[Rowing Machine] 2017/02/17

For this week’s rowing column, let’s talk about motivation. Why exert so much effort in the process of rowing? Why exhaust yourself? Why try when it’s not surpassing your best? External motivation is temporary. Internal motivation remains when the inspiration is from a visceral moment in your past. As I was taking some photos on the morning of February 17th 2017, I realized that I was being hindered, and that it was time to get motivated.

I arrived near work particularly early that morning. Walking through the Seattle Center to find a tall structure to take some photographs of the ghostly bright Space Needle, I ended up at a playground near the EMP with a jungle gym, and tried to climb the chain ladder through an entry point obviously designed for children to get a good view.

I couldn’t…

No, I wasn’t caught by security. I had the foresight to suspiciously glance around before attempting my climb. It was more that I didn’t have the physical capacity to climb up more than a few rungs before I realized what a bad idea it could have been and gave up. I did jump up on a small cement platform and take some photos including the one above.

How embarrassing!

When I left that moment, I thought about how I needed to improve my physicality. There were other shots I’d be missing out on by not being able to climb up to where I needed to go, there’d be other places I might not be able to attend because I quickly tired out with little exertion, and other things I wouldn’t be able to do because crouching took some effort.

Wasn’t overnight.

It took two weeks before I began again. Since I’ve been falling behind on my original plan of rowing twice daily, I wanted to return to that initial inspiration as a way to check in and perhaps remind myself of my motivations and goals. Turns out I’ve been hitting those goals quite nicely! So let’s conclude with some highlights on things I’ve improved on since February:

  • Last year, I had to ask a neighbor for help with a project. This year, I was able to do that project and more.
  • Ran up two flights of stairs like Rocky and didn’t even need to catch my breath at the top of the stairs. Didn’t throw my hands up, though!
  • My mobility has improved. Before I’d have to kneel on my knee to look at the bottom shelves of things. Now I can easily crouch.
  • Partially disassembled an exercise bike, moved it up a flight of stairs with a hand truck, and reassembled it without assistance.
  • Assembled four shelving units that require two people to build because I do what I want when I want and it feels good when I actually can!

Next week’s column will be my monthly weigh-in. I drink at least five pounds or two liters of water per day, so it’ll be interesting to see the numerical changes.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.