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Progress Report: 2014-04-07


Challenge #6: Straddle Press to Handstand

I adjusted my approach on a couple of things, recently.

First, my press handstand drill. Based on counsel I received, I tried starting up with my feet as close as possible to my hands. I originally thought/felt it would make it harder, but lo and behold, I could press it up!

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Secondly, I had been hesitant to try out this approach until I saw Adam T Glass do it: have focused sessions of just rolling up into a handstand.

Turns out it has allowed me to make much more progress than I thought. Not only am I accumulating freestanding time upside down, but I’m actually feeling progressively more control, quickly. I’ve had two sessions so far and they were productive. Here’s what it looks like.

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Simple enough, right? Also pretty demanding, so one has to get over the potential laziness when considering it.


Challenge #11: Origami

308 + 26 = 334! Also, found a new storage box.

Now I’m already imagining boxes full of cranes piling up. Yup, that’s how much paper I’m folding.





Progress Report: 2014-03-11

Challenge #11: Origami

2014-03-09 20.59.08

300 + 8 = 308

I really need to get a new box now.



Now that The Naked Drawing is completed, I’ve been looking at what next targets I want to focus on.

To get the ball rolling, I want to get done those that can be achieved by mostly just being planned, and depending the least upon exterior factors (i.e. chance encounters, time, power of decision). Currently, I think the one that responds the most to those criteria is Challenge #14: The Choir. Second place would be attributed to Challenge #3: The Picture Puzzle. While it does depend on chance encounters, the likelihood is still much higher than, say, finding a stray cat that actually is lost (Challenge #13).

To recap #14, it’s essentially about gathering a bunch of people to sing a very geeky song. If you’re up for it, let me know!

So, up next on THE LIST: #14 and #3.


Progress Report: 2014-03-04

Challenge #11: Origami

290 + 10 = 300!

The infamous Spartan number has been reached (whatever that means).

My crane storage box is full! Damn, imagine what’s 1000 going to look like.

300 cranes from Sparta!

[300 cranes from Sparta!]




ACHIEVED: Challenge #15 – The Naked Drawing

Another challenge completed! Well, talk about getting out of my comfort zone.

Let us recap the challenge description:

“Your proposed challenge consists in participating to one night of drawing naked models, at the McGill School of Architecture. [...] Elaborate a tryptic (a what now?) filled with tactility, sensitivity to shadows and lights, the general composition, the drawings’ narratives, the model’s morphology and posture, etc. [...] Happy drawing!”

Maybe a year ago, I was reviewing THE LIST and looked upon going through this one. The problem: no more naked model (more technically known as Living Model) events at McGill. But as described in one of the recent Progress Reports, we found out that another university close by had such events occurring every week. Finally Sophie and I went, just last Sunday.


It wasn’t exactly tidy. Walls were filled with tags and other barely identifiable artifacts. The whole place felt sketchy; in retrospect, one should expect so at UQAM’s Arts Pavillion. UQAM is almost equally well known for its financial snags as it is for being the main cocoon to all things Arts in Montreal. Whether they’re true or not, both ideas certainly were fueled that day.

We were a tad late; so much for any hopes of coming in unnoticed. And here came the first actual surprise: Read moreRead more


Progress Report: 2014-02-23

Challenge #11: Origami

280 + 10 = 290! Can I get the infamous Spartan number by next weekend?

Challenge #15: The Naked Drawing

It’s happening today. Didn’t practice drawing. Nervous.

Plus, I learned yesterday that it’ll be a guy.


Canada Men’s Hockey for Gold, please. GO CANADA


Progress Report: 2014-02-16

Challenge #11: Origami

270 + 10 = 280.


Challenge #15: The Naked Drawing

At last, found a way to make this happen.

[Apparently, this is what I signed up to produce.]

To give you a little background, when Sophie brought this challenge up in THE LIST, she meant for us to take part in the event organized at McGill University in Montreal. What we learned not long after, is that those events were not taking place anymore. We heard rumors that it might come back, but were never able to get straight information about it.

Recently however, I got tipped off that another university, UQAM (better known to be focused in artsy stuff) regularly holds such events. Thus, next weekend is when this is happening for us. Next weekend! Which gets me suddenly reminded of how poor my drawing skills are.

Well, a challenge isn’t supposed to be exactly comfortable now, is it?



Progress Report: 2014-02-02

Challenge #6: Straddle Press to Handstand

Over the past month, I’ve been remodeling my training schedule to better match my goals; but more importantly, my goals’ priorities.

On gym time, I am removing as much noise as possible to focus on the two things that occupy my mind the most: Aesthetics (sue me), and upper-body strength (mainly from a bodyweight standpoint). Fortunately, they are both compatible and complementary.

Also, I had found that my parkour/movement/flow and rock climbing practices had been too few and far between to really make as much noticeable progress as I’d like. I found that many times, I would skip those sessions I’d scheduled because of CNS and/or physical fatigue. So, I fixed that too! and these disciplines are now part of my regular schedule.

Obviously, I still find a need to try new things all the time; I reserved a little, time-negotiable spot for that. My latest gig has been Acroyoga; I’ve had so much fun with it, and and it’s made me work with balancing in many entirely new ways.


What does this all mean for Challenge #6? It means I have many set times during the week which I’m almost certain to work on one or many components of the movement, and less unrelated noise that will float around. In other words, its means good things. :)

I also made peace with the fact that this skill (or any Press to Handstand for that matter) is not for the impatient. Progress will be found if one walks the path; however no shortcuts are to be expected.

Therefore patience, practice, and progress in any direction I can. That’ll be the motto.


Challenge #11: Origami

262 + 8 = 270! Can you feel the next milestone coming?


Varia: New Toy

I found this nifty little toy the other day, while  purely accidentally browsing on eBay…


das toy.

das toy.

just as accidentally bid on it, and… turns out I won. Woo!

While it’s not the latest generation, I paid probably a third of the price I would’ve had on the newer one; plus the guy sold it with a nice set of accessories, including a LCD screen.

It’s works perfectly well, does Full HD and has the fisheye-or-straight lens feature. What’s nice with a fisheye lens is not having to put the cam hundreds of meters away to snap a quick shot. Also, one can film oneself without having to find a random object to serve as a stand.

Aside from filming shenanigans here and there, I think it’ll be of great use to make my progress videos.


Varia: Lifting buddies

In case you didn’t know, I am addicted to deadlifting.

A few weeks ago, I had the immense pleasure to spend time in the gym with some strong folks, for the pure and simple joy of pulling heavy-loaded metal rods off the floor.

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As I said; pure joy.



Progress Report: 2014-01-20


Challenge #11:Origami

Cranes R back!

254 + 8 = 262! (7 in the picture; I made an 8th one today)

It would’ve been +9, but…



It’s the first time I get this mishap despite the number I got to. Sign of being tired? Or perhaps making too many in one go…



Progress Report: 2014-01-12

Challenge #6: Straddle Press to Handstand

As mentioned last week, here’s my latest training footage on the movement progressions.

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Progress Report: 2014-01-05

Happy 2014! Rock this year.

Challenge #6: Straddle Press to Handstand

The first part of Autumn has seen a bit of a stall to my handstand balancing progress. I gradually decided to switch focus over to the press to handstand movement itself rather than the balance, and as luck would have it I had the opportunity to attend the Movement Protocols course at Minneapolis in October, when I received and figured out new cues that would help me to move forward.

To summarize, I found a number of progression movements that seem to go in line with where my body is and can do to better move forward towards the  goal. Among those (they may be known under different names):

  • Pike Press
  • Tuck Press to Headstand
  • Straddle Press to Headstand
  • Headstand Twist
  • Wall Straddle Press to Handstand (and negatives of that motion)
  • Bridge Up (oftentimes my body needs spinal extension rather than flexion)

Below are videos showing a glimpse of how it progressed between October and November. My joints (especially wrists) then needed a bit less frequency to recover from the additional load, and I got back into more frequency in the past 2 weeks or so.

Download Video with | YouTube to MP3
(If you can’t see the video, click here)

Download Video from YouTube | Convert to MP3
(If you can’t see the video, click here)

Within the next week I expect to be able to show a video with my most recent progress. It definitely is cool to feel noticeable improvements, and I’m excited to see what I can perform next!


Challenge #11: Origami!

215 + 39  = 254.

Around the same time I put a hiatus to my regular posts here, I also had to give a temporary break on this to focus on what became much more important to me. (I did, like, 1 crane over the holidays for the hell of it.) This thing finally settled, I’ll crank up the regularity once more. Maybe I’ll even go with 2/day once in a while !