Confession

Time for me to ‘fess up: I missed a workout.  I didn’t run yesterday.  

I got home last night from work just after 9:00, with the intention of running,  and then cleaning the birds’ cage (we have 5 adorable tiny zebra finches) but by the time I got in the door I barely had the energy to microwave the plate my partner had put in the fridge for me.  I ate, crawled into bed, and passed out cold. 

I got up at 5 this morning, cleaned the bird cage, and went back to lay on the bed for a second before getting ready to go and make up yesterday’s run – and my back went into spasm. Wonderful.  I couldn’t move, and actually had to call my doctor’s office and cancel my appointment for today because I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive the 3-hour round trip to her office with my back the way it was. 

Now I had a problem.  By not running yesterday or making up the run today, I would have officially missed a workout.   According to my goal rewards, I can’t miss 2 in a row between now and the end of September – and if I didn’t do today’s scheduled workout or my run I would be two behind.  But what to do when you have a legitimate reason not to work out?  By later this morning I was doing better, but still not in running shape, so I decided to ride my bike to work.   It was perfect!  Great weather, and my back held up okay.

For a little bit of back story (see what I did there?) – my back has always been sensitive. The extra weight I carry – and the fact that it’s largely in my – uh – upper body  – puts a strain on it.  Then, in 2007, the car I was driving was rear-ended by a drunk driver while I was stopped at an intersection.  I was the first car at the intersection,  and I was so terrified of being pushed into oncoming traffic that I had my feet pushed on the brakes hard as I possibly could (yes, logically I know that wouldn’t really help,  but I didn’t have much time to consider my options at the time).  I  was braced so hard that with my back, I managed to twist the driver’s seat out of shape.  The glasses I was wearing were thrown from my face and found by the body shop under the back windshield, beside the brake light.  I went home that night after the accident,  but went to the hospital the next day (and stayed for two days) with abdominal pain that we later discovered was due to bruised internal organs.  My back has given me a lot more trouble since then.

I’m going to cut my losses on yesterday’s run, and move on.  One workout missed, back on track, and all is right with the world.  I usually get hung up on trying to make up missed workouts,  but I am really trying to get past it.

Bonus!  I discovered that where I work actually has bike racks!

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Loot! (AKA Rewards)

One of the things that the Nerd Fitness Academy emphasizes is that there have to be rewards for achievements.  In video games, achievements get you prizes/tools/etc., and in life, we need motivation to keep pushing through the hard work.  It’s easy to fall into the trap, however, of rewarding healthy habits with unhealthy behaviours – junk food, etc – so it’s important to have a game plan beforehand.

I have come up with my personalized loot system to share, and I have a couple of different levels of loot.

The first level is for daily healthy habits.  I have created a jar with ribbon tape marking points along its side.  Each ribbon marks a level of approximately 50 stones, and I can earn up to 5 stones a day for meeting my goals.

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My daily goals are to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, to drink 3 litres of water, to get at least 7 hours of sleep, to work out (biking to work, running, going for a swim, a hike, whatever), and to meditate or do yoga.  Each 50-stone line on the jar represents a $15 reward.  I can either redeem those stones as soon as they hit the mark, or I can keep saving them until I reach a higher reward level.  While it will be up to me to decide at the time what I want to use my loot rewards for, I have come up with a few ideas for some of the levels.

$15 – New book (digital or paperback), World of Warcraft mount/pet, inexpensive computer game

$30 – New nerdy t-shirt 

$45 – New running outfit

$60 – New bike tires or accessory

$75 – New craft supplies

$90 – New running skirt

$105 – New running shoes

$195 – SmartHalo for my bike (this is a major loot goal for me right now, it combines so many features I want to add to my bike into one device)

I also have major achievement goals.  

  • There is a new WoW pack coming out that I would like to buy – it costs about $70 USD.  Since I didn’t start my loot quest early enough to earn it before the release date, I have set a goal of not purchasing any candy at work (one of my biggest weaknesses – stupid vending machine…) from now until it releases on August 30.
  • There are a couple of piercings I want to get. Two, in fact, which will be hidden… *ahem*…  Anyway, I can get them if I don’t miss any two workouts in a row between now and the end of September.
  • I have my heart set on a running skirt from Sparkle Skirts, but they’re expensive.  If I complete my trail run in November in less than 1:45:00, I will be ordering one.
  • I am planning on running a half-marathon next June (more on that in a future post).  When I complete that, I will be getting a tattoo on my foot, which is going to be reflective of my running. I am going to post some design ideas later as well for feedback.

Lastly, for completing all of my workouts in a week, I will be rewarding myself with a long, hot candlelit bath.  It won’t cost me anything, but it’s something I don’t often take the time to do for myself.

I’m already noticing a difference in my behaviours with these rewards.  I look longingly at the vending machine at work, then remind myself that I want the game.  I almost didn’t get up yesterday morning to run, but then reminded myself that if I miss one workout, I’m more likely to miss two, and then I won’t get my piercings at the end of September (plus I get Epic Quest points if I stick with all of my workouts for long enough, so there’s another motivator).

So many things to work for, and I’m psyched!  Bring on the loot!