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A Pike struggles with stupid cold winter darkness, or how I tried to learn to set specific goals.


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I feel like this is the right place. I'm struggling with a mild but persistent depression with a high correlation to SAD.


I haven't completed a 6 week challenge yet since I joined partway through the last one. I thing the overall theme here is reflecting on stuff that I'm already doing and improving it in little ways, rather than giving in to depression.


These are actually listed in order of importance / how likely I am to actively try and get them done.

Right now, I'm working on:


1) Learn and remember which things I'm doing with personal trainer. Because I have not really been paying any attention. Simple - I meet with her twice a week, so afterwards I need to post here describing at least some of what I did so I can remember it and do it on my own later.


2) Work on painting the spare room. I've been losing steam on it and that makes me sad, since I want to actually use that room. I think 3x a week is a sane goal, and will help me feel accomplished.


3) Add an avatar image. Seriously. One time effort, to be done by the end of the challenge.


4) Remember that writing you were doing? I don't have a specific goal here and I probably should. I guess finished reading through that Nano zeroth draft and making notes, minimum. Preferably also have a basic map of what happens in it so I can start plotting out what it's missing.


5) Remain sane. I'm so stressed out, probably because I'm trying to do so many things, like looking for a job. I have no plans to measure this. Um. Hm. Read a book? That sounds good. I should pick a book to read.


I guess this is an experiment in my ability to set goals. Both in specificity and ability to measure and track progress.

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A. Pike

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So I just went to the gym this evening and here's my summary:


Arm stuff. (It was an arm day. Most days are either arm, leg or occasionally core)



Always jump rope to warm up. Today I made it up to over 50 backwards jumps! New record! Forward didn't even make it to 50, I don't think. Record there is 80. (I don't track fractions of 10s - not a big enough change to justify how annoying it is to remember). It was hard to think straight because the music had a super loud club-dancing type beat and it was the wrong speed to jump to - just barely too fast. It kept throwing off my internal rhythm. I had to force myself to do breathing exercises so I wouldn't cry. I've had a few stressful days, but having stuff scheduled at the gym means I go, and I feel better now.



Some sort of bicep curl, starting with palms facing forwards at my sides (jumping jack starting position, I think, unless I'm misremembering jumping jacks since I haven't done them in a million years). I think maybe with 12 lbs? I should really be paying attention to that. 3 sets of 10.

Forearms - lifting those circular weights that go on bars from hip up until hands parallel with floor. No clue what weight. 3 sets of 10.

Forearms again lifting the 25 lb crimped bar on the inside grip. 3 sets of 5.

Interspersed with some random machine work I don't feel like bothering to remember. NF has already ingrained in my mind that machines suck, which works for me since those are way more boring than lifting stuff.

A. Pike

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I have seriously been struggling with the winter darkness this year too! It is such a downer! BUT the winter solstice just passed, so the days are going to start getting longer again! This is the most excited I've ever been for the winter solstice, for sure. Sadly, I have no advice on how to fight that.


Your session with your trainer actually sounds pretty fun! That's awesome that you are doing that! Good luck to you!

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The winter blues is common, but don't fret. It'll be long warm days before you even know it. I myself try not to worry so much about it, because it seems the older U get the faster the years fly by, and I've lost so many people like my grandmother back in May.

I guess what I'm getting at is just be grateful for what you have. Yea I know it's cliché and easier said than done, and it's actually something I'm struggling with also being I've fought bouts of depression ny whole life. If you need somebody to talk to don't hesitate to send me a message.

"Limits like fears are often just an illusion†— Micheal Jordan

To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary" Bruce Lee

"The key to success is failure" <p> Micheal Jordan


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I start struggling with winter as soon as Daylight Savings Hell hits. The time change does me so much harm. That might be a bigger problem for me than the short winter days, since I never really recover from the hour difference. Hard to say which part is worse. It certainly makes winter suck even more though.



So my 2nd session this week was this morning, because holidays make things weird. I chose morning over afternoon because that's really the only way to determine if I'm a morning person. Short answer: I could be, in theory, but as far as the gym is concerned it's a bad idea.


They cleaned the floors about 2 hours before I got there, and it drove my sinus's nuts even though the smell wasn't very strong. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy that the floors get cleaned. I just can't really handle the smell of cleaners while I need to be able to breathe. It was also super empty, which I was surprised to find was a downside and not an upside.



On the plus side, I blew my jump rope record out of the water. 130 forwards, 75 backwards. Also getting better at cross overs in both directions. The 130 jumps was long enough that for the first time it gave me a stitch in my side.


Now I have to remember what all I did. Did a few squats with a kettle bell. I think the bell was a 30, and those are wide stance squats. That was warm-up ish.


Did walking lunges holding the circular weights. They were bigger ones - I thought I saw a 10 on them, but I'm not sure if that was lb or kg or me seeing things. Lunges are really hard. My hip still isn't stable enough.

Walking lunges to the calf machine thing, then 10 of those machine things, then 15 calf raises. Repeated that sequence thrice.


Also did squats with a 15 kettle bell, since the 12 ball with grips thing smelled like a tire from being in the sun in the window all morning. Probably did 3 sets of 10 but I don't actually remember.


Did single leg calf raises, 10 one each side, 3 times, no break in between.


I feel like I'm forgetting something.


Afterwards I did all the leg stretches I could remember, except the one I skipped deliberately. It's hard to stretch the insides of my thighs without causing my hip to cramp up, so those have to be super gentle. The one I skipped was sorta like a child's pose, but tends to piss off my knees.


Hip feels worn out but not painful. It's getting more flexible though, so hopefully I'll get past the hip cramping up pain soon.


A. Pike

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I worked on painting today. Just put up tape to edge the areas I haven't gotten to at all yet. Also used some drywall filler to fix a few holes. More than nothing = win.


This evening I did 3 sets of 4 dips using a chair, because that's the only thing I've found at home to use for that. I still suck, but I'm up from sets of three. Also did 3 sets of 10 squats. Still trying to work on form for that. Did 3 sets of hinges. Right hip is mildly angry while doing that, but doesn't hurt much after. For some reason that makes my left ankle hurt. I'm hoping that ankle is just a little bit weaker and will catch up soon. I did 3 sets of 5 standing lunges. I have trouble balancing doing those. Finished with some stretches.


Job = anxiety. Ick. Did a phone interview today. Went well, just gives me so so much anxiety.

A. Pike

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I painted today. I didn't feel like getting the roller out, and the only places left that didn't have a first coat needed a brush anyway. My plan is to do another coat of kilz with the roller tomorrow. Then during the week I can do final touch ups to the base coat while I track down paint of the actual color for the room.


That stupid blue stripe is almost completely obliterated! (The previous owner used it for their son, and had it painted light blue with a DARK blue stripe a foot wide around the room. Plus blue popcorn. We had the ceiling retextured, so I didn't have to deal with that awful popcorn thankfully.)


I'm not sure what all to do to make painting the actual color more efficient than painting the base coat was. The answer may just be that I'm not an efficient painter. At least all the edges are taped already this time. (I also started painting when half the room was still full of boxes, bookshelves, a computer and a million other random things - now it's all cleared out.)

A. Pike

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So insanely tired.


Saturday night I did some writing... just not on the project I intended to work on. Tentative plan is to do some of that on the 1st, since I have that day off and nothing planned (except for making scones, and maybe cleaning fish tanks - still leaves tons of open time that day).


Sunday I painted like crazy. Got a second coat of primer on and now that's done, save for some minor touchups. No more blue! Hurray! I plan to go get the actual wall and ceiling colors this week.


Today I am sleep deprived. It was super windy last night, and that always keeps me up. Not enough to be awake - just enough to wake up feeling like I shouldn't have bothered sleeping. That made it a miserable day. That and the DMV. Rar. I made it to the gym to meet with my trainer anyway, and managed to stumble through things. I made it up to 100 backwards jump ropes today. I might have made it up to 116, but I sorta stumbled on my counting.

Did bicep curls. 3 of 10, not sure what weight. 10 lbs maybe? 12? Then more things I don't know what the names are.

1) starting with weights at shoulders, palms in, lowered to a little above waist high. 3 of 12 at 10lbs? Somewhere in there, I think.

2) arms down, elbows at 90 degrees (hands straight out in front of waist). Rotate open. Wow terrible description. One arm at a time. 8lbs in 3 sets of 10, no rests just alternating. Left arm was weaker.

3) something on a machine, involving pulling the bars from in front out to the sides to work deltoids (?) or something something. Honestly have no clue.


I was kind of out of it. Arms are going to be really super tired.


I should probably go to bed early, but I'm baking a pie for new years!

A. Pike

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Gym today:


I was working on some new jump rope tricks. I had to slow down the rope so I could fit 2 jumps in for one loop of the rope. That's how I used to always jump. It was strangely hard to get back to jumping that way since I've been doing a 1:1 ratio so much lately. I'm doing that so I can practice alternating jumping like jumping jacks. I also worked on crossing the rope over by putting my arm behind my back instead of in front of me. It's rather difficult.


Once we started we did a few circuits of stuff.

The first was an easy treadmill walk on an incline, 15 squats with a 30 lb kettlebell (wide stance, partial squats), 15 calf raises one leg at a time. Did 3 sets of that.

Another circuit thing with the leg machine thingy, then lunges across the room and back (which amounted to a total of 12 lunges each time), then a rest. Didn't use any weights for those and it was better. My balance and form is improving, but weights still throw me off a little too much on those. 3 sets.

Did a thing with free weights (8 lb maybe?) for 3 sets of 5. It involved bending so that my arms hang down straight in front of me and raising my torso slightly. Works hamstrings I think?

Last thing was like a side lunge with a bar over my shoulders (5 each side - 3 sets). It involved a wide stance and making sure when went to the right making sure my right knee pointed to my right and my left leg was straight. The bar was an approximately 15 lb pvc pipe filled with sand.

I need to learn more names of things. I have no idea if those descriptions would make sense to anyone but me.




Relaxing vs Stress:


Last few days have been super stressful. I had an interview today which always makes me really nervous even though it's no big deal. Relaxing has been a jigsaw puzzle and reading (nonfiction though - randomly picked up New Rules of Lifting for Women today).

A. Pike

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Summary of how my goals have gone:


1) Not too bad. Still struggling to put a name to most anything, but at least I'm noting reps, weights and describing it so that I might be able to do stuff again. It would be easier with specific names for things, but I forget to ask. Even when I ask, I sometimes forget the names anyway.


2) Arg. There is no reason I shouldn't be painting color now, other than lots and lots of stress and very very little sleep this week. Still, I've made some good progress. I'm just not very happy I haven't made more.


3) See that avatar? I have one now. : )


4) I don't think I've made hardly any progress with writing. I might have some time tonight, but I'm not sure. Even so, I haven't been doing well making it a priority even when I do have time. Guess what's making it into my goals for my first 6 week challenge?


5) I think I might have failed at sanity. Holiday stress wasn't a big problem. Job hunting was. And the wind. On the plus side, I slept in today and sort of started to recover (sleeping in is rare for me - I'm not usually physically capable of it). And my puzzle is awesome. It's DiVinci's Vitruvian Man, so it's pretty monochromatic (just various shades of cream). It's hard, which is my favorite. I hide the lid so I can't reference the completed image for an extra challenge. I skimmed some chapters of my book, since I don't need to read every recipe and exercise. I'm trying to figure out what I need to add some of those elements to my training, even though I'm not interested in doing that program right now.

A. Pike

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