Posted: December 5, 2012 in Exercise, Learning, Mental Reboot, Physical Reboot
Tags: , , , , ,

When one reaches a ‘certain age’ it is probably not uncommon to find oneself in a situation where if all of the life lessons that one has encountered are learned broadly and deeply one might find one’s-self curled up in a fetal position in a dark closet quietly mumbling “no more, no more.”  I think that age for me was probably 29, or maybe 36 (or possibly both).  Fortunately I am nearly a decade past the latter of those dates and still enjoying sunshine – at least when the vagaries of the Northwest climate allow.

I do like to occasionally play with what I think of as the  Scottish usage of ‘one’ – does anyone know if the above technically counts as Illeism ?

But let’s move back from the completely melodramatic for a bit.  I feel like overlearning has been a theme for me in recent times.  I hope to eventually figure out how to file off the serial numbers enough that I can feel comfortable about sharing some of the bigger lessons that I’ve been careful not to overlearn.  For today I wanted to share a couple of small examples.  Because I really think that this is a case where the micro and the macro inform each other.

First example:  I’m a software engineer by profession and I can’t keep my fracking computers running.  I spent way too much time battling an issue with windows 8 – for some reason most of the built in immersive  applications  started timing out at launch and the DRM on my Zune installation went whacko.  I probably spent a cumulative day over the course of a week trying to get the darn thing up and functional again.  Annoying, no?  But these things happen, that’s one of the reasons why I keep my Windows Home Server running and doing nightly backups.  It took me about a half hour to restore the machine back to a state that was working perfectly with no data loss.  Well, why didn’t I do this after an hour of trying to fix the problem?  Because a month ago I tried to restore my ASUS Zenbook, which suffered from a fried SSD – but lost a day to driver scariness since it doesn’t have a built in Ethernet card and it seemed to be impossible to get the thing to load the drive for the USB->Ethernet dongle.   Okay, totally boring technobabble for some.  But the point is, I massively overlearned the lesson of my backup mechanism not working for one machine when I ran into an issue with another machine that did not have the limitation that caused the problem with the first machine.  To the point that it didn’t even occur to me to try the backup until I had sunk way too much time on the issue and was about to wipe the fracking thing.  That, my friends,  is overlearning on the small but frustrating front.

Second example: I can’t stand up straight.  No. Seriously.  I’m now not even convinced I know what it means to stand up straight.  As I’ve mentioned before, I practice yoga pretty regularly.  I started with Bikram yoga and still take classes at two of my local studios on occasion. But I’ve also been lucky enough to find a local studio, Breathe, that does a more relaxed hot hatha yoga practice based on the Ghosh tradition.  A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a standing series workshop with the owner of Breathe and learned many new things about my practice.  The thing that stuck with me the most was that I had difficulty adjusting my tree pose (Tadasana in the Birkam tradition or Vrksasana in some other traditions) and some of the other standing postures to get my forward to back angle of my torso and hips lined up ‘correctly.’  I think this is because early on in my Yoga practice I was weighted too far back in these poses (possibly due to some habits from Kung Fu training) and I then overcorrected by settling too far forward.  Or perhaps I was too far forward and then over-corrected to too far back and then over-over-corrected to far forward- you get my point, right?

The bottom line for both of these examples is that I have to be very aware of understanding what I’m learning and how to figure out when I’ve learned it ‘right.’  This is somewhat easier in the microscopic examples, but I think holds true for bigger things like when to change jobs and when to just outright quit.

  1. GlennN says:

    Ahh David. Funny, I can see and hear you through this blog. This is so true. Sometimes I can’t help myself either. You call it overlearing, Karen tells me I obsess, I say that I have perserverance…But, when it comes to workouts (I don’t do yoga), I blame it all on the years sitting in a chair in front of a computer, “overlearing”…

    • ohdwg says:

      Hah, I’m glad my voice is showing through. I was worried that I might have been to subtle with this post. I’m sure Karen is vigilant in helping you correct your programmer’s slouch, be it a result of overlearning, perseverance or obsession.

  2. […] And in this case ‘one’ is not self-referential in the way it might have been in my last post. […]

  3. […] about being able to focus in very closely on a task, but I’m now convinced that this is an overlearned skill, at least for me.  Or perhaps it’s a borderline hyperfocus issue, although I really do […]

  4. […] a little bit when you do that, not just straight up and down.”   That’s a case of overlearning if I ever did see one.  Now I just need to figure out how to stop that without spending too much […]

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