[Rowing Machine] 2017: Week 49 {243.8}

When all systems are working, the temptation is forgoing maintenance. Everything’s working, after all, right? I’ve been tempted by that sin before. My poor rower is long overdue for a thorough repair. Everything’s still in working condition, so I’m starting a maintenance schedule that works for me. I’ll do a sweep, clean, and check every Saturday with a more detailed version every month. I just need to build a dedicated kit, including manuals and schematics.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday Morning: time 5 minutes, 150 rows [30 average strokes per minute or “SPM”]. Woke up to some pain in my right ankle. The first fifty rows were diagnostic, focusing my thoughts on my ankle to see when it hurt, and it wasn’t consistent. Next fifty: good pace, with just the occasional pang. Last fifty: lighter pace still.
  • Tuesday Bonus: With two additional 20-minute walks.
  • Tuesday Evening: time 5 minutes, 179 rows [35.8 SPM]. My right ankle cleared up, so it was just warming it up. I thought I’d be tired this evening since it was a long day, but I kept good form and let it rip even after my seat rattled at 22. Just slightly loose bolt. Nothing bad, like the ankle…
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  • Wednesday Morning: time 5 minutes, 150 rows [30 SPM]. Wrapped up about 10 seconds early, actually. I’m still working on that lighter 30 SPM pace by focusing on less strenuous movement. This might be a good relaxing pace for me to go when I’m tired rather than completely stopping due to exhaustion.
  • Wednesday Bonus: With two additional 20-minute walks.
  • Wednesday Evening: time 5 minutes, 169 rows [33.8 SPM]. What I enjoy most about rowing is noticing how it benefits me in other ways. I’m able to do more physically, of course, and mentally I have more resolve to push forward than when I don’t row. Today was “easy,” both for rowing and just overall.
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  • Thursday Morning: time 5 minutes, 150 rows [30 SPM]. Had 10 seconds to spare. In a reverse of my normal vigorous rowing, I want to get lighter 150-in-5min sets in the morning for warm up and diagnostics. Noticing muscle soreness, so I can slow down rather than stop when I’m going around 35 SPM.
  • Thursday Bonus: With two additional 20-minute walks and two additional 15-minute walks.
  • Thursday Evening: time 5 minutes, 157 rows [31.4 SPM]. Kept a good pace until I ran out of steam at 110. Took a while to recover. Didn’t decompress enough; jumped right into rowing. Happens. You’ve gotta be physically and mentally ready to go, or as best you can be, to get the most out of things.
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  • Friday Morning: time 5 minutes, 143 rows [28.6 SPM]. After last night’s set, my right hamstring hurt in ways that it hadn’t in months. This was more of a light warm-up. Not only did I hit a good pace, but now my hamstring is feeling much better. Good lesson to be more careful. Push when needed.
  • Friday Bonus: With two additional 20-minute walks and two additional 15-minute walks.
  • Friday Evening: Got home, made dinner, tried drinking some water, and went to bed.
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  • Saturday Afternoon: time 5 minutes, 162 rows [32.4 SPM]. Got home way past exhausted, went to bed, and am now feeling rested enough to row! Started out with a light pace, but went heavier as I got warmed up. I’m feeling warmed up now, so I might do a regular set in the evening. If not, at least 150.
  • Saturday Bonus: Didn’t do any heavy-lifting. Just moving light stuff, like cataloged CDs, around.
  • Saturday Evening: time 5 minutes, 173 rows [34.6 SPM]. Started off slow and a bit insecure. I loosened the seat’s bolts by mistake. Still, I pressed on, making sure not to rattle the seat or my bones too much. After 125, everything felt right, and I was back to that solid pace that just feels good.
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  • Sunday Morning: time 5 minutes, 183 rows [36.6 SPM]. It always works better when you’re ready to rock. Doing physical work after mental work is best for me, because I’ve emptied out my mind, and I intuitively discover unique solutions to lingering questions during my active meditation [rowing].
  • Sunday Bonus: Another day to relax my muscles.
  • Sunday Evening: time 5 minutes, 185 rows [37 SPM]. I find a good time to row is after experiencing frustration. Rather than bottling up the negativity that others after I express positivity, I expel that stress in a physical way. Focusing on rowing helps me forget about my stresses; and theirs.
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  • Monday Morning: time 5min, 150 rows [30 SPM]. It’s cold out and my right knee wasn’t quite happy, but all’s good. Sometimes those little “I’m too tired” thoughts are just like any external nagging: unimportant. If you want something, you’re the only person that’s ever really stopping you.
  • Monday Bonus: The two additional 20+-minute walks and two additional 15+-minute walks would be nicer if it weren’t freezing cold out.
  • Monday Evening: time 5min, 173 rows [34.6 SPM]. Started out at a light pace since my right knee has been bothering me off and on and after 100, I took on a good pace. I’m not really going to push myself until it’s back to normal, so I just focus on consistency and pacing, which should help.
  • Weight: 243.8 pounds (down 0.2 pound)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water):
    • Tuesday: 4.8 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Wednesday: 4.8 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Thursday: 4.8 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee, 1 cup of tea
    • Friday: 3.5 liters (0.9 gallon) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Saturday: 5.3 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Sunday: 5.3 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Monday: 3.5 liters (0.9 gallon) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 10 of 14
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  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [succeeded] Just barely succeeded.
    2. Consistency: [failed] I need to figure out how to do better.
    3. Health: [succeeded] Excluding personal information, my “bonus” walks aren’t  just straight lines, and I’m doing better now than I have in the past.
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  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: no weight gain
    2. Consistency: rowing, water, vitamins, (brushing, and flossing)
    3. Health: don’t overdo it
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  • From Good to Better
    • If there’s one thing rowing has taught me, it’s pacing. You can’t go hard all the time or you’ll get exhausted. My morning “energy-conserving” sets are easier to motivate myself to do and they might be healthier for me to do overall so I don’t burn out.
    • Extrapolating to writing, I have a few spots throughout the week where I can write without thinking too critically about the content. No specific word counts, just thought dumps, like this half of the rowing column. “Energy-conserving” writing.
    • Further comparing rowing to writing, I’m beginning to identify when I’m able to go at my full rowing pace or write something more ambitious versus just taking it easy. Now that I have enough writing buffer, I can pick and choose when to write what.
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  • Sober Living
    • Last week, I teased the picture for “Concerts Are Risky.” It hasn’t published yet, so that’s just the image. The backstory is that I was interrupted with a 40 minute phone call I wasn’t ready for about a stressful situation that I can’t help with at all. Ugh!
    • Rather than keeping that frustration bottled up, I listened to Voices by Wormrot twice and wrote to completely exorcise that frustration. I’m proud of that article. I haven’t written a direct call-to-action piece like that in years. Felt good!
    • I’ll just say it. I’m doing new career work that I’m really enjoy, so I told my mom on Sunday. She tore down every positive statement and spewed negative statements. It hurt. Until Monday morning. Now, I’m just saying whatever to that; back to good.
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  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • I’m more actively fighting against negativity. I will not allow the hatred or pain of others to bring me down! People get stuck in their psychological negative feedback loops and unless I break that cycle, they will continue infinitely and relentlessly.
    • Sure, that means I’ll have to fight fire with fire more often, and sometimes those people aren’t going to be the happiest I interrupted their terrible tantrums with a “hey, you’re getting too negative here,” but what else is there to do? Accept that?
    • Let’s say those spewing negativity are on a sinking ship. If they say “hey, I’m on a sinking ship,” I can offer to help in any way I can. If they want to drag me on board so it’ll sink faster, or sink me down, then forget it! I have my own sinking ship.
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  • Disengaging from Stress
    • My biggest therapy against stress is writing. Even if I’m not writing about the negative event itself, there’s something about getting into that writing mindspace, where words flow through my mind to my keyboard, that relaxes me deeply.
    • My ideal workflow is writing until I’m exhausted then going to exercise. My then-emptied mind will fill along the set. Lingering questions will have appropriate answers appear. Then I’m physically and mentally warmed up to seize the day.
    • When I don’t feel like writing anything, or the writing isn’t natural, I know something’s extremely wrong. I’ll wrap up my exercise for the day and try to relax with some organizing. If that doesn’t help, I go to sleep early. Sleep always helps.
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  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • I’m starting each week with a sweep of the floor under and around the machine. It feels better for me when everything’s neat. Next, I’ll use my ratchet and wrench to tighten the bolts holding the seat to the bar, and rattle it to see if it’s too loose.
    • That’s it for now. I don’t have chain oil for lubrication, knowledge of tell whether the chain is loose or worn, nor any 354 batteries to get the reader to work again. Once I do, I’ll start including photos for noteworthy sets, probably on Twitter.
    • Eventually, I want to read through all the documentation and schematics to thoroughly understand my machine. Then I’ll be able to tell mid-set if something really has gone wrong or if it’s just my ignorance manifesting as paranoia.
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  • Photo and Outro
    • I’m currently assembling the dedicated items I’ll have in my rowing repair kit. This is primarily based on the maintenance guides, though I’ll probably expand on these as I do more maintenance. The note in the center spells out the specifics, listed below:
      • 11mm metric Socket
      • Ratchet
      • Wrench
      • 20W motor oil
      • 1.5 volt “354” battery
    • These tools were from my large toolkit. I don’t want to dig them out every week, so I’ll have fun building a purpose-built kit, and feature it in the weekly photos along with the reoccurring Colossus’s barbell and occasional guest Wii Fit Trainer Amiibo.
    • Now that my rowing routine is solidified, I’m starting to figure out a good routine for this weekly column. This is what I’m currently doing and I think it’s working out well. I have enough time so I’m not forcing 1700+ words out in one day:
      • Tuesdays or Monday nights: copy the template and start building it up slowly
      • Wednesdays through Saturdays: figure out the week’s concept and fill in the blanks
      • Sundays: fill in any remaining blanks
      • Monday nights: my weigh-in and writing conclusion to auto-publish on Wednesday
My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)