Yesterday’s Men

Wednesday is normally a bit teeth-grindy. I can’t do that really right now, though this morning it must be said the pain has reduced from yesterday so maybe I should just shut the fuck up and wait to heal. The Bond 25 trailer dropped, and despite best efforts I could not escape it: it even turned up on the electronic advert screens at the Gym. Still not going to the cinema to consume, it can wait for a DVD release.

However, it looks like an improvement on Spectre.

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I’ve not really hit my writing targets this week, mostly because of pain, if truth be told. However, there’s been some major exercise developments, which included me being able to get on a bike yesterday afternoon, do approximately thirty minutes and feel as if it worked for me. It also sets a notional benchmark for the rest of the month. Same course, same time, and if I feel like doing more, I can.

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There’s also been a bit more of a focus on stretching, plus trying to ensure thirty press-ups a day are done regardless of whether I’m resting or not. Stamina doesn’t just come from longer workouts and harder training, it has consistency at its core, and this is a part of the equation I have failed at quite a bit across the years. Things feel like they are coming together too, this is the new status quo.

Yay.

50 Words for Snow

This weekend was always planned to be off the exercise grid. I’ve worked stupidly hard across the last couple of months, and really need to reorganise my exercise plans. Therefore, this afternoon, there’s a calendar that’s been completed.

Rest is becoming the most important part of my planning. Having put that into my calendar first, twice a week, makes fitting the rest of my work around it easy. I also want to add more bike into the schedule, to start training with my husband who’s now back to full fitness after his operation. Eleven days in December’s a decent figure to aim for in terms of attainment, and makes for a solid foundation to build on in January.

After that, there’s a lot of psychology at play which needs to be addressed.

This article is an absolute corker: so much so I’ve copied the thirteen headers into a list and stuck them on the wall as reminders. Number 6 might be the most important one of all: avoid making judgements about your day first thing in the morning. This is so utterly true for so many things, not just exercise. I can remember a lot of days that went south because of me making a dumb decision before the first caffeine had kicked in.

Using this as a basis, I can make a strong effort to beat my monthly exercise total for October. There’s also the matter of becoming Gold status on the MyZone belt once the minimum number of MEPs is reached, which should be some time in the first ten days of next month. It doesn’t matter how they happen, just as long as they do, and that’s really not ever going to be a problem.

I’ll see you next week for an update.

Everybody Come On

FRIDAY, YOU SAY???

There is no fear at this point that I won’t want to go back to words once the weekend is done. Everything is working really well, typing out that sentence will not and cannot jinx the whole thing. There’s even a weekend off exercise, because it’s been a while since that happened too. The next three days effectively, is Christmas organisation. Once completed, I just gotta wrap gifts and throw them at recipients.

HOORAY FOR BEING ORGANISED.

The Gym very kindly allowed my youngest in to take some pictures of me for a media project. If I were a different person, a lot of them would have never seen the light of day, including this one. Instead this is the one being used for her project. It’s a good reminder that being fit does not mean being thin. STRONG is what matters more, and it’s time to reiterate that fact in my own brain.

That and other things will be suitably addressed this weekend.

Love Hurts

I fucking HATE the dentists. This is on the list of ‘historical trauma’ events: rotten teeth came out when I was probably four or five, the resultant nightmares have never gone away. It’s a good indicator of being in a high-stress situation when that particular subconscious moment resurfaces, reminder this has to be fixed with everything else. I have the first appointment on Monday next week to get it over with.

The dentist, more than aware that I have issues, was kind enough to front-load the warning that went with this: there may be more work. If there’s too much sensitivity post filling, it’s a root canal. Knowing everything possible is, of course, by far the best way to deal with a situation. It is undoubtedly the unexpected that causes more stress. Maybe I will get lucky. If not, pain is unavoidable. I HATE DENTISTS.

Balance is tough. Getting shit done is hard. However, once the momentum starts, it is a foolish person who ignores opportunity.

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Yes, it was only 30 minutes, but it’s a start. It’ll take about a week to readjust the legs to what’s being asked of them, but the key to this might be to start in 30 minute bursts and go from there. I’ll rearrange my Strava to accommodate this, then see where things go. I enjoy the bike, and have missed it, and it is undoubtedly all exercise to add to the total. The key will be not to overdo it. MUST STILL HAVE REST DAYS.

Time to pull out a calendar and sort that December Exercise Plan…

Everyone’s a Winner

Sunday. Ah yes, time for getting next week ready and if that’s done well enough, maybe there’ll be a moment left over to fuck about with something for myself. Next year WILL BE THE ONE where I start doing art and shit for relaxation: having accepted my drawing is restricted to high-quality doodling and not much else, alternatives have been sought. There is an answer. I’ll be gathering materials starting next month.

That bookbinding box of materials will be pulled out over the Christmas break.

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I’ve actually cut back on exercise this month from last: Exercising four days with three days off is beginning to allow more writing time. During the winter months this is not likely to change, but I could certainly shove some more walking into the equation going forward. As the days get warmer next year, I might also drive daughter to school, leave the car parked close and abandon it some days to get extra steps in.

This was part of my fitness plan when I first picked a PT: run the youngest in, find a car park close to the school, pay for a day’s parking and then walk home. That, plus the walk back to pick up the car was a guaranteed six miles every day. The photographer in me could make a lot of use of that time to boot, there’s so much in my town worth preserving for posterity. Perhaps, if the weather’s good starting in the New Year… ^^

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Saturdays will become the rest day in the New Year too, because I’ll be doing my Mental Health Champion training on those days in January, and therefore need to be free. I can also guarantee that there’ll be little or no desire to do anything else after these sessions are done: I was mentally exhausted after the introductory one. There’s some other exercise-related things I gotta sort out as well… all this to look forward to.

Planning is becoming one of my favourite tasks.

Eye of the Tiger

Again, not Saturday, but this weekend I wanna write about weight and not attainment, of which this most definitely is.

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That’s yesterday’s 55 minute exercise class, that is. It took about ten minutes to warm up (which is normal for me) and then off I went. The only blip (other than transitions in green) is that two minute green block where, it must be said, I did feel like giving up and just walking out of the class. Those days however are now far better managed.

This time, I didn’t push, but maintained. This game is no longer about how I get myself into the red zone: at one point, I was the only yellow on a completely red board. Now, if you want to play the psychology game, I’m either the one doing it wrong or right, dependant on where you’re sticking the benchmark.

There is no concern about feeling left behind.

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I knew I’d turned a corner with last week’s stats, and this week… well, I gotta beat 80 percent tonight. Will the exercise planned allow me to do so? 

We shall see.

Living by Numbers

Thanks to an article in Sunday’s Guardian I am now considering the concept of Quantified Self: a term coined by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly in 2007. The latter is an ex Wired journalist, former said magazine’s founder executive editor. Both are cited as founding fathers of the Quantified Self Institute in the Netherlands, whose aims are very simple:

Quantified Self (QS) is the term that embodies self-knowledge through self-tracking. The list of things that we can measure about ourselves is endless: among others our heart rate, respiration, hours slept, or even the number of sneezes and coughs during a day. However, not all important things in life can be measured and not everything that can be measured is important. QS really revolves around finding personal meaning in your personal data.

This weekend I made a decision to stop using Fitbit as a result of their acquisition by Google, but an alternative fitness tracker has already been chosen. It would be tough to live without the mental and physical advantages a pedometer and sleep analyser provide me at present… sure, it could happen, but the benefits such metrics provide me in terms of self-motivation… I’d miss them.

I suppose I am a QS advocate without even realising that was the case.

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In a period where increasing numbers of people are rejecting and regulating their tech use, there are lots of factors to consider around who holds this kind of information and for what ends. Once, it was just about selling your name and address to advertisers if you gave details to websites. Then credit cards came into play, stakes increased, but when one thinks about heart rates, menstrual cycles and exercise frequency as saleable data…

Of course there’s a crucial caveat: as yet, wearing a pedometer/heart rate monitor is not enforced. All the people who might yet get judged for their sedentary lifestyle are far less likely to care about their QS than those who have become enamoured with the benefits of such metrics at their disposal. However, there’s at least one life insurance company asking for activity tracker data to gain discounts, and that list will undoubtedly grow.

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Without my heartrate monitor, I’d have not learnt some vital lessons in the last six months. These figures are often more accurate an indicator of general health than I’d ever be able to obtain, at speed, from a medical professional. However, they are really no substitute for actual medical intervention and regular check ups. You can be as self-knowledgeable as you like, but you’ll never be an actual doctor, so don’t try.

Any exercise plan is only as good as your own overall health, and many issues can hide undetected from sight. If you’re going to become a member of the Church of QS, remember to cover other parts of your fitness equation. Oh, and don’t get stressed if you’re constantly being beaten on leader-boards by serial overachievers. The only contest that matters is the one with yourself.

Winning isn’t everything.