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Kyellan

Kyellan is the Heart of the Tiger

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HeartOfTheTiger.jpg

Because every kid wanted to be Mark Hamill... my version was just different than most.

 

This challenge is going to be a bit odd. I'm currently working on a six-week kettlebell challenge as my main 'added' workout to build strength, muscle and explosive power. This in addition to my regular 3-4x/weekly Kung Fu and lightsaber training.

 

So, I decided to really consider what I wanted to focus on for this challenge. After some thought, I realized that, rather than trying to add something else or try to build a new habit (my habits are actually pretty decent these days), I'm going to double-down on things I am already doing but should be doing more of. Things which are already part of my routine and habits, but could be emphasized.

 

Currently, I am working on the signature form of my Kung Fu style, known as Gung Gee Fuk Fu Kuen, or 'Taming the Tiger'. My martial art in general is based on tiger-style fighting: alert stillness followed by hard, fast, deadly claws and hidden strikes. There are other styles in my lineage as well, but the tiger is the foundation of everything we do.

 

So, this month, I am going to become the Heart of the Tiger. Two simple goals:

 

Tiger_Prowling_Illustration.jpg

 

1) ON THE PROWL: My kettlebell warm-up will include (2) Gung Gee sets of everything I have so far: one slow, purposeful, full of dynamic tension. The second, combat speed. It will also include a tiger crawl of at least the length of my pool twice (down and back), because regular planks are boring! I'll see how that does, and lengthen it if it's not enough.

 

tiger.jpg

 

2) FELINE SERENITY: It's time to really focus on getting my headspace back. 10 minutes a day of meditation is not too much to ask. It doesn't matter WHEN I do this, just that I do it at some point during the day.

 

That's it. Pretty simple, right? We'll see how it goes.

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Okay, well, it's still week zero so I thought I'd give these goals a try on my kettlebell day today.

 

I ended up doing one super-slow Gung Gee set this morning. I hadn't really thought about how long that actually takes, even though I only have about 1/4 of the form, and how exhausting it is by the end. Also, I worked pretty hard at class last night, so my right knee is complaining today, which meant I had to take it even more carefully. 

 

I also did some tiger prowling practice, and holy hell, that is WAY more difficult than I imagined! I had to do it inside because outside was gross this morning (about 80 degrees at 6AM and enough humidity to drown a rat), so it ended up as kind of a little obstacle course, in and around the furniture in my entryway and living room. That is definitely going to require some work, and will also be easier when my right knee is not complaining.

 

Overall, I'm glad I got a jump on these, because it's helping me to work out the kinks before the challenge actually starts.

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17 minutes ago, Kyellan said:

(about 80 degrees at 6AM and enough humidity to drown a rat)

 

Sounds like a pretty mild day around St Louis. :P

 

Of course I'm in for the challenge!  I like the simple hone-in-on-stuff theme.  Enough that I might "borrow" it. :D

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On 7/14/2016 at 5:22 AM, Kyellan said:

I also did some tiger prowling practice, and holy hell, that is WAY more difficult than I imagined! I had to do it inside because outside was gross this morning (about 80 degrees at 6AM and enough humidity to drown a rat), 

 

 

On 7/14/2016 at 5:41 AM, Oramac said:

Sounds like a pretty mild day around St Louis. :P

 

I don't know how you all do the humidity thing. Having lived in a desert most my life anything above 30% is just too much! 

 

Loving the tiger theme! 

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On 7/17/2016 at 0:49 AM, Toshimi said:

I don't know how you all do the humidity thing. Having lived in a desert most my life anything above 30% is just too much! 

 

I hate the humidity. Hate, hate hate. But honestly it never gets too brutal up here in New England... usually 60% on the worst of the worst days. Those times it's best just to stay inside and camp out near an A/C unit. :D 

 

---------------------------

 

So, technically speaking I turn 31 on Wednesday. But because of some other considerations, rather than taking Wednesday off work, my wife and I did some quiet celebrations yesterday. I made a freakin' amazing chocolate cake and made my own dinner (because who could do it better? :D ).

 

I also bought myself a mountain bike as my major 31st birthday present, because I've been wanting one ever since my buddy took me out on the trails earlier this year. I went to my local bike shop on Saturday to talk with the guy, and it turned out that he had a bike in the perfect size and fit for what I want to do. It's a Specialized Pitch Sport with hydraulic disc brakes and a semi-aggressive geometry that will work very well on light-to-medium trails, and with a simple tire switch it'll also hybrid pretty well to a decent road-rider. Since there aren't a lot of great roads around me for biking, I'm probably going to be off-road fairly often, which is why I went more toward the mountain bike and plan to cross it over to the road when necessary.

 

So yeah. I'm very pleased. I took the bike out for a quick 6 mile ride this morning (about half an hour) and it was wonderful. There's just something about being on a bike that running doesn't do for me. I don't hate running, but I love flying down the road on a bicycle!

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Self-gifts are the best.  And Self-gifts that let you go on adventures are even better.

 

Now I just need to get you to get a ruck and come hiking with me and other Nerds.

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4 hours ago, Oramac said:

Sounds like a great gift to thyself!  Glad you're enjoying it! 

 

I really am. And very much looking forward to getting to take it on some real trails. Maybe this weekend. =)

 

1 minute ago, RisenPhoenix said:

Self-gifts are the best.  And Self-gifts that let you go on adventures are even better.

 

Now I just need to get you to get a ruck and come hiking with me and other Nerds.

 

Exactly!

 

And re: rucking--well, it's gonna be a while before I have that kind of spending money. I would be up for a non-weighted hike, though! I figure pretty much any mountain short of, say, Everest is manageable after Mud Day!

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Doing all right today. Last night's class was some good additional aerobic exercise to add to my early-morning biking yesterday, and I did my first day of Week 2 on the kettlebell this morning. All of my challenge goals got accomplished: forms work, tiger crawling, meditation, and all of my kettlebell training.

 

By the time I got to work, I was feeling pretty decent. Unfortunately, work always knows how to ruin a good thing. Sigh.

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13 minutes ago, Kyellan said:

By the time I got to work, I was feeling pretty decent. Unfortunately, work always knows how to ruin a good thing. Sigh.

 

I know the feeling.  Work has a way of sucking the life out of you that few other things can match.  Hopefully it gets better for you! 

 

And it definitely helps having gotten the goals done early.  

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Dunno if any of y'all are Breaking Benjamin fans, but this new video is... pretty stunning. It's a quieter track, but MAN. I love me a good concept music video, and there aren't nearly enough of them!

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Kyellan said:

Dunno if any of y'all are Breaking Benjamin fans, but this new video is... pretty stunning. It's a quieter track, but MAN. I love me a good concept music video, and there aren't nearly enough of them!

 

Saw them on Sunday with Disturbed.  Great show.  They played that song too.  The video is great as well.  

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13 minutes ago, RisenPhoenix said:

because I lost all my CDs of them. >.<

 

That's a major bummer!  Grab the free Spotify and rock out! 

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The entirety of the new album is excellent. I've been enjoying it on Spotify for several days. :D Failure, Close to Heaven, Ashes of Eden and Defeated are fantastic tracks.

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12 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Congratulations on the new bike. That looks like a great trail bike.

 

 

Thanks! I think it ought to be--the bike shop proprietor said something like "I think it will be a long time before you come back to me and say, 'Mark, the bike is holding me back'", so I'm pretty confident! Can't wait to take it out into the woods :D 

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So... you know how, just when you think that life can't get any more out of whack than it already is, but...

 

200_s.gif

 

Below is kind of a long-winded explanation of my weekend, and why things are totally out of whack, but here's the TL;DR -- My bike is awesome. I've missed two Kung Fu classes and three kettlebell sessions thanks to illness and work on my car that 100% had to be done, but I'm going to try to drag things back onto the tracks this week. Hopefully now that all of the adulting insanity is behind me, things can get back to normal.

 

-------------------------

 

Everything started Wednesday night. I wasn't honestly feeling all that great, but I went to class anyway. Because it was my birthday, Sifu decided to torture me. We suited up for sparring, and everybody went up against Sifu as per usual. I went last, and then, one by one, I went up against everyone in two-minute rounds. 

 

Yeah, that's eight straight minutes of sparring. Or, it would have been, if my endurance had lasted that long. I managed two rounds back-to-back, but after round two I was gasping like a beached fish. After a (long-ish) breather, I went back in for rounds three and four. 

 

It didn't kill me, but it set the stage for the rest of my week. Thursday morning I woke up sick. Not like last time, but definitely unwell. I actually managed to do my warm-up for my kettlebell session, but then stopped because of a really unpleasant combination of symptoms. Friday was also very unpleasant, but I did manage to get phase one of my weekend adulting done: changed the oil on my car. Piece of cake, thankfully. Doing it six or seven times last winter really made it easy this time, because I knew all the steps and it was almost no effort.

 

Saturday morning I was still unwell. I started Weekend Phase II, which was a total rear brake job on my car. I got partway through it, but got stuck, and was forced to call for help. Unfortunately, my help didn't return from out of town until yesterday, which meant I was SOL. I gave up and went back to resting, hoping to turn things around.

 

Sunday I felt a little better, but still weak and generally not myself. I did manage to move on to Weekend Phase III, which was a couple of other household tasks which required some research and uncommon purchases (namely, huge packages of fiberglass insulation), and managed to complete those without too much difficulty, despite still feeling unpleasant.

 

Finally, yesterday arrived. Finally feeling better enough to do something, I managed to talk myself into a half-hour, 6.3 mile bike ride, and then I went back to Phase II. Called for help, managed to get the passenger side of the brakes finished. (Brake pad and rotor replacement, for the curious). Got to the other side, only to find myself in the exact same pickle, with an added benefit--the driver's side brake caliper was totally rusted out. Called for help again, and replaced the whole goddamn thing: pads, rotor, and the caliper, all shiny new.

 

So, basically, I spent almost nine hours yesterday, off and on, turning wrenches, crouching down on the floor of my garage, drilling, banging on things, and generally wearing myself to the bone trying to save a few hundred bucks on car repairs. Don't get me wrong, it was totally worth it--but by the time I finished everything at 9pm last night, I was burnt and in all kinds of weird pain in all kinds of weird places.

 

Between the illness and the intense work of yesterday, I've now missed three kettlebell sessions and two Kung Fu classes in a row. However, don't think that's going to stop me. I'll be back at class tonight for lightsaber, now that my car is back up and running again, and back at kettlebell Week 3 Day 2 on Thursday. 

 

Frustrating, but not world-ending. Also, I had a lot of time to think while I was underneath my car banging on things, cursing, and ratcheting, and I came to a couple of interesting life thoughts, as well as some ways to adapt to changes going on at work (and maybe get myself ahead a little in the process). 

 

That's about it. If you stuck with me through the details: thanks. If not, I totally understand :D 

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