Mario Villalobos


Frustration is one of those emotions I feel incessantly. Part of it stems from my desire to be perfect, and the other part stems from my finite resource of willpower. I don’t have the time or the determination to do everything I want to do every day. Of course, I have to choose my priorities carefully, but I notice I tend to lack focus during any of my prioritized tasks. My mind is on those things I wish I could get done while I’m trying to do something else.

Following up on yesterday’s post, I took one step forward and two steps back today. I was able to figure out a solution to the problem of the teacher who couldn’t access her math program, but in doing so, I lost about a week’s worth of data somewhere else. Luckily, there was a backup on the main server machine, but to make things right, I have to spend a few hours transferring documents back and forth between different backups tomorrow. In the end, I’m going to lose most of the data for that program generated today since there wasn’t a backup for that, but everything else should be fixed.

I feel stupid. One of the main things I always preach to myself and to others when it comes to a healthy and productive computer life is to backup. Backup backup backup. I didn’t backup data I knew was important. I was too focused on solving this tiny little problem that I didn’t foresee the ripple effects my actions would have across the network. Being a solitary systems administrator is a tough job, especially when I have zero professional training and experience. These are all growing pains, though, and I’m glad I’m learning my lessons now.

I figured out the solution toward the end of my shift, so I was unable to put it into action. When I came home, my mind was focused on my failure and stupidity, and it clouded my mind when I began my Strength and Cardio Abs workout programs. My frustration helped me perform as well as I’ve ever performed during the Strength workout. It feels amazing to notice my strength and stamina improving week over week, and even more amazing when I know I’m pushing myself harder every day and actually seeing and feeling the results. I transferred this excitement — and frustration — into the Cardio Abs workout.

One of the warm-up exercises during this workout is something Shaun T calls tuck jumps: our knees are shoulder-width apart, we bend down, and then jump up into the air, making sure we jump from the bottom. We bend our knees upward, meeting them with our elbows. The time we spend in between jumps is miniscule. Once we land we jump again. I wanted to push myself during this routine. I’ve been feeling frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be any progress made with my lower abs. My body likes to store fat around my waist, so while I can see progress everywhere else in my body, I can’t around my waist. The tuck jumps work the lower abs really effectively, so I brought that frustration to mind when I jumped up into the air. That excitement from the Strength workout was still present while I did these tucks jumps, so I worked my ass off jumping up and down for about 45 seconds. During one of the jumps, I landed on my left leg first and my calf locked up. I fell to the floor, screaming in pain. I could see my calf twitch rapidly, and my calf muscle was the hardest I’d ever felt it when I touched it. It looked like it was dislocated.

I writhed on the floor for about five minutes, making sure to pause the video because I had it in my mind to finish the workout. I massaged my calf, jumped up onto my other leg and tried walking it off. The pain quickly faded away, and when I touched my calf again, it wasn’t as hard as before. It still hurt — and it still hurts now — but I was determined to finish. I played the video again. The exercise after the tuck jumps was wide tuck jumps. While the standard tuck jumps work the lower abs, the wide tuck jumps work the obliques. I was afraid to do it, so my first few jumps were half-hearted attempts not to hurt myself. Once I realized my calf didn’t hurt that much, though, I immediately pushed myself to go harder. I still landed on my right leg first a few times, just to relieve some pressure from my left leg, but by the end, I was working out as intensely as the people in the video. Fortunately, I finished the workout and went on with my day.

The lesson I learned today is close to this: don’t quit. Quitting will get me nowhere, even though I probably should’ve taken my injury as a sign to slow down and stop for today. I felt like quitting during work today. Not the job but the problems I was having with the server. I couldn’t figure out a solution until I realized there was a backup I could revert to. Instead of losing over a week’s worth of data and even more problems to deal with, I’m only going to lose one day and fewer problems. That’s a win. Last night I went to sleep with a cough, and I was worried I caught my first cold in over four years, but I woke up this morning perfectly fine. I’m not so sure what my calf will feel like tomorrow. Luckily, tomorrow is rest day.

All I’m hoping for is that I’ll be healthy enough to tackle Saturday with all the energy and focus I want to bring into the start of the last week of this hybrid workout. I want to finish strong. That means not quitting. I don’t plan to.