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Confessions of an Actuarial Programmer

Nov 04, 2013

If someone asked me what I did my first thought would be kettlebells, body weight training and gymnastics. When I realized that they meant what did I do professionally I'd mumble that I was an actuarial programmer, wait until they looked at me blankly and then say that I write software for insurance. I'm actually quite good at it and enjoy doing it but it just isn't as cool as being able to do a human flag. I once said to babycat that I'd rather be able to do 10 strict muscle ups and be a little bit stupid than be smarter and not be able to do muscle ups at all. But now I think that what I really want is for people to think of me as the person who can do muscle ups rather than the person who writes software to calculate the cost of your Disability insurance. When I go through customs and the officer asks what I plan to do in San Diego I want to say "handstands in weird places and dance trapeze", rather than "actuarial conference". I want my Canadian citizenship to depend on how good my snatch is rather than on my profession. And I want the initials after my name to signify how fast I can climb a 20ft rope in L-sit.

Or maybe I just need to get over being embarrassed about what I do. This post was meant to be about how something I learnt at a business management seminar actually applied to my kettlebell training today. But as I started writing about work I began apologizing for what I do, saying that it wasn't sexy and was kind of dull. The seminar sucked and was a waste of time but at least one thing that they mentioned applies to the important things in life. And to be honest the seminar was not the most inspiring talk ever but since I have an entire page of notes that I plan to use I have to admit that it didn't suck and was not a waste of time.

So now my actuarial confession is out the way I'll explain what my intended post was about. I have a dodgy arm. All the way from my wrist to my shoulder is a little bit messed up after a nasty break and dislocation of my elbow way back in 1998. My radial head smashed and now there is simply a gap between my radius and where it should connect with the humerus. My anatomy may be terribly wrong but basically my elbow is screwed up. And so as one would expect there are things I find harder on that arm. I can't do a one arm handstand on it, it sticks out to the side when I do muscle ups and when I do my kettlebell long cycle, as my coach puts it, my fixations sucks. And I have some nice theories about how 1. I have a lot of scar tissue which leads to mobility issues and 2. The radius controls rotation of the forearm which is why I can't control the bell overhead. Again I apologize for any anatomical inaccuracies in my self diagnosis. So today as I was explaining all this to my coach all I could think was "results or reasons". Apparently there are two types of managers, those who get results and those who have reasons why they didn't. Now this isn't exactly a life changing realisation or the most insightful quote ever but as I was making these excuses "results or reasons" popped into my head. However true these arm issues might be they are just reasons. My mobility sucks, time to spent some effort focused on improving it. My fixation isn't great, find some exercises that build up the rotational strength in the forearm and see if it helps. These excuses I was giving are just reasons, what I want to see with my training is results!

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