Tag Archives: exercising

Lucky Bastard, or A Glitch in the Matrix


No re-motivator this week, because holy carp am I tapped out. Long week at school. Long week at the novel-writing game. Wife is hella sick. No time to muse on creativity and motivation and inspiration and the darkly wonderful things that happen in the writer’s lizard brain.

But, dude. You guys. GUYS.

I am thirty-something years old, and I have never in my life found a four-leaf clover. And there were times that I looked. I can distinctly remember a younger, high-school aged or maybe even collegiate version of myself spending entire minutes in weedy fields searching for one.

Never happened.

Then, today, this:20160326_185018.jpg

That’s totally my hand; you can tell by the horrible cuticles. I was gobsmacked. We hopped out of the car after a long day visiting with family, and I happened to glance down at my feet, and there it was.

But wait. WAIT.

Not even an hour later, I’d been to the grocery store and come back, and I was reflecting on how strange it was that I should find a four-leaf cloverin my own front yard. I glanced at my feet as I stepped over a totally different patch of clover. And I glanced again.

NO WAY.

20160326_193643.jpg

But yes way. A second four-leaf clover.

You guys.

Either I’m really, really lucky, or my front yard is a glitch in the matrix.

*skitters off to wait for Morpheus to unplug me*

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results.


The Weekly Re-Motivator: Short of Time


I’m tired.

This is the part of the year where everything seems to converge and my time and energy run low, the gas tank puttering on fumes, the next gas station a couple of impossible miles ahead. Soccer is getting into full swing, which means I’m losing out on a couple entire evenings every week, and several hours on the average weeknight. School tends to pick up during this time as well, as we start to look forward toward the end of the year: conferences, scheduling for next year, graduation, all of which says nothing about the old refrain of grades, grades, grades. It’s colder out, which makes it harder to get out for my runs, which makes me more likely to miss them, which has its own sapping effect. And, of course, the days are shorter, so there is literally less daylight in which to get done the things that need doing.

Again: I’m tired.

The inclination is to just let a few things slide. Miss a run here and there. Let a day’s worth of writing get away from me. Shell out for some fast food instead of cooking a proper meal.

But momentum matters, and it cuts both ways.

I’ve worked really hard to establish a momentum which has me writing every day, exercising almost every day, waking up early, doing a decent job balancing work with family. And I know that that momentum will survive a skipped workout, a slipped writing session, a meal of junk food. But just like the slow orbit of the moon is slowly disrupting the earth’s rotation, little things add up over time. Skipping a workout on Monday makes it easy to skip the one on Tuesday as well. Leaving out the writing time on Thursday makes me realize just how nice it would be to have that extra time on Friday, too.

Hourglass, Duration, Temporal Distance, Egg Timer

It’s why we have the recognizable, lamentable stereotype of the person who retires and develops Alzheimer’s or dementia in just a few short years. The routine goes away, there’s not nearly so much to occupy their time, and suddenly, they’re no longer able to accomplish a fraction of what they once could.

Writer types know how hard it is to protect their writing time, especially when the routine is disrupted. It only gets worse when nature itself is conspiring against you by literally removing minutes and hours from the day. The truth is, I know it won’t be that big a deal if I let the project breathe for a few days while I catch up on some other work, and it certainly won’t hurt me to catch up on a little sleep instead of rising at 5 to go for a run. But I think it becomes even more important to be true to our goals when it’s hard to follow through on them.

It’s like a placekicker who never misses a goal in practice but shanks his kicks during the game. Well and good to deliver when it’s easy, but it doesn’t help much if you can’t get the work done when it matters. Which is not to say that the work matters more at this time of year than at any other — unless you’re lucky enough to have a deadline looming — but I just come back to knowing that the momentum matters. My momentum will survive a day or two of slippage, but an entire week? A month?

No chance.

Winter has its hooks in. I’m tired. We’re all tired.

But there is still work to do.

As a great American once said, we do these things “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

So I guess I’ll find a way to lace up for my run later this afternoon, even though I missed it this morning. And I’ll find a way to carve out a few more minutes for my writing, too.

Luckily, the kids are out of town for the night. Maybe this is why god invented grandparents.

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results.


Clicka Clack


The body has all sorts of delightful ways to remind you that you’re getting older.  Some are obvious, others are subtle.  Some are tsunamis that strike without warning, others are the slow inevitable creep of continental drift.  (I’m looking at you, my slowly-but-surely receding hairline.)  Today I’m keenly aware of one nasty one in particular — my crackling bones.

I’ll go ahead and be judicious and say that it’s possible I can’t attribute the cricks and cracks in question entirely to age, but I’m living in denial that my running career of the last couple years is causing lasting damage to my body.  It’s not.  IT JUST ISN’T, OKAY?  Now that that’s settled…

I posted last week about another kind of drift, that being the outward slide of my waistline and the upward trend of my bathroom scale.  Okay, my wife was pregnant so it was impossible to be careful about what I was eating, not that I was trying anyway, but that’s over with now, Sprout the Second is a month old tomorrow (!), and it’s time to restore normality.  So: diet starts this weekend, and my new exercise regimen has been ramping up for about a week and a half.  Or maybe two days.  I don’t know because, as I’ve mentioned before, my house exists outside of space and time as we know it.  Or, at the very least, space and time are playing silly buggers on me.

Anyway, that new regimen has me doing some bodyweight exercises on days on which I do not run.  I have a feeling that this is a pretty good way for things to start off because on the first few days I did these exercises, I could not climb stairs properly afterward, nor could I reach the top of my head to wash it in the shower.  I have it on good authority that destroying your muscles like that is a good way to wake them up, so those must be good signs, yeah?  That workout is getting easier, so I’m ramping it up, doing extra sets and extra reps.  But during yesterday’s session, I dunno if it was especially quiet in the room or if I was in a higher state of awareness due to the blood flow or the dizziness induced by my 60-second plank attempt, but I heard a funny sound while I was doing some jumping jacks.

Quick sidenote on the jumping jacks.  I’m not sure if I’m doing them wrong, and I feel that I must be, because they are the easiest part of the workout for me.  Unless of course I perfected the technique in 5th grade gym class and my muscles stored it in memory which is tapped into and processed with perfect efficiency now twenty years later.  That works, right?

Whatever.  The jumping jacks are easy, but I hear a sound.  Sort of like when you have a handful of pop rocks in your mouth; a low crackling that fades in and out as you open and close your mouth.  Or maybe like the consistent repetitive clack clack of chips at a poker table.  Damn, where’s that coming from?  Oh, it’s just my entire both feet clicking and crackling away with every jump.

I’ve had a pretty constant pop to my right ankle for a lot of years: the detritus of a pretty gnarly ankle sprain that I never went to the doctor for because I’m a man.  It goes off if I rotate my ankle in bed or flex the foot going up or down stairs, stuff like that.  But this noise is not that.  This is my entire foot, in fact both feet.  I tune in more closely as I finish the set, and it’s like I can hear dozens if not hundreds of tiny little bones and ligaments and tendons clicking and sliding and ticking against each other like a bunch of ball bearings trapped in a spider web.

What do I do with this information?  Go to the doctor I saw a few months back for my plantar fasciitis and say, oh, yeah, now I can hear every bone in my foot move when I do jumping jacks?  He’ll only tell me to stop doing jumping jacks or stop running, so that’s right out.

I guess I just have to accept that this is my new body, one that makes all sorts of noises I wasn’t planning for it to make.  (I’m sure my wife could tell fantastic stories about my unintentional emissions.)  I have another birthday in a few weeks, maybe by that time my entire skeleton will calcify and I won’t be able to scratch my nose without sounding like a set of dominoes falling down a marble staircase.


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