Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Update on the 2013 Lenten Challenge

I thought that I'd make an update on my own progress on the Lenten Challenge and on life in general.

First of all, since just before I kicked off the Advent Challenge back in December, I began tracking some of my activities at According to the reckoning kept there, today is my 100th consecutive day of working out!

Until we got the new puppy, it was pretty easy once I established the habit. Since Mabel has been with us, it has been more of a challenge. Like having a baby in the house, it's taken her a while to sleep though the night. This was a temporary situation though, and I just soldiered through it. Eventually, the routine achieved a new normal. The next milestone for Mabel is becoming housebroken.

Bella and Mabel are very attached to each other. They play constantly and don't like to be out of each other's sight. Mabel can't keep up with Bella when we go for a walk yet, and the cold weather has been harder on her, so for a part of our walks, I stuff her into my coat while I continue to walk Bella.

It seemed like just yesterday that my youngest shipped off to college. Next month she is graduating with a degree in Management Information Systems.

I had mentioned before that I had bulked up quite a bit because I was doing a lot of repetitions of the Five Elements forms from Xingyiquan. At that time I was doing around 1500 repetitions a day to sort of "burn" the gross movements into my body and I was still carrying a lot of tension with me as I was doing them. The result was clear to see. I got bigger.

Since then, I've stopped focusing on repetitions and have been concentrating instead on time, trying to make each repetition razor sharp and correct. I've also become a lot more relaxed as I do them.

The result is that I've shrunk! In fact, my family is now complaining that I'm too skinny. While my stamina is fine, I can tell that by moving furniture around and whatnot that I am not as strong in the lifting in carrying sense.

I've thought about doing some body weight exercises again to try and bulk up a bit, but I don't want to take time away from practicing, so I'm just going to continue as I am and see how my practice shapes me. 


walt said...

I recently watched a YMAA segment of Five Elements forms from Xingyiquan, and it was an impressive set. If that's what you are up to, I say, "Bueno!"

Rick Matz said...

Yes, it's good stuff!