I’m extremely happy to have completed it. A lot of things went well and I don’t want to dwell too much on the negative, but I would like to also learn from any mistakes that were made.
One of the things that went well was that my openers were appropriate. I got all three with ease. I based them roughly on what I had been able to easily get for three reps in the previous month. One thing that helped was that I wrote them down the day before. When asked what my openers were, it was pretty simple, I just rattled them off.
Another thing that went well was spending the night close to the meet. From home, the meet location should have been about 90 minutes away. But, with the Friday night traffic that ballooned to 3 hours. If we had driven to the meet the morning of, I don’t think we would have even made it (not to mention my nerves would be shot and I’d be crazy tired).
While reading a post by a similar title (yes, I completely ripped off his title), I was thinking about an experience I had this past weekend. I got to check off a personal goal that I’ve had for the past 18 months, I competed in a powerlifting competition.
The history of how I got here is for another day, but suffice it to say, that I’ve been training to do this for the past 18 months. A lot of really awesome people have been involved and I’ve learned a lot about life.
So how was this weekend a personal best? There are a few reasons.
The first is that I did it. Competing is so different from just lifting in the gym. You get one shot and if you don’t make it, you don’t make it. There’s no “I’ll get it tomorrow”.
The entire experience was also very much out of my comfort zone. Being relatively new to competing, I had a lot of self-doubt creep in to my head. In hindsight, all of the rewarding events in my life have been because I did something very much out of my comfort zone. This will be one of those events when I look back at it.
As for a hard and fast number? I do have two that are personal bests. I set personal records on my third attempts in both the squat (325lbs) and deadlift (425lbs).
You don’t get stronger by lifting lighter weights.
Personal bests are great, but I think when you view them as part of a plan towards something bigger, they become greater. In other words, having this personal best only makes me want to go further and heavier.
A big thanks to everyone that came out for today’s CFMeetup. The code is located here and the presentation is located here.
While practicing for this presentation, I noticed a few things.
Solving the same problem sparks creativity
After solving the problem for the 2nd time, I noticed my brain starting to tweak what I was doing. At first it was only a small change. Then as I took another go at the fizzbuzz problem, I tried something else. My only guess is that a few things are in place to allow my brain worry about the how and not the what.
The biggest thing seemed to be that I knew the answer to the problem before I started solving it. Just knowing that I had solved this problem but not 30 minutes earlier made it easier for my brain to think in another direction than “How am I going to solve this?”.
The other large contributing factor is the use of TDD. As I wrote each test and made it pass, I then had the freedom to refactor until I was blue in the face. No matter the size of the change, I only had to do one thing to check on the build status, run my tests.
Katas make a killer brain warm up
Earlier this week, I preformed a few of these practice sessions before I started my normal work day. Once I started my regular work, I noticed an immediate difference in my level of clarity while reading and writing code. The confidence given by solving a problem by 9:00am and knowing that it’s 100% correct is unbelievable. Plus, doesn’t this beat reading email?
Ryan Anklam who had the original idea for this meetup. Ryan’s coding portion can be seen here and the slides are here.
Charlie Arehart who puts on a meetup that is priceless to the ColdFusion community.