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Harriet's Year of Battle: First Skirmish


Harriet

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Thursday

I meditated, lifted, and wrote. I was thinking about skipping the gym because I had a skype call with my father this morning, but I decided I had enough time to make it, and went anyway. My negative brain is always hesitating for the smallest of reasons, but in a meditation the other day the guide said something like… if the door is open, even a little, move toward it. If it’s truly shut, then accept it and move on. So I’m trying not to shut doors on myself, if that makes sense. You know, like a cat that thinks the bowl is empty and stops eating and starts crying when there are only ten biscuits left.

 

Squats at just 27.5kg. Felt really comfy and light (but not nothing) so I could focus on technique.

 

An older man, gym staff, came up to me after my squat and schooled me on technique. Apparently I should set my grip wider (Chad from JTS said to keep it as tight as my shoulder mobility allows, and his tips allowed me to actually find the shelf where a low bar squat would go! I discovered it, guys! I found the low bar position! I feel like an arctic explorer of the continent of squatland!) Because my upper back is so spare, a wide grip gives me no meat shelf to put the bar on, just bone.


He also told me my stance was too wide (or too narrow? I wasn’t paying attention). My stance is so dreadfully boringly average. It’s a tick narrower than shoulders, feet modestly outward. I said “Everyone is built different though, so they should place their feet where it’s comfortable, surely?” and he said “Oh, yes, but…”

 

He also told me my knees should not move past my toes at all. This struck me as literally impossible, so I asked him to demonstrate, and lo, his knees moved over his toes. I think the only way to squat without knees past toes would be to shove my hips out aggressively before bending my knees, but this leads to the lovely good morning squat, and the trainer I saw in Berkeley (who seemed very knowledgeable AND STRONG) specifically corrected me on this. I’m deliberately placing more focus on my knee joints to correct an arse-first squat, and it’s feeling intuitively right.

 

The guy said I could practice by squatting in front of a barrier. I tried this, and have illustrated the results for you (note: artist’s interpretation, not photographic evidence)

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

22777320_kneesback.thumb.jpg.82d7a8b798a3cf6db0332b69bebd381a.jpg


Also, I just checked at home, and my knees go a little over my toes. Not a lot. How could he have seen that, anyway, when the squat rack faces the wall? Pretty sure he was just looking for any reason to interfere. That’s fine, no big deal. Just gonna keep doing my thing with advice from gigantic ox-men on the internet. If I can trust anyone, it’s surely a dude with the figure of a half orc and a squat so heavy you can’t even count all the plates in the time it takes him to completes the lift. Anyway, I didn’t feel shy and embarrassed like earlier, nor annoyed, just chill (thank you, meditation), so apart from asking for a demonstration and promising to practice at home (why am I so damned agreeable? Ugh) I thanked him and went away as quickly as possible.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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33 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Chad from JTS said to keep it as tight as my shoulder mobility allows, and his tips allowed me to actually find the shelf where a low bar squat would go! I discovered it, guys! I found the low bar position! I feel like an arctic explorer of the continent of squatland!

That's huge! Congratulations!! 

 

33 minutes ago, Harriet said:

An older man, gym staff, came up to me after my squat and schooled me on technique. Apparently I should set my grip wider

One thing to be wary of with low bar is to not take weight into your hands/wrists (that way lies bicep tendonitis in my experience 😅). Moving your hands out a bit and rotating them on top of the bar - while still keeping your elbows tight to your body to keep your back tight - can help avoid putting weight in your hands, but it's a minor adjustment and from what I've seen women do tend to have narrower grips than (large) men. I somehow doubt from the rest of this story that he was recommending such a minor adjustment.

 

33 minutes ago, Harriet said:

He also told me my knees should not move past my toes at all.

Lol nope. Now you have easy proof that this person has dubious recommendations (which you already knew).

 

I greatly enjoyed your illustration (but hope you didn't fall too hard!)

35 minutes ago, Harriet said:

How could he have seen that, anyway, when the squat rack faces the wall?

Maybe he could tell because you didn't fall over 😆

 

Sorry you had to deal with unsolicited (not to mention bad) advice - especially on a day when things are clicking for you!

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4 hours ago, Harriet said:

He also told me my knees should not move past my toes at all. This struck me as literally impossible, so I asked him to demonstrate, and lo, his knees moved over his toes.

 

Big man-person who gives unsolicited advice is revealed to be full of crap? Oh my. I am shocked and amazed at this completely unexpected plot twist.

 

Harry Potter Eye Roll GIF 

 

 

3 hours ago, Alanna said:

One thing to be wary of with low bar is to not take weight into your hands/wrists (that way lies bicep tendonitis in my experience 😅). Moving your hands out a bit and rotating them on top of the bar - while still keeping your elbows tight to your body to keep your back tight - can help avoid putting weight in your hands, but it's a minor adjustment and from what I've seen women do tend to have narrower grips than (large) men. I somehow doubt from the rest of this story that he was recommending such a minor adjustment.

 

It also angers/upsets wrist tendonitis. ;) Personally, I find that if I open my hand completely and "balance" the bari n my palms, that makes it super-easy for me to find the correct hand position and elbow angle. Once I've got that, I grip the bar again and unrack it. :) 

 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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4 hours ago, Alanna said:

That's huge! Congratulations!! 

 

Thank you!

 

4 hours ago, Alanna said:

One thing to be wary of with low bar is to not take weight into your hands/wrists (that way lies bicep tendonitis in my experience 😅). Moving your hands out a bit and rotating them on top of the bar - while still keeping your elbows tight to your body to keep your back tight - can help avoid putting weight in your hands, but it's a minor adjustment and from what I've seen women do tend to have narrower grips than (large) men. I somehow doubt from the rest of this story that he was recommending such a minor adjustment.

 

Yeah, no, he just said wider grip (he gave no reason).

 

4 hours ago, Alanna said:

Lol nope. Now you have easy proof that this person has dubious recommendations (which you already knew).

 

I wanted to be fair and test it 😁

 

4 hours ago, Alanna said:

I greatly enjoyed your illustration (but hope you didn't fall too hard!)

Maybe he could tell because you didn't fall over 😆

 

Lol, I didn't really fall over. I got down into a 1/16 squat and thought "what the flip do I do next?"

 

4 hours ago, Alanna said:

Sorry you had to deal with unsolicited (not to mention bad) advice - especially on a day when things are clicking for you!

 

Not to worry. I bore it with great chill. I am now super universal rhythm guru in stillness and silence. Except when Mr Harriet mentions the smell of my food while I am cooking. Then I am mad, completely mad, like very upset wild cat in cage that is poked with stick.

 

4 hours ago, fearless 2.0 said:

my info is, that yo can move further than your toes. I dont believe this dude at all! :) 

 

Indeed, the question is whether it is even *possible* to squat without the knees moving past the toes?

 

15 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

Big man-person who gives unsolicited advice is revealed to be full of crap? Oh my. I am shocked and amazed at this completely unexpected plot twist.

 

Sometimes well worn narrative patterns are the most satisfying. Good triumphs over evil, hero saves the world just in time, two lonely souls fall in love, interfering gym know it all is thrown down and his ruins are smote upon the mountain side...

 

15 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

It also angers/upsets wrist tendonitis. ;) Personally, I find that if I open my hand completely and "balance" the bari n my palms, that makes it super-easy for me to find the correct hand position and elbow angle. Once I've got that, I grip the bar again and unrack it. :)


If there's a problem, we figure it out and keep squatting. 

  • Like 4

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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7 hours ago, Harriet said:

The guy said I could practice by squatting in front of a barrier. I tried this, and have illustrated the results for you (note: artist’s interpretation, not photographic evidence)

YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! You have to turn out your feet. No more. No even more. Like a ballerina, in a 180 degree line and then you're SET. 😆👌

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Ahh your drawing gave me a really good laugh :D maybe I should print it out and tape it to the wall so I can point at it anytime a newbie comes into the gym and says they heard that they shouldn't let their knees go past their toes x) or would that make me the old know it all lady? x) 

 

While I would have liked this guy put in his place, it is really great you felt so chill about the whole thing :) 

 

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That drawing is excellent!

 

sorry about the experience that prompted it, glad to hear you were zen enough to just let it roll on by.

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On 1/5/2022 at 3:54 PM, Harriet said:

David Ji's forty days of transformation. But I love his free tracks

 

I just looked on Spotify and the first track is 'journey to your sweet spot' 🤔

 

On 1/5/2022 at 3:54 PM, Harriet said:

Lets them IN? It's meant to put them to sleep...

 

My brain does not shut up easily :(

(Nor do I actually haha)

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13 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! You have to turn out your feet. No more. No even more. Like a ballerina, in a 180 degree line and then you're SET. 😆👌

 

Ballerina squat, eh? Could be the next big thing. I'll write an article about it for Men's Health magazine.

 

11 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Ahh your drawing gave me a really good laugh :D maybe I should print it out and tape it to the wall so I can point at it anytime a newbie comes into the gym and says they heard that they shouldn't let their knees go past their toes x) or would that make me the old know it all lady? x) 

 

Hehehe. There's a difference between a know-it-all and an actual expert. We love experts.

 

11 hours ago, KB Girl said:

While I would have liked this guy put in his place, it is really great you felt so chill about the whole thing :)

 

Yeah, I briefly considered explaining my reasons and the tips I got from other trainers but I just though "meh... too much effort" especially in German.

 

10 hours ago, Yasha92 said:

That drawing is excellent!

 

sorry about the experience that prompted it, glad to hear you were zen enough to just let it roll on by.

 

Thanks 😊

 

9 hours ago, Silmarilliane said:

I just looked on Spotify and the first track is 'journey to your sweet spot' 🤔

 

Erm. Well, try it and let me know how it goes.

 

9 hours ago, Silmarilliane said:

My brain does not shut up easily :(

(Nor do I actually haha)


Ah. So meditation just gives it space to chatter?

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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6 hours ago, Harriet said:

Ah. So meditation just gives it space to chatter?

 

This is why I use a meditation app with music or other white noise playing while I meditate. The way I see it, if it's okay to use chalk or straps to assist a deadlift, it is absolutely okay to use white noise to assist meditation.

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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8 hours ago, Harriet said:

Ah. So meditation just gives it space to chatter?

 

Not space so much as a spotlight. Meditation lets you notice what your brain is trying to do when you are not busy with lots of other things. You pick one thing to focus on to give your brain something to do, then notice when it tries to do other things. Each time it says "oh yes, I need to put X on the grocery list" you silently say "that can wait" and go back to your focus. Over and over. This practice is called "mindfulness".

 

Over time you get better at noticing when your brain wants to go haring off and catch it earlier. You will also notice how your posture affects your brain. It is vastly easier to maintain focus when your spine is in a neutral supported position. Try slouching for a couple minutes and see what happens. All the meditative traditions have practical advice on how to deal with these normal mental and physical challenges.

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6 hours ago, Mistr said:

You will also notice how your posture affects your brain. It is vastly easier to maintain focus when your spine is in a neutral supported position. Try slouching for a couple minutes and see what happens

Oh that is interesting!

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15 hours ago, fearless 2.0 said:

*waves*

and also fan of your drawings! made me smile! :) 

 

15 hours ago, Salinger said:

That drawing is beautiful 😮

 

Well done for Friday chores :D xx

 

Thank you, possums 😊

 

15 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

This is why I use a meditation app with music or other white noise playing while I meditate. The way I see it, if it's okay to use chalk or straps to assist a deadlift, it is absolutely okay to use white noise to assist meditation.

 

Yeah, I have tried guided and silent and it's definitely a bit harder for me with  just silence.

 

13 hours ago, Mistr said:

Not space so much as a spotlight. Meditation lets you notice what your brain is trying to do when you are not busy with lots of other things.

 

True enough. I find my mind is a lot less busy on average when meditating, though.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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1 hour ago, fearless 2.0 said:

hey, happy weekend! :) 

 

Happy weekend, Sal ❤️

 

 

 

Sorry guys, I'm kind of exhausted by really stressful and upsetting interactions with Mr Harriet, and my brain is mush. I will come check on you all later.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

Sorry guys, I'm kind of exhausted by really stressful and upsetting interactions with Mr Harriet, and my brain is mush. I will come check on you all later.

 

No one ever needs to apologize for being upset and stressed. Take your time, and I hope you feel better soon, and that the whole home situation resolves itself.

 

Loading Hug GIF by MOODMAN

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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