[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 08 {241.0}

“Maybe it is all the heavy metal inside of you that shows on the scale[1]!” As much as I don’t want to be influenced by ephemeral external motivators, it’s still nice reading the occasional positive vibration. The number on the scale is just an external unit of measurement for my internal success: if I put on two pounds, but I feel as though I was more successful with my health, did I fail? Objectively? Subjectively?

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 13 Morning: time 5min, 165 rows. Feeling much better after getting sufficient sleep and not driving through the Seattle traffic that is like a bullethell videogame. That shoulder issue went away, but I didn’t push myself, either. It was just a light, good set to warm up.
  • Tuesday 13 Bonus: Does going to see Sabaton count?
  • Tuesday 13 Evening: time 5min, ?? rows. Forgot to tweet out this set from Tuesday afternoon. Since I count my strokes, dump my sometimes technical metrics into these posts, then move on as soon as I leave, I’ll use this remaining space to advocate for Drinking More Water. Vote Water!
  • Wednesday 14 Morning: time 5min, 169 rows. Sabaton was great, as always. I drank an extra 1.75 liters of water after getting home and felt great this morning- having the day off to sleep in helped, too. Good set at a decent pace. Didn’t try to push myself and stretched before starting.
  • Wednesday 14 Bonus: Began the cleanup process for my workshop area. It’s a mess. The next step is moving my workbench so I can set up two new shelves units that will be my staging areas for projects. So I’m just chipping away at it as I get the time and energy.
  • Wednesday 14 Evening: time 5min, 174 rows. Good set. Arms are tired. I looked to see if I pulled the bar too early in my form- I wait until the bar passes my knees before I pull, so I think I’m doing fine, there. I haven’t had a trainer assess my form in years, so I could be off a bit.
  • Thursday 15 Morning: time 5min, 148 rows. Light set… just focused on keeping a good pace throughout. Pulled the rowing bar underhand as well, since I’ve found it’s not as natural of a form, which subconsciously reminds me not to go too fast. The result turned out well for a warm up.
  • Thursday 15 Bonus: Lunch break walk with some coworkers to some local shops. The breakdown would be about 15 minutes to the first location, 10 to the next, 15 back, with some slower walking within the store, crouching, and general light exercise.
  • Thursday 15 Evening: time 5min, ??? rows. Second set this week I forgot to tweet out, this one being from the evening of Thursday the 15th.
  • Friday 16 Morning: time 5min+11, 150 rows. I had a false start so I went over. Normally, I don’t continue if I don’t hit a nice number, but I wanted to get to 150. I have a flashlight to get better lighting for my monitor when I row in the dark, which seems to be most of the time…
  • Friday 16 Bonus: About 10 minutes of ping pong.
  • Friday 16 Evening: time 5min, 167 rows. I made it a habit when I get home to switch into my exercise clothes, even if it takes me a while to decompress before I go row, so I have less hindrances in my way once I do row. After a while of this, you just go do it without making excuses.
  • Saturday 17 Morning: time 5min, 163 rows. I find my better workouts occur after I’ve worked out my mind through writing. This set was purely physical, no overthinking about my form, or pressures to do more. Just went in and did it. I already mentally exercised. Now it’ll be a good day.
  • Saturday 17 Bonus: 10-15 minutes of light walking.
  • Saturday 17 Evening: time 5min, 158 rows. Long day but I slept in until 4:30AM and took a nap around 11AM. Why push myself so hard? Things are comfortable. I had a comfortable set. But it could be better. I could be doing more, rowing more, and living more comfortably – with insurance.
  • Sunday 18 Afternoon: time 5min, 173 rows. Wasn’t feeling great this morning, accidentally overslept, and I missed a mild snowstorm because writing takes priority. Felt like I was going to run out of breath around 43 strokes in, but it ended up working out well, and got a good sweat in.
  • Sunday 18 Bonus: Swept up around my workshop area and moved some of the lighter obstacles. I now have a plan on where I want to move everything to help make the space efficient for my long term goals (synergizing alignment buzzwords at touchpoint opportunities now)
  • Sunday 18 Evening: time 5min, 172 rows. Good set. I worked up a slight sweat, my back and arm muscles are tired, and I have that general sense of having worn myself out with something positive where it almost feels like I could do another set or a longer set. I should do 10s soon…
  • Monday 19 Morning: time 5min, 173 rows. One of my alarms went off at 43 strokes in, before it, a great pace with smooth form. Turned it off… kept it up! Don’t let minor disturbances cause you to scrap your work. Let it be the glorious failures that temporarily impede your progress.
  • Monday 19 Bonus: 10 minute walk in brisk winter air. I continued cleaning up my workshop area by clearing off the floor more and sweeping. Next is trying to figure out where to temporarily place some stuff before doing some moving and building shelves.
  • Monday 19 Evening: time 5min, 165 rows. Good enough set.
  • Weight: 241 pounds (up 2 pounds)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
      • Tuesday: 7.0 liters (1.85 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Wednesday: 4.0 liters (1.05 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.0 liters of coffee
      • Friday: 6.25 liters (1.65 gallons) of water, 2.0 liters of coffee, 0.1 liter of juice
      • Saturday: 3.8 liters (1.00 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
      • Sunday: 3.8 liters (1.00 gallons) of water, 3.0 liters of coffee
      • Monday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 2.5 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 14 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
    • I try taking my vitamins after I put on my exercise clothing and before going to row. On my rowing machine, I have a daily vitamin container with pennies in each slot that I place off to the side as I “earn” them. This interactive activity is helping.
    • I had to rely on my memory to make sure I got them all, so it’s not quite foolproof, but it’s a start. I may end up placing the vitamin container on my seat so that way I need to interact with it, even subconsciously, rather than merely observe it.
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [failed] I can’t pinpoint why I put on some weight this week. Could have been the second pot of coffee I drank in order to crank out “Can’t Stand By.” Could have been the general stress from the week. Could have been sleep or heavy metal.
    2. Consistency: [succeeded] Diet, exercise, water, and vitamin intake were all solid. I didn’t even have my allocated “one burger per week” and limited unhealthy foods to a can of chili and – probably my downfall – snack bars… that was probably it.
    3. Health: [succeeded] I’m in good spirits overall, despite feeling tired and generally not getting enough sleep, so my health is in good shape. Nothing too stressful is probably the biggest factor in this being successful every week, unfortunately…
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: No weight gain. I don’t track caloric intake like I did while rigorously burning off weight years ago. It is effective and true. So I just need to figure out ways to satiate the craving for innocent minor snack items that quickly add up.
    2. Consistency: Reinforcing consistency patterns. Even though I figured out a decent process to remind myself to take vitamins regularly, I almost missed Sunday morning’s batch, so it’s not refined enough to guarantee results. I have an idea…
    3. Health: No snack bars. I’m writing this on February 19th. Until the 26th, if I’m hungry enough for a little 200-calorie snack bar, which could take between 10-20 minutes to burn off depending on rowing pace, I’ll cook up something more substantial.
  • From Good to Better
    • Late last year, I decided that I’d only go to concerts if I could write 1,000-word reviews of the shows. If I didn’t feel like I could, or gave myself the proper time to write, then what’s the point of going? Sabaton was a fun stress-reliever.
    • Wednesday night, I ate some oatmeal that made me just as sick as I had been recently, and Thursday morning wasn’t fun. I have more endurance now to endure moderate stomach pains, in part because I drink so many liters of water and coffee.
    • Writing hasn’t been as natural for me and I’m behind schedule as of Tuesday morning. Even so, I’ve been developing clearer writing schedules so I can write what I can when I can, even if chronologically, it’s out of order. (Which feels weird to me.)
  • Sober Living
    • “Did you smell any cannabis at the show?” “No, actually, but how about that fart?” “Yeah, it was really pungent[2,3,4].” I could smell minor whiffs on occasion, but otherwise there wasn’t an overwhelming sense of dirty air filling the venue.
    • That’s partially not yielding to weaker thoughts. If I felt depressed, I might subconsciously seek out this dirty air, to temporarily feel better while undermining my conscious thoughts. If only that determination could blow away cannabis air.
    • One coworker I’ve talked with about sobriety made a joke about me being stoned upon my return. My reply: “you can’t have a 5-year hangover.” I’m not as vocal anymore about my sobrieties to everyone. No need to concern everyone, I suppose.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • My biggest stress of the past week doesn’t easily come to mind. I suppose pushing through the stomach pain on Thursday is a good place to start: oatmeal is still giving me issues, even with moderation, so I’ve had to diversify my diet significantly.
    • No big traffic issues this week. I also avoided most of it between carpooling and having two days off from work. Even driving around Seattle for the show wasn’t too bad, because I took a less-stressful route than normal, planned, and left early.
    • I also didn’t feel like writing Thursday morning, so despite not going back to bed or calling in sick, I did watch some anime to ride out that wave of stress as I decompressed as best I could before going into work. Funny how food affects us.
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • As this contract winds down with only rumors of further work, with growing animosity toward those who do not believe in meritocracy as I do, I throw that uncertainty stress into my rowing, writing, and [perhaps] playing Harvest Moon.
    • My biggest stress actually occurred Monday afternoon. My recruiter was chewed out for not having anything solid lined up, so when he called up, the first thing he did was rake me through the coals on a contract I’d found through another recruiter.
    • “Let’s call it a no.” “I don’t want to put words in your mouth[5,6].” That continued for about three minutes, but when we got to his contract, what a 180! He was the nicest guy. I said no, he persisted by email, but by then, I enacted alternate plans…
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • My photos showing my monitor and stats have been frequently underlit. I have a flashlight to help with that, since I’m not going to turn on the lights to row, when I already do most of my rowing sets with my eyes closed. That should help for now.
    • …It didn’t help much at all. There’s no real easy way to backlight or forward light the monitor. I could probably rig up some sort of front light or even consider investing in a newer monitor or until I stop experimenting with different lighting techniques.
    • I didn’t do any maintenance this week. I should at least remove the crud oil and re-grease the chain with newer oil. I also haven’t thought about what sort of maintenance I should do weekly or monthly. I guess I could start… here… I guess…
  • Photo and Outro
    • I bought a new scale after the old one stopped working. This one was the first one I saw at the thrift store that worked. I like the scuff marks in the lower right and I’m sticking it to the man by leaving the sticker ‘remove after reading’ in the lower left.
    • I was thinking of printing out the Sabaton tweet I quoted at the beginning, or including a Sabaton CD or some heavy metal on the scale. Ran out of time. The background is my bathtub; it’s innocuous enough of a background to not stand out.
    • Overall, I feel like I’m making forward momentum. It’s like most rowing sets. There may be a stroke or two where I just feel a little off. The trick is pushing through. Don’t stop unless it’s a sharp pain, or a lingering dull pain for more than 10 strokes.
Sources: None

Quotes: [1] Sabaton themselves, [2,3,4] Post-concert conversation, [5,6] Me then the recruiter

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.