[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 27 {235.0}

I strive for independence from external validation. As nice as it is to read positive comments, ruminate on constructive criticism, and receive compensation, I honestly believe all of those vindications mean nothing if you are not content with yourself and what you’re doing. Fitness helps me practice internal validation. When I row with my best effort, it doesn’t matter when the results aren’t great compared to yesterday or your stats, because I’m practicing my independence.

My Weekly Stats

Monday 25th
Row #1: time 5min, 31 SPM [strokes per minute, 812 meters, 125 rows. I’m trying a form practice of crouching and extending my arms out to try to hit the monitor. This will help with my weak arm form along with my ankles and foot positioning. I have to be careful not to strain myself so it’s a good light warmup.
Row #2: time 5min, 35 SPM, 1056 meters, 166 rows. There’s a balance between pushing yourself and recovering. Too much of either is bad. Just as if I’m stretching too far with my arms, and not using my leg muscles enough, my stats won’t be balanced for strokes and meters. I sped up at the end.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 30 seconds; some light running
Bonus: 1 hour of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 7 hours

Tuesday 26th
Row #1: time 5min, 28 SPM, 821 meters, 133 rows. Everyone thrives on external praise. Trainers place well-timed “good jobs” after sets, critics give you passes, and fans may give you praise, but it is your internal critic that matters most. “Take it easy on your back” is better than “nice!”
Row #2: 5 minutes, 34 SPM, 1024 meters, 158 rows. Every set is about getting rid of what’s unimportant. If my right knee is feeling stiff, my focus should be on getting that knee in kicking shape. If I’m noticing an improvement in my physique, don’t stop, don’t slow down, and keep advancing until you hit your goals.
Wii Fit: 5 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds; some light running
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 6 hours

Wednesday 27th
Row #1: 5 minutes, 27.5 SPM, 799 meters, 136 rows. It’d be nice #rowing on a newer #rower with a #row counter, assorted widgets, and a quieter one at that. That’s greed talking. “I want more comfort, I want it easier, and I want it now.” Instead, work so hard that after getting one, those become just nice bonuses.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 38.5 SPM, 1121 meters, 171 rows. I am now starting to understand how fitness can really make you feel better. In moderation, with proper rest, exercise will make you feel more capable of taking on bigger tasks, gives you higher tolerances, and builds your commitment to achieving difficult goals.
Wii Fit: 2 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds; some light running
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 6 hours

Thursday 28th
Row #1: 5 minutes, 28.5 SPM, 850 meters, 136 rows. My morning sets are like the psychoactive stimulant we consume every morning, coffee: a wake up for the body. When I row, I read my muscles to see if my legs are sore, then I do rowing physical therapy; if not, I push through that preventative maintenance and go.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 37 SPM, 1050 meters, 165 rows. The aches of the day carry through onto the rowing machine, until you’ve ironed it out either through physical or mental endurance, to where you just put your mind on the next goal.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds; some light running
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 5 hours

Friday 29th
Row #1: 5 minutes, 30.5 SPM, 835 meters, 149 rows. It was either the sugary snacks I consumed before bed, limited sleep, or other trivial factors that caused a slog up until now, when I wrote then rowed. By the way, I don’t row for external validation. I post here for my accountability and maybe to motivate others.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 36.5 SPM, 997 meters, 179 rows. Don’t regret not reaching a milestone. 3 meters off, huh? I wasn’t even going for 1000 meters more so than I just wanted to put in a solid end cap set. These stats are just ways to measure my overall progress. My goal isn’t to get better stats. It’s to get better.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds; some light running
Bonus: 1 hour of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office
Sleep: 6 hours

Saturday 30th
Row #1: 5 minutes, 29.5 SPM, 798 meters, 140 rows. I count my rows to keep focused on my exercise. It’s easy to want to escape the pain and tedium, mute it, or try to get it over. Keeping myself “in the moment,” feeling every ache and motion, is now more interesting than subtle distractions impeding my progress.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 40 SPM, 1042 meters, 177 rows. Sugar has such a powerful effect on me. I can’t break myself away. The positivity of that fact is if I put rowing as an objective in order to get those sugary, addictively tasty snacks, I will completely destroy what stands in my way. Gotta find your motivators…
Wii Fit: 2 minutes
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
Bonus: No additional exercise, unless you count clearing off then destroying a desk, which was about one hour.
Sleep: 5 hours

Sunday 1st
Row #1: 5 minutes, 34.5 SPM, 952 meters, 154~ rows. If there is one benefit to pushing yourself to your limit twice daily in a controlled environment during exercise, it’s developing the discipline to push yourself in uncomfortable, uncontrolled circumstances. Wanna go back to bed? Just keep going! 10 more seconds!
Row #2: 5 minutes, 40.5 SPM, 1018 meters, 181 rows. After doing an exhausting 90-second plank in Wii Fit, it took a few minutes to warm up while rowing, but I kicked it into high gear with two minutes left on the clock and nailed it! Even if you start off light, you can still achieve some hefty exercise results.
Wii Fit: 4 minutes [Triangle and 90-second Plank]
Stationary Jog: 0 seconds
Bonus: 30 minutes of yard work
Sleep: 5 hours

Stats And Stuff

235.0 pounds: up 0.5 pounds from 234.5 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, 1.75 liters of coffee
Wednesday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 2 cups of orange juice
Thursday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Friday: 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 orange cream shake
Saturday: 7.6 liters (2.0 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 1 cup of mint tea, and another orange cream shake
Sunday: 3.8 liters (1.0 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee, 2 cups of green tea, and 1 large macchiato,

Vitamins14? of 14
(I take: Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; and Vitamin E.)
I kinda missed Saturday morning’s vitamin set, but I caught it immediately upon returning home. Does that count? I’ve been doing well with keeping all my coffee and water in one spot, and when I have my vitamin-reminder glass, I tend to remember it “externally,” if I haven’t already remembered.

Rowing Machine Maintenance
– Check bolts: no
– Clean seat: yes
– Lube chain: no

Aspiring Toward Goals

Last Week’s Goals:
Weight  [+0.5 pounds]: [failed] I would have given myself a neutral/pass on this one but here’s the thing: it was a stressful week, so rather than focus on taking care of my health and eat right, I just ate what was cheap or freely available, with consequences being secondary. If only I’d eaten better…
Consistency: [succeeded] Focusing on exercise consistency, let’s call it good. I sneaked in some quick Wii Fit stretches – mainly triangle, with some dancer and plank sets, too – and am physically doing more than just sitting around. Some of that sitting around time is editing time, so I need to find more balance.
Health: [neutral] Not getting enough sleep puts a drag on the rest of the day. Spending decades pushing through fatigue unknowingly takes time to analyze and deconstruct and mainly through subtle things like wanting to sleep in, feeling hungry minutes after eating food or drinking water/coffee, general fatigue, and not feeling ambitious.

This Week’s Goals:
Weight: No weight gain. I have a good breakfast routine, but I need to figure out lunch options that will suffice during work lunch breaks and weekend lunch snacks, as well as general dinner routines. Since I have diabetic tendencies (likely, undiagnosed diabetes), maintaining glucose levels by eating consistently should help.
Consistency: During my laundry routine, I’ll do my Wii Fit weigh-in and maybe a stretch during the first wash cycle, with rowing on the second wash cycle. On days where I don’t do laundry, I should do my 5-minute triangle-dancer-plank routine. That should up the consistency considerably. Diet consistency is… challenging…
Health: I’ve gotta figure out a way to get more sleep. The problem is there’s so much I want to do, and so much I’m able to do, that I forego the basics to chase after achieving the advanced. It’s difficult to break away. It’s like pacing yourself for marathon living.

Future Fitness Plans
Between my float session, not eating much, and destroying the desk, I was wiped out, but not as much as I would have been last year or the year before. I need to keep rowing, exercising, stretching, and being more physically active to “get the shot” and complete difficult tasks.

Random Fitness Topics

From Good to Better
Maybe it’s just the warm summer, but walking’s been much easier for me now than last year or in years past, and I’m finding walking to be a positive feedback loop where I’m less tired because I thoroughly detach from the stresses of work through walking and exploring the world.

Sober Living
Ugh, all it takes is a thousand little cuts at work to turn a decent day into something shitty. One thing leads to another and before long you’re resenting it all, waiting to get out. It’s nice having friends in different fields to talk about abstracts to then help calm.

Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
In those thousand-cut situations, I don’t think it’s best to face every threat. What I find works best for me is to focus my thoughts on the biggest frustrator, large or small, and address that directly. In my situation, it was just someone being annoying, so I shut them down.

Decompressing From Stress
A colleague brought in flyers for a float tank place. It’s cool seeing this being more widely advertised. I will freely tell everyone in the same breath that it’s been helpful for me that it isn’t for everyone. I don’t recommend floating to technology addicts or people with psychological self-loathing.

Wii Fit Highlights
If I only have five minutes, I think the triangle, dancer, and plank exercises make for the best three exercises. I should start to experiment with more of the sets, and if I’m uncomfortable doing them, to keep at them, but of course, some are just fairly rudimentary or nonintensive.

A Nice Outro
Good week in fitness. I’m wearing a large shirt. It doesn’t feel too tight, though it’s not comfortable enough to wear without additional covering layers, so I still have room to go, but it’s forward progress that feels great and can’t quite be measurable externally except through before and after shots.

Quotes: None
Sources: My fitness experiences.
Inspirations: The 4th of July, along with the nature of independence: doing it because you like it, not because you’re worried about what others think.
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Above: Colossus in front of a 4th of July hat that I bought years ago. I also wanted to have some fun with the ROW logo. Did that translate well?
Below: 90-second plank results. I didn’t get a chance to photograph the entire scribble that was my center of balance, but the red blotch up top is part of it.
Wii Fit Stats: Weight and BMI
Written On: June 24th, 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th, July 1st
Last Edited: July 1st

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.