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RisenPhoenix

RisenPhoenix Finds a Way to Harmonize his Energy

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Wow, what a dick. That training partner doesn't seem to understand what he's supposed to be doing in the dojo.

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Geeze, what a dick move.  You're there to correct each other.  If someone gives you advice you don't want, you just nod and say, "I'll give that a try, thanks," and move on.

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So I stopped by. I am now in your thread and posts. Better be on your best behavior. 

 

I have your booze.  I'm holding it for ransom until you regularly update your thread.

 

Also hi, long time no see.

 

Wow, what a dick. That training partner doesn't seem to understand what he's supposed to be doing in the dojo.

 

For half a second I thought you were talking about Biggums.  And was about to agree. (Because honestly, that's partially why we love the raptor guy.)

 

Geeze, what a dick move.  You're there to correct each other.  If someone gives you advice you don't want, you just nod and say, "I'll give that a try, thanks," and move on.

 

But yea.  Guy was a dick.  I take a long while to form opinions on people, but so far his attitude and behavior is leading the opinion to a not-good-place. (Other issues I take are declaring things like "*This* is not how *That* is done [at my last dojo]" while not offering any suggestions on how to improve things, generally being a lackluster partner, and severely overestimating his skill.  The last one I full acknowledge as a personal character flaw/pet peeve of mine, so there's that.)  *Ahem*  Anyway.  Just.... annoyed.

 

Yesterday I was dead after work.  Super dead.  Probably dehydrated.  Definitely not underfed ( was north of 2700 calories yesterday).

 

Class was kaeshi waza, or reversal techniques.  For the sole reason that they are on Sempai's nidan exam, he hasn't practiced them, and he was teaching last night and made us guinea pigs.  It was fun, but I was so exhausted that it was tricky.  Taking ukemi is hard usually, but taking ukemi and THEN doing a throw?  Yea.  Tricky and mind bending.

 

But anyway, it was a good class, but I bailed for the second.  My mind was filled with cottonballs, my body wasn't really obeying my commands, and I just wanted to hide.  So I went home, watched Hell on Wheels, and read a bit before falling asleep at 9:30.  It's amazing how awesome I feel after getting 8 hours of sleep.  Now if only I could manage it all the time. D'oh!

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Well, take what you can get, re: sleep. Sure, you're not getting that much sleep all the time, but you have a certain average that you seem to hit, and as long as you're hitting that, the odd day of extra sleep will be super-helpful to you. So, you know. Take what you can get.

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But yea.  Guy was a dick.  I take a long while to form opinions on people, but so far his attitude and behavior is leading the opinion to a not-good-place. (Other issues I take are declaring things like "*This* is not how *That* is done [at my last dojo]" while not offering any suggestions on how to improve things, generally being a lackluster partner, and severely overestimating his skill.  The last one I full acknowledge as a personal character flaw/pet peeve of mine, so there's that.)  *Ahem*  Anyway.  Just.... annoyed.

 

Class was kaeshi waza, or reversal techniques.  For the sole reason that they are on Sempai's nidan exam, he hasn't practiced them, and he was teaching last night and made us guinea pigs.  It was fun, but I was so exhausted that it was tricky.  Taking ukemi is hard usually, but taking ukemi and THEN doing a throw?  Yea.  Tricky and mind bending.

 

My sympathy on poor training partners. I am incredibly lucky to have a good bunch in my dojo. We don't have any brand new people right now. A couple transfers from other dojos. I think they will be trainable. You could say something like "we are glad that we can broaden your aikido horizons" when the guy makes those comments.

 

I agree, kaeshi waza is mind bending. I get confused about who is attacking whom. We get so used to the attacker always falling down. Having the attacker stay connected and do a throw is a challenge. Sugawara sensei has several kata series that practice kaeshi waza movements. They are very helpful in developing continuous connection and flexibility.

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My sympathy on poor training partners. I am incredibly lucky to have a good bunch in my dojo. We don't have any brand new people right now. A couple transfers from other dojos. I think they will be trainable. You could say something like "we are glad that we can broaden your aikido horizons" when the guy makes those comments.

 

I agree, kaeshi waza is mind bending. I get confused about who is attacking whom. We get so used to the attacker always falling down. Having the attacker stay connected and do a throw is a challenge. Sugawara sensei has several kata series that practice kaeshi waza movements. They are very helpful in developing continuous connection and flexibility.

 

I get along with most people at my dojo.  I do.  I just complain about the bad ones here more often. :P  I do love my dojo, the few sour apples aside.

 

Complain behind the spoiler because I'm terrible and I acknowledge that:

  (One more complaint about said guy.  He started the broom line after class last night, and in a fairly condescending tone told me he would "Sweep at a consistent pace so that { I } could follow him at the same time."  I get it.  You last place had a perfect, synchronized broom line.  Our dojo is awkwardly shaped.  We have a pillar in the middle of the room.  We have a corner on the mat to accommodate the Men's changing room.  We have people who are taller, shorter, sweep small, sweep large, and take a while to get into line.  Our culture is just "Sweep the damn mat."  I went to 3 different dojos in japan, and each one swept in a different manner.  None of them made any damn sense.  It was a literally free for all in the area you swept.  If we have a clean dojo at the end, we count it as a win.  Just... freaking sweep and shut up.  But give the history of how he has reacted to anything I've said, I just kept my mouth shut.)

 

Kaeshi waza was fun.  I'll definitely look through that series.  And probably send it towards Sempai.

 

Went to class last night, as per usual.  Spent 15-20 minutes before class started helping Sempai practice for his Nidan, and then another 15-20 minutes helping a 5th kyu prepare for his 4thy kyu exam.  I worked on more of that ushiro technique that I had some trouble with.  By and large it's not bad.  Sempai was helping polish it, but he and I both agree it's not a technique we're fond of.  It seems too... impractical.  Especially from static.  But the ura version is just..... meh.  But Sensei says.  So we do.

 

And in the "RP admits he has an ego" part of this post....  Back when I started we had one guy who seemed pretty solid.  But a few months into me practicing, he had to leave due to family reasons.  Recently, he has made a come back.  While watching him, I really couldn't help notice all of the things I wanted to fix in his form and technique.  And it was a weird feeling realizing that I was more comfortable on the mat now than he seemed to be.  Then I practiced with him, and two things happened.  One, I thought I saw an issue, and kept quiet.  Not because of my previous issue this week, but because for the first time I'm seeing someone who my brain interprets as "senior" to me, and who I don't have a rapport with to do an verbal sparring/practice exchange with.  My uke for the exam is senior, and I don't have any issues making him work to get better.  So it was really weird.  Secondly, the guy criticized my ukemi.  Whiiiiich bruised my ego a bit, partially because since I've started I have gotten a lot of praise for my ukemi (which I feel is also the result of moving adequately but also being larger when I started).  But, in the end, it made me look at my form and redouble efforts. Okay, I also realized that his issue with my ukemi - that I wasn't continuing forward movement after grabbing his two wrists - was that he wasn't moving back at the start of the technique.  He's a powerful guy - I was stopping dead because I had no where to move because his solid mass prevented movement.  But as soon as he added that tenshin step backwards, no issues happened further.  Was it correcting his technique or was my ukemi improved?  No idea.  Probably both.

 

Anyway, he'll be an interesting one to work with in the future.  He's very stiff and very strong.  His kotegaeshi comes on incredibly fast, and I can't tell if it's the result of him being good, or him muscling through it.  All I know is it hurt like hell.  I'm trying to figure out a way to point out I shouldn't be dead after a single kotegashi during class practice.  I'm all for super effort, but I definitely fall into the school of "You don't need pain in aikido to be effective."  Pain is effective.  But the most amazing things I've experienced since beginning practice are those moments where instructors do small grips and I go flying. (Two things come to mind - one regular senior member who all but taps my hand on kotegaeshi, but causes me to fall anyway, and a nikkyo done by Sioux which was gentle but still forced me down without me having much of a choice.  But I digress.)

 

So, things to work on in the future.  Being better at offering help to everyone I see, and making sure when my ego is bruised I pull back a bit and logically evaluate. (The latter one is weird.  I am always my worst critic, so I'm not exactly experienced in other people giving me criticism that I already haven't identified long before.)

 

Rest day today, so I'm taking it easy.  Probably will apply to a few jobs tonight when I get home, but otherwise I want to relax.

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Good for you keeping your mouth shut when you get annoyed. That is something I struggle with. I know there is no point in saying anything when the other person is not in a frame of mind to listen.

 

On the hard kotegaeshi, I would ask the person "please do this more slowly so that I can work on my ukemi". That makes it a favor for you and gives you time to take the pressure off your wrist. At this point I think kotegaeshi should control through the shoulder, not through the wrist. Pain control is not sufficient in a real world situation. You need physics on your side.

 

My sensei advises people to be cautious before offering advice. She says to wait until you have practiced with a person several times. This applies to people at seminars and who have done aikido elsewhere, not to absolute beginners. Of course we all help the beginners as much as we can. It is best to wait until your partner shows signs of frustration or better yet, asks a question. That shows he is ready to receive feedback. Before then the advice has less than even odds of being helpful.

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Quick update, before I go do adulting.

 

Went to class this morning, surprisingly sore from my workout yesterday, particularly around my shoulder blades.  So I warmed up and tried to stretch out a bunch.  Sempai was there, which was somewhat strange, but I was pleased.  The class was small, but I figured it just meant I had a better chance of working with him.  We do our stretches, he gets called for demo (can I just say how much I feel relieved some times that he's in class, because he pretty much always gets preferentially picked for demos?  Which means I can relax.  I mean.  Watch.  I can watch).  He and I bow to one another pretty much instantly, plus adding in our verbal barbs for fun.  

 

Then he goes: "Oh, we're going to as [instructor] for a favor."

 

"Oh?" I say, so eloquent in the morning.

 

"We're going to go practice in the back for our exams."

 

"Ohhhh"

 

The asking for the favor happened, and we got the entire back half of the dojo to ourselves (except for when people didn't pay attention to their spacing and ended up right in our path).  We traded back and forth on techniques.  His exam is much more open ended (obviously), and I'm not actually his uke (big no no for etiquette), but I'm roughly the same size as him and his uke and he uses me to test techniques.  I like it to help my ukemi, and I get to learn some cool tricks.  (And attack variants - Two slashes with a knife?  Weirdness).  

 

And honestly, my brain was definitely more primed to be an ukemi punching bag today than performing anything.  My brain and body were just terrible today.  Nothing was really working well for me.  I got all stopped up performing jujinage (you turn uke's arms into a pretzel, and then toss them - I couldn't get my hand positioning correct) - to the point where I actively had to stop practicing it because I was getting tense just from fucking up so bad.  My kaitennage was shaky (though ura was apparently awesome, according to Sempai), mostly because I was rushing it.  I also need to be a bit more forceful with using the blade of my hand against my uke's neck - it just freaks me out a bit to put pressure there.  I was also told to be more forward/agressive with my morototori nikkyo techniques, and to be a bit quicker in the pin down.  On the plus side, my yokomenuchi gokyu and my shomenuchi shihonage are really good according to Sempai.  

Anyway, a month to polish things.  Sempai said I really will have no issues on the exam and not to worry.  And that he is now free until the exam date, and will be practicing a lot.  So huzzah, I get lots of practice time!

 

Also talked to people about potentially leaving the area to go to where Company lives.  It's interesting hearing people's reactions.  None negative (besides lamenting another regular student leaving), and lots of encouragement.  This is kind of why I love my dojo and have a martial arts family here.  They are just so damned supportive at a point where I never expected people to be that way.  It's... weird for me.  I also threw out the idea that I (obviously) would want to keep practicing when I move, but maybe try to find a way to manually log hours so I could potentially come back to Boston to test here.  I was expecting a lot of "Nooooo, that's crazy."  Instead I got "Don't worry about it" and no "Are you crazy" looks.

 

And my uke and I were talking about my progression.  He was saying by this time next year I'll be testing for 1st kyu.  And then maybe another year and a half and I'll have shodan.  I find that... very fast.  Yea, the average time for a black belt here is 6-8 years.  But.... I know a few people who need to get shodan before me before I would feel comfortable about testing for that rank.  Particularly people who I know who've been practicing for 10+ years and haven't gotten it yet. (Yea, part of that is life getting in the way for them, but.... still.)  Rank is weird.  I just want ability.  And if I have to wait a long while... I'm okay with that.  Just gotta keep on the mat.

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And my uke and I were talking about my progression.  He was saying by this time next year I'll be testing for 1st kyu.  And then maybe another year and a half and I'll have shodan.  I find that... very fast.  Yea, the average time for a black belt here is 6-8 years.  But.... I know a few people who need to get shodan before me before I would feel comfortable about testing for that rank.  Particularly people who I know who've been practicing for 10+ years and haven't gotten it yet. (Yea, part of that is life getting in the way for them, but.... still.)  Rank is weird.  I just want ability.  And if I have to wait a long while... I'm okay with that.  Just gotta keep on the mat.

 

Agreed, rank is weird. The whole system of ranks is modern, subjective and inherently controversial. That said, everyone agrees that there is a relationship between practice time and skill. You are at that lucky place in your life where you can practice almost every day. On top of that, you are young and fit so that your body is perfectly happy with that level of exertion. It makes sense that you are progressing at a fast pace. There is a young woman in my dojo who is doing much the same. She tested for second kyu last summer. I expect she will test for first kyu this fall and get her shodan in another year or so. She has the advantage of being home-schooled so she can come to class pretty much every day.

 

In my previous dojo the fastest progression I saw was five years from start to shodan, after training in other arts. He was a natural martial artist who studied technique intensely on his own time outside class. He went on to study other arts.

 

In contrast, I took the slow and roundabout route to my shodan. All in all it was 28 years from my first class to my shodan exam. There were long stretches (four years in college, six years before and during grad school) where I didn't practice at all. I was pretty much ready to test when I finished grad school and moved. Switching to a new school added about four years to my time. Not that I cared much about getting the rank. I was training at the level I was at. I felt like a brown belt when I moved. I felt like a shodan a year or two before I took the test. At this point I am in no hurry to test again. I can keep training and work on my rough spots without an official certificate.

 

So yes, I think you have the right attitude. The people who just want a certificate tend to drop out when they get it.

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In my previous dojo the fastest progression I saw was five years from start to shodan, after training in other arts. He was a natural martial artist who studied technique intensely on his own time outside class. He went on to study other arts.

 

If I keep on what I'm doing (assuming I won't move - which at this point seems unlikely....), I'll be probably right around that 5-year mark.  But I'm so critical of myself that I'd probably wait a while. 

 

But yea.  I've heard lots of stories of people taking a long while to test.  Sempai took 11 years to get to shodan, and another 8 to get to Nidan (or will, since his test is in August).  I know another guy who took a decade.  Uke will have spent 15 years.  Another guy who's amazing will take probably 12-13 years to get his (but he seriously is already at shodan in my brain - his first kyu exam was the most fluid, beautiful thing I have ever seen).

 

Speaking of exams.  Sempai is going to talk to Sensei about opening a free class practice on the weekends after our morning classes.  He also talked to me about when I'm available to train and how often.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that he might be turning gears to get me a key to the dojo, based on some of the conversation yesterday.  All and all I'm looking forward to it.  Also ended up chatting with him about work stuff and job applications.  It's been interesting polling people around me to see opinions about moving for jobs and closer to Company.  Thus far the most.... critical?  Neutral?....  has been my oldest friend.  But he also admitted that part of it is he doesn't want to have me move that far away because it would be hard to visit.  Haha

 

Anywho.  Real update to happen later.  Slowly getting my brain up to speed this morning.

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http://www.marksdailyapple.com/from-skinny-fat-to-the-best-shape-of-my-life/#axzz3fmNp2gzO

 

I rarely read MDA's success stories.  While I know they have a lot of motivation, I can't help but feel like people drank a whole lot of Koolaid.  I'm all for eating fairly unprocessed foods, and trying to eat more fat than carbs, and making sure you can move well.  But.... so many of these stories involve what seems to be a dive into the deep end and not focusing on moderation.  I can't believe the number of times I've read on MDA comments talking about how people miss bread.  Or cake.  Or ice cream.  Or when people do eat it, they lament how they were "not Primal" and how that's a horrible thing.

 

That's not a healthy food mindset.  If you're lamenting that you're not following a diet's rules perfectly, you probably need to take a step back and reevaluate things.  It's one thing to have goals, it's another to be so restrictive it impacts your life negatively (in this case, guilt).  We have a freaking eating disorder that's come from people like that.  It blows my mind.

 

But then again, now and again I peak at the stories, like the one above.  And my only thought was "with all I'm doing, why am I not where I want to be with my body composition?"  What am I missing?  Should I give up my mantra of moderation and follow something more extreme?  What will allow me to meet my goals that seem to be three years in progress with little towards what I wanted as my final end point?

 

And I don't know the answer, and that annoys me to no end.  I've come far from where I was three years ago, yes.  But I still want to accomplish more, and as of late I seem to be stalling everywhere in life.

 

Dunno.

 

Just some stupid somber thoughts this morning.

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But then again, now and again I peek at the stories, like the one above.  And my only thought was "with all I'm doing, why am I not where I want to be with my body composition?"  What am I missing?  Should I give up my mantra of moderation and follow something more extreme?  What will allow me to meet my goals that seem to be three years in progress with little towards what I wanted as my final end point?

 

And I don't know the answer, and that annoys me to no end.  I've come far from where I was three years ago, yes.  But I still want to accomplish more, and as of late I seem to be stalling everywhere in life.

 

Yes, I agree both on your opinion of the mythical "perfect" diet and on frustration with your own progress.

 

My guess is that frustration is at the root of the problem. Specifically frustration with your job which leads directly to eating more treats. Possibly also frustration at the challenges of being in a long distance relationship. You and your sweetie both want to lose some weight and get more fit, but your idea of a good time together involves eating outside your usual plan.

 

Right now you are feeling like you've stalled out everywhere. In fact, you are making great progress in aikido, have a relationship that is so successful you are considering relocating, and are applying for better jobs. You get up at the crack of dawn every Wednesday and do crazy things with NP that you would not have dreamed of two years ago.

 

I don't know what to tell you to get around this problem. You have to choose your battles. You are already exercising the way you want to. That means you need a different strategy for dealing with food and frustration.

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Hmm. I definitely agree with you in a lot of ways regarding MDA and really the Primal/Paleo movement as a whole. Orthorexia didn't really become a thing until the movement exploded in popularity with the rise of Crossfit (although it's worth pointing out that orthorexics come from other lifestyles as well, particularly Raw and Vegan lifestyles). I do agree that there's a fair amount of Kool-aid drinkage going on, particularly with the success stories.

 

On the other hand, it's kind of hard to deny the power of those stories. I mean, Sisson's been running that particular column for years. I really can't remember a time when he wasn't doing that, at least since I started reading it. In truth, those stories were and remain a big part of why I continue to read. And I think that those stories are probably a big reason why Primal/Paleo continues to be a mainstay in dietary discussion. There's lots of science that says it shouldn't work, and it constantly ranks the lowest in terms of its success due to the adherence problem. But those stories remain powerful because of the results and we understand that on a certain level.

 

It seems to me from out here that the utility of those stories is to be a reminder of that old adage which is something to the effect of, "If you would have what you've never had, you must do what you have never done." And it should be cause for you to stop and reflect and get honest with yourself about where you are and whether you like it or if you may need to consider changes.

 

FWIW, I don't know that I'd necessarily say that these success stories mean you should go to the extreme. Remember the very first success story: Sisson himself. He envisioned and developed the Primal movement as a response to the fact that he'd been living on an extreme for a very long time. Coming out of that, he determined that he wanted to get as much benefit as he could with as little effort as possible. I've never met him, but I suspect that if you asked him, he would say that he doesn't consider himself particularly extreme at all. He just prioritizes a certain quality of life and does what he feels is necessary to get it. For him, that looks like no grains, no legumes, lots of movement, lots of play, lots of sleep, lots of time in the sun.

 

It's also worth pointing out that he changes his mind on these things all the time too. He used to be a proponent for alcohol and red wine in particular, but he's changed his mind because he didn't like how it made him feel.

 

Mistr's definitely right: you've got a lot of good things going on, man. You really do. It's easy to feel like, if you're on a fitness website, that if you haven't gotten teh d34d s3x1n3ss by now that you're not doing well. But you are. You so are.

 

But I'd also say that it's unwise to settle, and if there is a part of your life that you're not content with, you owe it to yourself to examine it and determine 1) if change is necessary; 2) if you are willing to pursue that change; and 3) what that change should be (as well as the ancillary questions like how long and whether or not it should be permanent).

 

Also, don't freak out about ranking up ahead of others. Maybe it's my weird, pseudo-MMA style talking, but given that I've trounced traditional fighters before I really don't see any problem with ranking up ahead of others. If you have the skill and put in the hours before others who've been at it years longer, well... why don't you deserve to have that acknowledged?

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What's today, Wednesday?  What's been going on in my life that's challenge related.... Uhhh....

 

Well, earlier this week I applied for a job where Company is located.  The place I applied to isn't exactly my first choice given the subject matter, but jobs for me are scarce where she is, so I'll take "Not my subject matter" but "Interesting and can learn a lot" in lieu of that.  Also, if the salary scale they have listed is true, very well paying in an area where I would be paying significantly less.  I just apparently need to take some weird assessment thing.... which they didn't tell me about... until I got a random email reminding me to take the thing that was never mention.  Oi. Sigh.  Have a few monre positions I've scouted out that I'm going to apply to, mostly up here, but some down with Company.  Like I said - jobs for me are scarce down there (or at least jobs that pay me well enough to warrant moving at this point - thanks student loans.)

 

Other adulting things.... Reading a new book since I finished my Mystery novel a while back.  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.  And somehow it turned into Company and I have an all-too-adorable couple's book club with the two of us being the only members.  She reads faster than me, but we're both a little over half way through the book.  It's... interesting.  The book is kinda laden with descriptions, most of which are kinda superfluous. But the parts that are awesome are indeed awesome - there the descriptions of underwater forests, sunken ships, and coral graves is fantastic.  I'm curious to see what the back half of the book brings, as the first half is mostly focused on "Holy crap, we're under water" and no real story beyond "Who is Captain Nemo?"  Not terrible, but not entirely a driving plot.  I also might have been forbidden in choosing the next book. >.> <.<

 

Aikido has been going well.  Lots of sheiko practice that I've gotten complimented on by Sempai on.  He said I'm much more at ease than I was a few weeks ago, so I'm thinking this challenge was a success on that front.  I do feel more confident over all on my knee walking, even if I notice problems.  But it should be up to snuff with a few more weeks of practice before the exam.  And last night, we had Sioux's BFF return after many months of travel to start teaching again.  I though, because Sempai wasn't teaching, that I would get a break from being Demo uke.  Newp.  Not even close.  She ended up using me for the entire demo, aside from the back stretch.  But it was a fun class, and one she's apparently going to run at the USAF Summer Camp next week.  She also told me that this would be a good summer camp for me to have attended - because then she would use me for uke the entire time.  HA.

 

Second class was taught by Sempai.  My shoulder have been a bit rough, so I was trying to take it easy.  I kinda succeeded.  Oh, and here's a PSA for you guys:

 

If you're sparing or getting thrown, keep your jaws closed.  It will save your teeth.

 

Last night while being used for demo uke, Sempai punched my jaw.  Really hard.  It was accidental, and really a function of him both getting me off balance really solidly AND moving quickly on the atemi.  Never saw the fist coming in time to block it.  And low, my jaw got hit, my head came up and back, and I was thrown backwards.  Nothing worse than a small bruise, but Sempai felt bad - though he was quick to mention that we are studying a MARTIAL art.  I shrugged it off and kept going.

 

Uh, other dojo things.... Lesse.... We have a free practice starting after our second classes on the weekends now, more of less to benefit Sempai for his exam.  So that's nifty.  I also learned how to unlock our class counting database, so I can input more than 2 hours into people's records if they forgot to log classes.  Not much, very administrative, but since I'm at the dojo a lot more than the guys who historically you've had to ask about adding hours, ultimately helpful.

 

That's about it.  I have 11 hours to finish to get my total of 200 hours for the exam.  Won't finish it before this challenge ends, but it'll be pretty simple to nab that before the exam itself.  So a fail for the challenge, but still a solid effort to get it done.

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Oh, and forgot.

Talking to Sempai after class yesterday just to relax and cool down. He mentions that after my exam he's going to pretty much ride me hard and get me to polish up EVERYTHING so I can be even better. It's kinda nice to have someone who's willing to invest that amount of time to help me improve my aikido.

Now I just have to hope that neither of us move away. Doh!

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^^^  This. Couple's Book Club is super-adorable. Also agreed that some of the classics are crap.  I did find Jules Verne to be better than some.

 

From another traditional art perspective:  frequency of training matters as well.  Other than the odd disruption, you are there and training *very* regularly.  It makes sense that you progress quicker than many.  5 years is a quite respectable time to get your Shodan with that kind of training frequency.  Are the people you don't want to grade ahead of out as much?  That being said, you are entirely correct about the skills mattering much more than the belt.

 

You have a good partner to work with :peaceful:  

 

The fitness community in general has a lot of problems with eating disorders.  Tracking food and cutting calories are very effective for many people but it's easy to obsess and over do it, especially when you're getting sweet sweet progress.  Similar to injuries because we get all excited for something(s) new and over train.  It's hard to tell if you've gone to far until you're in trouble.  I'd also lean towards moderation and having the things I like in smaller quantities, but it's admittedly less likely to get spectacular results.    At the same time, those success stories show that it IS possible, and that's very cool. 

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See? Like I said. Everything's going awesome. Really.

 

That Couple's Book Club sounds adorable, and totally better than the last one I saw where they read Twilight together.

 

Uh. Not to give her any ideas if she should see this...

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Moby Dick.  That should be your next book.

 

I wouldn't worry about orthorexia being heavily built into Primal as a diet plan, it's one of the few that has moderation built into it with an 80-20 rule.  The fact that people are berating themselves for cheating or things being off-limits... well, that's a much broader problem in the modern relationship with food.  There's something in the modern American relationship with food that drives that sort of thing, whatever dietary guidelines you follow, it's how everyone on every diet speaks.  Every low-fat dieter, every low-carb dieter, every woman's magazine on dieting.  It's annoying and not particularly healthy, but I wouldn't for a moment blame it on anyone's diet per se... I think it's a sign of people who have been so marketed to about weight being a character flaw that they can't deal with food that doesn't have moral judgments.  That's a much bigger problem than just the Primal/Paleo/Crossfit community.  That's half of America.

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Yay for the endorsements from your sempais and progress in your aikido! I hope your teeth are okay.

 

Good luck with the job hunting. Learn new skills and better pay is a good start for a job. Add in working with a good team of people and you would have it made. Even if it does not turn out to be stellar, they might fly you in for an interview. Free trip to visit Company. :)

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Okay, so, last few days of the challenge were... Meh.

 

Work got the better of me for the most part.  I really have been crumpling, and this last week my Director and my Boss were both gone, so I kind of try to conserve my sanity.  But I was still not in a good mental place towards the end of last week.  Plus side, as a result of feeling like crap and being efficient with my work and my two bosses being away, I decided to make a break for it on Thursday and ended up going for a final walk and getting three new books to read (The Long Mars, Murder on the Orient Express, and Children of the Mind).  Also very, very close to finishing 20,000 Leagues.  I have two very short chapters left.  Only one class of aikido this weekend, as family stuff popped up and I was kind of summoned to Rhode Island for Saturday night/Sunday.  Also, Pro-Tip that bears repeating - if you're outside reading a book, put on sunscreen.  Otherwise you end up a like a crispy Phoenix. I am a brilliant shade of crimson to match my online moniker at this point.

 

Saturday my dojo also had it's all-members meeting.  It went for a while.  Things I need to do are improve the facebook page, maybe start a blog for the dojo in place of the News Letter that maybe limps out once a year, and try to reform the board advisory committee (which stupidly enough doesn't get invited to the board meetings to advise them, so it's one reason it fell apart in the first place).  We also need to raise money to fix the showers we have in the dressing rooms.  The Men's room shower is totally falling apart, to the point that we can't use it (great timing, universe, right in the middle of humid summer).  The woman's one is okay, but just a decade old.  We are also still teetering a bit on the financial front.  Not quite as bad as we were last year, but it's still a bit close to comfort.  No one apparently really wants to run a REAL donation drive.  I may talk to the people who originally ran the donation drives to build the dojo to see what they did and recommend.  One trickier thing is the aikido scene in the Boston area seems to have exploded in the last 5 years or so (according to the senior students who have been around), so it's harder to draw students or even older practitioners who now have a very wide choice to where they practice. (Though as pointed out, my dojo is where almost ALL of Kanai-sensei's senior students went, so we have so much experience it's kinda crazy.)  All and all things are looking up, but still a bit rocky.  But I'll be sticking around until we fall apart anyway.  Or I move.  And even then I'd probably still pay dues to help....

 

So then.

 

Challenge Wrap Up:

 

1) On the Mat:  I wanted to get all my classes finished for the 2nd kyu exam by the end of the challenge.  Not so much.  I only have 9 left though, so it's not that large of an issue.  I'll likely knock out most of them this coming week between challenges.  Not a win, but I definitely leaned a bit more on myself to go when I wasn't feeling up to it because of this challenge a few times.  Once again I was shown that I can be in the most terrible, brain fogged mood and the mat just makes it all evaporate.  And not only has the classes helped, I've been getting lots of good practice time in with Sempai.  So the exam (Three weeks!) should be looking fine!

 

2) Sheiko Around the World:  Not quite as organized of a count as I would like, but I definitely worked hard to do some practice every time I was in class - either before/after class or during class.Sempai did tell me I look so much better (more confident and fluid) than I did a few weeks ago, so I'll count this as a win.

 

3) Mobilize for Real:  Ahahahahahaha.*Ahem*  I skimmed through Supple Leopard.  I should just give up at this point.  There are definitely things I could pick up and implement, but so many require gear that it becomes impractical for my schedule.  That being said, the stretching mini challenge I PVPed here showed me something I didn't realize - how much I actually DO stretch.  Are they perfect stretches?  No.  Should I try to get cool down stretches in my system after lifting and Stairs?  More than likely.  But I'm honestly not nearly as bad as I thought.  I will note here that my knee cyst thing is shrinking (huzzah!), but it definitely makes my calf/hamstring tighten up a lot faster than I've seen in the past.  So I should focus on getting those nice and limber before and after class.  Interestingly, a knee brace has helped amazingly in preventing that issue.  I can only associate it with the brace holding the cyst down and not letting it move around.  Also I learned the hard way that no knee brace causes my leg to be terrible for close to a week.  Might have to store a spare brace at the dojo so I don't forget. (To keep track, I now have my gi and a towel hunkered down in the dojo, so a knee brace isn't anything much more, right? <.< >.> )  Anywho.  A semi-pass here.  Not great, but not terrible.

 

4) Adult Tasks:

  • Find Father’s Day present
  • Take car to get a tune up/oil change
  • Get car inspected
  • Pay off credit card with saved Japan money
  • Call Doctors office to fix insurance issue from the Knee Debacle
  • Host a Game Night
  • Have a Me Day to Hide
  • Look for and apply to 1-3 jobs
  • Finish reading a book or two (Supple Leopard does not count)
  • Re-evaluate budget and plan if I can pay off one of my smaller student loans without becoming destitute (Definitely can't swing paying off one of the smaller loans.  So instead a larger-than-average chunk out of the big ones will happen)
  • Go for 3 2 1 walks/rucks to get out of the house and away from people
  • Pay bills
  • Fix the bed rest pillow
  • Other things I’m probably forgetting and will update this list with when they arrive

So, adulting worked pretty well.  I had people over, made time for at least 3 decently long and away-from-people walks, read almost two books, paid a bit extra into student loans with the money I didn't spend on Japan, and got on top of some bills that I didn't really want to think about.  I still need to take my car to the shop.  That's a huge freaking priority that I haven't really done.  I just can't help but imagining it's a giant sink hole of money.  It shouldn't be.  But my car has given me more troubles in two years than my last car did in a decade.  So there's that.  This is so big of a goal I Should actually get the car inspected this week.  That's my big interim week goal.

 

And that about covers it for this challenge.

 

I definitely need to make a return to SMART goals and solid rules.  Even if they are small ones.  I'm not entirely sure where my next challenge will take me, or if I'll have one at all.  I may stick to my battle log and create something in there to follow.  I just have a lot of things on my mind as of late and trying to shoehorn in extra things right now is not really working well for me.  I don't want to coast, per say, but I definitely have a solid schedule for my life and can't add much more at this point.  So maybe the next challenge will be a step back and see challenge.  Dunno.  Onwards and upwards always, though.

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I know, right?  I still have no problems being active here, but my goals are definitely so much more long term now that 6-week challenges are tricky to fill.  I suppose I can do some more habit-building ones, but for the most part I have the base I need for things I love to do.  And most things I'd like to do would require me to sacrifice things that I don't particularly want to sacrifice now.

 

I have a few challenge-applicable thoughts, but not many.

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