[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 25 {235.0}

How much can we prepare for negative situations? I think most of us live in trepidatious fear of minor inconveniences, hypotheticals, and having our mettle tested. Safety, comfort, and leisure are all addictive frames of reference. Fitness tests my boundaries and improves my life’s endurances. Annihilating my left hamstring on an improper landing this week, what would have been weeks of limping before returning to fitness was just a minor inconvenience and encouragement to proceed!

My Weekly Stats

Monday 11th
Row #1: time 5min, 144 rows, 32.5 SPM [strokes per minute], 882 meters. Despite my strongest urges, I’ll be returning to the under “150 strokes in 5 minutes” pace for my morning sets. It’s a good way to flirt with that nervous energy that will later exhaust me if I rely on it too much, just like with angry energy.
Row #2: time 5min, 181 rows, 34.5 SPM, 946 meters. Good start to the week. I think the trick was I didn’t overextend myself at key points throughout the day. Just because I can run for seconds at a time, is that overall more optimal than walking for minutes at a time? Both have their place.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 7 hours

Tuesday 12th
Row #1: time 5min, 150 rows, 30 SPM, 835 meters. Light morning sets will work well for me because while I got rid of that weekend fatigue funk…?, I woke up tired, and even a half hour of drinking coffee and relaxing with light work didn’t set me back on my normal track so I won’t push it.
Row #2: time 5min, 174 rows, 35 SPM, 937 meters. I’ve been tired most of today. I did push myself a little outside my comfort zone, both throughout the day and in this set, but not enough to leave me exhausted. There should be a certain balance for effort/rest. Not too much in either way…
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 6 hours

Wednesday 13th
Row #1: time 5min, 150 rows, 29.5 SPM, 833 meters. I know I didn’t put in as much effort as I could have to make these 150 strokes really count. Not that it was a wasted set, just that I should use these stroke-restricted morning sets to improve my form. The evening sets can be more free form.
Row #2: time 5min, 153 rows, 30 SPM, 898 rows. The moment I landed wrong on my left foot on the second to last staircase of the evening, I knew it’d sting for a while. Even after stretching it, it still hurts, in more of a dull strained hamstring that hopefully will calm down with rest.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 30+ seconds
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 6 hours

Thursday 14th
Row #1: time 5min, 133 rows, 31 SPM, 868 meters. Left hamstring status: limping for the first 20 steps after I awoke, now it’s just a noticeable sore spot. This set was focused on moving my legs, going through complete motions, to help massage this ache out. Fortunately, it doesn’t hurt.
Row #2: time 5min, 163 rows, 34 SPM, 978 meters. Long day, but at least my hamstring is back on track. It’ll be sore tomorrow morning and a little throughout the day as I knead out that final sore muscle group, where ever it is and however I can…
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 30+ seconds
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 6 hours

Friday 15th
Row #1: time 5min, 133 rows, 34.5 SPM, 785 meters. My left hamstring is nearly back to 100%. It’s still a bit sore, but I think between rowing at a physical therapy pace, where I move my leg muscles completely to knead out the sore spot, and finding time to rest, I’ll be fine by tomorrow.
Row #2: time 5min, 166 rows, 31.5 SPM, 969 meters. My left hamstring was fine throughout the day, but in the homestretch, it started to sting. It should be fine by tomorrow. I have to walk around much more for my latest gig. The walking is helping my fitness, endurance, and overall resilience.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 6 hours

Saturday 16th
Row #1: time 5min, 173 rows, 34.5 rows, 861 meters. I may have unintentionally pushed myself too far. While doing some yardwork, I got some really nasty eye allergies. Fortunately I had eye drops, because it hurt really badly. Red eyes and slightly swollen. In comparison, this was an easy set.
Row #2: Too physically tired.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
Bonus: 30 minutes of yard work, 30 minutes of organizing
Sleep: 7 hours + 2 hour nap

Sunday 17th
Row #1: time 5min, 167 rows, 35 SPM, 1034 meters. The thing I like about rowing is that during each set my mind in cruise control. While exercising, any nervous energy otherwise spent thinking about this/that is spent thinking about your muscles, pace, energy output, time, and doing well!
Row #2: time 5min, 174 rows, 35.5 SPM, 913 meters. Easy. The 2 gallons of water really helped flush out my system, and even with a minor round two of allergies, I’m still not feeling terrible. I credit these quick, consistent rowing sets to that. Without constant physical checks, I’d be sick.
Wii Fit: 2 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
Bonus: 30 minutes of organizing, 5 minutes of desk destruction (Badassery? Yes.)
Sleep: 8 hours

Stats And Stuff

235 pounds: down 4.0 pounds from 239.0 pounds

(Note: My goal is 1 gallon of water per day. One liter is 0.26417 gallons.)
Monday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
Tuesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee,
Wednesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Friday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
Saturday: 7.57 liters (2.0 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Sunday: 7.57 liters (2.0 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee

Vitamins13 of 14
(I take: Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; and Vitamin E.)
I was too tired on Saturday afternoon, after getting hit with those allergies, I pretty much turned in at 5PM. Even with my water glass to remind me to take my vitamins, I still forgot anyways. If it’s any consolation, I felt much better Sunday morning after getting enough sleep.

Rowing Machine Maintenance
– Check bolts: no
– Clean seat: no
– Lube chain: no (oops)

Aspiring Toward Goals

Last Week’s Goals:
Weight  [235.0 pounds]: [succeeded] No weight gain. I’d credit snacking on smaller snacks throughout the day, rather than gorging on larger meals when my hunger becomes too overwhelming. The second gallon of water early on Saturday probably also helped flush out any of the lingering sensations of needing a full stomach filled by calories.
Consistency: [neutral] Even if I hadn’t skipped Saturday evening’s rowing set, skipping every single chance this week to do anything with Wii Fit other than a quick weigh-in was enough to say it was merely an acceptable week for consistency. While there wasn’t any progress, at least there wasn’t any regression, either.
Health: [succeeded] Bouncing back from those allergies and hamstring sprain were really encouraging to me. I would have been down hard if it were two years ago, because things that weren’t as serious did, in fact, knock me down harder than just resting and limping around for a while. Feels good, man.

This Week’s Goals:
Weight: No weight gain. I think I’ll do this by prioritizing drinking more water throughout the day, and snacking a little bit when I start to feel a little hungry or anticipate I might get hungry, so I’m not compulsively driven to overeat just to fill that initial pang of hunger
Consistency: Rowed twice daily? Wii Fitted frequently enough? I’m not sure where I can loop in Wii Fit into my laundry routine since it’s within close physical proximity, but I can spare an extra few minutes if I’m not doing laundry that day for Wii Fit. I just need to try.
Health: Did I manage to get enough sleep? I need to start respecting my bedtime alarms more by not trying to do too much when I get home after work. I only get a little bit of time. I can only readjust my morning routine so much to accommodate my evenings.

Future Fitness Plans
I’m going to start picking up my walking pace more when I’m out and about. There are still times for leisurely strolls, of course, but I think using more of my upper leg muscles to walk with a bigger, more confident stride, will help me out significantly. Just needs practice.

Random Fitness Topics

From Good to Better
Even after landing on my leg wrong, a mentally and physically stressful week of work, and being hit with some debilitating allergies on Saturday, when I’m writing this Saturday evening, I can push through because of my fitness training. Along with knowing that I’ll be going to sleep very soon.
Also, at Father’s Day lunch, I got some fish and chips/fries after having some from Ivar’s. While the fish were good, the fries were so greasy I didn’t want to eat the rest. Maybe it’s been eating healthier or the gallon of water, but I passed. Just bragging, I guess.

Sober Living
I am capable of enduring an incredible amount of stress if there is one factor: complete trust in the outcome. I will sacrifice short-term pleasure if the long-term goals are appealing enough, but the moment those goals fall through, that’s when I just say fuck that and fight back hard.

Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
I realized I was operating in fear part of the week. I won’t spell out the details, but needless to say, if my work persona were engaged in such pressure, the rest of me would have to funnel that energy, and when I finally confronted that fear, it was… satisfying.

Decompressing From Stress
I’ve found pockets of time to write first drafts to, if I may say so, some of my best writing to date. I think it’s that pressure cooker mindset of time and physicality that are driving me to extreme focus on these short stories. Editing them will be a joy.

Wii Fit Highlights
I completely skipped Wii Fit this week, other than the check-ins, and I’m sure I could have squeezed in at least one short set this week – except for it being a week almost out of control. I had already sacrificed enough time for basic human functionality; couldn’t do anything more.

A Nice Outro
This article, “I’m A Runner: Haruki Murakami,” reminded me of why I write about rowing weekly: as much as I’d like to spend hours writing, there’s still the rest of my day that I live overweight. The more I row, the more I feel enabled to live life more fully.

Quotes: None
Sources: My fitness experiences.
Inspirations: None
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Above: Colossus propping his left leg/hamstring up with a Wiimote. The purple microfiber background and tissue box were purely for background imagery.
Below: First draft of the shot above.
Wii Fit Stats: BMI and Bonuses
Written On: June 10th, 16th, 17th
Last Edited: June 17th

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.