Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

30 years old
Not Specified
from Boston, MA

  • Activity

    • #Fit4RTX is still ongoing

      1 month ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Yo!


      So I have the world's dumbest reason for not posting for a while, and that's that I'm on both this and the new community beta, which means I don't know who sees what. So I just wanted to pop on and say that I'm in the best shape of my life with plenty of room to grow, and that I have long-term fitness plans that go beyond RTX. 


      Also that I'm so hype for RTX I feel like I could burst!

    • That New New

      3 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Yo!


      So when I get on it now defaults me to the new site - my profile there is here:


      https://roosterteeth.com/g/user/Tropes


      I'm not sure how friends/follows work on that yet and I don't know how to search, so if you're on the new site go ahead and follow me there so I can follow back and get my friends list back up to speed!

    • #Fit4RTX - The Massing Phase (Jan/Feb/Early March)

      4 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Yo! I wanna talk about my massing phase for my #fit4RTX 2019 adventure.


      Not only that, but I wanna do it in a way that is helpful and educational to people that read it. So what I'm going to do this time is explain the program I used, how I followed it, my results, adjustments I made and "grade" it based on the scientific principles of strength training.


      I was on the Jim Stoppani HIIT 100 program, a combination of HIIT and German Volume Training. It's a 6-day per week, 6-week bodybuilding program that uses reducing rest periods on major exercises to overload each week. It also combines movement patterns and muscle groups in ways that aren't typical for most bodybuilding programs. I would rate it's difficulty as high-level intermediate. It's hard enough to be considered "advanced" but an actual advanced athlete in any sport would need a tailored program for maximal results so it doesn't quite make it there. I was also doing 2-3 taekwondo sessions per each week so my energy demands were obscene. 


      In terms of nutrition I was eating 3,500-4,000 calories per day, tracked religiously through MyFitnessPal,.I made sure to hit my protein and carbohydrate goals every day, but didn't sweat it too hard if I fell short on the fats because I had some extra protein and carbs, which were more important for the energy requirements and recovery needs of the program. I spread these calories out through 3-4 whole meals a day as well as 1-2 protein shake or bar "snacks." 


      My sleep was variable, and probably the weakest link. Because of stress and scheduling, my sleep was usually 5-7 hours per night with a few that were 8-9. 5-7 is adequate sleep for physical recovery most of the time but 8-9 hours would have been better both in terms of muscle recovery and in terms of energy the next day. I definitely could have eked out a few more reps on the "to failure" sets of the program if I had been better rested.


      My results, even with a few stumbling blocks, were excellent. It was easily the healthiest and most effective massing phase I ever done - I gained 7.8 pounds (188.4 to 196.2) of that 4.9 was muscle mass and 2.9 was fat mass - some of which will be waterweight anyway. I credit the relative lack of fat gain more to nutrition than anything else. I have never looked nor felt this good at the end of a massing phase. 


      I'm now going to get into the meat of how and why the program worked, as well as what could be better about it, so strap in. I'll be using the scientific principles of strength training as my benchmarks as described by the scientific minds behind Juggernaut Training Systems and Renaissance Periodization:


      1. Specificity - C+

      Despite being the number one principle of strength training, I don't knock it too badly for it's relative lack of specificity. It deliberately sells itself as a general strength and hypertrophy program, so it's lack of focus gets a minor pass. It is all over the place with exercises so if you specifically want to get a better squat or bigger biceps exclusively above all else it won't be the most helpful to you.


      2. Overload - A-

      Not only is this program difficult already, but it's overload progression is very creative by taking 10x10 sets of the main exercises and reducing the rest periods week by week until the goal is to do 100 reps either straight through or in as few sets as possible. The accessory exercises are all three sets to maximum with the goal of squeezing out a few more total reps each time but in either case maximizing the amount of exertion your muscles can put out. This was also what sold me on the program as I was looking for something brutal.


      3. Fatigue Management - D (as advertised) C+ (as executed)

      The flip side is that, despite the great overload, it is a brutally hard 6-day per week program. While my historical recovery ability, nutrition and sleep were adequate to survive it because I was running it as a bulk the program is advertised as a fat loss plan, which means it is supposed to be run in a calorie deficit. I would absolutely not have been able to run this program and do martial arts on a deficit here, and would have needed a full 8-9 hours of sleep each night to complete even that. Also, I typically run deload weeks every 4 weeks or so, this was a continuous 6 and I definitely feel a difference in my general fatigue. So if you want to try it to gain muscle, it will be hard but maybe more than most can handle but as a cut I would say proceed with caution.


      4. SRA (Stress-Recovery-Adaptation) - A+

      Easily the best part of this program. The spread of different muscle groups and exercises means that as soon as a muscle is recovered it is immediately trained again, with smaller muscle groups and movements given slightly more frequency as synergists in other movements (example, bench/chest is done on days 1 and 4 with direct tricep work on days 2 and 5). This ensures that in a mass you get maximal hypertrophy and in a cut you get minimal muscle loss. 


      5. Variation - D (as advertised) C+ (as executed)

      This is one of the few parts where I went wholly off-script. Some exercises, even main lifts, were swapped out with other movements every week or so. I did not do that and maintained the same movements through the six weeks to build the skill of each movement, which would have been lost in too much variation. Even then, there were a few too many different exercises throughout so it becomes difficult to cycle into fresh movements for my next program and therefore avoid chronic overuse injuries in my joints. 


      6. Phase Potentiation - N/A

      This is a standalone, 6-week program and therefore does not have multiple phases. For myself, because my goals are to be generally bigger, stronger and more athletic in both function and appearance, it works very well to build a baseline of muscle that can be strengthened and retained over time but that was not included in the program itself.


      7. Individual difference - F

      Another semi-pass for this one, even with an F. It is an online template program and therefore can't by it's very nature account for the different needs of anyone who might want to do it. That's simply the nature of the beast and I can't fault it for being an online template. 


      I picked this program not only because I wanted to gain a lot of muscle in a few months so I would have plenty of time to lean out before RTX, I also picked it even knowing a lot of it's flaws because it just looked like fun. I'll be honest, working in a gym, especially in a management role, had burnt out my enthusiasm for fitness a little. I was still training and eating well but I wasn't enjoying it as much anymore, and despite it's flaws, HIIT100 run as a bulking phase did exactly what I wanted from the beginning: reignited my love of training for its own sake and brought me back to my full enthusiasm!


      My next step is a month of calorie maintenance so that my body can set into it's current weight and muscle mass before I cut until RTX itself. I have only ever done one maintenance phase before and that was a major flaw in my designs before now and why I wouldn't really see much long-term gain - I had a tendency to gain back the same amounts of muscle and fat each time I massed and lose the muscle again when I cut because my body had no time to reset into it's new normal. My goal now is to retain those hard-earned five pounds of muscle but return to my original bodyweight so that I can be more jacked and buff than I ever have been before!


      This week I finally get a deload and I plan to enjoy the hell our of it!

    • #Fit4RTX is Coming

      5 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Yo!


      So I'm super hype for my next training phase! I'll be honest, the winter has me down. It's cold and grey and dark all the time so it's difficult to summon enthusiasm for anything. On top of that, I've been sick on and off for a few weeks so my fight training has been extremely impaired - I know it's psychological but I can almost feel myself getting worse as that SRA curve drags down with no practice to bring it up again. But even more than that, I'm a lead trainer at a gym in January, I expected myself to get tired and wiped out - and I accounted for it when I designed my training year.


      This first month has been mostly easy. Three strength sessions per week of high weight with very low volume to allow my joints and connective tissues to recover from the months of high volume I've been doing and to prepare for the next phase. My calories were supposed to be at maintenance, but a combination of spilling half a bag of rice and sickness means that probably didn't go that well. The goal was to maintain size and weight and just let my strength go up in order to set my body into it's new weight (about 180 lb) before I attempt to seriously gain muscle. So far, despite a few days of setbacks, it seems to have worked all right but I'll check next week. I just wish I had done more fight work.


      My next training phase is to try to gain muscle mass. I'm decently fit now in terms of body composition so I think I'm in a safe zone to gain size without just getting fat again - also, I'll be tracking my calories and macros during this massing/bulking phase, which I've never done before, to ensure that even though I'll be in a pretty extreme calorie surplus it will all be whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and leafy veggies (plus some cheese). This calorie boost will hopefully also give me an energy boost as we taper off to slightly less bust times of the year and allow me to do the training split I want.


      For lifting I'm going to run myself through the HIIT 100 program, it's a 6-8 week plan that is extremely, unsustainably high volume. There is no way my body can take it for any longer than the two consecutive months, but it's not designed to be done for any longer than that before the body hits adaptive resistance anyway. I'll also be doing as much fight work as possible. Basically, super high energy in, super high energy out, incredible muscular and skill stimulus to gain as much hypertrophy and endurance as possible while my diet phase is tailored to make that happen. My goal with that will be to gain as much lean mass as I can while not regaining too much fat mass. This will end in late March or early April depending on deload weeks and monthly structure.


      After that I'll have another net-neutral diet phase with another low-volume strength phase. With the HIIT 100 behind me my body is sure as shit going to need it, both from a recovery standpoint and the standpoint that I will have almost definitely maxed out my body's ability to adapt to hypertrophy stimulus for a while (adaptive resistance usually sets in after about 2-3 months and dissipates in about 1). At this time I may have a competition for taekwondo or two, but I will have to decide at that time if I feel like I'm ready to compete around building this strength and conditioning foundation or if I'll let it wait another year before I start doing competitive fights again (my desire to fight is satisfied by our hard, full-range sparring sessions every week, at least in the winter when my emotions and enthusiasm are dampened). That will be through April, more or less.


      After my adaptive resistance has dissipated, my body re-acclimates to the new weight and amount of muscle mass, and my connective tissues aren't screaming anymore I'm going to run myself through the same fight conditioning program I used when my friend Dennis was doing the HIIT 100 himself (a few months ago). I'll modify a little bit of it to better fit my new skill level, both physically and on the programming side, and that should take me through May and June, with it's phasic structure spilling a little bit into July. This will be done on a calorie deficit. When I was tracking super accurately AND doing this program I was losing about a pound per week but still retaining muscle fairly well, so ideally if I do it exactly right I should lose almost exclusively fat on this and be super lean come RTX in July.


      To be honest, the most important thing right this second is restoring and maintaining my enthusiasm for training. I live and breathe fitness all the time, I work a ton in a gym, write programs all the time, talk about lifting and training my entire waking life. There's a very real risk of burning out sometimes, especially this time of year, double especially for people like me who get really emotionally dampened in the winter. The last thing I want is to burn off my enthusiasm for lifting or fighting, especially when my conscious brain knows full well how much both of those things make me happy. It's just hard to get fired up for anything in late January in the Northeast. But #fit4rtx will help get me through the rough months until things are warm and vibrant again and I can more effectively power myself on my own steam. 


      So let's get started and try to get ourselves as pumped as we can!

    • The Personal Recap Is Missing, What Do Now (Recap Part 2ish?)

      6 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      So after that emotions dump, I have to say one reason I didn't have too much of a personal recap in my end of year post is twofold (threefold if you count the inescapable malaise of being a thinking human in America in 2018 who also has mental illness). One, this year is so long I can't remember what happened when. Second, aside from RTX and Pizza Quest (which I did with RT community people anyway) I really didn't do anything but work. 


      And I hate that.


      I discovered that my experience with unemployment and near-starvation back in 2015 had left me some kind of traumatized. I'm so terrified of checking my banking app (which I do compulsively every few hours) and seeing it in the red that I just work constantly - but not maximally well, so I don't even make that much money while I waste the limited time I have on advancing someone else's profits.


      Sometimes I've made dark jokes about it, when asked what I'm doing on the upcoming weekend ("Working. What else would I be doing?") but it really is a compulsion, I'm spending all my time nickle-and-diming myself, terrified that if I don't work that extra floor hour then I'll be in the red. Consumed by it all the time. Just another side effect of capitalism - make your boss rich or don't eat. So I guess my big thing, my main, non-fitness, personal goal for 2019, is to take control and do something with my life that isn't work. 


      Let's start with fitness because that's easy (mentally). It's the only place in my life that I allow myself to disengage from the chaos that I am. Calories in vs. energy out. The body as an input/output system that reacts to predictable variables in predictable ways. These goals are general and constant: become stronger, fight stronger opponents, rinse, repeat. This will be done more specifically with a strength training phase in January, paired up with a neutral calorie intake so that I neither gain fat nor lose muscle as I do low-volume training. After that, I'll go into a healthy calorie surplus (still normal food like chicken, rice and veggies, just a lot of it) in an extremely high volume phase to gain muscle size, then another strength phase, then a hard cut to lean out for RTX  that will take me through July, all the while training my skill at martial arts. These things allow me to be calm, something approaching happy or contented. I won't say they give me purpose in a grand sense, but it's small, achievable goals that help me keep going, the thing to focus on to not get overwhelmed. Since therapy isn't an option for me right now it does the job as well as anything.


      If there is one thing I'd want to change it'd be to be "less Vegeta and more Goku." Vegeta trains so he is stronger than other people, where Goku trains entirely for his own self-improvement. I feel like that mindset would be healthier. I'm somewhere in the middle now, I train for self-improvement, but still motivated by how much I lacked confidence as a kid and teen. I've got no shortage of it now, but I still look back and use "getting away from what I was" as a motivator, not "going towards the best I could be."


      The much harder thing is relaxation. In part because I'll panic over not only what it costs in itself but also the "invisible losses" of money not made while relaxing. But dammit, I'll make more or less the same thing anyway so I need to not care if someone else's company makes a few hundred dollars less in sales. I've just handed off the Saturday classes to our new trainer, so I'll be trying to get at least one day that exists entirely for fun (Sunday doesn't count because it's my prep day - mealprep, writing programs, etc). 


      I also want to make sure that, in addition to RTX, I splurge and go to Iceland this year. I've wanted to for a long time and, even though my enthusiasm for Viking stuff has been dampened by.... well, the sorts of people who tend to be into Viking stuff (fascists ruin everything) the country itself is still alien, beautiful and rich with history (even if it often feels like everyone online who shares an interest in that history is a friggen homophobic, conservative dick).


      Honestly, my enthusiasm for most things has felt dampened the last few months - often by discovering that despite my extreme leftist views of "don't put children in cages" and "don't harass trans people" almost all my interests are widely shared by fascist groups. I'm not sure how to reclaim these interests, or even if it's right that I do. If not, I'll need to find new ones until fascists ruin those as well.


      So in the comments, toss out some suggestions for how to fun. I've been in this subconscious panic for so long I genuinely don't know what to do. 

    • That End Of Year Post Part 1 - The Bad

      6 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      I'm so damn tired. 


      I would tweet about this last year, how people ascribed a conscious malevolence to 2017. There wasn't one, things were just hard. And 2018 was, just the same, a knock-down, drag-out slugfest of a year. The election feels like forever ago instead of less than two months. As the memes say, there was a whole ass Olympics this year that nobody remembers because it feels like decades ago. In much the same way I feel like I've been aged up way more than a year. 


      Not to say it was all bad - just long and exhausting, even if only because it's a continuation, unbroken, of all the bad things that have been compounding since 2015 or before. And just like how a scratch in your shirt gets more annoying as the day goes on, all those things just get more and more infuriating as they continue to not be fixed - some of them so hard and for so long they are now no longer fixable. RIP inhabitable Earth, by the way. 


      I talk about this in the context of my 2018 because nobody exists in a vacuum and I get genuinely mad when I hear people say "well just look at the smaller scale things that went well." Climate Change is going to cause serious harm to anyone under a certain pay grade, and some of us may not have the luxury of even getting that far if the death cult that is American fundamentalist Christianity (or even just wealthy people who claim to have religion to get votes from simpletons) continues to be allowed anywhere near government. In that context, that the world is on a now-inescapable death spiral towards climate apocalypse because millions of people, including people I know, am related to or grew up knowing, voted for a party over the decades that continually made this worse, any and all personal accomplishments are kind of pale and shallow. It even feels selfish and irresponsible to think about or act on anything else, or to allow myself some kind of happiness. 


      I mean, right? How dare I allow myself joy when my LGBT friends don't know if they'll wake up to a tweet from a jackass that the American people fawn over invalidating their marriages, or worse yet outright criminalizing them? Act after act of abominable cruelty met by indifference, support or literally refusing to believe that anything bad has been perpetrated? When everything I use as part of modern life is built on the blood and tears of poor people so that people who have never felt hunger or discomfort can get another few million dollars? I know and accept that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism and that therefore the blood of millions of people is on literally all of our hands, refreshed and renewed every day we wake up with a living billionaire on earth, but it still hurts to think about (and it's wrong not to think about it).


      This year, even though it was a long time coming, I've definitely gone full nihilist. I no longer believe in any gods, nor can I completely accept the idea that religion and decency are not mutually exclusive. I get mad at myself when I find myself trying to ascribe meaning or purpose to anything unconsciously. I stamp out anything approaching hope when I feel it coming because hope is the bitterest lie the billionaire class has sold us all aside from the lie of God. 


      So yes. This was a grim year, preceded by a grim year and to be followed by grim years until we've served ourselves a well-deserved extinction by the worst of us that we continually put on a pedestal because the god that they invented so we wouldn't talk back at them told us to for too long.


      I labelled this part 1 because I hadn't intended to go this dark. I wanted to do a lighthearted thing then realized I don't think I have a place in my mind for that. This may be my only end of 2018 post, but it also might not be. If it's not, I expect it'll be my fitness goals more than anything else - there's not going to be a hopeful palette-cleanser this year, folks, because I've been cured of hope in 2018. It feels off, wrong and incomplete to end something this bleak without a hook, like a song without it final note, but there are no hooks. At this point it's less about living for a better tomorrow as it is surviving for another day because the alternative of non-existence is too terrifying, even though tomorrow will be just as bad or worse. 


      Ugh, I almost don't want to post this because the culture demands we always stuff away the bad things. There's a purpose to that too, it's another trap - it makes us think we're imagining the bad things, or how bad they are, once again so we don't talk back to the people who made things so bad in the first place. 


      Know what else gets my goat? I do know, on some level, that my broken brain emphasizes this stuff more than most other people. That these problems exist for everyone (even if a lot of people ignore them or convince themselves they're all imagined or propaganda or whatever) but my brain's inability to produce the right amounts of the right chemicals means it gets all-consuming. It makes me mad, because we only get one life before we die and nothing happens, which means that the one life I get can't be maximally enjoyed in the meantime. 


      Such a fucking waste.


      EDIT PS: This became a venting post real fast. I guess that's valid, I have no one to talk about my emotions to in person so I figure this is an okay way to ragedump at this garbage fire of a year. On to the next fucking dumpster, let's light that shit up.

    • Dialed In

      7 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Yo!


      So last week was spent feeling out the appropriate weights for this program, and this week I feel like I've really got a sense of where I should be. The workout went off with almost no hitches - I did substitute one arm exercise for another just because my elbow felt off (and on my not-fucked arm) but otherwise it was exactly as hard as intended. 


      My nutrition is also now dialed in, according to myfitnesspal my current calorie intake is almost to the exact calorie what it should be for me to lose 1.5 pounds per week without catabolizing too much of my muscle tissue. We'll see if the holidays mess it up at all, but I like where this is going.


      Also I have a work phone now so I can listen to my metal on the speakers when I train, so that's nice.

    • New Program and Fit4RTX plans

      7 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Hey gang!


      So I'm still trying to shred down a little more. My goal is still 172, and as of Saturday I was 177. I'm hoping to get to that before the end of the year, because what I do between now and July will depend on how fast I get there. 


      172 is supposedly my fighting weight. It's also the lightest I'll have been since RTX 2017 (where I was in the low 160s). I've determined, though, that I don't think I have enough muscle mass overall. So my goal overall is to hit the 172, see what that puts me at in terms of body composition, then spend a month at a caloric maintenance. During that I'll do a pure strength routine while my body acclimates to its new size (that was something I'd always screwed up before). Ideally, that'll still be about February or so, which will give me time to do a massing phase for about two months (Feb/March), another maintenance/strength phase (April) and then do a cutting phase from then until RTX (May/June). 


      There are a few hitches in the plan. First off, I want to be 172 by the end of December, which is a season of eating like shit. If I do that then the timing of this whole thing works perfectly. I feel like I'll give myself leeway of being anywhere under 175, because I can do a quick cut if I need to do a tournament with strict weight classes. But I don't want to start maintaining until I hit that point. So for all I know I could get there before Christmas even happens, which would be ideal. If I'm not I'm going to have to decide if I want to call it anyway to think of RTX or if I want to keep going. 


      The second issue is my shoulder. I've had the assessments done again and it hasn't really improved much since I started to actively work on it. For the next month, during this cutting phase, I'm going to continue to do my mobility work, but I'm also not doing overhead press, bench, or any vertical pulls (like chinups). Unfortunately those are some of the things I want to improve on the most. If the assessments still show no improvement after that then I'll just say "fuck it" and power through it until I can convince someone to MRI me and slice me up in surgery. The thing is it doesn't really hurt anymore so I'm not worried about doing the exercises, I've just been told that it might be keeping me from rebuilding stability in the joint (if I even can without surgical intervention). Which means it's not so much injured anymore as it's jammed up, immobile and susceptible to being injured again. 


      Because there's no pain, if I can't repair stability on my own I'll just train as hard as I can so I can once again come to an RTX even fitter than the last time. If the thing has got better by January then I'll need to reassess what I need to do with it.


      But either way, I encourage everyone to start thinking about their fitness goals now, whether just generally post-New Year or related to RTX. I always consider it a good idea to try to get a head start on the rush, so that way your routine is already established and you don't need to both fight for equipment and try to figure out what you're doing at the same time.


      Speaking of all this, I'm going to wrap everything up here and go work out myself. Time to get a good sweat going!

    • Open - My Mental Illness Story

      7 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Dammit. I wanted to make this one something happier, but I kind of have to do this. I’m inspired by Tyler Coe being so open about his issues, and I just need to do this, to face this demon publicly. I need to prove to myself that I’m strong enough to put my money where my mouth is. Just a fair warning, I’m about to talk about mental illness, alcoholism and suicide. If that’s something you’re not in a mental place that you can handle then you might want to skip out on this one.


      My suicide attempt was before I was officially diagnosed with depression. Time doesn’t sit properly in my brain, so I’m not sure exactly when, but it was a bit before. It was also after I realized I had a drinking problem and quit alcohol cold-turkey, so on that level progress had been made. It had to do with the Net Neutrality repeal, I seem to remember. In terms of the attempt itself, I think I was in the headspace that since the American fascist party had essentially declared information a for-profit industry under their control I had absolutely lost hope.


      I had already renounced my religion at that point. I didn’t believe in an afterlife of any kind - thereby also removing any hope that fascists would ever face consequences for their actions. In my mind, then and now, they go to the same non-existence as everyone else. I know this is skipping around but I should also talk about what brought me to quitting alcohol.


      Some of it people already know, some of it they don’t. So I’ll start at the beginning. My family has a history of alcoholism and addiction. I was no different. Some people saw my problems before I did, and some people still don’t see there being a problem. It’s sad, but those people I don’t really hang out with as much anymore, even though I care about them. I’m just not able to live quite in that world safely. But I guess that’s always the story with addicts, right?


      Anyway, step one was RTX 2017. I started drinking on the booze cruise and just didn’t stop. I had a five-day brownout. The bits I remember aren’t great. Oh, I had fun, sure, but I also said and did things that were rude and made people uncomfortable. As someone who has mental illness and wants to make sure people can be and feel safe around me (a viking-looking guy who does competitive fighting), I honestly consider those five days my greatest and most absolute failure, as a friend, as a person and as a part of the community. The days after that were when, on some level, I knew something was wrong.


      I didn’t address it immediately. Like I said, I have mental illness and a lot of that, it being Depression, was me telling myself that I was awful, that I was beyond hope of redemption. So I may as well just drink myself to death, one part of my brain told the other, and so I did. I kept getting drunk, browning and blacking out, doing the same toxic behaviors as before until the night where Connor MacGregor fought Floyd Mayweather.

      I still got drunk that night, and got into a car on the way home where I basically shouted my Depression all over that poor, unfortunate driver (who I later learned was also drunk). I woke up hung over the next morning, and something clicked in my brain, then. I think it was me once again inflicting my problems on someone else, but I made the decision to stop on that day.


      Flash forward to Net Neutrality. Even with the alcohol well and out of my system, the mental illness that contributed to my alcoholism wasn’t gone, and the state of the world wasn’t helping. I had the knife in my hand, hovered over my opposite wrist. The bottom was out from under me and, even through my terror of the non-existence after death, I was completely ready to end it then and there.


      Until I locked eyes with my cat, Lucy. That was what stopped me. Not my human family and friends, not anything resembling hope, which I still don’t have. The thought of my cat, with her cat brain not built to contemplate death and mortality, unable to comprehend why her human wasn’t moving and never would again. The vision of her trying to get me to move, like she did when I was asleep, as blood pooled around my corpse-vision made me put the knife down.


      That was my only attempt. As little of a thing as that was, it saved me. I am still defeated on the big fights like climate change and human rights. Those are, unfortunately, still lost causes even if I still think they need to be fought for out of spite and because I still believe the causes are right, doomed or not. But there are the little fights that can be won. Making sure my cat gets her treats is one. Getting stronger is another. And helping to keep other people alive, to pull them back from the edge of that place, is the greatest mission I have left.


      Because I have been there. I’ve been at the edge of the pit ready to jump, and Lucy won’t be there for everyone. Shortly after my suicide attempt I injured my knee and went to a doctor for that reason, unrelated to my brain. When I was there, as a routine thing, they had me fill out a questionnaire about my emotional state. I avoided talking about my suicidal moment directly, but I think they knew I wasn’t telling them everything. At that time I was officially told I had Depression and was recommended a therapist and to take antidepressants.


      I won’t lie, I refused both even though I encourage other people to take those avenues. I have trust issues with therapists and will for as long as medicine is a for-profit industry in the United States, because as long as that is the case there will always be an imperfect trust between myself and them - I can never trust that the bottom won’t fall out from under me financially, and the resulting abandonment issues will make things worse. The antidepressants I refused because of my and my family’s history of addiction. However now, unlike then, I do have things and people to keep on living for. The small fights go on.


      And that is the person I want to be. Because I am the one who “seems” the most put-together in a lot of my friendgroups. I have a career path, I’m only behind on one or two bills at a time which is fucking great for people like me. I keep up with my physical health. But there are a few of my friends, the ones closest to the edge, who know that despite appearances I almost killed myself and still have to fight every single day not to try again. That even though I spend so much time “on” and being my loud, enthusiastic self doing so is a 24/7 fight with my own brain for control.


      And that brings me to the point of this. I am mentally ill. I have attempted suicide. I’m also a well-functioning member of society and an athlete. If I can have these problems and survive, you can to - and I want to do anything in my power to make sure you do. That, above all things, gives me purpose. That gives me a reason to keep fighting, the knowledge that other people might need reinforcements in their own fight. Even if I am just someone you can reach out to and talk to. I’m not a therapist or anything, but if you’re also a recovering addict who feels the call again you can reach out to me, and either physically or metaphorically across the internet I’ll grab your hand and try to help you pull through.


      And if you feel the call of death, I’ve had to resist it every day for almost a year now, and I will do anything in my limited means to rip you away from the edge. Keep on living, I need you. Let’s fight this battle together. And when we get stronger we can help other people fighting the same battle

    • Staying Fit For the Holidays - Don't Commit to Negatives

      7 months ago

      Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

      Yo! 


      So I've been doing NaNoWriMo which means the part of my brain that does word stuff is mostly fried. I'm dipping in to doing a fitness journal today because I have a specific thought, though. So a lot of people who are already a good distance into their fitness journey, especially up here in the Northeast where it's cold, tend to use winter as a "bulking season," where they try to pack on muscle. One reasoning for it is that they'll be eating extra anyway, and up here we're all in layer upon layer of jackets, so we may as well try to gain some mass and strength. 


      But this year I have a bit more aggressive of a weight loss goal than usual so I'm not doing that. Also, people who are still pretty new, or whose weight loss is related to specific health concerns, might not want to go back to gaining weight, even if that is mostly muscular weight. The holidays are still a-comin', though, and there will be days where you have access to a boatload of food, most of it not what would typically fall into a balanced and healthy diet (looking at you, chocolate cream pie and eggnog). Unless you have the supernatural willpower to take nothing but a single slice of turkey breast and some salad (I sure as shit don't) then you're going to have to address it.


      My way of getting around it is the same way I get around every fitness stumbling block: "Don't commit to mistakes." Or more accurately, "don't commit to a negative." I think of it the same way as any cheat day, planned or unplanned. It happened, I ate more than I should of things I normally don't eat, time to move on. So here's my specific plan for myself, feel free to give it a try!


      Step one: Get your workout in! Since you'll be loading up on calories, a super-hard workout with big compounds like squat or deadlift is a great way to not only burn some calories beforehand, it'll also make sure you need energy to recover, allow you to recover more easily and boost your appetite to really help you enjoy your cheat meal!


      Step two: Acknowledge it is a cheat meal. I normally take mine on Sundays, but this time it's going to be Thursday. Every other day this week (including the Sunday!) is going to be super clean eating as usual, or even more aggressive than I normally do it.


      Step three: leftovers! I'm not going to take any home with me since I do have my own pre-made meals from my mealprep, but if you don't mealprep and you do want to take leftovers home with you (or you'e hosting and you have no choice but to deal with them) try to make the best use of portion control you can and try to keep them within your calorie parameters.


      Step four: Look, this one is the most important. Let's say you can't quite get any of the three steps above, what do you do? Don't commit to the mistake! Basically, don't give up just because you had a week of too many cheat meals and missed workouts! Once Cyber Monday rolls around get yourself back on track and leave it all behind!


      Hope you all have an awesome feast day, whatever the context of it is for you! Okay, on to my NaNo work again!

  • Comments (41)

    • Nabohs FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold We Want The Funk

      3 years ago

      Dude! You became featured user! Happy FU day man!

    • Austin0434

      3 years ago

      I know this random but it looks like you just came of three movies either and early Bond movie, The Godfather series, or a Dianel Daylewis film. In others you have a badass profile picture and I would be honored to have you as friend.

    • Cinomari FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of N00bs

      3 years ago

      Elegant writing! See you at RTX?

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        3 years ago

        Thank you! I'll be there

    • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

      4 years ago

      Ursula K Le Guin on where ideas come from and about the writing process. Figured you'd find this as interesting as I did.

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        4 years ago

        Definitely interesting! A lot of it is validating, especially the bits emphasizing the importance of hard work over finding some "secret" that transforms you into a writer.

    • StryfeRyder FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      5 years ago

      Awesome meeting you at PAX, did you manage to get into the RT line at all?

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        5 years ago

        Nah, but that's fine. I'd met them all before and got to hang out with other awesome people anyhow. Good meeting you too!

    • RAGEgirl FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold r00kie

      6 years ago

      Also: I just noticed that I'm in your profile pic. That's pretty awesome. =P

    • RAGEgirl FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold r00kie

      6 years ago

      Definitely makes sense. Definitely annoying when writers do that.

      It's so weird to me that they keep creating these characters and/or writing them up in that way, when I feel like readers have voiced enough of a distaste for that kind of character/writing. It's almost like they don't realize that not everything has to be super-amazingly-impressive for us to like them. I like ice cream, but it doesn't have to blow my mind for me to enjoy eating it.

    • Nero FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      6 years ago

      Hey @Tropes @halo_dudette and @Jteeth

      We got like a week to go, and I'm just wondering if it's a good idea to maybe exchange cell phone numbers so people can coordinate upon arrival and stuff?

      But other than that, it might be good to just go over everyone's arrival plans and stuff like that.

      I personally will be arriving in Toronto (pending no delays on the train) on Train 57 at Union Station downtown at 3:35pm on Thursday the 6th. I'm leaving on Monday the 10th at 5:35pm. When I get there I'm just gonna walk to the hotel, it's maybe a 20 minute walk so I should be at the hotel for 4pm

      • Jteeth FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Mandalf, his brother

        6 years ago

        I'll be coming in on the Thursday at 5ish. Then once I check in at the hotel I'll be going to see fast 6!

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        6 years ago

        I'll likely be there later than that. I'm taking a bus to Dundas Station. Last year we were delayed at customs and so arrived at 10, but the scheduled arrival is 8PM. I can see the hotel from Dundas, it's no more than a five-minute walk.

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      6 years ago

      That's great, thank you!! Yes I think I will be around on Friday, but I really dont know for sure yet.

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      6 years ago

      Hey man!! Thanks!! Yeah, it's cool to find new ways to use the characters themes. Try to tie it in...without wearing it out....you know?

      • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        6 years ago

        Very kind of to say that---thanks so much. It's a really fun riff to play on gtr so I dont even think I thought about it at all, just did it. smiley13.gif

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        6 years ago

        well I think you're doing just that. I mean, Plagam Extremam Infligere was, I thought, a single-scene wonder but by swapping out the drum for guitar along with the other changes you've changed it up enough to call back that chill while still having it be fresh.

    • THAYT FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Joker SR2

      6 years ago

      Met you at RvBTO!!!

    • Jteeth FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Mandalf, his brother

      6 years ago

      Uhhhhh A LITERARY DEVICE!

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        6 years ago

        Good, you remembered!

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      7 years ago

      Thats awesome, I'm so glad that people seemed to like that. The first version of the song is so aggressive I was worried that people would take it as...ummm, i dunno....ridiculous, maybe. If that makes sense. Thanks man, I truly appreciate the kind word!

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      7 years ago

      Thanks for being there with us!!!! It was a lot of fun, great to see you as always.

    • Oaktownpull

      7 years ago

      Hey man, saw your post from PAX, and you're doing RvBTO, but are you also hitting up RTX this year?

      • Oaktownpull

        7 years ago

        Right on. Hopefully the planets will align and RTX will happen.

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        7 years ago

        I wish! I only had the money for one, and since this is going to be the last RvBTO I'm going to do that this year and then RTX 2013 instead.

        Or, well, that's what's probably going to happen. There is a sequence of increasingly unlikely events that, if they all happened just so, would allow me to do both. I'm not holding my breath though :(

    • magicookie

      7 years ago

      TV Tropes ruined my life. smiley1.gif

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        7 years ago

        Yeah, someone once said that seeing the strings might make it worse, but instead I read books that I already liked and say "AAAH! I see what you did there!"

      • magicookie

        7 years ago

        Lycantropes, i.e. tropes about werewolves!

        TV Tropes has done both, just like Reddit... For some reason, understanding WHY something is funny makes it way funnier. It also makes me much better at perceiving writing mechanics.

      • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

        7 years ago

        Ruined or enriched?

        Funny thing, I actually didn't get this name based on my uncanny awareness of tropes. I got it because a British man in a chatroom couldn't spell "lycanthropy."

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      7 years ago

      hahahahaaaa----yeaaaaah

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      7 years ago

      Thanks thanks thanks man!!! Yeah I cant wait to be able to TAKE a road trip...or even a day trip sounds incredible right now.

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      8 years ago

      In reply to Tropes, #7:

      Thank YOU!!! I feel very lucky to make music for RvB and you guys. Hope you like the new stuff....!!

      smiley13.gifsmiley13.gif

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      8 years ago

      The soundtrack is going to come out piecemeal on iTunes, and those versions will be the OST versions. So, they will be very much like what you hear in the episodes. For the CD, I will probably do something similar to the Revelation CD, where I will make extended fancier versions .

    • elpez124

      8 years ago

      If you have Morrowind for the PC and would be interested in participating in an experiment, please email Game-study@hotmail.com.

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      8 years ago

      Cuz you're the best. The BEST. EVER!!!!!!


      smiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gifsmiley13.gif

    • Orion255

      8 years ago

      Hey mate, going to PAX East again this year?

    • williams FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      8 years ago

      Hey!

      I really really want to thank you for such kind words. Actually eleventy billion aren't saying it, it's just been a nice handful of people who have noticed.

      It's very much appreciated, I am so very glad that you like it. I can't wait for you to have the whole CD (soon, soon!!).

      Thanks again and best wishes,
      Jeff

    • Fuck_Berries

      8 years ago

      Hahaha, lol. It's probably one of my favorite Tucker lines.

    • TheJas

      9 years ago

      I don't know. Try sending me a request and maybe it'll get fixed?

    • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dead Set On Adventure

      9 years ago

      Yeah, see, I didn't actually do that. I joined the group and everyone (all two of them) vanished. So now I'm "in charge."

    • BigGuns117 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      9 years ago

      yo the griff fan club image needs to be cropped better.

  • Questions answered by Tropes

    Be able to dedicate a lot of time! I'm actually looking for someone to take over the RTNE group because my work schedule has expanded significantly and I think the community deserves someone who can give it the time. So if you don't think you can commit and commit HARD then I'd say to wait until you can.


    Also, be prepared to start slow. The first few events may be only one or two people, and sometimes no one may show up at all. That's okay, don't get discouraged! Things pick up eventually, but only after a lot of time and energy has been poured in.


    Best of luck! :)