I never was interested in sports growing up because they were always collaborative and no one would ever collaborate with me. I had trouble expressing myself, with communication, and with being around other people. I still do. I’m better now. When I finally realized I was in dire health and joined a gym, sitting on that rower felt completely natural. Now here was a sport that depended entirely on my efforts and it felt amazing.
Getting outside yourself can be a useful exercise in developing empathy and not feeling so alone. I know the days I’m feeling in the worst funks, or not feeling like doing much, where I’d rather stay home than meet new people, I think my natural inclination is to go in a hype mode, whereas, why not just go anyways? If you’re awkwardly standing around, that’s fine, because maybe you’ll find some others similarly feeling awkward?
If I weren’t borderline ill, I’d bring this mini-rower outside to take shots of it in the snow, and possibly even row in the snowfall, because it is the solution to a lingering question I’ve had for a few weeks now: How will I keep rowing after I move? While my loud, proud Concept2 Model B is an ideal piece of machinery, this humble, discontinued Precor 612 will do just fine. With some adjustments, of course.
“I know not to donate… gar-bage!” I understand the mentality. I’ve been there. Thrift stores lose money when they take in trash, but come on, buddy, quit giving me shit for donating stuff I don’t have the time to sell. Most of my time now is spent sifting through the possessions I haven’t boxed up to figure out what I must keep and what I can burn off. Decluttering is like practicing new dietary restrictions.
Between the overactive heartbeat, anxiety, looming sense of fear over the unknown, fatigue, and all, as I write this I have been more susceptible than ever toward wanting to get numb. There’d be nothing more fantastic than just returning to some degree of normalcy, but that won’t happen for a while, so instead, I’ll ride these waves of insecurity through to safer shores. All I need to do is write something. Tomorrow will be better.
I was in a weird funk for a few days and couldn’t quite pinpoint why: I hadn’t rowed in a few days. It’s become such a fundamental core of my day to row at least once that too much time away feels weird. It’s like ten minutes to myself and my mind, to explore thoughts, or just actively meditating on how my body is feeling. There are, of course, other exercises that are good enough…
Day one, first hours, they indoctrinate you into loyalty with video propaganda to demoralize you and defang you. No unions. You must do this, you shall not do that, turn in any money you see, and check with your manager before you do anything, ever. It’s the same everywhere, really, it’s just not always videos. When you operate under that mentality of having people complain that you’re not working hard enough, half-off sales are great…
Jumping in and out of trailers lined with black mold, running around for “39.75” hours a week throwing away subpar donations, and otherwise cleaning the warehouse in the back of some busy thrift store all weren’t enough to get me in as good of shape as I am now, even when I skip a day rowing. Why do we want to buy a magic pill to solve our fitness problems? Is that why we often donate?
I don’t believe in the power of donating to companies to provide for my community. After throwing myriad items into the trash compactor, some better than what I own, and watching these kind-hearted gestures from you and me become destroyed for no other reason than because these items were old stock or didn’t sell, while I may still donate and buy from thrift stores, it’s with all altruistic façades removed. Sobriety is like that, too.
I hadn’t realized how much my old rowing shoes were slowing me down until I rowed in my new rowing shoes. They were still comfortable enough, but I think that comfort was an invisible shield protecting them in my mind, because how can I throw out something that’s comfortable? Well, because although I liked the aesthetic of the shoes being held together by superglue experiments and layers of gaudy duct-tape, that comfort prevented my progress.