You Never Know

The thing is, it could be anyone.

On Thursday, it was the person least expected who had the meltdown. It wasn’t massive, or indeed obvious, but as someone who’s now being taught to read the signs and understand what to look for… it was easy to spot. This is the scheduled reminder that one in three people will suffer from a Mental health issue at some point in their lives. Paying attention is incredibly important.

Sometimes the signs are there from an awfully long way away, and you don’t really grasp the significance of something until it is far too late. Then it becomes apparent that maybe it’s time to start watching things a little more carefully than you did before. Obsession’s a life-destroying experience, but once you work out why, so much becomes easier: knowing what is dangerous, and how you deal with it, is the key to enlightenment.

This week, self-awareness has led to some quite significant revelations.

I’m up early on a Sunday not just to write, but to reorganise some parts of my life. Yesterday was tough, despite being hugely positive: Impostor Syndrome’s a pig sometimes, and it can be easy to allow yourself to be consumed by negativity created by your own brain’s inability to grasp that yes, you can do all of this. What changed the situation around last night was something minor, but brilliant.

There was a moment just before bed when brain stopped being consumed by the worry: there is nothing you can do about other people. If they don’t like what you’re doing, that’s their problem. More significantly, if those people are attempting to derail you or make circumstances about them? It’s the same thing. It’s Narcissism, and these people are just totally and utterly not worth your time. Ignore them, and move on.

There are risks associated with a great many things in life: if you want to succeed, it’s very simple. Take the chance, move forward, overcome the danger. Do not let fear consume you. Obsessing over things that do not matter and can never be altered is a waste of everybody’s time and energy. Once you eliminate the bad shit, it really is easier for everybody moving forward.

Who knew all this psychology gubbins was worthwhile, eh?

A Whole New World

I put a lot of stock on my fitness devices and the result they provide, but today’s post is a reminder that sometimes, numbers are not the whole story:

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59% effort looks, on reflection, like I didn’t try. In this case, nothing is further from the truth. What those numbers don’t show is how long I was able to hang without arms dying, after two days of Blaze that took a lot out of them. It doesn’t consider the 25 40kg bench presses done with little to no recovery time, or the 16kg weights held when doing step ups.

What yesterday showed me is significant enough that I need to write it down:

  • My initial first burst of exercise is tough, and will leave me breathless. Once I’m over that hump, it becomes increasingly easy to manage breathing and push harder. I know this now from an absolute boatload of historical evidence. Management is the key.
  • Overthinking is inhibiting my ability to push further. There needs to be considerably less worrying about how hard shit is, and just focus on ignoring that voice that constantly suggests I should temper effort. Learning how to listen to my body is one of those skills that requires most work.
  • I am way too hard on myself. This is massive. I’m strong, and able. Technique is solid. What is required is speed, and that will only come via practice, so that is what needs to happen going forward. Less fear in being capable will then allow for increasing confidence elsewhere. Honestly is winning the day.
  • I possess so much potential to improve. There was a minor epiphany this week: the people who work hard, and practice their moves, get so much more overall out of their experience. They are the ones for whom progress really means that. All the hard work that’s being put in isn’t just about conditioning and weight loss, it involves learning how to exercise more effectively. My brain is missing out on a load of developmental activity, and that needs to change.

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These are extremely interesting times for my body. Once upon a time, half of what I’m doing seemed virtually impossible, but is now conducted with a measure of ease. Moving forward, it is time to make giving blood every sixteen weeks a bit less of a trauma, to keep building stamina and good technique, and to deal with the continuing psychological fallout when I fail to keep going at a level that feels acceptable.

However, today I’m having a rest from lifting and only doing a bit of cycling…

Simple Things

As today we start a new month and wonder where February went, it is time to make some proper steps forward. I have my writing plans well under control, and yesterday my mate @Broximar pointed me at something he was planning to do for March that immediately made me want to join in with. It is neither gimmicky or pointless either, in fact it is anything but. That means, of today, I’m beginning Spring Cleaning early with the 30 Day Minimalism Game.

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Broximar clued me into The Minimalists, and they do exactly what they say in their bio: live life with less. Whereas I appear to live with three quite keen consumerists in this house, I want for very little in terms of material gain as I move on in life. There’s nothing I obsess over in Wishlists, I’m not staring lovingly at domestic items to make my life better. If I’m honest, there’s some music I’d like and a few t-shirts for my collection but after that? I’m happy to do the business of de-cluttering without issue. So, starting today, here’s how things go, as described by the boys themselves:

This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

My first item out of the door is a real no-brainer, but the Instagram doesn’t really explain why.

I’ve removed large parts of my past from mental memory, but physical remnants are still here, and this ring is one of them. As I type this it is trashed, removed and with it comes an optimism for beginning the house Spring Clean for the year. I took the liberty whilst I was at it of sorting everything out in my jewellery boxes, one of which hasn’t been touched for several years, but contains items which have a sentimental value that remain irreplaceable. For everything else, however, there is a new sense of determination that means that I am focused on recycling, reclaiming and reusing as much as I can whilst at the same time making space: not to fill with new stuff, but to simply reduce my footprint.

I’ll do a daily Instagram of my progress, but you can expect some rumination here, especially as the daffodils are out on the School Run.

Spring is in the air, and it is time to get busy with regeneration.