[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 30 {231.5}

“Rowers always have strong arms![1]” My boss’s boss then grabbed my wimpy bicep, covered the awkwardness with a quick platitude, and we changed topics during our lunch meeting last year. Only last week did that sink in: I have weak arms. My leg-focused rowing form made my leg muscles solid, especially my calves, it’s just I’ve been under-utilizing my arms. I’m seeing an increase in my meter counts now that I’m building my arm muscles.

My Daily Stats

Monday 16th
Row #1: 4:49 minutes, 32 SPM [strokes per minute], 914 meters, 150 rows. I used these 150 rows to practice my arm muscles by keeping them tense, rather than my usual loose style, and I can really see a difference. That could wear me out with a longer set or at a faster pace, but since it’s just a warm-up set, and yielded good results.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 45.5 SPM, 959 meters, 201 rows. It’s still too hot to exercise well. I drank over 600 mL of water when I got home. I am fine with the cold but stagnant heat is terrible, especially when I heat up my muscles. At least I did my best through all that.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Push-ups: 0
Jogs: 0 seconds (stationary), multiple 5-second runs (in motion)
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office.
Sleep: 5 hours

Tuesday 17th
Row #1: 4:22 minutes, 38.5 SPM, 757 meters, 150 rows. Anxiety creeps in uniquely controlling all thoughts. Losing keys becomes fear of losing grip with reality, a world more believable than any fictional world. Rowing helps: just focus on the set; be here now. It’s nice scratching that inner itch causing the anxiety.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 42.5 SPM, 956 meters, 200 rows. The oppressive heat decreases to a less micromanaged level. I kept a good pace throughout. Not quite there with the meter count, but this is becoming more comfortable. Hopefully, in a month or two, this will be a good average; sooner if I work harder, and maybe rest.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Push-ups: 0
Jogs: 0 seconds (stationary), multiple 5-second runs (in motion)
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office.
Sleep: 5 hours

Wednesday 18th
Row #1: 4:13 minutes, 36 SPM, 742 meters, 150 rows. Good workout, right? Actually, my intentions with these morning sets aren’t to blast through 150 rows. It’s to mindfully warm up my body and mind to prepare for the day. I’ve been pushing myself too much this week, as this set shows, because I should be at 30 SPM.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 46.5 SPM, 1105 meters, 208 rows. When once-impossible goals become attainable averages, what next? Consistency? Since I’m not in this to be an athlete of exceptional skill, no, but the 200 rows in 5 minutes might eventually become my low end, like 150 is now. Or maybe 250 rows in 5 minutes?
Wii Fit: 2 minutes [Triangle pose]
Push-ups: 0
Jogs: 0 seconds (stationary), multiple 5-second runs (in motion)
Bonus: 1 hour of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office.
Sleep: 6 hours

Thursday 19th
Row #1: 4:50 minutes, 24 SPM, 807 meters, 150 rows. I was better disciplined about not overloading my work this morning, resulting in remembering I woke up with a sore knee, thus adjusting to the more physical therapy style I intend to do in the mornings. After hitting 150, I did a crouching stretch for 10 seconds.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 48 SPM, 985 meters, 200 rows. I hit my tolerance limit of people and their stresses today. When I start getting reckless, that’s when I just need to go back to what I like doing, saying no, and resting up. All I need to do is return to that detached state and jam.
Wii Fit: 2 minutes [Triangle]
Push-ups: 0
Jogs: 0 seconds (stationary), multiple 5-second runs (in motion)
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office.
Sleep: 6 hours

Friday 20th
Row #1: 5 minutes, 31 SPM, 848 meters, 145 rows. When I explore the explosive dredges of fear lingering in my deepest mind, I emerge with answers: not focusing on my goals makes me miserable. With that fully realized, I rowed a loose, tension-free set. Maybe not the best for overall output. But for health? Great.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 37.5 SPM, 905 meters, 190 rows. Took it at a lighter pace today. Wrote more. Saved the ambition for tomorrow. Nearly got the 200-in-5 goal. Didn’t. It’s alright. This weekend will be for resting up.
Wii Fit: 4 minutes [Triangle, Dancer]
Push-ups: 0
Jogs: 0 seconds (stationary), multiple 5-second runs (in motion)
Bonus: 2 hours of walking, 4-8 hours of walking around the office.
Sleep: 6 hours

Saturday 21st
Row #1: 5:20 minutes, 41 SPM, 938 meters, and 200 rows, not 189. I’ve been struggling to get motivated all day today. I’ve been just too tired. So when [my] time came up at 189 #rows, I said, NO! I had to do 200. So I did. Wrecked my time, but what’s more important is invigorating that motivation. Now I’ll probably work for 12 hours.
Row #2: 5 minutes, 39 SPM, 1039 meters, 184 rows. I didn’t quite work for 12 hours straight, so I’m not in 100% tip top shape but I was more mentally motivated after physically pushing myself to my limits. That said, I pushed myself to my mental limit, which is really the best point. My arm form is also improving.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Push-ups: 0
Jogs: 0 seconds (stationary), 0 seconds (in motion)
Bonus: No additional exercise.
Sleep: 6 hours, plus two over one-hour naps

Sunday 22nd
Row #1: 5 minutes, 29.5 SPM, 1046 meters, 200 rows. Another day of resting and recouping after the work week. It might not have been mental attachment as much as physical attachment of trying to do too much in one day without considering myself in the matter. How, then, can I stop pushing myself too much each day?
Row #2: 5 minutes, 39.5 SPM, 1128 meters, 201 rows. I ran out of steam at around 100, caught my breath and second wind, then pressed on. My alarm went off at 195 but I wanted that 200-in-5 so bad that I pushed on ahead. Were it not for me mentioning that break, it would have just been another good set.
Wii Fit: 0 minutes
Push-ups: 0
Jogs: 0 seconds (stationary), 0 seconds (in motion)
Bonus: 45 minutes of yard work
Sleep: 6 hours, plus two over one-hour naps

Stats And Stuff

231.5 pounds: down 1 pound from 232.5 pounds

(Note: My goal is 1 gallon of water per day. One liter is 0.26417 gallons.)
Monday: 4.9 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Tuesday: 4.9 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Wednesday: 4.9 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
Thursday: 4.9 liters (1.3 gallons) of water, 1.75 liters of coffee
Friday: 3.9 liters (1.0 gallon) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Saturday: 6.3 liters (1.7 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
Sunday: 7.8 liters (2.0 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee

Vitamins10 of 14
(I take: Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; and Vitamin E.)
– How embarrassing it is to miss the first beat! I had my vitamin-reminder glass out next to my coffee on Monday morning, but between preparing for work and leaving, I forgot. There’s no real easy way to remember, short of leaving the vitamins in the glass, which I might do…
– I don’t even know why I missed my Tuesday and Thursday evening vitamins, other than the themes I’ll write about below, where I had pushed myself too much throughout the first part of the week, leading to this overall demoralized sense of self about my work, my work output, and general sense of direction in life. I appreciate that I can face these adversities head-on. Years ago, I’d be fed up with the work I’d have to do, but just grinned and bared it. Now, I can shift my current efforts toward better enabling myself to live a better future.
– Then after writing about missing vitamins, I forgot to take my Saturday evening set. It is a good thing these are optional, but this just goes to show how little I remember about my health. If I didn’t tweet my rowing stats, I’d be more likely to miss a set.

Rowing Machine Maintenance
– Check bolts: yes
– Clean seat: yes
– Lube chain: yes

Aspiring Toward Goals

Last Week’s Goals:
Weight  [231.5 pounds]: [succeeded] I’ve been doing my best to not overindulge. I was feeling really crappy on Friday, in that sort of malnourished sensation that is far from actual starvation, so I indulged in a large burrito, and my stomach was overloaded for a few hours after. That’s a good sign, most likely.
Consistency: [neutral] I pushed myself too far this week, but good on me for self-correcting and recovering later on into the week, unfortunately forcing me to sleep through most of Saturday morning. On the plus side to that, I can avoid wasting a significant chunk of future weekends with time management practice.
Health: [succeeded] Similarly, I noticed my health dip on Thursday, correlating to my overall stress levels, but rather than push through it, I said “no” to that. I didn’t let innocent stressors pile up, resulting in a mostly quiet Friday, and a muted sense of physical endurance on Saturday that’ll return quicker.

This Week’s Goals:
Weight: No weight gain. If I could do Wii Fit in the mornings, then I could better track my weight throughout the week, rather than relying on drinking enough water to satiate the need to fill my stomach. (No progress there.) Instead, I just need to be more careful about overeating.
Consistency: I can’t overload my evenings, so I need to focus on productive mornings in areas that matter. With limited time at home, editing will always be the bottleneck. If I can do more editing abroad, then I can just focus on publishing at home, hopefully enabling decompression time at home.
Health: I need to let go of things at work and life more readily; especially work detachment. I should drop the anxiety over not being able to do X, reading or hearing Y, or encountering person Z as soon as I leave the office. That should help with my physical health.

Future Fitness Plans
This past week wasn’t really great for doing push-ups, jogs, or anything physically ambitious. That’s too bad. I need to figure out ways to incorporate more fitness into my routines throughout the day. Hourly jumping jacks or push-ups would be nice, but I can’t do that in this stress-filled environment.

Random Fitness Topics

From Good to Better
I feel fairly agile now. I still have some 30 pounds on me before I’m at a point where I’d like to be, but compared to 30 pounds ago, I’m not as impaired by my body. There is still some mass restrictions, but less “I can’t go there” as “it’ll be difficult.”

Sober Living
When things are going well, I don’t have self-destructive tendencies. Why destroy what’s going well? Then it’s a matter of figuring out those stress roots. I get frustrated when my expectations don’t match reality, and when it’s my expectation of what I can do, only to be continually limited? Demoralizing.

Moving Zeal
No progress on condensing my album, book, videogame, or toy collections. Instead, I’ve been clearing out old computer junk I collected years ago. These half-completed projects would’ve been nice to finish if I were I still interested in doing old-school computer repair full time. Since I’m not, it’s wasted space/time/potential.

Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
The biggest stress of the week might have been time. With sufficient time, I can accomplish almost anything. Without that, I find myself running late, not having done everything I wanted to do, so now I’m accepting that there just isn’t enough time for every frivolous fancy or amusing aside.

Decompressing Disquietudes, Dude
Changing my sleep schedule so that I go to bed earlier, after completing my evening row, and waking up earlier took about a week to get used to, and now other than feeling that evening fatigue earlier in the day, I’m seeing an improvement: two hours of daily uninterrupted productivity?

Wii Fit Highlights
I haven’t been consistent in doing my stretches this week, however, it’s been interesting seeing my weight progression. I have these dips and spikes every three days. I’m not sure what that correlates to in my diet or overall mindset, but it’s been fairly consistent in the past few weeks.

A Nice Outro
Through the ups and downs of life, if we carefully observe the positive and negative changes, we can more quickly adapt to changes. My stress levels go up as my mind’s space gets rented out to work or to petty bullshit, causing my health goes down. The reverse is true.

Quotes: [1] In-line.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
Inspirations: Recently realizing that my meter count has been consistently low because I don’t use my arms as much as I should while rowing. I’m also finding the value in a firm wrist stroke. (Heh.)
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Above: The quickest, most disgraceful photo possible to imply a body with a small arm.
Below: Overall, Wii Fit is much more polite than critical, but this time Wii Fit Trainer was on-point.
Wii Fit Stats: Weight and BMI
Written On: July 16th, 19th, 21st, 22nd
Last Edited: July 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.