Bit the bullet and bought a stationary spin bike for my cross-training. I’m too lazy to got to the gym, but the basement is only a few steps away. And it has a TV.
People who walk on cross-country ski trails… you just made the list.
Karin gave me a Garmin Vivofit for Christmas. It’s one of those little wrist-mounted activity trackers. Being a Garmin, it fits in nicely with the fitness gadget ecosystem I have going already (running watch) and tracks my steps and sleep… or at least how much I move around when I sleep. It looks like it’s going to form the core of yet another step-up in my self-quantification efforts as we move into 2015. Turning everything I do into a number… does that make me more aware of what I do and thus healthier? Or does it just make me neurotic? We’re about to find out, I guess.
The Christmas money is spent. Gone. And then some. We collected bits and bites of cash here and there as parts of various gifts from parents and grandparents –thanks again, by the way– and after puzzling about how we could spend it in some meaningful way (and not just pay off the Christmas bill) we opted to do something we’ve been meaning to do for a few years now. Claire is finally old enough, so we strolled over to the local outdoorsy store and bought a family set of cross-country skis — poles, boots, bindings, and all. They should be assembled for pick up later this week! Let’s hope the weather cooperates for New Years!
My resolve has softened over the past year or so. It’s tough to explain why, but I feel it here and there and leaking through the corners of my mind, infiltrating and weakening whatever willpower and motivation has kept me strong in better days.
It is. But it shouldn’t be.
As much as I hate to admit it, when I pursued some health-based goals a couple years ago I had given myself a number of small incentives. When I write it down it seems weak and petty, but it’s during those weak and petty moments –and we all have them and they are usually them moments we point to when we try to assign blame upon our fails– that we make small mistakes, take tiny missteps, bend the rules, break from the plan, and assert our inevitable failure with ready-baked excuses. Having an incentive to tilt the scale a little bit is how, in those weak and petty moments, we resist the second cookie, make ourselves run when the snow makes you want to cuddle up on the couch and watch Netflix instead, or make whatever choices are making us stronger and fight the inevitable entropy of life.
In 2012, back when I lost 40 pounds and got in awesome-sauce shape, I gave myself goals –yes– but I also gave myself reasons to reconsider. And, I will fully admit, some of those were silly material rewards that shone unflinchingly and steady against the uneven flicker of the distant intrinsic reward, unshaped and unformed in the far off and uncertain future.
Entropy has crept upon me. Not deeply. Not irreversibly. But measurably and in ways that I can point to in my day-to-day existence and assign blame upon individual choices.
So, despite my willful, mindful push to reverse that in recent months –which doesn’t seem to be working– I’ve decided to add incentive.
My goal is a number in my head. And it’s only the number because the number in quantifiable, measurable, and trackable. It relates to my health and well-being, how I feel when I wake up in the morning, and what my quality of life is going to look like for the next twenty years. The number is not important here, but it is a finish line for this altered plan.
My plan is the same as before. Eat better. Expand my fitness a little bit more. And make healthier choices about how I spend my days and my nights.
The incentive is tied to so many things. I’ll write more on that later –if only to nudge along my own personal inspiration and keep the incentive fresh in my mind– but with a girl who is blossoming into a curious pre-teen, a camera hobby that is always looking for new challenges, and the merest blip of a little kid inside me who has always wanted one– but when the goal is met, the challenge succeeded, and the race won, I’m going to buy Claire and I the coolest telescope my budget will allow.
Let the moon shot challenge begin.
My Pebble watch got a firmware update this past week and with it spared me the need to spend about a hundred and fifty bucks. See, I’ve been contemplating getting one of those little fitness trackers, the little wristband kinds that monitor you over the course of a day, tell you how much you’re walking or sitting on your ass, and then upload it to the internet for (presumably) public shaming purposes. But through a partnership with Jawbone (who makes the UP band and app) Pebble now has that functionality built in. I optimistically set my daily step goal at 15,000… because amazingly enough I do walk about ten thousand steps every day, on average, without any extra effort. I am writing about it for two reasons: (a) like I said, it saved me spending about $150 on one of those dedicated straps which I would have worn for a couple months then set aside anyhow, while I’ll still probably be wearing my watch a year from now and (b) it just buzzed at me to let me know I haven’t moved very much in the last 30 minutes as I’ve been sitting here in a cafe writing blog posts. *sigh*
That there is a direct correlation between my volume of training and my overall fitness level.
If you consider a sports injury “sick” then, just recently. Otherwise months ago.
Enjoying our first summer back in Edmonton after living in Vancouver, living downtown, and routinely rollerblading to work.
Sadly, despite having spent some time fixing my old one, it’s been over a week.
Despite what I wrote in a previous post about bike shopping, the epic-craziness of our schedules as the school year ends and summer cranks into gear means the careful and thoughtful shopping exercise, filled with research and test-riding, to procure a new bike for myself is likely going to take the better part of the summer. As a temporary bike fix, I broke down last night and bought some replacement tires and tubes and –though much more repair is required for shifters, gears, brakes, etc– now I (at the very least) have a semi-functional bike with (huzzah!) two inflated tires, as opposed to the recent state of a bike with rims and bits of cracked and decaying rubber on them. It was actually a lot more work to swap out some tires than I would have expected… as obviously I’ve never done that before.