The Year of Sweat has morphed into the Year of Strength. It was a surprise to me.
The idea behind the Year of Sweat was to increase the amount of physical activity in my life. I selected Sweat as the signature image because I wanted to change my attitude to this by-product of activity. It was my attitude that held me back.
If the signature image of the year has changed, have I sabotaged my goal? Has my attitude to sweat resisted change and won the day? Will the year be a failure as a result? Should I be worried?
How did this happen
Strength emerged as the focus because of the activities I choose. The high-intensity interval training on the pushbike, the stairs at work, the abdominal crunches on the T-bar and the weighted arm exercises are all short bursts of concentrated muscle activity that I’m probably now addicted to.
Activities that produce sweat would favour endurance. The tennis lessons certainly did, but I haven’t (yet?) managed to set up regular tennis games. Walking up the mountain certainly would – I’ve bought some decent hiking boots – but haven’t (yet?) got off the flat bush trails around its base.
Why did this happen
I settled into a pattern. The original aim was to introduce variety, but I settled into a pattern. This settling started when I decided to only exercise every second day.
I’m a fan of the “every second day” mentality. I’m writing this on a non-exercise day. Tomorrow, this time will be spent on the pushbike instead. It has been very liberating to classify each day, at the start of each day, as either exercise or non-exercise. It means that exercise isn’t taking me away from all the other things I want to do (or need to do). I get excited at the beginning of each day, for different reasons.
The downside is that my “exercise day thinking” has become confined to a set of short, yet intense, activities that are easy to schedule – the bike while I’m pottering in the kitchen; the stairs first thing at work; the weights while I’m watching TV in the evening.
Focusing on physical activity every second day is a successful strategy that I don’t want to give up. And I love feeling stronger.
I need to bring back variety. And endurance.
If endurance is proving difficult to manage during the working week, remember that there are two days in the weekend. One of them will always be an exercise day.
If I’m not spending at least an hour on the tennis court, then I’m walking up that mountain!
Starting this weekend?