[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 02 {246.6}

Maintaining my rowing machine has become a fun hobby for me. While I’ve known about some metric and standard/American sizes for a while now, it’s a fun tidbit to know that the seat, shown in the upper part of the picture below, is in metric whereas the rest of the machine is in standard. Concept2 must have outsourced that part of the production. If only we could maintain our bodies as easily as our machines.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 02 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Stopped at 38 because I realized I forgot my hearing protection. Much better. Kept a light pace up until the 130s because I wanted to achieve 150. That anticipation turned into nervousness. My new goal should be to not reach 150 rows in 5min…
  • Tuesday 02 Evening: time 5min, 153 rows. I went in today on fire and wrote the sternest email of my career. Woke the lazy. Wasn’t fired. Similarly, rowing at even a light pace can help move those lazy muscles just enough to fire them up. Be stern. Work hard with any time you can find.
  • Wednesday 03 Morning: time 5min, 143 rows. Going at an intentionally lighter pace turned out well. I want to do longer sets soon. Can’t do that anaerobically. This is also a nice way to warm up before taking on a longer set of taking on the day: a hours long slog through responsibility.
  • Wednesday 03 Evening: time 5min, 134 rows. Minus 30 seconds. Driving through the monstrosity that is Seattle traffic at any hour of the day shreds up my foot. I had to stop. My right foot was hurting. It’s better about 10 minutes later. How long will we accept this poor infrastructure?
  • Thursday 04 Morning: time 5min, 147 rows. About halfway through, I had to use a good amount of willpower to prevent myself from launching into a pace of over 60 SPM. OK, maybe not, but I felt like I could do it. That’s fight or flight anxiety creeping in. Hard week; need to decompress.
  • Thursday 04 Evening: time 3min, 105 rows. 1-50 at my usual light pace. 51 through 87 was probably at over 40 SPM. All my frustrations, stress, and constrictions fueled this mad rush. Kept some momentum going until I had to hard stop at 100. Minute later, picked it back up. Traffic…
  • Friday 05 Morning: time 5min, 146 rows. Woke up with a headache of perhaps too much blood settling in certain areas of my head, or, the result of pushing myself through stress too much? Either way, just a mild set this morning. Good warm up for the day.
  • Saturday 06 Evening: time 5min, 141 rows. Got home yesterday beyond exhausted and slept basically from 9PM to 4PM. I was up for a bit in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise, I was out. So when I felt like stopping at 47 rows in, downshifting like I have been practicing helped.
  • Sunday 07 Afternoon: time 5min, 158 rows. Still exhausted but feeling more back to normal than yesterday. My upper back was hurting at around halfway through when I was going at a lighter pace. When I upshifted, it felt better. Still tired overall.
  • Monday 08 Afternoon: time 5min, 169 rows. Feeling back to normal! It’s surprising how fast and thoroughly stress can eat away at your physical and mental wellness. I was operating in the redline too much last week. I knew better, yet I kept pressing on, like rowing when you’re hurting.
  • Monday 08 Evening: time 5min, 173 rows. Back in it! My writing this afternoon didn’t feel as intuitive as it normally does, so I’m not 100%, but considering I wasn’t listening when I dipped below 60% late last week, I’ll take it. It’s too bad it’s so hard keeping onesself maintained.
  • Weight: 246.6 pounds (up 3.4 pounds)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
      • Tuesday: 4.5 liters (1.19 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.3 liters of juice
      • Wednesday: 4.5 liters (1.19 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.3 liters of juice
      • Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.19 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.3 liters of juice
      • Friday: 3.5 liters (0.92 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Saturday: 1.0 liters (0.26 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.2 liters of juice
      • Sunday: 0.5 liters (0.13 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Monday: 5.3 liters (1.39 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.1 liters of juice
  • Vitamins: 7 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [failed] gained some weight
    2. Consistency: [failed] didn’t row or take vitamins, did brush
    3. Health: [failed] got exhausted again
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: no weight gain
    2. Consistency: figure out a way to take vitamins and row consistently
    3. Health: don’t dip that low again
  • From Good to Better
    • Let’s start with the bad for health. My rowing stats are quickly becoming my health narratives, so you work you way from Tuesday to Friday to see how quickly the stresses of traffic took their toll on me. Yuck. I hate when external factors affect me.
    • I’ll have to figure out decompress methods. This commute was on the more extreme side of things, and this past week of work was particularly stressful, but hopefully the upcoming weeks will be less stressful in both regards, otherwise it’s unsustainable.
    • On the better side of things, I’ve been writing with my tablet more. It’s great writing anywhere. I do enjoy writing at home most, but it’s not always possible, so editing at home just before uploading is the next best alternative, after writing remotely.
  • Sober Living
    • Despite the stresses, I actually didn’t feel tempted to drink or smoke or overindulge in diphenhydramine or anything like that. I did oversleep on Saturday, which done too much might even be worse. I know I feel like crap if I oversleep frequently.
    • Much of my writing this week involved the grittier side of sobriety, though, so maybe I was actively purging those thoughts before they boiled over. Actually, “The Gig Grind” was originally going to be a sobriety update before it took a fictional turn.
    • As I introduce more characters into “The Story,” I want to include sobriety stories of sobriety from different perspectives. Trishna’s sister Sam and brother Fearghal both had experiences before the narrative beginning. Fearghal narrowly escaped his bit.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • Writing has always been the most effective countermeasure against stress. If only I could have seen how much stress was affecting me in the moment. I wasn’t feeling right on Thursday and should’ve called out sick. Didn’t. Felt worse through Monday.
    • The biggest stressor was that Tuesday morning “stern email.” I conceptualized it in “The Gig Grind.” In a sense, I had to play the bad guy to get people up off their happy asses. I didn’t feel great about bringing a target on my back, but it needed to be done.
    • Traffic was the biggest stressor. Not having enough time each day to completely decompress before needing to row, edit, publish, and sleep to repeat sucks. So many people’s dreams die because it’s the easiest thing to cut to maintain mediocrity.
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • I need to figure out more ways to disengage and decompress on the go. Maybe I should get a Harvest Moon game? Maybe I should go to coffee shops more often during heavy traffic hours to write while waiting for traffic to die down? Read more?
    • I’ve been working on readjusting my attitude toward traffic. Leaving earlier, not being in such a hurry or in a rush to stress myself out, and trying not to be as tense while driving. Just keep on going at a reasonable pace. No need to whiteknuckle it.
    • I also need to sleep more, whether it’s doing less throughout the week so I can get to bed earlier, or figuring out places to nap. My current gig has no private rooms, no place to dodge out to nap, and has an open lot with heavy security monitoring… ugh.
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • I got some cotton swabs and 20 weight motor oil to properly clean and maintain the rowing machine’s chain. This upcoming weekend is my monthly deep clean, so in preparation, I’ve been wiping off the crusty oil from the chain that’s built up.
    • I’m not sure if I want to try to open up the compartment that holds the chain or whether I can just slowly get to it by completely pulling all of the chain out that I can and wiping the deepest parts of the chain off first before lightly oiling it down.
    • Cotton swabs and some toothpicks, are effective at getting into the bits of the chain that were nearly invisibly dirty to get them cleaner. I haven’t noticed a difference yet and I’ll probably need to do more thorough maintenance before noticing anything.
  • Photo and Outro
    • The concept for the photo was supposed to be Colossus’s barbell representing the 11mm nuts and bolts that hold in the seat. The bar and the wrenches constrast with the weights and the bolts… it was kind of a fun idea, just not really clear, perhaps.
    • I didn’t really have a better idea in mind and didn’t have enough time to set up a more intricate shot, so while it’s not that great, it’s still good enough and does show the rowing machine. I should include it more photos. It’s just in a messy area, I guess.
    • Not a great week for health. Let’s try for better. Hitting a gallon of water per day, figuring out a better vitamin routine, rowing more often, decompressing from stress, and eating healthier might all help turn things around next week and beyond.
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.