Day Sixty-One: Cool Runnings

Okay, I know I can’t resist a bad pun, but “cool runnings” is just stupid. Sorry.

But I ran today! Despite it being COLD AS BALLS. I’m pretty proud of that.

I’ve had an on-again off-again running winter, mostly off again. The main issue is the our sidewalks are never quite cleared after snowstorms, and the city doesn’t sand or ice sidewalks. So it has to be clear and dry as a bone before I’ll take the chance.

Today was the test; we’ve come out of a spate of “the planet will die in a lake of fire” midwinter heat. So everything is dry and clear. But now we have a cold snap. So it was sub-minus-ten this morning, which is normally not weather I’d run in.

But I ran today!

It wasn’t that bad. Cold air in the lungs is no fun, but once the body warms up, it’s a fairly good running experience. Just don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. Because stopping means cooling down, and all the sweat you’ve generated starts to cool VERY quickly and then you’re basically your own tub of ice water. Frosty sweat. It’s gross and uncomfortable!

Cool Runnings is also a dumb movie.

In case you didn’t get that reference earlier. John Candy, they weren’t all winners.

Other stuff… meh, not so good. I gave into the allure of Free Sandwiches yesterday, and ate too many cookies. I have failed to dialogue with Evening Me. But I ran today! That’s a good boost of confidence.


Day Fifty-Two: I Hate Yoga

Maybe “hate” is too strong a word, but I strongly disfavour yoga.

Because I am bad at it.

And it makes me feel bad.

Yoga is one of those things in the unattainable category for me: I tried yoga at many points in the past, but have more or less written it off. I don’t have the time, or the inclination.

I especially don’t have the flexibility.

“Anyone can do yoga!” say people who have never seen me attempt yoga. On the surface, I look yoga-capable: I have the standard number of appendages, I’m a bit overweight but not obese, I’m capable of a full range of motion.

But I am not flexible.

I am inflexible.

I am anti-flexible. 

My body has the inverse flexibility required to do yoga.

I hate yoga, and I need to be okay with it.

I tried yoga this morning — again. It was a humiliating half-hour of being reminded of my stretching limits and how absolutely terrible they are.

And I think I need to get to a place where it’s okay to hate yoga. It’s an aspiration I’ve failed at many times and at some point I’ll have to let go of. I don’t intend to, like, swear I’ll never do it — people get into stuff later in life — but I need to not feel bad that I’m bad at yoga.

“And what,” says my stupid internal dialogue, “what if this is just the realization you require in order to free your mind for yoga, grasshopper?”

“Shut up, internal dialogue,” says my external dialogue.

I think most people have a yoga. An aspirational thing you think you should be doing and you think your life would be better if you did. But you can’t. For time reasons, money reasons, family reasons.

You can’t eat all the squirrels. Uncle Rodney said that before he was taken away and we never spoke of him again. I guess yoga is one squirrel I’ll probably never eat, and I have to be fine with that.


Day Twenty-Two: Bad Sleep II — No Exercise Boogaloo

Arrgh. Another bad night for sleep — this time not the cat’s fault, just me and my busy brain. Today, I opted not to kill the bear, and slept in. No exercise.

The bad sleep may have been due, at least in part, to some really bad food choices yesterday as well. My wife was out all day co-hosting an event. I didn’t plan my day, foodwise, and wound up just kind of grazing and eating poorly. Not intent, just a kind of laziness combined with a natural gravity toward bad food choices.

So I’m coming out of a real bad weekend in terms of my goals, and starting the week on the worst foot.

How do I right this ship?

First, by being kind to myself. Beating myself up over this won’t change anything and won’t help anything.

Second, by trying to learn from this. One lesson: I need to really plan my food, especially if I don’t have a partner around to work with.

Third, by getting right back on the horse. I can’t dick around for a day or two in a fug, I need to finish this, and then plan my food day. Then figure out a way to sneak in a little exercise at least (a good walk at lunch, maybe).

Fourth, I need a ‘planned cheat day,’ which sounds ridiculous. I think accruing a bunch of good days with no plan for a cheat day was ruinous, though.

Anyway. I’m disappointed with myself, but nothing’s changed — I need to learn from this, and recognize that being good to myself is more of a treat than ‘treating myself’ with old standbys when I don’t have anything better on the go.

I know I can do this, I just need to get out of my own way and let myself do it.

Back on that horse. Onward and upward.

Day Seventeen: Get Right To It, No Delays

“No delays” needs to be the mantra for my morning.

Here’s the thing — I’m a nerd. I’m a big ol’ Web 2.whatever, online, connected, social, email, dork. My natural instinct during any lull in my life is to check my phone. I am one of those people.

This is the worst possible thing to be when your exercise strategy hinges on starting to exercise before you’re fully awake.

No delays between waking and exercising.

I’ve tried gyms and memberships and various types of out-of-the-house schemes. The simple truth is that I’ve never done better than when I exercise at home. First thing in the morning. No delays.

I need to roll out of bed, get some exercise clothes on, and hit it: running, a DVD-based workout, or pushups/situps/planking before I do literally anythign else.

If I pick up my phone, if I look at my iPad, especially if I turn on my computer, it’s game over. I’m looking at emails and checking Facebook statuses and seeing what’s new on MetaFilter. OH HEY CATS WEARING HATS SIGN ME UP and then I come out of a Buzzfeed-induced haze 30 minutes later.

No delays -- stay off cool websites!
A good friend during the day and evening. First thing in the morning: MY BITTEREST FOE.


So the linear path really has to be:

  1. wake up
  2. push cat off me
  3. get up
  4. get some exercise clothes on
  5. go downstairs
  6. exercise

Any divergence between 1-6 leads to disaster, because my brain suddenly kicks into gear with all kinds of things I’d rather do than exercise.

The greatest trick my brain ever pulled was convincing the world it didn’t exist. No, wait, that’s wrong. The greatest trick my brain pulls is finding things  I don’t want to do but still want to do more than exercise.

So my brain is telling me that cleaning the gunk out of the oven needs doing, and I’m still virtuous for doing it. It’s like a virtue short-circuit. I don’t want to go through all of my folders of random iPhone photo dumps and sort them, but I should, and that’s virtuous.

My brain is the worst.

So: no delays. I need to get to exercise before my nefarious brain has a chance to turn on me once again.

Everybody’s different, and everybody has their own deal with exercise. Mine is “start before you’re awake.”