Sunday, April 17, 2011

What was starting a routine like?

O don't remind me. It was a well worth it after the first few months. First I'll talk about why it was hard, then why it was worth it.

When I started exercising in May, I had no clue what I was in for. Apparently my body didn't seem used to burning energy, so I felt tired a lot. That was both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I can focus better tired, but if I lose enough coherency, my ability to reason and solve problems may be hampered, which is all but crippling as a CS major. But overall I would have to say I fared better than when i didn't exercise. I found out that when I could focus fine, I focused better. Eventually my body got used to it and it wasn't too bad, but it took a lot more will power to do my routine the first few months than after.

Also, finding the motivation to push yourself to your limit is harder at first. If you don't, you won't progress. It was something that took a while to learn. But you have to be careful too, if you push yourself too hard, then you may injure yourself and not be able to keep going. It requires a lot of self-honesty in addition to motivation.

O yeah then there's the whole other people factor. When I was at the gym, they all seemed stronger than me. When I was at the pool, it felt like they all could go longer than me and had better technique. To be honest, I'm probably still average at best, but you really can't let your self-esteem get injured because of what other people think or because you don't think you're as good as they are. Most of the other swimmers looked like they were in better shape too, which was somewhat of a double-whammy to my self-esteem when I went to the pool. But that's just it. Your self-esteem shouldn't be based on whether you're "better" than someone else.

There's two problems with this:

1. Someone will always be better than you at whatever it is you perceive at as one of your own strengths or weaknesses
2. You will be limited by others. If you always try to be better than someone else, you'll stop after you're just better than them, but if you always try to improve, regardless of whether you're better or not, you'll keep moving forward.

Then the REAL weird thing was I didn't seem to lose any weight those first few months either and I didn't feel like I was stronger, sometimes I couldn't handle as much weight as before. I almost gave up.

I THINK that my muscles seeming weaker was because my muscles weren't done recovering from the last time, so I WAS making progess, but it didn't seem like it. One of my friends even said "wanna feel stronger? don't sleep or exercise for a week!" because he could do more weight after that. I had a similar experience when I missed a week. This just means keep at it, you're still getting somewhere even if it doesn't seem like it, just keep pushing yourself to the limit (but also get enough protein, your body needs it to recover).

O yeah. I also forgot to stretch. That made things hard sometimes.

But then, a few months later something amazing happened, the weight finally started to melt. My self-esteem starting going up too. The minute increases in strength paled in comparison to the better moods/less stress. If you're thinking about starting a program just remember: It may be hard, just push through it.

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