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Back at it

May 16, 2013

This year’s workout detour came a little later than normal–the beginning of March–but it’s had more false starts, too. I pulled a hamstring, rested a while, pulled it again, rested a while, pulled a calf muscle, then rested a while, then started up, then got sick. So yesterday, I started in again with a P90X resistance workout–pushups and pullups.

My body looks better than ever, even to non-blind people, but I still struggle with the pushups. This time, as I got deep into the workout, rather than do half-assed push-ups the manly way, I went to my knees and did “girl push-ups.” Or, better put, I did the right exercise. I got more benefit from the supposed cheater push-ups done well than I did from the real push-ups done poorly. The burn I felt after in my arms and chest was like an old friend.

Then this morning, I did Pure Cardio, part of the Insanity series. Most of Insanity consists of a program where you bust your butt as hard as you can for three minutes, then you get a break. Pure Cardio is 14 minutes of straight exercises. I used to be able to make it through about 13 minutes before taking a break. Today I made it through about seven. And I barely made it through the last exercise. (The people on the DVD are wasted at the end, too, but they do the thing all the way through.)

My lessons:

  • It is good to work out.
  • When you start back lay off, you can’t expect the same level of accomplishment as you had before.
  • Working out is a pain, but how you feel after makes the entire thing worth the effort.
  • Because I’m no longer young, I need to stretch once a week for my workout.

All of these things have, of course, writing equivalents.

  • It is good to write. Duh.
  • When you start back after a lay off, you can’t expect the same level of accomplishment as you had before. In fact, you may trudge through and produce something you can use to grow a garden. The product isn’t the key when you first start back. The process is. Anything good you produce is a bonus. And if you have to do the writing equivalent of a knee push-up, whatever that is for you, do it.
  • Writing can be a pain, but how you feel after make the entire thing worth the effort.
  • Regardless of your age, you need to stretch. Write something different–a poem or even a haiku. Write a blog post or a letter to a friend. And if you’re breaking from writing, read.

Even the most prolific writers have periods when they don’t “work out.” It’s a lot harder to get back into things if you go back with realistic expectations.



One Comment
  1. zena permalink
    May 16, 2013 7:49 am

    Yes, I really agree with this because I was writing every morning my “morning pages” recommended by Julia Cameron in the Artist Way. I have found this to enhance and bring out ideas that were lying dormant. Having not written for the last four weeks consistently in the morning it has been tough doing three pages of stream of consciousness in the morning. I truly agree that if you stick with the process and remain consistent then the writing start to manifest again.

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