Monday, January 09, 2012

A Greater Whole

As I mentioned in yesterday's ROW80 check-in, I want to put into words why I'm including exercise and house cleaning/organizing goals with my writing goals.  The simple answer is that everything is interrelated.  You know, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Just like a jigsaw puzzle is more than just odd shaped pieces once it's put together.

That's the simple answer.  The longer answer is that I have a body.  I'm not just my brain and my creativity and my inspiration.  I have a body, and my creativity needs that vehicle to be in tiptop shape to help us get where we're going.  Chuck Wendig says it perfectly in his post 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing: "Stop treating your body like a dumpster."  Read the "why" behind that.  It's funny and oh-so-true. 

I struggle with serious energy slumps which come with fuzzy thoughts, inability to focus, aches and pains and all sorts of physical yuckiness.  I need to focus on eating better food (I do all right, but I am a bit sporadic at this).  I need to exercise to help rid my body of those pains and help regulate my energy and build up a reserve.  I need energy and a sharp brain and focus to write, so I need to be taking care of my body.  So, exercising and taking care of my body are writing goals.

What about that house thing?  Well, my house is a mess.  It's beyond a mess.  It's horrible and frustrating and disgusting and embarrassing. It's also distracting.  Piles of papers and random things everywhere.  Stacks of laundry, both dirty and clean.  Messes and dirt and disorganization everywhere with nothing pleasant to rest the eye on.  This keeps my brain skipping from place to place, looking for a nice place to land.  This takes my focus away from writing because if I see what's around me, all I can think about is how awful it is, how ugly everything looks, how I dislike my surroundings, and how I'm desperate to have it different.  That's a lot of though power that could be going into my writing.  Plus, I want and need a pleasant environment to rest and recharge in so I can shore up those energy reserves so I have the fuel for writing.

It's all part of my whole life.  And I need and want and deserve a healthy, energetic, beautiful life to frame my writing with.  So I'm going to find some way to get past the overwhelm and the exhaustion and the aches and pains and make it happen. 

For those who are interested, here's the 10 (ish) minute exercise plan I'm going to be doing for a few weeks to help my muscles loosen up and get ready for the next stage. 

Warm-up: 3-5 minutes of full body stretches and bends with deep breathing, marching in place, arm swings with side steps, and general movement to get things moving.

Part 1:  Physical therapy stretches for the leg muscles to help strengthen the injured muscles and keep them from getting re-injured.  About 3 minutes.

Part 2:  Strength work.  10 reps of each of these:
  • Wall push-ups
  • Side bends
  • Waist twists
  • Standing crunches
  • Standing leg lifts: front, side, back
  • Calf-raises
Part 3: Repeat PT stretches with added stretches for the upper body

A very short, simple program, but it has really helped in the past to start easing my body into exercising without overdoing things and causing problems.  This time, though, I'm not going to put this on a schedule.  I will stick with the program until I feel ready to add things in; I'm not going to follow anyone else's ideas about how soon I should be adding time, adding weights, anything like that.  My body works on its own schedule, and this time I'm going to listen!

1 comment:

Live, Love, Laugh, Write! said...

You know - I think we have a lot in common...

And thanks for the link to that blog post - it cracked me up!

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