[Rowing Machine] 2017: Week 50 {243.4}

“I got some new batteries for the monitor on my rowing machine.” “I don’t think those will be enough to power a rowing machine.” Since getting back into rowing in March, I only just started to maintain the machine itself. I took it for granted. The machine has been too reliable, you might say, to concern myself with minor maintenance. It’s been fun working on the machine along with working on my health and fitness.

Note: Some entries may reference rowing stats. These stats are shown in photos that are found in the links next to the day of the week, if I haven’t stated them directly.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday Morning: time 5min, 147 rows. Intentionally kept a pace around 30 strokes per minute. While I can blast through 35 SPM or more, it’s these lower paces that can help me most. When I want to give in, 30 SPM is better than 0 SPM. This has also been a nice way to start the day.
  • Tuesday Bonus: The weather warmed up, so the two 20+ minute walks were better. Walked on my lunch break to get lunch, the batteries, and return.
  • Tuesday Evening: time 5min, 167 rows. 357 button batteries are more expensive than I thought! My monitor worked like a champ without any troubleshooting, and similarly, rowing at a light pace worked like a champ. I’ll try getting other stats in the future [see link]. Accidentally cleared it.
  • Wednesday Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. 24 watts and I don’t think I burned 54 or 5.4 calories as the attached photo shows, so, I’ll need to learn about these numbers more. Oh, and I’ll need to clean the monitor down thoroughly. Good set, though. Just strenuous enough for warming up.
  • Wednesday Bonus: The morning and evening walks are much easier now, along with the lunchtime strolls. I had enough time to run an errand; I’ll save it for another day.
  • Wednesday Evening: time 5min, 150 rows. I paused at 81 for 29 seconds, but still held a 2:27/500m pace at 52 watts and 50 calories. Doesn’t seem like I burn that much, but then again, I was told I’m “probably the healthiest person on our team.” I am feeling better than last year…
  • Thursday Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Went faster than I was anticipating, so I had about 15 seconds left on the clock to decompress. I don’t like overdoing it in the mornings because I’ll be tired by early afternoon. 150 rows in 5 minutes is just a balanced enough morning workout.
  • Thursday Bonus: Some great walkin’.
  • Thursday Evening: time 5min, 171 rows. Started with a lighter pace because I wasn’t really feeling into it. Tired, mainly. Also going to start using hearing protection. This Concept2 Model B rowing machine has treated me well… except for my hearing. So we’ll see if ear cans help.
  • Friday Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Bad habits are hard to break. I naturally row at a breakneck, purely anaerobic, pace. It’s great to feel like a superhero during that minute of power, then I’m exhausted for too long. Breaking that means practicing shifting into a milder pace.
  • Friday Bonus: Some good walking. Woke up too early and had a long day, so not as much fitness as normal.
  • Friday Evening: Long commute, so when I got home, I changed into my workout clothes… thought for a minute… changed into my pajamas… and… immediately fell asleep for 8+ hours.
  • Saturday Afternoon: time 5min, 203 rows!! Phew!! Stats in the attached photos. I started slowing down around 118, but said no to that. Between my hearing protection and closing my eyes to emulate sensory deprivation, I shut out everything. Actively meditated. Fully focusing on rowing.
  • Saturday Bonus: Light day. Did some light cleaning and organizing of my CD collection, which involved some jumping around.
  • Saturday Evening: time 5min, 173 rows, 2:19/500m, 130 watts. Went at a light pace before getting into it. Got home yesterday after wading through 1.5 hours of rush hour traffic to go to bed super early. Weekends are good for relaxation, I just know not to slack off unless I need it.
  • Sunday Afternoon: time 5min, 167 rows. I’m not feeling great right now. Feeling like throwing up, headache, and fatigue. Gave it a go anyways. Hopefully it will just be temporary.
  • Monday Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Slept most of Sunday. I have to work on consistency. I went at a faster pace than I prefer for my morning sets, and wrapped up almost 20 seconds early. Shifting into a lower gear like that might be the key to consistency. If I knew… I’d do…
  • Monday Bonus: No bonus.
  • Monday Evening: time 5min, 179 rows. This 5~ minute structured oasis from the chaos of life is nice. I can channel my fears, stresses, and excitement into each stroke. Giving my all to the machine exchanges for realizing vistas I had once attained of physical and mental endurance.
  • Weight: 243.4 pounds (down 1~ pound)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water):
    • Tuesday: 5.75 liters (1.5 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Wednesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Friday: 4.2 liters (1 gallon) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Saturday: 5.75 liters (1.5 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Sunday: 3.5 liters (0.84 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Monday: 2.0 liters (0.48 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 10 of 14
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [succeeded] Even with dehydration.
    2. Consistency: [failed] Forgetting vitamins, brushing, flossing, and skipped another Friday.
    3. Health: [succeeded] Despite minor food poisoning, doing well.
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: no weight gain
    2. Consistency: Let’s see if I can get my stats better.
    3. Health: I’m feeling borderline sick on Sunday. Hopefully I won’t get that sick.
  • From Good to Better
    • Every minute I spend doing one thing is a minute I don’t spend doing something else. I’ve really begun to notice a difference with my physicality over the last few weeks. What would take me down before is a lesser threat now. I know I say that often.
    • It’s really the truth. I noticed this too when I burned through 60 pounds in 6 months. I hadn’t realized how terribly I felt all the time until I started getting healthier. I can do all sorts of things without getting exhausted, as long as I don’t push myself.
    • Chief among them, I’ve been having some long days. While I am catching up for that over the weekends, it’s much more manageable now than when I’ve done similar routines in the past. I just need to pace myself and don’t overdo it to get stressed out.
  • Sober Living
    • Whenever I meet new people, invariably, conversations will always go to inebriation. My trick now is just to not contribute, along with saying I don’t drink or smoke, and possibly dodge out of the conversation if it’s particularly grating. Usually, it’s not.
    • The work I’m doing now is interesting enough where I’m not really stressed out. At least not on the surface. When I’m stressed out, I’m more likely to think of tempting my sobriety, or at least, will remember moments that caused me to want to stop.
    • It’s been easy for me to come up with topics to write about lately. This week, those ideas have slowed down. Maybe that’s good? Still, for 2018, I might rename the column to “Sober Saturdays,” even though sobriety should be celebrated daily.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • Driving is stressful, still, I think avoiding it completely isn’t a good thing. I like about 80% of driving. City driving isn’t that terrible. You just have to be precise and quick-witted. I don’t like the rule benders or people that disregard the rules in general.
    • Stressful people and conversations are the same. I tend to look them in the eye, state my truth, and move on. No point in trying to do anything else. I might get stressed out in that moment, then, it fades into a feeling of relaxation after I said my truth.
    • I also don’t try to relive the moment, unless I’m on the rowing machine about to do a set, or planning to write about something frustrating. There’s so much more in life to focus on than the negatives. Why let that stress consume and kill you incidentally?
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • I’m trying to adopt a disengaging method for driving where anything I might encounter while driving I leave there. Someone cuts me off? No point carrying that with me throughout the day to tell everyone. Maybe during relevant conversation?
    • I do have the added benefit of taking that pent up stress and bringing it to the rowing machine or writing about it. Burning off that negative energy helps if I’m carrying that around. Still, my better rowing sets always happen when I’m in a positive space.
    • Saturday’s 203 rows in 5 minute set was with a completely empty mind. No thoughts other than proper form of where I was at the catch and then release. Finally, no thoughts whatsoever, just doing what needed to be done, until the timer went off.
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • Sweeping the floor under the rowing machine and spraying down the parts that could get dirty was a really nice exercise in aesthetic maintenance. The monitor was dirty so I’ll be cleaning that weekly too, with maybe a different cleaner?
    • I got a 11mm wrench for the bolt that holds the seat to the railing, even though the maintenance guides doesn’t call for any metric system parts. It worked out well. Maybe the previous owner swapped out the parts? I’m fine with the difference.
    • I also bought a plier at the same time. It doesn’t quite work as well with the space I have, so I’ll be getting a second 11mm wrench, and checking both bolts weekly.
  • Photo and Outro
    • The original idea was to have something about striving for consistency. Instead, I went for an errand run to get the specific “357” batteries for my rower. I paid more for convenience and the old school experience of going to a battery story.
    • Since I have the tools available, why not take a photo after every set and upload that photo along with my rowing stats? I’ve always been a fan of seeing the results of people’s efforts, and every set is an effort made toward my overall health.
    • I’m really starting to feel good about my rowing efforts. It’s all coming together in a way where it feels natural, and when I skip a set or two, it’s not so much because I don’t feel like it or don’t want to, it’s because I physically cannot. Big difference.
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.