Here goes nothing

Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want — Kristin Armstrong

In a recent post, I rattled off about the concept of doing everything, how messy doing everything can get, and how great messy can be if you don’t let it run you over.

Well, messy just got real. Messy officially kicked off last week. It’s exciting in a masochistic way and a little daunting.

Without getting into specifics, all I can say is the latest additions to my responsibilities are things I’ve done before. But they were things that had never been a part of my day job. These things, these experiences were earned through other parts of my life via past jobs, volunteerism and the joys being part of a particular community. To incorporate those experiences into my day job is something I had not anticipated on happening.

Quite frankly, I was happy to just keep them separate. Guess that’s not happening now. And based on early reactions I’ve received, there are folks who are thrilled about my evolving job. Yeah, things are going to get messy.

I will admit to being a little nervous about the new responsibilities. The handful of folks who do know about the role I will be taking on, are thrilled. They seem ready to give me the support I need and are confident that I can pull it off. Oh, boy. I have jokingly mentioned that I haven’t done anything yet, therefore there is an outside chance I might screw this up.

They laugh and tell me it’s not going to happen. Such faith.

This transition means I must be vigilant in keeping my writing life from taking a backseat to life. Fortunately, I have been finding myself more in the company of my fictional characters, my boys, when I’m away from work. Without much thought, it looks like I am turning to them to maintain the sense of groundedness and balance. I’m ironing out the details of the third act of the novel. I’m close to picking up where I left off. I’m this close to resuming the narrative of my boys’ stories. I want and need to play with them again. And the prospect of that feels better than awesome. It feels like home.

I think being at ‘home’ for a couple of hours a day would be a good start. Once I resume tapping on the keyboard again, those couple of hours will probably extend to four hours or longer, depending if it’s my day off and I get all my chores and errands squared away as quickly as possible. I’m really looking forward to it.

Not sure if I can say the same for my new responsibilities. It’s good to be a little nervous, right? It means you don’t want to royally fuck it up. Right? Anyway, I think it’s all in the preparation, prioritization and organization. So is taking a deep breath and taking that first step.

Here goes nothing.

Management is key

This past week, a friend of mine wanted to know how I did in my first 5K run event. He’s the one who ran in the Boston Marathon twice. So, I told him how it went, my thoughts on the whole process leading up to the race and what I thought I needed to do to get ready for the next 5K run in October. Then we commiserated over training injuries.

After that, he welcomed me to the world of running and all the ups and downs that come with it. Gee, thanks.

Then, a couple of days ago, at the CrossFit box where I workout, I bumped into a friend and fellow CrossFitter who I hadn’t seen since late spring (I think). We usually cross paths about once a week but when summer rolls around, it’s hit-and-miss. It was great seeing him again.

He filled me in on what he and his lovely wife were up to. I informed him of my running endeavors and he was very pleased with what I had done so far. Again, the topic of training injuries was discussed. Nothing like talking about ‘battle scars.’ You would think we were warriors, of some sort, if you heard the way we talked about injuries.

When it comes to sports, injuries are to be expected, be it bruises, scraps, sprains, hyper-extensions, dislocations, etc. It’s impossible to be physically active and not have some sort of injury (no matter the severity) to show for it.

I suppose you have to be somewhat of a glutton for punishment to willfully do some of things I’ve engaged in this year. Becoming physically active and fit isn’t easy. Aside from the physical challenges, it also challenges you mentally. And that can be the biggest obstacle on the road to becoming healthier and stronger. There will be moments where the idea of quitting will be very enticing. But you can’t give in to that. There is the bigger picture to consider. Your health and well-being.

Since I decided to make a more concerted effort to becoming a more physically fit version of me, it was clear that management is key

Time management, risk management and pain management. All three are in play no matter what the physical activity is.

It was play in everything I did, and do now. Time management has always been the easiest for me to deal with. Making time for something. Sure, making time can be tricky but if you want to make time badly enough, you will find the time.

Of course, when you throw in risk and pain management, life gets interesting. In this context, risk management is when, where and how you’ll push yourself in your chosen physical activity. Making a calculated risk. And sometimes that calculated risk can lead to pain management.

Some of my calculated risks have paid off in personal bests. Other mis-calculations have had me alternating ice and heat packs for unduly stressed muscles and joints and making visits to the physiotherapist. Naturally, the older you are, the longer it takes to heal. Oh, the joys of growing older.

This certainly tries one’s patience. Believe me, I’ve been tested enough times. It can be frustrating and maddening. But this is where you have to listen to your body. It will tell you what it can or isn’t quite ready to do. And believe me, I listen.

With the most recent injury, I had to scaled back the running to once a week instead of the three a week I had been doing pre-injury. Oddly enough, the injury hasn’t been much of an issue when I do crossfit. I gather it has something to do with what muscles are involved in the different sports and how they’re utilized.

Last week, I added a second run and it went pretty smoothly. Maybe, I’ll get back to running three times a week in a couple of weeks. Crossing my fingers and hoping.

It’s always tricky trying to figure out how to stay active while allowing an injury to heal at the same time. Risk management coming into play again. I can’t imagine doing absolutely nothing. That would drive me crazy. Honestly, I don’t think being completely sedentary is all that good for anyone or for the body.

So, here I am doing the management thing. Figuring it out and biding my time.