Failure

Nobody likes to fail.  At the moment of failure, it feels horrible.  You replay your actions, what could you have done differently, how were you not prepared, you should have tried harder…

The recent phenomenon of participation awards, and children’s sports not having a winner or loser seems to be a generation of parents attempt to spare their children of the heartbreak of failure, but is that really what is best for the children?  Is failure really that bad?

Humans tend to have a very limited view of their life, as much as we worry about the future, we tend to prefer instant gratification over delayed gratification.  Losing is a sort of delayed winning.

When you win or succeed or something, there is little to gain.  You won the game, great.  You got the job, great.  Those are the goals, but it is easy to become complacent upon achieving those goals.  When you lose, on the other hand, you reevaluate yourself and try to find the areas where you can improve.

Example:
When I was in high school, I auditioned for Orchesis (a dance group) all three years in which I was eligible.  I did not make it the first two years, but we were able to see how the judges scored us in various skills, so I recorded my scores, made special note of the lowest ones, and spent the year until the next audition working to improve that skill.  The third year, I made the group.  I still have those scores today (along with scores from other dance auditions in high school) (Yes, I was and am a horrid speller and did not learn to spell Orchesis correctly until sometime in my junior year…in my defense, we called ourselves you spell the whale “orca” and that was our mascot).

So while I was devastated that I did not make the group the first two years, the failure drove me to improve myself.

There is was a Disney show that I liked (yes, I watch Disney channel…get over it) in which they had a very competitive character take issue with a younger character that received a participation trophy.  When I first saw this episode, I thought, “great, they are addressing the issue,” but they made it more about enjoying the game than winning or losing.

Yes, you should enjoy games you played, but that does not mean you cannot also win or lose.  Instead of teaching people that no one wins or loses, we should be teaching people how to win and lose with grace, and how to appreciate a loss and learn from it.  The next time you fail to achieve something, instead of wallowing in the failure and submerging yourself in the negativity of it, think about what ways you can improve yourself so that the next time you are in a similar situation, you have a chance of doing better.

Also, the next time you win and something, be respectful to those who have lost, and again…think about the ways you can improve yourself, because just because you won this time, does not mean you will win the next.

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Weekly Training Summary

Mind:

  • Mental Floss – #22: The Renaissance: Was it a Thing? and #23: The Columbian Exhange.
  • Reading – Read weekly Dune section, only one week left before I am finished.  Finished A New Dawn, began Heir to the Jedi.
  • Language – Watched six episodes of La Pimpa.

Body:

  • Calories in/out – 9,372/15,506 (9,372) Ate a little more than burned, but not too bad.
  • Weight Loss – Did not stay at home last night, so I did not weigh in again.
  • Workout – I only got my workout in on Thursday and Friday.  Monday I did a trial run at a job, Tuesday I spent the night at a friends, Wednesday I was on set, Saturday I was at a party and stayed at friends, and Sunday I did the Rollercoaster challenge.  Busy, busy week.
  • Diet – Eh…could have been better, but not being home most of the week, I did not do too bad.

Spirit:

  • Meditation – Did my Headspace meditations, though definitely lacking in other meditations throughout the day.
  • Charity – Rollercoaster Challenge.  I did not meet my minimum goal of $150, raising only $90, but our group raised $100 more than our minimum goal.  I wish I could have raised more, but I suppose it was not too bad for less than a week of time.

“I can’t.”

 

No, I am not going to be making an argument here for you lifting anything with your mind.  Until someone proves to us that lifting anything (let alone an x-wing (let alone has an actual x-wing to lift)) with their mind is possible, we are working within our realm of human possibility here.

I have heard “I can’t” from a lot of Jedi, and every time I do I want to beat them with a gimer stick.

KJzGqPU(Seriously…I am just going to move to a swamp, put on an antic disposition like Yoda and be done with it.)

First off, if you say you can’t, then you can’t.  You have already failed because you refuse to try.

Second off, maybe you are right.

~Wait, what‽‽‽~
(Interrobang for the win!!!!!!)
(There is a new term/punctuation mark for most of you.)
(Learn something new every day.)

So, you say you can’t learn a foreign language.  Or you say you will never be able to lift a certain weight.  Or you say that you can’t run a marathon.  Or maybe it is something else completely.  Maybe a diet goal, or a savings goal…anything.  You might be right.  You may be incapable of that thing, but that does not mean you are incapable of improving your ability.

If you look at the grand end goal from the beginning, of course it seems impossible.  A foreign language, weight lifting, marathons…those are HUGE goals.  In order to make any sort of progress, you have to break those goals down.

Instead of saying you want to learn a foreign language, start by saying I want to do x many DuoLingo lessons of a language per week, or I want to take a class in that language, or I want to learn how to count to ten in a different language, or buy a textbook in a language and commit to learning one chapter at a time.  You may never become fluent in a language, but you may learn just enough to help translate for someone or communicate with someone who only speaks that language on a basic level.

Instead of saying you want to lift some massive amount of weight.  Find out what you can lift now.  Start doing reps 3+ times a week of what you can lift until that becomes easy.  Add a few pounds and repeat.  You may never reach that massive weight, but you still made yourself stronger than when you began.

Instead of saying you want to run a marathon, start by saying you want to run a 5k (3.1 miles and usually the shortest race distance) in 45 minutes or less (approximate minimum time for a race I usually do), or break it down even further and say you want to do a mile in 15 minutes or less.  Once you can do the mile, do the 5k, once you can do the 5k, do an 8k, then a 10k.  You may never run a marathon, but you can still run more than most people ever attempt.

With each of these small goals, once you achieve it, you set a new small goal.  Then another.  Then another.  And you keep working towards small goals until AND BEYOND, achieving the most you can possibly achieve (because generally, if you do not continue to practice a skill or ability, you lose it).

I give you one of my favorite quotes:

ENGL1102blogpostbetter

I have seen this quote get a bad rap…even saw it on a list of quotes that need to stop being used, but it means so much to me.  Shoot for a goal, no matter how impossible it may seem, because even if you really can’t achieve that goal, you can still make progress, still improve.

I learned this as a little girl.  For two years I tried to learn how to do a areal (no handed) cartwheel.  Two years I failed.  But every time I stepped up to the mat I repeated over and over “I think I can” (yes, like the Little Engine…like I said, I was a kid.)  My attitude and my mantra was known to my acrobatic classmates, many of them were inspired by it, they would use it for themselves, they even took to repeating it with me when I when I would attempt it each time as a form of encouragement.  It was amazing how powerful such a small thing had become.  Finally one day I did.  A month later I could also do an areal walkover.  No matter how impossible it ever seemed, I never stopped trying.  Never stopped working to be better.

Unless you are talking about plans you cannot commit to, or something like that, never say you can’t.  Because when you do, what you are really saying is “I won’t.”

 

Six Flags 5K Coaster Challenge for Special Olympics

I am always looking for ways to help charity, and my friend Eric just brought this to my attention a couple of days ago. It is like your typical 5K, except that instead of doing 3.1 miles of running, I have to ride 3.1 miles of rollercoaster (it worked out perfect for Eric, cause he is injured and not allowed to run right now anyhow). I only get to participate if I raise the minimum though, and it all goes towards the Special Olympics.
The event is this Sunday, so I do not have much time to raise the money, but every little bit counts.

 

Weekly Training Summary

Mind:

  • Mental Floss – World History #21 – Columbus, De Gama, and Zheng He – 15th Century Mariners.
  • Reading – I finished Tarkin and began A New Dawn, read up to Chapter 13.  Read next section of Dune for Dune club.  Only read one play, because it is a script I begin rehearsals for on Tuesday.  I read it probably three times so far.
  • Language – Watched three episodes of La Pimpa.

Body:

  • Calories in/out – ?/13,638 – This week was such a bust.  I was on set for about 12 hours each on Thursday and Friday, and did not do a very good job of tracking food on the other days, so I have no idea what my calories in was.  I am sure too high.  They feed us well on set.  There was even a little zen pond with zen-type music playing.  My calorie burn goal fell and average of 250 calories short each day.  Not a good week overall.
  • Workout –
    • Monday – I think I got my workout in on Monday…the week was so crazy I did not even write in my fitness journal, but I am pretty sure I did.
    • Tuesday – I was gone all day due to an interview in the city, so I did not have time to get my workout it.
    • Wednesday – Got my workout in early so that I could get to bed early-ish.  Had to be up at 4am.
    • Thursday – On set 7am-7:30pm
    • Friday – On set 6:30am-7:30pm
    • Saturday – Recuperating from two days on set.
    • Sunday – I very much wanted to skip the workout tonight, but I wanted to get at least three nights in.  I spent the whole night telling myself “I will not throw up, I will not throw up…”

Spirit:

  • Meditation – Fell a bit behind on my headspace meditations because I was getting so little sleep on days I had to be on set.  Caught up by the end of the week though.

Weekly Training Summary

Mind:

  • Reading – Began reading Tarkin.  I had intended to finish by now but I spent the last two days watching Hurricane Irma rather than reading (I used to live in Orlando, so I have a lot of friends there).  Read one play.
  • Mental Floss – World History #20 – Russia, the Kievan Rus, and the Mongols.
  • Language – Watched three episodes of La Pimpa.  Read four pages (one chapter) of Pinocchio.

Body:

  • Calories in/out – 7,821/14,069 ()
  • Weight Loss – 0…my weight actually went back up this week, but evened out by today.
  • Workout –
    • Monday & Tuesday – My spine was in a not happy place after spending Sunday laced up in my renaissance costume.  I have not been in costume for that long in years, and I knew but the end of the day that my back was going to be hurting, and sure enough, Monday I could not turn my head to the left, and Tuesday, while I had movement back, there was a lot of pain.  So these two days I only did some gentle stretching.
    • Wednesday – I did my full routing and blocked out my Morning Yoga routine.
    • Thursday – I did my Morning Yoga, though a little later in the day than I had intended.  Also did my full workout routine, and accidentally went up a weigh on my shoulder flies for the first set.  I made it through without doing a drop set, but went back to the correct weight for the second set.  Not quite there yet.
    • Friday – Did my Zumba routine and stretched, but I took the night off from weights.  My shoulders were in pain from the accidental weight increase (good pain, not like I pulled anything), so I decided to give them the opportunity to feel better.
    • Saturday – I tried to workout Saturday, I really did.  Got up, did about 30 minutes of Zumba, and I just was not up for it.  Been going through a lot lately and it was just one of those nights when it just knocked the wind out of me.
    • Sunday – Got in the full workout AND increased the weights on my overhead tricep extensions.  I imagine my triceps are going to hurt tomorrow.
  • Diet – I was scraping this week.  I do pretty much all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and the nearest Trader Joe’s is 40 minutes away, so I have been holding off for an extra week until I am out that way again.  I picked up a few things at a local store, but it will be nice to finally go food shopping on Tuesday.

Spirit:

  • Meditation –  I finished Headspace’s Take 20 this week, and started on their Discovery series.  Had some trouble focusing this week, my mind being in an almost constant state of turmoil, but I added in some extra meditations and I come to the end of the week feeling a little better.

Weekly Training Summary

Mind:

  • Reading – I fell behind a bit here.  I did not feel well most of the week, and that made it difficult to focus on reading and studies.  I caught up with Dune on Friday, so I managed to hit the book club weekly mark.  I made progress with Lords of the Sith, though I had anticipated finishing it a couple of days ago, but I only just finished it today (thank goodness for audiobooks on long drives).  I began reading a new play, but I only made it about one scene in.
  • Language – Watched six episodes of La Pimpa.  Found a place to watch Friends in Italian…not sure if that will be easy because I have already seen all of friends or difficult because the language is a lot more advanced than children shows.  I have until I finish La Pimpa to decide what to watch next though.

Body:

  • Calories in/out – 7,145/15,863 (8,718 difference) – Okay, a very important point here.  Although I made my goal as far as calories burned, I am not happy with my calories in.  7,145 calories only averages about 1,020 calories today, which is 180 calories beneath the minimum I should consume in a day.  Again, the reason for this is not feeling well, but I must note that this is not something you should allow to happen under normal circumstances.  Eating too few calories is just as damaging as eating too many and is neither healthy, nor an effective way to lose weight.
  • Weight Loss – -2lbs…yay progress.  I put on my renaissance costume for the first time in nearly a year today and it was super tight, the next time I wear it is in one month, hopefully I can keep up the 2lbs/week goal now and be down an extra 8lbs before then.
  • Workout –
    • Monday – Monologue Class, did not workout
    • Tuesday – Worked out but did not finish Zumba routine or do anything after.
    • Wednesday – Worked out, but somehow completely forgot plank knee taps and push-ups.
    • Thursday – I tried to workout, but I was not feeling well and only made it through seven songs before I could not continue.
    • Friday – Full workout, and I went up to the next weight on my in and out straight arms.  That leaves only my overhead tricep extensions at the lowest weight, so expect those to go up soon.
    • Saturday – I did not workout because I spent the day gathering up my costume to go to the renaissance faire with my friend on Sunday.  I was feeling a little ill still anyhow.
    • Sunday – Renaissance Faire.  I used to work at this one as a dancer and a tumbler, so I tend to still get a decent workout when I visit (I burned over 3,000 calories on Sunday).
  • Diet – So all over the place.  With not feeling well, I was not eating nearly enough calories, then even when I started feeling better, I kept having bouts of hunger that threatened nausea if I did not eat.  With being at Faire on Sunday, I was also at the mercy of faire food….ie not healthy.  The days I did do good though, I was really good.  Here is to doing better next week.

Spirit:

  • Meditation – Up to date with headspace, and getting my moving meditations in most days.  Still did not add Yoga routine in during the mornings, this week would have been an ideal week to do it were it not for not feeling well.

Ways to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

I have wanted to post this since the Hurricane occurred, especially as I sat back and watched my friends from Texas post pictures of the flooding and damage.  I was watching every one of my friends through it all, and my heart was clenched thinking about the friends that live there that I have lost contact with.  It is natural to want to help in these situations, especially as Jedi, so here is everything I can find with how to help.  I will add if/when I find more.

  • Charity Navigator – A good place to start when looking for any charity.  Not necessarily a complete list, especially for charity efforts that are created for natural disasters.
  1. DONATE TO THE TEXAS DIAPER BANK. – The Texas Diaper Bank is requesting money and diaper donations to provide displaced families with emergency diaper kits. (Diapers often aren’t provided by disaster relief agencies.) Visit their donation page here.
  2. LIST YOUR HOME ON AIRBNB. – Airbnb has waived service fees for evacuees who check in before September 1, 2017, and the site is also connecting people in need with volunteer hosts. Find a place to stay, or offer your space for free here.
  3. LEND YOUR TIME, MONEY, AND EXTRA PET SUPPLIES TO RESCUE ANIMALS.Austin Pets Alive—which has rescued hundreds of abandoned and shelter pets from flood-stricken areas—currently needs money, dog and cat fosters able to keep animals through adoption, and supplies like cat litter, large plastic or metal bins, and liquid laundry soap. For more information, click here.Other animal groups in need include the SPCA of Texas, Dallas Animal Services, and the San Antonio Humane Society.
  4. DONATE TO A LOCAL FOOD BANK. – The Galveston County Food Bank, the Houston Food Bank, and the Corpus Christi Food Bank all accept online donations.
  5. GIVE BLOOD. – Hospitals in Texas are reportedly facing blood shortages. If you’re local, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and Carter BloodCare are seeking blood donations.
  6. DONATE TO THE SALVATION ARMY. – The Salvation Army will offer both immediate and long-term disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey victims. Make a single donation here, or arrange to make a recurring monthly donation.
  7. BROWSE GOFUNDME FOR CREATIVE WAYS TO DONATE. – Help out families, charities, animals, relief organizations, and other small groups by visiting GoFundMe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief page and donating to a fundraising campaign.
  8. HELP OUT DISASTER RESPONSE GROUP PORTLIGHT. – Disaster response organization Portlight provides medical equipment, shelter, and evacuation assistance to people with disabilities. Find out how you can help here.
  9. BUY A COLORING BOOK. – Contribute to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund for libraries damaged by the storm. Donate here, or purchase a TLA coloring book instead. A set of two costs $10, and all proceeds benefit the relief fund.
  10. GIVE MONEY TO THE RED CROSS. – Text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also visit redcross.org, or call 1- 800-RED CROSS.

10 Ways You Can Help Hurricane Harvey Victims from Mental Floss

 

If you are in Texas (or, I suppose, have the ability and desire to go there):

  • Donate blood: The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center desperately needs more than 2,000 units of blood. The biggest need is for O positive and O negative. A list of locations to donate blood can be found here.
  • Donate food and clothing: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking people to donate clothing, medical supplies, baby items, and food to nearby shelters. Feeding Texas is coordinating with local food banks to distribute food and cleaning supplies. The organization is asking people to drop off non-perishable food, bleach, and paper towels. The Texas Diaper Bank is seeking diaper donations. You can mail them to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Texas 78238 or drop them off at the same address.
  • Help with clean up: Austin Disaster Relief Network is asking for toiletries, inflatable mattresses, undergarments, and cleaning tools. They can be dropped off at the Hope Family Thrift Store in Austin. Volunteers can also sign up for cleaning efforts there. The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group needs construction cleanup supplies — debris containers, truck cranes, forklifts, ladders, and nail guns.
  • Donate toys and supplies: Mayor Turner said many children inside the shelters need “things to do” and is asking people to donate coloring books, puzzles, and other toys to the shelters.

From CNN

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Training Summary

Another crazy week.  This time I worked Wednesday, but then I did not return home until Thursday afternoon.  So I really missed out on two days, plus I went to Six Flags again on Saturday, as it was the last weekend the water park would be open (but I still get a pretty good workout at a waterpark).

Mind:

  • Reading – Finished Dark Disciple, and read three plays.  Also made progress in Dune, and Buddhist Wisdom.  Began Lords of the Sith.
  • Mental Floss – Did World History #17 – Wait for it…the Mongols! (The mongols are a huge running joke of exceptions throughout this course), #18 – Int’l Commerce, Snorkeling, Camels, and the Indian Ocean Trade, and #19 – Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
  • Language – Watched four episodes of La Pimpa, and read three pages of Pinocchio.  I found a website that has an Italian/English side by side version of Pinocchio, which will be extremely helpful since there is so much colloquialisms and dialect that I am unfamiliar with.

Body:

  • Calories in/out – 9,597/15,957 (6,360 deficit) A little short this week, but I have been over the past couple weeks, so it evens out.
  • Weight Loss – -1lb – I FINALLY BROKE THE DAMN PLATEAU!  It is not as much down as I would like, but it is great after two weeks of not dropping.
  • Workout – I only got my routine in Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday due to everything going on.  However, I did a lot of walking on set and at Six Flags, and I used to wave pool to really focus on treading water and keeping myself above the waves (I am pretty good at it until someone goofing off slams into me…I swear it is like am aquatic mosh pit).  I think I am going to up my in and out straight arms to the next weight next time I do them.  I’ll leave my current weight out in case I need to do a drop set, but they are getting easy.
  • Diet – Oh so much fail this week.  I did not get enough water most of the week (and have a killer headache now because of it) and while I tried to be good, there were just so many times I had little choice this week.  Next week will be better.

Spirit:

  • Meditation – I fell a bit behind here too.  I lost a day of headspace on Wednesday because I did not go home, and again on Sunday because I was too tired by the time I got home from the park.
  • Charity – I have been wanting to add this in for a while, but my current unemployment has prevented me from getting out much.  Most of what I put here will be related to the 501st Legion, sometimes the charities are obvious and large, like participating in a Make-A-Wish event for a child or a cancer awareness walk, other times they are less so.  This week for example, on Monday, Adler Planetarium requested the 501st to come in for an event they were holding for the eclipse.  I am not sure what if any charity arrangements were made, I usually do not get involved with the details.  However, overall my garrison raises tens of thousands of dollars a year for charities, and even for the events were we may not raise much money, we are volunteering our time (and money when considering we make our costumes ourselves) to bring joy to people at events.  On Monday I was dressed as Rey, and as I wandered the (very impressive) crowd, children, parents, and just general fans would run up to me or shout out Rey, asking for me to come take a picture, or just say hello to a shy child who held me as their favorite Star Wars character.  With so much negativity going on in the world today, I am happy if I can bring a smile to just one child’s face, because as far as they are concerned, they just met their hero.

Weekly Training Summary + Bonus

This week was a weird one.  I was booked as an extra twice, then was cancelled for the second one in the 11th hour.  The one I did work, on Tuesday, was at 6am (which meant I had to wake up at about 3am) and the day lasted 12 hours (yay overtime pay!)  Then of course I was outside that entire day, so by the time I got home I was exhausted.  Sunday I also spent the day at Six Flags with friends, so while I easily hit my calorie goal and managed to keep my calorie intake down, I did not work out.

This was all a tad disruptive to my schedule all around, so sleep was off, reading was all over the place, workouts and calorie burning was off, diet was off….I am super happy to get booked a lot right now, because I need to pay my bills next month, but it is difficult to make a schedule when the hours are so odd.  Still, I worked hard to catch up on the days off, and I think I did a relatively good job.

Mind:

  • Reading – Finished Scourge.  Finished Insight Meditation.  Finished Star Wars and Philosophy.  Finished The Bounty Hunter Code.  Started Buddhist Wisdom.  I finally finished all the extra books and can focus on reading one Star Wars book, one Jedi-related-material book, one Italian book, and one book club book at a time.  I was juggling far too many there for a bit.
  • Mental Floss – I only made it through one episode this week.  I will have to work harder next week.
  • Language – Six episodes of La Pimpa but only two pages of Pinocchio.

Body:

  • Calories in/out – 8,875/15,783 Deficit of only 6,908, short of my weekly goal of 7,000, but not bad all things considering.
  • Weight Loss – Zero…again…seriously body?  Seriously?  I get it, you are getting stronger, but it is time to start getting a little leaner while you are at it.
  • Workout – I pulled some weights out of my dad’s collection, so I have up’ed the weight on my chest presses.  Did it first on Thursday, I really need to get the rest of the weights up, especially the in and out straight arms and the overhead tricep extensions (those are the lowest two right now.
  • Diet – As I said, this was out of wack all week because of being on set…and I was offered Portillo’s again….damn you Portillo’s, why are you so tasty?  Luckily they messed up and gave us a chocolate cake shake instead of a chocolate shake…so I barely touched that (I do not like to chew my drinks).  Sunday at Six Flags I indulged a little, but I still burned way more than what I ate.

Spirit:

  • Meditation – Sunday night after posting this, I did my nightly meditation.  I am finally back to the point when I feel completely detached from my body (which is something considering I suffer from chronic back pain), I had the spinning sensation.  Not the first time, but this time was turbulent.  I tried everything to stabilize myself, but when the nausea set in, I ended up having to finish my meditation with my eyes closed.  I am not sure if it was something going on with me, or just the energy that is out there right now, but it was awful.  Fortunately the next days was much better, I reached the point of detachment, there was a slight bit of spinning, but I was able to steady myself.
    I have also decided to start up a meditation journal.  I went down to the basement and dug through my box of blank journals to find one, and I started writing in it on Thursday.  I have never kept a physical meditation journal, though I think I must have used to type up experiences on livejournal or on my old ezboard forum.  I think the journal will be beneficial though.

 

The main thing I really want to add to my daily routine is my morning yoga routine.  I choreographed one years ago that I would do every morning when I woke up.  It was a great start to the day, and I am trying to recreate it, though it will be difficult to execute regularly because I do not always have the room at my disposal when I wake up.  However, even if I only am able to do it a couple of times a week, it is still better than not doing it at all, so look for that to be added in the next week.  Also, I would count that as both a workout, and a meditation.  Yoga is good at hitting the physical and spiritual at the same time like that. 😉

Okay, the bonus.  Sort of as penance for me not doing the greatest this week, I have made a video.  It is a sped up version of my workout, and I laughed at myself several times because it looks so ridiculous.  I apologize for the video going blurry in a few places, but it never lasts too long before I fix it.