Archive: 8/2014

Still Deep in the Trenches

Though I wish I was already moving on with progress on the numerous things I want to do, I’m still deep in the trenches when it comes down to it. On the upside, I will say that I have been able to really gain some clarity on what I’m planning on doing. As a result, a lot of planning (and even more planning) is going on as I prepare to take off at full speed the moment all these extraneous tasks are off my back.

And though this might sound crazy to some, I’ve got a decent influx of books coming my way as I prepare for a second look at the infrastructure of the blog.

This is just the first set of books to arrive! Got two more coming!

I’ve always had a vision for how I wanted to see book reviews written and organized, so I plan to begin making it a reality as I gain the final major pillar that was missing from my collection.

On another note, I wanted to give a shoutout to my friend Nate who wrote a great post today titled Don’t Break the Problem Chain. Be sure to check it out and comment if you liked it as well!

And though I haven’t been able to get on KGS as much as I used to, I hope that everyone is doing well and winning their games. Ganbatte everyone!

Choking At the Last Second

In my spare time recently, I started playing Infinity Blade 3 pretty obsessively. For those who have never played any of the games, it is essentially a hack and slash game where players are rewarded for their ability to determine how best to counter their opponent’s attacks. So for example, the computer might spin around and then try to slash at you vertically from the ground up. In order to ensure you don’t get hit, you can either dodge or parry the attack with the appropriate counter attack (which in this case would be a vertical strike down towards the ground).

The Collector from Infinity Blade 3

With that said, there’s one boss (aka The Collector) that has been consistently crushing me (and taking my weapons which is demoralizing) when I lose. The sad thing is that it’s not because he’s necessarily stronger or better than me. In fact, there were a number of times where I was just one combo away from a victory, but then I choke at the last second and die.

Now most people might chalk it up to nerves or something, but it hit me that this was actually a pattern with me. In fact, I can recount numerous times where a game of go was within the clutches of my victory and yet it would slip through my grasp at the very end. And like any good inquisitive person looking to always improve, I started wondering whether I could locate the root of this pattern.

After a lot of thought and losing to The Collector a few more times, I actually noticed something right as I was about to lose once again: my heart raced at an incredible speed and I was extremely hyper-active. Yup. You read that right. I was able to notice an actual physiological change as I approached the line of victory and was about to choke.

Once I noticed this, I thought back to all the times of competition or when there was a lot of pressure and I choked. Sure enough, a faint memory of that sort of hyper-activity and heart rate speeding up was pretty consistent in each time that I choked. Of course, there were times where I was lucky and still managed to succeed, but the majority of the evidence was against me.

Hyper-activity might sound like a good thing at first; but in my case, I was actual becoming overly active and racing too fast for my own good. In other words, my brain raced ahead at 200 mph while the rest of my body was desperately trying to catch up at its 100 mph. As you might expect, this leads to a lot of actions that are disjointed. The intentions are but half-formed and the body’s intent to carry out the actions are more out of nerves than anything else.

In fact, upon much self-introspection, I came to the conclusion that my best performances were always during times where both my mind and body were one. If I was able to keep my mind and body running in sync, there was a synergy that did not exist before. Moves flowed easier, and I managed to be able to avoid choking at the last minute when battling The Collector once again. Perhaps with more training, I will be able to avoid ever choking in a game of go (or anything else for that matter) again.

Checking In

Sorry for being MIA this past week. As most of you know, the U.S. Go Congress 2014 was last week, so I was swamped as you can imagine. Like I’ve done before for previous events, you can be sure that I’ll be doing a day by day recount of the Go Congress for those who couldn’t make it!

In terms of a short term update though, things are starting to look better. The Go Congress helped to provide perspective for me in terms of where my efforts and energy really need to be invested in order for me to see the results that I want. It’ll be different from my past approaches (where there was a high risk of burnout), so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with this new approach.

Hope that everyone is doing well!

Taking It One Day at a Time

With the U.S. Go Congress quickly approaching, it only seemed appropriate that it be high time that I returned back to go. And to be honest, it couldn’t have happened a moment sooner.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken some serious time to truly re-evaluate how my time and energy have been spent and whether my efforts were helping me move towards a larger goal in life. As a result, I cut back on almost everything and spent a lot of time thinking and testing out new approaches to my time, my energy, and my life in general.

For a while, I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to work go back into my life. After all, it was a highly time consuming activity that I had begun to feel frustrated with since I felt like my game had gone to crap. Nevertheless, I knew that the problem wasn’t the game; but that the problem was me.

I won’t go into great detail about my thought processes and the various choices I’ve made along the way since it would end up making my post sound like some sort of productivity blog. However, the important thing is that I have found a way to bring go back into my life. It will be a much simpler approach than before and not nearly so haphazard, which I hope will be effective in the long run.

As for the blog, I will take a similar approach to my study of the game and approach it with a simple yet effective method instead of trying to do ten different things at once. So if you’ll bear with me for a bit, I’ll be testing out different tactics for consistent blogging while slowly reviving popular posts like Monday Go Meditation once I have a handle on things again.

With that said, I’m happy to be back and look forward to what the future holds!