[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 19 {237.0}

I’ve been in the same 5-pound weight range since January. I was on this same plateau years back at a stressful job. While fear-based goals like “I’m in terrible shape, I should change that” are effective, those goals fade when the fear subsides. Success-based goals, like “increasing fitness functionality,” also subside after vague accomplishment. I need a new goal. Something more concrete… maybe: “I want to become the best version of myself that I can.”

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 1 Morning: time 5min, 176 rows. After venting both through writing and verbally, venting physically is the third best way I’ve found to relieve that sort of lingering stress that just won’t go away with a good meal, good rest, and meditation on how little control we all have.
  • Tuesday 1 Bonus: 30-some minutes of walking.
  • Tuesday 1 Wii Fit: 0 minutes. Wasn’t feeling great.
  • Tuesday 1 Evening: time 10min, 386 rows. My knees were hurting, because I was doing too many extended squats instead of sitting down, so I took a lighter form with less knee movement. That was a nice change of pace, so I might do those on days where I’m not feeling like doing more.
  • Wednesday 2 Morning: time 5min, 181 rows. While it’s not good to push yourself to your breaking points, if you know your limits and temper yourself well enough, you can vent the frustration of one area into another. With good rowing form and negative energy to dispel: positive results.
  • Wednesday 2 Bonus: None.
  • Wednesday 2 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Wednesday 2 Evening: time 10min, 355 rows. Betrayal makes for bitter fitness fuel, because while you are consumed with rage, you’re feeling more relaxed as the vivid imagery fades. I used to do this frequently years ago and it was effective at strategizing fixes, along with venting.
  • Thursday 3 Morning: time 5min, 170 rows. When our work is fully brain-powered, injuries we might get in manual labor don’t appear as broken legs or cuts, rather as stress, insomnia or other invisible concepts. We must heal mentally the same way: through time and fixing the root cause.
  • Thursday 3 Bonus: Two hours of yard work.
  • Thursday 3 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Thursday 3 Evening: time 10min, 349 rows. After you physically exhaust yourself, and mentally exhaust yourself, clean up and do what makes you feel good. Otherwise, negative feedback loops will keep on coming. I didn’t focus on my form much here, just went for exhaustion and did well.
  • Friday 4 Morning: time 5min, 166 rows. Why not do longer morning sets? The goal is getting warmed up to tackle the day. Our lives are so sedentary that we forget we are biological machines that need daily maintenance. Water, good fuel, and exercise keep the body and mind working!
  • Friday 4 Bonus: 1 hour of walking, including several flights of stairs.
  • Friday 4 Wii Fit: 0 minutes. Rowed at too fast of a pace.
  • Friday 4 Evening: time 10min, 454 rows. I only count off the ones and tens digits, primarily to make sure I breathe and for here, so it was definitely 54. I would have thought 300 if not for the 42 SPM and my fast rhythm. I guess I had a bunch of subconscious stress to sort through.
  • Saturday 5 Morning: time 5min, 182 rows. I just wrapped up an essay about how I use rowing as active meditation to resolve lingering concerns. I began with a great brainstorming session and just kept up that pace. I’m not as sore as last night’s set, only because this wasn’t as heavy.
  • Saturday 5 Bonus: 30 minutes of walking
  • Saturday 5 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Saturday 5 Evening: time 10min, 353 rows. I had to stop for 20 seconds at 251. Otherwise, a good sweaty set at a sensational speed! Somehow, sets… are getting easier, so that’s sweet. Good form is the key.
  • Sunday 6 Row #1: time 5min, 168 rows. Time flew by with this set. I’m feeling upbeat, motivated, and took care of many cleaning/rearranging tasks. Mindset influences exercise. Negativity is an easier emotion to tap into for exercising, yet yields lesser results than positivity.
  • Sunday 6 Row #2: time 10min, 336 rows. 10 second exhaustion rest at 192. I counted to 193 and stopped. Second day in a row of needing to stop halfway through my set. Second day of not getting enough sleep. I should go to sleep earlier tonight.
  • Sunday 6 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Sunday 6 Stationary Jog: 1 30-second set
  • Sunday 6 Bonus: 2 hours of cleaning and organizing.
  • Monday 7 Row #1: time 5min, 182 rows. Frustration is great exercise fuel except for how dangerous it is to contain within a singular workout. The numbers are better but at what cost? Some frustration expelled in moderation is good. Note to self: remember to drop that bad junk off.
  • Monday 7 Row #2: time 10min, 350 rows. Focused on doing chin pull-ups this set. It’s easier now than when I first tried it. Nothing else to comment on.
  • Monday 7 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Monday 7 Stationary Jog: 1 minute
  • Monday 7 Bonus: 30 minutes of light walking around the city.
  • Weight: 237.0 pounds (down 2.0 pounds!)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
    • Tuesday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 cup of orange juice
    • Wednesday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Thursday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
    • Friday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 Thai iced tea
    • Saturday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 cup of green tea
    • Sunday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
    • Monday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 13 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
      • Forgot Friday Evening’s batch. Moderately stressful day and overexerted myself rowing, so I quickly went to sleep after getting home. Leaving the vitamins out on a plate works well when I see the vitamin plate: maybe I should have a specific container for “next vitamins to take” near my water?
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [succeeded] Didn’t gain weight! I’ll credit that to my increased exercise and fitness, walking more, starting to jog in place for a few seconds, in addition to snacking less. I eat too much, too often, so if I can’t stop that, then I have to burn off the excess calories somehow.
    2. Consistency: [succeeded] Despite not doing my 15-minute Wii Fit routine every day, I’m still giving myself a pass this week because if I didn’t do the routine, I did sufficient exercise in exchange. Did every rowing set, and actually did a little writing on this column entry each day. That’s also consistency!
    3. Health: [succeeded] For all that shit I had to deal with last week, I’m feeling mostly better. Still bitter when I dredge through the details to try to sort and solve it, but what can you do but try to remain positive and upbeat? Otherwise, I’ve been in increasingly better physical shape.
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: No weight gain. I need to control my hunger more. I’ve found that drinking plenty of water before and while eating helps, because then I’ll actually be full – my problem is that my stomach muscles are so loose that I can eat a substantial amount and still not be satiated.
    2. Consistency: I’m not aiming for daily 15-minute Wii Fit routine sets. They’re all good stretches, but as I memorize my routine, I can do the basics in an idle minute. I want to do daily 30-second stationary jogs, though. I think that will help me out substantially both physically and functionally.
    3. Health: If I wake at 5AM. I should plan to go to bed by 9PM. Food, for me, only provides temporary energy. Sleeping, or even a quick rest, are the best way for my body to get back into form to do more, so I should focus on my sleep routine.
  • From Good to Better
    • Even though I’m still going to have the lows in my health, I’ve been bouncing back quicker. Saturday morning is a great example: after over-exerting myself rowing, I woke up at 5AM in a stupor. Instead of going back to bed, wasting a third of the day, I pushed through!
    • Even though much of that involved the willpower to simply sit upright, close my eyes, and maintain consciousness through most of one hour listening to the radio, it was still better than laying back down and waking up whenever. Practicing that willpower then will enable me to do more today.
    • That willpower is opening more possibilities as well: I’m doing more physically, which is enabling me to do more mentally, which creates a positive feedback loop. Through rowing, I became interested in Wii Fit, which got me interested in yoga and running, which can help me do more ambitious projects.
  • Sober Living
    • Your coping mechanism is what will save you on those bad days. The less destructive, the better. While it’s better to exercise, do something productive, meditate on the issue, then sleep, if it’s eat, consume escapist material, sleep, and then eventually figure out the root of the issue, that works.
    • I’ve found that the harder I push, the more likely inebriation seems like even a 1% option. When life is good, like in Rat Park, then minor stresses like aggressive drivers and assertive customers mean nothing. When major variables within reality shift toward the negative, well, then, it’s danger time.
    • Perhaps the key to sobriety is maintaining an even-keel: the balance of staying safe while living life- inherently, a dangerous venture. Daily self-maintenance is how I stick to the path. Completing “The Story” is another goal, however, that’s dangerous, too, because what if it becomes unobtainable, or even worse, obtained…?
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • I live my life tackling the stress beast directly with the occasional sly hit to its side. While this might bring about more stress, this direct approach yields the best results for me. There is no ambiguity for people, beasts, or circumstances to hide behind. So we resolve issues quickly.
    • I’ve had some lingering battles going on in my head over professional stressers. It’s oddly common, whether I’m working or not. Maybe it’s common for everyone? Maybe that’s why we as a society are so ill from stress? We can’t properly confront, decompress, and move on from psychologically painful proceedings?
    • I suspect this constant stress will only get worse in the coming years and decades as we become even more interconnected. What padding we had physically or mentally in decades past are gone. We can’t hide away or escape like we used to, so maybe we’ve always been this thin-skinned?
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • I think mood trackers are becoming so common because when you realize you’re not in your norm, it’s easier to get out of it. Rowing and writing do that for me, and when I’m frustrated, sometimes it’s fun to watch a bad anime and think about how terrible it is.
    • The temptation with having at least four great anime airing this season is to watch all of them as often as I can find the time. I’ve therefore self-restricted my viewings to a maximum of three episodes per day. Too much of one thing, especially something pleasurable, is not good.
    • This has been working out well for me with my 5AM wake time, since I haven’t been getting to bed early enough to make that comfortable, so waking up to a show I like has worked out well. Maybe I need to do the opposite schedule to unwind on time?
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • Lube chain: yes
    • Clean seat: yes
    • Check bolts: yes
  • Wii Fit Highlights
    • The triangle pose is tricky. I love it! Difficult action or puzzle videogames fascinate gamers because to win without having cheated means to have truly achieved something. I don’t get that feeling playing videogames, but I do when my back aches after a tricky stretch or an impossible rowing set.
    • Here’s what I’m dubbing “1.1.5” of my Wii Fit routine, starting light before getting more intense:
      • Half-Moon – side-to-side stretch
      • Sun Salutation – back-and-forth stretch
      • Warrior – shoulder/leg stretch
      • Palm Tree – shoulder/ankle stretch
      • Chair – ankle/leg stretch
      • Triangle – “everything” stretch
      • Dance – balance stretch
      • Plank – 30-second core strengthening
        • 15 minutes, 66 calories
    • I’ll try experimenting with additional yoga and strength workouts to eventually bump the routine to 20 minutes. I do have to balance time and energy to avoid burning out. Maybe I’ll time myself running in place for 1-minute on busy days and in lieu of doing the Wii Fit running workout?
      • Done. Look forward to the new template applied just to Sunday and Monday next week.
  • Photo and Outro
    • Colossus here is joined by my rowing stats from years back. These stats remind me of some lost bets I had with some colleagues over weight loss. I had their accountability but lacked the ambition to actually work on losing any weight. Now it’s obligatory and compulsive to exercise twice-daily.
    • I liked the Wii Motion Sensor’s light pattern, so I moved the ROW label to the right. I thought of doing more but I wasn’t terribly ambitious. I should include some lighting in this area so it’s not so dark, but the kiosk isn’t even close to being done, either…
    • Overall, I’d say it was a good fitness week. Burned off some weight, improved the structure of this weekly column, and maintained good physical health. I’ve identified problem areas (sleep schedule and diet) that I can slowly chisel away at – bad habits formed slowly, and thus must be undone slowly.
Sources: None

Quotes: None

Inspirations: None

Related: This weekly column.

Above: In-line
Below: I like this game’s wit.
Wii Fit StatsWeight 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)