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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

While recuperating I am trying to return to reading more and getting back to learning.
I am finding that reading is a discipline akin to working out. It requires a concerted effort to guide my mind back into “reading mode.” Much like returning to running after years of non-running where my body had forgotten “how to” run, I find my mind has grown fat and lazy.  It prefers the junk food found in social media rather than the solid nutrition found in literature, art, and story.  So then, my “exercise” regime is to ease my mind back into reading.
I find my mind is hungry for substance, for ideas, for things that will cause me to grow rather than waste away on the junk food found in our technological cornucopia of social media and instant infotainment.  I find myself wondering if I have waited too long to get back to learning?  Am I too old?  Is it too late?  No!
No.  It is a matter of discipline.  It will take work, and it will not be easy.  There are many distractions in this day of instant internet and entertainment access.  It was an epiphany to realize that I had allowed myself to become seduced by easy technology, to be ensnared by the entertainment at my fingertips in the device I now carry with me everywhere I go.  My mind has become addicted to soundbite, to bumper sticker snippets and click-bait headlines.  All fluff and no substance.
  I have therefore decided to impose some self discipline and require myself to read for at least one hour each day.   In practicing that today, my mind realized the shallowness  of what I have been consuming for far too long and it realized the emptiness of time wasted in cheap entertainment pursuits with which I have intoxicated myself. Cheap entertainment pursuits that require no thought have left my mind numb and in desperate need of more nourishing substance.  
I hope to incorporate more classical literature in my routine as well as my mind training progresses.  I just know that at this moment my mind is starving for something more that the mind numbing dribble that I’ve been feeding it for the past several years.  It’s not too late to begin again and learn.  It’s not too late to feed my mind and soul.

In the words of one of my favorite movies I offer this quote:
“…while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.”
So, I begin… again.

On tap for now:

“On Writing Well”  William Zinsser
“Wabi Sabi for Writers”   Richard R Powell
“The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense”   Suzette Haden Elgin
“Finding your Perfect Work”    Paul and Sarah Edwards
“Pierre or, The Ambiguities”  Herman Melville
“Brain Power: practical ways to boost your memory, creativity and thinking capacity”   Laureli Blyth
“30 Steps to Becoming a Writer and Getting Published”   Scott Edelstein
“The Bible”   ESV study translation

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Gym’s Wisdom

Every so often I have an epiphany that is so simple, so obvious, so elementary that I get angry at myself for not seeing it sooner. Or at least not acknowledging that it is something that I know already… but I’m not practicing as I should.

Here’s an example:

“IF you want to get better at something (doesn’t matter what it is), the way to improve your performance is…

*ready for this?

… do whatever it is that you want to improve in.”

Well, duh!

Yet how much time do we spend looking for a magic pill, a shortcut, some hocus-pocus that will make us better without putting in the hard work it takes to actually get better?

You say you want to be a better runner. Guess what, if you continue to run you will get better.

Want to get better at pull-ups? Do them
Want to get better at singing? then sing
Want to get better at playing an instrument? Then play

Intuitively we know this. Why are some people great at playing video games? Because they play them all the time. Why are athletes so good at the sport they do… because they do it all the time.

In order to get good at anything you have to invest time and hard work in doing it.

Let’s bring this home to everyone and make it real.
You say you want to lose weight? Guess what… it’s going to require time and effort. Period. The “gurus” out there are making a fortune selling illusions of quick fixes and shortcuts… but if you want to make it real, make it last and see real results then you have to invest time and effort in the process.

Yet in this culture of instant gratification we want results NOW, right now. We also quickly become bored with the effort and move on to something more shiny, more new and easier. We want the sculpted, supermodel body but we want it with only the couch potato effort. We will spend thousands of $$$ dollars buying meal plans, pills, shakes, gadgets and fads in order to lose weight and slim down… but we won’t spend that amount of time and hard work doing the same.

It is a journey, a lifelong journey. It requires your time and your hard work. It will not happen over night (so you can get that fantasy out of your head right now.). It is a game of inches. Results are in direct proportion to the time and effort you invest in doing whatever it is you want to improve in. (R = time+effort)

See, its so simple, so easy to say, so easy to gloss over… but sometimes it is the simple things that we trip over along the way.

Now, begin… do what you can do today… and increase that by a little bit more tomorrow… and don’t quit. The results will come I promise you. Just keep on and don’t stop.

*we now return you to your regularly scheduled life already in progress*

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Al-righty then,
Tonight’s workout was a milestone for me.
Now to preface what I am about to say let me define some terms and set the stage.
1) When I say Swimming I use the term in the loosest possible way imaginable. In fact, think wounded whale on drugs. Yeah… it’s not pretty.
2) Any other reference I make to swimming just refer to #1.

 

So I had found a sleeveless StayDry style shirt at Goodwill that covers most of my awesome Chris Farley wanna-be upper- body. It does help keep other patrons from being unbearably nauseated and keeps them from going blind due to my neon-whiteness.

I began slowly and stayed at that that speed all night.
The strokes that I know are…
and…
so I used both of them.

Down and back, down and back, down and… you get the picture. I made 35 round trips.

So why is that significant? Well it is kinda a big deal for a non-swimming middle-aged wounded neon bright white whale like me.
See, that’s a mile.
Yep a M-I-L-E.
It took me two hours in the water but I swam a mile this evening.

It was some kinda ugly but I did it!
Of course now I can’t comb my hair… or brush my teeth. In fact, the keyboard is as high as I can get my hands at the moment. I may have to put the tooth brush on the counter and bend over to it to brush my teeth tonight.

It may not be what anyone who was watching would call “swimming” but I did it!

Now let’s go get that last batch of Spartan Challenge sit-ups knocked out.

We are the entity known as Persifler and we have been “Quitter” quit free for 689 days now

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Update (read: bragging)
Here we are 14 days into the New Year and yes, I am still at it.
For the new year I have decided to learn how to swim. (yes, I’m AARP eligible and just now learning to swim.)
I have had a couple of swim lessons and I haven’t drown yet. I’ve inhaled my share of highly chlorinated water… but not drowned yet. (I will probably die of chlorine poisoning… but not by drowning.)

This past week we found out at work that our per-ordered uniform allowances from 2013 were processed wrong so we had 15 days to re order. I did (and for the first time in 8 years I used every single penny of the allowance)… but there is a catch.

As of this moment I’m in 42 pants. Now the smart thing to do would be order 42’s right? Well… no one has accused me of being smart so what did I do? I ordered 40s and 38s. So… now I have to keep at it in order to fit in my new clothing allowance.

So here is the real reason for the update.
**Now let me preface this with some disclaimers:
I know that to the purists, machine mileage is not the same as “real” or “on the road” mileage. I further concede that my times are s-l-o-w compared to real runners and people who are in a shape other than round.

Having said that:
Tonight I was on Mistress Sadie’s cousin the Elliptical (name yet to be determined) and I did 95 minutes of the “Rolling Hills” program for a total of 7.31 miles. Again, that’s 7.31 miles. That’s averaging sub 13 minute miles. (12.99589603283174… but who’s counting, right?) which was 11770 strides on the elliptical.
Now the interesting part is, that is more than a 10k. (and again I realize that’s not “real” running… but still, it’s pretty darn impressive if you ask me! )

I’m going to have to get a shirt or a hat that says, “I’m Getting There”

Anyway… that’s the update, we now return you to your regularly scheduled surfing and lurking.

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AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! We are down to only three Mistress Sadies!  They did some equipment changes at my Y,   leaving only (3) three Sadies on premise.  What would I do without my Sadie?

But on a positive note… I had committed to making November Cardio month and concentrating on that. I also made one  of my goals  to get 5 miles on Sadie?

We-l-l-l-l… tonight Mistress Sadie was hard on the old man. She demanded a lot out of me… but I rose to the occasion. Tonight we went all the way again and I lasted a full five minutes at her maximum effort (level 20),
And if that was not enough, tonight …..drum roll please…….

5.02 miles in 65 minutes baby! (yes that’s 13 min miles) Pretty good for a fat guy who didn’t like to exercise I’d say. Now, I know what you are thinking… but that’s on a piece of equipment so that’s not really running. I’ll grant you that it’s not the same dynamic as running outdoors on the road or on a track but Sadie has her own dynamics that require a different set of muscles and training. A mile on Sadie is still a mile, and 65 minutes at multiple settings, up to and including the max resistance, is nothing to sneeze at. (a-n-d… it was a 1062 calorie burn on Sadie as well.)

I’ll take the trade off, my joints not taking the pounding on the road for the challenge of the open strider.

Oh and to top things off, I tried out one of the new treadmills. I walked an additional .98 miles in 20 minutes playing around with the inclines and the TV channels. (another 200+ calories for that) That’s a total of 6 miles tonight. That’s almost a 10k. Wooop-Wooop!

All in all, I’d say it was a bang up start to my 4 day weekend. 🙂

I have been -“Quitter” Quit Free- for 454 days now.

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“Don’t have that ‘extra’ fiber the evening before, or the day of your Yoga Class.”

“Down Dog” will bark.

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Last night I had two Poblamo peppers (out of the garden) stuffed with three cheeses. Cheddar, White cheese sauce and Pepper Jack… enough heat to get my nose to running. (of course lunch was sushi and wasabi mmmm, the wasabi and ginger brought tears to my eyes… it was soooo good) So, the peppers were merely to bookend an already spicy day.

Now, I thought that maybe being able to step out of the 44’s from the other night might have been wishful thinking on my part… Au contraire, mon frère.  Yesterday afternoon I wanted to install an odometer on my bike but I was feeling lazy so I just threw on a pair of shorts without a belt. They are 46s and I wrestled with them all afternoon trying to keep them “up.”

(stay with me and I’ll tie those two random stories together)

So, all afternoon I had been wrestling with my pants because I was too lazy to get a belt and put it on.  After much gyrating and “hiking” my shorts into position, I finally finished the odometer installation.  A little later, I felt a twinge of hunger so  I began fixing my dinner.   Preparing dinner was a “Keystone Cops” process last night as I waddled back and forth between the computer and the oven, checking the time and the condition of the peppers and surfing the interwebz.   I alternately looked  like a hip-hop, saggy-pants, gangsta’ and “Dorf on Cooking.” I swear, one time I even looked like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins during the penguin scene.

Anyway, the peppers were finally done and I sat down to eat.  Yes, they were very good!  I “can” cook when I take a mind to. Afterwards, I cleared the table and put everything away in the sink. My nose was running just a little from the heat of the meal so I grabbed a paper towel and stepped into the utility room to blow my nose. I reached up with both hands and trumpeted a hearty Bb.

When I did…

…my (46) shorts fell straight down and landed on my feet around my ankles. Very glad I didn’t go blow my nose in the living room!   So, there I was, with my pants on the floor …but my sinuses were clear.

Sometimes I crack myself up!
There’s no real moral to the story… I really just wanted to brag on my disappearing waistline. 🙂

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