March came and gone. I chased fitness. We went on Spring Break. Growing a business. Baseball games. Failed on blogging. Here is a retelling of the vibes.
Closing my rings
This month I decided I would undergo a challenge to close my rings on my Apple Watch every single day for the whole month and I succeeded!1
It’s safe to say this hasn’t ever happened. My regiment was a mixture of walks, special Apple Fitness+ celebrity-guided walks (Dolly and Malala), and a heap of Apple Fitness+ workouts. As far as workout programs go, I appreciate the body diversity in Apple Fitness+ — it’s not a bunch of yoga thin hard bodies yelling at me to touch my toes to my ears, it’s real people.
Did it make a difference in my weight? No. Not at all. In fact, I weigh a half pound more. My consumption habits were the same, I did nothing extravagant or different. Not much to glean except that I believe this experiment showed me that my weight is not a function of exercise, even 10x my normal exercise doesn’t make a difference.
The best thing about the last month is that I’ve carved a bit of a routine into my life. Made some space for me. I have a good sense of what it takes to close my rings each day and it feels sustainable. I feel more fit, even though no one else would know it from the outside.
The late flight to Phoenix
For Spring Break we decided to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Phoenix. Hands down one of the worst flights of my life; a woman too drunk to fly, police to escort her, and her husband (also drunk) deciding to talk back to the police. Per FAA protocol, we all had to deplane to resolve the situation. Another lesson in how much the pandemic has effected our ability to function in society.
But we got there, sat for 45 minutes on the tarmac for a gate, and arrived at grandma’s house in Phoenix at 3 AM Austin time. Wrecked.
The kids had a great visit though. Grandparents and cousins work wonders. Cousins self-propel each other. Pools, sunshine, zoo trips, and more. My wife and I could go on long walks, look at campers, and have a couple margaritas.
The “time off” wasn’t as restful as I needed, due in part to some lingering obligations hanging over my head…
Work, talks, and workshops
It’s a busy but important time at Luro. Onboarding new customers but also figuring out next steps in the life of our startup and evaluating a pretty big architectural change (dedicated managed instances → complete multi-tenant application). Lots of discussions and ambient stress. I fried my brain one day doing a cost-benefit analysis on Rails versus Nuxt.
Adding on to my normal workload, I prepared a talk for An Event Apart and a workshop for Frontend Masters workshop, both on Web Components. It’s been a big year for web components and I’m happy to continue talking about them.
I enjoy presenting. I feel like it fits within my natural range of extroversion. Talks and workshops are a lot of work though piled on a busy schedule. After years of practice, I feel like I do a decent job estimating the work required and am able to plan accordingly.
Candidly, the one thing I don’t predict well is the cloud of stress that looms over me a month or so before an event. It’s a looming feeling of excess obligations. As much as I love doing these presentations, they add a lot to a busy schedule and even busier mind. But that impulse to say “no” to future talks conflicts with my impulse to amortize my talks as much as possible.
One day without caffeine
I inadvertently attempted a caffeine fast. 10am and I hadn’t had any coffee, so I decided to try it. It did not go well. I was in bed at 4pm with a cursed headache. I went to bed with a headache. I woke up with a headache. I was grumpy, irritable, and almost deleted my whole Twitter account. It took me by surprise how awful my body reacted.
Apparently 50% of people suffer caffeine withdrawal headaches and it sort of doesn’t matter how much caffeine you have (over 200mg/day). I’m in the unlucky half. I think it’s worthwhile to break chains of addiction when they present themselves, so I may attempt a fast again but may ween myself with half-caf for a bit first before I try again.
- 💪 Fitness
- Closed my rings 31 times.
- Didn’t do much pickleball.
- 🧶 Crafting
- I made a Gundam Ground Combat Urban Type and it may be my most favorite one yet. Here’s a picture
- 📖 Reading - 4 books + 2 graphic novels
- Run - John Lewis’s retelling of America after the Civil Rights Act and his falling out with SNCC.
- The City of Ember - My son read The City of Ember for a book report so I read the graphic novel and it’s good. I bet the book is way better tho.
- The Four - Scott Galloway’s look at Amazon, Apple , Facebook, and Google. I liked the first half of looking at how each of the companies operate, but lost the thread in the later chapters where the personal anecdotes started coming in.
- Expressive Design Systems - Yesenia Perez-Cruz expertly outlines what makes a good, effective design system, and also how you can add life to a design system by allowing room for customization (or “seasons”). Great read.
- What White People Can Do Next - This one might be controversial, but sort of comes to the conclusion allyship is not the answer 😱 - the crux of the argument is that coalition building is a lot more effective and doesn’t reinforce white savior or victim tropes. I enjoyed the book and I’d be curious to hear what others thought.
- Cubed - This book is so good! It’s the history of the modern workplace. I’m enjoying this book so much it’s taking twice as long to get through because I’m taking notes.
- 📺 TV, Movies, and Anime
- Ranking of Kings (Crunchyroll) - The story of young prince Bojji inheriting the throne of his warrior father… but Bojji is deaf, mute, and can’t swing a sword. How will he ever become king?
- 👾 Video games
- 🎙 Podcasts and YouTubes
- Spacing in Design Systems
- ShopTalkShow has a vanity URL on YouTube now: https://www.youtube.com/shoptalkshow
- 📝 Blogging - 2 posts this month. I still have lots of drafts, but I got sideswiped by other work obligations.
- Goodbye, Big Freeda - a eulogy for my old camper
- Different people, different ways - another songcatching post about an old Buffy Sainte Marie song from Sesame Street that we use in parenting our kids.
- I’ve also decided to redesign my blog at some point. Will need to be after the workshops and talks.
Technically there are two days where I was one tick off on my stand goal (Mar 27) and one minute off on my workout goal (Mar 29). I’m not going to beat myself up about it. ↩