Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 2013 Review

June went well.

1. Move better - Lifting went ok, yoga hit an inflection point.

Between the last week of May, and first 3 weeks of June, the only lifting was two deload weeks. One to ramp down for the yoga seminar, one to ramp back up for serious work. The time off, coupled with starting to take creatine, seems to have only made me stronger. I was burnt out. I may get forward progress in July.

Yoga went great.

I took classes at half a dozen different studios, even more teachers, attended the yoga seminar, took a hip opening workshop, and started working the Ashtanga primary series. The seminar, coupled with the instructor's book, changed my perspective on how to approach yoga. Rather than attend guided classes just because "hey, yoga!", I've started seeking classes for the sake of instruction. Ultimately, I'd like to develop a personal home practice, with studio classes as "dessert".

The yoga seminar exposed me to dozens of experienced teachers, all in their student mindset. It drove home how little I know, the shortcomings of my existing approach to yoga, and reset my expectations for what's possible. Applying these lessons will take time, but they are promising.

The new plan includes access to Mysore style Ashtanga classes. I've figured out how to attend 4x a month, learning from someone that's spent a few years studying in India, under the head of the Ashtanga lineage. My first two classes went great. The teachers were very hands on. I picked up several new tricks, including a fundamental improvement to my breathing - something key that has escaped me for at least a year.

July needs to be a simple month "working the plan", thinking about yoga only while I'm actually doing it. Otherwise, I run the risk of my enthusiasm transitioning into burnout. My focus will be memorizing the first half of the Ashtanga primary series, incorporating lessons from the Mysore classes when possible.

Supplementation has kept on track. Adding creatine was easy, just stir it into my protein shakes. My elbows, especially the left one, are still bothering me. The Ashtanga is opening my shoulders and upper back. My hope is that will improve my alignment during upper body work and gradually eliminate the pain.

2. Beat the internet - The first half of the month, I was too busy and barely online. The rebound effect was terrible. I wasted two weeks binge watching Netflix. Shows work great as a tool to help me lift, they are trouble when I start using them as an escape. It's so easy to just let the next episode play. I found my way out by the end of the month, but my free time definitely suffered.

Time boxing on work remains ok.

3. Make my money work - The spending pattern I setup last month is proving sustainable. Not much more to this goal.

Given how well the instructor / peer group pattern has worked for yoga, I do wonder if I should explore a similar investment for my career.

4. Socialize - Tons of activity here the first half of the month. I attended Tech Ed and the yoga seminar. Things ramped down in the second half, but I still shared time with family, friends and coworkers. I also did a lot of yoga. July will be quiet.

Mentally, I am ready for an easy month.