Thursday
Nov102011

Off the wagon...

Based on when I put up my last post, it's fairly easy to see I've fallen off the wagon.

This is hard for me to admit, especially because I want to give excuses. There aren't any, at least not any legitimate ones.
I've been reading youarenotsosmart.com and I even read the associated book. I failed to get past the extinction burst, I'm excellent at procrastination, and... there was one other thing I wanted to mention but I can't find the post anymore.

Here's the point.

Over the last year I have experimented with a lot of things. Diets, supplements, exercise. In hindsight I wanted to try too much, and it backfired because nothing stuck. This has to end. In less than a month I will be 26, and I can't go on like this anymore - overweight, out of shape, not feeling great, and unhappy.

I'm evaluating what I've done over the last year, all the knowledge I've gained, and figuring things out. I'm going to take things relatively slowly, approach them one at a time, and make progress. The first thing that has to happen is sticking to a diet. Slow-carb was interesting, I did it for a while, and I saw some results. But I still don't think slow-carb is ideal. Earlier in the year I tried going paleo, primal, doing the human diet, whatever you want to call it, and even though it was only a couple weeks I felt pretty fantastic. That's what I'm going to do. I'm not viewing it as a diet anymore, I'm viewing it as a lifestyle choice. It's something I have to do, and want to do. I'm getting some simple recipes, figuring out some meals, and emptying my kitchen and pantry of anything that would be a temptation. I'll start soon.

For some reason exercise is more difficult for me than a diet. I haven't gotten to the point where I like working out. This is ridiculous, especially when you consider that 30 minutes a day is an excellent starting point and even a small amount of weight training can lead to very substantial results. I'm reviewing workouts, and this time I'm going to watch the videos on how to properly do the moves, and push myself to do what I need to every day - even when I don't feel like it.

 

Do I want to learn a language, work on guitar (which I've actually been doing with some consistency) and learn to draw? YES! Are these priorities? NO! So I'm going to use them as rewards, incentives, distractions. It's like trying to rid yourself of a bad habit - find new habits to replace them. As much as I want to cut down on TV and video games, I'm not going to do that to myself right away. First I eat right and exercise - then I can watch TV, play video games, do some Spanish, play guitar or learn to draw as much as I want - I just have to eat paleo and get some exercise.

An official start date? Not so much, just a couple deadlines. First, I must start no later than my day of birth. That gives me up to 28 days to be ready to go - I feel like I'll start sooner than that. My second deadline is May - in six months one of my best friends is getting married in the Virgin Islands. I want to be able to go to the beach and feel confident in my appearance. 12% bodyfat is my goal. Twelve percent. I don't expect it to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

 

So that's where I am. I must commit to this, it's time to get serious about making substantial positive changes, and the first step is all about health and fitness. It's time to stop fooling around and get serious.

Tuesday
Oct182011

Realignment Week 3

Last week was another unusual week for me. I could list the reasons, but that's really for a separate type of entry. I've been working on a daily routine schedule, making tweaks and changes, but trying to stick to it. In any event, it's time for another evaluation.

  • Language
    • Last week: I made absolutely zero progress on language learning last week. I'm not sure what I did with my time, but working on Spanish was certainly not it.
    • This week: As the Japanese say: kaizen. My goal is simply to make it through Rosetta Stone core lesson 2 and all the subsequent practice sessions following the core lesson. If I do a little each day, it shouldn't be a big deal. This is something I need to add to my daily routine.
  • Exercise
    • Last week: I said I was going to start P90X Lean last week, but I made that decision on Monday. So by the time I got home, I had no desire to start (plus wasn't really organized and prepared) and decided yesterday (Monday the 17th) was going to be my official P90X start date.
    • This week: I am in no way prepared for P90X. I started the program yesterday - core synergistics - and it destroyed me. I couldn't finish. I think I had roughly 25 or 30 minutes left on the workout when I felt done. If you subtract out the time for the cool down (which I did do) and the "bonus round" (another 5 minutes maybe) that means I did all but maybe 15-20 minutes of the program - unless I'm being generous to myself. It just made me realize I am in no where near good enough shape for P90X right now. Maybe if I really pushed myself, but at this point I don't think I'm looking for the results I know P90X would provide. So I'm trying something different. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am going to do kettlebell swings, myotic crunches and the cat vomit exercise. Tuesday and Thursday (and maybe Saturday) I will do push ups, squats, pull ups, and sit ups. For MWF the goal is to get up to 75 swings with the 60lb kettlebell, 10-12 reps of myotic crunches (I'll add weight if it starts to get easy) and 8-12 reps of the cat vomit exercise. For the other days I'll use the apps on my phone that give a program to build up to large numbers of each of the aforementioned exercises. This will take substantially less time than P90X (a big hinderance in my opinion) and I should be able to get results I am happy with if I stick with it. Since I've added this to my daily schedule with the intention of doing it right away after work this should make things a little more consistent.
  • NLP/Paraliminals
    • Last week: I listened to the recordings a few days, but was running into some issues with some of the MP3 files not working correctly.
    • This week: I'm bummed that I don't have a new history generator file that works, but I'm trying to make the best of it. I think I'll just stick with perfect health and maybe some of the ones related to personal magnetism, relationships and belief. Auto pilot seems interesting as well. I may do a bit of additional research to see which ones I think are most applicable to me and listen at least a few days this coming week - maybe not every day though.
  • Music
    • Last week: I made a small amount of progress with the guitar software, but not much. That's probably ok.
    • This week: Much like the language learning, kaizen. If I can make it through a couple lessons a week I'd be pretty happy. I should add it to my daily/weekly routine to ensure I make forward moving progress.
  • Art
    • Last week: I ordered the art supplies and they arrived late in the week. I didn't really have any sort of area cleaned up or available to start working, so not much progress.
    • This week: I'm bringing the art book to work with me so I can read what I need to do and I intend on starting the activities this week. Once again, I need to add this to my daily/weekly routine.

So that's what's been going on. There was one major personal issue I was attempting to overcome last week. I've made some progress, but I'm not sure how I want to move forward. This is not the place to write about it, there's more information on a different section of the blog (at the time of writing, eventually I intend to move everything into a single journal, but not now for specific personal reasons). I will say having a daily routine seems to work pretty well. I started last week by scheduling time for quick cleans of my condo (kitchen on MWF, bathrooms TR, laundry, etc.) and I've been making strides to remain consistent. Having a schedule to stick to really makes it easier to get things done that I would otherwise put off. I also have been working on my eating habits. Last week I was doing well for the first half of the week, but ended up taking a break for basically the rest of the week. Right now I have things pretty well squared away - breakfast is eggs with sausage and bacon + a protein shake, lunch is chili with lots of vegetables and beans, some meat + a protein shake, and dinner is some type of meat (typically grilled chicken thighs) mixed vegetables (frozen stir-fry veggies heated up in the microwave) and beans or lentils. I suspect if I stick to the diet combined with moderate exercise I should be able to make much more substantial progress on my health goals than I was when I had a tendency to occassionally cheat during the week.

Class starts next week which will make Tuesdays a bit interesting. I've been going to bed between 9 and 10 essentially since I started my new job, but class will be from 6 to 10. It will be a bit of a challenge, but I think I'm up for it.

Monday
Oct102011

Realignment Week 2

Last week did not go exactly as planned. Between having to pick up my mom and uncle from the airport, going out to see 50/50 (fantastic flick, by the way) and the weather finally switching to "not as nice" my motivation fell off a cliff.

The first step is clearly to reflect on what did and didn't work last week, then discuss changes to implement for this week.

  • Language
    • Last Week:Pimsleur is pretty boring. I made it through maybe 5 lessons before not feeling it. I'm thinking trying to do a lesson a day may have been part of the problem. I'm going to keep working through it, but perhaps I will do more lessons per day, with less total days during the week.
    • This Week:Looking over the curriculum plans for Rosetta Stone, I realized I'd been approaching it all wrong before and choosing the full year curriculum. Yesterday I restarted Spanish (Latin America) Level 1 and selected the speaking and listening focus and quickly made it through all of Unit 1 Lesson 1. Personally I find Rosetta Stone a bit more enjoyable than Pimsleur so I will make it my focus for this week, though I may mix in a little Pimsleur for good measure.
  • Exercise
    • Last Week:This was my greatest failure for the week. I did the Podrunner Intervals on Monday. That was it. I realize I'm making excuses, but the weather did start to get kind of crappy last week so I didn't feel like going out. That being said, I didn't do any kettlebell last week either. That's something simple I can do at home, but I still didn't do it. My living room was kind of a mess, which was basically a disincentive to work out.
    • This Week: Yesterday I cleaned up my living room and moved some things around to provide better space for working out. I am going to start P90X Lean. I've been looking at P90X for a while and it seems like it would be highly effective, but my brain really wants to talk me out of working out. I decided to go with Lean because it's supposed to be a slightly easier program, and I'm hoping by doing it I can build up a base level of fitness to move on to the P90X Classic program once I'm done (which won't be until January if I stick to the schedule). I'm trying to stay positive about this and say I'm doing it instead of I will probably do it. Not sure why working out is the hardest of all.
  • NLP/Paraliminals
    • Last Week: Mixed action with these guys last week. I may have overwhelmed myself by choosing to try to go through as many as possible to get a feel for them. I think I need to just select a couple and stick with them for the best results.
    • This Week:As part of my incentive for doing P90X my plan is to do the Perfect Health or Youthfulness paraliminals every day after work. I'm hoping this motivates and revitalizes me enough that it's not completely painful. I think it will help because mindset is one of the most substantial barriers to change, and I think these recordings will also help with motivation. I will also choose a program to listen to every night. I'm thinking relationships or personal magnetism, but I need to look over the list again before I make a decision.
  • Music
    • Last Week: I messed around on the guitar a bit, mostly did research on the most effective way to learn.
    • This Week:I picked up the eMedia Guitar Method software on Saturday and started checking it out. It is definitely designed for a beginner, but it seems to be pretty effective in re-introducing me to guitar. I know a lot of the chords it's gone over so far (I did lesson 1 and 2 on Saturday, 3 on Sunday) but some I didn't know specifically how to play or what they were called. So far, I consider this software to be a great success. The plan is to do at least 1 lesson a day. They don't take too long, so this shouldn't be so difficult.
  • Art
    • Last Week: The book arrived. I read through some of it, seems good. Need some supplies.
    • This Week: I went to Michaels on Saturday looking for supplies I needed. I could have picked up a drawing pad and the recommended pencils, but couldn't get any assistance for the other things I needed. I didn't think the materials were particularly unusual, but the person there couldn't help. Instead of going to a real art supply store, I discovered the author sells 'portfolios' of all the materials. These are the same portfolios they provide when they do multi-day seminars/classes and I figured for the price (~$80) I would be spending close to the same amount to buy everything piecemeal. This way I know what they recommend and get everything I need, and in the future I can buy drawing supplies no problem since a lot of the materials are one off anyway. Not sure how long it will take that to arrive, I'm guessing it will be here sometime next week.

 

Yesterday involved a lot of personal reflection. I read every LiveJournal post I made from when I started (October 2002) through high school (July 2004) and I really did not like myself. Who knows if it's because I was a dumb high school kid, or maybe that's always what it seems like when you read what you wrote when you're in high school, or maybe I really was just an a-hole... that was the big revelation of all that. Over the course of the week I'm planning on reading through the college years, which seems like it might be a little scary. I'm trying to look at it in a positive light - there's probably a lot I can learn about myself by reading the nonsense that was in my head. Already I feel like I'm a better person now than I was in high school, so hopefully I'll be able to say the same about college.

It's funny how much more I thought I wrote, when in fact I only wrote at what seem to be extreme emotional highs and lows. It was not as much of a solid record as I hoped, but it was still basically just what I needed for personal reflection.

Tuesday
Oct042011

Realignment

The past few days have been an exercise in realignment.

While archaicfrost.com still exists this site has been changed to lifeandtimesofed.com. While I've used the 'handle' archaic frost on a number of things for a fairly long time, it seemed a little bit too dark or negative. The new title makes more sense, is easier to share and seems a bit more positive. This switch also involved changing one of my Twitter usernames from @lifedata to @lifentimesofed. Apparently Twitter usernames don't support enough characters for lifeandtimesofed, but I made the best of it.

This is only one aspect of realigning myself. I'm working on actually sticking to a schedule this month. Well, I should clarify. I have a general idea for a daily schedule for the next month. I'm trying to do the same thing every day for a week, then I will make modifications for the next week as necessary. I started on October 1. Three days in, here's what's on the schedule and my thoughts so far:

 

A language lesson every day

Right now I'm working primarily with Pimsleur Spanish, but I'm intending on splashing in some Rosetta Stone for variety. Spanish seems like a smart choice. Initially I was thinking German because there was a point when I spoke German almost fluently, but it's very difficult to do placement with the various language programs and I thought if I started at the beginning I would be bored out of my mind. I did take Spanish in the past, but not a lot and I was never exceptionally good. That being said Pimsleur is kind of boring right now. The first two lessons I approached with vigor and excitement. They were boring, but it was something (kind of) new. Where I started to get irritated and bored was with how repetitive they are. This is probably not a problem for someone completely new to the language, but even with my limited historical exposure I can only repeat the phrase "Bueno dias senorita" so many times before I want to fling my iPod across the room. I'm going to stick with it, maybe try to do it more in my car than walking around or doing chores in my apartment, but hopefully I get to a point where it's a little more challenging soon.

 

Exercise

I'm alternating between two separate ideas about exercise. On MWF I'm doing the Podrunner Intervals series for running a 5K. This is basically starting over my running program, but I haven't been running the last... wow, almost a month anyway so I couldn't think of any reason not to start fresh and do it right this time. Podrunner Intervals is nice because the music is a specific BPM and switches between fast and slow (higher and lower BPM) at designated intervals. You just pop on headphones and follow along. So far one days worth.

I haven't even tried the second exercise program yet, today is supposed to be the first day. I found this on liftkettlebells.com so we'll see if it's any good. Essentially it's an audio program (either 30 or 20 minutes) of music with prompts to switch moves. It uses a single kettlebell and seems to cover some pretty substantial ground. Jumping jacks, 2 arm swings, squats, windmills, presses, push ups, rows are some examples of what the workout entails. The plan is Tuesday and Thursday the 30 minute program, Saturday the 20 minute. I still need to make sure I know how to properly perform some of the moves before I start today, but I figure I'll put it through the paces this week and see how it goes, then modify if necessary through the rest of the month.

 

NLP/Paraliminals

This is one of the most obscure items on this list, and I'm not really sure about the efficacy at this point. After a few weeks I will certainly be re-evaluating these programs and providing more thoughts. At this point I'll give my cursory understanding and limited experience. NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming and relates to the way our minds (neuro) interact with language (linguistic) and how we organize our experiences in our mind (programming). As I understand it the basic idea behind NLP is that you can reflect and improve your situation by understanding how you organize thoughts, feelings, actions, language, etc. In the most general sense, it's a type of hypnosis that uses language to essentially reprogram your ways of thinking to produce better results. This is the theory at least, I've only done some cursory reading on the topic.

This is where paraliminals come in. I'm using the paraliminal recordings from learningstrategies.com created by Paul Scheele. If you look at a picture don't let that dissuade you, he has a fantastic voice for what essentially amounts to guided meditation. I have a slew of these recordings, so I'm trying them all out right now, one at a time, but as I find which ones I enjoy the most or seem to have the best benefits I will reduce my pattern to only a few repeated over and over each week, hopefully this will lead to better results. So what is it? It starts off like any guided meditation session. Find a relaxing position, experience your whole body, all of that. Eventually he does a count down, you become more relaxed with each number. Eventually it gets to a point that is difficult to describe, but pretty fantastic at the same time. Essentially the dialogue splits and he says different things into your left and right ears. Initially these flow together where the right ear stops and the left ear starts, or there is slight overlap at the beginning and end of sentences. Eventually it gets to a point where he's talking in each ear simultaneously, different but related content.

One of these really stands out in my mind, but I'm not sure how easy it will be to explain:

  • In one ear he is talking about sitting back, relaxing, imagine you're somewhere and taking it easy.
  • In the other ear he starts having you imagine being outside of yourself and looking at yourself like a third party, examining yourself.
  • Back to the first ear, still relaxing, when suddenly you notice someone standing nearby but you can't make it out.
  • Second ear: still studying yourself, you come closer
  • First ear: you realize the person you see is you
  • Second ear: look at your posture, your facial expression, look at the parts of yourself that need improving
  • First ear: Not just any you, but a perfect version of yourself (I imagine me as Limitless) and you start studying that perfect version and saying what is better, what (if anything) is worse

It keeps going like this initially back and forth, eventually simultaneous and overlapping. They address a number of various aspects of improvement. So far I've tried Anxiety and Autopilot for the weekly schedule. I've also dabbled a bit with the New History Generator and Instantaneous Personal Magnetism. I haven't done enough experimentation to have formed a strong opinion at this point, but I enjoy them. At the very least they are relaxing and help to get my brain into a positive state of mind. Whether the actual 'instruction' (if you want to call it that) has had any effects, I think it's still far too early to say.

Music

This category (and the next) is a little unusual and doesn't fit into the mold or model quite as neatly as the others. I'm also a little fuzzy on this category as I'm still working on finding an ideal way to fit. Basically I want to re-learn guitar. I guess I technically know how to play guitar, but not very well and it's been a long time since I've devoted any time or effort into crafting my skills as a musician. I'm looking at JustinGuitar.com and was trying to find more information about a program from emedia that is guitar coach, or something, but there weren't a lot of reviews. I'll probably spend a few hours one afternoon doing a bit more research on the best way to do this.

I also got a MacBook Pro. I needed a new laptop for school and having gone through a number of different laptops over the years I finally decided to go with a Mac. I want to learn to better use GarageBand and make some tunes. I was thinking this would just be a side project/goal, but I am now thinking about making my own 'beats' to make my own workout audio files. For the time being, though, just for fun.

 

Art

I've never been much of an artist. Even when I think I can draw something well, I always prove myself wrong. My friend Josh House is an amazing artist and has taught some art classes as a graduate student and recommended a book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It will be here Wednesday (tomorrow).

 

Other

There are a few other things floating around, but I'm really trying to nail down some specific actions I can take on a daily basis to unlock my potential. I do really want to work on my (quote unquote) social skills, but given the change in season, my desire to spend less money and how jam packed I've already made my schedule, focusing inward for a little while doesn't seem like such a bad thing. I've been slowly reducing the number of podcasts I listen to, and want to shift over to some shorter but more productive listening sessions (Quick and Dirty Tips seem like a good option). Lots of books are backlogged right now as well. Eventually I'll follow the Stylelife 30 Day challenge.

I have to be careful about my approach. Too often in the past I decide I want to do too much of too many things at once, I want to make substantial progress in a short amount of time, and in the end I wind up not doing anything. This time I'm trying to take a measured approach and make a concerted effort to take things one day at a time, one step at a time, and get the most effective results.

Tuesday
Sep272011

My First Float

Yesterday I spent an hour in a float tank, it was pretty fantastic. I'll try to recount the entire experience.

My appointment was scheduled for 4pm, so I rushed home from work, changed and got in my car to leave by about 3:20. I'd never been to the place before, so I wanted a bit of a head start. It takes about 30 minutes to get there from my house. Somewhat inconvenient, but it is literally the only place in the city with float tanks. I was nervous about it all day, not exactly sure why. On the way over I had a lot going through my head (my normal state, I guess) and tried to distract myself by listening to SModcast, which worked really well. I also thought this would put me in to a more positive state of mind before an hour in the tank. Not sure if that worked or not, but in hindsight it doesn't really matter.

Once I arrived and went inside I was given a form to complete (basic information, any injuries, that sort of thing. It's also a massage studio) and a multi-page document describing some information about floating and procedures. Basically a FAQ many of the items were to dissuade fears (you can't sink and drown, you can't flip over and drown, there is plenty of air, the lid is light and does not seal, etc.) and some stories. One was a person who has claustraphobia and how she was fine in the tank. Another was about a little boy who said he was scared of the dark, but liked the tank when he tried it. Apparently he said that night time dark is scary and full of monsters, the darkness of the tank was a "nice, friendly" dark - I found that interesting and apt.

Finally it was time. First I had to take a shower to ensure nothing is being tracked into the tank. After a quick shower, I donned a robe and carried the provided tote bag with my things into the tank room. There were two tanks in the room separated by a partition, and it seemed like they timed people going into and leaving the tanks so there was no overlap. I closed the door to my side of the room, put in the provided ear plugs, disrobed and climbed into the tank. The ear plugs may or may not help with even less sound, but it seemed the importance to me was to avoid getting salt in your ears. And yes, in the tank naked. I guess some people wear a bathing suit, but I feel that would really detract from the experience. The tanks are hooked up with these filtration systems, and the water is cycled and cleaned between every use, so there's really nothing to worry about.

Let's talk about the tank for a moment. It was much larger than I had imagined in my head. Maybe if I stretched my legs and arms out as far as I could in opposite directions I could touch either end of the tank. The sides were closer, but I still had a fair amount of space on either side. I couldn't extend my arms completely to the sides, but had my arms at maybe 50-60 degree angles from my body before I could feel either side of the tank. There is roughly 10 inches of water in the bottom of the tank. Based on the size of the tank itself and things I've read online I'd estimate maybe 150-200 gallons of water. This water is then saturated with about 800lbs of epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) which makes it extremely dense, and therefore very easy to float. The water and air in the tank are both maintained at skin temperature (approximately 98.6 degrees).

 

I should preface talking about my experience by saying there is no typical experience. From people I've talked to and things I've read it sounds like the experience is different for everyone, and also changes over time the more you frequent the float tank. My experience wasn't exactly what I expected, but it was pretty amazing.

I was so excited to get started that I closed the door as soon as I was fully in the tank. I was immersed in complete and total darkness instantly. I laid down and tried to situate myself - I had my head near the door. I did try to open the door once just to get a feel for it, it was easy to find and open. There is no way to measure time in the tank, I think especially with how my brain works, so I will do my best to say what happened in what order, though it's all kind of fuzzy. I spent a few minutes trying to center myself in the tank. The water isn't moving, but I found myself occassionally touching the walls with my hands or feet which seemed like it would take me right out of the experience. Having eyes opened or closed made no difference, it was dark no matter what. There were points I wasn't sure if my eyes were open or closed. All I could hear was my breathing, occassionally my heartbeat, I could hear my eyelids opening and closing, if I squeezed my eyes tight I could hear it. Interesting and unusual. I tried a few different positions. Hands behind the head was no good, I found the feeling of the other hand, or the hands on my head distracting. Hands to the side also didn't work very well, as they kept brushing against the sides of my body. Eventually I found the most effective and comfortable position to be my arms up to the sides above my head.

It's hard to say what was going on with my brain. Going into the tank I thought I would try to focus on a problem that had been bothering me, or something I was working on. I figured my brain didn't have to process anything else, and this would super charge me and allow me to work through and solve anything I focused on. I couldn't focus on anything. It's hard to describe. Maybe it was my ADHD shining through jumping me from topic to topic, but that's not what it felt like. As best as I can comprehend it was like my brain was saying "who cares?" I tried thinking about different topics, solutions to problems, but every time I felt like "that's just how it is, no big deal." If I thought about ways to improve myself, or even tried to reflect on what aspects of my personality are abrasive, the thoughts were there and immediately gone. I couldn't do anything BUT relax, it was amazing. After some period of time, it felt like I was gone. It reminded me of that feeling when you wake up on a Saturday, but then go back to that half state of sleeping. Not fully asleep or dreaming, but not really awake or there either. It was kind of like when you're on a run and suddenly slip into that place where you forget that you're running. Much like running, once I snapped out of it, I couldn't will myself back to that place. In the tank, it just happened on its own.

I feel it is literally impossible to describe, all I can say was it was amazing.

 

There were some challenges, though. There were periods I found myself expecting to suddenly hear a knock and my hour was already up. Other times it felt like the tank was dragging on. I found both of these feeling distracting. Over the course of the hour, from time to time I would brush against the side of the tank. I tried to gently push off with a hand, arm, foot, whatever and often that would work, but sometimes I would push to far and end up on the other side. Sometimes I felt like I was moving in a direction and would brace to feel the tank, but wouldn't. Some of the movement was all in my mind. At one point my nose itched, so I went to scratch it but wound up with extremely salty water on my face which sort of dripped into my eyes. Of course there was stinging, but that's when I discovered if I squeezed my eyes shut tight, I could actually hear... what? the muscles? I'm not sure what, but I could hear it. Near the end I did really have to pee, which was actually a huge distraction. I would highly recommend going to the bathroom before going in.

Once the hour was up (and it may have been a little more than an hour, it is very tough to say) coming out of the tank felt a little strange, but not tremendously unusual. The tank room was kept very dimly lit, so it wasn't a complete shock to the system. I didn't interact with anyone until after I'd gone to the restroom and taken another quick shower to wash all the salt off of me. Even this morning my hair was a little difficult to deal with when wet because of all the salt. I got dressed and walked out. The proprietor asked how it was. I wasn't really sure how to answer, and I didn't really want to talk. In the tank was amazing, and it took a few minutes for those feelings to really resonante once back in the real world. I paid and walked to my car.

The feelings afterward are hard to describe. It's the next morning, and I'm still feeling the benefits - perhaps not as strongly, but they are there. On the drive home I didn't want to listen to anything, I just wanted silence. I missed a call from John, I tried calling him back and he didn't answer. He called me back a few minute later, and I hated talking to him. "How was it?" it felt brazen and harsh. It was like my sensitivity to tone and attitude was up a million percent, and it seemed like his attitude was extremely aggressive. This may or may not be true, this is my perception. I wanted peace and calm, I wanted positivity. I tried to tell him I wasn't sure if I could explain it and he just wanted details and answers. He laughed "You speechless? This is new." I had no pithy rejoinder. "You sound high," he noted. With all the endorphines running through my system, I probably was high.

I want to go again. It was so relaxing, so peaceful. Sometimes it was like my body was gone. It was interesting how much you can control with your brain. If I decided it felt cool in the tank, I felt cool. Same with it being warm. For a while I was focusing on breathing, but eventually even that faded from consciousness and I simply was. I don't believe I fell asleep, but it kind of felt like it.

Last night I slept better than I have in a while. Even now things feel both sharper and more in focus than normal, but simultaneously more blunted or dulled.

This is a wonderful feeling.