Unexpected progress towards getting into the Guard

I missed last week’s fitness update due to a lot of chaos going on in my life. And for that, I’m sorry. It turns out that dealing with all the minor details of getting the administrative work done is taxing for my brain and time.

I’ve made it a point to announce that I had a long way to go before I got into the military. I still have a way to go, but working through it in my own way. The first was by making it a priority, the second was to hold myself, and only myself, accountable. I did something active every day, and I didn’t let any one else’s laziness get in my way.

This steadfast perseverance that some call “stubbornness” is what has lead me to  an astonishing revelation this morning as a got on the scale. I now weigh 221 lbs — this means I only have 68 lbs to go. More importantly to me is that I can do 40 situps in 2 minutes — nearly double of that two weeks ago. I still can’t do a full body pushup, but the modified pushups off the knees are getting easier. The bad news is that my speed on the elliptical has slowed down to 25 minutes to hit 2 miles. Seeing this progress really, really motivates me to kick more ass.


My obstacles this week are a mental and physical incapacity that should take very little to over come… once I figure out what works for me.

Physical obstacle: I have a cold that I can’t seem to get rid of. Back in January I went to the gym and picked up a bug. I came down with a cold, and this cold never seemed to have gone away properly. For weeks I’ve been feeling like I’ve been right on the edge of getting rid of it, yet still fighting to breathe. It’s starting to take it’s toll.

What I plan to do about it:Defeating a lingering cold that is exacerbated by allergies and could turn into an infection when you have no money for a doctor is no small cause for anxiety. This is important to me because when I’m ill, I’m not performing at my best in anything. In fact, all I can think of is doing is curling up and reading. (Alas, I never get any paying review jobs when I have a bug or need to recover.) But, defeat it I must, and I also must keep going in the mean time. For this, I need a battle plan.

This battle plan involves knowing my enemy (the cold, allergies, and possibility of infection), then bolstering my defences (vitamins, clean diet, healthy living), and attacking my enemy (cleaning the house to rid it of allergens and possible lingering germs). Thankfully I’m not new to this, and I’m all too aware of what a sinus infection is as well as the signs. I suffered from them nearly continuously while I was a kid along with tonsillitis. There is no funny colour mucous, fever, or nausea that comes with my sinus infection set, so I don’t have to worry about finding a doctor yet. I can focus on cleaning my place and bolstering my immune system to prevent the evil allergies from turning into something worse.

Mental obstacle: I just finished my thesis. It was a whirlwind of a time fighting with documents to get the formatting “just right”, and I’m still fighting with the finer details of the administrative juggle that comes with getting all the final paperwork in. There are still a few things to go, but I seem to not be able to function until they are in and done.

What I plan to do about it: I’ve always been bad at these sorts of scenarios. I love getting projects done, putting the checklist next to it, THEN moving on. I get very fidgety mentally and physically, and I can’t seem to focus on anything when really big things are on the line. Graduating is obviously huge. The enemy is myself in this case, and I need to get myself under control.

Controlling my own irrational behaviour in times of utter freaking out is something of an art with me. It generally goes like this:

  1. Recognise that the situation is really big, and really kind of out of my complete control.
  2. Get freaked out because it means a lot, and I don’t have complete control.
  3. Recognise that I’m getting freaked out about it too late by the utter lack of ability to concentrate that even a run doesn’t fix.
  4. Write down the problem, the steps that need to be taken to get from point A to point B.
  5. Write down the person responsible for those steps.
  6. Make it clear to those people how big of a responsibility this is, and how much it means to me.
  7. See that it gets done by occasional, friendly pestering. Closer to the due date, become more firm, but still friendly. Make it clear again that their part is important.
  8. See that their steps are done, breathe in relief, celebrate, and thank them profusely, reminding them how important they are.
  9. Collapse into a pile of over exerted goo and wonder if I could have approached it better.
  10. Sit for a day in confusion trying to remember what I was doing before the chaos began
  11. Get back to work.

In this situation I’m depositing my master’s thesis, which is the last step to graduation. For this I need certain papers to be signed by the professors to release the final draft of my thesis. I sent them my final draft Friday, while trying to work up a solution that all this could be done remotely. What I’m waiting on now is for the professors to travel to the main office to sign a form the secretary printed out for me to put in the office. When all the signatures are collected, then she’s to mail it to the building it needs to be in.

My job in all this is reminding the professors to sign it by the end of the week.

Once that is done, I can finish depositing my thesis electronically, pay the fee, and walk away whistling.

It really shouldn’t be that hard, but I have an issue with focusing on other tasks when there is something very important looming over me — especially when it’s this close to being finished. Seriously, just a few more steps, and I’m done! Having a big project in such a state  unreasonably incapacitates me. I mean, there is no reason why I can’t work on other things while waiting for the process to work itself out.

So…. what now?

Well, now I need to work on my focus. If I don’t my life is going to be a jumble and nothing will get done on either the fitness front or the business front. And we can’t have that now can we? Until then I’ll keep my workouts short so I don’t loose the momentum, eat cleanly, and claw my way back towards sanity and a smoother life. See you then.