As I stated months ago here at the Dr. Loser blog, my physical condition was extremely neglected over the past few years while studying for the PhD that I eventually failed. I was and am a mess, and getting visibly older everyday. Now I know why they tell you to exercise regularly because it’s so damn hard to start from nothing when you’re my age, it’s like trying to re-start a stalled car while you’re rolling backwards down a hill. The days of a young stallion affectionately referred to as “Treats” on the high school cross country team are so long gone that the only treat I’m going to be needing soon is Geritol.
My original intention was to exercise for all the wrong reasons as a kind of motivation to get myself to do something… anything… and I planned to create a video montage of myself creating an exercising video of montage-esque activities. However, (and I know this is going to be a tough one for some people who were really looking forward to seeing me in this ridiculous footage) I’m afraid I must announce that I have given up!
Like many things lately it seems, I’ve been doing a lot of hard work and it’s been getting me nowhere! I’m not even sure how any of the exercises I’ve been trying could even possibly work in a montage since I should at least be showing some kind of improvement in these things, but instead there is just unlimited (and never to be seen) footage of me gassing out and passing out.
For example, let me just transcribe for you my thought process today while struggling with what should have been just 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training while running at a track in a park here in Seoul.
-okay, feels good… taking a nice long look around, drinking in the beautiful scenery, what a great day, the sun is shinning, the sky is clear, none of the regular Seoul humidity, just a perfect day for a leisurely run.
High Intensity Interval #1 (45 seconds)
-oh yeah, here we go! Look at me world… check out my biceps (flexing my muscles at some old timer passing by in the other direction)! Boo-yah… I’m the man!
Low Intensity Interval #1 (90 seconds)
-woooo… that was pretty intense, feeling it in my legs now for sure, but okay, no problem (checks timer) 10 seconds! Huh, that wasn’t 45 seconds? Can’t be… fine, I’ll make it up next time, that was just a post-warm-up attempt… here comes the real thing.
High Intensity Interval #2 (45 seconds)
-one-one thousand… two-one thousand… owww, my legs are burning… three-four-five-six-one thousand… panting, panting… seven-twentyone-twentyeight-one thousand… ugh, gotta stop…
Low Intensity Interval #2 (90 seconds)
-Slowing down, not bad… not the full time, but that had to be more, like 30 seconds at least (checks timer) 6 seconds! How is that possible?! (270 seconds later)… okay, ready for the next interval.
High Intensity Interval #3 (45 seconds)
-I can do this… (feeling something slipping)… this is definitely not sprinting, what is this, I think I’m actually going slower than when I was running slowly, am I running backwards? (arms pumping, feet slipping)… my shoe! (shoe flies off my foot… I fall backwards)
As I lay on that grassy trail, I remembered a similar scenario that happened to me almost 20 years ago when I challenged a friend of my to a race from lamp post to lamp post on my old block. This was about 100 meters, just one-on-one, and should have been easy enough, only this guy was a nationally ranked Canadian competitive mountain biker and I was just some dude sitting on his couch watching TV and talking shit. Literally seconds after we started the race, my shoe went flying off my foot and I plummeted painfully to the asphalt.
Sometimes you just need to recognise when you should be sprinting and when you should be sitting on a couch. I didn’t recognise it then, but I think I need to now.