[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 13 {242.0}

There’s a phrase circulating professional sites: “people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses.[1]” Those bosses, and I’ve had two, were weak links in the corporate chain. Without proper inspection, they caused their whole department to fall into disrepair. With a little managerial lubrication, every employee works more efficiently. Similarly, if a rowing machine’s chain (if applicable) is under disrepair, your stats go down. If only bad managers could get a little maintenance like rowing machines.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 20 Morning: time 5min, 168 rows. Wasn’t feeling it this morning. I might have been pushing myself too hard with too many 10-minute sets. I was getting too fatigued throughout the day. This felt much more doable, and I’m not as tired after, but I won’t be seeing faster results.
  • Tuesday 20 Bonus: About 10 minutes of casual city walking.
  • Tuesday 20 Evening: time 10min, 344 rows. When I go into cruise control on these longer sets, my mind starts to plan out my home gym, and the next steps to get there. The end result should solve many problems, including lighting and could potentially be a rowing recording space, too!
  • Wednesday 21 Morning: time 5min, 169 rows. Good set. Overslept because I was out too late, so I didn’t give myself the time to do a 10 minute set, or properly stretch or decompress, so hopefully that won’t bite me later today…
  • Wednesday 21 Bonus: No additional exercise.
  • Wednesday 21 Evening: time 10min, 336 rows. Another cruise control set. I thought of the steps I’ll need to do to get my area arranged, to get my home gym in one area. It’ll be nice. When I got to a point I couldn’t decide on, I returned my focus to my form, making sure I wasn’t lazy.
  • Thursday 22 Morning: time 5min, 170 rows. Conserving energy today in part because I’ve been tired the past few days, and I have a nice pressure headache, so just a light set here. I’m moving furniture around to make way for my redone home gym, so some additional fitness progress there.
  • Thursday 22 Bonus: One hour of cleaning and organizing.
  • Thursday 22 Evening: time 10min, 352 rows. Ever need to use the restroom part way through your set? I used that pressing need to fuel my set. Now that that’s that, it was a good set. I am sufficiently tired out and could go back for more, but no. I’ll write until I’m tired out instead.
  • Friday 23 Morning: time 5min, 168 rows. I’m more used to eating after I work out, but I was particularly hungry after getting in a lighter than normal breakfast [which usually slows down my writing pace, too]. Eat too much, don’t eat enough, get slowed down. Eat just right? Good set.
  • Friday 23 Bonus: Over 6 miles of walking around Seattle.
  • Friday 23 Evening: time 7.5min, 247 rows. Went between 5 and 10 because I basically walked around town all day, so I gave myself a few minutes off for rest. I’ll probably sleep in tomorrow and hopefully my legs and back won’t be sore. I need to do more stretches throughout the day.
  • Saturday 24 Morning: time 5min, 160 rows. Forgot about my morning alarms, tried to start the day, but napped instead. My calve muscles are burning from all the walking yesterday. At least stretching is helping. I guess most of the time we, or just I, get too caught up in the moment.
  • Saturday 24 Bonus: Ten minutes of walking.
  • Saturday 24 Evening: time 10min, 338 rows. Still tired from yesterday, but my hunch is that if I rest up well tonight, I’ll feel better than ever tomorrow. The trick is not going to sleep too early, against the wishes of my sore muscles, versus staying awake in sore unproductivity…
  • Sunday 25 Morning: time 5min, 166 rows. Feeling better, if still sore. Doing some leg stretches after this set is helping. Today I should set up the Wii Fit I just got to see what hamstring/calf stretches it recommends. Otherwise, good set. The soreness wasn’t enough to keep me down!
  • Sunday 25 Bonus: One hour of moderate cleaning and one hour of heavy yard work.
  • Sunday 25 Evening: time 10min, 310 rows. Had a bad start. With about 100 strokes left in the set, my seat rattled like something broke. Rowed carefully until the end of my set. Checked. The accidentally overly-tightened bolt was upset. Loosened it. It should be back to normal next set.
  • Monday 26 Morning: time 5min, 162 rows. I’m trying out some new lighting styles while I work toward rearranging my exercise equipment to have a well-lit and decently-staged home gym. Meanwhile, I plugging away at these twice-daily sets to help get motivated to build all that out.
  • Monday 26 Bonus: Twenty minutes of light city walking.
  • Monday 26 Evening: time 10min, 325 rows. Lately I’ve been doing autopilot sets, where I just sit down with my hearing protection, start the timer, and go until it goes off. Aerobically good, but I’m not really pushing my muscles much, still, it’s been great for pushing through work!
  • Weight: 242.0 pounds (up 3.5 pounds)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
      • Tuesday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.0 liters of coffee
      • Wednesday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.0 liters of coffee
      • Thursday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Friday: 4.51 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Saturday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Sunday: 5.26 (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Monday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 13 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
    • Ack. I’m not sure why I missed Saturday evening’s vitamins. I wasn’t feeling too well: stressed out, physically sore, and stayed awake later than I should have, so I must have been pushing myself too much to remember taking them on my own. I haven’t been using external reminders, either.
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [failed] I’m not sure how that happened! While weight loss is one goal, I’m more casual about it, since my biggest goal is to increase my physical productivity- doing tasks and activities that would have worn me out before. That justification aside, what a terrible increase. Hopefully next week is better?
    2. Consistency: [succeeded] The nice thing about keeping up my fitness, despite missing a few minor things (vitamins, stretching), is that I can notice the difference. Compared to years back, I was able to bounce back from fatigue quicker: even heavy rain just knocked me out for a day, rather than a week.
    3. Health: [succeeded] Speaking of which, I was in the rain for the better part of one hour, and I didn’t get sick. That was tempting things a little too much, though I do credit that fortitude to my constant fitness. A lesson learned: eating better would have helped reduce the fatigue time.
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: No weight gain! I imagine my weight will drop off next week. If not, then I need to decrease my calorie intake while increasing my fitness. The 10-minute morning sets weren’t great during the day, but if I have to do something 15-minute sets at night, maybe I will… eventually…
    2. Consistency: I have twice-daily reminders now for my vitamins, which should help. I haven’t been able to figure out a good way to tie in my rowing into my vitamin-intake, because if I remember at my rowing machine, it’s far enough away where I’ll forget when I get to my refrigerator.
    3. Sleep and food are the two big ones, which unfortunately, have no easy things to chisel away. Both have been lifelong problems. I always ignored bedtimes and ate poorly. My two goals, then, should be getting seven hours of sleep and eating small meals with plenty of water throughout day.
  • From Good to Better
    • I’m going back to 5-minute sets in the morning while keeping the 10-minute evening sets. It was just dragging me down too much throughout the day, even though I was seeing great results when I wasn’t fatigued. With some more nuanced balance, I could get the best benefits from both.
    • I’m making plans for a home gym area. I have the space and the equipment. It’s just a matter of moving things around to get things where they should be, but the results will be worth it: an open area that can function as a gym and music jam area.
    • Besides shuffling around stuff, one step was to get a Wii Fit setup, which will be one of the three main cornerstones of the future gym: the rower, a home gym unit, and the Wii Fit. That’ll be where I can try out exercise videos for stretches and additional workouts.
  • Sober Living
    • Five years ago seems so far away. I was a different person then, even though I’m sitting on the same couch in the same body. I guess the biggest thing now compared to then is my temper is dampered. I’d wanna say it’s more myself than the week on Zoloft.
    • My sobriety anniversaries have been on my mind for most of this month. Spring is a time of physical recovery from winter, along with my recovery from the winters of the coldest darkness of humanity. It’s nice the two coincide, like in a videogame after you’ve beaten the final boss.
    • The only problem is complacency. I can’t let myself relax to the idea that it might be OK to reacquaint myself with “those cold winter days,” that it might be nice to get out there in “the snow,” because that’s when it quickly spirals out of control, for me, anyways.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • The biggest stressor this week was deciding between one of two career paths. Instead of going the higher paying route, I went with the route that presented itself through not doing glamorous work. There were enough positives and negatives to both where I’d regret whichever path I took or didn’t.
    • Besides flipping a coin, what made it easier was that one route had a needy manager. My career has been focused on work/life balance. I don’t like doing work outside my normal hours, even for overtime, and based on the communication style, there would have been plenty of that.
    • Walking around as much as I did on Friday helped me realize that I should try to build in more time like that away from any technology to wander around, get lost, and find my way again. Of course, I’ll always have my phone on me to take photos, but…
      • 30 minutes trying to set up that Wii was probably my biggest stressor. I can troubleshoot computers all day long with limited frustration, but TVs and peripherals? It either detects or doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, there’s no indication of what’s not working. I don’t like working without seeing any progress.
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • Rather than have the phone be the central focal point for entertainment, I’m structuring my life around less things like watching Youtube videos, which would innocently eat up hours of time, distracting me from the current moment, and not allow me to fully disengage from situations as they would arise.
    • Instead, I’ll try to spend more of my time, after completing my writing and rowing for the day, on activities that will give me more positive outcomes, whether writing topics, cleaning organization, or just sitting down with books more. Basically, it’s about reducing the stuff that doesn’t benefit me much.
    • The eventual goal will be to spend more time with activities like videogames, anime, and reading, rather than try to sneak in some time each week for any of those when I’m not bombarded with other things taking up time. Maybe that means not buying new things for a month?
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • I got the shop towels for my rower’s chain, which inspired the photo for this week. I was told to stop using regular paper towels or tissue because the threading can get in the chain, so hopefully these will suffice. If not, I can always get higher quality ones later.
    • I’ve found curved floss picks work well for picking away at some of the gunk in the chain. That said, the leading photo and an accompanying video of the entire chain should help me figure out if the chain is salvageable or if I should just order a new one.
    • Regardless of whether I can salvage the chain, I have to learn how to take out the chain off the rowing machine. I’m not comfortable with maintaining machinery, which is why I’m hesitant, but maybe once my gym area is done, then I’ll have the open space for proper maintenance?
  • Photo and Outro
    • I thought of the paper towel background shortly after getting them. Colossus being this week’s subject worked out well, since it kind of looks like he’s lifting the chain like he would with his barbell, and my recently-acquired Wii console box provided the backing. The shot then just came together.
    • When I get the gym done, I’m not sure if I’ll throw in my more toy subjects into the mix. It might be nice to include the Wii Fit Trainer Amiibo more often, especially as I use the Wii Fit, but there’s a nice consistency with just Colossus and barbell.
    • Despite the weight gain, I feel like it’s been a good week for health and wellness, at least. I’ll try to be more active and be less compulsed to overeat. Instead of eat, I should take a 30-minute power nap or 5 seconds to close my eyes when I encounter stress.
Sources: None

Quotes: [1] I’m not sure if this is the original source, but it was the most popular search result, and a good read.

Inspirations: None

Related: None

Picture: Described above.

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.