Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sharing My Workout...

I started off two weeks ago with a workout 20 minutes long and using 680g weights. I've crept it up to 30 minutes now and 1.13kg weights, and I plan to keep creeping... an hour is my length goal, and once I've conquered the 2.27kg dumbells lurking in the back of the cupboard I'll look at investing in something heavier. It's baby steps, but they feel awesome. I'm getting in a session on Mondays, Wednesdays and either Friday or Saturday each week depending on energy & privacy levels on those days. It's working!

One of the things I set out to counter with this particular exercise routine was my peculiar hatred of counting repetitions. Ask me to do twenty situps and I'll get annoyed with the counting by about 5. My brain does a lot of drifting when I exercise, and I think I need that to keep going, so counting brings me back to the physical activity in a way that actually makes the activity harder. To deal with this, I've used songs with distinct patterns, and I use those patterns instead of counting: e.g. I do star jumps for the whole of this verse, then switch to weight curls for the chorus, then situps for the next verse, etc. I'm cramming in a lot of different exercises targeting different muscle groups, and I can already feel it making a difference. I have more energy, stamina and strength, and I no longer ache post-workout or feel like I can't walk the next day. I've not exercised this frequently since I was a teenager, and it's really quite a remarkable feeling. I might even be becoming someone who craves exercise. Fancy that!!

I thought I'd share the 8 songs that currently make up my 30-minute workout. They're all songs in which I find the tune uplifting and moving; a couple of them have lyrics that also lift my spirit. The last one always leaves me with its eponymous emotion, even at the end of a hard workout, and the buzz I get from finishing on that high note always leaves me feeling I could go that little bit further.

1. Celtic Woman: Granuaile's Dance

2. Voices of Ireland: Star of the County Down

3. Enya: The River Sings

4. Celtic Woman: Mo Ghile Mear

5. Mediaeval Baebes: Return of the Birds

6. John Parr: St Elmo's Fire

7. Celtic Woman: The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun

8. Loreen: Euphoria


PS: In story news, I am currently sitting on 12,957 words, with today's writing session yet to come. Pretty much double my expected total for this point. Oh, yes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Year of Living Christinely

Back in November, I tried for the umpteenth time to do NaNoWriMo. And, like most years, Stuff happened. It seemed to happen with particular vigour this time: a chest infection, an OFSTED inspection and the winter vomiting bug , all in a row. By the time the crises were over, I was too far behind to catch up. Again.

But finally it dawned on me that writing a set amount each day until it's done is what a lot of real authors do anyway. They just don't try to cram it into one manic month. I knew this, but I didn't, too. I guess it finally sank in!

I mulled this over in the last couple of weeks of the year, then in the last few days after Christmas knuckled down and chose a plot and sorted out my characters, and on the first of January the words started to flow. In the first five days I've already written around 2750 words - which is more than I've managed in some NaNoWriMo attempts!

My target for each day is a mere 250 words. That's less than this blog post will be by the time it's finished. At that rate, I should finish the first draft sometime in October. With 9 weeks of holiday between now and then, and with the potential for days when inspiration comes thick and fast, it could be sooner.

Now, it's not speedy and it's surely not as much as I'm capable of, but it's doable no matter what happens. If the munchkin gets chicken pox or we all have gastro for the third time this winter or the boiler breaks or whatever... I can still crank out a measly 250 words every. single. day.

This book is getting written, damn it!

I'm trying to make a few little lifestyle changes alongside the writing effort, too. This year looks to be an astonishingly stable one for me: job, house and relationship are all firmly set and highly unlikely to change. This year should be a bit of a breather, a chance to put things in place and get into a routine with the certainty of (hopefully!) knowing what's coming next. We're finding ways to take a more structured approach to managing the household, and I'm looking at a routine to work on my fitness without costing us any money and with minimal time loss in our already-hectic schedule. Small steps, but good ones.

I'm not making any resolutions, except to stick to the goals I've got: get fitter, write book, maintain house, teach well, love my family and enjoy myself.

Happy New Year!