Got out on the bike this morning before work – this is very exciting!
It’s so hard for me to get myself out of bed in order to do this. Let’s face it, I haven’t been very ambitious over the past few months. Maybe it’s just the pendulum swinging back after cranking up so hard in the spring, maybe it’s the litany of plans that fill summer, maybe it’s the pressure of living up to the expectations of others and impending disappointment.
If there’s something I’ve learned about life over the past two months, it’s that you’re bound to disappoint someone. That’s a given. People put their own expectations on you. Sometimes these expectations are fair, sometimes these are not fair – but you’re the one who has to live with yourself. You’re the one who has to look in the mirror and lay your head down to sleep every night. As long as you’re cool with who you are, that’s all that matters.
Other people’s expectations don’t mean shit – and that, my friends, is fact.
But I do set expectations for myself, and with this journey of improving my physical fitness – my key expectation is to feel good. Exercise feels good, both during and after. Eating well feels good. Being nice to myself, embracing my spirit, and worshiping this body – this amazing vessel that has brought me through life – feels good. And that’s what I expect of myself, to do my best to feel good.
When I eat garbage food or when I eat in excess, I don’t feel good and that goes against my expectation. When I go to bed too late at night and have a hard time getting up in the morning, that doesn’t feel good and that goes against my expectation.
For me, going to bed before 1am is considered “early” and I would like to try to ratchet this down to at least being in bed, reading or writing, by Midnight. This seems late to you, but I get home from work at 8:30 at night if I come straight home. 10pm if I go to the gym.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want. I’ve learned that this is seriously helpful to feeling good in life – don’t tell me what you hate, don’t tell me what you don’t like, tell me what you want.. I know, it’s a novel concept. We’re programmed in the negative, we’re programmed to tell people “no” and many find it easier to articulate what we don’t like rather than what we are working towards. It’s just easier to push away like that. Think about how when children learn the word “no” they attempt to assert control over their beings by saying it when ever possible.
So I try to think about what I want.
Well, among other things, I want to ride my bike. I have not done the commute in a while – it’s simply too much of a time committment. If I have appointments in the morning or need to stop at the store on my way home at night, it’s damn near impossible. And we’ve been losing precious day light, minute by minute, day by day. The sun sets at like 7:45 now, a full 15 minutes before my shift is over at work. If the commute were shorter, I might be more motivated to wear my geek headlamp (don’t be fooled, I love this!) – but it’s just too far and the roads I have to take are too busy. I value my safety and I value my time. By the time I deal with bus schedules and showers, the bike commute adds like 3-4 hours onto my day and all but negates the desire to go to the gym. How am I going to make THAT happen?! Damn near impossible.
There’s just so much I want to do – go to the gym, ride my bike, eat well, read books, watch Chopped, write my fiction, write this blog, spend time with friends, spend time with Lisa, take pretty pictures, meditate.. and now that Fall is nearly here, watch football!
So, while there are a limited number of waking hours in the day, there are 7 days in a week. And I want to make each one of them count.
Now that’s ambitious.