This just in...
Wow! August flew by!
I wanted to post something just so I didn't have a whole month missing this time. I know I haven't been very good at my practice, but there have been, you know, reasons.
Two main ones. First, I decided I really had to do something about my weight. It's been creeping back up and approaching my weight before I got Bodhi back in 2016. (I walked thirty pounds off with Bodhi) I was hovering around 227 back then, and decidedly portly. So I decided to start making a serious commitment to working out, and watching what I eat.
For whatever reason, I definitely prefer working out first thing in the morning. I suppose it's because if I do it first, it's done, and I can't distract myself from getting it accomplished. If I did it later in the day, I'm sure there'd always be something that would take precedence. And I like to be alone. Ideally, I'd run as that's a solitary activity. I can run with a partner, which is definitely not alone, but you generally reach an understanding with a partner and so there's not a lot of friction first thing in the morning. But I'm not running yet, I'm not confident about my legs and joints, so I'm doing the elliptical in the fitness center. So early is better, though there are a couple of other early risers here now, and I'm often not alone and I have to listen to them talking, dropping weights, playing workout videos on their phones, and a bunch of other nonsense I'd just as soon not have to experience. I have ear buds and I'm listening to an ancient iPod, but you can still hear the loud stuff.
I know, bitch, bitch, bitch...
In any event, I started out doing thirty minutes three times a week, and realized quickly that that wasn't going to move the needle. So I went to doing thirty minutes four times a week. Didn't seem to be moving the needle either. Went to forty minutes four times a week and got a little movement. Now I'm at forty five minutes, four times a week, and I'm starting to see some progress.
On top of that, I decided to make my step goal 15,000 steps a day. I'd been shooting for the notional 10K, and often missing the mark, but now my average for the last four weeks is 14,191. So that's progress.
And the key to any effort like this one is consistency. I'm six weeks into this and I haven't missed or skipped a day. Nearly every morning, when the alarm goes off, I have this little internal debate with some part of me that insists it wouldn't hurt to skip a day. But I know if I just put my feet on the floor, I'll go. It helps that I lay out all my gear the night before, so I don't have to think about anything.
The other reason I haven't been here consistently is because there's a new member of the household. One of my neighbors passed several weeks ago. She had a dog, a little ShiTzu called Schatzi. Her daughter has a houseful of three large rescues; she loves Schatzi, but wasn't sure how well she'd do in that environment. My other neighbor who had been looking after Schatzi, knew that I'd been wanting a dog since Bodhi died, and Mitzi happened to be in Georgia that week, visiting her mother so...
Anyway, Schatzi's a dear, as her name implies. She's 13 years old, pretty deaf though she can hear loud noises. Fairly active for being an older dog. She has some spine and hip issues, but she gets around fine. Likes to boss around the cat, which the cat wants no part of. Mitzi loves her too, and truthfully, while I never saw myself as a small, frou-frou dog kind of a guy, she's the perfect size for a condo like ours.
The first night I had her was a bit of a test of wills. She was a mess because she hadn't been bathed in weeks, and there was no way I ever wanted to share my bed with a dog. (Don't get me wrong, I've done it before and don't think there's anything wrong with it, I just don't sleep well with animals in the bed. The cat is banished too.) She came with her own bed, which was a bit of a mess, so I put that in the bedroom with me in the area where Bodhi used to sleep. I'm certain there's no remaining scent of Bodhi there, given the remodeling we did back in '16-'17. She came up by the head of my bed and whined and cried for the better part of an hour, but I didn't yield. The next night, after she'd been bathed and groomed and gotten a new bed, she went right to her bed and we've had no issues with sleeping arrangements ever since.
All that said, she's much harder to walk than Bodhi. She goes where she wants, and she takes her sweet time. If she doesn't want to go somewhere, like when I have to deposit the poop-bag in a station, she plants her feet wide, lowers here body down and just refuses to move. So walking her takes quite a bit more time than walking Bodhi did.
So my morning routine, even though it starts about 5:00 a.m., is quite a bit longer than before, and by the time I get up here, I'm just not in a writing frame of mind. But I don't want to abandon this effort quite yet.
I'll work it out. In the mean time, it's been a good August.