I’m writing this paragraph facing a vending machine. “I wanna focus on this. I’m feeling a little stressed out.” This vending machine has two things I’d enjoy snacking on right now, cream sandwich cookies and strawberry wafers, with some others I might like as well. My body feels tense. I am aching, craving these sweets as an efficient muscle relaxant. I’m tense, the writing doesn’t feel natural, and I don’t have enough time to row.
Sleeping might be a good thing right now.
My thumb is sore. Maybe it’s from typing, but then again, I feel tense all over, too. Maybe it’s this lack of release from our tensions that get people so addicted to sugar? For 30 seconds, your brain registers this unnatural degree of sugar flooding into your bloodstream. Your mind calms as your brain registers the sugars that would normally be accompanied with an incredible amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Oh, wait, this is a fitness essay, not a sobriety essay.
It’s all the same. We control our minds for our physical and mental health all the same. If we let anxiety control us and bend our will into purchasing some candy bar we didn’t really want, we will have to work harder to build up the endurance to relax later on, elsewhere. It’s the short-term pleasure versus long-term pleasure thing. Once I learned to channel my nervous energy into rowing, life became easier.
I enjoy rowing more than even Kit Kat bars.
There’s a simple pleasure in dedicating 5 minutes, or so with all variables factored in, for a single stimulus. I can plow through any situation but I need an appropriate amount of decompression time. Without that, I find myself indulging in bad behaviors, first starting as overeating, then tempting myself with thoughts of insobriety.
It’s funny how much these topics overlap.
The sweets behind glass feel much more distant now that I’ve written out my anxieties. There were also two dogs that passed through this lobby area to distract me from the negative future indulgences of having some mal-nutritious snack. A quick nap to disengage from reality in that previous nervous state helped as well.
Along with some Triscuits to snack on.
Halloween is one of those times if year where we’re tempted by many different factors. It’s easy to abstract a vending machine through the lens of the physical glass or menial payment, but when the leftover candy is sitting at a desk at work, our self-control becomes less strict. We might choose a quick pick-me-up rather than the arduous process of gutting out the bad blood.
Rowing helps me through that process.
A meager five-minute set can be enough to loosen up the dopamine and endorphins that are stuck in place. The chemicals that make us want to be happy through innocent Halloween candies or something more nefarious might align themselves properly after five minutes. Or maybe that stress will take my mind off my troubles.
Then I’ll forget all about those candies.
|Quotes:  Me.|
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– Current weight: 229.5 pounds
– Last week’s weigh-in: 228.0 pounds
– Difference: up 1.5 pounds and nearly 4 pounds from two weeks ago. I’ve been under too much pressure, even though I’ve been working on it…
|Inspirations: Looking at my schedule and seeing that Halloween was coming up on row machine check-in day.|
|Related: Past weekly column entries.|
|Picture: The row logo applied to|
|Written On: October 2nd [1 hour]|
|Last Edited: October 25th [5 minutes]|