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Coco P Loco kicks up a storm


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I'm back for my fourth challenge. I disappeared for a while there in between challenges, not for any particular reason except life got busy!

I have been working out and running, reading, and occasionally dropping by to read about how everyone else has been getting on.

 

As the next challenge starts tomorrow, I thought I'd better get my goals sorted out. Many are similar to my previous goals, though I'm ditching the food diary this time, and shifting sketching to the bonus section, otherwise it feels forced and stifles my desire to do it!

I'm also swapping out appreciation for meditation this time, as I want to get back in the habit of meditating on a regular basis. The appreciation (of my colleagues and team) has been going well, and I think I can manage to do this without it being part of my challenge goals - but time will tell!

 

Quest: Get strong & be healthy

1.       Mindful eating - eat only when hungry, keep portion size under control, eat pulses/legumes/lentils on a daily basis

2.       Strength Workout - 3x per week, including strength exercises from NF Rings & Handstands pack (straight arm support, walk walks, crow pose, etc.)

3.       Running - 3x per week

4.       Ninja moves - minimum 5 mins per day - core, hip flexor, and wrist/hand strengthening exercises from NF Rings & Handstands packs. And kick-ups. I’ve decided that if I’m going to be able to do a handstand anytime soon, I need to change the NF Handstands plan to match me… I’ll keep working on the strength aspects, but I need to feel like I’m making more progress as the strength stuff is taking time.

 

Quest: Be a better me

5.       At least 5 minutes Hindi practice on Memrise on weekdays

6.       Read (a book) at least once a week

7.       Meditation - minimum 5 mins per day

 

Bonuses:

Sketch - bonus point awarded for any sketching done in a day

10000+ steps - bonus point awarded for any day I walk more than 10000 steps (might hit this more than twice this month, as I'm taking part in the How Far Can You Go? PVP, where I've taken my June baseline of 2.4 miles a day as my baseline, so any daily distance over this will count for the challenge)

Miserable yoga poses - As the Miserable Yoga PVP is continuing, I'll give myself 1 point extra for each Miserable yoga pose I complete in the month

 

Weekly scores:

  1. Mindful eating (0/28)
  2. Strength Workout (0/12)
  3. Running (0/12)
  4. Ninja moves (0/28)
  5. Hindi (0/20)
  6. Read (0/4)
  7. Meditation (0/28)

Possible total = 132

 

Bonuses:

Sketch (0 days)

10000+ steps (0 days)

Miserable Yoga (0 poses)

 

 

 

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Why is no-one following your challenge yet!? :o

 

Well I am - not out of sympathy haha but because you're working on some cool stuff and I want to see :)

 

What languages do you speak? Hindi always sounds an interesting language...

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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20 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

Why is no-one following your challenge yet!? :o

 

Well I am - not out of sympathy haha but because you're working on some cool stuff and I want to see :)

 

What languages do you speak? Hindi always sounds an interesting language...

Thanks, @SymphonicDan:D

I guess I don't get on here very often to update what I'm up to.

 

As for languages, I learnt quite a lot of French and a little German when I was at school, though I was always better in French. In fact, it often pops into my head instead of Hindi when I want to respond to someone!

Despite living in Mumbai for 10 years, my Hindi is basic - I understand more than I can speak. I attribute this to the fact that I just don't need to learn it properly to get by, as I work in a company where the main language is English, and nearly everyone in Mumbai . Also hubby refuses to teach me!

Hindi is a challenge to speak because of the pronunciation - there are certain letters which just sound the same to me, and no matter how much I practice, I just can't hear the difference in the sounds. It is pretty easy to read though, once you learn the script, as it's a phonetic language.

 

What about you Dan, do you know many languages?

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"We are what we believe we are." - CS Lewis

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Week 1 review:

Whilst I've had a bit of a change of speed this week (a couple of days off work for hubby's birthday, plus a 2 day trip to the Pune office for work), things have gone remarkably well! I put that down to the planning I did last weekend, especially for my workouts, as the hotel I was staying at doesn't have a gym. Last week the one thing that suffered the most was my daily steps, with 3 days below my 2.4 miles June daily average (and therefore a zero score on the How Far Can You Go PVP). I have had a few good days on the steps front though, and plan to get this sorted next week.

 

Even though we went out for dinner and drinks for hubby's birthday, I chose wisely, which was not easy to do. But when I was in Pune, my friend and I splurged on Irish Cream Cake and Pop'zel Frappuccinos (Salted Caramel flavour with caramel covered popcorn and pretzels) from Starbucks!!!

Both Strength and Running/Cardio workouts went as planned, with hotel room strength and cardio workouts thrown in, plus a running plan to slowly build up my stamina and mileage.

 

The Ninja stuff got off to a troubled start when I tackled a handstand kick-up a little too enthusiastically without warming up first. This left me with a tweaked left hamstring which gave me a little trouble when doing squats and lunges and put kick-ups off the table for the rest of the week. I modified my Ninja plan to work on planks, wall walks, and crow pose. Hopefully, I'll be able to add kick-ups back into the plan next week :)

 

The addition of meditation has been a great one. I'm using the Calm app and also taking the opportunity to meditate when running. I focus on my breathing, my step rhythm, the sounds around me, or look for awe inspiring things (like patterns in the leaves on a tree, or the way the light shines on something).

Hindi goes on (and on, and on…)

 

On the bonus front, a friend gifted me a small notebook, which I'm going to use for sketching. Due to its size, it's easy to carry around, so let's see if that inspires me to sketch any more than normal. Things went better with the steps, as I managed to go above 10000 twice this week, and also did two more poses for the Miserable Yoga PVP!

 

Weekly scores:

  1. Mindful eating (6/7)
  2. Strength Workout (3/3)
  3. Running/Cardio (3/3)
  4. Ninja moves (7/7)
  5. Hindi (5/5)
  6. Read (1/1)
  7. Meditation (7/7)

Possible total = 33

Current total = 32

 

Bonuses:

  • Sketch (0 days)
  • 10000+ steps (2 days)
  • Miserable Yoga (2 poses)

Bonus total = 4

 

Not a bad start!!! Let's hope I can keep it up for the next few weeks...

 

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42 minutes ago, Coco P Loco said:

Hindi is a challenge to speak because of the pronunciation - there are certain letters which just sound the same to me, and no matter how much I practice, I just can't hear the difference in the sounds. It is pretty easy to read though, once you learn the script, as it's a phonetic language.

 

What about you Dan, do you know many languages?

 

It seems that almost every language is phonetic except for English :P I speak Spanish well enough for arbitrary conversation, and French for arbitrary awkward conversation with really patient people...

 

Every time I go back to handstands for the first time in a while I get DOMS in my right hamstring more than anywhere else - be careful with it but your legs will be able to handle it better before long.

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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40 minutes ago, SymphonicDan said:

Every time I go back to handstands for the first time in a while I get DOMS in my right hamstring more than anywhere else - be careful with it but your legs will be able to handle it better before long.

I hope so.... you kick up with your right leg?

I'm adding some more leg exercises to my weekly workout schedule, both for handstands and for running. Plus extra stretches, and daily 'legs up wall'. Hopefully, this will help too!

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Legs up wall is very effective! Especially to refresh the legs after a day of hiking.

 

I kick up with my left leg, but therefore it's the right leg that has to move fastest. The non-kicking leg starts at maybe 90 degrees to the body and quickly returns to a straight position. The kicking leg goes up as the body goes down so there isn't such a great rate of change of angle at the hip there.

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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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NINJA MOVES!!! :D So many fun things in this challenge!

 

Hmmmm, re kick-ups, it's hard to say without video but I suspect both of you might be kicking too aggressively and not pushing through the shoulders enough (or at the wrong angle). The kickup should feel more like a gentle seesaw than a kick and don't actually require much in terms of leg muscle power... 

 

Just make sure to take care of your wrists, especially since you're practicing without a warmup! I'd feel like a hypocrite if I said that you should always warm up, but keep in mind that your wrists do take a beating and also that kickups do get easier if you've warmed up at least your wrists and your shoulders properly! Stiff wrists and shoulders = less stacked handstand.

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It does feel to me like a gentle see-saw motion, but maybe I could try doing handstands with the gentlest kick-ups possible anyway to see how that feels.

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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On 17/07/2017 at 7:38 PM, Mad Hatter said:

NINJA MOVES!!! :D So many fun things in this challenge!

 

Hmmmm, re kick-ups, it's hard to say without video but I suspect both of you might be kicking too aggressively and not pushing through the shoulders enough (or at the wrong angle). The kickup should feel more like a gentle seesaw than a kick and don't actually require much in terms of leg muscle power... 

 

Just make sure to take care of your wrists, especially since you're practicing without a warmup! I'd feel like a hypocrite if I said that you should always warm up, but keep in mind that your wrists do take a beating and also that kickups do get easier if you've warmed up at least your wrists and your shoulders properly! Stiff wrists and shoulders = less stacked handstand.

I'll try to be less aggressive! I have been warming up properly before trying my ninja moves this week, and all my muscles are thanking me for it :)

I think the main problem is that I've been doing kick ups from a static 'hands already on the floor' position (I guess that the NF program advises this coz it's for beginners). Occasionally I've gone from a standing position and it does feel more like a gentle see-saw than when I go from the static position, so I'll keep practising that.

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Week 2:

The monsoon has kicked it up a gear, bringing heavy rains and grey, miserable, soggy days leaving me with little to no motivation for the smaller actions in my challenge…

On the whole, the mindful eating, workouts and reading have been going well, though I've shifted a few workouts and my rest day around to avoid the rains. Unfortunately, the Ninja moves and meditation have not been happening - I seem to forget about them. I also think I need to more clearly define what I need to do to meet these goals, then it will be easier for me to get them done!

Next week I'm going to be in Pune for three days and I'm sure that my mindful eating will take a hit as I'll be going out for dinner (starter & dessert) twice, but I'll certainly enjoy it and with the exception of the desserts, it will be pretty healthy food. I know that getting in my steps will be a challenge, and I didn't do well on that this week, so I want to take that up a notch next week. Need to think about where and when I'll be able to do some walking.

 

Weekly scores:

  1. Mindful eating (7/7)
  2. Strength Workout (3/3)
  3. Running/Cardio (3/3)
  4. Ninja moves (5/7)
  5. Hindi (5/5)
  6. Read (1/1)
  7. Meditation (4/7)

Possible total = 33

Weekly total = 28

Overall total = 60

 

Bonuses:

  • Sketch (1 day)
  • 10000+ steps (1 day)
  • Miserable Yoga (0 poses)

Weekly Bonus total = 2

Overall Bonus total = 6

 

 

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"We are what we believe we are." - CS Lewis

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20 hours ago, Coco P Loco said:

I'll try to be less aggressive! I have been warming up properly before trying my ninja moves this week, and all my muscles are thanking me for it :)

I think the main problem is that I've been doing kick ups from a static 'hands already on the floor' position (I guess that the NF program advises this coz it's for beginners). Occasionally I've gone from a standing position and it does feel more like a gentle see-saw than when I go from the static position, so I'll keep practising that.

There's no right or wrong method with how you start the kick up. Starting with your hands on the floor takes away a few variables as you'll already have the hands and shoulders in place, making it less dynamic and a bit easier to catch the balance. Starting with your hands in the air requires a bit more coordination, but translates better for tumbling for example. It's also a little bit easier to get your hips up that way, but it's harder to catch your balance. Either way, I have no idea what's actually going on as I haven't seen you do it, so take any advice with a big pinch of salt. :) I'm not sure that trying to be "less aggressive" is the key word here either, it's more a question of whether you're starting position is stacked enough. But yeah ultimately it's a question of practice anyway, lots and lots of it. 

 

20 hours ago, Coco P Loco said:

Next week I'm going to be in Pune for three days and I'm sure that my mindful eating will take a hit as I'll be going out for dinner (starter & dessert) twice, but I'll certainly enjoy it and with the exception of the desserts, it will be pretty healthy food.

Taking the time to enjoy it definitely counts as mindful eating. :) 

 

Hope you'll have a lovely trip!

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On 24/07/2017 at 4:55 PM, Mad Hatter said:

But yeah ultimately it's a question of practice anyway, lots and lots of it. 

 

Taking the time to enjoy it definitely counts as mindful eating. :) 

 

Hope you'll have a lovely trip!

Thanks for the wishes! Trip is for work, so not really lovely, but definitely productive and useful. 

 

You're so right on the mindful eating... I mindfully ate my way through some yummy food over the last two days. 

 

Practice has been happening... And I've managed to do a couple of freestanding handstands over the last few days! In my hotel room :D

 

I will keep on at it! Things can only get better from here on in. 

 

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Nice clean entry to the handstand! When you have more space I'd recommend learning to cartwheel ("pirouette bail") out of a handstand so if you kick up too hard you can exit confidently.

 

I'd also recommend taking a video side-on at some point to show you your body position, as it's often very different from what you expect. I used to think I were vertical but the video showed me I was at about 85 degrees. Last week I thought I were straight but a video showed me I was arched.

 

Where do you usually practise when you're not at the Hotel Park Ornate?

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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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On 27/07/2017 at 2:14 PM, SymphonicDan said:

Nice clean entry to the handstand! When you have more space I'd recommend learning to cartwheel ("pirouette bail") out of a handstand so if you kick up too hard you can exit confidently.

 

I'd also recommend taking a video side-on at some point to show you your body position, as it's often very different from what you expect. I used to think I were vertical but the video showed me I was at about 85 degrees. Last week I thought I were straight but a video showed me I was arched.

 

Where do you usually practise when you're not at the Hotel Park Ornate?

How that I'm actually able to kick up, I'll start practicing the bail, coz I'm sure I'll need it at some time! 

Good tip on the video, I'll definitely do that. 

And I usually practice at home. I have a big 'hall' (living room) with plenty of space. The floors are tiled, so falling over would hurt... 

 

On 27/07/2017 at 4:01 PM, Mad Hatter said:

That food looks amaaaaaaazing.

 

Yeah super nice kick up! Just need to slow it down a bit because it's reeeeally hard to stop that much momentum. But veeeery nice indeed. :) NINJA!

Will keep practising kicking up... It's difficult to hit that sweet spot right now - either not hard enough to get beyond 3/4 way up or too hard and overshooting. I guess this will come with practice!

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So I dropped off the face of the earth halfway through the challenge. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but one by one I just stopped doing all the things on my goal list (with the exception of reading and Hindi). Then I got ill, as one does in Mumbai during Monsoon season, with a nasty stomach infection. Not the worst one I've ever had, where both ends explode, but bad enough to wipe me out completely for 5 days, after which it just seemed pointless to restart my tracking.

I did keep a count of my extra miles for the PVP I was doing, and so that helped me to kickstart my running, but I've been struggling to get motivated on the rings and bodyweight stuff again. I think I need to find myself a PVP for the next challenge to help me get back on with this.

During the 6 week PVP, I managed 36.7 extra miles over my average, which moves my daily average up from 2.4 miles to 3.2 miles... Not bad. Most of this has been due to me starting running again, but the plan I was following just got too hard too quickly. So now I've started the 'Zombies, Run!' 5K program, which in comparison is starting off a little too easy in week 1 for my current level, so I've been modifying the run/walk time intervals for now - for example, when it's telling me to do 10 run/walk intervals where I run slowly for 15 seconds followed by a minute of walking, I'm running a little more quickly and for a little longer than prescribed.

Signing off from this challenge, and heading over to the PVP section and new challenges to check out the minis for inspiration...

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Ah, sorry you were ill :(

 

I know the feeling when you can't feel motivated to get restarted on some sort of strength training - I think part of the reason is that when you're regularly doing strength training with a particular muscle, it gets hydrated so its function improves. After a period of disuse it returns to a normal (lower) level of hydration and you feel weaker and so less excited about training.

 

Going training once fixes that, in my experience.

 

Alternatively you're still recovering from when you were ill and you need to take care of yourself a bit more.

 

Are you challenging again in the upcoming challenge?

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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