The Long and Winding Toad

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Reflection of Andy, Archie, Tilly, Luna, and Kitt in a driveway mirror

Andy wanted to go for a hike today, and had a longer route planned. I said yep, because I needed a long training hike and wanted to hang with Andy. He picked me up and off we went.

When we walk, I usually walk with Archie. Of the three dogs, I like Archie the least, but I have found, as with most beings, when I shower him with affection, he is less annoying to me. Tilly is the same way, her aggressive greetings and jumping frustrates me. I've been headbutted in the face and kicked in the groin by Tilly I don't know how many uncountable times. I've adapted to her greetings by showing affection, which seems to lessen her demands for attention, and by holding her down firmly while praising her for not jumping in greeting. Both seem to be having an effect, which I'm happy about.

So, off we go, Andy, Tilly, Luna, Archie, and me.

Many of the paths I hadn't been on, some I recognized. I was amused that I looked at my watch 30 minutes in. I'm usually better about not looking at my watch and not caring about the time or distance covered. It was going to be a long hike, if I looked 30 of 180 minutes into the hike.

Andy picking up poop as Tilly and Luna stare at me.

On these long hikes (and on normal walks in general), Andy prefers the dogs poop at the beginning of a hike, usually near a trash bin. The dogs seems to want to poop around the same time, which makes for a big bag of poop at the end of the scooping. The dogs don't always accomodate Andy, "I'm become an export at carrying poop, and also at holding three leashes in one hand while scooping poop in the other." I was suitably impressed.

I carried barely 13 pounds on this hike, mostly a symbolic weight. My back was oddly stiff at the end of the hike. I'm somewhat puzzled why, though. My back is less stiff with 25 pounds on my back.

After the hike, Andy and I picked up lunch at Aqui, then went back to Krikitt Downs to eat. After lunch and hanging, Andy and I talked for a bit. I talked about where I had been the last eight years or so, the arc of my life. I apologized for being a crappy friend. I suspect this is going to be a week of apologies. He listened, for which I was grateful, and accepted my apologies. My crying afterward may have been from gratitude, but was more likely from the relief of setting down a heavy burden.

Yes, there were toads on the hike.

And a Yoda.

This Doesn't Have to be a Thing

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So, in all of this training I'm doing, I have one or two strength workouts a week. Some are really hard, some are less hard. All of them are hard.

When everything is hard, motivation tends to be an issue for me. Worse, I start to build up these workouts into "OMG how hard these are these going to be? HARD! I don't want to do this, ugh, so hard."

As if working out, building muscle, becoming stronger is a straight line being better every time.

That's not how bodies work. Some days will be good. Some days will be less good. Eh, that infers judgement. Some days I'll be stronger than the previous workout. Some days I'll be the same. Some days I'll be less strong. That's the way of bodies. It is fine.

Making a big deal about how hard a workout is or how I'm not always improving, however, is not fine.

While hefting myself up to the chinup bar tonight, I had the thought, "This doesn't have to be a thing," a riff on Marcus Aurelias's "You don’t have to turn this into something." And I burst out laughing.

It really doesn't. I can do the workout, and while this one might not be better than the last one, the general trend is up. I might not be be stronger today, but I will be stronger next week, next month, by Vinson.

And that's what matters.

Local Bakery Goods

Daily Photo

Not a LOVELY photo, but one that makes me happy. The local bakery is full of tasty items, and I appreciate the selection. The staff is lovely.

No no no, you don't need that one.

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So, I was looking at a health website, and came across a post on "5 Tips for Exercise Motivation." Exercise that isn't group exercise (read: ultimate frisbee) is difficult for me to stick with. Which isn't to say I don't move a lot, I do, but that's because not moving hurts, not because I'm motivated to move more. So, exercise motivation? Sure, I'll give it a read.

So, I read them. The tips are/were:

Find a support system
Think positive
Make a commitment
Celebrate the small successes
Select comfortable workout clothes

Let me tell you, that last one is spot off. If you want to motivate for exercise, putting any barrier in place will be demotivating. "I can't go for a run unless I have these clothes on!" No, you can go for a run with only running shoes, underwear, and a sports bra. Everything else is bonus. You might not feel comfortable running in these clothes, but you'll be running, which is the point of motivation: the doing of the thing. If you want to have a stronger core, drop down into a plank and hold it. You don't need to change out of the dress clothes you're in, just drop into plank position, and go. Want to do 120 pushups today? Drop into that plank and have at it. Chin ups? Pull ups? Walk by that bar on the way back from the bathroom, and up you go.

Point is, the more barriers you put up, the harder motivation has to work. Better to make exercise easy.

Tea Temps

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"You like your tea cold."

"No, I like my tea hot, I tolerate it cold."

Hearing other person's perceptions of you is often very interesting.

"Oh, sorry, negative."

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I took a Covid test today. I have a runny nose, likely from the change in weather and a change in my exercise level, but a runny nose is a runny nose, and that means taking a test in the Era of Covid. Based on recommendations from various experts, I followed the Chilean process of swabbing the throat first. I did not follow up with swabbing my nose, but I'll try that next time.

And "Well, that's an interesting ..."

I had seen the result, took the picture of it, and had turned away. In true Kitt Style™, I became distracted by words as I was reading the results, and hadn't realized I was speaking out loud.

"WHAT? WHAT? WHAT IS THE RESULT?" "What was it?" "What happened?"

"Oh, sorry, negative."

Oops.

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