Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September 2014 Review

September provided a strong transition into the new goal year.

1. Pain Free Daily Yoga - Studio practice happened 3-4x per week, home practice most other days. Pranayama a few times over the month. I've enjoyed unlimited classes at the premium yoga studio. The level 2-3 classes are truly more difficult, and they are taking me to new places in my practice. I tried relying on yoga without a mat for a few days, but I ended up skipping instead. I am still working towards daily yoga. I'd say 5-6 days per week was typical.

I finished the first half of the Anatomy Trains book. It convinced me of a few things.

Instead of releasing the tightness in my lower legs, I had found ways to avoid it. I'm working on this, by:

- Doing soft tissue work on my feet and calves
- Keeping my legs straight during forward folds. The common advice to bend your knees for a flat back also stops the stretch at the knees.
- Noting when I feel blockage in my lower legs during postures. Now that I've found the feeling, I see it is a common limitation.

Tightness in the front of my body likely causes the back of my body to stiffen, so I am in balance. If I want to improve my forward folds, I need to improve my back bends. I've always saved these for "later", since my forward folds are so tight. It also seems I've avoided a lot of the back bend in up dog, by throwing my head back, which actually shortens the line of pull across the front of the body.

I am setting the book aside for October. I need time to synthesize what I've learned. It's also gotten complicated to the point where I am getting lost and will need to invest a lot of energy to wrap my head around the material. I simply don't have that available right now.

I expect studio practice to stay on a similar frequency in October, with a goal of home practice occurring all other days.

2. 1 2 3 at 145 - My strength is slowly returning. Weight has slowly crept into the high 150's, which I'm hopefully attributing to topping off the sugar stores in my body. I've stopped incrementing calories at 2600 per day and will see where/if I stabilize during October. Lifting remains focused on balancing my shoulder girdle and resting my elbow. Join pain has receded significantly. I have been toying with slightly lower reps in the big lifts as a result.

Days I lift at the gym, I am immediately 10-15% stronger. I'd like to think having an audience doesn't matter to me, but clearly it does. I did get greedy during a lower session at the gym one Saturday, and I am managing a little lower back pain as a result. I don't believe it's a serious injury, but I am resting more and being cautious to let it heal.

Having a wide variety of movements available at the gym has helped with resting my bad shoulder and elbow. Broad variation isn't the path to strength, but my body isn't quite ready for 5 3 1. Perhaps in November.

Walks have reduced to 2-3x a week. Supplementation remains at: multi-vitamin, creatine, D3, DHA and 2 proteins per day.

3. Advance my Profession - I filled the open position and am a manager, as of October 8th. New technology was limited, with most additional time spent preparing for the new hire and scaling the QA process. I did work through the remainder of the Black Box Software Testing Foundations course. Next month will be similar, though advancing our ALM maturity through TFS returns to the mix.

4. Connect - Meeting my objective metric went no better than last month. The work change put in motion during August created many barriers this month. It goes into effect October 1st. I expect improvements to result.

Time with family, friends and co-workers remained similar. Special events were limited to 2 parties with live music. I really like the new yoga studio. The gym membership has made lifting more social. October will be more of the same. With the fall colors, I expect to spend some time in the arboretum.

October will be similar to September, maybe a little slower socially.