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Fitness approaching 30

Folks, I have been negligent in updating this blog. I can’t promise that will change, but for any technical / nerdy eyes that happen upon this blog, please take note. Sitting on your ass all day will ruin your body if you don’t compensate with exercise. I am not speaking about this from a high and righteous position, but rather from personal experience. I have spent the majority of my adult life working 9-5 technical jobs which mostly meant sitting on my ass in front of a computer screen all day, every day. Much like Newton’s first law, the fat nerd who stays seated all day will remain seated at night. I had to break the habit. Actually, I had to break multiple habits.

Coffee is a drug. It’s a crutch. It’s a boost that helps you get going, and a craving that you must satisfy lest you wind up with headaches. Coffee is also an addiction. My first step on the road to rehabilitation has been to kick coffee, and caffeine in general, to the curb. The first few days of a caffeine-less life are brutal. There was a withdrawal period – for a few days, I was irritable and had a rather bad headache. When it was over, I started to notice benefits.

Benefits?! Yes, benefits. When I was fully addicted to caffeine/coffee, I found that in the afternoons I was quite tired and in the mornings I could barely drag myself out of bed. These days, I’m springing up before the alarm sounds! Imagine that? Can you find it in yourself to try kicking caffeine if the benefits include waking up feeling well rested? My wife can’t, and I imagine most can’t. I challenge you to try it. Other benefits include saving $ on ridiculously expensive coffee habits, and cutting sugary calorie sources out.

After conquering caffeine, I started running. At first, I started running around the yard with the goal of just making it a few laps. I was terribly out of shape. I eventually replaced the Garmin Forerunner GPS watch my wife destroyed by diving off a boat into Vietnamese waters. It was water resistant, but not water proof. The newer model – a Forerunner 45 – is actually water proof! Time will tell if it’s wife-proof too. I was excited about the Forerunner 45 in particular as it comes with a feature called Garmin Coach – an automated training plan system that creates an 18 week program based on your goals. This includes workouts with warmups, drills, tests and instructions – and neat little videos by the “coach”. I’m on week 9 of the program at this point, and have ran 6 miles on my own two legs! That’s over a mile longer than I had ever ran when I was in my “prime” at 22. This thing works, and it keeps me honest.

Next, weight training. I’ve had an on/off relationship with weight training for a few years. I am not very good at lifting weights. When I first really dove into it at 25 years old I was focused on losing weight on a ketogenic diet. I had been through a couple of years of work-related laziness and lethargy and wanted to lose weight. One of my friends was a zealot and got me hooked on keto. I made the diet a priority and wouldn’t listen to anyone who’d mention that carbohydrates aid performance. I also had terrible form, no supportive equipment (sleeves) and found myself routinely injured. I ran the Stronglifts 5×5 routine on and off for a few years, up until recently. I decided to change it up as I didn’t see the progress I was aiming for, and the overwhelming volume and intensity really burned me out. I am taking a break from keto, and trying out nSun’s 5/3/1 program, specifically the 4-day variant. So far, so good! I’m tracking progress with a spreadsheet in Google Sheets and have embedded my progress chart.

Clearly I’m not going to break records any time soon (probably ever), but damn it feels good to get back into shape. I’m much more mentally alert and find that I tire less easily.

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