Retirement Progress Report 4

I missed getting this out at the end of December, so here it is a wee bit late!


TFSA: $24,369.83 (up $1,896.91 from last report).

Mortgage: $165,357.99 (down $1,264.85 from last report).

Net worth shift: +$3,161.76

Progress was modest these past couple months. The holiday season came with higher spending than normal, which (for us) meant less surplus made it into our investments. This is when the $200/month automatic deposits really help keep morale going. Even seeing that, between our investments and lowered mortgage debt, our net worth increased by $3,161.76 from two months ago is very encouraging. Even in slow times, we’re headed in the right direction.

Another extremely fucking cool thing happened in on the 15th of December which was that our mutual funds bought $746.91 more of themselves (in the form of “annual distributions” (mutual fund equivalent to stock dividends)). This is the mind-melting miracle of compounding played out in real fucking LIFE. To clarify, this is not a change in market value. The funds mutual funds we hold appreciated by $1,914.74 in the past 2 months, independent of the distributions paid out. The distributions are roughly 2% annually on top of any gains or losses in market value.

I’m still baffled at the reality that I have no intrinsic sense of any of this until I put one of these reports together. It helps to talk to someone and ask dumb questions until you get the comprehension you’re after. My TD lady was trying to get me to “just Google it” for most of the phone call but I persisted until I had a concrete answer. Spending 2 hours on the phone to discover that my mutual funds pay roughly 2% distributions annually mid-December as long as I’ve purchased them in time to qualify for those distributions (this period was about a day, the lady thought) is knowledge well worth the cost to obtain it.

The 1000 Rep Month: Day 26

In the video, Isla sounded how I felt about today’s workout. I’m starting to see that indoor workouts are significantly less awesome compared to outdoor ones in terms of how I feel after, which makes sense. I don’t get any fresh air indoors and I’m not really removing myself from my regular environment (which tonight included a very fussy child). Even a few minutes outside jumping around leaves me feeling a whole lot less stressed than anything I can do indoors it seems. Plus I can jump as hard as I want outside without shaking my house and worrying about photos falling off the walls.

The 1000 Rep Month: Day 23

I haven’t typically done a whole lot of single leg exercises so I’m curious to see whether doing them now will get me jumping any higher. My vertical jump has been at a plateau for over a year now, which probably means I need to change things up. Not that I really need to be working on jumping, I’ve probably already made about as much progress there as can be reasonably expected given how much effort I’m willing to put into it… whereas putting that effort into other, less developed areas would likely make me a better athlete. I just like jumping.


The 1000 Rep Month: Day 22

The Grounded Man is in town and he’s been practicing Wim Hof breathing*, so inevitably that has made its way into today’s 50 rep workout. We did 50 hyperventilated breaths, followed by 50 pushups during a breath hold.

Temperature wise, I wanted to see if the Wim Hof technique really did make me more resilient to the cold. I had my coat off but I can’t claim to have felt any of the “warming” effects others have reported when doing Wim Hof breathing… but then again I’m not yet familiar enough with the technique to be confident that I was doing it properly. I’ve also been a big puss since the cold weather’s arrived and my showers have been steamy hot (instead of ice cold), so there won’t be a whole lot of brown fat available in my body for that magical heat boost. (Apparently cold exposure builds brown fat, and brown fat is burned for heat, allowing a person to better withstand the cold.)

An odd thing is beginning to happen with these workouts. My brain is no longer as aware of doing them, and I don’t seem to remember the workouts as clearly once they’re over. Except for having a video to refer to, I’m apt to forget whether I’ve worked out at all that day.

I remember this same “selective amnesia” happening when I was first learning to drive. At first the act of driving was vivid and stimulating, and then after a few weeks of it I realized that I was doing everything without being all that aware of it. I was driving without thinking about driving, and sometimes I’d arrive at my destination with the somewhat jarring realization that I didn’t remember much of the trip at all. Apparently, my brain no longer found the act of driving remarkable enough to remember. Over time, I suppose most of those conscious motions had been passed into my subconscious, and my conscious attention was then free enough to notice the difference.

Maybe you remember this same sensation with driving becoming automatic, or with another activity that had become engrained through repetition. Either way, I think it’s probably advantageous to become more automatic in doing things you want to do more of (like working out) because automatic behaviour starts to reduce reliance upon motivation and willpower. I’ve definitely had my share of low motivation/willpower days, so I’m seeing how brute repetition can get me to automatically do shit I otherwise would struggle to do with any consistency.

In other words, I’m starting to form a habit.

* Hyperventilating like this before a breath hold can make you black out because it suppresses your gasp reflex. So everything seems like it’s going fine, then you wake up on the floor. Never attempt Wim Hof breathing unless you’re in a place you can afford to suddenly become unconscious.

The 1000 Rep Month: Day 20

I struggled hard with whether to post a workout today… on the one hand it’s a holiday so it would be easy enough to opt out. Working out today also implies that I’m workout out for the rest of the week, which won’t be easy because we have lots of family visiting and plenty of other excuses. But to tell you the truth, there is a tiny bit of me that is succumbing to the habit that is forming here. I kind of just wanted to work out today.