Day 225: Sunstroke

Sun touched, at least. Definitely ran too late yesterday, and got too much sun. A few hours after getting back, the headache kicked in, then the general logeyness. I don’t think it was actual sunstroke, just heat exhaustion, but yesterday turned into a whole bag of No Fun for the afternoon.

So plenty of fluids later, and I’m feeling a bit better — gotta go to work, return the car from the weekend trip, etc. But a definite mindful call to start those runs early and before the sun gets up.

That, coupled with my wife having a late night out last night, meant a bad night sleepwise. So no exercise today, and a board meeting for the canoe club tonight. Full day.

A good day to re-kick-off food logging, etc. Ugh. Still feeling logey. Or maybe tomorrow, when I’m feeling a bit less spun out by sunshine.




Day 174: Me Time

Yesterday was Spouse Time. Today will be Me Time. Why? My wife had a series of interviews around Prince Edward County — for her podcast and writing work, which is about beer (I know, I know… we make it work). So naturally, as a non-drinker, I was the designated driver.

I don’t like driving at the best of times. Yesterday was not the best of times. It was torrential, zero-visibility rain on the highway and the back roads on the drive in. White-knuckle driving. It was no fun for seasoned drivers, and I am, again, not somebody who likes driving.

Lemons from lemonade: I brought a laptop and got some good work done on a side project I’ve been noodling over for about a year now. My wife got a lot of interviews in for some writing work, one podcast interview under her belt, and material for about another four podcasts as well. So it was a good day, all in.

But I’m knackered. I woke up at 3:15 because my back was sore — I’m guessing the intersection of driving and stress. Wound up lying on the hardwood floor watching Phantasm IV for half an hour to get it back aligned.

In other news, I have watched all four Phantasm movies in the past few weeks. So that’s a thing.

So today, I’m carving out some time for personal goofing off. I think I’ve gotten a lot done in the past few days — kitchen island, a day in the County — but I haven’t gotten much ‘me’ on in the past few days.

This, sadly, is probably going to Costco or working on a website or just playing games for a while. The side yard is in deplorable condition, but I’m going to have to actively resist that chore to do some goofing off instead.

Me time is important, but it’s important to remember that.

Not getting value out of time spent for myself isn’t a problem with anyone but me, ultimately. I guilt myself out of enjoyment faster than anyone else can. So I need to get into some mental head space to actually have a good time goofing around this afternoon. It’s deserved.


Day 166: Recovery Mode

My second day of recovery mode. I have to say: yesterday was pretty great, and I’m looking forward to another day today of taking it easy on myself before jumping back into the goals and drive of the usual.

Just so’s we’re clear: this is not a sobriety break. Nor a break from broad good sense. Still vegetarian. It’s an exercise and strict diet break. And this isn’t a great thing, but it’s a coping thing, and I’m okay with a coping thing right now.

Normally I’d be fretting more about surrounding circumstances, but there’s a lot of one-offs that led up to this. And I think I have learned lessons about overcommitment and capacity. And listening to that inner voice that says “too much, dumbass.”

So today’s my second/final “break day” for exercise and food. Oh, and sleep! Ducking in and out of the podcast today because it’s been late nights, so late mornings. Commitment to this project overall is unwavering, but commitment to not flaming out screaming is even higher.


Day 132: Hello, Horse

Remember how I was getting back on that horse? Hello, horse. I’m not quite back on the horse. I’ve sort of been negotiating with the horse for the last few days. Maybe the horse doesn’t even want to be gotten on. Did you think about that, fella? Huh?

So after a tremendously aggravating week at work, and a week of feeling achey and pulled-muscley and generally bad, I’m kind of fed up. Looking back to motivation week for inspiration, I don’t really have a go-to for “sick of it all,” but “No matter where you go, there you are” is still a pretty good thing to remember in times like this.

On the bright side, I got up early for a Saturday and went running with my wife. A short little 3k, but enough to get the blood flowing.

Hello, horse. Whatcha knowin’? It’s time to get that horsey goin’.

That was Simon and Garfunkel, right? Close enough.

So despite thinking I was back on the horse a couple days ago, life got in the way. And I think I’m going to aim to re-horse on Monday and give myself a day or two of lighter exercise, less routine, and hopefully depressurizing before attacking that horse again.

There are a lot of horse sayings out there. I’m so hungry I could eat a. Get back on that. You can lead to water, but can’t make drink. What you rode in on. And so on and so forth.

So it’s a weekend of light exercise and lots of stretching and a return to “normal” on Monday. That’s the current plan.


Day 131: Changing the Narrative

Arrgh. So as the shoulders get better, the back gets worse. Not awful, just not great. But I had a little moment of changing the narrative this morning that helped.

So I’ve been off running, and I was seriously considering not doing any exercise at all this morning. Then I was going up the stairs, and thought:

“This can be the story of the time I worked through this thing.”

And I liked that story. More than the story of the time I had a setback.

So 30 slow minutes on the rowing machine later, I feel better. In a couple ways.

Changing the narrative means changing the outcome.

The first way is obviously that I feel better physically. Going hard on the rower is strenuous. But going easy on the rower kind of warms me up and pulls everything out. So I am in less hurty pain now that I’ve done it.

The second way is I’m happy to have pivoted off the sad narrative of “I’m hurt” and into something a bit more persistence-driven. This, in turn, is going to drive me to make better decisions for the rest of the day.

It’s a table — exercise, diet, sobriety, sleep. If one goes, the whole thing gets wobbly. If two go, collapse is imminent. And while the started as a sobriety project, sobriety is proving easier in a lot of ways than the diet part. And exercise, when I’m feeling lousy.

So I’m going to allow myself a back-pat this morning. GOOD FOR ME. Carry on!

Day 130: Gingerly Back On That Horse

All right! Break’s over. Back on that horse.  I’m feeling better across the shoulders. I had a weird twinge in my IT band (I think) this morning. Which reminded me of something I’ve forgotten.

When I stop exercising for a while, my body starts spontaneously injuring itself.

I’m not even joking. I’m glad to be back on that horse, because when my back twinged this morning, I remembered. If I stop exercising for a few days to a week, I start pulling more things. I don’t know why.

I’m no physiotherapist. But I guess my body adjusts to a certain level of activity. And if I stop maintaining it, the… minor atrophy?… makes things happen. Bad things.

So: back on that horse, including food logging and evening checklists.

I’m’a record this, and then it’s over to food logging, and the evening checklist, and the whole nine yards. It’s not easy, but I have to say it makes me happy. I don’t know when I became a routine junkie. Maybe it’s something that comes with age. But I genuinely like the idea of having things locked in like that.

So yeah: back on that horse. A gentle row this morning to start stretching everything back in place. A short run tomorrow. Hopefully back to 100% next week. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m looking forward to it!?! This is genuinely surprising.



Day 129: Recovery Break

I have to admit that I may have needed this recovery break.

Second day of true recovery; my shoulders are back up to about 70%, but I don’t want to mess with them. I miss exercise, which is a bit surprising. I thought I’d relish the time off. And I do like sleeping in. But I definitely feel restless and ill at ease. So I’m actually kind of looking forward to getting back on it.

Who’d have thunk it?

A pretty good food day yesterday; the full stop has been a full stop, with no logging and no checklist. Part of me feels like this is a bit silly, but again, the break is a break. I’m breaking.

I wish I had some core piece of wisdom coming out of this about it not happening again. But it seems to have been spontaneous. “Don’t get stressed” is a good one. The stresses that I think led to this, though, were external.

The recovery break is ending, I’ll be  getting back on that horse tomorrow.

But I need to rein that horse in.

Tomorrow I’m going to do a light session on the rower: slow and easy, more to get the muscles stretched out than for pure exercise reasons. Again, I’m surprised at how much I miss it.

I’ll be dreading the scale tomorrow, but what can you do? I need the information. I won’t like the information, but I need it. This has definitely been a setback, but the key is going to be not letting the setback define my next few weeks.

There’s a fine balance between “don’t get discouraged and keep trying” and “fight back too hard and re-injure.” So I need to bear this moderate and steady pace of improvement in mind, and re-adopt that, even if I’m a bit behind in where I’d like to be. Going nuts won’t help me in the long run.