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.
Word brevity prevents sentence clutter; room tidiness prevents house clutter. I was hesitant upon hearing my rowing stats platform would double their posting character limit because my writing has benefited from word count limitations and character restrictions. Just like decluttering a space, it’s tempting to fill in the new space with junk. If you’re careful with your planning, you can be effective with your storage solutions. Fitness is the same: rowing consistently prevents weight clutter.
Physical fitness is a daily decision. While making smart decisions throughout the day to eat better quality foods can help me feel better, I’ve found that exercise more directly inspires my diet. When I haven’t exercised or thought about aspects of my personal fitness, my cravings that day will go toward junk food or impulsively getting a second plate of Thanksgiving dinner. When I have, I’m more interested in eating healthier foods and smaller portions.
There’s a point along your fitness journey where people start noticing. If you work with a professional trainer like I did years ago when I burned 60 pounds in 6 months, the spotlights quickly shine curious optimism on your efforts. That first journey accidentally recessed 67 pounds due to lacking discipline. I’m going at a slower pace for this journey, in ways that should allow my health to shine brightly for years, and people are starting to notice!
Rather than strictly for weight loss or “looking good,” fitness should be about maintaining one’s body. Exercising should help us practice our muscles and detect possible issues. After getting fit (burning off 60 pounds, thanks to rowing), then fat (gaining 30, then 65), I sustained a hamstring injury that I carried with me for years. Over the last few months, I finally started to maintain my body again, and massaged that injury away. Rowing is my maintenance inspection!
I dropped all fitness excuses when I started this weekly column back in March. While it’s been demanding, I’m seeing results I haven’t seen in years! This time last year, I could barely do 22 rows in one set, and now I’m averaging 165.9 rows per 5-minute set. It’s not all physical, either. I have more mental focus, resilience, and I’ve made some friends along the way. Let’s drop the excuses and get inspired to exercise more!
Isn’t it boring that the English alphabet only has 26 letters? Isn’t it boring that rowing only has 4 positions? The more often I row and write, the more often I think hitting a solid rowing catch, drive, finish, or recovery position can compare with hitting a solid word choice, sentence execution, provocative thought, or decisive document. Is it boring that one letter can change everything or not hitting the right position can ruin your rowing flow?
I’ve been steadily getting heavier after I stopped rowing heavier 5 minute rowing sets. Starting in late March, I weighed 267. Using only the fortnightly titles, here’s how my weight progressed: 260, 256, 255, 254, 253, 252, 251, 249, 247, 250, 246, 248, 250, and I weighed in at 253 pounds on Tuesday morning. Now that I have exacting data showing that I need to burn more calories, or consume less calories, I can use that information to make the necessary changes for my fitness. Fortunately, it isn’t all doom below.
“They have one of those in the back.” Most gyms have rowing machines. It’s just they’re hidden in plain sight because they’re not glamorous devices. Running is sexy. Rowing is… not. One treadmiller had rested his backpack on the sole rower at this one gym, and when I motioned that I wanted to use it, while courteous, he seemed surprised that someone was going to use it. See, I don’t like rowing being my secret.
It starts small. I’ve been eating more and exercising less. I started including a second scoop of peanut butter in my oatmeal, so now I have a one scoop limit. I’m planning to row for longer sets again. I’ve been ordering the healthier items on menus, and now intend to be more picky with removing the unhealthier bits; I didn’t eat the mayo-drenched shredded lettuce and bun on a fish sandwich this evening, for example.