if I'd not permitted myself the distraction of Netflix. I've been going on some binges again because I figured out some issues that my computer was having streaming from there and as a result, I'm able to actually watch things on my computer now. I've luxuriated in that for long enough, probably, but even so. It was nice.

 

Anyway, could have done better, could have done worse. Thus is it always.

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Day 5, reporting to day 4:

 

1.) 4/4

 

2.) 2/4

 

3.) 3/4

 

4.) 1/4

 

Another day down. and again some work chaos getting in the way, mostly stuff I'm having to work around. Training happened, cleaning did not (mostly due to some last minute work schedule changes and errands needing to be run, and also me permitting myself the luxury of distraction again). Shadowboxing's coming back into being a nervous tic which is good. Writing's been stymied because I stepped off the plan for a bit and wound up in a place where I can get... not necessarily back on the plan but get to the same place the plan wanted me to get to? If that makes any sense? Another part of me is kind of wanting to go back and flesh things out more, because I feel like that could be done somewhat? Somehow? Prose feels like it's crossed a line from lean to spare and it feels like it needs to fill out some.

 

It probably doesn't help that I'd been writing this last thing before going to bed so I've been doing the minimum to move things along and keep the story rolling and stay true to my standards. My work deserves better than that. So probably what that means is that I need to adjust my schedule bigly, so I can disengage and relax at night as opposed to running myself into the ground.

 

And what that probably means is going over the prose up to now and doing some filling out while I'm really awake. :P

 

Anyway. Hit up work today to make up some hours I missed during the week. Gonna have to burn some leave, which isn't exciting but is necessary. Plenty of time left in the day to get done the things I want to, so. Best be about it.

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On 6/26/2020 at 3:26 AM, Kishi said:

 

YOU

 

WHEN ARE WE GETTING OUR NEXT BOOK, MISTER?

 

 

Ha. So, the answer to that is: I picked it back up earlier this year and FINALLY figured out what happened. In the process of writing those books, I went through the late-20s brain shift and came out the other side with, uh, very different ideas on what I like to read and write. I literally outgrew the worldview and everything that spawned them WHILE I was writing them, and I didn't figure it out until I was most of the way through book 4.

 

I genuinely don't know if I'll ever put the last 10k words on it and release it. There's a major tonal shift from when I picked it up back in March because I have changed so much, mentally, in the meantime. My creativity has been enslaved to that damn project for 4 years,  and I've finally broken free after figuring out what the hell went wrong. 

 

If ya want, I'll send you the manuscript and summarize the ending for you, so at least you're not left hangin'. 😃

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2 hours ago, Kyellan said:

 

Ha. So, the answer to that is: I picked it back up earlier this year and FINALLY figured out what happened. In the process of writing those books, I went through the late-20s brain shift and came out the other side with, uh, very different ideas on what I like to read and write. I literally outgrew the worldview and everything that spawned them WHILE I was writing them, and I didn't figure it out until I was most of the way through book 4.

 

I genuinely don't know if I'll ever put the last 10k words on it and release it. There's a major tonal shift from when I picked it up back in March because I have changed so much, mentally, in the meantime. My creativity has been enslaved to that damn project for 4 years,  and I've finally broken free after figuring out what the hell went wrong. 

 

If ya want, I'll send you the manuscript and summarize the ending for you, so at least you're not left hangin'. 😃

 

Actually, I can respect that. I didn't know that the brain shift thing was going to happen my own self and looking back over what I'd written in those days, I... don't know what I'd go back to do that stuff either.

 

I was under the impression that finishing the project was something you wanted to do, but having outgrown some of my own stuff, I'm pretty sympathetic. You don't owe me or nobody nothing. :) That said, if/when you start another project, keep us posted!

 

*

 

Okay, uh, day 6? Yeah. It's day 6. Okay.

 

1.) 5/5

 

2.) 3/5

 

3.) 3/5

 

4.) 2/5

 

Yesterday wound up being a pretty productive day, all things considered. Hit my 24th session of S&S yesterday, so only 4 more until I get to add weight. The fact that I'm excited to do so is a good sign.

 

Cleaning yesterday worked out to me sweeping off my deck. I had really let it go and there was just a ton of detritus for me to work through. It didn't take long but it'll help as far as keeping my carpets clean. I don't really do anything to make my floors dirty but tracking stuff in is just not something I can help.

 

No shadow work yesterday because it's a nervous tic and I have to be nervous. I wasn't yesterday. :D

 

Writing did happen, and I'm pleased to report that, in a more wakeful state, I did in fact find some places even from the very beginning where I could fill in more and where it felt right to fill in more. Good.

 

Anyway, it's kind of late today but there's still plenty of time if I use it well. I reckon I'll probably go for a walk, hit up the grocery, and just be chill and easy with myself.

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17 hours ago, Kyellan said:

Ha. So, the answer to that is: I picked it back up earlier this year and FINALLY figured out what happened. In the process of writing those books, I went through the late-20s brain shift and came out the other side with, uh, very different ideas on what I like to read and write. I literally outgrew the worldview and everything that spawned them WHILE I was writing them, and I didn't figure it out until I was most of the way through book 4.

 

I genuinely don't know if I'll ever put the last 10k words on it and release it. There's a major tonal shift from when I picked it up back in March because I have changed so much, mentally, in the meantime. My creativity has been enslaved to that damn project for 4 years,  and I've finally broken free after figuring out what the hell went wrong. 

 

If ya want, I'll send you the manuscript and summarize the ending for you, so at least you're not left hangin'. 😃

14 hours ago, Kishi said:

Actually, I can respect that. I didn't know that the brain shift thing was going to happen my own self and looking back over what I'd written in those days, I... don't know what I'd go back to do that stuff either.

 

I was under the impression that finishing the project was something you wanted to do, but having outgrown some of my own stuff, I'm pretty sympathetic. You don't owe me or nobody nothing. :) That said, if/when you start another project, keep us posted!

 

You writer types are all so weird.

 

 

....says the guy with a short story beginning, ending, and absolutely no middle that's been bouncing around his head for several weeks.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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17 hours ago, RisenPhoenix said:

 

You writer types are all so weird.

 

 

....says the guy with a short story beginning, ending, and absolutely no middle that's been bouncing around his head for several weeks.

 

Well, then! You know what you have to do. :)

 

*

 

Day 7, reporting to... day 7!?

 

1.) 7/7

 

2.) 4/7

 

3.) 4/7

 

4.) 3.5/7

 

Short version of the past couple days is that I figured out some stuff in terms of what I was doing and what to do going forward. Training was a constant, cleaning and shadow work weren't, and writing is catching up. Really, all this stuff is. The cleaning is proving to be a bit more difficult than I thought it'd be because it turns out that I track into my place from the deck, so when I swept it, I stopped tracking things in, and now a regularly scheduled chore isn't quite as necessary as it seemed. I suppose I could make regular sweeping a part of the rotation of chores... hm. Food for thought.

 

Shadow work is coming along. Doing it in blocks of five minutes is actually interesting because I find myself riffing on a bunch of stuff based around a theme over the course of that five minutes. Specifically mixing my striking and grappling together, so that I enter into a throw behind some strikes and it turns out there's a lot of video on this concept. This will be something to play with; I'm sure it'll make some of my more purist coaches cry a little, but not near as much as my grand master plan to start studying Iron Shirt. :D :D :D

 

Writing is happening after the stutter at the start of the challenge. Like I said, a lot of things hit at once and I was already a little off my plan to begin with, which kind of had me thoughtful in a good way. It was a worthy detour. Having gone back, I realized I could add more to set the scene and get some extras on the stage, and even in the few pages I've done the opening scene feels more vivid to me, which is what I was hoping for.

 

So, all's well. I swung the bell today and went for a walk and did my PT and everything's feeling pretty good. I weighed myself on Sunday and got some good news. There's been a bit of drama there in the past month or so as I was started on clinical-grade anti-inflammatory medicine at the beginning of the month and put on about a pound a day for the next two weeks after. Fortunately, I was able to control it with a minor cut in calories; I've dropped now to about 2000 a day or so, generally erring on the high side and that seems to have brought everything under control. The weight fell off and I'm right back where I was. For transparency's sake, I'm not meaning to go on cut. I'm trying to recompose, as a bulk-cut cycle isn't all that useful for what I'm trying to do with myself these days. The idea is to have my weight stay the same and my body fat percentage to go down, with again only the smallest possible adjustment every couple weeks.

 

And beyond that... yeah. Everything is as it should be. Just gotta make it happen over and again for the next month or so and... we'll see where I wind up.

 

ETA: only got 1 page before bedtime rolled around, so half credit on writing. Oh well. I don't mind being generous to myself and taking that half point back and then some in the coming days. It'd be on brand for me after all. :)

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Day 9, reporting day 8. Out of step again, just like I like it. :D

 

1.) 8/8

 

2.) 5/8

 

3.) 5/8

 

4.) 4/8

 

Not much to write about yesterday that the numbers aren't telling already. I did my training and my chores and my shadowboxing. Shadow work is notable in that I'm trying to engage in visualization, as I'm trying to figure out how to realistically work standing throws into the striking work. I've had good success with that before, actually; I've gone to fight nights when that was my practice and just did takedown after takedown without any real trouble. Dunno how much of it was skill and how much of it was me priming myself to look for and take opportunities when presented. But you can't execute skill without trying, and a sensitivity/receptivity to those opportunities is something that can be cultivated and practiced, which makes it a skill in itself. I think.

 

Cleaning happened like I needed it to. Writing not so much - showed up and did some, but not as much as I'm trying to, hence the half point. Probably need to change things up on that, and I get a feeling that the thing I'll have to change is getting it done earlier. Not sure what that looks like yet, and to be clear, it might not look like anything. Like y'all've seen, I'm happy to take credit back by making up lost time, and writing might just wind up being one of those things, as if I wind up getting back with the CA friend to do writing every odd Sunday or so, I'mma credit myself those pages. But OTOH, that means tying my productivity to an external factor when external factors are already pretty sizable in terms of impact anyway. That doesn't seem particularly wise or productive, but if that's where I am, then that's where I am.

 

I dunno, man.

 

Today's gonna be a short work day on account of internal maintenance stuff. Need some fancy food stuffs, so might just walk out to Whole Foods to do that as opposed to driving. Need to figure out if I just need dried/shelf stable stuff or if I need cold stuff too, because if so then it's too long to walk, especially since the heat's finally come for us.

 

Otherwise, today is today, and that's enough for me.

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Whoops, let a couple days go by there. Better catch it up. Let's see. Day 11, up through day 10

 

1.) 9/10

 

2.) 7/10

 

3.) 6/10

 

4.) 4.5/10

 

For those of you keeping track of the numbers this time, as you can see, yup. I finally missed a day. There's a reason for that.

 

Wednesday was a normal training day, really. No sci-fi night as the host-friend's wife went down to FL to help her folks with some stuff and was down there when the COVID spiked; they figured it was better to quarantine than have people over and we respected that. Also, host-friend had wanted to date night w/ his wife anyway, and we respected that as well. The long walk I mentioned on Wednesday happened, and it was long, but it was good. Like I've said before, I live in a pretty part of town, and taking the long walk gave me the chance to get exposed to a bunch of places and scenery that I'd been wanting to see and explore anyway. It was cool, and I was glad to do it. Shadowboxed, wrote, cleaned up a bit and that was that.

 

Thursday I got out and did PT. PT's been getting progressively harder but in a good way; they've had me to do a lot of stuff that frankly I wouldn't have expected. They started me off with the stereotypical banded stuff way back in the beginning, but by now they had me doing things like one-armed planks and tilting games on a bosu ball. This past Thursday was my last official appointment and they decided to go for broke and have me do push ups and rows on a suspension trainer. Which I did, and I'm pleased to say that my shoulder handled it like a champ, especially as my prescription finally ran out a couple days ago and I decided not to re-up on it. (I might again if the doc says to do so at our next appointment, but I don't want to get in the habit of leaning on that stuff more than I have to).

 

I asked the PTs afterward if this was stuff I should do going forward and they said that yes, I should. And I found myself with a bit of a quandary as it sounds now like dedicated strength work is actually necessary for me as opposed to just movement practice. I spent the rest of the day doing research and decided finally to pull the trigger and invest in the calisthenics programs of Calisthenic Movement. If you've done any kind of search for push ups on YouTube, their shit's come up; my reasons for investing in them are twofold: 1) they approach strength, mobility, and feats specifically from a physical therapy background, and 2) they place particular emphasis on shoulder health.

 

I picked up/signed up for their strength and mobility programs and I will keep these going in addition to S&S. Nothing against GMB but the reason I'm giving them the axe is that a lot of the movement that they push for to practice is stuff I can do in BJJ shadowboxing at this point, and while their quadrupedal work is awesome, it's a little overapplied for my situation at the moment I think.

 

Anyway, I spent a lot of time digging into CM's stuff, with the idea being to start on Monday per their guidelines. No shadow work or writing for no good reason, but did do some cleaning.

 

Today will be S&S, cleaning, shadow work, and I mean to start making up some ground on my writing as well. We'll see how it all shakes out.

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On 6/26/2020 at 2:26 AM, Kishi said:

Man, I can relate to that. I've got some things like that too. There's an old teddy bear that I carry with me everywhere I go. I don't sleep with him - haven't in a long time - but I've carried him with me because some part of me always thought I was gonna get married and make a family of my own, and I wanted to have him to pass down. He was my dear friend when I was a kid because when I was growing up I was a sickling, and it took a long time to figure out what was wrong with me and get it fixed.

 

Anyway, I don't really think that's in the cards for me anymore, and I know he'd do good if I gave him to charity but... I just can't bring myself to let him go. It causes my eyes to prick when I think about it. Not just because I'd be giving up my friend but because it feels like I'd be giving up on something that I kind of secretly hope will happen somehow. Something I want though I should really know better.

 

Don't be so quick to give up on that dream. One of my coworkers was in his early 40s when his kids were born. This is the same one that does triathalons. Just because you haven't found a partner yet does not mean anything. I certainly never thought I would become a parent in my 50s, but it happened. Who knows, I may someday have grandchildren who will appreciate the stuffed animals I have in a box in the garage.

 

That's great news about your shoulder!

 

I hope the new program does what you want it to do. It was about time for you to pick up something new anyway, right? :D

 

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2020 at 6:43 PM, Mistr said:

Don't be so quick to give up on that dream. One of my coworkers was in his early 40s when his kids were born. This is the same one that does triathalons. Just because you haven't found a partner yet does not mean anything. I certainly never thought I would become a parent in my 50s, but it happened. Who knows, I may someday have grandchildren who will appreciate the stuffed animals I have in a box in the garage.

 

Oh yeah. Rationally I understand that. I even understood it when I wrote that too. I think I was just feeling the weight of the pandemic a little hard at that point in addition to trying to empathize. I do know that I can date and sustain my life in the middle of it when things are normal. I don't really know what that looks like now, though, beyond long distance stuff. Which, hey. Maybe I should try that.

 

On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2020 at 6:43 PM, Mistr said:

That's great news about your shoulder!

 

Thanks! Yeah, it's feeling so much better.

 

On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2020 at 6:43 PM, Mistr said:

I hope the new program does what you want it to do. It was about time for you to pick up something new anyway, right? :D

 

You are not wrong. :D

 

Gotta admit, I kind of feel like I'm giving a lie to my notion of "small changes."

 

*

 

Okay, so Friday was day 11, so today's Monday... let's see, carry the 1, divide by... brings us to day 14, logging to 13

 

1.) 11/13

 

2.) 8/13

 

3.) 10/13

 

4.) 5.5/13

 

So yeah this didn't go according to plan at all. I kind of allowed myself to get caught up in some "training doldrums," a previously recorded pattern for me that hasn't come up in a while where I just kind of drift and wait for start date for a new program. Made up some progress in terms of cleaning, but for the most part I treated the holiday as a holiday. Most of my time and energy was given to friends and family, and I wasn't particularly drawn toward productivity; nor was I terribly disciplined in getting after it.

 

So it goes sometimes. But today is today. New week, new program, new start, or so it feels like.

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1 hour ago, Kishi said:

I don't really know what that looks like now, though, beyond long distance stuff. Which, hey. Maybe I should try that.

If you try long distance, you don't have a career that really ties you to where you are right now, though you are very plugged in to the martial arts community. 

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Current Challenge

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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41 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

If you try long distance, you don't have a career that really ties you to where you are right now, though you are very plugged in to the martial arts community. 

 

Well, I should modify that to clarify that with social distancing rules, pretty much everything is long distance now. I guess I conflate the terms given that it'd all be online stuff, at least for now.

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On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2020 at 11:03 PM, Sloth the Enduring said:

What a weird time to be alive.

 

Yes sir, it be that.

 

*

 

Raah, I'm losing that sense of time again. Today is day 17, meaning I'm logging to 16:

 

1.) 14/16

 

2.) 11/16

 

3.) 13/16

 

4.) 8/16

 

So, I've been falling into a good rhythm with a lot of my stuff lately. I picked up CM's mobility program in addition to the strength program, so I'm in the middle of prep week for both. The mobility's been a every-day kind of thing, so I've been able to keep goal 1 pretty much intact without any real adjustment. S&S has continued; I finally (finally!) hit 28 sessions at my current weight which means I get to go up on a couple sets. This is a cause for celebration.

 

Goal 2's been happening, but it's a lot of staying even with things and not necessarily making progress in terms of cleaning out space. I'm giving myself credit for what I've accomplished because when I went home to visit my folks, they sent me home with extra food with non-disposable dishes, which meant throwing off my groove as far as keeping up with the kitchen. So I've been getting that back on track, and it's been good.

 

Goal 3's doing well. I need to disclose to you that I haven't really been doing a half hour so much as I've been scaling it up from no shadow boxing to 5 minutes in the first week, 10 minutes in the second, 12 minutes in this the third because I'm adding BJJ drills one at a time. It's not exactly what I set out to do but in keeping with the lessons of Water, I've elected to be fluid and get done what my mind tells me I can get done. Kind of gradually build up the space in my head for this kind of work, you know? And in any event, I'm back to doing about as much shadow work as I was doing before getting sidetracked by my injury, so that's pretty good.

 

Speaking of my injury, it's kind of stabilized where it is. It's getting marginally better day by day, but I'm still trying to work out a daily routine as far as taking care of it so that it doesn't decompensate and go back to the way it was. Might have to make the PT exercises my morning routine, something I used to have before everything went weird. Might need to bring that back on a trial basis and see what that does. Maybe.

 

Goal 4's doing better. I managed about 5 pages in the past few days. I've been working on cleaning up my sleep schedule, which has helped a ton just in terms of having the focus to sit down and do the thing.

 

Today's gonna be mobility and calisthenics training day. Dishes are finally caught up and it's stopped raining long enough that I think sweeping the deck is a good idea. The training is going to require me to buy some home dip bars at some point, so I'm gonna need to clear out enough space for that. So, need to take some steps for to get that done. Step one: get the stuff off the boxes in that space. :D

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1.) 16/18

 

2.) 13/18

 

3.) 15/18

 

4.) 8/18

 

The secret to writing is to not talk about it. -_- Otherwise I substitute the talk for the substance of actually doing it. Which blows, because I like what I'm making.

 

I've gotten really off schedule the past few days. Something I haven't mentioned is that work's been working to rein me in the past few days. Prior, I was basically working and getting done what needed to get done on my timetable, and while that mostly meant working to 20:00 there were some nights where I'd work to 23:00 to make up. It wouldn't matter, though, because I'd take a break to get this thing or that thing done and that was that, but given the rhetoric from work I'm lately under the impression that I'm being monitored more closely and having that impression causes me to work more. For appearance's sake, you know?

 

Thing is, going by the numbers, you wouldn't necessarily know it. I've got my training going, I'm cleaning up, I'm doing my shadow work. The only problem is the writing. I haven't made up the lost pages either; like I said, I've not really been on schedule and I keep pushing the writing back. Even when I get to the weekend, I'm burned out to the point that I sleep super late to recharge and lately when I've been getting up I've had friends wanting to be distantly social, and because I prioritize that, the day tends to fritter away.

 

Hmmm. It's a puzzle. Of course, it might just be as simple as setting a timer and getting up every so often to Do A Thing. Otherwise I wind up cramming everything in after work and that contributes to the sense of stress/burnout which keeps me from doing all the things I want to do.

 

Have to test that on Monday and see.

 

Let's see... due for weigh-in tomorrow. Lots of changes happened in the intervening two weeks, so it's all kind of screwy at this point. If my weight's down and my body fat is not, I'll probably wind up throwing calories back on to try to signal to my body that it's not starving and can let some of the reserves go. Suppose it remains to be seen how this all plays out.

 

Anyway. Gonna go for a walk while it's still light out. Training and the rest to follow.

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1.) 18/20

 

2.) 116/20

 

3.) 17/20

 

4.) 8/20

 

And what shall I say about the weekend?

 

Well, truthfully, it felt kind of languorous. I've been going through my vocabulary and that's the word that keeps coming up. I basically phoned in everything in challenge terms. I slept in a lot and didn't really even move much except to engage in obligations. SC friend wanted to be distantly social on Saturday so I got up in time to watch some Battle Nun on Netflix with he and the rest.

 

This has been part of a larger binge of media on my part recently, and I've been thinking about that stuff a lot, so I'mma just lay it down:

  • Warrior Nun - a Netflix adaptation of an indie comic by the same name. It's trying to position itself as being the next Buffy and doesn't particularly do very well. It's better than Supernatural, but that's not saying much; it relies on a lot of what I've come to call manufactured discontent (I called it this because I didn't think anyone else knew enough Chomsky to get the reference if I called it manufactured dissent); what I mean is, the story has conflict because the story needs conflict to justify itself and it feels like a beat in the story rather than something that the characters engage in due to their own agency. Also, the protagonist, Ava, is really easy to dislike; she's selfish and shallow and the show doesn't really seem to be interested in teasing that apart to make her grow or in using that to illuminate the failings of the systems around her. It's just shallow shit so far. That being said, I'm only about halfway through; episode 6 was actually its best so far and the show could turn it around, but it remains to be seen as to whether it's worth the sunk cost in terms of time. As an excuse to get together with people, it's good enough.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power - what. I figured it was fair since I'd watched Voltron, and yoooo. This shit is dope. Character writing was strong and compelling and did everything right that Warrior Nun does wrong in terms of conflict as a result of character. The action scenes aren't strong or well-choreographed, but I felt totally sold on the stakes and so I was on the edge of my seat every friggin' time. I found myself wanting to slow down so I could savor it, and I couldn't. There are some things I wish would have been done better: if they'd got Hiroyuki Imaishi or Joaquim Dos Santos to direct the action, *chef's kiss* and there's a lot left on the table in terms of the underlying imperialist and anarchist theming that developer Noelle Stevenson touched on, not to mention the framing of the Biggest Bad in Judeo-Christian aesthetic, but it's forgivable when you consider that she was ultimately using the show as a means of exploring her lesbianism and its conflict with her Catholic upbringing. No substantive complaints and definitely worth watching.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons - a webcomic. Best way I know to describe it is The Dark Tower as written by the Shaw Brothers based on Cliff's Notes written by the Wachowski Sisters. I don't really know how else to explain it. The art style draws pretty heavily from Jean Giraud; there's always this dual sense of vastness and intimacy, very often at the same time. The story concerns a war at the center of the multiverse between seven rulers, but what it's actually about is the character growth of its protagonist, Allison Ruth. Allison is this achingly human and relatable character who's been caught up in a struggle that she's absolutely not prepared for and manages to make the worst possible decisions for the best possible reasons. She's the person who has received a Key - a container of the power of God made manifest after Their divine suicide, and she finds herself caught up in the games of power between gods and kung fu trans-angels and demons who don't know their own names. It's a wild ride, and I also may have influenced the creator to make a particular demon who might have just died in the latest issue, and, I dunno man, it's probably not true, but I gotta have something to hold on to in these uncertain times.
  • Cassiopeia Quinn - Star Trek as done by Joss Whedon. A wacky but heartfelt story about good people trying to work around the conflicts that they're forced to engage in by the systems at work. The story follows the exploits and conflicts of Cassiopeia Quinn, an outlaw who doesn't believe in pants; Madison Vrax, a baronet and honorbound do-gooder, and Prince Gleb Poolg, a Red-Cross-style aid worker trying to get around the hidebound traditions of his warrior race. It's funny and heartwarming and kind of cozy, actually. I like it a lot.
  • BNA - Brand New Animal, Studio Trigger's newest which just dropped on Netflix. It's not my favorite of their works, but it feels like it's got a lot of depth to it; it concerns the conflict between humans and Beastmen, humans who can transform into various animal states. It's got some interesting theological stuff going on as it refers to old gods and without giving too much away they appear to be walking amongst the populace and it appears that something is getting ready to happen that's going to force their hand. Trigger's apparently known for using its work as allegory for things and stuff in Japanese history and culture, but it gets after the subject in a very gonzo way. I wouldn't use BNA as the entry point for them; I'd probably go either Gurren Lagann or Kill La Kill myself, but the animation is beautifully fluid and vividly expressive, and I enjoy it.

And that's what I've been doing instead of writing.

 

That being said, I ran the tests today (Monday) in terms of shadowboxing and spreading my tasks throughout the day and everything feels better, which is promising. Still need to do the writing, though.

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1.) 19/21

 

2.) 17/21

 

3.) 18/21

 

4.) 9/21

 

Oh, man, but everything felt so much better yesterday. This whole spreading things out over the course of the day thing was just what I needed. Without the pile up of things to do at the end, even the writing was able to happen, even after spending so much time trying to order my thoughts around the things I'm consuming now.

 

Had the first official strength training session under CM, and man, they aren't effing around. The session was a circuit and the first time through was pretty okay but the next time was effing brutal, man. I loved it. Of particular note is that I was able to hold an elevated pike stand for 80 seconds both times through without any complaints in my shoulder beyond what I would have felt in a PT session. That's exciting. Also exciting in shoulder news is that I'm now lifting 8 kg for a rep on each side for TGUs in Simple and Sinister; I'll be at this weight for a long time but even this little bit felt good, you know? Like it's good to be back under a weight again.

 

I suppose I should mention that I ran my measurements on Sunday and they came back good. Waist measurement is down, shoulders are a little broader, weight is a bit up but it's back to what I started at, so that seems to mean that long term I'm engaging in maintenance? Which is good. It's worth pointing out that in the past couple weeks, I've not been particularly indulgent and I've also been avoiding trigger foods for my Hashimoto's; I can't help but wonder if that's got something to do with it. Since this next couple weeks will involve some social situations that will involve trigger foods, I suppose we'll see. Maybe I'll finally notice a difference after this long "eating clean."

 

Anyway, yesterday was yesterday and today is today. Planning to run it a bit like yesterday. Hopefully get down to bed early tonight since I got tomorrow off to go write with the CA friend and we're meeting in the morning.

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2.) 19/23

 

3.) 19/23

 

4.) 10/23

 

"Kishi, what happened to goal #1?"

 

That particular goal is no longer useful, so I've decided to be like water and flow away from it.

 

I mean, yeah, I could go ahead and keep hammering away day in and day out but I've noticed more return on investment with some rest. Daily shadow work is good and presently isn't exacerbating anything, but I'm having to fight myself somewhat now to do kettlebell stuff and I find that flowing with that, I'm still able to hit the program minimums and to progress. It's probably better to honor that and try for more sleep, which has been happening with effort.

 

Tuesday went about according to plan - wrote, shadowboxed, rested. Kind of quiet.

 

Wednesday was super-eventful. To be brief: I went out to hang with the CA friend; we had originally wanted to write but we pretty much just sat and talked instead. I do not consider this a poor trade, because she is my friend, and I like to talk to her. I think she leads a very interesting life, and she likes to hang with me too.

 

So that was that. Afterward, went to my last PT appointment and got the all-clear from them. Came home and S&S'd. Felt good and like I was on top of the world.

 

And then I wound up blowing a tire on my way to the Sci-Fi friend.

 

This wasn't the worst thing it could have been. I was afraid I didn't have a spare but, I was able to find a donut and get the tire changed. Needed some help with the jack as I didn't wind up finding all the tools I needed to do it, but I still remember how to do it and that was nice. Sci Fi friend seemed to think that I was hiding some kind of stress, but given how well the day had gone and given that I'd found a spare anything when I didn't think it was there made me really happy and I honestly felt good about life. I was able to drive home after dinner and sci fi and... that was yesterday.

 

Today's been productive, but of course a lot of that's involved getting after the car stuff and balancing that with work stuff. Found some good local folk to do the work and it's not gonna set me back beyond what I can handle, although it is gonna push back my visit to the Ortho for final check on my shoulder.

 

Got word today that one of my Dad's fellow employees at his store tested positive for COVID-19. Management won't tell who it was, so there's no telling if it was someone my Dad had shift with. There's been a big sanitation effort at his store in the past day or so; it'll have to be enough. I told him not to be afraid to take some time off if he needed to, but he appears to be in good spirits. He seemed more shocked than anything; I suspect the present crisis has been too big and too abstract for him to give it much thought, so now that it's hit someone he presumably knows... it has a different weight to it.

 

It remains to be seen how this plays out, and there's no reason not to be optimistic. And realistically, given my country's response to this thing, it was only a matter of time before we'd have to confront this. So. Now's the time, I guess.

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