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Rebel Pilot Gar

Garjan's Mental Preparation

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Introduction:

 

I participated in a few challenges last year, all under the Ranger guild. Took a small hiatus in December to focus on finals and life but now I'm back trying something new in 2013. A bit late to the party since I am super busy with college (20 credits + athletics + clubs = craziness) and will therefore focus on setting good organization/sleep/etc habits to help me survive the semester with my mind intact. Also means I may not be online very often, but that does not mean I won't be working on things.

 

Goals:

 

Get a full night's sleep (+3 CON)

     ~ Sleep at least 8 hours per night

 

Eat better (+1 CON, +1 CHA)

     ~ Record what I eat for each meal in spreadsheet

     ~ Choose one food per week to add to "Things I do not eat" list

 

Stretching (+5 DEX)

     ~ Stretch major muscle groups before and after every practice

     ~ Work on calves and hip flexors every day

 

Meditation (+5 WIS)

     ~ Read about meditation

     ~ Try to meditate 5 min three days a week

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I like the new look for the forums. Sooooo even though I just signed up for the challenge today (Thursday 17 January) the first two goals are my new year's resolution. The second two are things I've been thinking of doing - now I have the push to really do them.

 

So far this week:

   * 8+ hours of sleep every night but Tuesday night. Luckily we don't have late night practice every Tuesday.

   * Added to do not eat for this week: Hershey's chocolate. (I have already stopped eating M&M's back in Dec. Slowly working on that addiction)

   * I do stretch before practice. Need to work on the 'after' part.

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Steve has posted on his blog that it's better to warm up before and stretch after a workout, I know I did that last challenge and it made a big difference for me.

 

We warm-up and "stretch" as a team before every practice. I use the quotation marks because it's more of a dynamic motion to stretch the muscles like walking lunges, squats, agility drills, leg swings etc. I'll keep your advice in mind for my individual workouts though :)

 

Probably should have phrased my flexibility goals better now that I look at it again...

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Hey welcome to the Druids!

I know how hard being healthy and in college can be.

Dynamic stretching is best placed after warmup. But please do the static and isometric ones at the end of the workout. If you want to know more take a look at 'stretching scientifically '.

I am glad you decided to give meditation a shot!

At least for me 5 Minutes is to short. Maybe you want to try ten? Its just 5 Minutes, but will feel like a huge difference!

What team are you in?

Good luck!

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Hey welcome to the Druids!

I know how hard being healthy and in college can be.

Dynamic stretching is best placed after warmup. But please do the static and isometric ones at the end of the workout. If you want to know more take a look at 'stretching scientifically '.

I am glad you decided to give meditation a shot!

At least for me 5 Minutes is to short. Maybe you want to try ten? Its just 5 Minutes, but will feel like a huge difference!

What team are you in?

Good luck!

 

Our coaches have been reading a lot about dynamic vs static stretching which is why they switched up the routine. We're still working out the kinks, so I'll definitely take a look at that article.

 

Yeah, I gave meditation a shot this afternoon and 5 min was definitely too short. Just as I stopped itching to move the timer went off. Next time I'll try for 10-15 and see how it goes.

 

I'm on the fencing team for my school, epee squad :)

 

Hey, like the goals!  Short and sweet.

 

I'm curious what sports you play as well!

 

Thanks! My sport is fencing (which I said above too). I may also join archery club again if I have enough free time.

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Welcome to the Druids!

 

How is the sleeping going? I also have a sleep goal this time around... except I set mine at 7 hours average. I would love to manage 8!

 

Have you considered a list of things you eat? I've heard many times that its good to replace the things we are trying to stop eating with other stuff. :)

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Welcome to the Druids!

 

How is the sleeping going? I also have a sleep goal this time around... except I set mine at 7 hours average. I would love to manage 8!

 

Have you considered a list of things you eat? I've heard many times that its good to replace the things we are trying to stop eating with other stuff. :)

 

Thanks! I'm excited to be a new druid member :)

 

Sleeping is going well so far. I've been managing 8-9 hours a night (counting from the time I get into bed until my alarm goes off).The only exception was last night. I often have trouble sleeping before games (had one today) and that coupled with a 5AM wakeup means I don't know how much sleep I actually got. Not sure if that is something I can "work on" though.

 

Hmm a list of thing I do eat is a good idea.... especially when I start to want something on the list. (Mostly I've been eating apples, oranges, and bananas in place of banned snacks)

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List of "food I no longer eat" in case anyone is curious. (It's programmed and formatted all fancy in excel to give me days since banning. "Pierce" is what we call the dining hall.)

 

Err... sometimes I'll get black coffee or tea from Starbucks but I tend to treat that more like "water" than "junk food". Still on the bench for whether that's okay.

 

50fb885d081aa_challenge5.jpg

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8 to 9 hours in bed? Thats pure bliss. 

 

I too dont sleep as well before certain events. 

 

Thats a great list. It should make a huge difference to ho you feel and to your weight.

 

Regarding coffee/tea form Starbucks, it depends on what you get. Anything they put a sirup on is bad news (that goes for any place not just starbucks). During my first challenge I ordered a frappe from McD... then looked it up online, it was around 600calories. However, if its just regular black coffee/tea and not pre-sweetened so that you control what you put in it, I would say its OK. At least until the day you decide to kick caffeine from your life. Black coffee has 1 calorie. Tea has no calories. So could be treated as water... :)

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Thanks! I do drink black coffee and tea, but normally I make it myself because it's cheaper (and brewed/steeped how I like it). My biggest problem would be walking into Dunkin or Starbucks and only walking out with a cup of coffee and not a muffin or something like that. It's easier to tell myself not to go in at all.

 

Also I like giving business to the small mom&pop coffee shops in my town instead of the big name chains when I do feel like buying a cup. :)

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Progress so far:

 

Get a full night's sleep: A

My roommate has to be up early for work and her bedtime is a good influence on mine... Tonight (Friday -> Saturday) I'm being bad, but I'll catch a few more hours on the Fencing bus tomorrow. Ugh 6 hour drives.

 

Eat better: A

I'm still recording everything I eat. And I'm avoiding all the stuff on my do not eat list. For this week's nomination as a new addition to the list: Vending machine food. Because a granola bars and bags of pretzels are not acceptable meal substitutes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, you name it). This will save me $3-5 dollars a week.

 

Stretching: C

Not doing as well with this. I stretch after practice every other time (which is still much better than not at all!). I have not been working on mobility on off days though so that's something to focus on. (And meets. I must stretch after our meets!)

 

Meditation: B

I am much better at trying just before bed instead of first thing in the morning. Not sure if what I do counts as meditation yet... still working on the "relax and calm your mind" part. I feel like I keep tensing the muscles in my face, and I might also be paying too much attention to my breathing. I'm sure it's just something that gets easier with more practice.

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Hi there! It looks like you're getting along pretty well :-)

On meditation and "focusing too much on the breathing";

I'm by no means an expert but when I do it in a group or on my own I use the breathing as a means. Either just calm down, let the breathing be "free" and observe what happens to it (this could be a good way to start. ) Or try to to inhale and exhale for equal amounts if time (counting to two of three). You can also imagine the way your breath travels through your nose, throat, lungs and back again ...Good luck!

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Eve is right. There are many meditations where all you do is watch your breath or work in such patterns.

Everything here is good in the beginning.

If you feel too distracted try a quick way. Sit down and relax and for every thought coming up ask yourself where it comes from.

You will probably get distracted before you found the answer, but that's great. Just do the same again.

Pretty soon your mind will be very quiet! And with that some tension will leave!

Have fun trying and keep up the good work!

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I don't know if it helps you any, but I modified my meditation to actually include me 'doing' something. That might make it not-meditation at all, but it works for me to help clear my mind and really think about nothing... but I knit. Something mindless and I can just go on, and keep my hands busy.

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Great work so far!

 

Regarding meditation, as everyone said... there are many methods all reaching the same end. Experiment until you find what works for you. I do zazen sometimes. Most of the time I do what scuddle does... find a mindless task and try to meditate. As thoughts surface acknowledge them and then let the thought go!

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Wow everyone, thanks so much for the feedback!

 

I'll definitely play around with some different methods and see what works. Had to use google to learn about zazen, which led to article hopping on Wikipedia. Yay new knowledge!  Back on topic, I've done counting before for other things (running, walking, trying to fall asleep) so that may work. That and I will always accept an excuse to knit so meditation-knitting may be happening more often during my homework breaks.

 

What are your opinions on playing music? Is it more distracting than helpful?

 

Obviously I would need to pick peaceful songs. I was meditating on a bus on Sunday with my headphones in - I nearly jumped out of my seat when a Metallica song came on.

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Hey garjan! I'm late to posting, but happy you are in the Druids! Good work on your challenge so far :)

 

One thing I used to do when I started meditate was count backwards from 100 by 3's. It was a singular thing for my brain to concentrate on, so the rest of the thoughts quieted down and I could sit without getting too crazy for a few minutes.

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Hey garjan! I'm late to posting, but happy you are in the Druids! Good work on your challenge so far :)

 

One thing I used to do when I started meditate was count backwards from 100 by 3's. It was a singular thing for my brain to concentrate on, so the rest of the thoughts quieted down and I could sit without getting too crazy for a few minutes.

 

Count down by 3's like 100, 97, 94, 91.... etc or (inhale) 100, 99, 98 (exhale) 97, 96, 95 ... etc? I feel like it's the 2nd one because the first took way too long for me to think about to type, which is sad because I'm studying engineering. :/

 

Just want to understand what you're saying. Also, thanks for the feedback! :)

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Another progress report (how I've done since Friday):

 

I feel like my end of challenge grading is going to be a pain thanks to sporadic updates. sigh

 

Get a full night's sleep: A-

Other than Friday night when I didn't really sleep I've been doing well. 8 hours Sat before tournament, passed out when we got home on Sunday for a solid 10 hours, same thing for Monday night. Tonight will be fun since I get out of practice at 11PM then wake up just before 7AM for my early class.

 

Eat better: B

We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast on weekend sports trip. I got oatmeal and hot chocolate (so much sugar!!) so I had to reset that date again. (However I am proud of myself for ordering water at dinner when I really wanted a root beer) Other than that and my chocolate addiction I have been eating well. A lot of school dining hall salad bar + grilled chicken meals. And eggs + fresh fruit for breakfasts.

 

Stretching: A

Doing so well with stretching. I spent a good 10 min just stretching after doing stuff today. And I stretched on Sunday after our tournament, not right away but on the bus just as we were leaving.

 

Meditation: A

I meditated Sunday on the bus ride home. Left my music on and got through 3 songs (20 min?) but then Metallica came on and startled me. I was doing pretty well until then though. Then Monday I tried it for about 10-15 min while knitting before class and it went much better. Yarn is very mesmerizing.

 

To Do List for Remainder of Week:

+ Try counting breaths / watching breathing patterns during meditation

+ Try focusing on an image/idea/mantra during meditation

+ Rifle through forums and look up how to control chocolate addictions. That is something I do not have the ability to go cold turkey with, but a slow reduction may work.

+ Bring emergency alternative food sources on this weekend's fencing trip

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Count down by 3's like 100, 97, 94, 91.... etc or (inhale) 100, 99, 98 (exhale) 97, 96, 95 ... etc? I feel like it's the 2nd one because the first took way too long for me to think about to type, which is sad because I'm studying engineering. :/

 

Just want to understand what you're saying. Also, thanks for the feedback! :)

I actually meant the first one... it took all my concentration to remember which number came back :) But honestly whichever works best for you!

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I have used the count backwards by 3 method to quiet my mind when going to sleep.  If I get down to 1 then I get up out of bed and do something else.

 

It sounds like it will help you to do something physical while meditating.  The knitting is a great idea.  So is petting an animal who loves being petted.

 

I also have a chocolate issue. :playful:   I take magnesium supplements when it gets out of control, I think an accupuncturist recommended that to me.  

I buy very dark chocolate with low sugar content (because I don't really like it and I won't binge on it). 

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I second the recommendation for dark chocolate... 70% and higher. The stuff is great! You need to find one you like and have it as a treat... I never over eat it, but I sure do enjoy it!

 

 

If you get a chance join us during the mini-challenge. The Druids need your help! The mini-challenge includes a meditation component!

 

http://nerdfitnessre...omans-are-here/

 

 

14 days to go until the challenge ends... lets do this!

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