Thursday, January 17, 2013
The music tonight, or this too early morn, as it were, is Marillion again. Just got through listening to Cannibal Surf Babe, off their 1996 masterpiece, "Afraid of Sunlight", and it's on to one my faves of theirs, "Beautiful". It's just a heart-achingly gorgeous song, and it's hitting me tonight how incredibly relevant it is to our journey.
The first couple verses get right to the point -- we do inhabit a world/culture where material things seem prized above all else, and things of intrinsic value are given short shrift. And not just things, people get shunted aside, whether it's through our own insecurities, arising from a lack of confidence in our prospects, or our appearance, or for other reasons.
--Everybody knows we live in a world
--Where they give bad names to beautiful things
--Everybody knows we live in a world
--Where we don't give beautiful things a second glance
--Heaven only knows we live in a world
--Where what we call beautiful is just something on sale
--People laughing behind their hands
--As the fragile and the sensitive are given no chance
By the end, though, the perspective changes from a lament to a challenge. The middle verse tells everybody, "We should live in a beautiful world/we should give beautiful a second chance", before turning that spotlight towards us.
--You strong enough to be
--Have you the courage to be
--Have you the faith to be
--Honest enough to stay
--Don't have to be the same
--Don't have to be this way
--C'mon and sign your name
--You wild enough to remain beautiful?
--And the leaves turn from red to brown
--To be trodden down
--And we fall green to red to brown
--Fall to the ground
--But we can turn it around
--You strong enough to be
--Why don't you stand up and say
--Give yourself a break
--They'll laugh at you anyway
--So why don't you stand up and be
--Black, white, red, gold, and brown
--We're stuck in this world
--Nowhere to go
--What are you so afraid of?
--Show us what you're made of
--Be yourself and be beautiful
Think I just found my motivational music for the next phase of the journey.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Stretched out on the couch, typing this over the offending belly, and thinking, rationally, that this thing was probably, objectively larger a year ago, 16 months ago. Too bad I failed to measure at the outset of the trip.
One of the pre tasks on the BLC21 was a baseline fitness test, just the run of the mill how many crunches/squats/pushups can you do in a minute. Now, I've done the crunches and squats portions of that before, but I just hadn't done a pushup in a long while, probably based on how I've never been able to do many, bad shoulders, whatnot. Surprised myself, in a couple of ways. One, 21 pushups in a minute. Wasn't aware I was capable of that. Curious to try again, but that'll have to wait a couple of days. That flu shot I took yesterday is having its usual effect on my, and I've got a sore shoulder/neck. Maybe best not to compound that, methinks.
The other surprise came from the 1 mile run/walk portion of the pre-task. The gym I go to has a two lane track around the top of the basketball/volleyball/badminton/pickleball courts, which measures out at 1/12th of a mile per circuit. After the treadmill experience last week, I decided I'd rather go around that than timing myself on the treadmill, and so I did, jogging for the heck of it for the first time in years. Actually, I started out walking to warm up, and then tried running a bit, making two circuits before slowing back to a walk, and then sticking to that pattern. Ended up doing the mile in 14:03, half walking, half jogging, aka wogging, which, until I looked it up a minute ago, I didn't realize was a real thing.
The surprise was from both the time, which felt slow, as well as the fact that I was able to run. In a way, neither factor should have been a surprise. I usually walk at about a 17 min/mile pace, and adding running in ought to make that faster. And the running part, well, I've been playing ultimate frisbee the last 9 years, there's a little bit of running involved there, so, why the surprise at being able to run 1/6th of a mile at a time? But still, surprise. Given the timing, I'm wondering if I can do a mile run in 11 minutes? I suppose the determining factor would be if I had the stamina to keep jogging for the entire mile, rather than in intervals. Think I might have to try to get there.
Of course, I'm paying for that a couple of days later, sore legs and all. Or maybe that's the squats, or lunges, or the pickleball I played yesterday, or furniture rearrangement. Basically, I'm a ball of sore today. And unlike some of you, I'm no masochist. It doesn't make me eager to do the next workout. But hey, I told myself 10 squats and lunges a day, and 20 minutes of something, anything every day, so...
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Because where else are you going to hear a metal band talking about the eyes of praying mantises and weaving that into theology couched in a ton of medical/anatomical terminology?
The band is Tourniquet, a christian metal outfit that plays good thrash, the link is to the title track of the Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance album, my fave of their.
I was actually digging through my CDs looking for their Psycho Surgery album, since that title is more apt for the mood of the day. That mood ain't a good one, just dwelling on all the things I dislike about myself, and in my life, including the apparent lack of wherewithal to make the changes necessary. Hmmm, maybe I should be listening to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," instead?
Need to find a just effing do it mode. Get a psychic cleanse, maybe (not in any new age sense, just metaphorically speaking).
The weird thing is...this ungood state of mind may actually be helping the weight loss/exercise thing. Stress and its effects aside, it's an area I feel relatively in control of, and you can bet your butt I'm holding on to that.
Ok, scribbling it out has slightly altered the mood for the better. Might have to try this trick in the future, hope you'll forgive me.
First bit of resetting my life: the hair.
A few days ago (Friday?):
The beard kinda hid the extra chin. Although I could make it look a lot skinnier by jutting the chin out just a tad, I'm choosing to post this one, as it fits the mood. And will be a nice reference for the future.
And now, to continue listening to albums with ludicrou...I mean, awesome titles, Dimmu Borgir's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. (Link to the song Puritania)
Monday, January 14, 2013
So, speaking in terms of actuality, nothing has changed since last Friday, around 7 PM. But when you enter the realm of realityÖ
I wrote a blog Friday with a couple of songs linked, both of which suggest that perception is reality. The next day, I mentioned how the mirrored glass in the gym reflected my fat-assed self. Thereís something awfully, awfully meta going on here, in the fact that just after those events, Iíve been feeling fat all weekend, whereas until stepping on that treadmill Friday, I was fine with where I was on this journey. A self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will.
I mean, last week, I took before pics for the current BLC round, and noted the protruding belly, andÖthat was it. Iím not sharing those pics publicly, but that wasnít out of any sort of morbid embarrassment, or anything of the sort, itís just because I havenít been sharing any half naked pics of myself on here, no matter how much you beg (ok, ok, no one is begging for any such thing). But I took those pics, and didn't really think anything of it at the time. And now, I'm looking at them again, and wondering, why not? Did I not see the protruding belly? Or was it that I didn't see it as Protruding (the capital P makes all the difference, don'tcha know?)
So, now Iím left to wonder if itís a case of talking myself into it. Whether I didn't, by typing out those particular thoughts in that particular timeframe and juxtaposition, set myself up into having this reaction. I didnít even make that connection until I typed out the entry title, intending to reference only the post-treadmill blog.
All that said, the ďsuddenly feeling fatĒ feeling isnít a new phenomenon. Itís just that it usually occurs after a gain of 5-7 lbs, throughout which I stroll around feeling fine, until one day I wake up, look in the mirror and utter an expletive. This time, I've been in an essential plateau for a while. I haven't gained any lasting weight, certainly not the kind of previous trigger event Honestly, this particular strain of fatitude hasnít really struck within the past 16 months, since Iíve been on this site. So, I'm a little surprised to see it rearing its ugly headÖand more than a little amused that itís doing so at the outset of my foray into the BLC challenge, something that seems rather well-suited to take on that very feeling. And, just to extend the web of interconnected among my recent scribblings, I happened to mention the BLC challenge in Sunday's entry.
Do you believe in coincidences?
Sunday, January 13, 2013
It's the name of a band, a progressive supermetal band (their tongue in cheek self hype job) consisting of a few guys I've known for many years, and a couple of guys that I met tonight for the first time. They've been playing together nearly 5 years, but I, living 450 miles away, hadn't made it to any of their shows. Until Saturday night. Glad to finally be able to see them live, and glad to see my old friends and make new ones, too, that's always nice.
Link is to the song "Here, it's over" from their first album, "Recurring Themes". www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc4PqCWdUQA
I'm someone who loves going to see live music, pretty much of any variety. Though I don't claim to be one of those people who "listen to pretty much everything", if there's a cheap live show going on, and I've nothing better to do, I'm liable to go check out music far outside what I prefer to listen to. Maybe it's envy, either at the courage to get up on stage and perform, or at the ability to play an instrument, or for being able to write original material, I don't know.
When I was out in Wisconsin, I ended up being friends with a fair number of people who were in bands, and I'll probably throw together a blog post at some point with a sampler platter of songs by friends of mine. Not to name drop, since the odds are heavily against you having heard of niche/regional bands, but just to share the talents of my talented friends. And you never know, you might even find you like something among them.
The time nearing 4 AM, tonight won't be that night, though...sorry!
Instead, I'll just shift gears entirely, and mention that I'm in the corral of the Midnight Mustangs for the BLC 21. Excited to see what a structured challenge with built in support will mean for the attempt to break through this plateau I've wandered on for a while now. Also, oddly apprehensive about it, though the folks on the team are quite welcoming. Either way, an over 40 percent jump in the number of spark friends overnight. Almost feel like I should have prepared something profound for anyone looking in on my blatherings for the first time. But hey, it's more authentic this way, no? That's what I'll tell myself, anyway, as I drop off to sleep.
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