Did you know that students around the world are the only people keeping the multi-coloured pen industry in business? Probably not, because I just made that up. It might as well be true though. Envisage the scenario: you’ve been coasting along, doing the minimum possible, because let’s face it, the exam is ages away, and studying is for losers. All of a sudden though, you wake up one morning to find you’ve been in a coma for two months (the ONLY explanation!) because the exam is next week and you can barely remember ever having attended the lectures. Before panic well and truly sets in, you think of the perfect solution – create a study plan!!!! So you settle down, a crisp new notepad and 40 different coloured pens in front of you, and begin the epic task. Days are divided into tiny, measurable little slots where you’re going to make up for all the lost time; phew, you were almost worried for a minute! Each task is colour coded and surrounded by lovely scribbles and notes just to cheer you along the path to success. Four hours, three pots of tea and half a packet, okay, a whole packet of Hob Nobs later, you’re finished! You sit back to admire your handiwork, a smug look of satisfaction on your face. It’s not long before the crucial mistake becomes apparent though – you’ve included today in the plan, and realise you should have started studying three hours ago. You desperately search the plan for some space to rearrange the missed cramming time, but what with the 47 tea breaks (rest is vital!) and that night out you just cannot miss, the futility of your efforts sink in, so you declare the day a write-off and head to the pub for a well earned pint.
I’d love to say that little reminiscence into my student days was all just about the past, but to be honest, this kind of misplaced effort has been dogging me for years. I’m a great one for saying what i’m going to do, but just a bit rubbish at actually doing it. Now I know i’m training for a marathon at the moment, but I was supposed to have already run one this year, and guess what – I didn’t . I did however make a MASSIVE wall chart with all my training on it – I even had spaces to record how the sessions went and what i could do better next time (eh, maybe follow the plan?). Needless to say the chart was binned, the marathon wasn’t run, and i was back to where I started.
So, why am i telling you all this? Well, i’ve been planning again, but this time it is going to be more successful. Why? Because this time I really, really want it, and further to my last post, health wise i need this. Although I don’t have the day-to-day plans buttoned down, i can give you the headliners:
Goal 1a: Lose weight. I’ve got a goal in mind, but to be honest I’m more concerned with getting rid of excess visceral fat – I don’t care what the scales say at the end of the day.
Goal 1b: Get strong. There has recently been a lot of debate in the media about the ‘strong is the new skinny’ campaign, where it is feared people will replace one obsession with another. For me though, ‘getting strong’ is about functional strength – training my body to work as it is meant to, to reduce the chances of injury (my lower back has a tendency to be a pain in the, well, back). I want to have good core strength, and by that I mean my trunk but also my glutes, hamstrings etc.
I’ve split Goal 1 into two parts because for me they are clearly interlinked – to be honest, if I get the functional training right, the weight will almost take care of itself (assuming I eat right!)
Goal 2: if I reach my interim goal weight by the end of December, i’ll sign up for an ironman next year, most likely Ironman Western Australia. The reason I want to reach the interim weight goal first is because I learned a big lesson from my first IM attempt; I thought if I signed up for an ironman, that would help me reach my goal weight. Big mistake. Long, slow cardio isn’t the path to weight loss – i put on half a stone, and DNF’d, so i’m not taking that chance again.
Goal 3: Complete the half iron-distance event at Enduroman UK in 2014. I’ve put this after Goal 2 on purpose, even though it comes first on the 2014 calendar – I’m going doing this even if I decide the IM is too big an ask based on my weight loss progress. Why? Well, I still want to have a physical challenge to aim for, and it will also give a boost to my weight loss efforts knowing i have a reason to keep trying (over and above health).
Of course there is a lot of other stuff that I need to do to reach these goals, but that’s for another post; i’ve waffled on enough for now. I have to say though, I feel really excited to finally have a purpose again health & exercise wise, which I feel i’ve been missing for a while. The road ahead will undoubtedly be long and winding, with plenty of potholes and hills to contend with, but i’m looking forward to the journey…..
As Barney would say, “it’s going to be legend- ….wait for it…….”