“What’s that? It looks dark.” “Coffee.” What if you want to be social while you’re out somewhere and not feel tempted to succumb to the peer pressure of inebriation? While you could always get something that looks like alcohol, wouldn’t it be nicer to hang out with people without feeling like you have to justify yourself? Are our societies really that culturally-ingrained around any intoxication that most major evening hangout spot must have a bar?
Rather than strictly for weight loss or “looking good,” fitness should be about maintaining one’s body. Exercising should help us practice our muscles and detect possible issues. After getting fit (burning off 60 pounds, thanks to rowing), then fat (gaining 30, then 65), I sustained a hamstring injury that I carried with me for years. Over the last few months, I finally started to maintain my body again, and massaged that injury away. Rowing is my maintenance inspection!
There’s a point I never want to return to again. It’s a place everyone knowingly or unknowingly has: their worst negative space. Mine lingers under hundreds of layers of hard work, earned gratitude, and lavish praise. When things go bad, it’s like I instinctively dig through those layers to negativity. Since learning to handle life without inebriation, when things get anxious for me, I remember that I have many layers of positivity still shielding me.
I dropped all fitness excuses when I started this weekly column back in March. While it’s been demanding, I’m seeing results I haven’t seen in years! This time last year, I could barely do 22 rows in one set, and now I’m averaging 165.9 rows per 5-minute set. It’s not all physical, either. I have more mental focus, resilience, and I’ve made some friends along the way. Let’s drop the excuses and get inspired to exercise more!
Before I realized what I had walked through in the library, my head was already dizzy, and I remained light-headed for hours. Cannabis may be decriminalized and legal in Washington state, it’s just the worst of those who indulge do so at everyone else’s expense. They’ll openly carry and everyone just seems to look the other way. I’m sick of having other people screw up my brain because they feel entitled! What happened to decency?
Isn’t it boring that the English alphabet only has 26 letters? Isn’t it boring that rowing only has 4 positions? The more often I row and write, the more often I think hitting a solid rowing catch, drive, finish, or recovery position can compare with hitting a solid word choice, sentence execution, provocative thought, or decisive document. Is it boring that one letter can change everything or not hitting the right position can ruin your rowing flow?
I suppressed most of this memory for years. The second-to-last (hopefully) time I smoked cannabis was in my bathroom, after a few intense months of overconsumption, where I had a brief experience I could not comprehend or properly explain until now. I heard five distinct conversations. No one else was there, windows closed, and I wasn’t playing music. That hallucinatory moment was like hearing the audio from some crowded café and left after that hit…
I’ve been steadily getting heavier after I stopped rowing heavier 5 minute rowing sets. Starting in late March, I weighed 267. Using only the fortnightly titles, here’s how my weight progressed: 260, 256, 255, 254, 253, 252, 251, 249, 247, 250, 246, 248, 250, and I weighed in at 253 pounds on Tuesday morning. Now that I have exacting data showing that I need to burn more calories, or consume less calories, I can use that information to make the necessary changes for my fitness. Fortunately, it isn’t all doom below.
Would you consume something once if it took 6 months to get back to normal? What if everyone said it were harmless? They can use it without issue. They might have a sluggish morning after, then they’re off to a normal day. You, alternatively, get completely messed up to where you’re never quite right. The next few days suck, the next few weeks are weird, and the next few months are awkward. Would you try again?
“They have one of those in the back.” Most gyms have rowing machines. It’s just they’re hidden in plain sight because they’re not glamorous devices. Running is sexy. Rowing is… not. One treadmiller had rested his backpack on the sole rower at this one gym, and when I motioned that I wanted to use it, while courteous, he seemed surprised that someone was going to use it. See, I don’t like rowing being my secret.