Condoleances regarding the loss of your father, you and your mom will be very much in my thoughts. Hugs. Regarding housing, that is really tough ,so otherhugs, and take the time to take good care of yourself. De tout coeur.
My mother and I are both doing well. There is a lot that needs to get done still. But we are methodically working our way through everything. Things are very peaceful here at the moment. My mother and I were both living under a lot of stress for a long time, especially over the past year. Now we can finally breathe. Relax. Start rebuilding our own lives.
My mother has a couple of social events with local friends this coming week. Next weekend she will travel to my brother's place, as they are doing a memorial service for my Dad at my brother's church. (My parents did not have a church community here, my mother likes my brother's church, it is much closer to where my father lived and worked when he was able to be an active member of his community so much closer to his surviving friends now, and neither I nor any of my friends want anything to do with a religious service. Plus my brother has a lot of resources for organizing something there that we do not have here. So it makes the most sense to do it there.) The following weekend I will host a non-religious celebration here at the house, with a full feast and dancing, for myself, my mother, and my friends.
The final week of this month I will be wildly writing to hit my three month-end short story deadlines. (Actually, I hope to get one of these stories done and submitted this week, one the following week, and then only have one story left to write the final week of the month. We'll see how that goes!) Then I am taking a vacation the first week of October. My first in years! Going to drive up the Bruce Peninsula with Shelby, camp on the Bruce for a couple of nights, then take the ferry across to Manitoulin Island and drive out to visit my cousin (who lives in northern Ontario and who I have not seen in many years) for a couple of nights, then back across the ferry for one more night on the Bruce, and then home again and back to work. Likely my mother will visit my brother's family again after that for Canadian Thanksgiving. And then she wants to get back to working out with me.
My exercise this week has remained just hiking with Shelby thus far. The heat wave has broken here, however. And I just purchased new (and much needed) running shoes. Plus I finally got my follow-up bloodwork done last week, and my potential anaemia issue looks to have resolved itself. So perhaps I will start back with running tonight.
Streaks as of September 9:
Consecutive days of exercise: 1235
Consecutive days of French: 1033
Consecutive days of writing: 360
Took Shelby for her walk. Brought poop-and-scoop bags with us, as one does. But my friend had the runs. The bags I had brought were insufficient for the task. So my run turned into a second clean-up walk, with more bags and paper towels.
Consecutive days of exercise: 1236
Consecutive days of French: 1034
Consecutive days of writing: 361
Broke in my new running shoes tonight. Only 3K. (I am trying to be good and not overdo it after a break.) It felt pretty good considering how long it had been.
My friend is improving. Walked 6K with her.
Ce soir j'ai parlé français avec un francophone et il m'a compris. Et je l'ai compris aussi!
Merci @Mianevem . Oui, lorsque j'ai étudié le français à l'école, je suis devenu assez bon en lecture du français et pas trop mauvais en écriture. Mais je n’ai jamais pu survivre à une conversation avec de vrais francophones. (Tous mes professeurs étaient des anglophones qui parlaient français lentement comme moi.) Il est bon de savoir que tous mes visionnages de Netflix en français portent leurs fruits.
The people I was speaking with were another dog-walker I know here in town, and her brother who is visiting from La Belle Province. Normally I speak to her in English, because she is bilingual, and I am not. But when she started translating what I said into French for her brother, I actually understood her better than I do when we talk in English! (Her English vocabulary is very good. But she has a thick Québécois accent which I sometimes find difficult to understand.) So I switched.
I asked them: "Est-ce que vous me comprenez quand je parle en français?"
Well... I have decided to zero my fitness streak. For several months all I did most days was take Shelby for a walk. Which yes, is exercise. But if I count that level of exercise as sufficient to maintain my streak, really my streak would be many years long at this point. And I want to be doing more. So I'm starting over to reflect that.
This past year has been stressful for me, to say the least. Mentally and emotionally draining. I let some things fall by the wayside as a result. I'm slowly but surely climbing back on the horse now.
At the beginning of October Shelby and I took our camping trip up the Bruce Peninsula. We did not end up going to visit my cousin. (She decided she was not well enough to receive visitors at this time.) So we spent two nights at Bruce Peninsula National Park and then three nights at Pinery Provincial Park instead. I took paper and pen and a French story book with me and did a small amount of work on my writing and French study each day. But mostly we slept and hiked.
My vacation hikes I do count as workouts since we did a lot of mileage, and the hikes on the Bruce were quite challenging in places. (Here, for example, and here, you can see a couple of the hills we hiked up on the Bruce Trail.) I was very impressed with how well Shelby did on those challenging sections! There were a couple of spots on the downhills where I lifted her down, because it was just too dangerous to let her try to jump, but she did all the uphill stuff on her own with just a couple of assists from me.
I also did very well with eating and sleeping on my vacation. And then fell right back into bad habits as soon as I returned home. I have been procrastinating during the day, and then staying up late (way late) at night to get my writing done. And my diet has been pretty bad. Now I can finally eat what I want when I want. And I immediately fell to eating a lot of junk. I've put a stop to that now, however. I'm not eating entirely homemade at this point, but I have cut out the salty snacks, store-bought baked goods, and other prepared foods with not the healthiest of nutrition profiles once again. I'm not tracking my food intake at this point. Just generally trying to do better.
Last month a couple of friends helped me film scenes for the intro video for the Kickstarter campaign I'm putting together for January. This consisted of my friends dressing up as zombies and pretending to attack me, while I fended them off with kicks, punches, and various other fitness exercises. I also demonstrated several different types of push-ups as an example of the different levels of exercise options I offer in the Get Fit books. I felt those push-ups in my shoulders for several days afterward! I definitely need to be doing more now to get fit for my Get Fit campaign! (Not to mention my traditional birthday workout. "53 for 53" is coming up in just over two months!) To this end, my current fitness target is to do a minimum of 15 minutes a day of actual workout activities (on top of whatever hiking I do that day--"Hiking" in the Booming Metropolis is more of a casual Sunday stroll. The terrain here is mostly flat. Not challenging at all.) Yesterday (November 11) was day 7 of my new workout streak. (I haven't done a workout yet for today. But I will!)
I have also continued my French study streak. This requires me to do a minimum of 15 minutes per day of some form of French study (could be my Fluenz program, watching French-language programming, reading/writing/speaking French, it all counts). Today, (November 12) is day 1097 for my French study streak.
On the writing front I have kept up with my "do some work on my writing every day" streak. Today was day 424 for that. But "some work" includes research, business administration stuff, studying writing craft, and practice exercises in addition to actual writing. And on many of those 424 days I only did the other, not-actual-writing tasks. Obviously I need to be creating new words on a regular basis if I want to have a writing career. And I do want to have a writing career. To this end, I am keeping my 424 day streak for now, because it represents an interesting data point for me w.r.t. recommitting to this writing thing (after having pretty much given up on it due to the stressors and other constraints on my life over the past few years), but I am also starting/working towards staring some new streaks. These are:
1. Write a minimum of 250 new story words per day. 250 words is a really small #--far too small for an average daily word count. But I need to do a lot of other things, both writing related and not, overall. So not every day is going to be a full-time writing day. On the other hand, I do think that I need to be writing every day at least a little bit. I have tried other schedules that give me days off, and they have not worked well for me. I need the momentum of writing every day. Hence the new, but really small, daily goal. Today was day 12 for this streak.
2. Because my daily minimum goal is so small, I have also set a weekly wordcount goal for new words, which is closer to the minimum writing speed I need to attain overall. That goal is 10K words per week. My weeks for tracking purposes run Mondays to Sundays, meaning today, November 12 is the last day of my week. If I hit 10K words by the end of the day today (which I am on track to do as of this writing), this week will be week #1 for this streak.
3. I have committed to improving my writing craft through focused study. To this end, I purchased recently a lifetime subscription to an online writing school. This gives me access to all of the old workshops offered by the school, in addition to the new stuff they release each month. The sum total of material is a bit overwhelming! And my tendency is actually to do too much on the study front--to watch lectures all day long and not do anything else. Hence the need to add the goals related specifically to the writing of new words. And also this streak which is tracking weeks in which I have completed at least one week's worth of study material for at least one course, including completing the corresponding assignment for that week. This week ending today is week #13.
4. I am also working up to starting a story-a-week streak. (That is: write a complete short story, from concept to completion, each week.) I'm not there yet. And this week is likely to remain week 0 at this point. (Almost certainly. The only story I started writing this week is nowhere near finished, and I have other writing work I need to get finished tonight for my coursework assignments.) I am working on building up to this, however, and hope to be ready to launch this streak by my birthday.
So, my streak summary, as of November 12:
Consecutive days of working out: 8 (hopefully!--I'll do this after submitting this post, to ensure it doesn't get missed)
Consecutive days of French: 1097
Consecutive days of writing work: 424
Consecutive days of minimum 250 new story words: 12
Consecutive weeks of writing study: 13
Consecutive weeks of minimum 10K new words: 1 (I'll get there! I'm only 360 words short as I type this.)
Consecutive weeks of story-a-week: 0
The whole quest to get to bed on time is a one step forward, two steps back thing for me at present. Or a hundred steps back, in this case.
Had the opportunity to get to bed reasonably on time on Monday night.
Did not go to bed reasonably on time. Did not go to bed at all.
Too tired to face burpees on Tuesday as a result. (Even though Daily HIIT only calls for basic burpees, which omit the part of a standard burpee that's hard for me.)
So I just did:
Recovery Day 8
The Exercise of the Day (I think it was scorpion twists or some such equally lovely prone-lying exercise, which was pretty much all I was good for on next-to-no sleep.)
12 minutes of some standing balance poses. (Amazingly I did not fall on my face attempting to do these.)
3km walk with Shelby + 1.5 km errands
I am not allowed to play unless I have completed my words for the week and it is before 8PM when I start unpacking the game. (I do need to get serious about keeping better hours.)
Normally words for the week = my 10K goal. But this week it is more than 10K since I signed up for NaNoWriMo and am behind on the month. I need to catch up to at least the point where writing 2000 words per day will get me to 50K by month end. So this week I need to write 15,507 words in total before I'm allowed to break out my shiny new game. And those words need to include a completed short story, since I've a submission deadline on Sunday night.
It's conceivable that this could happen this week. But I'm not holding my breath.
Writing was already over 10K words for the week by the end of this day. (Great, because I count my week as running Monday through Sunday, so still 2 full days to go!)
I'm on track to hit the 15,507 words I want to make this a catch-up week. It remains to be seen yet whether I'll get there and finish the short story prior to 8PM Sunday. We shall see!
Was in bed this night prior to midnight. Still not as early as I would like. But a huge improvement over most every other night recently. So I'm counting that as a win.
My writing volume has been good over the past couple of weeks, and I'm on track to complete a short story this week.
GBOT has been a mess, but is hopefully on the mend.
Workouts have been consistent for two weeks now at the minimum volume I'm requiring to maintain my streak. But I want to do more.
After an interesting discussion with and reading courtesy of @Damer , and the very helpful videos he posted recently re: hook kicks, reverse hook kicks, side kicks & turning kicks, I have decided I would like to tackle Fighter's Codex. However: I also want to get back to doing more running and more yoga, without sacrificing my writing or writing study, and without living on freezer dinners because I've no longer any time to cook. But there are only so many hours in a day! How does one fit everything in?
Additionally, because I am spending a lot of hours at my desk now, I want to do more to break that up. (Because sitting for long stretches of time is just not good for one's body.)
I have had good success in the past with the Pomodoro technique, and specifically with using the 5 minute breaks to squeeze in mini-workouts. (This is how I completed both Athena's Playbook and <Totals> back in the day.) I'm thinking I will try the same thing now with Fighter's Codex, breaking up each day's workouts into smaller, Pom-break mini workouts. We'll call it "Fighter's Codex--Pomodoro Protocol" This will also make it possible for me to get through the (to me) high volume of push-ups in FC workouts.
Consecutive days of working out: 15
Consecutive days of French: 1104
Consecutive days of writing work: 431
Consecutive days of minimum 250 new story words: 19
Consecutive weeks of writing study: 14
Consecutive weeks of minimum 10K new words: 2
Consecutive weeks of story-a-week: 0
Did exercises 1-3, then some desk work, then exercise 4, then a shorter stretch at my desk, then 5-6 (Not a strict Pomodoro protocol this day as I was interspersing the workout with my writing study, which is already broken up into short videos.)
25 push-ups in total, all standard. Did the first 3 sets unbroken, sets 4 & 5 with down dog breaks after rep 3. (This is my method for pushing through on push-ups, to avoid having to drop to doing kneeling push-ups or to unload my arms completely. I instead push back from plank into down dog for a breath, then return to the plank position and resume the set.)
@Damer your side kicks v. turning kicks video was very helpful. Felt like I knew what I was doing in the turning kicks for the first time ever.
Daily HIIT Challenge day 11 Fighter's Codex day 2 - standard protocol
3km with Shelby (Rainy day. Shelby was game to do more. But Laura did not want to clean up the mess associated with the off-road portions of our route in such weather.)
writing: 2049 words
Short workout and no push-ups. So I did the whole thing at once with 30 second breaks between exercises. (Did not need the full minute on account of there being no push-ups.)
Form and speed are both significantly better on my dominant (left) side. In spite of more than a quarter century now of training both sides equally in my yoga practice, I am still stronger in my left leg and better at balancing on my right. As for my upper body: there are just too many activities in my daily life that I lack the dexterity to perform adequately with my right hand to even come close to training both sides equally there. (Technically I could brush my teeth with my right hand. But I make enough mess with the electric toothbrush as it is! I can wield a knife in my right hand too. But the left hand is faster. When I'm chopping a huge pile of vegetables to make a big pot of curry, it makes a significant difference!)
I am feeling these workouts in my core, which makes me happy. It tells me I'm recruiting my abdominals properly to help power these moves.
Day 3 was brutal for me. 125 total push-ups. I did the first 75 as full push-ups. With a lot of down dog breaks. And I was definitely skirting the edge of failure on a few of them.
On set 4 I could not keep up with the full push-ups anymore. Failed on the first one. So I switched to doing kneeling push-ups for the straight push-up exercises, and for the combo did full controlled negatives and then dropped to my knees to push back up. Set 5 was the same, except I was needing to take down dog breaks (technically puppy pose breaks) to get through the straight push-up exercises, even on my knees. On the final push-ups exercise (a set of 5) I took puppy pose between each rep. And it still took me two attempts to get back up on both the final and penultimate reps.
I definitely lost upper body conditioning during all those weeks when I didn't do much besides walking. No surprise there. I gained some weight too, so bodyweight exercises are all harder than usual for me right now. But the important thing is that I am back on track now. I gave this workout my all, and I'm proud of that.
Daily HIIT Challenge day 12 - went a little easy on this since I had done most of FC first Fighter's Codex day 4
3km with Shelby - nice weather. we were just too late getting started to go further
writing: 2151 words
French: Netflix + some reading
Stretching day. Did the first exercise (side lunges) without using my arms for support. Dropped into full depth side lunge on each rep and used strength of legs only to push back up. Two set of ten reps to each side. By the second set on each side I was able to keep my heel on my bent leg side grounded throughout the move.
For the second exercise (standing toe touches) I focused on engaging my abdominal muscles to support both phases of the movement. (Flexibility-wise this is an easy exercise for me. I can place my hands flat on the floor with my legs straight and still not be at the end of my ROM. Back strain from the high volume of lifts is more my concern here. Hence the focus on core engagement to keep everything safe.) I used an exhale at the bottom of each rep, pulling my abdominals in and up, to go a little deeper (i.e.: bend my arms).
I wasn't sure what movement the graphic for exercise three (deep kneeling lunge) was meant to be depicting. It looks to me as if the legs are held in the same position throughout, and only the angle of the upper body is changed. Which doesn't make a lot of sense to me for this stretch. I did focus on keeping my torso upright and even backbending a little bit to allow the stretch to work the full length of my hip flexors. But I used backing out of the stretch and then moving back into it as the movement. Two sets of ten reps per side.
Exercise four is seated forward folds. Sixty of them. This is to me a lot of forward folding. (Especially after already doing 20 reps of standing forward fold for the second exercise.) As with the standing exercise, I focused on engaging my abdominals and protecting my back. Even so, my back was starting to feel it. Also, I had not yet done Daily HIIT by this point. The FC workout was a lot of stretching to do before an explosive jumping workout. And I had left everything until too late in the day to take a proper break between the two. So I broke off from FC here, walked around a bit, did some writing (standing up) and other tasks, then did Daily HIIT, and then finished off my seated forward fold reps. Back was definitely feeling a little sensitive by the end. But it felt fine this morning. So thumbs up there. (I injured my back quite badly lifting weights ~20 years ago. Injured as in: could not walk upright for a full two weeks afterward, could not run without pain for many months afterward, and had recurring pain for nine years that sometimes flared up without warning and rendered me unable to walk at all for a day or two, and in one case unable to even crawl for most of a day. I have been pain free for 11 years now and would really like to keep it that way! So I am hyper aware of and careful with my back.)
The final exericse (standing side splits) is definitely not one of my favs. I feel it on the medial side of my knees more than anywhere. Which is not where one is meant to feel this stretch! So I'm careful with it too. I focused on strong muscular engagement to protect my knees throughout the hold.
I have decided to host a Secret Santa Workout Gift Exchange this year, for any Bees who want to join in. I used to do this with my zombie-apocalypse-themed workout crew back in the day, and it was always a lot of fun! If you would like to join in (or just read more about it) please see this thread in the Playground.