Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 2013 Review

Greed got the better of me in September

1. Learn the Ashtanga Primary Series - I injured my left shoulder at the very end of August, by getting overzealous binding during either Marichasana B or C. More than a tweak, the shoulder remains loose and unstable. I don't think I tore anything, but fear of further injury forced me to pull way back on the Ashtanga. No jumping back or through, no binding, and limited vinyasas. I learned an important lesson about how to correctly approach the bind in Marichasana, but if the all the poses come this way, my path is much longer than a year.

Plain and simple - I got greedy and I got hurt. Each pose carries work for the body. It's up to me to find that place and let the work happen. Trying to rush the pose pushes stress into the wrong areas. At best, that means I make no progress, at worst, injury. I should know this already. It's also possible stress from extending my lifting cycle made me more prone to the injury.

The shoulder is slowly recovering. I continue doing yoga 3-4 days a week, but have been attending mostly studio classes, with the instructor who is heavily alignment focused. Provided I move slowly and carefully, I can practice with limited pain. I signed up for a workshop in November, with an expert in the alignment focused style of yoga. While my body heals, I can stay motivated by focusing on alignment, especially in my shoulder girdle.

I know injuries are expected when pushing the body, but it's been frustrating.

2. Post a Class IV Powerlifting Total
- Lifts continue to slowly creep up in weight. Pressing has suffered a little from the shoulder injury, but I've been able to get my reps otherwise. Squats and deadlifts, which form the bulk of my total, are doing great. My projected max on each lift has me right at the class IV cut-off for 165. I am strong enough, but need to be lighter.

Since my joints are hurting, I've decided to take a big step back on my lifts, and use October to get close to my weight class. The strength will re-build quickly, once I resume eating normally. The following changes are happening:

1. Dropping calories by 20%
2. No creatine
3. No loud music while I lift
4. Lower the weights by 25%, increasing reps on my heavy set to 12

With the substantially lighter weights, I may also lift in the morning. I am not as strong then, but it won't matter. I may also be more tolerant of the low calories. For the first week or two, eating less will be miserable. I tried it this month, but had to give up due to everything else that was going on.

Supplementation went ok. I took my multi-vitamin, D3, creatine and protein every day. I have not worked the EFAs back in. My skin is starting to show the effects, so hopefully that will motivate me to figure it out.

3. Advance my Profession - I did some new stuff in SQL. I upgraded to the latest version of the security scanning software. I followed up on the build server, which is promised for October. That's about it. September was extremely heavy on testing, for one of our biggest releases to date. My motivation to do new stuff was limited, due to feeling frustrated over my shoulder.

4. Connect - Problems with my shoulder impacted this goal quite negatively. It's hard to be pleasant towards others when I don't feel that way myself. It's also possible I've over-extended myself by lifting to hard, and that's impacted my mood. The only real victory was time recovered from the home firewall blocking hobby and entertainment websites.

My wife and I have started talking about our schedules each week. It's forcing us to face how little time we've been leaving free, but we haven't made great steps towards resolving it yet.

Overall, transitioning to the new goal set has been rough. I think October will be better.