flexagon: (racing-turtle)
You guys, sometimes I don't know what I'm doing with fitness and athletic stuff anymore. I just put together a little montage of things I did in 2016 and, well, it's fun but kinda random. With no flexibility work in it. :(


Here's what my friend Chelsey has to say, and I love it:


Have you thought about what needs you’re trying to satisfy by training in your sport? Does it make you feel special? Are you looking for a challenge? Does it help you connect better with your peer group? To get the gears turning, here are a few reasons (in no particular order) why I am so serious about my training:

  • I love the way my body looks when it’s muscular and lean. To be a sexy, sculpted, goddess is a non-negotiable standard I’ve set for myself.

  • I demand a high quality of life for as long as possible, and having strong muscles and bones mitigate the effects of aging.

  • I feel happiest when I’m active, in some way, shape or form.

  • My body and brain crave physical challenges because they help me grow, and this growth brings fulfillment to my life.

Be dirt honest with yourself. The better you understand what makes you tick, the more effective you will be...


She's talking about injury recovery, but she had me at the part I quoted, and sometime on the airplane I decided doing the same (and, in fact, writing most of this post) would be a worthy exercise. I can't quite use the word "goddess" non-snarkily as Chelsey does, alas... but here is my own attempt.

  • I love using time to my advantage, being better today than I was last year. When I do this, I feel like a growing being; it makes me feel hope for the future and satisfaction in my life choices.

  • Workouts give me an entirely separate venue from work (two venues!) in which to belong, get positive external feedback and experience community.

  • I also demand a high quality of life for as long as possible. I want a pain-free old age, and I want to become only more badass (in comparison to my peer group) over time. I may be slightly unusual for 39, but my goal is to be an outright freak at 60.

  • Training gives me mountains to climb and, importantly, an venue for achievement that feels meaningful and isn't tied to work.

  • The focus and catharsis of working out is the only way I keep my shit together most weeks.


Yeah. That's a lot. And with that in mind, it's clear that maintaining a good level of personal strength and flexibility is key for me. If I let those things go in the service of partner skills, I'll stop feeling like a growing being, and I'll lose some of my joy. At the same time, I do want mad skillz, you know some of the ones, and I want to put video of them on the Book of Faces.


So for '17 I'm leaning toward setting some minimum benchmarks for myself, ones that I will make a commitment to maintain no matter what additional skillsy stuff I may put most of my time into. (Some of these I have right now, others I need to gain or regain.) My plan is to physically put a piece of paper on my office wall with a column for each, and write down what day I last did the thing; if it's ever more than a couple of weeks between doings of any one, then I'll know I need to focus on not losing it. All these are things I'd love to improve on someday, but certainly don't want to lose.

Current ideas include:

  • Splits: 30s in a touched-down position on both sides.

  • Pancake: Belly to floor (briefly during reps).

  • Pike: cheekbones to shins, if only briefly.

  • Squats: My body weight, six reps on a bar.

  • Pistol squats: 2 sets of five on each side.

  • Chin-ups: a set of five from a dead hang OR 30 sets of Ido style 2x2 in 30 min.

  • Backbend: chest touching wall OR a back kickover or walkover.

  • Backbend: drop back, stand up.

  • TGUs: 50lb or maybe 55lb each side.

I wonder what I'm missing, and if I should add some prehab/rehab stuff in there. Cuban rotations for my rotator cuffs at 18 or 24lb, for instance, and knee circles, maybe?

The routine(s) I'll need in order to keep these things are yet to be discovered. Pancakes take 2x/week but I already do that; I need to get better at splits practice as well in order to hit this bench mark on the right side, and some of the others are currently iffy. Still, I think this might be a good adaptable approach.
flexagon: (Default)
Heh. I opened my LJ client up with no specific intention of what to write, and found this sentence already there:

I would like a life with a bit more elegance and a bit less rushing around.


Word up, my past self, it was a hectic weekend, with undone weekend chores sloshing over into tonight. (I like that only slightly less than the week sloshing over into the weekend.) Nonetheless, I got a lot of things done and had some adventures as well, so can I complain? Nope. I chose it, I'll own it, so here are some good things.

1) This made me laugh today.



2) I think I have found an excellent source of cute, probably comfortable clothing. I ordered, a smallish order, to make sure I get catalogs for a while.

3) Someone called me a hipster. Ha ha, it is great to be called a hipster. Do you think there's any truth in it, readers? I made peace with being a yuppie several years ago and feel that I'm ready for the next step, but also wonder if I might be a little... well, old... to be a true hipster. All I will say is that I do feel more confident lately with having my own sense of style, and it's nice to feel that way.
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Acroyoga, and partner acro in general, makes me feel so unstoppable. Two kickovers tonight, flying barrel roll, basing part of barrel roll, trying to fly a free-balancing inverted bow on someone's hands (didn't quite work, but hey)... some pressing practice. Ooh, and also a free-standing shoulderstand on someone's hands (not holding their legs at all) and then we did a 180-degree twist into bat, which was new for me. It's funny how working with brand new people can be almost as fun as working with advanced people because they get so excited.

Things people have said to me in the past couple sessions:

"I can feel the yoga. You're really solid."

"I don't feel afraid of hurting you because you're such a rubber band."

"Thank you so much, that was really thrilling."

"You can base this, really??"

I was thinking on the escalator on the way home that I've always moved kind of deliberately. Some people like it and to some people it comes off as a little stiff, but there it is, either way. Well, guess what tightness and slow, deliberate movement are good for? FLYING. It doesn't exactly hurt for basing either. I suppose that's half the battle -- finding what turns your quirks into advantages. I don't think I do acroyoga because I'm good at it, but at the same time I'm glad to be pretty good because of the things it lets me do.

I snagged a spare ticket to Alegria tomorrow night, so I expect to soon be in that buzzed state of total admiration tainted with grief because I'll never be a contortionist.

Somewhat drunk... I think I'll wash down some melotonin with the alcohol and go do a cryptic crossword for a while. One more thing about acroyoga... I am so grateful that it's intense enough to basically wash the work out of my brain. I interviewed a guy today who I really liked but who won't make it into Zillian, and I was sad, but now that all seems pretty distant.
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It's been a good day. My minion at work gave a wonderful presentation that was officially the last thing I had asked of him. So, he's graduated and is no longer my minion, he's just another Zillian cog and I think he's off to a fabulous start. Since I was tasked with getting him up and running, his success is a major success for me this quarter, and I now officially don't have to keep him busy anymore. Fabulous!

On the software side, I've clawed my way out from a pile of bugs and small tasks to get back to the major refactoring that is supposed to be my primary project, so that makes me happy too.

Had coffee with a good friend tonight, and we shared some commiserations... someone recently asked him "what's your five-year plan?" and he was caught a bit flat-footed. Well, I don't have a five-year plan either, and I too feel vaguely irresponsible about that on occasion. I sort of wish the universe was orderly enough that I could have one that made any sense, but in truth, every five years of my life has brought things I never anticipated, and some of those things have been wonderful.

So, my plan for the next five years is to be as smart, fit, kind and competent as I can be. As opportunities and problems arise, I plan to act on them with all the grace, savvy and wisdom that are available to me at the time. It won't be an entirely reactionary life, but some of it will need to be, because big things will happen to disrupt my original plans. And 95 percent of it will be ad-libbed. Tonight I feel okay about that.
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Whew... my uncle died this past weekend and I just sent out the final two sympathy cards to his immediate family members (my aunt, three cousins). I'm glad that's done... writing those things is hard, but these days when it comes to family etiquette I just do what my mother tells me.

As long as I'm struggling to explain myself, I want to clarify something I said here about my friends M&G (I thought I said their lives were like a work of art -- actually I said the way they live is like an art form). I found out later that one of my friends thought I was saying they were perfect, and that really bothered me. NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT. They actually drop a million things on the proverbial floor, they eat things on an ordinary day that I wouldn't generally eat, and they overoptimize certain things like crazy people. What I meant with the art comment is that their lives seem very LIMITED, but so well-done within those very narrow constraints that I have to respect them. I think they do two things really well that impress me, three things really well total (one of them is also a strength of my own, so it's not impressive. ;)).

It kind of fascinates me because I have talked recently, too, about only doing the N things that matter and not the other ones. The perennial question is always, how large can N be before you're doing everything half-assed? M&G have arranged things, whether purposely or not, to a much smaller N than I've ever seriously considered, and they've chosen things to focus on that are almost entirely different from mine. I'm sad that what I said the first time didn't convey this very well.

Bah, humbug. English, we've had a long and good relationship but you are disappointing me tonight. I am going to focus again on Python, which I'm learning now and seems really elegant, and on the lovely present I got from my friend Chia this morning... a huge amount of handspun laceweight yarn whose colors are begging for a closeup photo this weekend.
flexagon: (Default)
Hahaha. Well, I'm done worrying about the ambition thing for now. I just had a perfect illustration of how and why goals don't always work for me, on Monday, when I went to see Flea the financial advisor. He and I had set some "goals" for me a few years ago, and those goals have been left in the dust... and frankly, I find that motivating. It's fun to be out ahead.

Later that night I also finished something I originally planned to spend a year on, after almost exactly nine months (cue the pregnancy jokes!), and that one was an ambitious project/goal indeed. I started it with LOTS of skills still necessary to acquire along the way.

People should, and probably have a moral obligation to, know what works for them. I have a growing belief that my style works for me. For one thing, since I do apply myself assiduously to improving the things I'm working on, I'm not sure what difference it would make for me to have longer-term goals. I stick with things anyway. And, not to burst into song or anything, but all one can ever do anyway is what you can do today. Now is when we live.

I don't know why I feel so driven to clarify myself, lately, given that it doesn't work very well. :)
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I must report an excellent weekend! [livejournal.com profile] apfelsingail was visiting, and having breakfasts with her gave me actual reasons to get up and out of the house in the mornings. (For those not in the area: these were the first really summery days Boston has had. We opened all the windows, I wore a skirt, and in an especially thoughtful moment I even took our winter coats for dry-cleaning so they'll be nice for next season.)

So, I was productive. Had an expensive dinner, saw a silly play, and got down to three starred emails in my Gmail, both of which are from within the last week and thus hardly count. That was a multi-weekend effort that I started in late February, but now feels goooooooooood. One annoyance I had, which I expect will continue, is the other people who have their email under control; they tend to write back quickly and thus land the ball back in my court, damn them. :)

I've been off coffee for 8 days now. The cravings faded fast. I had decaf twice on Saturday -- small amounts -- but that doesn't seem to have reawakened the beast.

So, what makes it onto the List of Things Worth Doing? I realized it's tough to write one list. Some things trump almost everything daily, but only need to be done annually. Some things on my list are ingrained habits or tendencies, they just happen to still be important. Here are some vague tiers of priority, not counting the low-level eat/breathe/shelter type stuff.

1) Work to ~48 hrs/week, Sleep on a good schedule, Hygiene, Exercise like a mad weasel
2) Communicate, Create (this mostly means Knit), Chemical Bonding With Family
3) See friends IRL, Consume (this mostly means Read, but also includes Shop)
4) Clean & Organize (on weekends)
5) Chill

Things not to do for now: extensive house projects (Just say no. Noooooooo.) Any kind of repeating classes. Active looking for new IRL friends. Recreational coding (though I might be doing a bit of recreational PM work). New hobbies. Cooking very much.

I think 3, 4, 5 and some of 2 mostly happen on weekends. :P
flexagon: (Default)
I think I was unclear earlier today when talking to someone. I am not actually a crankypants, these days. I am saying no to a lot of things right now and I am often prioritizing without mercy... it's because things are going well and I want to keep them that way. I'm so strong, I'm doing such awesome stuff, I do feel awake and shaken out of stasis now -- my self-manipulation worked! -- and now I just want to keep doing it all without shaking my year apart. Rather, I want to keep doing the short list of stuff that's really worth it, and I'm working on compiling that list, and if everything else goes to hell this year that's okay. Let 2009 be the year of things that were worth it.

Acrobalance on Tuesday: the best front handspring I've ever done. Wow! It felt awesome. And I also based a two-high (got someone to stand on my shoulders, while I was also standing) successfully for the first and second times ever.

Walking around San Francisco with Tomcat last week: the people and the place where a lot of drama once occurred. But we're older and calmer now, and infinitely more secure (at least, I am), and now I just want to stay in touch forever cause it'll always be interesting.

And the girl on the train today who saw me knitting said: "Is that a sweater for a dog?" and then said oooooh when I said no and turned the piece around to show the nice side. So did the three guys who were with her. It was funny.

Work today and almost every day: the base of the pyramid of things I'm supporting. It's the heaviest load, and yet it holds up all the rest, so it needs to be held well and steadily.
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Still trying to kick myself back into having a sense of adventure again.* I signed up for those acroyoga workshops in NYC, so now I have to go. I went running outside today (with [livejournal.com profile] bluechromis, who actually likes running outside), and tried the Central Square location of Four Burgers. (I basically love any meal consisting of a turkey burger and sweet potato fries; Four Burgers was a bit expensive but didn't break my streak, and I give them props for the whole wheat bun).

I also got lucky this week with Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfield, which was excellent fun to read... I thought it was just out, but for once it turned out to be the start of a trilogy, with the other two books already out in paperback. HA, I WIN. How many times has it gone the other way, with me squeaking "what do you mean you're the start of a series?" after reading a book? I also read The Tale of Despereaux, but for some reason just wasn't as into it. I feel like it wasn't the book's fault, either -- it had some very Lemony-Snickettish moments of vocabulary definition and touched on any number of deep themes in the course of a cute story. I think I was just really in the mood for Midnighters #2 and should come back to it some other time.

So, why am I at work? Hmmm, it just keeps happening. This is my 13th day in a row of being at work, doubtless very unlucky indeed. Last weekend was unusual though... it's been about 3 weeks since I've spent any weekend time on my normal work project.

*Without doing anything stupid, like taking an MIT algorithms class or anything else that takes tons of time.
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Two very different quotes on the topic of sustained progress:

There is a distance between the person you are, and the person you never thought you could be. And you will discover it, step by step.
(Saucony marketing material)

The universe is shaped exactly like the earth

If you go straight long enough you'll end up where you were


(Modest Mouse lyrics)

I'm feeling a bit static -- actually, feeling like I put myself in statis, and for valid reasons, but I'm trying to start moving again. Sure, I'm still busy doing all the same things as ever, but I'm trying to be excited again and feel possibilities again. With annual bonuses in, my spending fast is over; I've bought one pair of new shoes and three new yoga tops so far (and counting!), and the condo refinancing is helping to make things seem fresh and new, but it's not enough quite yet.

Well, this weekend brings Daylight Savings Time, new sneakers and a visit from my father-in-law. I'm hoping my semi-planned trip to NYC in a couple of weeks actually happens, and if that doesn't work I'll consider something bigger. Trips to Iceland are seeming like a good deal right now, and spring itself should be exciting, and of course every spring brings kittens into the world...
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My Friday started with staying home for a condo appraisal. On [livejournal.com profile] motyl's advice we've been looking into refinancing, and, um, YEAH... for the cost of about $2500 we will be able to drop our interest rate almost a full percentage point (from 5.75% to 4.875%), switch from a 30-year term to a 15-year term, and stop having our taxes escrowed. All of these are things we want, but the first one is the craziest: it saves us more than $100K over the remaining life of the loan. Nicest of all, I am not finding this stressful; it's only paperwork, and doesn't determine big things like whether we get to live here. :-)

We don't have final approval yet, but the appraiser thought that we would have no trouble. Our place needs to be worth some percentage more than the loan amount in order for us to get the new loan, so here is a new reason to pay down mortgages faster than required, something I hadn't been aware of before: you'll have a lower principal balance, which makes it that much easier to refinance when housing prices are depressed.

Right now things are strange -- interest rates are low, but only really safe loans are getting approved at all. Luckily, our house seems to have retained its value from 5 years ago (though it maybe hasn't gone up to speak of, that's not of concern right now), and it turns out [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug now has the highest credit score I've ever heard of. High enough that I looked up the maximum possible score... which is 850. Keep working, bug!

What else happened yesterday? I did a great handstand when I wasn't expecting to. I got some stuff done at work that I wasn't expecting to, given my sleepiness level. I got some letters notarized and delivered and I got to play with the notarization stamp (very satisfying; I may need to become a notary public myself just so I can have one of those). I went out to dinner by myself, which is something I actually like very much although I complained about missing my date with [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug. I got to listen to a vice president speak at work, which is good because I hadn't met him before, although I think there's some chance that he may be a mobster.
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Have I really not posted for over a week? I've been in a really strange and dreamy state lately... some of that is literal dreaming, as I have a cold (it got me eight days ago, Monday) and have been sleeping a lot. I'm way underexercised and undercaffeinated, generally not feeling like myself.

Which is not to say that I'm feeling awful. I've been sitting in sleepy amazement as great things happen on the world stage: President Obama is our president (and he can dance! and he fought to keep his Blackberry!), Guantanamo has been ordered closed, the FDA has approved the first human stem-cell experiments and the American ban on funding abortion abroad has been lifted.

Also with dramatic influence on my life, Zillian has decided to haul everyone's underwater stock options to the surface, which for the first time gives me a financial reason to stay there longer than this spring. (My strike price is 675, the current stock price is 327... so my options have been worthless since the beginning.) It's amazing. And this is why I can't seem to stick to a career plan -- Zillian changes things all the time, and not just little things, but big things too. Two months ago I wanted to take time off; now this job is going well and there's a really cool opportunity to work with friends in a building I was once very happy in. I'll have to keep my eye on that one and keep my mind open.



On the downside, raise your hand if you can believe 71,400 people lost their jobs yesterday. And these were manufacturing & services people -- average folks who just don't save much, or earn much unless they're in a quite high earning percentile. I read a number I didn't believe, the other night in Newsweek, about what percentile [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug and I are in... I guess I should have believed it. (And part of me wonders why that is and how long it can last.)

From wikipedia:


I am part of the economy's problem now, for the retail sector anyway. It's one more thing that makes me feel cut off from the world -- I've made the transition and am just not buying things right now. I was thinking lately about a daydream/daymare scenario I used to have when I was a kid (doubtless fueled by all that SF reading), the one in which I'm in a bunker or spacecraft, sometimes all alone, and surrounded by all the supplies I could need for the next X years but with no way to get anything else. Well, I looked around my house yesterday and realized I'm nearly in that situation. Not with respect to food and cold medicine, of course... but I have clothes, dishes, a stack of books I haven't read and hundreds more I wuld enjoy re-reading, yarn enough to knit for maybe a year or so before running out, video games I haven't played or have barely played that could keep me entertained for many hours apiece, exercise equipment (minimal, but I could stay fit at home if I had to), a computer that alone offers hundreds of possibilities. Huh. I practically have my bunker. Though they may be exciting, I don't need new physical objects. Sorry, retailers, I'll be more interactive after April.
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A couple of interesting quotes from this Grant McCracken blog post1 on transformation:

Personal lives have taken on an improvisational quality. We don't have standing roles and objectives so much as we engage in an ongoing process of informed, and we hope inspired improv.

and

As one of my respondents told me, "I like to think of myself as a cheap motel. There are lots of people living here, not all of them on speaking terms."

Heh. I don't like to think of myself as a cheap motel, but next time someone asks me about goals I might have to whip out that first one. Maybe at some really fabulous cocktail party: "Well, Mr. President... may I call you Barack?... I'm not sure I have static goals and objectives so much as I engage in... let's say... an ongoing process of informed improvisation. With the state of international affairs just now, I'm sure you can identify."

I kind of hate it when my unique personal life is so reflected in everyone's punditry about The Times We Live In Now. Does feel appropriate though. What I haven't told you yet is that my new boss likes me and my work so far. Deeply confusing, that. It's almost like things are fine or something. Okay, so... one day at a time.

1 You may remember Grant McCracken's name from the surging vs dwelling discussion here a while ago. His blog is largely about stuff I don't get at all, but the good posts are great.
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I never thought I'd say this, but I start to see the point of Twitter. What happens when you DO have things to say, things that are postable, and you just can't scrape your brain and time together enough? ("Had we but brain enough, and time, this coyness, LJ, were no crime...")

I wanted to say, at some point, that I read an article about Senator Clinton that kind of enraged me. It was a positive article about her, and how she's been seeming more human lately and playing up her strengths. Somewhere near the end, it said "Until now, Clinton has been acting like a president trapped in a woman's body..." EXCUSE ME!? That's about the most ugly, sexist thing I've ever seen in a national magazine. Hillary has a woman's body... a strong, rather stubby, all-around presidential woman's body. And if I were in her body, I would use it to kick that writer's body wherever it would hurt the most.

Also, regarding my algorithms class: I hate induction proofs. They go like this: our algorithm works for an empty array. So now let's assume it works for a real array that is smaller than our array. Yay, it must work for our array too! Huh? Shut up.

Lastly, I hate when people bait-and-switch me.

I meant it about Twitterishness. I'm going to try to get more open to micro-blogging, because I'm NOT quitting LJ for the term. That was crazy-talk. I'm quitting gymnastics for the term instead.

It would be hard to express here how much I feel like knitting for a while. It's good for my productivity that I don't have a sweater-piece with me today.
flexagon: (putt putt putt)
Ah, jobs and stuff. Things have not been so good at work, things have not been so fun at the gym, I am the tired. I will not get good at gym things if I do not do them each day, and I can not do them each day... great, I will just suck some more, and I will write gross code that fits all the dumb rules.

And, you vex me, my bank. I do not need a more safe way to get on your page. It was quite safe. It is now too safe. It may be safe from ME by now.

I'll sleep now, then talk to Flea ere work, when the sun is back up. "Flea", I will say, "thank you but do not send so much snail mail, it kills all the trees." "Flea, why do you not take my cash on the same day each month?" " Flea, what should I do now with the plan to save cash up when I am old?" "Flea, why are you so damn far from my house? If I get rich will you make house calls?" I think it is nice to have a flea, but it is bad to have to take the train way out to see it. If you get a flea of your own, find a close one. Or at least learn to knit so that you can knit on the train.

There's not a good word for the way I feel, though I have felt it quite a lot. It feels like, ugh, just go, do the next thing, so that one day when things are back to good that thing will have been done. Putt putt putt. I still feel tres bad that I killed a plant last week, yes, at least one of you knows the one. It froze to death. I may have teared up a bit. :_( Last year I brought it in and put lights on it... this year I cut it up and put it in a lawn bag, and fed some of its dirt to plant 2. It feels like a sign... a bad one. One less thing to take care of. Life cuts its own self back to what can be done, which is good in a way, but damn harsh for the plant and things like it.

I am glad my cat is loud and tells me when she needs me. You be that way too, 'kay?
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I had people over for a craft night last night. I love having people over... there were 8.5 people there at the fullest point, doing everything from literary criticism to musical composition (some knitting, some dreamcatcher making and some beading occurred as well). It was basically old friends plus Apples, who I would perhaps like to be be old friends with someday, and of course the Galica who is simply not old enough to be old friends with. The hot spiced cider crossed all boundaries and was the most popular attendee of the evening. All in all, it got bigger than I thought it would and went better than I thought it would (I mean, I wasn't even the one who started the late-night acro!) and maybe I'll have another one after the holidays. (I'll probably still be working on the same sweater, too, though I got over 3" of the sleeve done last night and that gives me some hope for the future. What would it take to get that much done every weekend day? And how depressing is it that the same amount of knitting will be about 1" worth when I'm working on the front and back of the thing? Agh.)

Here's some yoga progress for those who are interested...Scorpion pose through the ages )

I would SO LOVE to experience this with feet-to-head. I'm not sure I can do it safely, but today I may try to do this in such a way that I can lean the whole thing forward, shins on a wall, and get more leverage toward the final pose. (What's the worst that can happen, I drop myself on my throat? Eh, I'm sure that doesn't hurt.)

Weightlifting before that, though. And coffee before that.
flexagon: (Default)
  • Nothing, beyond applying what I learn to my own workouts.
  • Do personal training 1 day a week, possibly by trying to switch to four 10-hour days at a software job.
  • Learn more about the fitness industry.
  • Get better street cred as a gym owner if/when I decide to buy that gym.


I think I think I think I'm gonna do it! Eep.
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I went to dinner with a friend last night who lent me the study guide (i.e. 700-page textbook) for NASM personal trainer certification. It looks really cool. I may end up reading about half of it even if I end up with no desire to take the test.

I've been thinking again about the idea of owning my own gym (actually, I never stopped). It seems like something that could reasonably be approached gradually; and the fitness industry seems like a very plausible backup career option, but it would be a huge risk to jump there directly from here with my current level of savings. It seems like a better idea all around to wait, enjoy my time in software, and save up money, while slowly creeping toward credibility on the fitness side of things. Personal training certification would be a great step in that direction, and would open the way to doing that part time (it could be REALLY part-time, like one client per weekend, or more, like one day per week) to see whether I enjoy that aspect of the industry at all. A weak connection in my social network recently pointed out that a lot of what clients want from you in that situation is your enthusiasm -- and while I do have that when it comes to fitness, it might be very draining for me to work with unenthusiastic clients. Let's not even get into how it would pay a lot less.

I'm reading The Book of Lost Things by Jonathan Connolly, which was given to me by a smartypants friend of mine who kept seeing it compared to Coraline and thought I might like it. I thought it started off slowly, but it's rapidly improving -- and it's covered about 10 things that could easily have given me nightmares when I was small. It has fantastic twists on a number of old tales, such as a version of Little Red Riding Hood in which the main character is smart and independent, and chooses to "lie with a wolf" rather than a human husband because she's intrigued by his wildness. It ends badly for her eventually, but in the meantime she seduces the wolf, and plays a very creepy part in luring other women off into the woods. Yeah. Let's hear it for adult fairy tales. :)
flexagon: (Default)
I've spent half this afternoon daydreaming about either franchising or buying a local gym and turning it into something wonderful. Damn Bally's and the survey they sent me! I wanted to fill it out because I want to ask them to buy a Viper, but by the time I finished fully answering the question of what they could do to improve their space I was basically whimpering because I could see it all so clearly and I know they won't do it. Probably not any of it.

How about this... I buy Fitness First from the current owners. I keep their lovely stretching area.

I sell most of their crappy weight machines and use the space to expand the free weight section with a squat rack, more benches and some kettlebells. I add a tiny noncirculating library, just a small bookshelf with books (and issues of Crossfit Journal, etc) so people can read about things to do.

I add a Viper, a QuadMill, an actual climbing rope, a glute-ham machine, a good pullup/dip station, a pair of rings and a couple of pairs of parallettes. There might not be room for a static trapeze, alas... it's a small facility.

I upgrade the cardio machines, but have fewer of them.

I post the Crossfit "WOD" every day just to give people ideas. (I remain hypocritical and don't do them myself.)

I find people to teach yoga and pilates and handstands, and occasionally fun things like juggling or hacky sack, in the downstairs classroom.

I have fun explaining in my FAQ that there is no women's only area, and no men's only area, and no childcare area (though we have an affiliation with a nearby daycare center).

I have another small bookshelf over by the cardio machine, pre-stocked with cheap paperbacks from The Book Rack. I put up a sign saying "Take a Book / Leave a Book" and hopefully the system keeps itself going.

Sigh... is this out of my system yet?
flexagon: (Default)
At home: yay, no more parents! Also, I lost 29 inches last night... of books, that is. Yep, a 29 inch high stack of books. Most of them already went to the Goodwill; the rest are in good enough condition to be sold on Amazon. It's hard to get rid of books, but after I occasionally do it I always feel so light. :)

At work: TBC's ivy plant died in my care (sniff), and we'll soon have some new neighbors; Silver Fox and his other team are all moving today to be near us, and Dan the Cat will be moving away to an office to escape the crowd. Work is starting to feel, not bad exactly, but less personal again, more like acting. I don't care passionately about the project I'm working on, only about whether our team is healthy. In a way this is nice, and simplifies things... like, I didn't get mad at that other team when they broke our build recently, just thought what should a team leader do now? and did those things. In a way, at work, we all play roles. But in a way, also, we want to be ourselves, and we want to care. There are tricks to be figured out here.

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