August + September 2022 reflection 🌌
If I had to pick three words to describe the past 1-2 months:
Revitalized, empowered focus.
Having ended a ~4 month-long road trip between the US and Canada in July, the focus was going to be on re-centering myself. Some things I wanted to do:
- improve my physical health by walking and running more often and for longer
- think about my why
- think about what my ideal day-to-day looks like
I wanted to find a way for the rhythms of each day to feel natural and obvious. I don't like todo lists. I don't like pomodoro timers. I like to chase the feeling and get lost there. With this starting point, it became easier to think about how I wanted to continue turning life into an enjoyable challenge, or an infinite game.
Part of finding this infinite game has depended on finding a guiding star, in this case a mantra. "Do more of the things I never regret".
I never regret running, lifting, writing, learning, singing, and spending time with loved ones. I feel that I've been more consistent with this over the last two months.
These two months have been great for personal projects. This site spawned in this time period! Along with some new ideas that I have brewing. I couldn't be more excited to continue this momentum. Feels great to have this new outlet for my creativity.
In a short period of time, I've made improvements to a few key health metrics (V02 max and resting heart rate):
Resting heart rate: high 60s ➡️ high 50s/60
VO2 max: 45.7 ➡️ 48.1The 6-month charts for a full picture.
The biggest take away has been to sweat as often as possible (and bump up heart rate), take as many steps as possible (easier to do with running, and separately lots of walking throughout the day), while continuing to lift heavy things.
I don't have a full barbell setup for lifting, so I've just been getting more sets and reps in with my 30-40 lb dumbbells which feels good.
I haven't been measuring lean body mass changes, so this is a good reminder for me to look into getting a smart scale. By approximations via waist method, I'm around 22% body fat. I'll work to get to 18% by the end of the year with diet.
According to my fitness tracker, I've worked out for an average of 1 hour per day over the last two months. This excludes most of my walking time, and the lifting workouts which I didn't track until recently. I'd estimate my daily exercise (with walking) to be closer to 2 hours.
With my general mantra shift towards 'do more of what I don't regret', in this context, that means as much physical activity as I can fit into a day without compromising elsewhere. Movement feels good. Strength training feels good. Do even more.
I previously wanted to be a digital nomad for the geographical and temporal flexibility to travel the world, or to visit my (scattered) friends and family as often as I wanted. Having done some of this, I'm increasingly comfortable staying home, or if traveling, doing so quite slowly.
It's nice to travel every once in awhile to break out of your bubble and see something quite different, but increasingly, there's less novelty. We're all human. We have some cool cultural, aesthetic, and linguistic differences, but at the end of the day, we all have great food, people, etc (as well as the converse of course).
At this point, I mostly just appreciate the option to visit friends or family for special occasions without having to necessarily take time off, but outside of that, I'm comfortable with consolidating and being more focused for the time being.
The biggest surprise has been how quickly habits can be re-established that you really care about.
But thinking about what I hope to see over the next few months..
I'm still finding my 'why'. I hope that my personal and public writings help me figure that out.
I'd like to make this website feel more special to me. Thus far, I've been focused on allowing content to guide core development of this site, but now that I have that rhythm established, I'd like to shift towards thinking about personalization. This site should feel like more than your typical blog or personal dashboard. To me, this is an infinite project (much like physical fitness, health, wellness). But I will be continuing to set the foundations through the end of this year.
I'd also like to see my V02 max hit the 50s again. It's been awhile, and I am cultivating athleticism. Same for my resting heart rate: low to mid 50s from it's current high 50s to low 60s.
Last Updated: Sat Aug 27 2022