A few weeks back I went through a sort of crisis of confidence in a number of areas. The bottom line boiled down to me feeling increasingly isolated due to working 3rd shift and sleeping all day. During the school year I had classes and interaction to take some of the edge off that, but over the summer things had started to wear really thin, and I felt it rubbing off on my confidence level and affecting me at home as well.
The unfortunate truth that came out of all this self-deconstruction was that I was spending too much time sitting in a chair each day, staring at a computer screen. The lonely third shift that I work (in IT) along with hours spent at home gaming were increasing my feelings of isolation and frankly bloating my fat ass.
This last has gotten to be a fairly serious issue. Two weeks ago I weighed myself and came in at an all-time high of 257.5 pounds. That is… not good at all. I carry weight well, but a short six or seven years ago I was a very tight and muscular 190. I’m feeling the difference in my energy and confidence levels, not to mention that getting so out of shape had more or less hustled me out of the one physical activity that I really love (fighting in the SCA) as of about two years ago. The new (as of a year ago) job and a sedentary lifestyle has sped me along on a negative physical trajectory, and on mental and emotional trajectories as well, fed by the same factors. It amounted to what I felt was a downward spiral, and was affecting everything including things at home.
So I made a couple of mid-year resolutions.
One of them was the abandonment of MMOAxis, and the resurrection of this blog. A couple of the things that I really wanted to accomplish with the dedicated site can be done here, including occasional articles by other folks. I have also set up a dedicated blog for Vanguard Forever; some Vanguard-relevant stuff will probably get posted both here and there.
Secondly, I have the intention of getting more than peripherally involved in the SCA again. I never dropped out, mind, but my events-per-year rate was getting gloomily close to one. Getting to meetings presents major difficulties with schedule, but Mrs. Ardwulf and I will be hitting two events in the next two months.
Another point, and perhaps the most important, is that I’m working out again. Not saying how I’d like to start working out again, but actually working out. I’m in the second week of that, have lost 8 pounds so far, and have started to feel better; I already note a difference in my energy level and my pants are slightly baggier. I’m not anywhere close to a goal yet, but at my current rate of progress I ought to be in shape enough to fight well before January or February when the 2012 SCA event season starts. I may even be in good enough shape to do some sparring in armor at Red Dragon (In Columbus, Ohio on the last Saturday in October.
Lastly, and this is the sticky bit for long-time readers of Ardwulf’s Lair, I need to game less than I have been over the last couple of months. It’s just too much chair time. Note that I am not doing anything like “giving up gaming,” I’m just choosing to budget my available time in a smarter way. This means an hour a day during the weeks, a resolution I have mostly kept to. And there’s still overnight on the weekends when I will occasionally be able to pull a longer haul. Essentially the 25-30 hours a week I’d been putting in was making me way, way too sedentary. Instead I’ll be working out, doing stuff around the house, and giving Mrs. Ardwulf as much more quality time as our differing schedules permit.
This also means that the complexion of Ardwulf’s Lair will be changing a little bit. There will still be predominantly video game talk here, of course. But I want to feel free to blog about other stuff as well, so you’ll be reading occasional non-gaming stuff as well. That’s not exactly new – I have blogged very occasionally in the past about books and movies and whatnot, but I plan to do somewhat more of it moving forward.
And finally, on the gaming front, I am slowly creeping toward level 47 in LotRO at the moment. I figure at my current pace I will hit Moria about when the expansion releases. I intend to make LotRO and the other f2p hybrid offerings that are now so abundant in the western marketplace my main MMO outlets from here on out; between EQ2X, AoC, DDO and LotRO, Champions and STO and Fallen Earth there’s really nothing I can see paying for a subscription to at this time.