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Sara Kingdom's Mind Like Water Challenge II


sarakingdom

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It's probably almost time to give up the Avatar gifs, but I just can't do it on a waterbending challenge.

 

The last challenge was the thing I needed to do at the time.  And mostly, it worked out well.  So I need to continue that and level up.  I have some signs that physical and mental stress are taking a bit of a toll, so this challenge is about lowering those, while working on my fitness and monkery goals.

 

 

So I have reasons to think that high physical stress levels are part of my fitness issues, and the mental stress levels, not helping anything.  The last challenge helped a bit on the mental side, which is good.  I'm thinking about a challenge that is more difficult, while also bringing down that stress. 

 

So something like this:

  • Get rid of the scale for a challenge.  Weekly measurements.
  • 8 hours of sleep.  Measured weekly, taking a percentage off my activity tracker.  An average under 6 hours is a fail.
  • Three hard strength days.  This is actually a reduction in my formal workouts.  I'm trying to find a balance between making progress and reducing physical stress.
  • Active rest days.  This is where I want my tai chi forms to come in.  Good on the mental and physical stress reduction, a mix of gentle cardio, stretching, and strength... a pretty reasonable all-arounder for healthy movement on a rest day.  Let's make this measurable: since I'm new to it, three days a week is the goal.  We'll see how it goes from there.
  • Ten or twenty minutes a day on something aikido-y, five times a week.
  • Daily meditation.  Find a habit trigger for my meditation, so it gets done regularly and early. 
  • Reviving the one bit of my challenge I didn't do so well on last time: do a small amount of a stressful task three times a week.

That's a lot of points.  I should probably distil it down a little.

 

I'm trying some new stuff with my diet this time around.  I'm working brown rice and potatoes back in, taking a look at my supplements.  (I've been reading some scientific papers on gut flora and weight loss, and I'm curious, so I'm experimenting.  It's not too far from my standard diet, just moves some things from "allowed less-harmful cheat" to "allowed".)

  • Like 5

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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And some notes to self:

 

  • That tight shoulder muscle that occasionally doesn't respond to foam rolling or tennis balls?  Magnesium lotion.  Oh yeah.

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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It's probably almost time to give up the Avatar gifs, but I just can't do it on a waterbending challenge.

 

I'm trying some new stuff with my diet this time around. 

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“It’s the sensible, logical thing to do, of course, which is why we don’t do it.” -Tanis, Dragons of Autumn Twilight

"Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it." - Raistlin - Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Current Challenge

 

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My rest and diet goals in one lazy, lazy lemur gif.  Oh yes, I will lick the apple, my friends.

  • Like 3

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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Week -1: Day 2

  • Light cardio
  • A few minutes of tai chi

I have a muscle in my shoulder that likes getting tight, and is usually fine with a bit of foam rolling.  Twice in the past six months, it has gotten so tight it's painful, and refused to respond to foam rolling for more than a half-hour.  The first time, some lotion with magnesium in it relaxed that muscle right out.  This time, that worked yesterday, but today it's back.  I'm dyyyyyying here, you do not understand.

 

captjackshower.jpg

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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Week -1: Day 3

 

I looked at the movement list for the 60-movement tai chi form I'm leaning.  So the thing with tai chi movements is that traditionally, they all have names like, "Parting the Wild Horse's Mane" and "Grasping the Bird's Tailfeathers" or something.  Not really my thing, but it seems to be the way it's done.  (Though I have seen mention that it's sort of played up to make tai chi exotic for Westerners.  I could believe it.)  This list is suitably practical.  It's mostly description of the motions, like "roll away" and "press" and "withdraw and push". Which I like.  Just a couple of "White Crane Spreads Its Wing" and "Get the Needle at the Bottom of the Sea", and "Spread Arm Like a Fan" which is sort of halfway in between.  That's not overkill.  I can work with this.

 

Then I got to move #13 and realized this was an excellent modern version of a traditional form: Movement 13, Playing the Guitar.

 

 

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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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Hope the shoulder gets to feeling better. :(

 

I think the shoulder will be okay.  I think it was just so tight that it crossed a line to being almost unable to release.  I kept it stretched out on a flat surface for a while, then held up some weight to make the opposing muscles contract a bit, and did some relaxation, and it's better.

 

Week -1: Day 4

 

Got some light cardio in.  Have not done much tai chi.  I figure when I learn this form, it'll be something like this:

 

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Feeling a little burnt out on... everything.  I want to be asleep.  Then listen to podcasts in bed.  Then be asleep.  (Note to self, the weekend is coming, and this might be a plan.)

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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Sounds like a good plan. I'm sure taiji has a sleeping pose. Really.

 

This sounds like it's going to end with "Drunken Master II" and a bottle of wine, and I like it.

  • Like 2

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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Stumptuous had a great article on bodyweight pulling exercises if you're not up to pull-ups yet, with this accompanying video:

 

 

This is great stuff, and I want to work some of this into my workouts.

 

Really achy today, not sure why.  This is probably an extension of generally not sleeping enough.

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

Link to post

Stumptuous had a great article on bodyweight pulling exercises if you're not up to pull-ups yet, with this accompanying video:

 

 

This is great stuff, and I want to work some of this into my workouts.

 

Really achy today, not sure why.  This is probably an extension of generally not sleeping enough.

 

Ooh! Ooh! I've seen that one before. Teirin also used it for some of her grappling work, so I'm sure you could get some benefit from it.

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Week 1: Day -1

 

I did half an hour of tai chi today, studying half the form.  It's a very different sort of movement than aikido, so it'll take me a while to make sense of the balance shifts and poses.  I see where the mild strength element comes in - it's one thing to kick at speed, and another to kick in slow motion.

 

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Tomorrow, my plan is to study the other half of the form, do about ten minutes of crawling, and either last challenge's bodyweight mini-challenge or another HIITy strength workout I've got lying around.

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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It's probably almost time to give up the Avatar gifs, but I just can't do it on a waterbending challenge.

 

What.gif

 

That is all.

  • Like 1

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Week 1: Day 1

 

I'm glad I have a no-scale resolution this challenge, because I took my official reference weight this morning, and I know I did not really jump 3.5 pounds in the 72 hours since I last got on the scale, but the number bothers me.  So a challenge just concentrating on doing shit right and taking measurements will be helpful.

 

I'm beginning to think that sleep might actually be the big factor in why I hang onto weight or lose it.  All my weight losses seem to be in periods where my sleep is really good, and all my weight gains in periods where my sleep is bad.  That seems to be a far stronger correlation than net calorie levels.  (I think there's some exercise component, too, like my metabolism behaves very differently when I'm getting regular exercise than when I'm taking it easy, even if I keep net calories the same.)  One of the many reasons why I think my body behaves like it's under stress from not enough rest, along with some intermittent symptoms of long-term undereating that relate to failure to repair.  This is something I've got to outsmart.  And I think it also means I need more sleep today.

 

Today is a crawl day.  I'm going to start with the easiest crawls and progress up in difficulty until I hit one I have trouble doing for 10-15 minutes.  (It'll be before bear crawl, I suspect.  Last time I did that, I needed timed sets.)

 

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The platypus-bear crawl, presumably harder than the bear crawl.

  • Like 1

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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Sounds like a good plan. I'm sure taiji has a sleeping pose. Really.

Tiger dreaming of catching the crane.

 

 

Just joking

  • Like 1

Tkal, level 8 Dwarf assassin playing with the monks

STR 13.5 | DEX 19.25 | STA 16 | CON 18.75 | WIS 18 | CHA 14.5

My walls (aka: random log) | Intro | Challenge 1 with tracker | Aborted Challenge 2 | "Real" challenge 2 | Challenge 3
Challenge 4 | (never started)Challenge 5 | (super short) Challenge 5 | (third is a charm) Challenge 5 | Challenge 6
Challenge 7 | Challenge 8
 
"Patience you must learn"

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I'm beginning to think that sleep might actually be the big factor in why I hang onto weight or lose it.  All my weight losses seem to be in periods where my sleep is really good, and all my weight gains in periods where my sleep is bad.  That seems to be a far stronger correlation than net calorie levels.  (I think there's some exercise component, too, like my metabolism behaves very differently when I'm getting regular exercise than when I'm taking it easy, even if I keep net calories the same.)  One of the many reasons why I think my body behaves like it's under stress from not enough rest, along with some intermittent symptoms of long-term undereating that relate to failure to repair.  This is something I've got to outsmart.  And I think it also means I need more sleep today.

 

Sleep is a huge factor for me when trying to battle my weight.  The Doc basically explained it like this; without good continues sleep your body does not get to fully shutdown, if it does not fully shutdown it can not truly recover and prepare itself for another day.  Again an over simplification but it always stuck with me.  On the sleep aspect, even the Avatar has had to overcome sleeping issues

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...so I'm sure you can overcome it as well!!   (plus Koola Sheep....why have our geneticist not done this yet?!?!?!?!)

“It’s the sensible, logical thing to do, of course, which is why we don’t do it.” -Tanis, Dragons of Autumn Twilight

"Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it." - Raistlin - Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Current Challenge

 

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Yup. Holding and controlling yourself in the movement is way different from just firing it off. It forces you to feel everything, to build connections that you may not otherwise.

 

It does, it's pretty interesting.  It does hit muscles you might not, going at speed.  I suspect the momentum is able to compensate for some of the muscles that don't usually get hit.  Which is an interesting way of discovering sloppy form.

 

 

What.gif

 

Well, all right, if you insist.  It's so hard to resist their little faces. :)

 

 

Hey girl.  Hey.

 

It's challenge time.

 

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Tiger dreaming of catching the crane.

 

I am going to practice that every night.

 

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I am reinstating an old habit.

 

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But it's still time to get up.

 

YOU'RE BACK!  It's good to see you.

 

The morning is evil.  Pretty exhausted lately.  Yeesh.  I need to practice more Tiger Dreaming of Catching the Crane.

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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Can you post a Youtube link to the Tai Chi 60 Form that you are learning? 

 

I can indeed:

 

  • Like 1

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

Link to post

Sleep is a huge factor for me when trying to battle my weight.  The Doc basically explained it like this; without good continues sleep your body does not get to fully shutdown, if it does not fully shutdown it can not truly recover and prepare itself for another day.  Again an over simplification but it always stuck with me.  On the sleep aspect, even the Avatar has had to overcome sleeping issues

tumblr_mfo80sT83W1rw4qqqo1_500.gif

 

It makes sense, I'm just surprised it can be such a major factor.  I need to find a way to get more sleep.  There's just so many things to do...

 

Katarasleeping.png

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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Week 1: Day 2

 

I didn't get my workout in yesterday.  I did taxes instead.  But that's okay, there's some flexibility in my schedule.  So today is workout day.

  • meditation
  • nap - I'm trying to get more rest in with half-hour naps, if I don't sleep enough at night.
  • 10 minutes crawl, level 1 - I might stay at level 1 all week.  My upper body strength made the full ten minutes challenging.  Not failure-hard, but a bit more of an endurance challenge than I expected.  Good to know.  That's why I started at level 1.

HIIT later, or, worst case, The Shogun's Triforce Challenge.

 

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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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