Recalculating Goals

Disappointment in yourself is the hardest thing to shake, emotionally. It’s not as crushing as the loss of a loved one, and it isn’t as bitter and brash as anger.

But it creeps around and hangs out in literally every corner of your thoughts. It pops up when you’re not thinking of anything in particular. It lurks behind your assessment of every action you take. Worst of all, it takes a big, smelly shit on every single accomplishment.

I’m disappointed in myself because i can’t swim for the requisite 400m for the Tri i was going to attempt in May. Still can’t. i want to tell myself it’s because things got in the way and i couldn’t make it to the only gym with a pool than can accommodate my work hours. I want to tell myself that yes, i am improving, i go at my own pace.

But after you realize that you lived under a series of excuses for much of your exercise life, you see anything like that as merely an excuse, which is what i’m doing now.

I could’ve gotten up at 4:30 three days out of the week; but getting up that early fucking BLOWS. it does. i hate it.

I could have gone in the afternoons- only the pool is overtaken with families and other afternoon swimmers and it takes a 20-min wait just to get half a lane.

those feel like excuses. I failed to get as far as i need to be by this point, and i’m extremely disappointed in myself.

Turns out, i can’t compete in the original Tri anyway. Work got in the way, for reals. (I could say life, but to equate office work to life makes my stomach turn).

I work in a place where business picks up at the end of the month, and i’m required to work the last weekend of every month. The Lake Hickory Tri is the last weekend of May; and FitBloggin ’14 is the last weekend in June. Upper management decided that one end-of-month-weekend a year, they can make an exception. I had to choose between abandoning the reason i started blogging again, and the reason i became healthier in every way.

That was kind of a no-brainer. (also had to pass up running a c
harity 5k at the end of this month for the same reason. There are a million things i want upper manage to eat, and most of them rhyme with Truman CiCi’s.)

So i have to figure out where my next steps are. i want to do a Tri, any Tri. a small one. not at the end of the month. Alan, fellow blogger and all-around excellent human being, encouraged me to look up other local Tri’s sponsored by the gym he & i share. That’s Step #Next.

the other is learning to get over bitter self-disappointment. Sammie (my hero) poked my nose about it.

“It’s not failure, you’re just recalculating goals.” She’s right; i can take that in logically, but i have to try and take it into my heart. Always leave it to an English major to phrase things perfectly.

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Overdue return!

It’s been since September since my last update, and i honestly don’t have a terribly large update.

I have experienced a generally upward trend of progress. I can run farther without a walking break. I can swim farther without feeling like i’m going to drown. I still can’t go 400m, but i’mm closer to that goal. Tuesday i’m going to use the bigger pool instead of the smaller one (that heated pool feels so damn good though). i’m going to use that to train now. it’s kinda time to graduate to that.

I still don’t own a bike; but i’m not worried about it. i know that using a stationary bike is way different from a physical bike, but i’m not too worried about it. it may be that this attitude will bite me in the ass, but i can’t worry about it all- i have to get better at the swimming and make that the highest priority, since i have running and biking down at a more or less rudimentary level, i just cant go the 400m distance in the water yet.

If i freak out about both the swimming and the biking, i’m going to shoot myself in the foot. I have to accept that i very well may do badly in one of the events. In school, math tests went badly for me because i worried about the right answers AND the time limit; it usually resulted in near-failure.

SO for the foreseeable future- let’s focus on the swimming equation.

As far as weight- got down to 233 before the holidays, got to 239 over the holidays, and the last few weigh-ins it’s been between 234-237. acceptable variance, and i feel more fit. more zumba,more running overall. Also trying the Pound fitness, like pilates but with drumming. i get to beat the shit out of the floor to songs i like better than the poppy-Latin zumba beats. If they’d just leave out the Linkin Park, it’d be pretty dandy.

last bit: self-imposed 5k this morning. all but a quarter mile of it, i kept jogging. at one point, i couldnt stop my pace, or i felt like i’d die. i think i’ll call it the Speed Plateau. Also, i didn’t get out of breath at all much, just more sore and sweaty. victory? Hell yeah, victory.

Got to admit, it’s getting better…

i love that song.

anyway, yeah, things are actually getting better on the health front. i’ve lost 15 pounds since FitBloggin. 15! that’s a lot! i now weigh as much as my 53 year old dad. the fact that i have always weighed more than he does (while he’s still slightly taller than me) has been a major thorn in my self-esteem. i’m gonna be 220 by Christmas, dammit. i feel like i can actually get there now.

no bike yet, but my running is improving noticeably. i can keep up with Jonathan at a good clip for a mile or so. less pain, less huff and puffery. i’m gonna try and take up more distance and start doing 3 miles in a go. the cooler weather should facilitate this.

things are also better on the swimming front. getting up at 4:30am to get into the pool at 6 before work is paying off. i don’t feel like i’m drowning between strokes. i don’t know about speed or anything, i haven’t been timing. i’ve also been using the shorter lanes. so i haven’t quite made a 100m swim yet. Yet. big ol’ yet. it will be soon.

now i just gotta worry about the biking and the swim distance. it will get better. so far, they’re gettin’ better all the time. 🙂

The Bike! Or: I didn’t bike because i forgot my damn shorts.

Title says it all. normal Friday Zumba plans were off this week, so i took off from work and headed right to the gym… only to discover i only had jeans.

bleugh

I ended up just walking for 20 minutes on a treadmill before i started to chafe. Also my ipod was dead, but i had my phone. Also my earbuds got damamged in my bag a few weeks ago, and they were cutting in and out. Also i slammed my figner in my locker when i was leaving.

that was the shittiest time i’ve had at the gym so far, so that’s pretty good, right?

 

I haven’t been on a bike at all in years. it doesn’t seem intimidating or anything, but it’s necessary. i underestimated everything so far, i don’t see that this will be any different. i don’t have a bike of my own yet, but I’ve seen some for a fair price at Target. i don’t need anything fancy. unfortunately, my old one is just that – old. i don’t want to deal with new tires or brakes or trying to fix the gears (which have been broken for years anyway). It will be a paycheck or two (i just helped my brother get a computer because he’s going back to school) – but i intend on getting a few miles in at least once a week. I’ll plot a regular course and stick to the schedule.

 

now i just have to make a schedule…

The Swim! Or: Waking is the Hardest Part

I swam on Sunday and Tuesday.

And that’s really it. Sunday I took Sam to visit my cool new gym, and I wanted her to time my 100m time. I cold only do 50m before my pecs burned like hell. Considering I have to do 750m the day of the Triathalon, I think I have a long, long way to go. My 50m was 1m25sec. Sounds quick to me, but I know it’s really slow.

I got a little fire in me and got up at 4:30 on Tuesday to get to the gym by 6am. I swam for a half an hour before calling it in. I alternated laps focusing on legs then arms, back and forth like that. And tried to do something with my breath. I nearly sucked in a lungful of water a few times. Not professional, but it made my parts ache in that good kinda way, so maybe I’m on the right track. Plus I got to sit in the hot spa pool for 10 minutes.

Now the problem is scheduling. I didn’t swim again this week. I will say that work has been shit, but that’s really no excuse. It’s hard to find motivation a lot of the time. Sleep sounds lovely at any time. But whether I wake up at 6:30 or 4:30, I don’t feel any better in the morning, I’m still just sleepy and sore. I just have to be an early bird more. I have to squeeze in running, biking, swimming and maybe weights? Man, I just don’t know.

Still no bike. But I’m still doing cardio 5-6 days a week, plus 2 mile (alternating) run on Wednesdays. So I’m still getting some sort of activity in. Just not tri-centric. I’ve got research to do, very definitely. And things I have to buy. So many things.

The Price. Or: Getting Fit Can be Prohibitively Expensive

I haven’t been to tri-training this week at my new gym.

It’s been nasty- busy at work. A lot to stress about. Haven’t slept well most nights this week. Exercise isn’t on my mind. Also my foot hurts, and I think it might be a tendon thing.

Last Saturday, I drove to my gym expecting another nice, tense workout. Bike, treadmill, whatever. Apparently, I didn’t get a memo, because instead we talked in an office about goals, injuries, nutrition, etc. whatever, part of training, right?

Then he turned to the pricing page. The prices for personal training.

Fuck. Of course, this was the free week. How’d I forget that?

The best plan they offered was about $500 the first month, and $175 every month after that.

I’ll be level, I make ok money. Don’t have kids, good job. But as of late, things changed. My new job is an hour commute, so that’s gas. My truck wasn’t gonna cut it much longer, so new car for me. And I’m still paying rent on a convenient apartment, plus cable, plus light bill. Car, insurance, rent, cable, light, netflix, renter’s insurance, and now gym. It adds the fuck up.

Is expensive personal trainign the way to get there? How complicated is this? Do I consider the pricing?

I really don’t know. I don’t know if i can do this without personal guidance, but I don’t think lightening my wallet is go an get me there any better than doing my own thing.

Expensive convenience? Or worth the dough?

The Admission

I’ve redoubled my efforts to watch my calorie intake and nutrition. I think I’m kinda doing okay at it, I’ve got my veggies and fruits down. I’ve cut out all red meat and pork, nearly all chicken, fish is okay though, and switched to a mostly vegetarian diet.

And it’s going incredibly well, despite what I expected. For most of my life, I was of the stupid opinion that meat has to be in every single meal, or else, it wasn’t even a meal. I changed my mind when I read an Reddit AMA with Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods. The show, if you weren’t aware, featured Andrew touring foreign locations and exploring culture and people through food which usually was very, very different from food in the USA. (Incidentally, this happens to be my dream job).

‘apingyou’: What is your normal diet like when at home, both for food and beverage?

Zimmern: I get up in the morning and have coffee and yogurt or coffee, egg and piece of toast. Lunch typically for me is at the office and is usually Chinese food or sandwich. I’m big sandwich guy. Dinner we cook at home as a family. Roast a chicken, do a couple of vegetables and make a big salad. Throw a pork shoulder on the grill and let it roast for a few hours. We eat very simply, 3 or 4 ingredients per dish. We have a couple side dishes on our tables always. And we want our son to know that meat is not the center of every meal.

I immediately though oh my god, of course it doesn’t! Why hadn’t this occurred to me?!? I felt kind of dumb, really. Meals don’t have to have such a limited formula. That was what prompted me to cut meat out. I don’t see anything wrong someone else munching down on chicken or burgers- but it hasn’t been working for me, and I need to give something else a try, and I think it’s working out.

I’ve also cut out soda entirely. As of today, 8 days without the bubbly.

The biggest thing that I’ve realized, and the point of this post, is that I’m not addicted.

I’m not addicted to food or soda.

I thought it would be harder. I really thought that this would be a much bigger struggle. Don’t get me wrong, I still want gobs of cheese and fried onions piled on a 1/2 pound hunk of ground beef cause that shit be tasty), but I don’t have withdrawal symptoms, or moments of weakness, or any guilt, or anything.

I’m just making different choices. I just choose not to do that. I didn’t know that I could do that.

I related this revelation to a friend, and she called me ‘lucky’. That sort of hurt, to tell the truth. Sure, I might be lucky that I don’t have the struggle that she and many others have. Believe me, I understand the brain chemistry, I know how addiction works, i know thats it’s really, really hard for some people. But I’m not necessarily better off. There are reasons I adopted this belief that I was addicted.

See, I don’t really have a whole lot of faith in myself. I never have. I frequently feel like a half-person. That just sort of hangs around. I sometimes tell myself that I’m just a minor character in my own story. I’m not very interesting. I’ve never really traveled, or gone to crazy events or concerts, or done anything worth writing about.

I made it up because I wanted faults. I wanted to have something I could tell myself that made me interesting. Some struggle. I believed it, and it made it very, very easy to give in to any extravagant food choices presented. I didn’t have to worry about making the right choice, I already knew I was going to make the bad one. I didn’t share this with anyone, I never really bragged or made it a big deal, so it wasn’t so much a lie to the world as it was an excuse for me to justify what I was doing.

I still don’t think I’m much of anyone of note. I’m quite dull. But at least now, I’m willing to admit that I was only being lazy about making food choices. I’ve adjusted my diet and attitude. The best I can do is move on, and continue to improve. Or at least, try to.