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Howdy, y'all! Hope you're doing well today.

 

In a sign of how well I'm rebalancing my life, I'm here early, just like I used to be in easier times. Because it turns out I have a lot more say in how I get here than I thought.

 

For those of you just tuning in, I'm Kishi. Been around a while, and still a work in progress. I'm coming off a big win challenge where I challenged a lot of my assumptions about training and lifestyle and the choices I have. It's been freeing, in a lot of ways, although these new freedoms come packing a bunch of new responsibilities with them that you might not necessarily expect.

 

For example: I have learned that I can effectively strength train on 10 minutes of work a day. It's true. I'll tell you some more about it sometime. But the responsibility that comes with it now is to actually spend that 10 minutes well, and not put it off and put it off until the end of the day when I really need to be eating dinner and winding down. It's a virtuous thing in the sense of promoting wellbeing, but it's a virtuous thing that can feed into a vicious cycle if I let it, and I don't really want to do that.

 

Figuring that out was a big part of last challenge. It's dialed in pretty well now, though.

 

So now that I have a minimum effective dose for training, I want to turn that to my writing. Although maybe not in the way you might think, because the trick with minimum effective doses is that you don't necessarily know where that is and it's very easy to go below that minimum and maybe not even necessarily know it.

 

I've had a minimum effective dose for my writing for a while of just showing up and staring at the draft, and sometimes that's felt like enough, but on the whole I'm dissatisfied with it. I feel like I want to do more, but more than that, I want to feel good about the amount of work I've done in a given day.

 

And I know that feelings aren't a thing I control, so chasing a writer's high might not be the most responsible thing to do. But OTOH, "If I do what I've always done, I will get what I've always got." I want something different, so I gotta change it up somehow.

 

The goal of this challenge - single goal, because that's how I roll - is to show up daily to write and to work on the story to the degree that I feel good about it. How much is that going to be? I dunno, man. I think it might vary depending on the task and where I am mental health-wise on a given day. I want to give myself grace and space for that. But I also want to have discipline too.

 

I want to work. And I want to feel good about it. That's what this challenge is about.

 

And also, you know, being part of an awesome community that I genuinely like too.

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1 hour ago, Kishi said:

I have learned that I can effectively strength train on 10 minutes of work a day. It's true. I'll tell you some more about it sometime.

 

Tell me about it sometime.

 

1 hour ago, Kishi said:

And I know that feelings aren't a thing I control, so chasing a writer's high might not be the most responsible thing to do.

 

I like the goal, but wonder about the process. It isn't quite a tangible action one can sit and do, even on bad days. On the other hand, like doing gratitude lists, maybe the point is to learn to observe yourself and generate more internal satisfaction by noting it when you see it. On the other other hand, gratitude lists do that by having a constrained tangible action to do even when you don't feel it on a given day, with the expectation that the average result will improve.

 

The problem with writing is that you can really only measure words or minutes, and it's not clear how that translates to enoughness, satisfaction, or any other qualitative measure. The thing I like about your plan is that, provided you do have stats on minutes and words, you can probably back-engineer what satisfaction is in terms of more quantitative things.

 

(It's an interesting question for me, because in general I struggle with the sense of enoughness, and with trusting the process of using quantitative measures. Not just with writing, but everything. It's very hard for me to ever feel good about the amount of work I do.)

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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I think the key is to be playful about writing and not think about an outcome. Just sit, do it, play with the words. Write whatever, even if it's just a few sentences. Maybe it won't be very good or satisfying at first, but it will be a daily practise. And after some time it'll be more likely to get better ideas and actually write something good. 

 

I am no sure if it works for you, but it's the best I can think of. 

 

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Veni, vidi, vici. 

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Hi Kishi!! Isn’t it nice when something works out for you and you’re like, oh!, maybe I can apply this to other things? Glad to hear it and hoping you can build a good writing foundation!

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Tell me, if you had the strength to take another step, could you do it?

Level ?? Bard & Monk of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

 

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Here to cheer! 

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Past Challenges: #1, #2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16

Current Challenge: #17

 

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Feelings are for flowing along with, when it's safe to do so. :) 

 

I'm also curious about this: 

 

8 hours ago, Kishi said:

I have learned that I can effectively strength train on 10 minutes of work a day. It's true. I'll tell you some more about it sometime.

 

The Great Reading Thread of 2024

“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; Ch 38; Ch 39; Ch 40; Intermission V; Ch 41; Ch 42; Ch 43; Ch 44; Ch 45; Ch 46; Ch 47; Intermission VI; Ch 48; Ch 49

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21 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Tell me about it sometime.

 

14 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I'm also curious about this:

 

Ah, geez, twist my arm why don't ya

 

OK

 

So

 

There's a bit of a rant about how I sourced this stuff and I don't mind doing that, but I'd rather just give you the useful stuff first, and I can rant about the background stuff later.

 

The present protocol is based on the work of a few different people: Bill Maeda, Steve Low, Paul Wade, and Mark Sisson. There's some additional input from the folks at GMB, too, but they're fill-ins at this point for me.

 

So, I don't think about pursuing specific moves too much, so much as I focus on different patterns of movement. I have three upper body patterns - Push, Pull, and Invert. I have three lower body patterns - Squat, Lunge, and Hinge. I have one full body pattern: Carry. And I work core a little bit every day that I train, although what form this takes varies depending on what I'm doing.

 

I draw the movements I do from this chart here. It's an updated version of the movement charts from Overcoming Gravity (Low).

 

I set my schedule so that I'm working one pattern a day. So one day I work Push, the next day I work Hinge, and the next I do Pull, etc. The exact move I'll do on a given day is based around whatever level of movement I can do from that chart. Right now, I'm not even at Level 1 with my pushing strength, so on a Push day, I'll do Parallel Bar Jump Dips or I'll do Regular Push Up Negatives or I'll do a Ring Support Hold. I'm not going to move beyond Level 1 in my pushing until I can do Jump Dips, Regular Push Ups, or Support Holds at the standards that I have chosen for myself. In my case, I've chosen 5 sets of 10 for dynamic movements, 3 sets of 30 seconds for statics, and 5 sets of 60 total seconds for eccentrics. (these are based on programming principles as laid out by Low in Overcoming Gravity. There's no particular magic in the sets and reps beyond them being programmatic sweet spots for strength and hypertrophy gains [except for statics. You're not gonna build a lot of muscle on a handstand or a lever, even though you'll get wicked strong]. The book does go into detail about this, tho).

 

For my legs, I do a weighted version of a move and an unweighted version of a move. With Squatting, for instance, I want to build toward a Pistol, but that work gets boring day in and day out. So one time, I'll do whatever Pistol progression I'm working on, and then the next I'll do squats with some kind of weight. Right now, I'm exploring Goblet/Zercher squatting with kettlebells because of the carryover to grappling, but really it's just a matter of what I have access to without going to a gym ATM.

 

When doing these movements, I tend to do them very slow. I use my breathing to calibrate my cadence; in particular, I use what's called "double compression breathing" (Maeda), where I take a deep breath at the top of a movement, release a quarter on the way down, inhale again at the halfway point, and then release my breath all the way on the way back out of the rep. So, example: with a squat, take a deep breath, hiss out a bit until you get halfway down, inhale to the bottom of the rep, and then hiss all of it out on the way back to the top. When you get to the top, you should be empty, braced, strong. Breathe behind that shield, and go again.

 

Although I should note that I tend to do this based on what feels right, and that can vary depending on what I'm doing and how much I'm doing. When I get to 5 sets of something, that kind of volume can be hard to squeeze into 10 minutes if I'm going that slow, so I might just do a single breath instead. It's still a slow, controlled cadence, but a bit faster; at that point, the raw volume gives you all the time under tension you need.

 

Every 7-10 days, I'll break these rules and do whatever I'm doing with some speed and violence (Sisson). Usually this means stuff like KB snatches or swings, or push presses or that kind of thing. A lot of what I just spend all this time ranting about goes out the window in the name of power, although I'm still very attuned to how my body's doing, and if I'm feeling off, I'll either cut the work short or else adjust my weights downward.

 

Afterward the 10 minutes are up, I'll do a few static holds for active mobility (Wade). These being a Bridge progression, a L-sit progression, and a Seated Twist progression. These feel wonderful at the end of the session and also make me stronger. :) I'll wrap up with some horse stance and forward split work (GMB) because I do striking too and I need the mobility, but that doesn't take very long at all.

 

So, all told, the whole thing runs 25-30 minutes, but I still find that it's hella convenient because most protocols have you do 25-30 minutes of strength/conditioning work on top of warming up on top of cooling down on top of cardio or whatever. This is a much more condensed way of doing things that I can do pretty much any time of the day without any ill effects and which lets me do all the stuff I want to do, whether it's taking long walks or spending time out on the mats.

 

It's a long answer, and I apologize for that, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized was going into it, and I wanted to take my best shot at answering the question. I still feel like I left some stuff out, so this may be too much and not enough at the same time.

 

21 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I like the goal, but wonder about the process. It isn't quite a tangible action one can sit and do, even on bad days. On the other hand, like doing gratitude lists, maybe the point is to learn to observe yourself and generate more internal satisfaction by noting it when you see it. On the other other hand, gratitude lists do that by having a constrained tangible action to do even when you don't feel it on a given day, with the expectation that the average result will improve.

 

The problem with writing is that you can really only measure words or minutes, and it's not clear how that translates to enoughness, satisfaction, or any other qualitative measure. The thing I like about your plan is that, provided you do have stats on minutes and words, you can probably back-engineer what satisfaction is in terms of more quantitative things.

 

(It's an interesting question for me, because in general I struggle with the sense of enoughness, and with trusting the process of using quantitative measures. Not just with writing, but everything. It's very hard for me to ever feel good about the amount of work I do.)

 

At this point, I tend toward trying to observe internal satisfaction, which thus far has been different on the daily depending on what I had to overcome to get to the point where I could do whatever I was going to do. Also, the task itself changes that too. So, the degree of internal satisfaction I'd get from x amount of prose is different from y amount of planning or z amount of research. And as you say, it's pretty hard to quantify that stuff. The units don't necessarily convert cleanly back and forth. And also, just the act of showing up can be huge on a given day.

 

So... I dunno. This is relatively uncharted territory for me as far as writing goes. I'm used to harder metrics like you say, words and minutes; I don't really know how to measure v i b e s ~. Even as those are what I'm chasing. I don't really know how this challenge is going to go. And even if it goes well, I don't know 1) what going well is even going to mean, and 2) if it's going to result in something that could be useful for me or others going forward.

 

But then again, if all I get at the end is more questions, maybe that's a win too. If they're "right questions" that I don't even know to ask right now, the time spent getting to know them doesn't seem like a waste to me.

 

21 hours ago, XBlackWidowX said:

I think the key is to be playful about writing and not think about an outcome. Just sit, do it, play with the words. Write whatever, even if it's just a few sentences. Maybe it won't be very good or satisfying at first, but it will be a daily practise. And after some time it'll be more likely to get better ideas and actually write something good. 

 

I am no sure if it works for you, but it's the best I can think of. 

 

Nah, I think you're right! I do something like that already with writing in the morning 1st thing, before I've had tea or read the news or started my job for the day. I do a few pages of free-writing just to loosen the mind up a bit and it's good stuff. Sometimes I'll write about martial arts stuff I did the night before or I'll write about my feelings or whatever else comes up. Just writing without judgment.

 

19 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I like this for you. I'm glad you've found something that works for strength and hope you can make it work for writing.

 

Thanks! I guess we'll see soon enough.

 

19 hours ago, shaar said:

Hi Kishi!! Isn’t it nice when something works out for you and you’re like, oh!, maybe I can apply this to other things? Glad to hear it and hoping you can build a good writing foundation!

 

For sure, for sure! IDK if I'm just overapplying a solution, here, but I think it's worth playing with since my other experiments didn't lead to long term consistent practice. Which may be the fault of my circumstances, but if I can work around those, then... it's worth a shot, you know?

 

*

 

T-minus some days. Showed up to write yesterday and finished off my last character synopsis. Did not have to go back and re-summarize the draft based on what I found, which is good. Means both the plot and the cast are more integrated than they have been before. This is progress.

 

Now back to the plot. Need to expand my summary into a longer play-by-play kind of thing. I think. Will need to recheck my checklist on this one, so there may be a bit of research/homework built into this too.

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Happy Friday, y'all!

 

Last night I went out to write with my Writer Friend, now that her hand's on the mend and she's able to engage in this again. Wound up writing at her place that she's sharing with a bunch of folk and we were able to put a lot of time into our respective projects without the external demands of a coffeehouse getting in the way. Was able to get dinner there too. We're kind of thinking at this point that if we're gonna be doing writing like this that it's better to meet up there than anywhere else, and I'm cool with that for the moment. It does cost me some mat time, but at least for now, I'm kind of sanguine about it.

 

Did my work on the project this morning too, and managed to problem solve using the rules as I set them up, which felt really good. I still need to finish the long synopsis and then it'll be a bit more work to develop my characters... then after that should be scenes and sequels and that should be it.

 

Training yesterday was a Squatting day, so I elected to work on some pistol progressions. The new hotness these days is to do Tapping Step Downs, which means that you stand on an elevated surface, hinge your hips back, stick the off leg down into that space and slowly sink down until your heel taps the ground. Then you come back up. This, allegedly, is a way to work the strength, balance, and ankle mobility portions that other pistol training variations tend to miss to some degree or another. I think it works! Hit 5 sets of 4 per leg, which was enough volume to necessitate shorter breathing. Did some kneeling side planks alongside.

 

Today, I took a good, hard look at what's going on between me and my job. I got away with some stuff this week that I probably shouldn't have, since the job sabotaged me a bit (full week's workload on a 4-day work week, and no opportunities for overtime. Since I can't keep up on even a regular week without overtime, it's reasonable to conclude that I couldn't succeed in the way they wanted me to, so I slacked off). It's not clear how these new boundaries are going to work long term, although I'm pretty chill about it for the moment. Getting to bed earlier so I can be up ahead of the job to my stuff beforehand and overtime after the job should be enough, and I can set my week up for both. I did it last week. It didn't carry over to this week for no particular reason, but I can be disciplined about this. And I have a good incentive: since my landlord restricts a/c use, it gets warm in my bedroom ahead of time, and sleeping in late isn't really any fun. So, just another reason for me to be up early.

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Good afternoon!

 

I got myself to bed relatively early, but it's still later than I'd like. I told myself if I slept in too late to make the mats that it was a sign my body needed the rest, and I wouldn't hold it against myself.

 

That's what wound up happening. But it was a good morning for sleeping in. Had lots of vivid dreams and woke up to a thunderstorm outside. It was perfect for just lying still and listening to, and when I finally roused myself, it was after noon.

 

Usually when that happens, it means that I've been burning the candle at too many ends, and I didn't even know it, so now I'm making up for lost rest. I know better than to punish myself for that, so today is going to be relatively lazy.

 

Training yesterday was significant for the return of the Ruck! Now that I don't have an event to plan for, I can get after this in my own way. Brother advised me that when rucking, the general order of operations for Getting Good is Weight->Distance->Time. I wound up muddling all three because I was desperate to get volume for purposes of distance. My results weren't bad, but they were a reflection of an external circumstance that doesn't exist now, so now I want to take time to get stronger.

 

Incidentally, I went looking for something like another GoRuck or an OCR to train for, since he's coming back to visit us in November, but there's nothing. The closest I could find was on December 1st, and it's a Light event in Charlotte, which basically works out to getting hazed with a bunch of strangers whilst carrying the Stars and Stripes like a totem. That's, uh. Not our vibe. Regrettable, though, that I couldn't return the favor, and I know that brother hates the climate around here enough that he wouldn't come back just to go suffer. Also, I can't host him in the same way that he's been able to host me, which, you know. Just feels unfair to ask him to do.

 

But yeah, I loaded my backpack up with ~29-30 lbs and made time on 2.5 miles. After that, did Jump Dips. Double compression breathing, 4 sets, 9 reps. No additional core work since I did the strength work right after coming home, and rucking works the core really well, among all the other things.

 

This is one of the things I missed in the rant earlier. Generally, I'll do some kind of strength thing superset with some core work of some kind, but I make exceptions depending on what exactly I'm doing. When I had to incorporate rucking, I found that I didn't really like doing core work afterward. Just makes my back say interesting things that I wish it wouldn't. Also, doing leg work of any kind on a Ruck day is no fun. Beyond the fact that I got absolutely smoked, it made my knees hurt in ways that I wish they wouldn't. So, Ruck + leg stuff. Bad mix. But Ruck + arm stuff? Good mix so far.

 

The other time I'll skip out on core is if I'm doing some kind of power work, just because I'd rather conserve energy for my efforts on any given day or time. That's probably going to be today, since I'm well-rested and feel good in my body. It's a Hinge day today, so that's probably going to work out to Kettlebell swings of some kind. I'll let y'all know how it goes later. Also, I need to get some writing done today, so, get that too.

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1 hour ago, Kishi said:

The closest I could find was on December 1st, and it's a Light event in Charlotte, which basically works out to getting hazed with a bunch of strangers whilst carrying the Stars and Stripes like a totem. That's, uh. Not our vibe.

Yeah...doesn't really sound like a great time.  Is joining an event part of the thing?  Like, what if you rucked a section of the Appalachian Trail?

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Life before Death

Strength before Weakness

Journey before Destination

 
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On 9/9/2023 at 6:07 PM, Everstorm said:

Yeah...doesn't really sound like a great time.  Is joining an event part of the thing?  Like, what if you rucked a section of the Appalachian Trail?

 

I mean, that's an option, but he'll be visiting in the RDU area and I'm not sure that he'll want to hit the road a few hours to go climb a mountain without the framing device of An Event. Of course, we have hiking around here too, which, maybe he'd be up for? But it wouldn't be anything close to what we did before and I'm not certain he'd go for it.

 

*

 

Goal: 2/2

 

Phew! Good strong start, although Sunday being a social day it wasn't easy. Everybody wants a piece of my time, which, you know, is nice but not convenient. But it was good work. Finished off the long synopsis and started up on character bibles - mostly the gritty details like hair color, eye color, defining their personalities, stuff like that. Got some advice on where to go with that and I'll be working on that for a while. May need to do a bit more character work afterward as far as adding characters, but that's not a bad thing.

 

As far as training:

  • Saturday was a Hinge day, and it was a day for Power work as it'd been a week or so and I was feeling good. So I did KB swings: Every Minute On the Minute, 20 swings at 12 kg. It's not the most weight I've ever swung, but this particular dose is Enough for now. Previously, I'd had to drop my weights down from 12 to 8 kg based on my ability to do the job, and that was appropriate, but this time I was able to hit all sets and all reps with that weight. Thinking about where to go from here; I'd like to get my Farmer's Walks a bit heavier before I bump up to 16 kg on my swings. I could do other kinds of swings w/ 12 kgs of weight - 1-arm swings and double KB swings with up to 12 kgs of total weight. That's enough for now, I think. I don't have any external program telling me where to go, what to do, when to do it. There's no need to rush.
  • Sunday was a busy day, training-wise. Made it out to strike where we started to work on Long Guard, which is a way to transition from shorter-range, where I'm not comfy, to longer-range, which I like. Landed something we practiced in sparring; I died, but I was happy. :D Afterward, had a Pull day, so did 1-Leg Assisted Pull Ups. I've been doing jumping pull ups, but I can't do them as slowly as I'd like to and I don't feel like I have good control on the eccentric portion of the lift. Kind of had to experiment with this a bit to figure out the best step from my last progression. I don't know how much of this is a function of slow cadence and how much of this is a function of relative weakness in pulling.
  • Today, I got my training done in the morning. It was a Lunge day, and I was feeling kind of frisky about it, so I did reverse lunges and added a KB orbit to it. It's basically a KB halo and then you drop the bell down to one side whilst lunging with the opposite leg. These felt good - long and smooth and controlled, and so far my back isn't complaining about them. It's a fun way to do a move that I otherwise find necessary but tedious. Hope things stay good.

Anyway, like I said, goal's done for the day already so now it's just a matter of putting in time at the job. Like I said, I've re-prioritized things so that the job doesn't get top priority any more, but I'm still trying to figure out just how much it needs so that I can do this whilst taking care of myself. We'll see how this week shakes out and adjust from there, although I get the feeling I'm going to need to continue working on getting up earlier.

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Goal: 3/3

 

Man, it's nice to be able to log this early in the day.

 

So yesterday, when looking at how the Snowflake Method does character bibles - and taking my cues from it - I noticed that one of the character traits is a Personality Type. I reached out to my Writer Friend for her advice, and she advised the Myers Briggs corporate horoscope capitalist labor-extractor profiler nonsense personality typing tool. So this morning, I went looking for information. I thought I'd have to struggle to find something in-depth beyond, like, a Harry Potter personality quiz, but I was lucky and struck gold on my first search. Much of the task today was reading up on the nonsense to see how useful it'd be for the draft, and I found enough there to think that it's gonna be useful for my cast of characters. So I researched until I found what sounded like my protagonist - whose bible is what I'm working on now - and plugged it in.

 

The vibe is uncertain at this point. I could live with this amount of work, but I kind of think I'd like to do some more too. We'll see what the day gives me; I gotta go to the office today and it'll be an OT night tonight. Like I said at the start, there're gonna be some days where just showing up to do a small thing is all I can realistically do. Think this is gonna be one of those days. And if so, then it's better to have done something rather than nothing. But I'm going to try to stay open to doing more too, and if I get an opportunity, I hope I don't waste it.

 

In the meantime, off to train, trim my nails, pack my lunch, and go to the office. I'll be about as I can!

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4 minutes ago, Kishi said:

And if so, then it's better to have done something rather than nothing.

 

This is always something I try to tell myself, too!

 

4 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Myers Briggs

 

I have historically tested as an ENTJ but I haven't taken it in a while... the two characters I currently roleplay are ESTP and INTJ also haha, I've also definitely used MB in character creation before! 

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Tell me, if you had the strength to take another step, could you do it?

Level ?? Bard & Monk of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

 

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On 9/12/2023 at 11:03 AM, shaar said:

 

This is always something I try to tell myself, too!

 

 

I have historically tested as an ENTJ but I haven't taken it in a while... the two characters I currently roleplay are ESTP and INTJ also haha, I've also definitely used MB in character creation before! 

 

For sure! I used to test INTJ, but the last time I tested I was kind of cusp-y between INTJ and INFJ. Also, apparently there's a 5th letter now, which actually kind of impresses me as a sign of dedication to a scientific understanding, for all that I think it's still astrology without the stars.

 

1 hour ago, XBlackWidowX said:

Sure, doing a little is better than doing nothing or beating yourself up about not doing more :)

 

Yep! Yep. To be satisfied and to be gracious with myself. These are the goals.

 

*

 

Goal: 4/4

 

Welp, I wound up not able to do more work yesterday, between having to go to the office and working OT when I got home from BJJ. It sucks, but I saw it coming, and it's accounted for in the goal, so no loss of credit or anything like that.

 

BJJ was OK. We worked on Lockdown, which is a kind of counter/stabilizer to being stuck in Half Guard where you basically catch one of their feet with both of yours to anchor them in place. Had a hard time with it; I'm not sure if it's a matter of the other guy being a weight class or two heavier than me and me just not being strong enough yet or if it was my technique, or if it was both, or if it was neither, but I didn't click too well with this one. Which does not mean to ignore it and go away. I can't really do that since a lot of escaping from mount involves very similar positioning and footwork, so, I gotta figure it out.

 

I tried to figure it out in rolls but it didn't go well. We had situationals where we started from that lockdown position and I wound up giving up mount and an Americana to a 2-stripe white belt who hadn't been in in a while, and that just hurt my feelings. :D Although the fact that I can laugh about it now is a good sign. I was stupid with the Americana though and tried to escape whilst he cranked it since that was my hurt shoulder, and it's a bit mad at me today but it's responding well to stretching and other therapeutic interventions, so I don't think it was that bad. And it's a credit to the guy what did it that he was careful and controlled and didn't set it in wildly and immediately like most white belts do. It's my fault for being stupid and arrogant, both for thinking I could escape when I couldn't and refusing to acknowledge the technique.

 

Final situational though was with open guard and knee shield, and I had a real barn burner with a gent who was heavier than me. Lot of back and forth before I ultimately got him with an Americana. This was a good one to end on as he's both heavier than me and also similarly skilled as a 4-stripe. The wisdom in BJJ is that you lose a stripe for every 20 lbs your opponent has on you, so I thought I was hosed. Being able to keep up with technique was a really positive way to end the night.

 

As far as balancing work and life goes, working OT is letting me make up for lost time on the job, but it's not perfect. I may have to set some harder boundaries with myself than I have been, although one day does not a pattern make. There's still some time to sit and observe this week and figure out what works and what doesn't, and I also managed to get this week off of new assignments, so even if it goes really badly, it's not going to be noticeable and it won't hurt me any.

 

Still. Better to know now than later and get things under control. Also, working OT makes it really hard to get to bed on time since it's hard for me to get dinner cooked and ate and me cleaned up and down. I wound up eating dinner about the time I should have been going to bed. That's not OT's fault per se, but it's how I'm interacting with it, and I need to correct that. But that's just another thing to observe for now and to try to learn from.

 

Today's writing was to work further on the character bible. This is a weird hybrid of tasks as it's both a lot of time thinking about who my character is and researching the things about them that I say they are so that they can feel real to life and like I'm not just projecting my expectations onto something. So it's slower work and I don't get as much done as I think I should, but what is done is worked for, so I feel good about the little I've accomplished. It might be little, but a lot went into it.

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Goal: 5/5

 

Another day down!

 

Wanted to go out to the mats last night but didn't. Shoulder was feeling better, but any time I threw a straight on it, I'd get a twinge in that shoulder. And since I don't have a sensei anymore yelling in my DMs about how I can show up and practice if I can move the shoulder, I decided to be gentle with myself and skip out. Shoulder's feeling a little better today as a result.

 

Yesterday was a squatting day, so I went and did Kettlebell Zercher Squats, 5x10x16. A Zercher, for those who are curious, means that the handle is held in the crook of your elbow as opposed to being held out in front, so for me this meant putting my arms through the handles of a pair of 8 kg bells to get to 16 kg total weight. No feedback from my shoulder on that, which was kind of surprising, but I'm not gonna complain. Also, hitting my five sets of ten is excellent as it means I'm now cleared to bump up my weight. I think my next move is to do a Zercher with a 12 in one arm and an 8 in the other, for 20 kg total, albeit asymmetrically loaded. It's tempting to go out and buy a 20 kg bell and just goblet squat, but 1) I'm reluctant these days to spend money since I'm working on rebuilding my shambles finances, and 2) I kind of like the challenge to my creativity to find ways to progress with the equipment on hand.

 

It'll require some nuance in my programming going forward, but not much.

 

Today, I worked further on the character bible. Realized I was about to go down a rabbit hole of research that I didn't really need right now and prevented myself from doing so. Major win. I'm just about finished with my protagonist, I think; depending on whether I go to write tonight with my friend or not, protagonist will be finished either today or tomorrow and I can move on to the next.

 

OT's still a bear, but it's only a coincidence right now, because it's only gone wrong twice since I started watching. If it happens a 3rd time? Well, I dunno what you call that, but whatever it is, it ain't a coincidence anymore. Guess we'll see. Tonight's wide open. Anything could happen.

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21 hours ago, The Shogun said:

Horror Creeping GIF by VVS FILMS

Scared Kermit The Frog GIF

 

*

 

Goal: 6/6

 

Whoof, yesterday was rough. OT got me again Thursday night leading into Friday, so I was able to deduce a pattern: that I'm staying up too late because I'm working too late on OT. So I got to bed late, and rolled out of bed early enough to write just a little bit and still not finish that character bible before having to make a meeting with my unit, where among other things it was revealed that our budget's cutting off paid OT at the end of the month because neither the state nor the federal governments have been able to pass a budget. So, if I work OT after the end of the month, it'll basically go into restoring my leaves and I wind up getting sick time and vacation time out of it. Which isn't a bad outcome to me, necessarily. I've been using my leave more and while I'm not in danger of running out, it would be nice to have more of it on tap.

 

Meeting ended and I managed to sneak out onto the mats. Coach said we were going to do half-guard stuff and then we spend the rest of class doing takedowns. Which I was cool with. Came back and worked the rest of the day and had my boss flub up on one of my closures, so a case did not get closed. And it shouldn't matter, because I got the week off of new assignments, but it did because I wanted to close at least one case but every single thing that I sent out got kicked back to me because my boss has decided that she wants to dress up as QA for Halloween and is trying to get into the spirit of the thing. She emailed me to apologize and I really had to bite my tongue to avoid saying "No worries! It's par for the course this week! >:D"

 

The roughness of yesterday is really just about having to deal with a mixed bag as far as being personally productive without being professionally productive. It feels weird. I think it's a net positive, as I'm figuring out what works best for me. A big incidental win is learning that I sleep better without an alarm and I'm recovering my sleep habits to the point that I can more smoothly fall asleep and wake ahead of job and other obligations. It's taking time and adjustment, but it's happening too.

 

As to today? Well, I haven't completed my writing yet. I think I'm going to focus on the job a bit today, since I'm receiving new cases again next week, and since the paid work is set to expire in a couple weeks, I kind of feel like I need to prioritize this. Work'll cut off early tonight, and my plan is to ruck and train afterward. I'll have plenty of time to write, then, although whether I use it or not? That's the real test.

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Goal: 8/9

 

Howdy, y'all!

 

Past couple days have been relatively quiet. I did my OT on Saturday and then just kind of chilled out for the rest of the night. No writing. No reason for it, really. Just a matter of everything else being more interesting than the draft, which happens sometimes. Wasn't productive.

 

Sunday, I got my writing done late at night. Noticed another vicious pattern that I've suspected for a while: I don't like to go to sleep on a day when I haven't written, because it feels like a loss. So I tell myself I'll stay up, but the later I stay up, the more tired I get, and the more tired I get, the more prone I am to doing easier and easier tasks like watching content and convincing myself that when it's over, I'll write then, except by that point I'm more tired and even more prone to easy tasks, and the writing is even harder if I get to it.

 

But I did it. Kept filling out questions until I hit one that my brain just couldn't find an answer for and called it done. Felt good.

 

This morning, I got up and did my writing before the job and got a character bible finished! I don't like the delay, but it feels good to have it done. I'm guessing that the others will be, if not easier, maybe quicker since all I gotta do is repeat the process. Although, then again, who knows what walls I'll hit on my way? I don't. And I won't, until I run into them. :D

 

Training's been steady and good. Rucked on my Saturday night, and it was a Pull day, so I did Ring Row Eccentrics, 5x(5x12s). This notation indicates what Low calls "cluster reps," which means that I'm doing 5 sets of 1 rep, but that 1 rep is made of a cluster of 5 reps of eccentrics with each rep being 12 seconds from start to finish. At this point, I've lowered the rings from shoulder height a bit and the goal is to continue this volume over time as I lower the rings further and further. I anticipate that at some point it's gonna be too much and I'm going to fail out, at which point I'll start rebuilding to this volume from the new height. Dunno when/if/how that's gonna happen, and I won't know until I get there. Attempting to progress on 10 minutes of training a day is new territory, and this is really where things are going to be kind of scary. It's true even with the leg stuff I mentioned previously too. I think it'll work. But I don't know yet.

 

Sunday training was going off to practice striking. Lots of longer combinations that I don't really know how to memorize and I haven't quite internalized the principles behind them so that I can just improvise on the fly. Just another challenge. I wasn't sure how spritely I was going to feel by the time that training was done, but I came out of it feeling pretty good! So I did some power work. It was a "Lunge" pattern day, so I decided to do jumping Bulgarian split squats. Those were fun - lots of power, lots of rest, low reps. It was plenty in 10 minutes. No ab work to go with it since, again, I figure that the core gets plenty of work just handling the transfer of power throughout the body, but I had to remind myself of that yesterday instead of programming it in.

 

Today's training is Inversion work of some kind. Don't remember if I'm working on pike press or handstand work today, but fortunately I write that stuff down so I don't have to remember.

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On 9/13/2023 at 11:45 AM, Kishi said:

We worked on Lockdown, which is a kind of counter/stabilizer to being stuck in Half Guard where you basically catch one of their feet with both of yours to anchor them in place.

Lockdown is how you can use our lower body to push in chest-to-chest halfguard. I try to not use it a ton because you can basically just stall a match out by hanging out in it. That's the default behavior that I have seen, the top guy is being aggressive and trying to pass, bottom guy takes lockdown and just freezes top guy. There are two ways to defuse it but they take practice. When you're the bottom player, assuming you want to have fun, don't go for the usual but use it to swing both your legs and their side to side and off balance them or use it as the Danaher Scorpion Elevator, which is where you go to the lockdown and they drive in (because they always do), put your hands on their hips and push them away as you ball up, it will throw them past. Try it will a compliant partner a few times.

 

Whenever I can bear to watch my recent matches and break them down you will see me clinging to lockdown in my second gi match and not elevating like I should have because it is so much easier said than done.

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You can't spell Slaughter without laughter

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2 hours ago, The Most Loathed said:

Lockdown is how you can use our lower body to push in chest-to-chest halfguard. I try to not use it a ton because you can basically just stall a match out by hanging out in it. That's the default behavior that I have seen, the top guy is being aggressive and trying to pass, bottom guy takes lockdown and just freezes top guy. There are two ways to defuse it but they take practice. When you're the bottom player, assuming you want to have fun, don't go for the usual but use it to swing both your legs and their side to side and off balance them or use it as the Danaher Scorpion Elevator, which is where you go to the lockdown and they drive in (because they always do), put your hands on their hips and push them away as you ball up, it will throw them past. Try it will a compliant partner a few times.

 

See, we did try that, but what I found was that with my partners I was either too weak or they were too heavy for me to do that. Best I could do was lock down and hold on. I can use similar footwork to deal with mount sometimes to recover to half guard, but best case for me right now is an open half where I'm trying to get a knee shield in place and hinge for space. Worst case, they take my back, but I'm ambivalent about that anyway since I'm pretty good at defending those attacks from white belts and blue belts atm.

 

Still, the fact that I'm bad at it is no reason to flee it or to try not to understand it. I'll just have to work on this as the opportunity arises.

 

*

 

Goal: 10/11

 

Past couple days have been all right. Job's been kind of a pain - had to go to the office all day yesterday because we have to justify the expense of a building somehow we had to perform for our new branch manager engage in teamwork and comradery every once a month for the good of the unit. They insist on a full day, which meant I was there all day in meetings and doing team-building exercises, although one of these involved watching The Goonies all the way through, so it wasn't all bad. Did get in the way of my writing, but I did some work as far as isolating the character stat block I'm using to build out my bibles, which is going to be a huge timesaver going forward. I used it today to start building out another one of my characters, although she's requiring a bit more research in order to be true to life.

 

I wasn't able to sneak out yesterday to get to the mats. Did do some squatting work on my pistol progression, but wound up cutting it short due to some balance/stability issues. No pain, and I feel fine about the decision; I'm trying to figure out what some of the confounding variables might be and I think it could be that I warmed up maybe a bit too much this time? Maybe? That was the big difference between this time and last, so if I had to pin it to one thing, it'd be that. I actually felt really good overall, though, so I think it's worth it, and I can ease this up a bit with the use of my breath to speed up cadence a touch. Or maybe I won't need to next time? I'll need to hit this a few more times before I can say for sure.

 

Anyway, today is today. Got enough to do to stay busy. Think I'll ruck at some point today and then my upper body work is actually going to be support work of some kind. I generally superset that with pulling mobility work because it just feels right to do that stuff all at once and so far I seem to benefit from it. Dunno what tonight looks like yet as far as mat stuff goes.

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2 hours ago, Kishi said:

See, we did try that, but what I found was that with my partners I was either too weak or they were too heavy for me to do that.

My suspicion is that your partner wasn't driving in enough. Their force should hit your frames and be carried past you without strength, but that's from a keyboard warrior perspective. FWIW, as someone who plays a ton of halfguard, I try to stay out of lockdown for reasons I won't bother you with and when I have done lockdown I have only succeeded at the elevator a single digit number of times. 

You can't spell Slaughter without laughter

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22 hours ago, The Most Loathed said:

My suspicion is that your partner wasn't driving in enough. Their force should hit your frames and be carried past you without strength, but that's from a keyboard warrior perspective. FWIW, as someone who plays a ton of halfguard, I try to stay out of lockdown for reasons I won't bother you with and when I have done lockdown I have only succeeded at the elevator a single digit number of times. 

 

That sounds about right, actually. When we drilled it, we wound up supporting our partners rather than them driving in to us, and I didn't receive a lot of drive in the rounds afterward that I can recall. Or if I did, I wasn't strong enough or technical enough to take advantage of it when it happened.

 

-

 

Goal: 11/12

 

So far, so good. Rucked 2.5 miles yesterday with 36 lbs on my back. Time was in acceptable ranges right now as far as actually being able to do the thing. I'm thinking at this point that I need to get another weight plate; will probably wind up with something in the 30 lb range since I think that's the best I can fit into my backpack's plate sleeve. After that, I'm thinking I'll buy some magnets so that I can stick the 30 and my 20 together for 50 total pounds, which is the goal weight to get to IIRC. And even if it isn't and I need to go heavier, that kind of setup is probably going to be how I add more weight going forward, just because it'll be the most comfortable.

 

Training after was Ring Support Holds superset with Tabletops. Basically, I'm trying to build toward a German Hang, but I don't quite have the mobility for it yet, so I'm starting small and staying humble. I found some progressions to train through to get there, but there's a lot, and I'll basically be at progression standard for the Support Holds way before I'm accomplishing German Hangs. This shouldn't really matter, but I am using that chart I linked way back at the beginning as a way to keep myself proportional and healthy, so that I don't let one area of strength fall out of balance with the other and lead to physical complications. Balance is quite good for health.

 

I took a long walk last night instead of getting out to the mats because I had some stuff I needed to pick up from a farther grocery store for my heart, so I figured I should double up on heart-healthy activities. :D It was a good walk, and I'm glad I took it, but no mat time. And tonight is questionable as I don't know if my Writing Friend is going to be available or not. Personal training should happen either way, though, so it's not a big deal.

 

Something I'm going to do today as well is I'm going to talk to my bro about what kind of Iron conditioning he does for taking blows as I've been putzing around and researching that stuff and I'm no closer to having a systematized approach than I was when I said this was a project of mine a year ago. I don't consider the time wasted, but it's okay to admit when I don't know what I'm doing, and Brother has made claims that I think are worth testing.

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