[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 18 {239.0}

One nicety of regular fitness is that you can easily monitor your health, like a videogame health bar, so you can adjust your routines if you notice any dips. If I don’t feel like doing a rowing or yoga set, then I know something’s up. Tracking my stats, in addition to social accountability, helps me quickly identify problem areas that could be blocking progress toward building up my physical and mental tolerances toward handling stress.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 24 Morning: time 5min, 160 rows. Thanks to [Ron] for the suggestion to track meters rather than caloric output. I think I’m over the worst of this wave of allergies, so I may try a 15 minute set this afternoon or soon. Keeping the 5-minute morning warm-ups for now.
  • Tuesday 24 Bonus: 2 hours of cleaning and organizing, including building a shelving unit.
  • Tuesday 24 Wii Fit: 0 minutes besides the daily check-in. (Oops.)
  • Tuesday 24 Evening: time 15min, 416 rows. Good set! About 4 minutes in, I remembered I wanted to do a 15-minute set this evening. I had to stop, turn off my alarm and turn on the light to see the console, then continue. I estimated 400 and seeing I passed that, I kicked it up a gear!
  • Wednesday 25 Morning: time 5min, 166 rows. Late start; my mind’s been on organizing overdrive. I couldn’t focus on all of the set, but I noticed my right foot has a tendency to move, probably causing my slipping form. I’ll need to strap in tighter and remember to hold my foot steady.
  • Wednesday 25 Bonus: 50 minutes of painting. 70 minutes of building and organizing.
  • Wednesday 25 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Wednesday 25 Evening: time 10min, 350 rows. I probably could’ve made it to 2000 meters if I’d strapped in my shoes. I guess I haven’t been because it’s easier to just jump and go, but being aware of my right toe’s wiggling, I might start needing to strap in securely. Living on the edge!
  • Thursday 26 Morning: time 5min, 178 rows. I’m not sure what warp I hit to move so quick, but I did notice my right foot has a tendency to move too much, particularly my big toe, and specifically from the left to center. That might be ruining my form. More data and observation needed.
  • Thursday 26 Bonus: Do concerts count? If not, 40 minutes of city walking, and some cleaning.
  • Thursday 26 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Thursday 26 Evening: time 10min, 340 rows. Good set! Focusing on keeping my right big toe steady might be the trick to improving my form. My left big toe doesn’t move at all, ever, so it could be driving habits or some nervous tick. It does feel better with my foot at an angle, though.
  • Friday 27 Morning: time 5min, 166 rows. Great Uriah Heep show. I should have drank more water before going to bed, but I’m sufficiently hydrated now, and besides a stiff back, two good sets! Toe placement is better, so my overall form will become better as a result. Watch your toes!
  • Friday 27 Bonus: 20 minutes of city walking and some light organization.
  • Friday 27 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Friday 27 Evening: time 10min, 324 rows. Kept it at a light pace until 200. I had to vent some bad news out for 80 rows. I must have kept up most of that pace through until about 320. The bad news could be much worse, so there’s that at least. Good toe form helped keep things steady.
  • Saturday 28 Morning: time 5min, 164 rows. Preoccupied, but what’s nice about rowing in particular us how the repetition forces you to focus on the present. Where are my toes? Knees? Pull the bar until I feel resistance then push my knees out. OK, don’t go too far. Return and repeat.
  • Saturday 28 Bonus: Some walking around and such.
  • Saturday 28 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Saturday 28 Evening: time 10min, 341 rows. It was over 340, but I don’t remember exactly because after I wrapped up I distracted myself for a few hours before remembering to check in.
  • Sunday 29 Morning: time 5min, 173 rows. Good set! Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s rest to feel better, after exploring the deepest parts of your concerns. I focused my attention on keeping my right big toe firmly in place, which might be a meditative non-distractor, too…
  • Sunday 29 Bonus: 30 minutes of city walking.
  • Sunday 29 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Sunday 29 Evening: time 10min, 341 rows. I had a nice day to take my mind off of things, which between that amd generally kicking this allergy thing is nice. I’m feeling more physically capable. These sets are becoming less physically draining overall and I’m noticing many positives.
  • Monday 30 Evening: time 5min, 152 rows. I’m not feeling that confident or motivated to do much more fitness today. I’ll rest up tonight to get back into it stronger tomorrow.
  • Monday 30 Bonus: None
  • Monday 30 Wii Fit: 0 minutes besides the daily check-in. (Oops.)
  • Weight: 239.0 pounds (up 1 pound)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
      • Tuesday:
        • 4.46 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Wednesday:
        • 7.89 liters (2.1 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 cup of orange juice
      • Thursday:
        • 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 cup of orange juice, and one half bottle of carbonated water… that breaks my no soda counter, huh? Well, for Coke, that would be spring of last year, and more for more sugary sodas.
      • Friday:
        • 5.26 liters (1.4 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 liters (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.
      • I missed Tuesday evening’s batch because of where I placed my vitamins. The plate I use as a reminder helps significantly. Since I mistakenly placed it where I keep my ‘CDs to play in the car’ pile, I hadn’t noticed them, and forgot to take them. I was also exhausted.
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [failed] I weighed myself Sunday night after drinking a half a gallon of water and having a big lunch. I was around 9 pounds heavier than Monday morning. It’s nice that it wasn’t more than a pound, and that variance is common. It just sucks because I want to lose weight.
    2. Consistency: [neutral] I’ve been holding steady on the fitness, so the problem is I eat too much. It’s hard breaking this cycle because I feel really sick if I don’t eat enough, which spills over into eating too much. I also lack the concentrated discipline to fast or not compulsively eat infrequently.
    3. Health: [neutral] At least I’m mostly over being sick, minus occasional dips. Health is like everything in life: it’s frustrating when it’s not great and when it’s not firing on all cylinders it’s hard to get it back into gear. There’s no instant health button… My weight is probably affecting my health.
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: No weight gain. I’m finding that drinking water more frequently throughout the day is helpful, because then I won’t eat as much, but it’s also the problem of easy access to large-portion meals. It’s a terribly first-world-problem thing to say, but excess and overabundance is something hard to reign back.
    2. Consistency: I’ll try to keep a more regular sleep schedule. It’s hard because there’s so much to do every day, so much I can do, and so maybe it’s a matter of tempering things that might not matter as much? I’ve been good with the water. Between sleep and compulsive eating…
    3. Health: When diet, exercise, and sleep are balanced, health should be guaranteed. Or at least, poor health should be minimal. If so, then I should work on making sure my sleep schedule is more regular. I get hungry when I should be tired. It’s just even writing this is pushing it…
  • From Good to Better
    • My first serious 15-minute rowing set in years on Tuesday turned out great! My stomach in particular was sore, and waking up wasn’t easy, but it was much easier than before I started exercising daily. I can bounce back quicker, I feel more capable, and this is just the beginning!
    • My physical momentum on Wednesday is where I wanted to be a year ago in what inspired me to start losing weight: doing what I want when I want. Clean? Build? Organize? Paint? Doing, then, done! I still have a way’s to go, and then it’s about maintaining the pace.
    • I wrote those first two parts before Friday Evening’s Bad News, which cleared up by Tuesday Evening, so it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster, but at least the lows weren’t so low. It’s funny how we impulsively want to live in constant states of elation. Let’s live slightly uncomfortably.
  • Sober Living
    • While drawing a character for an upcoming Sober Living essay, I thought about why alcohol and drugs are so popular: they provide us with short-term entertainment. It’s more subtle and not as exciting, but sober living is like a constant feeling of mild contentment that is more resilient, long-term entertainment.
    • I heard some Bad News on Friday evening so I vented with a heavy rowing set and wrote some in an upcoming Sober Living essay. I expelled the frustration and pent-up energy you get when hearing anything concerning. It might not have turned out well. I’ll edit and finish later.
    • Between the last little bit of frustration I expelled on a Sober Living essay, to be published next Saturday, and venting about the bad news at length, I do feel better. I’m fortunate that I was in a good mental state beforehand, because I could have been dragged down worse.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • When I’m in a conversation turned argument, and the discussion keeps looping as it did on Tuesday, I just walk away. The communication channels aren’t working effectively for either party. The person speaking isn’t sending their message clearly and the person listening isn’t receiving the message clearly. Cool your jets!
    • The stressful news Friday evening left me stressed out in that certain way. For me, it’s a feeling of wanting to escape that internal pain, to maybe avoid it, especially if the only forward motion you get is waiting patiently for good news. I wrote and rowed to avoid temptation.
    • I hit a self-confidence snag on Monday, delaying this column’s completion until the last minute. Depression, really. I just have to keep reminding myself that I must push forward every single day. We all must. Our goals won’t be easily handed to us, and if they were, they’d be worthless.
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • “You’re smarter after you return from lunch![1]” The most successful career professionals I’ve met use their lunch hours to walk around, nap in their cars, or disengage from work. When I do that, I return able to tackle difficult issues easily. Our brains just can’t be tense and smart simultaneously.
    • Upcoming Sober Living essays will probably be where I vent the worst of my conceptual frustrations. Seems like a productive spot for it. After, of course, exercising to near exhaustion and letting the mind explore those dark scenarios where you subconsciously reveal your frustrations to reveal what’s really bothering you.
    • I’ve been watching more anime to balance out the anxiety of the world around me. I have a heavy backlog of stuff I want to watch, but more so, it’s finding the balance to avoid binging on work or relaxation. Both in moderation is most effective. So I keep trying.
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • Lube chain: yes
    • Clean seat: yes
    • Check bolts: yes
      • Note: I’ve reduced this section down to yes/nos because I’ve removed the ambiguity from the maintenance to a simple checklist that I can do daily or weekly. I’ll keep the option open for a hanging note like this in case I figure out novel ways to maintain the machine worth sharing.
  • Wii Fit Highlights
    • I’ve been skipping Wii Fit sets. The biggest critique against the game is how padding time there were between exercises. If 15-minutes in game is actually over 30-minutes in real life, yeah, that’s substantial enough to skip on time-sensitive days. I’ll keep with it or try out Wii Fit Plus.
    • I switched over to Wii Fit Plus and I’m not looking back! The additions addressed the most glaring issues. Building your own custom set and pre-built sets remove the “what should I do next?” ambiguity that ruined my momentum and might make me skip a set on a busy day.
    • The plank exercise is my highlight this week. I did a 60-second plank and that destroyed me! 30-seconds might be the way to go for me to build my core and arm muscles. I’m enjoying Wii Fit because it politely diagnoses where your problem areas are and helps address them.
  • Photo and Outro
    • I’ve made this face with the Colossus barbell before. It’s effective when communicating a week with a significant dip in overall well-being. The Wii Fit Balance Board is a good background this time, partially because I’ve been skipping so many yoga sets, and it’s also a somewhat striking background image.
    • My original photo idea was going to involve making a more positive shape atop the Wii Fit Plus cover, since I’ve switched over to the expanded edition, and would fully recommend it as that’s the version that could be a legitimate fitness tool in the same way as instructional videos.
    • Acceptable week in fitness. I skipped Tuesday’s Wii set, so next week isn’t starting off on the right foot, but I’ve had plenty of good rowing sets that have had minor snags. We just have to roll with the punches, pick ourselves back up, and keep moving toward our goals.
Sources: None

Quotes: [1] Colleague.

Inspirations: None

Related: This weekly column.

Above: General mood panderings.
Below: Wii Fit Plus has a dog option, so, of course, I added in Patrick.
Wii Fit Stats: Weight and Bonuses

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)