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The L.A.R.A. project [zenLara]


Lara

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Challenge is over.

 

First, the numbers:

 

L.A. greensmilies-028.gif

 

  • Meditation 9/15

  • Breathing 78/84

  • Relaxation 64/42

  • Mental rewards 159/126

  • Rest moments 43/24

  • Affirmations/anxiety book 26/21 exercises

  • Positive things list 23/24

  • Take anti-anxiety supplements 28/30

  • Extra-fat 29/30

  • 3 active days. 3-4 active days every week.

 

R.A. greensmilies-019.gif

 

  • Full strength workouts 5/6

  • Upperbody workouts 5/9

  • Tap 5/9

  • C25K 7/9

  • Rest days 20/15

 

 

Let's see... As always, I've taken the first 4 weeks at a very good pace and then, as always, I've lost momentum in the last two. This has caused me to stay in tight numbers for some points in the L.A. goal (extra-fat, supplementation, positive things list...). Different is what's happened with breathing, which is a very useful tool that now has been replaced by more extensive relaxation exercises, so I won't consider it a problem, I simply feel I've switched for a while and put the emphasis in the relaxation exercise. And meditation... I hadn't meditated for a long while and maybe it was too ambitious to plan it this way. Maybe it would have been better to design a progressive approach.

 

I think I am going to consider it a pass, I won't have all my points, but at least I'll admit I've done a good work. I've been constant even at times I was feeling ok. Those are the moments I usually feel I don't need to take care of anxiety anymore and I'm wrong. This time I did fine. That deserves at least that C.

 

On the R.A. goal I see the same pattern: 4 weeks of effort and then 2 weeks of less enthousiasm, but anyway did a good job. Did most of the strength workouts, most of C25K, I observed my rest days (there were too many!) and also did some tap and stressed the importance of upperbody workouts. Then suddenly I felt that I didn't want to tap and prefered to go walking, and did so, boycotting my own goals; maybe it is tied to the summer weather and wanting to be outside in the sun. I'll think about it.

 

I am rather happy with the results (I am so close to that first push-up!) and I hope I can even improve things when scholar year will end and I'll have more free time, specially to cook more and take naps and so becoming Hulk.

 

As I had planned the goals for an A, I think I have fairly passed it.

 

I'll probably plan my next challenge in other way to suit this preference I have for one month working periods. 4/2 weeks or 3/3 weeks planning. I'll think about it too.

 

Anyway: yes, I am stronger, and yes, I am calmer.

 

 

0e811e245584962.jpg

  • Like 3

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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You're so hard on yourself, you got so much completed and i don't see any mention of your carnival success in your wrap up. Did you forget about that? I think you did really well this challenge!

Maybe you deserve a pullup bar....is it still under discussion?

  • Like 1

         Endor, LVL 40 Half-Elf Ranger 

PR and Motivation Log | Current Battle Log 

      

      Current Challenge (Jan 2021)

   

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I think it's useful to cycle training around, so that sometimes your focus is on some things (running, bodyweight, tap, Icelandic, meditation, etc.) and other times the focus is on others. It doesn't mean you must stop doing the other things, just don't worry if you don't have much time for them - you can pick them back up later. And the seasons and the academic year make natural restrictions about what is best to do when, so I think your plans are sensible.

 

I really like how you had such a well thought-out approach to these past few months and how it's worked out really well. You're stronger physically and mentally, and that's not a fluke - rather it's mostly down to your hard work :) I'm sure in the future you'll have weak moments or random crap will happen, or progress will stall and you'll be demotivated - but that's just what happens to everybody :P You've set yourself on a really good path and you're much wiser about the routes you can take than you were last year.

 

Wishing you more success, and looking forward to following you again soon :)

  • Like 2

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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You're so hard on yourself, you got so much completed and i don't see any mention of your carnival success in your wrap up. Did you forget about that? I think you did really well this challenge!

Maybe you deserve a pullup bar....is it still under discussion?

 

You are so right! This challenge felt so long that I thought Carnival took place in the last one, not this one. But it is true. Maybe even that's a reason why I slowed down on some points of the L.A. goal, because after such a challenge every other concert looks trivial :D  Thank you for reminding me of that (now I'm ready to forgive sarlacc nightmares... bleh.gif )

 

Pull up bar is on standby, because I'm waiting to my end june pay. Anyway, my boyfriend has not talked yet to the guy who has the power to convince him... smiley-sad058.gif

 

Thank you for your support, sweetie!

 

I think it's useful to cycle training around, so that sometimes your focus is on some things (running, bodyweight, tap, Icelandic, meditation, etc.) and other times the focus is on others. It doesn't mean you must stop doing the other things, just don't worry if you don't have much time for them - you can pick them back up later. And the seasons and the academic year make natural restrictions about what is best to do when, so I think your plans are sensible.

 

I really like how you had such a well thought-out approach to these past few months and how it's worked out really well. You're stronger physically and mentally, and that's not a fluke - rather it's mostly down to your hard work :) I'm sure in the future you'll have weak moments or random crap will happen, or progress will stall and you'll be demotivated - but that's just what happens to everybody :tongue: You've set yourself on a really good path and you're much wiser about the routes you can take than you were last year.

 

Wishing you more success, and looking forward to following you again soon :)

 

Those are very kind and beautiful words, I appreciate them a lot smiley-love013.gif *hugs*

  • Like 1

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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I agree with everyone else, you're being harsh with yourself and deducting credit where it is definitely due. You've had a great challenge, just look at the numbers and you'll see!

 

I also want to thank you for recommending the anxiety book, I did buy it for my friend and he says it is fantastic. 

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I'm more than adequate. Leave Kanye out of this. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

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I agree with everyone else, you're being harsh with yourself and deducting credit where it is definitely due. You've had a great challenge, just look at the numbers and you'll see!

 

I also want to thank you for recommending the anxiety book, I did buy it for my friend and he says it is fantastic. 

 

It is a very useful book. I'm glad he likes it and hope it will help him :)

 

Ok, ok, everybody seems to agree, I'm being too harsh again... I thought I had overcome it  :huh:

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

Link to post

I'll echo everyone else and say you are being too hard on yourself. You had a great challenge and you should feel very proud of yourself. :)

 

Thanks, sweetie! Or should I call you plank-lady? :)

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

Link to post

Two weeks to wait til next challenge? smiley-sad017.gif

  • Like 1

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

Link to post

Two weeks to wait til next challenge? smiley-sad017.gif

 

I know, I hate the two week breaks! You can do an interim challenge if you need to though, or continue this one. 

  • Like 1

I'm more than adequate. Leave Kanye out of this. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

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I feel like my challenge ended in fact yesterday. It was the last concert of the season, finally! I had some usual symptoms of anxiety like wanting to run away from the concert hall :lol:  but I decided I could follow through despite anxiety. I used my affirmations and power pose. Not breathing because it felt like I could hyperventilate. I felt better some minutes after we started and could focus on the task. The only bad thing is that the flashlights raised the temperature in a way I could not have guessed. It was like having a stove burner right above my head. This made my breathing very short, and I had to add two improvised breathings to a solo to assure myself I could play it, the consequence being that the solo was not as beautiful as I wanted it to be. Also the flute pads were so dry from the high temperature that some didn't close properly and I had to use a stronger fingering, which is uncomfortable. Anyway, it was ok, and I could play despite the anxiety and even was able to calm down and enjoy the pieces.

 

On the other hand, I had bought those new weights and wanted to use them, so I squeezed a mini-workout between rehearsals. I put 20 kilos on for my squat. It was hard to pick up the weights to my shoulders but the squats were ok, I could do my usual 5x5x5. This kind of encouraged me and tried the deadlift with ALL the weights I had, 28 kg. Hard, but doable. 5x5x5. The worst is that it hurts my hands in the base of the fingers. Skin is starting to harden, but is still soft enough to hurt a lot. My boyfriend suggested to use gloves, but I've seen lots of people think it is worst?

 

Anyway, the hardest part of the year is over. Now there are only 2 weeks until the scholar year ends. 2 very busy weeks, but not stressing, just busy :)

  • Like 2

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

Link to post

It sounds like you nailed the solo, despite the conditions being less than ideal, and well done for keeping your anxiety in check when it came to the fight or flight of the performance. 

 

I haven't heard that using gloves for lifting is bad, why is that?

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I'm more than adequate. Leave Kanye out of this. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

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I haven't heard that using gloves for lifting is bad, why is that?

 

This is the last thing I've read about, one of Staci's articles at NF:

 

What about gloves and straps? .... While many people wear gloves to get a better grip on the bar, gloves actually create space between you’re the hand and the bar, and it reduces your grip security, increases the diameter of the bar, and makes the bar harder to hold on to. I don’t recommend using them unless you have an injury like a ripped callus.

 

I've even read somewhere something like "yeah, go to the gym free weights area with your gloves and hear people laughing at you". So I've come to the conclusion it's no good, not sure why. I can understand the slippery thing described by Staci, but one would hope those are special gloves designed to not lose your grip, I don't know.

 

Thanks for your kind words :)

  • Like 1

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

Link to post

I can see how it might lead to diminished grip but you're right in saying there should really be a solution to that by now! Thanks for the information, I hadn't read that. Ripped calluses sound awful! 

  • Like 1

I'm more than adequate. Leave Kanye out of this. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

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If you're struggling with grip on DL's i prefer chalk to gloves ;) I use gloves for kettlebell swings and kipping pullups but not really for lifting. You can try farmers carry for grip strength. Also you can try alternate DL grip one hand over one hand under, i use that when i go heavy on DL's.

  • Like 1

         Endor, LVL 40 Half-Elf Ranger 

PR and Motivation Log | Current Battle Log 

      

      Current Challenge (Jan 2021)

   

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Agreed that chalk is good and gloves are bad. If your hands are feeling raw then using gloves might be sensible as a temporary measure, but they have the problems described above.

 

I'm surprised that the deadlifts are felt on the skin of the palm - maybe adjust your grip so that the bar is securely in your fingers and not your palm. If I ever have skin problems from deadlifts, it's on the bottom knuckles of the actual fingers.

 

Another thought - in the deadlift, your arms should hang completely vertically. If your arms are out to the side like this: /*\ ...then you could get weird extra friction (plus you're making it harder for yourself).

 

The farmers walks and the mixed grip that Endor talked about are both really good - although I don't think that grip strength is your limiting factor on the deadlift. The limiting factor is probably having heavy enough weights :P

 

For the squats, when they get heavy you should have a safe way of getting in and out of the squat. The easiest suggestion is to comandeer your boyfriend to help, but otherwise maybe you can think oof a safe way to do it yourself.

 

Super pleased at your progress here :) I was quite confident that you could manage some extra weight on the squats and deadlifts! Shame about the situations in the concert, but you did a good job regardless. So often random things go wrong in concerts like that... there was one where I was in percussion and my percussion partner lost the sheet music just before the performance, so I had to guess when to smash the cymbals haha... and at school I got a nosebleed while in the choir for Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat... oh and I once locked myself in a fire escape just before a piano exam...

 

Where are you going to be for your next challenge?

  • Like 2

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

Link to post

I can see how it might lead to diminished grip but you're right in saying there should really be a solution to that by now! Thanks for the information, I hadn't read that. Ripped calluses sound awful! 

If you're struggling with grip on DL's i prefer chalk to gloves ;) I use gloves for kettlebell swings and kipping pullups but not really for lifting. You can try farmers carry for grip strength. Also you can try alternate DL grip one hand over one hand under, i use that when i go heavy on DL's.

Agreed that chalk is good and gloves are bad. If your hands are feeling raw then using gloves might be sensible as a temporary measure, but they have the problems described above.

 

I'm surprised that the deadlifts are felt on the skin of the palm - maybe adjust your grip so that the bar is securely in your fingers and not your palm. If I ever have skin problems from deadlifts, it's on the bottom knuckles of the actual fingers.

 

Another thought - in the deadlift, your arms should hang completely vertically. If your arms are out to the side like this: /*\ ...then you could get weird extra friction (plus you're making it harder for yourself).

 

The farmers walks and the mixed grip that Endor talked about are both really good - although I don't think that grip strength is your limiting factor on the deadlift. The limiting factor is probably having heavy enough weights :tongue:

 

For the squats, when they get heavy you should have a safe way of getting in and out of the squat. The easiest suggestion is to comandeer your boyfriend to help, but otherwise maybe you can think oof a safe way to do it yourself.

 

Super pleased at your progress here :) I was quite confident that you could manage some extra weight on the squats and deadlifts! Shame about the situations in the concert, but you did a good job regardless. So often random things go wrong in concerts like that... there was one where I was in percussion and my percussion partner lost the sheet music just before the performance, so I had to guess when to smash the cymbals haha... and at school I got a nosebleed while in the choir for Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat... oh and I once locked myself in a fire escape just before a piano exam...

 

Where are you going to be for your next challenge?

 

Well, after the messages this morning I decided to find some info on websites and I found a post in stronglifts where they talked about this subject and the thing is there were pictures about how to hold the bar in pulling movements and I was doing it wrong. As Dan points out, I was holding the bar in my palm, which caused the bar to slide making my skin fold.

 

deadlift-grip.jpg

 

These pictures are very clear. I had read a lot about the proper form for a deadlfit but there were no explanations on the grip. Next time I'll deadlift I'll try to make it right. About the alternate grip for deadlift -one hand looking forward and the other backward- I guess it's only possible to use it when lifting a barbell, and by now I only have dumbbells. I'm not sure my boyfriend is ready to assume his girlfriend owns a barbell  :lol:

 

About the squat I had the problem of picking up the weights when I was at about 10 kg. I asked my boyfriend's friend -the one who is gonna decide on my pull-up bar- and he told me to do what he called "un paso de carga" (a load step?), which consisted on lifting the weights til my waist -I had no problem to do this- and then move it up to my shoulders while moving backwards one of my legs. This made it very easy to put the weights over my shoulders... until I picked 20 kg. Maybe I'll be needing help from now on.

 

 

 I once locked myself in a fire escape just before a piano exam

Really???!!!  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I have not decided yet about my next challenge. There are lots of things I want to do now that pressure is off and will have more time: retake icelandic, work on my hunched back when sitting, trying new recipes, make a plan for stage fright with specific goals and timing for next september, flute practice specific goals, more reading... Plus of course exercising and working on general anxiety. There's a lot bubbling in my brain right now. I'll wait til sunday to sit down and think seriously about it  ^_^

  • Like 2

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

Link to post

Ah I forgot you don't have a barbell. It's harder I think to grip 2 heavy dumbbells than the same weight on a barbell. The knurling on the dumbbells might be more aggressive too.

 

End of the day though we all get callouses from lifting. I've torn more than my fair share and they do hurt but they also heal up pretty quick. You can shave them with a razor or use a special kit too if they really become a problem.

 

Sounds like urine trouble! Here's an article with an interesting idea that I've heard some of the warriors talk about before.

  • Like 1

         Endor, LVL 40 Half-Elf Ranger 

PR and Motivation Log | Current Battle Log 

      

      Current Challenge (Jan 2021)

   

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Sounds like urine trouble! Here's an article with an interesting idea that I've heard some of the warriors talk about before.

 

She gives many good solutions (thank you!), but the P one  O_o  (I see you are advertising your challenge, LOL!) 

  • Like 1

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

Link to post

Congrats on a challenge well-done! You have made a lot of progress with your anxiety and fitness.

 

It also sounds like you did a great job adapting to the unexpected heat and such at your concert. I always hated it when concert conditions were less than ideal. I think the most unpleasant for me were the yearly Christmas tree lighting celebrations that we played outdoors (I did NOT enjoy putting my mouth and hands on a brass horn at 32 degrees F (0 celsius) or colder and trying to play carols), and the one auditioned concert we did each year with the best high school musicians from 3 or 4 local counties. We would get together and practice for 6-7 hours a day for 3 straight days, then have a concert at the end of it. My lips usually felt like they were falling off for that one, yet I went back for all 4 years of high school. Go figure.

 

See you at your next thread...

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