October 2008 monthly report

This is my tenth monthly report. To review introductory comments and the purpose of these reports, please refer to the initial report made for January 2008. Text in italics is copied from the previous monthly report for reference.

Looking back: October 2008

Physical – Hand walking is mainly a question of practicing more, but I have also decided to shift focus a little bit I will write more about this later. The goal for October is to hand walk eight times, each time making at least three attempts to walk fifty metres or more.

As I have explained elsewhere, I have suspended the hand-walking practice, which obviously results in a failure for this goal. Still, I feel that the change was carefully considered and I am happy with it. I will return to hand walking later when conditions are more favourable.

The one-arm chin-up is difficult for many reasons, and grip strength is one of them. My hands are simply too weak. I have found a number of ways to improve this and my goal is to focus on strengthening my hands at least ten sessions during October.

I have focused more on the one-arm chin-up than I thought I would, especially during the latter half of October. Still, I only explicitly practiced grip strength six times. I had some troubles going to the gym in the beginning of the month because of administration problems, but that is now solved. I feel that the current level of exercise is good. This is what I have done two or three times a week for the last two weeks (I will of course use this data later for comparison):

12 x 100 kg chin-ups (machine, serves as warm-up too)
5 x 2 assisted one-arm chin-ups (40 kg assistance)
5 x 2 one-hand chin-ups
10 seconds hanging one-handed (pronated)
5 x 2 seconds hanging one-handed (supinated)
5 x 80 kg one-arm chin-ups (machine)

The conclusion is that I have a long, long way to go. Right now, I find it challenging just to hang in one hand without twisting. Pronated (palm facing away from body) is okay, but supinated (palm facing body) is still too hard. Since the grip strength is enough to do 5 x 2 one-handed chin-ups, I think the situation is not hopeless, just not good enough. One problem is my sprained finger, which makes my right hand grip weaker than my left hand one. I will have to be careful with this.

The clapping handstand push-up will have to wait until after I am finished walking a hundred metres, because the two goals are too similar to pursue parallely.

Bah! Of course I have practiced hand-stand push-ups. If rested, I can do around five with forehead touching the ground. This is far from enough and they are not freestanding either, but it is at least a beginning.

As a complement to these goals, I also intend to swim at least 30 000 metres during October.

I swam 46600 metres. I also managed 800 metres medley, which includes 200 metres butterfly, something I have never done before. Normally, it takes me just above 1:40 to swim 5000 metres, my standard distance.

CreativityAlthough I have many projects and many ideas, I feel that they compete with my studies much more than physical activities. I need breaks in my studying anyway, but focusing on writing is perhaps not the best way to relax. Still, I intend to finish the two scenarios I am currently writing.

Creativity has been fluctuating a lot during this month. Even though I have come some way towards finishing the two scenarios, neither of them is finished at the moment. I have felt little need of creative output for a while, but that changed just a couple of days ago. I hope to be able to continue with some creative projects and also begin with some new. More on that later.

Looking ahead: November 2008

Physical – To begin with, I intend to continue the long journey towards the one-armed chin-up. This means basically that I will continue doing the exercises from last month and gradually increase the load. I hope that I will be able to gradually increase grip strength without jeopardising my right ring finger. However, I still feel like experimenting with different exercises, so rather than defining a specific goal, I will try to do physical workout aimed towards the one-arm chin-up at least eight times in the coming month.

The hand-balancing is a bit unclear, because the many skills I want to achieve overlap. However, two of them (one-handed handstand and clapping handstand push-up) require more balance than I currently possess, so focusing on standing still with balance seems like a good idea. Once upon a time, I was able to do a free handstand for 76 seconds. Over the past few days, my record is 61, which is not bad, but the median is horribly low. If I want to work towards these skills, I will have to solidify my handstand. My goal for November is doing 400 timed handstand attempts. That means 20 every day, allowing for some days rest or other activities. This will make me unable to focus very hard on walking in stairs and doing push-ups, but I will still try to try the stairs at least five times and the push-ups at least eight (usually together with the auxiliary exercises described below).

I also intend to continue some auxiliary exercise for abdomen and back. I have a small routine that seems to work quite well. Basically, it consists of 3 x 10 headstand leg raises (excellent workout for the back, specifically aiming for some more advanced handstand skills later) and 3 x 25 piked leg raises lying flat on my back . This regimen is nothing fancy, but I intend to complete it eight times.

Furthermore, I have decided to continue working on my vertical jump. This summer, my Sargent’s Jump measured 63 centimetres. Since I cannot practice diving here, I intend to do at least something which will be of value when I take up diving again. I am going to do two things: weighted squats in the gym combined with normal jumping. Currently, I can manage 5 x 105 kg squat for five sets. Since I tend to do the squats at the same time as the chin-up workout, I will set an identical goal: eight sessions of squat workout for November. In addition to this, I will try to refine my technique a little bit by practicing jumping at least five times. The important thing here is technique, not actual workout, so the number of times I do it is more important than how much each time.

It seems silly to add a goal for swimming, since I seem to be able to do it anyway. Right now, swimming works as some sort of weight control. I have terribly bad discipline when it comes to food at the moment, and I must admit that it is bothering me a little bit. Swimming almost fifty kilometres this month made sure my weight stayed roughly the same (the change is not statistically significant); I do not even dare to contemplate what would have happened without the swimming. I currently weigh 79,4 kg wearing gym clothes (no shoes), and as long as I stay under 80 kg, I do not feel I need to bother about being specific.

Creativity – I feel a surging need to increase my creative output. I have a few ideas on how to do this, but for various reasons I do not intend to talk about all of them here. However, I will keep the failed goal from last month and make sure that I finish the two scenarios for my role-playing game. Hopefully, I will then be able to wrap up the project in December. I will also experiment a little bit with various projects and inform you about the results later.

Lucid dreaming – Yes, I have decided to take up lucid dreaming again! It was a long time ago, but the reason I stopped was not because of dwindling interest, but because I was lacking the necessary time. To start again, I will need to freshen up my capability of remembering dreams, so for November, I shall record every dream I can remember. Medium does not matter, but I think voice recording is the easiest way.

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  1. Marcus’s avatar

    Vad är det för scenarios du plitar på då? :)


  2. Olle Linge’s avatar

    Två äventyr till Magneter och mirakel, ett till Västanland och ett till Östanland. Det första handlar om en odödlighetsruna som någon uppfinner och sedan bestämmer sig för att erövra världen med; rollpersonerna ska stoppa honom. Det andra är en något annorlunda mordgåta som till hälften utspelar sig på ett tåg från Nordanland och till hälften i en nod i Östanland.