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RisenPhoenix Martials On


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First off.... Ha, word pun.

 

Second of all.... How weird is this?  An all (mostly) aikido-based challenge?  What is this nonsense?

 

Well, the reasoning goes like this.  I have a lot of things I need/want to work on.  I have a whole bunch of training I need to do, all for various things.  I decided that most of the is going to go live in my Battle Log (which is apparently almost 2 years old.  Whaaaat?) for the foreseeable future.  It's lots of stuff I want to do regularly, but at the end of the day, it's really just extra fluff for me.  I'd rather keep it semi-low key and then not be stressed about it.  I have enough other things in life to stress about instead.

 

So what is this challenge about?  Mainly getting myself in the mindset to test relatively soon for first kyu.  Ideally, that'll be in December.  Realistically, I think I may have to test in April 2017.  That said, I may, provided I'm close to the number of classes required and feel confident enough, I may dare to ask Sensei if I can test missing a few classes.  Rule I'm setting for myself is that I'd have to have less than a month's worth of classes remaining.  And actually feel comfortable with everything.  And I have to run it by successive levels of senior people before I actually ask Sensei.

 

That's the current State of Aikido address.  For the Challenge, it's pretty straight forward.

 

1) Weapons practice once a week

 

I'm really bad with weapons.  Like.  really bad, guys.  I kind of know the long jo kata.  I want to get the actual kumi-jo kata (both parts) organized in my brain.  My bokken work is shoddy at best.  So.  Just grab a weapon and find someone who knows what's going on at least once a week.

 

2) Self Care Stretching every day + 1 day of solid mobility work.  PLUS Get freaking insurance.

 

I'm currently in the middle of a "Dear gods, knots EVERYWHERE" type thing.  Which means it's been a few months and I started slacking on my mobility work and stretching.  Lets try to fix this with say, 5 minutes of stretching right out of bed.  I can do 5 minutes, right?  And one day a week, do some major mobility work.  I'm talking LaX balls, foam rollers, pain canes, car buffers.  I'll probably be talking to my PT friend and he can give some suggestions, too.

 

Also health insurance.  I should probably get some.

 

3) 60 minutes of extra mat practice a week.

 

What it says on the tin.  Assuming 4 days of class a week, that's 15 minutes of extra practice after class.  That's not a crazy amount, and I'm totally willing to count the weapon work in with this stuff to make it count.

 

4) Create a list of all tentative techniques to be performed on the exam

 

So the exam for first kyu isn't dictated to you.  You're just told to do 5 techniques out of every attack.  The reality/safety is that you should have 10 techniques that can show up without much thought.  I do, for the most part, have that.  But I want a nice, organized list for these things so I can really start sitting down and polishing the crap out of them.  Biggest things for this goal is I 1) need to describe any kokyunages (literally: Breath throw) so I know which one I'm talking about and 2) I really need to learn the specific names for the koshinages.

 

 

Onwards and upwards then, right?

 

 

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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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Yeah, you should get some insurance.  I don't know about MA, but I believe that federal charges you a penalty based on the percentage of the year you're uninsured.  It's pretty quick to do, MA probably has an exchange, and if not, there's the federal exchange.

 

Aikido challenge!  I can dig it.

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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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23 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Yeah, you should get some insurance.  I don't know about MA, but I believe that federal charges you a penalty based on the percentage of the year you're uninsured.  It's pretty quick to do, MA probably has an exchange, and if not, there's the federal exchange.

 

Aikido challenge!  I can dig it.

 

There's a 3 month grace period once you lose insurance from your job.  There is a 3 month probation period with the contracting agency before insurance can be bought through them.  I *shouldn't* be fined, but I do need to figure out the logisitics and costs for that.  Because I've found decently cheap things, I just want to compare what I could be getting with other stuff first.

 

And yessss... Aikido challenge.

 

 

22 hours ago, Kishi said:

Yeah dude. Get you some of them sweet, sweet benefits. You gonna need them.

 

Also, yeah, taking care of the body is just a good idea all around. I hate how unsexy it is, but like most deeply unsexy things it's quite vital and necessary. Good idea to focus on it.

 

Ahahahahahahahahahahaha..... benefits.  You think I get benefits. :P  Newp, contract workers get zilch.  I'm lucky I can accrue vacation time... and that's because it's being labeled as sick time.

 

 

Taking care of the body is good.  My knee did some weird shit Tuesday that I'm still trying to figure out.  I think rest and/or compression during use is the way to go for now.

 

 

2 hours ago, Oramac said:

 

Ummm......what?  

 

In any case, I'm in!  Looks like a solid challenge, with a lot of definite focus.  I like it! 

 

You will learn the wonders of the car buffer in a week.  Probably Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Trust us.  A boatload of Nerds can't be wrong.

 

Thanks, glad to have you around!

 

2 hours ago, Kyellan said:

Aikido! The thing which keeps you sane. A good focus indeed.

 

Also, self-care. Thanks for reminding me. I need to set a mental goal or two in my own thread. BRB

 

I thought it might be a good idea to focus on the sanity-retaining stuff, right?

 

And self-care!  If our Twin-powers are active, watch your knee.  Mine's doing stupid stuff.

 

So, speaking of my knee....

 

Tuesday during the first aikido class it started doing weird stuff.  Like, weakness and threatening to give out weird stuff.  I have no idea why, since all I had done since Saturday was aikido and walk to work.  So I'm kind of annoyed.  It's better today a bit, but it still feels off.  I want to be able to lift tomorrow, but I think it might not be in the cards.  We'll see how a night of mobility work feels and go from there.  Though I'm tempted to go to my new gym anyway and just sit in the sauna and steam room to see if that helps.

 

Also, I'm slowly enforcing borders and rules to my employment situation.  Tuesday I have labeled as aikido high priority, so I asked to keep Tuesdays as "short" days (read: 8-9 hours, rather than 10+, and being late at night).  I'm also pushing for a bit more clarity to what's actually a priority, so I can keep things organized and scheduled a bit more reasonably.  I understand being busy, but they really want to have me running on all cylinders at all times, which is not particularly good.  From the experimental side of things, I can't do much.  The bosses have kind of ignored my comments about trying to keep things scheduled, yet still want me to have long days.  Welp, fine.  I'll do what needs to be done, and when they complain about my hours, I'l show them the schedule that I keep for the day ahead, and then remind them how much I keep telling them about my hours.  And then also remind them that technically they owe me a paid lunch hour, and I don't ever take it.  Though I'm not putting into my schedule a reminder to spend 20-30 minute decompressing mid-day so I stay sane.  Hopefully that helps.

 

I did go lift yesterday mid-day, because I - wonder of wonders - caught up on all my work.  I still ended up with an 8.5 hour day.  Had I not left, it would have been 10 hours.  Though I did have to rush the workout a bit.  Ah well.  I'll figure it out.

 

And finally, I realized why I felt so financially wonky last challenge.  I forgot that April whallopped me with taxes.  So I wasn't only dealing with my "yay I'm free!" spending spree, but also a large chunk of cash leaving for taxes.  So, I actually feel a lot more confident in my financial situation than I had previously.  Huzzah!

 

And now, back to work.

  • Like 2

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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The contracting agency is possibly going to give you a better deal than the exchange, but... hard to say.  If you can get a quote from them now, might be worth it just to do the comparison.

 

I wouldn't stress to much about things feeling off physically.  Sorting out new routines, especially with crazy hours, is like an experimental shakedown of everything.

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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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Aaaaah, contract work. Yes. The free market's answer to the worker's desire to be well. I am familiar with this.

 

2 hours ago, RisenPhoenix said:

 The bosses have kind of ignored my comments about trying to keep things scheduled, yet still want me to have long days.  Welp, fine.  I'll do what needs to be done, and when they complain about my hours, I'l show them the schedule that I keep for the day ahead, and then remind them how much I keep telling them about my hours.

 

Well, it's their money. If they wanna throw it away on giving you more hours because they can't administer properly, that's their call. Of course, it costs you too, in terms of time and that ineffable quality of life score, but you know. Meh. that's jobs, right?

 

I'm glad that you've got a better handle on what's going on financially too! That would be scary to go into a job looking for a certain financial situation and getting something else instead. That always sucks.

 

My knee too! Damn, man, we gotta get these checked out.

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4 hours ago, Kishi said:

Well, it's their money. If they wanna throw it away on giving you more hours because they can't administer properly, that's their call. Of course, it costs you too, in terms of time and that ineffable quality of life score, but you know. Meh. that's jobs, right?

 

11 minutes ago, Teirin said:

That seems like something they should learn from and start fixing, but it really doesn't sound like they are.  Take your breaks!  You cannot be on all the time! 

 

It's a tricky line we're walking.  On one hand, the two managers above me are young and haven't managed people before.  They want me to have a decent work-life balance, but they also want the data and are super excited for it.  But they don't have the priority-levels of things sorted yet.  Everything is wanted for the next meeting for the most part.  Some things are put on the back burner, but most of it isn't.  Which leaves me scrambling.  On the plus side, I'm awesome and CAN do it in a 9-ish hour day.  Most of the time.  But I'd be lying if I said it didn't take a lot of computing power.  So yea.  Gotta just put my foot down sometimes to keep sane.

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

 

My knee too! Damn, man, we gotta get these checked out.

 

I foam rolled like crazy at the gym today.  And then sat in the sauna after the workout.  And massaged my leg.  It feels a bit better, but I probably shouldn't squat tomorrow.  Though I'll probably still try....

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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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11 hours ago, RisenPhoenix said:

 

I foam rolled like crazy at the gym today.  And then sat in the sauna after the workout.  And massaged my leg.  It feels a bit better, but I probably shouldn't squat tomorrow.  Though I'll probably still try....

 

Just don't hurt yourself, okay? Go light on the weight at first at least... no more preventable injuries!

 

(I should make that a goal too...)

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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14 minutes ago, Kyellan said:

 

Just don't hurt yourself, okay? Go light on the weight at first at least... no more preventable injuries!

 

(I should make that a goal too...)

 

Pot, you are the kettle. :P

 

Yea.  I have a brace to wear, and the moment things feel off, I'll stop.  Plus side is that these are new lifts for me, so I AM focusing more on form, even though I know I can handle more weight.  This is not the week to try and push that, I know.  So I won't.

 

Also, I'd once again like to say how awesome it is to have a sauna at my new gym....

  • Like 2

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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It dawns on me I don't know when the challenge actually starts.  Apparently it starts tomorrow, and not Monday like I thought.  Whoops?

 

Anyway, just was going to ramble a bit about aikido.  Had a good class with two people I really like working with, so that was fun.  One should be testing for shodan soon, and his first kyu exam is to this day the gold standard I hold everyone else to.  Seriously, his exam was probably better than some of the shodan exams I've seen.  So when I get to work with him, it's awesome.  Keeps me honest in both technique AND ukemi, which is rare.  Class wasn't hard, but it was pretty quickpaced because of my partners, so I was dead when it was over.

 

Interesting bit had nothing to do with aikido, though, today.  Middle of class (like, on the mat, I'm getting ready to throw my uke), Sensei walks up and is like "RP.  You can lock up here, right?"  Of course I can, so I said yes. "Ah.  Okay.  Excellent.  Thank you." and Sensei proceeds to walk away.  Sooooo we're now at the point where I'm at least tasked with locking up/keeping people safe even without an instructor around.  Officially.  Huzzah!  Not that a lot of people practiced after class today, but whatever.

 

Then I got home and had to adult by cleaning.  TinMan is being lame or whatever and moving in with his girlfriend.  So I need a new roommate.  Put up an ad on Craigslist last night and got a few hits already, one of which came by earlier this afternoon since he was already doing a few apartment visits in the area.  Nice kid, though a bit young.  Definitely got along with him and he appreciated most of the geekery that was going on in the apartment.  More than a few things I said had him asking about them, and he seemed interested in various games, the Dresden Files, and, oh yea, NF.  He asked because I was wearing my NF shirt and we may or may not have an NF flag on my wall in the living room.

 

Anyway, gotta email another guy who sent me a request for information not too long ago, too.  And I have irons in the fire through November Project, my facebook, and the dojo.  My net is pretty much as wide as it can be for now.  I'll take it.  I've survived worse amounts of chaos, right?

  • Like 3

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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Dude, if I was up there and had a job impending for the state of MA, I'd put in an application. As it is, I wish you luck in finding someone.

 

Also, it's a good sign that your sensei trusts you to lock up afterward. You, for better or for worse, are becoming a part of the workings of that place. Good.

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Not at all surprised that your Sensei trusts you with the dojo. Your calm and quiet commitment to that place, which I have seen firsthand, is clearly unparalleled. They can clearly see that you're not going anywhere and that you'll be heading for your instructor-level before long anyway. Those kind of masters can see the students with that potential a long way away, so they're preparing you for it in advance. No surprises there. =)

 

Good luck with the roommate thing. Hopefully whoever you find will be as cool with your random happenings and people crashing with you as TinMan has been! =)

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"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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17 hours ago, Kishi said:

Dude, if I was up there and had a job impending for the state of MA, I'd put in an application. As it is, I wish you luck in finding someone.

 

Also, it's a good sign that your sensei trusts you to lock up afterward. You, for better or for worse, are becoming a part of the workings of that place. Good.

 

If you had a job impending for MA, you wouldn't need an application because you'd just have it.

 

And yea, I know they trust me, but it's nice to see it in use sometimes. haha

 

1 hour ago, Kyellan said:

Not at all surprised that your Sensei trusts you with the dojo. Your calm and quiet commitment to that place, which I have seen firsthand, is clearly unparalleled. They can clearly see that you're not going anywhere and that you'll be heading for your instructor-level before long anyway. Those kind of masters can see the students with that potential a long way away, so they're preparing you for it in advance. No surprises there. =)

 

bashful.gif

 

1 hour ago, Kyellan said:

Good luck with the roommate thing. Hopefully whoever you find will be as cool with your random happenings and people crashing with you as TinMan has been! =)

 

Thanks!  I honestly think I found the person I'll offer the apartment to this weekend afterall.  Woman stopped by, my age, works near by, she and I clicked in terms of getting along and she likes cooking.  Plus she's interested in aikido, and speaks Japanese and would be willing to help me practice it.  Plus she has a huge ass TV and a couch to replace the futon I've been considering getting rid of anyway.  And if she doesn't work, there's a younger guy who stopped by Saturday that was pretty chill to talk to, and was interested in NF.  So two wins out of the 4 potential people who asked about the apartment.

 

Anyway, day 2 of the challenge!

 

I totally forgot to stretch this morning.  I didn't sleep well for a variety of reasons, so I just could not move my ass this morning to get out of bed.  I had two aikido classes yesterday, plus worked on the jo kata for 15 minutes after class and then also worked on ukemi as a friend used me to try a few things out.  It was fun.  Today I have no idea if I'll make it to aikido.  Work scheduling is far behind what I was told initially, so things will take a while.... dumb.  Sigh.  I really think I'm going to need the mat today, too.  Maybe I'll go even if there's half a class left and just practice on the mat for a while afterwards.

  • Like 3

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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So I swear to the intarwebz I hit the follow button.  I'm terrible about this. :(

 

Sorry to hear Tinman is moving out, but I guess it makes sense to move in with the girlfriend.  haha.  (I jest)  Sounds like you have a good plan for finding a new roommate.  Does it change anything for this weekend at all? 

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"Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Captain Malcolm Reynolds

 

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Also, I Agree With Tank™

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4 hours ago, Oramac said:

Sorry to hear Tinman is moving out, but I guess it makes sense to move in with the girlfriend.  haha.  (I jest)  Sounds like you have a good plan for finding a new roommate.  Does it change anything for this weekend at all? 

 

Notta thing. Lease ends July 31, so more than a few weeks to go. Just less than I'd like. 

  • 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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It's half way through the first week.  I can't tell if that feels right or not.  Mini update to cover the last few days?

 

1) Practiced weapons on Monday for a bit, so I hit this goal.  But to further it, one of the senior students who KNOWS all the weapons stuff finally came back.  So now I get to pick his brain.  I at least gave him a warning.

 

2) I am terrible at stretching in the morning it seems.  I kind of... flop out of bed and zombie my way into the shower and move from there.  Maybe rather than "just out of the bed" stretching, I should do "Just out of the shower" stretching.  I mean, it has the benefit of me being warmed by the water, I'm a lot more alert, and usually once in my bedroom post-shower I just weight myself anyway.  I pick my clothes out at night, so it's not like I'm usually in a rush to find something to wear.  I'll try that tomorrow morning, I think.  Assuming I remember to clear some space in my bedroom, because it's a freaking mess right now.

 

3) Between Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I probably nabbed about 40 minutes of extra mat time so far.  I won't get to class Saturday like I normally would since I'll be driving Kyellan and Oramac to the Tough Mudder, though.  I could, I suppose, go to class on Thursday, but right now I'm kind of banking on keeping Thursday night free so I can relax a bit before people visit.  At the very least, my stretching the last few days has been pretty decent.

 

4) I made a list in Google sheets to start documenting things.  Got a few things down, but it's the basics.  Typically the idea is from every attack you should be able to do shihonage, kotegaeshi, iriminage, and hitoe iriminage.  So that's four of the supposed 5 you're supposed to do for the exam.  It also dawns on me that I need to ask if omote/ura versions of techniques count as one or two.... Hmmmm.  Anyway, some progress at least here.

 

So, mini story time? 

 

We got a new student at the dojo, and I already like him.  Pretty chill, and pretty fun to work with.  Yesterday I had to teach him tenkans, and I was trying to get towards back rolls, but, er, I talk too much.  Everything was important, and it was a lot of "No no no, you're normal, it's fine, that's how this feels to begin with" statements, but I also acknowledge that I learn by storing every bit of information given to me, whether I can pull it off or not, and I teach mostly the same way.  He seemed to appreciate it though it also might have been because he got a bit of an extra rest.  HA.

 

Second class last night was extra interesting, because the back half of the class I was working with G (the senior student-turned-recent-instructor) and the new guy.  So there was me playing with G and learning and working on stuff with him, G helping the New guy and me watching that to learn how to teach better, then me helping the new guy and G watching to make sure I didn't screw up too badly, and then Sempai was teaching and he'd walk over and I'd make a smart ass response.  G and I scared the new guy a bit - we practice rough and we do LOTS of breakfalls to one another.  So for a guy who's first day it was, it was semi-frightening.  After class, G was trying to show me a few variations on the technique we had done, which are now rattling around in my brain.  I kinda saw/felt the differences, without being able to grasp them until just before I got off the mat.  Things to practice on!

 

I did tell G after class that I'm aiming for a December testing.  He said I already have the skill and techniques.  I.... kinda boastfully admitted I knew that, but that it was a matter of hours now.  But I also said if I'm close enough I may ask permission anyway.  Sensei might allow it.  Even G agreed.  So we shall see.

 

And speaking of hours, the dojo is now putting a policy down that if you show up half way through a class, you 1) may or may not be allowed on the may based on how the instructor feels and 2) you can't log that class towards time spent grading.  This is because we found a member who was showing up for maybe 5 minutes of a class, and then logging it as if he had attended the entire class.  As I know who this person is, I'm curious to see if this call out changes his behavior.  But at the moment, I'm pleased that we might be able to snuff it out with a bit of extra red tape (than normal, reasonable people wouldn't need in the first place).  Who knows.  Maybe the person's aikido will actually get better if they spend the damn time on the mat. I'm not holding my breath, but it's possible, right? <.< >.>

  • Like 4

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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So, you're moving forward in a lot of ways, but it feels kind of muddled since you're not doing it according to plan.

 

Fun place to be.

 

With the morning stretches, if you need to do it post-shower, do it freaking post-shower. What is done trumps what is not done, right? Doesn't matter when.

 

People coming in is probably a good excuse to relax from training for a bit, especially if you're going to need that time to charge the batteries. It's not as if the rest is purposeless.

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FWIW, you're sounding pretty good.  There's a lack of stress there. 

 

After shower stretching is good, for all the reasons you listed.    I've stretched some *in* the shower on rare occasions when I hurt that much. 

 

Awesome work with the new guy!  Hope he saw it more as an exciting taste of what's coming instead of scaring him.

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Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

Current Challenge

Judo - Shodan

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13 hours ago, Kishi said:

So, you're moving forward in a lot of ways, but it feels kind of muddled since you're not doing it according to plan.

 

 

Wonky progress is still progress.  Keep it up man.  

 

10 hours ago, Teirin said:

FWIW, you're sounding pretty good.  There's a lack of stress there. 

 

I agree completely.  

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"Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Captain Malcolm Reynolds

 

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Also, I Agree With Tank™

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On 6/9/2016 at 0:00 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

You will learn the wonders of the car buffer in a week.  Probably Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Trust us.  A boatload of Nerds can't be wrong.

 

Thanks, glad to have you around!

 

Pics or it didn't happen. :D
(Plus, I'm more than intrigued)

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