DAY 5 – Saturday the 14th
I went to a memorial on Saturday. It was held for someone who had died three months ago so the grieving process had begun in earnest for most of the people in attendance; making the memorial far more beautiful and interesting than the usual melancholy affair one finds at these events. Perhaps the biggest takeaway was the fact that living a full and interesting life is really the most important duty that each of us have. As I looked around the room, looking at multiple generations of people who came to pay respects, all were here because the lady in question had touched every person in the room. When I look back at the end, whether it’s 50 years from now or 50 hours from now, I‘d like to leave behind a similar legacy.
Despite the gloomy morn, my journey to workout continued. For the first time ever, I used a hotel gym. I’ve certainly seen them. They’re unavoidable, mostly because they’re by the pool and hot tub which we’d all prefer going to. And yet there I was, veering off from the pack to enter the gym. This one was just two treadmills and an elliptical machine but would easily do for what I need at the moment. The treadmills were even fancier than the ones in my apartment complex because they had little TVs attached to them. Running on a treadmill while watching the NBA playoffs certainly beat just plain running. I shouldn’t complain that much because there is a TV at the apartment complex gym but there appears to be an unwritten rule to not turn it on lest someone bother the rest of the occupants with bad programming.
The only real problem was that the gym and pool looked in on one another. Since a softball tournament was taking place in the area that day, the hotel quickly overflowed with hundreds of kids and parents flocking back to their rooms and eventually the pool. It was quite distracting trying to maintain focus on the treadmill and the game playing on the TV while parents in the pool could constantly look in on the gym.
This kind of distraction led me to what feels like my first big mistake. I ran and ran hard; too hard. While I was able to run a mile in 15:39, easily my best time, I was not feeling great when it was done. Overtraining was something I had certainly worried about, because when you start as a beginner, a true beginner where this is all new (the first day I didn’t understand what all the buttons on the treadmill did), it’s easy to screw something up. By the time I was done, not only was I drenched in sweat but I simply didn’t feel good, the way I had after the earlier workouts. Maybe it was trying to look good in front of a group, or simple overconfidence on a machine that at first felt too slow, which led to me raising the speed too high.
Hubris has been the downfall of many a person, from Icarus to Al Capone. Overconfidence combined with one tragic mistake can lead to large empires collapsing. This incident taught me that breaking speed records aren’t as important as being able to consistently hit a small range of times before being comfortable enough to increase that range. It also taught me not to worry about what groups of people think (something I wrote about the day before. It’ll be a persistent theme no doubt throughout this journey).
If the goal of this endeavor is to improve my health and get fit, then there’s no room for dumb mistakes like overtraining and setting things back. A small mistake but one that provides a lesson to grow on: perhaps the best kind!
As you can see, this time is far faster than the rest. Too fast really. Not easily replicable.
SONG OF THE DAY: “Death is Certain (Life Is Not)” by Dark Angel