Saturday, March 20, 2010


I ended my last post talking about me being inefficient in my days. Some things you should understand about me:

  • My natural inclination is to lay around on the couch and be bored.

  • If I don't keep structure in my life, I default to #1. I don't need or want concrete structure -- chicken wire is probably fine. I just need some general daily boundaries that I can adjust if need be.

  • The TV and computer are a huge time-suck for me. Last year I weaned myself off TV. I'm not as good as I used to be, but even now, I only watch it at night and occasionally on weekends. On the other hand, the computer is where I waste a ton of my time. I went through a period earlier this year where I essentially stopped using the computer at home. That did wonders for my studying, but led to two problems:
    • I became incredibly boring. Since my access to news was Internet-based, removing the Internet from my life left me completely oblivious to the world outside of San Angelo.
    • I still had work (both school and other) that I needed to do on the computer -- that made me even more inefficient since I would deliberately make trips to the university to do online work there.

So, I've gone about building my chicken wire weekly life. Since Hannah has to get up for work, I get up with her. Three days a week that's because I have an 8 am class. The other two days it's easier to keep with the same routine. My studying and training are coming along nicely -- I have a pretty good schedule that I maintain. It's flexible enough that I can swap some time between the two on any given day and still feel like I'm getting the work done that I need to get done. Housework is about 70% to where I need it to be (Hannah may tell you it's at 25% where I need it to be, so I'm still working on that one).

As far as avoiding my giant time-waster -- the computer -- I still struggle. I'm good when I have a specific task to accomplish. I'm not so good when I've got some free time and I think, "Oh, I'll just check my e-mail or Facebook." Two hours later, when I'm watching some weird video on YouTube, I'll realize I just lost a chunk of my day just so I could wind up seeing David go to the dentist again. So, I'll take any tips on not letting my day get swallowed up by random web surfing.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Before I started back up at school, Hannah and I had discussed our expectations for my weekly "output." I was going to handle most of the day-to-day household work (cleaning, bills, keeping up the yard, food shopping and preparation, etc.), as well as maintaining a full (albeit it lighter) course load. I even toyed with the idea of getting a part-time job since I wouldn't have class on Tuesday and Thursday. I was also going to get crazy fit for my ironman, since I'd have so much free time compared to when I was working.

This plan was largely based on my memories of the amount of daily work I put in to get my initial degree, especially my junior and senior years.

Imagine my surprise to learn that school was tougher than I remembered. Or, more specifically, taking classes that fall outside my natural skill set is tougher than I remember. I'm doing well (high 90s average in Anatomy for example), but doing well requires a lot of effort on my part -- strangely enough, a "full course load" actually requires close to 40 hours a week of work (including classes). It also requires Hannah putting up with learning all sorts of things that I learn, mostly a result of me wandering around the house repeating stuff from my lectures.

For a while, I was a mental mess regarding my training. I was getting fitter, but I had a ton of self-imposed guilt about taking the time away to ride/run/whatever. That made my workouts agony since all I could think about was getting back home to either study or to take care of something I had said I'd do. A lot of time, that meant missed workouts. My coach helped straighten that out by simplifying my approach. I had the time in my week; I just needed to slow myself down and understand that if ironman is important to me this year (it is), then I should give it the time it deserves. The specifics of the training protocol would come later, but first I just needed to get out the door regularly.

So, we've had to reset our expectations. Now, many things get done consistently, but I need to set aside chunks of time to get bigger projects done; I can't just plug away at them gradually every day like previously thought. I'm sure that's partly due to the inconsistent nature of class schedules, but it's mostly due to inefficiencies in how I go about my days when I'm not in school. Not having a standard workday can sure throw things out of whack, especially if you have a propensity for laziness.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Break

I appreciate it's been a while since I've written anything here (six weeks?!? Yeesh...) -- sorry about that. I've got a few things swirling around in my head that I'll catch everyone up on, especially now that it's spring break (wooo!! spring break!) and I've got some time to sort out the stuff I've been neglecting or deliberately putting off.

The first time I was in university, I never really had a true "Spring Break" experience. Instead, I traveled to Tennessee or Georgia for team training. Now that I'm reliving my college days, I thought I'd try for that genuine party atmosphere. Neither Hannah nor the cat appreciated being soaked with the hose, and the cat especially hated having to put on the t-shirt, so we scrapped my original plans and decided on a whirlwind travel weekend -- Fredricksburg on Friday night for some good beer, San Antonio on Saturday because I'd never been there, and Austin on Sunday to catch part of SXSW.

Apparently, I'll be having the same time of spring break that I did 10 years ago -- only this time it's triathlon training and my free time will be spent on yard work instead of hazing the freshmen rowers.