[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 07 {239.0}

Words mean nothing in fitness. Similarly to wanting to become a writer yet never practicing writing, you must put in the work not just for fitness but anything in life, in order to achieve the results you want. Fortunately, once you start putting in the work, it becomes easier and after a while, you can’t even imagine life without doing that work as often as you can. It’s a positive feedback loop with subtle results.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 06 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Good warm-up set. It’s nice when everything about the set flows nicely, and my mind drifts off because it’s way too early in the morning, before returning to the set and noticing no interruption of pace or movement; it’s like I’m on autopilot.
  • Tuesday 06 Evening: time 5min, 177 rows. Even considering that I overextended my left knee just slightly and had a coughing fit shortly thereafter, everything just fit from my form, pace, and rhythm, coalescing into a good set overall. More people would row if they felt this euphoria.
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  • Wednesday 07 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. My first 38 strokes were fully engrossed in feeling out my stresses. At 39, I thought to myself, “wait just a minute, let’s take this down a notch,” so I lightened my pace, and began to think clearer. It’s sad how often stress clouds judgement.
  • Wednesday 07 Evening: time 5min, 168 rows. Directly confronting your stresses usually yields better results than your imagination might scare you into thinking. Don’t take it too far, but after that first calculated leap, you may go further than you thought. This set was just as uneasy.
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  • Thursday 08 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Didn’t feel like going at a slower pace until around 100 when my legs were hurting and I got the general sense that I’m pushing it too much in the wrong direction. Slowed down but still kept that same worn out pace. Guess I should take it easy?
  • Thursday 08 Evening: time 5min, 171 rows. Good set. Maybe what helped was getting home early, sleeping for about one hour, and having it still be early enough where I’m not tired. The downside is stress in other hours. A calm 2 hour commute or a stressful hour drive? Stress either way.
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  • Friday 09 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. I’ve been sick all week. It dragged me down; yesterday I lost my cool. It’s alright now, but life is tough. School would never teach this. Why? “Do as your told” and “don’t make waves.” What if my form is off? Do we continue and hurt ourselves?
  • Friday 09 Evening: time 5min, 175 rows. At least the work week ended calmly. I was eating too much fiber and feeling sick because of that, so now I’m eating more protein, and feeling better. It sucks working and being sick. This was a good set, but I didn’t have my full effort in it.
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  • Saturday 10 Morning: time 5min, 178 rows. “Good set” is becoming my phrase for something done well. My upper back muscles started to hurt midway through, though by the end it felt like I could pass 200 in these five minutes. Maybe someday that will be my light set? Felt great overall.
  • Saturday 10 Evening: 5min, 178 rows. Did a float tank session; haven’t done one since November. My muscles feel more relaxed overall, my upper back isn’t sore, and months of tension unwound themselves. Though I’m still a little dehydrated, I feel better, and my set felt… good!
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  • Sunday 11 Morning: time 5min, 234 rows. [A twitter follower] asked about my damper [settings]. Apparently I had it set for full wind dampening this whole time; Concept2 Model B flywheels aren’t clear on that. So, I turned it all the way down and it’s a whole different workout! My arms are still sore.
  • Sunday 11 Evening: Good day. Had a good adventure, ate well, and returned for a second good set. I was yawning through most of it but kept up a good pace. I’m really starting to feel the positive effects of daily exercise. I won’t willingly go back to inactivity.
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  • Monday 12 Morning: time 5min, 150 rows. Went a little faster than I should have gone, but I was feeling inspired. The main thing about going at a slower pace is to practice the discipline of restraining myself. We can always explode, but to face a situation with restraint? Not easy.
  • Monday 12 Evening: time 5min, 157 rows. Tweaked a muscle in my back at around 62 in and after adjusting still happened at 120 in. Seems to just be when I pull with my right arm. I typically don’t move my back much while rowing so it could have just been sore. Should be fine tomorrow.
  • Weight: 239 pounds (down 1.2 pounds!!)
    • I also bought a new (to me, used at a thrift store) scale after my old one crapped out on me last week when I went to weigh myself. Hopefully this scale isn’t broken or set at a different tolerance. The old scale will become part of my gym’s art, eventually.
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  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
      • Tuesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 3.0 liters of coffee
      • Wednesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.5 liters of coffee
      • Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.5 liters of coffee
      • Friday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.0 liters of coffee
      • Saturday: 5.0 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Sunday: 5.0 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Monday: 5.0 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 2.5 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 12 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
      • Missed a Fish Oil capsule on Tuesday.
      • Missed my entire Saturday morning batch. I was having better success placing my vitamins on my oatmeal container, since I was eating oatmeal twice daily, but now that I’ve been reducing my fiber intake… I forgot.
      • Missed the Sunday evening batch for the same reason – I thought placing my vitamins on my oatmeal container would be enough.
    • I may figure out a way to interact with my spare vitamin container and leave it on my rowing machine as a stronger reminder.
      • I did.
      • To be explained next week…
    • I just need to figure out some kind of lever to flip or some kind of system to interact with the vitamin container to ensure I take my vitamins…
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  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [succeeded] Let’s just say the new scale is accurate. If so, I’ll have nearly burned off 30 pounds since late March! Even if it takes me another two years to achieve my overall goal of 200 pounds, that will be a goal that will last long-term.
    2. Consistency: [succeeded] Sure, I missed two vitamin sets. I’m still going to give it to myself for one reason: I didn’t excuse myself for doing that, instead, I tried to figure out ways to prevent it from happening again. That’s consistency: Getting back up.
    3. Health: [succeeded] I’m feeling really good, overall, too. After last week’s fiber fiasco, I’ve been careful in balancing my diet, so there isn’t too much in terms of fiber, carbohydratic, fatty, or protein intake. I might also bump up my water intake.
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  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: no weight gain
    2. Consistency: vitamins, flossing, stretching
    3. Health: balanced diet, stress-reduction
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  • From Good to Better
    • I’m not sure how I figured it out, but I realized this week I’ve been eating way too much fiber, causing me to stay home sick on Monday. Tuesday wasn’t fun, although by the end of the week, I was feeling much better. Fitness root cause analysis.
    • Traffic is becoming more tolerable, perhaps if only because the end of this contract is approaching, so I may only need to spend another 70 hours in that traffic, and as a result I’m able to more comfortably tolerate heavy traffic in other parts of town.
    • I was also to, somehow, blast through some writing well enough that I’m actually ahead of schedule for the first time in a few weeks. When my writing feels more natural, I feel better, perhaps as a result? It’s also nice to know my pacing.
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  • Sober Living
    • Conversely, being sick most of the week, with my neighbor’s car alarm going off at random hours of the night weakened my stress tolerances. I exploded at something, neglecting one of the 10 Bullets, fortunately just receiving a bit of a warning/lesson.
    • I wasn’t feeling especially low or down this past week, so it crept on me suddenly, though looking back to that morning and situations surrounding that event, yeah, I was under more stress than I realized. Good learning opportunity, at least.
    • Oh, and the job interview not panning out was definitely some extra stress. Mainly, it was my fault, investing too much into it, since it felt like such a sureshot. At least it’s made for some good writing fodder, so one bounces back, survives, and then thrives.
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  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • I was worried about addressing the neighbors with the inappropriate car alarm. Since they obviously didn’t care about sleep, I figured I’d interrupt their family time. I was firm but fair, and they got the message. Haven’t heard that alarm in a few days.
    • The blowout from the stressful event at work made me realize a few things – “you’ve done that work before, so you expect a high quality of work from them [1],” and the value of keeping emotions in check. Also, the value of taking even short calls outside.
    • A float tank session helped me clear all that out. Equivalently to Dragon Ball’s Room of Spirit and Time, being able to spend some time with my thoughts led me to realize that I was just too focused on the present, without balancing the past and future.
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  • Disengaging from Stress
    • Besides the float tank session, it’s nice similarly closing my eyes and counting to ten, especially to get away from the worst of any situation. I think that’s why I jump into addictive behavior, to ride out that wave of emotion. Better to reign it back, right?
    • I’m also a huge proponent for taking even 10-minute naps during longer days. Unfortunately, this contract hasn’t allowed any opportunities for me to do that, so instead, I’ve had to learn to endure it. Maybe my next contract will enable this?
    • There are some pros. Being able to walk around without being chained to a phone, being within a 10-minute walk of a medium-yield thrift store, and having free access to a ping pong table certainly do help decompressing from minor stressful moments.
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  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • Embarrassingly, I didn’t prioritize my weekly rowing machine maintenance this weekend, and I don’t think I’ll get to it on Tuesday when I’m wrapping up this post. Maybe Wednesday after writing my review of Tuesday evening’s Sabaton concert?
    • The big thing I should begin to do weekly is to drag a tissue across the chain to pick up all the crud oil that accumulates. Ideally, I’d do maybe three or four passes, lightly apply some good oil to one tissue, then another to remove the biggest oil bits.
    • I should build up a “project plan” for my maintenance schedule. Right now, I just wing it, so it’s easy to forget. If I know the specific items to do, I’ll go in and do it.
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  • Photo and Outro
    • The idea for this week’s photo was to place Colossus in front of some rowing stats to imply that what’s actually important isn’t the text that’s on the monitor, but the numbers that appear as a result of the rowing I did. Came out alright, I suppose…
    • I’m happy enough with the results that I don’t feel the need to do a reshoot. Maybe I’ll revisit the idea later on? Otherwise, a decent week in rowing, in health, and figuring out dietary issues that were causing me to feel ill and stressed out.
    • Hopefully things will calm down this next week, since I have some days off, and am ahead on my writing, so I should have more opportunity to write, relax, and maybe even do some things that will get me ahead in life? 5 minutes at a time, right?
Sources: None

Quotes: [1] Conversation with a coworker about the situation.

Inspirations: None

Related: None

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.