Category Archives: Kung Fu and more

Setting goals (x-post)

I’m the type of person who writes down To-Do lists, consults my
calendar religiously to figure out where I’m supposed to go next, and
keeps track of the stories I’m owed and what’s been done.

But I’m not so good about writing down goals.

These have been more nebulous, oral.  About the most I’ve ever done is write down one goal and tape it to a place where I will frequently see it.
But I was inspired recently to get off my butt and set some real
personal, professional and health goals by two things.  First, a post I read in a blog I’ve been following.  Secondly, my pal Doug,
an artist who has been working very hard over the past year to
jumpstart his career and who recently wrote down a 5 year plan for his
art and business.

My hope is that by writing my goals down and making them public, I will actually move down a path in pursuit.  So here we go.


3 month

  • Daily time set aside for both family and husband alone
  • Focus on more integration of techniques from How to Talk So Kids will Listen
  • Seek out monthly opportunities for socialization w/o child
  • Begin move to expand family by 1

12 month

  • Re-evaluate balance of career & family (Should I work from home?)
  • Expand family by 1


3 month

  • Set aside weekly time for business development
  • Write concise business plan
  • Increase awareness of House on Payne in local community
  • Secure at least 1 new client
  • Begin at least 1 new project

12 month

  • Generate 5-10 new clients and finished projects
  • Set 5 year goals
  • Increase personal income by 20-30%


3 month

  • Eat Paleo daily, loosening only slightly for Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Drop from 29% to 25% body fat
  • Execute kipping pullup
  • Test for 2nd degree black belt

12 month

  • Add additional weekly Crossfit classes, preferably boot camp
  • Increase endurance, run five 5K races for time
  • Increase upper body strength
    • 21 kipping pullups in a row
    • 80% push press
    • 2x Deadlift
  • Re-evaluate # of weekly Kung Fu classes

Setting goals

 My birthday is fast-approaching, and about this time every year, I begin to take mental stock of my life now.  I usually write up a quite telling list of who I am — a snapshot of the current Cindy.  It’s quite fascinating to look back through the years at how much things have changed.  Things can change quite dramatically in just five short years.  Hell, things can change dramatically in five months.

This year, in addition to the usual assessment, I plan to set some goals for myself.  It’s an idea than came to me from reading the Crossfit Women blog, and although I did not go to the workshop they hosted in May, I’m sure I can do this on my own.  Their advice:

“Be unrealistic. Be outrageous.  Go way, way out on a limb.”

It’s all about setting goals personally, physically, and professionally, both for the short-term and long-term.

 I plan to work on my goals for the next several weeks about what I hope to accomplish in 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. Maybe I’ll even be able to think far enough ahead to visualize where I hope to be in 5 years.  I’ve had a lot of ideas in my mind about what I want to do, and my goals have changed significantly since I became a mother 3 years ago, so it’s definitely time to reassess.  I’ve also grown professionally —  I no longer want to make films, I want to make websites — and it’s time to take another look at that.

I guess the key is to be honest with myself and pay careful attention to negative thoughts that could hamper my deepest desires.  After all, believing in my goals is the first step to accomplishing them.  What are your goals?


I didn't flake out

 My friend Richard and my husband both have told me I worry too much.  They’re right, but I don’t think my worries are unfounded.  No matter how hard I tried to push away my worries, I was very anxious about this morning’s Crossfit class.  I didn’t sleep well, and I had no desire to eat before I left.  Thank goodness I scarfed down a banana.

Needless to say, everything worked out fine.  I’m happy with how the workout went and glad I didn’t flake out.  Looks like a good group of people I’ll be working out with.  I won’t detail my workout here — I’m keeping track of my workouts and goals in my new fitness blog.

Hopefully Thursday morning goes just as well.

Pondering the challenge of taking on new things

It’s a quiet evening — a rarity in this house.  Luke is resting, hopefully well, after days of illness.  Andy is out.  I’m home at my computer, listening to the quiet hum of the computer fan, the clicking of the dogs’ toenails on the hardwood, and the ticking clock.  6:45 pm.  And hours to go before I sleep.

In the quietness, I’m left with my thoughts, which have been pounding in my head lately, full of conflicting feelings of doubt and excitement.  In the pit of my stomach I feel dread — Tuesday morning I will be going to a place that’s unfamiliar, full of people I don’t know, doing an activity I’m not up to speed with, and I’m worried about how it will go.  It’s my first Crossfit class, and I’m really nervous.

I’ve been dwelling on my uncertainty in an attempt to quell my fears.  Maybe, somehow, delving down to the root of the issue will make it all better.  But it always comes back to the same answer — it’s new, and fear of the unknown has always been an issue for me.  A predictable path is comforting, but throw in something new — while exciting — it throws comfort right out the window.  I remember feeling like this with every new job I’ve ever started.  With my first day (well, weeks) of college.  With my first days of transferring to new middle and high schools. With starting Kung Fu.  It’s always the same dread that fills me.  Sometimes I can’t sleep the night before or my dreams reflect my sense of fear.

What do I suppose will happen?  It can’t be all that bad, right?  Not necessarily.  I could be really horrible and fail miserably.  It’s happened before — like when I tried to get certified as a lifeguard, which was a complete disaster.  The experience pretty much confirmed my belief that you should know something about an activity before you start. Of course, that was different.  That wasn’t a class — that was a certification.

I’m finally to the point where I’m so fed up with this feeling of dread I have told myself to shut up and not let it ruin the experience for me.  The people at the Crossfit facility have assured me that I am well prepared for the class, and that the whole point is to improve yourself.  What would be the point if I already could do the moves perfectly?

And at least I’m having these feelings and still signed up.  I was tempted to pass on it once and for all — who needs the pressure? Well, trying new things and bettering oneself is what life is all about, as far as I’m concerned, and if I’m not willing to move out of my comfort zone every once in a while — well, then, life is boring indeed. 

Crossfit orientation workout

I tried out Crossfit for the first time today after a friend from Kung Fu suggested I go to one of the free women’s workouts at CrossFit Central on Burnet Road.
I was really nervous.  Despite assurances from both Andy and the woman from the facility who put my name down, I was sure I was going to make an ass of myself.  It was totally out of my comfort zone to try out a new workout — it’s been ages since I jumped into anything new.  The last time I felt that nervous I was about to show up to my first black belt class — and before that — it was my first Kung Fu class 3 1/2 years ago.  So it’s been a while.

I was totally welcomed when I arrived.  There were several people there who had been there before — but also lots of people who looked like they were new.  I made a point of introducing myself to a few people and smiling.  We waited a little while for everyone to arrive — thanks to the Austin marathon, it was tough for people to get there.  (I had to go way out of my way to go around the runners, which went right through the heart of my neighborhood.)

The warmups were not unfamiliar to me.  The guy who used to run our morning Kung Fu class had starting introducing something similar after he started going to a Crossfit facility.  The warmup included a 400m run, which made my lungs burn — but I kept going.

The WOD (workout of the day) was 50 sumo dead lifts/50 overhead lunges/50 push presses/400m run (or walk) with weight X3. We worked with a partner so we traded off on the exercises and ran together.  My partner felt she could only do the Level I weights, which are the lightest, so we used the 16 pound kettlebell and 2 10-lb dumbbells.  She also wasn’t up for running, so I dropped back to do a fast walk with her.  I knew I could do more, but I am grateful I took it a little easy today because I’m sore now.

We finished in 27:56 — just under the 28 minute cutoff.

It was a great workout, and I decided to go back for the Crossfit Elements program, which pairs you with a coach for 3 sessions to learn the basics of the exercises.  I’m hoping I can continue to go back, if my finances and my schedule allow.

Black Belt Hell

 Cindy with spearIt’s been 6 months since I tested for my black belt and I feel like I’m finally managing “black belt hell” as they call it. 

I’m pretty proud that I’ve learned almost all of the 10 required forms and that I can actually remember them in addition to all of my lower belt material.  I’ve been hitting practice fairly hard — going to the morning classes three times a week and practicing at home on the weekends when I’m unable to make Saturday black belt classes, which has been often lately.

I know I have time to learn all of these forms, but I like to learn as much as I can early enough so I have time to practice and perfect, rather than cramming close to the test.  Call me an overachiever I guess.

Or maybe it’s just that I love the material.  It’s incredibly challenging — both physically and mentally — and the more I work at it the more natural I feel.  I love the tiger forms — I feel much more natural with tiger moves than any of the others I have learned.  And I even love the spear, with which I am finally feeling more comfortable. I know it will take me many more months to actually execute the moves more fluidly. 

No bike and no excuse

 I was lazy this week.  My goal was to ride my ride to work at least twice a week, and this week I rode only once, even though I could have done so three times.  Wednesday I told myself I had errands to do.  Thursday, even I couldn’t delude myself.  I had plenty of time and opportunity to pack and ride my bike. 
And on the way to work yesterday, I noticed every bike and scooter on the road — there seemed to be more than usual — and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in myself.

To make up for it, Luke and I took a ride on the bike after I got home from work.  We took a long, meandering route to the playground and a direct route home as the sun set — riding a total of 25 minutes.

Next week, I’m leaving my mom with the car, so I’ll ride both Monday and Tuesday — no excuses there, hopefully.


I anticipate missing my Kung Fu class on Saturday morning as we prepare for Luke’s birthday party, so I went to Tuesday night’s black belt class.  It was more like “dragged myself” to the class, because I almost flaked several times,  When I arrived, no Master Joe, but it was Sifu Sean, who used to be one of my favorite teachers when I was a lower belt, and I was happy.  We reviewed and then learned another section of 1st spear.   I already had 2nd and 3rd spear and a little of 1st.  Now I have the first part of 1st spear and the last part… but the middle — not so much.  I’m sure I’ll fill it in at some point.
I’m working on several long forms — both open hand and weapons — right now.  If I can pull it off, I was hoping to be competent enough with the material to test about 6 months early, when I’m either not pregnant or just in the early stages.  I’m not sure Master Joe will go for it, but there are so many complicated moves and jumps at this level, that I simply can’t imagine being super-pregnant and trying to do it.  And I don’t want to put it off until after the baby arrives.  Time off could really hurt my progress.  Chances are good I’ll forget a good portion of it, and it could take me months to get back to testing level both physically and mentally.

Somehow I think most women don’t take their Kung Fu schedule into account when they’re planning their families. 

The Shaolin leg crusher

 Andy introduced me to a workout that he just recently made up — he calls it the Shaolin leg crusher.  It’s 10 of these monkey jumps from a 1st brown belt kata, then 10-15 Blue belt bird jumps, followed by a 400 meter sprint — repeated 4 times.

There are no arms or abs in this workout… just legs… and it did crush me.

The workout came just on the heels of my ride home from work, which was pretty tough, even though it was only 18 minutes.  I was heading mostly east-southeast, and because of Hurricane Dolly’s outer bands, I was headed into a fierce headwind.  To top it off, I have a very tough climb halfway through the ride that lasts a good mile.  I was hauling butt up the hill to make the light at Burnet road… and considering that I’m carrying an extra 25 pounds of computer and books and clothes on my bike… it was a serious workout.

Thank goodness the last mile of my journey is a nice easy downhill rollout.  

You know you're a mom when…

Cindy and Luke with the new trailer

… you spend your birthday money on an activity you can do with a small person…

Yep… I went out and bought a trailer for the back of my bike.  I’ve been wanting to do it since Luke was born, but those trailers are a little out of my discretionary budget, and it’s been hard to find a reason to splurge.

Well, thanks to the generosity of my family, I finally bought a little Burley Honeybee trailer, which is so cute and not crazy expensive.  It can even be unhitched and wheeled around with a little swivel wheel attached to the trailer arm.

It arrived Thursday and we put it together the next night.  Saturday afternoon, Luke and I took it for a spin, and ended up riding for about 45 minutes.  I think the next ride will have to include a destination, because Luke got a little bored after about 30 minutes.  

Luke sitting in the trailer

I think tonight we will ride over to the pool… and maybe next weekend we’ll ride down to Central Market!

I know… I’m getting ahead of myself.  But it is really cool.  I have daydreams of riding him to his school next year (after he turns 3), because it’s not very far from the house.  In fact, it’s along my route to work.

The trailer also makes the ride a really good workout.  I mean, we’re talking about 16-20 pounds of trailer plus 25 pounds of Luke.  They’re on wheels, but when we head uphill, I can really feel it!

And Luke loves it.  We set off yesterday and he said “Wheeeee!”

Ow, that hurt

 I smashed my foot with a 30 lb dumbbell the other night.

Yeah, it really hurt.

Andy was having me do dumbbell squats, and I was doing well… until I got careless, and the darn thing fell and smashed my foot.  Talk about pain.  Andy ran to the kitchen to grab and ice pack, while I melted to the foot clutching my foot and dry-sobbing.

He tells me he ran back, and forgot that the pull-up bar was in the doorway — Bonk!  He smacked his head.

If there hadn’t been so much pain, you’d think we were in a sitcom.

The next day, fearing broken bones, I saw my podiatrist and had Xrays done.  I was really lucky.  Just bruising.  But he wrapped up my foot to help with the swelling and make my walking easier.  Now I’m wearing this hilarious boot and a wrap that really itches.  I get to talk it off on Friday.  It can’t come soon enough.