Off the Wagon

Lately, I’ve been thinking about life choices a great deal. About what is worth spending time on and what isn’t. What enriches your experience on this planet, and what robs you of it. For example, surfing the internet. Here’s an activity that we’re all guilty of doing for hours at a time, and what do we get out of it? It is easy to be lulled into the numbing amusements, but when I look back on my life, I will never cherish the hours I threw away looking at memes or perusing my Facebook feed. So why not sink that time into something worthwhile?

Because habits are hard to make. Immediately after making my HabitRPG account, I stopped using it. Why? It seemed like a good idea, but when I thought of a website that was going to punish me for not using it, I realized I had another internet-based amusement that was going to rob me of my time instead of allow me to use it to the greatest advantage. I didn’t want to spend time logging activities I was already doing, or feeling guilty about the things I wasn’t doing.

I also fell off the Fitocracy wagon at this time. I was working out a little bit anyway, but not nearly as much as I was when I was logging my activities. That was a bit of an eye opener. I realized that without some outside motivator, even something as silly as gaining points and leveling up, it was particularly difficult to stick with exercise. And not having concrete goals was an absolute killer. What was I running for if not to nab that badge saying I’ve run 200 miles in my lifetime? Measuring progress in a defined way is key. So I’m back to logging my activities on Fitocracy, one rep/lap/day at a time.

And surprisingly, I’m doing better than I was before I took the break. It’s not just the mere act of logging the activities. I’ve signed up for a 5k in July, and this is a huge push for me to get it in gear and truly become a runner. These past few weeks I’ve been thinking about the person I am and the person I want to be, and the gap between the two. It’s completely true that nothing ever happens unless you make it happen. I’m learning that if I don’t want to be a slug, I need to push myself out of my comfort zone, and surround myself with people who challenge me. This past weekend I did a dance-walk-a-thon to raise money for a local animal shelter. I never would have done this if my friend hadn’t been one of the organizers, and I will have memories of singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” at full blast in the heart of Monument Square for the rest of my life. How many people can say that?

Well, there’s that one guy with the headphones, who has since taken to whistling. The company may be questionable, but hey, at least we’re not stuck in a Wikipedia hole.


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