Friday, November 26, 2010

Reflections on weeks 2 and 3: tougher than it looks

So, I am well into Week 3 and thought it'd be time for an update. Basically, weeks 2 and 3 consisted of me trying to increase my activity overall from "lump" to "slightly more mobile lump". According to my training schedule, I walked 20 minutes three times a week for the first week, 25 the next week, and 30 this week. I think a good indication of the state of my aforementioned (and frighteningly abysmal) baseline is that it was tough to keep to this schedule. But stick to it I did!

One thing I am realizing is that there seem to be two components to the whole "get in shape" thing. There's a mental component, emphasized relentlessly by fitness gurus and the like, constantly badgering us with their exhortations to prepare our attitudes and our mindsets and our ways of life for the commitment we have to make to staying healthy by exercising regularly.

And then there's the actual "staying healthy by exercising regularly" part.

I'm fairly confident I've got the mental part down. I feel fully committed and can envision myself in ever-increasing detail crossing the finish line of a marathon (latest addition to the motivational dream: confetti!). But the physical part has been more problematic.

Stretching seems to be hurdle number one. I did all my homework and came up with ten stretches to do before walking. They seem ok, but take forever. Adding 10 minutes to the 30 or so I already have scheduled for walking seems like it takes a huge chunk out of my day, so it's not exactly the most reinforcing behavior to engage in. Another issue with stretching is that I am hardly flexible - I don't think I ever was, let alone after haven't having done it in two decades. So, stretching doesn't really seem to have any visible or immediate rewards, making it even less reinforcing to engage in (paging Dr. Skinner!).

Hurdle number two seems to be the resistance of my traitorous muscles. They just don't want to do this whole exercising thing, and are intent on making the entire process difficult by conducting a brutal guerrilla war of attrition on the authoritarian brain controlling them. I am hoping that the well-organized Popular Liberation Front of Back Muscles and the break-away province of what is apparently called the Extensor Digitorum Longalis can be brought to the negotiating table soon. This would facilitate further progress toward a unified Lorin and dispense with any further need for this terrible extended metaphor.

On the plus side of things, my inner (or perhaps somewhat too outward) geek has been very fulfilled by the apparently extensive set of gadgets, apps and websites out there for aspiring runners to utilize. (Special thanks to Laurel for pointing me in the direction of I am especially looking forward to using any Android-based smartphone I may or may not happen to receive for Hanumas from my loving wife (hint! hint!) to automatically log my distance traveled, pace, heart rate, etc. Anybody out there have any recommendations for their favorite data-gathering gadgets or apps? Let me know!

Alright that's it for now...

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