Goals review, I won a contest edition

As expected, January was mega busy. February is shaping up to be that, which is good and not good in various ways. In particular, I was hoping to have a weekend off at some point, but that won’t be happening for at least a couple weeks.

But a quick update on goals:

Stay sane: I’m going to give myself a clear pass on this one. I made all my deadlines in my job, and all my deadlines in my freelance work, and didn’t trash my diet or exercise to do it.

Weight of 260: Not quite; my Jan. 31 weight was 260.5. I didn’t have the data necessary to compare 7-day averages the way I like to. But while I didn’t technically meet this goal, the spirit of the goal was met: there was a clear downward trend in weight that is much more important than the specific number. I’m pleased with it.

10 Laches, or “jumping bar thingies”: Yep. I made this goal, getting up from 5 to 10 consecutive. In fact, that happened about halfway through the month, so now I’m working on doing them quicker. My current technique is to swing, jump, catch, then rebuild momentum so I can jump again. But there are people who can do it without all that momentum. Some of it’s strength, some of it’s technique, and I don’t currently have enough of either, but I was able to start working on it before I expected to.

Freestanding handstand: I still can’t do this exactly, although I think I’m closer. There have been times when I’ve kicked up and held one near the wall but not touching for a couple seconds. But I still don’t have control to do that consistently, and I’m still super-nervous to do it completely freestanding.

Writing: This one didn’t work at all; I did essentially nothing that wasn’t work-related. Already this month, though, I’ve started movement on the higher-priority project, though, so it’s certainly not dead.

Bonus goal: This wasn’t one that I planned at the beginning of the month. But then a couple days into January, my gym started a contest: row 500 meters for time.

I’ve got, in fact, a long list of fitness goals that go way beyond my monthly focuses, and one of those has been to do a 500 meter row in 1:30. The last time I timed one, back in March, I was at 1:32.6. I had three goes at it as part of this contest.

The first time I fell off the rower. I was over-exuberant in the start, and pushed off super-powerfully, and my butt got some air, and the seat didn’t move, and then gravity took over. It was a beautiful and glorious thing, although I didn’t finish the row.

The second time immediately followed the fall, and resulted in a time of 1:30.2. Which, spoiler alert, was enough to win the contest. But that 0.2 (or, as I described it, “that fucking .2”) bothered me. So the next week, I tried again, and:

Rowing machine display

Yep, 1:30 flat.

(And yes, that 1:39 was my ending pace. I was actually fairly steady through about 400 meters and then crashed. I was also shaking for about an hour after I did this.)

So that was cool, although it bears remembering: Rowing time is but one indicator of fitness, and in my case, a particularly skewed one—my weight gives me a major advantage against smaller people.

While I’m here, and since I might not be again for a while, let’s knock out some goals for February:

Weight: I’ve got my 7-day averages being calculated, so I’ll say dropping 8 pounds from the 262.142 figure would be great.

Freestanding handstand: Continue working in hopes of making it happen.

5 pull-ups: Pull-ups are my gym’s contest this month, and I am quite certain that I won’t be winning this one. (There’s already a 28 on the board, and my best is 4, maybe 5 if I sort-of cheat.) My goal is 5 consecutive real ones, although I suspect if the weight continues dropping and I continue working, I should do a bit better than that.

Monkey bars: I’ve been working on doing monkey bars backwards with some success, so this month I’m hoping to get to where I can do my gym’s full rig backwards.

L-pose: This is a tricky one that is a staple of a couple of classes at my gym. As I’m using the term, it’s actually an upside-down L: hands on the ground, feet at the wall, body making a right angle. Our standard hold is ten seconds, which I can’t do, but I’m working on it and that will be my goal for the month.

Writing: Same as last month, with a strong focus on starting the process of setting up interviews and researching agents for the kid’s non-fiction idea, which is higher priority. The comedy for adults realistically is going to stay on hold for this month.

Sanity: I’m gonna need this one again. I don’t have the huge freelance commitments, but my regular job is continuing to be super-busy, and I’ll be working at least the next two weekends. I hope to get an actual day off before long, and in fact I might get a bit early next week, but no guarantees.

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