[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 21 {237.0}

The hardest mountain to climb is our internal struggle for good health. External factors can usually be resolved, diminished, or bettered. No amount of physical gear or mental training can prepare us for moments or days where summiting that internal hypothetical mountain to health and wellness seems impossible to climb. The trials and tribulations of lazy days and unsuppressable appetites seem too grand. Do we just give up? No! Real life awaits our good health.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 15 Row #1: time 5min, 152 rows. Took a lighter pace since yesterday’s pace just wrecked me. There’s something to be said for conservation of energy and not going all in. Sometimes, yes, it’s good to push yourself. Other times, no, because you’ll burn yourself out for nothing.
  • Tuesday 15 Row #2: time 10min, 343 rows. A lighter pace won this race; at its face, there seemed room to improve within this humble space, but with arms positioned in a solid brace, the time was fine, the meter count wasn’t weaker and if there was a care, it’s becoming a rowing ace!
  • Tuesday 15 Wii Fit: 17 minutes
  • Tuesday 15 Stationary Jog: 30 seconds
  • Tuesday 15 Bonus: 30 minutes of yardwork
  • Wednesday 16 Row #1: time 5min, 175 rows. The problem with waiting until you feel like doing something is when the time comes. I wasn’t feeling today. So I deferred and deferred. Now we’re here. I should have rowed hours ago. Maybe my pace was better having waited, but not by much.
  • Wednesday 16 Row #2: Skipped due to concert.
  • Wednesday 16 Wii Fit: 0 minutes
  • Wednesday 16 Stationary Jog: 30 seconds
  • Wednesday 16 Bonus: If concerts count, 5+ hours of standing and walking around.
  • Thursday 17 Row #1: time 5min, 161 rows. Went for an easy set this time, just feeling the groove of my rowing pace, focusing on good form over exerting energy. I’ve been sluggish today, since I didn’t drink enough water, but feeling good since I saw Týr again. They were great!
  • Thursday 17 Row #2: time 10min, 348 rows. There’s a balance between perfectionism and good enough. Most sets aren’t “perfect.” You get tired, lazy, and don’t push it to that good limit. Exercise reminds me the value of just doing good enough work. Perfect isn’t possible. Great? Sure!
  • Thursday 17 Wii Fit: 20 minutes
  • Thursday 17 Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
  • Thursday 17 Bonus: 5 minutes of reorganizing.
  • Friday 18 Row #1: time 5min, 162 rows. Light set. Better to get 162 low-impact strokes than 0 no-impact strokes.
  • Friday 18 Row #2: time 10min, 340 rows. Not feeling it today. Debated between doing a 5min set. Did fine. So it’s not the physical side that’s exhausted.
  • Friday 18 Wii Fit: 0 minutes
  • Friday 18 Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
  • Friday 18 Bonus: No additional exercise.
  • Saturday 19 Row #1: time 5min, 182 rows. Not quite there. Still a good effort, but my mind is still full of anxiety over life in general. At least rowing is easy. I can get on the machine and 5 minutes later have a good or reasonably good set.
  • Saturday 19 Row #2: time 10min, 352 rows. The strokes per minute counter does a rough average of the last 30 seconds, it seems, so if I end strong it shows a greater SPM. Not sure that I did 452 strokes because I only count the ones and tens digits, but it doesn’t seem likely.
  • Saturday 19 Wii Fit: 0 minutes
  • Saturday 19 Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
  • Saturday 19 Bonus: No additional exercise.
  • Sunday 20 Row #1: time 5min, 174 rows. When my mind is distracted by external factors, I can’t concentrate as well with maintaining good form, feeling for my foot positioning, and making sure I don’t go soft with my arm motions. The balance is sufficient distraction brain-dumping.
  • Sunday 20 Row #2: time 5min, 175 rows. I was going to go for my usual 10 minutes, but I ran out of steam halfway through the day, and about halfway through the set. I’ve found those are the worst times to push it.
  • Sunday 20 Wii Fit: 0 minutes
  • Sunday 20 Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
  • Sunday 20 Bonus: No additional exercise.
  • Monday 21 Row #1: time 5min, 176 rows. It was either 176 or 174. I’m at the point now where I’m always wondering “did I punch in 10 minutes instead of 5?” during the last 30 seconds. It’s nice to exceed your expectations based on previously established averages…pretty much daily.
  • Monday 21 Row #2: Skipped because I wasn’t feeling well.
  • Monday 21 Wii Fit: 0 minutes
  • Monday 21 Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
  • Monday 21 Bonus: 6 miles of city walking
  • Weight: 237.0 pounds (down 1.0 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
    • Wednesday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
    • Thursday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 2 cups of orange juice
    • Friday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 0 liters of coffee! [0 motivation, too…]
    • Saturday: 4.56 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
    • Sunday: 4.56 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
    • Monday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 2.0 liters of coffee, 1 bottle of Aloe juice
  • Vitamins: 11 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
      • Starting the week off on a bad note, I forgot my Tuesday evening vitamins. I put them in my cup I leave out to remind me to take them, but when it came time, I just didn’t see them. I’m not sure how I can make the contents more visible…
      • I forgot about Saturday and Monday night for the same reason as above. I should do something about that. I nearly avoided missing morning’s batch. They don’t negatively impact my health if I don’t take them. It’s just better to get more nutrients. Maybe I should adjust that flippant attitude?
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [succeeded]
    2. Consistency: [failed]
    3. Health: [succeeded]
  • From Good to Better
    • Tracking my work schedule again has led to an interesting result: If I work too much in one day, then I burn out the next. I worked at a breakneck manic pace on Monday. I was drained Tuesday and part of Wednesday. Oops. Now I can identify being more careful.
    • Still drained on Thursday, but I did go to a concert, along with all the excitement of having folks calling in about my resume and interview statuses, so there’s that, too. I haven’t felt motivated to write at all, so it’s 8PM and I’m not at 500 words written today yet.
  • Sober Living
    • For me, insobriety becomes at all tempting because of general factors in life. When things are going well, why would I want to mess them up? When they aren’t, what’d be the harm? So when I start noticing a persistent pessimistic curmudgeon misanthropy fogging my sights, it’s time for progress.
    • I’ve been feeling low. That’s one of the entry points to insobriety and what makes it difficult. It was nice listening to Steven Tyler from Aerosmith talk about his sobriety. You really do just want to feel like getting fucked up. There’s no civil way of saying it. It sucks.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • Interviewing is hard. The big reason is that we want to impress everyone we can, except ourselves, so when we’re in particularly stressful interviews, it’s partially because we subconsciously see that our approaches aren’t working, but consciously we’re pressing on. That anxiety is telling you something. Learn to hear it.
    • If I’m not feeling like confronting stress, I don’t. The unfortunate side effect is that I’ll procrastinate with everything else in life and find something to escape into until I forget, get bored, or maybe eventually face that fear. It’s like riding out the wave until you find an in.
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • One interviewer kept deferring and called me late. I have a 5-minute limit. After that, we reschedule. That’s me re-taking control of my life and subtly reminding them that they have to as well. No malice, just policy. After that, I blew off steam rowing. Rescheduled interview turned out well.
    • Sleep is my biggest disengager for stress. Even when my mind works subconsciously to deconstruct, recreate, analyze, and warn the conscious via dreams, they’re cryptic enough that just having some respite from the big and small stressers is enough to let things pass by with minimal impact. Eating marginally helps.
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • Lube chain: no
    • Clean seat: no
    • Check bolts: yes
  • Wii Fit Highlights
    • I’ve been adding more strength training into the routine. It’s now up to 20 minutes. It’s definitely a low impact workout, with minimal results, but I think sticking with it for a few times a week will be useful. Maybe soon I’ll get my home gym machine up and running?
  • Future Fitness Plans
    • I started the week in a rut. It wasn’t entirely writing or heat burnout. It’s ennui with dumping effort without having the glorious results one would expect. This isn’t a new sensation. Wanting to summit “the mountain” now is common. I want to readjust my attitudes in these situations quicker.
    • I find when I breakthrough mental barriers like the one mentioned above, I can do more and be more than I was. For me, the hindrance has never been physical. It’s always my mental approach to a situation. Thinking it can’t or won’t be possible is dangerously common for me.
  • A Nice Outro
    • While I’ve made some positive changes to the template, I’ll also be taking a bit of a break from writing a prodigious amount of content for these columns over this and next week.
    • That should give me some time to figure out why I’ve been lazy with my fitness. It would be one thing if I were seeing results, then I could write about it, and it’d all be good.
Quotes: None
Sources: None
InspirationsThe Holy Mountain inspired the introduction.
Related: This weekly column.
Above: Colossus climbing an old sweater. Without the ROW logo, Colossus was accidentally climbing toward some lint.
Below: My Wii Fit routine additions.
Wii Fit Stats: BMI and Bonus exercise.
Written On: May 16th, 17th, 22nd
Last Edited: May 22nd

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.