Monday, June 04, 2012

What I Bought

So I bought a heavy punching bag. Back before I moved out of Casa Estrogen, I went the Road House route by stuffing one of my old Army duffel bags with old clothes, hanging it from a hook in the garage ceiling, and punching it. It was a really good and intense workout which got me results comparable to what I'd had when I was lifting religiously, only with much shorter workouts. When I moved to my current house, I had no place to hang the bag (I could hang it in the garage, but it's a detached garage and not well-built, more like a tool shack with a really big door).

Plus, the duffel bag had its quirks and limitations. I stuffed it pretty much to capacity, but it was never heavy enough. After a few punches, it would just be swinging and spinning wildly. And since I left the carrying straps on that enable you to wear it like a backpack, sometimes I would end up punching or kicking a metal buckle, which was painful.And although it wasn't as heavy as I really wanted it, after a couple of months, I noticed the seams starting to pull apart.

So now I have a punching bag installed in my house. I did my first tentative workout on it today, relearning how to wrap my hands and getting a feel for the biomechanics of punching again, getting my arms used to taking the shock of a hard punch. I'm in even worse shape than I thought, but I'm hoping as I take this piece by piece: working the bag, starting to do bodyweight exercises and some kettlebell work, improving my diet--that will turn around.

And meanwhile, the act of getting the bag set up forced me to do some straightening up. Not nearly enough, but it's a start, and I've been avoiding that start for too long. If I ever want to get laid again, these are things I have to do. And seriously, I want to get laid again. Enough years have gone by.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Life We Want, the Life We Choose

I've been having new computer fever for a while now. Part of it was just that I got a little extra money together, and like this article says (scroll down to #4), I couldn't bear to just let it sit for a time when I needed it. Because it would get pissed away in dribs and drabs and in the end, I'd have nothing and wouldn't really be any better off.

But a new computer, that would give me a leg up on some stuff. I would be able to do much better work on the website, for instance. But it wouldn't make me any more talented, and sadly, though I've put a shit-ton of work into the website, I'm not keeping up with the demands, and the income I've made from donations and books sold is negligible.

I didn't have nearly enough to make the jump to the computer I want anyway, so I finally splurged on something else. Something that costs less than half what a new computer would cost, but could end up helping me make a much more positive change.

It's been a hard few years. The separation caused me a lot of stress, which was exacerbated by my post-election meltdown. Then came the Biggest Mistake of My Life, which left me jobless and saddled with a ton of debt. The three years since have seen extended periods of unemployment or underemployment, debilitating depression from feelings of worthlessness (when your wife doesn't want you and no one wants to hire you, it's hard not to start to agree with them), and just the grind of constantly having no money--eating shitty food, not running the air conditioner in the summer, running minimal heat in the winter, and subsequently having no energy to do anything but huddle over the computer.

Trash piles up, weeds grow rampant in the yard, everything in your house except the stuff you use every day is covered with a thick layer of dust and cobwebs. And then one day, you look around at a room that looks like a bomb went off one dropped comic book and empty soda bottle at a time, and you say, "Why the hell do I let myself live like this?"

Two years ago, I told myself I was making a change, but it didn't take. A year ago, I spent a month trying to improve, but then the summer heat clamped down and work stopped. This year, I used my little bit of extra money to buy something tangible in the hopes that it will jumpstart the changes that have so far eluded me.

Because although the mess is daunting and I've let my body atrophy horribly, the fact is, I've chosen to live this way, and I can choose to live another way if I want. And I really do want.