You guys, sometimes I don't know what I'm doing with fitness and athletic stuff anymore. I just put together a little montage of things I did in 2016 and, well, it's fun but kinda random. With no flexibility work in it. :(
Here's what my friend Chelsey has to say, and I love it:
Have you thought about what needs you’re trying to satisfy by training in your sport? Does it make you feel special? Are you looking for a challenge? Does it help you connect better with your peer group? To get the gears turning, here are a few reasons (in no particular order) why I am so serious about my training:
- I love the way my body looks when it’s muscular and lean. To be a sexy, sculpted, goddess is a non-negotiable standard I’ve set for myself.
- I demand a high quality of life for as long as possible, and having strong muscles and bones mitigate the effects of aging.
- I feel happiest when I’m active, in some way, shape or form.
- My body and brain crave physical challenges because they help me grow, and this growth brings fulfillment to my life.
Be dirt honest with yourself. The better you understand what makes you tick, the more effective you will be...
She's talking about injury recovery, but she had me at the part I quoted, and sometime on the airplane I decided doing the same (and, in fact, writing most of this post) would be a worthy exercise. I can't quite use the word "goddess" non-snarkily as Chelsey does, alas... but here is my own attempt.
- I love using time to my advantage, being better today than I was last year. When I do this, I feel like a growing being; it makes me feel hope for the future and satisfaction in my life choices.
- Workouts give me an entirely separate venue from work (two venues!) in which to belong, get positive external feedback and experience community.
- I also demand a high quality of life for as long as possible. I want a pain-free old age, and I want to become only more badass (in comparison to my peer group) over time. I may be slightly unusual for 39, but my goal is to be an outright freak at 60.
- Training gives me mountains to climb and, importantly, an venue for achievement that feels meaningful and isn't tied to work.
- The focus and catharsis of working out is the only way I keep my shit together most weeks.
Yeah. That's a lot. And with that in mind, it's clear that maintaining a good level of personal strength and flexibility is key for me. If I let those things go in the service of partner skills, I'll stop feeling like a growing being, and I'll lose some of my joy. At the same time, I do want mad skillz, you know some of the ones, and I want to put video of them on the Book of Faces.
So for '17 I'm leaning toward setting some minimum benchmarks for myself, ones that I will make a commitment to maintain no matter what additional skillsy stuff I may put most of my time into. (Some of these I have right now, others I need to gain or regain.) My plan is to physically put a piece of paper on my office wall with a column for each, and write down what day I last did the thing; if it's ever more than a couple of weeks between doings of any one, then I'll know I need to focus on not losing it. All these are things I'd love to improve on someday, but certainly don't want to lose.
Current ideas include:
- Splits: 30s in a touched-down position on both sides.
- Pancake: Belly to floor (briefly during reps).
- Pike: cheekbones to shins, if only briefly.
- Squats: My body weight, six reps on a bar.
- Pistol squats: 2 sets of five on each side.
- Chin-ups: a set of five from a dead hang OR 30 sets of Ido style 2x2 in 30 min.
- Backbend: chest touching wall OR a back kickover or walkover.
- Backbend: drop back, stand up.
- TGUs: 50lb or maybe 55lb each side.
The routine(s) I'll need in order to keep these things are yet to be discovered. Pancakes take 2x/week but I already do that; I need to get better at splits practice as well in order to hit this bench mark on the right side, and some of the others are currently iffy. Still, I think this might be a good adaptable approach.