Monday, August 4, 2014

July 2014 Review

July went as expected.

1. Deepen my Yoga Practice - Practice fell off substantially this month, just 2-4 sessions per week, often of lower intensity. I did 20 minutes of pranayama once or twice a week. A variety of factors contributed to this - pranayama class finished, my primary teacher is travelling, walking and lifting take time, I had a guest in town, my elbow hurts, physical progress has slowed, etc.

The short of it is I'm at a transition point. I've learned the basics. Someone talking at me is not going to create growth. The only way to deepen my practice is through practice, and progress is now measured over years, not weeks or months. I believe the practice will provide grounding long term, but I also have to accept that it will fade in and out, as life demands vary.

Pranayama class never got beyond the mechanics. I asked about this at the end of the last class. The teacher basically said give it years before worrying about the other stuff. I took a few hour workshop on the chair as a yoga prop, with the anatomy teacher. I picked up some tricks, had a good time. I also took a few other drop in classes with experienced teachers. I had a drop in class with a newer vinyasa flow teacher. It was a strong reminder to be picky in who I learn from.

August will return to basics - home practice plus one class a week with my primary teacher. I'd like to see the yoga anatomy teacher a few times. I am expecting 3-5 practices per week.

2. Class IV Strength - I have no idea where my strength is. Down, I'm sure. My calories ramped down over the course of the month, bottoming out at 2000 per day. I am walking around in the high 150's. My body feels pretty good and eating less has kept me cool in the summer heat. Lifting light weights with short rest periods is getting old. Loaded carries remain fun, though I can't do them every session.

I've been consistent in morning walks and added a 20lb weight vest. On the days I use it, my heart rate is up and I have a chance to work on my posture. Since I refuse to run, it's a nice alternative. I really enjoy getting outside in the cool summer mornings, so I'll do this through August. I've also been working my posture while lifting, focusing accessory work on squaring my shoulder girdle. It could be helping, progress is slow.

I am starting to take my chronic elbow pain more seriously. My shoulder is feeling decent most of the time, so my elbow is the most painful joint in my body. I think the issue is golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis. Life is inflaming my elbow tendon. The cure is to change life enough that it stops. I need to figure out the details.

August starts the slow climb up to maintenance calories. I am definitely approaching a mental breaking point, so it's good to have the path planned. No rapid changes this time. Supplements remain similar, though some days are without protein powder or creatine. It's not a priority on the current plan. When I reach maintenance calories, I expect a walking around weight in the mid-150's. This is a bit higher than planned, but a lasting change is more important than temporarily tagging a specific number.

3. Advance my Profession - The hiring process started. It requires me to learn a lot of new things and has been a little overwhelming. I am enjoying my job, but have done little with learning new technology. I don't expect this to change for another month or two, though a successful hire would prove valuable to my goal long term. Progress was inhibited by a week of vacation and a week of serious production support issues. Those won't repeat in August.

4. Connect - Meeting my objective metric went better than last month, though there is still a lot of opportunity to improve. I have to make it a priority.

My oldest friend came to visit. We had a lot of time and he provided valuable perspective. Time with family, friends and co-workers remained similar. I've established a relatively steady pattern here and don't expect much change near term. Now that I'm not trying to be anything I'm not, relationships have become much more simple.

August will be similar to July, but with more time on my profession.