Monday, 24 April 2017

Cut Throat's First Quarterly Review of 2017

What can I say? I have been busy these past four months, but I'm back for the sake of accountability. Hopefully there will be a couple more posts appearing here in the next few weeks, for now... let's take stock of the year.

1. Seize The Day

At the beginning of this year I promised to use a diary and a calendar to plan my days off more effectively. So far I have seen partial success in this area. I am certainly making better use of my down-time but perhaps not as much as I had originally envisioned. Part of this may be explained by the fact that while I may be trying to keep better track of up-coming dates, most of my friends don't, which makes the planning of anything social potentially frustrating.

However I must also share some of the blame here. About a month ago my planner was moved off of my desk and onto a shelf, so that the aforementioned desk could be cleaned - it was never put back. Also I have struggled to discern any reason for keeping both a calendar and a diary planner. Moving forward I'm going to keep the calendar for the planning of events far in the future and the planner for mapping the individual weeks as they come.   

2. Learn a Craft

I have started taking advantage of the gym next door and its wide array of combat sports. Currently I am back to training about 5 times a week, once we include lifting and stretching sessions. I have put a bigger focus on diet, stretching and recovery than ever before, I want this hobby to last so I need to make sure it won't wear me down chronically or become too much of a time burden in relation to the other aspects of my life.

Training as a now fully grown adult (tm) comes with certain benefits. I don't drink like an arts student anymore, so my body has more of an opportunity to recover from the various sessions; furthermore I am now a better cook than I was 3 years ago, so preparing meals to maintain a healthy diet has become a lot easier.  So far it has all been really enjoyable, I am learning classical gi-based jiu jitsu and orthodox muay thai, which has given me a much broader appreciation of their unique approaches and strategies. I'm now looking to perfect my management of time vis a vis training vs recovery. Combat sport is extremely stressful and the risk of neurological burn-out from over-training is very high; consequently I am watching my recovery to make sure everything I do is manageable and in my long term interest.

3. Specialise in the Kitchen

There has been a little experimentation with new foods over the last couple of months. I have been doing more in terms of casseroles, gotten the process of marinating down to a fine art, and begun exploring more unusual oils and vinegars for the sake of salad dressings and frying.

In terms of geographic specialisation however, not much has happened. I have learnt a bit of Scandinavian cookery but not enough to really call it progress. The book I was given is heavily reliant on specialist ingredients, such as elderflower vinegar, which makes its recipes both logistically challenging and low in cost-efficiency. A lot of my more adventurous cooking plans have been put on hold while I sort my diet for muay thai and jiu jitsu. I'm still very happy with my Scandi book and I really appreciate its haute cuisine French-style influences, but when I resume this resolution I'm going to have to pick a Japanese cook book that won't require me to take such extreme measures in acquiring ingredients.

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