I would go well past the point of social inebriation because I couldn’t handle the pain of reality. I needed panacea. The serene bliss of numbness outweighed any risk. I was also in a self-destructive mindset stating ‘not much is my fault,’ especially when I couldn’t address the stress and pain in my life, because I was the innocent victim, after all… The pain is still here. It’s just now I can actually fix it!
Fitness is difficult for me when I have no functional goals. Health goals work for me when I actively notice looming threats like continual poor health, cardiovascular issues, or diabetic trends. Once those clear up, I lose the motivation. If the goal is something more tangible however, like being able to increase my body’s functionality in order to get more done throughout the day, then I’m all over it! Tools, then, mean nothing without use.
Accomplishing any goal requires internal motivation and external motivation. My internal motivation to burn 60 pounds in 6 months nearly 10 years ago was my desperation to get out of terrible health. My external motivation was a convenient gym membership. Similar desperation rekindled that internal motivation last year. Unfortunately, internal motivation disappears without external motivation. That was initially just this weekly column, then daily social media accountability, now, a natural addition to my home gym. (…And eventual set?)
Compared to last year, a yard work activity took me half the time and drained my energy perhaps half as much, because I still did a 10-minute rowing set. I’m not as far along on my fitness journey as I would prefer, however, I’ve made significant progress toward getting there! Fast progress leads to failure. There’s no sustaining it. Long-term trends typically work because there’s less effort trying to maintain your status quo of success.
There’s a phrase circulating professional sites: “people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses.” Those bosses, and I’ve had two, were weak links in the corporate chain. Without proper inspection, they caused their whole department to fall into disrepair. With a little managerial lubrication, every employee works more efficiently. Similarly, if a rowing machine’s chain (if applicable) is under disrepair, your stats go down. If only bad managers could get a little maintenance like rowing machines.
I don’t meditate like most people. Traditional practice asks that you should empty your mind, clear your thoughts, and calmly sit. While I’ve had some success with this method for reaching thought equilibrium, I’ve had more success in float tanks (or when I have downtime) letting the errant thoughts freely roam, with the most success occurring after going in with challenging questions that need time to develop, like a photo of an unclaimed optimal future.
Dental hygiene, like exercise, is a time-sink with seemingly invisible results. Both can be multitasked. Unfortunately, you have to dedicate your full attention to either task to get the most thorough results, otherwise, if your attention is diverged, you’ll most likely forget to floss your back row of teeth or just give mediocre effort to your set. Fortunately, the results for both speak for themselves: don’t do either one for a while, and you’ll notice!
I forget the last time I ate pizza. It’s not like a sobriety counter or anything, and I’ll probably have more. This slice was probably the greasy food court pizza necessitating dabbing off napkin-full after napkin-full of oily fats. I’ve since rejected a handful of thank-you slices of pizza. It’s never personal. It’s just irrational for me to eat food I don’t enjoy that I know will just needlessly distract from my long-term fitness goals.
We have too many distractions. Some distractions are good. Too many distractions leads to that certain indecisiveness that spoils us of our time, enables us to be lazy, and prevents us from doing what we must. These distractions help us cope with terrible commutes or mediocre gigs at the expense of addressing what we must do to resolve the origins of these stressors. Taken broadly, the more we distract ourselves, the less we can do.
The doctor returned from his lunch break, a carefully regimented respite to relax his brain by exploring the nuances of the campus with a sandwich and coffee, to find his microscope wasn’t working. The door was locked. Nothing seemed disturbed. He tried a few things before calling in for help. “IT, this is Sam.” “Hi Sam, Dr. Florigen. My microscope isn’t working.” “Can we run some tests over the phone or should I run over?”