Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Stuff and Things

So I normally blog about a tournament as soon as I get home, but I have nothing good to say about last weekend, so I don't really want to talk about it. I lost because of poor reffing in the very first round of my division. So I was the ONLY person in my division who didn't get into the absolute by default. So I went all the way to New York, for five minutes of jiu jitsu. It wasn't even a standard length match, they only do five minutes. I don't want to sound even more like a big whining baby so I'm not going to get into it.

I will NOT be returning to the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in New York, and I will be strongly cautioning against it to anyone I talk to about it. I'll stick with the Montreal Trials from now on, which are run very well, have qualified referees and have added a bunch of weight classes for the women this year.

Check out the facebook event for the Montreal Pro Trials here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/427250647334271/   I will be competing in the Purple and up division, maybe -61kg but likely -68kg. 61kg will be quite a challenge for me to make, but it puts me at the top of the absolute, instead of the bottom. The weigh-ins are the day before, so in theory, I can dehydrate a bit of it, and still perform well.   When my mom reads this I'm going to get a lecture, but I deserve it. 134 lbs is really really light for someone who is 5'10. 

Yesterday, I agreed to replace an injured fighter on a super fight card in Montreal. I will be facing my friendly nemesis Alison Trembley in a purple belt super fight, assuming I pass my grading on November 10th. If I don't, well, I guess it will be a mixed belt super fight, which is fine, because a lot of tournaments are blue and up anyway so it's all good.

Alison and I have some serious history, we have competed against each other six times in the past, four of which took place at the Ontario Open last year. I have lost every encounter with her, but I feel like in the gi matches last year I wasn't being outclassed or anything, she was better than me, no doubt, but it wasn't like I didn't belong in the match. I did score some points on her, which is more than the people she fought in her division at worlds last year can say! I'm really looking forward to fighting her again because she is one very tough cookie, and it will be a good measure of how my jiu jitsu has come along in the six months or so since the Ontario Open. 

Here is a link to the Facebook event for the super fights: https://www.facebook.com/events/267227370058467/ All of the proceeds from the event are going to an autism charity. None of the fighters are being paid, we are all donating our time and efforts to support the cause. The event has some great sponsors on board, and is taking place at the Holiday Inn Midtown Montreal, which seems to be a very supportive hotel to the Jiu Jitsu scene in general. It is often the official tournament hotel for events in Montreal. VIP Tickets are $50 and regular tickets are $30, hit up the Facebook event to order them.

Also coming up is the OJA Provincials. Myself and 4 team mates(Alasdair, Matt, Jon and Heather) have all earned free entry into the provincials by earning points throughout the year at other OJA events.  Alasdair was 2nd in male adult Blue, Matt was top 10 in white belt no gi, Jon was top 10 in white belt gi, and Heather was top 5 in female white belt gi. Congrats to all of my teammates and also to all the other athletes who earned their way to Provincials. It should be a great event, even though they aren't giving away any trips.

Last but certainly not least is the Grappler's Quest North American Championships coming up Dec 1st in London. They are giving way $500 to a bunch of the absolute winners, so that should bring out some top level guys and girls. This will be the last event of the year for me, and will be competition number 18 for the year, or 19 if you count the super fight.  

I'm really looking forward to the break between Grapplers Quest and Ascension in January. I am going to spend some time developing some new techniques and having fun with jiu jitsu instead of always being super focused on the next competition and the testing and everything else. 2013 will be quite different than 2012.  As a purple belt, I will have a lot less opportunities to compete locally. I will limit myself to tournaments that have significant prizes for the advanced divisions (because that will bring people out to play) and to the few tournaments that Pura will be attending officially as a full team. I plan on going to Worlds and hopefully Pans in California, as well as the Chicago, New York City, and possibly Boston IBJJF Open tournaments.  These tournaments have all had some purple belt ladies in my division in the last year, so in theory, I will have people to compete with there.

That's all for now!  See you on the mats!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Importance of Game Plans

This is part 4 of a series on the mental side of fighting and training.   Make sure you read the first 3 parts!

1. Intro and Goal Setting
2. Visualization and Positive Self Talk
3.  Fight Day Strategy

I touched on having a game plan a little bit in the visualization part of the series, but didn't really get into it much. Just said that you should be visualizing yourself executing your game plan. So, what exactly goes in the game plan and what do you do with it?

Your game plan should be simple. Those t-shirts and internet memes that say "Pull. Sweep. Submit" aren't far off from a solid game plan. It's a tad on the simplified side, but here is what you don't want your game plan to look like: "First, I'll grip with my left hand, then the right. If they step with their left, I'll go to the right. Then, I'll step in with my left, and scoop up their right leg for a single..."  Get the idea? That is way too detailed, way too much information.

Game plans can't account for every single scenario either. There shouldn't be 1000 "ifs" in your plan.  One or two is OK, but if your plan involves a lot of "ifs", then you are counting on your plan not being effective, and you need to go back to #2 and get that head on straight. Here's an example of an OK "if" in your game plan.  "Double leg straight to side control. If they get a guard, pass right away before they can close it. Follow with knee on belly to cross choke / armbar sequence.".  As you can see, there is one "if" but it resolves to the same place so we don't have a million branches.

So you've got a plan, now what?

Drill, Drill, Drill. You know the saying, "you fight how you train" or "perfect practice makes perfect" or "drill to win". All of these apply.  You need to drill all aspects of your game plan, individually, and together.    If your game plan is to get a double leg, you need to start standing when you roll.  If your game plan is to do a triangle from side control, don't pull guard every time you roll.

Now, it's important to note that I'm not saying always roll exactly what you want to do in a fight, because then you will never expand your game and never really learn jiu jitsu. But the week or two leading up to your competition should be full of very focused drilling and rolling. This is not the time to be experimenting with new techniques and playing around in your rolls. 

When your drilling your game plan, work together with your partner, let them know your game plan, so they can help you. Have them purposefully throw a wrench into your plan by reacting differently, so you can work on your reactions to all situations. Jiu jitsu may be competed as in individual sport, but it is most definitely a team sport. You will need your team mates to help get your game plan sorted and ready, and you will need to help them with the same!

There are some people out there who are against having a game plan. They feel like if they have a game plan, and something goes wrong, they will be lost like a fish out of water. But, in my opinion, if you don't have a game plan, you are already that fish out of water. If you are just reacting to what the other person does, you're going to be one step behind, the entire match. There may be a time that your game plan doesn't work out. Maybe they pulled guard faster then you could, maybe they've got legs that are a million miles long and got their guard around quick before you could pass. It doesn't matter why; at this point, you just go back to the jiu jitsu you know, and get yourself to a point that your game plan comes back into play.  

Like all the other factors in the mental side of the sport, this is going to take time to develop and work into your training and competition habits. Having a game plan will help you visualize more effectively and help you become more confident in your fights. 

So, what's your game plan?  How are you training to be able to implement it?  Where are you going to give it a test next?

See you on the mats!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Competition Day Strategy

This is part 3 of the series on the mental side of the game. If you haven't read part 1 and part 2  do it now, then come back.

It happens to everyone,  you train hard, you know your stuff, you can pull it off rolling, and then at the tournament you forget everything and get smashed.   It's not because your bad at jiu jitsu, and it for the sake of argument and this blog post, it's not because the other guy is better then you. It's likely because your not "in the zone" or any of the other buzz-words that basically just mean your head wasn't in the game.  

So, How do we fix this?   It's not easy, and it's not going to happen over night.  But it starts with the first 2 parts of this series and carries on with the rest of this post.

Developing your competition day routine

Sports players everywhere in every sport have there little things that keep them grounded when they compete.  They wear their lucky socks or underwear, they always have the exact same thing for breakfast, things like that.   These things that are often brushed away as being superstitious and nonsense can be really powerful mental tools.  Consistency in your habits will help you focus and be prepared for the day.

I can't tell you what works and what doesn't for you, Everyone will be quite different in this. Some people really like to be social at tournaments, some people don't like to talk to anyone.  Some people like to watch matches, some people that makes them very nervous.  The best way to figure out what does and doesn't work for you, is to keep a competition journal, and keep track of what happened that day leading up to your matches, and write down how you felt physically, mentally, and emotionally through out the day.  It's a bit of work, but it's well worth it.  After a few events you should have a bit of a picture of how what you do leading up to your matches affects your state of mind and your performance.

There will always be things that are out of your control, like when weigh ins are,  the time your division starts,  who you fight, what colour fighter you are.  But there are all sorts of things that you can control to counter act these unknowns and keep you focused.

This is a topic that examples will speak much louder then explanations, so let me give you a bit of a breakdown on the things that are part of my competition day strategy to get me focused and ready.
For the sake of the example, I'll use a local event that I'm driving to the morning of, since I think that is a more common case and will be a better example.

The night before:
  1. pack my gear back with everything I need, including, but not limited to:
    1. 2 gis, my mendes gi, and one other one, ussually a red star
    2. 2 pairs of shorts, 2 rashguards, 2 sports bras
    3. a full change of cloths for afterwards.
    4. mouth guard, camera, extra battery, nail clippers, a fresh package of hair elastics
  2. pack my non-gear  bag
    1. snacks including protein bars, granola bars, some fruit
    2. gatorade, usually a 6 pack, almost always grape g2.
    3. a bit of candy or chocolate for quick energy and a post-fight reward
    4. often i'll have some chocolate milk (the kind that stays good not in a fridge, weird, but tasty, and a good recovery drink)
  3. pick out my cloths for the morning, ussually a comfy pair of jeans, my pura t-shirt, and a sweater, you never know how hot or cold the venue will be, and layers are the best way to get warm, and stay warm, but not roast when your done. Also: my competition socks, not always the same pair, but always an interesting pair, and almost always mismatched, and knee highs.
  4. print out the directions, any registration confirmations, schedule, and the list of my team mates that are competing so we can keep track of the day.
  5. Shower and get to bed nice and early (I like to be in bed and relaxing by 10pm, but it doesn't always work out).
Competition Day: Before the tournament:
  1. Wake up about 45 minutes before we have to leave.  
  2. Get up as soon as the alarm goes off (If I lay around in bed I get groggy and get headaches)
  3. Check my mail, facebook, twitter.
  4. Put anything that was in the fridge in the snack/lunch bag and double check my bags
  5. Get breakfast, usually at mcdonalds. I know, it's weird, but I love breakfast burritos and orange juice on fight morning. 
  6. Drive to the venue! I like to give myself at least lots of time to get there, generally if it's less then an hour drive, i double the time, if it's more then an hour, I give myself an extra hour to get there.  
 At the venue
  1. Check in / Register right away,  pick up my free t-shirt if there is one and stake out a spot in the bleaches/stands.
  2. If it's all bleachers, I go for the top of the most central place. This way you can see all the mats, and you don't have to worry about people stepping on your bags b/c your at the top.
  3. I'll check my weight on the scale right away, and depending on how that is, have a snack, or not.
 More then 1 hour before my fights
  • The time way before my fights I'm really relaxed, I'll be social, I'll listen to music, I'll watch the fights.  
  • I tend to just be relaxed and not thinking about my matches, my division, whom i'm fighting and whatnot.
  • I like to watch my team mates,  video them, or take pictures.   
 Less then 1 hour before my fights
  • At about the hour mark, I'll get changed into my gi, and check my weight again, just to be sure.  If i'm good, I'll have another snack, likely some of the fruit, and gatorade. 
  •  At this point, you never really know when exactly your going to be up, even at the most organized and scheduled events.  (except maybe IBJJF they are pretty particular about their schedules).   So  I like to be pretty much ready to go about 1/2 hour before i'm scheduled.  
  • I'll put my headphones in both ears, but not loud. I listen to mostly metal, rock, alternative.  Pre-fight is a lot of stuff like In Flames, Korn, System of a down, avenging sevenfold and killswitch engage.   I have a lot of the same songs on my car's usb drive that I do on my mp3 player.
  • At this point I get a lot more anti-social, I'll still chat a bit with my team mates but I'm starting to think about my matches, and doing some visualization and whatnot.
 After my divisions has been called up
  •  Music on, socks on, sweater on.  
  • Generally I'll pace and do some light stretches before the matches, just staying warm, but not spending a lot of energy.  I'll close my eyes and do some serious visualization and self talk to.
 I'm up next
  • Head over to the mat,  pacing if there is room, or just standing beside it, staying loose.  
  • headphones, sweater and socks come off just before I step on the mats and it's go time.
 Match Time:
  • Check the score board, make sure it's clear and the match time is right.
  • Shake hands with the ref, shake hands with my opponent, and say "ooos".   This is something I've done since my judo days, back before ooos was said at the end of every sentence, on every picture that has anything to do with jiu jitsu, and before it was completely watered down.   It's me saying "Thanks for coming out, let's fight hard, and do what we came to do".  It puts my brain right where it needs to be. 
  •  FIGHT!
Between matches
  • Put my socks back on right away, ussually put my music on in one ear. 
  • drink some gatorade 
  • shake hands with the coach(if they are around) of my opponent and congratulate them and the coach on a good match.
  • I'll chat with a team mate or two between matches, but generally stick to myself, keep warm, and listen to music.  I don't think about the last match, and I re-focus myself with some visualization and whatnot.

So that's generally what I do,  If it's a tournament I have to travel to, I stick to this, but of course drive to the tournament, sleep in a hotel, but It's mostly the same.  This strategy, or plan, or set of habits, whatever you want to call it, is key to me being ready mentally and physically for my fights.  It's been in development since I was about 16 or 17 years old competing in judo tournaments.   It's shifted over the years but hasn't changed a lot.

For you, it might be quite different!  You might be social until right before you step on the mats,  maybe you like to sit at the bottom,  maybe you can't watch your team mates because you get to excited and nervous and it wastes all your energy.    It's going to take some experimenting to figure it all out, but once you do, you'll have a very powerful tool to help you perform the best that you can.

Alright, this blog post is long enough, I was going to talk about game plans but I'll save that for another day.   If you have any questions about this stuff please post a comment, or message me on facebook, or twitter, or email me or whatever.   I'm more then happy to share my experiences and the stuff I've learned in courses with fellow competitors.

I'll be running a new, much easier to enter contest on my fan page to correspond with this blog post.   All you have to do is Share my blog on facebook or twitter, like my fan page, and post on there that you shared it(There will be a post to comment on to say you shared it. if it's twitter, i'll need a link to the tweet, just to verify it) Alternately, you can just share the post from my fan page that has this blog on it, if that is easier for you.  OR, if you got here from twitter, give my tweet with the link a retweet and I should see it.    The winner will be chosen randomly and will win a VVV rashguard of their choice! Contest closes October 24th.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Toronto Grappling Grand Prix Oct 13th 2012

I failed, again.  I went into this tournament with the intention of winning the blue and up absolute to win a trip to pans in 2013.  Well, someone you may have heard of,  Nathalia Azoff, a brown belt from BTT in Boston, put an end to that plan, in a very decisive fashion.  She is ridiculously good,and a really cool person, so I can't even vilify her in my head.

I did have a couple good moments of competition.   I avenged my loss to Tiffany, and escaped or just survived long enough for her to transition to something else, an insanely tight bow and arrow choke, that I probably should have tapped to, but I had made a goal in my head over the last few weeks to not give up on escaping from chokes as quickly, so I feel like I accomplished that.

Here's a picture of me in trouble!  Link .The picture is courtesy of Kelvin Martin. Here is the album.

The +135 blue and up division had 5 ladies in it, and -135 only had one!  I felt bad for Jodi, who only got one match in the absolute (against Nathalia).  Thankfully she didn't come from a long ways away to be there, and she got to have a great match with Nathalia, so it wasn't a completely wasted day for her.   It's weird because ussually the smaller divisions have more girls, not the other way around.

The white belt ladies divisions were pretty good sized as well. I think under 135 had 5 people, and over 135 had 2 or 3.   There was more in the nogi.   and I don't think any advanced nogi matches took place because Nathalia had to leave, and that left only team mates in the division.  I did not compete in nogi because I was refereeing.

So, a little bit about the event.

There was about 380 individual people competing, which added up to about 550 competitors when counting gi and nogi.  The event ran from 9am to 7pm, which is pretty good considering how many matches that adds up to when pretty much everyone is fighting 4x.  The organizers stated that there was over 1000 matches scheduled.   They had 11 mat areas, in a U shape, with the tables in the middle, which is a great idea because it keeps the view of the mats pretty open for the spectators and coaches. 

It seemed like the tournament was running pretty smoothly,  There were a few very new refs, myself included, but from what I saw, and heard, they all did a decent job.   I heard a few cases of people arguing with some of the more experienced referees, but from what I heard, the refs were indeed in the right, and the coaches were not understanding the rules.   The tournament followed the IBJJF rule book pretty well, other then their tournament format (always single elimination) and a few other details not relating to the match rules.

The level of competition at the event was high, I think due to the fact that 4 trips to pans were on the line!  There was a LOT of purple belts, and a decent amount of brown/blacks to!   I didn't get a chance to watch many of the matches because I was busy, but from what I heard they were very competitive.  

My first time as a ref

I took the IBJJF ref course when it came to town with the Toronto Open back in the summer.  It was interesting, but I didn't find that I took as much away from it as I wanted.  I think the course could use some tweaks, and some more real-time and situation training instead of just reading the rules and talking about them.   Anyway, this got me invited to ref at this event.  At first I wasn't confident enough to do it, but I was convinced that I could, so I did. 

I was refereeing junior 1 and 2 all day. Gi and No Gi.   It was quite the adventure.  There are quite a few restrictions on subs that are allowed and not allowed, and it changes between 1 and 2, so I had to keep on my toes to keep them straight.   I know I made a few mistakes about allowing things in 1 when I they were not allowed, but they got sorted out, and the right kids won the matches in the end.  At the end of the day, I took over for one of the other refs and got to do a few adult beginner -170 nogi matches.  It was quite different from the kids divisions but I think i handled them well.

By the end of the day I was really really tired,  and my knees were more sore then they have been in months.  I guess all the standing, crouching, kneeling, and walking around to referee took it's toll on them.  They are fine today, so no damage done.   I certainly have a new appreciation for the referees at events and how exhausting it is.  10 hours on your feet, focusing hard on a task is physically, and mentally draining.  

Here is one of the albums of pictures floating around on facebook:  BJJ Addict
My Team mate Heather also took a few great pictures of my matches. You can find them on my fan page tournament picture album. Please stop by there and give the page a like. 

The next tournaments for me are:
NYC Abu Dhabi Pro Trials
OJA Provincials
Grapplers Quest London 

Also coming up, but ones I sadly cannot attend are:  Ottawa Open (this weekend), and Montreal Grappling  (November 10th).  Both of these are going to be great events that I am pretty bummed about having to miss.

Then I have a few weeks off over December and early January before Ascension, Montreal Grappling and Toronto Grappling in Late January/ Feb. 

See you on the Mats!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Believe and Achieve aka Visualization and Positive Self Talk

Alright, so I stole the title from our amazing team head instructors, the Mendes brothers. But, they are right on the money with the phrase so I decided to borrow it.

 If you haven't read the first post in this series make sure you do! It introduces the mental side of the fight game and goal setting.

Visualization and positive self talk really go together nicely. Basically, visualization is watching videos of yourself doing what your game plan is in your head, over and over and over. There's a bit more to it, but that's the basics. Positive self talk is basically telling yourself that you can do it, of course, there is more to that too.


This is something you can do any time, anywhere. Visualize yourself doing all aspects of your game plan from start to end. Watch yourself start the match, slap hands, pull guard, and set up your sweep or sub.  Watch your hand being raised at the end of the match.  All in your head of course ;)

It's important to visualize things on the high level, like I just described, and also on the more detailed level.  Think about and visualize exactly where your grips are going to be, exactly where your feet are going, how you break their balance, and so on.

So take 5 minutes before or after class, or while you're waiting for the bus, or brushing your teeth and do some visualization :)

Positive Self Talk

Basically, this is you not being negative. It's believing in yourself, and reinforcing that belief by telling it to yourself.  This is something you can do while you are working on your visualization, and before your matches to get you into the right mind set.   Some examples of this are "No one has trained as much as I have for this", "I will get the triangle set up I have been working on", "It will be my hand raised at the end of the match".

If both of these concepts are new to you, it'll probably feel weird at first, but give them a chance, try to spend a few minutes every day on each and you will feel less weird pretty quick. :)  And even if it does seem weird, do it anyway, and keep at it. It'll help improve your game and mind set quickly!

So these two tools will help you get your brain on track and help you get focused and ready for competitions and other challenges.   Like goal setting, these concepts can be applied to all things in your life, not just jiu jitsu.  They can be applied to your general fitness goals, school goals, and life goals.


Thursday, 4 October 2012

"90% of the fight game is half mental" or something

I think it was Tim Sylvia who said that particular quote, and it's almost kind of accurate.  The mental side of fighting is a HUGE part of it and there are many different aspects of the mental side of fighting.   

One of my team mates and I had a discussion the other day about the mental side of competing and ways to improve our competition results (aside from the obvious, drill more, roll more, lift more type things).   Mental Preparation is often over looked and can make a huge difference! 

 I'm no sport psychologist, but I've taken and completed the NCCP program all the way up to Level 3.  I'm not technically level 3 certified, because I never got around to doing the practical side of Level 2.  But I have passed everything for level 3. so whatever.   This blog isn't about my NCCP progress.   In these courses we talked and dealt a lot with the mental side of sports, and combat sports specifically, since I took the Judo sport specific side of the course.  I would day 99% of the content, aside from the technical stuff,  directly relates to Jiu Jitsu.   I have applied a lot of the things I learned over the years in taking these, and other courses/seminars directly to my self and had pretty solid results.

So what exactly is involved in the mental side of the game?  Some key parts are:
  1. Goal Settings
  2. Visualization
  3. Positive Self Talk
  4. Developing and Using your competition day strategy and mindset.
  5. Game Planning

Goal Setting
This goes way beyond making your new years resolutions.   But to give it some perspective, every year, we make new years resolution, and we are mega motivated to meet them, at first, then we get bored, or we've made them to lofty, or forget, or whatever.  But, think about how amazing it would be to harness that early motivation, and apply it to your training, and competition! 

There are really 2 main types of goals, short term goals, and long term goals.  You need both to be successful in the fight game, and in everything.   Your short term goals are goals, and milestones along the way to your long term goals,  and/or things that will make your long term goals possible.

Short Term goals should be based on a a time span of a week to a month, of course they can be shorter, or longer, but that's a pretty safe range.  So examples of short terms goals, for jiu jitsu are:
  • Drill 200 arm bars from 2 different positions
  • Use a specific technique in live rolling successfully X amount of times
  • roll 5 rounds in a row without taking a row
As you can see, these are generally easily attainable things, that are steps towards medium, and long term goals.  Some examples of long term goals:
  • Win a medal at a tournament 
  • Earn a trip to Abu Dhabi
  • win a match by submission
  • not gassing at a tournament

These goals are clear, consise, and measurable.   Goals like "have better cardio" arn't good goals, how much better? how do you determine what is better?   Same with "Do better in competition",  what is better? Is it winning more? is it not getting subbed? is it not being sloppy?  it's to broad!

So what do we do to use this information?
At the begining of the year, or season, or what have you,  You need to sit down, with a pen and paper (or computer i suppose).  and figure out what your long term goal(s) is.  Don't make to many, 2 or 3 is good.   Then, come up with the short term goals you need to reach that long term goal.   Once you have those written down,  make your schedule of when you want/need to obtain those short term goals by, in order to reach your long term goal.   Finally,  make notes on HOW you are going to achieve those goals.     Going back to my examples for short term goals:

For drill 200 arm bars:  the notes would be something like "Get to class early 3x a week with a partner, and do 2 sets of 20 each.  Also take 1 round of rolling during open mat to drill as many as possible".   For rolling 5 rounds without a break... "roll every other round the first week.  Roll 2 in a row with one off the 2nd week. Roll three in a row the third week, and so on.  Also, do this and that specific cardio at the gym 3x a week"  Got the picture?  It's basically making a road map for yourself.

I've made a little document you can use to set this up: Goal Document

It's important that your Long Term, and Short Term goals are reasonable, make them attainable, but not to easy.   It's also important to keep yourself accountable to these goals.   Update your goal document as the dates for them come around.  Make new short term goals as you accomplish them, and always keep your eye on the prize, which is your long term goal.

It can be helpful to share your goals with your coach, or a team mate or two.   Having them aware, and on board will help you be attain your goals by having them help you be accountable, and by supporting you on your journey!

 So, that's a basic introduction to Goal Setting!   It's a great tool to help you get where you want to be and a huge part of the mental side of the sport.   You can even have goals about the mental side of the sport, but since we've only covered goal setting so far, I'd stick to the more traditional goals ;)   

I'll write about the other 3 parts in subsequent blog posts over the next few days/weeks as time permits!   In the mean time,  set your goals, make a plan, and feel free to share them with me!