I spent all day Saturday on my feet, running around, talking to people, without drinking my usual gallon of water per day, only eating a small breakfast and a small dinner, after a week of rowing 15-minute sets somewhat consistently, for the heaviest weigh-in I’ve had in nearly one year. It’s easy to critique myself, consider all my efforts to be wasted, and consider this whole thing to be a waste. Instead, let’s consider unexpecting.
I kept this mini-rower for one month more than its usefulness because I needed a viable option. The gym I found is an effective stop-gap, where, within its hours of operation, I can row well consistently, so I don’t need this squeaky rower. I still want a nice rower I can use at any reasonable hour for those days I’m anti-social, but at least I’ve been able to burn off some superfluous energy – mentally, anyways.
My mind constantly chatters. I’ve developed a tolerance for ignoring the negatives – and when the negatives scream out me, I’ll sit quietly, listen to it empathetically as that bratty side of my mind screams about not being able to get ice cream, until it tires and we can find a compromise on maybe some icy treat later on – but even without the negativity there’s still there’s a constant monologue of ideas. Except when I exercise.
I think we procrastinate when an activity is too difficult to imagine how to start. I’ve been procrastinating on deciding my fitness lifestyle for the better part of the past month, if not multiple months, and it’s been a mild irritant that’s just been permeating everything I do, but in minor ways. I can only express my stress so much through words. When others tell me about their gym memberships, I experience something weird: jealousy.
I haven’t had much energy lately. My health has declined since I stopped rowing twice daily in minor ways, but it’s in the inability to move things I once could or work as hard as I once could. After I moved, I stopped being able to row at all. The chains are too loud. Sure, the neighbor kids still scream in the complex, but I don’t want to be rude like that, so I’m stuck…
“I always hear about the free weeks or the cheap monthly rates.” “Yeah, but if you look at the actual plans, over the course of a year, it’s like $500.[1,2]” It’d be one thing if I needed the external motivation, liked networking, did a wide range of workouts on many different types of ergometers, or wanted to learn from a personal trainer. All I wanna do is row! It’s been a month. I’m growing ever weaker…
I’ve just about reached the end of this mini-rower’s potential. Ten 10-minute sets at the new apartment and its pistons and monorail squeak enough to discourage me from putting my all into it. No matter how much I tried variations – rowing outside, rowing while doing laundry, using the hallway corners as grips for my arms so I wouldn’t need to use the pistons – there was just nothing that could compare. I’ll need a new option.
After adjusting to apartment living for two weeks now, although I’m not the noisiest neighbor, at least I hope not, I would be with the dull white noise of the Concept2 Model B rower. Although it is nostalgic, has a nice aesthetic, and has utility beyond belief, not here, nor in the next apartment. I couldn’t row at my full potential whenever I want with it, whereas at 11 pm, I could row on other ergometers.
Louder rowers envelop you with white noise. It’s an oppressive sound that even with hearing protection still prevents anything more than even more unnatural sounds to pierce through it. This sound cacophony easily quiets external distractions but also dampens internal distractions. As you’re rowing, you first focus on your pace, then whether anything hurts, then you just forget about yourself, your rowing, and all that’s left is a solitary peace as you escape the noise.
I haven’t been consistently exercising since I kicked this massive downsizing decluttering project, “Moving Zeal,” and there are parts of me that are justifying that by saying: “Well, you’re moving boxes around. Some are really heavy.” I also have been not sedentary for most of the day, so my metabolism is up. I’m sleeping more, too, and my weight has been within the same range. Still, I miss rowing: the effort, obligation, and self-confident satisfaction.