For the past month, client projects and training for my first marathon have been keeping me busy. These have been preoccupying me so much that I can’t help but use one as analogy for the other 😛

So what’s “cross-training?” Wikipedia defines it as:

Cross-training (also known as conditioning) refers to training in different ways to improve overall performance. It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to neglect the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.

According to coaches assisting me as part of the marathon program I’m in… Whenever you run, you basically exercise a specific muscle group. To avoid injury, burnout, and train strategically, it’s recommended to give that muscle group time to rest. But instead of lying around doing nothing, it’s best to exercise muscle groups that aren’t used in running. Like rowing perhaps. Or swimming, for those who can (definitely not me, I can’t swim :P).

So what does this have to do with my job?

Well, let’s just say that I’ve been using up my “web designer skills group” much too often already, that it drives me nuts sometimes. I thought alternating from actual design and HTML/CSS/PHP coding would be enough, but it’s not. I still get burned out. And that’s not good when you have deadlines to consider.

I thought I could a lot time to do some graphic art work during weekends — making computer art just because. After all, I get to allot time to train for my marathon, why not that too, right? But then… That would mean I’ll be in front of the computer all day, all week. It didn’t seem to be the “artistic break” I was aiming for.

I don’t know what made me do this, but my husband Marc thinks it’s another one of my “bright ideas” that make him scratch his head in wonder:

Clay art! 😀

Those are the Peashooter and Garlic from Plants versus Zombies. The creatures are just so adorable in that game! Next time I’ll probably make miniature versions of the things I love… Running shoes, my iMac, basketball — things like that.

If I had my way, I’d use polymer clay so I can bake it and preserve it for a long time. But my stingy husband said I needed to practice on modeling clay first, since he didn’t want me throwing away useless polymer clay on failed attempts of my miniature sculptures. I’m ok with that, polymer clay doesn’t really come cheap. Besides, my use of modeling clay comes with a condition: Marc needs to live with seeing my Plants versus Zombies sculptures every single time he opens the fridge 😀

Aside from annoying him in revenge for not letting me buy polymer clay, there’s also some practical reason for my clay Peashooter and Garlic being the little vanguard of our refrigerator. Modeling clay softens in heat. Even though the weather lately had been on the cold side lately (Christmas is near, yay!), the overall temperature in a day still isn’t enough to keep my Peashooter upright 🙁 So for now, the husband will have to get used to seeing the defensive formation of my little clay creatures until I’m able to “immortalize” them once I have polymer clay 😀

Clay art as web design “cross-training” has been quite helpful. I’m less prone to burn out since I started, and I look forward to making new stuff whenever I’m not resting or going out with Marc. Work becomes less stressful with these clay creatures.

Hopefully, I’ll be ready to use polymer clay before December. Clay art Christmas gifts anyone? 😀