Space

Space

Feb 22, 2017

Space

 

By Josh Hunt

 

It amazes me that there are so many ways to consume media today. I personally subscribe to Netflix, the WWE Network, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Do I need all four services? No, but I have a rational, legitimate or not is another story, for each service. I have Netflix because of the great original content like: House of Cards, Daredevil, Stranger Things, etc. I have the WWE Network because I like the Pay-Pre-Views (PPV) and at $9.99 a month it is cheaper to get the service than do what I used to do and buy a PPV every quarter. I have Hulu because of WWE Raw; from what I can tell contractual reasons prevent me from keeping up with my man-soap-opera. The WWE Network doesn’t air the most recent Raw until weeks later so here I am paying a different service. I have Amazon Prime because of the free two-day shipping of the products I buy on the website. Because I have the service I might as well watch old HBO shows like the Wire on the streaming network, hell I am paying for it. If I couldn’t find anything to watch on these services for whatever reason, because there must be tens if not hundreds of thousands of possibilities, I could see what is available on other services like Crackle, or watch ‘Stan Against Evil’ or ‘Portlandia’ directly on the IFC website, or check out the ‘News Hour’ on the PBS app, or use my HD antenna to pull in broadcast TV stations, or I could jump on YouTube and check out obscure post-metal videos, the list goes on and on. Just before I started writing this article I was trying to figure out if subscribing to the Great Courses Plus or Seeso would be a good opportunity for me to learn or laugh respectively. I can faintly hear ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ and NPR station that is playing on the radio in the kitchen as I write this article.

 

It is startling the amount of options we have. Often, I feel that my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Just to the right of me on my desk I have the most recent two copies of The Economist opened to articles I am working on. I have at least ten more issues of this magazine downstairs not even half read. Strewn about the house I have multiple unopened copies of National Geographic and no less than three hundred unread comic books. I subscribe to seven podcasts, which I cannot keep up with and end up deleting the episodes that don’t seem interesting. Downstairs in my living room I have a PlayStation 4 set up where I am trying to beat Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Skyrim before I get to the Witcher 3 and NHL 2K17. Next to that system I still have my Nintendo Wii set-up because I have downloaded: Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Zelda a Link to the Past, and several other games that I bought years ago, which I never played/finished. I’ve had to return half read library books and stare at the unread classics that I bought at Barns and Noble when I was just out of college. The bass guitar I saved up for and bought in the seventh-grade sits on its stand collecting dust in the very office where I am currently writing. Now that I have laid everything out it seems as if I either have a spending problem, a time management problem, or both.

 

I know this is a topic that I have touched on many times in pervious articles, but the idea of fitting everything in still plagues me. I always feel as if there will be a time in the future where I can get to all the things I’ve been meaning to do. However, unless I make a consorted effort to do these things they never get accomplished. If I feel like I am overwhelmed or that I have spent money foolishly I realize that this is my own fault to a degree. I am not trying to marginalize my deficiencies and improper choices in the slightest, but I would like to point to what seems like a cultural pressure of being busy equals having self-worth. I think as a society we feel the increased pressure of having to be productive or scheduled to the hilt. For example: when I was growing up I played soccer and baseball. Those activities generally took place on Saturday mornings. When I drive around the greater St. Louis area today I see kids playing during the week, and both days of the weekend. I am conditioned to the point where if someone tells me they just chilled out the entire weekend I want to ask the ‘what is wrong with you?’ I feel as if I need to be doing something all the time, I must be productive or accomplishing something or it doesn’t feel right.

 

Let’s look at this thought in the context of training, shall we? I believe that we have internal and external pressures and drivers that make us do things that aren’t in our best interest or have a low Return On Investment (ROI). I find that when I am writing my template I am not considering how much work and time I am going to have to put forth. Typically, by week seven or eight I’ll be in the middle of my workout staring at the template and ask, ‘what the hell was I thinking?’ When I build my templates, it seems as if I have unlimited time and I’m a wellspring of energy. But, I should know this isn’t true. For context, my heavy equipped day is Monday and I’ll lift in the AM and in the PM. When all is said, and done I’ll spend roughly three hours in the gym. Tuesday is auxiliary day, and even though my mind is telling me to lift as heavy as I can, my body is telling me I just lifted a significant amount of weight the day before and I can’t push myself as hard as I think I can. I’m off on Wednesday and I try to run all the errands I couldn’t do on Monday or Tuesday. Then on Thursday I’m back at it. This is where I ran into issues with my past training cycle. I simply couldn’t get everything done, so I dropped a few lifts that I didn’t feel I was getting anything from, and it felt weird. Friday would be hit or miss, I had some light lower body stuff and empty slots for all the lifts I couldn’t get to during the week. Guess how many times I went into the gym of Friday and hit it hard and made up all the lifts I was supposed to. If you’re answer was never, you are correct. In the powerlifting world, it is easier to write a three-hour workout than an effective ninety-minute workout, because many of us think more is better. In some cases, that is true, but in others there is no ROI on what we are doing. My ROI on flat bench dumbbell press after completing five bench-press slots was extremely low so I cut it.

 

This is where my mind is now. What is the lowest dosage for effectiveness? I just wrote my new template and I actually cut a few lifts. I’ve done this for the sake of efficiently and effectiveness. I don’t want to be this out of control lifter that can’t make time to go out on a date or have a few minutes to decompress, or take precious time from my day on something that isn’t effective. I am cutting down, because creating space in one’s life is something I think is under-rated. I feel as athletes we often take too much on, especially in a competitive environment that not only pushes us but also expects us to do more and work harder. But, something has got to give. We only have so much time. I’d love to rumble-roll more, take ice baths, or read ‘Becoming A Supple Leopard’ (which has been sitting on my shelf for years) but I simply don’t have the time to spare. In some cases, I might not have the desire to make time either. With this realization, out on the table in the future I want to work on my expectations and identify what I need to do to accomplish my goals. I can’t expect to lift a couple hours a day, hit Planet Fitness for thirty minutes for cardio, and still make time to work on my mobility. If I can’t do something I can’t do it. If an exercise or practice isn’t making significant impact I need to cut it. I need to make space. Finding this room is where I can grow, recover, and digest what is working for me and what isn’t. It is incredibly easy to overwhelm oneself and take too much on, just consider the entertainment example I brought up. Because of this it is important for us to build in space that will not be cut from the agenda. Filling up our templates, schedules, and lives is not sustainable. I think we all need to identify what works and what is suboptimal and pare down. The next time I think about buying a new piece of workout equipment I need to ask myself when will I have time to use it. This simple question might save me money. When the idea to add another thing to my training template emerges I’ll ask myself what is the intent of the practice, is there time, or do I have to cut something else to make room? More space for life will generally make us better people and better lifters. I’ll let you know how my path to minimalism goes, it’s going to be a hard transition, but I think well worth it.

-I had time to kill it’s dead and buried- Alkaline Trio

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