Workouts

I’ve been trying to stay in pretty good shape after doing the Chicago Triathlon and it’s been relatively easy physically to keep up with the sprint distance that I completed as it’s not too time intensive and it’s a pretty good workout when paired with some free weights. Mentally on the other hand, it’s harder because there are so many other things that I’d like to be doing that it’s hard to get psyched up to go, much less get a good workout in.

Yesterday, I forced myself to head to the gym on my way home because it’s not only on the way, but it’s close to home so I can mentally tell myself I can leave at any time and be home right away, even though I never end up leaving earlier than I should. Thankfully just showing up tends to motivate me that I’m going to workout dammit, I’m already here. I swam just under 1k, then got ready for the running, which really isn’t my favorite thing ever. I bike everywhere, so running to me is just a slower, less efficient way to get around even if it ends up being a good workout. I’ve never liked running either for some reason which is even more confusing as I played soccer for 8 years as a kid. I probably would have played longer had we not moved to Illinois where there wasn’t really a recreational system similar to what we had in North Carolina.

It’s been a recent experiment to try different channels when I run as I pretty much only used to watch History, which is usually pretty interesting to me, but American Pickers is kind of slow, Swamp People is actually kind of boring (as I’m sure boating around in the swamp actually is), American Restoration repeats too often and Pawn Stars, while typically interesting, cuts to commercial too often and is a bit too staged as episodes are all essentially the same. I know there’s more on History, but that’s usually all that’s on when I go in, and I’m not about to adjust my gym times just for the sake of what’s on TV. That would be ridiculous bordering on insane.

That said, I’ve been branching out to different channels to find something that will keep me interested long enough for me to get a good run in as I’m typically trying to get in 5k but don’t always succeed before boredom or exhaustion sets in. Local news hasn’t been good, I never seem to want to bother with Comedy Central and E! ends up being really obnoxious after 5 minutes. Then I discovered Travel. The Travel Channel has been great so far. Even though I’ve only ever really seen Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, it’s a solid show and getting a chance to see Bourdain wander around the world and try different culture’s foods is way better than watching people try and sell junk or looking through junk in somebody’s barn. That said, it’s still nothing inspiring that makes me want to get up and run for ages and ages and ages.

Then yesterday happened. I queued up Travel and Man v Food came on and suddenly my inner monologue went, “Wait, why does he get that giant donut? I want it! What, Texas BBQ now?! I’m going to chase you to the ends of the Earth sir!” I couldn’t stop running. Something about Adam Richman’s essentially American version of No Reservations clicked something in my brain and I was suddenly a machine. I finished 5k in under 27.5 minutes and could have kept running if not for the fact that I actually wanted to get home and get domestic stuff done and out of the way. Thinking about it now, there weren’t even closed captions for the episode so I was just watching Adam eat, I didn’t even get commentary about where he was or what his thoughts were. I have no idea why or how all of a sudden watching this guy try to eat impossible amounts of food tapped into energy reserves I had no idea that I had, I just know that it happened.

I now need to figure out exactly what part of my brain was firing when I did the run because it might actually give me the motivation to run further distances and make it easier when I can start running outdoors again. Because, you know, I can’t have a little mobile TV of Adam Richman eating foods that I feel I should be eating instead.

I always forget too that there’s a great secondary benefit to working out. I always feel great and more alert for a day or two afterward and it was particularly notable in this case as it’s been a week since I’d been to the gym. I feel fantastic today and I don’t care that it’s cold or that I’m a bit sore, I just know that the day is going to be great and it has been so far.

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