The thing that brought me the most joy the day I wrote this was watching these neon lights change color. There was just something soothing about seeing something so simple, abstract, and unique that framed the rest of the day in this weird sort of context. I don’t act in ways that are best for “my career.” I act in ways that are best for my health, physical and mental, rather than any financial health.
I think what frustrates people the most about their physical fitness goals is when the focus is on an ideal end goal. From my experience, when I focus too much on losing a certain amount of weight or looking a certain way, I’ll be more likely to give up. I’ll miss seeing how my stomach has toned because I’m too focused on the remaining belly fat. The problem is there aren’t immediate results in fitness.
Was it the child that coughed her throat out for most of the plane ride that made me feel sick today? The weather change? Not stuffing myself in good restaurants? I feel exhausted with the sort of head cold that would make a good excuse to not get out there and do anything at all, because after all, not feeling well is always a good excuse for not doing stuff, right? I don’t quite agree.
“This is the second time you’ve called out sick this month!”
“I know, I was feeling really sick, really tired, and just couldn’t-“
“Those aren’t excuses!”
Everything was black, except for outlines of her boss and their cube area.
RED, FLASHING, BLUE
She awoke to darkness.
Her sweatpants were covered in sweat.
The blanket was on the ground next to the couch.
It was 4:47 AM.
She had intended to wake early, but not this early.
“I’ll pass on the pizza, then.” Fitness is a choice that can come with a price that maybe we’re not willing to pay: who doesn’t like free pizza? “It was fine until I remembered why I don’t like eating pizza: my stomach was feeling gnarly for a few hours after that.” Sometimes it’s worth enduring certain short-term hardships for long-term gains. For me, the pleasure of eating pizza isn’t worth the pleasure of good fitness.
Cancer? I had to re-read it and it still didn’t really sink in for some time. “…Lost his battle with cancer?” Over the years, I’d been inspired by him a number of times. Some of the ideas this career professional shared – dropping off the grid to live life or letting go of all the stresses of work at a designated point along his drive – still resonate with me. Our impacts are greater than we think.
No matter how much willpower we have, when surrounded by a nearly endless supply of food that we enjoy unabashedly, it’s difficult not overeating. How can we prevent ourselves from binging on too much food? (Or binging on anything?) Is it through carefully considering our portions? Distractions? Or keeping our eyes on our long-term goals?
I felt on edge all day. I couldn’t concentrate on conversations and I felt like I was behind a glass screen, looking in, as I imagined my obsession. This is the nature of addiction. No matter how much good there is going on around us, we are still insufficient in the one thing that will make us the happiest; might. Once we overindulge once, we are likely to do so again because our willpower subsided.
It’s past 6 PM and the view of the parking lot was just as stale for Jane as it had been three hours ago. The studio apartment was cluttered with a cheap brown couch that had a broken pull-out bed, shaky desk for a computer, a cheap dining table with three mismatched chairs, and an acoustic guitar collecting dust. She hadn’t been outside all day, other than four times to smoke on the balcony, reading erotica.
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.