As you might recall, I had started a 50-day introvert edition challenge for myself. The aim was to take up 4 different sets of challenges.
The challenges were the following along with my choices:
- Take up something which I used to do but stopped doing: Reading a Novel
- Take up a hobby which you hate: Running
- Take up a hobby which is useful professionally: Learning German
- Take up a hobby which you never did or started but never actually got into: Learning Guitar
This blog post is my first update after I took up this challenge. Basically, the challenge started on 14th of August and I will talk about my progress in each section, my recommendations (what worked, what did not) along with my overall rating at the end.
Reading a Novel
I started reading the novel as mentioned in my previous blog post called ” Before I go to sleep ” by S.J.Watson. I like those thriller and mystery kind of novels with lots of twists and turns. And it had been long since I actually read one of these. To expand my novel horizon, I chose a novel from an author I never ever heard of. I am finished with around 95 pages, which is not a lot considering I used to finish big fat novels in a day or two. But I want to take my time, reading slowly and trying to understand in depth and imagine the whole scenario while reading it.
I usually try to read this book before I go to sleep. Haha Sounds funny considering the title of the book is the same. But I think that’s the best time for me to actually read it and spend time on it.
Right now I am not finished with the novel but overall it is not as thrilling and page turning as the novels from Dann Brown. The beginning was interesting and of course there are every now and then some new details to ponder over. Even now I am not really sure what has happened and what is happening which is good. But still if it was quite gripping and thrilling, I am pretty sure that I would not have been able to stop myself from reading it in a go. I would not make any changes to my rhythm and amount of time I spend reading this. I have still 5 weeks to finish it which is plenty.
I wanted to learn guitar for a long time but never actually was serious about it. I bought this guitar two years ago but never learned pretty much anything on it. Just tried to play directly some songs and gave up. Then I broke the string and never actually repaired it. But after I took this challenge, I bought the strings and fixed it myself without help from any professional (YouTube helped).
I tried to learn it twice a week but realised that if you really want to learn it and make your body remember the touches and stances of your fingers and grip and everything then better do it every day. The first week I learned it two times a week. But the next week when I tried it again I realised that I forgot how to position the guitar, even my fingers were struggling to remember how to switch between frets. Which is understandable. This past week I learned 4 times and without any break and I was only getting better. I earned finally a Level 1 certificate from Yousician.
I use Yousician. Probably the best way to learn and one of the most innovative apps out there. If you don’t want to pay, even then Yousician is great. Everyday 30 min of lessons is free. And as mentioned in “My Routine” section, it is better to learn a little everyday then learn twice a week. So, I have decided to notch it up and try to learn it every day no matter how late it gets. 30 min a day.
This probably has been my biggest challenge as of yet. But the aim is to get fit and actually run a 5k without stopping and getting tired in future. I gave up on gym after my breakup and gained weight and this was one of the things I did not wanted to do, but I should do it.
Never liked running. But then I came across Zombies Run! Let me tell you something. I have tried Podcasts. The guy keeps on talking and I start missing music. There is no urgency. No thrill. Sometimes, I lost the plot in a Podcast considering it is continuous without any breaks and sometimes they are not interesting enough. Zombies Run combines an amazing podcast story but which adapts to your speed sometimes to make you run faster or slower depending on whether there are zombies nearby or not. It gives you useful stats (top speed, distance, map etc). But more importantly you feel part of a community. You are part of something since you are part of the story. Everything, each chapter is somehow related to you. Interesting isn’t it. It has pushed me more to run more frequently. But overall, I still managed to run only 9 times in these two weeks, which includes sometimes twice an evening. My aim is to go out to run more frequently from this week.
Try Zombies run. You don’t have to pay for it (you can try the first few free runs) although now I have got a subscription (28 euros for a year) which is totally worth it. Another recommendation is trying to run after few workouts. I tried this app called 7seven which is a seven min rigorous workout. This helps in blood flow to your legs which might make it easier for you to run. That’s what I felt. I will switch to 5 times running a week from this week.
This is where I am struggling for now. What I did was, write my blog posts in German, write it on the paper, translate it and then write it in English on my PC. This worked a bit but is not effective and is certainly time consuming. I tried also watching German movies on Netflix. I watched a stupid movie called “Fucking Berlin”. Totally not worth it! Overall not satisfied with my efforts.
Writing the blog posts in English, translating it to German on google translator (sucks), writing it down on a paper so that I learn it in a better way than just reading it and finally reading from this paper (which is in German) after a day and translating in my mind and typing on my blog. I don’t know if its effective but surely, I forgot most words already in the last two blog posts I wrote in German.
I would switch to Memrise this week. I can’t recommend anything since learning a language and approaching it can be very subjective. But Memrise worked for me for Portugese and I recommend this. I learned portugese basics in 3 weeks and I still remember most of it. Memrise makes sure that you learn words and phrases in such a way that it gets etched on your mind and you don’t forget it. For me it is better than Duolingo, Babbel and other apps out there which I have tried. I will switch to learning German 3 times a week now onwards.
Not happy honestly. I mean I have started out pretty well. But I know I can do much better. My motivation level is/was high but the determination to back it up is below par. I have improved as a person but the efforts that went into the whole thing was average. What we call as “Doing things for the sake of doing it”. Overall, what I am doing right now, and my rating is Average. Here are the ratings for the first two weeks based on different aspects.
The next update will be after 3 weeks.