My Life in Lists

Updated but badly lit progress report. I am down ten pounds since my last report. I felt great training today; back to my old self.

Updated but badly lit progress report. I am down ten pounds since my last report. I felt great training today; back to my old self.

You might already know that I am a habitual and possibly obsessive list maker. I have at least three lists in my purse at any one time, as well as a master agenda for the month on my desk at home. I like to write these lists by hand as an aid to memory, but many remain in my head, constantly shuffled and reshuffled: Who is due for a dinner invitation? What provisions are currently in my kitchen? What books should I read next? What are the top five best moments of my life? Etc.

Perhaps you are bored with this topic since I have blogged about lists before, in a post called “Overachievers Anonymous II” (published November 25, 2012). Plum out of ideas, I am revisiting this subject and paste below a number of actual lists plucked from my surroundings. I recommend list making as more than a mode of mental de-cluttering and time management. It can also be rewarding. Every semester, I record the “things I have done” to focus positively on my accomplishments, instead of lamenting the goals unmet or chances untaken. Whenever you are feeling discouraged, I urge you to enumerate what you DID during the past five or six months, instead of what you failed to do. Include everything important, and you might think differently about your abilities. If, however, your list is scanty or unimpressive, you are indeed a lazy bugger who deserves a self-recriminating shame shower. Either way: enjoy.

Today’s Workout (Friday June 13)
-Warm up: 10 minutes on the rowing machine

-Starter: 5 sets each of the following, done in sequence with no rest in between: 30 double kettle bell swings, 30 single kettle bell swings, 20 squat jumps, 10 full burpees with push up (1 minute rest between each superset)

-Back training: 5 sets each (not supersets), with increased weight for each set: lat pull downs, seated rows, face pulls, t-bar rows, some lower back

-Finisher: 20 minutes on step mill (intervals every minute, on/off)


Sebastian’s White Board (Thursday June 12)

Eating Activity Sleeping Comments
Up 6 am (slept 9 hours like tiny log) 6:30 7:40 Bath, play mat, silliness Teething again?
9am 9:45 11:20 Songs, books, horsey, tummy time Big poo. Hooray!

Projectile vomit. Boo

12:15 (nanny) 12:45 2:30 Baby massage, stroller walk Very happy. Plays with feet.
3:30 (nanny) 4:00 Refuses Baby bjorn walk, movement Ate cereal with sweet potato. Loves it!
5:30 ++++ 6:25 No dice Tank up to induce milk coma Mr. Crabby. Resort to baby TV, then Robot Chicken. Feel shame.
8:40 pm
5:45 am (Fri)


Academic Work Accomplished Since my Baby was Born on January 27
*major revision of application for a Killam Fellowship Professorship, resubmitted to the Canada Council (fingers crossed!)

*hired graduate student with my new SSHRC Insight Grant funds

*worked on Chapter Three—the tapeworm chapter—of my next book

*responded to queries from editor and revised the entire FFG manuscript; it is now in the final stages of production

*wrote an article called “Gym Selfies: Photography as Event,” and submitted it to the International Journal of Communication

*wrote a commissioned short blurb on the history of birthing chairs, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press

*requested photographs and copyright for the images in three different articles now in press (what a pain in the ass)

*read and commented on three graduate student chapters-in-progress (not a pain in the ass)

*read books about global trade and commodity culture in the early modern period every morning while breast feeding (did you know that rhubarb used to be an internationally desired medicinal product, fiercely marketed by Russians?)

*refereed an article submitted to an academic journal (said yes to publishing it)

*began organizing the 2014-2015 Pro-Seminar series as incumbent Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in my Department

*researched, read, and produced a new graduate research course syllabus (I cleverly numbered the course “Art History 666” but my colleagues made me change it to “677”)

*did final revisions on two articles already accepted for publication (bleh)

I have now lost 45 pounds of pregnancy weight. My goal is to be fit as a fiddle by the end of the summer.

I have now lost 45 pounds of pregnancy weight. My goal is to be fit as a fiddle by the end of the summer.

Spin Class Line-Up (for Saturday June 21)
1. Warm up, Smiths, “You’ve Got Everything Now”
2. Sprints 15 on/15off, DeadmauS, “Sofi Needs a Ladder”
3. 20/20/20/20, Soundgarden, “Jesus Christ Pose” [I know, but at least it is long]
4. Alt seated/standing endurance, Above and Beyond, “Sun & Moon” [participant request]
5. Steady hill climb, Tanya Tagaq, “Caribou”
6. Standing lunges/sprints, Kaiser Chiefs, “Little Shocks”
7. 1 min break, Le Tigre, “Deceptacon”
8. Up heavy hard/stall, The Decembrists, “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid”
9. Medium heavy sprints, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “Supernaturally”
10. Pyramid, Kaiser Chiefs, “Starts with Nothing”
11. Heavy sprints, Imagine Dragons, “It’s Time” [participant request]

Songs I Sing vs. Songs my Partner Sings to Sebastian (a Mental List)

Waltzing Matilda vs. Scooby Doo Theme
Molly Malone vs. Spiderman Theme
I’s the B’y vs. Underdog Theme
Oh Shannendoah vs. Baby Godzilla Theme
Kookaburrah vs. Josie and the Pussycats Theme

Analysis: My childhood was enriched by choir practice and Mr. Hopcroft, an Australian exchange teacher; my LSP’s childhood was enriched by TV.

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About feministfiguregirl

I am a 51-year-old professor named Lianne McTavish who receives as much satisfaction from working out at the gym as from publishing my academic research. About eight years ago, I decided to combine my two primary identities (scholar/gym rat) to create "Feminist Figure Girl," a fictional character who both analyzes and participates in bodybuilding. I competed in my first figure show in June of 2011, and then wrote a book inspired by the process, published by SUNY Press in February 2015. In this blog I will write about and consider my ongoing research on the body, while regularly making fun of myself. I recommend that you start reading my first post from August 2010 (available on the home page), instead of backwards from the most recent one, in order to get the full FFG effect.

4 thoughts on “My Life in Lists

    • That class went pretty well Sharon. I change my drills and music every week, so let me know if we can exchange ideas about how to teach spin classes. One successful recent class was a “superset”: 1 minute sprint/2 minutes standing endurance/3 minutes seated endurance/4 minutes lunges, repeat 1-4 4 times.

      • How do you figure out what songs are best for what you plan to do? Does it have to do with beats per minute, or are they just songs that you like?

      • Because I change my music every week, there is no strict rule that I follow. In general, I avoid dance or top-40 music, unless a participant requests his or her favourite song. I choose songs based on bpm and my overall plan for the week. Sometimes the plan is thematic (ie all songs that change in tempo) or else I choreograph an entire album. Sometimes I choose the songs based on length, as when I do the supersets noted in an earlier comment. I have choreographed many classes based on cities, choosing music by artists born in a particular place. Past classes have featured music from Chicago, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Boston (and South Africa for one week). I also include songs from a band headed by one of my regulars, and it is fun to hear him singing during the class.

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