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Dancing with the Druids: Part II


Emma Goldman

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About Me:

What do you want to know about me? When I'm not out spreading revolution, you might find me sitting in a coffee shop hunched over a stack of student papers. I love dancing. It is my favorite form of exercise and my motivation to become stronger, faster, better. I am an academic, an old-school nerd, of sorts. I have never considered myself athletic or sporty, but I can move. I hesitate to say it, but shaking my hips seems to be my super power. You can read more about me in the last six-week challenge thread.

My fitness/diet goals:

  • Move my body - Do strength training twice a week + Zumba or dance class at least three times per week. (STR 1, DEX 1, STA 2)
  • Make it stronger - Gain mobility in my left leg, equal to my right. (STR 1, DEX 1, CON 1, WIS 1)
  • Feed it well - Eat everything in our farm share. (CON 1.5, WIS 1.5, CHA 1)

My life goal:

Cultivate peace of mind (3 mini goals):

  • Grade for at least one focused hour, five days a week (during the quarter). (STA 1)
  • Get health insurance. (CON 1)
  • Finish planning our fabulous vacation, and go! (CHA 1)

Extended explanation:

Move my body - Do strength training twice a week + Zumba or dance class at least three times per week.

In my last 6-week challenge, maintaining consistency with Zumba and strength training (ST) were in separate categories. Doing ST twice a week, all six weeks, was a huge accomplishment for me, and I feel great that I was able to gain some momentum and a little bit of proficiency. But, I still dislike ST. I need the goal or else I'm worried I'll lag. Zumba, on the other hand, has become habitual--because it's fun. A little mini challenge within this goal is to experiment with different strategies to make ST fun too. Experiments will probably include: creating a special soundtrack, trying home workouts, going to a "Bodypump" class, and anything else that seems reasonable.

Make it stronger - Gain mobility in my left leg, equal to my right.

For as long as I can remember, I've had a harder time stretching my left quad than my right. Since I've starting exercising regularly, my left knee is more sensitive and prone to injury. In the past month, I've also realized that my left hip has less mobility, and, overall, that side is simply weaker than the other. I want to fix this. My current plan includes: stretching more regularly and holding movements longer on my left side, purchasing a foam roller to use at home, and researching more about what's going on! By the end of the challenge I want to be able to do a standing quad stretch on my left side without grabbing my heel first or using a chair as an aid.

Feed it well - Eat everything in our farm share.

This is another repeat goal from the last challenge. So far, I've done very well. But nature's bounty is increasing, and it's getting harder to keep up! In the "off" week between challenges some fennel and a kohlrabi slipped past their prime. It was sad. Really, along with encouraging a more nutritious diet, this goal is teaching me how quickly some veggies need to be used, and forcing me to learn new recipes!

Cultivate peace of mind

During the last challenge, I struggled with the more abstract parts of my life goal. This time, I'm limiting myself to a few different concrete mini goals. Each is intended to help me gain balance and feel more secure:

  • Grade for at least one focused hour, five days a week (during the quarter).
  • Get health insurance
  • Finish planning our fabulous vacation, and go!

During the last challenge, I found some success with grading for a focused hour on a daily basis. That meant no email, no phone calls, no facebook--no distractions. It worked. In part, it worked because I could say to myself, "Just do it. It's only an hour." It also worked because I was trying to keep up with the challenge. Because the quarter ends half way through the challenge, I'll only need to work on this mini goal through August 27th.

As an itinerant academic, my healthcare situation isn't completely stable. I have it, and lose it, and get it back... every year or so. I was uninsured throughout much of my twenties. But now, I'm in my early thirties and wondering if I've tempted fate a little too long. Also, financially, it's doable. But... I'm freaked out about it! Every time I look into getting insurance, it feels like a gigantic scam! Anyway, as part of this challenge, I need to deal with this issue.

Last, but not least, my sweetie and are planning a vacation for September. It's actually scheduled for right at the end of this challenge. I need to finish planning, and then go!

Character statistics:

I've updated my character statistics to reflect my successes from the last challenge. Yay!

STR: 4.5

DEX: 6

STA: 6

CON: 5

WIS: 6

CHA: 4

A wandering bard, learning from the Druids
August 6 through September 17 Challenge
June 18 through July 30 Challenge
STR 4.5 | DEX 6 | STA 6 | CON 5 | WIS 6 | CHA 4
If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution.

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I'm curious to hear more about your left/right leg mobility issues and how you're going to approach that. I have a real imbalance between my right & left hip flexors and I'm always super interested to hear how other people approach that kind of thing.

-jj

NF: Treedwelling assasin. Druidish leanings. Gnome.  

IRL: Amateur circus geek.  Mad cook. Mom. Mad Max junkie. 

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Hey there! How is everything going so far? I like how you ended up breaking down your life goal- all have a great overall point and then there are measurable steps to get there. Agree with JasmineDragon- goals that focus on living better are amazing and you are right on with that :)

Race: Gallifreyan

Profession: Druid

Level: 6

Current Challenge:Livingroovy Comes Home

 

[sTR] - 16.8 // [DEX] - 12.25 // [sTA] - 16 // [CON] - 17.3 // [WIS] - 16.55 // [CHA] - 14.6

 

Find me on the internets: Facebook // Twitter // Kate Marolt | Play Warrior & Excitement Engineer!

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Well, I better update! I think I'll just take my goals in order and offer a little recap of my progress thus far:

1) Move My Body (ST 2 times a week + Zumba or belly dance 3 or more times a week)

So far, so good! Here are my workout totals thus far:

-Wk 1: ST 2, Zumba 5

-Wk 2: ST 1, Zumba 3 (plus, today I'm going to Zumba again, and tomorrow I'll have a ST workout and a belly dance practice)

Part of my goal for this challenge is to devise ways to make ST more fun. If I don't, I'm worried I'll never make ST a habit. Thus, I've made an effort to listen to MY music during the past 3 ST workouts. I know that may seem obvious to other folks, but it's been a challenge for me. Normal ear buds don't work for me. Apparently my ears are shaped funny. Also, unlike most people I know, I don't own a smartphone, and I'm not in the habit of having an electronic device on me constantly. So, I had to do a little problem solving: I found these odd head phones that wrap around your ears, and I borrowed my sweetie's MP3 player. I have to say, it's a definite improvement. I'm enjoying myself more, and listening to headphones at the gym also makes me feel more insulated from other people... if that makes any sense. Somehow I feel more like... an independent operator.

I'm also looking into doing more ST at home and trying a Bodypump class. Expect more about each in the future!

2) Make it Stronger (Gain mobility in my left leg, equal to my right)

Really, this goal is about injury prevention. My left knee gets really achy, and I'm worried about injuring it again (like I did last summer). Thus far, I've done a few things for this goal:

--I purchased a foam roller to use at home.

--On a friends recommendation, I requested a library book called Letting Go: Roll & Relax Into Release. Hopefully it will be available soon!

--I explored the Mobility WOD website. I still haven't found exactly what I need, but looking through the site encouraged me to try some different stretches and purchase a few lacrosse balls.

--On the advice from my chiropractor (who I visited as part of the last 6-week challenge), I'm exercising for 10 minutes on a stationary bike once a week. He says it's one of the best things I can do for my knees.

--I went to the chiropractor again yesterday, and he gave me a couple new stretches to do.

If anyone has additional advice, I'd love to hear it! Hopefully I'll be able to feel a difference by the end of this challenge!

3) Feed it well (Eat everything in our farm share)

Oy! This is getting harder! The CSA bounty is increasing, and I'm getting more and more from my garden as well. On top of that, it's been hot--which makes me NOT want to cook. Plus, I'm facing dissent in the ranks; my husband is ready to stage an anti-squash coup.

Still, I think I'm doing well with this part of the challenge. Bits of a few things are spoiling, but nothing has gone bad all together (for example, two days ago I tossed the outside leaves on a head of lettuce and the last few wilted sprigs from a large bunch of parsley). We are still using the vast majority of the veggies.

In order to respect my husband's plea not to eat so much squash, on Thursday I gave away some yellow crookneck from my garden. It will be a few days before we have more. Hopefully it will give him enough squash-free time to recover from last week's squashy overdose.

4) Cultivate peace of mind

I'm doing my best to grade for at least an hour 5 days a week... it has not always been a "focused" hour, but I've done at least an hour 6 days a week. I'm using this week's mini challenge to help get into a positive frame of mind when I sit to grade. So far, it's been helpful, but yesterday morning my brain rebelled. I had a really impossible time focusing and felt very tired. I went somewhere without internet, drank coffee, took my focusing meds... and still didn't make much progress. But, after 3 hours of spinning my wheels, I decided there were better ways to use my time: I went to the gym for ST and went swimming in a lake with my sister.

Now, today's a new day. I gave my brain some time off; today it better step up!

As for the other two parts of this goal, my sweetie and I had a few productive conversations planning transportation and what we want to do in Victoria, but I still need to make reservations. I'm not going to worry about health insurance until the quarter ends in a couple weeks.

I hope that update made sense. Again, I'm sorry for not updating much, but I'm on Nerd Fitness blackout when working. I'm enforcing a rule: no using Nerd Fitness for procrastination and self-sabotage!

Gotta go.. it's time for Zumba. Yay!

A wandering bard, learning from the Druids
August 6 through September 17 Challenge
June 18 through July 30 Challenge
STR 4.5 | DEX 6 | STA 6 | CON 5 | WIS 6 | CHA 4
If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution.

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You can cut it up & blanch the squash (toss in boiling water for 2 minutes), and then dry and freeze it and have veggies on hand as far ahead as 3-4 months from now. Uses them and easy on the budget, too!

I had a similar problem with I split a CSA with my folks last summer, and that's what I ended up doing so I didn't throw it out.

Spider

Hedgewitch Druid, Level 3

STR 8 | DEX 7 | STA 5.5 | CON 4 | WIS 8 | CHA 6

Just Ended Challenge: Spider Goes Back to School

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.†― Will Rogers

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You can cut it up & blanch the squash (toss in boiling water for 2 minutes), and then dry and freeze it and have veggies on hand as far ahead as 3-4 months from now. Uses them and easy on the budget, too!

I had a similar problem with I split a CSA with my folks last summer, and that's what I ended up doing so I didn't throw it out.

Oh! Thank you, Spider. That's so helpful!

Of course, it will require room in our freezer (which is super tiny), but I'll keep it in mind!

This weekend we've hit capacity on cucumbers. I know they're good for pickling, but I've never done that before... and I'm sooooo busy right now! Arg!

A wandering bard, learning from the Druids
August 6 through September 17 Challenge
June 18 through July 30 Challenge
STR 4.5 | DEX 6 | STA 6 | CON 5 | WIS 6 | CHA 4
If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution.

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I'm stealing a moment for a quick check-in. At the moment: my life = crazy busy

Still, I'm keeping sane (mostly), and I've managed to maintain most parts of the challenge. This week was the last week of class. Grades are due on Monday. Over the past week, I pushed really hard to catch up with grading and provide my students with as much feedback as possible before they submitted final projects on Thursday. And, crazy as it's been, I'm feeling pretty optimistic about my work. Now I need to grade a massive pile of 12 page research projects between now and 5pm on Monday, but I can do this. Perhaps the positive thinking challenge from last week made an impact...

Unfortunately, my diligent focus on grading led to the first time I've missed a ST workout. Last weekend, I had Zumba on Saturday morning, but afterward I received a text from my belly dance teacher saying that our troop practice was that afternoon, not on Sunday. This meant my entire afternoon of grading was going to be a wash. I had to go to practice because we have another performance coming up this weekend, and we're changing the dances a little. Practice is necessary. So, that meant I had a ton of grading to do on Sunday.

I was so good on Sunday. I just graded and graded. I even figured out a way to do it standing up! And I wore my workout clothes. Going to the gym was going to be my reward for finishing!

Sadly, I didn't have a lot of time left when I finished, but I had enough... until I tried to shutdown my computer and it started acting super funky. In the end, it's fine. But sorting it out and backing up all my work (just in case) meant I had 15 minutes by the time I got to the gym. Not enough time. Alternatively, a quick trip to the grocery store meant I could make a good dinner--so I decided to invest my time where I'd have a bigger payoff.

Anyway, this week (week 3 already? whoa...) is also likely to be problematic. I had Zumba on Monday and Wednesday, and I had belly dance practice last night. Today I'm fitting in a ST workout. Tomorrow, I'll go to Zumba. On Sunday, I'm performing with the belly dance troop. Plus, I need to grade... a lot. I'm concerned I may miss my second ST session. On the other hand, my time off will begin next Tuesday. Perhaps I can make up some ST workouts? Hmmmm.... we'll see....

Oh, the farm share part of the challenge is going OK. Not perfect, but pretty well. This week I found a couple little cucumbers that went soft. I tossed them. Otherwise, it's going really well.

Now, back to work! I'll probably be on Nerd Fitness blackout until after my performance on Sunday and once I've met all my work deadlines on Monday. Wish me luck!

A wandering bard, learning from the Druids
August 6 through September 17 Challenge
June 18 through July 30 Challenge
STR 4.5 | DEX 6 | STA 6 | CON 5 | WIS 6 | CHA 4
If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution.

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