10-minute rowing sets take a certain physical and mental endurance. I don’t want to push people away from exercising by saying it’s taken me nearly 600 days to get to the point where rowing twice daily for 10 minutes isn’t difficult, so let me instead focus on the most immediate reward for this level of physical and mental dedication: active meditation. There is no better feeling than setting a pace, rowing in peace, then figuring something out.
The most important thing might be pace.
When I last attempted 10-minute sets on a regular basis some months ago, I found my biggest problem was setting a rhythm that wasn’t too exhausting. I’m all too often tempted to row at a much faster pace than I can actually maintain for a long period of time, but in 5 minutes, hey, that’s not too big of a deal. If I row a 5-minute set, I can get out my anger in the first 3 minutes before cruising at almost a limping pace, usually having burned myself out along with any of that stress, and usually, the buzzer will go off right as I’m about to reach exhaustion. That doesn’t work with 5 more minutes left on the clock.
Ideally, I row in complete peace.
No external stimuli, and ideally, no internal stimulus. No music or movies. Just the machine and me, studying how I’m feeling, how my muscles are aching, in peace and quiet. This can last anywhere between a few seconds and a few minutes.
Something will always knock me out of that space.
Whether it’s me getting distracted by some thought or fatigue kicking in, I’ll often go into another space as I’m thinking about how I might accomplish this task, what writing thing I’ll work on next, or how I might resolve a certain situation. When this is self-destructive or too distracting – think about this, no, that, this, wait – I’ll catch all the thoughts I’m juggling and ask myself this: what task is calling out the loudest? I used to love catching all these ideas because some of them turn out really well.
Truthfully these are all half-baked ideas that never fully cook.
I’ll bat the good and bad ideas away for another minute, return to counting my strokes as my way to make sure I set a decent pace for myself where I don’t burn myself out, and after I forget I’m counting strokes, I’ll enter that empty space where I’m at complete peace, then the most pertinent task will usually call out, my imagination will beacon closer to which I’ll see vestiges almost as though they’re semi-illuminated scenes cast against a dark fog that show what I should do or suggest how I should go about attempting something.
Truth is, it’s difficult to capture some of those inner-most thoughts. Writing constantly through all of these 600 days has certainly helped, although I’m nowhere near the point of being able to accurately convey certain feelings, emotions, or concepts.
Give it another 600 days, maybe?
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 228.0
– Last week’s weight: 228.0
– Difference: 0.0 pounds…
|Inspirations: I wrote this after expressing some really mad frustration over situations left vague.|
|Related: Past weekly column entries.|
|Picture: 10s all the way.|
|Written On: October 29th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|