You sometimes might not realize how much the grime that’s accumulated in your system is affecting you until you start dislodging it. The stresses of life build up innocently. Too many days without getting enough sleep, not eating well, not drinking enough water, or not taking care of yourself can, like my rowing machine’s chain, generally lead to a build-up of gunk that probably slowed down my rowing stats for years… let’s compare next week?
- My Weekly Stats:
- Tuesday 09 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. My morning routines will now be: wake, take vitamins, eat oatmeal, cook omelet, row (light set to warm up), drink glass of juice, eat omelet, shower, and drink coffee and water throughout. This should help me keep my fitness hygiene in check.
- Tuesday 09 Evening: time 5min, 176 rows. Let it all out while exercising. Through each stroke, you should express all frustrations. Your muscles should let out any anxiety in your sets, so that when you’re done, you may rest easy knowing that any anger you had was left on the machine.
- Wednesday 10 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Had trouble stopping at 150 and keeping a light pace. I wanted to rip into it. Good, except the goal for these morning sets is sustainability. If I wear myself out at night, good, time for bed. If I’m worn out throughout the day? Not so good…
- Wednesday 10 Evening: time 5min, 165 rows. Felt a little uneasy in the first third of the set and felt a little tired in the second half. That sort of tired where you just wanna be snuggled up in bed, which is exactly when it’s better to push through that and end up a champion, perhaps.
- Thursday 11 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. When you row, it’s about persistence. I woke up exhausted yet functional. As long as it does not hurt, you should push through. This rowing set was light and I wanted to push it heavier still, but persistence would say “How does it look ahead?”
- Thursday 11 Evening: time 5min, 175 rows. Had to sweat out some stresses of the day. It’s good to get in there and think about some of those awkward exchanges in a controlled environment on this rowing machine and you know what? We’re all just trying to get to a comfortable maxima.
- Friday 12 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. It’s easy to get into a good rhythm while rowing. I might brainstorm ideas or subconsciously conclude my dreams; before returning back to reality and remembering that I should be keeping a lighter pace in the morning so I’m not wiped out later.
- Friday 12 Evening: time 5min, 156 rows. Forgot my hearing protection after the first stroke. Midway through I found a good muscle cadence. I mainly use my legs when rowing, and not my arms, so they’re a little weak. It’s alright because I can always adapt and develop my arm muscles.
- Saturday 13 Morning: time 5min, 176 rows. Woke up at my normal time but wasn’t feeling well so I slept in for 2 hours, then one additional hour. [If only we could do this professionally.] Was feeling good so I put in a solid set. Almost went for a 10 minute set. I’m just about there…
- Saturday 13 Evening: time 5min, 162 rows. Didn’t feel like doing anything today. No 500-word writings. At least fitness is so ingrained in my psyche now that I must row twice daily. Unless I’m feeling sick. If only I had that same discipline for writing daily… or even… twice daily.
- Sunday 14 Morning: time 5min, 169 rows. Had two longer naps, from 5PM Saturday until midnight and from 7AM to 10AM. It’s not great to be pushing myself this hard, so I accept these naps, but it’d be nicer to have an easier commute and maybe even gig. At least my erg is in good shape.
- Sunday 14 Evening: time 5min, 187 rows. Whew! I’m sweaty, my stomach hurts, and I may have forgot to count at around 170. Hopefully this won’t nuke my consistency this week. At least I can confirm the chain works after I picked away some crud oil. Maybe that cleaning actually helped?
- Monday 15 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. I wanted to go faster. I knew I shouldn’t. I accidentally went faster. I slowed down in the last minute, otherwise, sure, my stats would be better, but how about my overall energy levels today or on Friday? The set did feel great. Good warm-up.
- Monday 15 Evening: time 5min, 194 rows. As I passed 100 rows without showing signs of slowing down, I remembered how much of an achievement 100 felt like 6 months ago. Go back and check. Similarly, what may seem weak now was strong back then, so celebrate every achievement you can.
- Weight: 244.4 pounds (down 2.2 pounds)
- Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
- Tuesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.2 liters of juice
- Wednesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.2 liters of juice
- Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.2 liters of juice
- Friday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.2 liters of juice
- Saturday: 3.5 liters (0.92 gallon) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 0.2 liters of juice
- Sunday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 3.0 liters of coffee
- Monday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 3.0 liters of coffee
- Vitamins: 14 of 14
- Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
- Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
- Last Week’s Goals:
- Weight: [succeeded] Lost some weight. Note: I’m changing my weekly weigh-in time to Monday mornings after waking up, peeing, and hopefully remembering to weigh myself before getting coffee and oatmeal, but if not, I leave that in the overall weight.
- Consistency: [succeeded] Rowed every day and got in all my vitamins. Felt good overall about this, too. I didn’t drink enough water on Saturday, but I’ll give myself a pass since that was a rough post-work-marathon day, and nearly got to a gallon.
- Health: [succeeded] I’ve noticed some overall improvement this week in how I’ve felt. Maybe it was just a low-impact commute, maybe it was drinking plenty of water, (and being sufficiently caffeinated,) or maybe this fitness is improving my health?
- This Week’s Goals:
- Weight: no weight gain
- Consistency: keep it up!
- Health: no sick hours
- From Good to Better
- I’m figuring out my work and writing pacing. The biggest thing I’d noticed was I’m pushing myself too much with this current schedule with an average of 6 hours of sleep per night on weekdays, so by Friday, I’d be exhausted. The stats speak to that.
- Part of that is when I use the restroom, I’ll close my eyes for about one minute. I get really bad headaches and part of that is because I don’t blink my eyes enough, so hours of artificial light burning your eyes causes me headache-like symphoms.
- If I can close my eyes for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes (not possible at this gig, but maybe future gigs?) a few times a day, what a difference it could make for my overall stress levels! It’s all about keeping a strong pace, isn’t it? In life and exercise…
- Sober Living
- Accidentally walked past someone’s hot-boxed van on the way to the music shop on Friday. I hadn’t realized just how frequently I’d had been exposed to minuscule amounts of weed between going to concerts and working in Seattle. So here’s this…
- Even just a little bit can relax me quite a bit, so it’s like cheating myself and cheating the system, since even a whiff probably isn’t enough to detect on a cannabis test. That’s not the problem. I’m not worried about other people testing me for that shit.
- It’s about my own desire to lead a drug-free, alcohol-free, and substance-free lifestyle. I’ve been impaired enough throughout my life. If I should be numb, it should be for working hard, working smart, and determination. No cheats.
- Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
- Traffic is the big stressor. With enough prep time, I’ll leave before the morning rush hour and leave as it winds down, which usually gives me about a 45-minute to hour commute each way in traffic that isn’t the stop-and-go-fast Seattle traffic on I-5.
- There was some stress at work. Project’s going well, but there are more eyes on the project status since we’re in production. Some people looking at some concerning numbers, we’re looking at other optimistic numbers. We’ll have our big chats soon.
- I completely went through my backlog again. I’m trying to prioritize writing every day, so that even if I only get 75 words out, let alone my ideal 500 words, my backlog won’t get depleted by the weekends, and I could actually have relaxation time?
- Disengaging from Stress
- The aforementioned 30 seconds of closing my eyes has been helpful. I’ve also been relying on rowing more as a way to release my stress in a controlled environment, which is helpful. Just focus on the biggest stress demon and hit the machine hard.
- Drinking at least one gallon of water daily has helped. If I’m getting too focused on details at work, then my bladder will kick in to remind me to disengage. Sometimes, brief respites, rather than huge breaks, are enough to keep an even keel in life.
- Otherwise, writing is one of my biggest stress relievers, so the more I write, the more I can relax. “Dreaming of Data” was one such example of taking something that happened and framing it in a way that could help me disengage from it.
- Rowing Machine Maintenance
- I’m doing a monthly deep cleaning of my rowing machine. This month, I went through with a toothpick and picked away most of the crud oil from the chain. Took maybe about one hour to get from the bottom to the top with two dozen tooth picks?
- I built a casual shelf next to my rowing machine for my 20W motor oil, “oil pan,” wrenches, tooth picks, cotton swabs, disinfectant spray, and more tools as I acquire them. Maybe that’ll be the option I go with, in lieu of having a formal toolkit?
- The shelf – a board propped up by four small coffee cans – held up against one of my strongest sets in a few weeks without anything falling over. The chain also held up just nicely. I may need to clean the chain more often, or, figure on replacing it?
- Photo and Outro
- After cleaning the crud oil out of my rowing machine’s chain, I wanted to take a photo to commemorate the cleaning. As part of my fortnightly Colossus photographs, I wanted to figure out a way to include him in with the toothpicks, and it went well…
- The black metal face paint and invisible oranges were somewhat unintentional. Subconsciously, I knew that I’d probably do this, so I just let Black Metal Colossus happen. The toothpicks reminded me of the Completely Unreadable Band Logo of the Week.
- I really need a black metal ROW shirt now. At least a few different tank tops with various designs, a standard shirt for concerts, and maybe a black polo shirt for the occasional dressy occasion where I might go row in a fancy new gym.