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Posts tagged ‘treadmill aerobics dance’

Workout Writer: How Bad Do You Want This?

10417600_10152480426884176_6460205242015283935_nI’m exhausted! A few hours of non-continuous-multi-interrupted sleep, and an anxious but excited brain (more on what’s causing that later). Today I’m supposed to haul myself to the gym, in the rain, with my tired but anxious excited brain, and do an aerobics then weight training workout for at least an hour and a half. Do I really want to? (ZOMG! I just stared at my keyboard for waaaaay longer than cool trying to find the italics maker—um, Kat, the italics maker is at the top of your screen, where it’s been for the upteen years you’ve been writing on word, and to infinity and beyond. Lawd. And I thought this was Wednesday. And I keep losing my train of thought. And a bird keeps chirping and I both love it and want to throw a rock at it. And my brain has cotton-clouds floating in a sea of mush. One coffee down and it ain’t touching the WAKE UP AND BE ALERT button yet.)

I am light. My body is under my control.

I am light. My body is under my control. But my brain is wackadoodle doo doo

Well, since I’m one of those weirdlings who loves to exercise, perhaps I really do want to—this is the answer to the question above. Yeah. My thoughts are organized, y’all! Haw! But really all I want to do right now is climb back in bed and sleep a few hours and worry about the gym another time. After all, I’m in good shape, right? My body is strong. My heart and lungs are fit. Welp, y’all: how did I achieve that? Not by climbing back in bed and going back to sleep knowing the workout will not be done, since there’re other things I must accomplish today, as well. This reminded me of a post I’d written a few years ago when I was re-shaping my workouts, and my body–it was supposed to be a post for Wednesday, but who cares? Tuesday, Wednesday–meh. Laugh. I know I’ve reposted or rewritten many a post lately, but my world is soon changing again–and in that change comes the flood of words, the vomit of words, the torrent, the Mt. Vesuvius of bellows of writing of words to ensue, because . . . because . . . I can’t even breathe it out right now. Later.

So, my beauties, that day, I was completely exhausted and didn’t wanna workout—thusly, with a few tweaks, y’all—

askyourdoctor—during my run/treadmill aerobics, I wanted to stop multiple times. I didn’t want to challenge myself. I wanted Easy. To go along at this slow steady pace, or better yet, walk, or better yet, jump off and go do something else. I became so frustrated with myself, that I yelled in my head like a red-faced coach, “HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS? HUH? HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?” And all of a sudden, I knew I wanted it BAD! I bumped up the speed and tore off on the treadmill.

During one particular song, I pushed off on my leg and hovered in the air before slamming down, and did it again and again. As I hovered there, it felt as if I were suspended about a foot in the air, when in reality, I probably only came up a few inches—but the Perception was I felt myself higher. Does it really matter if I only came up a few inches? Or is the Perception of what I felt I accomplished a just-as-important reality? I like to think the latter, for it inspired me to take it further and farther, to run stronger, to push myself past the point of what I thought was my limit.

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?

Take what I said above and apply it to your writing life, or your musical life, or your artistic life, or your work life, your home life, your Life. How bad do we want what we think we want the most? How hard are we willing to work for it? How often are we willing to feel uncomfortable? How often are we able to face a disappointment and still go on? And how much are we willing to push ourselves past the point where we think we must stop? And when we push off, hover in the air, feeling powerful and strong, do we let that wonderful Perception spur us on to do more and better and stronger? Or do we say, “Eh, I was really only inches off the ground. No big deal. Other people can jump higher. Eh.”

How bad do you want this?

images (1)Bad enough to sweat and push and sprint and, as well, sometimes to feel pain and set-backs and exhaustion but pick yourself up and do it again. And again. And again.

I’ll tell you what giving up or giving in gives you: Not a danged thing but regret. And the flipside of that is this: you can work your ass off and still not reach all of your goals, but I can guarantee you’ll have accomplished more than you ever dreamed you could if you do not give in to negativity and fear and doubt. You’ll have jumped up, hovered higher than you ever thought you could soar, grow stronger, faster, more determined. Note the accomplishments and savor them, for even the smallest goal reached is A Goal Reached. Why do we disregard even the smallest of goals? They weren’t so small when we were arching towards them, were they?

How bad do you want this?

Work-out Writer: Start off wild, uninhibited, and then exert that CONTROL . . . .

 

Control . . .

Control . . .

Wild

Wild  & Free . . .

Workout WriterYou have to find the Way that works for you. But if you are at a weight or goal plateau/finding yourself obsessing over the same danged ole paragraph or two or three over and over again. Wondering, “Will I EVER fit into those jeans I love, run that marathon, lower my cholesterol, feel healthier/write this goddamm book?” Then perhaps you can consider  finding your wild and free, flailing and flinging  yourself on the treadmill/your words on the page; and then, when you are sweaty and all fired up/have your crappy ass first draft, you exert that CONTROL.

Work-out:

When someone asks me what I do to keep in shape, I will simply say, “I do treadmill aerobics dance for an hour, and then I do about thirty minutes of mat work.” That’s my process, I say.

But there’s so much more to that “process.”

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own "rules" and process - there's PURPOSE to their play - be like that.

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own “rules” and process – there’s PURPOSE to their play – be like that.

On the treadmill, I  jump, skip, hop, kick out my legs, run full out for nuttin, and in between those high-energy aerobics moves,I tone it down a bit to let my heart rate lower. What I’m doing is uninhibited and free—I don’t over-think it; I do what feels good, what feels happy, whatever comes to mind without a plan. Does this mean I am “out of control” on the treadmill? Not exactly, for I do have to maintain some control or else I could injure myself–I have to Pay Attention. However, for the most part, I’m all over that thang, sweating my ass off. I am at the edge of my endurance, and the endorphins are KAPOW WHUPOW! A little chaos is good; a little wild jittery is wonderful.

This is a good example of what I do on the treadmill, except I do not turn around backwards because I don’t feel that’s safe.

My goal is to stretch that leg even more - but with CONTROL!

My goal is to stretch that leg back even more – but with CONTROL! I had no flexility even a year ago.

DSC_0033When I am ready for my mat work, I’m nice and warmed up. This is when I exert the most CONTROL in my workout. I use dumbbells or my body weight or a ball or some other “device” to challenge my body to the very edge of its endurance, but with CONTROL. The stronger my body becomes, the more control I have over it–repeat that to yourself.

An example would be: Lying on mat, holding ten pound dumbbells in my hands, I do chest presses while also keeping my legs lifted from the mat (as the photo above shows, except with or without ball, and using the dumbbells)—as I do my chest presses with my legs lifted, I’m working many muscles at once, and I am very careful with my CONTROL. Without control comes chaos—injury! And during my mat work, I do not want chaos—injury—or flailing about.

As my body grows stronger, as I challenge it to do more and more, and different, workouts, I can see the progress of my hard work. Things I didn’t think I could ever do before suddenly have become “easier.” My flexibility is better—this coming from a girl who had practically no flexibility.

No one is looking at your workoug and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone--ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing. No one sees your manuscript--only you! Stay in your zone and have fun

No one is looking – and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone–ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing-have fun! No one sees your manuscript until you want them to, so stay in your zone, and have fun!

That wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my mat work creates the health and body I want to have—strong, flexible, heart and lungs healthy, higher endurance, etc. I feel confident, and proud of my accomplishments. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.

Writer:

When people ask me, “What is your writing process?” I always say, “I dunno. I just sit my ass down and write.” But of course  there is more to my process than that.

The first draft of my work is written with abandon, wild and free, without over-thinking it; whatever comes out of my pea-headed black holed brain is fine with me; let it come on! It’s fun, my endorphins are high, I’m feeling GREAT! Does it mean I have zero control? Nope, for the more I write, the better I naturally do the kinds of writing that will mean less work later on. Meaning, I have a grasp of grammar and punctuation “rules” even if I break them; my work comes out, even in draft, with paragraphs and dialogue and narrative and in chapters, automatically. My very first novel was almost all narrative-aw lawd! It was  a HOT MESS! Well, so what? Look at what’s happened since then: four published novels, a novella, and one set to be released in September. GO FOR IT, y’all!

Then comes the “mat work” of my manuscript. Where I exert the most control. Tweaking, editing, rewriting. I look for repetition, for too much internal dialogue/monologue, for ‘tic words,” for things that seem out of character or voice or POV. I read my manuscript a gazillion times and in different formats, such as, Kindle Fire, regular Kindle, my computer, printed out, let my Kindle Fire read it to me.  I am concentrating on the work with CONTROL. I know the rules so I can either break them, or tweak something to make it better.

Once I allowed myself to know my process and to OWN IT, I’m betting that each novel I write will become “leaner” and stronger, because I am exerting that control better as I become a stronger more flexible writer, willing to take some chances or try something different.

This wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my re-writes/edits creates the kind of novel I can be proud of, one with which I am confident. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.

(Consult your doctor and your good sense before you begin this, or any other high energy workout–in fact, consult your doc before you begin any exercise program. I always say this–bears repeating. And don’t compare yourself to others, not to me, or anyone else, you hear?)

Just Do It

Just Do It

Just do it

Just do it

Work-out Writer: After the big cussin’ hissy fit, we may see a truth we tried to deny

He was an ass . . . but . . . . was I, too?

Jerkface, sumbitch! Huhn!

Workout: Saturday while on the treadmill doing a new, and particularly high energy part of my workout, some jerkface came over, waved his hand in my face, and then bitched me out for stomping on the treadmill. I couldn’t even respond—I was so furious, a sailor would blush at what caught in my throat and I had to swallow down.  All the rest of the weekend, I was pissed off, and within that anger came a little depression and anxiety: what would I do? That newer part of the aerobic workout kicked my ass but good and was something different, made me sweat, helped control my stress and take down my jitteriness a notch. I kept seeing his face; kept seeing his hand waving in my face; kept seeing me punching his face until it was a bloody-ass pulp (um, yeah, not proud of that thought, lawd!)

I didn’t even look forward to my next workout, for I thought, “It’s all ruined. My joy is ruined. My workout is ruined. Woe is me.”

*woe is wittle me*

*woe is wittle me*

Meanwhile, I’d conveniently forgotten how many people said I inspire them, how they enjoy my joy. I’d forgotten that the addition of this stomping was fairly new, and in a quiet little dark corner of myself, I knew I shouldn’t have been doing it—it just felt so good I ignored everything and everyone else. I was being stubborn. I wanted want I wanted. I didn’t want to give it up cause it was just so cool.

omg - I was being an asshole, too!

omg – I was being an asshole, too!

But, when I allowed my rage to subside. When I stopped thinking, “That sonuvabitch jackass mo-fo, rude asshole!” I heard what he said, not how he said it. And folks, yeah, I sure was being disrespectful to others and the equipment at that particular addition of my high-energy workout. Admitting that made me pull up my big girl panties and acknowledge I was being an asshole, too. I don’t excuse his delivery system, for he had no call for the way he treated me, but hidden in his Big Ass Stupid Face Assholedom was some truth.

This morning, as I stepped on the treadmill, someone said something so positive, reminding me that I wasn’t a bad person, I hadn’t always been so out of control, and I felt my joy slipping back in. Instead of stomping like an over-crazed idiot, I found something else to do that kicked my ass even better and more efficiently, and without worrying about hurting myself, and just as wonderful, I was still respectful of the machines and others.

WHUPOW!

Writer: Sometimes when we’re given critique/edit suggestions from our editors or beta reader, or whomever, that we don’t like, we may be tempted to say “Oh, they just don’t get it; they don’t understand what I’m trying to do; they SUCK! I ain’t listening. If I change this, it ruins everything! If I take that out/put that in/alter that, then what?  Waaaaaaah! Sumbitches!”  We push any rational thought aside, cuss, holler to the four winds of the universe how unfair they are, and how they just don’t get us and our work. Want to smack them three sides to Tuesday. We may want to give up, give in, be depressed and defeated. Put aside the work and walk away.

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you're saying . . ..

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you’re saying . . ..

However, if we still our minds and think of the bigger message, even if it’s embedded in a delivery we don’t appreciate, we may just find some truth in that critique/edit. We can pull on our big girl panties, or big boy undies, and acknowledge how we are being intractable, childish. We can pull back and look at their suggestions/comments, see if really they do have something to add to our manuscript, after all. Then, we find a way to work the manuscript into something that still gives us joy, makes us excited, and works ever so much better to make the work kick-ass.

images (1)

I actually do have a can of this!

WHUPOW! Open up a can of whoopass and get going!

Work-out writer: A leaner you; a leaner manuscript

from SHAPE magazine site

from SHAPE magazine site

Work-out: Want an efficient work out? Try interval training. The easy answer to “what is interval training” is, for example, say you usually walk on the treadmill at a steady pace — even if it’s a fast pace — for thirty minutes to an hour. Try adding in short bursts of speed or intensity. You want to raise your heart rate; to go fast/hard enough that you think, “Omg! I can’t go much farther!” then you slow it back down and catch your breath. Do this several times during your workout–get that heart rate going and then slowing it down, up and down, up and down, until you are sweating and feeling kick-ass, and as if your ass was kicked! It’s efficient and effective. Though I do high-energy intervals for an hour, actually you do not have to go that long. It’s all about making it efficient — I’m just insane *laugh*

For a better, more comprehensive explanation, here’s an article in Shape Magazine: Interval Training: Short Workouts That Really Pay Off 

(As I always tell you: please see your doctor before beginning an exercise, or new exercise, routine.)

logoWriter: Want a more efficient manuscript? If we want our manuscripts to be “lean” and tight, sometimes we have to delete. Find those areas that are flabby and develop their muscles. Our manuscripts can become bloated after writing up those first drafts. We’re developing characters, setting, scene, etc. We’re trying to find our way, and the character’s way. One of the “easier” ways to develop a leaner manuscript is to find and delete  “internal monologue” or internal thoughts the character has. I finally figured out that the only “purpose” or reason for these internal monologues in our drafts is to figure out something at the same time the character is – sort of like when we yap to a friend about a problem because we are trying to sound it out, hear it out, figure it out. Most of this can GO. Delete. Get rid of it. Instead of writing along at this steady pace, punch it up! Instead of a long paragraph, or *gasp* page(s), of internal monologue, use action, or dialogue, or cut it down to a sentence or two. Do this throughout the manuscript and you’ve deleted thousands of bloaty words that weighed down your manuscript.

For a better, more comprehensive, explanation of internal monologue, see: The Do’s and Don’ts of Internal Monologue by K.M. Weiland

Don't be afraid to stretch yourself a little in life.

Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself a little in life.

A fit you; a fit manuscript.

Work-out Writer: Equipment from your local(or chain) hardware store? Why not . . . ?

a little stretch, and as well this helps strengthen my back

a little stretch, and as well this helps strengthen my back if I hold this position with control

stretch up, and sit back

stretch up, and sit back – I will six back even more to strengthen legs/glutes

Writers sit a lot – too much. It’s what we do.  We need to move our bodies, strengthen and stretch them. It won’t be any easier as you age, so what are you waiting for? Work on that novel, story, essay, poem, fiddle on social networking, do your research, but please, y’all, take care of your bodies! I am 55 and while I am showing signs of aging that I can’t control, I take care of myself so that what I can control I do. Get up off that chair, or wherever it is you work, and MOVE!

With a little imagination and a couple-bucks (and that visit to the doctor you should do before starting an exercise program!), you can find ways to alter your workout, at the gym or in your own home. I bought this piece of tube at the local hardware store and use it in my workouts–for strengthening, stretching, and as well, you can roll it along your spine for a mini-massage (just do not roll on your lower back!).

Balance and control, you can go further down with this (I often do) but be mindful

Balance and control, you can go farther down with this (I often do) but be mindful

The tubing offers lower back support, if needed

The tubing offers lower back support, if needed – notice I roll it up in the mat (I am going to glue matting to it for a permanent solution

I will also put a weight inside the tube and use that to do strengthening exercises, though in these photos I did not do that. Just be careful that you watch what you are doing, and exercise with control and your full attention.

Warm up for at least twenty minutes–I do an hour on the treadmill at varying degrees of mid-to-high intensity. Start off slowly, build to a frenzy, and then do a cool-down. While you are still warm, head to the mat to stretch and strengthen your body. Flexibility, endurance, and strength helps in the bedroom, too – just say’n, y’aaaaalllses!

work on flexibility - but make sure you are warmed up!

work on flexibility – but make sure you are warmed up!

You can do the same moves without tubing

You can do the same moves without tubing

Music of the day for a high intensity cardio session — this version I do is a bit over seven minutes long, but there are shorter versions if you can’t keep up a high-intensity session for seven minutes. I’ll mix in some jogging with my jittery jumpy hopping flailing about when the music slows a bit.

Now! GO!

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