Shortly after beginning to row regularly again, I received invites for more physical hobbies. Until now, I hadn’t been up to the challenge. The brain is funny. Mine knows when it’s time to kick into gear. Mine knows when I need to trash the junk food and get better quality food. Mine knows when it can do more. My body is now less of a burden to my mind’s ambitions to do more, including… skateboarding?
#rowingmachine 50 rows. I enjoy the process. Hitting my knee at around 24 rows in, feeling my back stretch at around 42, the good form at around 33, and the bad form at the 12th row. The sweat. Aching. My neck hurts. I feel calm. Anxiety doesn’t exercise. The stresses of the day are somewhere else. When they return, I’ll have practiced my resilience, so that I may strike at the first opportune moment. I enjoy my rowing workouts!
Fitness is not just for weight loss. It’s for health, overcoming stressful situations, wellness, and the general sense of being able to do what you need to do! When I don’t exercise, or when I’m in what I call “fat mode,” I can barely do anything. When I’m in “fit mode,” I can take on the world! I have more endurance both physically and mentally to push-up against things that might otherwise take me down.
You must work toward anything you want to achieve in life. Every motivational person says it their way because it’s all the same. The ones that burn out typically went too quick, didn’t fully anticipate the amount of grinding away at life it takes to get that better life, or maybe wanted easy results. Rowing is fun for me. It’s also grueling. I’ve already seen drastic improvements since March and I know there’s even more.
I’ve noticed an increase over the recent years in the number of times I’ve been sick. It’s never an incapacitation as much as general realizations that I’m just not at peak performance. When I’m well, I have fast reflexes, write frequently, and overall life is good. When I’m not, my reflexes are terrible, I don’t write, and I’m cantankerous. Identifying the root cause could fix it next time… I haven’t figured it out this time.
Life is cruel if you let it afflict you. Life will beat you down with illness, emotion, and never-ending barrages of stress. If that’s what you allow. If you can train your body and mind to overcome minor illness, calmly react to negative emotions, and deflect stress, you can find your invincible summer. Rowing has helped me overcome some of that by letting me throw that anguish into something productive that helps me endure hardships.
I returned to fitness because my ambitions were being hindered by accidental obesity. Recovering the physicality of performing tasks that aren’t extremely difficult is one goal. That statement is broad enough to celebrate any smaller victory. Saturday at Tool, I was able to move between photogenic vantage points without being exhausted. Sure, that’s not much compared to athletes or what was once considered healthy. You’ve just got to remain positive. It’s so easy to regress!
Compared to the mad rush to lose weight I had in my mid-20s, which saw me burn off 60 pounds 6 months, my main focus now is general health. Improving my diet. Increasing my mobility, flexibility, and overall endurance. I’ve been feeling better in some areas, while feeling more fatigued in other areas. Despite of all this hard work, even burning 136 (or 33+28+24+24+27) calories on a new rowing machine doesn’t feel like that much progress. Fitness ain’t easy.
Now “XL shirts” feel extra-large and “large shirts” feel comfortable again! While I’ve been enjoying these and other small victories, I have to be careful not to push myself to the point of overexertion. The inclusion of my rowing stats within these weekly fitness columns are helping me track trends to predict when I might be pushing myself too much without noticing. That pacing might be key for fitness consistency as well as weight maintenance.
“Before, I’d plow through this [meal] even if I wasn’t hungry.” Eat until you’re no longer hungry. Don’t eat until you’re full. Especially do not stuff your stomach with food! Consciously considering boxing a quarter or half of the meal you order at a restaurant is like getting half of your meal for free. You’ll spread the meal out over more time. It’s also less weight you have to lift and carry around with you.