September 2012 - Physical Stuff
The background briefly is this - people think I love exercise. Because I do it
five or six times a week, because it is a part of my daily life, because I know
a decent amount about different training methods, used to work at a gym,
consider it an important part of my health, blah blah blah...
People are wrong. I hate exercise. OK, as a friend of mine says - "hate" is a strong word. Let us just say that I am not an exercise
junkie as most people think I am. I am an often disgruntled exercise
practitioner. Yeah, that's it. I see the benefits of exercise and they mean something to me so I do it. It is like brushing your teeth. I don't want my teeth to rot so I brush them. LOL.
And interestingly enough, the fact that I am disgruntled about exercise often leads to some really great workouts. I take my frustrations out on dumbbells and through deadlifts. I sweat out my anger at work, daily life and the fact that dammit I don't really feel like running but I need to run and I need a really angry playlist or I won't be able to force myself.... And by the time I get to Marilyn Manson's the Reflecting God I am ready to kill something and pounding the pavement and feeling so free of everything... And only then do I think - god I LOVE the way exercise makes me feel.
And it is from this point of reference that I have made a commitment to
exercise less. That's right, I said LESS. Why is this a goal? Because I have exercised six days a week on most weeks for the last, well, 30 or more years. Give or take some brief lay-offs and of course my types of training have changed and morphed over the years but I have a decent amount of lifting weights in my background as well as circuit training, old fashioned aerobics, running, etc. I used to worry that if I stopped, or took more than a day off, I'd ditch it all together. But, I think I'm good on the commitment to exercise thing despite my detesting it for the most part.
I have been thinking about lessening my training schedule for some time but the thought was sealed by a friend of mine who noted that I spend a "great amount of time planning and executing something that I care very little for" and she noted how much commitment that must take. This wasn't one of those talk you down sort of conversations that women sometimes have it was a good, interesting banter about life and little stuff.
One of the main reasons I have been thinking about training less is frankly because I have better things to do. Yes. Better things. Many many better things. Sleep in more. Not because I am lazy because I don't get enough sleep. Play guitar. Ride more. Read more. Take a magical course of study. Be an apprentice to someone. Be a teacher to someone. Go see more movies. Get outside more often. Hike. Bike. Chop wood. Move stuff like sawdust and hay.
Wait Wait you say - so many of the things I list sound like...work. Well, if you know anything about formal exercise you have made the connection many times that it mimics real work. You lift things, you pull things, you push things, you jump, you run, you sprint (probably because you are thinking about bears chasing you), you move stuff from place to place, you build things, you tear things down and build them again.
But planning it, starting it, working it into my schedule...meh...not so much so. I am glad when it is done and of the fact that I have checked off my list that I have worked appropriate physical training into my day.
Soooooo, my process of thought is much different than that of the person that hates exercise and has never done any. Or has tried and quit. Or even knows it is good for you but still doesn't partake.
And it is from this point of reference that I have made a commitment to
exercise less. That's right, I said LESS. Why is this a goal?
Because I have exercised six days a week on most weeks for the last, well, 25 or more years. Give or take some brief lay-offs and of course my types of training have changed and morphed over the years but I have a decent amount of lifting weights in my background as well as circuit training, old fashioned aerobics, running, etc. I used to worry that if I stopped, or took more than a day off, I'd ditch it all together. But, I think I'm good on the commitment to exercise thing despite my detesting it for the most part.
My main goal is to formally exercise no more than four days per week. And also perform real work AKA living. Doesn't matter which days I do the living so long as I do it and actively engage in and enjoy it. For
instance, I have been working on this sawdust pile at the barn. This
monster of a heap - it is me against it and I am moving this thing little
by little, from the back yard into an extra stall inside the barn so that this winter we'll be able to get to it easily for the horse stalls and run-in area.
Oh, I AM.AT.WAR. with this thing.
I think we tend to forget in this day and age of comfort and 24 hour fitness centers that physical activity used to be centered around survival and need. I understand that most of us don't have those challenges at this point in history but when we can utilize real labor for physical activity, I feel like we should. At least I feel like I should.
Building a storage shed at camp this summer was a real turning point in my thinking on this. I knew the benefits of true physical work certainly but building something from scratch and seeing it become something whole through my own sweat (and some blood), falling out dead tired every night and stretching my aching muscles the next morning only to do it all again... It simply made me feel so much more connected to this magical place I call the Earth.
So, yeah, less gym. More life. Train smarter not longer. That sort of
mindset is where I am at right now. And I like it. This morning I did a nice full body workout complete with squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, plank work and lots of other stuff that hit every part. Tomorrow, I might sleep in and move some sawdust at lunch. Hopefully my body, my soul and my pony will appreciate it all.
July 2012 - No Juice
Did anyone know that a real zombie Apocalypse took place in my state last
weekend? Really. I mean, ok, people were not eating brains but there was no
power and we were on top of a mountain when it happened, which is interestingly enough where we would end up if there was a REAL zombie take-down.
We were subject to what Meteorologists call a "super derecho," a powerful wind storm that travels in a straight line. So, what they compared it to was a hurricane - only going straight, not swirling. It is SO cool if you watch it on the weather map now. It just builds upon itself and looks like it swallows the whole state.
Now, the interesting thing was that like 30 minutes before it hit everything went silent. I mean DEAD silent. The trees didn't move, the birds hushed, the woods was just...waiting. You could hear this thing rolling in over the mountains. It was odd. When the wind started to pick up, we put the fire out and gathered stuff up and I, the good witch that I am, stood out in the wind as long as I possibly could, with leaves and debris flying at me, just feeling it. The power was AWESOME. Then we took cover on our porch, the gutter flew off
just as I ducked in LOL. And we sat there with a friend of Sam's dad who has a camp not far from ours and just watched the thing.
The power went out almost immediately and when we left last Thursday was still out. That was six days. This shouldn't mean anything if you are camping but remember we have a cabin and (normally) electricity so for us it meant building most of the storage building BY HAND with hand saw, hammer and nails. LOL. I think I got my workouts in despite being on "stay-cation". There are pics of our almost finished product below along with our good old fashioned tools. We will go back on a day trip and finish. Just needed to cut
stuff we could not with hand tools.
Now, what does this mean in the land of magic and wellness? Well, some interesting observations for certain. What I found last week was despite the power outage, or maybe because of it, LOL we got a ton of stuff done and I am left again thinking how odd life is as far as dealing with what it serves up. We immediately and almost subconsciously got on a "rise at dawn and sleep at dark" schedule. We had to perk coffee the old fashioned way (we have a gas stove thankfully). Sam made breakfast every morning before we started working and I got to actually experiment a little with energy and food. I found that an
egg, one piece of toast and about half a potato worth of fried slices worked quite well for me until almost exactly lunchtime. Sam cooked in oil and it seemed to agree with me too. We spent a good deal of time making ourselves stay hydrated, as we were working in the hot sun till afternoon everyday. Lunch was normally a snack of some hard cheese and a bit of dark bread. Sam grilled up some deer sausage at one point and we had a bit of that for a couple days.
We had to move everything to the freezer and use what ice we had to keep stuff cool, which ended up working quite well actually so nothing we took went bad. We concentrated on finishing up our meat first but were still able to have steak, corn and pots cooked over the open fire for the July 4th holiday! Dinner every night was needed and every night I was HUNGRY. And spent. I haven't slept that good on a cot in years. LOL.
At one point - funny and I am not busting cross fit I know people gotta do something if they can't really chop wood LOL - so - I am chopping wood and it is like 95 degrees and Sam says - hey baby that is probably just as good as beating on a tire in some guy's garage...
Another funny - my redneck state. OMG people are SO backwoods. We meet this guy on an ATV one day. Well, we are on an ATV too. It is the day after the storm and this good ole' boy starts talking about how it was "down in town" that morning and how everyone is without power and gas is scarce and he looks at us dead serious and says (insert best wood tick voice) this shit is nationwide... LOL - we pull away and I say to Sam - Zombies Run For Your Lives!!!!!
Interestingly enough, I had planned to do a ton of traditional inner work on this trip. I took a whole backpack of books, my journal, a computer for notes.... And I didn't even open the thing. I think life took over. The having to do things by hand, the search for ice, the checking in with neighbors ~ hey, you got power yet? ~ nope, you? ~ nope... LOL.
It is odd but just living was actually exactly what I needed. Just experiencing life daily, working hard, playing hard, laughing, cursing bugs and bees and baking in the sun to get a job done. And people were taking care of stuff and each other. Some natural rationing went on in the little town below us with ice and water. People were trading stuff and telling others the closest place with gas to run generators. I think it is interesting the whole thing happened over the 4th of July. Really, life as it once was. And people making it work. It can be done it just takes effort and a concscious decision to care.
So, of course I am trying to bring a bit of that thought process back into
the real, convenient world with me. Always learning, ever changing. It is a good habit to keep.