Fitness Big Year: Evolving role of gym

Most of the folks I’ve grown accustomed to seeing at my airy, hospitable gym clearly use long workout sessions as their main exercise outlet. I’ve always suffered gym out of a sense of duty: a geek’s upper body is invariably spindly and weak, and we all know modest weight bearing routines are a great hedge against arthritis.

But now, nearly three quarters through 2017, a change of attitude hits me. Suddenly I’m looking forward to the one-hour outing: the walk to gym, the routines, the sashay home. How do I account for this uplift? I’m not sure but trying to insist on three times a week (I used to go for two, which sometimes became only one) seems to make the difference. Repeating my modest reps more often means I can see inescapable, if very slight, improvement. Perhaps I’m even becoming more “mindful” or “Zen like” with the formerly boring reps.

Cycle or see a movie about cycling?

Saw All for One, a 5-year doco about Orica GreenEdge, the Australian cycling team. I went looking for . . . for what? For insights into the strange world of bikes, insights for a newbie? Motivation to progress with my cycling?
Anyway, I got swept up in the blokey, weird but rather wonderful world of extreme cycling effort, the world of the Tour, of Paris-Roubaix. All for One isn’t for everyone but it is well told, quite exciting, and sometimes even moving. More to the point, the film both scared me off excessive speed (the accidents!) and inspired elevation of my ambitions.

Fitness Big Year: Jogging as exploration

Two days ago, we stopped off in Yass on the way to Sydney. I hate car time, so I was cranky, but the Big Year lectured me, “get those kilometers,” and I laced up to lurch down the main street. Yass Gorge killed me (and scrunched a calf muscle) with its hills but a meandering to-and-fro ramble was memorable. A budding photographer even asked to snap me! The 6:50 pace was almost laughable but my reward, a kind of “Big Year glow,” stuck with me.

Month 8 of the Big Year

Strange to say, only now in August am I settled into a productive Big Year environment. Why so long? The Fitness Big Year was clumsily conceived (too complex) and had to morph three times. The Writing Big Year inculcated steady, quality work but my emphasis on nothing-but-writing mornings was misplaced: I’m more at peace exercising early. The Rock Music Big Year is straightforward and I’ve stuck to it but only now am I gaining joy from it (I need to figure out why).

None of this reflection makes me regret my first eight months, not at all. Happiness isn’t wine and roses, at least for me, and my inner battles this year have been worthy. Daily calls to action work for this geek.