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Surviving Transformative Times: Good Enough

Thursday, April 30, 2015

I recently came across a blog that "spoke" to me: The “good enough” workout


The author was referencing the "winter slump" in his physical activity and trying to get back on track with his workouts. He said "Whenever I am in such a slump, I allow myself a series of “good enough” workouts. In essence, I force myself to go to the gym or on a run, with a very simple goal: simply to do something."

Although I can't chalk it up to winter any longer: the weather has been outstanding as of late. But due to the challenges of transformative times, my response has been far less than outstanding. Days of wonderful weather which have brought me such exuberance and euphoria in the past have as late been met with an underwhelming undertow of "meh." While I know this too shall pass, what to do in the meantime?

Well, ya gotta just put one foot ahead of the other, go through the motions, fake-it-till-ya-make-it until that Spark inside is triggered and burns brightly once again...as I know it will do.

Things are different this year and while I regret some of the changes, I can live with them and know that I'm doing "good enough" for now.

For instance, while it nags at me, for the time being, I've made a decision NOT to commute to work on my bike. Despite making time for enough quantity of sleep, the QUALITY of my sleep has been suffering and I struggle to get my rear in gear in the morning. There just ain't enough gas in the tank to get on my bike for a commute. It is what it is. Leaving room to change my mind, certainly.

Weekend rides with the bike club have commenced at long last and the camaraderie of the club members is a life-saver. But I'm not getting the bump or lift to which I've been accustomed to getting in the past. We have a couple more rides through some gorgeous territory with awesome weather forecasted for this weekend.

So riding is pretty much limited to weekends. During the week I make sure to have my gym bag packed and ready to fall into one workout or another through the week. And these workouts are "good enough."

Another compromise I'm making is to NOT do the Binghamton Bridge Run 5K this Sunday as I had planned, despite having paid my $25. Two reasons:

1) one of our long-term bike club members is moving out of the area and she will be leading her wonderful Pepacton Reservoir bike ride for the last time this Sunday, the same day as the 5K.

And 2) my attempts to get out and jog have seriously flagged and I've opted for my usual fitness center cardio of spinning, elliptical, rowing and stair climbing. And I've made up my mind that this is perfectly okay: it's good-enough!

One bright spot recently has been at our annual dinner for the bike club we had, for the first time, a Safety Contest drawing. Members had to take the Safety Course offered by the League of American Bicyclists


print out proof that we've passed the test, sign it and enter the contest to win a free pass to our Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour upcoming from June 12-14


worth $100.

Shameless plug here: SURELY some of you are gonna JOIN me there...RIGHT?!? The beautiful Finger Lakes, Wineries, campfires, stellar company...can't beat it for $100 for the entire weekend! :-)

...and I WON! Pretty cool savings!

Another big adjustment has recently presented itself: I've finally gotten hearing aids for the first time and it's been a very weird time adjusting to them. They bring a sort of disembodied, robo-ear sort of feeling...it's not ME that's hearing but my hearing aids! Plus I'm hearing all sorts of high pitched sounds I've not heard in years which can drive me CRAZY at times! Birds chirping from way far away sound like they're on my SHOULDER. The ticking of a clock. The clickety-clack of my formerly "quiet" PC keyboard. The crinkle of shaking out a plastic grocery bag can be such a startling sound. Very, very strange. But giving it time to become adjusted. I've already made up my mind that hearing aids and bicycling do not mix: no roaring wind tunnel to distract my cycling thank you!

The main thing is I'm keeping on track with workouts and healthy food choices, keeping one foot ahead of the other. And that is truly just good enough.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Don - so much to comment on in your blog --- I'm about to travel the hearing aide road and your experience is similar to what friends of mine say.

    Anyway, you speak the voice of moderation and steady commitment and I learn from you. I love the Finger Lakes - what a great ride...I have a good deal of ground work to do before I could consider riding like this again.
    1407 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Huh. What you consider good enough might kill the rest of us lol. You are doing fabulous in spite of a slump! Your true love is the bike and your other dance partners just don't cut it. You got to go with what you love because that is what keeps you coming back for more. I am going to have to learn to be good enough in the opposite direction and start dialing down all the exercise. I am a workout junkie but may injure myself doing too much every day, twice a day without any rest days (too boring not to move and we know where boredom leads -hello EE)
    emoticon on the win -shows what was meant to be -in emphasis!! That ride sounds like so much fun!
    Big adjustment, hearing aids, some people end up dialing them down because the background noise is so much they actually have trouble hearing a person they are trying to talk to in front of them. But it also makes you wonder how much sound you have been missing all these years. Taking them off while riding sounds like a great idea. This is why I like getting to the farther out bush trails -away from the constant traffic and sirens and honking, etc. Listening to night sounds in an isolated area while camping will be interesting.
    You will work through all this. Because all will pass in time. Keep being the amazing Sparkster you are!
    emoticon emoticon
    1417 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    great blog.............
    thanks for sharing..
    keep on keeping on....
    You can do it!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1417 days ago
    This winter was really tough for me. Too many days the temperatures were so low that risk of frostbite was very real. Some days just doing yoga was good enough. It's a good strategy and it kept me from spending money on a gym membership and the carbon footprint I would have created to go to the gym. Sometimes I danced around the house, but most times I waited until it warmed up enough by the afternoon to venture out for my walk. Sometimes those walks were only 10 minutes and that was definitely good enough when the windchill was -25 C.
    In April I managed to get in over 2000 fitness minutes but that hasn't happened since last September. The busyness of fall followed by a hard, cold winter crushed that hope that I would remain a 2000 fitness minute month member. But what I did do was good enough because I maintained. I'm glad you found that blog! It really makes me feel far less guilty for my somewhat inactive winter.

    1418 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I go through good enough periods also in workouts. I also got hearing aides in the last year. Hang in there. The more you wear them, the more you get used to the noises. It will get better. You are doing very well staying focused on health and exercise cutting yourself some good enough slack.
    1418 days ago
    I totally understand that "good enough" feeling because sometimes it can just be SO HARD! But what I noticed in your blog, Don, is that you are still doing some wonderful things - continued participation with you bike club, going to the gym, planning for the Finger Lakes tour. Whatever is causing the slump will pass in time. One day you will get energized about something or you may just find yourself saying to yourself "OK, Don, I'm sick of feeling like this so lets kick it in gear!".

    My DH has hearing aides. Sometimes he will joke and ask if I want to know what the people on the other side of the room are saying - LOL! It took a few adjustments at the hearing aide place to get all of the pitches right, but they eventually just became a normal part of his day. He DOES NOT wear them when we are on our bikes either!
    1418 days ago
    Good enough is an excellent life strategy in oh so many ways. Sustainable. Hope the meh sentiment eases up soon, replaced by joy...
    1418 days ago
    I agree with the idea of good enough as a means for getting through the days when motivation is flagging or spirits are unwilling; that's when habit really carries the day!

    1418 days ago
    Very wise blog and decisions. Maybe what you need is some new tunes emoticon !?

    Wonderful that you won the contest! It will make the ride even more fun than it would have been otherwise.
    1418 days ago
    You won! That's great, Don. Congratulations. And your good-enoughs sound exactly that, good enough. Sometimes ya just need a change or a break, and sometimes you need to rest. I don't know how old you are (you look young in your pictures), but the need to pace ourselves comes in time. One of my best friends is also one of my best life teachers. She's in her late 70s and more active than most people I know. She says she still enjoys her favorite physical activities, she just goes slower and spreads them out over more time. No need to punish ourselves. We've earned to right to move more leisurely, as long as we keep moving!

    1418 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/30/2015 11:18:26 PM
    Life changes do require lots of adjustments but the "fake it till you feel it" does help! Good luck. Being flexible does pay off.
    1418 days ago
    Perfectionism can kill the best motivation and intentions. Good Enough rules.
    1418 days ago
    Life ebbs and flows and our energy does as well. You have established a baseline and activity has become part of your life. You can push yourself forward when you feel like it, but to just keep at it at whatever level you can is the thing to do, as you seem to realize.

    You write a helpful, inspiring blog. Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    1418 days ago
    Ooh! Wish I could go on that Finger Lakes bike tour! Doesn't fit into the 2015 schedule, though! So many opportunities... so little time. I've just got to retire! Sigh.

    And I totally identify with the "good enough"... I dub it my "line in the sand" when times get tough, "thus far and no farther"... I will NOT stop doing X, no matter how crazy life gets.

    Keep at it, Don. It's worth being "good enough"! emoticon
    1418 days ago
    I think that when dealing with the upheaval of transformative times -- even much longed for transformative times trigger upheaval! -- then cutting yourself some "good enough" slack it completely reasonable. And healthy!

    It's all draining. And emotional exhaustion levels out the highs of "good stuff".

    Hope that the hearing aids begin to feel like "your" ears soon -- if not, maybe some tweaking will be needed?
    1418 days ago
    Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

    Not riding your bike to work for the time being seems to me to be a good decision. Pushing yourself too hard can backfire - so making a tough decision like this one is the right thing to do at this juncture.

    Knowing you, Don, I am quite sure that you will get your mojo back soon and be riding like the wind once again!
    1419 days ago
  • GABY1948
    This ALL sounds emoticon emoticon for sharing, Don! emoticon
    1419 days ago
    just keep moving!
    1419 days ago
    Great blog!
    Thanks for sharing emoticon
    1419 days ago
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