Exercising Demons

[The “holy cow the UK rocks!” blog is on the way. But in the meantime, we return to your original programming, already in progress.]

I ran across a great quote today:

It got me to thinking though, as I was considering posting about interval workouts, that I should have a position on whether or not all the things that are claimed about interval training were true or not. And then I realized I don’t have to have a position. I don’t have to know, I don’t have to get to the bottom of it. Because when scientists and fitness gurus are talking about what method of working out has the best effect and greatest results for athletic conditioning and capacity, they’re talking about elite athletes. They’re talking about nibbling away at the last 1% of 1% of conditioning for people who are already epically fit to begin with. And, let’s face it, I’m not now nor ever will be an elite athlete. I’m totally comfortable with that, too. I’m not going to be running in the Olympics, or entering a body building competition. I’m just working on maintaining my weight loss, and to do that I have only one real goal for my workout – TO DO IT.

It’s a good summation of where my head is right now in terms of fitness: Just Do Something. Some days I go to aikido, or climb, or fire up the WiiFit. Some days (not enough, my aching body occasionally points out) I take the night off and just have my evening meditative stroll.

The important thing isn’t WHAT I do or even, to some extent, HOW I do it, but that I do SOMETHING everyday.  Consistency over content, perfect for a Professional Dabbler like myself who’s always open to something new, challenging, motivating and social.

Which has lead to an interesting and frustrating paradox: I want to box.

Boxing was one of the first activities that came to mind when I began paying attention to exercise not only as something healthy but as something fun. My stress levels at the time were through the roof and the thought of PUNCHING SOMETHING was extremely appealing. But then other interests and opportunities caught my attention, and it went on the back burner.  I recently found a fantastic looking non-profit boxing club that might just scratch the itch.

But I can’t.  Not right now.

You see, it’s 2012. That meant that today, I received my first paycheck of the year complete with new tax rates, benefit withdrawals – all the adjustments to the status I struggled through last year to reach.

[Warning: the rest of this may qualify to many as #FirstWorldProblems. Feel free to skip the rest.]

Ouch.  Nobody talk to me about the tax situation in the US for a while or they’re likely to get an earful. Suffice it to say that we filing-single, non-home-owning, law-abiding citizens get raked over the COALS.

Without going into excruciating and boring detail about my finances (hey, just because I find it fun and cathartic doesn’t mean you will), I have a high level of debt which cancels my decently high level of income. I’m not making excuses: every single bill I pay every month was a conscious, informed decision. I chose a college education (that I’m still paying off 13 years after I graduated), a reliable vehicle, and my freedom.

But today?  Today realizing that my discretionary income was gone, and would be for the foreseeable future, HURT. It hurt emotionally, viscerally, in a way I haven’t experienced in nearly a year. It made me feel threatened and defensive and angry.

Now, I have a free trial lesson at that boxing gym any time I want it.  Their schedule is even set in such a way that it could be a DOOZY of a first lesson – almost four hours.  And I could love it.  In fact, I think I WILL love it.

But I’m not going, because you see, it’s also about managing expectations.  After that trial lesson, I’ll have to stop. No matter how I try to convince myself I could find the money, the reality of the situation is – for the foreseeable future – I can’t. Not without giving up other things that are more important to me, or slowly chipping my savings away.  Neither of those situations is acceptable, and so – for now – boxing lessons won’t happen.

But I have an experiment in mind, a life hack so to speak. Thanks to this being the Information Age – And I LOVE the Information Age. Please, please magical WiFi Fairy, leave a nice shiny chunk of broadband under my boy’s pillow soon – I have a videogame system with a boxing simulator. And YouTube instruction videos. And kickboxing friends. If I really WANT to box, there’s nothing stopping me from practicing some fundamentals on my own.  Just because I prefer group instruction doesn’t mean I MUST have it.

So let’s see if I want it bad enough to reach for it on my own. If I do, then obviously it’s more of a priority than I thought and the lessons get re-evaluated. And if not, that’s okay too.  Boxing is one tool in a chest of options, and I can pick whichever is right for the job.

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Published in: on January 13, 2012 at 21:29  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I think you’ve nailed it with the idea of doing SONETHING. Likewise using the information ahe’s ubiquitous (although not to me as I write this:)) signal to train on your own until you can free the money up is a smart, brace idea. Keep your left hand up and have at it;)


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