Frustration Fueled Fitness

The alliteration above; sorry, that's what I got!

I normally try to hit the gym between 5:00am and 6:00am. But, due to the "stuff of life", I couldn't yesterday. There are "things" to attend to. And those things took longer than I had planned with less resolution than I desired.

Note: I'm being intentionally vague about the "things" because, it's really not anyone's business and it's just "things" that could be anything.

I came home, early afternoon, frustrated (angry, annoyed)! Too much to do, too little time. Too many "things" that just didn't go right.

Mind you, the "things" that occurred are NOT where my focus and frustration settle. My frustration lands completely on me. I should have planned better, gotten more done the day prior, etc. Those are items I can control and it is fully up to me to do so.

I truly live by the Derek Sivers idea that, "Everything is my Fault" It's worth reading.

Antidote: Gym!

And so, I went to the gym.

It was a pull day (back and bicep). And I went at it pretty hard! Really hard actually - I'm feeling it now and it feels amazing!

I ended my set doing reverse pyramids for my biceps. That's where you do curls with a weight that allows you to reach 6 or 7 reps, remove a little weight, and do another 5 or 6, remove a little weight and do another 5 or 6, remove a little weight and do another 5 or 6. By the time you reach the bottom weight, you are hardly pulling any weight. It's almost embarrassing how weak you feel at that point.

But you can feel what it is doing to your muscles. Frustration helps with that and that helps with frustration. Win-Win!

After my workout, I ran up to Target. When I say ran, I mean, ran. I had taken uber to the gym and had to pick up a few things. Target is just up the street.

As I ran - mostly sprinting - I crossed the Costco parking lot to avoid having to go around the block. I realized that there was a small hill with a brick wall and chain-link fence between the stores. One more F***ing "thing" to block my progress.

So, rather than change direction, I ran straight at the wall, jumped up and used my momentum to reach the chain-link fence. I was a little worried I wouldn't have anything left in the tank after the back work I did.

But, frustration/anger can be a decent motivator. I was up and over the chain-link fence in short-order, throwing my legs over the top and allowing myself to drop down to the other side.

I realized a few things as I landed and started across the Target parking lot.

First: There was some guy loading stuff into his car a couple spots over from where I went over the wall and fence. He looked a bit concerned. I nodded to him and said hey! I think I probably looked like a lunatic.

Second: My knees are pretty damned solid. I was careful to take the drop from the top of the fence with a lot of give - using my legs as shock absorbers as I hit the ground. My ankles on the other hand, not nearly as solid. At 52, I've probably seen the better part of my fence hopping days and should avoid it - frustration or not. I'll make a mental note of this, though, I seem to forget too often.

Third: About 40 feet to my left, around the corner, was a set of stairs between the two parking lots. This would have been a less mentally unstable way to get to the Target parking lot. I noted that for future frustration runs and continued jogging over to Target to get my shopping down.

I picked up what I needed, I'm certain looking a little deranged, sweat dripping off my head and face. I took a few minutes outside to relax, called a car, and went home.

After I'd showered, I felt quite a bit better. I ended up producing pretty well for the rest of my day. Last night I slept well until my dog woke me up at 3:40 this morning.

But, 3:40 is fine for me most days.

What's the lesson here?

I'm not certain there is any lesson. I'm not asking for advice on how to deal with my self-directed frustration. Some people might suggest I play guitar (I do sometimes) or that I count to 10 (not likely) or that I meditate (actually, working out is like that for me). I will allow myself a couple days rest, from the weights. I did four days straight and my body needs some recuperation time. I'll still hike a bit, play with my dog, and maybe take a bike ride.

I guess another lesson is that, at some level, I enjoy the self-flagellation of my frustration fueled fitness. It beats over-eating or ruminating or any number of other destructive coping mechanisms. It certain beats blaming others or circumstances.

It is in my control. It feels like ownership. It allows for zero complaining. And it is amazingly cathartic.

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