Taking it easy

After quitting training programs in March, I decided to scale back my improv commitments and focus on one improv commitment (Sosa Mimosa, which meets or performs once a week), allowing time for the rest of my life. While that amount of commitment will change at some unforeseen point down the road, I feel very good about that decision.

It’s the first time I haven’t been regularly investing money in improv training, and I see it in my bottom line. I went from struggling and treading water to having disposable income. Of course, I’ve also tightened up my spending and diet and that has helped (another benefit of paring back my schedule is it makes following a meal plan easier). But not throwing $200+ a month down the hatch to take classes makes a big difference.

It’s the first time since shortly after I moved here that I have free time to do other stuff. Not too long after Drawn Dead’s Crowd run, I felt like getting back into poker again and have since spent most of that time studying and practicing for non/micro-stakes online. Quickly I saw an improvement in my cash game play, and during a recent vacation I played two poker tournaments and did very well in both, plus did fairly well in cash play. Yes, there was some good luck involved, but I saw definite improvement in my strategy and confidence. Poker is not something I want to do all the time or invest a lot of money in right now, but I have fun doing it and will seek opportunities to do it as long as I enjoy it.

I also started running again. I stopped during a busy period last year, and of course winter conditions made it difficult to start again until recently. My employer held a 5K as part of an event and on a whim I signed up to do it. During my previous running I never quite maxed out at 5K distance, but managed to quickly work up to 3.5 miles before the event and, while doing so slowly, managed to run the 5K without problems.

Now, I have a regular routine where after Sosa rehearsal I run from the Clubhouse to my home, a distance of about 3.4 miles. The run is arduous after a lengthy day but great exercise and I’ve been able to finish it each time without problems. Also, when I have weekend commitments in Wicker Park, I walk the 3.4 or so miles there, sometimes back. After gaining some weight during my vacation, the substantial exercise along with redoubled diet has helped me lose the weight back. By only doing it on excursion weekends and every other Thursday, I also allow my body ample time to rest and recover between sessions.

I still like improv and still intend to coach at some point. The last 1.5 years offered great perspective on the realistic prospects of putting work into improv, and the bell curve of effort vs reward. I now have found a good level of immersion in improv, that allows me to explore the other things in my life important to me.

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