Saturday, December 8, 2012

Committing Myself... To a Week of Micro Workouts

I have been struggling a bit lately. I don't think I have fully attempted to explain my issues at any point - you probably don't need that shit. (Although there is a bit if you are keen on that kind of stuff in Why Change? and Honesty Honestly.) Essentially, I suffer from anxiety and change is incredibly unsettling for me. I completed my engineering degree a few weeks ago and this coming week is grad week.

Up until all of this change I had been working out pretty consistently. Which in itself is a pretty big thing for me - I mean I've always done fitness 2-4 times a week but I haven't done dedicated work-outs and gym work outs and sprinting and stuff individually before now. The whole fitness movement bothers me, the attitude of the people in it, the winner-loser nature of it, the fact that you can never ever be good enough.. ever. That stuff is incredibly unhelpful for me.

Unfortunately being stressed under the change pressure ensures I have a sensation of paralysis. Forcing myself into anything becomes really hard. At the moment it can take me over an hour to convince myself to leave my room, or that I need to make my bed, or that I should read that book over there for fun, or that I really need to leave to get to that appointment on time. So forcing myself to do fitness activities, which is honestly even more stressful for me, can take half a day of working myself up to it.

I've also lost my gym buddy to the dark side. I can't handle being around her anymore. She has got the whole 'gym is the future' (that is to say gym is the only thing worthy in life) attitude going on. When we are together anything I say she replies with nothing and everything she says has something to do with her gym buddies. We've been away from school a few weeks (the big gap between the end of classes and the graduation) and in that time she went ahead and found new gym membership which I couldn't get because I was only in our hometown for 2 weeks. Which just emphasised that fitness was more important than our relationship. Not even, that doing fitness in a very narrow minded way was more important than our relationship. She's my best friend and has been since early high school - but I think I understand how couples divorce after being married for many years.

I think I've summarised why fitness is hard for me. Now I am going to summarise what I am going to do about it. I can't handle going to the gym anymore - that dear friend is one of those people who gets to be bosom buddies with everybody and I just can't take it. So I just need to find little things to keep myself from doing nothing all week. I know that such a small amount of work will probably still mean I'm going backwards from where I was but if it prevents me from doing 110% nothing all week it has achieved its purpose.

So I want to follow this little micro workout plan for each day of the week.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'll do additional abs in the form of:

For 10 minutes, starting on the minute complete:
10 sit-ups
15 crunches
20 bicycles 

Then on Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday I'll also do this Legs Workout.

Then the current plan is to do this every other day and run on the other days... but I am allowing myself to say I might skip cardio completely on some days because if I am not willing to go outside I am not going to force myself for this week and I physically can't do jumping based cardio for 6 days in a row - my shins don't love me enough.

So yes, this is my big plan. I've put it up here to commit to it. If anybody is looking at them and liking the pretty pictures - and you don't recognise them as being Pinterest specials... Might I suggest you check it out. I have a couple of exercise boards on my Pinterest here but feel free to just stroll the main 'Health & Fitness' category.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

3 Things I love about... Solo Road Trips

Yep, had to get down to the nitty gritty eventually. Truly hard hitting issues like enjoying road trips. By myself. Because I am cool like that. Seriously though, if you've never tried it. Try it. Road trip alone. Not like a 10 day across the continent (you have to work up to that sort of thing) just like a good 8 to 20 hrs. A nice overnighter.
(Yes I was alone and driving when I took this - judge if you wish)

My road tripping experience - well I wouldn't call it 'extensive' - I would say is a bit above average. In the last month I have travelled about 5,000 km on Australian highways and visited all 4 East coast capital cities (Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane). This isn't normal for me or anything. However when you are from QLD but live in Canberra the 1 and a half day drive (well 2 drives really one of these in both directions) starts to get to be an annual ritual. I've taken all the highways, I've even taken the 'what on earth is inland of the Newell Highway' route in the year of the floods - oops. My advice? Don't take that one - its got dirt and shit... you don't need to be out there alone.

Each time I do it, it gets quicker, not that I speed more than I used to (well I'd like to think I don't) just because time flies when you're having fun. And I am having fun. Nothing beats it, for these reasons:

1. Nothing else you are 'supposed to be doing'. Few times in my life do I feel as unfettered as when I am driving distance. At that point there is nowhere else I am supposed to be, nothing I am supposed to be doing. Driving from point A to point B IS the objective. It means whatever else you are doing - that optional extras... I mean you probably aren't reading books. (Only probably because hey, audiobooks?) However driving isn't all consuming so whatever you are thinking or listening to etc... it doesn't have to be work related because you are already doing the only work you need to do.

2. Work at your own pace. Going solo may sound pretty dull. Nobody to talk to. Nothing but the changing colours of the concrete on the road and new place name signs (both of which probably belong in a second set of 3 about things I love about road trip scenery). However, you stop when you need to, you eat when you need to, you listen to whatever you want and as loud as you want. Perhaps you want to get to Newcastle or Taree or Moree or wherever. You go to where you want and you stop.

3. Sing at the top of your lungs. I love CDs. It depresses me really that CDs and short playlists have gone out of fashion. I am a 'listen to music to sing' person most of the time. (I usually become a 'listen to music to listen' person about 5 hrs into a road trip at which point I start radio surfing - Triple J can be picked up in a lot of places.) I like having 10-100 songs of which I know or wish to know the words to. I mean I like having 50000 songs or whatever, but I prefer it when my music is reoccurring and consistently familiar when singing along at the top of my lungs. I am country and pop most of the time - so a disk of glee soundtrack and a few disks of contemporary country and I'm all set.