Practice (as in gym, just for clarification) went really, really well today. I returned to upper/lower body sequences, using an older lower one (we refer to it as “Abel 30”) and a combination of 2 of the more recent advanced sequences for upper.
For perspective, the last time I did Abel 30 (at least a month ago), it completely kicked my ass. At that time after the third set I was lying on the floor sweating and breathing hard and thinking longingly of a shower and a nap, and not necessarily in that order. I recall doing 2 sets of upper body with the lightest weights possible afterwards without much enthusiasm and feeling so very tired when it was over.
Today, not so much. Today, I felt more like a student at Wonder Woman training school. A first year, first month student, but still – quite a change from the last time I went through this List. I was sweating and breathing hard, but after going through the 3 sets of lower body at a pretty brisk cadence, I was able to move through my 3 sets each of 2 different upper body sequences without any issues except for running out of available time. Frosting on the cake of that little victory, I felt fantastic. Energetic. Happy. Ridiculously excited for being so sweaty and gross. Finally I am getting what other people meant when they would say they felt great and energized after working out. For so long I wondered how they could say that when all I felt was (1) relief it was over, (2) that it was f**king hard, stressful, and exhausting, and (3) dear Lord, just kill me now. (The last was not every time, but frequently enough to be memorable.)
From there and in my meandering wanderings through blogville have me wondering – does my healthier attitude toward the exercise have a positive impact on my aptitude and abilities for it?
I have admittedly falling in love with exercise. What I did a few months ago, what I’m doing now – I am making incremental forward progress in so many surprising ways. Which I have discussed extensively on the blog. But it is growing more difficult to read certain blogs I loosely follow because of the near constant level of judgment, complaining, and overall whining. I understand venting – plenty of that going on around here. But when it’s several times per week, without any particular resolution or glimmer of an idea for change, it starts to bother me. Between that and the constant discussion of frugality, cutting expenses, saving money, and blame-shame about the spendthrift ways of others who may not be particularly frugal folks (present company included in that classification), I am nearing the point of swearing off personal finance blogs again.
Is there a better way to frame it? Can we bitch, moan, complain about traffic and other inconveniences of modern life without sounding so petulant and whiney? I know lots of people who waste money; M and I do as well from time to time. If it’s not your money, if I and others like me are happy with our level of spending and savings, if personal finance is just that – personal, why be so judgment and throw shade?
The healthier I become on all fronts, the more I step away from the negative girl mindset, the less patience and interest I have in things that used to hold meaningful dialog for me to some degree. I do not need constant influxes of insincere happy-happy-joy-joy, but I also believe that staying stuck in the mud of judgment, misery, impatience, and unhappiness is also a choice, occasionally an involuntary one at that.
I cannot change anyone except myself, and if I what I am reading and following gets on my nerves enough to write a post about it, must be time to vote with my touch pad and stop reading those particular blogs. Having gotten my blog start in personal finance, it feels like they are part of my reading roots and it has been difficult to completely break away.
Please don’t get me wrong – I love reading about someone scoring a great deal or having the good luck of finding a fabulous something in their travels through shopping for the wants and needs of life. I am just weary of reading about the lengths people go through to be frugal in all aspects of life, pay down their mortgage, increase their retirement contributions, and essentially feel superior about their financial stability and choices. Others are struggling, and I get that and understand the need to budget and be careful with their income. But it is rarely the lower income bloggers who annoy the living daylights out of me.
I strongly hope that I do not become that girl in the exercise realm as I move along. I feel so much better about this process, and I have worked hard to achieve this degree of competency. Just as I no longer compare myself to those exercising around me, I also do not judge them in their abilities or consistency practices. Because it’s not my place, or my style, and we who live in glass houses should never throw stones.
It brings me back to the original query for this post. Is my attitude better because my competency is increasing, or is my competency increasing because my attitude is better? I have no innate aptitude for exercise and movement; it has taken quite a bit of work to get to this level with so much yet to learn and master. Probably it’s one of those chicken-and-egg queries, and likely it does not matter much in the great big picture. It is true I am very engaged with my better health quest, particularly the exercise aspect of it. However, I am grateful that my practice now pays real dividends even I can see and feel and not pooh-pooh or minimize my own performance, and my attitude has improved in that I can recognize, accept, embrace, and celebrate those improvements. While it is really, Really, REALLY nice not to have J correcting me continuously or have the cues reworded and reworked to get the movement pattern set in my head, it is equally nice not to be fretting and worried about the List of the day every time I step through the gym doors.
I believe they call that confidence.
This week outside the gym there has been increasing frustration with poor behaviors and choices around me, that end up impacting me. Those things are impossible to ignore, yet not letting it drag me back to the depths or to negative girl’s doorstep has been surprisingly easy. I talk about it, sort out my thoughts about it, but I am not feeling overwhelmed or even emotionally engaged with the drama. It’s merely them, doing what they do, and me, doing what I must. I have some distaste and irritation about being put into such a position, but other than that, it does not engage my feelings. I like that. A lot. I will save my emotions and reactive impulses for things that matter to me, that make a difference or hold some value for me personally. Significant things that matter are fewer, and I am better in my ability to sort life’s wheat from its chaff.
And I really like that.