projects and writings of T.A. Burkholder
I’ve committed to several different physical challenges over the years ostensibly for the sake of health, strength and not wanting to buy new pants. That said, I’m not sure how many of them would have happened without this blog. My first challenge to walk to Mt. Tabor every day might have become a walk every few days (except if it’s cold or wet or I’m too tired or busy or a cat’s on my lap). But holding myself accountable for the sake of the five people who read this made the daily task a lot more doable.
After I returned to a more sporadic Tabor schedule, I took on the challenges of doing yoga every day, trying Zumba, learning some ju-jitsu, making it to the pool regularly and hiring a physical trainer to inspire me to get to the gym. And now, after all these months and years, what has stuck?
I just went to the pool this morning for the first time in ages and I’ve been getting to the gym about once a week. On Wednesday, I walked to the lower part of Mt. Tabor to pick blackberries and on Sunday I hope to learn some more ju-jitsu with Sean. This doesn’t sound too bad, but believe me when I say I often resemble a certain snoozy couch cat far more than I do someone in search of fitness. I mean, tell me this doesn’t look like a truly great way to spend the afternoon:
As much as this blog has been inspiration for some of my activities, it’s also a bit to blame for the lackluster level of commitment to any one of them. I think I’ve wrestled with Sean three times total since I first posted about it in February. The joy I feel in and after the pool has pushed me through the accompanying hassle of it only about once or twice a month. I’ve given up yoga almost entirely. Once writing about the challenge was gone, so was a certain portion of my motivation.
This is all to say, I’m a bit hesitant to reveal that the new thing I’ve been trying for the last two weeks is the delightfully titled “7-Minute Workout.” I’ve usually been doing two 7-minute cycles so it’s really the slightly less delightful, but still very doable “14-minute workout.” The ideal for maximum health benefits, set out in the original research of this kind of training is actually 20+ minutes but I’m guessing the “20 Minutes or More Workout” wasn’t nearly as inviting a concept.
Here’s the good thing: I can do it in my home office or if I want to spread out, walk all the way to the kwoon in our backyard. I don’t have to get in my car or buy any workout equipment. Also, I can do it in my jammies while listening to the Beastie Boys if I want. Here’s my hope: the fact that it’s only 14-20 minutes of my time will keep me motivated past the publishing of this post. I can cobble it together with my more sporadic activities of swimming, walking, wrestling and gym-time to make something that resembles a regular fitness routine. In the process, I may start to breath more easily. I may keep my muscles and bones from withering quite so quickly. And I may put off having to go to the mall to try on new pants.