Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Eat ALL the Things!!!

Alright continuing the virtual fitness accountability...  Honestly, I was a little terrified to step on the scale today because I've done nothing but eat -- and primarily junk food at that -- for the last 3 or 4 days...   Candy, cashews, more candy, cake, fries, ALL the bread, more candy, and all the coke I didn't drink for the first four weeks.  *sigh*.   It was not a good week and I definitely can feel the physical impact.

Just like that ;)

However, I actually still managed to drop a pound?  lol only one - but really, I should've gained like 10.  So I'm pretty pleased at that.  Imagine how much better it would've been if I hadn't eaten like a teenage boy all week.

Actual measurements to be taken tomorrow.
Or prob Wednesday really - after papers are both submitted ;)

So as far as exercise goes -- the last time I rode my bike was the 23rd, so yeah.  Not this week.   I did box most days, with some dance thrown in.  And I'm getting better at making both of those significant workouts.  My heart rate goes up, I'm soaked in sweat, and I feel good.  Some days I'm even muscle sore the next day -- mostly depending how many squats were involved.

Oh Shape I don't think I used at all this week.  I just don't really enjoy it.  Some of them have some fun side to side jumps, which I like.  And it's an amazing arm workout -- if I put my arm weights on, I usually am struggling to lift the left one by the end of the first or second round.   To be fair to me - this is always *after* boxing, so they're slightly fatigued already, but I'm still shocked at how quickly this game exhausts them.  But mostly I just don't enjoy it.  I think at least partially cause the scoring is so random and very frustrating, so the motivation to do "just one more round" isn't there at all.  I did finally get the video off my Quest, so here's one that shows all the things...   Cut short cause of file size and, well, it's not that exciting to watch after the first minute ;)

Knock floating things out of the way
Dodge or duck under yellow walls
Punch red walls
Otherwise, make your body fit through the hole in the wall

Fitbit results were in line with the rest of the week...   I won't get my summary email till Mon or Tues but will be interesting to see if it was improvement over last week, cause it definitely didn't feel like it.  I had two days where "active time" was higher than sedentary time, so I was super pleased at that.   There were four days where I got my 250 steps every hour (it is set to track for 12h each day), and two days where I had 11 of 12, so pretty damn close (given that flipping back to the start I was pleased to achieve 6h....)

Last week vs this week (Saturday)

I earned Saturday's results.   They certainly weren't the best of the week by any means, BUT - I was writing a paper all day.  So without concerted effort, I would've sat at my desk pretty well all day with maybe a lunch and a snack interruption and not much else.   Not sure it was great for the quality of my paper lol, but it definitely helped from a health perspective.

Spanish Immersion Games

OMG lol the law of unintended consequences just attacked me ;-P   But I won!   I'm not sure how, but I did.

Let me back up...   February is Spanish immersion month, to be followed by boot camp the first week of March (that week chosen solely because that's the week I have off my MBA classes).  So to help with this, I changed both my FB and my phone to Spanish.

Okay so FB isn't too big a challenge.  Primarily because I'm more familiar with the platform than I'd like to admit so the words don't really matter.  I find it moderately amusing when I have to do a double-think about what it's telling me, and now when it translates somebody's post from another language it changes it to Spanish instead of English which alternates between amusing and frustrating.  But overall, neither my ability to use the app nor my real life are impacted by this cause, well, social media.  I can turn it off with zero impact to my day.

One of the first double takes was figuring out which alerts are actually comments...
Hint - none of these ;-P

Okay so that's all well and good.  It'll give me a tiny bit more exposure to Spanish with the translating of other people's comments, but otherwise...   Pretty minimal.

Now, my phone...   I had kinda thought I'd change some labels, the instructions/settings/etc would be in Spanish.  

This is honestly about what I expected.
The top two apps don't even have a Spanish option...

All good, right?   Yeah - except INSIDE every app changes too!   The saddest is bitmoji...  Since none of my friends speak Spanish, I can't use that at all anymore :(   

Except dinos -- they're the same in any language :)

I found the setting to switch it back to English and was super excited but all it did was make it so I can search for bitmoji's in English (sort of - very limited), but all the ones it gives me are still in Spanish.  So my bitmoji usage may be limited for a while.  Or you may just get them in Spanish instead.  May the odds be ever in your favour.

My work apps...   Yup - all Spanish!
Again, I'm pretty familiar with their functionality,
so not a big deal, but definitely did a double take!

But then there's my fitbit, which I've been relying heavily on to help meet my movement goals....  (she types literally as it buzzes to say I need to go get steps).   Pause.  *insert 250 steps* Okay, I'm back.   So by this point I had accepted the app would be in Spanish - somehow I'm still surprised by it every time?  Clearly what few learning skills I have have been thoroughly demolished by Finance - but had generally got the concept into my head.  What I didn't expect is that my watch is ALSO in Spanish now.  lol because of course the watch and the phone are synced.

Honestly though - the one that's driving me crazy - is everywhere there's a time, instead of saying am or pm it's a. m. or p. m. -- too many dots and WAY too much space.  I literally cringe every time I see it.  lol apparently it really is the little things in life?

Okay - but none of this has anything really relevant to the intro?  Remember that... Waaaaayyyyy back?  Right.  So my car's hands-free system is, uh, less than useful.  I mean, it theoretically exists, but it essentially never works.   Since I do occasionally need to send or receive phone calls while driving, I now have Alexa in my car.  She manages calls for me, adds random things I think of to my to do list, and plays music when I'm tired of my playlist.  All good.   So I, being a dedicated immersion student, was listening to a Spanish podcast (only Duolingo - I can't follow normal speed Spanish yet) while going for groceries, when I decided I needed to call C.  I stopped the podcast (which I wouldn't normally do) before asking Alexa to place the call...

And was answered in rapid-fire Spanish.  Wtf?!?  So first I did a quick glance at my dash, thinking I'd somehow reactivated the podcast (remember, slow learner...) - but no.  And that didn't make sense anyways as it definitely wasn't the podcast voice or tone.   hmmmm.  Wait.  Alexa is glowing?

And slowly the light dawns...  While house Alexa still cheerfully speaks English, car Alexa is powered by my phone.  She now speaks Spanish.   "Call Chris" shouldn't have been hard to come up with, but it did take me a second.  And amazingly - I was even nervous of speaking in Spanish alone to a computer?!?!   I mean, I really need to get over that.  So she babbled rapid-fire Spanish back at me, I missed 90% of it, but it ended with Chris' name and and uptone, so I took it to mean "do you want me to call Chris?" which she generally confirms in English.   Uh "Si?"  lol - it definitely came out as a question.  But it must've been the right answer, cause it worked.   Win!   So then I decided to ask Alexa for music, but since I couldn't remember the word for "play" in the context of music -- I just knew it wasn't the same as play a game and that was the word stuck in my head -- I just went with "music please" and hoped my accent wasn't so atrocious she couldn't understand.  lol but she got it, and went with my favourites list.  So it all worked out.

But yeah - that was definitely the most immersion I've ever had without leaving the country.  So I know how to override it now, but I'm not going to because...  Well...  That's kinda the whole point.  The only thing that's kinda disappointing is with the stay at home order, I never drive, so I won't actually get to talk to her much.

Still learning...

So I looked up a word in Spanish today: cicatrización.  It was just a word, with no context.  The exercise was “select the word that doesn’t fit” - since I knew the other words in the list, I knew this would be the right answer.  But as part of my learning, and word in the list that I don’t know, I look up.

Except in English, it’s the exact same thing?!?!?  lol the only difference is the t instead of the c at the end, which in my brain at this point isn’t even noticeable.   So that was ZERO help and I had to check my ego and go googling.   

Lol so those of you who do know - congrats, you have more medical training than I do.  Don’t be too proud - that’s not hard to do ;-P   For those who don’t, it’s a type of wound healing.   Don’t you feel smarter now?  You’re welcome ;)

I have the first week of March off school, and am hoping to do some form of Spanish boot-camp that week.  Obviously can’t go anywhere this year (sad) so looking for online options.   To prep, I decided Feb would have any spare minutes given to Spanish practice.  To help enable this I turned both my FB and my phone to Spanish.   So for FB, that’s pretty much a non issue.  But my phone and I have a love hate relationship even when we speak the same language, so it might be an interesting month ;)   Wish me luck!   Also - FB’s list of languages is impressive.  I was slightly horrified by how many of them I’d never heard of.  And that was just the ones with the latin alphabet!   Although “English Upside down” made me laugh - for the Aussie’s maybe?   And I was disappointed that Pirate doesn’t seem to be in the list anymore?

I wonder how long I'd last reading upside down?

Fun and games in today's virtual reality

Awesome boxing today with online friends :)  And I figured out how to box outside!!!  Lol given the whole winter situation in real life, this was lovely :)

Loving the outdoor boxing!
Also, this class was impossibly hard and I loved it.

Dancing I left the mat maybe half a dozen times?  lol - I have a gym mat that's ...?  idk maybe 6' x 6' which fits just inside the boundaries of my virtual world...  So I know if I step off the mat, I'm in danger of hitting a wall, or gym equipment, or whatever else.  Super handy.  Dance, RacketNX, and now SuperHot are the ones where I find it happens a lot.  

Do NOT play this in a small space.
This is a beginner level, because I'm awful at it and watching me play would be painful ;)
Higher levels have much more cool stuff - skulls, floating targets, moving targets, etc

Also, Dance is the only game where I tend to step off my safety mat backwards?   Lol it would seem I *really* don't like being at the front of the class, even in virtual.  Beat Saber and Boxing you lose if you're not standing in just about the right place, so they pretty much save me from that.  Although one of the boxing ghosts walked across my play area today so that was moderately entertaining ;)

For the curious, this is the second half of a beginner dance class...

On a joint recommendation I tried SuperHot which I had stayed away from as it's a shooter, but it's a very odd shooter -- I had better luck using my gun to punch people.  😂 I only have the demo version but was quickly getting a decent workout playing it.   Serious issue in that I travel ALL over the place with this one.  Like my poor little mat didn't stand a chance.  Which definitely increases my risk of injury significantly lol.  The premise of this is that people are attacking you (why?  What'd I ever do to them), but they only move when and as fast as you do.   So if they shoot a bullet, you can dodge it (which feels very matrixy, I'm not gonna lie), and if you need the chaos to stop for a bit, just stop moving.   But I honestly had no idea what I was doing or why, and mostly waited till the people got close and then punched them.  Did get my heart rate up though, so will certainly try it again.

Vaguely related, I got this feedback from Fitbit, that sadly does not align with my week for blogging purposes but was still interesting to read.  I don't believe for one second that everything improving is sustainable, but it was still nice to see :)    

Also Mon was my first day ever (well ever since selling the riding school ;) where the "active" percent was higher than the "sedentary" percent so woohoo!   Tuesday followed, alas today will not.   Way too much typing required both for real work and school work.   I basically get up when the fitbit buzzes, run around the house for my 250 steps, and then sit down again.  

Alright, back to writing the stuff I'm supposed to be writing today.

The games continue...

Alright so I'm struggling with the fact that it's week 4 but not the last week of January...  lol in a *normal* year 5 Saturday months are awesome.  Right now they're just confusing.

Okay so this week my weight remains stable with where it was last week.  Which is better than it was through most of 2020 but not as good as pre-2020 ;)   Still, progress.  I'm generally feeling better (as long as we don't count muscle soreness) and I definitely have more energy.  I'm also sleeping more consistently, which is lovely.  And, the Apollo arms are on their way back.  Lol - those who know...   

I'm comparing Thurs to last week's Friday because on Friday my Fitbit died a tragic death.  Or more, it went on strike, deeming it was no longer going to remind me to move (like seriously lady?  Can't you figure this out on your own?), relay messages to me, or wake me up when it was supposed to.  It was still technically counting steps, but honestly, without the reminder to move time just passes and there are no steps to count.  A new (to me) Fitbit was brought to life today (thanks to Mum getting a new smartwatch for Christmas, I got to inherit her last Fitbit, which is still newer than mine - woohoo!) - so count should be good to go next week.

Definitely getting better; also definitely not every day yet!

Generally I'm finding the bike still gets the best workout, but it really depends how into it I am.  The games almost always guarantee a top heart rate, but just riding if I don't go out of my way to make an effort, I don't even get into the orange zone, much less the DARK orange zone ;)   Today, for instance, I was not at all into it ;)   Boxing and dancing are not far behind; if I'm lazy, they'll outrank the cycling (like today!)

For comparison - today's "workouts"

It was kinda meh in Vancouver today and I wasn't really into it
Still gorgeous though!

Beat Saber is by far my favourite. This vid below was from a few days ago, but it took till today for me to manage to get it onto a computer :)   I don't love this song, but sharing partially because it has a TON of squats and demonstrates how (especially when you play the same game half a dozen times in a row), you can actually get a workout doing this, and partially because I *earned* this one.  Lol when I've played against live people, a few times they've picked this song and I am always eliminated within a few seconds.  So I finally got frustrated enough that I decided I needed to learn how to pass this song.  Played it on slow motion a few times so I could figure it out, then sped it back up.  And now I can pass :) Woohoo!  I'm not *good* at it yet, but at least i can get throughout.  Also, this is the first round of Beat Saber that's ever come close to making me motion sick -- I'm guessing cause of all the walls :(   But I played other songs after and they were np, so assuming it's just this song.  

For those who've never played before, you can feel when you cut a block (there's feedback in the controller you're holding) so you know if you've hit it or not.  Objective is to hit each block with the matching colour light saber, striking in the direction of the arrows.  And to duck or dodge walls and avoid hitting bombs.  It is wildly addictive.

In related news - I passed my first ever Expert +!!!  Woohoo!!!  But because it's a recognizable song, they won't let me share the video :(   Boooo.  It is on my FB if you're interested :)   K recommended a song that might be a good first attempt and she was right :)

I'll try to remember to film a dance one next week.  I'm still thoroughly in beginner mode there so it'll be pretty boring to watch ;-P   But at least I'm up to the 6 minute rounds now *g*   Of all the games I play, that's the only one where the "coach" makes a difference.  There's one woman who gives clear instructions with enough notice that I can always follow.  The other two I've tried (one woman, one man) either give instructions too late or that don't make sense, so I have to watch what they do and then mimic it -- but I lose a ton of points when I "miss" to see what we're supposed to do.

Mindfulness Adventures Continued

 So binge watching Headspace was an interesting experience.  I’ve been playing, inconsistently, with meditation for the last few months.  The science behind it fascinates me; the application, less so.  Although the one thing I have noticed is that I consistently sleep better after meditating...

I also was stitching while watching one episode and they were talking about counting the breaths as I was counting stitches and, well, the light went on.  Lol clearly this is why I find stabbing so hypnotic, and also why it’s only the complex patterns that cause it - cause they take all my brain focus and other thoughts can’t wander in to interrupt.  Less complicated patterns are just to keep my hands busy when I’m paying attention to something or somebody else.   

This one was completely mindless

The Bomb one had a relaxing “colouring” impact with that immediate sense of completion after every colour.  But it wasn’t hypnotic to do it as it required negligible attention.  

Each episode of Headspace I gave a solid effort at participating in the guided meditation part of the episode.  I didn’t make it all the way through most of them, but was interesting to me which ones really worked for me, and conversely, which ones absolutely did not.  Lol one completely stressed me out; so I figured I needed to watch another episode to undo that one.  And it worked :)

I do like that most of them had a “let your mind wander” break in the middle.  That was helpful.  I’m also getting better at doing it slightly longer, but I get bored so fast and then stressed about all the things I could be doing instead.  Which is precisely why I’m working on this but still.  Argh.

Ah well - should sleep well tonight!

I went... dancing?!?!

So today was the opposite of productive.   It was C's knee surgery day, which meant driving to London and spending the majority of the day there and then driving home.  Now normally I'm all in for a road trip, and I can entertain myself alone in any city fairly easily.  Except...  Winter and stay at home order.  Everything would be closed AND no access to washrooms.  Fortunately, having discovered this the last time we went for an appointment, I thought ahead and booked a hotel room for the day.  Rental choice was 10-5 or 11-6, pretty much ideal.  Win :).  And the room was excellent - kitchen, desk, couch, bed...  I definitely could've moved in for an extended period and it certainly worked for the day.  

Not a bad place to spend the day :)  There was both a bed and a couch too.

Since I had booked the day off work my plan was to spend most of it doing schoolwork.  But then I thought a good way to kill some time would be a Spanish lesson...  C had to be dropped off at 10, so I booked a lesson for 10:30.  Got there, got checked in, connected to wifi.  All good.   Lesson was actually awesome.  Then after the lesson I was doing followup Spanish....  And then it was lunchtime, so I ventured out to find food.  When I came back watched some Spanish Netflix, thinking I'd start schoolwork after lunch...   And then C texted at like 1:10 to say he was awake.   Uh... Cool.  Okay, but I wasn't even done lunch yet?   lol.  He wanted to be picked up at 2:30 so I had a short nap (win!) and then went to get him.  Ended up being a little later than that but I was rocking out in my happy place at that point so no big deal.  

So drive home...  And I'm thinking order meds, work out, pick up meds, have dinner, do school...  All good, right?  Yeah.  Except then we hit construction which meant the drive would be longer than expected...  And the meds C already had were wearing off.  So reschedule and prioritize meds and just wait there till they were ready.   And when we got home, Dad offered to grab dinner for us so - awesome.  Just skip the workout idea and eat.

The second leg of my first ride creation

Which was awesome.  Except that then I felt SO blah.  Waaayyy too many calories and zero exercise today.   And zero inclination to do anything.  Ugh.   So decided I need to tackle either exercise or school.  And I *really* didn't feel like school.  So exercise for the win.  And this is where VR really is a win.  Because I 100% didn't want to work out...  But I could "just finish" my ride - there was less than 10km left.  And unlike in reality, the hills don't actually cause misery so it wasn't off-putting.  I could dial down to zero tension and just keep spinning the wheels and it counts.   And by the end of the ride, I was sweaty and my heartbeat was up -- so even though it was a definitely half-assed commitment (and I completely ignored Josh; I believe I even told him to F off at one point ;), I was still getting a workout.  And I felt better, so I decided to continue the ride.  Awesome right?   Except technology failed shortly after and I blue screened.   But then I was feeling good so I figured I'd do some of the games.

It didn't feel great while I was doing it,
but the gold boxes are very motivating :)

I started with boxing.  Just one round.  But then I broke all kinds of my own records and felt really good at the end, so decided to do just one more :).  To be fair, it was the easiest one I've ever done (I don't usually do the "light" workouts but I thought it was on this week's challenge so I figured I should - turns out it wasn't.  *sigh*  Ah well).  But yeah - highest streak ever.  So now I was thoroughly warmed up, arms slightly sore, and feeling good.  Okay.

No gold boxes this time, but I did it.

I didn't really want to do another round, and I definitely didn't feel like Oh Shape tonight.   Wait - why not try... Dancing?  Now those of you who know me, will understand why that's a question.  And those of you who don't know me but read the blog, will know I tried it once before and lasted less than 30 seconds before I quit with a strong feeling of "never again".   

Essentially you follow this dancer's movements...
Suffice to say, she's *slight* more graceful than I ;)

So this time I was a little smarter -- I picked the easiest level and one that was only 3 mins long.  Well, not only was it a riot, it was a really good workout?!?!  Certainly equal to, albeit very different from, boxing.  So yeah -- I'll try that again, but will have to work my way up from the bottom level.

Notice the "light" intensity and the almost dead last placing ;-P

After that, decided I just wanted to play.  So Beat Saber was up.  To put into perspective, I was now a sold 45 minutes into the workout I wasn't going to do.  And in Beat Saber I broke record after record after record.  And I was having a blast.  And oh my god were my arms ever feeling it.  They don't usually feel it but after weights on the bike, boxing, and dancing (?!?!) I guess it was the final line.   

Notice "New Highscore" in both :)  
Better still if that A was an S, but I'll get there...

Somebody else in one of my forums passed her first ever Expert + level today, so I was all inspired to try that.  She'd gone back to one of the original songs to do so, so I did as well.  And I failed.   Hard.  Time, after time, after time.   Lol sharing this too just so you have a realistic picture of it :).  BUT what it did, was improve the workout portion of the day as "just one more time" over and over, every time is a workout.  Alas, I never did pass the level although I got close.  I suspect someday soon there will be an excited "first Expert + ever" post.  But today is not that day.

I saw this many, many, times tonight.
And then I did it once more, just to take a picture.

I did go back and do one more round of the songs I like just to finish on a happy note :)

One more for the win :)

So yeah -- admittedly, my schoolwork remains undone, I'm still *way* over the calories for today and will just barely make my 10,000 steps if I go do another lap around the house.  But I feel SO much better and am more alive.  And it was fun.  Like legitimately fun, not go-to-the-gym, "I suffered through this with other people so we're going to pretend it was fun" fun.  So that counts for a lot.  And this is where I think VR fitness succeeds when many other types fail.  It may not be as intense as many of the other programs I've tried, but it's very easy to pick it up even when you *really* just can't.   And any time I have done this, I've gotten a far better workout than I'd intended.   Without my Quest, at *most* I would've done maybe 5 minutes on the bike today.  So yeah.  Deeming it a win.

Week 3 of Virtual Fitness Adventures

So this week was the first real challenge of my virtual fitness journey in that both work and school have returned to their full time states, so I'm pressed for both time and energy.  That being said, while I switched the order of some days, my participation was decent.   

Josh and I were having some trouble in Ireland this week, so we went to Arizona instead.  I didn't love this ride -- partially it was choppy but mostly it just got boring quickly.   It did have some nice moments though.

I've found a great online community for FitXR (the boxing game) which makes it way more fun.  I've done a couple workouts with them -- I find the breaks between exercise are longer as people chit chat and get organized, but I do more workouts than I would on my own.  Also it's more fun.

I've also added a non-virtual component of a treadmill desk, which I kinda love, that I can walk on during meetings.   This is more to break up the "sedentary hours" than improve fitness and it definitely helps with that.  Also to help with that, I've set my Fitbit to buzz every hour from 9-9 if I haven't moved so hoping that helps too.  I used to come home from work and then do stuff, but now work is at home and the only stuff to do is school -- which is sedentary.  So yeah, I'll take any help I can get.   

Last Fri vs this Fri.  Still not *good* per-say, but creeping toward better.

I've dialled back the amount of water -- still *way* more than I was drinking pre-adventure but not quite the crazy amount of last week, and I feel like this is a much better balance.  My weight is sorting itself out now too -- I dropped the extra I picked up last week and even a little more, so pleased about that.

Tomorrow I'm planning to cycle from Sea to Sky (or -- the Vancouver part of it anyways; realistically, that's a very long ride ;).  It's the first ride I've created (on Jael's recommendation and trusting Google) so we'll see how it goes.  Lol wish me luck!   The intelligent thing to do would probably have been to start with a ride I actually know *g* or even a short trip, but really, when have you known me to do things the easy way?

Is it really procrastination if I'm writing about Finance?

Honestly, the best thing about this course is
I now have a valid reason to use this image,
which I've loved from the day they first put the girl statue up :)

Lol so I had to laugh that Finance is the only course I’ve taken so far that hasn’t claimed to be the most important function of any business, when arguably it’s the only one who could truly lay that claim.  I mean, if you’re not trying to make money, why are you in business?

I don’t love finance.  I will never love finance.  But I am gaining an appreciation of how much truly brilliant financial people can gleam from financial statements.    While I will never enjoy the analysis portion of this and am dreading the assessments, I am learning a ton and definitely have a new appreciation for what can be ascertained if you know how and where to look.   The assessment for this course involves taking financial statements from two companies in the same industry and doing a bunch of analysis on them in comparison to one another.  I am *painfully* slow at this.  And struggle to get beyond the obvious; it’s going to be a challenge to get to master’s level skills in the next few weeks for sure!

On the other hand, it is making me appreciate the skills and knowledge I do have that have made such analysis in other subjects super easy.  Marketing was even fun.

HR has been sidelined in the same way that Marketing was sidelined so I could focus on Ops.  But I did start the assessment for that the other day and had a few exchanges with the prof who I’ve so far been super impressed by.   He answered a question for me on the weekend before the class had even officially started - bonus points!  Lol or maybe he was just bored.

The one fun thing this term?  A classmate has introduced me to the GoodNotes app, which combined with an Apple Pencil has revolutionized my life.  Lol.  I use it endlessly both for school and for real life.  And side bonus - have saved a small forrest in paper as a result.  Win!   I’m also impressed by how well the app can translate my scribbles to text and also by how well the scribbles that I choose not to make text can be searched.  Very cool.

Alright that was fun procrastination, but must get back to finance now.   Key learning of the day: “the major objective is to avoid insolvency”.   Lol welcome to MBA 101. I’m not even kidding - that’s a direct quote from our materials.  So now you’re caught up too.  You’re welcome.

Virtual Fitness Challenge week 1.5 ;)

 So week one results, so to speak, have been less than thrilling :(

The main dietary change I've made is drinking bucketloads of water.  

Okay, maybe not a bucket, but a *huge* amount

For she who generally drinks a 600ml bottle over two days, this beast is a challenge, and definitely does not leave me feeling all that great.  I do love the bottle though and am ridiculously motivated by the time stamps.  On the plus side, drinking that much has lead to far less snacking and far less coke consumption (the pop people!).  On the down side -- I've gained weight?!?!?   I'm assuming it's literally water weight, but that seems so unfair.

Exercise-wise -- since Jan 1, I've ridden 55km in an hour and 45 mins.  That's not super impressive for sure, so I'll try to up that next week (not the speed, the distance).  I've been doing longer boxing attempts, and oh shape with weights.  Those I think are helpful, but again, trying to build stamina to go for longer.   Also trying to obey the Fitbit and move every hour.  Not far, but at least a little.  Haven't yet gotten every hour, but I'm getting pretty good at a consistent 6h's.  

A huge improvement from day 1.

Still stationary most of the day; not sure realistically that'll change given the whole desk job thing.  But we'll see.  Focusing on the breaking up of the day since that's apparently important.   Also not really focusing on step count cause Beat Saber can falsely inflate those numbers ;)

I did film an Oh Shape workout as a demo, but having ALL the technical issues transitioning it here, so I'll try another one another day.

Okay - back to school now.

This term's adventure

Alright so we’re into the new term - Finance and Strategic HR this term.
  HR I’m kinda indifferent to.  I actually expected to like it more than I do so far but the content they’ve chosen is just *yawn*.  Finance otoh, thankfully has excellent modules but omg it’s brutal.   The last question I did required 22 calculations.  Ugh.  So far I mostly get the calculations easily enough - it's not difficult math as long as I can figure out what number is required, but it's going to take me a bit to figure out what the numbers actually mean.  The ability to be able to do an in-depth analysis based solely off the numbers is the primary objective of the course, and honestly - a super useful skill.  But it's a big learning curve for me in the next 8 weeks!

And of course, given this school's complete inability to manage administrative manners, both classes are at the same time again.  Here's hoping we can convince one of the profs to move it *sigh*

And in the meantime, Spanish continues.  I’m still frustrated by crawling progress at times, but this the other day I finished both a book and a series of listening exercises that I haven’t done in a while; they used to be hard and were reasonably easy today, so I'm deeming that progress.   This year's focus is definitely going to be on improving my listening skills.

Can virtual reality create real fitness?

That is the question for this month.  So I was reading a book about how the brain works and the number of correlations between exercise and improved memory and exercise and learning suggest that maybe exercise would be useful in my current life.  And then I looked in the mirror this week and ugh.  Well, suffice to say I decided something needed to be done.  The gyms are closed and C really doesn’t like the mat I need to do the Beachbody programs.  So instead, given that I’ve been enjoying my Quest, I’ve decided to see what kind of results you can get from VR.

And I’ll tell you - after today’s workout, I’m betting you can get decent results.

So I’ve done the pre-test measurements.  Ugh - that was eye opening in an less than ideal way.  I also dug my Fitbit out of storage.  That was even more disturbing.

11h and 38min stationary?!?  Yikes!

So my goal is to see what changes with VR directed exercise.  The tools:

  • my Oculus Quest
  • stationary bike
  • cadence sensor (lets the Quest know what the bike is doing)
  • 5lbs weights for use on the bike (this is a slight cheat to the straight vr but I like my arms to do something other than take pics on the bike)
  • weighted wrist bands for use with action games (except Fit XR because I tried that once and it didn’t end well).

Alright, so I figure target 6 days/week - 3 “real” workouts and 3 “I got off the couch” workouts.

As to what those workouts involve - subject to change but definitely cycling both around the world and the games.  I’ll also track how far I cycle this month (this is not hard - my phone tells me ;).  

The primary VR game is FitXR, which is boxing (or dance, but for me boxing) based.  I bought the “intense” level - a $10 upgrade.  And my ego took a huge hit when I did it today as it destroyed me!  I was so proud of myself the first 5 mins or so and then I died over the next 15.  Lol so on the plus side, I have high hopes it’ll contribute to results.  

Not my best effort, but so you can see some of the game

This is one of the “warmup” options - I filmed it cause it’s short lol.  And full transparency- I did this *after* the workout that destroyed me so this is definitely not a perfect round.  If you scroll part way through you’ll see some of the obstacles that cause squats and side bends.   Dawn - if you happen to watch this - I’m working on keeping my hands up lol but definitely still a failure more often than not.  It’s a very good thing I don’t punch anything that’ll punch back!

Other options include Oh Shape - sometime this month I’ll film this one.  The idea here is that a wall is coming toward you with a human-shape hole in it and you have to move your body to fit through the shape.  Also occasional balls to hit out of the way and walls to duck under or around.  Apparently this one is based on a Japanese game show.  Some of them I find are some exercise, especially if I have arm weights on.  Some not so much.  And the scoring is super random and very frustrating so I have to convince myself not to look at the score.

RacketNX and Beat Saber are *tons* of fun and involve movement.  I’m not convinced they qualify as "exercise", but they’re on the list.  I’ll try to snag a vid of each at some point.

I have a couple other games that have movement aspects to them but they’re so little they don’t even pretend to count (think mini golf ;)

So yeah - it’s one week into Jan.  We’ll see how this goes...   If anybody reading has a quest and wants to play, I’m LaurCH on there.