Along with reading “Range,” I also took a test. I’ve take many a “personality test” before, mostly work-related and many of them quite pricey and elaborate affairs with dubious results. This latest test/survey/analysis was the CliftonStrengths assessment, which reveals your top five strengths. I found the assessment itself quite stressful because it’s timed, and many of the statements you are supposed to “agree” or “disagree” with require a lot of thought and processing, but you only have twenty seconds to make a decision on each one. I suppose that makes sense, since they don’t want you endlessly prevaricating, but it really put the pressure on. I wasn’t super-surprised at most of my results: Empathy, Connectedness, Developer, Adaptability—all of which fall into the Relationship Building category—but I was quite surprised to find that “Strategic” came up in my top five. I’m still puzzling my way through that one. I have never thought of myself as particularly strategic. I think ahead, but I have always felt that is based more on anxiety than any innate chess-champion-like instincts. (In fact, I hate chess and have a whole story about when I worked for a chess company once and had to fake passion for it for a year and half.) But maybe I’m selling myself short and I could have a second career as a brilliant strategist, creating...strategies, or whatever it is they do.
Speaking of strategies, I am inching ever-closer to that elusive pull-up by getting uber-agressive with the assisted pull-up machine, lowering the assist weight further and further each time and holding myself in place when I can’t pull myself up any further. I’m about 30-35 pounds away from a single pull-up. It’s disheartening that it’s taking forever to get there, but I have also gained a fair bit of muscle in my legs, making them heavier, and have put on a little more weight after upping my calories, which I need to increase even more to keep up with all of the weight lifting. It’s like a dog chasing its tail at this point, but I’m in too far now to give up. The day will come, my chickadees, I have no doubt of it.
Last week’s video featured Vivaldi, who was a fixture at the Ospedale della Pietà, teaching violin and writing many pieces for their orchestra. Here’s some more Vivaldi to tickle your ears: