Race Review and Muscle Healing!

Hello fuzzbutts!

So I did the Spartan Sprint on Saturday. It was a blast but my conditioning was just not there. A factor in that might be that I sold a pint of blood within 2 weeks of the race. Apparently it takes 6 weeks for the average person to recover that much. On the other hand, I don’t do a ton of very long distance running on hilly areas. This was up dirt trails and steep paths for long distances. I did better on the obstacles than I thought I would but I kept having to take a knee to catch my breath.

Now it’s Wednesday and I’m still feeling a bit of soreness so I started looking up the best ways to recover from muscle soreness and found a few that are easy to do.

Rest

Proper sleep allows your body to heal better. Lack of sleep also results in worse recovery so you need to go to bed on time!

Stretch

Stretching your muscles after a workout improves circulation, allowing the nutrients to flow over your muscles and hasten the healing.

Hydrate

Staying hydrated also works with your circulation, compounding with the stretching to help you heal quicker.

Light Massage

To keep you healing well, massages also improve circulation and reduce tightness in your muscles (like stretching!).

Overall, I’m not very satisfied with my performance and now I want to train more for longer distances over crazier terrain. Maybe look into a water pack because I was dying of thirst the whole time. I’ll probably be doing more long distance running too, taking on some 5ks this coming year and a half marathon too! It’ll be a blast!

Have fun, furries!

The Protective Wall!

Good morning Fuzzbutts!

Alright so a creative friend came and asked me a little bit about commissioners but this is something I’ve heard about before that drives many artists, whether they make fursuits or sketches or whatever, to go batty. If you’re a creative type who has turned your art into your income, listen up! If you’re somebody who likes to purchase art stuff that somebody else has made, listen up! If you’re neither of those, then read this post anyway because I put in the effort!

So you create something and somebody comes to you for a commission. You do what they say and then they have a couple of corrections. You fix those and then there’s other errors they want you to fix. Those are handled and then suddenly the whole thing just still isn’t satisfactory. You’ve spent about twice as much time on this one commission without any increase in your price and they’re still walking around grumbling. Their grumbling hurts you because you really tried to make them happy and put in extra effort. They don’t seem happy either. Next time you open up for commissions, they’re right there with another handful of dollars to have you go through it all over again with them.

There’s something called the 80-20 rule that applies to a lot of stuff. If you’re a creator, 80% of your problems will come from 20% of your customers. That means if you’re spending a bunch of time with one unhappy customer, it’s taking time from customers you enjoy dealing with and most of your issues are coming from a small group rather than the majority! So it’s time to recognize the problem furries and cut them off! Preserve the sanity!

There’s a mindset sometimes that you want to be liked and you appreciate your fans for the fact they think enough of you to give you money for art. You get the money and want to satisfy their request! If there’s something wrong, even though the commissioner didn’t actually tell you the thing that should have been there in the first place, you want to make it right. They’re not very happy with what you made but can’t even explain what you did wrong without requiring you just start over.

Nope! That bad commissioner goes out the window! Next time they show up, you close that door. You give that slot to somebody who will appreciate your efforts.

One thing I think happens with artists when they get repeat bad commissioners is that they’ve already been turned away by other artists. These sour platypuses then waddle their way to you since you’re the only one who puts up with their needs. Don’t enable their behavior by dealing with them and then stressing yourself out!

Commissioners! I’m speaking to you now! If you have a specific thing in mind for your commission, describe it in detail! Have a good ref handy! If you weren’t clear in your description and they show you a beautiful artwork that wasn’t exactly what you wanted, then take it as a lesson to be more clear. Then just enjoy the artwork, even if it’s not exactly what you had in your head. Other times, the art just doesn’t look so good where the artist doesn’t seem to have put as much effort in yours as they did with the other commissions. I’ve experienced that too. Take the art, thank them, and don’t bother with them again. There’s plenty of artists out there who will do your characters justice who will also take your money. Now if there’s something that was in the ref or description that they clearly forgot, feel free to point that out to them (missing a marking on their face, the pose is way off from what you described directly, etc).

Please, regardless what side you fall on, realize the other end of the FurAffinity notes is a person and also loves furry stuff. Artists, do your best and work with your customers but don’t stress yourself out and spend too much time with unpleasant experiences but make sure you complete the work you take on. Commissioners, provide your feedback when something has to be fixed but realize the effort that goes into making artwork and don’t nitpick or change what you asked for. Together, the furries will maintain their fun, artsy economy and we’ll all get to appreciate what gets posted!

Have fun, fuzzbutts!

Knocking out those negative voices!

Rawr! Intense wuff!

So yesterday morning I looked up the obstacle course and some of it looks intense! Of course, my brain did what many brains might do- tell me I couldn’t do it. I see something that looks awkward or I haven’t done before and a powerful voice in my head says “You should quit. That’s too much. You aren’t ready for that.” And then builds onto my anxiety. Before I began to imitate the cowardly lion, I caught myself and realized my brain was trying to push me right back into my safe bubble. It’s an obstacle course full of people I don’t know! So what if I end up looking silly on some of them and doing the penalty burpees? As difficult as some of it looks, there’s no realistic reason to expect to get hurt!

Even when you think rationally, your mind can still build those feelings of anxiety or other issues. One way of dealing with it is channeling that energy. Being anxious just keeps you stressed so turn that energy into something else! By imagining the negative voice as a separate entity from myself, I can see it as something to be irritated by, converting that anxiety into annoyance which is something I can work with.

You’re not prepared enough.” POW! I’m going to lay out what I’m going to wear. “You don’t know how to do that! You’ve never done that before!” KABOOM! I’m going to try! Not like there’s a bunch of places with a hanging rope I can practice climbing. I can at least watch videos to learn what the technique is supposed to be so I can try when I get there. “You’re not strong enough.” BIFF! I’m way stronger than I was and I’ve never tested myself before so what do you know about what I can and can’t do? “It’s going to go badly.” WHACK! It won’t but even if it does, I can always sign up for another one and train more with a better idea of what I need to work on!

So yeah. My own technique is to make the negative voice something separate you can fight against. Channel the energy into something you can use like developing plans or working harder toward your goals!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Rest week for the big day!

That feeling when you wake up Monday, go to work, and realize you missed your weekend post!

Keeping that in mind, my Spartan race is this Saturday. I have no idea what to expect or how I will do but there’s only one thing left for me to do to prepare.

Rest! If you’re training for anything physically intense, train early and often. However, as the date approaches, you have to slow down. The last thing you want is to be sore or risking injury to yourself on the big day. You want to be rested, comfortable, and loose. Sleep well, eat right, and take it easy. You want to be feeling 100% for the event.

So what’s the plan? Making sure I eat good food that you don’t prepare in the microwave for several minutes. Go to bed a little earlier each night so I can make sure I get enough sleep. Lastly, just enough exercise to move blood around- easy walks, light weights, lots of stretching. Keeping these things in my plan, I’ll be as ready as possible. Wait a second, I can check youtube to learn about the obstacles and see the type of things I can expect.

I’m  betting this race is going to be super fun even though I’m nervous and a bit anxious as the day approaches. It’s one of those things that is pushing me out of my comfort zone into new experiences. I hope you’re looking for something new to try out. In fact, hit the Contact Wuffles link to the left and let me know what sort of new experience you’re after. I could always use new ideas!

Wednesday Tailtip: Burpee Challenge

Hi fuzzbutts!

So I have a little less than a couple of weeks now before my big Spartan race. I’m pretty darn excited for it and have been doing some training. Probably not enough training but I’ve never done this before so I truly don’t know how much is enough. I’ll definitely be learning something in the process.

One warning a coworker gave me is that if you can’t pass an obstacle, you gotta do burpees to continue. I had heard of them and had seen them done but never really had them as part of my routine. So I decided to practice those. Holy hooves am I glad I did. These things are hard, especially at the start when the muscle memory wasn’t there and I was starting to fall over after a few in a row. I would have been in trouble if I waited to do them at the race.

Since learning how to actually do them, I realized they are awesome for working out. They’ll get your heart pounding, work out your legs and check muscles and core in every rep. A few sets of those and you’ll be sweating like you went on a run. I’m a big advocate for them now!

So if you’re looking for a way to up your workout, start incorporating burpees. There’s videos on youtube and other sites on proper burpee technique. As a tip I didn’t know initially, spread your legs a little wider than your arms when you jump forward and also when you’re coming back down. It’ll be easier to keep your balance and you won’t fall over the place like a derpy wuff.

Taking Small Bites

Good morning Fuzzbutts!

Today I want to advise you on a small trick to accomplishing your goals: do a little bit. Open your big furry maw and take a small chomp out of whatever you need to do to work toward your goals. Just find the next small thing you need to do for your goals and get that piece done today!

Often times, you might even find yourself able to keep going. A five minute blender tutorial might turn into an hour of reviewing tutorials and you’re actually much further along than you would have been! A short walk turns into a long walk or maybe even a jog because you put on your exercise clothes and went outside! Drawing a head turns into a full pose.

The point isn’t to just get started and you’ll do a ton (though I think that’s a pawsibility). The real purpose of it is to just get a little something done toward your goals. Even if it takes you a long time to finally reach your goal by taking baby steps, you’ll eventually be way further along than just not doing anything because you make the task too daunting to accomplish. Let the goal in the far, far distance be the daunting thing. For now, take the tiny step forward and take a small bite out of the things you need to do.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

Gratitude Time!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

In this time of thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday tomorrow, I feel it’s time to go through our lives and look at things we can be grateful for.

I’m grateful for a supportive family. I’m grateful for those I’ve met in the fandom that are such cool and accepting people. I’m grateful to be born in the USA. I’m grateful for this drive to improve myself. I’m grateful I bought my fursuit before my suit mama raised prices. These are all obvious goods to me and are easy to list off.

How about something you usually regard as negative? Well my job has been frustrating me a lot lately with so little to do that I don’t feel it’s meaningful yet I have to sit there and deal with a lot of fallout from office politics at the higher levels. Well I’m grateful that, in spite of how I feel, people do see me as an authority in my group and I have their respect. I appreciate that the lack of things-to-do lets me carry out some of the worksafe tasks (like journaling or goal-setting or online courses) that I couldn’t do if I was busy all day. I’m grateful I can turn around how I feel about my job and put energy into sending out my resume to other places.

What about a problematic family member? “I’m grateful that my mom was so crazy that it drove me to become independent earlier than most people. My brother is really annoying but he’s always had my back when things got rough. My sister was a huge pain but I’m grateful that she could always give me advice.”

It doesn’t work for everything but it doesn’t have to. The point is to come up with a list of things you’re grateful for and to give thanks for. Realize that even if you’re just reading this blog, you can be grateful that WordPress is hosting it. You can be grateful that I took the time to write this post, that electricity is being provided to you, that you are actually exploring areas of your life to better yourself!