I’m exercising steadily harder, day on day, and it’s making me sick. How and why?
I’m a firm believer, and strong advocate of two closely related concepts;
- show up and grind
- fools chase will o’ the wisp big wins.
How are these related? First off, think of the Thomas Edison quote:
Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
That is, quite literally, a call to just show up and grind. Your idea is the smallest part, the hard work of realizing it is the biggest part.
So what about only fools chasing the big wins? Those depend on scams from what Ben Settle likes to call “the goo-roo casino.” They’re everywhere; weight loss, fitness, get rich quick schemes. Hell, there’s an entire internet email scam industry built around the Nigerian prince and his fortune.
And they all depend on you truly believing that someone found the shortcut, the hack, the instant success formula.
You want to get twice as good at something? Show up, every day, grind, and seek to be 1% better at the end of the day. Do that for 3 months and you have incrementally improved 92 times. That is, you’re almost 100% (twice) as good as when you started.
And that is what I’m doing in 3 separte (yet still interlinked) areas of my life; my fitness, my writing and my mental health.
Since today’s topic is fitness, I’ll forego the second and third topics.
A few years ago I worked with Davy, a guy who used to be a semi pro soccer player in Scotland. He, and pretty much all of his teammates (and pretty much everyone else in Glasgow, for that matter) smoked, drank too much, and ate a lot of fatty, fried food. Which is to say, when spring training camp came around, he was fat and out of shape.
Which mattered not in the least to the coach.
First day of training camp, coach would have them running wind sprints until they were puking at the side of the pitch. Did he care? I doubt it. In fact, I suspect he took a sadistic pleasure in running them until they dropped.
It was, after all, their own fault they showed up to camp fat and out of shape, and he was, after all, a soccer coach.
Now, I can blame the powers that be for many things surrounding the panicdemic COVIDiocy. What I cannot do is blame them for how I handled it.
Blackface Hitler and the Fat Fascist Fuck of Queen’s Park may have screwed with my life, robbed me of my rights and freedoms and set out to destroy my children’s mental health, educations and futures. What they didn’t do was duct tape me to my couch and force me to stop exercising.
Being a pair of fascist pukes? That’s on them. Letting me allow myself to turn into a couch potato? That’s on me, and now I’m paying the price.
I’ve been exercising daily for 7 weeks now, steadily ramping up the intensity, and variety of the workouts I’ve been doing. I went from
- daily walks, to
- daily walks plus posture yoga, to
- daily walks plus alternating posture and core strength yoga, to
- interspersing other aerobic, and weight training.
Through it all, I have maintained those two central concepts; show up every day to grind, and get a little bit better each day.
Today I got out for my second bike ride of the year, increasing both the distance and the intensity of my ride. I set out with a certain route planned, and about halfway realized, “Yeah, no. Can’t do it, gotta bail to the shorter alternate route.”
Even with that, when I got to the last 1/2 km, I was already feeling nauseous, like Davey at spring training camp. So nauseous in fact that, when I was getting out my patio lunchtime kit I realized that the cigar I’d planned on was simply too much.
I had a drink of water, made a weak GaterAid and a cup of Lapsang Tea, and bailed to a much lighter, smaller cigar for my lunchtime relaxation break.
That was about 678 words ago, and here I am, at the end off today’s essay, fed, watered, exercised and relaxed. And come tomorrow, whatever the weather brings, I’ll be ready to show up, grind, and strive to be just a little bit better than I was today.