Progress report #5…

Well folks, as of Friday morning’s weigh-in I’m at 144 lbs.  Pretty impressive considering this past week has been the biggest shirker week I’ve had since the holidays.  I went to the gym a grand total of once this past week.

Granted, I ran 3 miles, but still, one trip to the gym a week is not a good plan.  I do have an excuse though.  I came down with some kind of very unpleasant virus last weekend that not only made me feel lousy (101 degree fever for one day) but also left me with a really sore throat.  It was bad enough that I actually went to see my doctor just to make sure it wasn’t anything serious.  His diagnosis: A virus, one that’s been going around (and he warned me that this one seems to take at least 2 weeks to completely get out of your system), along with a very high pollen count that’s causing sinus congestion that’s draining into my throat and further irritating it.  Yay!

Anyway, on the bright side I’m now 4 lbs. away from my final target weight and I’m only 2 weeks away from completing my running program.  Next step is to start genuinely training for the Tri-For-Fun in June.

I’ve got to give a lot of credit for keeping me on track to reading Andrew Heffernan’s Male Pattern Fitness blog religiously for the last several months.  Andrew gives good, solid and reasonable advice.  And he’s not afraid to state the damned obvious, such as this from today’s blog:

Whether it’s weight loss or muscle gain, improved athletic performance or pain relief, most of us already have the information we need to meet our goals:  we know what a good diet is.  We know what focused and consistent exercise feels like.  We know the drills that will improve our back pain-all we have to do is implement them.

In fact, today’s blog is titled, “Just Do It… Seriously.”

Let me say this.  I hate Nike.  I think they design and make pretty well made and useful products.  The quality of their wares is not my problem with Nike.  My problem is that they exemplify perfectly the soulless pursuit of profit at any cost that drives short-sighted American business these days.  Suffice to say, if you cannot be profitable without using child labor then you ought to go out of business, period.  Beyond that, I hate that their corporate branding has robbed the phrase “just do it” of its proper meaning.

It’s a good phrase.  Way too many people get bogged down with reasoning themselves out of action with regard to many things.  People don’t save money, they don’t exercise, they don’t write their first novel, they don’t take up the piano – all because they’ve talked themselves into believing that it will be too hard.  They’re missing the point.  Of course it will be hard.  Sometimes hard is the point.

Our lives have come to resemble those of tourists, wanting the experience, but not wanting to stay long enough to risk experiencing the realities that come with permanence and commitment. In fact, “hard” has become more of a scarlet letter rather than a badge of honor.

The above comes from another excellent blog I’ve been reading a lot lately called The Art Of Manliness.   I started my own quest to improve my physical fitness over two years ago, but I spent a lot of time, I should say wasted a lot of time, searching for shortcuts.  As difficult as training for and riding a Century with Team In Training was, I was at least partially motivated to join up because I thought 10 weeks of training for one event would undo 15 years of damage I’d done to my body.  I only started to see results when I disabused myself of the notion that there were any shortcuts to getting this done, manned up and committed myself to the hard slog of running and weight training regularly, vigorously and consistently.

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