[Rowing Machine] Two Five Zero

I’ve had trouble for years with consistent exercise. My record was exercising daily for 48 days, then 16, before something would block my progress and I’d revert to my sedentary lifestyle for months. Thanks to this weekly column, I’ve kept exercising almost daily since March. A few days off aren’t too bad when I’m otherwise trying to exercise at least three times a day with “51” of the most intense rows I can give to the rowing machine.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Wednesday Morning: 50 fulfilling rows. I enjoy exercising because it unlocks lasting brainstorming ideas in under 2 min and makes me feel better.
  • Wednesday Bonus 1: 50 whiplash rows. I don’t count these warm-ups, but I went at 37SPM [strokes/rows per minute] and the belt was whipping [inspiring a section within this short story], so that was something special.
  • Wednesday Bonus 2: time 5min. 142 rows at a 1:49/500m pace. Even pausing at 92 and 103! 30SPM. 84 calories. Max resistance. “I feel.. at peace.”
  • Wednesday Evening: 50 decent rows. Definitely slowed down from earlier today. Good set, still and feeling good. Sore back and right leg, though.
  • Thursday Morning: 50 stretching rows. I now have a Wii Fit Trainer [Amiibo] in my erg space to remind me to stretch my hamstring. It should help out.
  • Thursday Bonus: time 5min. 108 rows at a 2:07/500m pace. 63 calories. 31SPM. Max resistance. Had to pause at 33 and 103 rows, but picked up!
  • Thursday Evening: 50 OK rows. Haven’t quite been as good at stretching as I could, but it’s all about solid incremental steps over rushing it.
  • Friday Morning: 50 rows. Even with the nerves and stresses of the day, I still consider rowing to be one factor enabling success in my life.
  • Friday Bonus: time 5min. 135 rows at a 1:56/500m pace. 80 calories. 28SPM. Max resistance. “I just close my eyes and focus on my form.”
  • Friday Evening: 50 good stretch rows. Eventful day: interview, work, concert. Ate too much food for lunch after prolonged stress. As it goes.
  • Saturday Morning: 50 rows. It’s not if I feel like rowing. It’s knowing I must row. I made the choice months ago for my health. Keep it up!!!!!
  • Saturday Bonus: 50 superb rows. Was helping teach another friend rowing basics: “You weren’t kidding when you said you really get into it.”
  • Saturday Evening: 50 good rows. I’ve been keeping busy throughout the day and cleaned up around the workshop as well, including my rowing area.
  • Sunday Morning: 50 rows. Forgot to stretch and my knees and hamstrings ached, but a few minutes later now and it’s all good. All things pass.
  • Sunday Bonus: 50 rows. Strong pace throughout, my form could have been cleaner upon close inspection, but overall the intensity was solid.
  • Sunday Evening: 50 light rows. Was dehydrated after a day out in the sun followed by a long float tank session. Did will, in spite of that.
  • Monday Morning: 50 good rows. I prioritize rowing even if I’m rushing to get into work. Just means cutting out certain luxuries. Wasn’t late!
  • Monday Bonus: time 5min. 118 rows at a 2:07/500m pace. 26SPM. 67 calories. Max resistance. Paused at 52 and 60, right leg hurt throughout.
  • Monday Evening: The first 32 rows were among the best rows this week, if not month, followed by a severe slowdown through to 50 (51) total.
  • Tuesday Morning: 50 rows. Put in some good effort this morning that I forgot about until now. That effort set a good precedence for the day.
  • Tuesday Bonus: time 5min. 137 rows at a 2:02/500m pace. 76 calories. 29SPM. Max resistance. Focused primarily on leg muscles. Burns good!!
  • Tuesday Evening: 50 rows. Honestly, about 10 were half-assed. Effective now, I’m only going to count the full catch to full release motion.
  • Vitamins: 10 of 14
  • Weight: 250 pounds
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Vitamins: perhaps figured out a consistency plan
    2. Diet: introduced some variety
    3. Exercise: kept it up!
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. 100% consistency for vitamins and dental hygiene?
    2. Diet: more fruits, veggies
    3. Exercise: keep it up!!
  • From Good to Better
    • “I already exercised twice today” is an effective statement when chatting with people about health and fitness. 51 rows is not your traditional workout. The pace I go at is also not the same as a casual 20 minutes on an exercise bike.
    • One of my favorite retail spots has a music clearance section on the bottom shelf of its media rack. For years, I needed to either kneel or use a standing stool to sit on. Now I just crouch. Thank you, rowing.
    • So I’m up a few pounds from last week and the week before. I’m a little concerned. I also ate two big meals today, so that could be weighing me down. I just have to be more careful, I suppose?
  • Sober Living
    • I had this intense thought recently: Every day you conclude without drinking or indulging in silliness is another day you chose to live. Stress is a big killer, either at the hands of cardiovascular issues or personal vices.
    • When you don’t have anything to hide behind at the end of the day, you’re forced to face your fears over what you’ve done right or wrong, which can help you become a better person. Unless you indulge just for fun rather than stress relief.
    • Similarly, living with the conviction to not indulge in harmful activities enables you to be more fearless with the rest of life, because it’s not as bad as slipping.
  • Photo: “What should I do for this week’s photo?” “What’s the theme?” “Consistency.” After some jokes, I went with my previous rowing stats for the background.
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.