The other day, I was psyched up to get my ass back to the gym after an exceptionally long fit of procrastination. It turns out that I am not handling my work/life balance well now that I actually have work to perform.
Yet, there I was: laying my head on a pillow at 1:00 a.m. determined to complete at least one weight lifting session and one hour long cardio session during my two days off.
And get out on my bike since the weather was going to be a hedonist’s dream.
My determination arose from my goal to find a balance between fitness and body image by my 50th birthday. My body image has always been something I struggle with; too scrawny or skinny, too fat, my chest is too small, my ass is flat, I’m not toned enough, pick a body image gripe and I’ve had it.
Finding happiness with the Man in the Mirror…I’m calling it Fitfy.
This balance would be one that would also afford me to comfortably observe my body’s reflection during my daily trips to the shower – I mean, really, who puts a mirror there? – or catch it peripherally in windows as I navigate my pedestrian lifestyle without thinking my signature color isn’t as slimming as I’ve heard.
Of course, I failed on both commitments. In all fairness to myself, those goals were likely established by a half-drunk madman. But, since my chest is beginning to look like what people warned me it would look like if I consumed soy, even though my diet is devoid of soy – go figure – I needed to do something.
A token bit of fit.
Being the proud owner of several hundred pounds of reminders of my prior fitness levels, I decided on doing what I call a “mini” at home.
Grab those Dumbbells and do some curls and pull backs right there in the condo.
Get some floor time with some push ups and ab work at home.
What could possibly go wrong?
Oh, that prior level of fitness I mentioned earlier? I’ve (in)famously said that in my 20s I could eat and drink whatever I wanted and if I thought I was getting a little fat…well, that thought burned enough calories to get me ship-shape again. In my 30s, it took a little more work to right the ship, namely going to the gym…but I could still eat and drink pretty much whatever I wanted. In my 40s, I learned I was pretty much the Edmund Fitzgerald (too soon?) and that regardless of how much I hit the gym there were still significant dietary sacrifices to be made in order to maintain the physical appearance my (barely) inner Narcissus so desired.
How did I know this?
Well, at 40, I joined a gym that offered 1:1 training sessions and guaranteed results in two 20 minute sessions weekly. It was no lie. At 40, they got me into the best physical shape of my life.
It was such a great experience that I went back for a touch up for my 45th…another wild success that built upon this earlier accomplishments.
Shortly thereafter, I injured my shoulder. It was something I tossed into the “original parts wearing out” class of injury. Sure, it was part repetitive motion injury from the gym, but it was also part coital misadventure. No, I won’t elaborate. Suffice it to say that I had to lay off the upper body work for a while to let my shoulder heal.
Turns out, I really sucked at following directions to rest. A realization that took several repeat incidents and an exasperated Doctor telling me that he would immobilize my shoulder if I didn’t restrain myself and behave.
It was during this time that I had begun training for longer distance running to prepare for the Seattle Half Marathon and then a full marathon the following Fall. Many of my friends know how that ended up…I fractured my tibia and ended up in a boot for three months.
Don’t worry, against medical advice I went right back to it as soon as I got out of the boot. Ironically fracturing the other tibia.
The third try was not the charm and my poor Doctor finally convinced me to hang up my sneakers. I tried cycling as an offset, but it’s not as spontaneous to me; nor does it provide the ballistic, head-clearing therapy or intense calorie burn that running did for me. The result was a physical depression that eventually bled into my mental being and any effort to exercise became a chore…
So, back to that mini, right?
I did something of a superset: biceps curls x 10, shoulder press ups x 10 and crunches x 50; three sets each. That got my pulse going. For my next trick, I planned push ups x 10, 45 second plank and a third exercise TBD.
Well, I barely got through my first set of push ups. The plank was a 30 second exercise in Lamaze-style breathing after which I collapsed onto my bedroom carpet.
My kingdom for a house fire that would validate my posture and respiratory functions.
But at least Myrtle could be counted upon to find the positive in the current situation: she crawled up only back and started purring. The purring is what really alarmed…I believed she was a little too content with my proximity to death.
I slow-rolled onto my side to avoid adding the insult of cat scratches on my back to my renewed Narcissistic injury and settled into the couch to hydrate and formulate a plan for my fitfy attack.
I came up with a Sunday/Monday full body weight workout and 25-40 mile bike ride followed by a Tues/Thurs evening split body and cardio workouts. It was both achievable and scalable.
That was two weeks ago.
Last Sunday I went wine tasting in Hood River with my Little Buddy and her 2.0. I managed to cajole The Fox into swilling along.
No fitness, just fun!
And education! I learned that a bottle of wine has about 625 calories in it versus a 16 oz glass of IPA, which could have 400-600 calories. So, call my procrastination diet research.
This weekend I got a late Saturday night drop in from Rib and his new boyfriend. They were at a dinner in Olympia and decided to spontaneously pop on down to PDX.
Ah, young people!