luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I did my Cert III exam and got 97% (though that's less impressive when it was an open book test and I was looking things up regularly.)  Some of the questions were ambiguous and confusing, but it's behind me now.

Now it's the practical element.  The due date is technically next Friday but it has been extended to mid February.  I'm still going to try to get it done in time to go to Sydney to visit my parents who arrive next week.  Things have been delayed by one of my trainer friends getting an injury and having to cancel some observation opportunities, but the manager of the gym is going to try to arrange a few things for next week.

There have been quite a few solid workouts this week, and I now have more motivation to keep up with future workouts.  I have started a Twitter feed for my soon to be freelance training business (it still sounds odd to say that) and a Facebook page too.  I'm going with Molon Labe Fitness as a name.  It's a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae between the Spartans and Persians (and to the movie 300.)  In some ways it has become a personal motto of mine (though not because I'm a die hard supporter of gun rights as someone once assumed.)  Also, I think it sounds sufficiently badass and fits my approach to training.  Soon I will have business cards.



There is more news from JAQ.  The last I heard there is a chance that the cancer has metastacised to her liver, she has a 50% chance at survival, she is unemployed and is appealing to friends to help with her medical bills (though after trying twice my donation can't be processed.)  And despite all of this (or perhaps because of it) she has seemed very upbeat and focused.  There is a sense of purpose in her life that is unfamiliar to me.  Her purpose is simply to survive.  There seems to be a wonderful simplicity to it.  I suspect the numbness I feel in my gloom is not quite as present in her life.

As I said before, this is the first time I have had to contemplate someone close to me dying, and that person happens to be one of the bravest people I know.  She is a fighter, and the "FUCK CANCER" t-shirt she is wearing on the front page of her cancer blog is a testament to that.

That cancer is going to wish it had never metastacised.
luckycanuck: (Default)
My tire arrived.

It needed some cleaning and it still needs some more, but that didn't stop me from having my inaugural workout with it on Saturday morning.

SatW: 5 rounds - 4 tire flips, 20 tire jumps, 4 tire flips, 50 sledgehammers - 20:08

It's a heavier tire (I can't quite figure out how much it actually weighs) than the one at the gym and flipping it isn't easy, especially given the shape.  There is very little clearance underneath it and it's not easy to get a grip on it.  Getting work gloves might help with getting my fingers between the rubber and the ground.

Still, it's a great workout tool.



When I start training people I may have to help them with flips.

Later I had a further leg workout at the gym with a focus on maintaining excellent form (having my feet wider really helped with overhear squats and thrusters), and had another solid workout on Sunday focusing on arms and back which I did slowly after a run to and from the gym.

TW: 3 rounds - Run around the block with the sandbag, 10 jumps in then out of Otani, 20 slosh pipe lunges, 20 slosh pipe squats - 29:13

So I've had some good workouts and am continuing to get new ideas.

I visited the motherf*cking bank like the motherf*cking adult and decided not to open a business bank account as I don't think it will be necessary just now.  I did wind up with an ABN (which was easier to get than I expected) and didn't register for GST because the potential benefits in claiming input credits are fairly minor and it would increase my costs.  I also set up an e-mail for my business and am updating my CV to reflect the fact that I am now consulting (even though I've not actually done any concrete work yet.)

My VMG stock is back trading again and is lower than I thought it would be but I will hold on to it.  AUT has rebounded nicely but ERA has dropped on account of a capital raising.  I'm taking a bit from my margin loan top participate in it.  It's a risky strategy but I am not emotionally committed to it.  It is just currently trading at a higher price than the capital raising price and I might as well get in rather than allow my holding to be diluted.  I'm trying to get out of NBS at a reasonable price.

I also plan to vote against the board of BOW, NBS, and CCV at my first opportunity.  I am not happy with how these companies are being run and in these cases I have no qualms about trying to fire my employees and voting against the remuneration they have set for themselves.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)
This afternoon Ginger Harpist (whom I picked up from the airport after her trip to France yesterday) said she was impressed at how proactive I was being.

It has certainly been one of those weeks.

I enrolled to get a qualification in personal training, I made a trip to Bunnings and bought the elements of homemade workout equipment.  Some pvc pipe became a slosh pipe, which, when filled with water isn't heavy, but is extraordinarily tough to keep steady.
Home gym pics )
Today I visited Bridgestone and they are delivering a tractor tire right to my backyard tomorrow.  I have got plenty of things to do with all this.  I also bought an interval timer this morning, for the first time ever making a purchase on eBay.

YW: 5 slosh pipe squat and press, slosh pipe walk around the backyard, 10 Bulgarian sandbag around the world, drag both tires and sandbag back and forth across the yard - 10 rounds - 21:31.

TW: Overhead slosh pipe walk 20m, 10 sandbag around the world, 20 sandbag weighted pushups, 10 sandbag flip up and squat, 20 walking lunges w sandbag - 5 rounds - 14:45.  Also slosh pipe practice.  Bicep curls, deadlifts, squats,100 shoulder presses.

My arms are buzzing.  That is the best adjective I can think of.  There is a lot of improving grip strength and a lot of work put on to the little stabilising muscles you never knew you had.

I made an appointment with the bank to talk about my banking needs now that I am setting up an ABN and doing some freelance work.  Now I have to get an ABN and maybe register a business name or two.  I've thought about one name for the political consulting and one for the training.

There was finally a response from the mental health policy job I interviewed for.  Again, they didn't go with me, and again it was because they felt my experience was too political.  That annoyed me.  I have been perfectly professional in the past, and have on many occasions written briefs and speeches that I did not agree with.  I told them so in both interviews, but they still thought I didn't have enough experience in an apolitical environment.  There is not a single public service job in which that excuse could be applied, so I am annoyed at the thought that it may well be applied again.  I'm going to speak to some other agencies and reconnect with others who already know me.

Aside from that, it has been a good week.

Oh yes, and here is the poster for the next Rugger Bugger show.
GLADIATOR! )
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I've had big workout days yesterday and today.

YW: Run to and from the gym about 12km. 20-1 pullups, half as many clean squat press - 30:31.

TW: Run to and from the gym about 12km. 10 hr pushups, 10 situps, 10 hr pushups, 10 medicine ball slams - 11:34.

The running made things really tough.  I'm quite tired and tonight I will sleep heavily.

I have taken a step.  It's pretty big I guess.

I have enrolled at the Fitness Institute of Australia to do Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness, which will qualify me to become a personal trainer.  I'll be studying online which means I can go entirely at my own pace which will mean I will probably finish ahead of schedule.  I can also claim it against my taxes, whether or not I have an ABN set up already.  Action has been taken.

When I get back to Canberra I plan to investigate getting some homemade gym equipment, and I may start spreading the word that I am taking sessions.  Naturally I won't charge as much to start off with as I will when I am qualified, and I don't plan to work for someone else.  I plan to be a freelancer.

Mcat and I had another long Skype session.  We always seem to have a lot to talk about.  I met her a year ago and never would have expected to get as close to someone I met so randomly as I have gotten to her.

In other news, the Convicts are staging a gladiator themed fundraising strip show, and for the first time ever, I will be on stage.  I can't get to the first rehearsals later this week, but I will be able to make it to the rehearsals the day before the show and the day of the show.  I guess I won't be doing anything overly complicated, but the strip shows are usually pretty simple anyway.  For the first time I am able to rehearse and I won't risk being compromised at work, so it should be a go.
luckycanuck: (Default)
On the drive to Sydney I visited Minou who had some encouraging things to say about me setting up a business (she has effectively done the same thing as I am thinking of doing, though it forms a much greater proportion of her income than it would for me.)  My parents just rang and they thought it was a good idea too.  My dad set up an incorporated business in the 80s and still runs it for a living.  Dora is getting a better record at not peeing on the floor from joy overload when I visit.  I now don't pay her any attention until she is calm.  Everyone in Minou's place seemed happy to see me.

FW: At the gym in Minou's neighbourhood. AMRAP 15 minutes - 15 24kg kb swings, 20 hr pushups, 5 toes to rings - 8 rounds +2 kb swings.

I then went into Sydney and had dinner with an ex-girlfriend, in fact, I had dinner with my first ex-girlfriend, from way back in high school days in Canada.  She now lives in Perth and was in Sydney for work.  Small world, eh?  I was with her exactly half my life ago.  I was a bit slow to get into relationships and this relationship was quite short term (but it felt like a bigger deal at the time.)  We wound up at a local pub for hours, it was a really nice evening, and we got all caught up on everything that happened over the last 17 years.  Now I have more reason to visit Perth.

As I was about to drive to Collaroy I heard from Nerva Chu who was having people over, and I popped over to visit.  I wound up dozing a bit on the sofa but not leaving until the morning.  Apparently she and a few of her friends may be coming to the next Rugger Bugger show providing that I am in it.  All the more reason now.  If I can get to rehearsals, I will be in it.  I no longer have to worry about not embarrassing employers.

Saturday was spent at the Collaroy Castle which I will have to prepare for my cousin's visit with her family in a couple of weeks.  It was also spent eating.  And it was spent resting.  And it was spent sweating.

YW: AMRAP 30 minutes - 20 marine pushups, 20 air squats - 38 rounds + 8 pushups.

I've also been looking at the prospect of getting some gym equipment for home and putting together some homemade gym equipment myself.  Sandbags, a slosh pipe (basically a hollow plastic pipe that you partially fill with water and that will smash you good) a big tire and a smaller tire along with things to hit them with and some heavy rope for pulling things and for conditioning are at the top of my list.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I watched the rugby with [livejournal.com profile] bakerypenguin and her family.  It was a low scoring game and it could have gone either way, but in the end I was happy to see the All Blacks win at last.  They were a bit shaky on the night and looked like they might choke again, but they did enough to hold on for an 8-7 victory.  The title went to the team that was the best in the tournament.

The whole thing was overshadowed by the haka controversy.

This is what happened.


It was a great moment of rugby history, but the IRB has now fined Les Bleus for encroaching on the haka.  They stepped over the centre line and that breaks the rules put in place to prevent teams from showing disrespect to the haka,

The thing is, there was no disrespect in this.  The ABs weren't offended, but all the same the fine has been levied.  I like the haka.  I think they should continue to do it, but if one side is going to do a tribal war dance, I see no reason why there should be regulations in place dictating what the other team can and can't do.  The IRB shouldn't force the opposition to keep their distance, they shouldn't force them to stand still and watch, and they shouldn't institute rules to protect the pre-match rituals of any team.  If you are going to say to the opposition "you must stand still and watch the haka without moving or coming to close or turning around, you are not far off from just playing one national anthem or saying that it is culturally insensitive to score tries against New Zealand.  Besides, it is unnecessary.  The haka is part of rugby and I don't think it needs protecting as though it was a wee delicate bloom.

I have had a lot of good workout days recently.

TW: 10 tire flips, 20 sledgehammers - 10 rounds. Max pullups, 10 20kg db pushups, 10 burpees - until 150 pullups done. (5 rounds)

YW: Legstravaganza. Leg presses, overhead weighted lunges, burpees, 28kg kb swings. 100 openers in as few sets as possible - 3. 5 80kg deadlifts, 10 bench jumps - 10 rounds.

MonW: 1 minute pushups, 1 minute situps for 30 minutes - 908 pushups, 409 situps.

It has been a while since I've missed a day.

I have been put forward for two jobs in the Department of Communications and I'm still waiting to hear back from the health job from last week.

I also had a meeting with a business advisor and took home plenty of things to read to help me decide if I want to set up a business.  The party hq types have reaffirmed that they are interested in my doing some freelance work for them including a lecture for their training day next month.

Today I went back to visit my psychologist.  It was good to get back actually, and at the end I came away with a better idea of what all of this is meant to be doing.  She pointed out that my recently improved mood is likely related to the fact that I am living more in line with my values.  I highlighted a few of them as homework, and having purpose, challenge, adventure, uniqueness, intimacy, trust, and physicality helped.  Her advice was to continue moving in the direction of these values, and when I feel myself drifting into gloom, to take some small action consistent with them.  SHe also advised me to notice when distractions keep me from living with my values, and to take note of how I feel when this happens.  This is the whole "notice and name" part of ACT and the idea of being mindful of what sets me off and what soothes me is key.  It's about being aware of when I am doing well and when I'm not, and when I get the gloom, to do something to restore my values if I can.  If I can't, then it's notice/name/accept.

The issue of anti-depressants also came up and she agreed with me that in my current state anti-depressants may not be the right thing right now.  Her advice, keep going with mindfulness about how I feel and maintaining my values, and in a few months, if I can continue doing that and I still feel gloomy, then re-consider the chemical option.

Progress

Oct. 22nd, 2011 01:18 am
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I heard about the Department of Health job I interviewed for.  They eliminated a number of candidates early on but that group didn't include me.  Then later I heard that they had gone with someone else.

The good news is that this morning I had another interview for a different job (actually several jobs) in the same Department working on mental health.I turned up six minutes late and was a bit concerned, until I found out that the interviewer had double booked and wound up being 40 minutes late.  It was just the two of us in the interview rather than four interviewers like there was last time.  It went quite well, and my agency rang later in the day to ask if it was ok for them to pass on the contact details of my references if asked.  I reckon there is a very strong chance here, and this job would be for 9-12 months so it would take me all the way past going to the Bingham Cup with the Convicts next year, and into doing Pushups Across America.  I apprised them of my situation including the rural fire service and they seemed fine.

Speaking of the fire service, I have still gotten no indication that I have been approved.  It has been over two months since I applied and all they had to do was do a criminal background check.  I don't think it should be taking this long.  I've called plenty of times but nothing seems to move things along.  We are into fire season, they are being called out to things, and I have still not gotten any training or even simple approval.

I have a meeting on Monday with a business advisor to try and work out if it is worthwhile for me to start up a business (basically as a sole trader) as a way of organising freelance work in a few areas.

A trainer at my gym told me of a good place to get a qualification in personal training and I will probably be pursuing that in the near future too.

TW: Practice clean squat press 40kg and front squats.  Front squats make the back of my head hurt for some reason, and regular squats are awkward on my neck.  I must get better with these.  AMRAP 15 minutes - 10 cal row, 10 kb swings. 11 rounds + row. Tire - 5 rounds of 4 corners. 12:06.

YW: "Elizabeth" - 21-15-9 60kg cleans, ring dips - 7:25.  Officially it is meant to include squat cleans, but I wasn't comfortable with those which is why I practiced them today.  Then 2 minutes max pullups (52) 20kg db shoulder press (47).

On Wednesday I have an appointment with my psychologist again.  Will see how this goes.

So there has been progress on a few things.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I got a call from Coffee Snob this morning.  She is in Perth for work and asked if I could send her a workout similar to the one I gave her earlier in the week.  I did one involving rowing, deadlifts, pushups, and burpees, and again she is quite keen to get on it (though she still got some delayed muscle soreness from the last one.)

I also got a call from Andrew Broad, CEO of the VDM Group.  I e-mailed six questions about the capital raising than I am considering yesterday, and today I got a response.  The CEO and I chatted for over 15 minutes and he answered every one of the questions I asked in a quitte satisfactory way.  Apparently they are soon to announce $60 million in new work, their property sale is going well, all the directors are participating with their own money except for one who legally cannot, and this CEO was until last August one of the higher ups in a company that has done quite well recently (and which I considered investing in.)  He was with them a decade ago when they were in dire straits and now they are trading at many multiples of their old value.  In that case, within a year they had jumped sevenfold.  All in all, it was an impressive phone call.  If I am going to participate in this capital raising, I will have to rearrange a few things, but I am now more confident that it is a good idea.

I also had my first foray into margin loans today.  I bought shares in ERA, a uranium mining outfit that has recently been hammered and I think oversold.  The market on it is showing signs of a turnaround.  I'm not getting into margin trading too heavily, and I've put up a lot more security than I needed to using shares I don't plan on selling any time soon so I should be pretty safe from margin calls even if bad things happen.

It struck me today that as my time in Parliament winds down, these things are far more interesting to me than what I actually doing for a living.  I wonder if I will end up doing this for a while.

The Convicts are in the semi-finals this weekend.  I'm still not sure if I will be playing or not.  My neck is pretty good and I am back to doing full on workouts and taking a muscle relaxant when I get home and another right before bed.  I may not know right away whether I will be playing.  It's hard to tell.

YW: AMRAP 15 minutes: Max 30kg shoulder press, max pullups, row 200m.  5 full rounds plus shoulders and pullups.  Totals: 117 shoulder presses, 84 pullups, row 1km.

Also, I have decided that in addition to one of the business reporters on Sky News, I have a new secret celebrity girlfriend.

Click to discover the identity of Luckycanuck's secret girlfriend )
luckycanuck: (Default)
I got a call from Coffee Snob this morning.  She is in Perth for work and asked if I could send her a workout similar to the one I gave her earlier in the week.  I did one involving rowing, deadlifts, pushups, and burpees, and again she is quite keen to get on it (though she still got some delayed muscle soreness from the last one.)

I also got a call from Andrew Broad, CEO of the VDM Group.  I e-mailed six questions about the capital raising than I am considering yesterday, and today I got a response.  The CEO and I chatted for over 15 minutes and he answered every one of the questions I asked in a quitte satisfactory way.  Apparently they are soon to announce $60 million in new work, their property sale is going well, all the directors are participating with their own money except for one who legally cannot, and this CEO was until last August one of the higher ups in a company that has done quite well recently (and which I considered investing in.)  He was with them a decade ago when they were in dire straits and now they are trading at many multiples of their old value.  In that case, within a year they had jumped sevenfold.  All in all, it was an impressive phone call.  If I am going to participate in this capital raising, I will have to rearrange a few things, but I am now more confident that it is a good idea.

I also had my first foray into margin loans today.  I bought shares in ERA, a uranium mining outfit that has recently been hammered and I think oversold.  The market on it is showing signs of a turnaround.  I'm not getting into margin trading too heavily, and I've put up a lot more security than I needed to using shares I don't plan on selling any time soon so I should be pretty safe from margin calls even if bad things happen.

It struck me today that as my time in Parliament winds down, these things are far more interesting to me than what I actually doing for a living.  I wonder if I will end up doing this for a while.

The Convicts are in the semi-finals this weekend.  I'm still not sure if I will be playing or not.  My neck is pretty good and I am back to doing full on workouts and taking a muscle relaxant when I get home and another right before bed.  I may not know right away whether I will be playing.  It's hard to tell.

YW: AMRAP 15 minutes: Max 30kg shoulder press, max pullups, row 200m.  5 full rounds plus shoulders and pullups.  Totals: 117 shoulder presses, 84 pullups, row 1km.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
There is a bit of an IT related problem regarding my margin loan.  I have been granted it and they can see it, but it's not showing up on my account so I can't do anything.  For the second day in a row I rang them to tell them as much and they are working on it.  It should be good to go within 48 hours, but I am quite keen to get deeper into CCV and every day I don't have access is a lost opportunity.

I'm in the process of clearing everything work related so I will have a clean desk (so to speak) when I leave in August.  I'm getting there.

I've also made another appointment for next week with the psychologist.  I'm still not quite clear on how this whole thing is meant to work.  From what I've read they place a lot of emphasis on living according to your values, but I don't really know what my values are.  They also put emphasis on stepping outside of yourself to say things like "I'm having the feeling that my life is pointless" rather than saying "my life is pointless" but I'm not sure how I will take to that.

Last night I was at the gym with Coffee Snob and I had put together a Crossfit workout for her.  I showed her how to work with kettlebells (which she had literally never done, perhaps on account of feeling they were all foreign and scary) and then set her loose on the workout while timing her.

YW: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 4kg clean and press left and right, 6kg kettlebell swings, 8kg SDHP.  Her time: 12:06.  I was impressed.  She didn't complain once.  Then I gave her the finisher of tabata situps.  I held her feet down and she managed 80.  She said it was the best workout she had done in a long time and told me I should be a personal trainer.  I don't think that would suit me, certainly not in a gym context, but I could possibly do it on a freelance basis with people I know and can trust not to annoy me and get all whiny and slack.  It's something to consider.

I did the same workout with four times the weight (CS thought her weights looked very cute in comparison to mine) in 11:55 and promptly collapsed to the ground.  My lower back is all fatigued today.  I'm sure I will have other chances to demonstrate workouts in the future.  It was fun.
luckycanuck: (Default)
It was a big weekend with me dressing up like a spartan.  Nobody was speared.

I was advised by a colleague today to get an ABN and start doing some freelance work with the demographic profiling project I've worked up.  Read more but don't steal my ideas... )
More on this as things develop.

TW: Legs - 300 leg presses, 100 openers, 100 closers, 183 stories on the stair climber.

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