I have many excuses that impede my ability to row. Some are excusable; most are not. An acceptable excuse is “I don’t have the time to row before going somewhere with a short timeframe.” “Not feeling like it” is not. Even on days when I have had abundant time, I have not been consistently going to the gym, so even though I enjoy rowing, I shouldn’t berate myself for not going. What can I control?
I hate being the buzz kill of parties, where people will openly talk about getting high or drinking, and having to excuse myself from the situation. I hate that sort of awkwardness because although it’s my right to live without people being inebriated in various states of consciousness all around me, really, it’s more of a weakness that others can and have exploited. It’s just unfortunate that I can’t live in a calm, serene moderation.
I have two ways of expressing my stress in positive ways: writing to deal with the subconscious feelings that weigh me down and rowing to deal with the physical sensations that weigh me down. Writing only helps so much. There is something amazing that happens during the rowing process where my mind clears, my empathy resets, and I am awoken to a profound sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. I am otherwise curmudgeonly.
My sobriety is like an open secret. No one really knows the true complexity of what sobriety really means; to have gazed through the precipice of that unknown and recoiled before being consumed by it. I have difficulties because of it. I am not the person I was or can be, but the person I am is here, writing this, reflecting on that sort of open secret some of us know but no one knows.
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.
The emotion I felt, upon receiving the email and URL that a professional article I wrote was published on a big league website, was emptiness. Is that an emotion? I didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment over getting closer to writing professionally. I didn’t feel starstruck. I didn’t feel better. I’m still in that same depressive rut. I’m happy it’s published, but no endorphins flooded my brain to congratulate me on a job well done.
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.
Ideally, we probably all want to live in some sort of tranquil state where we can achieve any one of multiple goals, all through which the friction is exciting but not overwhelming. If we have to do a bit of mad dashing to get there, that can be fine, too, although we can get burned out quickly that way. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been swimming up a waterfall to get a mediocre prize lately.
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.