This post is several days late due to a crazy work schedule. The above number doesn’t include any reps I’ve done since Monday (today is Saturday). It was an interesting week exercise-wise. I had another record week and another record day: 1175 reps for the week and 325 reps in one day. The last day I did some of my reps at a hotel gym with the advice of the person supervising the gym. She suggested that I try the “ab roller” (proper form here) from the knees (harder version here – I’ll get there eventually) and doing some “knee lifts” while hanging (proper form here) but I didn’t do the form for those properly. Also while I the gym I did some tilted bench sit-ups, but my form wasn’t very good. The end result of the gym workout was some pretty serious sore muscles (good sore) and I couldn’t really do any more stomach exercise for a few days (until today).
I’m pretty happy about getting to the 1% mark, and also about my acceleration. Isn’t this incredible:
This week might break the pattern of acceleration as I only have three days to do 1400+ reps… not likely, but I’m going to try!
I also did a little home workshop project. I had a fantastic loop magnifier lamp that broke after about 8 years. I bought it to use for my coin collecting activities, but ended up using all the time for general electronics stuff, mechanical stuff and just general lighting. Anyway, rather than throwing it away when it broke (mechanically), I decided to try recover the lamp and electronics to mount it above my main workspace. It worked out well:
Basically, I just packed up the electronics into an old Apple magic mouse plastic container. I used a little bit of plastic packing material to make sure that things stayed in place. And a few screws to hold the electronics and the lamp to the ceiling. It provides great lighting to my workspace. I’ll miss the magnifier, but I still have the magnifying glass so maybe I can do something with that later on.
My day of rest was good and I’m taking another ont tomorrow (one a week). This past week I set two new records: 100 reps of sit-ups in a single set (!!!) and 800 reps total for the week. The 100 reps was really hard and I felt awful afterwards. I also did another 150 reps day. However, I’ve added crunches to the traditional sit-ups, and I’m just calling them all “sit-ups”. So now, I will do 100 proper sit-ups per day and start working on increasing my crunches. I’ve also lost a bit of weight, about 7 lbs, mostly due to eating only one meal per day due to…
The Baha’i Fast has been great this year. It’s a little harder than last year, truth be told, probably because of my week off of work. I find it hard to ignore hunger and tiredness when I don’t actually have to do anything during the day. The part I’m having a hard time with is really getting some good prayer time in. There are distractions, but also I’m just having a hard time remembering. I have, however, been trying to spend time with each member of my family during this week. I have to do something with Ocean and Justice still. I went for dinner with Melanie, dinner with Haifa, and a movie with Verity (Captain America – good, but not great, btw).
I’ve tried doing a bit of pottery/ceramic art, but I feel like I haven’t got the hang of it right now. I tried an experiment for making tentacle sculptures, but it didn’t work out so well. And this evening I started a new “vase”, but it’s too early to say if it will work out.
I finished reading “Great North Road” by Peter F Hamilton. Fantastic sci-fi/detective/creature novel. Some really touching moments. Nice long read too, and completely self-contained. No sequel to wait for. No really unique ideas, but extremely well-written and enjoyable. I highly recommend it!
Today I was sick. I woke up with a bad sore throat. Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, has provided a number of exemptions to fasting. Specifically, if one is sick, one is exempt. So today, I decided that I would drink water, but I would continue to avoid food between sunrise and sunset.
I broke the fast in the evening with a nice meal out with my daughter Haifa. We went to an Ethiopian restaurant here in London called Addis Ababa. The food was great! It was also plentiful… when I’m fasting, my stomach seems to shrink very quickly and I’m not able to eat meals nearly as large as before. Which is good. Haifa and I had a very short visit, we didn’t linger, but it was still really nice to go out with her.
Melanie and I had a good discussion about addiction and other aspects of mental health. I realized very young that I had a strong tendency to addictive behaviour… I can certainly place that realization back to at least age 12. I also realize that a huge part of avoiding major problems with addiction is my inspiration from the Baha’i Faith: both the community and the writings. I recently went out with some friends for dinner and one of them asked me if I had ever had alcohol… nope. I’ve also never tried smoking, or any other substances… wait for it… except for food. That’s the one addiction I struggle with. Like most people, I’m not completely emotionally healthy so, for example, when I’m travelling for work, and lonely, I eat. A lot. Anyway, Melanie shared the idea from Gabor Mate that we can sometimes consciously replace addictions with more healthy ones. I hope my sit-ups goals can become a more healthy addiction than food and eventually replace it.
In other news, I finished building the second set of book shelves for our mini pottery studio. Just some cheap Ikea Billy shelves to put all our forthcoming pottery on! I’m super happy about my upcoming week off. I’m hoping to make two or three new pieces by the end of the week.
First day of the Baha’i Fast was tough… but I got through it. Lots of service to my family including shopping, chauffeuring, and cheffing. Went to the market in the morning, didn’t snack (like I normally do). Went to Costco and the Chinese grocery store in the afternoon. Took my family to pottery in the morning, and took Ocean to sleep over at a friends in the afternoon. Made dinner (with Melanie’s help) in the evening: fruit smoothie, turkey and onions, and yucca fries. I also took a nap and did some pottery stuff at home, and built the LEGO set Melanie got me for Ayyam-i-Ha.
My eating plan is simple: eat between sundown and two hours after sundown, eat healthy and no sugar/sugary foods, drink lots of water throughout the evening and early morning. Sunrise, say some prayers. I’m also continuing my sit-ups goal… not sure if it will be sustainable… but…
Today I set a new personal record for continuous reps of sit-ups: 70. I did it listening to “bury a friend” by Billie Eilish.
I got only 300 sit-ups done this past week. I skipped Thursday and only did a few on Wednesday. But, I did 45, my highest in a long time in a single set, then did another 22 a couple minutes later. I can feel my body reaching the “this is easy” threshold. Soon. This coming week, I definitely want to do 350, but hopefully 400. I also need to accelerate. I don’t know if it is possible, but I hope in just a few weeks to be doing 700+.
We had a great team meeting today. There was lots of great consultation. One personal high note was an insight about myself. I listed off some things I aspire to being good at: a Baha’i, a father, a husband, a teacher,… an artist. When I got to that, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t speak for what felt like a couple minutes. I have much to explore with that idea.
Here are some photos of a recent clay sculpture, after it has been glazed and fired:
I did another 285 sit-ups this past week up to and including today, Feb 4th. This brings me to 590 so far. I’m still continuing to accelerate, but I have quite a ways to go to get to a good number per week: about 4000! My goal this past week was just to break 200 so I’m doing well. This next week I hope to do 350 in the week. I’ve also added doing multiple sets in a session, so far just twice. So my expectation is that I will do a single set every morning of 20+ and two sets every evening of 15+. I’ll probably do more.
In other news, I started tanning again. I find it incredibly relaxing. I’ve never really liked massage, and so this works well for me. I don’t need a lot of time to relax: 12 to 15 minutes is great. It’s warm, has a huge amount of white noise from the fans that run, and it’s completely private. And, particularly in the winter, I really appreciate the light.
I’ve been working from the BERTEIG office downtown as much as possible. It has brought focus to my work and has given me the regular company of two of my colleagues: Iryna and Shradhdha. Mostly we listen to music as we work independently. But it’s nice to see other people around. Sometimes other colleagues or visitors come in as well. I work on marketing, sales and consulting with customers. Iryna does bookkeeping. Shradhdha does software development. My only complaint is my desk chair is a bit uncomfortable. Maybe my CFO will authorize the purchase of a new chair sometime soon! At home I have a fantastic chair by Humanscale: the Diffrient World. I love it more than my Aeron.
This past week up to but not including the 29th of Jan, I completed an additional 170 sit-ups, and reached 305 total so far. On the 29th, I also did my first set of 35, although the quality of the last few was low. I hope to get 200 done this week… remembering that I have to get up past 500/day to reach my goal by age 50! I’m starting easy the first few weeks, by only doing maximum two sets a day. I’ll start doing more sets the week after next, and try to get to 50 in a set around the same time.
I also ran our kiln to the first cone 04 bisque firing. It went mostly smoothly, but the kiln-sitter cone broke rather than bending. As a result, I’m not 100% sure that it reached cone 04. Here are a couple pics of what we put in:
One week has passed towards my goal of 500000 by my 50th birthday. I just had my 47th birthday so I have 365 x 3 + 1 (leap day) – 3 = 1093 days left.
I did 10, 20, 20, 25, and 20 reps over the days since my last post. Because I have a long ways to go, I can be patient with myself.
I’ve thought of taking a “before” picture, but I’m not really doing this for weight reasons. I hope it will help in that regard, but really it’s for general physical fitness. Sit-ups are one of the easiest, most flexible self-powered exercises. No excuses about equipment, space or convenience possible.