Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 33: Catching Up

If you're wondering what The Impossible Goal is, you can read about it here. 

Since the week previous to this was a bust practice-wise, I did my best to do some catching up.  I can DEFINITELY feel the loss in speed.  I believe I've blogged on this phenomenon before: The better I get, the more I need to practice.  My minimum practice goal is no longer three five-minute sessions a day, but four.  And in a month or so I'm going to do my best to make it five sessions, depending on how my spring semester CART schedule works out.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week 32: Grandma

If you're wondering what The Impossible Goal is, you can read about it here. 

Grandma, 1922-2012
Saturday we laid our wonderful Grandma, Ruth Evelyn Reel Thomas, to rest beside Grandpa.  She was 90 and left 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and as of the writing of her obituary, 39 great-grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren.

We knew the time was nigh, so it's been difficult to concentrate on practice for these past two weeks as I wondered when I would get The Call.

But as Grandma lived her life, I'm going to do my best to not complain and just get the task done.

We all love her and will miss her very much, and we are glad she's no longer suffering but is in a better place, having Christmas with Grandpa in Heaven.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week 31

Not blogging this week. Family situation. I'll definitely tell you about it later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 30: Christmas Break

I forgot to blog yesterday!  Oops.

There's about a month before the next semester starts, which means I've got plenty of time now to (a) beef up my dictionary, (b) shovel briefs and phrases in my dictionary and flash card app, and (c) do lots and LOTS of speed practice.

I've also got "declutter a bit" on my to-do list, but we'll see how much THAT gets done.

With regards to my own progress, I think I'm at the gateway of 330 -- managing to get a stroke for everything, but still not quite legible -- but it's hard to look at the calendar and NOT think how much farther I've got to go.

I hope the room where we do the attempt will be warm.  If it's in a big ballroom like the last one, those places are usually so freezing even the sweater I always bring doesn't cut it.  It'd suck to have to bring a space heater to Nashville in August, but you do what you have to do.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week 29: When you're NOT motivated

If you're wondering what The Impossible Goal is, you can read about it here. 

 Sometimes when you're (and by "you're" I mean me) in the midst of struggling through a plateau, it's hard to find motivation to practice.

This post is a bit of a nod to the great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, and I highly recommend his books and material, especially anything he's written that has to do with goals.

When you're in a plateau, or you're exhausted from working so much, or you've got family stuff that's happening, or you're just over it, how do you get the drive, the fire, the excitement that you had before?  How do you get enthused about practice?

Now let me ask you this:  So what?

Sometimes you will NOT feel like practicing.  Feelings are irrelevant sometimes.  Sometimes I don't want to drag my butt out of bed at 5:15 am so I can be out the door to get to my job on time.  But I do it anyway.

If you aren't feeling the drive, fire, or desire to practice, do it anyway.

Grab yourself by the scruff of your neck, drag yourself to your practice area, plop your butt down on your chair, and DO IT.  (I know that of which I speak.  My husband's seen me do just that when my cell phone alarm goes off in the evening at practice time.)

I guess this is the bottom line, in my opinion: Feelings and emotions are useful.  I've been inspired to practice more after a job that kicked my butt. :) I've been inspired to practice more and learn more briefs after a job that I kicked ITS butt. But feelings do shift and cycle like a river's current, and emotion alone won't get you to 225 or 260 or 280 or 370+.  Consistent elbow grease WILL.  Eventually.

(Maybe this was less of a nod to Zig Ziglar and more of a nod to Larry Winget.)