How do we build positive routines? My method consists of two halves. First, I define then refine the routine to its most essential elements: if I want to row twice daily, then I try many different routes, learning what works, what doesn’t, in order to find my most efficient route. Second, I omit free will or opinionated subjectivity from the routine. I simply must row twice daily. Unless my health will suffer, then… row lightly?
“Maybe it is all the heavy metal inside of you that shows on the scale!” As much as I don’t want to be influenced by ephemeral external motivators, it’s still nice reading the occasional positive vibration. The number on the scale is just an external unit of measurement for my internal success: if I put on two pounds, but I feel as though I was more successful with my health, did I fail? Objectively? Subjectively?
Words mean nothing in fitness. Similarly to wanting to become a writer yet never practicing writing, you must put in the work not just for fitness but anything in life, in order to achieve the results you want. Fortunately, once you start putting in the work, it becomes easier and after a while, you can’t even imagine life without doing that work as often as you can. It’s a positive feedback loop with subtle results.
In ten years, I could see myself becoming substantially healthier. Especially if I expand upon my current exercise routine with more than just two 5-minute sets, and hold steady on my diet restrictions (there’s only one restriction: limited or no greasy foods), then the sky’s the limit. It’d be cool seeing the elaborate shots, props I’d build, and other ways I’d be using my increased fitness capabilities to tell more interesting stories in 2028. Until then…
Ten years ago, I couldn’t have imagined where I am with my fitness and wellness. Owning a rowing machine? Exercising [almost] twice daily? Being able to do more, think clearer, and react quicker? Where even my sick days are just resting up, compared to having days obliterated by everyone’s flus and common colds? And it only took falling to my lowest physical point, twice, to finally solidify my resolve for fitness and wellness last March.
What draws us to chaos? Boredom? The itch to do more, be more, and have more? Maybe we think constant effort over long periods of time could only be difficult. Maybe we yearn for the easy road to success? Unfortunately, the only way to truly achieve anything is to constantly work toward achievements. After being constantly athletic, I gave it up for overindulgence and hedonism, now, I’m applying constant effort to achieve good fitness again.
You sometimes might not realize how much the grime that’s accumulated in your system is affecting you until you start dislodging it. The stresses of life build up innocently. Too many days without getting enough sleep, not eating well, not drinking enough water, or not taking care of yourself can, like my rowing machine’s chain, generally lead to a build-up of gunk that probably slowed down my rowing stats for years… let’s compare next week?
Maintaining my rowing machine has become a fun hobby for me. While I’ve known about some metric and standard/American sizes for a while now, it’s a fun tidbit to know that the seat, shown in the upper part of the picture below, is in metric whereas the rest of the machine is in standard. Concept2 must have outsourced that part of the production. If only we could maintain our bodies as easily as our machines.
I was in athletic shape once. I worked hard for months, rigorously studying fitness, until stopping for years. Careers are similar. You get the degree and perhaps opportunity, until you stop trying. Maybe you don’t get fired, laid off, or underemployed. Maybe it’s just you get disenfranchised. The nice thing about being a contractor, workin’ “the gig life,” is that your career fitness is always in athletic shape. You’re always fit and ready to work.
One thing they don’t talk about in any gig’s onboarding paperwork is preventative care in avoiding getting sick. You impulsively want to do a good job, so you unintentionally push yourself past your breaking point, only to realize your condition after sleeping through half the weekend. If you didn’t negotiate for healthcare benefits or sick leave timing, you might be screwed. The keys might, then, be: rest, nutrition, hydration, and open dialogue with your employer(s).