Sunday, March 27, 2011

40 Days of Working Out- Update

The New Math
Having usurped some philosophies from contemporary lines of thought, I, a few weeks ago, decided to take on the notion of adopting a Lenten perspective towards working out. Having limited exposure to the concept and educated by the popular media, I decided that I would give up 'not working out'. Or, stated positively, I would workout daily during the 40 Days of Lent, which I have entitled "The 40 Days of Working Out" or 40 DOWO.

From the get go, the process was flawed. First, I fully believed that the Lenten season, start to finish, was 40 days long. That's what I've understood since the early days of observing the Lenters through my own personal looking glass. There have even been movies made about the concept of 40 days. Hollywood wouldn't steer me astray, right? Well, even a poorly trained monkey could go to a calendar,  start on Ash Wednesday, count until Easter, and get a number a full week longer than 40 days. According to my spiritual advisor, the BIL, apparently Sunday's don't count. This puts a kink into the system rendering the title 40 DOWO completely inaccurate. If only there was some sort of manual, a book that had these guidelines (amongst others), a word that explained how to live and behave, then I might have gotten this correct. Alas, I'm unaware of any such novel. I'm sure if it existed, it would be bought by millions and might even be a best-seller of all time. Hopefully, someone will pen a few chapters and make it available for the masses.

Second, I started the process with an understanding that the Winter Training Season might end soon. A short 10 days plus some hourly change after the Lenten Season began, winter was supposed to end with the solar rays finally crossing over into our hemisphere. This is usually met with the re-migration of several species of animal and the arrival of warmer temperatures. We had one day in which the mercury (for those of us who haven't traded the mercury for dyed-alcohol) stumbled over the 50ยบ plateau, only to be met with a polar air chaser. The snow has reappeared and the bike has remained in the basement.

The Mark Against Me
Despite the challenge of increasing my workout total from 40 to 47, I have been faithful to the original rules. You can read them here. Thus, I've done some form of SBR for at least 30 minutes a day for the past 18 days (as of this writing). One day, a nasty form of belly rumbling turned a normally spry Banter into the fetal position for several hours. I cut it close, bravely climbing out of bed, and started a run at 9:40 pm (bed time in the Banter household is typically 9:30). The streak was still alive.

After 2 full weeks into the 40 DOWO, I entered a recovery week in my training schedule. Having planned this recovery week months before incepting the Lenten workout philosophy, I was conflicted. Fortunately, 30 minutes of cardio is not enough to ruin a good recovery day and my original schedule was not compromised. But, lurking in the shadows was a hidden force that might prove to end the streak.

See, smack dab in the middle of Lent this year lied a special day. Actually, it was a milestone of a special day. Here within happens to be my wedding anniversary. Not only was it my wedding anniversary, but my 10th wedding anniversary. And by 'my', I really mean ours. The Wife is nothing short of amazing and the most spectacular supporter of all things Banter. The fact that were still together is evidence of her superiority. Anyone who can tolerate me for even brief periods of time deserves an award. Ten years? The Noble Prize committee is currently reviewing the situation and we are expecting a call from the King of Sweden any time soon.

On the morning of the special day, I had the proverbial Angel/ Devil on the shoulder kind of inner chatter. The right brain was telling me to get up early and hit the pool before work. The left side was saying "don't you dare." Now, I don't normally listen to the left side of my head. But on this morning, the left side was closest to The Wife and it was making more sense. I'm sure I'd be lost without her and therefore the 40 DOWO was in jeopardy.

I didn't pay attention to the anniversary date when calculated the 40 DOWO. However, I was smart enough (for once in my life) to recognize that I'm not in this whole life thing alone. The Wife got her own rule, which I enacted on that day. She got the priority. We slept in. Went to work. Returned. Went to hibachi. Drank some wine. Ate some hibachi. Then we got home. And can you guess how we celebrated our 10th Anniversary? Correct! And it was awesome. We ate 1/2  a 9x11 cake. We drank some more wine. We were in bed by 9:30. Great night. Anything else that may have happened in the mean time is just hearsay and your imagination.

So, here we are, right in the middle of the Lenten season. I've exercised on all but one, in which I'm giving myself a free pass. My house and my rules. I'm comfortable in my commitment to both The Wife and the 40 DOWO. Only 22 more days (or 27, depending on which number you use) for the DOWO and going strong. Only a lifetime left for the Wife. Life is good.

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