More High School Journal

These are a couple of entries from my handwritten journal from sophomore year of high school. I always referred to these, Harriet the Spy-style, as “notebooks.” Never as journals or diaries. These entries aren’t relevant to FitNotes, but I decided to share them here anyway.

Sept. 2, 1980
I absolutely cannot believe that school is starting tomorrow. It is so nice today — sunny and cool/warm. It has been a good day except that I am so filled with dread. I got up early to go to the orthodontist, listened to records all morning, then went to L___’s. We walked along the beach a little, and I walked home slowly and I stopped to play with a little tiny gray cat on the way.

Mostly I just want to get the first couple of days over with. I hate this feeling of dread. I hope I don’t hate school as much as I did last year. I probably won’t. But I would much rather have Mr. V____ [for a class] and hate everything else than not have him and like everything else.

September 1980
I wish I could be less like everybody else. Most people want to be more like other people but not me. I hate being so run-of-the-mill and average. I want to get better at playing the guitar and writing songs. … And playing the piano too. I guess I’ll just have to practice more. I also want to wear different clothes. I’m sick of dressing just like everyone else. I need a couple of sweatshirts and unusual jerseys or something like that. I’m going to get a WXRT-shirt. Nobody wears those.

By Oct. 15:
$3.50 – Times Square record
4.00 – Activity Fee
3.75 – P.S.A.T.
4.25WXRT shirt

By Oct. 30
$9.00 – L___’s birthday. Possibilities: Sweatshirt, pin

Oct. 20, 1980 — Well, this is “IT” — I take the PSAT tomorrow. My division teacher keeps ranting about this being “The Most Important Test You Will Take In Your High School Career.” It makes you eligible for or eliminates you from good colleges. It covers Algebra, Geometry, and English. I wonder how I’ll do. I can’t seem to get too worried about it because, well, I’ll do however well I do and that’s it and I can’t change it. I hardly ever get worried about any test at all. I just don’t like these machine-scored ones where all you do for three hours (8:00 – 11:00) is fill in tiny little ovals. Ugh! Well, more tomorrow.

In about 1/2 hour I take the PSAT. I wish it didn’t go through 4th period because this way I don’t get to go to Mr. V____’s class.

Well, I’m glad that’s over with. There were two sections, English and Math, and it was pretty hard. Especially the math! Oh well, I guess I did okay but I’m really glad it’s over. Now my division teacher can stop ranting & raving about it!

Dec. 15 — I got my PSAT results back. I am in the 97th percentile. … I wasn’t expecting to do that well, not nearly. But I am not impressed. Actually, I wish I wasn’t so smart, because then my division teacher wouldn’t be constantly saying how studious and disciplined I am. She always says that, and the more I deny it, the more firmly she believes it and has to use me as an example in front of the whole division, and she is WRONG! I wouldn’t hate her saying it so much if I deserved it, but I don’t.

I had the results thing with me in Nations [class] because I have that after division, and Mr. V___ saw me reading it (trying to figure it out). He got all excited and said, “OOH, what’d you get?” I had forgotten what the numbers were while trying to figure them out so I said I forgot and he teased me a lot. …

Jan. 9, 1981 — I got my braces off today and it is also the 5th anniversary of my mom’s death. Today in division this guy Robert Clay asked me if I know what it’s like to love somebody who doesn’t love you back and I said yes. He said, “Don’t you know I love you?” And I said “sorry” because if he really does love me, I still don’t love him back. I’m positive he didn’t mean it, though, or he wouldn’t have said all that in front of everyone. Besides, he just likes the looks of me for some reason. … After all, everybody has a different definition of love. What I say is love, L____ says it isn’t, and what Robert Clay says is love, I say it isn’t.

Jan. 20, 1981 — What a day in the life. The 52 hostages are out of Iran after 14 months. … I am so happy for them that hearing about it has been bringing tears to my eyes. I was in Nations [class] when they announced on the P.A. that THE HOSTAGES HAVE LEFT IRAN. We also got a new President today, Ronald Reagan, obviously.

Feb. 10, 1981 — I’ve been noticing that reading this notebook, and the others too, gives a completely wrong picture of what I am like. My sense of humor does not show in these books, or the way I love music. Neither does my feeling that I am different from everyone else. I think that, years from now, I will read this book and think either that I was just being dramatic & silly about being in a bad case of unrequited love (and it wasn’t as horrible as I wrote it as being). Or else I will get the impression that I am one of those people who are always so busy suffering that I have no time to be happy. Neither one of those ideas are right. I am happy, generally, and I love the world (but not the way we seem to be screwing it up). … It bums me out that I have to (1) pick somewhere to go to college, (2) go there & find something to study which seems worthwhile, (3) do the work in all the classes so I don’t flunk.

Feb. 22 – Yesterday I drove a car for the first time, in traffic. It was quite strange. … I didn’t do very well yesterday. Okay, but not great. But that’s to be expected. For some reason, though, it was kind of depressing. I think I am too used to things being easy.

Mar. 5, 1981
Tomorrow in English we’re having this very important and very hard test on a biography of Shakespeare. We are allowed to use notes but I have not taken any and I’m also not completely done reading it. What if I end up failing the class?! I know very well that I cannot afford to be this lazy about that class, but here I am, writing in a notebook instead of preparing some notes on Shakespeare.

Just now, I opened my book on Shakespeare, got a pen & paper, and looked at the pages. Tomorrow we will have a test where we can use notes but I won’t because I have not prepared any. I do not know how to take notes. Not because I was never taught how, but because I never practiced taking notes on anything. Tomorrow I will be the only one in the class with no notes, and I will fail the test. It will be obvious to the teacher that the reason I failed so miserably is that I am to lazy to take notes, even when I know I’ll fail without them.

March 7 — After I wrote all that I did take some notes. Just one page though, and they didn’t do me any good. I probably failed the test. I want to be in a band. I have to get a job so I can get an electric guitar. I have to practice more.

I am so irresponsible about school but I can get away with it because it’s easy, except for English, where I can’t get away with that. But I do it anyway and get bad grades. In that class I cannot tell whether I’m trying or not. To me, trying is giving something ten minutes, and giving it up if I haven’t got it by then. That is NOT trying. I have to learn to be more patient. Try harder and be patient. Try harder and be patient. Try harder and be patient. Maybe I’ll make myself do it if I repeat it a lot. But it is so hard to try hard at something I don’t care about. I just want to be in a band. …


Albums to buy!
The Cars / Panorama
Barbra Streisand / Guilty
Times Square soundtrack
Songs in the Key of Life (Stevie Wonder)
Can’t Buy a Thrill / Steely Dan
London Calling  / The Clash
Are We Not Men – We Are Devo (Devo)
Telekon (Gary Numan)
an XTC album
Freedom of Choice (Devo)
Remain in Light (Talking Heads)
New Clear Days (Vapors)
Scary Monsters – Bowie
There & Back – Jeff Beck
Foolish Behavior / Rod Stewart
Beat Crazy / Joe Jackson
Talking Heads
Dire Straits
Boomtown Rats
Outlandos d’Amour (Police)
Roxy Music!
Bonnie Raitt
Todd Rundgren


I’ve had three karate classes so far at the Feminist Karate Union on Jackson St. It’s challenging and fun. The teachers are very patient and consistent in their instruction.

I’m going on faith that I will be able to memorize moves one by one. I was shocked, the first class, at how blank my mind was in trying to remember something that was just shown to me seconds before. In my second and third class, we repeated most of what we’d done, so I did see a little progress in remembering. I still had to move slowly and talk myself through the blocks we practiced.

They lent me a DVD that I looked at last night. Watching that instructor repeat the blocks over and over helped me remember them. Today I practiced by myself in the gym and I was able to remember how to do the up block and the down block. (We’ve learned three others as well that I can’t remember, such as inside and outside block and… what’s the other?… knife hand block — I had to Google it.) Today I also practiced the front kick, the roundhouse kick, and the back kick a little bit. I practiced them slowly or used only parts of them. I held something for balance if I needed to. I tried to kick with and without paying attention to keeping my hands in position. It is hard to recover/maintain balance after a kick, when you have to chamber the foot before putting it down.

It’s really fun to find something new for which I can use my conditioning and fitness. I value being fit for its own sake, but it’s fun to go into this hard new skill with a good conditioning base. I hope that as my ability to remember and hit the positions improves, that my power will be good. I’m sure that will also depend on whether I can be tense versus relaxed at the right times and whether I have the fast-twitch ability that is undoubtedly needed.

They gave me a barely-used gi for free last time. That was nice of them. It will feel strange to work out in something other than shorts and a tank top.

High School Journal

These are a couple of entries from my handwritten journal from sophomore year of high school. I always referred to these, Harriet the Spy-style, as “notebooks.” Never as journals or diaries. These entries aren’t relevant to FitNotes, but I decided to share them here anyway.

handwritten journal entry 1979-1980 journal

August 1979
Just think, three years from now I may not even live here anymore. I’m going to describe my room. My walls are bright yellow. My green wooden desk has a bulletin board above it full of pictures, buttons, drawings, and a calendar. On my desk is a blotter with a cat poster in it, a jar of pencils, pens & markers, a lamp, and a lot of junk. My bed is covered with a quilt, mostly green and yellow. There is a little brown fan on the floor that looks more like a footstool. On top of it is a manila envelope containing a magazine for L___. Against the wall, next to the outlet, is a brown natural wood chest of five drawers. On the floor leaning against it is a clipboard, because I don’t know where else to put it. On the other side of the chest are two “Oklahoma” posters, a ukelele in a box, a plastic bag, and an accordian folder. All this is leaning against some metal shelves, four of them. On the top shelf is a globe, a fish bowl half full of pennies, and a beanbag frog. On the second shelf are a lot of stuffed animals, 17 to be exact. On the next shelf are a lot of nicknacks. On the bottom shelf are a lot of box games. Then the wall turns the corner and there is the radiator. On that is a box of stationery, a cigar box full of letters, and a bunch of paperback books. Next to the radiator is a white dresser with 9 drawers, that reaches exactly up to the windowsill. On top of it are some nicknacks. Then there is a tall, skinny, white bookcase with seven shelves. It contains books, a jewelry box, and junk. And a straw hat. Then the wall turns the corner again, and there is the closet door with a full-length mirror, with a blue frame. The closet is a mess. Then there is the bed, which is white. Next to it is the night table with one drawer. On top is the clock radio, set on WFYR, 103.5 FM. Then there is a little short wooden keg, with a tupperware box on top of it holding a lot of old notebooks. Then the wall turns, and we’re back to the desk. Now, the walls: There is a chalkboard, 18” x 24”. On that same wall is a little wood fold-up thingy with ten pegs, to hang things on. Above that is a Sgt. Pepper poster. Next to that, above the blackboard, is a Muppets poster, then there is a magazine-page picture of the Bee Gees, then a picture of a guinea pig. Above that is a car cartoon by Kliban. Next to it is a Bee Gees poster, then on the next wall, another Bee Gees poster. Then another Kliban cat, a picture of Peter Frampton, another Kliban cat then a picture of the Bee Gees and a picture of the Beatles. Then, way down past the window, is a Seattle poster, then a Kliban cat, then a Bengal tiger, then two Koala bears, and on the door is a “Beautiful Chicago” poster. TA-DUM!

March 16, 1980
I think about the most disgusting thing in the world is the way L____ revolves her life around clothes. I am not kidding. Today she said she doesn’t want it to get warm out for awhile because she has no warm weather clothes, and she doesn’t like the changing seasons because you “have” to buy new clothes. Also she very often says, in so many words, that it seems like a lot of her problems would be solved if only she had lots of nice clothes. Sickening! She also “feels so scummy” in things that practically everyone wears, like her spring windbreaker.

“Fran” and catch-up

Today: Back squats up to 3 x 5 at 175.

Monday, July 15:
“Fran” by myself, Rx, 5:24, not a PR. Later the same day I did our gym WOD: AMRAP 12 minutes, 3 wall walks, 30 walking lunge steps, 10 v-ups (“Booty Maker”). I got almost 6 rounds. That day and the next, I also played around a lot on our new climbing rope and practiced toes to bar on the pull-up bars. Today is Thursday and I did some heavy squats, but my back was still tired from Monday.

July 11:
7 rounds for time of 10 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, run 250m. I did this with Susan S at 6:30 PM. My time was 18:24.

Kettlebell snatch PR!

After almost nine years of CrossFit it is gratifying to get a new stunt or PR every once in a while. Today our skill was kettlebell snatches, and as soon as I saw that on the program I made up my mind to snatch 24 kg at noon.

I’ve used 20 kg for snatches in a WOD but only a few times and not recently; but I noticed, when I did, that it was only a little harder to manage than the 16 kg that I was accustomed to. And the main place I felt the difference was that the descent portion was harder on my grip and wore out my palm worse than the 16 kg. Today if I snatched 24 kg, it’s not like I would have to do tons of reps. So I worked on it along with the five people in class, working up in weight, and ended up doing about five snatches on each side with the 24. Later, I did it again to get a video! Couldn’t resist.

After the noon class I wanted to work out with front squats, handstand holds, and toes to bar at low reps so that I could string them together. I did five sets of 5 front squats at 120; handstand hold for a count of 30; 5 toes to bar FAST; and 3 muscle-up attempts. Never got close to a muscle-up. Did pretty well on the handstands in that I could press my feet together, tighten up my butt, and come off the wall in balance for several seconds. The toes to bar went well. Just in the past month I’ve been able to string them together in small sets because of a tip from Kyle: get as high as you can, and string those together, however high they are, even if the toes don’t touch the bar; then work on making them all higher and touching the bar.

These are hard on my right shoulder in some way, so that before the handstands I had to lacrosse-ball roll my shoulder blades in order for them to work right. So this five sets took me more than 20 minutes. It was a strength and skill work out and there wasn’t really much point in timing it. Honestly I just wanted to have something to put on the whiteboard as a justification for posting my kettlebell snatch PR!

“Air Force”

Ernie wanted to do this workout for his birthday. He found it in a WOD app on his windows phone. “Air Force” for time:
20 thrusters
20 pushpress
20 overhead squat
20 front squat
EMOTM stop and do 4 burpees. Prescribed weights were 65 and 95 lbs. I used 65 and took 12:39. The overhead squats were by far the hardest, plus having to snatch it every time I stopped and restarted.

Vacation and postvacation

At CrossFit 901 in Memphis, a long narrow warehouse with no floor mats, I worked on snatches after an independent warm-up. Then we had a 12-minute WOD of AMRAP 50 double-unders, 7 burpees. But every round you had to add 7 more burpees. I got part way through the burpees in the 35-round.

I saw that there was a CrossFit in Monticello, Arkansas, and I went in to chat with the guy but didn’t work out.

Monday night when I got home I took Jules’s weightlifting class. We worked on a jerk/squat complex: 2 front squats, jerk, back squat, jerk from behind. I did that up to about 85 pounds.

Tuesday (yesterday): 75 barbell power snatches for time, 55 lbs, 10:58. This was two full minutes slower than last fall when I did the same thing, also by myself. I knew I wasn’t trying as hard.

Today I got one muscle-up, which I think is lifetime muscle-up no. 28. Then I did our WOD: AMRAP 12 minutes:
10 burpee box jumps 24″
10 V-ups
10 overhead squats with two 8 kg kettlebells
3 muscle-ups (actually attempts — I thought today I might get a MU during a WOD but I didn’t.)
I got 3 rounds 4 reps. Then I back squatted up to 2 x 5 at 155. My back was (is) really sore from all the snatches yesterday, so 155 was heavy enough.