Sunday, September 11, 2011

Connect Four! (August in Review)

August Completed

I didn’t expect to say this, but August was a really good month for fitness.  My star chart tells part of the story; you can see that I did all my planned work-outs except for one run and one yoga session.  For a plan that averages a rate of one work-out per day, that’s pretty good!  It helps, of course, that up to three of those work-outs are my bike commutes to and from work, so it’s less tempting to skip them.  Even in the August heat, I like not taking the bus to work every day—it’s nice to have some variety during the week.

August was a hard, sweaty month, but I think that sticking with a flexible work-out schedule helped keep my spirits up.  I love exercise for many reasons, not the least of which is the way it makes me feel.  Without a doubt, regular exercise helps me stay happy and optimistic, which is really important during times of high stress and uncertainty.  Things at work were busy during the month, but I would say they were busy in a good way.  In a sense, fitness has a lot in common with experimental science: discoveries don’t happen overnight, and neither does fitness…or at least with the kind of science I do.  It’s a long, slow process, one that requires a great deal of persistence, patience, and planning.  Running and my other exercise pursuits are like that too: one doesn’t wake up in the morning, ready to run a half-marathon.  It’s a long, slow process of building up to a long distance, and you’ve got to stay both focused and flexible.  I try to keep my eyes on the prize, but I’ve learned that it’s best to stay responsive to unexpected events—an impending injury, or a little too much fatigue, or the need for a day off to recover from a particularly hard run.  I build my fitness plans (and my experimental plans) around the idea that shit is going to go wrong, so I like to have some room to make adjustments so that I can meet my big-picture goal.

August, it’s been a good run of things.  You’re always a challenging month, especially in Texas, but I think you showed me that I’m tougher, stronger, and more focused than I even imagined.  Thank you for that.  I’m not sad to say good-bye to you, but I am grateful that I made it through and I feel more confident on the other side.

Onward, September!

September One Year Ago


  1. Oooh! I love your science and fitness parallel here and think it's so smart to stay flexible, knowing that shit can and will happen.

  2. Thank you, dear! I almost hate to say it because it's so pessimistic, but perhaps ironically, I find that I can stay MORE optimistic if I know that my plan doesn't require a flawless execution in order to happen.

    I think what I'm really trying to perfect is my ability to make the best of imperfect life :-) It helps that I can find beauty in the messiness.