I just got myself a rowing machine. I've been wanting one for a long time. I messaged this quickly to my friend, Jo, about it...
"can only do short spurts on my rowing machine. hurts my lower spine and kidneys like mad, so i am on it 3-5 times a day instead of less times for longer durations"
She asked me,
"Do you know why it hurts your lower spine and kidneys?"
This was my response,
"yes. 'cause my body is shitty. in a way, i am not at all looking forward to triathlons again because of how much it hurts me to sit on a bike. it just gets worse and worse. even though we have brand new paved roads in my community, I put off riding this summer til next spring because it hurts too much. I'm saving riding til next year. i have to re-think the way I ride a bike and find a new one that suits how I have to ride. sitting is just so bad. rowing machine hurts in different way. as i eluded to, it gets my lower spine and kidneys. i just gotta stop whining and toughen up...and get through it bit by bit...try to keep extending sessions, you know, go a little bit further into the pain each time to where it will eventually either melt away because it is so bad, or i just stop giving a fuck. either one is inevitable."
All this is kind of a strange thing for me. I don't really like that I always have to charge straight into pain to do simple things. At the same time, it's all I know, and I like being defiant...in this case, against my pain and my body.
I separate myself from my body. There's my body and my pain within it, and then there's me...who I am. The 'who I am' part...
I love stickin' it to the man!
I love fuckery!
I am no stranger to defiance!
In my own case, my body/pain is the man, and I am in defiance of its own comfort every time I charge into the thick of shit. When my body screams at me to stop, it usually makes me want to dig in harder...shove the pain right back in its own face and kinda make fun of it.
I love being in defiance of my own self. There is something quite satisfying about that. To find that unintentional defiance, I have to wade through the sea of excruciation. That is always fun, but it is also very tiring because it is always a slug-fest all out brawl. That shit can wear a guy out.
My problem is that I am always thinking about goin' for it. It's never not on my mind. Every day! That is not going to change. My desire drives me into madness, and the only way to fend off that insanity is to dive into the pain.
As much as I have to restructure the whole realm of triathlons just to be able to do them again, and knowing how much it is going to hurt me to do so, the madness in my mind leaves me no alternative. I have to embrace what lie ahead within it all. So, I'm stuck! I have no choice but to make myself hurt more just to ease the chaos in my mind. It turns out that I am lucky that I am a defiant little fucker 'cause it makes it much easier to stick it to the hurt.
Jo-Ann is an animal. Kept chargin' through two different ankle surgeries.
July 27, 2018
I lost the past couple days of my challenge because of circumstance at work. I was at work for 15 hours, and then came home and had a broken up sleep for 2 hours, then went back and was there for 16 hours.
Although the time restricted eating thing wasn't really a problem, I didn't care that it was my last day of this challenge. After putting in this crazy little stretch of work I decided to say, "Fuck it" and got a Dairy Queen cone.
(Still no plastic! No new plastic was easy.)
The first thing I noticed when I pulled up to my home was a garden of dying sunflowers as it has been hot and I hadn't been able to water them because of my time at work. Damn!
I didn't get right at that though because first thing is first: Go get in the river!
When I came up from swimming I got right at watering my garden. The poor bastid has taken a beating. (Elk and deer have been eating several of my sunflowers.) I don't have a tap at my house, so I can't water with a hose. I have to fill water cans in my bathroom tub. For a garden that dry and dying, I had to soak it pretty well, which means a whack load of trips in and outta my home.
I was so exhausted when I was done that I decided to kick back in my reclining gravity lawn chair. (Or whatever you call it.) I was sinking into it nicely under the sun on my deck. It felt good to stretch out, mellow out, and take a load off. My plan was to pass out if that's what happened. I was hoping for that at least.
Right when I was hitting that stride of bliss I got bitten three times by hornets. Even while I was getting beat up by those lil' fuckers, I was realizing that they must have been building a nest inside the piping of the chair.
After the swarm mellowed out a bit, I flipped the chair over and sure enough, the army was alerted and a big-ass swarm of hornets followed. When I saw that I started thinking of the walk with the hornet-y chair down to the river to throw it in and sink it for enough time to sort that problem. I'll do that soon enough. The new topic for the moment was to cut my grass.
I gassed up my lawnmower and got right at it. Within the first minute of cutting my grass I ran over something I didn't see even though I was looking right down where I was cutting. It was right beside the wall of my home, and was nothing I hadn't cut over and over, so I was a tad baffled as to what it was.
I just heard the noise, but didn't see anything, so I kept on going. A few strides later I started feeling a sensation in my foot, so I looked down and saw a drop of blood. It was nothing...just tiny. I kept on going.
It was really windy, so I thought perhaps whatever it was blew into my path. I looked down at my foot again and was kinda impressed with how it happened as whatever it was launched up through the bottom of my foot through my sandal...perfect timing in my stride to be hit the way I was. Some rain started coming down sideways to accompany the wind, so I put my lawnmower away and came inside.
I promptly crawled into bed and passed out. When I woke up my foot was totally fucked. I didn't care about the walking part. I can deal with being all gibbled just fine. The only thing on my mind was not being able to ride my bike, because there is no way I can do it right now.
It feels like whatever it was that I ran over with the lawnmower pierced through and hit the big plantar fascia ligament in the bottom of my foot. It's like a perfect strike to a pressure point that has caused a rippling effect in my foot.
I'm limping and can't walk on it properly, but that is fine for me. I can't stand on ball of foot on tip toes, etc, which is exactly how riding is done. My already slow-ass running speed will be chopped down at least 50%, but probably more. I'm pretty choked right now at the thought of having racing disappear just like that. Gotta figure out how to see if I can heal it fast if I wanna chance to get out and give 'er.
I'm gonna write more about what this means for the racing I had shaping up, and also to sum up my 31 day challenge for myself.
My hernia has been hurting so badly that I have had to take a break from the fitness side of my challenge. Daniella actually caught me crunched over my desk at work wincing and groaning in pain because of it. It takes a lot for that to happen. She didn't really like seeing me like that.
I am not good at doing anything except lying down while putting pressure on the lump to hold it in. If I am upright it really fucks with me quite a bit.
The nature of the matter has slowed me down with my fitness challenge. I can handle the pain, that’s not the real issue. It’s not the same as something like arthritis. That shit’s no big deal for the most part. Yeah, it hurts like crazy, but it doesn’t really injure me so-to-say. I just gotta toughen up, and then keep going.
Of course my body has the ultimate veto on everything with my arthritis-y stuff…or anything for that matter. Having lost so many years worth of time, I know that as well as anyone. I can push through unimaginable depths of that pain and limited function though. It isn’t even that hard even though it takes everything in me to do. A hernia is different though. I know that with a hernia I can easily rupture or burst it, and if that happens I am in trouble. If it bursts I’ll have shit going all over the place inside that shouldn’t be there and it can cause all sorts of problems.
Having my hernia hurt bad enough to have me crunched over my desk at work wincing in pain told me I should slow it down a bit with my fitness stuff. I wasn’t happy about that at all. I have had really great momentum and it has been feeling good, not just in my body, but also in my mind.
I was on hold for several days. I was pretty upset about it at first, especially having lost a bit of time early on and having to work so hard to crawl outta the holes I put myself in.
I was psyched to get myself back level with everything, so falling back down even worse was not something that felt good. I’m so hard on myself too that I instinctively started beating myself up for failing myself. It ate at my mind and ate at my mind; and the more it did the more I got pissed off and let down.
Every time I would move around my pain would just elevate and elevate. It took over my conscious because of not just how it felt, but how it was sabotaging my challenge. I was pissed!
The fitness end of my challenge has been eating all of my time though. It has been the only thing I do at home when I am not at work. I have definitely neglected a few home life chores and such because of it. One thing I did do, even though it kicked my ass, was cut my grass. I had to do that with one hand on the lawnmower and the other holding my guts in. It was a tough one, but I got ‘er done.
The extra time that freed up though gave my mind a bit more freedom to think of other things. This inevitable caused me to go into a bit of reflecting upon the beginning of my challenge and the quick changes I experienced, as well as all the unforeseen little lessons…like how removing plastics can drastically reduce sugar from ones life.
I started to look at the time when my right hand and wrist were going through the changes to inevitably end up with permanent damage. When that was happening, I was desperately trying to do a single push-up against my kitchen counter while standing. Not a chance! I bought a 2lb dumbbell to try to do some curls, and I couldn’t even come close. The frame of my wrist was so bad I couldn’t handle two stinkin’ pounds!
It is in times like this that I can use the history of my body to show me where I am at and appreciate what I have in the simplest form.
Yeah, my busted up guts have slowed me down and hurt, but I’m still so much further along than so many times in my life. That should be worth something to be OK about.
Thinking about that I started to ease up a bit on myself rather than being so hard on myself. My concern then became whether I was using this as an excuse to justify taking a break because of the pain. I didn’t like that thought though because I felt it did have some merit to it and began to hold some weight in my mind; so now I was faced with how to proceed. How was I gonna make everything OK?
I wasn’t about to stop the fitness end of my challenge, but my belly was so sore it was hindering everything. The option I came up with is to mellow out in my mind a bit, and do the best I could for what I could do. After all, it is my challenge! Who said I have to stop anyway? I can just keep going past the 31 days. I can do whatever I want!
I decided to alter my perception within it all and just look at all of this as a kind of learning experience to begin the shift of a lifestyle change! Most of that came within the plastic realizations and the time restricted eating. The fitness end of things will never leave me. It has been at the root of who I am longer than anything else in my life. I will never let go of it, nor will I ever move on from it.
With this in mind I figured I’d just get back at it as soon as my body felt kind of OK, and do what I could. I mean, can I really ask any more of myself? I will pull what I can out from within. I’m pretty good at that, so that’s what I’ll do, and have to be good with that!
My hernia is obviously right front and center of my mind. I want to get it fixed at the end of September so I will have enough time for it to be fully healed by the time I have to start shoveling snow. I could get it done before then, but I don’t want to infringe on my swimming season. I wait for this every year. It is only a short two month window, and I don’t wanna lose any of it…not even for some shitty pain.
After my trip to the hospital and seeing that doctor about my foot on Saturday, I knew right away that he didn’t have a clue what he was talking, so I went in to see Dr. Link at the walk-in clinic yesterday. (Monday) I wanted to see what she had to say about my foot and get a move on my hernia.
Dr. Link is amazing! I have seen well over 200 healers in the 25 years my body has been all messed up. There is a reason she is the only medical doctor I trust. I have been with her for I think 16 years. The only time I consider anyone else is like the other day when I went to the emergency room on the weekend. Talking to that doctor reaffirmed me once again as to why I have long taken the stance I have in regards to Dr. Link.
We started talking about my hernia. She brought up my file as it has been a persistent thing from a botched operation by Dr. Schumacher in Trail in April 2016. She said the first time before my original operation it was as big as a grape. The last time we spoke about it last summer when it came back, it had grown and was as big as a plum. This time was different.
As soon as I lifted my shirt, Dr. Link’s eyes widened and she was half shocked at how large my hernia had become. She immediately grabbed a tape measure at first sight of my belly. The combination of her expression, grabbing the tape measure and what she was saying about the size of it gave me a greater glimpse into the situation. It was worse than I thought. It is 6 or 7 centimetres…enough to cause the reaction it did from her.
We got right into talking about it, and how I wanted to go about things. I told her my timeline I preferred, and told her with 100% certainty that Dr. Schumacher was not gonna be the guy.
“He had his shot and blew it…he’s not getting a second chance!”
Dr. Link took notice of that and said she would send me to someone else.
The next thing she asked was my weight and height. She said I looked like I had dropped weight, which was good. Last summer I was carrying too much weight to get operated on as they don’t like you to be too big for that kind of operation. I told her my rough weight and height. (My frame is 5’7”, but I can’t stand up straight anymore, so I am currently around 5’5”.) She said my BMI is at 29, which put me inside the window of weight where they wouldn’t bug me to drop more. I assured her anyway that I would drop more by then for sure, and told her about my 31 Day Challenge.
Dr. Link was funny about it. She seemed to try to think of every way she could to get me to eat treats. “…but high end chocolates come in paper wrappers,” she said with a big fatty excited smile on her face. It was pretty excellent! I freakin’ love her!
After we finished with my hernia stuff, she asked me if there was anything else. I simply showed her my foot without saying anything. She got right into that. As she finished talking I told her I had gone to the hospital on Saturday. When I told her that, she asked me what they said. I simply gave her the prescription, to which she immediately said it was the wrong thing. Once again…Dr. Link crushing it! The other guy in the ER was so transparent with not knowing what the hell was up with my foot, and Dr. Link was all over it. She gave me a new prescription (more plastic), and in one day my foot is already showing signs of getting better. Just like that!
If you need a doctor in Nelson, go see Dr. Link at the Walk-in Clinic! She is amazing!
On my way out of her office I put myself on the scale. Turns out I haven’t lost too much weight at all since I began this 31 Day Challenge. That is because I am building muscle at basically the same rate I am dropping fat. It shows the flaws in the BMI (Body Mass Index) reading as well as the serious flaw in simply reading a scale. The proper determination of the ideal way to be has to factor in muscle mass vs body fat on top of body weight and height…then you have resting heart rates and VO2 Max, blood pressure, etc. A full well rounded picture to measure the state of ones body takes many things into account. Simply stepping on a scale and putting that next to your height is very limited and therefore flawed, of which I just showed yesterday.
One of the girls I work with just randomly told me this morning that I have lost weight. I was armed with my up to date knowledge that I hadn’t really because of the muscle building thing, but it was good to know that I have been dropping away the sludge from my body. I can’t really tell, but apparently it is noticeable to others. All I care about though is getting back on track with my challenge even with the lost time, and newer outlook within it all. I’ll keep charging along, and whatever results will take care of themselves!
The new bonus is swimming as the river has finally warmed up somewhat. I can tread water OK, but it hurts my belly too. I tried swimming a few strokes and it tore my right shoulder apart. That pissed me off though as I am still looking ahead to doing some triathlons at the end of August. I am not sure how I can do that though with my shoulder in the state that it is in. I know I won’t be able to get into my wetsuit by a long shot, but I will simply have to toughen up to the water. My shoulder is the only real concern…possibly my belly on my bike, but I can’t make a call on that until I get back out on the road and off my winter trainer. I will do that in August. Once again…Time will tell!
Time restricted eating has been pretty easy. Once I busted through the first couple days of my body adjusting, the rest was pretty smooth sailing. My fitness thing has hit some walls, but I will address that later.
No new plastic has been the easiest part of all of this. Sure it has cut back on some things I like, simple things such as the bananas and avocados that I keep mentioning, but overall it isn’t too challenging at all. I do know I will be bringing plastic once this is all done obviously, but I will address that at the end of my challenge. I was, however, forced into breaking my no-plastic thing for an unavoidable reason:
Something strange has been happening with the top of my right foot. It was like a little burn or something that kind of lingered. Nothing noticeable happened to kick it off. I didn't hit it on anything, didn't get bit by a spider or whatever, no scratches, or burns...no nothin'! It just appeared from outta nowhere. It would always start healing itself up by the end of my weekend as I walk around barefoot all weekend. It’s when I would go back to work and have to put on footwear again that the healing it was doing would become undone.
I hate wearing things on my feet as it is. I also have a hard time reaching my feet for years now because of the chaos in my spine and pelvis. Putting on socks and shoes is a real challenge for me. I am a flip flop kinda guy anyway though…even in the snow. I wear those fuckers year ‘round! Yes, I am a beach guy, but they are also comfortable, and easy on, easy off to wear too.
Luckily, I get to wear flip flops at work. I have them kicked off and go barefoot in my office for the most part unless I have to get up and answer the door or leave the office. I like that. Even still, having to wear them that much would always hinder the progression of the healing of the little spot on the top of my foot that didn’t wanna seem to heal properly!
At first I was using a herbal salve that worked great. Soon it didn’t really have any affect. The wound got a bit bigger and felt like a healing scab, so I started putting on some hydrogen peroxide that I had. That seemed to be helping too for a bit. On Friday though, when I was floating in the water I noticed that it had just exploded in size.
The wound was indented like a little crater, and was pretty symmetrical. It seemed to be expanding outward from the middle. After seeing it like that in that angle of the sun with the water on it, I knew something was up that had to get checked out, so I went to the hospital yesterday.
Of course the doctor had never seen that kind of wound before. I am used to that. I’m just that guy that doesn’t just have so much different shit wrong with him, but always things that are rare that doctors haven’t seen or say there is nothing that can be done. This was just another one of those moments!
He gave me a prescription and told me if it didn’t get better in a week that it would need further investigation. It was the first prescription I had gotten in many years. I was given a prescription for pain killers when I had a hernia operation in the spring of 2016, but I didn’t need them and gave them away. Other than that though, I can’t remember the last time I have gotten a prescription for myself…It might be close to 20 years…at least 15! I’m pretty natural that way!
The cream that the doctor gave me came in a plastic container though, so that was my unavoidable moment of breaking my no-plastic part of my challenge. I don’t feel horrible about it though considering the nature of the reason behind it. My foot is gnarly and it was the first time in 15-20 years that I have gotten a prescription to use.
Other than that, the no new plastic thing has been a breeze. It has also been a real eye opener towards how much plastic we really bring into our lives on any given day. I’m starting to walk through the stores and look at products differently. Even when I am in a line-up to pay for something I see what everyone else is getting too. Maaaaan…that shit is everywhere!
(This was actually Day 10, but for some reason I cannot change the title.)
I put in another long night at work, and instead of leaving at 7:00am, I walked out of there something like 1pm. When I got home I knocked off my push-ups straight away. I was tired, but it was pretty warm out and mid-afternoon, so I finished blowing up the recliner water float-y that I had started blowing up a couple weeks ago and never really got around to finishing as I'd use my Stand Up Paddler instead of lounging.
Now, with this challenge of mine I haven't had any time to do anything else. Today I said, "Fuck it!", and finished blowing the thing up. (Yes, I know it is plastic, but it falls in the loophole of no new plastic...I bought it last summer, and have had it sitting on the floor half blown up for awhile.)
I took it down to the water to lounge around floating for a bit. La la laaaa..
I've started noticing that my swim shorts are startin' to smell like old stank-ass hockey gear that hasn't been cleaned for a season. it is nasty, but warmly embracing. I really do love the gnarly athlete within me where things like this hold a beautific essence in my mind. Blood, sweat and beat up injury is the place I feel most at home...that and Grateful Dead shows!
(Speaking of Grateful Dead shows... A real close bro of mine from Dead Tour days, who I haven't seen since then, just had a baby. I'm so happy about it that I kinda can't believe it. There has always been something different about people I did Grateful Dead Tour with. I was living in Toronto, Derek was from outside of Detroit, and we met in Ohio. We clicked right from the moment we met, and have been lifelong bros ever since. Shortly after Tour ended when Jerry Garcia died, Derek moved west to just outside of Vail, and within weeks, I headed west to British Columbia. When he had his baby the other day I had a rush come over me. I'm just so happy about it. I fuckin' love that guy! Grateful Dead...bringing worlds together!)
It was nice to float for a bit, but I was exhausted and needed real siesta time, so I packed 'er in and went up to my place and crawled into bed despite it being mid-afternoon of a beauty day.
LaRae is pretty amazing! She's always living life right to the max.
I had some thick cobwebs when I woke up, so I spontaneously took my doggie for a hike to the waterfall nearby. I've had it in my head for a few days since I messaged LaRae about it when she was looking for local hike recommendations.
It was a nice walk. The water isn't rushing as hard now, so i could walk out onto a nice slab rock right at the base of it. There was a stiff wet breeze blowing off from the spray. It was super refreshing. I enjoyed that for sure.
I stood there thinkin' about and sendin' out some huggy-smiles across the air to another friend who has been feelin' down lately. I didn't stay too long though 'cause dusk was waking up for another night and I wanted to get home and do my hills.
when i got back to the bottom after my second hill i noticed my heart and chest doesn't feel the same pain doing the hills, so instead of just walking quickly...my version of quickly...I ran the third and fourth ones tonight. I felt good, and more reveled in doing it barefoot in the dark...although I always do it barefoot.
It's nice to feel progressions, even just small victories. You know how it is when you string together and add up a bunch of small victories, you end up with something special.
The one thing I am looking at in my mind though is that it is 10:00pm as I write this and I have only completed my push-ups and hills so far. The big hurdle in this moment is the chunk of time on my bike, especially with my legs all chewed up from hike and hills. Once I get through that the rest is smooth sailing. I just know it is gonna be a long night though 'cause I need to sit down for awhile though before I crack into any more of this.
Today I filled in a lot of holes I found myself in from Days 2 and 3. I got myself caught up on my backyard hill climbs, my seated rows and my leg extensions. I am now +1 on my calf raises, and yesterday got myself up +5 minutes on my winter trainer bike riding. So, for all of those, I can settle into routine. I've made up a lot of ground on my chest, arms and upright rows. The biggest breakthrough came in my push-ups.
On the first day I struggled with the first three. They were wreaking havoc on my shoulders and draining the life out of my arms. As I wrote about them earlier in the challenge, "I had some reservations about those that was bordering on anxiety," it was somewhat daunting looking at completing all of this over 31 days. A few days later I started making some progress, and my totals went up which was encouraging. Then today happened...
Only a week ago I struggled to do the first 3 of the 42 push-ups I had to do, and then I fell in massive holes putting me down to -78 push-ups. I clawed my way back though, and today I crushed down 81 total push-ups, bringing that -78 deficit to a +3. I feel a bit of a strain on my right lat, but I expect that stuff to happen and will fight through it like always.
Even under such layers of fat, I can feel the changes in the fibres of my muscles. It feels great, despite my tired body, but the feeling of how quickly I could turn around and leap forward with my push-ups is somewhat intoxicating. Maaaan that shit feels good.
The last real holes I have to get a handle on are my stretching and focused breathing. Those are easy though. I made the conscious choice to sacrifice them a bit for now so I could grind out the real tough hard grunt work, and then settle into those two relaxing exercises as my reward for bustin' my ass with the tough stuff.
Thinking about yesterday and my observations with the indirect removal of sugars and how fast my body acclimatized to it, and then where I got myself to with my physical aspects of my challenge, I'm left once again fascinated by the capacity of the human body and the positive changes it can adapt to if some discipline and love is put into it.
I've spent more than half my life in a very pain filled messed up body, and have had most everything I love ripped away from me without choice. (25 years this upcoming September 8th) Through everything my body has been through, and what I have dragged it through despite it all, I have never lost fascination with the human body. It is nothing short of remarkable. I know what my body means to me, and unfortunately it took devastating loss in the snap of a finger to find out the real truth about that, but it's days like today that keep me grinding forward because even with all the pain and loss, I'm still able to pull off some bad-ass shit!
(I'm gonna put photos of my menu tonight throughout this, but food list is at the end.)
I'm still making up some ground on my fitness end of things. I can also feel the changes in my body starting to take hold as well. My muscles are tired, but they are really tightening up a lot faster. I had been working out for awhile now, but not like this. Typically, one or two rest days a week are ideal to rest my body and let my muscles breathe so-to-say. Going hard every day is definitely a change, but it is not what I am writing about today. My topic of the day is "sugar!"
This was a surprise thing I never really thought about. Eliminating all new plastics really altars what one can eat. Pretty much everything in a package is gone; and then there are things like bananas and avocados that disappear from the menu as well because of the simple little stickers put on each of them. (I will keep mentioning those because I really miss them already.)
Rosemary, Garlic, Ginger, Seasoning swimming in hot Chicken Stock
When you remove all plastics, the food that is left over is just natural fresh produce as well as grains. Meats all come in wrappers of some sort...even the film on the inside of the paper meat gets wrapped in is a disqualifier. Even though I don't eat too much meat, I do find myself missing chicken just because I can't have it, not necessarily because I want it.
With only fresh organic food on the menu, I was sure my tolerance for sweet, sugary things would really disappear. I didn't realize how much until this morning.
I went into Safeway immediately after work as I was dropping something off at a friend's who lives nearby. I was on the cusp of my restricted eating time, so I went there to see if there was anything available to me. (I was hoping for some fresh bread from the bakery) Turns out that pretty much the entire store is off limits, even their little bit of organic produce. (The Safeway in Nelson has a really hurtin' organic department as it is. Save-On-Foods is quite literally 100 times better with abundance in selection for organics and bulk foods...possibly even 200 times. You can tell SOF actually listens to their customers needs and is aware of their demographic. Safeway has their heads up their asses in this regard.) Plastic everywhere!
When I went to the bakery, I was immediately eyeing up the bread in paper bags. It was all off limits too as every one of their paper bags had a thin plastic window in them. Bummer! All that was left was the bulk bakery stuff.
I scanned through what their bulk selection had. I grabbed 4 bagels. When I left, I caught a glimpse of the doughnuts and figured it was my only chance, so what the hell. I grabbed a couple chocolate dipped ones.
I had them all in a paper bag, but although it isn't plastic, I still didn't like bringing that home as I am kinda getting into the non-existent waste effect all of this is having.
I started digging into the doughnut before I even got outta the store. I instantly regretted it. The sugar was so overwhelming my body didn't seem to know what to do. My taste buds were on the front lines and were totally horrified. I got a glimpse of light headedness too that took no time to show itself. I could feel it travel right down my throat, leaving a thick sludgy residue behind. I didn't get heartburn, but a shitty feeling did emerge
Aside from the obvious overwhelm, I was actually fascinated by how fast my body acclimated to the effects of fresh, natural organic produce, rooted mostly in rich greens like kale and broccoli.
Even though the doughnut made me feel like shit in numerous ways, I am glad I had it, because it really showed me something. Yes, the terrible effects it has on my body, but also opened my eyes to the effect of how removing plastic can severely alter one's diet for the better as a whole. It was like a minor epiphany that I won't soon forget. I never really gave thought to the way plastic influences so much of our foods we eat and that are available to us.
I'm definitely not trying to be a condescending prick or anything, and I'm definitely not saying I won't eat sugar again., but this is just a simple observation for what I have experienced so far...and it happened in no time at all.
With the doughnut behind me, it's back onto the regular program...with a touch vigor. (The bagels, by the way, I gave most of them to my dog.) On the menu for tonight is my favourite thing to make...my one-pot meal I make in my skillet.
I have made this for Jana a couple times and she loves it! It's just a lotta different vegetables, a sauce or stock, and usually boneless skinless chicken breast. (No chicken tonight though!)
My ingredient list for tonight:
-Chicken Stock that I made on Day 1 (from the leftover roast chicken I had)
-7 Small Red Potatoes
-2 Celery Stalks
-Lots of Broccoli
-Some Red Onion
Toss that shit in a skillet, put a lid on it, and throw 'er in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Stylin'! The only bummer is I can't eat it hot outta the oven as I have to wait til I go to work dammit!
I got a jump on things before I left for work. I was tired and beat up, but I did 6 sets of hills and some push-ups. All night at work I was beat to shit. It was a busy night too because we had a lot more going on with Canada Day that never happens on a Sunday night otherwise
I'm not proud of much, but Canada (and being Canadian) is one of them.
It was all worth it when I got home and was ahead in thee game for the day...even if just a little bit. It was the opposite of what I had been feeling from having fallen behind so quickly on days 2 and 3.
I knocked off a couple more sets of push-ups before I crawled into bed so I would have a bunch done by the time I woke up for my afternoon.
When I did wake up I knocked out some more push-ups and then got on my bike straight away to get that behind me. My bike is the biggest solid time chewer I have to deal with. I put in another 25 minutes on my bike, which has put me ahead of schedule. It felt good to be up on something rather than behind. By the end of today I will be caught up with my calf raises, and tomorrow I will be caught up with my hills as well, so I’m showing some good signs of progress. The biggest picture of optimism though, is within my push-ups.
My push-ups started out really rough. Sure I knocked off the 42 I needed to get done the first day, but it devastated my arms. Sucked the life right out of them and shredded my shoulders to pieces. That left me feeling weary and like I was a tad too ambitious with the path I chose for myself. I was committed though, and I know how I am, so I couldn’t let myself down because I would mentally beat the shit outta myself in a very devastating and destructive fashion. I hate that feeling and I will fight really freakin’ hard to keep it at bay…defend my mental ground in my fight against myself. The next day was devastating for that thought.
On day 2, because of how messed up feeling I was, I only did 6 push-ups. That quickly put me at -36 completed. I was so mad with myself, and I was also rattled with how things were gonna turn out with the rest of all of this challenge. That wasn’t the worst though. Day three happened where I lost the entire day due to my work.
When I lost that third day, I didn’t know to do just on the push ups alone. I mean, they were draining me and tearing my shoulders to pieces when I was fresh. How the hell was I supposed to get through the next 4 weeks when I have that as my foundation and was sitting at -78 for my push-up total?!
Even with the bars, I have a real short range of motion in my wrist, so it impedes in a certain way when it is strong and stable enough to let me bang some out. The good thing about these bars is that they let you go deeper into the movement than just on the floor.
To answer that question I turned to the same page in my book I always rely upon when I am beat down with the walls caving in and everything in my body and circumstance trying to impede my progress:
Toughen up, suck it up, and go for it!
Thinking about it doesn’t help. That just eats at your mind. Giving up is not an option, so that choice is out the window! The only thing left is knowing that, in this instance, the push-ups aren’t gonna complete themselves, and the more time I waste, the deeper of a hole I will fall into. So what do I do?
Dig the fuck in!
So, that’s just what I did, and here are the results…
-On Day 4, even though I felt like shit, I banged out 54 of them…bringing my total to -66.
-On Day 5, I banged out 52…bringing my total to -42.
-Today, on Day 6, I filled a little bit more dirt into the whole I dug for myself by banging out another 54 push-ups…bringing my deficit to -30 in total.
I can do more, but I’m being smart about it. I don’t want to sacrifice the rest of my daily fitness challenge in terms of losing more ground on several other elements of my challenge, only to make up ground on one.
Although I still have a good sized deficit, I have shed any sense of doubt or trepidation in my mind about the rest of the month. That shit’s gone. The fight came in my mind early on and I whupped its ass as needed. Holes are being filled and ground is being covered. Better than that though, I have that mental challenge behind me already at Day 6.
My mangled hand. Only my index finger works properly...but he's a workhorse and I make that shit work!
Even with this full turn around, I know my body is gonna go through some shit. I’m way too beat up for it not too. I have far too much experience in this kind of realm not to realize that. Sporting injury has never been a big deal to me. It isn’t real pain. I live with something far worse every second of every day. Sporting pain and injury is actually comforting to me. It’s like a security blanket that comes with me that I don’t have to carry. It’s such a familiar feeling, and comforting in the fact that I know I only feel that way because of doing the things that I love.
There’s no better feeling than pursuing a full faceted test of one’s self. Testing the mind, body and spirit simultaneously! The mental games and wars to elevate your body to transcend the impossible for yourself is pure bliss to overcome. It’s an absolute drug. Not many people seem to understand that the way it runs through me because of how often I get questioned as to why I challenge myself like this when I can. Far too many people have told me they don’t understand why I do things like this the way I do, and will often go as far as to tell me what is best for me, even encroaching on telling me it’s stupid of me to charge like I do, especially in my broken body. I’ve never changed my attitude towards them: I feel sorry for them! If they only took the chance to really test every aspect of themselves all at once, to face deep, deep adversity within as well as with everything around them, only to fight the mental and physical battles to transcend and persevere, my goodness…a whole new world opens up.
A GAWD DAMNED BEAUTIFUL ONE!
I never really feel the urge to explain myself to those who question what I do. For the most part they don’t want to understand, even if I could explain it properly. If anything, it fuels me to go even harder…to dig in even more, to get my fix of the drug I love. I don’t do that to prove anything to anyone, or even to myself, I do it just out of pure love for what I do.
The bottom line though is something I believe deep within, the only way we can find out what our true potential is, is to have the courage to imagine the impossible for ourselves, and use that courage to go for it. Sometimes you make it, sometimes you don’t, but there’s only one way to find out. That falls into the realm of how I often look at failure. I don’t look at failure as the lack of success, but rather the lack of trying.
Not trying is an internal torment that hurts worse than any pain. I hate it. It’s almost like a fear of that internal torment is what can often drive me to fight and claw so hard to battle with everything I got when I find myself looking into the face of everything trying to tear me down. The worse it gets, the harder I fight. If I go down swinging, I go down swinging, but at least I’ll know I gave it everything I had, and that is all that matters to me.
I didn’t have any apprehensions, but when I started this out going into my first day, I definitely had some wonder with how things would go. Any preconceptions I had with my anticipation of how things would unfold did not take long at all to get dispelled.
I started off great on my first day. I crushed through most things I had to do. My food was simple as I had not yet really done any shopping. As I am an idiot, rather than getting some proper food to start me off in a position of strength, armed with the knowledge that I was taking this challenge on, and what it would mean for my food intake (both amount and kinds of food available to me), I got myself a pizza on my last day before I began. One last blast before I get at ‘er!
My food was very simple on my first day, leftover roast chicken and rice. I ate that through the night when I was at work (My equivalent of daytime…kinda!)
The fitness aspect of things was equally great and quite lacking. The push-ups drained my arms really badly and really chewed up my shoulders in a nasty way. I was expecting the shoulder part, but the amount they drained my arms was beyond what I expected, or was prepared for. It took me a lot to get through all of them.
I also gave myself a set back by trying to add some planks into the fitness end of my challenge. I only did one for 22 seconds, but it took such a toll on my hernia that I had to stop. Not only could I not do anymore of them, but it set back the rest of me for what I still had to do. Bottom line: Planks are out!
The planks put me in a bit of a hole, but I would soon find myself in a bigger hole in the next couple days to come.
The amount of time involved to do everything was more than I expected too. Aside from all the fitness chores I have to knock off, I also have to prepare food to take to work with me. The first night didn’t take long as it was so simple, but the rest do take time and planning. By the end of the challenge I will have it all dialed to a smooth running machine, but this is the beginning and not the end, plus I started off in a hole right away.
Part of the thing that put me in a bit of a hole was the time constraint of the day my first day fell upon. It was on my worst working day of the week. I have a schedule adjustment that costs me time at home as I get off several hours later than usual. I also had to go to the market after work to get some food. I wrote about that already for day one.
My meal for my second day was much nicer. It was rice, cucumber, shredded beets, Liquid Braggs, some Spike seasoning, and green onions. I also had a chunk of that bread from the French Bakery that I got at the market, as well as some strawberries.
Rice, Cucumber, Green Onions, Shredded Beets, Spike Seasoning, French Bakery Bread.
I was freakin’ starving though. I definitely expected that on the first day, and it delivered for sure! When I woke up before work and was preparing my food to eat at work, I shoved a few of the strawberries in my face. Daaaaaamnnn were they exactly what I needed. I felt my insides crying with happiness. My tastebuds were dancing to the songs the strawberries were playing to them. I was in heaven.
I cut off a big chunk of bread…about 1/3 of the loaf (They are small loaves…don’t judge me!) and ate it while I was driving to work. I know rice and bread were two starches, but I didn’t care one freakin’ bit.
I had gotten home from work just after 12:00 noon. I was freakin’ exhausted! I crawled into bed and slept off and on for about 2½ hours. I couldn’t let myself sleep any more than that as I had to be awake at 9:30pm to get ready for work, meaning I had to go to sleep around 6:00pm to try to get maybe 2½ to 3 hours of sleep before work. (I will usually wake up 2 – 5 times in a three hour stretch.) Sleeping so late though, waking up just before 3:00pm I mean, set me up to probably not be able to sleep again before I had to go to work. That’s not ideal, but that has become normal to me.
I woke up with a brutal head ache, and felt like I had sunstroke. I had no energy and was light headed all day. I could barely take on my fitness tasks at all. I was bitter about that for sure. It was eating at my mind and pissing me off! Luckily, I didn’t know what I had ahead of me or I would have been really upset.
That next night I was at work from 11pm Thursday until 5pm Friday afternoon. I did take a 30min break to just sit there deep into the night as I knew I would be working into overtime because of circumstance. The morning was dragging on, and work was nuts. Sometime after 12:00 noon, Daniella and I went to her place for about an hour to let the doggies play as I was starting to talk to myself about taking a break for Fennario. (I had brought her to my van just before 10am thinking I would be done for the day around noon.)
Daniella & Willow; Fennario
Needless to say, it was a fuckin’ grind of a long-ass day. It beat the hell outta me. As soon as I came home I crawled into bed and passed right the fuck out. I woke up several times though as per usual. I’d get up to drink some water, and then get back into bed. I did get outta bed for a couple hours in the middle of the night, but I didn’t do anything. I just sat there like a useless piece of shit and stared at some of the World Cup. I went back to bed, and aside from the usual waking up every so often and grabbing a drink to make some use of the time, I didn’t get outta bed for good until sometime between 9:00-10:00am.
I lost my entire Friday...Day 3! I was freakin’ pissed off! The only way I could look at it though was through two things. One, it was only the beginning of the challenge, so I had time to make up the lost ground on the fitness end of the challenge. Two, it was the weekend, so it was a good place to start to make up that ground and get some proper footing on finding a routine.
When I got outta bed I sat around for a little bit, in no hurry to wake up quickly. I was riding the blob in my mind and the lethargic-ness in my body. I got bored of that quickly, or perhaps it was just my mind only thinking about all the ground I had to make up, so I got up and immediately did some push-ups to begin my fitness end of Day 4.
I had some reservations about those that was bordering on anxiety. I just knew how much they drained me, screwed up my shoulders, and set me back a little. I did make an adjustment though with my technique to see if that helped. I went to a wider stance position with my arms and it worked beautifully. I started making up ground right away. I need to complete 42 push-ups each day. It was a massive struggle on Day one, but this was kind of my 2nd day and I did 54 push-ups to begin.
After I did my push-ups, I went and did 6 sets of hills in my back yard. I wanted to do more, but I needed to bathe and hit the road as I was going to Castlegar to see a matinee. After my work week, I really felt the need to unplug like that. When I was there, I had my popcorn and a soda. (I don’t go to the movies to be healthy, I go to unplug my brain and turn on my robotic arm while I stuff popcorn in my face.) The movie popcorn/soda is eating loophole I gave myself. I did however, not get a lid or straw for my drink, so I stayed plastic free. (Except for the waxy shit they line those cups with) I didn’t think they would let me take my drink like that, but they did, so I was happy about that.
On my way home from the movie, as it isn't too far from where I live, I went to Evergreen Natural Foods in Crescent Valley to load up on some more food. I like going there 'cause I get to see a couple of really great people: Tracey and Kelly. Lucky for me, both of them were working, so I got to say hello to each of them. Yaaaay for those kind girls!
Even being a natural health food store of organics, etc, I still found the same problem of stickers on most things like avocados and bananas, so there was only a limited selection to pick from. I still got some good food though.
When I came back home I got right back at it and made up ground in every category. It took me into the night, but I did pretty well.
I was up through the night until about 4:00am. I had to deal with some unexpected work stuff between 1:00 and 2:30am. Even at home on my weekend my work still gets me.
I woke up for good not too long after 9:00am. I got at Day 5. Despite how tired my body is, I did 52 push-ups, and did 12 sets of calf raises instead of 4. I also did 6 sets of hills instead of 4, so I am making up ground again.
I stopped to make some food, but I don’t really feel like eating it. The struggle from the first couple days is behind me already and I’m nicely on my way with the time restricted eating of one meal a day, with some nibbles while I am making it. Today it is elbow pasta with broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, green onion, and a couple spoonfuls of salsa.
I kinda feel bummed that I don’t wanna eat my food. The nice thing though, is that I already feel lighter on my insides. I don’t mean as far as body weight, but in the way of my digestive system, and the feeling of not being full, or any kinda thing like heart-burn or whatever. It’s nice to feel that progress.
When I see how the first handful of days has played out, and reflecting upon them, not bringing new plastic into my life and time restricted eating has not been an issue all! The real issue is the time involved for all the fitness tasks, as well as food prep combined with my working schedule. I will need to reconfigure my time management. This is all to be expected, but just not quite the way I might have thought initially. I guess that’s the whole point of a challenge. I won’t let myself fail. Pain lasts for a little, failure lasts a lifetime!
My body has been in such a state of decay that there is no way I could even entertain the thought of doing that epic swim I wanted to do...at least this year. I won't give up on it though. I like to challenge myself and find life is lacking without imposing that upon myself, so I have decided to give myself a three faceted challenge for 31 days that I am gonna start the day after tomorrow. I was gonna do it for the month of July, but there is no sense in waiting. After all, the sooner I begin the sooner I get done. The bigger reason though is because if I wanna have any kind of shot at doing some triathlons at by the end of the season, even a five day head start is critical.
The first part of the challenge is to try to be plastic free to an extent...
What I mean by that is that I will buy no new plastic. I will continue to use what I already have as it is impossible to avoid. Think about it...tube of toothpaste, gas cap on van, buttons on the gas pumps, debit card, grocery points card, computer and mouse...the plastic is endless.
So, avoiding plastic is impossible because of the way we are set up as society now, but bringing any new plastic into my life (excluding work) will be challenging enough as it is. Think about this... The simplest things like bananas and avocados are out as they all have plastic stickers on them with bar codes. Bags of potatoes or packages of fresh rosemary are out as they come in plastic. It will be tough for sure, but I am gonna do my best. I might make one exception, but haven't decided on that yet. That is on the soda lids if I go to see a movie...of which I do most every weekend.
The second part of my challenge will be for my scheduling of eating...
I will only eat one meal a day that will be during my work day during the week. I will bring whatever I am gonna eat to work and that will be that...no eating at home. During my weekend I will still eat only one meal per day. I will use my judgement as to when that meal will be. (Excluding popcorn if I go to a movie.) The rest of my time at home are fine for juices and of course, water. The biggest problem for this will be all the times I will have to pee because of how much fluids I will be drinking. (My usual heavy amount of water, plus all the water and juices in place of food.)
The third part of the challenge is a physical one consisting of...
- 15 minutes of stretching
- 4 sets of hills per day
- 42 push-ups
- Set amounts of time on my bike on my winter trainer.
-7 min x 2 days
-15 min x 4 days
-20 min x 4 days
-25 min x 5 days
-30 min x 16 days
- Weight training as usual: 4 - 5 sets each of:
- Chest Press
- Dumbbell Curls
- Triceps Press Down
- Upright Rows
- Leg Extensions
- Seated Rows
- Calf Raises
(Gonna try to figure out something else for my legs too. Not sure if my knees will let me do lunges holding dumbbells.)
- 11 minutes of focused breathing
Some of the numbers of time and amounts are based on numbers I like, and also just the full sum amount of time I have to put in when it is all added up. My body will only allow so much.
The push-ups isn't a big amount, but when you consider my shoulders often won't let me do 2 or 3 at a time, then 42 could actually shape up to be a huge number.
It is a bummer that it is summer and I have to ride my bike on my winter trainer, but I have tried out on the road and it had a devastating effect on my hernia.
Early last week my hernia started hurting worse, and in a different manner too. It was two days after I went out for my first jog of the year...a chintzy-assed little 4km run. The run was my second choice as I was gonna try going for a bike ride again, but about 150 yards in my chain broke, so I had to bail on that and go for a run instead.
Although short, and therefore, basically a waste of time, I had to start holding my stomach to put pressure on my hernia and hold it in place. The pain was of course masked by all the other pains I get when I run, but just after I made the turn on my out-and-back course I couldn't ignore it any longer
Even though he turned out to be a total jig, (jig's up now) I remember reading in one of Lance Armstrong's books where he said something along the lines of it being a total waste of time to go out for a ride for anything less than an hour. I feel the same way with running. If I'm just doing a stand alone run with no cycling or swimming, than anything less than 10km is a complete waste of time. I felt this the whole time during that 4km run because it was genuinely how I felt.
As far as this fitness end of the challenge, I'll play it by ear for whether I can start running or not. I mean, I will have to start at some point, but maybe this 31 day challenge will just be the thing to build my body up so I can start putting in about three weeks of road work before the triathlon weekend I would love to be ready for if possible. (Aug 17 -19
There is also the water aspect of things that will all be bonus material for me. How I go about that depends on when it is warm enough to get in and how long I can stay in for. It would start out as mostly treading water before I got into actual swimming though.
How do I rank the three challenges in order from easiest to hardest?
1: The physical challenge should be the easiest part of all of this as it is second nature to me for the longest love of my life.
2: The eating part of the challenge will be tougher at first while my body adjusts to the schedule and volumes of food. After that it should be pretty easy.
3: Eliminating all new plastic. I am looking at a diet consisting of things like rice, broccoli, garlic, ginger, quinoa; but when you consider eliminating things like bananas, pineapples, avocados, chicken, etc, that shit could be tough just from a food stand point. Who knows what else will come up that I will have to deny myself. I guarantee it will be an eye opener for sure.
I have been aware of plastics for a long time, and generally trying to be conscious of things like that, but someone who I stumbled upon and have been following for some years now has really opened my eyes up even more. Her name is Alison Teal. I will write about her during this challenge of mine, but not right now. There's no doubt she has been a huge inspiration though. For now I will just put links to her web and Facebook pages:
Alison Teal's web-page:
Alison's Adventures Facebook Page:
Hopefully I can instill the discipline I need to pull all of this off. I know how hard I'll be on myself if I fail, and I hate the thought of that, so if I just have that belief and high standard for myself I should be OK.
Stuff Writin' About Kinda Guy
I am a simple guy who likes to dream of the impossible and go after it. I have found fun in writing about my journey as well as other things that inspire me too.