fitness & writing

A while ago Ted said I had the kind of work/life balance that most people really dreamed of. That I had this incredibly rewarding creative *job* that I love passionately and then on top of that I had all these completely amazing HOBBIES that I’m actually quite good at and that most people would try to have as part of their ‘life’ balance around the, you know, job as a cop or whatever.

That made me reel a bit, because I never think I have a very good work/life balance. I’m…extremely focused, shall we say. When I’m working. It’s all or nothing, and honestly, it works really well for me. And then in my down time I don’t–I often don’t even *think* to–pursue the hobbies I’d like to.

(Excuse me while I suddenly take a moment to prioritize them, just for my own clarification: photography, art, sewing. Not necessarily in that order, but those are the three things I think I’d really like to *do*, in my down time. And reading, although I don’t consider reading a *hobby*.)

Anyway, so the point is I don’t think of myself as being especially balanced in the work/life sense. And I was having a really intense think about this last night with regards to fitness in particular, because, as I said, I do this extreme All Or Nothing thing, and working out really kind of needs to be consistent.

A Problem is that if I do the kind of 60-90 minute workout that I enjoy, then with the bus ride to the gym and back again, I’m looking at a really solid 3 hour block out of my day. And that’s too much in my All Or Nothing work mindset. (Especially when there’s a specific Child In School window I’ve got to work with. It’d be less of an issue if the bus started running at 6am, but it doesn’t start until 9. And of course 6am assumes I’d get up and go to the gym, which…well. Sometimes it happens. It helps if I GO TO BED by 10pm, which I far too often don’t do. ANYWAY. :))

So I was trying to figure out how to deal with that. I was thinking, well, if I bring Indy to school and then RUN for the bus I MIGHT catch it downtown–except realistically I won’t, because school and the bus circuit start at the same time and we don’t usually drop Indy off until just before the morning bell. But it did occur to me that there’s a bus stop…not necessarily closer to his school, but more to the point, farther on the bus route than at its start point, which might mean I could go from the school to the Other Stop and get there just in time to be taken to the gym. I’m going to go run an experiment on this as soon as I’ve gotten dressed this morning.

And then the other thing that struck me was that I just have to bust my ass and do a 40 minute workout instead of a 90 minute one so I can catch the next bus home (they’re hourly). Because, I mean, obviously 5 40 minute workouts a week will do me a lot more good than zero 90 minute ones.

The other thing I really flat out should do to make this work is go to bed at 10. That makes getting up between 6 and 6:30 an option (at least, that’s what I do left to my own devices on a Writing Retreat), so I can roll out of bed into the office and get 60-90 minutes of work done before the Getting Ready For School process starts in the house. My *entire day* is enormously more satisfying and productive if I get work done before 8am, because I always feel like “look how much I got done already! I can do ANYTHING by noon!” when I get work done early.

(Which, *twitch*. See, this is why a morning workout makes me twitchy, because it’s Interrupting That Flow, but the flip side of it is I’VE MET ME and if I do not do *something* to prioritize exercise I’ll stay at the desk all day long because “I’ve gotten so much done if I just stay another hour I’ll get SO MUCH MORE DONE” and then it’s 7pm and that ain’t it, kid. And also, who are we kidding, school ritual interrupts it anyway so I should work with reality to as great a degree as possible.)

(This post brought to you by the True Beginning Of The Year, and the Attempt To Create A Schedule Around It.)