[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 05 {241.2}

Ten years ago, I couldn’t have imagined where I am with my fitness and wellness. Owning a rowing machine? Exercising [almost] twice daily? Being able to do more, think clearer, and react quicker? Where even my sick days are just resting up, compared to having days obliterated by everyone’s flus and common colds? And it only took falling to my lowest physical point, twice, to finally solidify my resolve for fitness and wellness last March.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 23 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. My morning priorities are: row, prepare to go, and… write-o? It’s OK if I skip writing in the morning; just means I have to write abroad. It’s OK if I don’t make my normal breakfast; just means I have to buy some food. It’s not OK not to row.
  • Tuesday 23 Evening: time 5min, 164 rows. Stress can infect you out of nowhere and can last for a lifetime. Let’s try to find more positive decompression methods. I’ve found that when I have negative thoughts while rowing, if I press on harder, they tend to chill out after I’m done.
  • Wednesday 24 Morning: time 5min, 160 rows. Focused on my shoulder muscles this time. I went at a faster pace because I got in some good writing that helped clear out the mental cobwebs, so onto the physical cobwebs. My back and shoulder feel good, so hopefully I won’t feel it later…
  • Wednesday 24 Evening: time 5min, 201 rows. You know urgency where you must do something so badly, you forgo sleep, food, water, or any bodily function? How about that feeling of physical and mental release after you get there? There are cheap thrill shortcuts, but to get it on your own?
  • Thursday 25 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. In this safe society without active threats to life and limb, we end up expressing primal urges in the forms of road rage, heated arguments, and passive aggressiveness. I exercise to exorcise that, so I may calmy brave those artificial storms.
  • Thursday 25 Evening: time 5min, 167 rows. I’m seeing the results. Physical and mental improvements. Flexibility, endurance, strength, and speed. Discipline, maybe self-confidence, and the wherewithal to overcome obstacles that would otherwise restrict me. Rowing isn’t easy. Nothing is.
  • Friday 26 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Before I stopped rowing years ago, at the gym once I had a random personal trainer congratulate me on a good set. I’m not used to these lighter sets. That mid-20s fit me had a stride I can only occasionally catch up to now. I’m getting there.
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  • Saturday 27 Morning: time 5min, 165 rows. You know when you just don’t feel like doing anything and you just want to sleep and sleep? Well, I slept through whatever rude vibrations were taking hold of my mind, and skipped some sets. Might try another in a while. Wasn’t a great set…
  • Saturday 27 Evening: time 5min. Ended up doing a second set last night… but forgot to tweet out the stats and I usually don’t record the number other than here. Felt like a better set overall. Had it more together and it felt more natural. Sometimes, short breaks like that are good.
  • Sunday 28 Morning: time 5min, 172 rows. Thinking back to ten years ago, I’m grateful I can benefit from fitness. It was rough for me to do anything big back then. Now I can row a decent 5-minute set, go about my day, and not feel beyond exhausted. That’s not possible for everyone.
  • Sunday 28 Evening: time 5min, 174 rows. The nerves in my right leg tingled between 80~90. It felt like muscles that hadn’t been used in a while, or more likely not properly stretched, than anything long term. Still, it didn’t feel nice, and I would have stopped if it kept tingling.
  • Monday 29 Morning: time 5min. Ended up doing a second set last night… but forgot to tweet out the stats and I usually don’t record the number other than here. Felt like a better set overall. Had it more together and it felt more natural. Sometimes, short breaks like that are good.
  • Monday 29 Evening: time 5min, 143 rows. The misunderstanding people might have with fitness is that you’re not competing against others. You’re your only competition. I strained my leg pretty good last night. Instead of giving up today, I focused on light physical therapy stretches.
  • Weight: 241.2 pounds (down 2.0 pounds)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
      • Tuesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.0 liters of coffee
      • Wednesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.0 liters of coffee
      • Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Friday: 3.0 liters (0.8 gallon) of water, 2.5 liters of coffee
      • Saturday: 4.7 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Sunday: 5.3 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 glass of orange juice
      • Monday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.5 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 10 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [succeeded] Did well! I’m a stress eater, as I imply of Sammohini in “Ten Years Ago V,” which is a common psychological thing. When you eat, you tend not to be as stressed out. My fault is just eating too much at once without moderation.
    2. Consistency: [neutral] Since I eat oatmeal twice daily, I realized one way to up my vitamin consistency would be to place a spare vitamin container on top of my oatmeal container. Though it might not be foolproof yet, at least it’s a start.
    3. Health: [neutral] My leg stopped hurting by Monday afternoon, but that’s indicative of a larger problem. To strain yourself physically, after years of disciplined exercise, to me implies you’ve strained yourself mentally with overexertion or miscalculations.
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: No weight gain. It might actually have been the peanut butter in my oatmeal that was keeping my weight at an even keel the last few weeks. If you slather some high calorie item like that like it’s nothing, well, of course you’re not losing weight.
    2. Consistency: Taking my vitamins and rowing on Friday nights would be a good start. I cancelled my dentist’s appointment, (don’t get sick!) so I should make sure to use my floss picks again. I’ve been doing well with brushing daily, for a second anyways.
    3. Health: What can I do to improve my health? I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Either too little, as was the case with most of the week, or too much like this weekend. My diet is OK, but could be better. Stress levels are high on average…
  • From Good to Better
    • I guess the big thing was standing up for myself last week. I ended the week on a really depressed note, just really feeling like I was screwed over, which was probably the build up of a week’s worth of stress. (I hate Fridays for that reason. Fuck Fridays.)
    • My body might be becoming more tolerant of this work schedule. I’m finding moments of respite throughout the day. I can’t wait to be back into more of a regular schedule. At least I’m learning and applying most of it to my writing and resume.
    • Staying disciplined with my fitness and diet were my biggest downfalls years ago. Now I avoid grease as much as possible. I limit myself to a burger a week, no pizza, and nothing that will drag me down for the rest of the day. It’s been helpful for me.
  • Sober Living
    • Friday night, man. I wasn’t in a good space when I wrote “Ten Years Ago VI.” No matter how you live your life, and no matter how many barriers you build to protect yourself against the harshness of life, nothing pierces your defenses quite like you do.
    • If there’s one fortunate thing about having close to five years of sobriety experience, it’s knowing what my lowest points feel like and how best to ride out those waves. Nothing- not writing or videogames- cures those moments, so I escape into sleep.
    • Maybe that’s why I’ve been drinking so much coffee lately? Liters and liters… I don’t really need to drink as much coffee as I do, but it’s a vice, and I know I certainly exercise minor vices to avoid major vices. Coffee is better than the alternatives.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • No course in college will ever prepare you for being yelled at while at work. Here’s my course: people that yell are in a psychologically unsteady state. Hold your resolve. Keep calm. Repeat “I understand” and don’t register anything as factual.
    • Friday night’s email explained how I don’t appreciate being the black sheep, that I’ve been a black sheep my whole professional career, and I’m starting to not tolerate working my ass off without even a thank you. Monday morning: minor thanks.
    • We’ll see if that has any lasting repercussions.
    • I’m starting to adopt a more laid-back driving style, so hopefully that should help with the stresses of traffic. Maybe someday I could drive through Seattle traffic without even having my blood pressure or heart rate increase above a resting pulse.
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • Nothing this week. No time for videogames or anime. Wake, write, row, work, row, sleep. Didn’t even watch anything on Saturday morning like I’ve been trying to do lately. I will say that it’d be much worse if I didn’t have rowing or writing around.
    • With rowing, I can disengage from the biggest physical stresses, unless I strain my leg… I can focus my animosity as I sit down to row and exercise until that dissipates. I’m then rewarded for dispelling that stress with some decent stats I can post.
    • With writing, I build the structure then let my creativity do the talking. My subconscious will let everything float up that I’m not sure about, so I can read a sentence back and think “hmm, I must have been upset over X,” then I’ll address X.
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • No maintenance this week. Didn’t really have time throughout the week and I was exhausted throughout the weekend. Didn’t feel like going through and cleaning the machine, or putting more oil on the chain, or removing any crud oil from the links.
    • I used too much oil last time, since I found some splatter along the left side of the frame, and smelled some oil as well. It’s good to know what I should and should not do. Some more oil every week should be fine, just not too much, like apparently I did.
    • Between 4 small coffee cans and a board, I set up a shelf for my tools: motor oil, toothpicks, cotton swabs, wrenches, oil pan, and disinfectant spray. I may add more tiers and tools as I discover new things. This might do better than a toolkit or box.
  • Photo and Outro
    • In my first quarter of college, I was part of a small group communications class. Our big assignment was a yardwork project and they took a few photos of me. This was closer to 13 years ago, though it was the closest I could find to one from 10 years ago.
    • I may eventually post photos of myself without being obscured by Colossus, the perhaps mascot of the Rowing Column. I still need to get to the point where I’m comfortable with how I look now, let alone how I looked back then; much heavier.
    • Maybe fitness is such a popular topic because this is something most of us struggle with daily? I haven’t been seeing the results I could because I still eat way more than I should to feel better about other areas of my life. That might never change…
Sources: None

Quotes: None

Inspirations: None

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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.