flexagon: (back)
I talked briefly to a guy at the gym on Sunday (not in a hitting-on way, just "oh, I should do some of those" when I saw him doing shoulder dislocates). He told me he'd just been thinking about something I said months ago, that I'd probably forgotten I ever said it. But I did remember.

He had been training with S, a particular trainer at the gym, and S was commenting very loudly on people who come in and just do bodyweight excercises and never really get strong. "You called him on it, hardcore," said the guy. And I had, loudly snarking back "Yeah, body weight exercise sucks; that's why gymnasts are always so puny and weak."

Moderately rude yes, but I banter with the trainers there all the time so it wasn't wildly out of line. Also I was doing my pistol workout when S let loose that particular loudmouth bit of silliness, so he was rude first. Anyway, so fascinating -- someone remembered that, and thought about it. :D

Speaking of bodyweight exercises, I've been picking up a few new things from Your Body Is Your Barbell. It actually calls for using a fair amount of gym equipment, despite the "no gym" part of its subtitle, but has some decent stuff nonetheless. I'd recommend it to most people who like bodyweight training.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
I got this from someone I consider an ally at work, whose promotion attempt I strongly supported:

I've received the happy news that my promo was accepted, and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write feedback for me -- I reached out to you not only because I thought you'd be familiar with my work, but because I admire yours. It means the world to me to enjoy the esteem of a colleague like you.

As is and will always be the case, I still have a wealth of learning and development to do, and I'm excited to have co-workers like you around to learn from. :)

Thanks also for all of your management advice -- I'm trying particularly to make sure that [my group] is a safe place for engineers of all backgrounds, and I think you have a knack for combining that with high standards.


:D

It's funny, because some people think I'm kicking too much ass on the manager front and should actually switch away from the software track and to the management track. To those people I say NO. It's kind of the point, isn't it, that I don't have to choose, and that it is possible to combine. Can't please everyone.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Work looks like a pile of crap today, but it's been a good 13 hours.

I did a semiprivate rock climbing lesson late last night with a friend from work -- the friend was interested. And I am kind of a perfect rock-climbing storm, so I was curious what difference a lesson or two might make to the levels of stuff I can climb.

It was fun! I learned words for different grips-on-the-wall, and different hand-grips, and different foot placements, and how to place my feet carefully, and how to move around with long arms (unnatural and feels limiting, but a useful drill). Finally we went to a bouldering wall and I learned that one can sequence paying attention only to the hands -- well THAT'S doable. I thought I sucked at sequencing, because I thought one had to figure out hands and feet at the same time.. nope. So my friend and I sequenced/climbed a V1, and then the teacher wanted to crank up the juice on me. He threatened a V3, then backed off to a V2. When I flashed it (secret technical term for "climbed it on the first try"), he put me back on the V3. With sequencing and strategizing and a few hints on where to put my feet -- I had a plan for the hands, remember, which worked out fine -- I flashed that too. First time on a V3! Then he told me that corresponded to something like a 5.11d in top-roping and made me really happy. ^_^

This morning's doctor appointment (my GP) was awesome in a different way. I was seeing her to confirm that everything is okay with her prescribing my Prozac instead of my old useless Prozac-dispenser doing so. I reminded her of my little story, namely that I was on SSRIs to stop me from scratching in my sleep rather than for an emotional problem. And she proceeded to blow my mind. Apparently within a month after I first told her that story she had two other patients with odd little tics. One picked at her skin when really sleepy without being aware of it, the other kept nervously kicking at stuff and hurting a toe. She remembered my story, put both these fellow ticcers on low doses of SRRIs and they both responded to it. Holy shit! Look whose stupid 10-year quest to fix a weird problem helped to fix two other people's weird problems. I am so, so, so happy that the doctor told me! See, telling our stories does help.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Squits! What are squits? Squits are what my pistol-and-splits workout consist of… squats and splits. I said it this way by accident once and now I love it, not least because I can’t really say I’m going to do my squits and then skip the stretching part of it. :-)

So today I was doing squits, peaceably shooting the shit with one of the trainers, who was also chatting with another gym patron (a 50ish Asian man who I’d seen around quite a few times). When the conversations merged I introduced myself, and Other Gym Patron resolved into a Jason. A few sets later he shocked the crap out of me: “You’re the reason I started doing yoga.”

What?

Yeah. Apparently he’d seen ME around, doing my squits and straddles and endless chinups and whatever, decided it was possible for people to be both strong and flexible, and started doing Bikram yoga. Daily. Now he’s at 298 days in a row, looking forward to hitting 300 this weekend, is happy with his flexibility gains, and I played some Dickensian role in that, and he never once even said hi to me.

“…so, thank you,” he finished his little story. Dude, thank YOU. It’s kind of amazing that my introverted pistolly self can sometimes effect some positive change in the world, just by doing things. It’s not always necessary to go to crazy lengths like saying hi to people.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Hi [livejournal.com profile] flexagon,

I just wanted to thank you again for giving such an excellent presentation to the Foo Team on [What You Do].

...

Your combination of technical clarity, humorous presentation and obvious passion for what you do resulted in one of the few presos where I was approached by quite a few people afterwards saying "that was a great presentation - can we have more like that one?".



Damn. :-)
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Hey [livejournal.com profile] flexagon,

I wanted to pass along this bit of feedback and I forgot to do so in our 1:1 on Friday. I chatted with M a bit after the last [team] sync meeting and her comment was that if we don't hear back from the [other team] folks on the [confidential] code issue soon, I should put you on it because you'd make sure it got done. She had some really good things to say about your ability to get things done and to make sure things get done.

Anyway, I just wanted to pass on the positive feedback.
flexagon: (balancing)
I like [livejournal.com profile] a_kosmos's idea of collecting good things that happen in a jar over the next year. I'm a bit less interested in good things and more interested in things that make me feel like I'm doing some good in the world... I often doubt that I'm doing things right, and it's nice to remember that sometimes the things I do have positive repercussions.

Case in point. Balancing work and acro is insanely hard, but this Facebook message makes me want to keep doing it. Especially the sentence I put in bold.

This might be kinda weird, but you totally inspire me! I only got to meet you briefly. However, the fact that you manage to balance being such a badass with having a pretty serious, intellectual career is awesome. You've definitely helped in my decision to go back and finish my engineering degree. So thanks for rocking so freaking hard. <3

P.S. Any tips for training handstands?


This girl is a sexy hoop dancer who I met at Divine Play, and it fills me with glee to think of her becoming an engineer on top of that. I think it's amazing that I had anything to do with such a decision. All I did is meet her and teach her how to do a flamingo lift, and show off how awesomely gentle my bases are (acro over asphalt = trust time). But you never know when you're influencing someone. So motivating.

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