[Rowing Machine] 2018: Week 16 {238.5}

Fitness is difficult for me when I have no functional goals. Health goals work for me when I actively notice looming threats like continual poor health, cardiovascular issues, or diabetic trends. Once those clear up, I lose the motivation. If the goal is something more tangible however, like being able to increase my body’s functionality in order to get more done throughout the day, then I’m all over it! Tools, then, mean nothing without use.

  • My Weekly Stats:
  • Tuesday 10 Morning: time 5min, 162 rows. Went at a lighter pace because it’s a busy day. Did some stretches before and noticed a slight difference, accidentally kicking it up a notch in the last 10 seconds, and after rowing, I messed up the stats with a quick cleaning… Feeling good!
  • Tuesday 10 Bonus: 30 minutes of city walking and a concert.
  • Tuesday 10 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Tuesday 10 Evening: time 10min, 303 rows. Started with nearly a deep breathing meditation and kept at that pace since I still have a full day ahead of me. I noticed that as the set went on, I could tell when my muscles were aching to ramp up. Felt good to keep it restrained a little.
  • Wednesday 11 Morning: time 5min, 154 rows. Exhausted from a great Albert Hammond Jr show last night. Didn’t stay hydrated enough to bounce back quickly, but when you oblige yourself to exercise at least twice a day even in small amounts, you find a way to put in a good effort anyways.
  • Wednesday 11 Bonus: No additional exercise
  • Wednesday 11 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Wednesday 11 Evening: time 10min, 298 rows. Mediocre set. I have to build up more mental resilience. Part of it is when you place respect in someone and they tarnish that, it hurts, dragging unrelated stuff like rowing down. Took breaks throughout. Put in an extra minute to get to 10.
  • Thursday 12 Morning: time 5min, 157 rows. Took it easy since I’ve been sick all day. Barely could muster the energy to get out of bed or do anything. I’m still going to do my Wii Fit set and try my longer set, even if it’s jyst going through the motions.
  • Thursday 12 Bonus: No additional exercise.
  • Thursday 12 Wii Fit: 14 minutes
  • Thursday 12 Evening: time 10min, 334 rows. The nice thing about doing something twice daily for how many months now is that even when you’re not quite feeling like doing it, you still do anyways, and there are times when you can break through that sluggishness to get in a decent set.
  • Friday 13 Morning: time 5min, 157 rows. I often find myself distracted with enough things where I do nothing. Read? I should be writing. Write? I should be doing something else. Exercise helps me focus. All I do when I row is row. No music, no podcasts, just focusing on each stroke.
  • Friday 13 Bonus: No additional exercise.
  • Friday 13 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Friday 13 Evening: time 10min, 335 rows. These 10 minute sets are becoming more comfortable now. Wasn’t it just a month ago I started doing these longer sets? I’m happy that I’ve made progress on this front, at least, tackling one more step toward self-improvement, one row at a time.
  • Saturday 14 Morning: time 5min, 158 rows. I pulled the bar underhanded the whole set. Now my arms are sore in that sort of way that only reminds me that I should be doing more diverse exercising now. If exercise is disinteresting to you, find something you can enjoy, and keep at it!
  • Saturday 14 Bonus: No additional exercise.
  • Saturday 14 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Saturday 14 Evening: time 10min, 331 rows. Ran a good 3 minutes in Wii Fit at a faster pace than normal, which tired me out longer than usual, so I had to stop 3 times throughout. I rowed an additional 30 seconds to get to 10 because that’s not a valid excuse to not row for 10 minutes!
  • Sunday 15 Morning: time 5min, 156 rows. Even a humble 5 minute exercise set can get the blood flowing! In this era of comfort and easily-attained goals, it’s easy to forget that we are animals with a survival motivation. Maybe we forget that because we’re too distracted by leisure?
  • Sunday 15 Bonus: 20 minutes of organizing.
  • Sunday 15 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Sunday 15 Evening: time 10min, 321 rows. First set lately where my body was in cruise control. My cheeks, forehead, and shoulders are sweating. I don’t bounce my knees when I row but I get into trouble when I extend/bend too far, so I tried holding my knees for a second at the catch.
  • Monday 16 Morning: time 5min, 161 rows. Waking up with a crushing headache is the perfect excuse to take it easy. It’s not that everyone understands, it’s just in that mindspace, you don’t care. So what? Go do what you’ve gotta do and wanna do as best you can. It’ll probably go away.
  • Monday 16 Bonus: No additional exercise
  • Monday 16 Wii Fit: 15 minutes
  • Monday 16 Evening: time 10min, 304 rows. The headache persisted through most of the day, only briefly letting go of its intense pressure. Gave it an acceptable go but could have pushed harder. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
  • Weight: 238.5 pounds (down 1.8 pounds)
  • Liquid Consumption (my goal: >1 gallon of water [[L * 0.26417]]):
      • Tuesday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 2.0 liters of coffee
      • Wednesday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Thursday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.0 liters of coffee
      • Friday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.9 liters of coffee
      • Saturday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Sunday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
      • Monday: 5.26 liters (1.4 gallons) of water, 1.5 liters of coffee
  • Vitamins: 14 of 14
    • Multivitamin; Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc; Fish Oil; Vitamin D; Vitamin E.
  • Last Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight: [succeeded] But at what cost? I don’t think I overly strained myself on Sunday, however, Monday was terrible. I’m feeling legitimately sick, and have a bad headache, and all for less than two pounds? If I can keep it off, maybe it was a good shock to the system? If not…
    2. Consistency: [succeeded] Kept it up throughout the week. I slept for a long time on Thursday, and months or years ago would have used that or other factors as excuses for not exercising. Maybe it’s my internal motivation of wanting to do better, or maybe this column, but I exercised like normal!
    3. Health: [succeeded] Maybe I let my mind stew too much in bad news and my body stew too much as a result, but I bounced back well enough, and part of that is keeping to a good diet, identifying even if later when I overeat, and not starving or stuffing myself excessively.
  • This Week’s Goals:
    1. Weight:No weight gain. Eating discipline is difficult for me because like Monday afternoon, with the worst headache I’ve had in weeks, all I wanted to do was eat sugar. Couldn’t stop… I probably should have went to sleep instead, or maybe tapered it down. I should practice that more… probably.
    2. Consistency: It’s easy to stay consistent when you have few work obligations. I have some appointments coming up, but I have my routines for writing and exercising on lock-down, so unless something big happens, I should be good. Consistently eating healthy foods and not overeating are my two focuses this week.
    3. Health: I don’t seem to have a good control over my health. I can control factors like food and water intake that can lead to good or poor health. Fortunately any recent sicknesses haven’t been flus or colds. More sluggishness, lacking motivation, and factors that can be reversible with impenetrable self-motivation.
  • From Good to Better
    • I feel more accepting toward using escapism responsibly now. If I’m not feeling well, don’t push it! Watch something to distract myself from those sensations temporarily. Skip the boring parts; get rid of what doesn’t make me happy. All in the name of getting back to what must be done.
    • I find working within disciplines to be easier now compared to years back that I’m obliging myself to certain things. I might have skipped out on my Thursday sets entirely were it not for social accountability and my 500-word obligation is encouraging me to push through minor mental fatigue, too.
    • Writing these daily essays is becoming easier. I wrote a bunch of Sober Living stuff all at once, basically when I got frustrated, which isn’t as possible when I’m writing against a strict deadline. It does help to have an 8-day backlog buffer. I’ll publish my process on the 27th.
  • Sober Living
    • I wrote about sober confidence for an upcoming post in the midst of feeling terrible. A sensation that over five years ago would have driven me to drink. Instead, I did what I could to feel better, then just like screaming into a well, dispelled those emotions into an essay.
    • Listening to angry music and writing to get to the root cause of my anger has actually been a really useful tool. Other things do help, although I’ve found that it’s like charging directly into battle, swinging my writer’s axe at the subject, hacking away until I get the gold.
    • As much as it’s helpful to reach out to people, a continual theme of Better Zombie is the internal versus external. If you can dig in deep and bring out that internal motivation, it’s so much more powerful than external motivators, it’s just those factors can more easily help out.
  • Confronting Cortisol Circumstances
    • After having to defend myself on something seemingly trivial, I got frustrated and nearly wrote an email I would regret now. I rolled the dice to see if I should send it: no. After a restroom break, I returned, re-read, and deleted the email. Sometimes confrontation is not acting confrontational.
    • Instead, I acted in accordance with my past self’s goals, which excluded that phone conversation. Sticking to plans like that helps, although that’s also something I have trouble with doing. I’m good for a day or two and then I move on from each plan, as though it weren’t important…
    • After I’ve calmed down, I’ll check in with my friends for advice. Context helps. If I ask a career buddy for advice about a particular topic, I’ll get a good response, particular if I’m calm and present the facts logically. Sometimes, they’ll even encourage me where I might have balked.
  • Disengaging from Stress
    • I’ve been writing and watching a lot of anime to destress this week. I’ve gone out and done stuff with people, but in these sorts of extended moods, I’ve preferred to stay in as much as I can while I work through what’s troubling me, so I can drop it.
    • I’ve made some good progress. I’m just about ready to go back to facing reality. It’s like going outside without bathing or wearing decent clothing. You can do it, but it doesn’t feel right. You feel kinda gross. So I’m most of the way done with “cleaning off” this stress.
    • Stress can be also holding onto things that have been forced upon you that you didn’t want to combat to be polite. There are a few things that people did this past week I considered rude. I will voice my concerns if they’re brought up again. That venting should help.
  • Rowing Machine Maintenance
    • My monthly calendar entry for deep maintenance popped up on Saturday. I didn’t do much than I’ve been doing over the past few weeks. Let’s start with the more trivial cleaning spots: the seat doesn’t get too dirty and the frame might just get some dust. Nothing to affect performance.
    • I discovered a good cleaning technique for the rollers on the seat: the bottom one is easily accessible, but for the top one, I place a slightly wet paper towel on the monorail and run the seat over it. This picks up some of the obscured grime on the roller.
    • Lubricating the chain is becoming so comfortable I barely even think about it. A healthy drop of 20W motor oil dabbed in three cotton swabs dragged along the chain puts down some good oil. I’ll start and conclude with dragging low-lint shop towels to clean off any excess good/bad oil.
  • Photo and Outro
    • This was my best score yet in the Wii Fit running mini-game. Nothing too impressive for long-term runners, but I’ve never really ran before. Even 3 minutes is enough to get me exhausted, so I plan my 15-minute Wii Fit sets around that: yoga before and after to stretch and warm-up.
    • Side note: Wii Fit is exactly what I’ve been looking for to help me learn to stretch and try new exercises, including running. I’m not sure yet if I’ll get a treadmill for my home gym area. I’ve gotta set it up so I can record my rowing sets first!
    • Acceptable week overall. I’ve been off and on sick for the last week, but other than a few spikes, I’ve been good on not overeating. Maybe once I get some stable work, this can stabilize. Until then, I’ll just keep plugging away at my health, unemployment, writing, and overall balance.
Sources: None

Quotes: None

Inspirations: None

Related: This weekly column.

Photo: Above: my current highest score of 64% efficiency in Wii Fit’s running mini-game. Below: the nice ways that daily recurring events can help build motivation. Not featured: this week’s stats. (Forgot then, not motivated now. The information might not be too useful…)


Author: Zombiepaper (Anthony)

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)

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