Category: Habits

May 04, 2015
By Michael Rupured

The Elliptical and Me

I don’t perspire — I sweat like Niagara Falls. Consequently, I prefer to run without a shirt — a preference that rules out running for most of the winter. Last year, I forced myself to run on a treadmill at the gym. I tried to focus on the silver lining, but time on the awful machine passed slower than ice-cold molasses. Hated it. An exercise program I followed last fall included cardio suggestions. Since I was running two or three times a week, I skipped the extra cardio. When the weather turned cold, I decided to try the recommended twenty minutes on an elliptical. Couldn’t be worse than the treadmill. Loved it. Sensors on the elliptical monitor my heart rate, which is shown on …

Apr 13, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Busted Routines

I’m very much a creature of habit. Toodles and I move through our days like well-oiled machines. Routines drive our actions from the time our feet/paws hit the floor in the morning until our heads hit the pillow at night. Doing things in a particular order helps me get more done and keeps me from having to think about what’s next. Disruptions push my needle into the crotchety zone, and sometimes, flat out piss me off. Shocking, I know, but true. Routines have always worked for me. I could be wrong — wouldn’t be the first time — but that’s how I remember things. Lately, instead of helping me get everything done, my well-established routines too often get in the way of what I want to do. My …

Feb 09, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Man and His Hat

Growing up, I rarely wore a hat. Covering my head messed my hair up too much. If it got really cold, I’d break down and put on a sock hat or pull up the hood on my sweatshirt. You do what you gotta do. Until he got older, my father never wore a hat either. In sub-zero weather, he’d don a tan, fleece-lined aviator hat — the kind with ear flaps, which he never, ever pulled down. Otherwise, aside from the fire helmet or visored uniform cap he wore on the job, his head stayed uncovered. Comes a time when every man needs a good hat. Dad’s codger hat (his term) was a Greek fisherman’s cap made of wool — black, I believe, though it …

Jan 05, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Revisions: Now or Later?

Approaches to penning a novel fall somewhere along a continuum. Writers on one end — plotters — think through every detail ahead of time. Those on the other end — pantsers — make stuff up as they go along. Either approach can result in a high quality novel. I bounce back and forth as the mood strikes. The right side of my brain is a plotter. The left side sabotages any attempts to plan things out. Keeping both sides happy is a struggle. Writing a good story is about getting to know the characters. Early in the process — whether pantsing or plotting — I don’t know them very well. By “the end,” we’ve become old friends. I still might not know everything about them, …

Dec 29, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Swap Resolutions for Priorities

For most of my career, instead of days off for “lesser” federal holidays, my employer has given us the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Depending on when the holidays fall, I usually add days of vacation time to either end — both if possible. Most years, the holiday vacation is my longest break from the day job. Being off for more than a day or two gives me a chance to catch up. In the early years, an overly ambitious to-do list for my holiday vacation meant ending the year feeling more defeated than renewed. Eventually, I figured out what I was doing to myself and scaled back my plans and expectations for the long holiday break. The journaling I’ve done since 1979 …

Dec 22, 2014
By Michael Rupured

A Crotchety Christmas

Christmas is a very special time of year. Competing with the grandeur and spectacle of the yuletide celebration is a tall order. No other holiday celebration even comes close to the month-long festival of parades, television specials, religious services, community events, parties, dinners, and gift exchanges taking place in the Christmas season. Bah humbug! I’m over it. Somewhere along the way, my Christmas spirit flew the coop. Good riddance. I’ve moved on, and left no forwarding address. I quit decorating years ago. My ex (and the one before him) were responsible for any decorations in my house. Dragging all that crap out, untangling strings of lights, and then taking a day to put it all back up was too much trouble. …

Dec 08, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Perfect Little Dog

Few things are more adorable than a six-week old chihuahua puppy. Within days of my ex getting a dog I didn’t especially want, I accepted the little darling and took an active role in his upbringing. Early socialization is important, especially with nervous breeds like chihuahuas. Perhaps as a result of all the early attention, Tico is a smart, fun-loving, and courageous little dog who has never met a stranger. Tico is also unmistakably the ex’s dog. Despite my early crotchetiness, his preference for the ex sometimes hurt my feelings a tiny little bit. Yeah — the dog hurt my feelings. I’ll own it. Enter Toodles. As with Tico, we took her everywhere. Fearing she too would prefer my amiable ex over her crotchety daddy, …

Oct 06, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Stepping Up My Game

Exercise is great. The more I do, the more I’m able to do. The downside is the more I do, the more I must do to get the same result. The time comes to either step up my game, switch up the activity, or quit and wait long enough for the same effort to work again. I ain’t gonna lie. When bicycling was my primary exercise, I’d quit every few months to keep from having to go for longer and longer rides. I’m guessing this is a normal part of the process of becoming more active — a process I’ve been working on for seven or eight years now. Two years ago, attempting to exercise as much as I do now would …

Sep 22, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Call Me Transformed

I joined the gym three years ago because it was cheaper than paying by the class for Zumba. My membership included weekly sessions with a personal trainer. He gave me a workout plan, expected me to follow it, and since he was really hot and more than a little intimidating, I tried to obey. In addition to two or three Zumba classes, my weekly exercise plan consisted of a thirty minute training session plus three more trips to the gym to workout on my own. I hated the weightlifting, but kept at it, knowing strength training would boost my metabolism. My prescribed workouts took thirty or forty minutes — tops — which I thought was an awful lot to of time at the gym. Ninety …

Sep 08, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Losing My Addictions

My weight has varied by less than three pounds for going on two years now. Not gaining is great, but I really want to shed the oldest fat in my body — fat that settled around my waist decades ago and is now firmly entrenched. The weight is less the issue than a desire to end the jiggling. If losing weight was 100 percent about exercise, my old fat would be gone. Resisting temptation isn’t my strong suit, so eating anywhere but home is a potential problem. Receptions and buffets are particularly dangerous. Throw in a tendency to feel entitled — especially on days I workout AND run — and my progress toward svelte hasn’t been what it could be. My food addictions sabotage …

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