One More Challenge
So, I’ve gone 11 days solid on both my “summer of dresses” challenge (nothing but dresses and skirts except for specific activities that require other clothing til October first. It’s a personal fashion challenge. And just the kind of weird shit I do for convoluted reasons often known only to me… or explained in great detail in other very long-winded blog posts which you forgot because you were so bored.)
So that’s awesome. And I have to tell you, on the occasions where I have to wear shorts or jeans… like to go walking or something… it feels weird LOL. (like power walking which looks ridiculous in a dress/skirt. I don’t want to look like a religious extremist here, it’s just a personal experiment.[And I'm spiritual, but not really religious at all... the entirety of my moral values can be summed up with: don't kill people and respect the free will of others. I prefer not to make it complicated.])
AND 11 days solid on my words first challenge… which is… on writing days, writing words first (with a daily quota of 2,500), no excuses. No shower, no leaving my house, no internet etc. until words are done. Writing days right now are every day until a book is done, then I get a week or so off. Actual length to be determined by me but definitely no more than 2 weeks, and part of that last week if it stretched that far would be devoted to plans/outlines for the next book.
There are a couple of areas that I’m neglecting. Fitness and diet. Writers often fall into bad habits in this area and I am no different. I’d like to add some sort of eating-related challenge at some point, but I think it would be more productive to focus on fitness first so that I’m not overwhelming myself with too many different challenges.
I ordered some more “monkey shoes”. When I got my first pair, almost nobody was wearing them or knew what they were. Now I’m seeing them a lot more frequently, which is cool. The other pair I had got lost during the move, so I ordered 3 more pairs to get me back into activities like sprinting and such that I was doing before when I had them. These shoes make me WANT to run. And I definitely need to rebuild my energy and cardio endurance.
On the monkey shoes front I got one pair that is for “barefoot running” indoors because it’s a super minimalist shoe. Although I hate shoes and only wear them when it would be completely socially inappropriate for me not to, I still wouldn’t run without any kind of protection on my feet because I’m just not that hardcore. Then I got another shoe for running that is still the same type of shoe but is more for outdoor terrain. That way I can be as minimalist as possible when I do my sprints indoors or on soft grass, and the other shoes in other situations.
Then I got a third pair that is good for climbing over rocks (like at the river), running, being in the water, etc to be my river/hiking shoes.
So the next challenge I want to add on top of the Summer of Dresses and Words First is… a daily sprinting challenge in June. Because I have less motivation for exercise challenges I’m doing it for a month. Once I get that far I should hopefully have enough energy/motivation to keep going. I’m not going to attach a number of sprints or time amount onto this. It’s just important that I get out there every day and do it. (Technically sprinting is running at top speed for 10 to 15 seconds. I’ll probably be doing something at a halfway mark either on time or speed. Just whatever I can do without feeling like I’m going to die until I build my stamina up. Sprinting is harder than it sounds… 10-15 seconds seems like nothing until you’re going full out.)
I do know, though, that sprinting builds energy and endurance faster than any other cardio exercise I’ve ever done. I generally start feeling a lot more in shape within just a couple of weeks, whereas other programs like walking can take much longer.
So, that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll also be doing bellydance and swimming again now that the weather is warmer, and I’ll probably try to mix in some weight training once I get going. I just need to get back in the habit of not sitting on my ass all day. It’s not even about vanity. It’s not “I want to look hot in this or that”. It’s… I don’t want to feel like I’m about to drop into a coma by mid afternoon. I want to have the energy to go through my day like a normal person.
I know diet will have to change to, but I’m not really wired to eat healthy first THEN exercise. The more I exercise, the more I naturally crave healthier food. So if I make my focus the fitness stuff and just be “aware” of what I eat, without pressuring myself, I’ll be back to fruit and veggies and lean meats and off most of the sugar within a few weeks.
ETA: Oh, and lest somebody think OMG sprints daily!!! That will tax your CNS!!!… calm down. When I say “sprints” for June, it’s not SPRINTS. I’m so out of shape at the moment that actual SPRINTS would be horrific. When I get up to that level… I will be cutting back to 2-3 sprint sessions a week with other types of activities on other days like bellydance, walking, hiking, swimming, yoga, etc.
When I say sprints, right now for this challenge, I’m not talking hardcore training. I’m talking “play”. Intermittent bursts of speed followed by less speed. Like… what you get playing basketball, or like what Miles gets when he runs around the yard and then takes a little breather, then does it some more. Nobody would say: “OMG Miles can’t play today… he’ll overtrain.” He’s three. He’s just playing. So am I. The point here isn’t to be a supermodel or a top athlete. The point is to have more energy and PLAY more. I think sprint-type play is more natural to the human body than sustained steady-state cardio. It’s also more fun. If/when I get back into “serious sprinting” I will be doing it by the books… i.e. no more than 2-3 sessions a week.
Just thought I’d throw out that disclaimer for anybody hyperventilating here.