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Kyle

Kyle's Thousand Miles

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"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
—Lao Tzu, 6th Century BCE

I'm not often one for quotes, but I've always liked this one.

I'm looking forward to sharing more journal entries here in time. I'm also uncomfortable with the thought, as it's unusual for me to be so open with people. I'd usually keep these kinds of thoughts and feelings to myself, but I'd like to change that.

In fact, like many others here, I'd like to change a number of things. One thing I've learned for certain, though, is to not mistake a marathon for a sprint. And so I'm planning to make manageable changes starting today, and build from there...

This marathon is a thousand miles, after all.

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Love seeing another journal up here! Vulnerability is something many of us have struggled with, especially as men, so just know you're discomfort is normal around here. Being more open though is a pathway to meaningful connection, and you'll learn that being open with people isn't as bad as you think. ;)

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Mile Marker #1

I hit the gym late this morning and got a solid workout in. Lately I've been hitting the stationary bike more and lifting weights, but I decided that I'll log at least one mile on the treadmill every day to support this game quitter cause.

I started off running but had some nagging foot pain, so I slowed it down to a brisk walk. I considered pushing through the foot pain and continuing to run, but I've learned in the past that a big part of consistent physical activity is injury avoidance. Really critical in my opinion. The pain did subside once I got warmed up, so I was able to finish in a jog. #LittleVictory

1 mile
13:40

I've been net positive in my fitness over the last couple of years, with some lulls in between. Through trial and error I've developed a pretty good schedule that I think I'll be able to keep up, so I'm looking forward to sticking with it.

And it's Saturday, so I'll be spending time with some good family friends this evening. Nice.

This probably concludes my first daily log. Milestone!

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Mile Marker #2

It's Sunday. Had a really good time with family friends last night; they're some of my favorite people to socialize with. Things wrapped around midnight, which is usually much past my healthy bedtime, but I managed it pretty well—I set up my alarm contraption way ahead of time so that it was ready to go without any late-night fumbling (more on my wake-up method later; I tend to "snooze" too much). I did forget to take some medication, but that's extremely rare for me, definitely unintentional, and nothing to beat myself up about.

Woke up at 6:00 as planned and hit the gym after going through my early morning routine. Another good workout, and another bonus mile on the treadmill for the cause. Less foot pain this time.

1 mile
12:00

For context, I'd say 10-minute miles are respectable for me, so I've got a little bit to do to get back into shape. I'll get back with a little time.

Introduction

I guess before I get too deep in these entries, I should provide a little information about myself. I'm 28 years old. Married. Born, raised, and living in rural/suburban northeast U.S. Have had a reasonably-healthy mix of life experience to date, both good and bad, for better or worse. Have battled depression at various points, including recently, with games being a part of that picture. That's why I'm here. I'm looking forward to seeing what life looks like when I push back on some personal demons. I've got ideas of where I'd like to end up, but I'm giving this whole thing a little time to breathe and setting myself up for long-term success. My belief is that a reasonable, sustainable, positive effort and process is the key to it all. It took me a long time to realize that a brute-force, overnight-success approach doesn't work for me in the long-term.

Yep. That's a pretty okay introduction.

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Mile Marker #3

Today I found an exciting job opportunity. I'd use an exclamation mark there but I'm pretty tired. :)

Really though, excitement... ... ! It's with a seemingly-legit startup based in Brooklyn that produces educational music videos for kids. They're looking for someone to fill a creative role there and I spent the morning chipping away at a little something that I think has some promise. Now I'm tired!

I found myself equally-spent at the gym this morning, so after doing some dynamic stretching—a new thing for me—I hopped on the treadmill straight away. Started in a brisk walk and ended in a jog of increasing pace. I lifted some weights (I've been focusing on rehabbing a shoulder injury) and called it a morning.

1 mile
11:27

I focused on studying some this afternoon and hit some roadblocks. It was the first time I got a hint of an impulse to fire up a game. That has seemed to be a pattern for me in the past. When the going gets tough, fire up a game. This time, though, it went away pretty quickly.

Tonight is also the kind of night where instead of getting early sleep, I might fire up a game and stay up until at least my normal bedtime. I say "at least" because, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm a binge-gamer. There have been nights like tonight where I'd stay up to all hours in a compulsive session no matter how tired I was. Yuck.

Going to set my alarm for a 6:00 a.m. rise, read some of my current book Mindsight, and call it a night!

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Nice consistency Kyle. Keep it up!

Please write how you liked Mindsight when you're done reading it. So far there have been some excellent recommendations on this forum.

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Hey Kyle, loving the journal so far. The mile time each day is pretty cool! Easy to see quick progress with that.

I can relate to your experiences of mixed life experience and depression with a gaming component. I definitely gamed a lot when I was depressed as a way to deal with negative emotion. It's a pretty miserable habit in my experience, and I'm glad to be rid of it. It was also way too easy to lose track of time playing games, stay up late, get crap sleep, etc. Glad to be rid of that as well.

Doing a journal here and reading The Slight Edge have taught me the power of small actions each day. Consistency is the most important thing... often growth happens too slowly for us to notice on a day to day basis. But taking one step at a time, and documenting it with a journal, allows us to see that growth more easily, which can be really satisfying.

Best of luck on your journey!

Edited by kortheo

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Wow—thanks, guys! Getting to know some familiar faces around here.

Tom—Will let you know about Mindsight when I'm done!

kortheo—Consistency. That's it. And if I had a short list of my biggest weaknesses, that would be on it. Maybe at the top. Working to change that, alongside all you guys.

Responding to Cam (and anyone else), I'd definitely like to meet up whenever possible, thought I'm a little ways from the NJ/NY meet up at the moment. Hopefully if this job works out though! I traveled quite a bit in a prior life and always enjoyed visiting NY but not sure how much I'd like to live there. This job in particular is a telecommute job, so it sounds like a visit-like relationship—ideal. :) I continued working on my application for that this morning and definitely leveled up a related skill in the process.

That was nice, because my schedule was off this morning. Despite getting like 12 hours of sleep last night, I managed to barely hear my insanely-loud alarm clock and slept through. I got a late start so had to shift my workout so that I could get working on time. This meant that I ended up on the outdoor basketball court at sunset, which was nice. This also meant when I got to the gym the treadmills were taken! Ah!

So I did a four-mile hill climb on the bike for the cause. I won't count it toward the "miles" idea, but I'm feeling good about how I adapted.

I find myself spent today as well. It's funny that I could game forever and never really feel any energy drain. Gaming was a total comfort zone for me, and spending most of my waking hours now outside of that comfort zone is a tiring thing at first. I read a book recently (name escaping me) that talked about spending time outside of one's comfort zone and it being an adjustment in an individual's homeostasis (balance of internal processes). The more one spends time in this new zone, the more one's homeostasis adjusts to it. I buy that idea for the most part.

Oh, and I definitely had another impulse to game today, but didn't spend much time dwelling on that and it showed itself out.

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Greetings Kyle, and man I have to say, you really hit the ground running! (I know it's corny, haha I just had to!)

From what I've been reading on what you've been doing, I see that you've been doing a lot of investing in yourself, which really is one of the best things you can do. 

Oh and yeah, the next time we have a NJ meetup, I'll probably see you there! 

Keep up the good fight. 

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Greetings Kyle, and man I have to say, you really hit the ground running! (I know it's corny, haha I just had to!)

Rimshot!

I laughed. :)

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Oh, and I definitely had another impulse to game today, but didn't spend much time dwelling on that and it showed itself out.

These will come and go. Just notice it and allow it to pass. Just like the clouds. :)

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Mile Marker #4

A quick entry as I'm getting ready for bed.

1 mile
9:45

A sub-10:00 mile. Feels better. No foot pain and felt like I had more energy today. I leveled up a couple of skills today, despite sleeping through my alarm again (!).

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You inspired me to run a sub-10:00 mile yesterday. Smashed it.

Cool!

Mile Markers #5 and #6

I put in a mile each yesterday and today.

2 miles
11:15 each

Yesterday I started out too quick and had to slow it down, and today I intentionally slowed it down from the get go. It's a process!

In gaming/life news, it's Friday night, and this has been one of my best weeks in a long time. Made a lot of headway in work/studies and just feeling pretty darn good. I should remind myself that not every week is going to be great, but I'm making small and steady progress toward better habits, which will help me when the going gets tough.

Really optimistic and happy to be a part of this community.

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