Borderline

The airport’s quite close to my Gym. There isn’t a day where I don’t end up stopping to watch planes either take off or land, and it is always with the same thought: HOW DOES THAT STAY IN FLIGHT? Explaining the science is all well and good, but when I stare at a massive metal structure that is able to use air currents and propulsion to remain above ground… nope, does not make sense. My brain cannot cope with reality.

This is a pretty decent metaphor for my life right now. The logistics have been explained, there’s a plan and a direction… except, how does it work, exactly? Sheer force of repetition will ensure certain portions of the game-plan happen with minimal stress. For others you need to identify the flashpoint and then develop a coping strategy to address it. It takes time, effort and patience to cover them all.

The problems occur when you’re caught unprepared.

wreckingball

This however does not make for a very enjoyable and spontaneous approach to things. So, occasionally one accepts that shit just happens and hopefully all the bits where planning supported you before allows an ability to just enjoy the moment. Amazingly, this does work. Leaning into stuff helps a lot. Not being up your own arse is a distinct advantage, and that gets easier over time.

There are days when I wish this wasn’t so mentally draining.

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Last night’s exercise was undoubtedly tainted by mental exhaustion. However, looking at other people who did the exact same percentage of effort, mine seems a lot more controlled and stress-free. It certainly felt that way, and a very important realisation came to light post-workout. Working to my capacity is beginning to matter far more than pushing myself past it. This is no longer an incentive to try harder.

In fact, the feeling today is not unlike the day when it became apparent I didn’t need to play a certain game 24/7 to maintain the illusion of being relevant. Reality and time both came together to demonstrate the correctness of this decision, and it continues to be a distraction for the satisfaction of true progress. Therefore, if I want to play, that time needs to be earned. Right now there’s not nearly enough work being done.

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As time marches on, the priorities keep changing. Ironically, as I alter, a worrying amount of stuff remains exactly the same. There’s not time to worry about that or the mechanics of flight. These things will continue onwards without me, as they have for decades previously. What matters most is making changes, working on that ‘transforming idea’ portion of my journey out of the hole.

Let’s work.

Golden Brown

Hello July.

I could have come home and started working today but as it happens, going to the Gym was my first choice, so summat major’s changed between last week and this. I know exactly what it is: back muscles are no longer an issue. The long-term, historic pain from lower part of my spine that’s existed since an epidural slipped during Emergency C-Section for Child #1 is no longer bothering me.

Sure, it’s still a niggle, but now there’s back strength that did not exist before. That’s because I’m practising negatives for a couple of key exercises, both of which I cannot do well. Sit ups have always been a problem because of that lower back weakness, and if I want to start doing pull ups any time soon, my push up game needs some serious beefing up. Therefore, I’ve been following a particular plan of action.

I’ll warm up, then it’s off to a mat to do three lots of negative push ups, with three lots of ten negative sit ups in between. My PT will attest that body weight exercises are probably the most important thing you will ever do to build sustainable core strength, but for me it is the shoulder improvements the push ups are highlighting that’s the more useful takeaway.

Where the sit ups help enormously is when running, where what used to be an enormous physical effort is being quietly reduced both in stress and heart-rate. I’m noticing the difference as stamina kicks in too, that what used to be frantic out of breathness reduces slowly to controlled, far less panicky lung balance. We’ll do a comparable bike session this evening to see how much that’s improved in the last month too.

colbertdancers

The temptation for many people when trying to improve their physical shape is to go all out and wear themselves out without managing the other elements of a decent exercise regime: proper food and rest. That means that I’m trying my hardest not to snack for the next 31 days, whilst provisioning rest days in a different way. This month, that part of the equation should not be a problem at all.

I’ll be out of the country for one weekend, at a conference for another plus there’s a couple of other occasions when going to the Gym is simply not practical. Out of 31 days, eight are already marked out as booked. So, it’s time to get the planner out and provision what happens between the downtime. I don’t think what I’ve organised is unreasonable, and it’s certainly not out of my comfort zone. I just need to stick to it.

Planning works for the writing, so let’s see if I can stick to it when exercise is introduced into the equation. Now it’s online, I’m accountable and it has to happen.

Let’s see how it goes.