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Where I wonder where the time goes as I break out of a rut

by John on January 22nd, 2018

The plan was straight-forward: I’d ensure that I have enough time, on the weekday mornings mornings, to do all of the things I need to do1 and get a bare-bones work out2 in. Even if workout plans for the whole day fall apart, the theory was, I, at least, started the day with more pull-ups than I managed in my twenties3. On the weekends, I’d add in a long-run. I’ll manage workouts over lunch when possible, and I’ll continue martial arts with the kids.

But then this year hit. First, the new job is great, but I don’t have access to a shower at the office. So I need to ensure I have time enough to shower in the mornings — otherwise a “well, I can skip a shower this morning” quickly evolves into “I haven’t showered since the weekend and I’m pretty sure I can be classified as a biological weapon.”

Then there is this winter. After watching the elder/bigger of my dogs deal with the pain of a cracked paw pad after I walked him in bitter cold, I looked up what “safe” temperatures for dog walks were. Temperatures have, regularly, been far south of the outlines provided in that article. And, when it’s been too cold to walk? I’ve slept.

Then there was a string of illness. Right before my start date at my new job, I was hit by one of the worst colds I’ve ever had (I should note that this was a man cold – the average person, likely, would have just blown their nose an extra time & been fine). For a full day, I could could do little more than get out of bed4, and the lingering effects lasted for about a week – I just felt week & stupid. Then, my second week at the new job, I got hit with a stomach bug which, again, left me completely useless as a human5 for an entire day (Duffy speculates that my habit of scheduling myself & everyone around me so tightly means my body must react with “you will lie down and do nothing but binge-watch Netflix” symptoms for any ailment because otherwise I’ll just trudge along and never allow myself to heal). That’s two days this month where I, physically, couldn’t make myself do anything — and the recovery from each was significant.

So we go back to that morning workout. I’m finally feeling a little more like myself. The temperatures are such that it’s not pet-abuse to walk my dogs. I wake up at 4:45 — why am I absolutely strapped for time to get everything done?!

I have these grand plans of running a 5k before sunrise, or sparring a few rounds with the heavy bag, or meditating and practicing the forms/techniques for karate, or do something to switch up the morning routine. But the routine remains constant: wake, dress, walk dogs, make lunches, do a super-set of my eye opener workout, start water boiling for coffee, dress kids, do another super-set, start coffee brewing, do a last super set, ensure everything is set, and then wonder why I’m out of time as I run into the shower.

Maybe I need to move the clock back just a few more minutes in the morning – Benji certainly wouldn’t mind an earlier walk (Blondie, however, has to be lured out of the bed every morning, so she might just bite me if I try to get her up any earlier). Or maybe I need to stop “finding things” to do as I go between tasks in the morning (today, it was scoop the cat litter and break down cardboard boxes). But I feel that I’m caught in a rut, and I need to do something to get myself moving.

1 Walk the dogs, make lunches for Duffy and the kids, feed the pets, get the kids dressed, make coffee — one of these is far more important than all of the others.
2 Pull-ups, Dips, Pistol Squats, Push-ups
3 That would be zero. I didn’t have the strength/discipline to complete a single pull-up until I was well into my thirties.
4 Of course, this was also tech week for a show I was playing, meaning I was driving an hour, each way, to rehearse for a few hours.
5 I know my usefulness is subject for debate already.
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