January 2016 Update

One month in, and 2016 is not off to the best start.

In a word, I bit off more than I could chew.  I tried to do too much, filling my days with task after task only to be left with no time, no energy and no motivation to do it again tomorrow.  Within just a few days I basically abandoned everything I set out to do.

I’m perhaps being overly dramatic, but in general, this month has been a failure.  Better luck in February.  Here, let me categorize in depth each one of my failings.

Physical

Splits and Flexibility

Let’s start with something good.  I did not miss a single stretch session, and I did more stretch sessions this month than any previous month.  More than that, I haven’t missed a workout, and my body is really responding.  I feel loose and ready to move.  My flexibility shows this, as I’m about as low as I’ve ever been.

My sidesplit is getting closer.

My right side lost a lot during my ankle injury and subsequent time off, but it’s almost back to normal.

Traditionally my weaker side, my left side actually feels more flexible some days.  Not complaining!

These photos would have been even more impressive if I took them a few days ago.  I felt ridiculously loose on Wednesday, and I was a few inches lower on every hold.  I also had a much better warmup that day, so there might be a connection.  All the same, progress!  Or at least what feels like progress!

Nutrition

Now for the bad news: I’ve more or less stopped eating healthy.  Insert sad face.  When I wrote about my loss of motivation mid-month, I simply couldn’t force myself to cook healthy.  It was order pizza or starve.  I really wanted some chips, and so I had some chips.  The list goes on and on.

I’m very lean, but most of that leanness comes from not eating much.  I don’t like eating.  It’s a chore, and eating healthy especially.  I could force myself to give up all the junkfood, as I have enough willpower to do it, but in my current state I wouldn’t replace those calories with anything.  I would literally starve myself.

I think I will cool it on the nutrition side for the next few weeks.  If I eat healthy, great, if not, no worries.  I need to get some other things on track first before I tackle this big hurdle.

Handstand

The good news: I trained this twice!  Hurrah!  Better than zero!

It’s odd, because on those two days, I really enjoyed myself.  Handstands are fun, and the feeling of inversion is very cool, something completely out of the ordinary.  I thought about it all day, and it was good.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t get myself to do it.  I just … didn’t do it.

It’s strange, how motivation ebbs and flows like that.  When I cratered, I couldn’t even do something I liked, handstands.  Hopefully February is kinder in this regard.  I should note, in case it’s not obvious, that I didn’t manage a freestanding handstand after two days practice.  No, all against the wall.

Chess

This is perhaps my biggest disappointment.  I had a full study plan laid out, one I put a lot of thought and energy into, one I was really excited about … and then I completely abandoned it.  It was a strange time, as I wanted to get better at chess, a lot … but I definitely didn’t want to practice or study, and I didn’t even want to play.

Over the past week, though, as I’ve come out of funk, I feel more engaged.  I’m flipping through some of my chess books, and I watch a few tutorials.  I’ve also started playing again, which goes against my study plan but is better than nothing.

The plan for February is to play a few games, have some fun, get back in the groove and then see what happens.  Nice and easy, no pressure.

Writing

I only beat last month by 764 words, but I still did it!

I suppose I should be content here.  On the one hand, I’m still writing every day, and that makes it 249 straight days.  Wow.  On the other hand, my daily average is at its lowest since my second month, and I had some days I almost quit.  Thinking back, though, I’m not sure how serious those thoughts were.  Writing has become such a habit, I think something much bigger than loss of motivation would need to happen for me to miss a day.

On the flip side, part of my writing goal was to improve this blog: to research SEO and apply it, to edit past posts and update them, that type of thing.  That largely hasn’t happened.  I forgot how hard editing is.  Or, more accurately, how much time it takes to do it well.  I don’t want to do a half-ass job, but I also don’t want to spend the next decade of my life editing old blog posts.

I have reached a mini-compromise with myself.  Every new post is properly SEO’d and has pictures and all that nice stuff.  Basically, everything I publish isn’t adding to my problem.  I guess I need to proofread them still, because that’s one area that’s very tough to get 100% right fresh off the press, but that’s the easy bit.

I’m not complaining at my writing output, I guess, but I’m nowhere near where i could’ve been as well.  We’ll call this a wash.

Skills

Cubing

I’ve solved the cube once or twice in the last few weeks.  Does that count?

Coding

I use a computer.  Does that count?

Flow

I practice for about 10min every couple of days.  Does that count?

Suffice to say, I didn’t really do anything with these three things.  Even poi, my go-to after-work activity, suffered.  I spent far more days not doing these things than doing them, even for just a few minutes.  It’s sad how much my motivation completely kept me down.

That said, I still created a video, because that’s what I do.  This is good, because it will probably be the worst poi video I ever create.  That’s for two reasons.  One, this was the first time I’ve tried to match all my movements to music, trying to create some choreography.  It’s harder than it looks!  Two, I’ll actually spend time practicing before I film the next one.   Still, take a look.

This should be good for historical purposes if nothing else: I can compare my future progress against this and see how much I’ve improved.

Conclusions

First part of 2016 wasn’t very good, to be honest, and it was entirely my fault.  I tried to master all of these things in one month, and in the end I mastered nothing.  Indeed, in some things I’m further away today than if I had spent my whole month doing nothing, if for no other reason than I feel burned out and have to slowly get back.

I’m approaching February with a much slower pace.  I’ll reveal that plan tomorrow, but needless to say, it won’t involve trying to do six-thousand different things every day.  No, I will try to do one good thing every day, and it will build from there.  That’s the plan at least.

 

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